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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Gina's Take

First of all, good job. You've established us in who we are (pov-wise), and where we are. You've also weaved in senses and given us some characterization.

What would I change? Well, I don't know what kind of story is and it seems like it's probably outside my genre of reading, so take all of this with a grain of salt knowing that. I normally do thrillers and literary fiction, so I could be off here, but the whole baking cookies thing didn't capture my interest and we're in chapter one. If you're going to start with everyday life, then I need something else to grab my attention like lyrical writing, fabulous descriptions that are above and beyond, absolutely amazing writing. Now this very well could be my personal taste. I love how Charles Martin, and Lisa Samson write. They could write about dusting and they'd have my attention. Try picking up Martin's, When Crickets Cry to get an idea of what I'm talking about. I'm not suggesting you write in the "literary" style but maybe incorporate a touch of that.

I also noticed a few places where you used an extra word that could have been cut. Be sure to go through and cut every word you don't need. If you can cut a word and the meaning is still clear, then you're usually wise to do so.

Also, I noticed a lot of the same sentence structure over and over. Short sentences, many beginning with pronouns. Mix it up. That gets monotonous, usually subconsciously, to readers. Have some longer sentences now and again. They'll make your shorter sentences more powerful. (You did have one or two sentences that were that type of structure toward the end. Good job, more of that.)

Also, is it me or are there a lot of widowers in fiction? So much so recently that I've taken notice. Just an observation.

Overall I think this was really good. I'd love to go on about all that was worthy about this piece, except that I worked sixteen hours last night and just got home. My eyes are closing. So, let me just say, good job on this.

**I did agree with Jess that we learned too much too fast. Some of the information conveyed here could be peppered in later. Remember you have the whole novel to fill us in.**


  1. Great critiques, all. You all pointed out good things for this writer. Jessica, I especially liked your bulleted list of info in the scene. It's so important for a writer, when STARTING to write the scene, to ask him/herself, What is my scene goal? What do I need to accomplish or see happen in this scene that WILL MOVE THE STORY FORWARD? By making a bulleted list like this, it quickly sums up the situation for the writer. If we make this list BEFORE we write the scene, it'll be tighter.

    Great job!

  2. I'm still learning about this whole critique thing.

    Keep it up! I do like to see crits like this as I have virtually no experience and it builds up my knowledge, kwim?

  3. I love these critiques and find them very helpful. Kudos to all the authors who are brave enough to have their work critiqued in public, and to the three of you for your honest yet gracious critiques.

    To the author of this chapter ... I was hooked into the story and I loved your voice. I hope it gets published so I can read the rest :-)


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