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RedBlue

4/19/21 - RedBlue - Constance Wood Stove ch1 rev1 - (2683 words)

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Hello everyone,

This is a revision of the first chapter. (I have added chapter breaks and changed the order of a few things to try to help with flow.)

I’ve made quite a few changes to some events, and I’ve been trying to fix the problems you have all kindly pointed out (especially with how C is presented), so I want to see if my efforts are working!

Questions: 1) Is this version better? 2) Do you feel connected to C? 3) Is it plot-hook-y enough? 4) Any other issues?

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Overall:

1.      I really like the revisions made to this.   I think it’s a much better version. There’s still a good deal of weirdness to the town that C accepts as normal, which (in my opinion) is a good thing, but we get a much clearer distinction between what is “normal for C” and what is “probably the curse”. At least from C’s perspective, which is the important thing.

2.      I didn’t have as many issues with C herself as some others did previously (I’m more willing to accept passive observation in characters than most readers, as long as there are interesting things going on) but I have a feeling this version of her is going to work for a far wider audience.

3.      This is definitely a stronger hook for the start, since we have a clearer idea of both what C thinks the curse looks like and the fact that she plans to get to the bottom of it.  Even if we don’t know what that looks like yet. 

4.      A few little things mentioned below, but you made a ton of improvement on the bigger things I was having trouble with the first time through.

 

Looking forward to seeing the additional updates going forward!

 

Pg 1:

“She steps over the line.” This already sets us up for a more active version of C.

Pg 2:

The descriptions of the friends here gives us a clearer picture of their personalities than I remember getting before.  Specifically for T.  I glanced at the old chapter to see whether that was likely due to changes or just greater familiarity with the characters, and I think it’s the needing to prove she isn’t afraid that makes it stick more this time.

“going to find out whether or not the curse is real” and “I’m going to prove it” are saying the same thing as far as I can tell. 

Pg 3:

I didn’t mind C’s quiet observation of things around her before, but she is definitely more engaging here.

Pg 5-7

The school scene flows better this time.

I like introducing GM slightly later than E and T, but I think if this was the first time reading it, I might have had a “wait…have we met her yet?” moment when she’s mentioned.  Might be worth adding a line of description there as a sort of signal to the reader that it’s a new person. Though it’s also possible I’m overthinking that, so maybe see if it jumps out at anyone else.

Page 8

 I’m not sure if we need the scene break line, since we end one scene with her getting to the house and starting the next with having just gotten home.

“heated primarily by wood stoves  missing an s there.  This introduction of the Wood Stove works better than last time, since it justifies the capitalization right away.

Pg 9:

“Her father emerges from the kitchen, laden with food.”  I’m not sure how to picture this.  I don’t have too much problem with assuming the description of her dad is pretty literal, but the idea of him carrying food clashes with that, since limbs clash with the spherical description. 

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Posted (edited)

So, I was going to go back and read the chapter one, but I saw you have this revision of chapter 1 up, so I will just read this one instead to give a fresh look on the revised version

Pg1.

Nice opening line. The name C sounds like a person’s name to me

This second sentence is a bit long. Could be separated imo

Not a fan of present tense, personally, but that’s not huge

“C is not only the name…” Ha! Called it

Bicycle, huh? This dates this as more modern than I was thinking

Pg 2.

Okay, so I know I said I don’t like present tense, but I changed my mind after reading this page. I like the style of it. I reserve the right to change my mind again later

“sturdiest-looking nearby cursed…” adjective overload!

“wrong with the soil…” So there’s not a ton of worldbuilding yet, but if the entire world is like this, wouldn’t it be considered the normal? Or are they from someplace else that isn’t cursed?

Pg 3.

“if it has an end” again, if they are questioning this, wouldn’t the cursed state just be considered the norm? Like, the town is special compared to everything else as the only place that can sustain human life? (Wait, is C a metaphor for the earth itself? With the cursed land being the rest of the universe?)

Ha, I like C’s reasoning here. Very logical and also childish. Good characterization

Pg 4

“so if nothing happens” Good point. Can’t prove a negative

“it’s hitting her friends” lol. Also, ouch

Pg 5

“whether the curse is real” okay, the curse is definitely a metaphor for something. I’m sticking with the empty universe theory

I believe Mrs should be Mrs. (with a period)

Okay, so this is YA, correct? The school scene is very relatable if so

Pg 6.

Not sure if this is describing dyslexia or something magical

I have never heard the word shan’t before. But I shan’t forget it now.

Pg 7

Wait a second, I just realized that there is one boy and two girls in the main trio! Nice

“How would she know…” okay, nope the curse is a metaphor for deity.

“ nobody could be that rude…” knowing YA tropes, yes they could

Pg 8

Okay, her full name is sick

The fact that Wood Stove is capitalized gives me a weird sense of dread.

“cue ball” nice

Pg 10

Hmmmm kind of a fade-out kind of end. I would personally like more of a hook, but the fact that she may or may not be cursed is interesting.

Overall, I really enjoyed this! The style is good and easy to read, and the tone so far is mysterious. I could see myself reading this, though it is noticeably styled for a younger audience. (But I could see myself reading this as a preteen) I am curious about what the curse could be. I would say that I connected with C, because of her logical, no-nonsense type of attitude. 

My biggest concern is that if its been around for a long time, and possibly extends forever, why do they see it as a curse and not just the way things are outside of town? I guess that’s why I kinda think it might be an allegory for something else.

Edited by ginger_reckoning
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  1. Can't comment because I didn't read the last version :^)
  2. Hm... I don't know if I'm connected to her, but I like her well enough! I think one of my comments as I was reading was like "oh, she's cute :)" 
  3. I think the plot seems pretty straightforward right now - figure out if she's actually cursed, and if so, what to do about it. 
  4. No other issues imo but I just wanted to comment on how I liked the way you set up the atmosphere of the story - a little bit mysterious and otherworldly, but still real enough :^)

Some other comments:

  • pg 2 "she doesn't have much free time": is this referencing something? I don't really get how it relates to T needing to prove herself
  • pg 3 "It might not just be the soil": I'm not sure why sound = not the soil, especially when earlier you said that it was 'eerily' still
  • pg 3 abt the cursed land: I'm kind of confused as to what this curse is - I originally thought it was just making the land around the town barren, but it can hurt people? (Also, is the town completely self-sufficient? I'm getting the impression that it's very isolated.)
  • pg 4 "making something fun happen": this was the line that made me go "C is cute :')"
  • pg 7 on introducing GM: when she was first name-dropped, I got confused. It did make me think she was about to become an antagonist, though, which the rest of the story seems to hold up at least a little? When I read the description of GM, though, I thought it was weird that she was being described on her second occurrence. Maybe consider placing one of the descriptions up when she's first mentioned and then keep some of the others where they are?
  • pg 8 "The Boneyard": is that the name of the house? At first I thought that was the town's name, but then I remembered we got a town name already. Either way, some explanation on what it is would be nice. 
  • pg 9 on the dad's description: with the mysterious vibe already set up here, I'm having a bit of a hard time imagining her father and how much of it I should take literally lol. Is he a literal sphere? Does he have arms and legs? Is he no longer skin and flesh?
  • pg 10 "Cold changes to hot": is there a connection b/w the temperature mention here and the cold when C left the town earlier? I assumed that earlier (in pg 1) she felt the cold once she stepped out of the town's... area, and that the cold was a part of the whole 'curse' deal. 
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On 19/04/2021 at 1:52 PM, C_Vallion said:

1.      I really like the revisions made to this.   I think it’s a much better version. There’s still a good deal of weirdness to the town that C accepts as normal, which (in my opinion) is a good thing, but we get a much clearer distinction between what is “normal for C” and what is “probably the curse”. At least from C’s perspective, which is the important thing.

22 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Overall, I really enjoyed this! The style is good and easy to read, and the tone so far is mysterious. I could see myself reading this, though it is noticeably styled for a younger audience. (But I could see myself reading this as a preteen) I am curious about what the curse could be. I would say that I connected with C, because of her logical, no-nonsense type of attitude. 

21 hours ago, leapfrog said:
  • Hm... I don't know if I'm connected to her, but I like her well enough! I think one of my comments as I was reading was like "oh, she's cute :)" 
  • I think the plot seems pretty straightforward right now - figure out if she's actually cursed, and if so, what to do about it. 
  • No other issues imo but I just wanted to comment on how I liked the way you set up the atmosphere of the story - a little bit mysterious and otherworldly, but still real enough :^)

I'm glad to hear it!

 

On 19/04/2021 at 1:52 PM, C_Vallion said:

I didn’t have as many issues with C herself as some others did previously (I’m more willing to accept passive observation in characters than most readers, as long as there are interesting things going on) but I have a feeling this version of her is going to work for a far wider audience.

Yeah, in the original version, C was kind of in 'normal life mode' for about the first five chapters or so before realising that something was up and kicking into gear. But the passivity was an issue for enough people that I decided to speed things up and get her to that point sooner. 

 

22 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

So, I was going to go back and read the chapter one, but I saw you have this revision of chapter 1 up, so I will just read this one instead to give a fresh look on the revised version

Thanks! It's good to have fresh eyes on it.

22 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

Okay, so this is YA, correct? The school scene is very relatable if so

When I first started posting I was wavering between YA and middle-grade, but advice (which I agree with) was that this is firmly in the middle-grade camp. So it's MG, but the hope is to give it an 'all ages' feel.

22 hours ago, ginger_reckoning said:

My biggest concern is that if its been around for a long time, and possibly extends forever, why do they see it as a curse and not just the way things are outside of town? I guess that’s why I kinda think it might be an allegory for something else.

The cursed land is largely accepted as part of life by the kids, but that doesn't stop them from giving it a certain mystique. I won't comment for now on whether it's allegorical, but reading your guesses was good :)

 

Thanks for your feedback!

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1 hour ago, RedBlue said:

Yeah, in the original version, C was kind of in 'normal life mode' for about the first five chapters or so before realising that something was up and kicking into gear. But the passivity was an issue for enough people that I decided to speed things up and get her to that point sooner. 

Sounds like the same thing I was dealing with in January and February.  Except it made more sense in my case to just cut all of the early stuff out.  So, goodbye, 20k words.

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4 minutes ago, C_Vallion said:

So, goodbye, 20k words.

Oof! That’s rough!

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14 minutes ago, RedBlue said:

Oof! That’s rough!

Definitely for the best, though.  Hoping to start resubmitting this coming week or the following, so we'll see how many of the old problems the new starting point fixes.  And you'll likely get to throw some of my critique points back at me :) 

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Okay, I'm catching up on critiques. So I'm going to do this revised Chapter One before going back to Chapters Two and Three. So if @RedBlue if you've revised 2/3, let me know.

Thoughts as I go:

Pg 6, " She remembers writing it all down over three sides of A4 in sensible handwriting." Three sides? Does this mean pages?

Pg 8, " are heated primarily by a wood stove. It’s a good, reliable way to keep a warm"

Pg 9, "He is a massive, living cue ball." This is a frightening image.

You know, I think part of what gives me the creepy feeling is that this is in third person, present tense. Usually, if people use present tense, it is in first person. But it works really well here.

Honestly, I really have nothing else to add, except that it should be Mrs. F. I think it is wonderfully creepy and makes me want to keep reading. I think you cut all the parts that I picked on last time about the worldbuilding. I like the sense of wrongness that seems to permeate everything. I don't feel particularly close to C, but I find that is okay. There's something about the style that reminds me of Lemony Snicket or a creepy old woman telling the tale around a campfire. Definitely got Nightvale vibes, or like the Wood Stove is from SCP. There's this sense of distance that makes everything feel a little otherworldly. For me, personally, it works well. I can see it not working for others, but it works well for me. 

I feel kind of useless not finding more things to pick apart. But, hey, that says something, doesn't it?

 

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6 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

So I'm going to do this revised Chapter One before going back to Chapters Two and Three. So if @RedBlue if you've revised 2/3, let me know.

I have revised 2 and 3, still pending another readthrough to make sure I haven't made any glaring continuity errors. Would it be alright to email them to you when I'm done?

 

7 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

I feel kind of useless not finding more things to pick apart. But, hey, that says something, doesn't it?

That's the goal!

 

Thank you for your feedback!

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1 hour ago, RedBlue said:

Would it be alright to email them to you when I'm done?

Perfect! Yup, just send them my way when you are ready. 

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This is definitely better than last time, and I like that C is more active. That said, I'm still not completely hooked on the story. There is a lot of mystery, but my main issue is that I don't know why C is doing this now. The kids have all lived in the town their whole lives, so what is different? Why is C suddenly suspicious? I think this would help as well to connect to C, as it will give her some motivation. Right now she's sort of drifting through the action, but doesn't have a set reason for her goal of "activating" the curse.

 

Notes while reading:

pg 1: Oh yeah...I'd forgotten the town and the girl are both named C.

pg 1: "She steps over the line."
--I think last time she specifically didn't step over the line, right? This is a good change if so, and gives her a little more agency.
--but then the tension drops a bit because it's revealed that they've done this many times. Was she expecting something different?

pg 1: “It’s fine!” 
--Which also makes me question this. Is there a reason they think this time is different?

pg 3: “You can do it!” 
--so what have they done the other many times they've come out here? Have none of the kids ever climbed any of the trees?

pg 4: “So, if nothing happens, that proves there isn’t a curse?” 
--yeah, I'm with T on this one, but they are kids...

pg 4: "even at the highest point she could reach."
--which...isn't far.

pg 5: "whether the curse is real."
--Again, if they've known about this their whole lives, I'd like something to tell why this situation is different.

pg 7: "all of this might sound like she is making it up"
--This makes a lot more sense if she's writing about V and then he appears in town.

pg 7: "C likes to give G-M the benefit of the doubt"
--this still reads like C is just daft.

pg 8: "Chuck is in the kitchen"
--this is weird because not only is C referring to her father by first name, but then starts using his nickname.

pg 8: "or ask strange questions"
--Asking about a wood stove's accepted magical powers is considered a strange question?

pg 9: "He is a massive, living cue ball"
--I still can't tell is this is metaphor or literal, also, the father's name keeps switching from full name to nickname 

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2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

This is definitely better than last time, and I like that C is more active. That said, I'm still not completely hooked on the story.

I’m glad it’s an improvement. I’ll take your comments on board.

 

2 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 7: "C likes to give G-M the benefit of the doubt"
--this still reads like C is just daft.

Yeah, it’s a specific character flaw that C is not a great judge of character. 

 

Thanks for your feedback!

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Overall:

I enjoy your writing style, it's easy to follow with a good dose of humour and whimsy. I think the pacing is better in this version if only for the sake of the MC's motivation. I guess my only criticism is that I want more to happen. It's not really even criticism because I would still continue reading and I'm still curious enough about this story.

1. Yes this version's better.

2. Can't say I feel very connected to C yet. I don't get a real sense of trouble for her, though there is an oddness about the way things seem to slip away from her. For some reason, I don't get a solid sense of how troubled she is about what's happening. She says she's troubled, but I'm not given enough to believe she's troubled.

3. Yes, I think it's plot-hooky enough. We want to know if the odd things that are happening to C are indeed from a curse and also what the heck is up with this weird town.

4. Don't have many issues, a couple of missing words here and there but that's about it. Good work.

As I read:

pg 1 - Good start, still as solid as last time

pg 2 - I like that C has a clear attitude and motivation in this version. She seems more courageous and curious, which I think is good for this type of story.

pg 3 - “Are you sure about this idea?” T asks. I think "Are you sure about this?" would suffice. Adding the word idea makes the sentence feel stilted.

pg 5 - "There’s a thought won’t let Constance go: that she hasn’t proven, one way or the other, whether the curse is real." Besides the lack of the word "that" this is a great end to the scene; we clearly see the MC's motivation and basically the central conflict of the story. And it didn't feel like it took too long to get there.

I don't really have any more notes because the story plays out almost exactly as it did in the first draft from that point on. I guess the major change was introducing the MC's motivation and central plot hook, which is good. I really liked the first draft too, so I think this is a great revision. 

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8 hours ago, julienreel said:

I enjoy your writing style, it's easy to follow with a good dose of humour and whimsy. I think the pacing is better in this version if only for the sake of the MC's motivation. I guess my only criticism is that I want more to happen. It's not really even criticism because I would still continue reading and I'm still curious enough about this story.

Hooray! 

 

8 hours ago, julienreel said:

I like that C has a clear attitude and motivation in this version. She seems more courageous and curious, which I think is good for this type of story.

I’m glad this is coming across!

 

8 hours ago, julienreel said:

 “Are you sure about this idea?” T asks. I think "Are you sure about this?" would suffice. Adding the word idea makes the sentence feel stilted.

Thanks for pointing this out.

 

Thank you for your feedback!

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Overall

Much better! You've resolved a lot of the issues, which, of course, let's us find other issues (isn't that always the way? Sigh). My biggest issues in this draft are 1) no explanation of why this day is different than any other day (missing motivation that changes things, such as the inciting incident that lead to C going up the tree), 2) how C responds...she doesn't seem to make clear connections and I don't understand why, and 3) the lack of closing the narrative arc at the end (and no hook to move us to the next chapter, which I think could be as simple as C realizing her actions in the badlands have had bad consequences).

But generally, well done! These next round of edits should be a lot more straightforward, and I think we have a solid enough footing now to move forward and really grasp the world.

As I go

- solid entry line

- pg 2: And I’m going to prove it, too.” <-- awesome, and glad she's taking control of the plot, but what got her to this point? I feel like we missed the inciting incident. At this point I have world buy in, and MC buy in, but missing the why

- pg 4: so I think actually you could clean up this why with maybe a sentence or two at the beginning that says something like every afternoon, on their lunch break, the kids of Constance go to the edge of the rift and try to bait the curse. They've been doing it for so long, no one knows who started it. Con was determined to end it, though. Sort of a life's mission. It had started because Billy (or whomever) had tossed her favorite doll beyond the rift, left it overnight, and when they'd come back it'd been gone. Searching turned up nothing. Con was older now, no longer cared about the doll, but she couldn't stop searching the waste and wondering...if her doll was out there, what else might be, too?

or something along those lines. Just a little hook to give us a reason for this sudden interest

- pg 7: How would she know if it were the curse< -- wait what? This is a huge logic leap I don't follow. Wouldn't she just think she is sick or something? Or that she maybe brought back part of the curse with her and it affected her sight?

- pg 8: Is 'Chuck' a nickname for 'Charles'? Otherwise I'm confused. Why not just introduce him as Chuck?

- pg 9: oh this is a much better setup for the wood stove mystery than before!

- pg 9: so her foray into the badlands clearly affected her but she doesn't seem to be attributing it to the event. this is strange and I don't understand why not. A child, especially, I feel like would draw a clear line between 'did something I wasn't supposed to' and 'weird consequence'

- the ending doesn't end the narrative arc. What is the hook to lead me into the next chapter?

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3 hours ago, kais said:

Much better! You've resolved a lot of the issues, which, of course, let's us find other issues (isn't that always the way? Sigh). My biggest issues in this draft are 1) no explanation of why this day is different than any other day (missing motivation that changes things, such as the inciting incident that lead to C going up the tree), 2) how C responds...she doesn't seem to make clear connections and I don't understand why, and 3) the lack of closing the narrative arc at the end (and no hook to move us to the next chapter, which I think could be as simple as C realizing her actions in the badlands have had bad consequences).

Thanks kais! It’s good to know that I’ve got a handle on the bigger problems, so I can focus on the little ones!

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As I go:

pg 1. I think we get into the action more quickly here which is good. I still have my eye on the opening being so zoomed out but I don't think it would stop me from reading forward if I picked it up at a bookstore, especially since we get into the action so quickly

pg 3. I'm picking up much stronger vibes of exploration/adventure already. I think this fits in well with the plane that we see later but I am expecting followup on this

-I also like how it's just E and T here. Much easier to keep track of just them than them plus others

pg 5. Good end to the scene. Only comment is that I want to see what's kicking off C's action here. Why climb the tree now? 

-I like how the teacher is associating broad with easy because I can see that she is dead wrong lol. The most open-ended assignments are always the hardest, but of course a teacher like her wouldn't admit that. 

pg 7. That book sounds like a lot of stuff I had to read in hs lol. I still occasionally think about how I was forced to read Heart of Darkness. *shudders* 

pg 8. I think the drawback of the curse as something that pushes C out to greater horizons with tree-climbing and exploration is that the wood stove feels less relevant. I'm finding myself less engaged here than the other parts, because the first section made me think the story was going to be about journeying into the cursed lands. 

pg 9. Still not totally clear about the dad's physical appearance, though the cue ball description helps a lot. Is he like totally round? Does he have to move by rolling? Does he still have limbs? If not, how can he move by himself at all?

On 4/19/2021 at 4:13 AM, RedBlue said:

Questions: 1) Is this version better? 2) Do you feel connected to C? 3) Is it plot-hook-y enough? 4) Any other issues?

1. I do like it better! It changes my reading of the larger story greatly to more focus on the world beyond the town, and I can't tell if that's where you want the story to go or not. 

2. Moreso than before, yeah. Having her be active in the first scene does wonders, though I am hoping for more personality traits to come out later on. 

3. I think so, though the wood stove and the curse still feel like two separate hooks to me and I get the feeling they're not supposed to. Maybe I'm the only one with this issue though.

4. As @Mandamon said, the motivations and the "why now?" could be clearer. The inciting incident is usually something that forces the protagonist into action, not them taking the initiative in a vacuum. It can feel a little too easy that way. 

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15 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

Only comment is that I want to see what's kicking off C's action here. Why climb the tree now? 

A few people brought up this point - I'll have to add a paragraph or two to explain her motivation more clearly in a future edit.

15 hours ago, Ace of Hearts said:

the wood stove and the curse still feel like two separate hooks to me and I get the feeling they're not supposed to.

I get what you mean. The Wood Stove and the curse are both things that need to be set up, but the connection between them won't become apparent until later in the plot.

 

Thank you for your feedback!

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On 4/19/2021 at 4:13 AM, RedBlue said:

1) Is this version better?

I liked this version much better. I didn't loose interest the same way I did before and feel like I have a better grasp on the setting. The voice also feels stronger.

On 4/19/2021 at 4:13 AM, RedBlue said:

2) Do you feel connected to C?

I do feel better connected to  C, though I think there is still room to work in a little more emotion, as hard as it may be. Honestly, I think this is something a lot of us struggle with. I think the scene with the tree was strong. I felt emotionally grounded in the character. I felt like I was in the moment with C. The narrative voice gets a little more distant in the other scenes. I'm wondering if you could work in more almost physical reactions to show her emotion in the school scene. When she is looking at her paper, is she tense, sitting still with her hands folded while she reads it? Does she fidget? Does she trace the red marks and messy handwriting with her finger? When she raises her hand, does she do so with confidence? Does she hesitate?

Throughout the story, sprinkling these kinds of details can ground the readers, help them make connections, and prevent them from getting too lost in C's thoughts and reflections. 

One random edit note that jumped to mind. There was one place you wrote "She hears G snicker..." I don't you need the "she hears" part. It's extra words and it add distance. 

Even as the scene continues, having some scattered references to her physical actions will ground some of the longer sections of internal thought and add a layer of emotion. 

On 4/19/2021 at 4:13 AM, RedBlue said:

3) Is it plot-hook-y enough? 4)

My answer is yes. You've introduced a character toying with a curse, and now curse like things are happening to her in this strange town. I am hooked. 

On 4/19/2021 at 4:13 AM, RedBlue said:

4) Any other issues?

I have mixed feelings about the place this ends. I love the last few lines. There is something poetic about them and they're layered with meaning. However, it's not the hookiest ending point. I love the feeling it conveys, but at that same time, something about doesn't push me into the next chapter and compel me to read more. If I had picked this up in a store, I would 100% read on anyway because I like so much about this chapter. However, if I were a literary agent reading dozens of first chapters that had showed up in my slush, this isn't necessarily the kind of ending that would  make me think, okay, out of the dozens of things I've read today, this is the one I have to read more of. But then, that is a very subjective thing. 

But overall, I think you've done a fantastic job revising this. Yes, it needs a few more adjustments, but it is getting there. 

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On 4/24/2021 at 8:37 AM, RedBlue said:

A few people brought up this point - I'll have to add a paragraph or two to explain her motivation more clearly in a future edit.

On 4/23/2021 at 4:47 PM, Ace of Hearts said:

I didn't really think anything about why she picked that day, but it looks like a lot of other people did. And now that they've pointed it out, I think they're right. 

However, maybe instead of adding a whole paragraph or two explaining it, you can work it in in pieces. You already have a good chunk of exposition before the action starts, which is okay, but if you add more, it would be too much. It does sound like essential information, so see if you can keep it concise and sprinkle it through. 

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

I do feel better connected to  C, though I think there is still room to work in a little more emotion, as hard as it may be. Honestly, I think this is something a lot of us struggle with. I think the scene with the tree was strong. I felt emotionally grounded in the character. I felt like I was in the moment with C. The narrative voice gets a little more distant in the other scenes. I'm wondering if you could work in more almost physical reactions to show her emotion in the school scene. When she is looking at her paper, is she tense, sitting still with her hands folded while she reads it? Does she fidget? Does she trace the red marks and messy handwriting with her finger? When she raises her hand, does she do so with confidence? Does she hesitate?

Thanks for the tips - I'll see what I can do to bring the narration closer to C.

10 hours ago, shatteredsmooth said:

One random edit note that jumped to mind. There was one place you wrote "She hears G snicker..." I don't you need the "she hears" part. It's extra words and it add distance.

Thanks for pointing this out - I've tried to weed out the filter phrases like 'she hears', I always seem to miss some :)

 

Thank you for your feedback!

Edited by RedBlue
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