View Full Version : Critique: Request for review of 1st chapter.
May 10th, 2006, 03:25 PM
I've written a 100,000 word novel aimed at young-adult readers but believe that it has cross-over potential to be of interest to imaginative adults as well and was interested in feedback regarding the first chapter.
More of a contemporary fantasy versus a traditional dragons and magic-type story, the book is about a youngest child in a family of paranormal investigators.
Keeping my audience in mind, please expect a slightly wry tone and a narrative that is a bit more direct than the typical adult fiction.
The link for chapter one:
Thanks in advance, folks.
May 12th, 2006, 11:36 AM
Wow... not a single response.
Okay, I was just kidding. There are actually tons of wizards and dragons and fantasy cliches cavorting through the thing... hell, even a magical rainbow unicorn named Fred makes an appearance!
Aw... forget it.
May 12th, 2006, 11:50 AM
I read it, but did not respond because you asked a very specific question that I am not qualified to answer. I have no idea whether there is any cross-over potential, generally, because I don't really distinguish between "young adult" and "adult" literature (these are merely marketing categories as far as I'm concerned), and, particularly, because it isn't really the type of story that would attract my interest. Not to say that it isn't good, but I'm just not into ghost stories. I'm responding now just to let you know that someone *did* read it.
ETA: I did think the sex scene between Fred and Hector were a bit graphic for young adult.
May 12th, 2006, 03:36 PM
I read the thing when it was new and liked it. I intended to reply, but didn't have time. Then I forgot. Now I feel guilty.
I like the tone. I had a few comments:
First: I love the first sentence; it would have more impact, though, if you didn't put the zombie into the chapter heading.
The zombie is very well described. I suggest you don't keep him in the attic, though. In Harry Potter, the Weasly's have a ghoul in the attic. Kids will notice and cry rip-off (however unfair that is). Now, what if they had a skeleton in the closet... (kidding).
Reginald watched her go, still smarting from the nasty comment about their mom. In the months since Clementine had vanished, the family had clung to the little reminders of her that remained.
Point of View: I read this as Reginald's point of view, and I was a bit surprised to hear his mother referred to as "Clementine". How many people refer to their mothers by their first name? Usually, your narrator seems to get very close to Reg; with the mentioning of the name, it zooms out at top speed (and I get dizzy). I realise you have her name later on the screen saver (very effective irony, there), and we need to know it's her name; but I'd ask you to find a better way to mention this.
Other than that I have nothing to say, except good job!
May 13th, 2006, 03:58 PM
Hey, thanks for the response and for the comments.
I've never read the Potter books so I was unaware of the undead-in-the-attic coincidence (have to alter that, dangit).
As for the point-of-view shift, it's an awkward thing but I hate having to use "their mother" "their father" "his dad" every single moment that I refer to either of the parents and was trying to figure a way to slip in the mom's name right off to establish identities. But your observation is right-on... maybe I'll pluck that out and hope for the best. (I just find it odd that a pivotal character won't be "named" until several chapters into the story at this rate... double-dangit!)
Oh yeah, as for the chapter title... I was going for symmetry as the final chapter is "A Vampire in the Family" - and I enjoy a weird sense of balance in things. However, you are correct about the punch being somewhat undermined by the title and I plan on giving it some thought.
(good points on all counts!)
Again, thanks very much for commenting and to those who took a gander.
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