Thursday, April 5, 2012

First 250 Words Smash! #2

Super Duper Author: Ambar Fernandez
Super Villain Editor: Victoria

Rudolf James Bach, or my birth name Rudolf James Lin. After my mother and supposed “father” died in that accident the truth came out and it just so happened my mother had an affair with her first husband, thus I came into the picture. Very complicated, but that’s how it is.  
The man I grew up with was called Henry Lin. He was of Chinese descent and well if you haven’t noticed; my mom is of German descent. My father never knew about me not being his kid, what he thought till the end of his days was that my mom’s genes must have been super strong for me not to have had any Chinese traits. 
Enough about that let me tell you how I got here, to live in this house with Melody. I was five when my mother’s best friend I guess I could say “inherited” me. My mom had no family, the only family she had died the year before of old age, my grandmother. And since my real father, Ansgar Bach, didn’t know I existed, well I had nowhere to go; to top it off Henry’s family hated me because I was “half” German. Two weeks in foster care, I was finally handed over to Jennifer, she has been a great substitute mother, and to be honest a better mother than mine ever was. You see, my mother was always working, the only time I ever saw her was during the weekends. 

Strong Points: You're introducing a very interesting concept here, this idea that the main character is from a tryst. The narrator/I'm guessing main character has a particularly strong voice as well, and already I can feel he's very passionate about how he came into this world.

My first question is about the real dad, and if we'll ever meet him, and if Rudy will ever establish that real father-son bond he's needed! Oh! I think I need a tissue.

Some Tips--

You're doing a lot of telling instead of showing. When you show us this sort of stuff, it's much more powerful than just rattling off a list of facts.

This is a ton of exposition. Background info like this, unless it's absolutely critical to the first scene (this isn't really a scene yet) should be woven in at later points. It hits me harder when I know Rudy and care about him to learn that dad wasn't really his dad and his parents died.

In fact, my suggestion would be to eliminate this and start us wherever the story actually gets rolling, then get back to this. Rudy can tell us about this along the way later. Right now I want an idea of the story I'm going to be reading, and really, this could be any genre, anything at all. Suck me in!

First sentence definitely needs to be strengthened, but that will come with you starting us off with the action. As it is, unfortunately your first sentence isn't really a full one, it's a fragment. I don't mind fragments here and there to really emphasize something that's happening, but this one's just confusing.

There's a lot of quotation marks. I don't think we need those, you can trust the reader to understand what you mean without drawing air quotes. Your tone should be able to imply that dad's not really dad and Rudy's not just half German, ect. So far Rudy's got his own voice, but if you push it, those quotes won't be necessary at all.

Would I keep reading?

Right now it's a solid maybe. I would definitely be interested to see what you do with this critique, and would recommend resubmitting once you toy with it. Actually, I'm asking you to. Please resubmit? Pretty please? Because I really do want a good idea of where this story is going! I just don't have enough of one as it is, and I know you can do it.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3