Friday, November 2, 2012

Back from the dead with Word Smashing #6!

It's November, and I'm sure all of you know what that means! It's the month of writing, writing writing. I hope you guys have met your word counts before reading this.

Writer: Sara Finnly

Editor: Victoria

The elevator was moving unusually slow that morning. A boy stood in a grey suit, his blonde hair astray, glancing at his watch every couple seconds. When the elevator came to a slow halt at floor three Jason Falcon let out a heavy sigh. He slumped his shoulders forward and crossed his arms in front of his chest.  The doors opened to reveal a middle aged woman that not even he could deny was beautiful, Jason moved closer to the left wall to make room for her. She smiled up at him and gracefully muttered hello. Jason however hardly acknowledged the fact that she was there.

Pulling out a small mirror the woman purposefully ran her arm against his slowly. Jason only looked forward. As the woman grew annoyed with his lack of interest she moved to the far end of the elevator, imitating Jason’s tense stature she too crossed her arms across her chest.

When he finally emerged from the building his fathers black car was already waiting at the curb. “Jason, not a good first impression.” Mr. Falcon was dressed in a crisp back suit. His black hair was starting to show signs of age however his hairdresser did an excellent job of covering it.

“You’ve lived with me and raised me for twenty years and you’re calling this a first impression?” Jason slid into the back seat without taking a second look at his father. The entire way to the office his father hissed on his phone, Jason lost count after the fourth call.

 Strong Points--

You did a pretty good job at starting the story in the middle of action, instead of with a ton of heavy, boring exposition. Instead, you've woven in the background information that we need as the story happens. That's good, it doesn't bog down your story from the very beginning, and it gets us going right away.

The initial interaction with the woman and then with dad really give us a good look at Jason's character. I'd call him a bit of a prat, really, but the kind of prat who says what everyone else is thinking. You've got some good body language going on too, and that says just as much as any dialogue could have, plus the fact that Jason notices how attractive she is and then fails to respond is actually quite intriguing. His interaction (or lack thereof) with his dad also shows a whole lot about their relationship (or lackthereof).

No dialogue tags! I'm so proud of you! It's so easy to fall into the trap of abusing dialogue tags, and you didn't!

And you have some pretty interesting description in here, such as dad's hairdresser doing an excellent job of covering it.

Some Tips--

That being said, you could afford a little more description, especially since you're writing from third person. In first person it gets tricky, because we have to write exactly what our character sees, but in third person you have some leeway and some distance to give a little more.

The woman is beautiful. What does that mean to Jason? His idea of beauty and mine may not be the same--in fact, what we find attractive may speak volumes about what kind of person we are, so you should describe exactly what about her is beautiful, what exactly he sees in her.

And with dad, you use the word black three times in one paragraph, that's why I highlighted them. Try to avoid word repetition like that. Surely you've got some better ammo in there than just black black black.

Also, adverbs. They're a tough problem, I know, it's another easy pitfall. Things like slowly, gracefully, hardly, those all become overbearing after a while. It's a way to really control exactly what your reader is seeing, but this is where you start to learn how to trust your reader to get the main idea themselves. If they have a slightly different image than what you did, that's what makes books interesting and exciting. But too many adverbs overpower that.

Would I keep reading?

I think so. I'm a little bit on the fence, but I think I would give you the benefit of the doubt, because even if I haven't gotten much of Jason, I think he's already endeared to me. Just because he's a prat. I know I've mentioned my weakness for characters that are assholes, and his smart ass personality has sort of gotten me. But to definitely get me, you may want to emphasize your hook more.

Thank you so much, Sara! As always, I highly encourage resubmitting it once you've edited. We love to see progress!

No comments:

Post a Comment