If you would like your material critiqued, send it to firstimpactAE@gmail.com. Details here.
A huge thanks to Mairead and Jennifer for submitting the first page* of their MG sci-fi. Keep in mind this is just my opinion. If it doesn't feel right to you, ignore it.
My in-line comments are to the right, overall thoughts at the end. Line edits are in red, and highlighted text is usually something I referred to in the in-line comments.
|Loving the chapter title.|
“Flute!” The word echoed down the bright blue hallway, followed by a resounding thud.
|I feel like there's a lot to keep track|
of. Are they in a school? Hospital?
|The two untagged dialogs in a row|
are making me wonder who's talking.
I do love this world bit though.
|It's not immediately clear to me|
these refer to the nanocomputers.
That made this whole paragraph a
lot to take in.
“The nanocomputers?” Aztar asked, scrambling to a kneeling position, knocking the clipboard with his head. Zak grabbed the clipboard, the devices were still attached. He checked both two-inch square computers with the name Herman imprinted on each wristband.
“They’re fine!” Zak’s voice cracked. “Come on! Anyana is flipping her lid.” But even as the words left his mouth the medic-bots were swarming over Aztar, scanning him, and looking for injuries.
|I love this.|
"Aztar grumbled" feels like dialog
tag overkill to me.
I feel like this paragraph should be
broken in two after Aztar's last
I'm really enjoying the voice and snatches of world-building so far. I would keep reading, but I'd be concerned about a couple of things:
- Wordy jokes lost in wordiness. I notice a general tendency here to use 2-3 sentences where one will do, especially around the jokes (like the two I red-lined here). I think the whole thing would benefit from some ruthless trimming, but the jokes most of all. Brevity is the soul of wit, right?
- Grounding the reader in the world. I really do love the world-building bits here, but be careful you don't pound the reader with too much too soon. Guide them into the strangeness gently.
- Exclamation marks. I count 7 in just 300 words. I think only the first two do any work, especially with dialog tags like "Aztar said...loudly" and "Zac yelled" (and actually, even those dialog tags are probably unnecessary...).
* On a random note, I love how the first three First Impact entries have covered the three main types I asked for: queries, back-cover copy, and first page (in that order, no less). Well done, guys! Now I don't suppose anyone has a 1-page synopsis for me to look at?