Congratulations to commenter PATCHI! The gods of probability have favored you for November's prize!
December's prize will be the same: either $10 for Amazon/B&N OR a 20-page critique from me (seriously, guys, I've had ZERO time to think of/hunt people down for better prizes; I can't imagine why). Anyone who leaves their thoughts in the comments is eligible.
If you'd like to submit your first impact material, send it to firstimpactAE@gmail.com. Details here.
This week we have a query for a YA thriller from Carolyn Chambers Clark. My inline comments are to the side, with overall thoughts at the end. As always, everything here is just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
|Opening sentence is a bit long and|
awkward for me.
I laughed a little imagining her tying
corpses to her sister's boyfriend ;-)
|Don't need to repeat her name & age.|
|How does she catch him? What does|
What's her plan?
MY SISTER'S DATING A SERIAL KILLER is a young adult thriller, complete at 60,000 words.
|Contests: Unless they're HUGE and|
PRESTIGIOUS, cut them.
Publications: Unless you got paid pro
rates for them, cut them.
Critique group: Cut it.
Thank you for considering my work.
Carolyn Chambers Clark
I like a good thriller, and this has as much potential as any, but I'm afraid there's not enough meat for me to tell.
I think you did the thing where you start with a hook paragraph and then back up to tell your story. I've talked about why this is a bad idea before. Short version: Get right to your inciting incident (Cammie saw her sister's boyfriend dumping a dead body in a lake!), then use the rest of the space to lead into your compelling choice (if Cammie exposes him, her sister will hate her forever, but if she doesn't, her sister will die!).
Obviously I made up an incident and choice, but I had to. That's another issue I had with the query: I wanted more specifics. Tell us how she knows the guy's a killer, what (specifically!) she plans to do about it, and what the stakes are if she fails.
Also, some folks may take issue with my last comment (the one that basically says cut the whole bio paragraph). I can understand that, but you can save your issues for Friday. I'm going to write a post on that particular topic.
Otherwise, what do the rest of you guys think? Your comments are at least as valuable as mine.