Author Topic: Feedback on YA sci-fi novel  (Read 468 times)

Offline acolvester

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Feedback on YA sci-fi novel
« on: September 23, 2018, 10:35:04 AM »
Calling all Beta -readers of YA sci-fi - Looking for feedback and comments on the opening book of new series The Unwinding. Any and all feedback welcome.

Offline rkeller1373

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Re: Feedback on YA sci-fi novel
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2018, 02:40:14 PM »
I must confess that I only read the first chapter.  I liked what you did with the first paragraph.  A little tighter language and phrasing and I think you will be able to convey what you are trying to say in that paragraph.  As for the remainder of the chapter, I have a couple of suggestions.  First, YA chapters tend to be short with a cliffhanger at the end of each one.  While you have a cliffhanger at the end of this chapter, the entire chapter felt too long.  Second, these characters are, in my opinion, two-dimensional.  The only one that is close to jumping off the page for me was Ben, and that is because there is more to him that is revealed in this chapter.  I don't know what anyone looks like, how they sound, mannerisms, etc.  Third, the setting appears at least to me to be blah.  There really is no detail to where these kids are located, what her apartment is, what is smells like, how neat, clean or unkempt it is, or any minutiae that you can think of.  Think of setting as a character that you want to live throughout the story.  It has a life of its own and it certainly affects the characters in the story.  For example, where did Mark's friend die in the apartment?  Was it on the couch, a chair, floor?  And wouldn't Kiri always be staring at "the spot" since she is so traumatized by the death?  How are the other characters avoiding "the spot?"  See how setting can act as a character?  Fourth, spruce up the dialog.  Make it punch.  Dialogue should propel the story forward and push the reader to read more.  And finally, when I read this chapter, I thought I had missed a previous one.  This is because I don't understand the universe these kids are living in.  If you've ever read the Divergent series, the first chapter creates questions that curiously affect the reader, making him read further into the book to get them answered.  However, even at the beginning of the book, there is some explanation as to the "world" that these characters are living in to help the readers get a frame of reference and to further the conflict and drama that builds throughout the books.

I think this is an excellent first draft.  I can sense that there is going to be tension and conflict, the bones of a truly great book.  Keep it up~

Offline Mark T

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Re: Feedback on YA sci-fi novel
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2018, 06:59:07 PM »

Hi rkeller - thanks for your insightful comments on this board. I look forward to more of your participation and perhaps reading some of your writing. Please take a moment to stop by the Welcome board to introduce yourself. The Stickies provide guidelines for posting on various boards. Fire away if you have any questions.