Author Topic: First 400 Words of a YA Novel - Feedback Welcome  (Read 861 times)

Offline slosner

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First 400 Words of a YA Novel - Feedback Welcome
« on: June 21, 2019, 05:56:57 PM »
The morning light shone in through the windows illuminating Mrs. Jenkins face as she discussed the answers to the math homework. Mrs. Jenkins, however, didn’t need the sunlight to light up her face. She already had a smile that could brighten up anyone’s day. He rich brown, silky hair was pulled back neatly on both sides of her face with black bobby pins. I always envied how it bounced lightly as she moved. In my eyes, Mrs. Jenkins was the picture of perfection. She was a modern day Marry Poppins - perfect in every way.

I leaned sideways, grateful for the fact that I sat next to the wall in the classroom which I often used to lean on. I was trying hard to hide my anxiousness from the rest of my classmates. Levi wasn’t here yet, and a day without Levi was a day where I felt lost. Not just metaphorically, but literally Levi knew my class schedule better than I did. We had seven out of nine class periods together and always walked together. Levi and I were inseparable, so much so that people thought we were dating. And while we weren’t actually in a romantic relationship, Levi and I knew that we were more than just friends. We knew each other like a bird knows its path home south for the winter.

“Esther?” My vision came into focus and I realized that Mrs. Jenkins was standing in front of me, holding a dry erase marker out, pointed at my right hand. It seemed like this wasn’t the first time she had called my name. Her eyebrow was arched, and she squinted her eyes ever so slightly, as if she knew that I haven’t been paying attention. I looked past my math teacher so that I could see the equation written on the board, ignoring the giggles of the other students in the class. Unsolved logarithmic functions were written in red dry-erase marker.

“Which one would you like me to solve?” I grasped the marker from Mrs. Jenkins hands and pulled off the cap.

“The first one please.”

Offline Tcbrekke

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Re: First 400 Words of a YA Novel - Feedback Welcome
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2019, 05:48:29 PM »
Ok I’m new to this forum, so forgive me if I miss the mark.  Your scene seems very clear, though you might want to cut back on the name repetition. 
Also, maybe a couple more paragraph breaks. Like after “walked together.” And “paying attention.”


Offline slosner

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Re: First 400 Words of a YA Novel - Feedback Welcome
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2019, 10:00:36 PM »
Ok I’m new to this forum, so forgive me if I miss the mark.  Your scene seems very clear, though you might want to cut back on the name repetition. 
Also, maybe a couple more paragraph breaks. Like after “walked together.” And “paying attention.”

Thank you for the feedback!

Offline Svermorg

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Re: First 400 Words of a YA Novel - Feedback Welcome
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2019, 10:46:02 AM »
Ho Slosner,

Nice scene description with plenty of details. And I really liked the metaphor at the end of the second paragraph.

I have a few suggestions:
  • I would put a period between literally and Levi.
  • I think it should be 'as if she knew I hadn't been ...'
  • There's an 'r' missing in the first word of your fourth sentence.
  • In your second paragraph you use the word 'together' twice in the same sentence.
  • I would make 'equation' plural, since there appears to be more than one on the board.

Great work!

Offline Krispy915

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Re: First 400 Words of a YA Novel - Feedback Welcome
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 07:11:40 AM »
I'm very new to this site and you are my first critique.  You obviously know about the grammitical errors in this, otherwise, I really enjoyed the scene.  I work with children and see this all he time, the inattention.  I like the way you brought me into the classroom and the feelings of this young boy, the reliance he has on another friend.  Plenty of details.  I know this is an introduction, but I would like to see his feelings more, his reliance on Levi should make him feel a bit more insecure.  Otherwise, I enjoyed this and would like to read more. 

Offline Zaheer547

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Re: First 400 Words of a YA Novel - Feedback Welcome
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2020, 04:44:05 AM »
Hi there! So for me, I really do love your style of writing. Its light, airy, and has a certain flow to it which is scarce in today's YA feel. I would however suggest, besides fixing the grammatical errors, to start right in the moment. Have one or two sentences of inattention from our MC and immediately begin with some sort of action or dialogue as an example, getting up to solve that equation. It makes the scene more tense (when its not supposed to be, which is typical of what teens think like) and is a nice way to hook the reader within the first few paragraphs. The details about Levi and the teacher's appearances should come in after in creative ways when he MC is thinking about them or looking to them once up in front of the classroom. Its tiny details but it keeps the attention there.

Hope my suggestion can help in some way. Thank you and Keep writing!