Monday, November 4, 2019

First 50 Critique - YA/Contemporary #1

Looks like none of you awesome OA blog readers are writing Adult SFF at this time, because we received no entries last week.  So, let's move on to another online friend who I threatened begged asked to let me use her first 50 words.
Happy November!

We are accepting your entries this week!

Category/genre:  Young adult [YA] contemporary

For full details on how to enter, click here.

First, you must comment on at least two previous First 50 Critique entries.  Today's can be one of them.

Second, send us an email formatted as follows:

[Subject:] First 50 Critique – YA/Contemporary

The following 50 words are my own work and I give OA permission to post it on the OA blog for the life of the blog.

I commented on the entries posted on DATE and DATE as [your online ID].

My first 50 words:

[Copy/paste your first 50 words here.]

Entry period opens now and closes at the end of the day on Wednesday November 6, 2019. All entries will receive a confirmation email from us by Friday November 8, 2019 that acknowledges receipt of your entry and, if you've complied with all requirements, lets you know what date it will be included on the blog for critique. If you do NOT receive a confirming email by Saturday November 9, 2019, send us a DM on Twitter and we'll give you alternative instructions for sending us your entry.

Now on to this week's entry!

Reminder: Be nice, but be honest. [Comments that are not polite/respectful will be deleted.] What would YOU like to know if this was YOUR first 50 words? Do you think it's a good opening line for the category/genre? Does it have a hook? Does it pull you into the story? Do you want to read more? Why or why not? Be specific, so your critique helps the person who wrote the entry.

First 50 Critique – YA/Contemporary #1

Hot anger spiked through Sam when he arrived at the bridge and saw her.

How dare she be there.

How dare anyone be there.

Being there, now, was no accident. He’d planned to the minute, choosing exactly this time because he knew the bridge would be deserted.


  1. Definitely draws me in. I wonder whether the issue is "her" or "anyone" -- which is the big dealbreaker for Sam? But a nice start.

  2. Your beginning makes me curious. Very curious. Why does Sam want to be there? Why at that very moment? It's good to make your reader curious from the get go.
    My main question would be the use of there vs here. The way it reads to me, Sam has arrived at the bridge so he is 'here' - by using 'there' it makes me think she is at another location. Does that make sense? I think I might say:
    How dare she be here.
    How dare anyone be here.

    Good luck!

  3. Ooh! Intrigue! Is he going to jump? To dispose of a body? To sit and write a song? And why does he not want her there? Who is she?

    Great start!

  4. I am also intrigued. I want to know what Sam is going to do on that bridge. Is he planning to kill himself?

    I agree with changing the words "there" to "here". That will help with your last sentence which tripped me up. I think it is the addition of "now" that stopped my reading. Perhaps adding in "right" might help: "Being here, right now, was no accident"

    Good start. Wowza.

  5. The third statement minimizes the impact of the initial indignation Sam feels seeing her there. But the scene definitely evokes a lot of questions that makes the reader eager for the plot to unfold, and invests them in the MC's plight. Write on!

  6. I think my comment setting are finally fixed! I've tried to comment several times, but they wouldn't show up. I got some technical help from blogger, and hope it's fixed now! Anyway.....

    My biggest comment is to maybe clarify the kind/type of bridge this is. Knowing when a bridge would be empty wouldn't be a very easy task if it's a common bridge, say, like the the Brooklyn bridge. But it sounds like it may be a covered bridge? a bridge in a small park, perhaps over a creek or a pond? Maybe just a word or two to clarify.

    Also, I wonder if the "he" is referring to "she" in particular? If so, I suggest removing the sense "How dare anyone be there." as that takes me away from the urgency.

    Other than those two, I'm definitely intrigued and want to read more. So much intrigue already, in just a few short words! Well done.


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