Monday, December 16, 2019

First 50 Critique - Adult Urban Fantasy #1

Winter Solstice December 21
We are accepting entries this week!  Category – Adult, any genre.

If you want to submit your First 50 for critique, here's the entrance requirements.  We are accepting entries in the Adult category, any genre.  If you qualify and want to enter, send us an email formatted as follows:

[Subject:] First 50 Critique – Adult [insert genre]

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 Friday December 20, 2019. All entries will receive a confirmation email from us by Saturday December 21, 2019 that acknowledges receipt of your entry and, if you've complied with all requirements, lets you know what date [in January] it will be included on the blog for critique. If you do NOT receive a confirming email by Sunday December 22, 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.

Here's this week's entry.

First 50 Words – Adult Urban Fantasy #1

Police arrived before parents did at Tuck Academy. Ricky Turner and May Flizwatter had gone missing in the middle of class. “Excuse me,” Lilia Turner pushed her way through the growing crowd. She squinted against the noonday sun, finally spotting the sheriff and the academy principal. “Where’s my son?”


Steerpike said...

I like the first line a lot, but I think because it's nice and punchy and simple, your second needs to vary up sentence structure to balance it.

A suggestion would be to insert a line between the two in which we're introduced to the POV. Something that sets the scene right away (kind of like your fourth line). We should know whether we're inside or outside, is our MC a child (my first thought), or an adult.

I do love the economy with which you convey some of this from your third line onward, but I just think we need a little more earlier.

My other main comment is to ask what POV you're writing in. We're told in line two that Ricky Turner is missing as though our narrator knows this already, but Lilia seems to be our POV character, and she clearly doesn't have this information. This is fine if you're writing third-person omniscient, but you may want to consider how it could be confusing in these first lines.

Definitely intrigued though!

Victoria Dixon said...

Yeah, I'm wondering if you're into your POV character as deeply as you can be. If my kid is why police are called to school, I'm not going to be polite and say "Excuse me." I'm pushing my way through without seeing the people I'm pushing. That's why I'd recommend, as Steerpike did, that you start with your current fourth line. Before you get to dialogue, tell us why she's there and let us feel her emotional state. Then have her charge the police line, but we have to feel her emotion and I don't here.