Tuesday, June 29, 2010

5 #32 Sue Ford

I can’t believe I found you! And I thought the Ides of March were ‘sposed to be bad luck or something.

But when Tamiko and me were surfing the net during guided study today and saw your picture on your website, I knew you had to be my dad’s older brother. And it’s not just because you have the right name, you look EXACTLY like him, so I KNOW you have to be my uncle. Please write me.


  1. I sense this may be a letter/email, some form of written correspondence to someone?

    Be careful, your use of ‘sposed would be okay in dialogue, but in narration the words should be spelled out.

    Also,Lisa gave some of the best advice in another post, comb through your story and delete ‘and’ ‘had’ ‘that’ whenever they are not required.

    I think the second paragraph could use some tightening. Just an idea: I’d consider starting with something a little more powerful: “I think you are my uncle. My friend Tamiko and I were surfing the web when we stumbled across your picture. Not only do we share the same last name but your resemblance to my father is remarkable…”

    These are simply my thoughts, take what you need and toss what you don’t. Hopefully some of them will be valuable.


  2. It took me some time to figure out this was supposed to be a letter. I suppose it could be the formatting, but a Dear______ would probably help. I'm not sure how I feel about starting with a letter though... It's a tricky proposition. Maybe have your MC on the way to the mailbox or if it is an email hesitating over the send button because it could "change her life." Something like that. That adds more of a punch to the hook while letting you (the reader) know a letter is coming.

    I could be way off. It might be that your whole manuscript is made of correspondence. I honestly wouldn't know how to advise you on something like that. But either way I wish you the best of luck!

  3. I agree with the above commenters- I think you should make it clear that this is a letter by beginning with "Dear so-and-so".
    That said, I think this is a distinctive beginning and could be very intriguing for the reader! I would consider putting something in the letter that hints of a danger or a conflict that may exist. A clue to something deeper, something more than just a kid looking for a connection. Maybe the family didn't want to speak about this uncle or something?
    Also- younger readers may not get the "Ides of March" reference at all. Beginnings need to draw us in-they can be mysterious but should not be confusing. Don't give them any reason to put the story down.
    And I have learned this the hard way- believe me!
    Great job- I want to


  4. Hmm....I assumed this was an email. If yes, you can probably get away with short forms. I send/receive emails all the time with text shortforms (BTW for by the way, for eg). Do you need the Ides of March? Does it come up elsewhere in the book? Like Maurissa, I'm not sure a kid would understand this reference. A thought: how would you feel about starting with a question? Like: You're my uncle, right? Then, in the next paragraph, unless the recipient of the letter/email would know the name Tamiko, I'd say something along the lines of: A friend and me were surfing the net at school today and found your website. With your picture. You look exactly like my dad. And you have the right name. Is it really you? Please write me.

    I'm curious to know where the story goes from here! A good sign!

  5. The comments above me are spot on! Interesting premise here. But like the others above me, I didn't know it was a letter. I would make that distinction right up front. Also, when you brought up Tamiko, it pulled me from the story because the narrator talks about her like we're expected to know her. I would just say "friend".


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