Tuesday, June 29, 2010

5 #48 bfav (rewritten)

Most things came naturally to Rett Adams and, shoot, he could find trouble faster than most kids could spell it. He fished a small rock out of the grass by the playground. The girl by the monkey bars rubbed her arm while tears slid down her cheeks. He watched the pack of sixth-grade boys huddled on the grass plotting their next victim. It had to stop, but starting something with Cole Williams wasn't like spitting paper wads at Mr. Ector—there were going to be consequences.

5 comments:

  1. Hi bfav,
    I love this opening- I've already learned a lot about Rett and I like him. His voice is clear. And you've got immediate conflict and action taking place. Who could stop reading here?
    I have a tiny suggestion of moving the line "He fished a small rock..." to the spot after he sees the pack of boys huddled on the grass. Then the sequence is more clear- he sees the victim crying, sees the bullies and then decides on a course of action.
    As you have it now, reading too quickly one might at first think Rett had thrown a rock that hit the girl....
    Can't wait to see what happens next!

    Maurissa G.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the voice too! It comes across loud and clear. Question: Do you have to state that most things come easy to him? Can you just start with "Rett Adams could find trouble faster than most kids could spell it?" I think that sounds a bit stronger and the other info we can see as the story progresses. Yes, I like the "shoot" but perhaps we could sneak it in later?

    Also, I agree with Maurissa that it can sound like he threw the stone at the girl. Maybe just have him doing something else or simply cut that line about the stone.

    I love how you've set up the formidable enemy already too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this... great hook!

    To be honest,I’m actually a little sad that it had to end!

    I’d love to offer a more detailed critique here but I think the other two comments hit the nail on the head. Although I’m beginning to feel like a real yes man, I agree strongly with the suggestion about moving things around to avoid possible confusion with the rock.

    Nicely done!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The voice is fantastic, and I love Rhett already. I would dig into this novel like it was ice cream after reading this. I agree with Maurissa's suggestion. Either consider placing the rock sentence last in the sequence so that we see he knows the consequences before he decides to act, or make it clearer that he picks up the rock on impulse then reconsiders what might be rash behavior.

    If you do place picking up the rock last though, try to tweak the new structure to keep the subject and flow pattern of your original sentences--it's perfect exactly as you wrote it, and it wouldn't flow as well if you simply paste the 2nd sentence at the end.

    Clear as mud? I'm phrasing this imprecisely. Sigh.

    What I mean is something like this, so that you keep the same rhythm:

    Most things came naturally to Rett Adams and, shoot, he could find trouble faster than most kids could spell it. He watched the girl by the monkey bars rub her arm while tears slid down her cheeks. Already the pack of sixth-grade boys huddled on the grass plotting their next victim. It had to stop, but starting something with Cole Williams wasn't like spitting paper wads at Mr. Ector—there were going to be consequences. Rhett fished a small rock out of the grass by the playground.

    Again -- I'm not trying to rewrite what you already have, just trying to point out that the sentence pattern in your original is GREAT and that you don't want to lose that flow and rhytm by just moving the one sentence.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Loved this! I think AICP's comment is spot on. My only other comment is there is a slight disconnect between your first sentence and your second. I wonder if you could make the transition more smooth? If you went with AICP's suggested beginning I would tweak it a little further (and of course, this is only a suggestion):

    Rett Adams could find trouble faster than most kids could spell it. Today he found it in a pack of sixth-grade boys huddled on the grass. Their last victim sat by the monkey bars rubbing her arm as tears trailed down her cheek. It had to stop, but starting something with Cole Williams wasn't like spitting paper wads at Mr. Ector—there were going to be consequences. Rhett fished a small rock out of the grass by the playground.

    ReplyDelete

Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)