Tuesday, June 29, 2010

12 #86 mumfusa

Riley Razer has issues and they’re not minor.

“Hurry up, Colle…Craig…” her mom, Sue, says.

Riley’s spoon stops halfway to her mouth. “Me?” She looks around to find she is the only other person in the kitchen.


  1. Hi mumfasa!

    First let me say I LOVE your main character's name- big time! I also like that you led with a reference to your character's problem or conflict. Right away I start to care about her. I do think the "hook" of this first line could be stronger, by making the sentence more specific, or quirky or mysterious. Right now it's a bit vague.

    The choice of writing in the present tense is unusual- and is really challenging, but if your story has a lot of action, it can work really well.

    I would suggest eliminating the "Sue" in the second line. Too many names right away tend to confuse me as a reader. We can find out mom's name later. And if Riley is alone in the kitchen, then we should probably hear her mom "call", not "say", to show the distance.

    Unless (I'm reading your lines again) she really does hear a voice close by, and looks up to find she's alone? As in Mom is a ghost?
    Ooh chills...that really is an issue.

    But as you can see- I got confused. So maybe make that second really super clear- so we know what we're dealing with. Is she hearing the voice right close by, or from a distance?

    Great job mumfasa- I'm really intrigued to hear what Riley's issues are!

    Maurissa G.

  2. I like your first sentence, but you need a comma before and.

    I agree with the last commenter, Sue needs to come out of the second sentence. It's not vital that we know her name right now, so introduce her later when it's more natural. And maybe more of a descriptive tag like, her mom called from the other room, or something to give us a little more info on the surroundings.

    The last sentence is confusing because we don't understand where Mom is speaking from. If you clarify that, then this sentence will work.

    Overall, very interesting!

  3. I agree with the other commentators. I think it sounds like an intriguing story. But the hook needs to be a little more specific. Perhaps if you start with the idea that she's hearing things, or even as she's looking for the source of the voices she's just heard...

    It's such a great premise, I think it just needs to be re-worded a little. :)

  4. First of all, I love present tense. When it is written well I think it makes for a refreshing change of pace since it certainly isn’t the norm. Once again, I must agree with the previous comments, omit mom’s name, it isn’t necessary.

    This confused me: “She looks around to find she is the only other person in the kitchen.” Riley looks around, but is the second ‘she’ her mom? Or is Riley alone in the kitchen?

    A little bit of rewording to clarify and it'll be golden!


  5. *scribbles notes*

    Thanks so much, you guys! It is so helpful to hear that parts that confused you because that means I didn't do my job well enough. It's also very generous of you to take the time to read this, especially since having only 5 lines leaves this feeling disjointed.

    I feel refreshed and ready to tackle my beginning again. Thanks again,


  6. I would agree with the other commenters. Love your MC name. I'd eliminate Sue. Plus, I'm also curious about how she's alone. I'm intrigued about what her issues are, and know that they'll pop up later. I love present tense, so I think it works well!

  7. Hi! I really really like your first line. I'm fine with not knowing Riley's issues up front. It just makes me all that more curious to keep on reading. I absolutely love present tense. And I love the visual of Riley with a spoon halfway to her mouth. ;) I'm with the other commenters re too many names too quickly.

  8. thanks julie and barrie. i appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. you rock!

  9. I'm late to the party and all of the good comments have been taken!
    I think you've got something pretty cool in the works that, with a little tweaking, will really shine. I agree that the names are confusing and I'm not sure how her mom is talking to her if she's by herself.

  10. it's never too late! thanks, cole.

  11. I agree with the other comments. I think the great thing about your opening lines is that you set up this mystery of how Riley could have heard someone when no one is there. I totally want to read more. You just need a little tweaking, which is not that hard. Good job.

  12. thanks for your kind words, natalie!


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