Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2 #15 Dunnes in UK (MG Fantasy)

Ellen’s forehead cracked painfully against the window as her Aunt’s ancient pick-up hit a huge hole in the questionable country road, waking her from the most bizarre dream. A vague memory of writhing vines only amplified her desire to vomit. She swallowed, one hand over her mouth and the other clenching her seatbelt.

Aunt Marg chuckled beside her.

“Sorry about the road, the pot holes get bigger every year,” Aunt Marg said, her ever-present smile making dimples in her cheeks.


  1. This is an intriguing beginning, good first sentence. Although my adverb radar goes out when I see "painfully." Most adverbs indicate telling, and most are unnecessary and could be omitted or the action shown in a diff way. It might be enough to omit painfully; the verb "cracked" sounds awfully ouchy in itself. The vomiting thing makes the idea of her dream even more hard-hitting, which is a good thing.

    I don't know if you mean it this way, but Aunt Marg is coming across as annoying or oblivious--chuckling when the main character has obviously cracked her head hard on the window, and always smiling (I mean, who ALWAYS smiles?). She's either unreal or like I said, oblivious and in her own little world. At least at first glance with these first few lines.

  2. I would look at your adverbs and keep only the ones that you need to get your message across. There are four alone in the first sentence that if eliminated, will give you a smoother read.

    Also, I'd like to see if you can find a way for your character's voice to come through. How old is she? Is she snarky? Soft spoken? There are some places here where you can give us some clues.


    You have - "A vague memory of writhing vines only amplified her desire to vomit."

    Suggestion - "A vague memory of writhing vines twisted her stomach like the day she rode the tilt-o-whirl ten times in a row."


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