Tuesday, July 6, 2010

8 #70 Amanda

Whispers of an outsider’s arrival have been flying between the mouths and ears of the Forsaken all day.

I don’t really see any point in discussing it. When you're about to be face-to-face with him, why generate theories behind cupped hands?

Of course I’m the first one assigned to serve the outsider in his cell. It just adds to the joke that is my life.


  1. hmmm.. okay. this one caught my attention almost immediately because my FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH antennae went up. Outsiders? the Forsaken? (Dystopian?) (the Unconsecrated?) Mouths and ears? (Hands and teeth?)

    i'm not sure if the parallel i drew is a good or bad thing, and it's not necessarily indicative of whether or not the story will or won't be good, but i just wanted to mention my observation. for a moment i was hit with an immediate visualization of Carrie Ryan's debut novel.

    as for the sentences themselves, the first sentence, while intriguing, is hard for me to stomach with the FHT imagery. i can't quite digest it.

    the second sentence reads a bit more confusing:

    suddenly the vague "an outsider" is a specific "him", the narrator is speaking in first person, and the voice has visibly changed. it doesn't seem consistent -- and i don't know if i understand why the third sentence is its own paragraph?

    it's obvious you have something here -- an interesting concept peeking through the cracks. i'd love to see you explore it with some stronger, more active sentences. (cupped hands make me think of a megaphone, and not whispering.) choose a POV and a voice, and stay with it -- and maybe pack a little more punch with your first sentence. if your narrator (boy or girl, i can't quite tell) is going to be snarky, the opening sentence should reflect that. as it stands, the first line sounds like you're setting up the book for a 3rd person omniscient narrator with a serious, mature voice, so the immediate transition to first-person-snarky is a little jarring.

    i love where you might be going with this -- an "outsider" and a "reluctant" guard/server to his cell. there's so much potential here. you just have to harness your voice and stay consistent. you don't want to lose your readers.

    best of luck with everything! i'm wishing you every success :D :D

  2. I've read TFHT, but I didn't think about parallels being drawn. I'll work on that!

    And I went back and forth on giving him a gender specific pronoun without building to it, so I'll change that and rethink it all. I really appreciate the detailed crit! This helps very much!

  3. Interesting setup, but the thing that strikes me is a bit of a tone shift--the first sentence is dark and ominous, but then the next sentences are kind of flip and pithy (in a good way!). I'm guessing that the bulk of the story is told in the voice that starts with the second sentence, so I'd love to see the first one match.

  4. Amanda, I'm intrigued by the beginning of your story. I haven't read FHT yet, so I can't comment on that.

    I think what is happening with your intro is that it reads like a POV shift btw your 1st and 2nd paragraphs. I think what may solve it, and draw your reader in from the start, is to make the first sentence more active. Something like, "All day long, the Forsaken whisper about an outsider's arrival."

    Your second paragraph is a bit cumbersome. Try streamlining your words. Also, I'm a little confused - are all the Forsaken destined to be face:face with the outsider, or just your MC? It's unclear whether your MC is criticizing others or abstaining from comment.

    Third paragraph. Remove "of course" and it will read more ironic.

    I love the bit of voice you are showing in the 3rd paragraph. Can you trickle that voice back up through the previous paragraphs?

  5. I think Amanda and Tahereh have some excellent points! Along with their suggestions I would make a few small tweaks like getting rid of extra/passive words.

    Before "...outsider’s arrival have been flying..."
    After "...outsider's arrival flew..."

  6. I'm interested! I agree with the above comments. I have to say that I DID think immediately of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. But I got excited about it because I love dystopian. Now... if you aren't writing dystopian, that could be a problem, but I love this.

  7. It's dystopian. :)

    Thanks, all! So much help and I think I can make this beginning a lot better with all of your advice! Much love! :)

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