Mary Evans

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Fleshed out characters and an interesting voice

I wanted to start by saying this is my opinion and it may or may not apply depending on what your narrative needs. I'm writing this as a review because the comment box messes up the format.

First, the prose is clean and you certainly give your character a unique voice. All characters are introduced and situated. I get a feeling that you imagine the story quite well, and you’ve rounded the characters in your mind.

But as a reader, I noticed the following:

1. The chapter feels long. It meanders and introduces a lot of information that may or may not be relevant. I would focus on the main action and have the rest only hinted at or explored later because nothing happens for a long time. I refer to things like the flashback and small snippets to scenes that are not happening right now. Until the very end, there is no reference to the greater plot. This is a story opening, it needs to be as clear and to the point as possible.

2. Since the story is already in first person, when it alternates between thoughts and narration it gets confusing and sometimes repetitive. Narration is already the character’s thoughts, so separating his actual thoughts breaks up the flow. As for repetitions, one example is the opening where he hears thunder and thinks to himself that he’s crazy is immediately re-stated by the reaction of his friend (which in my opinion is a better set up).

3. Small paragraphs and one line paragraphs make prose feel faster. Used best, they give punch to action scenes. The drawback is they can also make the prose choppy if used too often. (Same for statements in brackets.)

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