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If you request a critique from me, you are accepting that: I am a harsh critic. Your novel may be featured in my novel, KNOCKOUT REVIEWS (though this does not mean your name will be mentioned). I critique only the first page, unless I love it. I require a follow as payment. You must PM me. I will accept no requests on my message board. And if you PM me, you must include the title of what you want me to critique, otherwise your request will be denied. ````````````````````````````````````````````````````` My works: Falling for Insanity (Taken Down) KNOCKOUT REVIEWS Writer's Paradise ````````````````````````````````````````````````````` National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2012: Success National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2013: Not-so-successful National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2014: Success ❤ For all things reading, visit: carsonfaircloth.wordpress.com Follow me on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LoveMissSarcasm
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Description: A guide to writing that novel you've been dying to share with the world.
Other Works by CarsonFaircloth.
(...continued.) Also, when the time for a flashback does come, keep it simple. That, or take the time to write an in-depth flashback. If the flashback is vital, take the time and put it at the end or beginning of a chapter (or make it a short chapter by itself). If it's a flashback you'd rather reveal at a later time, you can tease the reader with little flashes of it as you go, with one little detail here and another there, and so on. This first chapter feels a bit like a rant. The topic shifts every paragraph, dragging the reader in a new direction each time. My advice would be to focus on the one scene. If you want to drop some backstory info, be my guest. But do it in a subtle manner. Info-dumps at the beginning of a story are a sure way to confuse or turn off a reader. If the reader MUST know the information, include it. For instance, if the main character's mother is a green alien, that would be a good thing to mention. Or if the main character has some sort of gift, that could also be mentioned right off the bat. If, however, the best friend's grandmother is savage - that can wait, or at least be slipped in before quickly moving on. Consider first chapters/prologues as a need-to-know-basis sort of deal. You've got an intriguing idea here, and with just a little tweaking, I think this could make a very interesting read. Just be sure not to give your cards away all at once; I've found that readers quite like tension.
Right off the bat, your first paragraph has some "telling" issues - no pun intended. While telling isn't always necessarily a bad thing, it does need to be kept on a tight leash. Sometimes the writer just needs to spit something out and "tell" the reader how it is. At other times, a little more "showing" could be used to get the same idea across. For instance: "She was having her coming out party dress fitted. Nennet had mixed feelings about the party - it signaled that she was able to court, and that could be a good thing or bad thing." That's pretty straight-forward. However, you could also pass this information on a little more subtlety: "The seamstress tugged at Nennet's back, pinning the extra fabric of Nennet's dress with a clip. Her mother told her that Nennet would look beautiful for her coming out party - a party she wasn't so sure she was ready for." This way, the reader gets the mental image of Nennet getting her dress fitted for her coming out party, and that Nennet is torn on how she should feel about said party - without saying it in so many words. I think it's a little too early for a flashback. It seems to come out of nowhere. Let the reader adjust to the opening scene, and the main character, before flinging backstory on them. (To be continued...)
The good news: I successfully completed National Novel Writing Month. I now have a new novel in the works, with the semi-official title of THE PSYCHOPATH NEXT DOOR. The bad news: It's such a hot mess, I don't think I'll be sharing it on Wattpad for some time. It doesn't quite follow the natural law of most books in the sense that it hops around from scene-to-scene. Perhaps after some editing, yes? The other (maybe?) good news: December will officially be my National Novel Editing Month. FALLING FOR INSANITY will be receiving my full attention for the next thirty days, every day, until I begin the search for a beta reader. This process will be extending far past thirty days - I'm thinking three to six months - but I'm greatly looking forward to it. I hope everyone's NaNoWriMo has been as successful as mine!
Well, well, well. Look who's back. NaNoWriMo has pulled me out of the black hole that has consumed my life for the past few months and reminded me that I do, indeed, have an account on Wattpad. Editing FALLING FOR INSANITY has sucked the life out of my writing (in the best possible way), but now I'm looking to make some changes. I'll still be editing, of course. My goal of publishing FALLING FOR INSANITY hasn't changed. I will, however, be writing something new this November...and maybe sharing it on Wattpad with all of you lovely readers. I don't want to make false promises, though, so be warned: I'm not promising anything. But, if after ten or so days into NaNo I have a solid word count...well. Maybe. It's good to be back.
A Shattered Mind
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the hook. You don't see a lot of that on Wattpad. I would cut the "but" in your second sentence and lead that paragraph with "sometimes". Write out "ninety-six". Your second sentence is a little long-winded. Try cutting it down. Like so: "Sometimes the feeling drags, leaving me comatose for the entire ninety-six hours between Monday and Friday." The sentence that begins with "even though" is somewhat confusing. I would rearrange some awkward phrases in there. It might be an issue with punctuation. You have a lot of short, punchy sentences, which isn't a bad thing at all. I actually enjoy that style of writing. In this case, however, you have quite a few paragraphs that are only one sentence long, which makes for awkward reading. Try combining a few paragraphs to create a more natural length. I'm not quite sure where the starting point in your story is at this point. There seems to be a lot of rambling going on, with no real setting for your first page. I would put some focus on how you want your story to begin in order to give the reader a clear sense of what they're getting into. Overall: 3.7/5
Help is on the way! If I'm being honest, your hook isn't actually bad. However, as I mentioned in a response to StalkerMufasa below, the quality of this hook hinges on the quality of the following paragraph. If you can connect this hook to the rest of your writing in a way that's original and even a little twisted, then it's an A+. However, hooks should also stand well on their own. I would say this one could do just that, simply because it's different enough to catch my attention. But, again, the key to a hook like this is what follows it.
PERCY JACKSON IS, INDEED, LIFE.
(Don't worry. Most writers are guilty of at least one of these offenses. I'm guilty of them all!) As far as your hook goes, it works - depending on what your following paragraph is. That, however, is an issue I address in a different section, in which I discuss the quality of writing following a hook. As a stand-alone hook, what you have works. It's intriguing enough to make me want to read on, and it's original.