The Dead Girl's Journal

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Author: Anittaann

Genre: Myster/Thriller


I find the cover to be a bit bland and it doesn't really reflect the plot of the story. I think it would be better if you used a photo of a case file or something similar so that it fits the investigation and curiosity of the characters. 

The title doesn't make much sense to me with what is written so far. No journal has been mentioned, and the story is based around a journalist and her investigation. What does the reference to the journal mean?

Grammatical errors:
Prologue: "A surprise that it was still there, considering it's empty for..." Here, the sentence changes from past tense to present tense. Be sure to keep the tense consistent as you write. 
Prologue: "...so they didn't have much inns or hotels..." Here, the italicized word should be changed to "many."
Prologue: "...but a television none the less." Here, "none the less" should be turned into one word: "nonetheless."
Prologue: "I'll leaving Nevada, soon." Here, the sentence should be changed to "I'm leaving Nevada soon."
Chapter 1: In the beginning of your chapter, you wrote the time as "9000 hours." I assume that by this you are referring to 9:00 in the morning. If so, you should rewrite it as "900 hours," as the time in numbers is written as 09:00. 
Chapter 1: "Mornings in New York can be quite hectic..." This section is written in present tense. To change it into past tense like the rest of your story, you may want to switch "can" into "could."
Chapter 1: "...hard wall of human muscles, spilling my latte all over it." This sentence contains a misplaced modifier, which makes the sentence sound as if it is saying that the human muscles spilled the latte all over something else. 
Chapter 1: "Why does he want with me now?" You should change the word "why" into "what."
Chapter 2: "...sandy brown hair which was short and spiked with a sexy tanned skin." This sentence contains a misplaced modifier, which makes it seem as if Connor's hair had sexy tanned skin. The sentence is also a run-on, so you may want to reword and shorten it. 
Chapter 2: "...say whaaaat?" Here, you shouldn't write out "whaaaat" to emphasize how Judy spoke. Instead, you could write "what" and italicize the word to put off the same effect. 

Throughout the story, you would suddenly change the tense from past to present tense. Sometimes you changed for a single word, and other times you would change for a sentence. Since your story as a whole is written in past tense, you need to make sure that every verb agrees, and none suddenly change to the present.
Also, keep in mind that you need to start a new paragraph every time a different character speaks. For example, if Judy was speaking, you could write what she was saying all in one paragraph. As soon as another character begins speaking, you must start a new line. If you don't do this, the audience can easily lose track of the conversation and who is speaking. 

I also found the Prologue to be a bit jumpy. Who exactly was Olivia? Was Olivia the dead girl or the girl who the prologue was based around? Who was Lucille? Did the main character in the prologue know Lucille? You should mention the girl's name, because you constantly used the pronoun "she," which confused the audience because there were multiple female characters. Although these things are clarified later in the story, the Prologue is very confusing. 

In the Prologue, I thought the setting was very clearly described as well as the character mentioned. I could clearly picture the dingy hotel room and the character's deep black eyes, and you did an excellent job of explaining how she was heartless. However, the writing became more dry in Chapter 1+. I feel that you could have added more sensory details and information to make the setting come to life for the reader. 

I found that the plot had some holes, and the story wasn't entirely clear in some places. For example, why is a journalist sent to investigate a crime? A journalist should be writing about the topic, but not solving a murder.
In Chapter 3, it was also confusing how Judy so easily got access to an autopsy report. Generally, one needs to fill out a very detailed request and it can take some time before it is accepted, if it ever is. It is nearly impossible to hack into the system, and taking information like that is highly illegal. So in the end, if Judy ends up solving the case, (under the American criminal justice system) the person who committed the murders and stole the money could not be convicted because the information found was collected illegally. It is only considered legitimate and true if information is collected legally and often times with a warrant. 
Additionally, the case file that Judy read in Chapter 2 seemed to be missing some bits of information, such as the money withdrawal and transfers. This could be clarified, because the audience has a hard time understanding what happened with the stolen money. Also, case reports are supposed to be brief, easy to read, and straight to the point. In chapters 3 and 4, when you outlined each of the people, their background are written creatively and very detailed. The reports and information do not need to be like that at all. 

I also cannot really tell where the story is taking place. You mentioned that the missing girl is a relative of the royal family, yet a major part of the murder mystery takes place in Mexico. Does the story as a whole take place in Mexico or in England where the missing girl is from? Additionally, if she is related to the royal family and far in line for the crown, there should be better security measures. By clarifying this, the audience would also be able to understand where the money went and whose account it was transferred to. 

I also found the characters to be a bit bland. You mainly describe their personalities through direct characterization, but it would be great if you could incorporate their personalities more through their dialogue and body language. Without these details, the characters seem bland and they lack unique qualities. 

Overall, the plot of the story is very interesting and creative, but it could use some work to bring it to life. I suggest you do a bit more research on how the law/criminal justice system works, so that your story is more realistic and accurate. Without doing any research, the story seems plain and thrown together because there isn't much accurate information. 


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