MemberOctober 2, 2020 at 2:43 am
Thank you very much for your compliments and encouragement Liz!
You are spot on with your assessment of Barbara, and more is revealed to that extent in the next scene with her uncle.
But, indeed, interesting point about such an impressing making a good first page. While it is a completely accurate picture, perhaps you are correct in suggesting it lacks energy and thus draw?
I’m considering a shift in my audience. Recent reviewers of the work have suggested it reads a little old for a middle-grade audience (these reviewers include one professional editor, my sister, and my 13-year-old niece). I’m considering upping Barbara’s age from 11 to 12-going-on-13, and thus adjusting the audience to a younger YA crowd. I think they can handle darker, more subdued material, but will it draw them in?
The action does pick up, and quickly – by the end of the first chapter Barbara is uprooted from her blah life and tossed into another world (literally). While the story remains deeply introspective for much of the first part, as Barbara begins to grow and make friends, especially through the second part, this gradually changes. She interacts more with other people and less with her own thoughts, though that introspection never entirely goes away.
Regardless, something to chew on. And perhaps it goes back to Jan’s point about the need for a few more active verbs here, especially in the first line, even if the action they are portraying still gives the same impression of Barbara as what’s there now.
Thanks again for taking the time to read and the great feedback!