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    Adam Jarvis

    October 7, 2020 at 1:01 am

    Hey Kell – I have some more clashing feedback for you – I suspect I’ll fall somewhere in between the two.

    First, I don’t mind opening lines like this, though I prefer them in first person. In third person they create distance from your protagonist because they draw direct attention the narrator in the first line, and we should be focused on Rako.

    Given that the focus of the book will be Rako learning how to control her new power, one possibility for an opening line could be Rako watching the newscast.

    So, I have to (friendly and respectfully!) disagree with Jan – we don’t always need access to your character’s thoughts. You give us plenty of indirect thoughts about what she’s doing and why she’s doing it. In the case of her sighing and ignoring the situation, to me this is perfectly relatable because it’s exactly what I would do – no random insults or thoughts of violence would run through my brain. It tells us something about your character – she dislikes confrontation and won’t even bother to go for passive aggression. You don’t have to deepen it further than that at this point. It sets her up nicely to be a horrible choice for a monster hunter (exactly the kind of character dissonance that will hook readers).

    I also don’t mind the descriptions of her breakfast. I’ve been advised not to do this as well, but you do it quickly and efficiently here and do not linger; it works and it sets up your character.

    On the other hand, I agree with Liz that it is particularly mundane, and the meat of this scene is really the news of the anomalies. This is what starts the intrigue. Opening with something about the anomalies and then integrating the rest of the behaviour and information in later would help catch your reader right from the start, and drop us right into what will become the primary conflict (even if we aren’t quite there yet). Also, your current first line tells us about Rako’s dislike for conflict, where her actions on the metro show us this.

    I’m not so keen on the idea of a Dark Lord. Everyone and their grandmother has a dark lord: Can there be something original about this particular dark lord to help distinguish from the generic?

    Excellent start with this, and it sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Looking forward to seeing more!