Want me to edit your first 200 words? e-mail them to gaia.b.amman at gmail dot com with subject 200 words and keep an eye on the blog. I have a long waiting list, but I’m hoping to get to everyone! Let me know if you want your name or blog in the post, or if you wish your work to remain anonymous.
Feel free to reblog and add your personal answer or any comments you might find useful for the authors who submit their first 200 words. Disagreeing with me is very reasonable and encouraged ^_^
This is the text as I received it:
‘Home is where the heart is.’A phrase I never really contemplated before. In fact, my motto has always been home is where I can masturbate in peace, but as I sit here. Looking out the window of an airplane, bound for an island I hoped to GOD I'd never come back to! All in the name of love. Maybe, whoever wrote that awful phrase had something going there. The sun burned unusually hotter than I was accustomed to. Although, coming from a place like Japan I suppose even a microwave would seem like the Gobi to me. To the left of me an old woman sat, eyes closed, hands raised in surrender. Mouthing the words to what vaguely sounded like gospel music in her earphones, though any doubt it was gospel left me when she mouthed the words "Jesus" and "Lord" while singing.
Something about her entranced me. Not in the boiling in my loins sorta way, but in the really old grandma that baked you cookies and gave you more money than you deserved sorta way. It wasn't until she physically turned to me and smiled that warm grandma smile, that I noticed a smile had afflicted me too.
- The best part of this piece is the sense of humor. The voice is really good, funny, spunky. I like it! ^_^
- The major weaknesses, in my opinion, are clarity and punctuation.
- The punctuation threw me off. “, but as I sit here.” but as you sit there what? This sentence’s construction implies a segue that is not there. I am not sure this means you are contemplating while you sit, or if you you sit while looking out of the airplane window. READ, READ, READ to develop a good sense for the language.
- Lovely detail about masturbating. It’s funny, it has sass, and most people can relate to it though few will ever admit it (which makes it original and captivating)
- Same with exclamation after “come back to”! You write as you think, but for a reader it’s difficult to interpret the tone and connect your sentences the way you meant them to be connected.
- “Maybe, whoever wrote that awful phrase had something going there” I am not sure what you mean.
- Pay attention to details: I thought we were on a plane. How do we know how hot the sun is burning?
- Careful with your comparisons. I like the tone of the microwave comparison, it is funny, but are we comparing temperatures or sizes? I am a bit confused.
- TENSE! You start in the present and then we switched to past. Learn to be consistent with your tenses!
- By the time you get to the woman singing, I am not sure if we are still in the same scene. Is this a flashback? Are we on the plane? You lost me. I do think we are on the plane. I think this is a case of having a vivid representation of what’s happening in your head, but only give the readers a few details and the overall picture is confused. “Hands raised in surrender” I thought someone had a gun pointed at her. I thought someone was hijacking the plane.
- What’s the hook? Why do I want to keep reading?
- Notice that, formally speaking, you would need dashes in a sentence like “not in a make-my-loins-hot sorta way, but in the really-old-grandma-that-baked-you-cookies-and-gave-you-more-money-than-you-deserved sorta way.” I hate dashes, so I didn’t add add them ;) Nonetheless, I italicized both to clarify how I intend the sentence to be read.
Okay, so here is what I’ll try to do. I’m gonna change your tenses to be consistent. I will try to clarify the scene. I will add a hook of some sort. Let’s see how it works out:
‘Home is where the heart is’: a phrase I never really contemplated before. In fact, my motto has always been home is where I can masturbate in peace, till now.
I sit here, looking out the window of an airplane bound for an island I hoped to God I'd never come back to. All in the name of love.
I watch the shadow of the plane slide on an endless desert, although, coming from Japan, even a sandbox would seem like the Gobi to me.
I am entranced by the woman sitting at my left, not in a make my loins hot sorta way, but in the really old grandma that baked you cookies and gave you more money than you deserved sorta way.
Her eyes are closed and she’s mumbling to a tune I can barely hear out of her headphones.The lyrics include Jesus and Lord, so I guess it must be Gospels.
She turns to me and her smile infects me. “Makoto,” she says. I open my mouth to ask how the hell she knows my name, but she adds, “O, right?”n your way to see your love, right?”
I am Gaia B Amman, the author of the Italian Saga (#TIS), a YA series taking place in gorgeous Italy, and talking about everything I was told is impolite to talk about ;)
The last volume, book 4, comes out November 6th!!! YAY ^_^
The books are recommended for ages 13 and above, but most of my readers are adults.
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My Indie Author Guide, collecting all of my advice, is available on Amazon for $2.99, but Tumblr folks can get it for free here :)
From the guide a treat for you <3 (I am at the 4 weeks stage now, EXCITEMENT RISING! Book launch party 11/12/16!!!!)