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. If I select it I will edit it for free and post it on Tumblr for everyone to chime in. If I don’t post about it, I will still get back to you with my honest opinion <3
Let me know if you want your name or blog url 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:
As if my day couldn't get any worse. My wing is broken, I'm losing blood quickly, and I've run out of things to kill.
Just then, I heard the brittle snap or a branch a few feet away from the tree I was hiding in. Carefully jumping to the next tree over, I looked down to see that it was a teenage boy, lanky and pale, with golden hair that curled close to his neck. His hazel eyes wandered idly, not focusing on the same thing for too long. Silently shifting into a better position on my branch, I raised my bow, loaded an arrow, aimed at his throat, and shot.
His eyes widened momentarily as the thin arrow pierced his jugular vein. He was beautiful as he died, almost graceful as he fell back and hit the ground with a dull thump. I dropped out of my tree, wincing as I landed on my right ankle. I had always had a limp, ever since I had been driven out of the city.
I moved closer to the dead boy and gasped out loud. Barely visible behind his upper lip were a pair of sharp, white fangs.
BRAVO! I really liked this piece a lot ^_^
- Very intriguing! We start in a situation of crisis and as a reader I want to know how we got there and what’s next. I would definitely keep reading
- I love how you brought in the handsome guy to kill him without a second though. Very unexpected and excellent characterization too
- Great voice!
Red flags you need to be careful about:
These are minor fixes any editor would catch, but that will cause your manuscript to be immediately click-deleted by most agents/publishers
- Tense: your piece is written in the past yet your first sentence is in the present
- Typos! “Or” a branch or “of” a branch? Careful.
Minor edits I would make:
- Less, carefully selected words are way more effective than extra ones. Cut on adverbs (jump carefully could be slunk or crawled, “wandered idly without focusing” seems redundant ), cut on wordy constructions (”Just then” is not necessary, or “I look down to see that it was a teenage boy”), select adjectives carefully (is it the snap being brittle or the branch? Do you really need to say that the arrow is thin?)
- Add sense of smell and sound
- Whenever possible, be specific. What type of tree?
- Can your MC really see the color of the boy’s eyes from up into the tree? I assumed this is part of your characterization and let it be. If it’s not, remove that detail ;)
- You seem to start your sentences often with a verb in -ing, (Silently shifting, carefully jumping). I would not overdo it. Even more so because the “silently shifting” came right after the lanky boy and at first I thought that was the person who was silently shifting.
- Watch for repetitions (3 trees, 2 branches, 2 arrows)
As if my day couldn't get any worse. My wing was broken, I was losing blood quickly, and I had run out of things to kill.
I heard the snap of a brittle branch on the forest floor, several feet below the oak I was hiding in. Slinking to the next tree over, I looked down to see a teenage boy, lanky and pale, with golden hair that curled close to his neck. His hazel eyes wandered idly.
I shifted into a better position, raised my bow, loaded, aimed at his throat, and shot. The arrow wooshed through the air and his eyes widened as it pierced his jugular vein.
He was beautiful as he died, almost graceful as he fell back and hit the ground with a dull thump. I dropped down, wincing as I landed on my right ankle. I had always had a limp, ever since I had been driven out of the city.
I moved closer to the dead boy and gasped. Barely visible behind his upper lip were a pair of sharp, white fangs.
Who am I to give you advice?
I am GB Amman, the author of the Italian Saga (#TIS), a YA series taking place in gorgeous Italy, and talking about everything important with humor and feels aplenty.
The last volume, book 4, is finally OUT!!! The series is COMPLETE!!!
The books are recommended for ages 13 and above, but most of my readers are adults.
Get the Indie author Guide free! ^_^
Get it for free here :)