You know the RULES, right?
Ok, fine, just in case, here they are again. There are only 3:
(If you want more details, read this blog post here: http://ghpolisner.blogspot.com/2010/12/friday-feedback.html otherwise, just follow along.
I would like the following feedback (and will offer the same to you if you post an excerpt for me to read in the comments):
#Uno (that's 1 in Spanish): If it is the first few paragraphs of a novel – today it is NOT, so skip to dos (Spanish again, for 2) -- tell me if it "hooks" you enough to make you want to keep reading, or not. If yes, why? If no, why not?
#2 (well, I already gave away the Spanish): What works for you, draws you into the piece and why? (this is called the flattery part ;))
#Trois (yep, switched to French. It's late and I'm punchy): What doesn’t work for you and why? (ouch, this is called the constructive, sting-y part).
When you are done giving feedback, if you want some of the same multi-lingual feedback from me (or my readers!?) please post your brief excerpt at the end of your comment (and tell me what it is -- e.g. opening to a novel, short story, poem, etc...). Please post no more than 3 -5 paragraphs, 5 if they're short, 3 if they are long. If there's more, I will only read the first 3 -5. If the comment gets too long, feel free to reply in two separate comments. If you are a student from a particular class, please identify yourself as such. If not, let me know how you found me.
Today, I am posting another piece from my young adult work in progress In Sight of Stars narrated by a 17-yr old boy who has a nervous breakdown after the recent death of his father. This piece is from p. 97 of about 155. Still very rough. But it's okay, have at it.
On Thursday, we arrange for my mother to come in. Dr. Alvarez thinks I need to confront her, tell her what I know and how I feel about it. All of it. Even if it means she sees how angry I am. Even if it means that I end up hating her. Or she ends up hating me. “You can’t keep walking around with it, Klee, keeping it all bottled inside.”
I don’t feel great. Sick to my stomach. My jaw is clenched and my head hurts. I’m glad Dr. A. will be there.
When I reach her office, Dr. A. is already in there, sitting with the Van Gogh book open on her lap. She turns and looks up at me, then taps the page with her finger. Beneath it, a cheerful, lavender sky swirls above a golden field. Dark green fir trees reach to the sky.
“Wheat Field with Cypresses,” I say, sitting, “1889.”
“I love this one,” she says, placing it down on the table between us. “It’s very airy and hopeful. You can smell the trees and feel the wheat blowing.” I study it with her. “The thing I didn’t realize,” she continues, “is how many different styles he had. You think of Van Gogh and you think of his sunflowers or Starry Night, and even those two are quite different. But, now I see that some of his paintings had a strong Japanese influence, magnificent cherry blossoms and peach trees, and incredible color. Yet others are dark and brooding, like his illustrations, or the Potato Eaters, which I’d never heard of but is obviously very famous.”
“What fascinates me is how we presume to know so much when we so often know so little. I’m glad you made me look at his work. It seems very worth knowing.”
“My Dad loved him,” I say. “As long as I can remember, he would always talk to me about Van Gogh. And not just Van Gogh, all the masters. But especially Van Gogh.”
“Well, I’m glad he did. And I’m glad you held onto it. And that you’ve passed it on to me.” She slides the book off to the side a little but leaves it open to that page. I’m grateful for that. I understand that she leaves it there intentionally.
There’s a knock on the door. My mother. Her eyes go to me. “People have all different sides,” she reminds me.