I'll wait. Let me know when you're done jumping up and down. :)
For those of you who never participated in Friday Feedback, I'll tell you the rules, and, then, in this first return post, I'll (sort of) break them. Hey, it's my blog. I'll do what I want to. You do what you want on YOUR blog.
Seriously, though, if you’re here, reading, and, moreso, chiming in, I’m happy and grateful, so thank you. Especially if you’re a teen or young adult, since that’s what I post and write about here -- young adult fiction.
So, what is the point of Friday Feedback? To get and give feedback (with some rules).
Sometimes, I’ll invite you to critique a piece of my writing (and offer the opportunity for you to post your own excerpt in the comments and receive critique from me or any of my writer or non-writer friends who might stop by), and sometimes, I’ll have a guest author host the spot, posting their work and giving feedback (though I'll usually chime in. :)).
Why do I love this feature? Writers often write in a vacuum.
As such, you’ll often hear us commenting that we have no idea if something we’ve written is great, or if it’s crap. I mean, you’d think we’d know, but sometimes, honestly, we just don’t. Sometimes, the chasm of doubt we stare down is just that gaping and wide.
If you don’t believe me, here’s a quote I love from an interview with one of my all-time favorite (and hugely prolific) authors, William Goldman (his novels include Marathon Man, The Color of Light, The Princess Bride, and more movie screenplays than we can count on our combined fingers including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – don’t tell me if you’re too young to know it, it will break my heart), and IMHO, one of the greatest writers and storytellers of all time:
“One of the things I love to do when I work with young writers is to disabuse them of the notion that I know what I'm doing. I don't know what I'm doing. . . as we are speaking, I am looking at my computer, tearing out my hair, thinking, well, is this horrible, or is this going to work? I don't know. Storytelling is always tricky."
Isn't that awesome?
Okay, having said that, let’s get started. Together. In the dark. Friday Feedback.
Here are the RULES:
I would like the following feedback (and will offer the same to you between Friday and Monday if you post an excerpt for me to read in the comments -- see further rules regarding that below):
• Does the piece "hook" you enough to make you want to keep reading. If yes, why? If no, why not?
• What else works for you, and why?
• What doesn’t work for you (if something doesn't) and why?
See? Simple. :)
Now, here's how you can also get some feedback: If you are working on something, and would like the same feedback, please post your excerpt after your feedback (in the same comment or a new one).
Please post between 3 -5 paragraphs, and no more. If there's more, I may only read the first 3 -5 paragraphs (5 if they're short, 3 if they're long). 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.
And, remember, we are all trying to be constructive here. So be honest, but be kind, and expect the same in return.
So, without further ado, *deep breath* (er, the deep breathing was for me…), thanks for participating!
Here we go!
Oh, and remember I told you I was going to break my own rules a little bit today? Today I'm going to post two excerpts, because I was looking over old Friday Feedbacks and saw how much the opening to Frankie Sky -- my novel out on submission now -- has changed since the last time I posted it here. I thought it might be kind of cool to see. Feel free to compare and contrast what you like or don't like from the switch from the old to the new.
Thanks for reading and commenting. Look forward to see YOUR stuff!
Frankie Sky, current opening:
I sit up and adjust my bikini top, trying to stretch it across the spots it barely covers. It’s snug only because it’s one of Lisette’s old hand-me-downs – and not for better reasons. Lisette lent it to me last spring for a school carwash, and I grabbed what I could this morning. It’s not like I have a fresh supply of bathing suits.
I yank the strings around my neck for maximum boost and re-tie them, letting my eyes dart to where Peter Pintero towers across from me like King of Summer atop his LCC lifeguard throne. His eyes catch mine and he squints funny, like he wants to know what the heck I’m doing here.
Well, it’s none of his business what I’m doing here. Besides, I’m not sure I even know.***
And, here's the original opening (they're way different, eh?):
The first time I see Frankie Schyler, he's diving into the Lawrenceville Country Club pool, which is only the first of many coincidences that will make me question everything I know about life, death, and the nature of our existence during the short eight weeks of summer.
It’s not so much coincidence as stupidity that Frankie marches to the edge of the coping, arms raised above his mop of blond curls, and purposefully plunges himself headfirst into the water, but rather the coincidence is that I am here, too, staring at the very same water, wondering if I might walk over and slip myself in, then sink to the bottom and disappear.
Or, maybe that’s not a coincidence either, since I’ve spent much of the past four years thinking about ways to disappear.