Adding my own thanks to those below: Once again, your critiques were thoughtful and helpful. Lots of really detailed suggestions for Blodwyn, as well as your signature encouragement. Hot chocolate with whipped cream all around!
Her words to you:
Thank you so much for your uber-helpful, thoughtful, in-depth critiques of my 1st chapter (see, I can't stop using adjectives!). I feel like words cannot express my appreciation, but I am, after all, a writer (or trying to become one) and I must avoid defeatist thinking, so I hope that I am able to get across in these words my appreciation and gratitude for the time and effort you placed in helping me to make my story stronger and tighter.
I am wordy and effusive in real life, and you have definitely helped me to see where it is coming through too much in my writing. I LOVE the way that people took my overlong sentences, chopped a bit here and there, and sped up both the tempo and the message I was trying to get across. I also am going to do a rewrite where she sees the purple tent right away also, and then compare the two. I see the fake hook problem, and it makes me feel torn. Some SAs mentioned that they like to see some character building before the action. But I could probably find a way to marry both.
I'm very glad that Sam comes across like a 12 year old, with some glitches that I can fix. And I definitely need to clarify some things. Sandra, you're right, Sam does get possessed or taken over by some psychological magic in the tent, but I'm guessing that since many people thought it was just her stepping out of character that I need to bring something in that clarifies that. My vision for Sam is that she will be a complex heroine, very tempted by power as well as drawn toward goodness, and much of the series (for it is a series, oh my!) will deal with her struggle with self. So I was attempting to bring forth this pull toward domination, toward her end at any cost, but I can see that it needs more clarification. I also see that Sam needs to react to her name on the book, because, after all, with the exception of the doll that's probably the creepiest thing that happens to her in the tent.
Abby was able to sense Sam because, as it turns out, she has a pendant too - but I also need to clarify that. I laughed out loud here at work when I read the line about how stalker-ish the toy line seems. I will definitely fix that! I also chuckled about how they seem like the Keystone cops in the tent and will be editing out most of the falls. In terms of them not being talked to, it comes out later that the Liffeys are considered weird because of their father, who is also very distant toward them, which motivates them to go meet the Baba Yaga since that's where their mother is. Good calls on the cliched lines, and the places where they can be cut.
I also want to express appreciation to you all for pointing out what you liked about the story mixed in with what you think could be improved. It's good to know what works and what doesn't. I am grateful for both your positive comments and your constructive comments.
This has been extremely helpful and encouraging. With writing I feel like the ultimate goal is reachable. The only thing that would get in the way would be not wanting to spend the time to fix something, to work with the imagination to create something stronger than the previous until it is as good as possible. And I definitely want to spend the time to work with all of your suggestions. Writing is slow - and I think that once we accept that, we can accomplish what we want to accomplish. When I'm ready to agent this, it will be much better for the slowness.
Authoress, thank you again for this opportunity, and for your critique. I love the edits you made. The story reads so much smoother. I do indeed want my readers to breathlessly move to the next chapter. As of now, I'm giving them too much time to breathe!
I am humbled, and I appreciate it. Thank you. I look forward to reading more 1st chapters. I have learned so much from this blog, not only from my own feedback but from reading the feedback given to others and giving my own.