Miss Snark's First Victim
I remember this from QueryKombat. I still really like it, and I still want to read more.Instead of said, followed by action, consider "She's arriving today," I craned my neck to look up into the giant's face. "Wish me luck.""hosted" instead of "was hosting".I feel like I should have more feedback, but this is good. If you're not getting requests, I'd look further along than the first few pages.
I was a little confused by the words "arriving" and "my rounds," because they seemed to connect to the birth of twins. In other words, they would be medical terms in a different context, but I didn't know the context yet. If you take the above advice from Disco, this is a nice opening. Some other sensory details, perhaps the smell of the place, would help groung the reader. But I do like it, and would read further.
I think this has great potential but still needs a little reworking-The last paragraph feels a little clunky with info dump. If you can find a way to weave it in a little more, I think it might flow better.For example-- (I threw in my own ideas just to show the idea of what I'm explaining- obviously it won't all work for you)Then it was back to the park office to greet my staff.Every year, StoryWorld hosted a short series of semi-amatuer fairytale plays to entertain the demanding summer crowds. But this year, in a surprising turn of events, 20-something Hollywood actress Katrina Irvine was slated to play the starring roles of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella. I still hadn't found out exactly how our co-producers--The Springdale Players and the Aging Gracefully Seniors Troupe--had arranged this coup, but I was happy to go along for the ride. In the five years that I had owned the park, this was the biggest thing to happen to StoryWorld since local celeb Jake Bryant, the weatherman at Channel 14, cut the ribbon to open the Wizard of Oz-themed tornado exhibit.
I was a little confused at first about the setting, but I assume that's the point. Still, it bugged me a little on why the first three sentences are italicized. Why emphasize them when it's just a statue in a theme park? It might be a foreshadowing device running through the book, but in a sample I don't know that. To me it feels misleading or like poor editing. If you're not getting requests on a partial, consider if that might have anything to do with it.Otherwise, I like where it's headed and I'd read on at least a while longer.
Once I got to the StoryWorld part--hooked. I also was a little confused by the italicized starting lines. Personally, I suggest removing them, and the entry reads less confusing. You already have a bait-n'-switch with the fairy tale first line, and the italicized lines didn't really add anything. Fun setting. With cozy mysteries you want to show something unique, and I think this premise is really great.
I'm going to disagree with the other comments somewhat, but I didn't see it in Query Kombat, so maybe that's why.The reason I think the italicized opening doesn't fit is because it doesn't fit the cozy mystery genre. The italicized would be great if this were a true fairytale retelling or if it were a fantasy, and it adds to the bait and switch of your second unitalicized paragraph. If, however, you have it at the beginning of every single chapter, consider why you need it (does it contribute to the plot, for example? Give the reader clues to the mystery?) And then decide if it's worth keeping.I can see how "my rounds" sounds like a doctor's phrase, but I didn't get that impression on first read. So, if you find a better phrase, use it, but don't lose sleep over it, in my opinion.I disagree with "hosted" I think "was hosting" shows that it has been going on and is still going on. It doesn't sound like this is something that has always been done at the park, but if the park does it every year, then I take my disagreement back.I'm hooked.
I found the opening a little confusing. While it’s an excellent description of StoryWorld, and constitutes good world building, there isn’t something for the reader to grasp onto. The narrator, despite being first person, feels distant. I’m not invested in her yet.I might suggest moving the opening to when Katrina actually arrives at the park."She's arriving today," I said, craning my neck to look up into the giant's face. "Wish me luck."I reconsider using giant in the first sentence. Since we later find out this is a theme park, it’s not a real giant and threw me a bit. I would agree with the commentators that suggested "hosted" instead of "was hosting"
I struggled to work out the context at the start, but once we got to StoryWorld it all fell into place. Must admit, I didn't like not being grounded. For me, it would have been better to get the theme park concept in earlier, rather than wait till the fourth paragraph. The dialogue address to the giant was particularly disorientating.Once I worked out where we were, I was hooked.
The opening italicized line made me think this would be a fantasy. I looked back and saw it was a mystery, which made me wonder about the opening parg. Having read the whole 250 words, I don't think it does anything for you, for the same reasons Jen Garrett gave.Once I got to the word giant, I recognized this. I believe you posted a version here some time ago. So I knew what was coming in Parg 3 and wasn't jarred by the bait and switch. I think people will either love that or hate it. Some will think it clever, and others might feel cheated or not like being fooled. While I personally like it, you might be better off with something more straightforward.Parg 4 takes us right out of the story as your MC turns to the reader to explain the situation. I'd suggest cutting the whole thing and replacing it with a continuation of the story. Let her interact with another character and give us some dialogue that gets that same info out, or as someone else suggested, start with the arrival of the celebrity. But whatever you do, stay within the story