Thursday, May 2, 2019

First 100 #9

GENRE: MG Magical Realism

It’s all in the B. How you attack that first note tells your audience everything about what’s to come. Quasi improvisando, Dvorák says. You need to put your life into it. You need to show that you can be wild, fanciful, dramatic, free.

Basically, everything I’m not.

I’ve done a masterful job of faking it for half my life—ever since I took up the cello at age six. Scales, etudes, Bach preludes, Boccherini concerto, Brahms sonatas… I’ve never looked back. My technical skill astounds even the most talented of musicians. Because of it, I can manufacture the rest.


  1. I like the first two sentences because I know this character is a musician, so that goes a long way towards getting involved with him/her. The “Dvorak says” I’m not sure about. I guess this person is the one who was speaking about the B, but I took it more to be the narrator speaking to the reader. Consider dropping the tag and see what you think. I like the basically, everything I’m not. Self-deprecating goes a ways toward identifying with the character. The final paragraph is interesting. It’s nicely written as far as rhythm. It’s also a nice juxtaposition to her (I’m assuming a her, not sure why) earlier claim of being not dramatic or free. So, I get a lot about the character (except gender) but I see the whole technique verses improv thing happening. I’m ready to settle in and read more. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm a musician, so this definitely hooked me. An authentic musician's voice--very nice! Like Scott, I want to read more. But I'm a little worried about the audience. The in-depth subject matter language and maturity feel a bit more YA than MG to me. Thanks!

  3. I love this. You have really captured the musician's voice. I like the contrast of the music to her personality. Great opening.

  4. I really like this! Strong voice. I'd consider telling us who Dvorak is. He makes a comment, but there's nothing more to tell us who he is. I love the "Basically everything I'm not line." Clear voice that tells us a lot about the narrator. Same with the 3rd paragraph about faking it. Really well done!

  5. I like this, but it's all just narration/telling unless you give us a reason for her to think these things. It's fine for your character to think about her skills if someone is questioning them (for example) or if she is questioning them herself (for a good reason) but she can't just sit around and think these things for no reason.


  6. I really like this, especially the first 2 sentences. My only hesitation is that it sounds more like YA than mg in the MC's voice. I think for a certain reader, the music references will be a big hit, but to broaden your audience beyond musicians, in this day and age, you might be better off not leading off with a quote from Dvorak, and listing Boccherini, Brahams - maybe Bach is okay. You can do that later. You could still say the Dvorak quote if you said something that relates it to the MC, like, "As my favorite composer, Dvorak, said, ..."