Thursday, March 25, 2010

88 YA Alt History

TITLE: Johnny Steam
GENRE: YA Alt History


Mrs. Reed had become quite good at making tea. She shouldn't have to. She wasn't born for this. But who was born for these days?

30 comments:

  1. I am wanting to know more after your last sentence. Tea seems innocuous but maybe that's the point.

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  2. I have to admit, I found this a little choppy and had to reread a few times because something seemed off. I think this was the problem: "She shouldn't have to...(what?)" She's good at making tea. She shouldn't have to become good at making tea? She shouldn't have to make tea at all? She shouldn't have to wait on us hand and foot? (Is that what you're implying?) The last sentence was also too bare. I'd change "these days" to something more specific. Just my two cents. :)

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  3. Semi-hooked, I would read more to see where it's going.

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  4. I find the last sentence awkward. But I'd keep reading.

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  5. Hooked (by the title and the sentiment, if not the prose itself). I like the idea, but the awkward shifts in tense threw me off.

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  6. That last sentence is a killer. I read it twice, and I'm still not sure.

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  7. Delete second sentence and it would hook me.

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  8. not hooked...who was born for these days? Seemed awkward. Good at making tea? No big deal in my readers mind.

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  9. Not hooked -- seems too authorial.

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  10. I'm pretty much just confused. Is the last sentence a complete sentence? I wasn't sure...Not as hooked as I could be, but I'd keep reading.

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  11. I liked the tone of the first sentence, but then I got a little confused with the second. I think it's a tense issue but I had to reread a few times to get what you were going for.

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  12. I didn't think this sounded grammatically correct to my ear. I'm trying to put my finger on it - like Valerie, I think it might be a tense thing.

    Not hooked, sorry.

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  13. not hooked, but I'm also not a fan of the genre

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  14. Mildly hooked, but mostly because of the tea. The prose seems a bit confusing, and I'm still not sure what she wasn't born for. The typo in the last sentence doesn't help clarify.

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  15. There's a hint of tension here, but I'd try teasing it out. Donald Maass talks about this in the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, Chapter 22: Low tension part 1: The problem with tea.

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  16. Semi-hooked. The last sentence was awkward.

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  17. Hooked. A very natural voice, and a question at the end that makes me curious about these days.

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  18. Hooked til I got to "But who was born..." Had to read it a few times to make sure there wasn't a word missing. How about switching it to, "But who was born for days like these, anyway?"

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  19. I love the first sentence, but the 3rd and 4th ones don't say much and I think offer too much info and are kind of confusing.

    "But who was born for these days?"

    That doesn't make much sense to me. I think you can rewrite and make a much stronger opening.

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  20. I'm not sure what Alt History is. If this is YA and you're starting with Mrs. Reed and tea, you might lose your audience. I think that the characteristic of being very good at making tea (pouring boiling water into a cup?) might lead somewhere interesting, I think you might have missed the mark for teens. The voice doesn't sound YA to me...but I would probably read a page or so just to see what the tea thing is about.

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  21. If this is about a world where everyone is cloned and not borne, then remove “for” in the last sentence. As it stands, I am not hooked.

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  22. Read this a couple of times to try to understand. So, not hooked. Everything seemed too vague without any meaning to hang onto.

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  23. Hooked and I *love* the voice.

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  24. Not quite hooked; it felt a bit clunky to me, but I might read on a bit to find out what "these days" are.

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