Comment to 'First Chapter Review'
  • Hi again, thank you for sharing! I would just like to put in a little disclaimer that I give this feedback not as a professional but as an avid reader and someone still learning the craft, so please, take what works for you and ignore the rest!

    I think it's great that you've introduced Kelly's goal so early on, because I want to just keep reading, to find out what is actually is and to see what she is doing to get closer to itAs I read, I felt I could build up a clearer picture of her and her circumstances without getting too much information in one go, which was great and it ends on a nice little cliffhanger which would definitely make me go on to the next chapter. 

    A couple of things that stood out to me: 

    • Most of this chapter is written in close third person, so we get a lot of Kelly's inner monologue. However a few phrases didn't fit so well. For example, you mention 'Kelly's children' and 'Kelly's daughter', though I am not sure she would refer to them like this. Perhaps 'the kids' or just 'Harvey and Georgia'. Another I noticed was 'opened her mouth in astonishment on her small round face' - it seemed like from a point of view so close inside Kelly's head, she is perhaps unlikely to describe her own face.  
    • It seems like a fair amount of information could be shown, rather than told in this, which would liven up the chapter a little. For example:
      1. ‘Sarah was late to take over from her but she was eager to be gone so that she could collect her two children and go home. ‘ Perhaps that could come out through a conversation she has with a passing colleague or a phone call to Sarah? 
      2. 'Danny, the maintenance man' - could we learn his job by Kelly asking him how the maintenance work is going, or by his uniform or some other detail? 
      3. 'Danny was becoming more overt' - again this could be shown through dialogue between the two. This way we can also learn more about Kelly in the way she reacts.

    Where I think this is going:

    I do get the impression that this would go on to be a domestic, character driven novel, where Kelly overcomes her personal anxieties / lack of self-confidence to achieve what she’s always dreamed of. 

    Things I could conceivably see happening include: Kelly's struggle to balance a business and twins, perhaps her mother-in-law becomes more interfering, maybe her ex-husband and new lover come back to cause trouble. 

    The tone/setting seems relatively light at the moment, so I would be surprised if this were to turn into a dark novel or something fantastical - but obviously anything can happen and this is just to give you an idea of how it initially comes across!

    Hope this is useful :) 

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    • Yes, this is very useful, Kavisha.  ~Thank you for taking the trouble to give me your comments.

      As for one of your earlier points, I thought I had informed the reader that she wanted to open a cafe.  Perhaps this was done too subtly.  I'll take a look at that.

      I take your point about "Kelly's children" and "Kelly's daughter" as these are too distant and will be acted upon.  As for my reference to "small round face", I think this has to stay in.  This isn't so close to first person narrative as to exclude it and I do want the reader to be able to picture her.

      As to Danny becoming more overt, I agree that this should probably be illustrated by example.

      The book certainly isn't going to be about Kelly balancing business and twins.  In fact, they are going to be very much in the background.  It is about her struggle to achieve her goal and the ways in which she is thwarted.  Perhaps i need to hint more at this. There is going to be a dark turn when she disappears.

      You have given me some work to do but I appreciate your help.

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