My letter to another writer

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She asked me to look at her work... And I want to make a recCord of it to beat myself later with.

Hi,

OK, I don't want you to hate me, because while this may seem a lot of negative, but I really am wanting to help... However, in my opinion this would be rejected from the first two sentences. But don't despair, because writing is 25% first draft and 75% editing/rewrites. Heck, Stephan King put The Stand in a drawer for five years before pulling it out, reworking it and then publishing it.

You're probably saying, why the first two sentences? Two reasons; one, they repeat each other, and two 'this day and time'. There's no set up for the reader to know what day and time 'this' is.

(re: Repeats: You might want to print a paper copy and highlight repetitions and see if they are really needed "white lights of six head lights" for example.)

Some possible changes:

(just a simple edit)

Such an archaic event; a beheading via guillotine. Was there no other way to deal with serial killing day-walkers? Possibly, but the public demanded blood for blood.

But to fix the era in the persons mind, perhaps adding in a bit of background.

Such an archaic event; a beheading via guillotine. The last one took place on September 10, 1977 in France. In the U.S. the last public execution was held in Kentucky, in 1936. At least 20,000 people descended on the town to witness that execution, and it led to the ban of public viewing of state imposed death until today. Was there no other way to deal with serial killing day-walkers? Possibly, but the public demanded blood for blood, as well as reassurance of a true death for the undead.

Now in the readers mind the scene is set... current or slightly future time, angry public, a sense of history and time....


Then, about third paragraph I think, you have a list of your characters attributes. It's more like a police report than a character study. Here's a example from out of my head:

She stood four eleven in her sneakers and had brown hair and freckles and brown eyes.

VS

Meg pulled the stool over to the counter, her brown braids thumping against her flat chest as she got up on it to reach over her head into the cupboard. "Puberty, save me now..." She muttered, her eyes the same color of the chocolate her taller brother had stashed on the highest shelf. Sitting on the stool and unwrapping the bar. She figured puberty would fix everything... she'd be taller, prettier, bustier, more interesting...but dammit, she'd still have freckles.

In order to keep people engrossed in the story try to not hand everything to them in a massive lump. That is, if you have introduced a new scene, or a new person, don

Created: Aug 31, 2009

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