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Heather reviewing:

Reviewing Meany Chapter 2 -

 

Here are my notes from the chapter. First of all, I LOVE the picture that you put there...its perfect!

 

In the very beginning there was a line - "Jenny awoke to the sound of a commotion..." Here i think you can omit the words 'the sound'. The word commotion implies the sound. The word commotion is also used in the very next sentence and I was wondering if there was another word to use there...something like scuffle or disturbance (those aren't the right ones, but something along those lines). I think that would help the flow a little. Having said that I adore the rest of the paragraph. I love the description, the comparison, I love the use of nature - it sets the scene for life on the farm. Brilliantly conceived and written.

 

The section where Jenny is asking if the window is really broken...again - great job. It eases us into the 5 year old mentality by giving us a glimpse inside her head. Its also a hopeful thought which is a stark contrast to her surroundings. Good Stuff!

 

I adore the line "Jenny loved her smile." This line sings to me! It just makes me warm and fuzzy and its perfect!

 

The line "...still dressed in pajamas, Jenny took Dawn's hand..." I feel like the names are being mentioned too often here - personally i am nearly always guilty of this. I think it works nicely to say, "she took her sister's hand" that way we aren't pulled out by the mention of the name.

 

When describing the house, you chose the word "Spartan" - which is a good adjective, but I was wondering if it needed to be capitalized. I thought that only referred to a team mascot or something...i could most certainly be wrong on that point...idk.

 

Up to this point I can tell that you are setting the scene. Describing for the reader what a camera pan would catch, but it almost seems too heavy with detail. Is there any way to save some of this for another part of the story. I know that there are more scenes in the house, perhaps you could give us more detail on the decor then. If you are trying to show us the poverty, that is what you are doing, but I still think it could be done with less description. That is not to say the description isn't valuable and well done, perhaps you could ration it a little....idk if that makes sense. I just clearly noted when the description part ended and the puppy part began...


March 4, 2011 at 1:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posts: 114

Heather, part II:

Reviewing Meany chapter 2 - part 2

 

Later on there is a line that goes, "there were actually three, grown dogs". I was wondering if the comma was necessary. My french grammar may be playing with my head here.

 

continuing through the chapter where you are describing the exterior of the house you mention "150+ head of cattle that were housed on the farm." You tended to use the word farm a lot in this section (duh heather- it is a farm right?). I thought you could strike "on the farm" and just use 'there'.

 

When you take us to the puppies they have just nursed and are yipping and playing around...my question is - after nursing are puppies energetic or are they sleepy with warm, sloshy bellies? The only thing i can compare it to is kids and they are sleepy after eating...maybe just make them jumping and playful without the nursing part - that could cause confusion later because if Charles isn't actually paying to feed them then his argument is empty. I know he just likes to argue, but we hate him enough without his argument being empty.

 

This is going to sound weird, but I love the sick feeling that builds in my stomach as you go through the puppy scene. I know what is going to happen, but even as it unfolds I find the nausea building as i realize exactly what Charles plans to do. Well written - Good Stuff! I also love how the totally warm, fuzzy, cozy, trusting scene from chapter one is completely shattered at this point. You have us in the palm of your hands now, shaping our emotions like a potter at his wheel. Nicely done!

 

one last comment - what a great way to show us what a [email protected]$tard Charles is - it doesn't get any lower than picking on children and puppies!

 

I really like this chapter. I like that we are in the thick of some action right away. It doesn't take 5 chapters to get our heart racing and our emotions involved, you do that from the get go. I love the way you create the two main children - they are real and i can see them in my head almost as soon as you introduce them. The colloquialisms (sp?) are period/geographically appropriate and serve to set the tone for Charles. There are a ton of wonderful things about this piece...i would have to say it is pretty near perfect. looking forward to chapter 3 tomorrow!

 

Hope this helps!

Heather


March 4, 2011 at 1:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Kris reviewing:

reviewing meany chapter 2-

 

Five-year old Jenny Barnes awoke to the sound of a commotion. It was not much of a commotion by Charles Barnes? standards- commotion? it doesnt really give us any idea of what she woke to. too vague. i've got no mental pic from the first sentence. after that you have 'his voice filled up the wider spaces' which is you using that gift you have of turning a phrase well, and i like, but it's still not giving us enough. he could be singing or preaching to a rabble or something and then we cut right away to jenny and her relationship with dawny, and their room, etc. so i've got no info and then a disconnect. you see? need a little more foreshadowing or dread or something, before you cut away.

 

She could hear Daddy yelling in the other room but could not make out his words.- so now we kind of get it, what's going on there, her lack of reaction and need to stay quiet tells us it happens a lot, but when she wakes up dawny, with a hand over the mouth- doesnt dawny hear it too? isnt her first reaction, are we in trouble?

 

the bit about the table and chairs, good.

 

Daddy was talking with Mommy out on the wrap-around porch - he was just in 'the other room' a second ago. keep him on the porch, he creeps me out.

 

charles's dialogue is good, very real sounding,

 

The sun was bright and their hopes high.- sounds like a cliche. you can say it better.

 

'had delivered litters this spring', it doesnt sound right, tense or point of view or something, but i'm pretty sure it should be 'that spring.'

 

Dawn?s tears dripped onto Jenny?s hand like raindrops- again this feels like a cliche 'tears like raindrops'. i know you can think of something better.

 

Ruthy didn?t get to finish her sentence. Charles threw down his bag, prompting a chorus of whelps and whimpers from inside, and slammed the back of his hand across Ruthy?s face. Ruthy fell to the floor as the puppies scattered. Her resistance shattered, Ruthy could do no more - you keep saying ruthy, you dont have to keep naming her.

 

?Put. The puppies. In the bag.? he said. His voice was tight, strained, and he paused momentarily between the words for emphasis.

you dont have to tell us that he paused for emphasis between the words, weve got periods and spaces that do that.


March 8, 2011 at 7:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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