Monday, March 21, 2011

Entry Number 6

Title: No Child Left Behind
Genre: YA/Slice of L

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

It was my father’s favorite saying- for a lot of reasons, both personal and professional. In fact, we heard a lot more of it around the house, for mundane things, after his book was published, after he had applied his trademarked axiom to wars, genocide, environmental rape and bad movies (I won’t throw the usual suspects like Glitter and Ishtar to the wolves, those poor films have suffered enough on the altar of our scorn).

You see, Patrick Dolan, my father- he’s the real writer in the family.


  1. I like how cheeky the voice is but be careful to not sound like a preachy adult. Good work--sounds interesting!

  2. I like the voice, but I couldn’t visualize who was speaking, boy or girl—and around what age he or she was. I realize it’s only the first 100 words. If you could set the character firm in our minds, it would help connect the work with him or her.

    I did like it, and I would continue reading.

  3. I like the voice too. I found the sentence starting with In fact... a bit tough to follow - it's a bit long. You might have more impact with short, choppy sentences for the examples. Mabye??? I like it :)

  4. Yeah, that second sentence was killer long. I'd have a little look at breaking it up some 'cause I had to go back and read it a bunch of times.
    One hundred words is a killer isn't it?

  5. This is an interesting start, and I like the voice. But I agree with Jemi, you need to break things up a bit to give it more impact. That will save the long sentence from being rambling.

    Also, I would change the second sentence to: "It was my father’s favorite saying for a lot of reasons, both personal and professional." I stumbled over the way you had it, and had to read it a few times. That threw me out of the piece.

    Good luck!

  6. First I'd like to apologize for cutting this post mid sentence! I didn't realize until I began to critique. So sorry!

    I would never call anything a slice of life to an agent or an editor. Call it contemporary ya or contemporary fiction.

    I felt the mc's contempt for his or her father. I'm hoping that he or she is really gifted and surpasses the father's career. :) I do think it is important to get the mc's name in their asap. I know a 100 words isn't many to work with, but that's why I chose that few... :-)

  7. Nice opener. But like Stina and Jemi, I thought the sentences in the 2nd paragraph were too chunky that they passed as rambling. I would try to break them into more sentences to tighten it up.

  8. I really like the voice here and I'm very curious about the MC and his relationship with his father. I like that his father is a writer. The only thing that took me out of the opening sentences was the sentence in parentheses. Maybe I'm just dense but I didn't get what that had to do with anything It just confused me.

  9. I love the attitude and snippet of backstory. But I almost would rather know more about our MC than the father. Maybe leave out the parentheses add-on and slip in some kind of contrast of the MC with the dad. Although I love the drama of the last line, so you'd want to keep that in there.

    Nice start!

  10. I too had a problem visualizing the mc's gender, but I'm sure it is quickly revealed. It's hard to judge based on just an opening paragraph. All in all, I was intrigued and would like to know more about the mc and their father. Nice job!