Writers, send your prologue/first chapter to FtQ for a “flogging” critique. None in the queue. Email as an attachment.
Many of the folks who utilize BookBub are self-published, and because we hear over and over the need for self-published authors to have their work edited, It seemed to me that it could be educational to take a hard look at their first pages. If you don’t know about BookBub, it’s a pretty nifty way to try to build interest in your work. The website is here.
I’m mostly sampling books that are offered for free—BookBub says that readers are 10x more likely to click on a book that’s offered for free than a discounted book. Following is the first page and a poll. Then my comments follow, along with the book cover, the author’s name, and a link so you can take a look for yourself if you wish. At Amazon you can click on the Read More feature to get more of the chapter if you’re interested. There’s a second poll concerning the need for an editor.
Next are the first 17 manuscript lines of chapter one in a mystery novel titled In for a Penny. A poll and the opening page of the first chapter follow. Should these authors have hired an editor?
Her purse swinging from the crook of her arm, Lillian Summer Fairview pressed both wrinkled hands against the barred door of the downtown Atlanta pawnshop and pushed with her whole weight to get inside.
She glanced at the bright yellow measuring stick on the doorjamb. Frequenting this place on the seedy side of town for the past two years was bad enough, but according to that ruler she’d fallen below the five-foot mark somewhere along the way. She’d noticed it on her way out last time and convinced herself it was a mistake. Maybe a bad angle. She dang well knew she’d been five foot two once upon a time. Just one more jab on possibly the worst day of her life.
No. The worst day would arrive within the month.
Today, she wore her only pair of pricey low-heel pumps and stretched her spine like a ballerina, but she still didn’t pass four-eleven. It was a sore spot but only one of them. Having to visit J& R’s Pawn at all was worse than eating potato chips with a paper cut.
Harlan, I may never forgive you for putting me in this position.
When the preacher who’d married Harlan and her all those years ago said “for better or worse,” she’d had no idea the worse would come after the until-death-do-you-part.
“Hello, gentlemen,” she called out as she made her way past a long counter of jewelry, coins and other collectibles.
Did this writer need an editor? My notes and a poll follow.
This book received 4.5 stars on Amazon. I really like the voice, and the character is both likable and engaging to me. And then there’s the writing and humor—the line about eating potato chips with a paper cut made me smile. But there’s trouble in her day, too, and even more coming up. We don’t know exactly what it is, but this bit of foreshadowing, along with the voice, character, and writing, was enough to get me to turn the page. I’ll be reading this one, and it’s the first of a series of “granny mysteries.” Your thoughts?
Poll: what are your thoughts about this author needing an editor?
My books. You can read sample chapters and learn more about the books here.
Writing Craft Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling
Fantasy (satire) The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles
Mystery (coming of age) The Summer Boy
Science Fiction Hiding Magic
Science Fiction Gundown Free ebooks.