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Created over 2 years ago by Heidi Rebstock with 19 comments
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Lxftacps Brian Marsden · Author · added over 2 years ago
I agree with Jacob and AC, continue on with the story. As it goes you’ll come up with more details to fill in her behaviors and mannerisms. Keep going forward ’til you get to a break, or need to pause to plan the next step and go back and edit the first part, adding bits and details to her that you developed while going forward.
You have couple months, so keep going. As you get closer you can update your main page hinting where the story is going. Those updates will help get followers and pre-orders. You might not win the contest, but you may get a big chunk towards inkshares or quill funding. 
I know the idea of the site is working with your readers in writing the story, but if you get a book finished it will increase pre-orders regardless of quality. Most people never finish the book. It like a house. Until you build it, it doesn’t matter what color the tiles are or if the pipes are up to code.
Close up A.C. Weston · Author · added over 2 years ago
One thing I’ve found is that I get to know my characters as I write the whole book, and by the end of the book I know them well enough to go back and edit the beginning to they’re more "themselves" right from the start. I bet that will happen here - just keep writing the book!
1974979 10202243831070040 1581185587 n Nicholas Ivan Ladendorf-Atreides · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
Mark Twain rewrote Huck Finn well up to the 34th edition. Nothing wrong with a rewrite. If it was me I’d start with her still at the library printing out the newest incarnation of her resume (shes already been rejected ) . let the audience know the stakes are high for her right away. 
Pakk! Jacob Zoller · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
Every step you take is a step that you can be proud of. If you go  run a marathon, wouldn’t you rather run a quarter, half, two-thirds of it than just give up at the starting line?
Aheidi Heidi Rebstock · Author · added over 2 years ago
That’s true. I don’t have the whole story written, and I need to get that done. That’s why reviews will probably come slowly. Still, I’m probably not going to win that contest I entered... or get this book published. If I can just finish it, that would be something, at least.
Pakk! Jacob Zoller · Author · added over 2 years ago
Do you have the whole story written? That is more important than rewriting the first chapter. Your characters develop a bigger personality and you find out more about them if you do the whole book. Then when you go back you find huge things to redo to match how your characters ended up.
Hzkl4o r Jesse Swinson · Author · added over 2 years ago
Don’t get discouraged! You have a great basis for a wonderful story. Just flesh out the character a bit. Put yourself in their shoes and put it on the page. Keep on keepin on!
Aheidi Heidi Rebstock · Author · added over 2 years ago
I’ve rewritten the first chapter, but I’m still not feeling very confident about it. Maybe it’s just not interesting enough. Maybe I should start with the dream. Maybe I should try a different character. I don’t know. I feel very discouraged right now.

1974979 10202243831070040 1581185587 n Nicholas Ivan Ladendorf-Atreides · Author · added over 2 years ago
I’m not getting the energy off of the character that everyone else seems to be.  For example I don’t understand why the vampire was rude. Did she try talking to him? (maybe accidentally offending him) I don’t think teenagers have to be depressed or gloomy but I do feel like you need to punch her personality up some more. For example she called herself a teenage girl, but in a very neutral way. I didn’t get any sense of what that means to her. A lot of teenage girls feel like they are already adults and don’t like being treated like kids. Is she overly optimistic? Is she not ready to leave the nest?
Img 1672 Julia Perroni · Reader · added over 2 years ago
Looks like an interesting start! I’m really interested in the setup of the story, the worldbuilding, and you’ve created a very vibrant character - she’s definitely an individual and very strong. That said, a lot of what you’re doing is telling and not showing. Many of the worldbuilding details, as cool as they are, are simply presented too plainly; they could be worked in more naturally. I think your narrative style and the way the character is lends to some degree of explanation, but it could be toned down just a little. Other than that, excellent work; your writing is very technically sound, which makes it very pleasant to read.
Aheidi Heidi Rebstock · Author · added over 2 years ago
Hmmm. It’s clear I do need to write out her motivations and flesh her out more since I didn’t get my point across the first time, but I do think I have a solid idea in mind for her character.

I was a 90s kid myself. I actually remember being optimistic at her age (my angst phase was firmly placed in my middle school years). She has two years (which I mentioned in the story) before she is kicked out of foster care. That doesn’t seem like a short time, but it is... and she has no family and no hopes of getting one since most teenagers don’t get adopted at that age. It’s a very real fear for her, and she wants to start now before it’s too late. 

So, this is a different perspective than most teenagers who actually have a family and don’t need to worry about possible homelessness after they turn 18. 

And when you’re actually desperate for a job, you don’t really care about whether you suck at it or you hate it, you just really, really want a job. You want to be able to take care of yourself. You’d do just about anything short of something illegal (if you have strong enough morals that is; there are some people who get desperate enough for that, too). 

There’s an undercurrent of desperation in just about everything Vanessa does because that’s what she is: desperate. 
Hzkl4o r Jesse Swinson · Author · added over 2 years ago
Overall I think you have a great story on your hands. Reminds me of a cleaner "Ugly Americans" and I do miss that show. You write in the first person very well, but some of the descriptors seem a bit rushed. I kinda mentioned that in my comments on the story. 

Honestly though, you have the hardest part down. Coming up with something compelling to read is a struggle. Keep on writing and revising and I think you will really have something. 

Now, don’t be too harsh with my story ;)
Lxftacps Brian Marsden · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
Maybe it’s a GenX male thing, but being eager, and for a job that isn’t your dream job, just doesn’t seem right. But I worked Pizza at that age and the only thing to look forward to when going to work was snacking on the pepperoni.

I’ve hired a lot of early 20s people and while they were eager to get the job there was still a bit of "I rather be doing something else, but I need the money" often with a goal in mind for the money. And when first hired or interviewed  there was a worry of missing out on something. Whether it was back of their mind with "will I still have time to study" or "what are X and Y doing? Should I text them?". And lots of subtle phone checking.

Some comments like "I’m a high school girl" don’t really come out of teens. We want to be independent and adult at that age and don’t use the high school title except to get out of trouble or to pull rank on a younger kid.
Also the optimism that just put your best foot forward, stand straight, look them eagerly in the eye, will get you a job is the optimistic approach my mom tended to say. And maybe it was there sometimes but, everytime I make a live change like a new job there is always a fear of getting a job you hate or one you suck at. Especially with jobs you’ve never done before.

That said I felt she needs flushed out more in goals and desires. To get a teen off the couch when they could stay home means she needs a goal. Moving out is a good one, but how soon before she gets kicked out of foster care? The state will only pay for so long. Is there a time pressure?

 And when forced off the couch you have likely been brewing on what kind of job you want and what you will NOT do.  Did she pass up some stores on her trip because the people looked like the kind of people she didn’t want to work with? The optimistic "I’ll work anything" just doesn’t seem like a teenager. It seems like a parent putting words into her mouth.

But i’m a grumpy GenXer. We’re known for our attitude.

If you have the time and want to do a counter review ( you don’t have to. My chapters are really long), I could use some opinion on the Black Madonna. Any of the chapters would do. They both have an late teen - early twenty girl as main character. Let know what you think.
Pakk! Jacob Zoller · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like
Just saw that comment two down- Don’t worry! We ask our loved ones for their support, but they don’t always pull through in the way we hope they will. I know this for sure! But it doesn’t mean they don’t love us and support us. Trying to put ourselves out there is something that, really, they can’t understand. So we can all support each other! It’s hard to get the snowball rolling, and we don’t always manage it. But don’t give up!

I dropped a couple of comments on your story. First person stories aren’t my cup of tea, but you do it well!
Aheidi Heidi Rebstock · Author · added over 2 years ago
Also, Brian, could you tell me which book you’d like me to review?
Aheidi Heidi Rebstock · Author · added over 2 years ago
Hey, thank you both for the feedback! I’ll give you feedback shortly! 

Brian, I’m interested in learning what exactly made you get a "parental" impression from Vanessa instead of a teenager impression. I find this particularly interesting because I don’t think I’ve ever written a parent’s perspective before, and I’m not a parent myself, so... LOL 

Sam, I really appreciate you telling me not to get too down on myself. I know it’s only been a couple of days, but I still feel a little discouraged that I haven’t gotten a single preorder yet despite going to friends and family and asking them to check out my book. :(
Profilepic Sam Fellows · Author · edited over 2 years ago · 1 like

I must say, I really liked the first chapter of The Sorcery Superstore. I personally found it refreshing to read a teenage point of view that wasn’t angst-ridden - your heroine seemed peppy and optimistic in the Kimmy Schmidt mould, which is fun to read. The dream sequence was a delight as well - trippy, weird and great fun.

Don’t be too down on yourself - I know writers tend to be their own harshest critics, but there’s definite promise in this book! I for one would be very interested to read more.

Lxftacps Brian Marsden · Author · added over 2 years ago
Interesting concept with the magic store. I feel your main character though, seems too much like a parent and not a teenager. Flush her out more with some angst and resentment towards others’ expectations of her and I think you may have something. 
Aheidi Heidi Rebstock · Author · added over 2 years ago
I’m very new here, and this is my first foray into trying to get a book published (it’s also my first writing contest!). I’d really like to get some feedback on the first chapter to see if its powerful enough to draw readers in (I don’t feel like it is, sadly.)