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Rated: E · Review · Dark · #2292439
Chapter One to Six Exposed comments
Chapter one comments
Good intro to the characters but I would like to have seen a bit more of the details of what he was thinking of doing with his DNA testing. You hint at it but don’t bring it out soon enough
Minor – might be useful to indent paragraphs using the indent button
Minor- consistent spacing between paragraphs
Minor spacing issue
Brice finished his salad and picked up his tray, “See you in gym.” Brice headed out of the cafeteria, planning on apt
setting course for the computer lab.

Good opening paragraph -hooks the reader
I’d omit almost
“he had made that placed his career squarely circling the toilet drain.”
Good line
Malcom Morgan nice name
Flora Morgan also nice name
Abby Morgan also nice names
Was Flora part Hispanic Selene is an Hispanic name
Brice Tellerman nice character name
Selene Morgan. Also nice name
May not be PC but a little physical descriptions, age, race, tall, thin etc would be useful
Finally descriptive could be moved up earlier
Selene glided around the corner of the staircase and Brice came into her field of view. Her heart sped a little at the sight of him. He was, in her eyes, a perfect physical specimen. He wore his blonde hair in ear-length waves. His complexion was flawless as was his face with the exception of a chicken pox scar on the right side of his upper lip. She glanced into his steel blue eyes and felt the pull of his attraction towards her. She pulled away from his stare to note that he hadn’t changed for dinner. He still wore the backstage t-shirt for one of the bands his father played backup. It wasn’t dirty or ragged just clearly well-worn. That meant it was one he had stolen from his father.
Trance Tellerman nice alliteration in the name
Flora Tellerman great name good description of her clothing I would add the phrase sensible shoes as follows wearing what nurses call sensible shoes ,,,
Great paragraph could be even a bit more graphic noting her ample cleavage for example?
Selene smiled at Brice in the disarmingly crooked way she had, with the right side of the smile just a fraction wider than the left and both her dimples making a hearty appearance. He avoided looking into her honey-colored eyes as long as his willpower would allow. His eyes then traveled to the thick dark halo of her raven-black hair. He would have run his fingers through her hair if he didn’t need both hands to support his tray. Selene cocked her head to the side, in the way she always did when he was staring at her with “puppy dog eyes.”

Brice choked on his lettuce. It took several moments for him to cough it right and regain his composure. Wiping his mouth, Brice contemplated a response. “You know, when your father hears who’s taking you, that wallet of his is going to pucker up like it drank a straight shot of a lemon juice smoothie.”
also nice line – I would perhaps make it an alcoholic reference i.e straight shot of rot gut tequila
Nice sexual tension without being too graphic

clarification – are they high school or college students? Proms are usually held in High school not so much at colleges but then maybe in Florida they do them at college
you make it clear later that these were high school students perhaps you could just add the name of the high school when you first introduce the characters because I was confused were they high school or college students?
Selene smiled, gathered her tray, and rose from the comfy chair. She walked around the table and bent to peck Brice on the cheek before leaving. “See you for dinner?”
could be a bit more graphic here
Joey and Ralph last names and descriptions would be nice
Nicely done description of her lack of culinary skill
Selene fell in line beside Brice on the way into the dining room. She didn’t want to lay odds on the edibility of dinner. Her mom had a very low batting average when it came to serving up meals, yet somehow her status as the only full-time homemaker meant the Tellermans came over for their shared dinners ninety percent of the time. Selene half wished her mother would get a job outside of the house just so they wouldn’t have to attempt to eat what she cooked before the mid-meal ritual of ordering takeout.
Chapter two comments
Some authors do not put headlines after a chapter some do it seems a bit old fashioned but I like it here it is perfect
Overall comment: great building up of characters etc but does not address the main question what is Morgan ‘s evil plan ? everything has to support answering that question.

Great description of getting drunk mid-day and its consequences. I might specify what kind of whiskey he was drinking, and perhaps the note could have been a note from “a concerned student saying something like “perhaps you should go to AA or something deal with the drinking problem. I’ve been there if you want to talk….”

Great lines:
rehashed national news from the morning talk shows. A block of commercials invaded the newscast. Malcolm found it hard to separate Fruity Pebbles from news of a ten-car pileup near Disney World.
Nice lines
All in all, though there were a great many articles from various sources much of what she found about her father was as dry as his nearly absent personality. In short, he quickly bored her.
nicely done
Selene typed in her mother’s name, it just brought up more articles on her father. Her mother was caught firmly in his shadow. Maybe that was why despite the abuse, her mother stayed with him. Selene wished her mother had some claim to fame so that she could stand on her own. Instead, her mother stood on a pile of empty alcohol bottles.
nice description I’d add a bit more about the car 1969 classic red mustang convertible out of the Eagle’s song Take it easy
Chapter three comments

Great lines about paranoia and it begins to show where his evil revenge plan took shape

In his state of half hung-over stupor, it occurred to Malcolm that perhaps these slights were actually intentional. The drip and supply problems might have been an ongoing attempt to get him to quit, thus circumventing the liability of tenure. Malcolm sat heavily on his workspace stool. They wanted him out. His wife was an unreliable mess. The only thing he really had to live for was his daughter and it was approaching the point where he was almost worth more to her dead.

Great description of the effects of the treatment on humans. Almost hypnotic
Good line
Brice’s mom was in Malcom bashing mode properly.
Nice description of Malcom’s rise and fall from fame
good description of Trnace’s music-writing mode
Nicely done dialogue about Malcolm’s recruitment for the panel
Last name and description of Ceil
Chapter four
Slowly building towards his evil master plan

nicely done
The way he treated his wife she may as well be a servant. Selene doubted they ever made love anymore. She questioned if they had ever “made love” it seemed to Selene it had only ever been an act of procreation for her father. The way he treated her mother made Selene sick. He had disappeared for almost two whole days then came home to beat his wife for being no more drunken than he clearly was.

The paragraphs on Betsy were well done as well
Chapter five comments
Nicely done.
It was just after ten Sunday morning. He had a bit of a blinding headache. The sun outside had lanced in through his eyes, virtually lobotomizing him until his glasses automatically tinted themselves. Now he waited for the tint to clear

Key event it seems in the evolution of the evil plan perhaps you can spell it out a bit more
The untagged rats in that cage were behaving strangely. They were grooming and feeding the experimental rat obsessively. Malcolm filled the food bin. Rat Ten ran to the food bin and ate aggressively. The other rats ignored the food and seemingly doted on Ten’s comfort. It was truly odd. Malcolm brushed off the strange behavior and set about gathering the dead specimens
Nicely put
Malcolm opened and closed his mouth like a beached goldfish. Finally, “I thought I had more time…”
nicely done
“Sure?” Selene noticed her mother smelled freshly scrubbed and not the least of alcohol. Her mother was dressed in an only slightly rumpled blouse and matching skirt. Who was coming for breakfast? The president? Or perhaps hell had frozen over and the pope was coming to personally deliver the weather report.

Love this paragraph the invasion of the body snatchers reference is spot on
Selene pushed away her breakfast, suddenly hunger was the furthest thing from her mind. Closer to her attention was that her reality had entered “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” territory. Plotlines from her favorite creepy horror movies danced in her head. “Mom, did you kill dad, put him through the wood chipper, and use him to mulch the roses we don’t have?”

Nice paragraph about guy’s car fascination

Brice was left with the feeling he would be doing his father a favor by leaping at the offer. The main catch is that he would have to personify the car with a name and the appropriate car guy worshipfulness. It almost didn’t seem worth the effort. Name, he would need a name. “How about… Shelly?”

Brice’s dad rolled his head around on his shoulders, visibly mulling over the name. “Shelly would work…”

Chapter six comments
The whole paragraph about Abby’s weird behavior could be linked a bit more explicitly to the rat’s behavior
This is it what I was talking about
Selene shrugged she was perplexed. She generally liked Cecil’s reporting style and the positions he took on issues. His treatment of her father seemed out of character for the seasoned conservative reporter. It was almost as surprising as a dyed-in-the-wool alcoholic drying up overnight. Strangely they both had one thing in common, contact with Selene’s father.

Maybe he was the body snatcher. Selene shook that idea off, it was too creepy to consider. She could handle fearing her mother’s cooking, after all, she had for most of her life, but the idea that there might be something sinister about her father was too much to handle. She could always eat at Brice’s house, but what could she do to hide from her father, especially when she didn’t know how he might be doing it?

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Chapter seven comments
The first couple of paragraphs outline the beginning of his master evil plan as discussed perhaps you need to discuss this a bit more in chapter one

Nicely done paragraphs

For that matter, she had little reason not to question the priorities and motivations of everyone she knew. Selene used to know where she stood in her universe. It wasn’t at the center, or even center adjacent, but at least she knew. Motivations were hard to judge in the first place but with the people around her capriciously shifting them from day to day Selene couldn’t keep up. All she could do was look at their actions.

Her father was a jerk. As of last night’s broadcast, he had turned into a self-absorbed jerk. He said he cared about Selene, sometimes even more than his experiments. Some people put god first, and their families second. Selene knew her father’s list was more like: science first, proving god doesn’t exist second, Selene if there was a little time left over. What else was she supposed to believe from his actions?

Her mother was a real trip. Up until Sunday morning, her mother’s list was a short one, alcohol and getting more alcohol. Now her mother’s priority appeared to be Selene’s father to exclusion of all else. Come to think of it, her mother hadn’t changed all that much. She had just changed one addiction for another. Selene only wished she made it somewhere onto her mother’s list somehow.

Brice was more complex. Selene hadn’t figured out his list quite yet. She knew she was somewhere near the top because of the way he looked at her when he saw her dimples. Karate was up there too. School wasn’t as high on his list as it was on hers, but his father wasn’t a genius geneticist he was trying to impress. Prom seemed pretty high on Brice’s list. High enough he had actually talked his father into letting him drive Betsy, or was that a reflection of Selene’s place on his list?

the dinner scene was very well done.
Nicely setting up the tension and the direction the story is going in
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