A Review by Hope
Remember, as always, this is just my opinion. You may not agree with me, and
that's fine! This is your work. Keep writing!
To start with: I think the opening line could be stronger. Maybe start with the beam of light - what it looked like, color, size, how Alex felt looking at it. For example: Alex squinted, her hand shielding her eyes from the thick column of light that beamed down onto the asphalt.
I think that everything in between the opening of the chapter and when she sees the beam of light again is probably unnecessary at this point in the story. It's a whole lot of backstory and it would be better if it was weaved into the fabric of the story over time, maybe through the first and second chapters, instead of all at once.
I noticed a lot of typos and things spelled wrong. A lot of it a word processor should catch if you do a spell check. I believe Writing.com has a spellchecker available when you edit/upload writing.
However, some of the things that were spelled wrong, were only wrong as you were trying to use them, so a spell checker might not catch it. For example, early in the chapter you say 'taught' when you mean 'thought.' I would recommend enlisting the help of a reviewer whose strengths lie in spelling and grammar. There are many of them on Writing.com
Also, when Alex is thinking, you don't need to put quotations around it. In fact, I would highly recommend against it. For one, when there are quotation marks, the reader will think she's talking, instead of thinking.
I would also say not to use italics or thought tags to differentiate her thoughts. If we are in Alex's point of view, we already know that we're reading her thoughts. We are in her head. When you put quotations, or italicize, or add thought tags, you are reminding us that we're in her head and it pulls us away from the story. The best thing to do is to weave her thoughts in.
"God, I hate having to wake up in the morning" Alex taught. "Is probably one of the worst feelings, am in my bed, chilling having a blast in my dreams and.....BOOM the stupid alarm sounds and am already in a bad mood"
Could be woven into the story (and changed to showing instead of telling) as such:
Alex pulled her blanket up over her ears and squeezed her eyes shut as her bedside alarm rang. No, this dream was too good. She wasn't ready to get up yet. The alarm grew louder until she cracked her eyes open and slammed her hand down on the snooze button.
That could stand to be better also, but you see what I mean.
This leads to my last big piece of advice for this: show, not tell. You're going to hear that a lot.
I'm not as much of a stickler about it as some, but I do think you have a lot of wasted opportunities in this chapter to show us what Alex is thinking and feeling. You say things like "her face screamed in fear." A way to show us, instead, that she's afraid, would be to talk about how her hands become clammy, her heart races, she bites her lip, her cheeks flush or her brow beads with sweat. The possibilities are endless. And it creates much stronger, more evocative writing. The reader is more likely to connect with your characters if we don't just see
what they're feeling, but also feel
what they're feeling.
I would go over this with a fine-tooth comb. Look for areas where you can show instead of tell, remove as many adverbs as possible and replace them with stronger verbs, weave Alex's thoughts into the story, and tighten the prose as much as you can.
Overall, I think you have an intriguing premise and a promising story here. It just needs to be cleaned up a bit. I enjoyed reading it. :)
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