|I'm a first time reviewer for "Chapter One" . I look forward to reading and commenting on your entry this month. Hopefully, this review will be helpful to you as a writer.
Dear Shadow Prowler ,
There are some very large morality questions at play here that are the true mark of a first chapter of a story that will be a challenging tale to tell. From the burial of a baby boy (without the 'Father' knowing or the 'Mum' present) two young girls actions cause a reader to wonder and speculate conditions created for this opening scene. This is where a writer can milk a story and play on a reader's senses to understand why this event is happening, cloaked in secrecy and who this Father is, who is being kept in the dark about this covert operation. You will have plenty to divulge, sort out as this fictional tale plays out.
You did well to put reader in scene, noting several passages that take their time to describe events in a graph, rather than assuming details. The writer has acknowledges that this type of fiction is not a sprint, but needs to slowly draw out, lovingly, each of the details to be shared with a reader, who might seem an onlooker, but can feel a participant in this process.
I found a redundancy and a typo, if I'm to share a few flaws I'm spotting.
"Betsy set the bread box down by the door and gave the rotted door a shove. It gave no resistance..."
Rather than the double 'gave' you could say 'shoved the door'.
Betsy was misspelled once. "'I know, so am I,' Besty admitted."
I did wonder about father versus Father, because you did capitalize like one reference might have been to God, the other could have been an actual parent. Don't if intentional or overlooked. It changes the story greatly depending on how that breaks.
Whether intended, or not, you do well not describe the type of fiction this is to be. You give very little to tip a reader in title or opening description. I can imagine this can be considered adolescent, young adult or adult fiction, depending on where you decide to take it. It made me think of genre akin to Little House on The Prairie, though the author would have to write further to make that more determinate. What I'm seeing from this is young characters, the eldest helping sister understand decisions like this is what adults do. Where mother doesn't play a key role, we have a role model emerging in the eldest daughter, making me believe this tale could be developed for younger readers. However, older readers can relate, and would revel in this story just the same.
Some of my intial thoughts on your offering for the Chapter 1 contest based on the July prompt. My wife read and said she would read more. So, you know that's a thumbs up there, too.
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