Hi my name is Sue. Please remember these are just one person’s opinions. I hope you find something here useful and if not discard the rest with good cheer.
What I liked best
What I liked best was how you managed to write such a complex story using the story suggestion. It was a great idea. You must have quite the devious mind! Well done for making it sound almost plausible.
The opening paragraph introduces us to one of the strong women characters. It also gives the reader an insight to the mystery about to unfold, when Bea receives the obscure text message.
There are two main characters. Bea and Eileen. Both around the same age I’d imagined and both career women. The differences between them were that Bea seemed more of a go getter, more confident perhaps. Whilst Eileen came across as being a little more vulnerable and a bad judge of character according to her choice of friends. Tiffany and Ed are examples of the people who she is attracted to or was taken advantage of by.
Grammar and spelling.
I tried to come up with suggestions for you to improve this first draft. I hate criticising people’s stories but as part of this contest this is what we’re asked to do. Well not criticise so much as to suggest ways to make the finished item as snappy and sharp as possible. These are what I came up with.
I printed the story out to review it. I’ve found I can see ways of improvement better when I read stories on paper. One of the things which stood out to me were the length of the sentences. I feel shortening many of the sentences would make the story sharper.
Example Bea sat in the kitchen that evening drinking coffee, determined she would take a holiday from work for a bit as the headache stung behind her eyes, she obviously wasn’t well and she had been seriously overdoing it recently, working twelve-hour days, mostly on the computer, that surely can’t be good for me, she thought. That sentence could be shorter.
As these thoughts permeated her mind, a severe pain shot through Bea’s head, the coffee cup dropped to the floor, shattering. Her face turned grey and her eyes seemed to lose themselves, appearing to be looking elsewhere. Bea was walking with great pace down a street she didn’t recognise, it was beginning to get dark, it felt as if there was a point to where she was going but Bea had no idea where that was. It was cold, a coat tapped against her shins along with something cold. What was going on? Whatever it was she couldn’t stop, she just had to keep walking. Then she appeared to arrive at her destination while she was still trying to figure out what the coat was all about and what the cold part of the coat was which kept brushing her leg? She had stopped across the street from Jocelyn’s Publishing House, she knew it well, had some dealings with them from time to time, but why was she here now, it was late, although she knew people would still be working. She began walking again, she was seeing it as if through a body cam, but one set over her eyes, she didn’t seem to look down, just ahead at where she was going. She walked through the door, there were six people still working, getting a book ready for publication. In this paragraph the word she is written 15 times and four sentences start with ‘she.’ I myself fall into this same trap. Maybe by a little restructuring you could get rid of a few she’s
I found perhaps there were too many adverbs, ly, words, that when I removed them, didn’t detract too much from the story. It seemed to make the sentences seem sharper. However that is definitely up to you to decide.
It would be easier for the reader if you left a bigger space when you change characters. ( well for this reader, anyway!)
There was one spelling error I found. Dependent, not dependant. Always put a comma before someone’s name, and in dialogue a punctuation mark should go before the closing quote mark.
I loved the story. It was clever, plausible and kept this reader interested and keen to reach the finale. Well done in the contest.