A Snarkling writes:
Here's my first page. Have at it. I've appreciated your helpful commentary on the others. Maybe you can do the same for me because I'm getting entirely too much of the "not right for us" commentary (though not entirely).
Soon she'd have to resort to wearing sunglasses, Madeline thought. The camera flashes popped all around her like firecrackers on the fourth of July. But that was nothing. Being photogenic was the least of her problems at this moment. The race for governor was young and she already had to make her first concession speech. Now that was a problem.
you lose me right off the bat with "being photogenic was the least of her problems. It makes Madeline sound like someone I'd hate, like the "don't hate me cause I'm beautiful" shampoo girl.
The race for governor was young and she already had to make her first concession speech? Huh?? Last time I looked, there are only two election days: primary and general. The race for governor isn't young on either of those days. Presidential contests have primaries and thus "early days" ... but governor?
She squinted and turned it into a wink at the nearest reporter. He happened to be right at her elbow, pressed in by the crowd.
and she's winking at reporters. I hate her more.
"There's more than one way to skin a cat. Time for Plan B, so hold onto your hat," she said. As an exclamation point to her statement, she lit her face with a genuine smile. Let them put that in their pipe she mused. At least the comment drew plenty of chuckles.
skin a cat? Plan B? hold onto your hat? argh...cliches all!
She's "musing" in the middle of a crush of press people? I bet she's not.
she "lit her face" with a "genuine smile"...the construction of this sentence makes her "genuine smle" look calculated. When you put those phrases together it sounds like parody.
"What's thiis? The Dr. Seuss school of political campaigning?" St.Cyr from the Boston Globe quipped back.
In the crush of a press group, there's quipping and winking? Not in any press scrum I've seen.
There were laughs all around. Laughter was good. She joined in. It wasn't all bravado, but she wasn't sure how much longer she could stay on this ledge before she fell off - or maybe even took a leap. She needed to get off the convention floor.
huh? she's on a ledge on a floor?? Metaphors should illuminate a situation or person, not make you bring out the slide rule to demonstrate the physics of ledges and floors. This metaphor is like talking about the inner taste of chocolate in vanilla ice cream...it's confusing as hell.
"What's Plan B?" Another reporter called out.
I'm guessing Plan B is to get off the floor.
At this point, if I'm reading this and thinking that, you've lost me.
Then the avalanche of clamoring to know everything started in earnest. Madeline turned to her campaign manager, Sarah. They didn't have a press secretary yet and boy could they use one right now. Standing surrounded by all manner of media circling like buzzing bees on a flower, her hope to make a quick exit after the speech looked dim. She prodded Sarah to say something. Since the speech went so well she preferred to leave on that high note and not say another thing if she could help it.
"Peter John Douglas won. We lost. But this is only check, not check mate." Sarah delivered her lines, albeit in a monotone.
Madeline turned away. Trying not to laugh or cry, she wished politics were as clean and simple as chess. Not that she was about to get squeamish now, but sometimes she herself had a hard time believing she was in this ridiculous game.
I'm confused, I hate Madeline, and there's a lot of cliche description here.
I'd send this back with a not for us.
And of course, the limits of this exercise are that Madeline could get shot on the next page by someone who hates her use of cliches and her muddy thinking too.
If so, I'd perk right up!