Snarklings versus the Crapometer , #33

With the sudden jerk of the elevator stopping, the anxiety swelled up and engulfed her. The fluorescent lights that had buzzed overhead, giving off an unnatural brightness for such a small space, were now a distant memory. She felt she was being pulled down a dark tunnel. Brooke
immediately wished that she had paid more attention to the emergency directions on the panel beneath the floor buttons.Elevators were something that she usually avoided at all costs. Brooke
Harding didn't do well in small spaces. It wasn't uncommon for her to climb more than twenty flights of stairs to steer clear of one. But tonight that had been out of the question. The call that Brooke had been waiting for came; her mother was not expected to live through the night.

A lot of tell, not show, such as "didn't do well in small spaces". Consider: She'd climb 20 floors to avoid the small space in an elevator. You'd be describing her, rather than telling us she's scared. See the difference?

Brooke stumbled against the back wall and slid down, crouching just above the floor, helpless as a child. Brooke opened her eyes wider, as if by doing so any stray flecks of light would be sucked in. She willed herself the ability to see.

You've got a lot of cliches and very very tired description going on here. I look for freshness. "Helpless as a child" isn't going to cut it. You could even just say "helpless" too. Not everything needs elaboration.

Spiraling down an invisible hole. That was how it felt in the beginning.
Lost into oblivion.

The panic attack came swiftly and went straight to her core: her heart. It began beating fast and hard, feeling like she had just finished running a marathon. She imagined that the tightness across her

chest would come next. The tightness arrived, and she instinctively began to rub below her collar bone to ease the pain. Brooke wanted to believe that she wasn't experiencing a heart attack, but that thought

circled around her mind like a hawk looking for prey. She tried to rationalize what was happening. She wanted to think that it was her mind diong this and not actually her body failing. But this was different.

did you intend this ragged line format? It may have been an email glitch. If you DID, you must make sure you say so in your cover letter. If an agent sees this, they'll assume most likely it's a mistake rather than a choice. In fact if you do anything weird, a cover letter heads up is a good idea.

You've got a lot of words here but you're not telling me much. She's trapped in an elevator. Her mother's dying. Let's get on with it.

I'd send this back with a "not for us" note.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the line about the hawk looking for prey.