I joined critiquecircle.com and submitted the 1st chapter to my book, When Sunday Smiled. Chapter 1 is, “No Regrets,” and this is what one person had to say. It brought tears of joy.
Sent by: Snafu · Submitted: Yesterday at 18:21 · Words: 448
Hello, and thank you for sharing the beginning of your winning novel.
I think many people have a very narrow frame of expected behavior and outcomes for bereaved parents when a child dies. This fact caused me to connect right from the beginning.
I clearly saw the opening scene including the place, time and circumstance. The death of their child evoked a deep emotion of sorrow for me. The author masterfully highlighted aspects of the grieving process in the death of their child.
I especially was moved at how the author made it clear in dialogue that a husband cannot bear the pain for his wife, nor can one shield the other from the pain. His word and phrase choices pulled me in deeper into the story.
Characters were realistic and described well. I cared about them and cheered them on. Their emotions seemed real. The author showed emotions instead of telling them. Powerful lines kept me forging ahead to read the next line. The writing style felt natural. The narrative summary did not feel voice-y.
The characters actions felt unique to who they were. The author allowed me to see their flaws, weaknesses, and strengths.
I did not have to work at getting involved in the story. Good description of parent describing their now grown-up son. The line, “Parents do that,” is an excellent “gotcha” phrase. You wasted no time to convey what the characters were experiencing and how iit would drive the story forward. I like that!
The pacing was good and matched the unfolding events. I was able to follow what was happening. The funeral scene held my interest and propelled me to read on. The ‘Celebration of Life’ theme was poetic and profound. The poem was a perfect fit in the story. Great job!
The scenes transitioned smoothly from the beginning to the end of the chapter. My understanding of the characters and events deepened as the chapter progressed. I liked the ending. The author let us know his characters held anger at God and the world.
That fact sharpened the story and drove me to want to know if he resolves his anger. Most people have certain regrets we express time and time again. The author sent a message through the father that we don’t have to wait until it’s too late. Live with no regrets. It left me wanting to read the next chapter. I was not disappointed.
It was an engaging read. Yes, it left a heaping platter of food for thought! Death, dying, living, relationships and “No regrets.” Yes, I will remember the story tomorrow.
A few words in the end
Great beginning. I look forward to reading your next chapter.
Great writing! I applaud you!