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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sample Feedback: Betta’s Song Chapter One Excerpt 1

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

Revising requires re-seeing.” Jack Hodgins

What kind of feedback will you need? Each of us has personal strengths and weaknesses. And we all need at least one or two critical readers for our projects. One of the most important skills a writer can develop, says Hodgins, is to develop the ability to read your own work as if it had been written by another, and learn to listen to your story.

Since Betta’s Song is now published, I’m hoping that its feedback has passed the test. And yet, each reader has different criteria regarding whether they want to read on or not.

Attack (1)
“Narah, stop fidgeting!”
            Narah, face flushed, turned around to face her grandmother. Twinkling blue eyes softened the old woman’s words.
“Child, you are too restless, you will become feverish.”
            Narah crossed the small room to lean against her grandmother. Stroking the weathered cheek, Narah breathed deeply, sighing. “It is such a long wait, Betta.”
            “Is your wait one of excitement, child, or are you nervous?” Betta tilted Narah’s face upward.
Before she could reply a muffled curse sounded outside their door and Narah dodged behind her grandmother. Betta motioned to a thin basket in the dim corner and Narah yanked it next to them.
            “Good day, Balak.” Betta nodded as he stomped through the doorway. “Your basket is ready but still damp. Narah was to deliver it to your wife by the supper hour.”
            “Your stupid brat should be working the fields, Elizabeth.” Balak wove unsteadily, peering around the room. “Instead she hides behind you. The wife needs extra help. I will take her.”
            Betta grasped Narah’s shaking body. “I am sorry to hear your wife is in need, Balak, but as I cannot walk today, Narah will stay with me. Some families are bringing their babies to us while they work the fields this afternoon.”
            Balak snarled and threw a small pouch in Betta’s lap. A trickle of flour seeped through. “You and your brat would starve if not for us, Elizabeth.” He leaned into Elizabeth’s face. “You need to be more grateful.”
            Elizabeth gripped her canes as she rose. Balak stepped backward. “Thank your wife for the flour, Balak. I hope your work in the fields goes well today.”
            Balak’s face reddened, then he turned abruptly, snatching the basket as he left. Narah eased her grandmother back into her seat and scooped the spilled flour into a wooden bowl.
            “He was angry, Betta, when you mentioned the fields.”
            “Of course, child. Do you see other men standing around the village mid-day? They are all hard at work.”

Share: What is your immediate first impression of these three characters? Why? What one word might you choose for each?

Read deep, marcy

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"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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