So, I entered the ABNA contest again. This time with a manuscript titled "My Father's Heart.
What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?
Imagination. The idea of a story set in the future where technology has advanced in leaps and bounds but the world has done little to eradicate real poverty is an intriguing one.
What aspect needs the most work?
Too much step by step description. The pace is quite slow and it would help to really cut some of the sections to pick up the pace. Instead of describing the details it may be helpful to just scatter them into the conversation. The conversation between the siblings at the restuarant is a bit too long as well and does not hold the interest.
the reader is expecting a secret from the first page but, after that point, the story slows down considerably and there are many passages that could be trimmed and shortened.
On a minor and easily fixable note. the writing definitely needs some polishing and editing. Spelling errors, usually with homonyms, are rampant e.g heal instead of heel, secrete instead of secret, peaked instead of peeked, spec instead of speck. A spell check will not catch these!
What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?
The imagination is good but the writing does not draw the reader into this alien world. I think with some heavy trimming it can be improved on. I might even suggest chopping the entire sequence in the restaurant since it seems to serve no real purpose and is dry and drawn out. Starting strongly with the second chapter might draw the reader into the story faster.