Another FANTASTIC volunteer up on the chopping block (pun intended ... but you won't get it until the last few lines of the narrative ... sorry.)
Red is sort of intimidating, isn't it? So today, just changes are in red and my comments are in blue. SO much friendlier. Right? :D
Regardless of the modern wares inside, the storefronts
had bore (I have a dislike for
the word "had." It's a telling word to me, and I try to substitute
more descriptive words in its place when I can) old-fashioned names like
General Store, Wiggins Apothecary, and The Nod and Wink Tavern. Gas lamps
dotted the square, flickering with faux electric flames
(I'm not sure how to take this. Are the electric
flames faux (or fake) -- and if they are, how does one fake electric flames? I
think probably what is meant is that the flames are imitation gas flames but
are actually electric?). Parked on the street
side of the square were horse and buggy carriages Horse and buggy carriages
parked on the street side of the square (Always
avoid passive wording whenever possible, so long as it doesn't change the
tone or meaning of the sentence.), drivers dressed in hat and
tails vying to get the attention of the spectators. Again, two paragraphs in, now I know we're in a modern time period,
but still not grounded in the setting. Be wary.
They (Confusing pronoun use. Does this "they" refer to the spectators (last plural noun mentioned) or the drivers?) could have saved their efforts. The people were much more interested in what was going on in front of them. Many in the crowd had dressed up in costume, what they thought were period pieces. (In the first sentence, the reader is told that the crowd is more interested in something --possibly important? -- going on in front of them, but instead of being told, the narration moves into a description about what the crowd is wearing.) Men wore blue jeans, white t-shirts, and suspenders, women wore long skirts. They looked more like the hillbillies still shacked up in the Appalachians or hippy chicks from the last century (Though technically correct having hippies referred to in the "last century" really threw me. It made me think "futuristic setting?"). A teenager
had wore a leather vest, a cowboy hat, and a sheriff's
badge. One older gentleman got it (Got what right? Be specific.) right, with a full
outfit of tailcoat, trousers, collar and derby hat.
The producers loved it. (This is the first concrete information the reader gets about what is going on, but still throws me into confusion. If this is a movie, why are there modern goods in the store? Why are the people not dressed correctly?) They felt it enhanced the ambiance. They
cackled with glee when they
realized the auction block they'd
found was a surviving relic from the early American slave trade. Originally,
the block had been ("Telling"
phrase. Is there a more descriptive way to say this?) on a street
corner. It had taken a lot of expense (Sort of an awkward way to phrase this.) to create
the town square around it, but the effect had been worth it. Happy clients meant a big
return on investment.
The scene is so easy to picture -- an old-timey street crowded with people, some dressed right, some dressed wrong, all clamoring for ... something.
It feels too vague. A lot of clues are thrown out, but there's no real grounding in what's going on. What are the people looking at? Why are they all gathered? What is this place? Etc.
Keep the fabulous descriptions, but give the reader more of an idea of what's going on so they don't become frustrated and put the book down without giving it a chance.
Help out and comment below. Please remember to keep your comments respectful and consider the author and his/her willingness to participate. (Way to got, Victim #4!)
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