Overall, I definitely liked this. You raised interesting story questions- what happened to his eye? What exactly was the girl crying about? I really liked the last paragraph- well, from "He knew the suffering.." to the end. It pulled the two of them together very cleverly.

There are a few small things that don't work well: "Suddenly, without warning, his gaze slipped to a spot behind him"- it's not really believable that his own gaze would slip without his having directed it. You could replace this with "He noticed a young woman, a few seats up..." or something. Also, "His curiosity turned him from his ill thoughts for the first time in many days" is very awkward, and makes the character sound very passive.

At this point, I would definitely read on because of the story questions you raised, but I think you could make it even more enticing by adding a few interesting details about what, exactly, Fernao (pardon the lack of tilde, Blogger doesn't seem able to do that) is going to be facing when he goes home. You throw out a lot of enticing hints, so that we know whatever happened to his eye is a reminder of "what he'd done to his family", but I think you could pick a few choice details that will show us why going back is hard for him, and why we should care that it's going to be hard for him. Does that make sense? I'm not saying you need to reveal your entire plot in the first page, but let us get to know Fernao a little more deeply than you are curently.

Comments welcome!


Hi Amy,
Excellent and thoughtful critique--thank you! All of your points are right-on, and I will address them all in my next revision.

Thank you very much for taking time out to share your thoughts. Much appreciated!

February 8, 2008 at 5:03 PM  

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