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Corinne: I was pulled in right from the beginning. Actually, I made the mistake of starting this one night when I was really tired and reading only a few pages before falling asleep. The next day at work, I spent the entire day wondering what happened next. Bad for me, but good for you!
To me, the main charactersí personalities seem well-defined from the beginning. After reading the first three chapters, I feel I understand Nick as well as three chapters would allow me to. Summer is more mysterious, but seems consistent in her personality, even though weíre not quite sure what it is yet because we donít know her background. You said that underdeveloped personalities were one of the problems people had with the short story, right?
Itís interesting being in Nickís head while he analyses Summerís behaviour, because it gives us a different idea from what we might have thought if weíd had to analyse it ourselves.
Elise: Your dialogue sounds very natural, and you have a good mix of speech tags and more general descriptions. I can hear the differences in the way the characters speak. You do an excellent job of slipping important information into the text. Intriguing without being in-your-face foreshadowing. Your narrator is very intuitive. I like this, because it keeps the reader intrigued and shows two different sides of Summer at once. Iím very, very intrigued. I canít wait to read on!
Fred: I read the excerpt of Stupid Questions today. Overall impression: it is witty and funny, cute, and I like how you are developing Nick as a sensitive male character. In all, a quick, engaging read, and that is a good sign for the first 3 chapters. I think it is ambitious... Summer is a sci fi character living in the mundane world, and Nick is a hurt and damaged male. Lots of ingredients and potential for a good sci fi romance.
Jay: Nick and Summer's relationship, and its development, rang very true for me all the way through to the end. I did get the feeling at the end that, although I'd enjoyed seeing the development of the relationship between 2 likable characters, there was a lack of a central conflict (again, not necessarily necessary) and tension. Because...I guess I assumed that they would end up together, so there wasn't as much dramatic tension to be drawn from that.
Robert: I prefer novels with lots of subtext, with a bold and unconventional approach to it's creation. I think your concept is great. Both, writing from a man's perspective in romance and the woman wanting him to ask "stupid questions", intrigued me. I also liked how his "super power" was just paying attention.
Some crits though.
Your language is technically accurate but seems wordy and cluttered, especially the dialog. People don't say everything they are thinking. We say very little. [ . . . ] The only other crit I can offer is the way the men interact with each other at work. It seems awkward and uneven. Guys do behave like this but there was such a lack of consistency that it felt strange to me.
Stas: I thought it was interesting, well-written, and I definitely want to know what happens next (are her abilities really real, what are their back stories, etc)... I liked how you described the characters, their quirks, mannerisms and how they talked.
One thing I felt was that the pace dragged during some of the longer conversations between characters (particularly between Summer and Nick). I wasn't sure where the dialogue was going and if it was all important (i.e., whether we needed to know the conversation word-for-word or whether it would be ok to say something more general like "we continued to chat about ____ for a while").