Welcome back to the Beta Club! Today's entry is a submission from a writer who is new to the word of critiquing, so high five to the author for being brave enough to put the work out there for its first critique!. :) Below is the unedited entry. Then underneath that, you will be able to click on the Scribd document to see my critique.
I hope you will all give your encouragement and constructive feedback in the comments.
Title: Half Past Midnight Genre: YA/New Adult Author: Choosing to remain anonymous for now.
Night time isnever a good time to go out alone, but my Tuesdays had shaped up to be brutal.If I wanted to get in a run it had to be now; and if I wanted to keep up withRyan the next time we ran together then I had to get more efficient. The lastand only time I had run with him he had to stop several times to let me catchmy breath. It humiliated me, and I promised myself I wouldn’t let it happenagain. Of course, I didn’t know at the time he had been a high school trackwonder. I should have known. He’s good at everything.
It had been busy today; with work, twoclasses, and a lab. The setting sun called out the end of the day when Istarted my run. Now however, it was dark, and the thick trees lining thestreets of my neighborhood blocked out what few streetlights there were. With only a few blocks left, I was relievedmy run was nearly over. My legs burned and my sides ached, but I resisted theurge to walk the rest of the way. I would have to get in better shape if Ihoped to keep up with Ryan next time. It would be even better if I could outrunhim at some point.
As I jogged closerto my house my thoughts drifted to my class load this semester. It had workedout pretty well, for once. My Monday-Wednesday-Friday would hopefully be alittle lighter load than today had been. My last class on those days wasCreative Writing. I felt a little leery about sharing my creative thoughts withother people, and hoped Dr. Gellar would not be too hard. He was a pretty sarcasticcharacter yesterday.
Of course, Jessemight make that class more interesting. He sat next to me yesterday, andinstantly intrigued me. A junior majoring in music, he had the darkest eyes Ihave ever seen. He didn’t say much. I’mnot sure he would have said anything at all if Dr. Gellar hadn’t asked us tointroduce ourselves. He had a mysterious, dark quality I couldn’t quite put myfinger on, as if he couldn’t decide whether to put a wall up around him or takeit down. One minute he had his back turned to me, but the next minute we were sharinga quick grin at something snide Dr. Gellar said.
I couldn’t believehe actually signed up for this class as an elective. Who takes Creative Writingjust for fun? I would have to be careful with myself around him. He stirred mycuriosity a little too much. And Ryan and I were too close now to let a littlecuriosity come between us, even if we were “just friends” still. I didn’t wantanything to mess up the possibility of something more.
Just as mythoughts turned back to Ryan something jumped into my peripheral vision. Theblur flew toward me, and I was immediately knocked over the bush that lined thesidewalk. I slid down the picket fence behind it, and found myself pinned, thebush on one side and the fence on the other. But it was more than the fencethat had me trapped. I felt a hugeweight on top of me. I tried to pushagainst it when a grisly hand that smelled of alcohol clamped against my mouth.
“Don’t make asound!” he growled into my ear.
I felt a franticpull on my shirt and shorts. I thrashed, trying to shake him off of me. Iscreamed, but nothing more than a muffle came out. My arms were pinned. My legscouldn’t budge. I twisted and kicked with every ounce of strength I had, but Icouldn’t move more than an inch. I clung to a fading hope that he would make amistake and I could wriggle free.
My critique. Click on FULL SCREEN, then once in the document, RIGHT CLICK to zoom. (If that doesn't work, click here.)
Please provide your feedback below. Are you hooked? What did the author do well? What areas could the author improve upon?