The Beta Club: Sub. 1 - The Dying Sun (Come critique!)


It's here!  Today is the debut of the new critique feature here on Fiction Groupie.  Every Tuesday and Thursday for the next few weeks, I will be posting a critique of a 750 word excerpt submitted to me by one of you generous (and brave) writers out there.  To those of you who have already volunteered, thank you so much in advance.  I hope everyone will find this to be a fun and helpful exercise to go through together.


Now, below I will post the excerpt as I received it.  I encourage you to read through it and get your own gut impressions before opening up my critique or reading others comments.  Then, I hope you will take the time to leave your own comments to provide the author with your feedback.  Lastly, remember to always be respectful and constructive with your input.  And don't forget to point out the things you like along with the things you think need improving.

Title: The Dying Sun
Genre: YA Sci-F/Dystopian
Author: The Fantabulous Tina Lynn


     Five in the morning and Lily Brown’s world was already onfire. She resisted the impulse to wipe the sweat from her brow though. Theslightest breeze might ease her suffering. Even if only a little. She reachedinto the white paper bag and pulled out a donut. It was at least a day old,possibly older, but it was food so she never complained. Not that she hadanyone to complain to. She led a solitary existence. No family. No friends. Shewas her only friend. Except now. Right now, this donut was her friend. And shewas about to eat it. Bummer.
            She tookher first bite and chewed thoughtfully on her stale friend inwardly expressingher thanks to old Madge for being hard of hearing. Today was an important dayto listen to the newscast and the old woman was faithful in watching the newsevery morning. Lily washed down her friend with some black coffee. It shouldhave been cold, but it wasn’t. It had been sitting out on the back dock of thedonut shop since last night, so it was pretty warm. She gulped the last of itdown with a wince and settled in under the window. She had become accustomed tohiding here when she needed to listen in to the morning news though ordinarilyshe was listening for reports on the state of the Earth. Everyday things gotworse. Sometimes she wanted to know and others she chose to spend the day inblissful ignorance.
            Today wasdifferent.
            Today theywould be announcing the results of the ARKelections. Something that she was particularly interested in finding out. Therewere several proposals that had been put to vote. Some of which meant certaindeath to Lily if passed.
            She heardthe word ARKand her ears perked up. Her leg position shifted, grazing the bush underneaththe window behind which she was hiding. Lily held her breath, listening for anysign that old Madge had seen the movement in her shrubbery. No such sign occurred;old Madge was nearly blind as well as being hard of hearing, so Lily did nothave too much cause for alarm.
            She liftedher head toward the opening of the window. She was having trouble hearing thetelevision, which was terribly unusual. The sound of soft snoring drifted outto her and she couldn’t suppress the smile that spread as a result. Even thoughMadge was a worthless, evil, old hag Lily had a minute soft spot for the oldlady. She was the quintessential grandmother. She baked cookies and pies, ownedfive thousand cats, was sweeter than honey, and tougher than nails. It was thatlast part that gave Lily trouble. If old Madge caught her under this window,she would likely hit her over the head with the nearest blunt object and callthe authorities to haul her away.
            Lily cameto her senses. She was supposed to be listening to the news not pondering oldMadge’s worth in the universe. She rocked onto the balls of her feet ever sosilently and began lifting her body towards the voice that carried her futurequietly toward her eardrums.
            Onesmallish peek told Lily that old Madge was digging deep into some serious REMsleep. She leaned in as close as she dared and listened intently.
            “…it hasindeed been decided that only the highest of the classes shall be granted aplace on the ARKtransports…”
            Lily felther throat tighten.
            “Well, asyou know, those of us with the most money have provided the most funding. Whyshould we be left behind when we are the very reason the ARKs exist…”
            “Despite ahuge turnout at the polls, it seems the lower classes have not gained anyground in this matter. The ARKs will remain for only the super-elite or anyoneelse rich enough to secure a ticket.”
            “They’ll besorry. There will be no one around to do their dirty work if they truly intendthis to follow through to its conclusion.”
            Lily sankback onto the ground. She had heard enough. Her life was over.
            The sun wasdying…now so was she.


Below is my critique.  I also have overall comments at the bottom of the document.  Click on Full Screen to view it.  Once in the document, you can right click to zoom it so you can see the comments.

Alright, so what do you think of the excerpt?  Does it hook you?  What has the author done well?  What areas could the author work on?  And how awesome is she to volunteer to go first?



**Today's Theme Song**
"Black Hole Sun" - Soundgarden
(player in sidebar--go ahead, take a listen)
HMM...maybe I should ask the authors to provide their own theme songs for their posts.

*Feeling brave?  Want to submit to The Beta Club?  Click here for guidelines.*