Hi! Dominique Gibson is back with another post. Since I have stated earlier in my videos that I was going to post the final version of the Why First Drafts Suck series, I figured that now would be the perfect time to do it considering how awful I have been feeling within the last couple of days to the point where I wasn’t able to get anything done at all. But, I will be sure to update you on what’s going on a little later, either through my videos on Youtube or through my website here (Who knows? I might do both). But for right now, I wanted to post the latest notes from my Thesis Writing II class on what she thought about the last 10,000 words to the first draft of A Phiman’s Betrayal. Enjoy!
P.S. If you haven’t checked out the last three posts on this series, you can click on the link down below for more details.
I like how Wen becomes more round in this section. I do think that she would not get fired right away. There would be an investigation and they might be suspended, but the boss would get Liam’s version of things and not just take her word. And I don’t know that they’d get fired for dating. That’s over the top. Probably they’d get written up or warned or whatever, so this is extreme, and too fast. Plus Liam is too valuable as a doctor specializing in Phimans to just be tossed aside so easily.
If she wanted to go into investment banking, why didn’t she go that route after she died? Why has she waited so long to pursue her dream? Why be a receptionist and not something more business oriented? And why does she turn to Shawn when he’s been suck a user and abuser?
Evita is really waffley. The whole friend or lover thing isn’t working for me because it feels more artificial than organic. That’s something you’ll want to consider in your rewrite: how to make that conflict more organic to their relationship and story. Why does she think they can’t be friends if it doesn’t work out? Why doesn’t she think love’s worth the try?
Why does he think that because they had sex she might never speak to him again? Was he that bad? LOL. Seriously, again, the conflict doesn’t feel organic. It feels like it’s constructed because you need a conflict and don’t have one.
Why, after her mother’s warning, doesn’t she go running to Liam? She pretty much does nothing, even though her mother is giving a pretty dire warning—about Liam and about the island. Seems to me she’d get into gear and give a general warning to anybody that would listen.
Then when they get to the accident (Liam’s lifeless body suggests he’s dead, but I don’t think you mean it to), and Jazu and she start having a conversation about her and Liam having sex. Right in the middle of a desperate panic moment, they stop to have this conversation. Doesn’t work.
And then Evita threatens to give the woman–a nurse?–an aneurysm? Really? That’s so not within character. The letter of confession is a little convenient and smacks a little of deus ex machina. You may want to rethink that.
The ending seems to me to have too much just comfortable talking and explanations while it should be ramping up emotionally. Where Evita is getting agitated and might lose her control, where there’s a threat of Liam waking up and losing control, where the threat of evil on the attack is coming, and so on. Think about what you igth be doing or thinking right when someone you care about might be dying and you could help but you’re not allowed. Focus on that more.
Focus on all of them getting upset. Why is Lucas not doing more to make sure that Shawn isn’t the only problem? Working on getting information? All that sort of thing. I would think this is a time to shift into high gear rather than slow down.
I do feel that you’re writing to capture the story and that you have a lot of plans for revision, so you may already be planning to address some of these things. I’m actually a fan of the trope of someone getting into danger or near death and the lover saving them, so the key is to focus on those two. Also, should Evita try to reach him psychically from the waiting room? They won’t let her see him, but maybe she reaches out to him anyway. The fact that she could summon her mom suggests she can, so think about that. I expect she’d be doing anything and everything she could.
One last thing: you are so familiar with all the jargon of your world and how it all works, but it’s not coming across. I suggest that you do more world building to make sure that your readers understand who the players are, what the organizations do and how the hospital works in terms of shapeshifting, and so on. I think that will serve you well. Having it in the book is a lot more memorable than in an appendix, and this way if anybody reads the books out of order, you situate them in the world so they feel comfortable.
That’s it for now. See you soon.
Dominique Gibson knew she wanted to be a writer ever since she sat down at her plastic table and wrote her first book out of sheer boredom at eight years old. Years later, she decided to go get her Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia College Chicago. She is obtaining her master’s degree in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. When not writing, she is busy teaching two year olds at a daycare center in Skokie, IL. For more information, check out her website at https://dominiquegibsonauthor.com/2018/06/23/the-journey-begins/ for more information.