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Janette embarrasses yet another heroine — 5 Comments

  1. Loved your story in this collection! You always bring snark and fast pacing to your stories, and I eagerly await each new book. Thank you for continuing to work and publish!

  2. Dear Janette Rallison,
    I dont know if this is the right place, but I did it on your most recent post in hopes youd find it.
    I am one of your biggests fans. Ive read all of your YA books under Janette Rallison, and I am going to be purchasing Slayers on my Kindle soon.
    I am an aspiring young author who is mostly know for my writing from my teachers. I have never entered any writing competitions before, I dont know if they are right for me. I was hoping to get just a little feedback on my first novel I am currently writing. I totally 100% understand if you are unable to do so, even if you just read it I would feel so happy. If you do read it, please note it is my first draft that I have written so it may have misspelled words and past and future tense problems. I just need help knowing if I am an okay writer, and if people might actually read my books. Please dont be nice to me, I want complete honesty.
    Because I wish to stay anonymous, I wrote this on a notepad site. All you need is the ULR:
    https://anotepad.com/note/read/5sghbb
    If this is not a link just copy and paste.
    Also for reponse it will have to be a reply to this comment because I wish to stay 100% anonymous.
    Thabk you so so much if you took the time to read this Janette, you are so inspiring and talented and I LOVE how you interact with your fans. Just know that you inspire me to be a better author every day.

    If you are not Janette Rallison feel free to read my draft and help out but please do not edit it
    THANKS!

    • Good job! This reminds me of the sort of story I wrote when I was young. Keep writing and go to your library and check out some books on the craft of writing. They’ll help you a lot! You said you wanted editorial comments. Here they are. (And I’m ignoring the grammar and paragraph issues, since I’m sure you’ll fix those later.)

      We lay on the grass looking up at the sky. The air was clean, and the cool breeze rushed over my uncovered arms and legs, threatening to pull my dress up. My hair is sprawled around me,

      **My editorial comment here. Choose either past tense or present tense.

      tight brown curls tied back with a green ribbon. I turn to see Vanessa with her hair pulled up in a sloppy blonde ponytail and a t-shirt and jeans. I bet she does this all the time I think to my self, I bet she never has to worry about a dirty dress. My mother would never approve of my laying in the grass in my formal party dress. I take a deep breath and grimace, I probably shouldnt be disobeying her, even if she jsnt here. I stand up and brush my dress free and debris before Vanessa joins me. We sit in silence

      **My editorial comment here. Is she sitting or standing? Make sure you’re consistent.

      for a while, until I here a creaking noise coming from the side gate. My father. I rush toward the gate, pulling up my skirt so it doesnt drag. Click. The gate slowly pulls open but I find not my father but- the neighbor, grouchy old Mr.Clay. “Good evening Mr. Clay.” I call, confused at why he didn’t knock first. I glance at Vanessa and she gives me a mere shrug. “Can I help you?” I call again in my best rich person voice. Then Mr. Clay steps into the

      **My editorial comment here. Your first line and first paragraph are really important to hook the reader. This opening is pretty low tension. What comes next is really high tension. I would work on this so that there is a hint of danger from the very first line. Maybe something like… Many things have come through my backyard gate; I never expected death to be one of them. (And then explain who the main character is and why she’s there with Vanessa.)

      The gate slowly pulls open but I find not my father but- the neighbor, grouchy old Mr.Clay. “Good evening Mr. Clay.” I call, confused at why he didn’t knock first. I glance at Vanessa and she gives me a mere shrug. “Can I help you?” I call again in my best rich person voice. Then Mr. Clay steps into the sunight and I am caught offguard by the paleness in his face. So pale he is blue. Obviously sick. I turn to Vanessa again, and this time she speaks: “Mr.Clay, are you sick or something like that?” I cringe. Not very ladylike. No response. He comes closer and suddenly I smell an odd smell of death. “Mr.Clay,” I say holding my breath,”we must get you home.” He is very close now, and the hideous smell seems to be cing from him. He comes so close I can now hear his breaths. He places a hand on my shoulder and pulls me toward him. I shriek and push his hand away. He comes again, but this time I try to be kind, even though he smells. He brings his mouth to my ear and whispers five words: “Morgan, you need to run.”

      **My editorial comment here. Awesome sentence. I’m afraid for her!

      I stumble backyards as he realises his hand and begins to walk away. “Now!” he calls over his shoulder, not looking back. Vanessa and I both run inside the house. I quickly deadbolt the door behind us, just in casr Mr.Clay decides to make another appearance. “Well, he seemed rather troubled.” I say with a sickened look spreading across my face.

      **My editorial comment here. She can’t see what sort of look is spreading across her face so I would change that sentence.

      “And he smelled funky.” “Maybe we should alert my father.” I suggest. “Morgan, you dont have to act all fancy around me. I know it’s not natural for you to call him your father and to say ‘Well he seemed rather troubled.'”she frowns,”You know Im not your stepmom, you don’t need to pretend your someone your not around me.”

      **My editorial comment here. I’m a little confused here. Why isn’t it natural for her to call him her father? Put in some internal thought so we know what is going on.

      “I know. Its not me. I hate her and her stupid friends.”

      **My editorial comment here. Would they still be talking about her step mom? Wouldn’t they be freaked out and looking out the windows to see what Mr. Clay is up to?

      Suddenly there’s a knock on the front door. Than the handle twists aggressively and I am suddenly terrified of Mr.Clay and what he said. Ahy would he want me to run? Suddenly theres a slam on the door, and the sound of snapping wood fills the air. A hole starts to form in the door, just big enough to let in some light. I scream and reach in my pocket for my phone, immediately dialing 911.

      **My editorial comment here. For some reason, I assumed this was historical until this point. Make sure you let us know this is present day in the opening. (Maybe it was the fact that she was worried about her fancy dress and trying to sound rich.)

      A beeping noise responds to my call and some prerecorded voice tells me the phone lines are down. I run to the kitchen and grap a big metal pan to give to Vanessa. Than I grab my stepmothers favorite wok and run back to the living room. The hole is bigger now, big enough for the intruder to stick a few blue fingers through. “Dad!” I scream at the top of my lungs, my voice trembling, “Where the heck are you?” And what the heck is going on? “Relax Morgan it’ll be okay, I’ll protect you.”

      **My editorial comment here. I’m confused. Who says the last line?

      How am I supposed to relax? A loud bang makes my ears ring, and suddenly the house is quiet. Then a tan hand comes through the hole and twists open the door. In the doorway stands a tan, tan women with black hair and brown eyes. She has lean shoulders and looks to be extremely strong. I’ve never seen her in my life. But what scares my most is the gun she carries in her hand. Chapter 2: “Are you alright? She asks in an accent I can’t identify. “I’ll be alright as soon as I know whats going on.” Vanessa says. The women looks her up and down and than nods. “Very well. I will tell you as soon as we are safe. Follow me.” I hesitate but Vanessa grabs my arm and pulls me with her. “She saved our lives,” she whispered,”If she was bad she would have let your neighbor kill us.”

      **My editorial comment here. Do they wonder why Mr. Clay was trying to kill them? I’m assuming this is a zombie novel, but are zombies normal in this world? Are they surprised or are they thinking, “Dang. Another zombie infestation.”

      We follow her out the door, and I look straight ahead, afraid to see Mr.Clay. She leads us to a small blue car, paint chipping and headlights shattered. “Nice car.” Vanessa says. “Nice sarcasm,” the women says back,”You should be proud.” Vanessa blushes as the women opens the back door and gestures for us to get in. We obey and she closes the door behind us, wrapping around the car and climbing into the drivers seat. “My name is Mellisa Ellison. I’m headed for the Arizona safe haven. On my way there I decided to drive through your town to see if there were any survivors. Lucky you.” She locks all the doors and puts the keys into ignition. “Wha do you mean ‘survivors'” Vanessa asks,”This is a joke isnt it?” “Your tiwn got attacked 4 hours ago, usually there are no survivors after 2 unless they get out. Im surprised you two are still alive. Of course you could be contaminated since you came into such close contact with a zombie.” “A zombie?”I say half concerned and half disbelief. “She talks?” Mellisa says. “Yes zombies, real life ones, no joke. And no, I don’t know how if you were wondering.” I run the thought of real life zombies through my head, thinking- hoping this is a joke. But I know my mother

      **My editorial comment here. So she has a mother and a stepmother? Who did she live with and what happened to the dad?

      would never approve of a prank to this extent, especially the part where Mr.Clay destroyed her 5,000 dollar hand carved door. I sit back in the seat of the car as Melissa drives away. We are all silent. I can tell Vanessa is thinking too. I spend what feels like hours just thinking before I speak, “If this is a joke, it is certainly not humorous, in fact, it is giving me such a fright that if my phone was working I would have informed the police on what is going on. So if this is a prank, I would like to be informed before I feel it nessacary to press charges.” I finish out of breath and Melissa sneaks a glance at me in the mirror. “What did she just say?” Vanessa sighs,”She said if this is a prank you better freaking tell us right now before this goes too far.” “Thats better,” Melissa says,”Sorry I onlyh speak getto kid.” I humph,”So tell us right now before I lose my cool!” Melissa raises and eyebrow,”She doesnf always speak like a pampered princess.” “Listen princess, life sucks now and it might sound crazy but its true. When we get into town you’ll see.” she gestures toward a small town in the distance. “I have some rules about towns and cities: keep your door locked, your windows up, and try not to die.”

      • Janette-
        Thank you so much for respinds and taking the time to give me some awesome advice. I look forward to improving my writing skills, and will take every piece of advice you gave me. Im glad you enjoyed my ‘you need to run sentence’.
        I have never written any book in this sort of genre before, so Im not quite sure how to make it so that Morgan comes into a realization and sort of acceptance that yes, she is involved in a zombie apocalypse. I also loved your comment “dang, another zombie infestation. I understand going from low intenisity to a confusing high intensity scene. Thank you for your advice. After I edit more I will be sure to let you know so you can see if Ive improved and give you the url. Thanks Janette! You rock!

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