I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed holiday season. Sorry it took so long for me to post but I am determined to stay the course and finish my novel. See my thoughts on Black Birds below:
The character development was handled well. I could picture the McCrays vividly, especially Lincoln and Josh.
Overall, I thought the storyline, including the subplots were pretty interesting. However, somewhere along the way I didn’t know which story was the main one. It shifted from Robert’s ditch-digging and demon-dodging to Joshua’s situation with Frankie. But that wasn’t enough to take away from the premise of the book.
Black Birds is your first novel and it’s easy to tell. You made the common mistakes that most new writers (including myself) make, such as shifting points of view. Also, you interjected the author’s voice where the story should have been. As a writer, you are not telling the story, the characters are. So, in places where you made analogies about things burning down or a character’s traits, you have to remove yourself and allow the character to give the description.
You also have to work on redundancies. Write so that you are not using the same word(s) in consecutive sentences. For instance, Josh went to the store and forgot his father asked him to pick up a razor. It was the third or fourth time he forgot the razor. His father always had to ask him three or four times before he remembered.
Like most novels, there were some Ripley’s-Believe-It-Or-Not moments, but I think your story ahs a lot of potential. Most of your grammatical and typographical blunders were made in the last few chapters, which made me think you were rushing to the finish line.
Other than some inconsistencies or slight inaccuracies, I could tell you did some research. Mostly because the facts were not nicely blended into the storyline, instead they stood out like side notes. For instance, the short voodoo history lesson read like a google-cut-and-paste. That information could have been woven into a conversation earlier in the story between Josh and his mother.
Keep writing! The storyline was great and at the end, the suspense was wonderful. I look forward to reading more of your work.
posted 5 years ago. ( permalink )