Maria Novikova

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One of my friend, who works in movie industry has sent me this feedback that i am gonna discuss and answer here. I asked him to post it in public so everyone can be involved) I am absolutely open to everything that is coming in my space. YOU ARE WELCOME*) Lets start)

My friend, XXX: Here are some high level notes. Feel free to disregard anything and think I’m an idiot 😊 I think you’re off to a really great start, I’m excited to read the next chapter!

Stakes - I don’t know why any of these people are hiding. I assume some giant reptile (aka Skull) is trying to kill them, but why are Sam and Katy afraid of him? What does Sam know about him?
Sam is obviously trying to avoid transforming, and I know that Katy forbids it, but what’s at stake if she does change?

ANSWER: So brilliant questions! My story starts the conversation with you, if you have these questions. And you will get the answers in the next chapter!)

My friend, XXX:
Perspective - I don’t mind an omniscient narrator or a 1st person perspective, but it feels like you’re wandering between various perspectives. I’d suggest to stick with Sam’s perspective for things that are currently happening. If it’s raining and Diana is getting wet, tell that through Sam’s perspective. It’s ok to switch into an omniscient narrator for backstory and history, but I want to see current happenings in the world through Sam’s eyes. e.g. “Sam looks at Katy before running into the woods, ashamed of her lack of control and desperate to hide her transformation. Although she didn’t know it at the time, this would be the last time Sam would see the magical light of life glowing behind Katy’s eyes.”

ANSWER: That is a good point. There are 13 main characters, each has a character tree and their own story in 3 generations back - so telling the story from each of them makes me explain the reason of this or that character in the story. BUT, TO TELL THE TRUTH - YES, I AGREE, THAT IT WOULD MAKE EASIER FOR THE AUDIENCE TO BE INVOLVED AND UNDERSTAND. Like i will delete the other layers and simply leave only one! Again - this first book is the summery of each 13 stories that are gonna be written in the next books.

My friend, XXX: Pacing - It’s good for a story to move quickly, but readers need time to emotionally invest in characters so that when consequences hit readers know how big of a deal this is and what it means to the characters. Sure, Paul and Katy are like parents to Sam, but how close are they? I need to know them (and in particular I need to know their relationship with Sam) if their death is going to mean anything to me.

ANSWER: Again - i love it ! My book is talking to you) You will get the answers soon)

My friend XXX: World Building - I’m not as confident in this point, but this world is bewildering - which is both a good and bad thing. What does the bridge they live under look like? Is it a freeway overpass? Is it like a small tunnel? Is it made of wood and covered? Are there trees growing along the side of it? A river going under it? Is it clean? Grimy? Is the ground beneath it covered in dirt? In grass? In cement? In some different substance that’s unique to this world? I never felt like I had my bearings.

ANSWER: I love you) You are in the story!!!!))) It is amazing how you have the conversation with it! Sam will be back at the same bridge in the right time, when she (and the audience) IS READY TO SEE THIS BRIDGE. Everything is gonna open chapter by chapter and you will understand why not to tell you everything in the 1 chapter) Because it is the reason for the second one and the third one.... This how life is happening))) YEY!!!!

My friend XXX: Why are the kids chanting for Sam to change? I get that it’s fun for them, but do they not know that it’s dangerous? Katy and Sam are afraid of it, but Diana doesn’t seem afraid for her (which is weird, aren’t they close and empathetic?) Can other people change into animals or is this a childhood game that is make-believe unless you’re The Chosen One? Maybe if we saw other kids playing this game and not changing (or pretending to change) it’d let us see how this game is different for Sam than everyone else.

ANSWER: YOU ARE SO DAMN INSIDE OF THE STORY!!!!!)))) I AM GOING CRAZY!)))) Read further! You will be surprised , as you will feel how you talk to yourself)

AND...what if I tell you.... There is only one character in the whole story. The other characters are created by the audience)

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