|Reviews for Gavin: Ethan and Abby Arrive: June 2027|
| Ezekiel Finch 8/30/11 . chapter 1
Hi there from the RG!
Upon reading your first four paragraphs, I felt really bogged down by all the describing you do. This feeling comes back up when you start to describe the layout of the house and the rooms that are connected to the different hallways. I understand the need to create a vivid and full world for readers to immerse themselves in, BUT that does not mean that you need to describe every single rock, every single tree, every single thing under the sun. A general rule of thumb to go by is, "if the interact with it then describe it." This means that you should show not tell the audience what we should be seeing. Instead of just saying the coffee table sat between the fireplace and chairs, show us the characters interacting with it. Perhaps the kids see Gavin adjust a picture of Poppy on the fireplace or they smile at the feeling of the cream colored rug tickle their feet. But all in all, don't feel like you must describe everything but describe what the things characters work with.
The way us utilize Gavin laboring in the fields really defines the pace of the story. It's very slow, provides time for contemplation, and is rather ordinary. There are no aliens, no one is "the one," and no one is going to go on a Vendetta to avenge the death of their mother/wife. The farm work is a symbol for the life that Ethan and Abby now live and must adjust to.
I'm a huge proponent of introspection and I got really excited when you showed us Gavin saying short prayers to God. It not only showed his weaknesses and flaws but his own perceived weaknesses and flaws. We know that he is a man that is reliable and trustworthy but he thinks that he is not because his children refuse to cooperate with him. Introspection provides a glimpse into the psyche and you give us that little peek into Gavin's head which is really useful in understanding his character.
In the letter at the end, there should technically be quotations around it all. The reason is because Poppy is communicating to Gavin despite it being a one-sided conversation and because you are quoting a direct source. To explain, I'll use examples. For the first example, imagine your character is watching the news. Although it is not a conversation where the character can directly interact with the speaker, it is still speech being relayed to the person; and speech must have quotations. For the second reason, if your character is reading the newspaper then he is reading words and thoughts that are not his own which would require quotations. The letter from Poppy is not his own work and therefore should use quotations.
Good luck in your future works!