Last week I presented the second draft of Altercation to my review group. I am so stoked by their reviews because, though they weren't raving and glorious, they have given me a definite direction for draft#3.
Things they like:
1) The detective. Nice voice.
2) The girls' relationship with each other.
3) The hook of the kidnapping case
Things they didn't like:
1) setting. No descriptions.
2) Too many fragments in thoughts.
3) A bit confusing. What are the cases, anyway?
4) Not as strong a hook in chapter 1b.
The first three objections in the things they didn't like are easily rectified. #4, not quite so. I'm struggling with this, how to make the book suspenseful right off the bat. Because, kind of like in the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Altercation starts out where all is well. The girls have been rescued. It's kind of a play by play of life in government custody, before everything goes wrong in about chapter 7. If I start the book in chapter 7, with everything going wrong, I know my readers will roll their eyes and wonder how on earth this could happen--again.
Kind of like in Catching Fire. If we had jumped right back into the same setting as The Hunger Games, we would have said, "Lame." (Maybe some of us did anyway.)
So, even though none of you have read the book, what do you suggest to help make it a page turner? I'm starting draft #3 today.