Title: The Girl on 221 Burrowood Lane
‘Tis time for another review, child.
So, this one is a romance and an affair-related one. Let’s start.
Chapter 1: A unique, fourth-wall breaking introduction to an intriguing plot is as good a start as any. The ease and fluency with which your words flow through the first chapter depict a lot of comfort on your part as far as the story goes. I also like the openness with which you bring your protagonist into the story. But I feel that in doing so, you make it a bit too straightforward to read, as if just laying out it there. Of course, this technique works sometimes, but then again, sometimes. I would suggest that you present the details about Ana in a manner similar to the following (only if you wish to, that is)
“Actually, she lives in an…..two major exceptions.” Keep it the same until here. From here on, though,
“The first one is her name. What’s in a name you ask? Well, everyone in her town is named Mary, Elizabeth, John and another one of those names for forgettable characters in forgettable movies. Her name, Ana Lucia Clark, is as different (and more memorable, mind you) from Mary or Elizabeth as it gets. The other thing which makes her the black sheep of the flock is her passion for reading.”
This is how you rope in a reader. Making it more elaborate, more interactive. The task of laying it down straight lies with news reporters (not that they are efficient at it anyways).
Some words, such as ‘notes’ and ‘points’ should be switched out for less stern terms. I suggest you completely throw away ‘notes’ and change ‘one more point that I need to make’ to ‘one more thing that I need to tell you’. See the difference. It instantly appears as if the writer is suddenly there with the reader, guiding him through the journey that is your story.
Chapter 2: Again, a good start. We get to see a new character, the mother. Generally good descriptive narration, with adequate dialogue. However, some areas could use a bit of a modification.
“Maria answered it:” Removed the colon marks. There usage in direct dialogue seems pointless. “Briskly turning away to tidy.” Tidy what? I think you inadvertently left this sentence incomplete, so do make sure that you go back and edit this.
In the next line, Maria is misspelled as Mara. Typo, I guess?
Beyond this point, most of the chapter was actually quite good, albeit short. However, and I spotted something similar in Lady Alora Wiley’s movella, that as you’re playing the pronoun game with the word ‘somewhere else’. ‘Her somewhere else’ gets used several times in the last few paragraphs, so I suggest that instead of developing a recurring pronoun (which proves to be sort of irritating to read) start dropping hints about it. Nothing too major. A small detail or two, as that keeps fueling the reader’s desire to progress with the chapter.
Lastly, and this is a very minor….this isn’t even an error. It’s a suggestion. Instead of saying “tick and tack of her shoes against the road”, just say, “She concentrated on the sharp clacks of her shoes against the road.” I find it more appealing, but at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.
Overall: I quite enjoyed reading this. I hope to see more, and I wish you the very best for participating in the Huntsman Competition. Cheerio! (I’m not British, but eh, I find it to be a cute expression.)