Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Letter by W. Gunther Plaut


The room was dark and badly lit, not at all befitting the imposing title on the door: Secretariat of Racial Purity.

This line is all setting, yet it obviously does a good job. It introduces conflict in the form of racism and with the cover we know what this is going to be about, so if Nazis hook ya, then you're hooked.

Chapter 1:

Helga awoke in a sweat, the nightgown clinging uncomfortably to her legs.

She'd had a dream about her father discovering her secret. Which is to say that this is an awkwardly forced and tired way of introducing conflict: Yes, there is a story-worthy problem dear reader, so tense that the character is having issues that manifest in the form of bad dreams which wake her up all in a sweat. How can you not read on, oh, dear reader?

I say: Easy.

First thing said:

"Your name?"

Verdict: Pass (barely)

The prologue has some tension, dialogue and interesting characterization that pulls readers in. Chapter 1 doesn't though.

Theodore Moracht

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