Everything in the city was clammy, doorknobs and train handrails slick with other people’s sweat, the air heavy with the smell of yesterday’s lunch.
If that isn’t enough from page one of Sara Novic’s debut novel, Girl at War, perhaps sentences from page two will prick your writer self:
We took cold showers and walked around the flat in our underwear. Under the run of cool water, I imagined my skin sizzling, steam rising from it. At night we lay atop our sheets, awaiting fitful and fever dreams.
- Descriptions that arouse the senses.
- Not everyone will like, let alone enjoy, your work.
Following are excerpts from a review of Girl at War:
“Girl at War draws loosely and unconvincingly on the war in Croatia…”
“Dialogue is not a strong point.”
“Of course, the war is what gives the novel its relevance, yet many readers will be bewildered by the author’s apparent confusion of Croatia with Bosnia. The war-torn version of Zagreb that appears here never existed…”
Read the full review here.
Gifts writers give:
- Characters who converse naturally and with era-appropriate clarity.
- A story that starts strong, stays strong, and ends stronger. These books can’t be forgotten, nor can penetrating characters and stunning descriptions.
- Well-utilized research—especially for historical fiction.
- Willingness to help others.
This holiday season, give yourself and your readers your best. (I’ve sent a list to Santa which contains many works of RMFW members.)