Hey, welcome back!
Before I get into anything I just want to say that I really adore the easy flow of banter each character has with the other. What you have created feels natural and warm, easy to imagine, and the characters seem very familiar with one another. Congratulations on that! That’s difficult for some.
Do I have difficulty with reading this? Yes. But I’m saying that you do have a gem of a plot in your hands, it just needs a little polishing.
There are quite a few issues with grammar, paragraphing and punctuation in this demo. Such as: changes in first-person to second-person, wrong capitalisation, spelling mistakes and general punctuation issues.
But those are little things that are simply fixed!
I think that you would benefit greatly by copying your work and pasting it into grammarly. The free version is amazing — and it will give you a clean skeleton to work on. When the words flow and the clarity shows, it will make your story soar.
Lots of people use grammarly, me included! I don’t know how the world revolved without word editors… Terribly, I assume.
Give ‘Unknown Location’ its own line
It makes it a lot easier to read when an author puts emphasis on; changing places, new dates and times, when they put in bold and give them their own line, like a title.
A small breakdown of the opening chapter
This is just me being suggestive and I truly mean nothing but the best. Please don’t think that I don’t appreciate the effort you’ve put into your work, because I think anybody brave enough to post their projects here — regardless of it’s length — are brave. And this is your little one. I’m just an outsider with an opinion.
I stretch with a groan before putting my device down. It’s late, though I have no idea exactly how. “Really do have to stop doing this.”
The first thing that came to my mind when I read this was, wait, what is the device? Is it a laptop, a phone, or a tablet? And wouldn’t I already know the time because devices have built in clocks?
Already I’m asking too many questions and pulling myself out of the immersion, which is exactly what I don’t want. As a suggestion I would give the device a name.
Let’s say it’s a phone. Before my character puts the phone down they check the time and frown. We know they’re obviously unhappy with the time for some reason, then you add in, “I really do have to stop doing this.” Shows us that our character is terrible at going to bed on time and that it’s late.
BAM. Picture painted.
I think as I slide into bed, sheets sliding across my naked skin.
A small nitpick, but swapping out either sliding or slide with another word can really give this sentence more body!
The fight with my parents? Well, I will have to deal with that tomorrow. Too late now.
Conflict is tasty. People love to know what’s going on with your character, so instead of telling the reader that you’re dealing with issues — drag us into your mind!
Our character could be finding it difficult to sleep because unresolved conflict causes a lot of rumination. Maybe they toss and turn in bed, or keep hitting their pillow to soften it but it’s just not comfortable enough. They check the clock again and it’s been an hour so they stare up at the ceiling, thinking about the fight they had with their parents and how it isn’t sitting right with them. Maybe in the morning they’re exhausted and hadn’t slept well.
We readers love to experience things.
You have a brilliant vision and the pieces to the puzzle, don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper into your imagery. Take your time, do what feels right for you. My words are nothing but suggestions and advice that honestly may not work for you — but I hope that there’s something in there that might help.
Also, if you use google.docs, you can add grammarly to it and have it checking your work over as you write!
Good luck. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes and kicking butt