Cicely Zhu Critique
Qiuying, who prefers to be called Cicely, writes about Scott Gottlieb, the 23rd FDA Commissioner, who stepped down in April 2019. What worked for me as a reader is Cicely’s ability to ground the reader in setting with details that pop – “distinctive polka dotted socks” and “his face is wide and clean with his black hair combed neatly to the back.”
Cicely contains the “5 Ws” in the initial paragraphs, although it could be improved by word choice and weaving the main character (Gottlieb) into the first paragraph. Perhaps switching the second and first paragraph might achieve this or splitting details of the second paragraph and integrating them into the first.
Cicely did interest me on these two paragraphs alone and I found myself leaning in with intrigue regarding the mystery or mystique of the main character so I wonder if there could be a balance of the two recommendations.
I also wonder about the title choice and how it relates to the first two paragraphs. I’m hooked into the story simply on the title “Scott Gottlieb, The Man Behind The Drug Price War,” but I wonder if I’d get frustrated as a reader if I didn’t know the main character’s back story.
I wonder about the ancillary character, Anna Edney, and how she contributes to this story or if she is even necessary because it distracts me as a reader from the main character. I think about her role in the final draft, or if there would be any other secondary characters and how that relationship might influence the reader’s focus.
I’m interested to know about the intent of the Faulk Auditorium of Brookings Institute; is it necessary or could that specific detail work better sprinkled elsewhere. I wonder if the generic label “auditorium” could work for word economy and introductory flow.
One thing is certain, Cicely has accomplished her goal of making her readers want more.