View Full Version : Critique: Intro to Midlands
March 30th, 2005, 12:28 PM
Here is a link to a WIP I have running through my head demanding to be put on paper - or at least on screen. It's going to run to 30k words before Winnie finds her place. Winnie won't let me finish editing or work on anything else till I get her story told.
Let me know what you think, please.
March 30th, 2005, 05:14 PM
Very interesting, the two hooks - the voices and the Midlands are intriguing and your speech is well paced if a little crammed together. Breaking it up into smaller paragraphs would make it easier to read. Definitely want to see more :)
April 2nd, 2005, 09:08 AM
Just wanted to let the OP know, "Midlands" is one of the central world names in Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" novels.
April 7th, 2005, 12:06 PM
Interesting stuff. Sheesh, The first page or so practically read like a clinic on how to hook the reader. Great pacing. Fascinating hook with Winnie's internal monologue and how she feels about it. But after the first page I think you start to loose a little of the pacing control.
It started with WInnie's mention of Jim, and how he had been taking advantage of her. I really think you missed a golden chance to let the reader learn about her by inferrence, rather than leading into a section where you explain her in considerable detail. I would seriously think about inserting a sentence or two of recollection about her apathy toward practically being raped by Jimbo, then letting the reader interpret what that says about her.
If you do decide to tone down the "telling, rather than showing" in the intro, you'll have to be selective. It'll be tricky because some of the info is really good and works just fine spelled out for the reader. I just think it's too much too soon.
And that goes for the world-building as well. How about taking out the information on Midlands, and just leaving the reader with the simple knowledge that she has put her hope in it (the line about it not being heaven is a nice piece of foreshadowing), Jim is wary of it, and it's magical in some way. I would then devote more energy to the description of the surroundings. The Kansas countryside, the inside of the cab, maybe a ghostly voice that intrudes on the CB. Hint at the goodies to come, rather than laying them out in such detail.
My advice... for whatever it's worth.
April 7th, 2005, 03:36 PM
HE--just to let you know. I'm working on it, give me a little time to process.
April 7th, 2005, 06:20 PM
I appreciate the time, energy and thoughtfulness of each. Thank you.
BTW, Andrew J, I do vaguely remember that SOT had its Midlands. But, then, if you Google Midlands, you will find that merrie olde England comes up fist and foremost. The name I had in mind when I was writing the story was taken from Midland, Texas.
April 8th, 2005, 09:34 AM
It's a great start.
Giving Winnie voices allows you to avoid lots of flat exposition. It works pretty good. I was drawn right in.
Sometimes when I read I try to figure out what happens next. In this case, I have no idea. Will we see more of this?
I only found a couple of things that stood out:
Quote: ...the male said, completely ignoring her ordering silence.
What kind of silence?
Quote: ...and he had exercised them, everyone of them, for two days now, ever since St. Louis.
I think that should be every one.
Keep up the good work.
April 8th, 2005, 07:04 PM
Well, I read it, and I dont have much to add except that I enjoyed it. Your writing has a fluent style that I like, and it left me intrigued and made me want to read on.
April 9th, 2005, 12:51 PM
The rest of Chapter 1 is here: http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/393p0.html
You will discover I did some renaming: Trolls are now Primogenitors or Primes or Preemies depending on POV. You'll meet the Breeds. I now know this story is a murder mystery - thanks to B5 for the inspiration. I know who was murdered but I don't know why. Winnie will get around to telling me that pretty soon.
Again, thanks for the effort and thought given in the critiques above. Hope you can do the same for the second.
April 9th, 2005, 06:21 PM
More and more interesting, I'm not sure whether you have too many new factors going on in such a short space but the pacing is very quick and there's certainly a lot to take in. I think the voices are a brilliant device and quite original but I'd like to see more of Winnie's own character nailed down before dealing too much more with the voices, otherwise it may turn out that the three, or more, become interchangeable. Like texmex I'd suggest slightly more backstory too, at the moment we're moving too fast to really look at the world and say 'Ok this is where we are,' then kick on with the story. Also not sure of the 'mist', I know its fantasy but it seems a bit alice-in-wonderland to me, walk through a mist and suddenly the laws of the world change. Speech is still a little rough and too similar for each character - you did differentiate them to an extent with 'pshaw' but never really followed through on separating them into personalities through their speech. If Winnie was used to the voices when we meet her, wouldn't she have pet names for them or something? Thoroughly enjoyed on the whole though - got anymore please :)
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