I have posted the first chapter of my current story, it is under my real name Tracey Croft.
I feel i need guidance before completing the whole story. I find it so much harder to go back when a story is finished to do changes. I would rather do it on a chapter by chapter basis.
I would appreciate any useful comments about my writing, that will help me improve my ability.
August 18th, 2001, 02:10 AM
Hello again, Rune,
This was a little easier to read, only one page! I actually found it yesterday and was pleased to see that you've submitted again.
Okay...The first few paragraphs I thought were very good, and I was very quickly drawn into the darkness along with Ann. (Does this carry on from Fight for Freedom, btw?) But then, something seems to have happened. There's a bit of confusion with tenses and all of a sudden I found myself getting a little lost in your narrative, and there's references to both "a" beast and beasts at different times, but I'm guessing these are just typos? Perhaps you need to work on this a little bit more, Rune? It does appear to me to be somewhat rushed in the later paragraphs, and nothing at all like the first few paragraphs, which demonstrated a definite improvement in your writing skills. The pacing is okay, but I think the sequence of events needs a little more clarification.
I'd suggest a re-edit and a check of the spelling - I think you have "realising" when I think you mean "releasing", perhaps?
Nevertheless, your tale is certainly growing into an interesting work (how many words do you have now, btw?) and you've left us with a cliffhanger to ponder as well!
[This message has been edited by erebus (edited August 18, 2001).]
August 19th, 2001, 02:21 AM
Thanks for your most helpful comments, erebus. This is the first chapter following Fight for Freedom.
I have decided to post the story in chapters so that if i do go drastically wrong, i can sort it as i go along.
I wanted to draw the reader into the darkness as such, but then realised that they might have forgotten where the main character had been taken to from the last story. So felt i needed to touch on that subject. I still feel it needs that part in, but I will go and look at it again to see if i can make it a little less confusing.
August 19th, 2001, 03:07 AM
By all means, leave that passage in, Rune, it just needs a little work is all. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
August 19th, 2001, 10:02 PM
I read through your chapter rune, and here is what I thought.
It was rather inconsistent. At times, the beginning especially, it was very easy to read and flowed very well. BUt in the middle, mainly involving the beast, it kind of stumbles. This was the area that needed to be tidied up the most, problems with tenses(which I see erebus mentioned) and a tad difficult to understand. If a reader ever has to re-read a sentence to make sure that they are following what the writer is trying to say, it can really hurt the flow.
Some advice, though I"m not sure if it works for everyone, is writing very direct for your first draft. Don't worry so much about creative phrasing and metaphors and such, just say exactly what you want your reader know. Then, after having done that, you can go back and spice it up. This style can help to eliminate problems in tenses or making statements that seem overly vague or clunky. It's worth a shot, and this technique has helped me in a number of occasions.
And on a good note, I like the atmosphere. You didn't have to say much, but the reader got the impression of a foreboding and overwhelming situation.
So if it sounds like it might be of some use, try the direct writing technique, it might help.
August 20th, 2001, 09:45 AM
I thought that was an interesting comment about writing directly what i wanted the reader to understand and then going back to fancy up.
I suppose i have gotten abit sidetracked. I read a book about trying not to be to simplified when writing a story. For e.g. looking at how many times say you use 'was', 'be' etc.
Well now i find i try and think about those kinds of words as i am going along and i think this is why i am getting unstuck.
What do others do when thinking about how they use description. Do you do at first or go back and do it later?
Taking it into account mind that if you write 10 pages in a chapter its a lot of text to have to go back over to re-write.
August 20th, 2001, 02:47 PM
This is how I do it. I write almost how I would speak. Like, as if I were telling someone right next to me what the story was about. I usually don't talk all that fancy, so in turn, my writing for the first draft is usually pretty simple, not heavy in metaphors and similies, and sometimes, not very polished. But I don't really worry about much on my first draft, I just worry about getting my thoughts onto paper. I then go back, and during my rewrite, spruce it up with language and vivids. There are times when I'm writing, that even using this style, my point still doesn't come across as clearly as it should. That is when I write in a very direct manner. By direct, I mean stating exactly what happened or needs to be explained, and nothing more.
For example- The woman bent down to tie her shoes. The woman noticed something out of place. She had the feeling she was being watched.
Then I'll go back and change it- The woman bent over and began to tie her shoes, grasping the dirty laces between her forefinger and thumb, when she suddenly realized that something was out of place. The uncanny feeling of being watched sent a shiver down her spine. It was as if she could feel the eyes upon her, as tangible as the laces between her fingers.
I'm not saying that my rewrite is perfect or even very good, and I'm sure that there's a number of problems even with my revisions. But whenever I'm trying to make sure that i get a point across clearly, I've found this technique to be very useful. So, it might work for you as well. It won't hurt to try.
And as far as time is concerned, my first draft goes by so fast, I consider that it makes up for it. And even when I tried writing so that I wouldn't have to do much with my rewrites, I ended rewriting a lot anyway. But then again, this is just me.
August 22nd, 2001, 11:53 AM
Thanks for that example. I see what you mean now.
I will try and do that and see how I get on.
September 11th, 2001, 09:15 AM
I read chapter 1 in order to be able to give you some comments on chapter 2 also.
Did you edit or update your story since erebus' comment where posted? I did find a few spelling mistakes but I didn't find myself lost or confused about your 'beast' and 'beasts'. It flowed well enough for my taste.
I havn't read your other stories (Fight for Freedom) but it didn't bother me much. Is this story ment to continue your later story? Or is it ment to be readable independently? If it is an independent story you might need to include a bit of explaining, either in this chapter or in the course of the next few chapters.
Well, anyway, I think your story was quite good. I'm off to read chapter 2. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
September 13th, 2001, 10:45 AM
There are three parts to the whole story really.
1st part it called World of Magic
2nd part is called Fight for Freedom
3rd part (i am posting as chapters) is Seducer of Souls.
Unfortunately the last part (Seducer of Souls) would be confusing if the other parts had not been read first. I wrote my story this way as it was getting quite long and i needed to tackle it in more manageable junks.