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seancuig
April 19th, 2005, 10:31 AM
Hey all,

As a newcomer, both to sffworld, and the general domain of writing, I would really value any advice/comments on my ramblings.

This is all first draft stuff, but I am flying fairly blind, having never written before, so all help/advice/criticism (constructive or otherwise) would be a major bonus.

http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/412p0.html

Thanks in advance,
Jack

seancuig
April 19th, 2005, 11:59 AM
Aaaaggh. I guess learning to spell critique would help

Expendable
April 19th, 2005, 11:49 PM
For the first two pages, we keep getting reminded that this is April, how cold it gets up in the mountains and how much he's forgotten. You might want to trim the repeats.

It's a well-disguised info dump and I think you're better off cutting the question about Ruari in the beginning, the boy answers it later and he should be thinking more about shelter.

Traveler is spelled with one 'L', not two.


. You can either go on ahead and drag that palette over to in front of the fire, or you can stick me with that knife. Either way, we need to get going, ‘cause standing here is doing none of us any good.” I don't like this sentence, it needs work.

Your trip down memory lane ie infodump could use a bit of work too, I'll think about it. Have you thought about the boy asking him questions about why he left and why he's come back?

You've obviously put a lot of work into developing the background, you just need to hold back on some of your details until later. Other than that, it's not bad. Good for a first draft anyway.

Erebus
April 20th, 2005, 04:09 AM
Only American English has one l in traveller. For the rest of the world 2 ls is fine.:)

seancuig
April 20th, 2005, 04:43 AM
It's cool what a fresh eye can spot!!

I have read over that piece a fair few times, and only now after it's pointed out to me, I noticed the multiple April weather forcasts!!

Great point, does need less weather reports. :D

Will re-think the Ruari bit, though I kinda like mentioning him here, but will definitely have a mull over it.

Have struggled a bit to work out the best way to introduce the trips down memory lane. Not sure if I want to bring in a question and answer session, mainly because I don't think Conor would answer any of them, but I will re-think.
Have considered moving all memory lane trips till slightly later and stick with the present, but will have to see how that works.

Thanks for the great advice. :D
You win first prize for the first formal piece of edit/critique anything I have written has ever recieved (unless you count school, which I have blocked out!)

Expendable
April 20th, 2005, 11:20 AM
Thanx ^_^

If you don't mind me asking, what happened to the old man, the boy's friend? Was he attacked? Are they in danger?

I get the feeling that Conor and this Ruari guy are going to fight when they meet.

seancuig
April 20th, 2005, 11:57 AM
Now this is just being cheeky but.....
http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/417p0.html

Chapter 2 explains it a bit. The old man just fell, not really sure why he was out; bit of a hole there! Basically he is old and dying and the main objective is to link Conor with the boy. There is no imminent danger.
It’s all really to set the scene for where the boy is coming from (tragic background kinda stuff!!)

Unfortunately Ruari and Conor don’t fight (though maybe they should!!) I have other things in mind for Ruari!!

seancuig
April 20th, 2005, 12:05 PM
Out of curiosity, this story is a long was towards being complete (when I say complete I mean absolute 1st draft complete).
My approach has been to bash, and keep bashing and deliberately not go back and re-organise or edit much, until I have completed something approaching a full 1st draft (i.e. a start, middle and ending)
Then, and only then it is my intention to go back over the whole thing, and try and tie up the spaghetti strings of loose ends, and incomplete characters etc.

Is this a bad idea?
Should I have spent more time on the early sections trying to improve and tighten the story?

I guess there is no right way, but I was wondering what others thought of this approach (if it is one you used also)
:D

Expendable
April 20th, 2005, 01:52 PM
If bashing works for you, go with it.

Keep writing, that's what's important.

First drafts are about getting the story down on paper. You don't start editing until you're finished writing the story.

seancuig
April 21st, 2005, 12:22 PM
More of the bashing...

http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/430p0.html

Feedback appreciated :D