My second installement as now been posted. It is listed under my real name (Tracey Croft).
i would really appreciate any comments on this story, as i am planning to write a third part. World of Magic was the first part, which was posted some months ago.
June 28th, 2001, 06:06 PM
It took me a while, but I've finally been able to finish reading your new story, as well as re-reading the first!
First off, I can see that your writing has improved, and you've obviously taken heed of some of the advice posted for your first epic. Creatively, your stories are excellent, although there are some technical points, which unfortunately detract from your wonderful imagination. But, with a bit of revision, and perhaps some third-part copy editing, I believe your tales could be greatly improved.
I remember making a suggestion about your use of commas after reading the first draft of World of Magic. I can certainly see an improvement here, though you need to check some of the placements. In both stories, I also noticed some dialog problems, especially with missing punctuation, which should be contained within the quotation marks, BTW! Your use of your and you're needs some checking as well, along with tenses for words such as pause/paused; tacked/tack and caution/cautious to name a few. These are all things that come with practice and HEAPS of re-reads of your manuscript - something I too have had to learn over the years!
But, above all, seeing how you obviously care very much for your charcaters, I can tell that you really enjoy writing, which in my opinion, should be the prime reason for doing so. (The reader's own enjoyment should then be a close second!)
****Possible Spoiler Alert!***
Okay, on to my comments for Fight for Freedom: Firstly, I was a little concerned at Ann deciding to overdose to achieve the necessary coma that would enable her to shift dimensions. But then I thought about the worldwide increase in teen suicide, a tragic consequence of our modern culture, and wondered if perhaps it was your intention to mirror this feeling of hopelessness and hankering for a better life or magical place to escape to? I suppose you had to use some method of getting Ann back, though for mine, self-hypnosis would have been a better option, especially if you had planned for her to survive in the "real world", so to speak! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
The story flowed reasonably well, though I couldn't help feeling that it was a little drawn out and disjointed in parts, and then a little rushed in others. But, I loved the idea of the animal/human creatures, and particulary approve of your use of the mirror! (If you remember, my fantasy trilogy revolves largely around mirrors.)
I really hope you continue to write and, more importantly, continue to improve your obvious skills. Perhaps you have someone who will help copy edit your text? Re-reading yourself is a must, but sometimes you just need those extra sets of eyes to pick up what our own always seem to miss, no matter how hard we try!
If you have time, surf on over to my Erebus web site. We're having a little contest there, (tell all your friends) and you could win a personally autographed CD-ROM of Reflections, book one of my fantasy trilogy! www.wn.com.au/clubclad/erebus/contest.htm (http://www.wn.com.au/clubclad/erebus/contest.htm)
In the meantime, keep that brilliant imagination well-fuelled, Tracey - I look forward to the next installment!
[This message has been edited by erebus (edited June 29, 2001).]
June 29th, 2001, 07:19 AM
Thanks ever so much for your constructive review.
once again you have pointed me in the right direction, and i also agree that sometimes my story did seem to drag on a bit and i would realise that which is why it then seemed rushed. I suppose practice makes this situation easier to control.
I had posted this story before any editing had been done, i did it mostly for feedback on the story outline and character feedback.
I have since past my story on to be edited by someone else, i find it so hard to edit a story myself.
I will visit your site very soon, i just wanted to try and reply to your welcome message.
June 29th, 2001, 02:39 PM
I'm so glad you found my comments useful. I always find it a little difficult knowing what to say in my reviews here. Not knowing the author, or very much about their background, makes it a little awkward for me to give a totally objective critique. Once, I commented on a story and picked up on a few things, then found out that the author was blind! So, you just never know who you're responding to in these posts, unless you actually know them from another source.
Having said that, I always try to write from the heart and treat others the way I would hope they'd treat me. The editing you mentioned is a great start, and if you need any help along those lines, please send me an email. I've done this a couple of times for other Forum members and they've found it helpful. I don't have a lot of time, but can always find some to assist a fellow writer!
Neil www.wn.com.au/clubclad/erebus/ (http://www.wn.com.au/clubclad.erebus/)
PS: Oh, there's an extract and synopsis of my second novel, The Anvil Amulet posted here now, and a topic for any comments as well!
[This message has been edited by erebus (edited June 29, 2001).]
June 29th, 2001, 11:40 PM
I have managed to visit your site, and i have to say it looks very professional.
I enjoyed reading the samples of your books they sound really interesting. Can you tell me if you have them published in the UK.
If you do i will look out for them.
June 30th, 2001, 12:40 AM
Thanks for your comments! My first paperback, Reflections, is available at Amazon.co.uk here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0970368291/
The other books will follow soon.
In the meantime, why not try your luck with the contest we're running for a chance to win a FREE copy of Reflections on CD-ROM! www.wn.com.au/clubclad/erebus/contest.htm (http://www.wn.com.au/clubclad/erebus/contest.htm)
But, if you'd prefer to read the "real" book, then by all means, get yourself a copy. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif Let me know if you do, so I can send you a personally autographed bookplate!
September 16th, 2001, 01:47 PM
Uh, Oh...25 pages. Even longer than the previous. I'm glad you decided to post 'Seducer of Souls' in smaller parts http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
I see that erebus have already given some comments on this story. I don't know if I can contribute anything further, but I'll do my best.
Firstly, I'll agree with erebus that the overdosis was rather extreme. I too think that some kind of trance or hypnosis would be better. But I liked the way she held the pendant and thought of Han to find her way back. Maybe you could let the pendant itself induce the trance upon her or something? Anyway, this is of course completely up to you.
I find Han's reaction upon seeing Ann a little strange. Basicly, he just says "Hi. Come in before you get cold." Somehow I would have expected him to be at least a little puzzled by her sudden reappearence. Instead he just accepts it without even asking why, or how, she came back.
OK. Now I've reached Ann's meeting with the three mystical women. The scene where she is 'killed' back in our own world tie off the overdosis thing nicely. (but it's still a little drastic in my opinion http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif)
About Ann's training. When Cull approached Ann and announced that she knows Ann can see spirits, my first thought was: "What?!? When did Ann ever see a spirit?" Then I remembered some remark at the very beginning of the first part of this story. Something about the dead being her companions. Well, I just thought it might be a good idea to elaborate a little on this. It's hard to remember such a small fact, especially when it is only mentioned once. To be able to see spirits must be quite a gift. And now that I remember it, I'm curious as to why it didn't influence her first 'adventure' with Han and Serge.
I liked the scene with the spirit of the sage. Ann's surprise at seeing a young man was quite good. I think it's this kind of details that makes stories feel more 'real.' http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
However, I was also quite surprised at the way you suddenly changed the pace of the story. When Joshua the Sage mentioned 'the first room of knowledge' I expected him to show her at least a couple more of such rooms. But instead the training ended rather aprubtly and she had to chase after Draken.
Because I know the title of the next part, the warning Cull gave Ann about Draken being a 'seducer of souls' was yet another of the details I really like. It has a sense of foreboding and give the title a whole new power.
The interlude with the bird-people was well written but it wasn't all that relevant for the story. On one hand I guess it help to build the world by showing us more of it. On the other hand, I felt the timing was a little akward. They had just left the three mystic women behind and had apparently not traveled very far. It felt as if suddenly too much was happening at the same time. Maybe you should let them travel peacefully a couple of days before adding this scene?
The whole confrontation with Draken was also very well written IMHO. Especially I liked the way you described Anns 'out of body' trip to the enemy camp, including the way her soul rushed back, bringing her body into shock.
In fact your entire magic system is, if not innovative, then at least different from the standard D&D type thing. Even the powerful Drakan doesn't shoot fireball and lightening from his fingertips all the time. That's yet another thing I like about this story.
On the technical note, I did find a couple or spelling errors (like erebus). But it was better than in the previous story and didn't really irritate me.
So, I have only one thing left to ask: When do you submit 'Seducer of Souls' Chapter 3? http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
[This message has been edited by erebus (edited September 16, 2001).]
September 20th, 2001, 09:33 AM
Thanks ever so much for taking the time to read Fight for Freedom nicba. I know its a bit long, but is so good to get some feedback.
I have already re-written the part about how Ann got back to Serge and Han, instead of an overdose, I have her collapsing from head injuries a month after the accident. After some thought, I agreed that most readers would find that a difficult aspect.
The bit about Han just excepting her return. I should have put a line in about him not being surprised, as in my mind (when he senses her great abilities).
I am pleased you liked how i use magic, i wanted to just feel my way into that really, and try and make it more believable. Also in Seducer of Souls the Kinnera come back (briefly) and I thought they were useful in both stories because in this one, they allow Ann to see the dangers of her powers. And you will just have wait and see what they suggest in the last pary http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
I will get the next few chapters of Seducer Of Souls posted as soon as I can.