View Full Version : Critic: Prologue in the making
May 8th, 2005, 03:07 PM
I don't know if anyone remembers, at one time I had a prologue listed in the community for critiquing. I got some tips that I'd had too much information, that most should be spread throughout the story in answered questions.
I've taken huge cuts from the prologue and revised it to these tips.
I was hoping to get more critics and see if I can't edit it towards the better.
Here's the link.
May 8th, 2005, 04:08 PM
Is there some reason why we don't know anyone's name? Sniper's the only one we get introduced to and he's a total cold fish.
His victim: a strong and very intelligent businessman who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact, so intelligent you’d think that he wouldn’t open his mouth about what he’d seen. But sources say he was on his way to report the incident in paper right now, that’s where Sniper came in. How important is the soon-to-be-deceased unnamed businessman's strength? The fact that the assassin was sent to take care of the businessman suggests that some of what the guy knows has already been told to someone. Killing him like this will only confirm its serious. And the "wrong place/wrong time" is very cliche.
So here he sat, his U.S. Army Special Forces issued M25 rifle rested on his shoulder. His eye was peering through the B&L 10x Tactical scope mounted on top, watching and waiting patiently for his next victim. His arm, though covered by the sleeve of his camouflage jacket, had a small tattoo for each of the men he had killed. Here you can tell us the rifle and scope the guy has but you can't show us what's the tattoo he puts on his arm?
He was dressed in a suit, black with a matching tie and a shiny pair of shoes. Sniper wasn’t much for fashion, he could care less if the shoes he wore were $10 or $100.
What's so important about the target's shoes that you have to keep mentioning them?
A relatively skinny man
Is his cousin a toothpick? Relatively to what? Thin, slim, beanpole, come up with a better way to say this.
“I’m afraid nothing good, Sir. The crew and I discovered an outsider who seemingly stumbled onto our plans. We’re almost sure that he doesn’t know much of anything, Sir.” Red updated. Someone who's seemingly stumbled onto the plans but doesn't know much of anything? First of all, I hate "seemingly" - cut it now. If the guy's peeked in a couple of windows and that's told him all about your target, you've got problems. A can of paint and a brush could have fixed that. What was it the guy saw that's revealed everything?
It sounds like that whatever plans you had are now blown. A business man that was already known to you is one thing - a complete stranger's another.
It sounds like a domestic black ops running out of a civilian warehouse - you might have mentioned none of your guys are wearing army uniforms. So why are your guys after the President?
Cut down the infodump on Sniper - he sounds more psycho than professional. But at least his skills seem real.
May 9th, 2005, 02:00 PM
Expendable: thanks for the reply and here's my answers. I know I completely mutilated the prologue but as said I was told that I'd had too much info before.
I introduced the characters with nicknames because it is vitally important that you don't know who they are throughout the story so when you reach the climax of the story you go "that's who that was! never seen it coming" lol, or I'd hope.
The business man who gets killed is of small importance. His only importance is to help build Sniper's backround and to hopefully relate what happens to ppl that cross this particular group of ppl (although not mentioned during murder scene)
The only description of the tatt's that Sniper has is that there is one for each of his killings. I sat for a while deciding whether or not to put a picture of the tatt's in the readers minds. That answers the question, thank you.
The targets shoes are not important really, other than to prove that Sniper only knows his work and cares of nothing else, fashion or otherwise.
As for your last tips. The reason I'd put the 'seemingly' in with that sentence is to try and show that the guy was very nervous and afraid of what his CO might say or do. I'll work on bringing that across better.
You were right about the ops out of the warehouse, although I'm not sure where you got that they were after the president :confused: NOT my intention. In the first version of the prologue I had written that it was a small group of united states army soldiers with plans for the biggest assault attack on the US in history, but I was told that was too revealing so I'd cut it. I'm not sure what to do with the info now lol. (and i'd forgotten to write in the uniforms thing, I'll add that in too)
And as for the info dump on Sniper, that's important. I wanted him to be psychotic as well as professional. It shows later in the story, trust me.
Sorry if the CO's lack of name is difficult but he is a close friend of the main character and revealing his name in the prologue will let the readers know too soon who he is and what he's doing behind the main characters back.
I'll post an updated version later today. thanks :o
May 9th, 2005, 03:18 PM
Why not have Red call the 'CO' on a secure line? VoIP with high encryption? This way the CO remains a mystery. And cut out the seemingly bit and have Red hem and haw. "Sir... we may have had a penetration. One of the roving patrols caught someone peeking in the back window...." then add a description of the person they saw.
As for the sniper, you can shorten it quite a bit. Have the target come out of the house, Sniper shoots him, then comes out, does a moment of psycho babble that hints at why the guy was shot - "Wrong time wrong place" - and then retrieves the bullet before fading into the woods.
Perhaps he does something strange like takes the guy's print and lifts them, later to use for his tattoo.
You can give the guy's personal history later.
May 9th, 2005, 04:30 PM
well I posted a more revised version, most little details though. I see what you're saying, Ex. I'm not sure that fit in with what my mind's picture would show. I'm thinking that if I were to call someone with bad news I wouldn't be so nervous cause all he could do is hang up lol.
And for Sniper's history, the only reason I put it in the prologue is to jump into his psychotic character. He shows up in the second or third chapter so I wanted that background lol
Some things I could probably remove for later though, like how he got the nickname and small things like that. The psychotic nature I was hoping to keep at the beginning.
My bf's mother is really into this genre of books, so I was thinking of editing it around til I liked it and seeing what she thought of it.
Anyways, besides the info dump on Sniper, is there any questions I should answer in the prologue? For example, more hints at their plans? :cool:
May 9th, 2005, 06:17 PM
Well, this is technically your story... ;)
If you could find a way to trim the info dumps I think you'll be fine, it's a good start but like for your character Sniper, actions speak louder than words. You might want to show the peeker getting chased off, then have Red confront your CO.
But other than that, it's fine.
Don't let me stop you from writing, just write your story and then worry about editing it later.
May 9th, 2005, 06:45 PM
Ex. Thanks for your help :D I took your advice and took out alot of information about Sniper, I also introduced his real name because I'd decided it would be better to introduce him.
Anyways, as for the idea of chasing off the 'peeker', I hadn't thought of that but maybe it is the key for the ending of my prologue. The part still annoys me lol.
Don't mind me, I love any ideas anyone could bring, whether or not I use them they still help me. This is the only part of my story that I really need to work on because it was put in so late. Thanks again ;)
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