Hey folks. Chapter two of my story has been posted, so if you all would be so kind as to give some more feedback I'd be in your debt. It's under the label The author (chapter 2) by ben cooper. If you haven't read the first part, I doubt that this one will make a great deal of sense, but any and all comments will be appreciated.
Thanks again for your time.
January 13th, 2002, 04:40 PM
Charming. Reminded me of the "Phantom Toll Booth" because of the feature of not being able to remember what the reader gets to know.
There were a couple of spots where you could have used a bigger word - I guess you were trying to write like a 12 year old would think. But if you're 12, you can use bigger words like remembered or recollected, just not obscure, intellectual ones.
I really liked it. Reads like a young adult book. Is that what you intended?
January 13th, 2002, 06:18 PM
Yea, I'm going for more of a universal kind of story. I wanted to write something a little more lighthearted than my last, which was a bit on the grim and serious side. So I guess young adult would fit the bill. But I don't exactly write with any particular limitations. Obviously sex and extreme violence would be a little out of place, but I write whatever comes to mind and try not to limit the story by attempting to appeal to a particular audience. I guess I'm just writing whatever appeals to me at the moment. Changes with each book. (My next one is going to be, for lack of a better word, gritty...not at all for young readers). I'll look into the vocabulary during the rewrite as well. I don't check over my work much (as you can probably tell http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif) so that I keep moving forward and don't get bogged down with the details that can be fixed later. But because of this, I'm sure it's a little bumpy.
Thanks a lot Angel. As always, I appreciate your comments.
January 14th, 2002, 04:43 AM
I was eager to read this chapter and had rather high expectations after the superb intro. They were fulfilled, but I must say that I still think that the first chapter was the best.
I think that in the first chapter you did an excellent job at portraying Emmett's misserable life, his sadness and hopelessness, while still maintainging a light humourous feel. The two aspects sort of counterbalanced each other.
This second chapter, I feel, lack some of the 'depth' in the first. It is very funny, contains many great scenes. But I felt it was almost too funny in some places. The word exchange about the razor was hilarious, while the tripping-over-beard-and-hitting-wall was maybe a bit too slapstick-style for my taste.
I think I missed some of the emotions present in the first chapter. Emmett seems almost distanced from what is happening most of the time. Although he wetted his pants I guess that maybe you sort of downplayed his internal fright in order to keep the humourous tone. Personally, I think I would have prefered if you had let the fright shine a little more through. And maybe he would feel other things aside from fear. Confusion? Exitement? Maybe once he had recovered a little from the fear he would even feel a kind of freedom, like being born again to a new chance, escaping the old world?
Anyway, my point is that I think Emmett would experience some kind of strong emotions, and I think your humour would work even better if you let us see that more clearly too.
When that is said, it's still a very good, very funny chapter exactly as it is. A good novel needs both it's serious moment and it's lighter interludes and it all has to blend into a bigger whole.
Also, you really have a gift for stopping the tale at excatly the right place to leave the reader yelling for more. Write the next chapter. Please. Fast! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
January 14th, 2002, 08:11 AM
Thanks nicba. You have some valid points. I haven't read over this in a while, but I can remember, now that you mention it, being a little vague about how Emmett felt (and this one was definitely a bit more silly than the last chapter. But I change the atmosphere of the story a lot while I write. Just a personal taste thing, but I try not to get stuck in any particular mood unless it's necessary).And keep faith that i write all of your suggestions down for the rewrite. You all's suggestions are going to be a tremendous help.
And just so you know, I've already written the next chapter...twenty two more of them to be exact. But for a while I need to just sit down and write. I've been taking a week off so that i could get a few opinions on how it all started, but I need to get back to writing it. Not to say that I won't submit anymore, but I have to get back to business. I'm hoping to finish the story within the next two or three months, because I've got a lot of other stories to write. I have more outlines for upcoming books than I know what to do with.
January 14th, 2002, 09:53 AM
Glad if you could use the input for something.
Now, about the mood thing: You say you try not to get stuck on a particular mood while writing. By that, do you mean while writing the first draft? Do you go back over it and adjust the mood of chapters later when you edit the whole thing? Or do you just let the moods be as they were when you wrote them the first time?
I ask because I've had some difficulties with the 'moods' of some of the pieces I've been trying to write. I've had problems with hitting the 'right' mood and also with keeping the mood consistent. Any tips?
And just so you know, I've already written the next chapter...twenty two more of them to be exact. But for a while I need to just sit down and write. I've been taking a week off so that i could get a few opinions on how it all started, but I need to get back to writing it.
Ahh, that's the problem with such 'excerpts.' You get hooked on a story and then risk never to see the rest. Too bad http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/frown.gif But thanks for sharing anyway http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
What will you do with the story once it's complete? Are you going to get it pubished? Or is it going online somewhere?
January 14th, 2002, 01:41 PM
Trying to keep in mind all that you’ve said, here is my 2 cents.
There is a distinct difference between the first and second chapter. The humor in the second chapter is much more obvious. Perhaps you were intentionally contradicting Emmett’s two lives? If not, this may be something you want to consider when revising.
It was a very good first draft.
January 14th, 2002, 04:20 PM
Well nicba, I'll let you know how I handle mood. When I'm writing the first drafts, I let the mood be how it will. I don't bother trying to stick to a certain feel, because that can be fixed later. As for deciding whether or not I want to change the mood, I decide that while editing. You see, because I just write and don't bother with perfection the first time through, I get a lot done very fast. But the major advantage to this is when I go back and edit, I can view the story in a fresh light. I can see it more how a first time reader would. I also have the knowledge of how the entire atmosphere ends up coming off. Often times, with beginnings, it may start on a certain note, but end on a completely different one. Sometimes I'll like the way I started a book, and I'll try to mold the rest of the story more in this fashion while rewriting. Other times, I like the way it felt at the end, so I'll rework any chapters that feel out of place from the beginning. This method worked very well for me on the first book, and its working quite well on this one too. I doubt I'll ever abandon it. It takes a lot of pressure away and always helps me keep moving. For me, it's made writing a lot more liesurely and enjoyable.
As for getting published, that would be great if it happened. Once I finish this second story, and I have two under my belt, I'm going to attempt to shop around to publishers. I hear it's very tough to get picked up, so i don't have my hopes set too high (though, I am stubborn, which might come in handy http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif). But even if it doesn't work traditionally, I'll go ahead and publish myself. One way or the other, I'm going to have a copy of all these stories in my hand.
And yes kats, the atmosphere did take a leap in a different direction. I wanted to do this some, but I wouldn't be surprised if I've gone too far with it. I'll have to take note of it on the rewrite.
And, as always, thank you.
January 15th, 2002, 12:04 AM
Your method seems to make a lot of sense. I think I'll try to adapt it myself. The explanation was much appreciated!
By the little I've seen, your story is easily good enough to be bought. Good luck with the publishing effort.