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November 7th, 2005, 06:05 PM
Another request for critiques. (sorry)

This is probably going to be the opening of my first novel, and I'm after the opinions of the expert fantasy readers on this forum. email me direct if you prefer.

i'm not worried about punctuation, minor misspellings etc. what I want to know is how does it read? where does it go too fast/too slow? Are there places where you want more description?


many thanks to all those willing to help.

I'll revise and repost by the end of the week, based on the crits.

November 9th, 2005, 08:37 AM
Don't know that I'm much of an expert, but I AM a reader.
As a reader, what is most important to me is characters and conversations. More important than action or scenery.
That is why I loved your chapter. There was almost nothing there that jolted me out of my sheer reading pleasure, so there's not much I can say.
One thing was that the hero sounds much younger than fourteen at the beginning. I was thinking that "gee, here's someone who really knows about ten year old kids!" before I got to the age.
I love the way he wants to grow up, but he still wants to burrow into his mothers lap at the same time. And in the next moment he grabs himself a glass of wine. BTW, I think in the timeframe you're thinking of, in Europe they used to let children drink wine, for the simple reason that it's more hygenic than water. It wasn't such a deal as it is now.
I also like the quirky way his mind works - like when he stands there hoping that the elf may get bored and leave. Or the "travelling song".
I didn't so much like the concept of having elves (again, I thought), but this one seems fun. The joke he makes about people falling over was a bit "duh" to me, but who said gods have to be good at making jokes. And I hope you'll explain how an elf can be a god at some later point.
Your dialogue is brilliant (I think) in that it sounds the way people really talk and it conveys useful information very economically.
About the prince: I know he's supposed to be unconventional, but he comes across as weirdly modern in his classless approach. Especially when he uses words like "stuff". I didn't believe in him the way I immediately believed in the hero: can he really deny his upbringing that way? I'm sure you'll flesh him out later.

I hope that was useful and I hope you will get even more useful advice from other people.