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pennywise86
March 21st, 2007, 01:18 PM
http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/2338p0.html

well, i posted the first chapter in the stories section.


If wheat isn't that tall, what about barley? Same thing?

James Carmack
March 21st, 2007, 09:21 PM
Actually, according to my research, barley tends to be a little shorter than wheat with three-foot stalks being classified as unusally tall. If you want tall plants, try corn. (After all, you're not necessarily limiting yourself to Old/New World conventions, right?) At any rate, is it all that necessary for the plants to brush Adrian's cheek? Wading in chest-deep works just as well, yes?

Well, enough quibbling about the small stuff. I'll go read the rest of the chapter now.

AgentRustyBones
March 21st, 2007, 10:03 PM
Nice beginning.

I like the dream sequence a lot. You've got a nice contrast between the terrible dreams and the seemingly calm, sedate life at the inn with his cousin.

There is tension bubbling under the surface, the disquiet of the main character is done really well.

I like the unknown of how the main the character is important in some way that is not yet revealed.

A couple of technical issues: I would try to eliminate qualifiers from your descriptions. You use it most notably with the description of the woman 'who seemed to rule the kitchen'. She either does, or she doesn't rule the kitchen. That's a personal preference of mine and others might not agree.

Also: You use the three periods (...) to show a pause in the narration. It is a technique that I would advise against unless you use it only in dialogue. Using that technique outside of dialogue is distracting and unnecessary.

Other than that, a couple of places that could use some close editing to fix some broken sentences is all I really saw that I would have a quibble about.

I'm impressed. (I still don't know about the guns for the legionaires, but I presume you address that later once the boys get picked up/rescued by the Legionaires.)

Doug
aka Agent Rusty Bones

James Carmack
March 21st, 2007, 10:11 PM
I concur with Rusty. You've got a good setup here, off-setting the tranquil life in town with the horrors of Adrian's nightmares. There's a fair number of spots that could use some spit and polish, but that's why God made editors. (That's not to say you shouldn't catch as much as possible yourself, but things always slip by you.)

As a side note, I prefer my anthills shaken, not stirred.

That reminds me of something completely irrelevant...

Vermouth: Hey, Gin, why don't we make a martini for old time's sake?
Vodka: What's that?
Vermouth: You don't know? It's when you mix gin and vermouth.
Gin: Hmph.

(my addition)[ Vodka: I thought martinis were made with vodka.
Vermouth: In your dreams, you big lug.]

pennywise86
March 22nd, 2007, 12:16 AM
You know, James, you're right, the wheat really doesnt have to be brushing his cheek. I remembered the scene from Gladiator all wrong, lol:D

The (...) to create pause in narration has become a habit of mine and I will try to use it less frequently. Doug, your comment about eliminating qualifiers from descriptions was quite interesting, because it's the small details like that that irk me and I want to erase.

So if there's any other minor details, don't hesistate to point them out, I want to polish my writing as effectively as I can.

Thanks for your feedback!

AgentRustyBones
March 22nd, 2007, 08:54 AM
You know, James, you're right, the wheat really doesnt have to be brushing his cheek. I remembered the scene from Gladiator all wrong, lol:D

The (...) to create pause in narration has become a habit of mine and I will try to use it less frequently. Doug, your comment about eliminating qualifiers from descriptions was quite interesting, because it's the small details like that that irk me and I want to erase.

So if there's any other minor details, don't hesistate to point them out, I want to polish my writing as effectively as I can.

Thanks for your feedback!

Hey, you are absolutely welcome.

I am so familiar with both the (...) and the qualifiers, because they are particular habit of my own when I let myself go without restraints when I write. Then I re-read the stuff and have to go through it all again removing them.

If I see any others, I'll certainly let you know.

Doug
aka Agent Rusty Bones

SFizzle
March 22nd, 2007, 09:10 PM
I enjoyed your writing, but wasn't compelled to keep reading. All of the sentences, diction, and description is well done, but I wasn't grabbed right away. Initially, I thought the hook was the sounds from below, but when they turned out to be benign I sorta shrugged mentally.

Have you thought about starting out on the nightmare sequence at all?

James Carmack
March 22nd, 2007, 09:14 PM
That would be good way to grab the reader quicker. Most of the stuff before the nightmare could easily fit in afterward. If we saw the nightmare first, we'd really feel Adrian's resentment of the peacefully slumbering Connor. It's definitely a thought.

pennywise86
March 22nd, 2007, 11:09 PM
Interesting. I'm thinking about it now, as i'm sure i've considered it in the past, but the thing holding me back from making the change is the same as in the past: where do I put the opening bit then? Im trying to figure that out, cuz i like the part and don't want to lose it.

SFizzle
March 23rd, 2007, 12:22 AM
That's a tough one, but if your first paragraphs don't draw the person in, does the rest really matter?

You could try having the nightmare sequence be interrupted, and rewrite that scene of him almost being afraid of going back to sleep, but being unable to stop the inevitable or something. Again, it's up to you. In fact, others may have found the beginning fascinating and I'm just a filthy action junky.