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Holbrook
October 14th, 2002, 03:01 AM
Hi All,

This is the first chapter of one of two stories I am playing with at the moment, it is first draft, so a little rough round the edges....

Just put it up for some feed back.... Any takers????

http://www.sffworld.com/authors/a/adams_holbrook/fiction/bitternessofmulicifer1.html

Aik Haw
October 14th, 2002, 05:58 AM
Not a bad story Holbrook, though a little speeding up for this kind of story would definitely do great good. Also, I believe that the main focus of your story is supposed to be after he was captured and placed in punishment. Therefore, a greater emphasis should be placed there on the sensory input and emotion of the character.

The extremely good point about your story is the excellent use of conversation to bring out the meaning. Also, you did not force the character to tell the stories, but rather let the story unfold on it's own!!

That is just my comment :). Overall, a good story :).

enazwo
October 14th, 2002, 06:44 AM
I'm an REH fan especially his creation Conan. I saw a few parallels, which is not bad, because that is in part what got me interested in Mulicifer.

The story is told with a great pace while giving us insights to Mulicfer's character. Made for a nice read.

Also I was disappointed at the-forgive the pun- the hanging ending. I was wanting Mulicfer to do some fierce head bashing. In other words I wanted more.

As a footnote I can sense that there is an intended depth of your character-Mulicfer-that leads me to believe he will be revealed to be a tortured and reluctant hero. At least that's what I have gotton this early on.

For a first draft, quite excellent, and I look forward to more.

enazwo

Miriamele
October 16th, 2002, 11:49 AM
Good work, Holbrook. This first chapter is fast-paced, well-written, and like you do so well, you've created a sense of mystery surrounding the main character. I'd definitely want to keep reading to find out just how he's gotten himself into this position.

Like Aik Haw said, you let the story unfold on its own instead of telling the reader too much. "Show don't tell" is a good rule of thumb for writing stories--it assumes that the reader has intelligence and wants to figure things out on their own--and you definitely follow that rule. Reading your stories is like really being a bystander at these happenings and having to sort things out just like a bystander would. I like that.

It's interesting that you've made the main character have a shady history. Sometimes characters who are total "good guys" aren't very interesting, but Mulicifer promises to reveal some interesting secrets to the reader.

Other than a few miniscule errors in grammar that I won't even mention, my only complaint is that sometimes the action moved a bit too quickly for me to follow, and I had to reread some sections to figure out what was going on. My personal taste is that I like a bit more description to slow things down a bit. But, that's just me, and I suppose it's logical to have a fight scene move quickly since actual fights move quickly.

In all, a great chapter. Can't wait to read the rest. :)

Pirate Jenn
October 16th, 2002, 05:54 PM
An exciting opener. :) Well done.

I won't rehash comments and tend to ignore technical/grammar issues, so...

I agree with Miriamele that the action is too quick. Just about everything, actually, could be slowed down a notch. ::thinking:: Perhaps you could insert M's thoughts and anticipations during battle. If we see him anticipate the enemy's movement, then act, this might slow it enough for the reader to follow easier.

You do an excellent job of showing and not telling. You might, perhaps, show a little more. It wasn't clear, at first, that Tom was so young--and it would influence our view of his remarks considerably to know that.

The scene where M pops into the alley and thinks that he sees T is a little confusing. I wasn't sure if the pain in his chest was from T hurting him or something else. This got cleared up in the next section, but rearrangement might be good. I think I see, here, a double meaning (you later mentioned a scar on his chest). Maybe we see M seeing her before he feels the pain? I think that might clear it up.

I liked the end. The action, here, was paced well. I'm not sure how well he knew this community...was there anyone else that he recognized in the crowd? Not sure how big this town is.

Hmmm. Definately looking forward to the next chapter. :)
PJ

Se'dray-on
October 16th, 2002, 05:58 PM
Holbrook, i loved the story. I liked the fact that Mulicifer has a shady past which you convey quite well. One of the things that confused me was the relationship between Tom and Mulicifer. Tom, a ten year old urchin, treats Mulicifer, a professional killer, as his private property and yet Mulicifer lets him get away with it. Hope we'll see the reason for it later. Overall though, quite a solid story with a real sense of history behind it.

Holbrook
October 17th, 2002, 03:05 AM
Thanks all for the comments......

Aik Haw:
sensory input and emotion of the character.

Hmmmm....... will work on that......

enazwo:
I was wanting Mulicfer to do some fierce head bashing. In other words I wanted more.

Don't worry he does.... the first chapter is really "the door" to showing you how Mulicifer got there..... I am working backwards showing the future before the past...

Miriamele:
My personal taste is that I like a bit more description to slow things down a bit.

I tend to shy away from such, seeing how my first book had tonnes and crashed and burned on the front door of a good few publishers *sigh*. I also have the bad habit of thinking, well I can see "his world" why can't you?

Priate Jenn:
It wasn't clear, at first, that Tom was so young--and it would influence our view of his remarks considerably to know that.

This is something I will address.... also this....


The scene where M pops into the alley and thinks that he sees T is a little confusing. I wasn't sure if the pain in his chest was from T hurting him or something else. This got cleared up in the next section, but rearrangement might be good. I think I see, here, a double meaning (you later mentioned a scar on his chest). Maybe we see M seeing her before he feels the pain? I think that might clear it up.


But I don't want too much told too soon in this matter I want it to come out of the blue and hit the reader upside the head.....

Se'dray-on:
Hope we'll see the reason for it later.

Next chapter, it becomes plain as to the type of relationship.... Tom is Mulicifer's apprentice/"gofor" work pimp, helper.. both are members of the Night Hawks....

The story arc runs twenty five years, from the time Mulicifer is 10 and the birth of T......

Chapters wil swing back and forth "one present", "one past...."

Not sure of the final length yet (early days) It will either be 30,000 for a "lap book" publisher who has expressed interest in my work, or a full novel of 80,000 words....

It is also one of two works "in process" and it will be a while before the second chapter is even in draft..... *sigh* real life is getting in the way of my writing a lot lately....

Thanks again for the comments.......

Pirate Jenn
October 17th, 2002, 04:39 AM
Re: (possible) double meaning

Quote:

But I don't want too much told too soon in this matter I want it to come out of the blue and hit the reader upside the head.....


I think, if you hide the pain of the chest in ambiguity (ie: seeing T again rather than the other reason), it should remain ambiguous. I have a tendency to notice things like this--but you made me work a little to get there. Actually, if I'd been led to think along the seeing-T lines (vs: at first, I thought that she'd stabbed him right then), I probably wouldn't have noticed at all. As it was, the wording tripped me up a bit and so I remembered it.

I have to say, Holbrook, that my mind has returned to this story a few times, today. It's a good start. :)

LaZea
October 27th, 2002, 10:05 AM
You can really benefit from critiques at www.critters.org
It's free and you get all sorts of people to email you detailed critiques of your work. It has really helped me out. I've been a member for a few years. You should check it out.

Holbrook
October 27th, 2002, 02:44 PM
Thank you, but I don't really want, or need another forum or critique group.

I have folks from this forum I work with, also a number of other professional and want to be writers I correspond with.

This in its self is often too much for me to deal with in the depth I would like too.

My time of late on the machine has been greatly reduced and I prefer to spend what time I have either working on my writing, or critiquing for the fellow writers I already correspond with.