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September 6th, 2004, 02:07 PM
I haven't worked on my novel for quite a few months now, but due to an (annoying) necessity of immense revisions, especially grammatical, I thought I would share the First Chapter with folks here, and hopefully take the critics suggestions and begin working on it again. There are 7 1/2 completed chapters thus far, and a total of over 60,000 words. Please give me the motivation to continue people, because I'm kind of 'out of it', due to the entire revision concept eating away at me. I'm ready to do it, but need to have some opinions really badly :confused:

Here's the link:


-no appologies necessary Sammie - thanks for removing those pesky 'nulls' :)

September 6th, 2004, 03:04 PM
Hi Murkal

What you need to do is put your story up here (http://www.sffworld.com/community/register.php) in our new and improved 'Community' story submission section. The link is to the registration page for this section. Make sure you're logged in at the forums when you head over there, as it's all one entity. The system's pretty self explanatory, and your story should appear straight away. Then just hop back over here and start a new thread asking for feedback, giving the link to the webpage your story is on.

For future reference, you're welcome to post extracts of up to 1000 words straight into the forum (I think that's right, but the Writing Mods will have to confirm that) but anything larger is better in the Community section, with a link here.

Hope that helps


September 6th, 2004, 03:56 PM
Wish I'd checked around earlier ;)

September 6th, 2004, 05:11 PM
Gosh, yes, I guess all that copy-pasting took a while!

Aah well, you know now... :D

Sammie :)

September 7th, 2004, 04:07 PM
My first impression (after the first 8 pages) is that you do an awful lot of explaining. I realize that you're attempting to set up your world, but the first 6 pages were all data dump and no characters or conversation. Very difficult to get through. All that needs to be broken up into bite size chunks or it'll make for a painful start to your novel.

That being said, you've got some good ideas in there. The characters aren't bad, but I think you should start with them first rather than data dump on the reader. I was intrigued after the first couple of paragraphs, but bored to tears by the time I made it to some dialogue.

There's some good descriptions in there, but a lot of bulky wordings as well. Good interactions, but (for my taste) interspersed with extra detail that drag the pacing down. That's just my opinion.

It's a fair start, but it started out quite slow and over explanatory for my taste. Six pages of explaining the story was just too much. I'd have rather seen it start out with Ashana and Jessica conversing rather than the world explained. Once the conversation started, it was much easier to read.

September 7th, 2004, 06:20 PM
I agree with what M99 has said, especially

1. "I think you should start with them [characters] first rather than data dump on the reader"

Think of how intrigued the reader would be if you started with (for example):

“Don't worry, Master Louis." Ashana said quietly. “We promise we'll keep it to ourselves."

I think that would make a great start, pulling the reader in, and then you could fill in the backstory. Your universe will seem more interesting if facts about it are disclosed when they are related to the story line, and we are already identifying with a character who must live in it.

2. "a lot of bulky wordings"
I think you could tighten things up considerably. Some examples:

"The blacksmith made a small blowing sound through his lips"
(strike out “through his lips” as the reader will assume, I hope, that this is where such sounds come from)

"The pony's ears twitched repeatedly while it ate"
(strike out "repeatedly", it seems redundant)

one more, with a tighter alternative:
"Jessica was impatiently stamping her feet, and continously glanced around in a wide circle. Her eyes moved first to the stable, then to the sky, and finally blacksmith shop. She repeated this pattern about six to eight times before Master Louis suddenly let out a loud shout, making both of the girls jump."

"Jessica stamped her feet, looking around at the stable, then the sky, and finally the blacksmith shop. Eight times she did this before Master Louis let out a loud shout, causing both girls to jump."

I think the tighter version conveys everything you want to say, with about half the words.

Cut out anything that doesn't add to the reader's experience. I sometimes find that i need to sacrifice some of the details of the scene as i have visualized it for the sake of the prose. I don't like doing it, but if I am having trouble with a paragraph I ask myself "Is it really important that the wind is blowing right then?" Sometimes the answer is yes, other times no. If it is "no", and cutting that part of the description helps the flow of the paragraph and speeds things up, then it goes, no matter how much I liked the picture i had in my head.

I hope that helps.

September 8th, 2004, 08:19 AM
Oh Christ.

Murkal I am so sorry - I was deleting your nulled posts for you and I've gone one too far and deleted your link.

I'm really really sorry! Please feel free to put it back. I would do it, but i don't know what it was!!

Sorry again!

Sammie. :(

September 8th, 2004, 02:10 PM
I was ready to completely redesign the plot, but it now looks like a re-modeling job on the general wording, and influx of organization for greater reader attention span is going to be very rewarding for the novel :)