My Writers Circle

Workshop => Review My Work => Topic started by: "lorraineofkeli" on June 22, 2006, 03:31:02 PM

Title: Critique please - opening to first chapter
Post by: "lorraineofkeli" on June 22, 2006, 03:31:02 PM
I submitted the prologue previously, and here is a little of the opening to the first chapter.  I haven't given any clues as to the plot, but I assure you it's very detailed and it's of the horror/fantasy genre.  The plan is to hopefully make it a very long and perhaps serialised book.  Any comments would be useful at this early stage.  Thank you.

Callum's eyes blinked in unison with the flashing beam in the distance. All these times he had visited, how he wished he could flick a switch and turn the darn thing off! It's pulsating bulb seemed to glare at him in anger.  It actually made him feel guilty; gulty for being there, for trespassing.
He continued to walk the black floor, its surface shining as it always did.  So intense were the floor's polished reflections that Callum was blinded both from below and beyond. Sheltering his eyes with cupped hands, he attempted to reach the annoying light that had invaded his dreams for so long.

"STOP."  Cold and firm, the voice called out to him.  The polished floor sank into oblivion; Callum's body was forced backwards with a vast rush of air - so strong and abrupt that it felt like some elusive body hurriedly pushing him.  It surely came from this world, but was it forcing him away from danger or towards it?  The flashing beam no longer in sight, the speed at which he was so rudely desponded became more apparent.

Eyes open, he awoke.  The bedside clock displayed six a.m.  "Not too bad," he told himself.  The late night talk show had finshed at 03:15 - he must have managed over two hours tonight.  He recounted the dream in his head as he did every morning, perhaps hoping for subtle changes - and sometimes he found them.  There was a time when he would go months without its appearance clouding his subconscious.  These days however, they latched on to his sleepy brainwaves night after night, attacking his grey matter, insisting on bringing him to that world, to that f*cking light that teased him so.  He never got to it though.  He would either wake before reaching it or be violently pushed by an invisible force.  
Title: Re: Critique please - opening to first chapter
Post by: Writers Block on June 22, 2006, 08:55:50 PM
First time I read it wasnt sure if I liked it or not.  On reflection I do, had to read your prologue again. ;)

Not sure that opening your story with this dream sequence, especially after the style of the prologue is right.  However, you know where you are going with this.  I seem to get a somewhat nebulous feeling from reading it - is this deliberate?

- is darn appropriate for the character or would something stronger be more appropriate?

maybe continue with the use of guilty for emphasis " It actually made him feel guilty; guilty for being there, guilty for trespassing."

and guilty for something else if it can be added whilst retaiing the meaning/feeling you want to portray.

Title: Re: Critique please - opening to first chapter
Post by: "lorraineofkeli" on June 26, 2006, 05:36:25 AM
Thank you writersblock. I chose to use 'darn' simply thinking it was a word I imagined the character using--although I was also steering clear of a swear word. darn does seem a bit geeky though on second thoughts. i wanted something to display his frustration however.

I have to say I do want to keep the reader confused, but not to the extent that they'll get bored and lose any interest. i have read all my life mainly stephen king novels (70% of all ive read - i know I need to expand on this!), so i dont know whether his writing style has an affect on me or not.
i hope i can add a little more clarity by saying that the basis for the rest of the story is quite surreal and develops into a story of two worlds.
Title: Re: Critique please - opening to first chapter
Post by: Writers Block on June 27, 2006, 06:00:04 AM
Damn is a good word, most people don't find it offensive,  it also has the advantage of being an abrupt word.

darrrrrrn - is kind of long

dam - short, stops suddenly.

S King will have influenced you for sure, what we read always does.  It's why its a good idea to read as many types of literature as you can.  Personally I have never like him, even though I enjoy the genre, I find his writing too full of filler - my opinion is that he could tell the same story just as well, probably better, with a third removed.  But thats just me, and one sure can't argue with his success.

Confused can be bad, look to keep 'em intrigued. ;)

Oh and the nebulous feeling I am getting is good then, just as you intended. :P

Good luck, and will certainly read whatever else you post.

Title: Re: Critique please - opening to first chapter
Post by: Lightbulb on June 29, 2006, 06:54:26 PM
First off, WB, THANK YOU! I thought I was the only person in the universe who didn't like Stephen King because he was too slow. Glad to know I'm not alone, props to the guy anyway, just in case, you know covering all the bases, maybe he reads these things, and that's one guy in writing you don't want to piss off.

Second, Lorraine, I think this piece is rough, but I was intrigued by it. I didn't read the prologue, but I would be interested to read more, as for keeping me confused, I was a bit put off by that, but I'm sure there's a happy medium between confused, and bored that you'll find. As for the usage of the word darn, I think it's fine, I know that some would consider me a geek as well, but honestly, you don't have to say "s*it" or "f*ck" to express something, darn is fine, if he's the kinda guy to say darn. He can still be a guy who swears too. All in all, I really can't wait to see more. I think I would really like to understand why he feels guilty.
Title: Re: Critique please - opening to first chapter
Post by: "lorraineofkeli" on June 29, 2006, 07:05:47 PM
Okay, I realise this has caused a lot of confusion - so I've decided to explain where I'm going with this one :)
Here is the synopsis.. and along with this I have a lot of background work done on the characters, the hierarchy of characters and the workings of the 'world' so to speak. It's just a rough synopsis, but I  hope it makes things more clear.
And about stephen king - I agree he is often mundane and slow and writes a lot of bull* - but for some reason I kept reading since I was a little'un... i got used to his style and couldnt break the habit. but i willl endeavour to read different writers from now on...starting on here!


Callum Pearson has always been the dependable guy; the one with it all worked out. But he has one problem - a dream that persistently enters his mind.  Every night, for years, he has learned to accept it as part of his usual sleep pattern - until it begins to manifest itself into his waking life.

He seeks treatment that will enable him to explore his dream further.  What he discovers however, will lead him into a world of devastating reality revealing cruel plots and false comforts to serve a much more sinister form of deception.

A story of compelling twists with surreal fantasy that will leave you questioning the most necessary function your body demands.
Will you sleep tonight?

So there you have it! And believe me I have never worked on research so much like I did with this one. it's basically answering the age old mystery of why we sleep. I started on this like over a year ago but I've left it alone all this time.
Title: Re: Critique please - opening to first chapter
Post by: Lightbulb on June 29, 2006, 07:13:00 PM
It's fine to give us a synopsis, and actually that would double quite well as the back cover of the book, but you need to start getting into it... cause if it's not the back cover, the people that aren't on this website aren't gonna know what's going on, so what comes up next in your story?
Title: Re: Critique please - opening to first chapter
Post by: Jackster on June 29, 2006, 08:10:22 PM
I also don't care to read Stephen King - too much detail - like WB says - too much filler, but I'm not going to bet that Stevie boy cares much what I think - I used to like Dean Koontz, but some of his latest works don't give me the same enjoyment as his earlier works - I don't like to stop in the middle of a novel once I start reading it, but had to trash Life Expectancy - just too far out and not too much going on - to each his own I guess.