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Hi there, I'm Ed and this is the first chapter of my novel; I've done 2 complete overalls of this book idea, finally, after doing a bit of research I think my skill as developed enough to start it for real, Not sure what genre it is yet. A fair warning it's chock full of violence, blood, and gore from the get-go, so if that is something you do not like, please avoid reading.

What I'm hoping to get out of posting here, is to gauge the reader's interest, whether this is a good start to the novel, whether I should change it maybe.

How do you feel about Carric? - What are your thoughts about him? - do you like him? and why?

What do you think Carric's Condition is? - Have I explained it well enough in the dialogue to understand what's happening?

Was it at all difficult to read? - was the flow good enough for me not to do a reread? (If there is some small stuff you notice either use google docs comment function to point it out, or you can give me an example of it or tell me it deserves a re-read in a comment below).

Did the action and description of the area give you enough to imagine what was going on? - at any point were you lost at what was going on?

I hope my questions aren't too much and are easy to understand. If people simply want to view it that is fine, if you feel like commenting without critiquing that is also fine, just give me a very general idea whether you liked it or not, like a thumbs up or down.

This is a google doc link, you should be able to view and comment on certain aspects of the chapter, up to you whether you use the google docs comment function or simply comment what you think down below. lastly thank you in advance. I hope you like it :)
Writing Games & Challenges / Re: WINNER OF FLASH FICTION #122
« Last post by monkalveoli on January 11, 2021, 12:55:36 PM »
Germany is considered to be a large nation because of its total area. Its total land area is 357,022 km² (approx. 137,846 mi²). Continental shelf of Germany is approximately 57,485 km² (around 22,195 mi²). Germany is located in Europe. Europe is a continent whose borders date back to the period of antiquity. European countries include, but are not limited to, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Malta, and The Vatican. Germany has 9 neighbouring countries. Its neighbours include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland. Germany is not a landlocked country. It means that is is bordered by at least one major body of water. The average elevation range of Germany is 263 m (863 ft).
Also kingdoom thanks for your reply too!

It's great to see that you also have other types of Creativity Going On, like Music!

Do you also have something of a website or blog?

Review My Work / Re: 500-word Character Intro! (Fantasy)
« Last post by Eddieism on January 10, 2021, 10:57:05 PM »
No problem, it was a pleasure to read. Thanks for replying quickly. You've made quite an interesting character, I wonder how you're going to have to describe scenery, kinda forces you to use the other senses to describe things, since your protagonist is blind.

Anyways, I will probably take you up on that offer for a critique partner soon, once another comment on another post I made gets a reply I'll post the first chapter of my novel on here to gauge the feeling readers had and how interested they were in it.

Good luck with your novel, though from the sounds of it you won't need it :P
Review My Work / Re: 500-word Character Intro! (Fantasy)
« Last post by joelbyrd09 on January 10, 2021, 03:22:00 PM »
Hey there :) Thank you for your response and for such a kind comment on what you read! I'm really pleased you want to hear and read more, given that the bulk of the first two chapters in my book introduce everything mentioned in that first passage.

I'll try to answer your questions without any spoilers!

He does love his family. His sister irritates him daily, but they are very close - the one thing he appreciates about her is that, unlike his parents, she has always grown up with a blind person in her life, and so she treats him like a "person" as opposed to a "person with a disability"; more so than even their parents. He is closer with his mother - she taught him how to read with the coin. Even at a young age, he knew it took him far longer to learn than his sighted older brother did, but Ma was exceptionally patient and kind; something that strengthened their relationship. His relationship with his father is less close, but he does respect him. He appreciates that his father suggested his role of cooking; all about tastes, smells and textures; something that Brigo would perhaps be naturally gifted with. And he was. Brigo recognises his father's way of doing things and that he keeps him sheltered in the cottage only to protect him and keep him safe. But he does also resent the fact that this makes his life very mundane. Especially when he reads his late Grandpa's journals, which allow him to imagine what the rest of Chorus could be like.

Please do feel free to message me. I'm also new to this site and it would be great to find a critique partner!
Review My Work / Tabidaque (Dark Fantasy Novel) - Prologue (1,609 words)
« Last post by Speckled Heron on January 10, 2021, 12:06:37 PM »
Hi everyone!
This is the dark fantasy novel I've been working on. I have posted it several places, including Wattpad, Inkitt and CritiqueCircle, and I'm interested in hearing some feedback from you.
This is a relatively short novel (65,000 words in total) and I'm looking to have it published sometime in the near future, so beta readers would be greatly appreciated. Here's the back-cover description:
Luirlan Lav, a cynical exile, nihilist, and serial murderer, is constantly on the run, haunted by a supernatural spirit who forces him to witness horrific visions. Meanwhile, his land is freezing over, and he must find a way to escape across the perilous sea, soon discovering that the one thing he can’t run from is the most dangerous of all: himself.
Some general questions I have:

Are there any parts of the story that drag (is the pacing balanced)?
Does each scene flow naturally into the next?
Are there any exposition dumps (places I over-inform the reader) you struggled to get through?
Can you see the world clearly while reading?
Can you describe what the main characters look like?
Does the dialogue sound natural and realistic?
Does the character development feel natural?
Are there any out-of-character moments?
Do any of the characters feel cliche or stereotypical?

“Grandmother, how did the world die?”
   The old woman sighed; the child had forgotten again. She leaned back against the pile of furs, wincing at the dull ache in her bones, a result of the insistent cold of the world outside their cave. She began to stroke the child’s silver curls with her gnarled fingers, weaving several strands into a loose braid. “Haven’t I told you this story many times before? The Incitement? The war? Don’t you remember?”
The child flopped against the furs, picking the fraying edge on one of them. “No,” he admitted. “I don’t.”
   The old woman looked at the child with a disapproving expression, though the leathery skin around her eyes creased with a distant sadness. He couldn’t tell what put it there. Just the same, she obliged, wrapping her thin shawl tighter around her as she spoke.
“There were once only two spirits on this world,” she said. “Khalaqu, the spirit of light, rain, and creation—and her brother, Tamiru, the spirit of darkness, storms, and destruction. After they balanced the sun, rain, and darkness, they became invisible. Then people rose up from the elements: Jagaser from ice, Sviroser from sand. The spirits gave them a heart, the life-giving part.”
   The child groaned. “No, Grandmother,” he protested. “Not that far back. Start with the exciting stuff!”
   The old woman stared at him, then sighed and nodded. He watched as relief flashed across her face. Perhaps she was glad he remembered something.
    “It started with the freezing of the land,” she began. She waved her fingers, and with a flash of blue light, a small piece of ice with jagged edges had formed in her hands. The child gasped and leaned forward, reaching out a hand to touch it. But the ice was melting rapidly, and soon it had wanted into a puddle.
   “It didn’t happen quickly. At first, no one noticed. Then the cliffs began to break, and the Vandrender began to die, and icestorms were harsher than ever. The tribes were terrified. They ran to the kingdoms of Sviros, pleading for help before they froze with the land. The Assembly helped the refugees at first, but then, I suppose, their cities became too crowded with the Jagaser. They no longer let anyone in, though there were many tribes left on the ice. And then, just like that, the sun went dark.”
   She paused, getting to her feet and hobbling to the mouth of the cave around the corner. The child followed her quickly, shivering at the chill that licked his face. Before the hooked overhang of rock that marked the entrance of the cave, an icy, barren wasteland lay. If the child squinted, he could see the shadows of steep mountains in the distance.
They didn’t often go outside. The grandmother was worried he would get too cold, or they would get lost in an icestorm. But he was always curious about what lay beyond.
The old woman stretched out one of her bent fingers, pointing to the sky, speckled with stars. She made a quick grab, as if catching something, then pulled her hand back down. When she opened it, a little circular shadow rested within.
   “The sun had always been distant, that much was sure. Always favored Sviros over Jagas. But the tribes could see it, rising and falling, in the distance. I was a young woman the day it abandoned this side of the world completely. I wasn’t paying much attention. But one moment the sun was there. Then, darkness. That was the last we saw of the sun.”
   The child’s eyes were wide with fascination. He knew the sun never came back. He had never seen this thing she spoke of. But the way she told it was mesmerizing, shocking, he could almost imagine it in the sky. The grandmother let the shadow fall from her fingers, leading him back to the warmth of the furs.
   “Jagas has always been cold, but soon even those who had lived there for years couldn’t stand the frost. And then there was war. You see, the Jagaser grew more fearful as Jagas froze over, and Sviros would not let them in. Fear can cause us to do irrational things sometimes. First comes pain, then hate. And violence soon broke out.”
   She paused and glanced at the child, who had lost interest, squirming on a pile of furs. The old woman raised her eyebrows. “Am I boring you?”
   The child looked up. “No, Grandmother! Not at all. But…when are you going to talk about him?”
   The old woman’s expression changed from wistful to one of disgust in an instant. “Him? Why would you want to know about him?” She spat the word, loathing strong in her voice. The child could hear something else beneath it, however.
   The child shrugged. “Because….”
   The old woman shook her head, her face weary. The child watched her expression, suddenly worried she would stop the storytelling. “If you don’t want to, you don’t have to tell—”
   “No, no, I will tell you about him,” the old woman said ruefully. “My refusing won’t make your curiosity go away. I know that. So. Him. Some might say he was the cause of all of this. I don’t think that is necessarily true, but I do know he was the reason the war began, although he didn’t live to see it. Perhaps it would have served him right, to watch the destruction of his world, to hear the screams of agony that he caused. I don’t know if it would have done any good, though. Most said he had a heart of ice.”
   “Why do they say that?”
   “He was a murderer of innocents. A breaker of families. A purveyor of doom, if I’m feeling particularly dramatic. He committed the very worst of sins among his own people, and without cause.”
   The child looked thoughtful. “Without cause? Why would anyone do that?”
   The grandmother shrugged. “I’m not sure. Some, my dear, are born evil.”
   At that, the child frowned. He didn’t say anything for a long time. “I don’t think anyone is born evil,” he decided, speaking at last. The grandmother tilted her head, inviting him to elaborate.
   “Babies aren’t evil,” the child went on, emboldened that his grandmother had taken him seriously. “At least, I don’t think they are. They don’t want to kill. Something must have made him that way.”
   “Well, it must have been very bad, whatever it was,” the grandmother remarked wryly. Something strange flickered in her eyes, and the child could see she was hiding something, though he didn’t ask. She got to her feet, with difficulty. “Perhaps that’s enough storytelling for tonight. It’s almost time for bed—”
    The child leapt up. “Wait! Not yet! I want to hear more!”
   “There is not much more to tell,” the grandmother explained. “These are stories I must keep remembering over the years. They change over time, and I do not have the best memory, you know.”
   The child looked disappointed. “Neither do I,” he said. “Why don’t you write any of it down?”
   “Our books for writing are very limited. We don’t have enough to fill them up with stories.”
   “Even if it’s our history?”
   “History,” said the grandmother, placing her hand on the child’s chin, “can be passed down many ways.”
   “Are there no books? No paintings, at all?” The child’s questions would not cease. His grandmother sometimes spoke of the art her ancestors had created long ago, and part of him hoped there were pieces of the history left.
   The old woman opened her mouth, about to respond, then closed it, frowning. She turned, muttering to herself. The child caught some of her whispered words. “Inappropriate…forbidden…not good for a child to hear the words of a murderer.” The child looked on, straining to hear, trying to stifle his questions. Then she turned back to the child.
   “There is one book,” she announced, her eyes dark. “But we are not supposed to have it.”
   The child opened his mouth, but the grandmother held up a hand. “However,” she said, “I will read it to you. It’s not as if anyone can harm us, anyway.”
   She disappeared into the cave, and the child trotted after her. They walked for quite a distance, taking several sharp turns until finally, the grandmother halted. She walked over to an old pile of skins and bent over, flinging them behind her, revealing a little wooden box. Carefully, as if handling fire, she grasped the top of the box and removed it, gently setting it on the ground. Then she reached into the box. The child waited in anticipation as she drew out a small, worn book, which she gingerly handed to him.
   The child held the book in his hands. It had a crude cover, leather-bound, so old it almost disintegrated with his touch. In the cover was engraved a single word, unfamiliar to the child. Tabidaque.
   “What does it mean?” he asked, but the grandmother just gave a quick shake of her head.
   “It’s an ancient word. Open it.”
   He began to open the book, but the grandmother quickly stopped him. “Perhaps we should sit down. This may be a while.”
   The child nodded and sat down on the pile of skins and furs. The grandmother joined him, and together they poured over the book, such a rare object in these times, lit only by the faint glow of firelight. With a delicate touch, the child flipped open the cover. Slowly, he read the words out loud.
“Unfold the web of sorrow and deceit
Buried deep in shadowed regions…”

What did you think? Let me know in the comments please! Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.
Welcome Board - START HERE! / New to Writers Circle
« Last post by Speckled Heron on January 10, 2021, 11:57:13 AM »
Hello everyone!
I'm new to Writers Circle so I thought I would introduce myself.
I live in Pennsylvania and love to write, among other things (painting, travelling, playing guitar and piano, dance, photography.) I have written many novellas and short novels in the past and have begun searching for agents in hopes of publishing my first complete dark fantasy novel, Tabidaque.

I'm looking for beta readers to read this and give me advice on the construction of the story. I'll post it later with some questions I have about it. It's not a very long novel (65,000 words, 26 chapters) and I would appreciate feedback on any or all of the chapters.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
-Speckled Heron
OphiuchusMoon, thanks for your reply,

Thanks for adding to the conversation, I really like that you mention 
- creative venues intersect - it indeed often does!

With Music you can have Songwriting, that basically
has a lot to do with Storytelling.

Also Music itself also often gets me to Write,
I have an actual Specific Music Blog where I write about Music.
There I write for example about things like Music Performances I heard on TV
or Radio, and writing about things like Songwriting and about some of my
own JAM-Session adventures etc.

Some time ago I often got together with a little Music group, and one
in our group had a sequence of photo's that he used to express the images
to make into Music.

I really like the idea about the 'Interchangeability' you mention like for example
the possibility to write a story based on a Song (or vice versa)

Or to draw a picture for a story.

For what Drawing is concerned, that reminds me that some of
the Cartoons that I drew for Designs -ON- Products, like Guitar Bags, Shirt's,
Coffee Mugs etc. originally came from comic-strip stories I created years ago.


Review My Work / Re: Beta Reader for an article
« Last post by Eddieism on January 09, 2021, 08:37:24 PM »
Hi there!

I would like to start off by saying how enjoyable it was to read, it helped me I think, even though the first example was directed at mothers, and I am neither woman nor father.

First Sample:

The heading is indeed "Captivating" to say the least, I think your target audience will differently be drawn to it.

The flow is amazing, for both samples. I have Dyslexia, and even though I will always have difficulty reading; the flow in your writing was easy to understand, so I can only imagine how easy it would be if I didn't have such a disability that affects my reading and more.

Early in I am confronted with the thought of how men and women have different societal roles, the roles priorities women to nurture their child more so than to provide for and to be successful in work (whether it be to provide for a family or for self).

I think man's societal role to provide for his family allows him an advantage when it comes to this, definitely more so than women; though women aren't alone in this difficult choice, they definitely worst off; due to society's view on their choice. Men are still affected by this though differently and perhaps less so; thus is life. like how single dads or stay home dads probably feel anxious about not providing financially when nurturing his child and vise versa when providing he is unable to nurture his child.

The Slight and only grammar mistake I spotted was this "But, I also felt strongly that I was entrusted this child for a reason."
I think you missed the "to" in the writing for example "But, I also felt strongly that I was entrusted to this child for a reason." I think this reads better, please tell me if I am wrong.

Even though, as I said I'm neither father nor a woman I felt inspired, some of this can be transferred into other aspects of life.

I could also feel the emotion in what was being written as if you were with me in the room; speaking to me about your trials and tribulations.

Second Sample:

Yes, again the heading is "Captivating" it drew me into reading it

First of all, I would like to say, your kid sounds very smart and very kind, your lucky to have each other.

For some reason, I made fewer notes for this than the first sample, not sure why? perhaps I since I believe I am being myself already? maybe... hopefully, otherwise I am oblivious of what self I'm being nowadays.

I will be linking sample 2 to my partner, as they are struggling with anxiety right now, and apart of that is that difficultly about "self", I hope this can help them, so thank you very much for posting here, and writing such inspiring and insightful things.

That is all, I hope my comment is helpful and that you continue writing your thoughts, as I found them insightful.
Review My Work / Re: 500-word Character Intro! (Fantasy)
« Last post by Eddieism on January 09, 2021, 07:22:20 PM »
Hi there! First of all, I just need to say how great it was to read, just this small amount, I would love to read more. This is an amazing intro for the character I absolutely love it and the character already.

It was really hard to come up with questions, but I managed it somehow.

1) How good is his relationship with his family? Who does he like the most and least? and why? (I think he doesn't like his father but doesn't resent him much, but I am still left thinking about it, perhaps I am correct, not sure.)

2) How Hard was it to learn to read, write, and cook? (I'm guessing he doesn't have much of a frame of reference, but I also imagine whoever was teaching him did, and he might've felt that frustration when they did have difficulty)

PS, I would gladly take the offer for you to critique my work. I will post it soon and message you when I do. as long as you find my response helpful that is.
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