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Review My Work / Re: The Party Crasher (Sci-Fi/Horror)2000 words
« Last post by Stayce on April 18, 2019, 08:58:10 PM »
Hey there! I’m new to these boards, but am trying to offer critique where I can. I noticed that you don’t seem to have had any feedback on this yet so thought I’d offer my two cents.

It’s an interesting opening, like a much more pulp Cloverfield, and I like the little details like the mirror Steve has propped against the door. That part was nice and suggestive of the thing he has trapped in the basement without giving too much away.

A few comments I have though. First is that big block of opening dialogue. It’s not entirely clear at the beginning who Steve is talking to, and it took a little time to figure out that he’s actually addressing the camcorder. A simple fix for this would be to just insert a bit of description of him picking up the camcorder to address it directly before he starts speaking.

Another thought I had is that the camcorder actually seems to be the reader’s perspective for most of the chapter, but not always consistently so. For instance, if the camera is our viewpoint, how do we know Steve’s name? He never states it. Also, maybe think about why Steve is making this recording. Is it for posterity? Is he trying to cover his ass? Is he a YouTuber? It’s not very clear.

I have a suggestion (or maybe a challenge) for you. Why not try leaning into this camera-as-viewpoint-character idea you seem to be toying with and go full ‘found footage’ with this bit? Try shifting the tense to the present and simply describing what the camera sees? Try to capture that feeling of watching this recording on a tv screen. It might not work, but it would bring in a bit of consistency for the viewpoint and if you could get it to work, it might make things a bit more evocative.

Anyway, hope my ramblings are of some use and I look forward to seeing anything else you have.

32
The Writers Circle / Re: Do you write every single day?
« Last post by Stayce on April 18, 2019, 08:25:52 PM »
I think it depends on what you mean by ‘writing’. As many people here have already said, that if you have a lot of other life commitments (kids, family, full time job etc) actually sitting down to create something entirely fresh can be a challenge to do every day. I really struggle with this as I find I need to be in a very clear headspace and have a long stretch of available time to be able to push ahead with my projects.

Like others have said, I find revisiting, editing and polishing previous material is a better way to spend my time if I only have a little time to devote to my writing each day. My prose has a tendency to run on, so going back and taking a hatchet to it is always a worthwhile endeavor as far as I’m concerned.

I also find the old chestnut of getting some physical exercise to be a useful tool in shaping the times I actually do get to sit down and really work on something. I have too young daughters, so the only time to get a bit of exercise in that doesn’t involve chasing them around the local parks is to go for late walks. These have become my brainstorming times. I tend to develop character dialogue and map out scenes in my head so that I have a plan for when I actually get to put pen to paper. This is a god send for me as I find starting from complete scratch with only a vague idea of what I want to do exceedingly difficult.
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Review My Poetry / Can you guys please review my poem?
« Last post by Renime17 on April 18, 2019, 03:30:34 PM »
“Untitled”

The rising sun brings about a new morrow
And with it comes a feeling of lasting sorrow
Masked beneath the stretch of my arms, cloaked
This pain exists in my heart whenever it’s evoked
It is when I reach beside me, an empty warmth
Holding a barren space since winter’s end and thenceforth
Strangled, mangled, without breath
Depressed, obsessed, considering death
Memento mori, it’s not yet time
There’ll be others, so let the sun shine
Come high noon, the feeling goes away
So face your fears and embrace the new day
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Welcome Board - START HERE! / Re: Hello Guys.
« Last post by landmersm on April 18, 2019, 11:29:21 AM »
Hello and welcome!

I think most of us here work full time at other things beside writing - although that's the dream!
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Hey there, and thanks for the feedback! Much appreciated.

To be honest, some of the things you've noticed as missing are in there, but they come a little further down the line. The touching her chest thing is an example. I didn't want to go over the 2000 word limit recommended by the board. I actually do have a couple of chapters already typed up, but chose this opening bit as the most complete fragment that would make sense in isolation. I think you're right about the prose, though. I've been over this a bunch of times and cut it down a little already, but it could still be leaner, and there definitely are further darlings still to be taken out back and shot. I probably just like to hear myself type. I will take another crack and see if I can keep things a bit more terse and on the money.

With regards to the other comments, a couple of answers. You're right with your first guess. She doesn't have a name, because we're in her perspective and she doesn’t remember it. It's the same reason she's not described, yet the hospital dudes are. She doesn’t know what she looks like. I did think about things like her reading her name off the toe tag, or seeing her reflection in the scalpel, but the sting at the end of the whole chapter is that she realises she’s a complete amnesiac. Tropey, but useful for helping build mystery, and there is a narrative explanation for the amnesia. The downside is that it seems to be keeping her remote at first. I may need to rethink this...

The two hospital dudes; one of them is important. The other a nobody, so that's good advice right there. Thanks!

Again, I really appreciate the feedback. Your two cents... solid gold.

Stayce
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First, thanks for sharing and good luck (we all need it, or we wouldn't be here)

Overall: great premise, waking up in a morgue; generates automatic tension from the get-go. When you wrote that she reaches up to touch her chest, I was kind of hoping she'd find a stitched-up Y-incision. Because if you wake-up *after* you've been autopsied, you know you've got problems.

Quibbles and comments (take or leave):

1. Can she have a name at this point?  Do you not tell us her name because she doesn't remember it at the moment?  I want to get inside her viewpoint, but to me that's kind of hard when I don't know the first thing about her. Just a name can say a lot.  Plus, it helps reduce the number of pronouns in your narrative. There is an awful lot of "she" and "herself" in there, sometimes very close together. Not sure all that's necessary anyway. Which brings me to my next point . . .

2. I'll bet you could sit down and cut this segment down to 1300 words and not lose a thing. Try it. You build tension like a boss, but then squander it by dragging out the time with heavy prose.

3. Are the two guys in scrubs going to be recurrent characters beyond just this scene?  If not, I wouldn't personally waste any time describing their height, build, coloring and facial hair. Let them just be types. The reader's own "inner casting director" will throw together a couple of generic hospital dudes.  Also, if we are seeing things from the viewpoint of your very stressed-out character, it's unlikely she would notice any of that. Put your self in her shoes; you probably couldn't pick them out of a line-up five minutes later--so why should the reader be able to?  If they become important to her later, you can show them through her eyes, when she finally gets a good look at them. 

My two cents...

Vin, The Albatross Man     

   
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The Coffee Shop / Re: Do you agree with Stephen King on this topic?
« Last post by An Albatross Man on April 18, 2019, 09:14:31 AM »
I agree about commenting publicly about works you hate. It's probably not worth the time, rarely changes anyone's mind, and makes you come off sounding like a snob.

That being said, spending time thinking/talking/writing about what you specifically dislike in someone else's book is actually quite valuable, I think. If nothing else, it gives you a clear idea of what to avoid doing in your own work.

Also, if the piece in question is actually popular, it may be worth your while to figure out why other people like it, even though you don't.  You might even find that you hate it for the exact same reason that other folks love it. I can tell you that's happened to me. (Want to talk about Boondock Saints?)
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Welcome Board - START HERE! / Hello Guys.
« Last post by roroeow7 on April 18, 2019, 08:45:46 AM »
Hello,
เว็บพนันบอลต่างประเทศ
I am writing my first novel and I just became a new user on this site, hoping to get feedback on it. I currently have a full-time job, but I am also seeking to write novels in my spare time, as an extra-curricular activity.  :D
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Welcome Board - START HERE! / Need book review
« Last post by bakuman365 on April 18, 2019, 05:50:48 AM »
Greetings. this is my first time here.  I have been writing poetry for a number of years. I have finally finished my first book of Gospel poetry. I would like to know if any of you would be willing to review. You don't have to review the whole thing necessarily, but even comment on individual chapters. Just wanted feedback.เว็บบอลออนไลน์UFABET
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Review My Work / Re: How is this opening? 545 words of a novel
« Last post by An Albatross Man on April 17, 2019, 09:40:02 PM »
First off, thanks for posting.  I haven't put anything of my own up here yet, so you're ahead of me in that regard.  That being said, here are some thoughts from my perspective:

1. I will echo the previous poster who suggested cutting the first few paragraphs and starting with the description of your main character. However, an important caveat:  if the panther mother-and-cub imagery is truly significant to understanding Casira's nature, personality, themes, etc, then feel free to lead with it--but make it bold.  Bring us into that feline world in a vivid, deep-perspective way, that sends a message to the reader: 'this is important, dingbat. I'm giving you clues here, so pay attention.'

2. Be careful of starting too many sentences with prepositional phrases.  'In a grove... '  'Yards away . . .'  'Settled on the ground . . .' 'In the same grove . . .'   You can get away with anything once or twice, but consistently leading with passive descriptions of location weighs down your sentence structure and works against clarity.

3.  Between paragraphs 3# and 4# you switch from the current scene to the viewpoint character's childhood memory.  Taking a transition like that just twenty seconds after landing on the first page might disorient your slower readers (like me!).  The scene itself works great as is, but you might consider leading with it, and then pulling back to present, where Casira is painting the panthers.  That way, you only have one transition to worry about, not two. Transitions are one the hardest parts of writing, I think. At least they are to me.

4. You use the word 'protract' at the end--as in the opposite of 'retract'.  Most readers will trip on that word, and thus miss out on the coolest thing about this whole passage: IE the character you assumed is just a normal human has freaking claws coming out of her hands. Without getting too deep into it, could you maybe add some clarifying imagery about her claws?  Are the organic? Metal? Curved? Hooked? Straight?  Painted pink with sparkles?  Dripping blood?  I'm just suggesting a word or two more, embedded in an action clause, not a whole paragraph. 

5. Good, concise use of dialogue, with minimal attributions.  ;D  I like.
 
And that's my 2 cents, for what it's worth.  Thanks again for sharing, and good luck.
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