Author Topic: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing  (Read 1559 times)

Offline BenSolo

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2018, 05:39:54 PM »
@Mark. Sorry about that. I will get started on some critiques.

@Hillwalker I completely understand if itís too long to get through the whole thing. Any feedback is appreciated, and thank you for the in depth critique so far. Basically, I need to trim a lot. I think one thing I find satisfying about other sci fi is worldbuilding factoids, so when I started mine, I dove right into that, but I will need to reign in that urge and try to stay focused on the plot. I think thatís the fundamental problem with my story, besides the samarune encounter, nothing really happens haha.

Offline Mark T

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2018, 08:29:09 AM »

No worries. I haven't read your piece but judging from the comments it sounds exposition-heavy. It's a common enough problem when creating environments unfamiliar to the reader. The standard solution is to feed it in slowly, keeping it relevant to the story-line, which should always be progressing. Basically, you want to keep people reading to find out what happens next to the characters they have invested in, something like that. 

Offline BenSolo

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2018, 11:05:21 AM »
Ok, sounds good, thank you.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2018, 04:26:43 PM »
Don't take this the wrong way.  You have a vivid and fertile imagination.  But there is one problem common to all writers, especially new writers, who love building new worlds for their characters to inhabit.

It is all too easy to think the world is the story.  It isn't, no matter how vivid and exotic.  The story is what happens within that world.  The thoughts and emotions of the people or creatures are what a reader connects with.  The world itself is just a backdrop to the action.

The same happens in military thrillers where the lovingly described hardware sometimes swamps the human beings using it.

I'll admit I skipped through it a bit after realising what was happening, but for what it's worth the healer seemed a bit too vocal.  Let her think she recognises the healing work of another 'tribe' , but don't spell it all out there and then.

Why?  Allow the reader time and space to put things together for themselves.

Final thought, in the initial conversation between the two youngsters, do they really need to say "fuck" so often?   It's a word which rapidly loses its power when scattered around too freely.  If you don't believe me rewrite the scene without the fucks and see if really loses anything.

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Gyppo
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Offline BenSolo

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2018, 05:25:56 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, Gyppo. I'm working on the second chapter now and I'm trying to follow the advice I've gotten here to reign in the worldbuilding descriptions, or at least tie them into the plot more smoothly, and it's working well so far. I'm also planning to rewrite chapter one along the same lines at some point. That is a great idea, to give the reader the knowledge that Dr. Jampi knows something is fishy without Markos knowing she knows. As for the swearing, I could take it or leave it, and I will rewrite the dialogue to see what it's like without it. I suppose I was trying to be genuine by having them speak the way my friends and I speak, but realistic writing isn't always good writing.

Offline Kim Evans

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2018, 10:31:45 PM »
Just read the first part of the chapter. I think there a wonderful world and an exciting story here but I would advice you approach it more from characters viewpoints rather than from a narrator's perspective. I think that will help it be more story-like and less documentarish

Offline Kim Evans

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2018, 10:34:54 PM »
I think reading several movie-scripts can help you show more and tell less.

Offline BenSolo

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2018, 11:57:17 PM »
Oh, reading movie scripts is a great idea! Thanks Kim :)

Offline Tak

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2018, 01:48:25 PM »
hello

It is a bit long for me to do a line by line. I decided just to read it instead and give a pov.

The opening doesn't help. I think it can work, but you need to activate all those things before it can grab me well enough. The dog is there long enough to attach him active more directly. With your narration style, it doesn't allow for this. Consider broadening it.

You add things that I guess are your way of giving data. The knife of his mother is an example. I don't really need to know about it until it is attached to the scene. If his grandmother is alive, then when he shows his to her. Your sentence structures need smoothing. You write and then you read, but you forgot to take time to listen.

When you next edit, read it, have it read to you, and compare with what was said. When editing, a writer's mind/eyes sometimes skips over things they've seen a dozen times, and so misses many of these errors.

Overall though I like the possibilities of this piece and believe that after a bit of editing and reviewing your writing habits, that is will be far better.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 01:50:14 PM by Tak »

Offline Rantideva

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2019, 12:20:38 PM »
I think there is potential for this big idea and new world.  However, I read the first few paragraphs and felt like I was reading a biology paper instead of an entertaining work of fiction. 

The story seemed to focus on the environment and history, and less so than the character's actions.  The paragraphs also tended to be "long winded".

Offline EliTaffJr

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Re: Sci-Fi/YA Chapter Draft - 5725 Words - Content: Mild Swearing
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2019, 09:27:27 PM »
Hi BenSolo!

First of all, thank you for sharing your work on the forums. I know how daunting it is to put a piece of writing out there for critique. I will not repeat my initial observations, as they mostly echo what the others have said here. However, as a writer, I am always looking for constructive takeaway bits that I can immediately implements, so here is my list for you:

-Like hillwalker3000, I think that starting when the MC dives into the water and gets attacked is a great idea.

Your MC is in danger, how will he get out? What is this thing attacking him? I have so many questions, but all you're giving me is action.

First or second sentence of the book, BOOM, he's getting attacked by something freaky. What is it? Give me glimpses, don't give me a wikipedia page. I'm just a guy walking through the bookstore and I casually pick up your book because I like the cover. I don't want you to go into a full history or biology lesson. I want to see how your Main Character, alone (except for his dog) in a vast and scary ocean and coming up against a sea monster, pulls himself out of danger. You don't have to explain what your Main Character knows about the creature, instead, show me how it moves, how alien it looks, its size compared to Markos.

If you imagine your opening scene as a movie or TV show, what will immediately hook the viewer to WANT to get into the rich world you've built?

Action, my guy!

Hahaha, but maybe I'm trying too hard to put myself into the shoes of a potential customer flipping to the first page in a bookstore. I want this guy to buy the book, take it home, then get comfortable and immersing themselves into the book. The first twenty to fifty pages, I'm selling them through action!

-Next point, drip-feed me the information. Once the action is over, once the customer says, "Okay, I'll buy this." then goes home for some reading, you do have to introduce them to the world, but don't dump it in chunks. Gradually give them the information they need, but ONLY when it relates to what is immediately happening.

A lot needs to happen in the first chapters of your book, and it needs to happen with momentum.

As readers critiquing your work on this forum, a lot of us will feel like its drifting and unfocused because there is no initial obvious objective for us to root for the MC to accomplish. After the action hooks the reader, the objective gives us a map to know where the MC is heading.

The reason you're getting a lot of readers saying there's too much information and similar comments, may be because we don't know what to do with the information. We don't know what the MC immediately wants to accomplish, so having all of this information doesn't do us any good.

-Action
-Who is your MC, what does s/he want?
-Drip-feed us info as s/he goes about accomplishing the objective

DISCLAIMER: I'm still a new writer, so actually doing what I suggest in my own writing is always a challenge, hahahaha but when I put my reader's hat on, I know what works for me and what doesn't. I think you've got the bones to a great story in a fascinating world. Also, don't ever delete what you don't end up using. Save it forever in an Extra Bits folder, and keep it for reference or for additional short stories to supplement your books AFTER this first one is selling! All the best in your writing, my friend!
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