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srebak
September 26th, 2010, 10:38 PM
I am a young man who is considering publishing my books. But due to monetary lackings, i can't afford to publish with those big companies. So I attempted to find one that may do it for free.

I found two possible candidates, but i was told that i'd best get my work copyrighted first and they had a point. But upon further thought, i had another issue to consider.

When i originally started writing what could be considered real books, i got ideas for them from certain things i saw on television. Some may have been subconscieously.

When i presented them to a few people i knew in Middle School, they all said they liked them. But honestly, i don't recall i told them of my source material and these days, that's starting to eat at me.

Now i need someone to critique my work. If i do decide to do business with the aformentioned publishers, i need to know if it would be wise to submit my first set of books. Part of me finds that the 2 in-progress books i have are somewhat better. But the other half considers all the people who read my original set and liked them and wants to start of my career with my original works.

As much as i feel i'll regret doing this, i'm going to copy and paste my said original set and if you please, you'll read them and tell me how much or how little they compare to what i feel they are like. Once again, if you would be so kind.

My original book, Sea of Mystery and Distance and it's 2 sequels were inspired by the Simpsons episode "Diatribe of a mad housewife", but has aspects of Brian Jacques' book series Redwall (or at least from what i saw from the TV series). Please, if you know what i'm talking about, tell me how much or how little they compare to my work





SEA OF MYSTERY AND DISTANCE
Chapter one
Black tales of black water
My life is a cruel one, not different than that of Macbeth or of the king of Denmark but if my life was to be on another I would have laughed aloud I am Thaddeus pike a cabin boy on the black manta and all I get is scraps of fish and days old ale blaww and under the tyranny of my captain and master scarface ratlang named for his reputation as a bilgrat or sea rat, he is the scourge of the seven seas, he and his blasted troops would sail to any village, castle or kingdom and plunder it of all its food and money if you couldn’t pay with money you pay with your life at his cold jagged blade

Now I’m sure your thinking how I got in such a situation Capt. Scar and his pirates invaded my home in wolf valley, he plundered my village, he burned down my house, and he ordered his horde to kill my parents and younger sister! He took me as a slave if I refuse his orders I would be reunited with my parents and sister thus I was forced into his servitude we are now on our way to Capt. Scar’s seashore domain Hunters castle with his hundreds of slaves from whom he captured from far lands to run his land and when we get back they will toss me in that cold old pit for the reason that they out class me

even as we speak we reached the docks and they took me to the pit as I hear my friends ballena and walter’s pain as they get struck by the guards whip while dogs barked at me on chains as the guards dropped me in the pit, especially first mate dark claw oh that dark claw he is the worst of all of Capt. Scar’s men and more willing to kill but has just as black of heart I hope to escape to the land of magic a land swarming with milk and honey with my friends with me along with the other slaves whom I also plan to liberate, but to do that I have to run Capt. Scar out and destroy hunters castle I will kill capt. Scar, I will free my slaves and I will avenge my family I am the thadeus pike the soon to be free I am that is my time is soon to be free




Chapter twelve
(The ending conflict)
And so the fight went on Capt. Scar and his pirates vs. me and my friends although many of the slaves had been injured but captain scar’s men also fell back to get more weapons so we used this time to regroup and to get a plan of attack

“All right then men here’s the plan the seagull & the trio will fly up to sky over hunter’s castle and drop some stones then the squirrels will climb the tree and jump on top of them then we tell mighty to splash and wash some of the pirates down then we charge” I said “I don’t know thaddeus will this plan work?” asked nora “it will work nora it will” I said so we put my plan to action, it worked and we got into hunter’s castle so we fought the pirates in battle

I saw Capt. Scar got a spear and charged him with it he saw me and got out of the way and tried to run me through with his sword but I blocked it with my spear and we battled up the wall I pushed him in a bucket down to the ground he lived he then grab the seagull “surrender your army to me or your bird friend dies” said scar “all right all right I’ll come down and give you my spear” I said “okay then come down and surrender to captain scarface ratlang the great” scar gloated as I cut the rope that held up the spare wood and stones that all fell on top of scar “poor brother and all the slaves are gone and all my men are gone oh well at least I can now depend on you old friend (squawk) old friend old friend” said salty and his parrot we were victorious and it turns out that leena knows where the land of magic is she led us to the land we had the milk and honey for the rest of our lives all of us has made it even the sea creatures joined us as a family we had a glorious adventure and I would never have asked for another
THE END

Danvok
September 26th, 2010, 11:07 PM
Err.... just a few things I note.

First of all, for the most part showing is better than telling. I noticed in your first chapter you mentioned a lot of events that would be more powerful if you had shown them happening rather than simply explaning them directly as an author. The only things that in this case, I think, you should tell are things that are incredibly difficult or wasteful to try and show the reader.

For example, if there is significant history surrounding the setting of your story that is essential to the plot it may be better to sum it up into a quick explanation rather than taking pages of dialogue from one character to another to do the exact same thing.

Most of what you have written in the first chapter could have been shown in real time, with periods of time passing in-between the events, in order to create hte drama and suspense that most fantasy tales have. Yet, you could explain things such as the dark background of Capt. Scar, the typical attributes of people in the Wolf Valley, the history and description of the "Hunter's Castle and so on.

You may want to consider your narrator as well. Think about the different characters surrounding your story and, if each of them told it, the strength's and weaknesses of each of the characters. You don't have to have the main character recounting his own story. In-fact, you don't even need a main character to tell it.

Also, you REALLY should proofread your chapters. There are tons of grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors throughout your work. If you find this hard to do for yourself maybe you can find someone else to do the proofreading for you?

Just my two cents. Keep working at it.

BoredMormon
September 27th, 2010, 04:44 AM
I'd say you need to read a couple thousand more books before you worry about publishing any. Also read through the pages of advice about money and publishing. Anyone who will publish what you have written is scamming you.

Learn how to use a sentance. It is the basic tool of the writer. It starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.

Start with reading at least one book. 'The Cat in the Hat' might be a good idea.

garza
September 27th, 2010, 06:04 AM
srebak - The major publishing houses, the 'big companies' as you call them, pay you. You don't pay them. But they have to believe they can sell a few container loads of your books before they will deal with you, and that means you have to write something they they can sell. If you pay someone to publish your book, and no one buys the book, you will have lost all you paid.

What you have shown us here will not sell. I do not write fiction, I write non-fiction. But as a lifelong reader of fiction I can tell you that so far your enthusiasm is outstripping your abilities.

That's not as bad as it may sound. Enthusiasm is essential, but so is the possession of a few tools needed by the writer. The first was pointed out by BoredMormon; the ability to put words together in proper order to have a proper sentence, the basic building block of writing. You need to channel your enthusiasm first into learning some basics about language structure and word usage.

We do not know your age or your education level. Perhaps we can help you more if we know where you are starting from.

Please do not be discouraged by anything that anyone here says. It's all meant to help, to guide you into becoming a better writer. There are some very successful fiction writers here, and they can help you. We also have some talented teens, and if you are quite young you may be able to relate to them better than to those of us who are somewhat older.

srebak
September 27th, 2010, 11:03 AM
I was afraid you'd say this wasn't good, but point of reference, this was actually the first of seven books i wrote. And i wrote this when i was 13, i'm now 19 about to be 20. So you're saying Sea of Mystery and Distance is no good?

The Backward OX
September 27th, 2010, 02:50 PM
I think that's what they were saying.

garza
September 27th, 2010, 03:49 PM
srebak - It is good because it is an effort to write, and that cannot be dismissed as 'no good'. What it does not have is an understanding of language, of the way in which words work together to tell a story or to pass along information.

Your biggest problem, and one that can be solved easily enough, is that you have not read enough. By the age of 13 you should have read many, many books, stories, and articles in magazines and newspapers. Unfortunately you must have spent all your time watching television. You can solve that problem by starting to read a lot now. It may take a bit longer than it would have when you were a lot younger.

When we are children our minds are like sponges, they soak up everything. A child of eight or nine reading something like The Call of the Wild may not understand all the details of the story, but the language in which the story is told, the pictures the words create in his mind, will be lessons in how language is used. They will be fun lessons, because the story is a good story and is told in a good way.

That is one of the books I would recommend you read now, along with To Build a Fire by the same writer, Jack London. Find and read the stories and poems of Rudyard Kipling. Also I recomment J.D. Salinger's book The Catcher in the Rye and two of his stories, 'Raise the Roof Beam, Carpenters' and 'Seymour, an Introduction'.

Find and read as many books of this sort as you can. Your local librarian can recommend others. Stay away for now from science fiction and fantasy. You've had an overdose of that from television and you need to look at other kinds of stories and other kinds of writing.

Look down this page and find the section marked 'Writing 101'. Read the articles about writing that are posted there. Add do keep writing.

BoredMormon
September 28th, 2010, 08:42 PM
I look back at my own first attempts and cringe. Unfortunately its not possible to write good fiction without producing a lot of bad stuff first. Keep going, it will only get better.

srebak
October 3rd, 2010, 01:24 AM
Because this was my first book, i wasn't sure if i'm really up for just tossing it aside. So i tried revising and rewriting it, though the plot remains unchanged.


Chapter One
(Black Tales of Black Water)
My life is a cruel one, no different than that of Macbeth or of the king of Denmark, but if my life was on another, I would have laughed aloud. Yet still, I can’t help but think of a less bleak time in my life. When I was young and happy and when the sun of my joy glowed bright. I lived a simple life, with a simple family, in a simple place called Wolf Valley. Now I know that may seem like an odd name for a place to live. But if you had actually been there at the time, you’d understand the reason for the name. For you see, looming over the valley is a rock formation that bears the resemblance of a gray wolf. But despite this seemingly scary sight, the people have not only made this area their home, but have looked to this formation as if it were a deity. In this said village, there lived a middle-aged woodsman named Alondus Pike. He lived in a house he made with an axe and bare hand. But he did not live here alone; no, he was married to a lovely woman named Tuanita. Over the years of their union, there were born two children. The second of the children to be born was a young, red-haired girl named Ariel. The first born was a young man and that young man, was me. My name is Thaddeus Pike, son of Alondus and Tuanita.
1.


For years, as I said earlier, the life I had with my parents and younger sibling weren’t the most spectacular, but I never really asked for anything more. Little did I know, that the sun of my happiness was about to be blocked out by a dark cloud of misery and loss. Darkness was about, at last, about to be fall me. It was a calm summer day; the guards of our village were standing watch on the cliffs that surrounded the valley, but as usual, they never saw anything but the airborne seagulls. This immediately changed, when they saw a terrible sight. It was boat, but not just any boat, as the flag showed, this boat was sailed by Pirates. And their leader was the worst of them all. These seafarring brigands were lead by the most malicious and ruthless man in all the 7 seas. The notorious Captain Scarface Morgan Ratlang. Originally, he went by the name of Capt. Augustus Morgan Ratlang, but after all the castles he's raided, the villages he's burned down and ships he's attacked, he eventually retained a wound on his left eye. While he survived the wound and he retained his eyes, he all but lost sight in that eye. After that, he appropriately began to go by the guise of Captain Scarface Ratlang.
2.


Regardless, the evil corsair has led one of the most dangerous pirate crews to ever sail the water. Even Scarface himself has begun to loose count of how many victims have stained his dangerously jagged sword with their blood. Not that he would have ceased this if he hadn't. The sea captain and his men have sailed the seas many times in the past. But sadly, their massive ship, the "Black Manta", had at last reached the shores of Wolf Valley. I will never forget how truely blight my life became after that. In no time at all, Capt. Scar and his men were plundering the area of nearly everything in sight. Not a single house in the village had not been broken into or set on fire. Those horrible pirates didn't stop until they had every last ounce of gold, silver and bronze in the village, they even took the copper. If you stood in their way, especially Scar's, you lost your life. In the bedlam and mayhem, my parents gathered Ariel and myself and attempted to leave while we still could. But sadly, we didn't even get passed the village gates, we were cut off by a single gunshot.
3.

A shot fired by Capt. Scar's First Mate: Dark Claw. He got this name by the fact that he only wears one black leather glove on his right hand. And since he uses this hand to shoot guns and swing his sword, he became better known as Dark Claw. I will never forgive Dark Claw, for the gunshot that stopped my family, it had reasons beyond merely terror for stopping us. The real reason we were stopped, was because Dark Claw's shot hit my father directly at the heart. My mother shielded Ariel's eyes as my father's body collapsed onto the ground. After this, Dark Claw and the rest of Captain Scar's cutthroat band began to close in and surround us like wolves surrounding their prey. At that moment, my mother tossed Ariel into my arms and told my to run! Somehow, with Ariel in my arms, I managed to get passed the pirates and make a run for it. Our mother was not so lucky, one of the other pirates grabbed her and placed a dagger in her back. This was probably the reason she gave me Ariel, she some how knew she wasn't going to survive this
4.


I tried to make sure I didn't loose Ariel too, so I held on to her tight and kept running. But then, 2 more of Scar's men cut us off. I tried to turn another direction, but they tossed a net over me like a fisherman catching a fish. I tossed Ariel before I was completely netted and told her to run. She complied, but before she got far, it happened. One of the 2 pirates to catch me drew out his gun and fired, and all i could do was watch, as Ariel, my baby sister fell to the ground and joined our parents in the afterlife. My eyes just grew more and more tearful at this site, my home is in flames, my fellow villagers are all gone and now, my family is lost. All I could do at this point, was cry my heart out as my captors dragged my to their Captain to decide my fate. Dark Claw and the others all just ranted about ways to kill me, but Scar ultimately decided that his boat could use a new Cabin Boy. So as of that moment and the 3 years that followed, i've been enslaved on the Black Manta as one of Scar's lowly slaves. And what's worse, all i get to eat are the scraps left behind by those pirates and a bottle of ale, over 9 days old, Blaww
5.


I wanted to speak out against this tyrant, to tell him that i'd much rather die than face this treatment. But i just didn't have the courage to do so. As I speak now, we are approaching Scar's home, a fortress on the coast of the northern mainland, Scar has christened this place, Hunter's Castle. You see, while Scar has enjoyed life at sea, he began to long for a place to call "Home sweet Home" for him and his men. So, with the people he already had enslaved on his ship, he began construction on what soon come to be known as Hunter's Castle. A massive fortress, comprised of stone and wood, there were left over materials such as logs and stones, so Scar had all his slaves put them in areas along the walls. And inside the fortress, there are not only the same people whom Scar made construct this building, but there are also many new arrivals as well. While Scar has decided to settle on the land, he hasn't given up the sea farring life completely. Since such a structure doesn't keep itself standing forever, Scar has scowered many places to bring back more slaves to work to keep his new fortress up and running. My village was just one of those he raided for this purpose. Though this is not to say he has given up plundering and pillaging, I'm certain his quarters are filled with gold and jewels from all of his past expeditions.
6.


As we docked, Dark Claw and 2 other pirates came for me in the ship's slave quarters and dragged me out and into the Fortress. Upon looking up at the walls, you can see the guards assigned to them, who Scar for some reason, calls "wallers". Behind said wall, I can hear the barking the vicious guard dogs, chained to a stone wall. Starved to the point where they will attack anything that moves, which is just how Scar likes it. But the dogs aren't the only ones who are suffering here. I can't help but hear the whipping and the agonized yells of my two friends; Walter and Ballena. Walter is a muscuIar fellow and Ballena is slightly scrawnly young lady. I met these 2 sometime after I was captured. Scar also stole them from their 2 home towns and forced them into forced labor. At first, they were galley slaves on the Black Manta, this is how the three of us met. We became fast friends and agreed that if we have to endure such treatment, we'd do it together. However, because they can both lift quite a bit, Scar decided to put them to work on the Fortress. They've been enslaved for that task ever since. As for me, Dark Claw and the others were taking me to where they always put me when we're on dry land, the pit. An underground holding hole where they can keep me and keep an eye on me. With nothing else to do, all ever do in the pit is sit there and pray for the day i'll be free and for the day when Capt. Scar gets what he all his seadogs deserve.
7.

How is it now?

Bucky24
November 3rd, 2010, 12:46 AM
Yet still, I can’t help but think of a less bleak time in my life. When I was young and happy and when the sun of my joy glowed bright.


These would sound better if they were a single sentence, instead of two.



But despite this seemingly scary sight...


The word choice here is a little awkward. So far the story almost seems like a tale told by a bard-it has that feel to it, but the words here don't fit. I'd go more with something like "despite this frightening adornment".



In this said village


In the context that you are using the word "said", you don't need "this". "In said village" will do fine.



He lived in a house he made with an axe and bare hand


"There was an old woodsman who lived in a hand". "With his bare hands" usually means using no tools at all, so if the guy used an ax to make his house, then he didn't do it with bare hands.



The second of the children to be born was a young, red-haired girl named Ariel. The first born...


Naming the second child before the first breaks the flow of the story for me. I see "born two children" and the next thing I expect to see is "the first..."



The first born was a young man and that young man, was me"


The comma is not in the right place. Should be "a young man, and that young man was me". Think of the comma as the place where, if you were speaking this story, you would pause to take a breath.



For years, as I said earlier, the life I had with my parents and younger sibling weren’t the most spectacular...


No, earlier you said "I can’t help but think of a less bleak time in my life". Keep your character consistant.



Little did I know, that the sun of my happiness


The comma doesn't need to be here. Again, think of when you would take a breath while speaking.



Darkness was about, at last, about to be fall me.


befall is one word, not two. And the second "about" shouldn't be there. But good use of commas this time to add emphasis.



but as usual, they never saw anything but the airborne seagulls. This immediately changed, when they saw a terrible sight.


This doesn't read very smoothly. It would be better like "as usual they never saw anything UNTIL..." then go into the description of what they saw.



this boat was sailed by Pirates. And their leader was the worst of them all.


Fragmented sentence. Replace the period with a comma.



Originally, he went by the name of Capt. Augustus Morgan Ratlang, but after all the castles he's raided, the villages he's burned down and ships he's attacked...


We've just switched from past tense to present...



and ships he's attacked, he eventually retained a wound on his left eye.


And back to past, all in the same sentence. Not a good idea-try to avoid doing this.



he eventually retained a wound on his left eye. While he survived the wound and he retained his eyes, he all but lost sight in that eye.


"retained" makes sense the second time, but not the first. He "took" a wound, not "kept" a wound. Also, I think it would read better if you put "retained the eye", referring to the eye that was wounded, not "his eyes", since only one eye was wounded.



Even Scarface himself has begun to loose count of how many victims have stained his dangerously jagged sword with their blood.


Into present tense again.



The sea captain and his men have sailed the seas many times in the past. But sadly, their massive ship, the "Black Manta", had at last reached the shores of Wolf Valley.


And back to past. Wolf Valley has a shore? Maybe mention this in the beginning?



bronze in the village, they even took the copper.


Here a semi-colen or dash would be more appropriate than a comma, since "they even took the copper" is meant as an afterthought.



we didn't even get passed the village gates, before we were cut off by a single gunshot.


And should be "past", not "passed"



A shot fired by Capt. Scar's First Mate: Dark Claw.


We've moved into "3" (chapter 3?) by this point, so you should clarify what shot we are talking about.



He got this name by the fact that he only wears one black leather glove on his right hand. And since he uses this hand to shoot guns and swing his sword, he became better known as Dark Claw.


This is an appropriate swing into present tense, but ONLY if Dark Claw is still alive.



I will never forgive Dark Claw, for the gunshot that stopped my family, it had reasons beyond merely terror for stopping us.


Awkward wording at the end. Cut out the comma and "it".



The real reason we were stopped, was because Dark Claw's shot hit my father directly at the heart.


No need for comma.



other pirates grabbed her and placed a dagger in her back.


You should use a more... descriptive word than "placed".



This was probably the reason she gave me Ariel, she some how knew she wasn't going to survive this


Aside from not having a period, this sentence is worked incorrectly. The intent is to tell the reader that the mother gave Ariel to the narrator to keep safe, but looking back at the story, the narrator should KNOW that this was why, not just "probably". Be more definite.



She complied, but before she got far, it happened. One of the 2 pirates to catch me drew out his gun and fired..


Get rid of the "it happened" and merge these two sentences. It will read cleaner.



One of the 2 pirates to catch me drew out his gun and fired, and all i could do was watch, as Ariel, my baby sister fell to the ground and joined our parents in the afterlife.


A little bit of a run-on sentence-try splitting it up.



My eyes just grew more and more tearful at this site, my home is in flames, my fellow villagers are all gone and now, my family is lost.


Remove the "just". "sight", not "site". We've moved to present tense again, but that's ok here-the narrator might be "entering" the memory, telling it as if he is there again.



Dark Claw and the others all just ranted about ways to kill me,


Again, without the "just". "Just" makes it sound like that was all they were planning to do, to "just" rant and not actually kill.



3 years that followed, i've been enslaved on the Black Manta as one of Scar's lowly slaves. And what's worse, all i get to eat are the scraps left behind by those pirates and a bottle of ale, over 9 days old, Blaww


A bottle of ale to last all three years? Or are we talking about multiple bottles, but all old (though I think you mean opened-remember, the older alcohol gets the better it is, not worse).



Scar has christened this place, Hunter's Castle. You see, while Scar has enjoyed life at sea, he began to long for a place to call "Home sweet Home" for him and his men. So, with the people he already had enslaved on his ship, he began construction on what soon come to be known as Hunter's Castle.


If he's crhistened it, then it's ALREADY known as Hunter's Castle. Or do you mean infamous?



But the dogs aren't the only ones who are suffering here. I can't help but hear the whipping and the agonized yells of my two friends; Walter and Ballena.


Honestly at this point I can't tell if the narrator is talking about something going on right now, or something in the past. You say that pirates "came for", implying present, but that could have been a few minutes prior, and now he hears the yells.

Still a little rough to read, though the events are more fleshed out, so it is much easier to understand what is going on.
You seem to have a problem with tenses. I try to stay always in present tense (though I don't do narrations very often), because once you go to present tense then you have basically said "our timeline stops here", and you can't put any events in the story after that time.