View Full Version : First try at a Novel

January 20th, 2011, 12:08 AM
Hello! This my first posting of original work and I hope it's enjoyed and responded to. Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read it.

This is an excerpt from the first chapter of my first novel. I'm playing with the notion of having my main character writing a journal. This would open the story:

October 5th 2009

We arrived in Monroe this morning. I’m admittedly conflicted; the town’s in the middle of a mountain range, literally surrounded by rolling hills of red, orange, and gold with a few white peaks already, [I’ve got a sneaking suspicion I won’t do well with snow] but the temperature is freezing below freezing. California:1, New Hampshire:0. I know I’ve been raised to believe that judgments without knowledge are sins but I feel confident that I will hate this place based solely on the weather. Although I guess long sleeves are a plus. California:1, New Hampshire: 0.4.

Dad’s…okay, I guess. It’s bizarre seeing him around his family. I never really thought of him as being someone’s son or brother. Hearing him call someone “Mom” or “Dad” is weird enough but I when was looking at Aunt Jilly when we were bringing my bags to my new room, [btw, totally changing the gag inducing pink wallpaper ASAP], it hit me that she and my dad have exactly, EXACTLY the same eyes: caramel colored that crinkle at the corners with every move of their mouths. Freaky to the max. She seems cool though, really nice and not completely awkward with everything, which is a refreshing change of pace. The grandparents are a horse of a different color; He, [Grampy], said about eight syllables before camping out on his recliner to watch The Weather Channel while she, [Gran], was so polite and proper she could make a Stepford wife look like a MTV reality starlet. How their combined DNA resulted in Dad should be studied by scientists and scholars.

I’m still furious with him and it‘s totally justified. I mean, he just up and moved me away from everything without a discussion and that’s not supposed to happen. We’re supposed to talk; that’s what my therapist has been trying hammer into my brain for the past six months, that I need to talk, express my needs and wants clearly with my words so why shouldn’t he have to do the same? Why does he get to completely upend my world and only have to tell me, “It’s what’s best for you, for both of us.”

I hate him. I really hate him now but all that’s doing is just making me hate myself even more. He’s Dad; my provider, my protector, my one thing that‘s not supposed to fail me. I just want to get a…no I won’t write that. Not supposed to think of that. Not supposed to want that anymore.

I had that dream again last night, the one I don’t tell anyone about. I slept the whole plane ride to Manchester and the nearly two hour drive to Monroe to make up for the forty minutes of sleep I got last night. It’s still-

January 20th, 2011, 12:31 AM
First off, I loved the voice of the narrator/owner of the journal. It came through really strongly throughout; referring to her Grandpa/Grandma as [Grampy] and [Gran] was a nice touch. The scoring element near the beginning was also effective at conveying discomfort in a light tone.

The beginning phrase calling the town 'picturesque' doesn't really help me (nor I am assuming most readers) in describing the setting. It's pretty generic and doesn't really help with determining the surroundings. You call Monroe cold on several accounts, (part of the numbering scheme) so maybe throw in some details about the shift to a colder climate (can see her breath, icicles forming, snow, etc etc).

The 'Not supposed to think of that' was a great suspense builder.

All in all I liked it, keep up the good work!

January 20th, 2011, 12:37 AM
You write well and the stye is befitting of a journal. The authorial voice has the feeling of one unashamed in portraying sentiments of a self analytical nature. For this reason, and, not disregarding its impressive attention to detail, it makes for an enjoyable and somewhat relaxing read. There are however some things I would personally avoid using, "F to the U" for example. I understand why you've included this, but it doesn't succeed in adding much to our appreciation of the character's mindset. "It's what's best for you, for both of us." followed by a break in paragraph that begins, "I hate him". This alone, assuming you exclude the "F to the U", puts your message across in a much subtler and refined fashion. Sometimes that which is left unsaid speaks volumes, and resonates much louder when conflict does eventually ensues. I'd also omit, "So moving on...". What you're writing is a depiction of fluidic thought, and this pause seems somewhat unnatural and out of turn with the piece as a whole. "We arrived in Monroe this morning after the town’s in the middle of a mountain range", I think this is a typo so I won't bother with that one ; ). Overall it's very impressive and truly a joy to read. And, without meaning to coin a cliche, I look forward to reading more of it. Hope this helps

January 20th, 2011, 12:33 PM
I like it, she's sounds like an ex-physcopath or something when she talks bout the dreams and therapy. I hope it turns into a thriller and she gets mad and starts killing folk :)

January 20th, 2011, 02:41 PM
It's pretty interesting to read it from the diary :) As the story goes on, there could be entries from a different character. Whether the entries are nice, threatening, or trying to impersonate the girl would depend on what kind of story you plan on writing. It could tie in to her therapy, and the twist at the end would be that all of the entries were in fact her.

January 21st, 2011, 12:32 AM
Very very well written IMHO. I love it when I read something along the lines of Journal and can believe its real instead of saying, "Oh i realize this is fake" i get into to it and just by the writing i can tell its a girl and you use a femine tone that i can hear. I like it a lot. I can see this moving in a couple of ways.

As far as the negatives i don't see any... Call me a bad critique but i just don't see anything wrong with it lol

August 28th, 2012, 12:21 AM
This comes off to me as a good book written for teenagers. It fits the smae situation kids go through when they just up and move. I like how it fits into exactly what a person writing in a journal would say. They're completely open. No inhibitions, no holding back. They can be their true colors, and you wrote like that. It's spot on to a journal writing.