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View Full Version : Fast-Tracked - Prologue and First Rough Chapter



Miggs
June 8th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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Stephanie Andromeda
June 8th, 2012, 06:30 PM
You repeated the beginning of Chapter One. Also, it should be "Everyone's crappy lives except our own."
I'm not sure what purpose the switch from third to first person was between the Prologue and Chapter One served. Did you just not want to get too deep into Immy's head in the Prologue?
Imogene's parents' death seems a bit glossed over in the prologue. When you just throw it in there like that, I don't even care that her parents died. I don't know what Imogene was feeling when she heard the news, or who her parents even were.
I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but if you didn't include the entire prologue, I'd want to continue reading more. It's almost as if you've spoiled the ending (which is
a pretty good literary technique when done right, but can destroy suspense when done wrong).
Does "pervert" have a different connotation across the pond? Because I don't see Al doing anything here that would warrant being called "a pervert, for that matter".
All that said, I do find the sort of Freudian internal conflict you've got going on, between the Id, Ego, and Superego, to be fascinating, and I'd love to see what direction you take it in.

Miggs
June 8th, 2012, 06:55 PM
You repeated the beginning of Chapter One. Also, it should be "Everyone's crappy lives except our own."
I'm not sure what purpose the switch from third to first person was between the Prologue and Chapter One served. Did you just not want to get too deep into Immy's head in the Prologue?
Imogene's parents' death seems a bit glossed over in the prologue. When you just throw it in there like that, I don't even care that her parents died. I don't know what Imogene was feeling when she heard the news, or who her parents even were.
I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but if you didn't include the entire prologue, I'd want to continue reading more. It's almost as if you've spoiled the ending (which is
a pretty good literary technique when done right, but can destroy suspense when done wrong).
Does "pervert" have a different connotation across the pond? Because I don't see Al doing anything here that would warrant being called "a pervert, for that matter".
All that said, I do find the sort of Freudian internal conflict you've got going on, between the Id, Ego, and Superego, to be fascinating, and I'd love to see what direction you take it in.

Stephanie, You are so right about the repeat in chapter one. I spat me coffee out when i noticed that :chargrined: I have no idea what happened there and i just so happened to be amending as you were writing your feedback; which is excellent by the way. I orginally entered this story into a compition a few weeks ago and so i had to write my own beginging as another wrote the begining previously and it was so pushed together i couldn't really express what i wanted to say. I do happen to agree with you that maybe the prologue is not needed, but what is in that content at the moment i could elaborate on on later. I promise you Al will be quite a character and yes he will develop into a bit of a pervert, it's just, i haven't got there yet. I am inexperienced when it comes to writing and everything that i do is a learning curve for me as i said. I might well take out the prologue and see what happens with that. Sometimes it takes someone else's feedback to open your eye's, but thank you for your honesty. :-)

Please don't stop there! :smurfin:

Cefor
June 8th, 2012, 07:13 PM
Hey there, Miggs,

As I was reading this a single thought kept popping up, "What's actually going on?" To me, nothing much is happening in this piece... and also, because it's posted in the Fantasy, Sci Fi and Horror section I was expecting something else to happen.

I know this isn't anywhere near finished, but I'd suggest that you make something exciting happen in the very next paragraph: the train derails or something. Or, if you're making this a horror/sci-fi then some kind of eldritch abomination crashes into the scene (quite literally).

I'd also suggest to remove the prologue, it's basically an info-dump of background information that would be much better served to the reader in tiny, timely snippets as they read the actual story. First person is a great viewpoint to write in, as it's generally quite easy to make the reader understand what is happening to the character emotionally, creating empathy and voila! successful reader-character relationship.

If you want to include the kick-boxing at the beginning of the story, I would suggest re-writing it in first person, with Imogene sparring with someone when the police show up to tell her about her parents' crash. It would be a great opportunity to show some characterisation, she's trying to stay tough in front of this crowd of boxers and her only friends... and either fails or succeeds, depending on how you want to play it.

You can then jump forward, if you want, to the twenty-odd year old Ryker who is a bit of a mess and show the reader how her parents' death derailed her (hey, a great metaphor to jump on here, the train derailing echoes her emotional derailing ;) ).

Basically, what I'm saying here is that you've got a good basis for an interesting character and the makings of a great read... but you need to tighten it up a little.

Unfortunately, you're correct about your grammar being hit and miss at the minute, something that you'll only sort out by practising. For example, your use of subordinate clauses is iffy and you often neglect one of the commas you need.

I'd like to suggest taking a look at your sentences. You've managed to order them in a way that makes them sound slightly awkward:

I cannot be late again Al will sack me for sure if Iím not careful; Iím already on written warning.
Instead, try something like:

Damn, I can't be late again. With that bloody written warning Fat Face gave me the other week, I'll be lucky to keep my job; the slob's just looking for an excuse to fire me.
I thought that with her character the way it is, she's probably going to curse more often than not, and 'bloody' is typically British so it keeps the setting alive. Anyways, earlier in the text you said "Fat Face, AKA Al Finny" (and it should be the other way around, real name first, nickname second (in my opinion)), but make sure she uses Fat Face more often than 'Al', otherwise there was no point adding it in there. I also extended the fat theme, calling him a 'slob'.

I hope you see how I tried to make my example flow better, the pauses give it a bit more weight and it sounds less breathless than before.

Also, more of a stylistic thing... anything that is a form of dialogue should be denoted some how... I noticed that you made her internal self speak to her and it wasn't italicised and that made me do a double take. Internal thought should be in italics cause it's like speech, that's one way of denoting it anyway.

Right, that all sounds pretty negative, but I promise that if you try and work on some of the things that both I and the previous poster, Stephanie Andromeda, said, you'll improve your writing tenfold :)

Like I said, your character seems interesting enough, but there's not a lot actually happening now, you need to make something happen. The death of her parents was just reported to us, it lessened the impact of it. Try the first person thing I mentioned, see if you like it that way.

Good luck,
Cefor

Miggs
June 9th, 2012, 03:03 PM
Hi Cefor,

What can i say but thank you for taking so much time to read through my messy story. I know my grammar is bad, (I am trying trust me) but i was hoping for this sort of feed back. Stephanie highlighted the first person thing and this is probably the best way to go, as you say, the character needs to make that conection with the reader and this is probably one of the easiest ways to do that. I will work on it, try to improve on the emotional detail, and see what happens? I see that you are experienced in writing, (Best seller and all) I would love to have your knowledge. I hope i get there. Thanks again :welcoming:

Cefor
June 9th, 2012, 08:12 PM
Hey Miggs,

No problem! I hadn't critiqued for a while and yours was the first I clicked on, I thought I would try to give as much advice as I could -- when I first started posting I had a few really helpful posters give advice, I know how much that helped me in the long run.

Believe me, some days I don't feel experienced... but don't worry, cause you can build up your knowledge if you keep writing :) Something else that may help you is try writing the story that you desperately want to read. If you write something that you love, you're going to find it easier for other people to love it, too.

Best advice, really, is to keep reading and keep writing!
Cefor