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caters
April 25th, 2014, 08:37 PM
I am writing a story about these 2 people going to new earth, having a child, building a city and more people going to the city that they are building to help them out. Some people are always lookouts watching other people building stuff and making sure that they don't get injured or sunburned or anything like that and doing first aid in case it happens.


Here is the first chapter:

There is a woman and she has a pet dog. She has heard of this thing called New Earth and wants to go there but realizes she needs a lot of things to grow and hunt stuff as well as taking care of farm animals. She also needs a husband. She dated for a while before she heard about New Earth and has a good idea of who is a good husband for her. She drove with her dog to the garden center. She said “I want these plants as seeds: Apple, Orange, Lemon, Lime, Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Strawberry, Cherry, Grape, Asparagus, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cucumber, Beets, Green Beans, Leaks, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Garlic, Shallots, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Celery, Bell Peppers, Corn, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Radishes, Potato, Pumpkin, Tomato, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Parsley, Mint, Wheat, and Oats” The man there said “That’s a large list. I guess you are going to New Earth and want to start a civilization” The woman said “Yes that is exactly what I am doing.” The man said “Okay I will get you what you want.” The woman said “Thank you” He said “You’re welcome”. The woman told her dog to not eat her seeds. Her dog delightfully obeyed her. She went to a farm. There was the farmer. He said “Hi, Nice to see you.” The woman said “Nice to see you too. I need some farm animals. Specifically I need some cows, chickens, pigs, and horses.” The farmer asked “Why so many?” The woman said “I am going to New Earth to start a civilization and for that I need stuff for a garden which I already have, farm animals, and a husband as well as baby stuff for whenever I have a baby there, mainly for my benefit.” The farmer said “Hmm interesting. I have heard about it and it sounds like you are the only person going there besides some man that you marry.” She said “Yes that is right. I was wondering if you would marry me.” The farmer said “Well we have been dating for a while and I have been good to you and you have been good to me so yes I will marry you.” They had their wedding and drove home. The next day they were thinking about what number system they should use. After a few weeks they finally decided to use the base 10 that they are familiar with. They drove to get a rocket and then back home.

If you could critique that first chapter that would be nice.

I want to know if there are any grammar errors and if I should change anything whether I have grammar errors and fix them or don't have grammar errors. I know there are no spelling errors in this chapter.

Greimour
April 25th, 2014, 09:01 PM
I don't really know how to critique this... o.0

It seems you have given a plot/goal summary of the chapter... but not actually given the written story for us to critique.

For example, what is the woman's name?

Jostled and bumped by the shoddy suspension of her old Volkswagen, Mary gritted her teeth and counted the days until she could get rid of it. Having constantly read about New Earth, she'd decided to grab her dog Toto and head off for the statewide garden center - there were things she would need if she was to really pack her things and venture to the new promised land.

Recounting the list of items she would need just to begin life there, having not yet even planned on how she was going to get there, she frowned and bit back her doubts.

"We'll be OK, won't we Toto?"
The large boarhound just panted and wagged his tail in response.
"I knew you would agree." Mary smiled, reassured by her faithful companions imagined smile.

***

The above would be work easier to critique... the actual written story with thoughts, feelings, characteristic traits and description.
Listing off details the way shown in your paragraph isn't a chapter... it is literally just a paragraph of things that happen. It doesn't tell us much about the characters or story and the plot development is pretty big for a single chapter too.

You could easily have chapter one end when she left farm where she purchased the animals. Chapter two could be the proposal and chapter 3 a wedding. Chapter 4 purchasing the rocket or flying craft, whatever it is... chapter 5 preparing for flying to the New Earth... chapter 6 the journey to new earth and their landing.... etc...

Like I said, I don't really know how to crit this piece... I would happily run through it if you wrote it in story format though.

caters
April 26th, 2014, 12:48 AM
Here is what my first chapter is now:

Rebecca had a pet dog named Aria. After listening to her science news channel she decided to get stuff for going to New Earth. She dated for a while before she heard about New Earth and has a good idea of who is a good husband for her. Rebecca drove with her dog Aria to the garden center. She said “I want these plants as seeds: Apple, Orange, Lemon, Lime, Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Strawberry, Cherry, Grape, Asparagus, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cucumber, Beets, Green Beans, Leaks, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Garlic, Shallots, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Celery, Bell Peppers, Corn, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Radishes, Potato, Pumpkin, Tomato, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Parsley, Mint, Wheat, and Oats” Albert said “That’s a large list. I guess you are going to New Earth and want to start a civilization” Rebecca said “Yes that is exactly what I am doing.” Albert said “Okay I will get you what you want.” Rebecca said “Thank you” Albert said “You’re welcome”. She looked at her list again and saw that she still needed farm animals, stuff to hunt with, maternity clothes in case she gets pregnant, and baby stuff that she does not already have like diapers and bottles for juice and water as well as a husband. She checked off gardening supplies. Rebecca didn't know whether she should take a rocket or some other flying spacecraft. Because of that she had her doubts. Rebecca said "We will be okay, right Aria" Her golden retriever panted and wagged her tail. They reached the farm. Ronald said “Hi, Nice to see you. You have a nice dog.” Rebecca said “Thank you. Nice to see you too. I need some farm animals. Specifically I need some cows, chickens, pigs, and horses.” Ronald asked “Why so many?” Rebecca said “I am going to New Earth to start a civilization and for that I need stuff for a garden which I already have, farm animals, and a husband as well as baby stuff for whenever I have a baby there.” Ronald said “Hmm interesting. I have heard about it and it sounds like you are the only person going there besides some man that you marry.” Rebecca said "Yes that is right." Ronald said "Well here are your animals. Hope you find a good husband." Rebecca said "Bye Ronald" and Ronald said "Bye Rebecca and Aria."

Could you critique that to see if I need to change any of the wording or something and check for any grammar errors?

Greimour
April 26th, 2014, 01:36 AM
Rebecca had a pet dog named Aria.
Classic case of "Tell"
Don't tell a reader Rebecca had or even has a pet dog - nor it's name. Show it in the writing later. Also, there is some tense confusion in the piece.
Rebecca 'HAD' a dog... doesn't anymore? It is past tense.
But later: Rebecca HAS a good idea who will make a good husband for her. Present tense.


After listening to her science news channel she decided to get stuff for going to New Earth
Gave almost no information except perhaps the science and news channel spoke about a place named New Earth - likely a planet. No reason for why it appealed to her or why she would go there. Perhaps she is having troubles on "Old Earth" or perhaps it has turned into a barely habitable planet - no way of knowing.

She dated for a while before she heard about New Earth and has a good idea of who is a good husband for her.
That is still "Tell"

There is no way that Rebecca's pet dog is imperative in the story to warrant first line introduction. You need to start with a hook, something to interest a potential reader. Start with a scene or action.

Excerpt of 'The God PARTICLE' Chapter One, opener:


Steve isn’t stupid.

He can tell by the way she keeps stealing glances at him, by the way she follows everything he says with squeaky titters, by the gradually shrinking perimeter of his personal space this afternoon, that Serena wants him.

***
Normally, I would frown on an opening statement like "Steve isn't stupid" ... as much as "Rebecca had a dog" - but the relevance of the statement is immediately shown in the next paragraph. Your immediate statement is then followed directly by another statement... Followed by another statement.

You aren't telling us a story....
:- I am in no way telling you to copy another person's writing style, but let's temporarily copy his style and see how your story reads then.


Rebecca is not stupid.

She can tell by the neatly chosen words in the news, by the uneasy expressions of reporters, by the government issued disclaimers, by the ever increasing accounts and reports that hinted something amiss, that there was something dreadfully wrong coming.

Research hadn't taken long to carry out. A few choice websites had revealed enough hints within conspiracy theories to confirm what she'd figured out for herself. The planet was dying. With only one logical solution left to her, Rebecca decided she would follow ex-world leaders to New Earth - where many were already attempting to terraform and start up new lives.

Picking up her pet poodle Aria and throwing her into the old station wagon, Rebecca decided her first point of contact was a recently ex-d partner; Ronald. He'd been good to her and was a nice man. A little boring on the whole with no ambition, but If she could convince him to go with her to New Earth - he would provide good stability, a good work hand and his boring life would be far more appealing as they built a home together.

That is three short paragraphs and one statement. Instead of being told points of your story, it is the story telling me what happened or is happening - depending on the tense you decide to use in the actual story.

Anyway, all that aside... right now you are listing off what happens in a story. You aren't telling the story at all.

Rebecca has a dog? Great... keep that in mind but don't tell us until we need to know.
Think for a minute... what is happening at the very beginning of the story?

What do you see? What is Rebecca doing? Why is she doing it? What is around her? What can she hear? How is she dressed?

Take all of the information and then decide what the reader needs to know:

Rebecca hated the rural suburbs of New England. Her grandparents had told her once how great the place was back in their youth, but now it was just a dump. At twenty-four and feeling life passing her by, changes needed to be made.

Tell the story - don't state the facts.

I have run out of ideas to get the message across that I am trying to pass on.

Hope you follow what I am trying to say and hope it helps. Perhaps someone else may have more luck if my explanation is found wanting.

30Drummer30
April 28th, 2014, 01:40 AM
I felt let like I was reading the outline to a story and not the actual story. You had a real lake of details. It's like a hamburger. If you only have a bun and patty you can still eat it but what makes it good is the lettuce, ketchup, mustard, onions, etc. you need detail to give your story depth.


After listening to her science news channel she decided to get stuff for going to New Earth.

Don't ever call it stuff. Use items or tools or anything not so vague. It comes off as lazy.
Also your dialogue came off as stiff and awkward. When talking to Ronald she dumps all her information on him. Does she know him? Or is this the first time they have met. That's something you should write into the story.

thepancreas11
April 28th, 2014, 12:47 PM
For one, you need some structure. You're amorphous, and your plot kind of follows that feel. Structure is as much to help the author as it is to help the reader. Separate different trains of thought into paragraphs. Even more so, separate dialogue into paragraphs. Any time someone new is speaking, there should be a new paragraph. Right now, there's no way to decipher where certain topics begin and where others end.

Secondly, you need stakes. Why do we care about this move to New Earth? Sure she's starting the colony, but an event does not a story make. What is this New Earth? Is it hazardous? Is it distant? It appears to be settled, but by whom and how does she start a civilization? I'm pretty sure this first summary could be split into four or five chapters all about four times the size of this. You've given very little in the way of information, which is normally good, but in cases like this, it's flat. I'm not talking about dumping info in there. I'm talking about establishing characters, establishing objectives, and establishing setting, none of which are really present. I'd encourage you to read some pieces in the Prose Writer's Workshop to get a feel for exactly what I'm talking about. That's definitely where you'll find all the plot devices you need.

When you're ready for a full scale revision, don't hesitate to let me know. I'm trying to publish a novel that has a "New Earth" of it's own.

caters
April 29th, 2014, 01:36 AM
Well here I am not going the traditional route of characters first than plot than revision than publishing with this one.

Rather I am going this route: Points in the plot with no real story, Characters as I do the plot, Revise to story form, Revise from grammar and spelling errors, Publishing

The reason I am doing this is because my mind is analytical and it is easier for me to put in all the points in the plot before the first revision than the traditional route.

I am also not doing the traditional way of writing a series of books which is to publish the first volume while writing the second and so on and so forth.

As far as starting the civilization I have that in the chapters called First year of Survival, Second Year of Surviving, and First child

Obviously if I call something New Earth it is basically like the earth here but newer. The reason for moving there is overpopulation on the older earth.

She marries someone before she goes to start a civilization.

It is so distant from us it is in a different galaxy.

The only living things there before Rebecca and her husband go there are all the species that are here on the earth but in greater numbers the ones considered endangered and extinct in the wild(which means only domestic but still living).

RubyEclipse
May 11th, 2014, 05:59 PM
It is a struggle for any of us to give a critic on your writing style if you are saying this is only rough points. However, if I were to critic this alone I would have to say that you need to really expand on details. Almost all sentences are of a simple structure, there are a few compound sentences but no complex ones that I can see, this makes the passage feel very disjointed. Equally, try and find alternates to 'said', use alternatives such as whispered, yelled, cried or sneered (to name but a few) to give a better view of the manner in which they are talking. Also, don't write lists as long as the one you have, more than 3 or 4 items starts to feel very long winded and readers are likely to skip through. Rather than listing, try doing what Greimour suggested and write something along the lines of 'she gave him the list of items she required'.
You need to give more background and surrounding details too. Why is she moving? Why does she need a husband to do so? What is New Earth? All of this background information is needed to make sense of this passage.

Nosretap23
May 14th, 2014, 02:32 AM
I would have to agree with what everyone has said so far. This is an outline of a first chapter rather than an actual finished, or close to finished chapter. If this is an outline, I would say this is an interesting idea that could very well turn into a good plot. I would also agree with what other people said about telling not showing, and I think this is a very easy pitfall for writers. We so badly want to get our idea across to the reader. Think about extending the dialogue. Show emotion through what the characters say rather than telling us what they say. Hope this helps.

InS_ght
May 16th, 2014, 05:08 PM
Doctor, hand me 2000 miligrams of personality, stat! This baby needs it injected straight into the bloodline.

Your writing has no feeling. No emotion. You need to take a slice from the great writers of old, as Hamlet once cried out in perturbed soliloquy how an actor could shed real tears for fiction, you need to embrace emotion within your own work to make the reader involved in your story!

Tell us how the man and woman feel. Why they are who they are. How many long and tiresome hours they've worked the farmland, how tender and beautiful their romance is.
Let us feel just how much they want to get away from it all, to be alone together on this new earth - so that their love can be all they need and all they know. Let the characters become real in your mind and then let them live on the paper.

caters
May 16th, 2014, 09:14 PM
Well I usually write novels like this: Points of the plot with no real personality(this is the main factor in my cases of tell), then characters as I write it, then revising to story form, than a SPAG(Spelling, Punctuation, not sure what the A is, Grammar) check of the whole novel.

Reason: my mind is analytical and wants to get the points down before the actual story becomes a story.

I don't see how I could get this first chapter into 4 chapters 4 times as long, I just don't see it. I also don't see a broad first chapter like mine is as a problem.

InS_ght
May 17th, 2014, 02:34 AM
Reason: my mind is analytical and wants to get the points down before the actual story becomes a story.


Absolutely, and there is nothing wrong with outlines and work in progress stories. I meant no offence in case I came off a little brash. However, I do suggest that for a polished work you expand on this chapter - add more depth and character, explain why they do what your characters do. Add details of their back story through dialogue, and amp up the romance. (I suggest depth of romance as it seems like a likely direction or underlying theme for your storyline.)

Robdemanc
June 4th, 2014, 07:35 PM
All anyone can critique is your idea for a story. It sounds like an interesting idea that a woman and her dog are going to live on another Earth, so go forth and write the actual story.

G. L. Argain
June 11th, 2014, 09:53 PM
While everyone else is critiquing the style of your storytelling, I think I'll go for a simpler approach. You said you wanted feedback on grammar, right?


Rebecca said “Yes that is exactly what I am doing.” Albert said “Okay I will get you what you want.” Rebecca said “Thank you” Albert said “You’re welcome”.

First of all, there needs to be a comma before the quotation begins.
Secondly, make sure there is a period between the last word of the quote and the closing quotation mark.
Third, there should be a comma between "Yes" and "that" within Rebecca's first quote (I'm sure there's a term for something like this, but I don't know what it is).
Finally, when there are two people talking, you don't need to address who's talking each time. When Rebecca says something, and Albert says something in response, the reader can guess the third quotation will be from Rebecca.

It ought to look like this:
Rebecca said, "Yes, that is exactly what I am doing."
Albert replied, "Okay, I will get you what you want."
"Thank you."
"You're welcome."

Hope this helps!