PDA

View Full Version : First paragraph... First book :$



Emz
June 7th, 2014, 01:53 AM
So, i have finally started writing after about a month of research, but I'm still worrying. I have the first paragraph. Not only would i like critique, i would also like your opinion of does it sound of interest to you... Here goes...

I stood next to the window facing a green pasture. I leaned my elbows on the windowsill and watched the birds fly by. As does every child, i wanted to fly with them, leaving behind the cage of worry and fear and just be free.
A gentle voice called me back to reality..........

now, seriously, if you think its garbage, plz tell me!! I would much rather restart than sound like an idiot, you wont hurt my feelings.

stormageddon
June 7th, 2014, 02:15 AM
Garbage? That's some beautiful writing! Not really enough of it to critique, but enough to make me want to read more. I don't suppose you'd indulge me?

Thanks for sharing :)

Elvenswordsman
June 7th, 2014, 02:19 AM
Brilliant start. Keep writing, I'd like to see more!

Emz
June 7th, 2014, 02:23 AM
Are you guys serious? Thanks so much:icon_cheesygrin:

Freezeblink
June 7th, 2014, 02:44 AM
Not much to critique, but even that little bit is great. My only recommendation would be to write more and write often.

Emz
June 7th, 2014, 02:47 AM
Ok

Emz
June 7th, 2014, 04:00 AM
Thx guys, i am going to post more soon, where would i post it?

Elvenswordsman
June 7th, 2014, 04:04 AM
Try here. Or start a new thread if you want.

Emz
June 7th, 2014, 04:06 AM
I think ill just keep it here, i didnt know if i would be alowed but i dont wanna start a new thread

Emz
June 7th, 2014, 02:41 PM
So, here is what i got before i went to bed...

I stood next to the window facing a green pasture. I leaned my elbos on the windowsill and watched the birds fly by. As does every child, i wanted to fly with them, leaving behind the cage of worry and feer and to just be free.

A gentle voice called me back to reality. I took a last glance out the window and turned. Behind me, my mother stood in the doorway. Her brown eyes fixed on mine. "Whats wrong?" She asked with concern on her face. "Nothing." I knew i was lying. My mother turned down the narrow hallway, her green flower dress swaying only inches from the floor. I fallowed her into the kitchen where the fresh smell of homemade bread wafted into my nose. This was the smell i knew home by, this smell was my family.

Only a few months ago, my life was close to perfect. My family was a small town bakery. Every morning my father, mother and I would wake up to the smell of sour dough and baking bread. We would spend all day laughing and being together as we ran the bakery. Then, when the natzi's first invaded my town, they took all the Jews they could find, only the lucky ones, like my family, escaped.

Now, we hide away in a small cotage in the middle of a farm field. Every night the images and sounds of everyone i knew being dragged away from everything they knew. The tormenting pictures, gunshots and fire flash through my mind like a horror movie. All i have is my family. We live in feer of being found, being torn away from eachother and scratched out.

Emz
June 7th, 2014, 05:31 PM
Is it too choppy?

Freezeblink
June 7th, 2014, 05:49 PM
There are a few spelling mistakes, just be cautious of those in the future as there are several, but it's all still readable.


My family was a small town bakery.
I'm pretty sure I know what you mean here, but the sentence itself is a bit off. In fact I would recommend just removing this sentence as the next two sentences say the same thing almost exactly except with great detail and imagery. Just put 'as we ran the bakery in our small town' at the end of the second sentence to include that detail.

Other than that though it's good. I can see the imagery you are portraying and you are starting to put the story together for the character. It leaves me wanting more to read which is always a good sign.

stormageddon
June 7th, 2014, 07:04 PM
Emz, this is brilliant writing! You're miles ahead of where I was at your age. As Freezeblink says, you've got some spelling mistakes in there - a spellchecker should catch them for you.

And this: "My family was a small town bakery." you could simply change "was" to "owned" and it'd be fine, though as (s)he says, you don't really need it, given the following sentence ;)

Your grammar is excellent, on the whole. I'd just like to introduce you to a couple of punctuation things. Firstly, when you're writing conversations, you want to start a new line for each new speaker. It makes it much easier to follow. Here's an example of how it looks:

"Whats wrong?" She asked with concern on her face.
"Nothing." I knew i was lying.

Secondly, when you tag dialogue (with a "she said", "she asked" etc), the tag is considered a part of the same sentence as the dialogue. Sticking with the example above, that means you don't need a capital letter on the s of "she asked".

For future reference, if you haven't tagged the dialogue, you do need a capital letter. Anyway, great writing - keep at it!

Emz
June 7th, 2014, 08:12 PM
Ok haha,ya spelling has always been my big problem, i cant spell for my life! Thank you guys! I apreciate it a lot !!

- - - Updated - - -

I do have a question, how long should a first chapter be?

stormageddon
June 7th, 2014, 08:42 PM
A first chapter can be any length at all - there are no set rules on it. Whatever feels right for the story is generally the best way to go. Once you've written the first chapter, if you're not sure, you can always stick it on here and we'll help you to judge ;)

The one thing you must do in a first chapter is hook your reader - catch their attention and make them want to read on. You've managed that very well so far.

If you'd like a more in depth answer, this thread discusses the subject:

http://www.writingforums.com/threads/147578-First-Chapter-Length?highlight=chapter+length

Emz
June 7th, 2014, 08:50 PM
Thank you, that was a helpful thread, i will post more soon

bazz cargo
June 8th, 2014, 07:31 PM
T
hank you, that was a helpful thread, i will post more soon I hope so, you have made an excellent start.

Emz
June 8th, 2014, 10:34 PM
Thx for helping guys, it means a lot!

Smith
June 9th, 2014, 12:35 AM
Also, to comment on chapter length, I've read many books of all genres and audiences that had very short chapters. The entire book might be circa 250 pages, with 40 some chapters. Then I read The Great Gatsby recently, can't recall how many pages but the thing was, if I'm not mistaken, 9 or so chapters. It's all up to you. Even I struggle with pacing, so perhaps it is better to just write and when it's all said and done, go back and divide things up.

As for the piece itself, I'm a very big WWII fan. I understand the Holocaust, the terrible thing that it was, can be related to by many. Maybe you even had family who were in it, or affected by the Nazis. Now, for me, my family fought for Germany. I cannot relate to this, so I often feel alienated by generic stories of "the Nazis were not human, had no friends or family of their own, kill them all".

Not to say that's what we have here, from what I've read. Oh no, this is some very good writing, and I am rather confused as to how you could have possibly thought it was bad! :D I just have to ask not to let it turn into something like that. You know, like 90% of any work relating to WWII and / or the Holocaust. Look forward to reading more.

Paulbee
June 10th, 2014, 11:01 PM
Chapters, hmm. Terry Pratchett has no chapters at all in the novels I have read (most of them). A few asterisks separate passages and that's all. Worry not about chapters or their lengths, focus on, well, what all the other guys have said really. As to Smith's remarks, I tend to think in terms of Germans and Nazi Germans, Americans and Nazi Americans, British and Nazi British - if you see what I mean. A political ideology is no respecter of borders. The Holocaust needs to be remembered, cliché maybe but repeating past mistakes in the future is easier when we forget.

Smith
June 11th, 2014, 01:44 AM
Chapters, hmm. Terry Pratchett has no chapters at all in the novels I have read (most of them). A few asterisks separate passages and that's all. Worry not about chapters or their lengths, focus on, well, what all the other guys have said really. As to Smith's remarks, I tend to think in terms of Germans and Nazi Germans, Americans and Nazi Americans, British and Nazi British - if you see what I mean. A political ideology is no respecter of borders. The Holocaust needs to be remembered, cliché maybe but repeating past mistakes in the future is easier when we forget.

Agreed. No side in war are saints.

J.T. Chris
June 11th, 2014, 04:49 AM
Well done. Keep writing!

Nippon Devil
June 15th, 2014, 08:42 PM
Woh, I like.

I can't really comment on the story at this point, but you're doing a good job establishing the setting. I'm also practically blind to other people's grammar errors so I can't say much about that.

About chapters, no 2 are the same size across authors. I've always seen chapters as good places to stop reading for the moment. If you think of your story as a TV show and break it up into episodes, those episodes could be chapters. But that's just one way of doing it.

Much Malarkey Man
June 16th, 2014, 08:52 PM
As others have said, chapters can be any length. They help to give structure to a story and I think that chapter endings should come at a point that feels like a natural break. I've read a couple of books that had fairly rigid chapter lengths - about twenty pages (not sure of the word count) and it was nice, when reading the book at the end of the day, to be able to flip forwards and see that there was a point where I could put the book down and go to sleep.

Aphrodite
June 17th, 2014, 04:47 AM
Save for a few spelling errors here and there, I'm liking what I'm reading. While I would have preferred a little more buildup, it's progressing along quite nicely.

Nastasya
June 18th, 2014, 08:31 PM
Hi. New to the forum so I'm just browsing around.

Well, it's a start. If you have places to go with it, my advice would be to crack on and come back with your fine comb later.

khearstynne
July 9th, 2014, 08:58 PM
This is an intriguing beginning. Once you iron out the kinks in the spelling and some of the phrasing, it should be even better! I'd suggest that you continue posting for critiques or ask a friend or two to read through and proofread for you as you move along :)

DannyMullen
July 10th, 2014, 06:56 PM
Save for a few spelling errors here and there, I'm liking what I'm reading. While I would have preferred a little more buildup, it's progressing along quite nicely.
I think I agree with this.

What I mean is, your first two paragraphs are quite excellent. But after this, I see you falling into the trap that I, and, for that matter, almost all beginning writers fall into: inserting too much background/character information into the early portions of the novel or story.

Think of it this way: When your character is watching the birds from the window, the camera is just a few feet away–up close; the audience is watching the story from the ground. And it's fascinating. But next thing we know, the camera is 300 feet in the sky, and you're essentially writing: "this happened, then this happened, and then this one other thing, and now we're here."

What could have been hundreds of pages of story is force fed to the reader in the first few paragraphs, and it's very jarring for us.

Not that you have to dedicate hundreds of pages to that part of the story. Readers are smarter than you think; we're all very familiar with the Holocaust. You can fill us in on this this back story with a few key pieces of dialogue, of description. The story will feel more natural for it.
Hope this helps, and keep it up!

-Danny

rogerblingham
July 19th, 2014, 08:55 AM
On a funny note, you may be an idiot. But I have to say some specific idiots are capable of producing enlightening artifacts. You seem to be one. Take the compliments and write on. But not as short as this where commenting becomes difficult.

HumanYoYo
July 30th, 2014, 06:21 AM
Yah, not too much to go on. But even in those few sentences, I can see the setting quite nicely. Keep it up!

MizzouRam
July 31st, 2014, 01:06 AM
I like it. I mean, REALLY, like it. It's better than most of the stuff I read on here. I would think about rewording this though.

"We would spend all day laughing and being together as we ran the bakery."

You mention the word baker, bakers, baking a lot in this paragraph. JMO

WechtleinUns
August 2nd, 2014, 03:36 AM
Wait... are you seriously, and I mean, seriously, asking for forum support, paragraph by paragraph of your novel? Because, if you are... then... I'm stunned into silence.

Umm...irrespective of the quality of the work so far, I would recommend... not putting it up paragraph by paragraph? I don't really know how to say this. I'm not arguing against the writing. I haven't read it, but from the comments so far it seems like you're doing an excellent job. But...um... I'm not sure how to say this. It's just...

writing a novel is a huge, monumental undertaking even when you're cranking out pages as quickly as you can. But to write it in bits and pieces, and then upload every few paragraphs to a forum for approval and guidance? Nevermind the insane amount of time that this will take, but what's going to happen when you receive the inevitable bad comment? When somebody says, "I don't like it" or something else?

I'm not telling you not to do this, mind you. I am just... I guess... well, stunned. I guess. Huh. Sorry about that.

knowlesi
August 5th, 2014, 09:48 AM
Really like the final sentence, "scratched out" - great use of language. Building nicely, you have a nice style. Personally would have liked a little more build up but i would turn the page....

Apex
August 6th, 2014, 06:15 PM
cc

Lucydity
August 11th, 2014, 12:28 PM
It's a really nice piece of writing and does well to get my attention, obviously it being quite short I'd love to continue reading on, however there are a few small things here and there I ish to mention

Firstly just a few spelling errors

"fallowed" followed
"Natzi" Nazi
"cotage" cottage

Tip: If you're unsure on how to spell something or what it means just type it in on google and the search engine will do the rest.

Also not sure if I'm alone here but I wouldn't use "sour" as a word to describe bread dough, maybe that's just me though.

The part where you explained the Nazi's came in and took all the Jews, I think it would be better if that was described without putting it blunt, the halocaust is something taught extensively worldwide so I would imagine more or less everyone knows what happened there, but people aren't always familiar with the details, which is why imo some details giving more insight onto that situation would be really good.

Lucydity
August 11th, 2014, 12:32 PM
Ok haha,ya spelling has always been my big problem, i cant spell for my life! Thank you guys! I apreciate it a lot !!

- - - Updated - - -

I do have a question, how long should a first chapter be?

Just a side note from my google tip for spelling errors earlier, if it's a common thing I'd highly recommend getting Microsoft word or something else which does an automatic spelling checker.


Even when you copy and paste the writing into this forum the text box here has a spelling checker built in so highlights my spelling errors with a red underline before i post it.

mrmustard615
August 11th, 2014, 02:19 PM
I pretty much live on Microsoft Word for my writing. My spelling is fair but my typing is another story. When you misspell a word you will see a green squiggly line under it. Just click on the word, click on the auto correct and then click on the correct spelling on the word you misspelled and you never have to worry about misspelling that word that way ever again. It beats having to go back to change teh to the.

Sc0pe
August 11th, 2014, 03:20 PM
I do feel that opening was very well done. I could see myself in the charters shoes. The back story also was very well done. I feel I am just repeating what others said before me so i will just say overall your on a solid track and I hope to see more from you.

Dubhthaigh
August 11th, 2014, 05:24 PM
I like the opening of your novel anyway, it's only a short piece but it flows well :)
I second the Microsoft word thing, my spelling is completely and utterly atrocious and if I didn't have those handy red lines anything I wrote would be illegible.
When I have to write an essay with pen and pad I need to check every second word using predictive text on my phone :|
Thankfully good spelling is fast becoming an obsolete skill!

Apex
August 11th, 2014, 06:32 PM
cc

Digiphant
August 12th, 2014, 05:54 PM
Also not sure if I'm alone here but I wouldn't use "sour" as a word to describe bread dough, maybe that's just me though.


FYI, I think it was an accidental space: Sourdough (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sourdough)