View Full Version : Thoughts on This

August 2nd, 2014, 10:08 PM
So it's a bit. I haven't had much time for fiction writing - I used to as a kid, but since then moved onto nonfiction. When you write 800+ or even 1,500+ nonfics with stats, graphs, info, etc., I'm finding it hard to rewire the brain for fiction... but that may also be due to the fact I'll be real busy with school soon.

But I decided to give it another go.

Anyways, I know the grammar isn't great in some places. Not my main concern.

I would just like some ideas on this section of the prologue... see if people would be interested in continuing a read.

He woke to the booming of thunder. A deep rumbling sound that seemed to vibrate the very air itself, so close that it seemed to have exploded over his head. But that wasn’t the case. As he continued to lay upon his back, the cloudless sky that he had fallen asleep under remained unchanged. He could almost count the constellations as he lay against the summer warmed soil, a blanket thrown hastily over his slender frame to strive off the night chill. Night air that was damp with the sort of humidity that marked a brewing storm.


The thought was a straight shot of pure caffeine. Adrenaline pumped itself through his veins, following the steady flow of his blood, and suddenly Joseph was no longer feeling the effects of the last eighteen hours of travel. A storm. It was finally storming. Rain was a rare find here. Aside from two months the rest of the season was marked with almost draught like conditions. Streams dried up and rivers were limited to a slow moving trickle of muddy water that only the truly foolish tried to drink from.

The smart sought water by making use of Kirik, with a silent k at the end. This squat plant stood only two feet tall but spread almost twice that due to its sprawling branches. But what was unusual about it was its rather waxy texture. A protective measure in near draught conditions that kept it from losing more than 1% of the water stored within its thick fleshy leaves and rubbery stems. A matured Kirik could offer up some eighty or even a hundred gallons of water without endangering the plant’s life.

Simple enough except for one problem. A daunting array of four-inch long thorns that covered it from ground to the very top.

But he hadn’t seen a Kirik in close to three days now. A dangerous situation with water supplies running low.

So throwing off the threadbare blanket, a hodgepodge of multihued patches sown together in a mockery of a covering, Joseph heaved himsself to his feet. It wasn’t as easy as it used to be. He was in his early fifties now and the rather treacherous creaking of his knee joints when he had lied down, or as he moved to get up now, was accompanied by a brief tinge of pain. While the soreness of his back was a telltale sign that the ground was not conductive for sleep.

His movements, as awkward as they were, only served in rousing the dog that had been lying across his feet. That was if one wanted to call Cana a dog. At nearly two and a half feet in height and almost six feet long Cana could have easily passed for a wolf. She was what people called “agouti”, where the fur happened to possess alternating light and dark bands producing a sort of appearance that oftentimes displayed by wild rabbits or wolves. But there was one difference between Tina and that of her wild brethren, the simple fact that said coat happened to be bristly, a sort of brush-hair that was rough to the touch instead of soft not quite unlike that found amongst most small terriers.

“Sorry girl.”

At his voice the former street dog turned light brown eyes towards him, droopy eyes not quite unlike what one would see in a mastiff dog though she was built more to a wolfhound’s body shape, before stretching out once again. Long almost gangly hind legs splayed at what would have been an awkward angle for any other breed except for a greyhound, a breed that could contort itself into a surprisingly small space, and large head resting overtop of her large paws. If she had not being a female, and not possessed a ratty old collar with a dog tag from Memphis around her neck that gave her name and address of her former owners, Joseph supposed he would have called the dog Professor instead of Tina. The dog definitely possessed a sort of philosophical air about her.

Or maybe that was just Joseph’s own mind playing tricks on him.

_ ..... I am missing a section or two here, not just sure how to merge it together yet....

“Vous êtes éveillé.” Tainted with an accent that had yet to fade just yet, the voice came from behind him and caused Joseph O’Mara to turn so quickly that for a moment he stumbled in the loose bed of sand beneath his feet.

“Nadine.” All thoughts of Tina were forgotten as Joseph considered the woman standing before him.

For good reason too. Nadine de la Roche was what no less than a decade ago would have been deemed as a rather attractive model. Tall, standing just a few inches shy of Joseph’s own 6’1’’ height, she possessed a lithe muscling to a frame that was otherwise almost willow-thin. Her hair, which when Joseph had first encountered her had been the color of a newly minted gold coin had bleached underneath the sun until it was more a tarnished ashen-blonde, reached to the curve of slender shoulders. Those same elements had tanned her skin until she was something of medium olive, looking more as if she had come from the Mediterranean than from France which she professed was her home.

August 2nd, 2014, 10:14 PM
You hit me over the head with adjectives, to much description, not enough story. Slow down the pace of description and get me interested in the characters before you try to paint a picture of what they look like. I tell you this only as another writer who normally only writes non-fiction, who is also struggling with the same issues...Bob

August 3rd, 2014, 05:51 AM
Your words paint some vivid images of the characters and the scenery but I have no idea what the story is about. Who is your main character? What is his or her problem? Where is the conflict?

Give it a working title. Something that will leverage our curiosity into your story. Can't say for sure but that might help attract more feedback.

Your first sentence confused me. He woke to thunder that seemed to explode but that was not the case? Was he just dreaming? Thunder really does vibrate the air. If it woke him up, why was that not the case?

My career involved more than 30 years of technical writing, so I understand how difficult it can be to set that left side of your brain aside while the right side is trying to create something. The solution for me is to create first then craft. Let your imagination play with you then work with what it brings to the surface. Write with your heart, rewrite with your head.

This prologue, if that's what it really is, suggests that non-fiction part of you really isn't having much trouble transitioning into fiction. I'd just suggest you slow down and let your story move through the elements of character, challenge, conflict, climax, choices, consequences, change and closure. More about that if you're interested.

Look forward to seeing this get off the ground!

August 3rd, 2014, 04:27 PM
Your story was well written and I hope you continue. As with anything it takes time and time and time.....But it does need to be trimmed. More action and less description. Always keep the reader in mind when you are writing a story. You are taking them by the hand and showing them your journey. Most of the time they want to run, not walk. Your story is walking, slowly and it needs to skip a bit. Redo some of it, add more and please show us more. I'd like to see what happened.

August 3rd, 2014, 10:41 PM
I can definitely see the technical writing side of things. You spent a bit too much time on the specifics of the plant, if I'm honest, and not enough on the why of the story. I don't so much care about the what, if you can believe it, not what you've been basically learning in technical writing all your career. For me, the necessary things are: who are these characters? where and when are we? why is this important to me? and of course, how does this narrative go? The what generally tends to be the least of ones worries, believe it or not. Really, you just have to give yourself a little more time to explain the setting.

Because truth be told, your story has a bit of a kick to it already. Some kind of dystopia, perhaps? A world where water, the life blood of all living things, has become incredibly scarce. One can only imagine what might happen if this continued on. I'm definitely intrigued by the idea, you just need a bit more practice stirring up conflict and a bit less trying to come up with all the cool plants and gizmos that might go with it.

August 5th, 2014, 07:10 PM
I found the description a bit too overdone throughout and I just couldn't get terribly invested in this man and what he was doing. As a piece of writing it's actually very nice, as part of a story I am left underwhelmed

August 6th, 2014, 04:04 PM
The only thing I honestly didn't like is the explanation of the Kirik. But even then, I understand why you explained it: I had no idea what it was. As with anything else, it's just important you got your first draft written out. You can rewrite and reword things however you like. I really liked it, though. Keep going!

August 6th, 2014, 05:07 PM
Writing is only good when it’s not writing: As writers of fiction our goal should be to release the readers imagination. Not to draw our victim into the story, but make them live it. Let them see color, feel the wind, smell that distant sent…to feel the touch of our characters hands on them…to make them forget they are reading words. It is our duty to engulf them into a picture so real they forget life itself. Who are we? Spinners of tales. We never tell stories…we are builders of dreams that are real. The writer must never stand on the side of reality. Must never know if they are writing what they are living, or living what they are writing.
Come, sit with me…I will whisper a secret into your ear…“Show.”

August 6th, 2014, 05:14 PM
You suffer from the same affliction as me. Too much description.
Seeing the pictures in your mind and wanting to fully explain them to the reader is a delusional ploy. I suppose the best advice I could give is, forget what 'YOU WANT TO EXPLAIN' about your characters, and by their 'conversation, expressions, dialog, actions', let the reader see and experience them from their own perspective. Their own imagination will add much more than adjectives and explanation.
This from a similarly afflicted, Huh!