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YoungScholar
September 3rd, 2015, 12:36 AM
Link to chapter 1: http://www.writingforums.com/threads/160018-White-Waters-Chapter-1-Revised-(3-000-words)?highlight=

Story background: The title I have so far is "White Waters", the story is based on two teenagers that flip a canoe going down a river to give the simplest background





"The feeling I felt is hard to explain. It was terrifying but at the same time a very beautiful phenomena. We were confused and without hope; however, despite the chill and pain of a new morning, I couldn't help but ponder the stillness and pureness of my surrounding environment. It boggled my mind every morning, the thought of how something so beautiful could kill you. In a sense it was nice to just sit, think, and ponder upon life. But then the sun would peak that hill top, and you'd realize that thinking and pondering will not get you out of here alive. The temptation to simply stay idle came about my mind every single day, but I knew our best chances of getting out of here alive was to hike out ourselves. "

TKent
September 4th, 2015, 09:23 PM
Greetings youngscholar,

Glad you are here :)

Here are a few comments, hope they are useful to you:

- I like the concept. Two teenagers in a survival skills type setting has lots of potential :)

- Without more information, I don't know what is going on here except that you stated what it was about. I like writing that is a little mysterious, but not to the point I don't know what is going on. So I'd not be quite as mysterious here. Or post more of the piece so we can get more context.

- I like the juxtaposition of fear of getting out alive with the appreciation of the beauty of nature. But, as I read it, I didn't have enough queues to let me know just how terrifyied the person was other than you saying that they felt that way. In a way, they are sort of laid back in the explanation. And it is all explanation. There are many ways you can inject more into the writing by utilizing the various senses. What is your character feeling 'physically'? Are they shivering, shaking, breathing heavily, etc. Are his/her bones and muscles aching from the attempts they've made so far to survive? Are they hungry, etc.?

- If this is the beginning of the piece, I think you could do more to establish, who is talking and where are they? Place me in the setting. Are they climbing a path, sitting on rocks next to the rushing river, trying to catch their breath. Are they wet or dry? How many days has it been?

So I guess in summary, there isn't quite 'enough' here for me to engage in the story. I need more :)


"The feeling I felt is hard to explain. It was terrifying but at the same time a very beautiful phenomena. We were confused and without hope; however, despite the chill and pain of a new morning, I couldn't help but ponder the stillness and pureness of my surrounding environment. It boggled my mind every morning, the thought of how something so beautiful could kill you. In a sense it was nice to just sit, think, and ponder upon life. But then the sun would peak that hill top, and you'd realize that thinking and pondering will not get you out of here alive. The temptation to simply stay idle came about my mind every single day, but I knew our best chances of getting out of here alive was to hike out ourselves.

bgwrn
September 4th, 2015, 11:06 PM
The descriptive language is definitely a strong point here. It flows very seamlessly. The paradox between beauty and danger is an interesting one. It keeps my attention and makes me want to read more!!
The reader doesn’t know exactly the situation that’s going on here if it wasn’t for the synopsis above it, but if put back into context that probably isn’t a problem. Another thing I noticed was the word “ponder” was used twice in the paragraph. This may have been done on purpose but I notice myself doing this too, sometimes it can be distracting.

A great start or portion of an interesting premise!! keep up the good work :)

jenthepen
September 5th, 2015, 07:27 PM
There are some nice ideas in this very short excerpt. I especially like the conflicting feelings of wonder and fear of the main character. You have the potential for a good story here and should keep polishing it to make it better and better. :)

Follow the advice in the two crits above - it's golden. Keep writing, you have talent.

jen

YoungScholar
September 5th, 2015, 10:22 PM
Sorry I couldn't give more guys. I am currently working on the first chapter in full right now. I was inspired going on a walk and came up with this writing. To give you the setting this is mid chapter. They have survived a couple nights and ventured into the mountains. This excerpt is taken when the sun peaks the mountain early in the morning while they were sleeping under a rock angled on the mountain. I am aiming to go for exactly what you guys said. My story is going to be interesting in a couple ways. First, it's from a teenagers perspective. A lot of survival stories are written when that person is older. While it may be a good story I think the voice of my story is going to be quit different. Being 18 myself, I can come up with stuff me or my friends would do in these types of situations as I have been in one similar. Another theme of the story like you guys noticed is the idea of danger and beauty. Constantly the main character goes through the peace and calmness associated with nature, but then will snap back into the dangers he currently faces. I have a table of contents and a possible title. I am working on chapter 1. The writing you read was just a piece I am going to include in the story, I was inspired while going on my morning walk.

jenthepen
September 6th, 2015, 09:12 PM
It sounds like you have an interesting twist on the survival story here, Jacob. Keep at it and I hope you'll share some more excerpts as you write more. Remember, if you want to protect your work from non members and bots you can post in the Workshop forum.

Good luck with it.

jen

TKent
September 6th, 2015, 09:42 PM
Keep at it! That it is mid chapter makes more sense, as I'm sure some of the unknowns were probably already revealed :)


Sorry I couldn't give more guys. I am currently working on the first chapter in full right now. I was inspired going on a walk and came up with this writing. To give you the setting this is mid chapter. They have survived a couple nights and ventured into the mountains. This excerpt is taken when the sun peaks the mountain early in the morning while they were sleeping under a rock angled on the mountain. I am aiming to go for exactly what you guys said. My story is going to be interesting in a couple ways. First, it's from a teenagers perspective. A lot of survival stories are written when that person is older. While it may be a good story I think the voice of my story is going to be quit different. Being 18 myself, I can come up with stuff me or my friends would do in these types of situations as I have been in one similar. Another theme of the story like you guys noticed is the idea of danger and beauty. Constantly the main character goes through the peace and calmness associated with nature, but then will snap back into the dangers he currently faces. I have a table of contents and a possible title. I am working on chapter 1. The writing you read was just a piece I am going to include in the story, I was inspired while going on my morning walk.

Guy Faukes
September 7th, 2015, 08:49 AM
Good stuff. The prose is good and the survivalist concept hooks a reader well. It sort of reminds me of trying to make it in the north. Beautiful but deadly.

While the prose is strong, I think there's a bit here and there that could be lopped off to make it flow better in the first few sentences.
-phenomena stick out a wee bit
-surrounding environment -> surroundings

Also, there is a tense change after the first sentence from present to past.

Still, these are few and minor things that mildly infringe on the experience. I hope to see more of you work sometime.

YoungScholar
September 7th, 2015, 06:17 PM
@Everyone

Thanks for the feedback I really do love hearing opinions on my work!

@Guy
Thank you for pointing that out. Like I said, I wrote this without much thought, it was based solely on inspiration at a notice during a walk. I am going to have to edit this like you pointed out and keep the tense use the same.

Kate Tiller
September 26th, 2015, 08:13 AM
I'd say just keep on up the good work. It's never done, sadly. :|

Renaissance Man
October 3rd, 2015, 04:02 PM
I read the piece then skimmed the thread. In context I like what you opened this thread with. I would recommend you add the complete chapter one, then edit your initial post here to include a link to it, for those who accidentally enter this thread instead.

You've got potential as a writer. I'd be more explicit if I had more to base it on. I'll be keeping my eye out for the rest of this.

Jake-Sully
October 9th, 2015, 06:02 PM
The feeling I felt is hard to explain" - you've hooked us. "It was terrifying but at the same time a very beautiful phenomena." - raised a story question. Now, right here, since there's a "WE", you should play with an introduction of the who, the where and the ugly ... lame joke, I know, couldn't help it. But in all seriousness - look at what TKent said: you lost your reader there. Personally, I liked this little excerpt. But, like I said, the who and where - protagonist and setting, very important. And this is not every reader's preference, either. In the end, it's your book. If the majority agree with what I, myself, and TKent say, then you should listen. If we're the minority, don't discard what we said entirely, but feel free to continue as you have. Hope this helps!

zebacarts
May 3rd, 2016, 09:12 AM
This is based on teenager story. this post is nice. your can add some other interesting fact in this above lines

afk4life
May 10th, 2016, 08:51 PM
That's a really strong opener. Don't freak about the tense change, I (and I'm pretty sure a lot of us) trip over that all the time. I think present tense may work better for what you've said the story is about, because if you're telling a story in past tense the narrator at minimum survived it. If it's present tense, that means they're only okay at the moment. You're very good at painting a picture and the emotion in the opener, I'll read the chapter in a few.

kaminoshiyo
May 11th, 2016, 11:34 PM
It reads like an excerpt from a diary. It's beautifully written and has a sort of dreamy tone to it. There was enough here to make me curious on just where the story would go.

bdcharles
May 12th, 2016, 10:47 AM
"The feeling I felt is hard to explain. It was terrifying but at the same time a very beautiful phenomena. We were confused and without hope; however, despite the chill and pain of a new morning, I couldn't help but ponder the stillness and pureness of my surrounding environment. It boggled my mind every morning, the thought of how something so beautiful could kill you. In a sense it was nice to just sit, think, and ponder upon life. But then the sun would peak that hill top, and you'd realize that thinking and pondering will not get you out of here alive. The temptation to simply stay idle came about my mind every single day, but I knew our best chances of getting out of here alive was to hike out ourselves. "

Hi,

It's an interesting opener. I am pretty much there, in the Rockies or somewhere, and I think the tense change works - it certainly didn't grate me - but I do think there are some bits you can cut:

- the repetition; excessive use of "feel" particulatly in the first sentence, plus "ponder" and "morning" and "beautiful" and "think" and "out" and, lastly, "get out of here alive". Think about whether you need to repeat an image and if you do, try and let another alternative suggest itself.
- filler words and phrases: despite, couldn't help but, the thought of, in a sense, very, however, it was, we were, simply, I'm looking at you. These words tend to fill space but not really add much oomph, and they sound kind of rambly. Then fill that space up with actual things, eg. mountains, waves, whatever the surroundings were.
- Typos and errors: Phenomena is plural; phenomenon is the singular, which presumably is what you mean given your quantifier, "a" (as opposed to "some").
- Urgency. I am more captivated by the sense of pleasant surroundings than the near-deathiness of the piece. Scare us, even while you mesmerise us. Don't have the jolly old sun as a reminder of impending doom when a mountian storm does it so much better. Give us insurmountable distances and darkening skies alongside the idyllic scenes.


Here's what I wanted to read - pls forgive the rewrite:

"The feeling is hard to explain, a terrifying yet profoundly beautiful phenomenon. We were confused, and mostly without hope, but in spite of the freezing pain of a new morning, I couldn't help but marvel at the motionless purity of our hostile surroundings. It boggled my mind every daybreak, how something so beautiful as the [XYZ] river, as it tumbled from the snowy upslopes of the [ABC] mountain range, could kill you, and at those times it was nice to simply sit, and think, about life. But then black clouds would peak that hill top and cover the sun, and you'd realize that daydreaming and pondering will not get you to the safety of [CDE], a settlement more than a hundred miles away, or even the drier lowlands. This temptation to stay idle came about my mind every single day, but I knew our best chance was to hike out ourselves. "


Hope this helps, and gives you food for thought.

Kadrek
May 15th, 2016, 09:39 AM
It's short but it draws the reader in. I would love to see what the rest of the story will be like.
Do they decide to stay in the wild because of the beauty instead of going back to civilization?

denmark423
May 18th, 2016, 02:30 AM
It was good, but there are some sentences that you may need to develop or to be more direct in meaning.

Scrivener123
May 20th, 2016, 04:48 AM
Hey,

I want to make sure I provide honest, constructive feedback. I definitely want the same in return when I get a chance to post my work. Please believe that it's all coming from a good place (and is only my opinion). With that in mind, these are my comments:

1. I like the idea of a teenage adventure story. I loved those when I was a kid. They took me to whole new worlds, so keep working on that angle.

2. I think, perhaps, there might be a bit of redundancy in parts of your excerpt. For instance, "The feeling I felt is hard to explain" . You could change that to something like, "just what I felt was hard to explain" or "the feeling that came over me was hard to explain", or some other variation. I feel that since it's a feeling, we already know that he feels it. You also use the words "thinking and pondering". The two words mean essentially the same thing. You only need to use one.

3. I also noticed some unconventional syntax: "came about my mind every single day,". You may want to reconsider the wording.

4. Sometimes simpler words are better: thinking vs. ponder or boggle vs, puzzled. Would those words and phenomena be in keeping with the teenager's vocabulary?

5. Lastly, Without knowing more about the situation, it's hard to provide any more critique.


With all of the above being said, let me add the following:

1. You may be speaking in the voice of a teenager who's speech patterns are already established (or that you are establishing). Will he/ she be the narrator throughout the story? If he/ she won't be, then you will need to be mindful of your syntax as you go from character to character. I often have the same problem.

2. Ultimately, you are the artist! You have the clearest idea of what you want. Take advice where you can, but don't allow your own voice to be stifled.

3. Thank you for posting. It takes courage to "hang your skin on a wall" for everyone to examine. All the best!