My first chapter of a love story


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Thread: My first chapter of a love story

  1. #1
    Member Woodroam's Avatar
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    My first chapter of a love story

    This post ended up being scrapped -- it is old and I decided to use a few lines from it in my novel: Journey to Azmerith, which may be found in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror section. Thank you all for your time in reading and commenting -- Yours is the only feedback I get so it is more precious to me than gold. Happy writing to all!
    Last edited by Woodroam; June 25th, 2012 at 10:21 PM. Reason: OLD background stuff
    "Close the doors, you uninitiated" Orpheus
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  2. #2
    Member blackiris212's Avatar
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    There are a few punctuality problems, but nothing that confuses the reader.
    I love how you wrote about Mountains and their essence and how there are mythical stories about them and how people live in them. That was very creative of you, I can't wait to see more of the mountain people
    I had a much longer edit but it got erased. I'm Sorry

    My favorite part was when Sam first sees Harmony; I thought you were great with the descriptions and everything.
    You should definitely finish this story, and I will sure read it
    You should try to be descriptive but with dialogue there wasn't that many.
    Good Luck!!
    The good writers touch life often.
    The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her.
    The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.
    -Ray Bradbury
    Fahrenheit 451

  3. #3
    There is a wonderful story beginning here. I can't wait to find out from what type of cave this Harmony girl crawled out of. Also, your descriptions provide good detail for the senses that I can envision a lot of what is happening.

    I would like to offer the following suggestions for your consideration.

    As Harmony walks into the picture, I believe she is walking with the sun behind her. I do not know how close Sam is to the mountains, so my first thought is that with the sun behind her, Sam can see, at best her silhouette. I need additional detail to understand how Sam sees the vivid details in a tough light situation.

    Is the father's name Robert or George (or both)?

    Repeating a word twice close together can make for some awkward reading. The first time I saw in your piece, however, I thought it worked well
    He met her at the appointed time and at the appointed place, during his spring break, just before his college graduation.
    .

    the other times, it broke the flow of the reading for me:
    Harmony laughed, a melodious laughter, as if she knew a secret and was amused that Sam did not.


    As you re-read the piece, look for when you tell the reader what is happening (such as tell us what a person's emotive state is). Can you use your descriptive prowess to show what is happening?

    I look forward to finding out about that cave.

    Manfredjed

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodroam
    To Sam, the first time he saw her, Harmony was the most enchanting, wondrous, and beautiful woman he had ever seen. As it has always been when soul mates meet, it was love at first sight. His heart raced. Upon seeing her, he felt that he surely knew her from somewhere. He met her at the appointed time and at the appointed place, during his spring break, just before his college graduation. Time weavers might tell us whether it was love at first sight or love at second sight, but for the telling of our story, one with a beginning, a middle, and an end, let’s just leave it at “love at first sight”. Not that you should concern yourself with that right now; You’ll see later that not all beginnings are the first and not all endings are the last.
    Honestly? This is as far as I got before I could not force myself to read further. I am left with the impression of Charlie Brown's schoolteacher ... "Wha wah wah wah wha wah."

    I zoned out. Your opening didn't grab me and, after that, I was lost. Your best line in that first paragraph, and the one that actually might make a better opening line, is the "Time weaver" line. It's interesting, unexpected, and definitely out of the mainstream. Just the evocative teasing of the 'love at second sight' suggestion takes it out of the ordinary and that makes it a better opening line than the yadda yadda yadda, "... most enchanting ..." blah blah blah, "... beautiful woman ..."

    Like what novice romance novelist hasn't written THAT line before?

    And ... dialog? You're almost half way through this chapter before anyone bothers to say anything and then it's buried in a paragraph of narrative. Open your writing up and set the dialog apart from the narrative, especially when you have so much narrative where it can get lost.

    Which brings me to my next point. Narrative. You've filled about 3,250 words with 2,650 words of narrative. And of those 2,600 - 2,650 words of narrative, you've got some jarring adverbs that you need to get rid of... "... he said factually"? "... she said tentatively"? Really??? Normally, I am not a big proponent of the 'Shpw don't tell' school of writing but, in this case ... Don't tell us how they said something, SHOW us! How does someone look when they are tentative about what they are saying? And 'factually'? Well, just ditch that one altogether. We will trust that he isn't lying to her.

    So now I come to my final comment: The overburdensome use of proper names. After awhile, it becomes like somewhat like waterboarding. I can't breathe for the inundation of Harmonies overwhelming my senses! Unless you have introduced another woman into the mix or if there are several people all talking whereby there might be some confusion as to which person is speaking, you probably don't need to use her name repeatedly unless you have run several pages of dialog without mentioning her name and you might want to refresh the reader's memory as to who is speaking.

    All in all, I cannot get a feel for any of the characters here and that is the most important part of getting someone to WANT to read beyond the first paragraph.

  5. #5
    Heh! I've been to Weed and near Mount Shasta more times than I know.

    I've heard the stories of the the land of Mu and the Lemurians too. My guess is that is where you are going with the whole Harmony character. Interesting enough.

    I've traveled through the area on both I-5 and US97. I know the area pretty well. I'm also very familiar with Berkeley and Oakland.

    To be honest, I find the whole no electric and no phone hard to believe in a modern story. Especially in Northern CA. Another thing, I couldn't get a grasp on when this story takes place. There's mules and cars. Obviously phones as well. It starts out sounding very much as though it takes place in the present. Then it has a maybe 40s or 50s feel, and then goes back to feeling like the present.

    thewordsmith gives a very honest and excellent critique. Do be careful with using too much of 'ly' in describing things. I was given this same suggestion on my first novel. And after applying this wonderful piece of advice, I was so much happier with my manuscript, it flowed better and became more polished.

    I too had a hard time getting past the first few sentences. It wasn't until I read the comment that said your mountain people sounded interesting that I went back and took another look. To be honest, I only continued reading it because I was familiar with the legends of Mount Shasta and wanted to see where you were going with it. A story about them in a modern day romance is a wonderful idea. Take the helpful suggestions given to you and work at catching your audience's attention with some rewriting and polish, and you may have something here.

    Good luck!
    ~ Forest Girl ~

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  6. #6
    Member Woodroam's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your very helpful suggestions. I am learning and hope to improve my writing. Your comments are highly regarded and appreciated.
    "Close the doors, you uninitiated" Orpheus
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  7. #7
    Your writing is interesting but I definitely agree that the first paragraph didn't draw me in. Perhaps a restructuring would help it a litle better. I know that I tend to be a picky reader and if the first paragraph doesnt grab me I generally dont read the book.


    Also it just seems a bit... wordy?.. to me. Dialogue would defintely help with this. I would also change the structure of your paragraphs so that the dialogue stands out better to the reader. Formatting of the chapter might seem different on here then on your writing program, but the formatting of the page also keeps the reader interested. I have only recently started writing, but as somone who reads a few books a week, structure and formatting are really important.

    Hope it helped!

    Liza

  8. #8
    I like you descriptions. They make it an interesting read. The only complaints i have is that sometimes i think you describes things too much. An example would be in the first line; i think you could have used two words to describe her than three. The third word felt a little unneeded to me IMO. But i think the words you use to describe things really work. I also think there should be more dialogue, but again that's just preference.

  9. #9
    Member Woodroam's Avatar
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    Thanks readers

    Wow, How did this old thing pop up again? Thanks for the recent comments. This little chapter is really background now, not meant for the book I'm working on. It just lets me know more about the parents of my main characters.

    Hey, on another note: I'm ready to go now for a 6-month writing retreat in the Oregon Cascades just outside of Ashland. I'll be living in a Lance Camper far back in the forest where no one goes. I have a generator to recharge my laptops each night and will be off the grid with no phone, no internet, no television, and nobody. I'll be in to town every 2 weeks to post my stuff in the forum so I hope I can find some interested readers who will rake me over the coals whenever I need it.

    Good luck to you in your current projects. I hope to be reading some great works.
    Last edited by Woodroam; March 20th, 2012 at 11:55 PM. Reason: ops spelling
    "Close the doors, you uninitiated" Orpheus
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  10. #10
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    Honestly, it's a little slow, a little pull on the intro. Super descriptive but I really don't see anyone needing two paragraphs on plowing a field. Try stressing the charactes and there emotions more. The emotionally conection to the characters is whet will keep the readed turnimg the pages.

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