Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ? - Page 3

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Thread: Empress Theresa - what do you do with unlimited power ?

  1. #21
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    Beyond that, not much point in offering suggestions to someone who isn't interested.


    It's kind of hard to get interested in "suggestions" like this:

    You might consider finding a more appropriate book to compare with yours.
    Anne of Green Gables might be a better example of a highly successful YA book centered on a good-girl MC who manages to avoid nauseating most readers.

  2. #22
    That is, that "hundred pages" which add nothing to the main story of the trial, and attack on the kids, are the book.
    Like I said, you need to read it again. I'd try Terry D's perspective.

    How do you know Theresa is perfect? You've only seen one percent of the text.
    Precisely. And if I was in Blackwell's or Waterstones, the remaining 99% of the text would be going back on the shelf with the 1% that didn't catch my interest.

    Such is life.

    It's ok for a male character to be perfect, but not a female. Do you agree?
    Now this is quibbling.

    I don't. Theresa is in Massachusetts close to Boston, then in a millionaire's mansion close to London, then in New York City. It's hard to get cozy with these settings.
    Then develop them. Add something deep and riveting to make thigns more interesting, more relevant to you. Neil Gaiman wrote Coraline based on a house he lived in for a while. He could have done any house, but he made the house personal to him.

    I noticed another confusing contradiction:

    Others help her get moving again.
    Theresa does it all herself. Nobody helps her and nobody can help her.
    Could you clarify what's meant here?

    The main theme of Empress Theresa is a good person doing good in the world.
    So the synopsis is 'can Theresa do good, being the good person she is?'

    Please point me to the conflict in your story. I need to understand this better.

    Also, did you recieve my PM?
    Last edited by Jeko; November 26th, 2012 at 04:35 PM.
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  3. #23
    It's kind of hard to get interested in "suggestions" like this:
    They're some of the best suggestions here.

    I spent a long time comparing what I was writing with Scott Pilgrim vs the World, and it took me a long time to realise I wasn't actually writing something like that. Now I compare my writing to a mix of Percy Jackson and Donnie Darko.
    Last edited by Jeko; November 26th, 2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: awful spelling errors
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  4. #24
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    I spent a long time comparing what I was writing with Scott Pilgrim vs the World, and it took me a long time to realise I wasn't actually writing something like that. Now I compare my writing to a mix of Percy Jackson and Donnie Darko.
    You, and somebody else, assume I'm comparing my book to Mockingbird. I'm not. In fact, they have nothing in common.

    I mentioned Mockingbird to bring up some points about writing techniques. That's all. I can't point to similar techniques in my book without putting it all on the internet, which would break the horse's legs at the starting gate.

    Please point me to the conflict in your story.


    Here's just one of many.

    Theresa has gained limitless power in the physical sense. She can move anything around anywhere. No limits. ( Political power derived therefrom exists but is secondary. )
    OPEC wants to gain some of that power by blackmailing her. They reorganize after years of relative inactivity and say they will not sell oil to Europe and the Americas unless three demands are met. One of them is that Israel be returned to the occupants of 1947.
    Theresa can negate the threat of an oil supply cutoff by finding a new super-abundant source of oil. There's plenty of the stuff under the ocean floors. She can get it. But OPEC will be outraged and swarm over Israel. She could stop the invading hordes with violence if they attacked, but she would not harm anybody and they know it.
    What can Theresa do?

    That's just one of many difficult situations.


    The rest of what you said is confused and I'm thinking my time is better spent elsewhere.
    Last edited by empresstheresa; November 26th, 2012 at 08:34 PM.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post
    How do you know Theresa is perfect? You've only seen one percent of the text.
    I said she sounds like a Mary Sue. As in, that is how the character appears at the moment. Open the story that way at your own risk -- I'm just saying I wouldn't stick around to learn more about the character because I'm immediately turned off. There has to be some sort of conflict, or at least some indication that everything is not well. That is, after all, what stories are -- interruptions of the status quo.

    It's interesting that you compared Theresa to Mary Sue. So did people on an atheist forum I joined a couple of months ago for laughs.
    Mary Sue is a common literary criticism. The male version being Gary Stu or whatever. Though I am an atheist, I assure you I'm not one of your stalker bully / fans. I only jumped in here because stirring the pot is fun and it's Monday and cold outside and I'm bored.

    It's ok for a male character to be perfect, but not a female. Do you agree?
    No, I don't. Perfect characters suck. QED.
    "The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all. It was a saying about noble figures in old Irish poems—he would give his hawk to any man that asked for it, yet he loved his hawk better than men nowadays love their bride of tomorrow. He would mourn a dog with more grief than men nowadays mourn their fathers.

    And that's how we measure out our real respect for people—by the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerate—and enjoy.
    "

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  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post

    You, and somebody else, assume I'm comparing my book to Mockingbird. I'm not. In fact, they have nothing in common.

    I mentioned Mockingbird to bring up some points about writing techniques. That's all. I can't point to similar techniques in my book without pointing it all on the internet, which would break the horse's legs at the starting gate.

    The rest of what you said is confused and I'm thinking my time is better spent elsewhere.
    Yes, I think there is some confusion. Why did you bring your novel to this site and post an excerpt, if not for critique and advice? The replies to your post have been honest and sincere, but I get the impression that you are offended, and I do not understand why. I understand that you've spent years on your book and feel (rightly) proud of that accomplishment, but the excerpt you've posted is not perfect, and could benefit from the input of dispassionate readers who know how to lend a helpful, critical eye.

    No one is berating you--that would not be tolerated here. Just trying to give you the help I believe you were asking for.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

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  7. #27
    You, and somebody else, assume I'm comparing my book to Mockingbird.
    I don't. I do, however, assume that you are unable to take good advice from anyone. That you said:

    The rest of what you said is confused and I'm thinking my time is better spent elsewhere.
    makes that clear.

    Here's perhaps my last piece of advice then - if you think your time is spent better elsewhere, how about outside, away from your computer? I'm only going to say what every other logical soul will. In fact, I've been very supportive. I took time to give you a critique, and continue our discussions. Now my head hurts too much.

    Good luck with your story, but until there's some sort of change of tone here (or a reply to my PM) I'll make sure I avoid getting involved in it. You know, before I get too blunt.
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  8. #28
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    Let's take a look at what's wrong with "the process".




    Quotes from post #7


    Yes she does, but that's a flaw ! But you see her grow out of it.
    Yes she does, but that's a flaw ! But you see her grow out of it.
    It's possible that you just pointed out the flaw yourself. Not sure until I know where the story is going, but currently the narrator seems to be telling a story from her past. If she's not, then some revision needs to be done. If the whole story is going to be about her ten year old self(which I already don't recommend. YA novels tend to be focused on young adults, not children), how will we see the narrator grow out of something when the story isn't focused around her current self?


    With a little revision, I believe this story could go somewhere.
    ( End of quotes from post #7 )


    What's wrong with the process is that nobody is going to put their entire novel on the internet free for anybody to read, because then no publishing house would touch it.
    So we only put a tiny excerpt on here, usually the opening pages. This means forum members have no idea what the story is about or what the other elements of a story, tone, tension, conflict etc etc will be. And so we get suggestions like the quote from post #7 above.


    Reply to quote in post #7


    In chapter one, Theresa is ten years old. This chapter will reveal many things. The U.S. military spotted a large "white sphere" coming down from space seven years earlier when Theresa was only three. They followed it down to the forest in Framingham, Mass where it appeared to disappear into the ground without even rustling the leaves on the trees it passes through. Ever since then the government has had people watching for unusual events, any kind, anywhere in the world that might indicate the location of this entity. ( in chapter seven, Theresa will convincingly argue that the entity has been on Earth for millions of years )
    ( switching to present tense )

    After seven years, a tiny version of the "white thing" jumps from the fox to Theresa.
    The firemen come and leave. The government has heard of this strange event and sends the car and van to spy on Theresa's street. They have highly sensitive infrared detectors and detect a slight air temperature increase around Theresa when she comes out for the mail. Theresa notices cars following when her mother takes her shopping in downtown Boston. She sees men on foot following her through the stores of the Washington Street shopping district.


    Back home, she calls the operator and asks for the number of a local pizza parlor. "One moment, please" says the 'operator'. The phone is silent for a full minute. Theresa hangs up. Now they know she knows.


    Theresa rents a DVD of the classic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The government is aware of this, of course.


    A young woman, Jan Struthers, chosen because she is a young woman, visits Theresa when she is alone in the house. Jan is the leader of 400 "watchers" who are watching Theresa 24/7. Theresa tells her about the fox. She calls the entity HAL. She has told nobody else yet and Jan Struthers advises her not to. "Before you know it you'll have ten thousand reporters camped out in front of your house for the rest of your life."


    Soon, she notices a tiny orange dot in the middle of her vision field. While working in her tiny garden she discovers that when she throws rocks they go exactly where her orange dot is pointed. It's an aiming device. What could be its purpose? ( revealed in a later chapter} Soon after, she discovers she has superhuman strength. What's the purpose of that? ( revealed in a later chapter } She doesn't tell Jan Struthers about the aiming device or strength, afraid that the government might do something to her.


    End of chapter one.
    That's the last time we see Theresa as a ten year old.


    In chapter two, she is sixteen and a senior in high school, having skipped the sixth grade.. She has an update meeting with Jan Struthers. In January a new President is sworn into office. In March, Jan Struthers disappears. She has been silenced. A high level British official meets Theresa in Framingham and tells her Jan Struthers must have suspected something was up because she Fedexed a box full of information about Theresa to the Canadian Prime Minister who sent it to the British Prime Minister. The official offers Theresa sanctuary in England, but she can't conceive of leaving home. She'll wait it out.


    In chapter three she is a seventeen year old Freshman at Boston College She meets Steve Hartley and they marry in June. Theresa has just turned eighteen on May 8.


    In chapter four, all hell breaks loose. We have twenty-five chapters to go. Theresa deals with a series of "impossible" problems on a global scale. "What am I supposed to do" she complains to the British Prime Minister, "change the laws of physics? This is the most impossible problem yet."

    At the end of the story Theresa is nineteen.
    Last edited by empresstheresa; November 28th, 2012 at 01:06 AM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by empresstheresa View Post
    I didn't know what I expected when I joined this forum.
    I hoped to learn something from writers who had books printed by known publishing houses. Are there any?
    I'm a little disappointed at the process.
    You speak of not posting your novel for free where anyone can read it. It may be that the writers who had books published from known publishing houses don't give their pearls of wisdom for free, either.

    If a free internet forum doesn't work (and it sounds like it hasn't so far) maybe a paid workshopping forum or a local writing group would suit your needs better.
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  10. #30
    First of all, I'd like to say congratulations on finishing the book. It's no mean feat.

    I want to say that I agree with all the comments on pacing issues. You give too little screen time to what happened with the fox when compared to what happened with the cooking bacon and eggs (something no 10 year old should be allowed to do, but Theresa might just be competent in the kitchen). I've read the whole thread and you have commented that there is a lot going on in the book, hence the rapid-fire pace. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself. Plenty of books run full tilt from the first page through the last. That's not the issue here. This isn't running full pace because you break it up with a focus on the less important things. Since this is only a small part of the whole, it's possible that you correct this issue later on. But judging simply by the information provided here, the rest of the book will be like this as well. Perhaps you should consider splitting the book and making it into a series. I realise that that's a bit of a pain once you've made it all the way through, but it would certainly allow you to even out the pacing issues without running into absolutely massive word counts.

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