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Old 07-03-2013, 09:56 AM   #101
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

I've read multiple times that for a first timer, agents prefer a shorter, self-contained book. It's easier for them to sell a shorter novel than a longer one. But that was more so through word of mouth. There are various places online where you can see what agents prefer word-count to be for various genres. I want to say 80,000 sounds right for a debut fantasy novel. I'll have to skim my Literary Guide to Agents when I get home. I'm fairly certain I read it in there.

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Old 07-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #102
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

I'm pretty comfortable with 76k for now, and I've heard that a lot of agents are lenient on word count, to an extent. But if I'm pitching this as a YA novel (which I am) I personally think it'd be a smarter decision to leave the word count as it stands, and if they think it should be longer I'll leave that to them.

But when they ask for the whole manuscript I'm including an excerpt for book 2!

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Old 07-03-2013, 03:40 PM   #103
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

Sent a query & the first 5 pages to Barry Goldblatt. From what I gather he's a pretty big name in the publishing industry; he's repped the authors of the Spiderwick Chronicles and The Mortal Instruments, so let's see if he likes MY flavor of fantasy

I made it a point to put this in my query:

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This is an endeavor ten years in the making and counting, and a work of substantial worldbuilding, true secondary-world subcreation, far different from the "urban fantasies" you've represented before (I of course speak of the Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices series)
This shows that I know some of the authors and books he's represented, but also points out the distinctions between them.

All in all, my fingers are crossed! Since cutting the book in half I've had a really good feeling that I might get something soon.

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Old 07-04-2013, 09:35 AM   #104
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

I hate the Fourth of July

All the agencies are likely closed, which means I definitely won't be getting a reply today.


Screw you, 'Murica!!



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Old 07-08-2013, 10:07 AM   #105
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

So I joined a writer's forum and... I think I'm going to give up writing. Nothing I write is good enough for these people, they blatantly lambast me and my writing style... I just have zero confidence now.

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:04 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Turambar View Post
So I joined a writer's forum and... I think I'm going to give up writing. Nothing I write is good enough for these people, they blatantly lambast me and my writing style... I just have zero confidence now.
Look at a lot of screenwriters' interviews most of them will say that film school wasn't their favorite. Simon Kinberg said that he got trashed all the way throughout his screenwriting program. I got blasted by students as well, HOWEVER I had the teachers there backing me up, people online (audience for my virtual series) backing me up saying some of my episodes were just as good if not sometimes better than the actual show, years years years ago when I was writing fan-fiction people on here telling me how much they'd love for me to work at MARVEL and now executives at Universal and a VP backing me up.

IF I believed what those students told me? I would have never submitted a screenplay to the VP at the company at Universal who blatantly flat-out told me that he would have LOVED to buy it - then have Universal Executives harping ME on what I'm writing next without me even bringing it up. Students hated me. Executives and the VP absolutely love me and stay on top of me. SO, that just goes to show the warped level of thinking peers can have - and a lot of professional writers in the industry today have stated similarly in various interviews.

I'm unsure how to phrase this right now exactly, but I hope the above gets the point I'm going for across.

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:22 AM   #107
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Do you have any links to that fanfiction, UH?

There are plenty of ridiculous critics out there. I was part of a group called Anti Shur'tugal which lambasted Paolini's Eragon books. Sure, the Eragon series is basically a Xerox machine compilation of Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings with dashes of Pern and Dragonlance. Some of the stuff we criticized Paolini for--such as info dumps--are present in fantasies that are more respected, like A Song of Ice and Fire's dumps about King Robert's rebellion in A Storm of Swords. Yet no one on the Anti Shur'turgal site called out Martin on his info dumping. Or Tolkien on his info dumping. That sort of golden cow treatment of certain authors gets on my nerves.

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:24 AM   #108
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

I think the real test of writers are those who can take that sort of criticism and learn from it. I wouldn't tell yourself that they're wrong, but rather, listen to what they're saying and see if you can learn from it. It sucks now, but if it makes you a better writer down the road then it was all worth it.

Like I've said before, I was told 10 years ago that writing wasn't my talent. I now have a book that sells about 70-100 copies a month to good reviews. Glad I didn't quit then.

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:27 AM   #109
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I did, or used to way way way back in the day. I can't find them now, but I can say it's got to be at least five to six years ago.

The reason why I don't trust peers on writing sites (although never even went to one) or while in film school - the same exact things they lambasted, the teachers and Universal executives loved. The same things. So, you really need to be your own eyes and ears. That's not saying not to listen, that's just saying to be sure to filter because some of what you hear will be nonsense while other things you hear might spark something. You just have to continue on.

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:30 AM   #110
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I'm not saying discount critiques entirely. I'd look for trends in what needs fixing and compare that to more favorable reviews. A series I do like, Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen, opens in media res. The reader is thrown into an epic battle of swords and sorcery without a clue as to what's going on. Then, slowly, the reader learns more about what incited the battle and the politics guiding certain mages and soldiers in the battle. At the same time, even more plot hooks are thrown out. I really dig that approach because it forces me to pay attention to what I'm reading.

I will say one thing about Paolini--I started writing a fanfiction of Book 3 in the Eragon series before Brisingr was announced. That fanfiction has since morphed into my science-sorcery project.

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Old 07-08-2013, 02:02 PM   #111
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

Well after some thought (and asking Sara Megibow her honest opinion, which gave me quite a bit of encouragement) and catching a link on Writer's Digest labeled "Should You Have a Prologue?" or something to that effect, I had what I like to call a "duh-piphany" I decided to take out the first part of chapter 1, and the Prologue and Preludes that came before it, and immediately it got way better. The story starts with tension and action. I'm back baby!

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Old 07-08-2013, 03:56 PM   #112
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I hate Absolute Write. That forum is so full of nitpickers it makes me want to rip my hair out. Seriously, could one of you give me an honest critique of this opening I posted there? (*With some editorial changes*)

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
Fifty riders burst into the clearing, a storm of men beneath a grotesque cathedral of intertwining branches. Moonlight flashed upon their armor like lightning, the trampling of their horses’ hooves filling the air like thunder. Leading the charge was Kéle’il of Néktas, a tall, proud man of high Wolven descent. In his black intaglioed armor and helm one might think he was clad in obsidian. The Guardian Towers had called and he and his men had answered. And that could only mean one thing: There were werewolves in Degos Enath tonight.

Kéle’il pulled hard on his horse’s reins, forcing the steed to a halt in the midst of the clearing. He removed his helm and raised his head, listening for some sign of their quarry as his ice-colored eyes passed over endless spires of trees. Silhouetted against the waxing moon in the distance he caught sight of the Western Guardian Tower, a silent sentinel ever on guard for the attack that would inevitably come out of the night.

For a long while the only sounds in Kéle’il’s ears were the gentle breeze and the chirping of crickets, and the snorts of his fellow riders’ horses. And then he heard it: a single bloodcurdling howl.

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Old 07-08-2013, 05:32 PM   #113
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Good action, but I would like to know what's driving it. I'm a fan of more concise descriptions. If I were writing that passage, I'd introduce Kele ' il like this:

"Leading the charge was ________, fierce in his black intaglioed armor." Right after that, I'd go into Kele ' il's thoughts so we know why the chase is on. I know I butchered his name. Please throw out any other bits you'd like critiqued, Turambar, I enjoy it.

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Old 07-08-2013, 05:46 PM   #114
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

It's alright Woody I'll forgive you haha...However I might change his name since "people get turned off by accent marks" according to these Absolute Write people

The thing is, it's supposed to be 200 words to "hook" somebody to my story, which frustrates the hell out of me. I give a story at least five pages to a chapter to hook me, whichever comes first, and none of my rewrites can please these people.

Here's the rewrite, with the (potential) name change.

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
Fifty riders burst into the clearing, the branches intertwining above their heads like some grotesque cathedral. Leading the charge was Keletir, a tall, proud man of high Wolven descent. In his black armor and helm one might think he was clad in obsidian. The Guardian Towers had called for aid, and that meant only one thing: There were werewolves in Degos Enath tonight.

Keletir reined in his horse, slowing to a halt near the midst of the clearing. He held up his hand and the riders halted in unison behind him. He removed his helm and raised his head, looking, listening for some sign of their quarry. Above the tree line to the west, silhouetted against the waxing moon, his grey-blue eyes caught sight of a Guardian Tower.

“Where are you?” he muttered to himself.

For a while the only sound in Keletir’s ears was the gentle breeze passing through the leaves, and every now and then one of the horses snorted. And then he heard it: a single, unmistakable, bloodcurdling howl.

Keletir’s lieutenant rode up beside him. “Ferals, you think?”

Keletir shook his head grimly. “Worse. And damn the lot of them,” he cursed, spurring his horse forward. “Raiders.”

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You are indeed the true DS of SuperheroHype.com.
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Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
So cuss you! I'll cuss you the cuss up you cussing mothercusser! CUSS YOU!!!

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Old 07-08-2013, 05:59 PM   #115
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If you've got the wordcount, you can have an appendix of pronounciations. In The Death Gate Cycle, Weis and Hickman included footnotes on aspects of their story's realms. You could also go that route for pronunciations or culture that you can't include in the main text.

Turambar, would you mind taking a look at this bit. Tell me if it sounds like Sarkun and Kalaun have distinct voices...and if I'm throwing too much out at once. I pretty much pantsed the ranks as I was typing.

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

A sound jolted Sarkun Grasjakal from his delicate work; his head snapped toward the noise and his hand wavered. A sensation of thickness drew his attention back to his task. Sludgy reddish-brown bone marrow flowed freely from the scalpel puncture, spilling over his gloved hand. “****.” He repositioned the centrifuge tube to catch the precious marrow.

“You have a lovely taste in art, my renegade Firebolt.”

A chill went down Sarkun’s neck at the sound. He looked up and saw Kalaun standing in the doorway to his meditation chamber. “I’m not your Brother anymore. Remember—the Breath was too selfish—” Sarkun waved a bloodied scalpel at the vivisected raper who was beating a pale hand against the bars of her cage, at the mounds of flesh that had been a trio of sleeper agents from the continent of Kurga, at the bones—neatly separated from the cured skins and dried viscera of monks that had belonged to the Norskavian Clutch called the Awakener’s Saprolings—“to respond to these brutes’ crimes against Norskavia. So, being the coward that your Ascetic is, he excommunicates me rather than deal with me.”

Kalaun smiled and advanced on Sarkun, shaking his head with a sad look on his face. “The Igniter’s Firebolts is the strongest of the Norskavian Clutches.” He grasped the edges of the dissection table and leaned over the sedated body of Sarkun’s wide-eyed specimen. “The other Clutches expect us to behave like a horde of savages. Our Ascetic will never give them the satisfaction of our Clutch confirming those expectations.”

Sarkun saw the eagerness in Kalaun’s blue eyes and grinned. “Maybe I was wrong about our Breath.” He slid a hand into a slot under the dissection table and began freeing the bonewand from the captive muckwader lizard that maintained the wand’s marrow supply. “Perhaps if I can bring the whole of the Breath’s personal raiders—Fangs, he calls them?--to heel, I’ll be welcomed back into the brotherhood.” He grasped the bonewand so that the length of it was against the underside of his forearm and slid his chair from the dissection table. “I guess you haven’t spent much time in the Sylvan Library?” Sarkun said in response to a confused look that crossed Kalaun’s face.

“I’m truly surprised, Sarkun.” The confusion passed and now Kalaun leaned back from the table. He stretched his lithe muscles and drew his axe. “Someone with no qualms when it comes to butchery would run to the simple-minded solutions in the Saprolings’ Library rather than face the Fire of the Igniter.” He walked to the entrance and gestured to the foothills outside, bathed in the red of the Blood Moon.

Sarkun rose and, with his hands crossed behind his back to hide the bonewand, joined Kalaun. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”

“Norskavia is in the middle of serious times, Sarkun. She can’t afford to have the five Clutches at war with one another with incursions from our neighbors on Kurga.”

“Agreed, Kalaun,” Sarkun said as he walked into the crimson night. “So why has the Breath sent you to my humble laboratory?”

“We need the people of Norskavia, particularly Shijund.” Kalaun crouched and began tracing the Igniter’s Charm in the snow. “As you can imagine, there’s not much faith in the Igniter’s Firebolts when one of our own is running around slaughtering people at random.”

Sarkun laughed puffs of steam. “I think your inability to stop the looters, rapers, and slavers is more to blame.” He took his place at the tip of the blade-shaped sigil that was the Igniter’s Charm and let the hand with his bonewand fall to his side. “But if your Breath thinks he’s doing the Igniter’s work, who am I to correct him am—let him take responsibility for his own decisions—” he dipped and shot forward as Kalaun lunged with the axe. Sarkun used the Kalaun’s momentum and size to throw him to the snow; he drove a boot into Kalaun’s side and stepped back, raising the bonewand. Sarkun glanced at the bonewand and saw the misty form of a crimson muckwader pulling itself toward the opening at wand’s end. A flick of the wrist released the bonewand’s marrow; the muckwader’s conscience absorbed the marrow and regained form as a red-scaled lizard that landed on Kalaun’s chest. The weight of reptile and the impact pushed Kalaun back into the snow, which was soon littered with armor and blood from the muckwader’s attack.

Sarkun drew a scalpel and dropped onto Kalaun as he threw aside the muckwader. The lizard hissed, thrashed in the snow, and scurried back toward its prey. “We can’t say you didn’t ask for this, Kalaun. Attacking me without provocation—what did you expect?” Sarkun raked the scalpel across the underside of Kalaun’s chin as the muckwader scurried across Kalaun’s chest to strike at his armor. Sarkun dug a gloved finger into the incisions, grimacing at Kalaun’s screams. “Primevals Below, you’re a whelp of a dragonman!”

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #116
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That's a pretty awesome start to a book in my opinion. I've never read your book due to lack of time, so this is actually the first taste I've ever had of it. The good news is that based JUST on that, I find myself intrigued. If I'm intrigued, the others likely will be as well. I do have two critiques, however.

1) I can't decide what I think about your opening line. It's a great line, but as a first line of the whole book I don't know if. I feel like you can somehow make a more gripping line. I actually really like the description in the second half of it about the cathedral-like canopy, but I feel like the first half is too simple or something. Maybe simply condense it into something like:

"Fifty riders burst through the grotesque cathedral of intertwining branches."

Though that might effect the flow of the sentences.

Just my opinion.


2) How important is the line:

"Silhouetted against the waxing moon in the distance he caught sight of the Western Guardian Tower, a silent sentinel ever on guard for the attack that would inevitably come out of the night."

While a cool line I feel like it's unnecessary at this point and could possibly be included a bit later in the story when it's more relevant. Removing it helps get into the action even faster, which is sure to grab people's attention. In my opinion, I don't think you need the world-building right from the get-go.


Those are just my opinions and they may be wrong. But as someone who hasn't read your stuff and am looking at it with new eyes, those are two things that came to mind. But other than that I thought the opening sequence was a strong grab. Good job

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #117
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

Regarding accent marks... one in a word doesn't bother me. When it's more than one it does kinda make my tongue and eyes cross.

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:18 PM   #118
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That's a pretty awesome start to a book in my opinion. I've never read your book due to lack of time, so this is actually the first taste I've ever had of it. The good news is that based JUST on that, I find myself intrigued. If I'm intrigued, the others likely will be as well. I do have two critiques, however.

1) I can't decide what I think about your opening line. It's a great line, but as a first line of the whole book I don't know if. I feel like you can somehow make a more gripping line. I actually really like the description in the second half of it about the cathedral-like canopy, but I feel like the first half is too simple or something. Maybe simply condense it into something like:

"Fifty riders burst through the grotesque cathedral of intertwining branches."

Though that might effect the flow of the sentences.

Just my opinion.


2) How important is the line:

"Silhouetted against the waxing moon in the distance he caught sight of the Western Guardian Tower, a silent sentinel ever on guard for the attack that would inevitably come out of the night."

While a cool line I feel like it's unnecessary at this point and could possibly be included a bit later in the story when it's more relevant. Removing it helps get into the action even faster, which is sure to grab people's attention. In my opinion, I don't think you need the world-building right from the get-go.


Those are just my opinions and they may be wrong. But as someone who hasn't read your stuff and am looking at it with new eyes, those are two things that came to mind. But other than that I thought the opening sequence was a strong grab. Good job
Hm..see, I love the imagery in that line though. But I can see how it's mildly extraneous...dammit


thank you. These people just won't stop nitpicking

For reference, this is the original excerpt I'd posted, 200 words:

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
Fifty riders burst into the clearing, a storm of men beneath the branches intertwining above their heads like a grotesque cathedral. Moonlight flashed upon their armor like lightning, the trampling of their horses’ hooves filling the air like thunder. Leading the charge was Kéle’il of Néktas, a tall, proud man of high Wolven descent. In his black intaglioed armor and helm one might think he was robed in obsidian. The Guardian Towers had called and he and his men had answered. And that could only mean one thing: There were werewolves in Degos Enath tonight.

Kéle’il pulled hard on his horse’s reins, forcing the steed to a halt in the midst of the clearing. He removed his helm and raised his head, listening for some sign of their quarry as his ice-colored eyes passed over endless spires of trees. Silhouetted against the waxing moon in the distance he caught sight of the Western Guardian Tower, a silent sentinel ever on guard for the attack that would inevitably come out of the night.

For a long while the only sounds in Kéle’il’s ears were the gentle breeze and the chirping of crickets. And then he heard it: a single bloodcurdling howl.

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You are indeed the true DS of SuperheroHype.com.
We can't swear on this site. But we can cuss.
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
So cuss you! I'll cuss you the cuss up you cussing mothercusser! CUSS YOU!!!

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:26 PM   #119
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Honestly, I think the nitpicking helped. What you posted above is much better than what you posted below. It's short, sweet, and straight to the point (save the imagery of that line about the Tower). I do like that line but it's just an interruption in that spot. I'd save it and insert it later when it feels more organic.

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:28 PM   #120
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

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Honestly, I think the nitpicking helped. What you posted above is much better than what you posted below. It's short, sweet, and straight to the point (save the imagery of that line about the Tower). I do like that line but it's just an interruption in that spot. I'd save it and insert it later when it feels more organic.
OK see, THAT's the kind of criticism I like! Not just "don't do this" "what does this mean?" "what about this?"

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:33 PM   #121
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

Well, since we're posting examples. What do you guys think of the first few paragraph of my next book? Be as brutal as possible.

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
The cool October breeze could never erase the smell of smoke and fire that burned a hole into Adam Bailey’s memory. As the taxi veered from the highway onto the exit ramp where Adam and his family were run off the road, he shuttered and tried to exorcise the memory from his mind. It was difficult. Ten years had passed since that fateful night, almost to the day. He had been an inexperienced driver then—only seventeen—and though his mother suggested that he move out of the truck’s blind spot, Adam thought she was being silly. If only he had listened to his mother. His parents and brothers might have made it home.


Do note that I've only done one round of edits on the story.

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:35 PM   #122
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

On the other hand, is the (potential) new name preferable over the old one? Granted the old one's been in use for ten years, but whatever

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:40 PM   #123
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

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Well, since we're posting examples. What do you guys think of the first few paragraph of my next book? Be as brutal as possible.

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
The cool October breeze could never erase the smell of smoke and fire that burned a hole into Adam Bailey’s memory. As the taxi veered from the highway onto the exit ramp where Adam and his family were run off the road, he shuttered I think you meant "shuddered? and tried to exorcise the memory from his mind. It was difficult Hmm, I do think this can be embellished a tad more . Ten years had passed since that fateful night, almost to the day. He had been an inexperienced driver then—only seventeen—and though his mother suggested that he move out of the truck’s blind spot, Adam thought she was being silly. If only he had listened to his mother. His parents and brothers might have made it home.


Do note that I've only done one round of edits on the story.
My "notes" are in the spoiler tags

Overall, nice opening I especially like - scratch that, love - the first line.

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:47 PM   #124
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

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It's alright Woody I'll forgive you haha...However I might change his name since "people get turned off by accent marks" according to these Absolute Write people

The thing is, it's supposed to be 200 words to "hook" somebody to my story, which frustrates the hell out of me. I give a story at least five pages to a chapter to hook me, whichever comes first, and none of my rewrites can please these people.

Here's the rewrite, with the (potential) name change.

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
Fifty riders burst into the clearing, the branches intertwining above their heads like some grotesque cathedral. Leading the charge was Keletir, a tall, proud man of high Wolven descent. In his black armor and helm one might think he was clad in obsidian. The Guardian Towers had called for aid, and that meant only one thing: There were werewolves in Degos Enath tonight.

Keletir reined in his horse, slowing to a halt near the midst of the clearing. He held up his hand and the riders halted in unison behind him. He removed his helm and raised his head, looking, listening for some sign of their quarry. Above the tree line to the west, silhouetted against the waxing moon, his grey-blue eyes caught sight of a Guardian Tower.

“Where are you?” he muttered to himself.

For a while the only sound in Keletir’s ears was the gentle breeze passing through the leaves, and every now and then one of the horses snorted. And then he heard it: a single, unmistakable, bloodcurdling howl.

Keletir’s lieutenant rode up beside him. “Ferals, you think?”

Keletir shook his head grimly. “Worse. And damn the lot of them,” he cursed, spurring his horse forward. “Raiders.”
Hey, I somehow missed this post.

I actually still like the first one you posted without the "Where are you?" line. I like that still, quiet feel that you get from the the first example while he's listening. Just ride into the clearing, listen attentively in the quiet, and then hear the howl. Plus, I feel that the "bloodcurdling" term has a greater affect if it's following silence rather than following Keletir speaking. I think the silent lead-in creates a better feel.

As for the name, I like it better without the accent marks. It reads easier. If I struggle to pronounce a name then I tend to skip it or just remember what it looks like without actually reading it. In my opinion, you should probably make sure the reader can read the name without studying it a few seconds.

And yeah, I get how hard it is to change a longstanding name. When I first wrote From the Ruin of Extinction it was somewhere around 300,000 words. I wrote it for several years and still planned it even after I stopped the initial writing of it. The main character's name was Deziigon Randall. Then when I tweaked the story and had it set in our future, I decided that everyone needed more realistic names. Most were easy since many had normal names (i.e. Orlan, Kris, Trent) but Deziigon just wouldn't fly for me. So ultimately I changed it to Randall Whitaker. Losing the name Deziigon killed me and I still to this day, even after writing the new first book, I slip up and call him Deziigon.

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:52 PM   #125
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Default Re: The Writer's thread (Authors, Screenwriters, playwrights, etc.))

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My "notes" are in the spoiler tags

Overall, nice opening I especially like - scratch that, love - the first line.
Shuddered... crap. That is my biggest problem is getting the wrong word like that. That's why I'm actually going to utilize proof readers with this one to catch those things.

As for "It was difficult", I wanted a small line there to break up the other larger ones for readability sake. I originally had it played up a bit more but I felt like my eyes were crossing after all the long sentences. A small one like that helps jolt my head back and keeps me into it. Ultimately, with three other fairly intensive sentences in the first paragraph, I feel like the simple statement helps keep it reading smoothly while saying precisely what I want it to say. Just my thinking on the matter.

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