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Topics - lethalfalcon

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Reading Excuses / July 12 - lethalfalcon - Heartglass - Chapter 2
« on: July 13, 2010, 05:32:00 AM »
Chapter 2 of Heartglass is done (and yes, the prologue been moved to chapter 1 due to popular critique). I am including chapter 1 in this submission because there is a lot of new blood since I published it, and they're both pretty short. There are some small changes from the old version, but nothing game-changing--just little tweaks that I figured out while I was choking on chapter 2. Please be brutal. I'll honestly say that I'm a little disappointed with it; it's missing something, but I have no clue what, so if anyone has suggestions, I'm open to them.


Chapter 1: James, recently stuck in a prison mining world for theft, ends up in a meeting with a very important prisoner. The result of that meeting left him with a priceless piece of Heartglass, which he made a living "acquiring" when he was free.

Chapter 2: What you're going to read now.


Guess I'll start your thread for you. :)

I found the writing to be modern, and very loose. This is probably a good thing.

The prologue... really wasn't doing much for me. Well, let me rephrase: it didn't seem to really fit. Given that your story takes place in Manhattan, 2010, the prologue in 1888 feels a bit lost. If you're going to go back and forth between the two times, that's cool, and I'll address the issue again once I've read more of the past. If you're not, then I'm not sure it's really necessary to bring up 3 characters that have no life beyond the first 1k words. *I* would almost like to see how Gail managed to get into the mess. Starting out with something like:
It didn't work. The board bounced off his skull, causing her to drop it. He screamed bloody murder....
or something.

One other big problem I had was trying to separate Ray's vision from the rest of the story. I can tell it's there, but it's really hard for me to tell when he slipped into it. Perhaps you need to use some sort of differentiation in font, be it italics, or blockquote... something. I guessed it was "the accident" that he was reliving, but I was confused as to why, too. Something with the bridge?

When they get home, I'm a little confused as to why Dan comes out and asks "You were in Jail?" Didn't they just talk about that on the phone? Did he not hear about it somehow? She was rambling for quite some time, it appears. I suppose it could be a rhetorical question, though, and Gail just answers it again because she's a smartass.

A continuity issue: Gail says on the phone that Dan and Ray were asleep at 1 in the afternoon... but in the apartment, Ray says he's been up since 4 (am?). Both of those can't be true. If he's been up since 4pm, then he probably wouldn't be very tired, I don't think.

I'm not entirely sure whether you need to change this or not, but vampires, daywalker or no, don't generally think things like "It was only seven o’ clock in the evening" To most vampires (night creatures that they are), 7pm is really late to be "up". Unless they live normal-ish lives, I suppose. Not sure how much you're trying to break out of the traditional vamp model.

I think what you have is a good start. It's light right now, but certainly different from Twilight (gushy romance) or Blade (full of action). I'm interested to see where you're going with it.

Reading Excuses / March 16 - lethalfalcon - Heartglass - Prologue
« on: March 17, 2010, 02:44:55 AM »
And here's a thread. Yay.

Thanks in advance to anyone who tortured themselves to read something of mine. :P I appreciate all feedback.

Enjoy and eviscerate!

Guess I'll start this one off.

First, I like this chapter a lot better than the one with Jin. There's a lot more going on (and I'm a sucker for action). Also, I get a better feel for Anaiah as a character.

Covered in the shroud of darkness, the Red Beast was a massive swirling God like the Three, or Skyfire gods as they called them here. Rings encircled the Red Beast, and smaller spheres circled the Beast. According to stories, those spheres were where the Darken lived.

I'm a little confused by the Red Beast. Is it a celestial occurrence, a heavenly body, a natural weather phenomenon...? I doubt that Anaiah understands what it is, but the description isn't enough to let me understand, either. Also, the sentence itself confuses me: "massive swirling God like the Three". Huh? What's the Three? Are they the Skyfire gods that you're referring to? What's the massive swirling God, then? I think this needs a bit of rewording and more description.

Reading a little more, it seems like the Three are also the same type of thing as the Beast, but since the Three have never been mentioned before, comparing it to them is confusing.

Torches went up first, then lamps. Anaiah gathered the displays and removed the pieces from their ropes.

The torches and lamps seem to be an indicator that it's time to pack up, but no specific mention is given of that. Something like "Anailah decided that it was time to pack up and set about the task." (I'm sure you can do much better; I'm just giving an example). Right now, I see "Oh, lights. Oh, packing." I understand after reading the rest of your chapter that the Darken are (usually) afraid of lights, and that Anaiah obviously doesn't want to be out if they're prowling around, but it's not immediately apparent.

You mention when she's done that the light had almost vanished, but with the torches and lights, wouldn't there be quite a bit still? Or did all the torch-wielding people leave as well? Or are you referring specifically to the light from the sky?

With the spear she removed a pair of thick, leather wrappings with cuffs for her hands.

How do you remove something with a spear? Did she have to cut bindings? This confused me a little.

“What?” Anaiah stopped to turn around. Her father, pushing the sack behind her, hit her from behind. She stumbled forward.

With a whole stretcher of equipment between them, hoisted by poles, I doubt her father could have run into her. Perhaps you meant that he pushed the stretcher into her? Although, if she turned around, she would have had to drop the poles to do so, which would have grounded them in the sand as he kept moving. Probably would have hurt him a lot more than her.

Why are they heading toward the particular House that they are? Does he know someone in that House, or do they just take shelter in whatever one that's closest? This probably needs a little fleshing out.

Stones rained down from the ramparts around the massive stone building, flying overhead and landing with heavy thuds against against the sands. Flaming arrows followed. Arrows? How much wealth can these Houses have?

How large are these stones? Are we talking boulder-sized, as the thuds indicate? If so, why are these houses so prepared for something that has never happened before? Or do they throw boulders at the other houses for fun and profit?

There it was, a darken.

In the two paragraphs previous to this, you refer to the darken being moved back by the burning arrows. Since this is written from Anaiah's restricted point of view, she has to have seen them in order for the narration to describe them moving back. Or is this her second darken that she's seeing near the House (indicating that "a" needs to be "another", or something). In the next paragraph, she asks herself if there are three, or more. She's seen either one or two, depending on the above, so why does she ask if there are three or more?

Most of these things are really nit-picky, but if I'm reading fast and they catch my eye, I feel obligated to report them, because they break the flow. You have a really good chapter here, with lots of fun stuff happening. Keep it up!

Congratulations! If you're still alive at this point, I salute you. If you've not read my work, you cheated, and shall be punished accordingly (by having to read it).

I welcome any and all complaints, big, small, but hopefully specific (you suck doesn't help, even if it's true). I also welcome any suggestions. Perhaps I'll use it, perhaps not, but it gets my gears turning, and most of you seem to do this a lot more often than I do.

Praise is nice, too, but not too much. My head is already inflated, and any more might cause my headphones not to fit.

I hope there aren't too many line-level edits, but I've been surprised before. Send 'em my way, please.

And thanks for reading.

P.S. I apologize for not setting my submission to double-spaced. I usually work in single-space, so I can see more. I'll try really hard to remember to change it when I pull it out to submit it.

P.P.S I also apologize for the mailing list eating my document title. That I have no clue about, because the one that I sent has the title. Perhaps one of the board devs can explain why it's completely gone. The title was Reading Excuses - lethalfalcon - Mortal Divinity - Chapter 2.doc.

Writing Group / Writing linearly -vs- jumping around
« on: November 07, 2009, 09:18:11 PM »
I've started writing again recently, but I'm finding myself in the same predicament that I've always been in: I start writing the scenes that I have very clearly defined in my head (generally scenes of high action), and then have a lot of trouble trying to connect them together. It's not that the scenes are disconnected in the sense of continuity, but that they aren't chronologically together, and writing the connection bores me to no end. I like high action. I suppose if you were to think about making a movie out of a book I was writing, I've already done most of the work that would make it into the screenplay, and never got around to all the stuff that would be cut anyway.

So on with the question. Should I be writing linearly, even if it means I'll have to dog through all of the boring parts to get to the meaty stuff? Or is it better to get the parts I have spinning through my head down on paper, and just learn to write scene transitions better and/or more action-packed?

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