Author Topic: ReadingExcuses-0124-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Chapter 1-VL  (Read 743 times)

Asmodemon

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ReadingExcuses-0124-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Chapter 1-VL
« on: January 24, 2011, 05:24:52 PM »
You forgot to make a topic for the chapter, so I made one for you.



Aww, I already miss the girl from the prologue, and we never even got to know her name. I have to say I found her far more interesting than Gaerus, and the prologue more interesting than the first chapter. This, I think, is because I'm seeing a number of problems here that I've seen in first chapters before mine included.

The first thing I noticed is that you have sentences that don't flow well into the next one, similar to what you had in the prologue. For instance, the first sentence and the second one. We're going from Gaerus's headache to the light creeping into the room rather abruptly. This could mesh a lot better.

The second, and more serious problem in my opinion, is that there is quite a bit of telling rather than showing in this chapter. It's understandable, you're trying to convey a lot about the setting in a short time, but I'd rather see these things as the story goes along than being told them out right.

For instance, I want to see Gaerus at his meaningless job instead of having him think about it. Since he gets to work at the end of the chapter, that's a good time for it. Before that we only need to know he doesn't want to go to work. The reason, the boredom, will become apparent once he's there and not when he's just out of bed.

The same with Lith you tell us she's a model American, a perfect fit for the administration but you don't show us. The only thing you've shown at the point of her introduction is her waking Gaerus up, the rest was tell. A few lines later she speaks very militaristic and precise that shows us more of what she's like than the tell description.

When you get to the second page it's a whole description of what Gaerus does for his main income, as well as what's illegal, his protest, his weight, the views, etc. This type of thing continues throughout the whole chapter. We get a lot of terms, but no explanation of what they actually are and, more importantly, why we should care.

You tell us Gaerus's weight is frowned upon why not show us as people give him disgusted looks on the street, or be insulting by making more room for him than is necessary, because they don't want to be near him? And if he's so overweight, let him have trouble running, getting out of breath and knocking things over where he works, that sort of thing.

Most of what I've seen this chapter is basically an info-dump with a few repeats in the few pieces of dialogue. Gaerus doesn't do anything and if he does it's one sentence. He leaves his home in one sentence, we get a whole load of background information on the setting, and when you're done with that he arrives at his job. When something actually does happen the chapter ends, and we don't really know why he's treasonous all of a sudden and why his watch gives such a warning.

The momentum you had with the prologue is going away very fast with this chapter. I was sympathetic to the girl, but I'm not with Gaerus, at all. I could be, if you showed his hardships instead of telling them, if you have his emotional response with what's happening. Right now Gaerus is a lazy bum and I'm more in agreement with his angry boss than I am with Gaerus.

halo6819

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0124-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Chapter 1-VL
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2011, 06:36:21 PM »
thanks asmo, looks like i will have to re-write from the ground up!
Those who give up a little bit of freedom for a little bit of security will lose both and deserve neither.

akoebel

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0124-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Chapter 1-VL
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 09:47:25 PM »
I half expected this : last time, we got the ice-monster-naked-chick-with-knives-in-her-arms prologue, and in chapter 1, we jump to something entirely different, and with a much slower pace.

As a result, we can't take too much interest in Gaerus, because the only question is : "will he meet the naked chick with knives in her arms in the next paragraph or not? As she doesn't show up (and neither does the kid from the prologue), I kept wondering where they had disappeared the whole time.

I'll agree with Asmodemon that sentences are not flowing, especially in the beginning (I had made the same comment about the prologue). Some typing errors also gave me trouble, because I wasn't sure that they were indeed errors (barley parted curtains ?).

Is all the exposition really necessary here? Why do people not use mechanicals walkways isn't that interesting, and I doubt that we'll need that information later. If it slows down the action to have them, you might as well drop them.

Two comments :
*The use of "IP address" : I counted 7 different numbers in that paragraph, I suppose to take into account a "futuristic" enhancement to our regular 4 byte addresses. As we already have enhanced addresses in 16 bytes, to have only 7 seems cheap. It's probably better to change the term "IP address" to something else to avoid picky people like me jump on their chairs while reading.
*A hundred and thirty five kilos is a large weight for a person. At this weight, some actions become difficult (running, for instance) and have a direct physical consequences (shortness of breath). Make sure you remember this when you're writing about that character : we only get a couple of sentences in the end where there is actual physical action, but those didn't strike me as relying accurately what such a character would feel in that sort of situation.

I hope we'll see the naked chick soon :-)

halo6819

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0124-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Chapter 1-VL
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 10:47:51 PM »
good point on the ip adress, as a computer nerd, i should at least make it at least 8, thanks for pointing it out!

as for the rest, ill have some major questions after chapter four or so. ill keep submitting what i already wrote and try and re work this chapter from the ground up for a later date.
Those who give up a little bit of freedom for a little bit of security will lose both and deserve neither.

fireflyz

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0124-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Chapter 1-VL
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2011, 01:45:12 AM »
I didn't mind this chapter.  I also have a crazy passion for history, real or fantasy.  So, considering this had some hints about the past, take that with a grain of salt. 

Gaerus did not take the first type of job anymore; people always wanted a refund when they got the wrong answer, and with that question, there is no right answer.

I liked this sentence.  Gaerus starts to get a litte more interesting here.  It should be was no right answer, though.

I liked the chapter itself, but I agree with the others.  A lot of this telling should be shown instead.  Exposition is best used in small amounts.  The chapter itself is only 2500 words.  If you took the time to show us a lot more it would flesh the chapter out and then if you do need to infodump, it's sprinkled throughout the chapter and much more palatable.  For instance, you can have a lot of Gaerus's thoughts while he is on his way to work.  Things/People he sees should illicite internal responses.  Likewise, as others said, you can have people react to him.

There are numerous grammatical errors and a lot of passive voice.  The language is stilted/awkward at times, but you're a new writer.  I wouldn't concern myself with this too much.    You can always go back and revise or, as is more likely, move on to something else.  THere are places where the writing is better, so as long as it's not all bad, you are improving and will continue to do so.

I don't mind that we aren't continuing where the prologue left off.  I've always thought of prologues as being similar to jacket covers.  I want to know that the author can write well, and I want to be pulled in.  If that happens, I'm content to let the story develop until it's caught up with the prologue. 

Having said that, I hope Gaerus is a main character.  If the next chapter is someone different, I'm going to lose interest.  I don't like to invest myself in something to have it changed a few thousand words later and then again and again.  So hopefully we're seeing more of Gaerus.
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halo6819

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0124-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Chapter 1-VL
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2011, 07:22:38 AM »
thanks fireflys, yes the prologue was re-worked a couple times (being the only thing my wife read) and the rest of the piece has only been lightly re-written.
Those who give up a little bit of freedom for a little bit of security will lose both and deserve neither.

RiaRaen

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0124-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Chapter 1-VL
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2011, 04:33:53 PM »
ok so i finally got round to reading it!
I read the prologue a while ago so I didnt find it difficult to engage in the introduction of a new character but I can see why this would be off putting to some people. Saying that I do think both the prologue and this chapter are great and I have read alot of books where a big change like that occurs.

I was completely engrossed in the story and didnt lose interest at any point. I loved the way you presented the IP address in code and I had to go back and re read the message again for it to click into place.

The main issues I did have were with the conflicting representions of Gaerus. He is described as being a rotund pizza lover and yet he seems quite capable of running around like an action star. I think if you could make it clearer that he does struggle to exhert himself it would tie the character type up more clearly. What I do love about this character is the fact that he isnt the 'A' typical leading man and I really didnt expect him to jump into action the way he did and yet it was believable.

One thing that did snag me was Gaerus stating it was his day off and yet his sister tells him its not. This confusion is never explained and I couldt figure out why he would be under the belief he didnt have work when he does. Especially since he is a very intelligent guy.

You also drop the name Halo in there and I had no idea who this person was and I even scrolled back to see if the person he had sent the IP address to was Halo but it wasnt. So that could be a little clearer too.

This chapter made me think Handmaids tale vs the traveller, it was interesting and great to read I look forward to reading the rest :)

halo6819

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0124-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Chapter 1-VL
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2011, 05:40:27 PM »
oops halo was an artifact from earlier draft, thanks for catching it!
Those who give up a little bit of freedom for a little bit of security will lose both and deserve neither.