Author Topic: ReadingExcuses-0117-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Prologue-VL  (Read 2233 times)

halo6819

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ReadingExcuses-0117-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Prologue-VL
« on: January 17, 2011, 03:54:44 AM »
All comments, concerns, and slander welcome!
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-0117-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Prologue-VL
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 01:33:48 AM »
I'll start with the negatives first and end on a positive note. 

In the first few paragraphs I think you used the term eyes searched wildly or something similar at least three times.  The scene is frantic and that's well conveyed, but try to find some different ways of conveying it.  Also, one moment the girl seems paralyzed, the next she's thrashing wildly.  I know that we kind of find out about that later on, but it still seems that she goes from paralyzed to crazy to paralyzed to moving without feeling it rather quickly. 

There's some passive voice.  An example is The skinny man, with large aviator glasses, was trying to stare at her.  Instead of was trying, it should be tried.  Passive voice slows down the action, pulls the reader out, and in my opinion is insidious.  Even after several readthroughs, I still find examples in my own work.  Just something to try to avoid.

Also, it's a personal preference thing, but I prefer using italics instead of underlining.  I know back in the day it used to be underlining, but my experience has been that this rule at least has been relaxed, if not outright changed.  Again, your preference.


Now, to the positives.  I liked the prologue.  The beginning seemed frantic, panicky, and made me, the reader feel that way.  It was a little cliched after she wakes up and goes after the two men.  But that didn't bother me because I was still trying to figure out what was going on. 

When you switched POV's I was thrown for a moment.  But there was some good writing in there.  I especially liked the part about the bottle.  It gave a lot of character insight in a short span and pulled me back in.  The two characters meeting was well done.  I liked the fact that he saw her as being menacing, scary and she sees herself as a vulnerable girl who has been violated. 

I especially liked this description:  It looked more like a black tube sock filled with pig guts and entrails.  That was awesome, lol.

All in all, for a first attempt I thought it was rather well done.  There's room for improvement in the stucture of the writing, but that will come with time.  I liked it.  Now you've set the bar high, I'm eager to see the next chapter and see if you can keep it up.
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halo6819

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Prologue-VL
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 02:13:13 AM »
Thanks fireflyz!

i hadn't even noticed the passive voice! It is officialy on notice, and hopefuly i can eliminate it from the next chapter before submission date. PLEASE be mercyless in pointing it out to me as I have a hard time recognizing it myself.

i was wondering about the underlining as well. The two main books on writing that i have read are stephen kings and OSC's. however, cards was written in the 80's or early 90's and even kings was late 90's and i know the style guides have changed alot since then. any tips on where to find updated ones?

Thanks again for reading, hope the next chapter does not dissapoint!
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-0117-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Prologue-VL
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 12:38:38 PM »
Yeah King's books is very useful.  The underlined thing comes from when manuscripts used to be done on typewriters.  www.annemini.com is a good site for formatting.  She's a little verbose, but the advice is solid.
Follow my journey from aspiring author to published phenom.  Along the way we'll discover the dos and don'ts of successful writing!

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akoebel

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Prologue-VL
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 09:54:09 PM »
Hi,

Congratulations on a nice introduction : very good start (Note to self : try to appear as smart as those people when you submit).

I really liked the second scene where the girl is back on her slab. It takes a few moments to figure out it's not a re-run of the first scene : you had me wondering for a few moments if we hadn't gone back in time, and that was a nice feeling (maybe I watched too much Star Trek, I'm expecting causality loops everywhere :-) ).

I agree that the introduction of Raith is a little disturbing at first (probably because we haven't had a name for the girl, and the boy is introduced by name directly). Come to think of it, I believe it's OK to do this in a prologue (Robert Jordan did just that all the time). I would have worried to see that in a regular chapter though.

Little word of caution : the girl has undergone a medical procedure and is shown with retractable knives coming out from her arms? Where did-I see that, I wonder? ... I hope the similarities do stop here, I would be very disappointed to end up with a female Wolverine here.

"death took them" : maybe I'm just imagining things, but I thought at once about Asmodean's death. Maybe it's just a phrase that borders on the Cliché. Something to watch.

You do cite "Raith" a little too much (The top of page 5 comes to mind, with 3 consecutive phrases beginning with Raith).

Just a word on structure : some of your sentences do tend to be a little abrupt and not connected to the following one (Ex : "The morning air cut Raith like a dagger to the heart. It was much too cold for May in Angel City. Usually the weather didn’t turn till mid June, some times even July." I do believe that combining those short sentences in a longer one that will make for a much easier read and allow the thoughts to go from one sentence to the next. As they are, they feel like they convey completely different ideas, each standing out. And I'm not mentioning the pacing of those sentences (Periods are a very abrupt punctuation mark).

Still, it was a nice read with good potential.

I look forward to your next submission.

halo6819

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Prologue-VL
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 05:24:56 PM »
thanks for the tip on the structure, didnt realize i was so abrupt. an ex girlfriend of mine once said my writing constantly begs for semi-colons, but even after reading http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon i still get nervous.

your right i did lift the line from RJ about death taking them, i always liked it, next draft i will work on giving it the same meaning with different words...

also you have good reason to be concerned about the girl, in my .5 draft i realized the same thing and re-wrote a bunch :)

thanks for all the tips!
Those who give up a little bit of freedom for a little bit of security will lose both and deserve neither.

Asmodemon

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Prologue-VL
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2011, 04:08:41 PM »
Good prologue overall, though I'm not really sold on the first sentence. She sees something she's never seen before, doesn't really hook me. I think you can put something stronger there, such as what she actually sees. Since we know nothing about the character 'something she had never seen before' lacks context. On the other hand I did like the fact that you used the same sentence when she wakes up again in the second section, it has a nice symmetry to it – I'd definitely keep the symmetry.

Her vision turning red, snarling, claws from her hands. Akoebel already mentioned Wolverine, but I'm thinking more along the lines of the canonical female Wolverine already, X-23. There are obvious differences, the girl's power seems to be crystallizing skin, which doesn't stay put when she uses it, but the way I immediately thought of X-23 is a warning sign.

The transition to Raith is a little abrupt, not in the least because suddenly we're in the perspective of someone with a name. I don't know how important Raith is going to be in the story, but if this is the only time we get his perspective you might want to consider staying in the girl's perspective.

Her powers manifest in a rather grotesque way, but the emotional impact in the prologue is contained to 'shook' and 'shocked' in Raith. From her perspective, seeing her own skin peel off her arms to form barriers and weapons, being helpless to stop it since she seems to be in some kind of red rage, her body killing people without hesitation, then coming back to herself to see Raith to ask for help, would be a stronger opening I think.

Other than that, and the already mentioned sentece flow and passive voice, nice start :)

RiaRaen

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-Halo6819-ProjectStyx-Prologue-VL
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 02:41:23 AM »
well hello ^^
So I am not so great with technical advice so here are my general thoughts :)
glow of neon light coming from long tubes that ran the length - I felt like the word 'coming' was redundant and broke up the description, I lost focus slightly.
drinking in her surroundings.- drinking to me always suggests to me a positive thought, sometimes even a little sexy so I found this word a little out of place. But that is just my opinion.
Slow, deliberate, measured steps echoed through the room as a shadow in the corner of her eye resolved into a man.- I would just like to say that I love this sentence it really pulled me back to the moment and clarified the surroundings for me :)
Blinking away the purple after mirage,- this to me again broke the image as I wasnt sure what you meant
Ok well I am very intrigued by the story I havent had a chance to look at chapter one yet but I will. You pulled me in and as a genre that I dont normally read you made it easy to follow and with a good sense of anticipation. I did find the transistion to Raith abit abrupt and at first I was very dis-interested in his story as I was still stuck on what had just been going on with the girl. I did find that this passed but maybe you could make the transition a little easier.

Over all I enjoyed this and look forward to reading the first chapter :) she sounds like my kind of girl ^^