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Author Topic: The Carnie's Conspiracy - OPENING (MG novel)
ArachneWeave
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Silas Poisson was the most dangerous man in Muldable City. His wardrobe being all in hues of magenta was not generally seen as funny. It trivialized the (reputed) blood on his hands into a lolly-colored joke. Why couldn't he wear red, like any other self-respecting villain?
Poisson was not actually a self-respecting villain. He did not consider himself a villain at all, and self-respect was for the boring. Like his arch-nemesis, Alan Birch, librarian and treasurer of the Friends' Trust. They were always very polite to each other. Poisson would return a book he'd come to regard as quite his own, until, with a nasty shock, he discovered a library plate in the front. ...


The Carnie's Conspiracy is 30,000 words, MG or lower YA fantasy, on the lines of Lemony Snickett or Flora Segunda.

What are your impressions at this point?
If it sounds like something you'd enjoy, or at least stomach, I would love critique of the first 3 chapters, and the full if anyone enjoys it enough to go on.
Thanks!


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RDF
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I hope this doesn't appear twice, my first post disappeared mysteriously just before I pushed the submit button.

I read the outline for a reference on a different page, but my comments here are about the 13 line hook Incidentally, it bothered me that the last sentence was truncated. That left me confused about the contents and sentence structure.

Poisson is French for Fish (one letter different than the French word for poison). Is this intentional? (Will there be Trout, Bass, Mullet or other such characters?) Obviously, Birch is a tree ... Just wondred if there is a theme here for a long-running joke?

Since you are going for the Lemony Snicket feel, I suspect you intend to go over-the-top. So my suggestions are predicated on that assumption:

If you intend to adhere to a 13 line hook, I suggest that you focus on one outrageous item, rather that try to fit so much about two characters into the opening (You've got 30,000 words, plenty of time to expand about the characters).

For example, is Poisson's wardrobe, so ugly that it is evil and dangerous. Could it frighten a widow to death? Scare a child to hide beneath a bed? That could be one focus for 13 lines.

OR

If the library book is more important, would Posison cut out the insides of a book to keep it while returning the cover? Would he sneak books from the library beneath his coat? Would he check out books using Birch's stolen library card? Would he return video tapes un-rewound?

These are just some suggestions and I'm sure can come up with a lot better outrageous acts. And my comment only applies if you want to adhere to the 13 line hook rule.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading your posts and ideas. I've learned a lot thinking about them. I hope that my comments may be of some small benefit to you.

Good luck.

cordially,



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ArachneWeave
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That's an interesting spin on the 13 line rule. In short stories I do kind of evaluate it that way, but for novels, it's more a question of would you keep scanning from the first page?

The question I thought this asked was:

Would you read the next line? Next paragraph?


Thanks for the input!
I don't think I'll be putting anything really outrageous in this bit, since in the very next paragraph it falls out he's on the town in his candy-cane striped pajamas. 0_< And then the real MC comes in planning her con. We get ridiculous all too soon.


BTW, I'm sorry the ellipses make it confusing. That line is as it's intended, I was just trying to convey it's not the end of the paragraph.
Maybe I should quit doing that, it must be obvious enough. >.<

[This message has been edited by ArachneWeave (edited December 29, 2008).]


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Yufae
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I like it! I would definitely keep reading. I think starting off with the villain is a good touch -- too many stories start with the hero. And I love that one of the things that makes him villainous is his mishandling of library books.
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ArachneWeave
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I never really thought about that--you're right!

It's a theme, actually, comes up later. How funny.


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Unwritten
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I wouldn't mind looking at the rest. Send it over. Although it's probably common knowledge at this point that I'm not the fastest critiquer around, I'll do my best.
Melanie

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Pyraxis
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Are you still looking for people to critique the first three chapters? Like Unwritten, I can't promise speed, but I'd be happy to take a look.
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Christian
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Just a comment Arachne. I think the reference to Y/A should have come first. That completely changes the way I looked at the story. I mean 360 degrees. Well, maybe just 180 degrees, because otherwise, there'd really be no change in my perception.
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