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Author Topic: First novel attempt, fantasy
JenniferHicks
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I've never tried to write a novel before and didn't intend to with this. I realized, however, 5,000 words in that this story wasn't going to be short. So, here goes:

I lived a quiet, unremarkable life until that Sunday. What else could you expect from a girl who grew up, started a family and opened a magic shop all within a few blocks of where her mother pushed her out into the world?

The Highgate District, that was my home. Not the worst part of the king’s city but not the best, either. Middle class, populated with hard-working craftsmen and moderately successful merchants. Highgate is the heart of the capital, the blood-pumping center, the place where strong muscles and sweat earn you a decent living. If it ever died, the rest of the city would follow.

Highgate also sits on the west side of the palace. The _backside_, everyone calls it, or worse things in crude company.


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Gan
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Hey Jennifer. I enjoyed what I read. I've a few comments, hope they help.

quote:
I lived a quiet, unremarkable life until that Sunday. What else could you expect from a girl who grew up, started a family and opened a magic shop all within a few blocks of where her mother pushed her out into the world?

Opening a magic shop sounds fairly remarkable to me. This passage makes me think that magic in this world is dull, easy to use, and most of all, of minor influence. The bold part of the second sentence also feels a bit run-on to me. Perhaps you could break it up more with commas or semicolons, or perhaps just break the sentence into two.


quote:
The Highgate District, that was my home.

This feels a bit awkward. Wouldn't it be easier to say "The Highgate District was my home"?

quote:
Not the worst part of the king’s city but not the best, either. Middle class, populated with hard-working craftsmen and moderately successful merchants. Highgate is the heart of the capital, the blood-pumping center, the place where strong muscles and sweat earn you a decent living.

I liked this. It gave me a great picture of the city, despite not using any real physical description.

quote:
If it ever died, the rest of the city would follow.

Died seems an odd way to describe it. Perhaps a different word choice? Might be personal preference.

quote:
Highgate also sits on the west side of the palace. The _backside_, everyone calls it, or worse things in crude company.

This makes me think the character is slightly prudish. If thats the intent, excellent.

I don't feel that the bold is necessary. It made the sentence feel a bit awkward for me.

Overall I enjoyed it. I have a few worries, though. This city, while interesting in and of itself, is going to be fairly redundant here pretty soon. As it is now, I feel its fine, but if it continues describing for much longer, I'm going to get bored and quit reading. At this point, I know a lot more about the city and its inhabitants than I do the main character.

Keep at it, it was interesting.


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micmcd
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Though I'm interested to find out where this is going, one thing in particular sticks out to me about this 13 -- it's all description. Nothing is happening. I want to be involved in something more than background right off the bat.

That isn't to say that you have to start with blood-pumping action, but I'd like to hear more after "I lived a quiet, unremarkable life until that Sunday," that tells a story in the present.

Great first sentence though.

"I lived a quiet, unremarkable life until that Sunday. The world was such a hum-drum place before he barged into my shop."

I'd love to see it go on in a vein similar to that... I'm interested in what happened that Sunday, and want to be engaged right away. Let the background fall into place as needed.


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skadder
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Highgate is in London.
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Dogmatic
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I agree a bit with what micmcd said. I liked the opening but it seems like you're trying to put way too much info into the first paragraph. Give us a few more lines to pull us into the mystery of who your character is. What's the main focus of the story, the character or the city? Mentioning the city is fine but it should be in support of the character in the intro. Overall I like all the writing, good job.
Steve

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JenniferHicks
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Thanks for the feedback! I'll revise so as to jump right into the action and weave in the description later.

[This message has been edited by JenniferHicks (edited January 29, 2009).]


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