This is topic "Jinah Rising" first 13 repost high fantasy novel in forum Fragments and Feedback for Books at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by Marisa (Member # 8084) on :
Hello all-
Please forgive the long absence. School started and I am swamped with work...blah blah blah.

Ok, so I have read all the posts people took the time to write for me. Thank you all. The origial incarnation of Jinah started with her uncle/immortal demon/king being murdered and dying in her arms. So, I have backtracked in time to start when Jinah is 14 and just coming into her own frightening magical ability. The murder is 6 years off. Here goes.
On the bright, clear longest day of the solar cycle my beloved Lodeon shines like a diamond nestled in the crisp white mountains. A star perched among misty clouds, a gift of heaven on earth. Each year, on the Spring Equinox, I race my mare against my father’s best hunting horse up the ridge for the first view of the castle where my uncle lives.

Lodeon, where I was born. Lodeon, where my secrets keep. Lodeon, where my heart lives.

After the Great War, my father moved out of Athrenor, his brother’s kingdom, to claim Thranc as his own. I was four then. My mother, brother Aiko, and my sister Neenah have lived in that sprawling, sometimes cavernous granite palace for the last ten seasons of the sun. Each year we make our pilgrimage ****

Opinions, thoughts, comments, anyone want more? I have 11 chapters total, some out of sequence.


[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited September 03, 2008).]

Posted by wrenbird (Member # 3245) on :
I liked it. You have a nice, lyrical style. I would probably read on for that reason, although my attention waned just a bit in the second paragraph when you start throwing out names and places, and wars.

But, it's quite good. Nice writing.

Posted by annepin (Member # 5952) on :
The voice comes through strongly, and seems appropriate for what the story is. I, too, found my interest waning at the last paragraph. If I were checking this book out in a bookstore, I might turn the page, but if there was another paragraph of back story I'd probably move on. I wonder how much of this we need right now? I have no where to place the names--Thranc, etc.

I'm just a shade confused. Lodeon is where her uncle lives, right? It's what she sees when she crests the ridge? I
m confused because you reference the summer solstice in the first line, then the spring equinox in the second. I assumed the anecdotes were related more than in just both providing a perspective of Lodeon.

Posted by pixydust (Member # 2311) on :
I like the voice. The only thing I have trouble with is that last bit. My eyes began to cross at the mention of so many unfamiliar places at once. The first bit is intriguing, though.
Posted by jkhodgepodge (Member # 8191) on :
I thought it was great.

I do, however, think you should use the word 'cycle' instead of the word 'year', especially after you introduce solar cycle in the first sentence. It adds to the story to introduce a time scheme that is familiar, yet not ours.

The names are a bit much in the first 13. Is there any reason to introduce the brother and sister by name? Is there any reason to introduce the uncle's kingdom or could you just use the castle name again?

I would still read, despite the names, but if you could remove them from the beginning that would be better I am also willing to read the other chapters you have if you'd like to send them. No matter what order they are in.

Posted by kings_falcon (Member # 3261) on :
Having used "cycle" for "year" in my WIP, I can tell you EVERY editor and agent that has seen it and about half of the kind people who've read it, HATED that I changed the time references. The negative comments have outweighed the positive and I've moved back to traditional time units. If you do it, be careful and realize that you WILL lose audience over it.

A few nits. You are laying it on a bit strong, while it won't turn me off, yet, it will if the repetition goes much past this point.

" I race my mare against my father’s best hunting horse" - what, isn't anyone riding it?

The last section is "After the Great War . . ." is a bit info dumpy. Again, I'd go with it for a bit, but I want something to happen soon.

[This message has been edited by kings_falcon (edited September 09, 2008).]

Posted by jkhodgepodge (Member # 8191) on :
I don't know how you changed the time in your novel. I don't know what editors or agents you showed it to or how seriously they looked at a WIP. I'm new and I haven't published but to my understanding editors and agents like a finished product to review. I also don't know who you showed it to personally and if they like the genre you have written.

So I can only offer my opinion. I think solar cycle is close enough to a year that the reader wouldn't have a problem with it. I also think that the greatest thing about sci-fi/fantasy readers is their willingness to suspend belief during the hours they are reading your novel. Personally, I don't care how oxygen was placed or produced on some foreign planet. There are people there, they are breathing, but what are they really doing?

I'm not sure you would lose readers over this anymore than you would lose some due to the amount of violence, lack of romance, or whatever a readers personal preferences are. Ultimately it is up to the author to write it how they want it read and up to the reader to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy the story that is being told.

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