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Author Topic: My writing.
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Member # 1452

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I got the first chapter of my story here. http://theabbey.8m.net/chapter1.htm
please feedback

Posts: 7 | Registered: Jul 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1431

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Hi there -

I did start reading the piece, and made line by line comments for a while - but I fear it's too critical, so instead I'll refer to some important points of contention.

Firstly, I can't get an idea of the period being invoked - there are so many points that defy mediaeval realism that it really doesn't appear mediaeval - or any other period before.

Also, you really need to research your basics on what constitutes an abbey, a temple, and a cathedral - you seem to be just pulling out ecclesiastical architectural terms out of thin air and placing them all together in a disjointed way. If you're trying to use historical concepts of these places as a reference point then you'll simply confuse the reader.

That's my impression, anyhow. I hope that in itself is not too discouraging.

Aside from that I'd probably recommend you try to place more of your descriptions used at the beginning, and enjoy a sentence on the sunrise [which would not give much heat].

I would also recommend that you be very very careful with POV - I honestly don't know what the standard in fantasy is, but you associate the reader with Matthias, but then make privy to information outside of that POV - such as the conversation topics, and info on where the deer was hunted.

There's a nice feel to what you've started - but the whole thing is bogged by silly little errors that a little research should help remove.


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thanks. this is my first writing project and i am sort of going at the seat of my pants.
the insight is sounds familiar, two people i know, with many classes and practice behind them, both had some similar critiques.

Posts: 7 | Registered: Jun 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
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Some of the things that really jumped at me as I read along:

The action really seemed to stop as the cathedral is described. It’s interesting details, but would Matthias actually be playing attention to that since he is hurrying so much? Other places the description seemed to get in the way of the flow of the story was in describing the responsibilities of the Reader and Serian. Things keep pausing for an info dump. Try to convey some of the same info through the action, not a block of description, and try to keep in mind that we are seeing things from Matthias’s POV. We only get to see what he is noticing.

Actually, I was never very clear about why he is hurrying. If some service was beginning, or a morning duty that had to be attended to at a certain time was upcoming, I didn’t find that clear.

Some paragraphs seem overly long in that they contain more than one idea. The flow might work a bit better it they were broken up more.

The word friend seems over used in referring to Serian and Michael

I can’t speak for the accuracy of the medieval term usage. I did get the feeling that you were going for a setting of that general flavor. I think the setting flavor will come out even more if you integrate some of the description into the action so that it is one composite.

You have made a nice start in that you’ve planted some seeds for future conflict and introduced what (I assume) are going to be some critical main characters by the way they are presented.

A couple of line items that I happened to pull out (did not try for an exhaustive search):
“Matthias held the position as only person in the abbey who was allowed to read from the Ariatha.” Awkward, and a typo. You’ve got some other typos of missing words as well that I noticed as I read along.

“’He is a brilliant mind and doesn’t have direction.’” ?? – Maybe: He has a brilliant mind, but lacks direction.

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Member # 1438

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Hi, Mr.X,
Your chapter is pointing to a story, and possibly a good one, but it gets lost in too much description--the info dump GZ wrote of.

Moreover, to capture the reader's attention, that first chapter has to do a little more than just hint at things to come. I'd suggest opening the book closer to the action. Give the reader a real hook, a reason to continue the relationship with you.

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Member # 1431

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I like the concept you've used to start the piece - motion is a good way to start a story. But some editing and rearrangement would work wonders at brining this piece to life.

Ask if you'd like comments on the realism aspect - little rushed at the mo - but I'll list them later if you wanted me to.

Posts: 286 | Registered: Jun 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator

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