I'm looking for people to critique my entire novel (82,760 words). However, I realize most people will want to commit to less than that with the understanding they can ask for more if they like what they're reading. Critiques of the first three chapters (10,547 words) would be most helpful, but I'll accept critiquers for the first two chapters (5,550 words) or first chapter (820 words) as well. Thank you.
Here are my first 13 lines:
The throne of Norida had remained empty for twelve years. After so much time, no one expected another ruler to be chosen. But things were about to change.
Lessons had ended an hour earlier. Six dark-haired, dusky-skinned teenagers still practiced their sword work in the courtyard surrounded by the single-story school building. The slap of sandal against paving stone and the clack of wood striking wood echoed off the white-washed stone walls before dissipating past the red tile roof into the darkening sky above.
Serrica blocked a blow from her brother's practice sword, lunged forward, and slammed the sword's pommel into his stomach.
"Hit!" Rica bounced back out of range with a grin.
For critiquing my novel, I'm looking for help identifying storytelling problems rather than help with writing problems. At this point, I would find it more helpful for someone to read the whole story and point out when a character's motivation is unclear or if story information is coming too early or late rather than for someone to give me a line edit on every misplaced comma, useless adverb, or clunky sentence. However, if the only way you're willing to critique the whole story is if you can line edit it, I certainly won't object.
I will send the manuscript as a Microsoft Word document unless you otherwise specify.
Go ahead and send the first three chapters to me - I need to practice looking at story rather than technical edits, so reading this and studying the story might help me with my own.
Just so you know... the first sentence is SO incredibly cliche, that I almost stopped reading. It made me think of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Sword in the Stone and other stereotypical "we need a king/queen and some unexpected person will prove him/herself and fill the role!" stories. The fact that you continued the story with teenagers made me think it would be even more stereotypical, in that it would be a coming-of-age tale.
I'm hoping that the story will be different than the stereotype... that the MC won't be an orphan and that there won't be some huge overlord who wants power just for the sake of having power.
But I like your style. It might be a little TOO descriptive, especially the sentence that begins with 'the slap of sandal against paving stone...' but the descriptions tell me a lot about the time period and they really let me visualize the scene.
I would love to read it. I was a Theatre/Psych major, so character motivations is my specialty. And Story Telling is my Bread and Butter.(Grin) Just don't ask me to Diagram a sentence. Bleh! Send me as much as you want, I have loads of time right now. ~Sheena
Posts: 1201 | Registered: Jan 2008
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Your preview looks good. I will be willing to commit to the whole things, looking at the things you pointed out if you wouldn't mind giving me an occasional hand with final line edits on a few shorts.
I should be able to go through it in less than a week.
I've sent the requested material to akeenedesign, shimiqua, and Bent Tree. Thank you for volunteering. I am, of course, willing to give critiques in return.
akeenedesign, I just got my e-mail bounced back due to "Requested mail action not taken: mailbox unavailable." I'll try again later today.
By the way, for anyone who'd like to critique my novel but doesn't have time this week, there is no huge hurry. I'd prefer a relatively quick turn around, but I do realize some people who might otherwise volunteer are currently focused on their WotF entries.
Send me the whole thing, but don't hold your breath for a response. If enough time goes by and you want something, shoot me a reminder email and I'll send back what I've gotten to by then.
Posts: 932 | Registered: Jul 2001
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Debbie, I thought I'd start with the first couple chapters. I'll ask for more when I have the time (and the first ones read-through) if you'd like.
Posts: 3687 | Registered: Jan 2007
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I've sent the novel or portions thereof to rickfisher, InarticulateBabbler, and kings_falcon. Thank you.
Bent Tree, you can wait on sending me your critique on what you've read so far. I'd already sent out the manuscript to the above people before reading your offer. Thanks.
akeenedesign, I've tried sending my manuscript to you once every day or two since you requested it for critique. Every time, it gets bounced with "delivery failure: mailbox unavailable." I finally sent the chapters you requested as an .rtf file hoping that the smaller sized file would get through. Apparently it has! Enjoy.
Okay, skadder and jasonbeauchene, I've sent you both the amount of story you requested. Thank you.
Bent Tree, the delay isn't really a problem. I haven't had time this last week to do any revision, anyway. However, forgive me if I'm hoping the delay is due to work overload on your end rather than horrible problems in my novel.
I sent you back my comments and critique. I will take the rest, but will probably not get it all back for a week to 10 days. How would you like to get it back? A few chapters at a time, with a final critique for the whole book?
Posts: 12 | Registered: Feb 2008
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I'm intrigued by your first 13-line post. Could you send me a few chapters. I won't be able to get to them until later in the week because of prior commitments, but I would like to read about your characters and find out more about them. Thanks.
Posts: 13 | Registered: Mar 2008
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jasonbeauchene, thank you for your critique. It's been very helpful. I've sent the rest of the manuscript, as you requested. The 7 to 10 day delay won't be a problem. In fact, I appreciate the quick turn-around.
Acriter, I've sent you the first three chapters of my manuscript. Your critiquing it later this week will be fine. Thank you.