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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Alterran Chronicles - Monarchy (fantasy)

   
Author Topic: Alterran Chronicles - Monarchy (fantasy)
Voss
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The name of my story is Alterran Chronicles - Monarchy a multi part series starting with this book. 3,533 words so far typed in new draft the rest is hand written as I revamp and fix it. If you'd like to read the rest please don't hesitate to send me an email (cmvChrisVoss@gmail.com) I'd love to hear if it catches your interest.

The sun shines brightly over a large city bustling with life. A young man sits watching from the second story window of the castle, he can see the people walking down the streets just at the end of the gate. The young man sits his head resting on his crossed arms as he slouches over his desk watching the carefree people live their lives. Even for a prince Christopher Fitter wishes he was born under different circumstances, hopes of adventure and grand discovery plague his mind wondering if he’ll ever see anything but the castle walls from their backs or just the city streets. Sitting up he runs his hand through his blonde hair coming down just to his shoulders. Staring out blankly in envy of such a lifestyle he makes a sour face. Looking to the paper he was laying over he reads its contents

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited May 28, 2009).]


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Patrick James
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Zoe we meet again, Mr. Voss.

This will probably get moved to the proper thread, like you said, it is in the wrong one. No matter, that has been happening a lot lately.

I will proceed to give my inexpert and pompous opinion.

adverbs should be avoided if at all possible--I learned this the hard way. I would lose 'brightly' from the first sentence and sneak the name of the city in.

I dont believe you should call it 'the castle' before we have been introduced to it.

Dont tell us he can see the people down below. Show us.

The tense on this piece is unusual. I would use a more standard format.

The scene described lacks action, and in fact seems to purposely drag the tempo. so far we have a prince sitting in window, watching people below. Not that interesting so far, granted that this isnt a short story so it can develope a little more slowly.

Even for prince christopher Fitter wishes he was...I beleive this sentence is a little confused and could use work, and some punctuation at this point 'plague his mind wondering'.

What lifestyle was he envying? The adventure and grand discovery? To envy the lifestyle doesnt he have to have a specific example--never mind.

This thread is for improving your first thirteen so they will grab the attention of a publisher, so I hope my criticism is welcome.

It has been said that you should start a story as close to the action, or impending event that effects your MC, as possible. This isn't it. I'm sure there is something more compelling for your character to leave his current life behind than sheer boredom.

What is the straw that broke the camels back? An embarrassment at court, an arranged marriage to avoid?

Boredom, as the life changing event, that the first thirteen focus on, only begets boredom.


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mythique890
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To be completely honest, I stopped reading and started skimming after about three lines, BUT that could be because I have a weirdly strong aversion to books written in present tense. If you're just using it to contrast the opening of the story from the rest, that's one thing, but if you were to write the entire thing this way I wouldn't be able to read it.
The other reason I stopped really reading it was because sentence structure. Here’s what I suggest:

The sun shines brightly over a large city bustling with life; a young man sits watching from the second story window of the castle, and he can see the people walking through the streets (1)just at the end of the gate. He sits, his head resting on his crossed arms as he slouches over his desk, watching (2)the carefree people live their lives. Even for a prince, Christopher Fitter wishes he had been born under different circumstances. Hopes of adventure and grand discovery plague his mind, and he wonders if he’ll ever see anything but the castle walls from their backs and just the city streets. Sitting up, he runs his hand through his blonde hair (3)coming down just to his shoulders. Staring out blankly in envy (4)of such a lifestyle he makes a sour face. He looks at the paper he had been laying on and he reads its contents

1. This seemed strange to me because I would consider gates (mathematically speaking) a point, not a line. Points don’t have an “end.” So are the people down towards the end of the city wall by the gate, or is this gate exceptionally long?
2. The word “carefree” seems melodramatic to me, like this poor-little-rich prince is just languishing because he can’t do anything. It makes him seem kind of sheltered and whiney, too, because obviously he has a better life than the common people, and he should know that.
3. This phrase doesn’t fit here. I think it should be cut. It’s ok to say his hair is blonde, but anything else about it isn’t important enough to include in your first 13.
4. The wording here is awkward, and it’s been such a long time since you talked about the people he’s watching it takes a minute to reconnect with what he’s thinking. Maybe something like, “Staring out, envious of the unencumbered life of the common people below him, he makes a sour face.”

The other things I changed mostly had to do with tense. The way it read felt completely disconnected to me, like the distance between me and the prince grew with every sentence.


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