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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Two Struggles

   
Author Topic: Two Struggles
LDWriter2
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In case someone reads this again I had to add two conversations between the MC and her best friend I forgot One was to show that the best friend isn't prefect, I'm afraid I made her a little too good. While I was searching for a place to add them I found something else I had forgotten. So total words are closer to 84,000 maybe a tad over now.

Okay had this one under New Mage On The Block earlier. A couple of people said they would read the whole thing but I could use one or three more. One of the couple is very busy at the moment and I seem to have lost the E-mail address for the other one. It should be there but isn't. I apologize. That's a bad habit on my part, I really need to have a special folder for them. Plus there are a few new people who haven't seen the first posting.

Now, unlike with the first post, the revision is finished. 83,900 and some words-eleven chapters. Last night and this morning I went back and added more of the five human senses to certain scenes and clarified some spots that needed it.

I'm still not too sure about chapters two and three. There's an action scene at the end of two I may want to switch to the middle part of that chapter. I want to see what a two or three Readers think, if I can find two or three. I may have also repeated a couple of comments about my MC and her best friend.

And I want another title. One that expresses both struggles. Something more powerful than struggles or battles.

If anyone are kinda of interested in more of the process Here

If anyone is interested in seeing the whole thing I still need to run it through a spell checker and proofreader both of which may find only half of the nitpicks. But that won't take long only eleven hours.... [Smile]

It's a UF novel about a young female mage who finds herself the only one who can stop another deadly, more powerful mage with a plan for vengeance while at the same time she fights her own emotional battles.

So First 13 lines, which some of you have read a time or two. The "I came here tonight" line could use condensing. Hope it is 13 lines, the count here seems to be different from my word processor for this novel. That doesn't always happen.

Now the Thirteen:

With a glare I turned to the guy who wanted to sit with me. I was here because someone needed my help not to hook up with anyone. I resisted the impulse to run my hand over my short, purple and white hair. Not only is it a habit Iím trying to break but it would ruin my stare.
My name is Nadir, NA to those who know me from my rav days. Iím mostly out of the clubs. I here tonight to meet someone who possibly needed my special help with things that go bump in the night and those who controlled those things.
On a second thought though I decided not to blast him, or freeze him. I couldnít catch him on fire for the flames could spread to other tables...Actually, he wasnít that bad of an annoyance. I assumed, by my hair and that I was here alone, he

Come to think of it I recall changing at least one of the "Someone needed help" lines. What did I do with it? I can't find it in any of my copies. Well, that's my problem. Oh, I may know where it is if I'm right it's gone.


Second try:

With a glare I turned to the young guy who wanted to sit at my booth. I came here tonight to help someone escape from her brother not hook up with anyone. I resisted the impulse to run my hand over my short, purple and white hair. It would ruin my intense stare.
My name is Nadir, NA-one word- to those who know me from my rav days. Iím mostly out of the clubs now. I help people who need my special aid with things that go bump in the night and those who control those things.
On a second thought though I decided not to blast him, or freeze him. I couldnít catch him on fire for the flames could spread to other tables...No, I wouldn't do any of those things. Even with his party clothes and short too blond hair he wasn't that bad, I assume, he thinks I want company.

[ July 05, 2012, 11:13 PM: Message edited by: LDWriter2 ]

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shimiqua
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My issue with the first thirteen, is that it's all voice and no action. She glares at the guy, but the doesn't see him. I think you need a bit of description to connect us to the events before running away with the thoughts in her head.
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Shaygirl
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I'd love to read it LD. Just a warning, I am a much better first reader than I am an editor. I can point out things that don't make sense, things that make me cringe (not like yours would), but I'm not very good at going "hey look at that prepositional phrase, it needs help!".

So if you're happy with that type of read over, I'd love to read it. Congrats for getting this far!

~Shay

Note: feel free to ask clarification on anything I say today, I'm fighting a sleep induced migraine :S.

Erhm, case in point: a LACK of sleep induced migraine.

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LDWriter2
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Thanks for the comments shimiqua.

You do get a feeling for the MC or so I hope and action starts soon, the rest of the chapter is almost all action.


Shaygirl, Thanks much, that would be fine especially if you can add marking any nitpicks you find even though it doesn't have to be line by line.

But do you want the first few chapters first or the whole thing?


I can send it to you segments of Five chapters hopefully Sunday if that is okay? I'll be sending it to someone else like that. There are eleven chapters.

[ July 03, 2012, 10:52 PM: Message edited by: LDWriter2 ]

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Shaygirl
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I can take the first five, or all 11. Whatever will be most helpfull to you is fine by me! Also when do you need it back?

And yes, Sunday is perfectly fine.

~Shay

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LDWriter2
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Five would be good.

And when I need it back??

Next week?

Just kidding.

I am eager to get going on it so I can e-pub it but no set deadlines. I still have to figure out a cover. Depends on how busy you are and how much work you put in it. Four days per chapter be okay? As to how much work, I'll take whatever I can get. [Smile]

I have two readers now, I would like a third. I need all the help to get the nitpicks and really bad writing spots I can get.

Notice I said really bad, the so so bad I'm not so worried about. If I went after them I probably be the next year working on it.

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JoBird
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Now the Thirteen:

My humble opinion: personally, I'm not super fond of your opening. I'll do my best to explain why below.

quote:
With a glare I turned to the guy who wanted to sit with me.
What guy? I recognize that he might not be important for the story overall, but a little detail wouldn't hurt.

This is written in first person. I'm seeing the world through her eyes. She's not translating her experiences to me very well.

So far, there's a nebulous guy, and a glare. It's reasonable to assume the MC is already sitting, but I don't know where. A booth? A table?

In short, I think the scene can be set better, described more fully. Doing that would help me connect with your MC.

quote:
I was here because someone needed my help not to hook up with anyone.
Someone? Who's this someone? Again, the MC is taking me along for the ride, but giving me the barest of information. You can't get more nondescript than "someone".

quote:
I resisted the impulse to run my hand over my short, purple and white hair.
I get that the MC is resisting the desire to flirt, but it screams as an excuse to describe her hair. It doesn't feel natural when I'm reading it. Additionally, I feel like there's a lot of information missing that I'm more interested in.

quote:
Not only is it a habit Iím trying to break but it would ruin my stare.
The MC is staring. I'd like to know what the MC is seeing. What is she staring at?

I get that the stare is supposed to be a hardcore kind of thing. But it comes across like the MC is overly concerned with posturing. I don't think that's your intent.

quote:
My name is Nadir, NA to those who know me from my rav days.
NA? I don't whether to pronounce that as one word or as an abbreviation, as in N.A. It slows me down because there's no intuitive answer.

Is a rav like a rave, but without the "e"cstasy? (Sorry, bad joke.)

quote:
Iím mostly out of the clubs. I here tonight to
I think you mean "I'm".

quote:
meet someone who possibly needed my special help with things that go bump in the night and those who controlled those things.
Again, that someone word. Very vague. It's missing an opportunity to give the reader some detail.

You could probably touch up the phrase "bump in the night".

quote:
On a second thought though I decided not to blast him, or freeze him. I couldnít catch him on fire for the flames could spread to other tables...Actually, he wasnít that bad of an annoyance.
Did I miss the first thought?

Blasting him, freezing him, catching him on fire -- that's serious stuff. I'm assuming that your MC is volatile and edgy.

But even if that's the case, it reads like an excuse to put in that she is capable of blasting and freezing. It would feel more organic, in my opinion, if that thought occurred regarding a situation the reader could identify with a little better. After all, surely the MC doesn't want to blast every minor annoyance that pops up, right? That'd be a lot of blasting.

quote:
I assumed, by my hair and that I was here alone, he
I assume that this line is going to talk about the guy who wanted to sit with NA. I further assume that the guy who wanted to sit with NA is physically attracted to the MC, or rather that she at least assumes he is.

If that's not the case, then never mind my next thought.

If it is: does the MC find that guys are attracted to different hair colors more than others? Does the MC not get hit on while sporting, for instance, blonde hair?

In other words, assuming that flirtation is happening due to hair color seems odd.

***

All in all, I think you could really jazz up the opening for the reader. It's vague, and I don't think it gives a strong hook.

Again, the above is just my personal opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt, and maybe even a shot of whiskey.

You have my best wishes.

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LDWriter2
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Thanks JoBird.

But I'm not sure what you meant with "I'm". You want quotation marks around the word? Or did your computer mistranslate the comma. That happens now and then around here. No compliments since I got my new computer but that doesn't mean there hasn't been any.

New 13 lines up there...somewhat new. It doesn't answer all your concerns but maybe a few.

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MattLeo
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The problem I have with this opening is that it doesn't sound quite right for first person. Note how the opening paragraph works better in third person:

quote:

With a glare Nadir turned to the young guy who wanted to sit at her booth. She came here tonight to help someone escape from her brother[,] not [to] hook up with anyone.

That instant of disorientation ("why is she glaring at this guy") is more natural in third person narration, where the narrator drops you into the protagonist's stream of perceptions and throughts at a carefully chosen point.A first person narrator only does this if he's affecting a literary air. He's more likely to organize his thoughts, to bring the reader up to speed, or even introduce himself to the reader.

Here is how a first person narrator might organize the information to bring the reader up to speed:

quote:
I wasn't there to hook up with anyone; I'd gone there because someone needed my help. A guy tried to sit with me; I glared at him until he went away...
Or perhaps even more credibly he might introduce himself:

quote:
My name is Nadir, NA-one word- to those who know me from my rav days. Iím mostly out of the clubs now. I help people who need my special aid with things that go bump in the night.

A guy wanted to sit at my booth but I turned to him with a glare...

Note in the last sentence I've inverted the order of "With a glare I turned to the young guy" and "the young guy who wanted to sit at my booth." I think cause-and-effect order works better here.
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JoBird
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LDWriter,

What I meant by "I'm" was that you should say:

I'm here tonight to...

Instead of:

I here tonight to...

But it looks like that part has changed in your second version anyway so it's not necessarily an issue.

***

In regards to your second version:

quote:
With a glare I turned to the young guy who wanted to sit at my booth. I came here tonight to help someone escape from her brother not hook up with anyone. I resisted the impulse to run my hand over my short, purple and white hair. It would ruin my intense stare.
Personally, I believe that this would read better if, for example, we heard the deep bass of music in the background, and a sweaty guy, drink in hand, approached her booth, and started talking about how into short purple and white hair he is. And then reaches to touch her hair.

Showing that would show the reader how uncomfortable the MC is. It would also allow you to give some visual description of your main character without having to resort to her unlikely mentioning of it.

Further, it opens up a more realistic understanding of why she might be tempted to blast him.

Basically, I think it's all in the approach that you choose.

quote:
On a second thought though...
Bear in mind that by the time your character says this, the reader has not seen your character have a first thought. So, having a second thought -- before a first thought -- at least to me, feels super weird.

***

On some level I agree with Matt's comments above. However, even in third person, the comments about her hair color are irrelevant the way they are mentioned. In other words, what does it add to the story, do we need to know it now, and is the information presented in a clean/entertaining fashion?

But Matt's insight has clued me into the thought that you are envisioning this story from a different perspective than first person requires.

I would suggest playing with your perspective, and writing out a few different versions. Keep it in first person, but instead of having the MC think about herself, have her see the world around her. Show us that she is perceptive, show us that she pays attention to her surroundings. Don't smother us in unneeded detail, but entice us with the pertinent things she sees.

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