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Demogoran: Chapter 2 - The Scraps. Feedback Muchly appreciated

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Old 07-20-2010, 08:00 AM
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Default Demogoran: Chapter 2 - The Scraps. Feedback Muchly appreciated


A big hi to anyone kind enough to critique my second chapter.
Links to other chapters:




Chapter 2.




Scraps



Awake again, paralysed and gripped with fear. Sweat pooled at his neck, and only his toes would listen to his brain. Only they had the courage to move. With the rest of his muscles panicked to submission, he lay fixed and rigid, his body, straight as a plank. Futilely trying to force his sleep-disturbed mind to grasp at any remaining remnant, he searched for something more than he already knew. But it was fading fast. It always did, the detail, always beyond reach, reeling rapidly away like diffusing fog. Only the same blurry recollection remained, nothing other than the beast, and if he moved, it would get him.

Worse, an ungodly screeching finally interrupted his attempt at recollecting something tangible. He snapped his eyes open. But he couldn’t see. It was always dark after the chase. Only this time, something physical had pulled him back before the final act.

Snatching a light on at the side of his bed, he leapt upright and scanned the room in subliminal panic, the kind of half-awake stupor one endures from a broken dream. But this time, something else had woken him, it always did, but this time it was physical.

Flashing a look at his bedside digital clock, he noticed it was 3:03am. He’d had enough. Each night, delivered the same thing.

In utter frustration, he thumped his pillow at the dark and the nightmare. Slamming back onto his bed, he allowed the welcome feel of reality to pull the speed of his heart back from its rapid canter. Relaxed, lying on his back, he took a deep breath and stared at the shadowy ceiling.

A movement hit the corner of his eye. Again, he leapt up. Leaning towards it, his heart pounded once more. Pausing, he held his body stock still, his breath short and controlled. Through the gloom he looked. Something fluttered in the dark, stealthily, almost silent.

What the hell is that, he thought?

Throwing back his quilt, he jumped out of bed. The movement he’d locked onto scurried towards him at speed and jumped.

‘Arrrgh!’

Scraps, his cat!

He blew out a deep sigh. Somehow, the little tyke had got into his room and onto his desk. Purring its innocence into the air, it probed its tail nonchalantly around a cup containing pencils. Annoyingly, they tipped, rattling their way along the desktop before happily dropping silent to the carpet below.

Reaching over to his bed, he grabbed a pillow and tossed it angrily at the cat. ‘Get out!’

Hissing its displeasure, the cat wasted no time and scampered off taking Nick’s sleep deprived eyes with it. Ironically, he grinned, following its retreat into the shadows towards the bedroom door, which he closed with a confident click. The cat wasn’t going to wake him again.

He returned to bed, listening to the steady hum of a PC whirring under a desk. He’d passed it, and blanching the mouse, had burst the sleeping monitor into life. It bathed the room in an unexpected creamy glow. A screen saver depicting varying pictures of semi-naked women added to it. He’d left it switched on to continue his music downloads while sleeping.

3:17am.

He groaned, partly thankful it wasn’t time to get up, partly annoyed that he’d woken from a much-needed slumber. Falling back onto his bed, he sighed at the sweat-ridden dampness of his pillow.

It was an unusually cold night for May, certainly not freezing but damp and chilly. Nick could hear the trees tossing too and fro. The new early summer leaves were bristling and whipping each other. May had brought with it lots of rain but tonight it had eased a little, replacing itself with rolling wind.

Nick lay listening to it, thinking about the body shaped holes in the pit, full of water, and his spate of nightmares: what were they? They felt so real. What could they mean and why were they plaguing him now? Something was always chasing and it was always so very close. No matter how fast he felt he ran from it, he could never escape it, the thing. At the last minute, he would always stumble. And like some B-movie suspense moment revealed, it would be on him, sinking its teeth into his torso. The crescendo of it ended in him waking abruptly, shaking in a cold puddle of sweat. It couldn’t have been the pit. He’d endured them for too long. ­Nevertheless, its muddy depths rang out creepyness.

Was it his exams? Had he put enough effort into his revision, was that it? Bill would often scold him: ‘Nick! You can never do enough. Use cards and prompts. Stick Post-its all over the house if you have to. Just cram it in.’ He would then continue. ‘When I was at Uni I had my revision calendar mapped. I left nothing to chance.’ Bill had repeatedly counselled this and warned him life didn’t get any easier out of school. In fact, it had got to the point of mahoosive annoyance. Nick was totally hacked off—sick of it all.

But his exams were behind him now. Done, dusted, complete, they were certainly nothing more to worry about, aside from what his grades may or not be. In any case, all but a week and a half of term time remained before he was free. No more school, no more homework and no more worrying about exams. Time to concentrate on the up and coming prom, the party, where he hoped he could take Kate.

Nick was fifteen, his sixteenth birthday only four days away. It signalled an anticipated closure to academic life, which for him couldn’t come soon enough. He’d had enough of what not ‘getting good grades’ meant. The apparent lack of respect he had for his own future had clearly vexed Bill. The strength of which was matched only by the abhorrent disinterest his stepmother, Doreen, had for him (recently acquired of course).

His real mother had died when he was a baby. His only semblance of memory being that of a collection of tarnished photographs littering the self-adhesive pages of a dusty old album he’d found at the bottom of Bill’s wardrobe. He often wondered what it would have been like to know her.

Bill had after all, recently remarried: Doreen, the ‘Acid Queen’, or at least that’s how Nick liked to refer to her, despite Bill’s objections. After the wedding, there came a merging of families, which had brought with it a new house and school. Despondently, it could probably be understood that Nick did not really get along with Doreen and her precious Conner, or was it the other way round. Either way, it wasn’t exactly an ideal union. The whole thing seemed to have been brought about purely on impulse; unrehearsed and unquestionably hidden from view. That was the wedding, and definitely the courtship. Each seemed to have happened in union, and suddenly too. Rightly or wrongly, that’s at least how it seemed to Nick.

Finally, Bill had explained that he’d felt it was for the best, that he’d been seeing Doreen for some time, and that he hadn’t wanted to mention Doreen until he was sure. That was at least the explanation. And in spite of everything, he wanted Nick to like her.

‘Please try to get along with her. We care for each other very much. We’re trying to make a future for all of us.’

In Nick’s mind, he was trying his best. But it seemed or felt his efforts weren’t reciprocated. Honestly though, he simply felt let down. That said, he wasn’t naïve and understood his position completely. Although currently not ideal, he inwardly consented to the idea that things could have been a lot worse. After all, Bill worked away all week and only extended his presence to weekends, which Nick looked forward to in earnest.

Yesterday was a coincidental exception. It was a personal day, taken with the intention of working over the garden at the side of the house. And that’s when the discovery was made, when initially only one body was found. And that was while both Nick and Bill had been digging. Clearly, a discovery of this magnitude wasn’t something most people pulled from the side of their houses. And for that reason, the A-team had wanted Bill to remain. However, much to Nick’s disappointment, Bill had something different to say.

‘I’m sorry,’ said Bill, to the A-team at the time. ‘I can’t possibly stay. I’ve things on at work that need my fullest attention.‘ Hence, his expeditious return to work on that particular morning was, on the face of it, seemingly unavoidable.

He worked for an engineering company, project manager at IGC Pneumatics. Travelling 270 miles to London each Sunday night, he returned the following Friday. Distance had clearly meant it was uneconomical for him to return from a day’s work each evening.

The necessity for this had forced Nick to spend each weekday of the last two years with the other side: the Doreen clan. But, despite the absence and continued sacrifice, Nick regarded his dad as the best and loved him very much. He at least felt wanted when his dad was around.

It wouldn’t have been that bad had his difficulties started and ended with his home life. Continually teased and taunted, his presence was treated like that of a virus, to be medicated, controlled, and kept at bay. Worse, his stepbrother, Conner was allied to the local throng of bullies, who (as fate would have it) also attended his new school; his presence at which typically brought contempt and ridicule. Any normal brother would lookout for a sibling, biological or otherwise, but no. It wasn’t as if Nick had any glaring faults. He was just an average teenager, a tad quiet and perhaps a smidgen nerdy. Not the annoying clever in your face, know-it-all nerdy. Not the type of swot that gets things right all the time. No, instead, Nick was the type that hated football (and most other sports), instead, preferring his movies and computer games. And that was perhaps part of the problem.

Most lads his age chatted mindlessly about the match, the game; who was buying who and what the club manager had paid. It bored him to oblivion. He’d rather jump on a bike with no saddle on it and ride from London to Edinburgh. Consequently, the conversational ice would melt before he’d formulate the chance to break it. And for that reason, and others, his hobbies and interests hadn’t exactly shattered existing social circles with an overbearing weight of popularity.

But at least he had Dez. And after all, he was just one of many other kids in the world enduring the fallout created from either a broken marriage or in his case the melding of one.

Conversely, Bill’s project management position paid for a respectably sized house and he’d ended up with his own room.

Initially, Bill had thought it best for ease of integration. Clearly, this was a ‘no-brainer’ at least for Nick. Happily, Conner had a room at the end of the landing, facing the front of the house. Nicks sat at the back overlooking a large field, and ironically the freshly excavated now muddy pit. But this suited him completely. A retreat to his own room was his only place of escape and welcome solitude. Thankfully, the house was quiet now apart from the noise of the wind.

Outside, the dark was all-absorbing. The previously halted rain had started again, spurred on by a wind that sprayed it against the windowsill. He glanced at the clock, 4:34am. ‘Ugh. I’ve got to be up at six,’ he mumbled to himself.

He had a morning round at the local paper shop; and that meant an early rise. He yawned and turned over onto a lumpy pillow. He bashed it again, pummelling it into a comfortable pad.

Finally, the noise of the rain on the window saturated the air with white hiss. He scrunched up the duvet, comforted by his warmth and the contrasting blustery conditions outside. And slowly, sleep happily returned, sliding him into a secure welcome slumber.
*
It was as if a time warp had consumed him for the briefest of moments. The alarm clock annoyingly vomited reality into his unconscious mind. Smashing his fist down hard, he silenced it promptly and sat up slowly, rubbing the sleep grains out of his tired eyes. A glance at the window confirmed the rain had stopped, and that the sun was up.

It was Wednesday morning, 6:00am.

Reluctantly throwing back his duvet, he groaned at the time. Finally rising from its embrace, he lumbered off to the bathroom.

During the week, Nick was usually the first one up. And after getting dressed, carefully motioned himself down the old creaky stairs.

It was now approximately 6:30am.

Skipping breakfast, he grabbed his iPhone, exited the house and coaxed the front door to a convenient close.

Ahead, Quarry Road snaked away, down into town. Yawning and stretching back an unwelcome feeling of tiredness, he walked over to the pit, leant against the makeshift fence, peered in, and felt it yawn back. Rather fittingly perhaps, it was filled with damp early morning fog. Surrounded by a disturbing quiet, his minds eye fuelled the possibility of some form of Hollywood derived vampire emerging up and through.

Inwardly he trembled at the eerie scene. Maybe this really is the reason for my nightmares, he thought. Maybe all those rotted bodies lying undiscovered, wanted out.

Happily, the media attention had died almost as soon as it had begun, and the only involvement with the police had started and ended with DI Charles Grant. And even that was short lived. All that remained was an empty shell, an eyesore in the earth.
Nick shook away the thought and set off at a run. The truth of it was; he had suffered the same nightmare for weeks. And that was before the pit was even discovered.

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Old 07-21-2010, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cmhine View Post
Chapter 2.

Scraps

Awake again, paralysed and gripped with fear. Sweat pooled at his neck, and only his toes would listen to his brain. Only they had the courage to move. With the rest of his muscles panicked to submission, he lay fixed and rigid, his body,< lose the comma straight as a plank. Futilely trying to force his sleep-disturbed mind to grasp at any remaining remnant, he searched for something more than he already knew. But it was fading fast. It always did, the detail, always beyond reach, reeling rapidly away like diffusing fog. Only the same blurry recollection remained, nothing other than the beast, and if he moved, it would get him. <not sure I like this bit, but otherwise a great paragraph imo.

Worse, an ungodly screeching finally interrupted his attempt at recollecting something tangible. He snapped his eyes open.<'His eyes snapped open' sounds better to me. But he couldn’t see. It was always dark after the chase. Only this time, something physical had pulled him back before the final act.

Snatching <Flicking, or Hastily flicking? Can't snatch a light. a light on at the side of his bed, he leapt upright and scanned the room in subliminal panic, the kind of half-awake stupor one endures from a broken dream.< I like these descriptions, but you already portrayed him as awake. Terrified and trying to remember his dream, but definitely awake. But this time, something else had woken him, it always did, but this time it was physical.

Flashing a look at his bedside digital clock, he noticed it was 3:03am. He’d had enough. Each night,< lose comma delivered the same thing.

In utter frustration, he thumped his pillow at the dark and the nightmare.<syntax doesn't make sense. Slamming back onto his bed, he allowed the welcome feel of reality to pull the speed of his heart back from its rapid canter.<long sentence Relaxed, lying on his back, he took a deep breath and stared at the shadowy ceiling.

A movement hit the corner of his eye.<sounds nasty! Again, he leapt up. Leaning towards it, his heart pounded once more. Pausing, he held his body stock still, his breath short and controlled. Through the gloom he looked. Something fluttered in the dark, stealthily, almost silent.

What the hell is that, he thought?

Throwing back his quilt, he jumped out of bed. The movement he’d locked onto scurried towards him at speed and jumped.

‘Arrrgh!’

Scraps, his cat! <False suspense. Maybe this works because it's YA, but it doesn't do it for me. I feel let down *pout*. What age is this aimed at?

He blew out a deep sigh. Somehow, the little tyke had got into his room and onto his desk. Purring its innocence into the air, it probed<not sure this is the right word its tail nonchalantly around a cup containing pencils. Annoyingly, they tipped, rattling their way along the desktop before happily dropping silent to the carpet below.

Reaching over to his bed, he grabbed a pillow and tossed it angrily at the cat. ‘Get out!’

Hissing its displeasure, the cat wasted no time and scampered off taking Nick’s sleep deprived eyes with it <aaargh!. Ironically, he grinned, following its retreat into the shadows towards the bedroom door, which he closed with a confident < what's a confident click. Resounding? Definite?click. The cat wasn’t going to wake him again.

He returned to bed, listening to the steady hum of a PC whirring under a desk. He’d passed it, and blanching< don't know what this means the mouse, had burst the sleeping monitor into life. It bathed the room in an unexpected creamy glow. A screen saver depicting varying pictures of semi-naked women added to it. He’d left it switched on to continue his music downloads while sleeping.

3:17am.

He groaned, partly thankful it wasn’t time to get up, partly annoyed that he’d woken from a much-needed slumber. Falling back onto his bed, he sighed at the sweat-ridden dampness of his pillow.

It was an unusually cold night for May, certainly not freezing but damp and chilly. Nick could hear the trees tossing too and fro. The new early summer leaves were bristling and whipping each other. May had brought with it lots of rain but tonight it had eased a little, replacing itself with rolling wind.

Nick lay listening to it, thinking about the body shaped holes in the pit, full of water, and his spate of nightmares: what were they? They felt so real. What could they mean and why were they plaguing him now? Something was always chasing and it was always so very close. No matter how fast he felt he ran from it, he could never escape it, the thing. At the last minute, he would always stumble. And like some B-movie suspense moment revealed, it would be on him, sinking its teeth into his torso. The crescendo of it ended in him waking abruptly, shaking in a cold puddle of sweat. It couldn’t have been the pit. He’d endured them for too long. ­< eh? Nevertheless, its muddy depths rang out creepyness.<don't like this word.

Was it his exams? Had he put enough effort into his revision, was that it? Bill would often scold him: ‘Nick! You can never do enough. Use cards and prompts. Stick Post-its all over the house if you have to. Just cram it in.’ He would then continue. ‘When I was at Uni I had my revision calendar mapped. I left nothing to chance.’ Bill had repeatedly counselled this and warned him life didn’t get any easier out of school<I like this paragraph. In fact, it had got to the point of mahoosive < I have heard teens use this word, but it isn't one, so I'd ditch it. Just my opinion. annoyance. Nick was totally hacked off—sick of it all.

But his exams were behind him now.<Previous para needs to say 'Was it his exam results?' Done, dusted, complete, they were certainly nothing more to worry about, aside from what his grades may or not be. In any case, all but a week and a half of term time remained before he was free. No more school, no more homework and no more worrying about exams. Time to concentrate on the up and coming prom, the party, where he hoped he could take Kate.

Nick was fifteen, his sixteenth birthday only four days away. It signalled an anticipated closure to academic life, which for him couldn’t come soon enough. He’d had enough of what not ‘getting good grades’ meant. The apparent lack of respect he had for his own future had clearly vexed Bill. The strength of which was matched only by the abhorrent< apparent? disinterest his stepmother, Doreen, had for him (recently acquired of course).

His real mother had died when he was a baby. His only semblance of memory being that of a collection of tarnished photographs littering the self-adhesive pages of a dusty old album he’d found at the bottom of Bill’s wardrobe < long sentence. He often wondered what it would have been like to know her.

Bill had after all, recently remarried: Doreen, the ‘Acid Queen’, or at least that’s how Nick liked to refer to her, despite Bill’s objections. After the wedding, there came a merging of families, which had brought with it a new house and school. Despondently < Not the right word, it could probably be understood that Nick did not really get along with Doreen and her precious Conner, or was it the other way round< I like that he realises this, or the narrator does. Either way, it wasn’t exactly an ideal union. The whole thing seemed to have been brought about purely on impulse; unrehearsed and unquestionably hidden from view. That was the wedding, and definitely the courtship. Each seemed to have happened in union, and suddenly too. Rightly or wrongly, that’s at least how it seemed to Nick.<I'd rethink this bit, it's not very clear.

Finally, Bill had explained that he’d felt it was for the best, that he’d been seeing Doreen for some time, and that he hadn’t wanted to mention Doreen until he was sure. That was at least the explanation. And in spite of everything, he wanted Nick to like her. <This makes much more sense. Could you cut the other bit?

‘Please try to get along with her. We care for each other very much. We’re trying to make a future for all of us.’

In Nick’s mind, he was trying his best. But it seemed or felt his efforts weren’t reciprocated. Honestly though, he simply felt let down. That said, he wasn’t naïve and understood his position completely. Although currently not ideal, he inwardly consented to the idea that things could have been a lot worse. After all, Bill worked away all week and only extended his presence to weekends, which Nick looked forward to in earnest. <Use less words to say this, it's rambling.

Yesterday was a coincidental exception. It was a personal day, taken with the intention of working over the garden at the side of the house. And that’s when the discovery was made, when initially only one body was found. And that was while both Nick and Bill had been digging. Clearly, a discovery of this magnitude wasn’t something most people pulled from the side of their houses. And for that reason, the A-team had wanted Bill to remain. However, much to Nick’s disappointment, Bill had something different to say.

‘I’m sorry,’ said Bill, to the A-team at the time. ‘I can’t possibly stay. I’ve things on at work that need my fullest attention.‘ Hence, his expeditious return to work on that particular morning was, on the face of it, seemingly unavoidable. <You told me this in the first Chapter, and you did it better. Cut it down!

He worked for an engineering company, project manager at IGC Pneumatics. Travelling 270 miles to London each Sunday night, he returned the following Friday. Distance had clearly meant it was uneconomical for him to return from a day’s work each evening.

The necessity for this had forced Nick to spend each weekday of the last two years with the other side: the Doreen clan. But, despite the absence and continued sacrifice, Nick regarded his dad as the best and loved him very much. He at least felt wanted when his dad was around.

It wouldn’t have been that bad had his difficulties started and ended with his home life. Continually teased and taunted, his presence was treated like that of a virus, to be medicated, controlled, and kept at bay. Worse, his stepbrother, Conner was allied to the local throng of bullies, who (as fate would have it) also attended his new school; his presence at which typically brought contempt and ridicule. Any normal brother would lookout for a sibling, biological or otherwise, but no. It wasn’t as if Nick had any glaring faults. He was just an average teenager, a tad quiet and perhaps a smidgen nerdy. Not the annoying clever in your face, know-it-all nerdy. Not the type of swot that gets things right all the time. No, instead, Nick was the type that hated football (and most other sports), instead, preferring his movies and computer games. And that was perhaps part of the problem. <All tell and no show. Boo!

Most lads his age chatted mindlessly about the match, the game; who was buying who and what the club manager had paid. It bored him to oblivion. He’d rather jump on a bike with no saddle on it and ride from London to Edinburgh. Consequently, the conversational ice would melt before he’d formulate the chance to break it. And for that reason, and others, his hobbies and interests hadn’t exactly shattered existing social circles with an overbearing weight of popularity. <More telling. Cut it right down, or show it. (I'm such a hypocrite, you should see my first two chapters.)

But at least he had Dez. And after all, he was just one of many other kids in the world enduring the fallout created from either a broken marriage or in his case the melding of one.

Conversely, Bill’s project management position paid for a respectably sized house and he’d ended up with his own room.

Initially, Bill had thought it best for ease of integration. Clearly, this was a ‘no-brainer’ at least for Nick. Happily, Conner had a room at the end of the landing, facing the front of the house. Nicks sat at the back overlooking a large field, and ironically the freshly excavated now muddy pit. But this suited him completely. A retreat to his own room was his only place of escape and welcome solitude. Thankfully, the house was quiet now apart from the noise of the wind.

Outside, the dark was all-absorbing. The previously halted rain had started again, spurred on by a wind that sprayed it against the windowsill. He glanced at the clock, 4:34am. ‘Ugh. I’ve got to be up at six,’ he mumbled to himself.

He had a morning round at the local paper shop; and that meant an early rise. He yawned and turned over onto a lumpy pillow. He bashed it again, pummelling it into a comfortable pad.

Finally, the noise of the rain on the window saturated the air with white hiss. He scrunched up the duvet, comforted by his warmth and the contrasting blustery conditions outside. And slowly, sleep happily returned, sliding him into a secure welcome slumber.
*
It was as if a time warp had consumed him for the briefest of moments. The alarm clock annoyingly vomited reality into his unconscious mind. Smashing his fist down hard, he silenced it promptly and sat up slowly, rubbing the sleep grains out of his tired eyes. A glance at the window confirmed the rain had stopped, and that the sun was up.<Good, now something can happen.

It was Wednesday morning, 6:00am.

Reluctantly throwing back his duvet, he groaned at the time. Finally rising from its embrace, he lumbered off to the bathroom.

During the week, Nick was usually the first one up. And after getting dressed, carefully motioned<not the right word himself down the old creaky stairs.

It was now approximately 6:30am.

Skipping breakfast, he grabbed his iPhone, exited the house and coaxed the front door to a convenient close.

Ahead, Quarry Road snaked away, down into town. Yawning and stretching back an unwelcome feeling of tiredness, he walked over to the pit, leant against the makeshift fence, peered in, and felt it yawn back. Rather fittingly perhaps, it was filled with damp early morning fog. Surrounded by a disturbing quiet, his minds eye fuelled the possibility of some form of Hollywood derived vampire emerging up and through.

Inwardly he trembled at the eerie scene. Maybe this really is the reason for my nightmares, he thought. Maybe all those rotted bodies lying undiscovered, wanted out.

Happily, the media attention had died almost as soon as it had begun, and the only involvement with the police had started and ended with DI Charles Grant. And even that was short lived. All that remained was an empty shell, an eyesore in the earth.
Nick shook away the thought and set off at a run. The truth of it was; he had suffered the same nightmare for weeks. And that was before the pit was even discovered.

Your first chapter is so much more polished and interesting than this. The things I've written inline are just my opinion again, feel free to use or ignore - I think the real problem here is that you've avoided infodump in the first chapter only to pour it on in the second. Maybe the reader will forgive this because of the interest you roused in Ch1 though. I know all this has to be put somewhere, but maybe you could drip feed it a bit more. Hope this doesn't sound harsh, I do like your story, I just think that you've concentrated so hard on Ch1, that you've neglected this one.

Now, if I can just apply my advice to my own writing...
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:23 AM
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You know what, I wrote chapter two a long time ago. Sure. It's been tweaked and altered but I think what you have perhaps revealed for me is a genuine case of wood for trees. If you see what I mean.

I'll take your advice. I'll take out the bits that I'm repeating and choose some words more carefully.

Chapter two contains the least amout of dialog too.

Chapter one was (believe it or not) written last.

You're right. It is an info dump and it could be cut back.

Would you like to see chapter 3?
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:29 AM
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What are your thoughts on either the pov character or the narrative voice asking questions of the plot. I find I write this quite a lot. So I might have my character in some sort of pickle and then I'll vomit his or her thoughts out into the narrative.

Sometimes (after I've done it) I read back and ask, "Was I right to do that there?"

I'll look to ensure it felt correct for the narrative voice to do it, and indeed the pov character.

Do you see what I mean? Little sideline question of course.

Darned iPhone. ))£@£&@)(&"
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by cmhine View Post
You know what, I wrote chapter two a long time ago. Sure. It's been tweaked and altered but I think what you have perhaps revealed for me is a genuine case of wood for trees. If you see what I mean.

I'll take your advice. I'll take out the bits that I'm repeating and choose some words more carefully.

Chapter two contains the least amout of dialog too.

Chapter one was (believe it or not) written last.

You're right. It is an info dump and it could be cut back.

Would you like to see chapter 3?
I can well believe it - Ch 1 is significantly better, which just shows how much your writing has improved.

I'm finding the same thing with the wood and the trees on my own stuff. Put Ch 3 up and I'll take a look.

Last edited by Casper; 07-22-2010 at 11:05 AM..
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cmhine View Post
What are your thoughts on either the pov character or the narrative voice asking questions of the plot. I find I write this quite a lot. So I might have my character in some sort of pickle and then I'll vomit his or her thoughts out into the narrative.

Sometimes (after I've done it) I read back and ask, "Was I right to do that there?"

I'll look to ensure it felt correct for the narrative voice to do it, and indeed the pov character.

Do you see what I mean? Little sideline question of course.

Darned iPhone. ))£@£&@)(&"
I think what I've seen of you doing it here is fine. I don't suppose you want your narrator overpowering your POV character, but you haven't done that here. I've never actually thought about the issue before. What I've posted on this forum is the first thing I've ever written, and it's First Person, so I haven't had to deal with it!
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:39 PM
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Lol. Ooooh, don’t worry. I wouldn’t be so cheeky as to task you with the… (wait for the cliché) …whole nine yards.

But then I have one or two other things to prattle on about first – In fact, after re-reading your critique, they’ve just come to me.

The false suspense you referring to: When I’m writing, (at least now anyhow) I like to think of what’s happening through the eyes of a camera. Also, how the scene plays itself in front of it.

When I wrote this, almost a year ago now, I remember playing my MC as overwrought, and jumpy. After the pit incident, he'd feel a little edgy for sure. I'll be honest, the story meanders into nothing short of a gore fest, or at least it gets that way eventually. So, yeah, I suppose I was trying to create false suspense. And, I suppose my intention was almost in the same ilk as the horrors. A noise sounds out, the audience are lulled into thinking it's more. But it isn't.

Your words have convinced me to rework chapter two. Instead of burdening you with chapter three, I'd like you to reread it.

Just give me a day or so. I’m a working dad.

Also, the word: blanche, or past tense: blanched. Lol. I guess I’ve turned this into something perhaps only I use. I remember it from cooking. It refers to immersing vegetables into boiling water for only a brief moment. My intention was to make out my MC simply nudged the mouse. I suppose I was over-writing. But that was then and this is now.

Oh, one other thing. You’re writing YA. What’s your take on profanity? I go as far as to use the word ‘shit’ and I think ‘effing’ … it’s spelt that way too. I find when my teenagers are angry they need to blurt a little. It’s not my intention to dumb down the vocab, it’s just the way I feel teenagers speak. In fact, the reality is, they speak a hell of lot worse.

Mines aimed at 13+. Albeit, it’s hoped older, much older kids, adults would read it. In its current guise, I had it Lulu’d. Produced five HB books, handed them out to various interested parties. Everyone loved the plot, which was essentially my biggest concern. Now, I can tidy parts of the early chapters up.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:24 PM
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I was teasing about the 'whole nine yards'. I actually edited it out later - thought it might look rude! Truth is I come on here when I've driven myself mad reading my own stuff and need to read something else, so Ch 2 and Ch3 is fine! I'll be back on later when my plot has driven me mad.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by cmhine View Post
Lol. Ooooh, don’t worry. I wouldn’t be so cheeky as to task you with the… (wait for the cliché) …whole nine yards.

But then I have one or two other things to prattle on about first – In fact, after re-reading your critique, they’ve just come to me.

The false suspense you referring to: When I’m writing, (at least now anyhow) I like to think of what’s happening through the eyes of a camera. Also, how the scene plays itself in front of it.

When I wrote this, almost a year ago now, I remember playing my MC as overwrought, and jumpy. After the pit incident, he'd feel a little edgy for sure. I'll be honest, the story meanders into nothing short of a gore fest, or at least it gets that way eventually. So, yeah, I suppose I was trying to create false suspense. And, I suppose my intention was almost in the same ilk as the horrors. A noise sounds out, the audience are lulled into thinking it's more. But it isn't.

Your words have convinced me to rework chapter two. Instead of burdening you with chapter three, I'd like you to reread it.

Just give me a day or so. I’m a working dad.

Also, the word: blanche, or past tense: blanched. Lol. I guess I’ve turned this into something perhaps only I use. I remember it from cooking. It refers to immersing vegetables into boiling water for only a brief moment. My intention was to make out my MC simply nudged the mouse. I suppose I was over-writing. But that was then and this is now.

Oh, one other thing. You’re writing YA. What’s your take on profanity? I go as far as to use the word ‘shit’ and I think ‘effing’ … it’s spelt that way too. I find when my teenagers are angry they need to blurt a little. It’s not my intention to dumb down the vocab, it’s just the way I feel teenagers speak. In fact, the reality is, they speak a hell of lot worse.

Mines aimed at 13+. Albeit, it’s hoped older, much older kids, adults would read it. In its current guise, I had it Lulu’d. Produced five HB books, handed them out to various interested parties. Everyone loved the plot, which was essentially my biggest concern. Now, I can tidy parts of the early chapters up.
I see it in my head like a film too, especially the action scenes.
I really don't think you can use blanched in this context!
I haven't done swearing, but my stuff is very clean all round. A bit of violence, but no sex or swearing. I wouldn't see it as a problem though, as long as you aren't chucking the c word around
I have no idea what a Lulu or an HB is. ?
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:36 AM
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Ahhhh - I wonder where the comment went. Thought I’d gone mad. 175,000 words is a lot to get through if you were to look at it literally. And, I have to say; I use this forum in a similar way. You can only stare for so long at your own writing before the vegetative state starts to beckon.

I don’t have any sex either, just a smidgeon love interest. Oh, and I’m definitely not so foolhardy as to introduce the ‘c’ word into a YA novel.

Lulu is a self-publishing provider. www.lulu.com It’s good to know that my efforts can be bound into a book of sorts (I’m currently unpublished) but I wanted to hand a book to someone and have them read it from beginning to end and give me their opinion on all the obvious areas. I had a few HB (Hardback Books) produced. I even created a little cover. It was great. I suppose you could argue it as vanity publishing. But it wasn’t. For me it was an exercise: a means of enabling a view of my work in print, in a format that could be handed to others. Obviously, it’s a hollow victory for any writer, but there nonetheless. If you’ve not ever done it, and you have a manuscript, the wizards the creating your book are great. Then at least you’ll have something tangible you can hold. ‘I did that,’ you’ll say. Most hold out for the holy grail of being published formally, which I continue to do.

And clearly, the grand plan is to (at some point) get published. It might not be with this story. But given that my writing has improved after this epic tale, it may be the next. Who knows? I might be able to turn this one round. My main issue now is length. I cannot find a single point that I could split it without leaving the reader feeling deflated.

So, what’re your overall intentions? I read you’d found a literary agent or seeking one, that he/she wanted your first five pages? I read through your wordage last night, which I thought was v good on the face of it. There was a quite a lot and it was late, hence I didn’t get through most of it, but it read well.

Still re-doing Chp 2. Will repost when finished.

Do you use the member’s only forum for privacy? The last time I was on here, I got quite an avid response to my writing, that is, critique-wise. This time, only you have offered. Do you think I’m posting in the wrong area?
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Last edited by cmhine; 07-23-2010 at 04:40 AM..
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by cmhine View Post
I don’t have any sex either, just a smidgeon love interest. Oh, and I’m definitely not so foolhardy as to introduce the ‘c’ word into a YA novel.

So, what’re your overall intentions? I read you’d found a literary agent or seeking one, that he/she wanted your first five pages? I read through your wordage last night, which I thought was v good on the face of it. There was a quite a lot and it was late, hence I didn’t get through most of it, but it read well.

Do you use the member’s only forum for privacy? The last time I was on here, I got quite an avid response to my writing, that is, critique-wise. This time, only you have offered. Do you think I’m posting in the wrong area?
I didn't think you were (must remember not to inflict my sense of humour via the internet!)

I'd love to see my book as an actual book (wouldn't we all). No matter what people say about e-books taking over, I still think there's no comparison with holding a book in your hands.

I've found an agent that I would like to submit to first, before I send a deluge of queries out. They ask for the first five pages to be sent with the query, hence my fussing about it. I still need to edit the prologue and Ch1 and write a query letter before that happens though. Not to mention beating my plot into submission. Sigh.

I don't think you're posting in the wrong area. It always looks to me like there are more people viewing and commenting on the fiction forum, so I don't know why they aren't commenting. I posted in the member's only simply because I was nervous posting (my first time, blush). I only had one person comment on my longer stuff too, but quite a few when I put up shorter bits, so it may just be that! (I did suspect I was just rubbish for a while though)
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