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  1. #1
    Anie Tak
    Guest

    Beginning of another novel

    Well, I'm going to edit my last for a little while, but in the mean time can you guys tell me what you think of this so far?

    Mr Mullings the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye; something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years. But he had an approved tolerance for others; sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure of spirits involved in their misdeeds; and in any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove.

    `I incline to Cain's heresy,' he used to say quaintly: `I let my brother go to the devil in his own way. In this character it was frequently his fortune to be the last reputable acquaintance and the last good influence in the lives of down-going men. And to such as these, so long as they came about his chambers, he never marked a shade of change in his demeanour.

    No doubt the feat was easy to Mr Mullings; for he was undemonstrative at the best, and even his friendships seemed to be founded in a similar catholicity of good nature. It is the mark of a modest man to accept his friendly circle ready made from the hands of opportunity; and that was the lawyer's way. His friends were those of his own blood, or those whom he had known the longest; his affections, like ivy, were the growth of time, they implied no aptness in the object. Hence, no doubt, the bond that united him to Mr Thomas Berkins, his distant kinsman, the well-known man about town. It was a nut to crack for many, what these two could see in each other, or what subject they could find in common. It was reported by those who encountered them in their Sunday walks, that they said nothing, looked singularly dull, and would hail with obvious relief the appearance of a friend. For all that, the two men put the greatest store by these excursions, counted them the chief jewel of each week, and not only set aside occasions of pleasure, but even resisted the calls of business, that they might enjoy them uninterrupted.

    It chanced on one of these rambles that their way led them down a by street in a busy quarter of London. The street was small and what is called quiet, but it drove a thriving trade on the week-days. The inhabitants were all doing well, it seemed, and all emulously hoping to do better still, and laying out the surplus of their gains in coquetry; so that the shop fronts stood along that thoroughfare with an air of invitation, like rows of smiling saleswomen. Even on Sunday, when it veiled its more florid charms and lay comparatively empty of passage, the street shone out in contrast to its dingy neighbourhood, like a fire in a forest; and with its freshly painted shutters, well-polished brasses, and general cleanliness and gaiety of note, instantly caught and pleased the eye of the passenger.

    Two doors from one corner, on the left hand going east, the line was broken by the entry of a court; and just at that point, a certain sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the street. It was two storeys high; showed no window, nothing but a door on the lower storey and a blind forehead of discoloured wall on the upper; and bore in every feature the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence. The door, which was equipped with neither bell nor knocker, was blistered and distained. Tramps slouched into the recess and struck matches on the panels; children kept shop upon the steps; the schoolboy had tried his knife on the mouldings; and for close on a generation no one had appeared to drive away these random visitors or to repair their ravages.



  2. #2
    nom de plume
    Guest

    Re: Beginning of another novel

    After i tried to read the first paragraph, something eminently sleepy beaconed from my eyes.

  3. #3
    Patrick F
    Guest

    Re: Beginning of another novel

    Two words: Word Economy. You use a lot of words that don't really tell the reader anything but "hey look at me - I can write."

    "At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye; something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years."

    This is a LONG sentence. All these things could be better shown in the story and not told up front. This also has a very "Charles Dickens" sort of tone. Anyone can tell you that the language and style used in old classic literature (Hawthorne, Elliot, etc.) would not thrive in todays market. Most of the old school authors were paid by the page, so their style is a long winded narration - but they were masters of their craft, and it shows.

    You open here with a lot of description and no story. The dialog doesn't feel natural.

    You need to cut way back and don't over describe everything. The reader doesn't need to know how many rings of wood grain there are in a door. The real mastery of writing is material that doesn't call attention to itself. It flows with the simplest prose to put you right into the story so that you forget you are reading a book.

  4. #4
    R. Radish
    Guest

    Re: Beginning of another novel

    Miss genius, what exactly are you demonstrating?

    <http://www.literaturecollection.com/...on/dr-jekyll/1

  5. #5
    R. Radish
    Guest

    Re: Beginning of another novel

    This link should be hot:
    <http://www.literaturecollection.com/a/stevenson/dr-jekyll/1/>

  6. #6
    Anie Tak
    Guest

    Re: Beginning of another novel

    You got me.;-)
    But I had to know. I wish it had taken a little longer so I could have further data, but 2 negative comments are enough. I have my grain of salt.
    Cheers loves!

  7. #7
    Harley *
    Guest

    Re: Beginning of another novel

    Whoa, you really got us, now we all know that fiction published in the 1880's wouldn't be commercially viable today, holy crap!

  8. #8
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: Beginning of another novel

    I didn't look at the link, but is this Dickens? Just wondering...

    Jeanne

  9. #9
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: Beginning of another novel

    Ah, I checked it now. Robert Louis Stevenson with the names changed. And the point of this is what? To waste everyone's time?

    Sorry, but I find these sort of tests rather insulting, especially when people freely give of their time to help with critiques and comments.

    Jeanne

  10. #10
    Finnley Wren
    Guest

    Re: Beginning of another novel

    ". . . among a set of characters marvelously palpable - I would know Tom Buchanan if I met him on the street and would avoid him - Gatsby is somewhat vague. The readers eyes can never quite focus upon him, his outlines are dim . . . Couldn't he be physically described as distinctly as the others, and couldn't you add one or two characteristics like the use of "old sport," . . ."

    Maxwell Perkins

    Even the greatest writers are not immune from criticism.

    And your stunt was reprehensible.

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