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  1. #11
    Jay Elwood Seymour

    Re: AH:FCP - Chapter 1 (pt.1) Your thoughts welcomed.

    To Jayce & Smiling Curmudgeon:

    I truly am grateful for your words and I am not in any way angered or unhappy by what you say. I realise by Smiling's comment that I might sound as though I'm pissy or unhappy. I'm really not (i know it's hard to convey emotion in simply comments like these).

    I really enjoy what you say and I do take it to heart. I am in NO WAY ignoring what you say. As for a creative writing class, you're on the money. I've got another one scheduled for fall qtr :-) I love writing classes and clubs. I knew I wanted to be an author when I joined a writing group in junior high called "Power of the Pen."

    Your right, the devil is in the details. I'm learning. The hardest thing I've had to accept (which I think i've learned to accept now) is that just because I can tell a great story and have some really good ideas... I still have plenty of work to do. I think i'm a good writer (as in, I'm better than the average joe), but I want to be a great writer. I think my ideas are good too. I'm confident in that. It took me four years to plan out the series (which, believe me is in a very detailed 180 page outline). I'm learning that what you say, "the devil is in the details" is very very very VERY true.

    When it comes to becoming an author... I want one thing and one thing only. I want to be able to hold my books in my hands, fully published, and be able for people to buy them if they want. I don't need sell so many that I can quit my job. If I really wanted that I wouldn't be in university. I simply want to hold my own art in my hands and say "ahhh, what a journey."

    I have no doubt that people will love my stories, I just need to perfect my writing and learn more.

    Thanks again to EVERYBODY. All this is very helpful! If I ever sound ungrateful... digitally smack me (because I'm honestly not trying to sound so).

    To quote a great scientist, I like to call what we are all doing, "Climbing Mt. Improbable."

  2. #12
    Joe Zeff

    Re: AH:FCP - Chapter 1 (pt.1) Your thoughts welcomed.

    "Your right, the devil is in the details." And, of course, one of them is not using "your" when you mean "You're." If nothing else, you need to spend some time poorfraeding your work before posting it.

  3. #13
    Jay Elwood Seymour

    Re: AH:FCP - Chapter 1 (pt.1) Your thoughts welcomed.

    My kingdom for an edit button on this site!

  4. #14
    Busy Lizzy

    Re: AH:FCP - Chapter 1 (pt.1) Your thoughts welcomed.

    You just have GOT to hook the reader right at the start. You want the agent to forget he's reading because it's his/her job, but just for the sheer fun and interest.

    Most agents stress that what the average book-buyer does is to open to the first page and take a snoop at it. Check yourself. You do it too.

    Then, either the agent chucks it into the slush pile or the buyer back into the stack of books.

    Or they are hooked and "buy" your story, literally and in the figurative sense.

    Once you're a best-selling author with tons of published books, you can treat yourself to the luxury of a really slow and slightly boring beginning. Not before.

    That's just how it is. Sad but true.

    Busy Lizzy

  5. #15
    Ray Veen

    Re: AH:FCP - Chapter 1 (pt.1) Your thoughts welcomed.

    "ahhh, what a journey."

    You're right. It is a journey. And unfortunately, one of the first and most important waypoints on that journey is realizing that you're nowhere near as good as you thought you were, and that there are many, many more leagues to go. Many writers give up at this point.

    Others become galvanized.

    It seems to me that you could go either way. You say that you're willing to accept criticism and learn what you have to learn, yet your earlier remarks were awfully defensive. That's usually a sign of frustration, and an unwillingness to admit your shortcomings to yourself. With that kind of attitude, once the realization sets in, it'll be accompanied by an overwhelming sense of 'this is so not worth it'.

    By the way, I don't mean this to be as harsh as it sounds. I'm vicariously describing my own journey here - not trying to "digitally smack you".

    Anyway, the winning attitude, the one that wins the gold star, is the one that says, "Yes, there's a lot more to writing than I originally thought, but I can learn it." Then you wholeheartedly embrace every criticism and make a grim vow to ruthlessly obliterate every blemish in your writing. You buy books on writing, read them multiple times, highlight them, take classes, join writers groups, everything you can think of to pull yourself towards more perfect writing. And that's where the journey starts to take you in the right direction.

  6. #16
    Aaron Brown

    Re: AH:FCP - Chapter 1 (pt.1) Your thoughts welcomed.

    Heya Jay,

    The one thing that really, really bothers me about this.

    You have, what, sixteen or seventeen lines of dialogue? And not once, not one time, was the word "said" anywhere in there. It's moaned, grunted, replied, mumbled, etc.

    Stop it.

    Stop it now.

    Use those dialogue tags SPARINGLY. The word "said" is invisible. Nobody reads it. It's there almost as an afterthought. So don't worry about too many "said"s being in your manuscript.


  7. #17
    Anthony Ravenscroft

    Re: AH:FCP - Chapter 1 (pt.1) Your thoughts welcomed.

    I want one thing and one thing only...

    Jay, you're... well, I won't say "wrong," but you've just rationalised signing up with AuthorHouse or some other "self-publish now!" scam.

    Sure, none of us needs to retire to Cancun in five years -- but if we don't shoot for it, daydream about it, maybe even long for it, chances are greatly increased that we'll remain hobbyists.

    I'm a target shooter, & I can guarantee that if you don't aim higher than you need to hit, you've wasted the shot.

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