HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 11 to 18 of 18
  1. #11
    Amy Lou

    Re: Part of the First Chapter...With Paragraph Breaks!

    > Hopefully my last one will be taken down by the
    > moderators since it's pretty much impossible to
    > read...sorry for the repeat!
    > Anyway, this is the introduction to two of the
    > main characters in my young adult novel God-Born.
    > Sorry its a bit longer than I intended, but thanks
    > for your patience and your critiques!
    > It was misting heavily(I wanted you to see how adverbs you use - ly)[b(]isn't that rain, just say it was misting)[/b] outside the glimmering
    > walls of the casino, but the gray clouds(I don't think you need to tell us about the gray clouds of moisture, it seems over written to me) of
    > moisture didn’t stop the crowds that continued
    > to pour in and out of the Pandora. The casino was
    > a massiveI would lose the word massive monument to luxury, windowed and paneled
    > in brilliant shades of platinum with jet-black
    > accents. Blue and violent(do you mean violet?) lights artistically(artistically seems like too much) lit
    > the enormous twenty-story structure and were then
    > reflected in the enormous pools laid around the
    > base. The lights tinged the mist violetI think it would be better to say The lights tinged the mist and gave.... and gave
    > the entire night sky outside of the PandoraWe know the mist is outside the Pandora, don't tell us this) an
    > almost(I would lose almost) ethereal aura. In the plaza immediately(ly)(I don't feel like you need immediately)
    > outside the grand bronze doors was a pedestal upon
    > which was a kneeling statue of Pandora herself(don't need the word herself)
    > opening a chest full of golden poker chips.
    > Playful figures representing Good Fortune, Luck,
    > and Wealth danced out of the chest, grinning at
    > pedestrians with impish smiles.
    > Another figure was also sitting on the pedestal,
    > crouched against Pandora. He didn’t share the
    > smiles of the imps ordo you mean "to those walking by"?) those walking by; in fact,
    > his head was hidden by the hood of his torn and
    > stained sweater. His clothes were dark, but they
    > were so ragged and patched that it was impossible
    > to tell what the original colors actually(ly)(Don't need actually. How about "what the colors once were") were.
    > The figure was nearly(ly)(lose nearly) as still as the statues,
    > although he shifted once in a while to better
    > escape the mist that was lightlyly) drizzling on his
    > head. On one such occasion, a small pool of water
    > that had collected in Pandora’s locks spilled
    > over and poured directly(ly) on him. The figure threw
    > off his hood in annoyance, revealing him to be a
    > young boy in his early teens. His dark hair was
    > now matted down with moisture that uncomfortably(another word ending in ly)
    > ran down his face and down(don't need the word down again) the collar of his
    > t-shirt. The pedestrians hurrying past hardly(another ly) gave
    > him a second glance - it was not uncommon to see
    > the very poor or out-of-luck hanging around the
    > palaces of wealth on the Strip - but a few of
    > those who looked back for a moment were unnerved
    > at how the boy’s staring eyes seemed to reflect
    > the blue-violet lights of the Pandora.
    > The boy shifted again and followed the passing
    > crowd with quick glances. He seemed to be content
    > to simply(ly - don't need the word simply) wait, trusting that in time he would
    > receive some reward for his patience. He didnt’(didn't)
    > have to wait much longer. His gaze lit upon
    > another figure hurrying through the crowd,
    > carrying a plastic bag under his arm. This boy was
    > much taller and relatively(ly again) older; he at least had
    > grown a small beard and moved with a grace unusual
    > for someone with his broad shoulders and long
    > legs. He covered the distance across the plaza
    > much more quicklyly again - much quicker than than his casual pace suggested
    > until he was only a few yards from the statue of
    > Pandora. There he stopped, wiped blonde hair out
    > of his eyes, and waited.
    > The boy on the statue tried to shake off the water
    > that had collected on his jacket, gave it up as a
    > lost cause, and stood up on the pedestal. He was
    > much thinner than the other boy but hardlyly - don't need this word) lacked
    > energy in his movements. He stretched out his
    > cramped muscles and with one casual step forward
    > dropped from the pedestal and landed crouched on
    > the red-bricked plaza. His eyes were blue now.
    > “Took you long enough,” he told his companion.
    > The older boy eyed him unsmiling. “You didn’t
    > make things easy. When I said wait by the casino,
    > I didn’t mean on top of the damn statue where
    > anyone could see you. I had to circle the entire
    > block twice to make sure that no one was watching
    > either of us.”
    > The younger boy smiled at him. “You mean you
    > actually had to look? Sounds like you’re losing
    > your touch.”
    > “Don’t make jokes about this, Joey,” said
    > his companion. “You’re being reckless. Again.
    > We can hardly(ly - "We can't risk being seen) risk being seen in the open in
    > Vegas, there are so many eyes. And a lot of them
    > are eyes like mine, and you know that makes things
    > even more difficult for me.”
    > Joey shook his head. “You worry too much. Your
    > relatives are out there looking for corporate
    > corruption and traitors and creepily(ly again) watching
    > people they’ve got the hots for take showers.
    > They aren’t watching two bums among the hundreds
    > on the Strip alone. So what did you bring? Steak?
    > Lobster? Or-” he inhaled the smells coming from
    > the plastic bag, “a ham sandwich on rye with
    > cheddar cheese and onions?” Your dialogue seems very natural
    > The older boy sighed and reached into the bag,
    > taking out the exact sandwich that Joey had
    > described. “You cheated,” he accused. Joey
    > smiled and began wolfing the sandwich down. The
    > other boy withdrew an identical sandwich. “You
    > know, this would have been a lot easier if you had
    > just made us food.”
    > “You know I can’t cook. I can’t even boil
    > water without burning it,” said Joey.
    > “That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”
    > For the first time, Joey looked agitated. “So
    > we’re cold and hungry. We’re getting by this
    > way, without any tricks. You know how I feel about
    > that sort of thing. I’d rather not do anything
    > unless we need too. If we were starving, it’d be
    > a different story. But we’re not.” He took
    > another large bite, melted cheese hanging from his
    > mouth.
    > His friend looked away. “That’s disgusting.”
    > Joey gestured extravegentlyly again) , talking through his
    > full mouth. “You know Ollie, you are more than
    > welcome to book a reservation at Le Cirque for
    > caviar and cocktails. Let me know how that goes
    > for you.”
    > The older boy grimaced and silently(don't really need silently - if grimaces and gnaws at his sandwich, then speaks) gnawed at his
    > sandwich. “Don’t call me Ollie,” he
    > muttered.
    > The grin on his young companion grew wider. “Oh,
    > sorry Ol-i-ver,” he said. “St. Patrick,
    > you’ve been eighteen for three days and you’re
    > already severing every tie with childhood. I’m
    > almost ashamed of you.”
    > Oliver smiled for the first time. “You’re one
    > to talk, Ptolemy Josephus.”
    > Joey’s smile dropped. “Oliver it is then. As
    > long as you never mention that again within
    > hearing distance of another human being.”
    > “Fine then. Joey.”
    > A great shout echoed from the bronze doors of the
    > Pandora, and more shouts and cheers poured out as
    > even outside on the steps people began to applaud.
    > Someone had apparently won a very big jackpot on
    > the slots or the card tables. Joey glanced up at
    > the massive structure, admiration etched across
    > his face. Oliver mirrored his gaze.
    > “Why did you even bring us here?” he asked.
    > “Did you just want to see it? I mean, I know its
    > been all over the news in the past month, even
    > before we...before we left.” He faced Joey
    > directly, forcing the younger boy to look down
    > from the dancing lights and directly at him.
    > “But we can’t go inside. You know that. I came
    > to Vegas with you because I agreed that it was a
    > good place to hide in plain sight. But risking it
    > by coming here, to the heart of everything, was
    > completely reckless.” He eyed the statue of
    > Pandora with distaste. “Can we please leave now?
    > This all makes me sick actually. It reeks
    > of...of...”
    > “Of home, yeah,” said Joey. “But no, I
    > didn’t just want to see it. We’re going to
    > live here, until we figure out where we’re
    > headed next.”
    > Oliver snorted. “Don’t mess with me.” Joey
    > smiled again and finished his sandwich. He began
    > walking towards the bronze doors.
    > Oliver’s face grew stoney. He ran a couple of
    > steps to catch up with his headstrong companion
    > and grabbed his shoulders. Spinning him around he
    > shook him slightly.
    > “Stop this now, Joey! Don’t be stupid! We
    > can’t afford to breathe the air in that place,
    > and I will not let you make a scene to get us in.
    > Don’t even try it. We’re turning around and
    > finding a quiet place to bunk. Now.”
    > Joey shoved Oliver’s hands from his shoulders.
    > “I never suggested making a scene,” he said.
    > “I intend to pay for our room like a law-abiding
    > citizen.”
    > Reaching into his sweater pocket, he pulled out a
    > thick slab of bills.
    > Oliver’s eyes grew wide. “Where did you get
    > that?” he asked quietly.
    > Joey sneered. “I didn’t make it, if that’s
    > what you’re suggesting.”
    > Oliver took Joey’s shoulders again. “I just
    > scrounged for fallen change for three hours to buy
    > us a couple of grocery store sandwiches and now
    > you pull out, what, two grand? You can’t hold
    > out on me like this, Joey. If we’re going to do
    > this, we’re going to have to trust each
    > other.”
    > Joey shuffled his feet. “I do trust you, and
    > when you went off to get the sandwiches I didn’t
    > have any of this. I wasn’t on the statue the
    > whole time. I found people in the square who had
    > more cash than they would ever miss and, you know,
    > lifted here and there.
    > “You stole it then,” said Oliver.
    > Joey’s eyes grew steely gray. “We needed it
    > more than any of them did.”
    > “You don’t know that.” Oliver shook his
    > head. “Joey, I know that you were raised to
    > think like this, but I’m trying to get you to
    > understand. If we want to be different than the
    > others, we have to stop acting like them.”
    > Joey’s eyes returned to their normal blue.
    > “Okay fine. No more picking pockets if it will
    > make you feel better.” He gestured towards the
    > bronze doors. “Now can we go inside?
    > Oliver shook his head. “How do you think it will
    > look when two kids walk into the Pandora and throw
    > down a couple thousand bucks and ask for a room?
    > The Pandora is not the place to pull a stunt like
    > that. You know what it’s like in there.”
    > Joey nodded, looking up at the casino again.
    > “Yeah. Security up to the shingles and beyond.
    > Which makes sense, since it is the brainchild of
    > Brandon Nuo, creepy billionaire extraordinare.”
    > He looked back at his companion. “But I didn’t
    > just take us here for kicks, Oliver. The Pandora
    > is the one place in Vegas - the only place - that
    > the GB doesn’t have its fat little fingers stuck
    > in.”
    > “How can you possibly know that?” asked
    > Oliver. “This is the one place they’d be dying
    > to have a hand in.”
    > “Oh they are,” said Joey. “You said it
    > yourself, everyone was talking about it even
    > before we left. But no joy for the GB in the
    > Pandora. Not yet.”
    > Oliver looked doubtful. Joey eyed him.
    > “See for yourself. Seriously, take a look.
    > You’ll see what I mean."
    > Oliver sighed and closed his eyes. A sudden change
    > came over his formerly casual stance. His muscles
    > locked, his shoulders tensed up. His breathing
    > came in heavy, labored gasps. Even the mist seemed
    > to draw in around him, swirling around his feet
    > and hands. Joey shuddered involuntarily.
    > Oliver's eyes snapped open. They were as misted as
    > the dark sky above them.
    > Slowly, his shoulders began to relax, followed by
    > the rest of his body. His eyes cleared, revealing
    > nothing of what he might have seen. He looked at
    > Joey. Bemusement was etched on his face.
    > “You’re right,” he said. “The GB has got
    > no hold in there. They’ve got spies in there of
    > course, a couple dozen on the staff alone, but
    > they’re all very angry, and desperate. Nuo must
    > have some pretty big connections to be keeping the
    > GB out like this.”
    > Joey shrugged. “I doubt Nuo even knows about the
    > GB. His personal assistant, maybe. Rumor has it
    > Nuo is terrified of his own Board of Investors,
    > and he’s taking every precaution to keep them
    > from taking over. Only thing is, he’s hindering
    > the GB while he’s at it.”
    > Oliver laughed. “Pretty paranoid for a man who
    > made billions gambling. Good for him I say.”
    > Joey nodded. “So here’s the plan, I think. We
    > go in there, hit a blackjack or poker table, make
    > more more of this -” he waved the wad of bills,
    > “then get some decent clothes and food and
    > settle in. Easy, simple, lucrative.”
    > “Yes, but I don’t play poker or blackjack,”
    > said Oliver.
    > Joey rolled his eyes. “What do you think I did
    > at the palace all day between orders from the
    > Council? Crochet? Mike taught me a few things
    > about cards. And your dad taught me about cheating
    > - which I will of course not do. Unless I am
    > losing.” He moved towards the doors again.
    > “Well, I’m glad we settled this. Now will you
    > come inside?”
    > Oliver brushed the water out of his hair.
    > “You’re forgetting one thing, card shark,”
    > he said. “You’re fourteen. You have to be
    > twenty-one to play in the casinos, and there’s
    > no way your going to pass, even with those phony
    > IDs you whipped up.
    > “Meh, that’s not a problem here,” said Joey.
    > “At the Pandora, minors can play at the tables
    > or the slots as long as they are accompanied by
    > someone eighteen or above.”
    > Oliver’s eyes narrowed. “That’s not a
    > rule,” he said.
    > Joey’s grin matched the imps on the statue of
    > Pandora. “It is now.”
    > With that, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and
    > trotted towards the warmth and light of the
    > Pandora. He didn’t even look behind to see if
    > his friend was following.
    > “I’m going to regret so much about tonight,”
    > muttered Oliver as he hurried after his impetuous
    > friend. Behind him, the golden statue of Pandora
    > seemed to smile even more widely as her eyes
    > reflected the blue-violet lights of the casino.

    I read the first couple of paragraphs and some of the dialogue. The dialogue is natural and flowed well. I do agree with some of the others that the first paragraph seems over written - I only recognize this because I do it too. I also noticed a lot words ending in ly. I only point them out because, again, I do it too. Sometimes I feel like it's a way to be a lazy writer and tell the reader what you want them know, frantically, quickly, loudly. Instead of showing the reader through the characters actions. I certainly don't know much about the writing process so please know I'm just telling what I feel when I read it. I think Cur's idea about beginning with the boy crouching by the statue is a good one. I enjoyed it thought!

  2. #12
    Amy Lou

    Re: Part of the First Chapter...With Paragraph Breaks!

    Good editing leslee! It reads clear and strong.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Re: Part of the First Chapter...With Paragraph Breaks!

    Oisin, I read the first 6-7 paragraphs and thought it well-written, if a tad adverb/adjective-heavy. But that's secondary, easily fixed.

    The key point: Voice. The voice is strong, confident. It makes me trust the narrator. You strike a nice balance between narrative distance and closeness. I feel the narrator confiding in me [the reader], making me an accomplice, a participant, without the narrator being overly familiar or presuming too much. This is difficult, to entice the reader into a collaboration, a psychological/emotional participation in the unfolding story.

    Seems you have a grip on some subtle aspects of the narrative art that take most aspiring writers much practice to develop. Have you been writing long?

    Congrats on a nice style!

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Re: Part of the First Chapter...With Paragraph Breaks!

    "Good editing leslee! It reads clear and strong."

    Thank you, Amy.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Re: Part of the First Chapter...With Paragraph Breaks!

    You've all been way to patient with me, and I can only apologize again for the long post and promise my next will be shorter. I love the diversity of the comments, some say this, others say try that, and it's given me much to think about. Thanks much everyone?

    If I can ask, what's considered the general time to wait between posts? I have another very different one that I'd love to have critiqued but I don't want to give the impression that I'm cluttering up the board.

    Thanks everyone!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Re: Part of the First Chapter...With Paragraph Breaks!

    Not at all. Besides my thesis paper for my undergraduate I mean. This is the first piece of fiction I've ever tried. Thank you for the suggestions!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Re: Part of the First Chapter...With Paragraph Breaks!

    It was very useful, thanks. I'm sure that, like many beginning writers, I feel that I have to explain everything in triplicate to my reader because I don't trust their imagination to do the work for them. And yes, I am a beginner. This is the first bit of fiction I've attempted.

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Re: Part of the First Chapter...With Paragraph Breaks!

    You can post new stuff any time you like, just start a new thread.

    And when you reply to the comments you've received, it's good to direct that to the person you're talking to, or all the replies sort of run together.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts