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  1. #1
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    Page One -- Genre: speculative/urban fantasy

    WARNING: COUPLE SWEAR WORDS, INCLUDING ONE F-BOMB.

    Hi Everyone,

    So I know I'm making the typical newbie mistake and jumping right in, whoring for crits. For that, I apologize. I'm simply looking to finally jump into the query-shark infested waters and start subbing this beast. As such, any info offered is both valued and appreciated. I'll do some perusin' and return the favor "soonly."

    Thanks in advance.

    Adam



    “There, much is granted which is here denied to human senses; in that gracious spot made for mankind, such virtue doth reside.”

    ~Dante Alighieri--The Divine Comedy

    One

    Theo Adams crossed the reef, still unable to stand head above water. No matter, he’d been under twenty-four days this time. Another minute without air wouldn’t kill him.

    A crab scampered across his foot and stirred up a sand cloud. Theo trudged forward, kelp squishing between his toes. Much as he loved the underwater world, he was eager for its counterpart’s charms. Ah, starting with that; air hit his scalp, eyelids, cheeks, its feel crisp. Welcoming. Eyes closed, he stopped at waist-deep and spread his arms.

    Gulls squealed in the distance. Mellow waves met the earth. People? He tilted his head and focused.

    Dude, check it out. There’s a guy out there. Where’d he come from?

    From the sounds of their thoughts, they were nearby. Had he miscalculated the landing?

    What’s he doin’, man? Trippy ****. Pass the joint, Bogart.

    He grinned. They were young and stoned. An ideal combination for explaining the seemingly unexplainable.

    Theo sucked in the briny atmosphere and bowed his head to stabilize the euphoria. Brilliant colors and cleansing static spun in his brain. Hands down, this was the best part of the adjustment--like getting drunk on clarity. He steadied his breathing and opened his eyes. Rain clouds stitched together a gloomy sky. A towering cliff wall stretched infinitely, north to south. He waded to shore and gathered equilibrium atop the gritty earth, then strolled over and joined the three long-haired, poncho-wearing teenage boys. Surrounding a bonfire, they were the only ones on the otherwise desolate beach. And they stared at him in silent awe.

    “Bro,” one of them said. Mouth hung open, he scanned Theo up and down. “You’re, like, naked, man.”

    One of his buddies punched the kid’s arm. “Yeah, I think he knows that, dumbass. Want him to think we’re ****in’ retards?” The buddy turned to Theo. “Hi. My--name--is--Ron. Do you come in peace?”

    Aliens? Original. If youth was the future of the planet, it was doomed.



  2. #2
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    Re: Page One -- Genre: speculative/urban fantasy

    Adam,

    I like this and would 100% read on.

    Given that my WIP MS3 is based on MERMAID folklore I'm thinking this is along those lines. If not, it almost doesn't matter, as I said I would read on to know who this 'guy' is and what he is about. I also get the sense of doom and danger, subtle, but that just makes it more tasty.

    See what others think, but as for me, add me to the list of ppl who would be interested in buying the novel when it comes out. (and I have never said that before).
    if the wine is sour – throw it out

    SatyricalRaven

  3. #3
    Senior Member Miranda Clementine's Avatar
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    Re: Page One -- Genre: speculative/urban fantasy

    Wow, I too am impressed. Clear voice, and great description of the "resurfacing." The only thing that stuck out for me was:

    Had he miscalculated the landing?

    This tells me that he has control over when to resurface and of course he is trying to stay hidden. So, why is it that he did miscalculate? Just throwing it out there, but, is it because the teenagers were stoned? Is it harder to pick up the brainwaves of a stoned person while under water as opposed to a sober one? If not, I just find it odd that he would miscalculate and it just so happens that it took place in front of stoned teenagers. Now, if it's all explained after this scene, then that's just hunky-dory. But if this was the first time he miscalculated in centuries then I wouldn't buy it (the plot device, not the story itself). For me, and what I say may not hold any water, I don't like coincidences this obvious. It has always irked me, BUT, this wasn't enough to stop me from reading further.

    Good luck, and definitely keep writing!
    Even those who make their living in dreamland must do their chores in the real world.
    -Scarlett Rice
    MC

  4. #4
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    Re: Page One -- Genre: speculative/urban fantasy

    Adam,

    It's not bad at all. Decent dialogue, which a lot of people seem to have trouble with. There are some parts where it could use some polishing - just in my opinion - but I can see where this would be a very good piece with some careful revision work. My comments appear below in caps.


    Theo Adams crossed the reef, still unable to stand head above water. THE READER'S ASSUMPTION COMING IN IS THAT HE HAS HIS HEAD ABOVE WATER, SO AT THIS POINT THE READER IS GOING TO ASSUME HE'S TREADING WATER (AS OPPOSED TO STANDING) - WHICH WILL BE A PROBLEM BY THE NEXT SENTENCE. YOU MAY WANT TO MORE AFFIRMATIVELY SAY HIS HEAD IS STILL UNDER WATER No matter, he’d been under twenty-four days this time. Another minute without air wouldn’t kill him. THIS IS ANTICLIMACTIC. MIGHT BE BETTER TO SAVE YOUR BIG PUNCH FOR THE END OF THE FIRST PARAGRAPH, LIKE POINT OUT THAT ANOTHER MINUTE WITHOUT AIR WOULDN'T KILL HIM FIRST, AND THEN CLOSE BY NOTING HE'D BEEN UNDER FOR TWENTY-FOUR DAYS ALREADY

    A crab scampered across his foot and stirred up a sand cloud. THIS IS A NICE DETAIL BUT A LITTLE HARD TO RECONCILE WITH THE FACT THAT (IN THE READER'S MIND, BASED ON THE FIRST SENTENCE) THEO IS IN CONSTANT MOVEMENT, SO A CRAB WOULD BE SCAMPERING AWAY AND NOT GOING OVER HIS (MOVING) FOOT Theo trudged forward, kelp squishing between his toes. Much as he loved the underwater world, he was eager for its counterpart’s charms. "ITS COUNTERPART'S CHARMS" IS A LITTLE TOO INDIRECT AND CLINICAL TO TRANSMIT HIS EMOTION Ah, starting with that; WHAT? air hit his scalp, eyelids, cheeks, its feel crisp. PUTTING "ITS FEEL CRISP" AFTER ALL THIS INTERFERES WITH THE EFFECT YOU WANT TO CONVEY - SHOULD COME EARLIER WITH THE FIRST MENTION OF AIR Welcoming. Eyes closed, he stopped at MAYBE "WHEN HE WAS" RATHER THAN "AT" waist-deep and spread his arms.

    Gulls squealed in the distance. Mellow waves met the earth. People? He tilted his head and focused.

    Dude, check it out. There’s a guy out there. Where’d he come from?

    From the sounds of their thoughts, "THE SOUNDS OF THEIR THOUGHTS"? WOULD A NATURAL TELEPATH (WHICH I'M ASSUMING HE IS) THINK IN THESE TERMS? they were nearby. Had he miscalculated the landing?

    What’s he doin’, man? Trippy @#$%&. Pass the joint, Bogart. NOT SURE "BOGART" IS STILL PART OF THE LINGO

    He grinned. They were young and stoned. An ideal combination for explaining the seemingly unexplainable.

    Theo sucked in the briny atmosphere and bowed his head to stabilize the euphoria. "BOWED HIS HEAD TO STABILIZE THE EUPHORIA" IS OPAQUE Brilliant colors and cleansing static spun in his brain. Hands down, this was the best part of the adjustment--like getting drunk on clarity. He steadied his breathing and opened his eyes. Rain clouds stitched together a gloomy sky. I LIKE THAT A towering cliff wall stretched infinitely, north to south. THAT'S A LITTLE TOO PRINCESS BRIDE/CLIFFS OF INSANITY He waded to shore and gathered equilibrium THIS DOESN'T WORK SO CLOSE TO "STABILIZE THE EUPHORIA" atop the gritty earth, then strolled over and joined the three long-haired, poncho-wearing teenage boys. Surrounding a bonfire, THIS IS WEAK AS AN INTRODUCTORY CLAUSE they were the only ones on the otherwise desolate beach. And ALMOST NEVER START A SENTENCE WITH "AND," IT DOESN'T WORK AS WELL AS YOU THINK IT DOES they stared at him in silent awe.

    “Bro,” one of them said. Mouth hung open, he scanned Theo up and down. “You’re, like, naked, man.”

    One of his buddies punched the kid’s arm. “Yeah, I think he knows that, dumbass. Want him to think we’re ****in’ retards?” The buddy turned to Theo. “Hi. My--name--is--Ron. Do you come in peace?”

    Aliens? Original. If youth was the future of the planet, it was doomed. HEH


    Again, it's got good storytelling and generally works, this is all in the nature of cleaning it up and making it more powerful and intoxicating to the reader. Good luck.

    JH

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    Re: Page One -- Genre: speculative/urban fantasy

    I would definitely read on (tu)

    (from your query I thought it all happens here, on Earth, tho)
    Pre-Columbian North America

    http://blog.zoesaadia.com/

  6. #6

    Re: Page One -- Genre: speculative/urban fantasy

    Dude, that was tight! Liked the style and impact. Keep on writin'!

  7. #7
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    Re: Page One -- Genre: speculative/urban fantasy

    Hey, what's with the automatic $#@% symbols all of a sudden? I thought this was WRITING CRAFT.

  8. #8
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    Re: Page One -- Genre: speculative/urban fantasy

    PS Thoroughly enjoyed this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Victoria's Avatar
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    Re: Page One -- Genre: speculative/urban fantasy

    Hi, Jena- the software doesn't have a 'censor-by-forum' option, it's site-wide. Maybe the new platform... once it's here....
    Thanks!
    Victoria
    Writers.Net Moderator

  10. #10
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    Re: Page One -- Genre: speculative/urban fantasy

    I just don't remember seeing the symbols before.

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