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Genesis Reading Event > Welcome to Genesis reading event

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message 1: by Kellan (new)

Kellan Publishing (kellanpublishing) | 10 comments Mod
Welcome to the event! Have you started reading Genesis yet?

message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate Sebeny (katesebeny) | 16 comments I have--the introduction so far, anyway. I was quite taken with the evocative description, so visceral, contributing greatly to the cataclysmic scene.

I was also impressed by how the author made so many long sentences work to such good effect. They create dramatic tension by piling up on top of one another briskly, the cumulative effect being tumultuous narrative very appropriate to the action.

Perhaps this compelling prose drew me along so quickly that I was confused about who the pronoun "he" was referring to. At first, I was sure it was the poet (the only character differentiated from the multitude of other male characters). Even going back and rereading, I couldn't locate a clear pronoun antecedent. I feel I'm missing a significant element of the story due to my inability to figure out who "he" is.

Who's "he"?

message 3: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Taylor Hello everyone, and welcome to the event!

Thanks for your comments, Kate, the thing I wanted most for this story was for it to create evocative imagery, so I'm glad that came across for you.

As for 'he', well, this was kind of an experiment for me and this is something I'd like to discuss. Before I rant on however, did anyone else have this issue?

Or does someone have some different thoughts on this?

message 4: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Hill | 3 comments Hi E.J. --Just checking in to let you know I've started reading "Genesis" and immediately love the way the sentences glitter. For example, "The glowing light grew and began to warm the freezing rain as the fire raged in front of them." It's compelling to see beautiful descriptions of gloom. "A spectral shade flashed across the way, colliding into the crooked form of the poet...." Wow.

I have company until Sunday, so I am reading as time allows but can't wait to really dive in!

message 5: by Embe (new)

Embe Charpentier | 1 comments Hi E.J.,
I've read about ten pages in so far. Impressed.
As far as the "he" issue, I've never done it for an entire chapter or short story. I might have preferred a name, but it was so interestingly written that it didn't matter as much.
Is your chosen genre always dark fantasy?

message 6: by E.J. (last edited Mar 05, 2016 03:22PM) (new)

E.J. Taylor Hi Pamela,

Thanks for your comment, I really wanted the narrative to be as evocative as possible, to create immersive imagery, so I'm glad you've found it there.

Writing about that particular scene was enjoyable for me because of the nature of darkness. It was an interesting creative challenge to describe the subtleties of darkness and the visibility of interactions within such a setting without illuminating too much in the way of an omnipotent narrator. The aim was to put the reader there, on the ground, in the story.

I hope the rest of the book is as enjoyable for you and I look forward to hearing what you think about it all when you've finished!

message 7: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Taylor Hi Embe,

I hope you're as happy throughout the story!

My current prose is definitely firmly entrenched within dark fantasy for two reasons: Realism and Creativity (though I have dabbled in almost every other genre).

I personally find that traditional fantasy often glosses over or romanticises the lives of the ordinary folk, the non-heroes of the world. This may because of how dirty, how difficult it must be to live in a world infested with monsters and violence. What I wanted to do was confront this, to make this visible and to bring the entire world of fantasy to life. Though this is becoming more common with the increasing popularity of things like Game of Thrones.

The other aspect, creativity, is something that everyone can be drawn into. The opportunity and possibilities for creation are particularly enticing, more so in fantasy in which they are limitless through the creation of an entire world.

I could go on and on but I do also hope to take these two inspiring virtues into other genres. So thank you for such a great question!

I'll also come back to the 'He' issue shortly.

message 8: by Charlene (new)

Charlene Mattson | 4 comments I haven't started reading it yet (I was sick all week), but I'll be starting this weekend :D Looking forward to it!

message 9: by Colin (new)

Colin Duffy (ColinDuffy) | 7 comments I just read Genesis and I am both impressed and a bit confused (in a good way, don't worry!) The battle scenes are impressive, and the addition of supernatural monsters made me envision a sort of Lord of the Rings type of encounter. And what's more, the description of death is very graphic but realistic, especially in close quarters combat with medieval style weapons. This brought to mind many images of ancient/medieval warfare in our own world, which even without supernatural elements were just as brutal and cold.
Like other readers, I was a bit confused as to "he" was. I kind of envisioned this character almost as a god-like figure trying to live in the world of of mortals multiple times, but he always suffered and died horrible deaths because of the cruel nature of man. The final section almost seemed like a eulogy for this character from his fellow gods, who lament that mankind can never be truly enlightened, and those gods who would believe in humans and their potential are just on a fool's errand.

message 10: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Taylor Hi Charlene,

Welcome to the discussion, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts and I hope you enjoy the story!

message 11: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Taylor Hi Colin,

Thanks for reading and your positive comments, I'm really happy you related the imagery to something I find quite visceral (as a big fan of Tolkein myself, I'm very flattered by the comparison) and were able to find realism in the combat. As I've said, realism was important to me in this, and I'm very excited about your interpretation of the protagonist.

It's a fantastic interpretation and I'm really glad you found this in the narrative. It's reading this way which provides the depth and immersion which I was trying to create, and overcomes the limitations of the style of the story and the novella form.

For me, the use of the pronoun 'He' as the only reference to the protagonist was intended to create this opportunity for immersion and interpretation; to provide a story which could be interpreted in as many different ways as the reader likes. The idea being that the story is unique for each reader (that's not to say that I don't have a canon interpretation which I work with). So I am pleased you found this to your liking, Colin.

With that in mind, I'm interested in finding out what other people thought about this? - Does this inspire other interpretations? - Kate, does this help at all?

message 12: by Kate (new)

Kate Sebeny (katesebeny) | 16 comments Yes, thank you, Colin. I was suspecting this is what you were going for, and reading further also helps. Initially, without knowing how good a writer you are (aside from the evocative description, which everyone else also seems to appreciate), I wasn't sure how intentional this device was.

Once the reader figures it out, this isn't so confusing. In fact, going back over the introduction several times for clues about this usage revealed you were actually quite clever in how you worked it. I think any reader who really wants to work that hard at figuring out who the "he" is at the outset of the story is rewarded for her effort as the tale unfolds.

message 13: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Taylor Thanks for sticking with it, Kate. For me, I like to feel rewarded for working with the narrative when I read to provide a personal depth and connection to the story and hopefully, this works for those who are looking for the same in my writing.

I hope it works both ways though, and for those looking for simple entertainment, the issue doesn't detract too much from the immersion.

message 14: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Taylor Now that we've had a chance to discuss first impressions, one of the recurring comments I receive is that people often find the story a little short and want more from the world and narrative.

Has anyone else found this as well?

message 15: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Churchill | 13 comments Hello,
I just finished Genesis and I have to say that I found it a little difficult to understand and get through. I think for me this was because it was so wordy, and with hardly any dialogue. It was just continuous descriptive action and though the writing was very beautiful for me it was too much. I think I would have been able to get through it more if at least half of the sentences were simpler. Also in regards to 'he', I didn't really mind so much not knowing who the narrator was, but I found at times it was difficult to distinguish him from other characters since everyone was 'he' or 'she'

message 16: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Taylor Hi Andrea,

Thanks for reading. I know the narrative style is not for everyone and that's ok. In terms of the pronoun issue, I knew as I was writing that it would be challenging and that was one of the enjoyable elements of the process.

message 17: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Churchill | 13 comments I almost felt like it was too intellectual for me, like I was reading something for a college English class! And I think the experimental idea of making the hero a 'he' and leaving it up to the readers imagination was a good one. I sort of did something similar with the setting in my book.

message 18: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Hill | 3 comments I found a comparison while reading Insurgence to the 1804 Haiti Massacre. Slaves claimed freedom by killing their oppressors and burning their homes. I felt as if I, myself, could have been “He.” I didn’t feel that He was a slave, nor was He an oppressor, but maybe one who was sympathetic, and during the massacre, even the empaths were murdered. An amazing read, though one I, personally, have to take in slowly. I will be reading this book for awhile. It was a coincidence that I was researching Haiti at the time, and I was excited because when I read about the massacre, suddenly, Insurgence had a deeper meaning.

message 19: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Taylor Thanks, Pamela, I'm really pleased you were able to immerse yourself within the role of the protagonist, that was exactly why I used this narrative style, to bring the reader closer to the story.

Again, I want the reader to draw their own interpretations, so I'm glad that you have saw the parallels between the story and real world events, as realism was also an aim of the writing.

I understand that it may take a while, many others have said the same, but personally, this is a great compliment for me. I'm very flattered by those who stick with it. Thanks again for reading!

message 20: by Charlene (new)

Charlene Mattson | 4 comments I'm still reading it (I KNOW! I have a hard time reading on a computer lol).

I'm having the same problem as Andrea though; I'm finding it really hard to immerse myself in the world with the protagonist being a 'he' and the wordiness of it (though I've been accused of being too descriptive too, ha).

I'm going to finish though! Hopefully this weekend :)

message 21: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Taylor Thanks for staying with it, Charlene. I know it's not for everyone, so I really appreciate your patience. I'm looking forward to your final thoughts and hopefully there's something in there you'll find rewarding!

message 22: by E.J. (new)

E.J. Taylor Thanks again to everyone who took part in the discussion. This was a great opportunity for me to get some constructive feedback and I hope you all found it enjoyable and rewarding. If anyone would like to leave a review on the Goodreads page for Genesis (with both positive and negative comments), I would be even more grateful!

message 23: by Charlene (new)

Charlene Mattson | 4 comments I'll leave you a review, but I just couldn't finish it... Maybe if it were in hardcopy it would have been easier, but I just could not get into it! However, that's no critique of your style-it's just not a style that my brain could soak up, lol.

I hope to see more from you though!

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