Future Survivors, the Apocalypse Group discussion

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Advertise Yourself > Opinions Wanted On My Apocalyptic/Survival/Thriller

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message 1: by Lincoln (new)

Lincoln Knight | 4 comments Hi,

My name is Lincoln Knight and I'm a new author finishing off my first piece. It is a novel called Second Event. It follows Tom Cosgrove and his family as a solar flare cripples the country and the population fight for survival.

I'm planning on releasing it for free on 1st May and If it pans out it'll be the first in a trilogy.

I'm basically being very cheeky and asking if it would be possible for some of you lovely people to give the 60 page preview on the website a once over and tell me what you think (no matter how bad or brutal). You can download it in pdf mobi or epub.

I basically just need to know whether or not I can write, you know? Friends and family have given me nothing but positives and frankly, I don't believe they're being completely honest :)

http://www.second-event.com

I appreciate any feedback whatsoever.

Thanks,

Linc


message 2: by Edward (new)

Edward Tessier | 1 comments I admire anybody who takes the time and they risk of putting something of theirs on paper and sharing it. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the preview. The narrative was disjointed, briefly touching on things that felt like they needed more attention and with a pace that really jumped around. The dialogue had the same problem feeling clipped and disconnected between speakers. The basic storyline seems promising but I would suggest a rewrite and an editor (or group editing). Best wishes


message 3: by Lincoln (new)

Lincoln Knight | 4 comments Thanks for your feedback, it is much appreciated. It will be given a professional edit before the full release so I do hope you take the time to revisit it.


message 4: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 35 comments I'm afraid I agree with Edward. I admire you for posting it, but I think it needs a bit of work. Very quick comments - I hope this doesn't come across as too brutal, but you asked for honesty.

There are a few problems with grammar and punctuation. The wrong use of "it's", sentences joined with a comma, a few rogue capitals. Your professional edit ought to pick those up.

There is quite a bit of dialogue here, but it's pretty dull "Good morning", "Good morning" sort of dialogue.

The dialogue attributions are a little clunky. You have quite a few "saidisms" - that is when an author tries so hard not to repeat the word "said" that they have their characters shouting, whispering, grunting, anything. The modern fashion is to use "said" because it is invisible. You can use some action "beats" instead, but be careful not to overdo them or your characters turn into mime artists.

Some editors and publishers dislike starting with dialogue. It's not an instant no-no, but it's generally best to avoid it.

You've also got quite a lot of "telling" and info-dumping. That's when the narrator explains something to the reader that the reader would rather see for himself. The usual advice is "show don't tell".

There is a lot of detail about what Tom does. He does this, then he does that, then he does that. Frankly we don't need to know most of this. You can just skip to the interesting bits.

His car crash - the first exciting thing that happens - is over in a flash. After a couple of pages of lots of mundane detail we find ourselves in a ditch in the space of one sentence.

The pace picks up after the car crash, but we still have lots of details that we don't need.

Let's look on the positive side. You've written a book. That's something that many people dream about but never get around to doing. From what I've seen you've got a strong story. Your writing style is generally clear and readable.

But you are doing some of the things that new writers usually do - things like saidisms, dull dialogue, describing too much, info dumping, telling and not showing.

Now you are at a crossroads. You can ignore everything that I've said. You might decide that you know best and publish it as it stands. Or you could decide that you "can't write" and give up.

But I'd like to suggest a middle way. I don't believe that people either can or can't write. Writing is a skill. And like any skill it can be learned. We may never be able to learn our way to being the next Shakespeare but we can certainly knock out the newbie mistakes.

There is a website that might help. Absolutewrite.com is where a lot of professional writers hang out. It can be a bit harsh at times, but it's the best place I know to learn how to write. When you have 50 posts under your belt you can post a piece in a section called "Share your work" and get some feedback for free.

Happy to go into more detail if that would help. Or PM me if you'd rather do it offline.


message 5: by Lincoln (new)

Lincoln Knight | 4 comments Thank you for your constructive honesty there Will. I've been wrestling with some of those aspects myself and it is precisely why I wanted some opinions. I should stress that this book is still in its early stages and will be cleaned up before even going to an editor. Also, if anyone has downloaded the preview a few days ago but not yet read it, please get an up to date copy as changes have been made that as far as I was aware I made weeks ago, but for some reason I hadn't compiled.

I'm happy for a public critique, it may even encourage others to participate, which is always good. I have a thick skin, so please feel free (everyone) to say it as you see it.

Thanks again


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