Comment to 'Historical Fiction Early Chapter - Introducing Characters & Setting (Roman) '
  • Hi Lucy,

    I've just read your piece and I can see you have the ability to write well, but you need to tweak and sharpen your writing. I think you try too hard and end up over writing & over explaining. I suggest you try to write a simple, snappy dialogue between the roman soldiers, illustrating the way they speak, and who they are, but without explanations or tags, conveying all the information of who they are and where, in just what they say.

    In my opinion, you also need an attention grabbing element or topic right at the start. I suggest showing Quintus looking for Marcus, frustrated by not finding him, and getting distracted by the men around the fire and their jokes, ending up drinking with them and getting himself in trouble with his superior, or something similar. As it is, the start scene does not grab our attention, does not have a focus, we don't understand what the big deal is. It needs tightening, both the idea and the writing.

    You need to make the reader ask questions and be curious, like:

    Who is this man? Why is he looking for X? Why is he so frustrated? Who are the men around the fire? What are they talking about? What's the big deal of their conversation? etc.

    Don't answer any of these questions yourself in the writing, just show gradually, in the context of the story and plot what's happening and why.

    I must say I've only read the first two pages, and I've attached a simple review of them, just to ilustrate my thoughts. Apologies for this rushed feedback, but I've got more than a dozen others waiting... Hope this is helpful and looking forward to reading more of your writing soon. Please don't feel daunted. You can write well and you'll soon get to grips with it.

    Note: Click on the line bubbles to read my comments.

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    • Thank you Donna, your comments have really helped me to see how I can tighten up the writing. Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll play around with some ideas which will hopefully sharpen it up! I appreciate you spending your time on this. 

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