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Request feedback please, on first three chapters of Before The Soil Turns Red.

For seven years she had fed and clothed a child she despised. With war looming, could she lure his father to America to reclaim his son?

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Replies (6)
    • Hello, Richard.

      I enjoyed reading the opening chapters of your historical crime story. There is definitely an atmosphere of another era in an American town. The dialogue shows that well, I think. Also, the relationship between Gretchen and Eugene is disquieting enough that I'm desperate to find out more about their history.

      As much as I found chapters 2 and 3 to flow well, the writing in chapter 1 sounded somehow less assured. In particular, the scene where Gretchen encounters the cop at her car. I wonder if tightening that scene might be all that's needed ?

      I hope you won't think me presumptuous if I took the liberty of applying virtual scissors to that scene to illustrate what I'm trying to say by "tightening" it. Having the scene play out in less words, I guess I mean. Where I changed a sentence, I inked it in red. Only a suggestion, that goes without saying !


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      • Thanks Paul, Opening scenes, difficult at best especially in thrillers. The need to balance settings, against beginning the action can be mind numbing. I must have rewrote the first page a dozen times, and I'm still not entirely happy with it. I've taken on board your suggestions and it makes it flow better. The book is finished, and if you're interested I'll send you the complete MS. But I don't want to burden you if you're busy. Thanks again for your time.


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        • Finished... wonderful ! Congratulations ! It would be an honour to read your MS.

          Beginnings are murder, yes. In my own I battled with the question : to prologue or not to prologue (in the end, I followed instinct and put it in). The current first chapter must have less than half the content of the original one, but I got over it, LOL.

          So what's next now that it's finished ?

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          • Hi Paul, sorry about the delay, been busy for the past couple of days, trying to find petrol.(or gas if you live in the states.) Anyway this is the second book in a trilogy. First one dealt with the assassination of Hitler and its aftermath. Shelved it for now, needs a lot of work. There will be a sequel to this one, starting soon. Enough about me. Tell me what you're working on would love to read any WIP or anything you've finished. After I've sent this, can we talk on messenger? Regards Richard. 

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            • Hi Paul. Doing something wrong on this messenger thing. Tried to reply to you, but it dumped me out. Could you load first three chaps + synopsis again and I'll have another go. Richard 

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              • Hey Richard!

                Love the title of your story. I read your chapters and I think you have the beginnings of a good, atmospheric thriller. I'm curious how you're going to unify the three strands introduced so far, although the third chapter does shed light on it. I'm keen to see where you take the story!

                One thing did nag at me as I read, which is the need for a thorough punctuation check and polish.

                I'm attaching a file with some thoughts about the content. I hope I'm not too forward in my feedback.

                You mention above that you're done with the MS. Are you likely to return to it for another editing pass?

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