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New Feedback

Well, I've been here before.  A lot of great suggestions have been given and I tried following them but my skill and knowledge weren't very good.  So, I headed over to the JW portion and began taking the online video courses. Thanks to HB's great narration and instruction, I now understand so much of what people have been trying to politely pound through my thick skull.  My narrative has been met with the same basic critique: voice and showing vs. telling.  I didn't have the voice and I did far too much telling.  So, I went back to the drawing board, opened a brand new document and started over fresh, using the suggestions coupled with my new found knowledge (thanks JW!!!).  But before I go overboard, I'd like to see if I'm on the right track.  So, feedback on the first section would be eminently appreciated.  Just a shave over 2,100 words so it shouldn't take long but I've tried to put Micah's voice fully into the story and show the world around him through his eyes rather than telling it through my own.

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Replies (9)
  • Hi Stephen - well done for working your way through the great Jericho video courses. I remember when the voice lightbulb first came on for me.

    The opening of a book is always tough to get right. Having read this before, it's more difficult to give feedback on, but I think the structure could still do with some work. At the moment, we see this dragon and assume that's going to be the scary driving force that launches him on this journey. But then Micah shrugs and just files it as another monster to be hunted, so the tension dissipates. Then we move through the world and see and learn some stuff, but I feel it lacks direction and pace.

    Because Micah mentions the hunting, I wonder if this might be a better scenario to start with. You can use all the skills you've learnt from the courses to build a tense and exciting scene. Then maybe the more detailed backstory can be fed in during then next chapter/section.

    I think you've got a great idea and world here. I'm just not convinced you're starting it in the right way.

    I attach a copy of your file with thoughts that occurred as I read. Hope some of them are helpful.

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    • I pulled the whole section about dismissing the dragon.  You're right, it sucked.  As for the scare, I'll figure out how to describe it better but it's the scare from the sonic boom (see below for explanation).  It's just hard for Micah to describe a sonic boom.

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      • I did wonder if it was from the boom but starting a new paragraph threw me. Maybe run the jump and racing heart into one sentence so it’s clear where the reaction comes from.

        Just remember to keep squeezing the tension as the chapter progresses.

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      • Well, something needs to be said of the 'dragon' here to put things into perspective.  The dragon is an essential plot device to get Micah and Timin to the ruins.  But it is not a dragon at all.  It is a jet with a blown fuel regulator, on fire, and crashing into the ruins.  The reason that it's a 'dragon' is because Micah is a 'backwoods primitive' (as Inoch will call him an inordinate number of times in the coming chapters) and has no idea what a jet is.  He can only think of things in a natural (or unnatural, in the case of touched mutations) sense.  However, the pilot of the craft, who Micah and Timin will meet in chapter 4, will give Micah a key item that will carry over into the story much, much later (Book 3).  I know it seems willy-nilly, but this section is of prime importance to get Micah out of the village, into the ruins, and get him on the path to discovering technology, which will ultimately help him clear several character arcs.  However, the ruins are two days hard travel away.  Simply teleporting the story there erases so much world building and character building for three main characters that it is simply isn't feasible.  Hope that helps a little.

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        • Hi Stephen. This isn't my usual choice of genre, but the more I read these extracts, the more intrigued I am.

          Here's a document with comments. I hope it helps.

          Thanks for sharing.

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          • Hello Stephen.  I'm new here so I've been picking things at random to read just to explore the site.  I read your Micah thing.  Is this the opening of a book?  You're right about it seeming "willy nilly".  It's very confusing, something's wrong somewhere.  There doesn't seem to be a sense of time.  The dragon (yes I know, jet figher) flies over then Micah's hunting but he doesn't seem particularly concerned by the dragon.  Maybe he should express a fascination for it, to make it a bigger event perhaps?  

            What's the cloud.jt link from?  Where are you people storing your files?  It downloads fine of course but where does it come from?  I hope you don't mind me asking but is that the way of things here, storing files off the site and using links to downloads?

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            • Documents are added in your profile.  Go to your profile page, click on the "Files" tab, and click on the "+File" button.  This will allow you to add a file to your profile and/or groups.  If you store it in your profile, you can provide links to it in any post without having to add it each time, though most people simply add the file when they start a new thread.  To do that, go to the forums, choose the Peer to Peer Critiques (or another group but this one is usually for sharing files) and then select "Add" at the top.  When you scroll down, you can then upload your file directly into the forum post at the opening.

              As for the story, this version is the second to last.  The final version hasn't been posted here.  I kind of forgot.  Your observations are the standard fare.  Everyone gets bogged down with the standard definition of 'dragon.'  Since I can't get around that, I removed it completely.  Sometimes there's just no way to make something happen.  As for the confusion, remember, this is a small section in a story that will only come to full fruition over a five-book span.  There will be some confusion.  All I can say is that it will all work out in the end... I hope.

              As for the completed version, it follows.  It probably won't ease any confusion but it should read a lot better.

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              • Hello Stephen,  I found the +file button thanks.  I've discovered uploading into messenger too since I asked you.  I'll have a look at your completed version when I get time.  "It'll all be OK in the end.  If it's not OK, It's not the end."  John Lennon.

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                • I forgot to mention you can do it replies with the paper clip button down below the text.  Welcome aboard and good writing.

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