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Old 01-17-2012, 08:33 PM
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Default So I've been writing a story.

The first chapter is available here: http://authspot.com/novels/apes-in-the-aether-chapter-i

Tell me what you think. Critique and constructive criticism welcomed.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:36 PM
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I don't really like the site layout (which is out of my hands). It makes me worry about people overlooking the "Next page" link.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:59 AM
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Default

I read the first page and a half and have several comments.

Your grammar and spelling are pretty good.

You tell your story too much. Show, don't tell.

I didn't begin to encounter the hook until the end of the first page, and even then, the hook was not really set by the middle of page two. The hook should be set by the end of the first paragraph.

Tell:
Quote:
Jeremiah would walk this path to go fishing on lazy summer days. In fact, fishing was one of the few joys he had in his life, and had done so routinely.
vs. Show:
Quote:
Jeremiah sauntered down the dusty path to his regular fishing hole, arms and legs swinging free. He felt the tension drain away as the Summer sun baked him.
When "showing", keep it close to the body: show what the user feels, sees, hears, that knot in the pit of his stomach, the glare hurting his eyes, the stench that nearly makes him wretch.

Try to keep the prose relatively terse - "filler" makes the story go slower and the reader less interested.

Regarding the hook: you really have to sell the book in the first paragraph, both to your publisher/editor and to your later readers. Your book is one among thousands vying for attention - if you don't set the hook in the first paragraph, chances are the reader will put it back down and look at the next book.

What would you rather read about, a raft drifting down a river, or shooting over the rapids? If need be, you can start with action, then fill in background later with flashbacks or through remembrances of characters. You don't want to start out slow.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:19 PM
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I am with wh44. When you are not describing scenery, write 99% of the time about your characters actions and feelings. The third person is a stylistic choice, but it does not mean we should experience the story as an omnipotent viewer. It is not like the opening narrative at the beginning of It's A Wonderful Life. Your writing is very good, but it reads more like a feature in a magazine, rather than a novel.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:08 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, guys. Definately things I will keep in mind.
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