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Sep 27, 2008

animaldog posted:

Tell me what you think of this opening scene.

My first impression of this is one of unpolish. There's many grammatical/spelling errors (plenty of which Google has underlined so I'm not sure why you didn't fix them.) The characters names (as well as some in-universe terms) are sometimes capitalized and sometimes not which is particularly confusing due to their names.

I highly suggest reading this out loud and going through sentence by sentence. It's just too rough to give feedback right now. There's parts during the action I am completely lost.


Sep 27, 2008

animaldog posted:

I know that I tend to create a muddled mess when I go for style I'm just too tangled up in it to see where I went wrong. Could you give an example of where you were lost and break it down? I've gone over it so many times I cant read it for what it is. I need someone else's eyes.

Leng is giving you good advice. I'll take another look after you edit.

I never would have guessed this is from Guard's POV. Seems like it's supposed to be the Prince's from the start, which greatly adds to the confusion later.

Sep 27, 2008

FightingMongoose posted:

So hopefully this link works, I'm not very familiar with google drive

That's the first part of my novel. Comments and criticisms all welcome and don't feel you have to read the whole lot in order to comment.

It's an urban fantasy about a secretive British agency called Unit 13 tasked with protecting the country against paranormal threats. Only because it's a British agency it's woefully underfunded. The main character is meant to have a cosy desk job but gets drafted in to cover the London branch's ghost hunter when she goes on maternity leave. It's meant to be a do nothing job, after all ghosts only haunt tumbledown castles and manor houses, there are never any actual hauntings in a big city like London....

My impression of this is that there is a tremendous amount of detail that is not very important. It feels like they're in the car forever before they arrive at the 'rave'. Nearly all the details about Chris don't matter when he's about to be shivved. I started skimming until they arrived. The story picks up from there, but the detail overload continues. For example:


He turned and scanned the foyer for the seats that the receptionist had told him to go to. There were no obvious chairs or benches that he could see. There were some dark grey stone cubes that were roughly the size and dimensions of a stool and Tom wandered over to them. They could be intended as stools, he reasoned, but equally they could be corporate art of some kind or even security barriers to prevent someone driving a car through the windows behind them.

Too risky to sit on them, Tom decided, and he opted to stand beside them instead.

That is 100 words and more than 1 paragraph to describe a relatively unimportant bit of scene setting. Here's me trying to reduce it by 2/3rds while using almost entirely your words: "In the foyer, there were grey stone cubes that resembled stools, but could equally well be some kind of corporate art. Too risky to sit on them, Tom decided, and opted to stand instead."

Alternatively, if you want to write detailed description, I think the details need to be more interesting. You'd have to describe the stools in an interesting or funny way.

Lastly, when you write about London, you almost have to characterize the city itself. Or at least acknowledge most of your audience has some idea of the city. I don't read urban fantasy but would expect it to be extra important there. I wondered which tube station Tom was at and was unhappy I couldn't place him anywhere. Felt like it could be any crowded city with mass transit.

I stopped reading/scanning after the interview because I felt I had read enough to give feedback.

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