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#1 lionspaws

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:17 PM

Prologue

 

She stood on the deck, shivering in the wind, and stared at the bleak, unpromising outline of wood and brick buildings clustered along the wharves, blurred by fog.

Boston.

Sea spray misted her cloak and stung her eyes.

Cold. It was all she felt, inside and out, as if the raw damp had seeped through her wool petticoats and into her heart.

What if?

She could slip away on the docks. She could buy her own passage back to England. Father would not miss her; he had hardly noticed her over the past weeks. But her brothers would. Once, she had yearned for a purpose in life. Well, it seemed the only one given her--for now--was to keep her family intact and alive. She could not protect them forever, but she could try.

They needed her, and the knowledge lodged inside her like the massive anchor that kept them from drifting across the wide sea. She hated the ship, and yet, they were the same, she and it: destined to sail at the direction and command of others, never their own captain.

For now. One day, she would change that.


 

Chapter 1

 

Ten weeks earlier: January 29th, 1721, London, England

 

On the day she turned four, Wendy Moira Angela Edavene overheard her Father complain that she had better grow up quickly, as girls were a good deal of expense for very little profit.

Time changed for her, then. Life had already been a cobbled road, full of stones that would trip and bruise a little girl, but there had always been birds singing and a sun peeking out from behind the clouds.


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#2 TheJaded

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:52 PM

HI. :)

 

 

Prologue

 

She stood on the deck, shivering in the wind, and stared at the bleak, unpromising outline of wood and brick buildings clustered along the wharves, blurred by fog.  The only thing I have to say about this area is that you can cut a few of the commas. I am a master of too many commas, and in my manuscripts I always have to go back and erase them here and there. 

Boston.

Sea spray misted her cloak and stung her eyes.

Cold. It was all she felt, inside and out, as if the raw damp had seeped through her wool petticoats and into her heart.

What if?

She could slip away on the docks. She could buy her own passage back to England. Father would not miss her; he had hardly noticed her over the past weeks. But her brothers would. Once, she had yearned for a purpose in life. Well, it seemed the only one given her--for now--was to keep her family intact and alive. She could not protect them forever, but she could try. 

They needed her, and the knowledge lodged inside her like the massive anchor that kept them from drifting across the wide sea. She hated the ship, and yet, they were the same, she and it: destined to sail at the direction and command of others, never their own captain.

For now. One day, she would change that.


 

Chapter 1

 

Ten weeks earlier: January 29th, 1721, London, England

 

On the day she turned four, Wendy Moira Angela Edavene overheard her Father complain that she had better grow up quickly, as girls were a good deal of expense for very little profit. Poor Girl! 

Time changed for her, then. Life had already been a cobbled road, full of stones that would trip and bruise a little girl, but there had always been birds singing and a sun peeking out from behind the clouds.

 

 

Well, I think it looks good. I have a pet peeve about too many paragraphs that consist of one sentence, but that might just be me. :) Overall I like it. I like the sense you get of the seaspray and such. And I already feel for Wendy. Good luck with your story! 

 

And if you have a chance, take a look at my two 250 word entries. Only a Legend, and Nightmare Fever.  Thanks! :)



#3 Sreid

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:28 AM

Hi secondstar,

 

Might I ask you to post the first 250 words of chapter 1 without the prologue? You won't hook me with a prologue, since I'd prefer starting where your actual story starts, and the prologue is by definition before the beginning of the story, though in your case you do this weird flash-forward thing with it. Feels to me like you're trying to slip it in as a hook for your book in the form of a short prologue instead of in chapter 1, since you probably know how people would react to reading it in the first chapter. Personally, I'd rather read the story without the flash-forward. You come across as at least a competent, if not talented, writer. I'm sure the beginning of chapter 1 will stand well on its own.



#4 lionspaws

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:38 PM

Hi Sreid--I'm going to leave it as is. I think it's not that weird (or unusual) to flash forward with a prologue. I'd cut the prologue if an agent or publisher wanted me to, but my intention wasn't to write a prologue because I thought people would negatively react to it in a chapter. 

 

Hi secondstar,

 

Might I ask you to post the first 250 words of chapter 1 without the prologue? You won't hook me with a prologue, since I'd prefer starting where your actual story starts, and the prologue is by definition before the beginning of the story, though in your case you do this weird flash-forward thing with it. Feels to me like you're trying to slip it in as a hook for your book in the form of a short prologue instead of in chapter 1, since you probably know how people would react to reading it in the first chapter. Personally, I'd rather read the story without the flash-forward. You come across as at least a competent, if not talented, writer. I'm sure the beginning of chapter 1 will stand well on its own.


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#5 Sreid

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:35 AM

I can respect that.

 

I tend to skip forwards, and prologues, and everything before chapter 1, and as I understand it, I'm far from alone in this reading habit. So, you can write whatever you want in your prologue, in whichever way you choose, and it won't affect readers like me one way or the other. My interest for a fiction novel will live or die with:

 

1. the author's name, the title, artwork, back cover blurb, and more importantly

2. the first paragraphs of chapter 1.

 

You don't have to post any more of chapter 1 if you don't want to. I would probably read on, based on the little you've presented of chapter 1 here (as well as what I've read in your query etc.), though I'm a bit unsure.



#6 bkarperien

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 11:26 AM

 

Prologue

 

She Wendy (Being more specific makes me connect sooner. Otherwise, I feel kind of like I'm floating through the prologue without any idea of who we're talking about. With a name, I have someone to connect to) stood shivering on the deck, shivering in the wind, and stared  staring at the bleak, fog-blurred outline of buildings(what kind of buildings? Shanties? Towers? Mansions? Shops?) clustered along the wharves. (Nice opening image, however, I found it a tad longer than it had to be. Also, if they're blurred by fog, how can she tell they're wood and brick?)

Boston.

Sea spray misted her cloak and stung her eyes. Cold was all she felt, inside and out, as if the raw damp had seeped through her wool petticoats and into her heart.

What if?

She could slip away on the docks. She could buy her own passage back to England. Father would not miss her; he had hardly noticed her over the past weeks. But her brothers would.

Once, she had yearned for a purpose in life. Well, it seemed the only one given her--for now--was to keep her family intact and alive. She could not protect them forever, but she could try.

They needed her, and the knowledge lodged inside her like the massive (I didn't love this word choice. Heavy? Iron? Massive just didn't seem right to me) anchor that kept them from drifting across the wide sea. She hated the ship, and yet, they were the same, she and it: destined to sail at the direction and command of others, never their own captain. (Nice! I'm so hooked. I love your writing already.)

For now. One day, she would change that.

 

Chapter 1

 

Ten weeks earlier: January 29th, 1721. London, England

 

On the day she turned four, Wendy Moira Angela Edavene overheard her Father complain that she had better grow up quickly, as girls were a good deal of expense for very little profit.

Time changed for her, then (Not sure what you mean by this, maybe it's explained right away, but maybe you mean "Times changed for her"?)

. Life had already been a cobbled road, full of stones that would trip and bruise a little girl, but there had always been birds singing and a sun peeking out from behind the clouds.

 

Beautiful writing! This novel looks as good as your query promises. 


Check out my query :)

Or, if you're really awesome, check out my synopsis.

 


#7 lionspaws

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:59 PM

Gotcha, that makes sense. Here it is: 

 

January 29th, 1721, London, England

 

On the day she turned four, Wendy Moira Angela Edavene overheard her Father complain that she had better grow up quickly, as girls were a good deal of expense for very little profit.

Time changed for her, then. Life had already been a cobbled road, full of stones that would trip and bruise a little girl, but there had always been birds singing and a sun peeking out from behind the clouds.

Father’s pronouncement was the harsh north wind that shrouded the sun with black rainclouds. Time became an endless expanse of chill sea and cold sky, an endless march of seconds and minutes, hours and days, weeks and months and years between now and then, between when she was a “great expense” and when she would be “a little profit.”

But finally, twelve years later, Wendy’s life took a sudden turn off the cobbled road and onto a narrow byway. The winds of change sailed in with a letter, a tablecloth, and cherry preserves.

This particular tablecloth was a butter-yellow Irish damask with raised designs that swirled and shimmered. The lace trim alone had cost a pretty penny for being a mere breakfast cloth, Father had said. But then, he reasoned, you never knew who might call early in the morning, and one must always be prepared to impress the neighbors.  

Wendy didn't care ha’pence about impressing the neighbors.

 

I can respect that.

 

I tend to skip forwards, and prologues, and everything before chapter 1, and as I understand it, I'm far from alone in this reading habit. So, you can write whatever you want in your prologue, in whichever way you choose, and it won't affect readers like me one way or the other. My interest for a fiction novel will live or die with:

 

1. the author's name, the title, artwork, back cover blurb, and more importantly

2. the first paragraphs of chapter 1.

 

You don't have to post any more of chapter 1 if you don't want to. I would probably read on, based on the little you've presented of chapter 1 here (as well as what I've read in your query etc.), though I'm a bit unsure.


http://agentquerycon...sail-the-stars/

http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/

 

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." - G.K. Chesterton 


#8 Sreid

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 08:38 AM

Thank you secondstar, and as promised, here are my humble opinions, for what they're worth.

 

Gotcha, that makes sense. Here it is: 

 

January 29th, 1721, London, England

 

On the day she turned four, Wendy Moira Angela Edavene overheard her Father complain that she had better grow up quickly, as girls were a good deal of expense for very little profit. I think this is a good, solid hook. It makes me want to read on, in any case.

Time changed for her, then. I like your voice and style, but I don't quite get how time changed for her. Her life, yes, but time? It passes with the same speed for all of us, neither slower nor faster. Besides, I think it flows better without this sentence. Life had already been a cobbled road, My experience of walking on cobbled roads is that they are relatively smooth underfoot, with nothing much sticking up to trip me. Might I suggest you change this to a rough track full of stones that would trip and bruise a little girl, but there had always been birds singing and a sun peeking out from behind the clouds. This sentence has a passive quality to it, where the subject is "life" and the verb "had been". While I am not the sort to say there is no value in passive voice, I would suggest avoiding it this early on in your story.

Father’s pronouncement was howled like the harsh north wind that shrouded the sun with black rainclouds. Time You have only mentioned Wendy's name once so far, and it might be good to repeat it before we forget who this story is about. :wink:  Wendy's life became an endless expanse of chilled sea(s) and cold skyies, an endless You just said endless. How about unending march of seconds and minutes, hours and days, weeks and months and years between now and then, between when she was a “great expense” and when she would be “a little profit.” Briliant. I love this connection to your first line!

But finally, twelve years later, Wendy’s life took a sudden turn off the cobbled road rough track and onto a narrow cobbled byway. The winds of change sailed in with a letter, a tablecloth, and cherry preserves. Love it.

This particular tablecloth was a butter-yellow Irish damask with raised designs that swirled and shimmered. The lace trim alone had cost a pretty penny for being a mere breakfast cloth, Father had said. But then, he reasoned, you never knew who might call early in the morning, and one must always be prepared to impress the neighbors.  

Wendy didn't care ha’pence I'm unfamiliar with this phrase, but shouldn't it be preceded by an "a"? about impressing the neighbors.

I found your writing enjoyable to read, and I hope some of my comments were useful. Take what suits you and disregard the rest. I'd love it if you'd take a look at this. Hook at the beginning of chapter 1.



#9 jaustail

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 08:42 AM

JMO:

 

January 29th, 1721, London, England

 

On the day she turned four, Wendy Moira Angela Edavene overheard her Father(maybe 'father' use 'Father' if you're not using 'her father') complain that she had better grow up quickly, as girls were a good deal of expense for very little profit. (if she overheard it, who is father complaining to?)

Time changed for her, then. Life had already been a cobbled road(good phrase), full of stones that would trip and bruise a little girl, but there had always been birds singing and a sun peeking out from behind the clouds.

Father’s pronouncement was the harsh north wind that shrouded the sun with black rainclouds. Time became an endless expanse of chill sea and cold sky, an endless march of seconds and minutes, hours and days, weeks and months and years between now and then, between when she was a “great expense”(I suggest using single quotes here to separate from double quotes used for dialogue) and when she would be “a little profit.”

But finally, twelve years later, Wendy’s life took a sudden turn off the cobbled road(I suggest don't use the same phrase so quickly. maybe put some more gap before you again use 'cobbled roads') and onto a narrow byway. The winds of change sailed in with a letter, a tablecloth, and cherry preserves.

This particular tablecloth was a butter-yellow Irish damask with raised designs that swirled and shimmered. The lace trim alone had cost a pretty penny for being a mere breakfast cloth, Father had said. But then, he reasoned, you never knew who might call early in the morning, and one must always be prepared to impress the neighbors.  

Wendy didn't care ha’pence about impressing the neighbors.

 

 

The writing is very flowery. Almost delicate. In a good way. Like some piece of art you don't want to spoil. This is just the first 250 words so can't comment on story. Maybe there'd be some story coming. Right now it was a bit tiring as well since I was looking for more than just dad wanting more from girl. I didn't get much visuals. Just good writing.

 

JMO.






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