Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo

Degeneration (YA sci-fantasy)


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 1cezman

1cezman

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUnited Kingdom

Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:46 AM

Just finished the second draft of my first novel and in desperate need of fresh pair of eyes so I can get on with the next draft. Would love any kind of feedback. Narrative voice, grammar... anything. And will gladly return the favor.

 

 

 

He'd been terrified when he accepted the offer.

He’d been terrified because they'd already taken his sister.

And he’d been terrified because there were a thousand subreddits about the island and ninety percent of them were steeped in terrifying conspiracy theories.

It sounded too good to be true. No one gave that much away without wanting something in return and Derrick had nothing. So, he’d been convinced it was all a lie, designed to lure people like him and his sister into some new hell.

Now, seeing it with his own eyes, Derrick wasn't so sure what to think anymore.

"Sir, is something the matter?" His PA drew him from his awe-struck stares out the window of the plush airport lounge.

Sir?

Derrick felt like laughing. Only what seemed like hours ago he'd been cleaning toilets—there weren't a lot of options in the current job climate for a seventeen-year-old with no previous experience—for laughable pay to feed his sister. Now he was riding in private jets and had his own personal assistant?

It was ridiculous. Granted, the man wasn't exactly human but that just added to the insanity of it all.

What’s the catch? Derrick studied him up and down then turned to the plush lounge again, the question running through his head on a perpetual loop.

The PA looked very human, looked oddly like Derrick himself. They had the same tanned complexion, had similar green eyes and the same defined cheekbones— although Derrick’s were that of a gaunt, poverty-stricken teenager while the man looked like a healthy middle-age model in an expensive tuxedo.


Would really appreciate a little feedback on my first 250 words: http://agentquerycon...ya-sci-fantasy/


#2 Casanuana

Casanuana

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 10 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationCanada

Posted 06 March 2018 - 01:32 PM

I'm not overly sure whether this is a pitch of some kind or part of the novel. I'm leaning towards part of the novel, so if I'm wrong please let me know and disregard much of what I say.

 

You say the word terrified a lot at the beginning. While this can be done for emphasis it also makes reading a little awkward. The first three sentences could be condensed into one. If you are doing it for emphasis try using slightly varying words and synonyms to terrified. Are we supposed to not really know what is happening? I know it is only 250 words but I'm kind of confused. Are non humans common? Alos I wouldn't put PA first, I would put the full definition (private assistant) first, then if I felt the need to use the short form for character reasons it would be established what he meant. You cannot assume that the reader knows everything you do. Format wise, you could have written more in paragraphs. Starting a new one almost every line is a bit...weird to read. 

 

While all that sounds very negative I really do like the concept behind the 250 words and I am curious as to what is going on. Why is it happening to Derrick? What is happening to him? What island is this? Why are there non humans? It raises questions that I want answered which compels the reader to read (at least in my case).


I am far from an expert but I am willing to give my opinion and share what I have learned.

 

my First 250: http://agentquerycon...sy-current-wip/

 

my Query: http://agentquerycon...antasy-revised/


#3 DisgruntledWriter

DisgruntledWriter

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 277 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 06 March 2018 - 01:57 PM

 

Just finished the second draft of my first novel and in desperate need of fresh pair of eyes so I can get on with the next draft. Would love any kind of feedback. Narrative voice, grammar... anything. And will gladly return the favor.

 

 

 

He'd been terrified when he accepted the offer.

He’d been terrified because they'd already taken his sister.

And he’d been terrified because there were a thousand subreddits about the island and ninety percent of them were steeped in terrifying I think you need a different word here.  I like the three terrifieds earlier, since the sentences are all supposed to be the same, but this one should be different. conspiracy theories.

It sounded too good to be true. No one gave that much away without wanting something in return and Derrick had nothing. So, he’d been convinced it was all a lie, designed to lure people like him and his sister into some new hell. This sentence is too vague.  I understand there is supposed to be an air of mystery, but there's a litle TOO much mystery and not enough substance.

Now, seeing it with his own eyes, Derrick wasn't so sure what to think anymore.

"Sir, is something the matter?" His PA what is a PA? drew him from his awe-struck stares out the window of the plush airport lounge.

Sir?

Derrick felt like laughing. Only what seemed like hours ago he'd been cleaning toilets—there weren't a lot of options in the current job climate for a seventeen-year-old with no previous experience—for laughable pay to feed his sister. Now he was riding in private jets and had his own personal assistant?

It was ridiculous. Granted, the man wasn't exactly human but that just added to the insanity of it all. Okay - so I'm guessing a PA stands for "personal assistant", although I think we need to know more.  It's not exactly common place right now to have a robot personal assistant if you know what I mean.

What’s the catch? Derrick studied him up and down then turned to the plush lounge again, the question running through his head on a perpetual loop.

The PA looked very human, looked oddly like Derrick himself. They had the same tanned complexion, had similar green eyes and the same defined cheekbones— although Derrick’s were that of a gaunt, poverty-stricken teenager while the man looked like a healthy middle-age model in an expensive tuxedo. I like the description here, and the little sprinkling of getting to know who Derek is better.

 

 

I'm going to reiterate what I said earlier... a little too much mystery, not enough substance for someone who hasn't read this story or know what's going on.  It's easy when you've been writing a story for a long time that everything becomes second-nature... you have to take a step back and remember we have no idea what's happening.

That being said, I did enjoy this.  I'm intrigued and I want to know more.  I think this just needs a bit of reshuffling.



#4 Emily804

Emily804

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 94 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 06 March 2018 - 03:43 PM

 

Just finished the second draft of my first novel and in desperate need of fresh pair of eyes so I can get on with the next draft. Would love any kind of feedback. Narrative voice, grammar... anything. And will gladly return the favor.

 

 

 

He'd been terrified when he accepted the offer. (To do what?)

He’d been terrified because they'd already taken his sister.

And he’d been terrified because there were a thousand subreddits about the island and ninety percent of them were steeped in terrifying conspiracy theories.

It sounded too good to be true. No one gave that much away without wanting something in return and Derrick had nothing. So, he’d been convinced it was all a lie, designed to lure people like him and his sister into some new hell.

Now, seeing it with his own eyes, (Seeing what? Consider describing what he is seeing now. You could even open the story with a description of what Derrick is looking at.) Derrick wasn't so sure what to think anymore.

"Sir, is something the matter?" His PA drew him from his awe-struck stares out the window of the plush airport lounge.

Sir?

Derrick felt like laughing. Only what seemed like hours ago he'd been cleaning toilets—there weren't a lot of options in the current job climate for a seventeen-year-old with no previous experience—for laughable pay to feed his sister. Now he was riding in private jets and had his own personal assistant?

It was ridiculous. Granted, the man wasn't exactly human but that just added to the insanity of it all.

What’s the catch? Derrick studied him up and down then turned to the plush lounge again, the question running through his head on a perpetual loop.

The PA looked very human, looked oddly like Derrick himself. They had the same tanned complexion, had similar green eyes and the same defined cheekbones— although Derrick’s were that of a gaunt, poverty-stricken teenager while the man looked like a healthy middle-age model in an expensive tuxedo.

 

If this is the opening of your novel, you might want to add a bit more description to give the reader a sense of where they are. You want to try to add it in relation to what the character is feeling. For example, if the character is anxious, you could have him gripping the railing with sweaty palms, or holding a Starbucks cup and almost dropping it. As it stands, if this is an opening, it seems to suffer from just a little bit of "white room syndrome". I reread it and realized you did mention that they are in an airport lounge, but I still feel like you could do just a bit more to ground the reader in the scene. 

 

I understand that you are trying to create a feeling of mystery with this beginning, but revealing just a little bit more to the reader might help them not be completely confused. 


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#5 1cezman

1cezman

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUnited Kingdom

Posted 10 March 2018 - 04:39 AM

So i took on everything everyone said and had another go. Please do let me know if its a bit clearer. Thanks in advance.

 

 

He'd been terrified when he accepted the offer.

He’d been terrified because they'd already taken his sister.

And he’d been terrified because there were a thousand subreddits about the island and ninety percent of them were steeped in chilling conspiracy theories.

It sounded too good to be true. There was no way the island was real. No way, not in twenty-nineteen. And Derrick had been sure all the TV ads of it were a lie; nothing but a ruse designed to lure desperate teens like him and his sister—people no one would miss— into god-knows-what.

Now… now, standing amidst the very real plush furnishings of the island airport’s first-class lounge, Derrick wasn't so sure what to think anymore.

"Sir, is something the matter?" His Personal-Assistant drew him from his awe-struck stares at the white private-jet framed in the lounge’s windows.

Sir?

Derrick almost burst out laughing. Only what seemed like hours ago he'd been cleaning toilets—there weren't a lot of options in the current job climate for a seventeen-year-old with no previous experience—for laughable pay to feed his sister. Now he was riding in private jets and had his own personal assistant?

It was ridiculous. Granted, the man wasn't exactly human but that just added to the insanity of it all.

What’s the catch? Derrick studied him up and down then turned to the plush lounge again. The island was real, he couldn’t deny that now, but that didn’t alleviate all his suspicions about the move. 


Would really appreciate a little feedback on my first 250 words: http://agentquerycon...ya-sci-fantasy/


#6 Arcanjoe

Arcanjoe

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 163 posts
  • Literary Status:published, unagented
  • LocationUnited Kingdom
  • Publishing Experience:I've published two crime fiction books with Carina UK

Posted 10 March 2018 - 11:11 AM

So i took on everything everyone said and had another go. Please do let me know if its a bit clearer. Thanks in advance.

 

 

He'd been terrified when he accepted the offer.

He’d been terrified because they'd already taken his sister.

And he’d been terrified because there were a thousand subreddits about the island and ninety percent of them were steeped in chilling conspiracy theories.

One had to be true. As nuts as each theory sounded, Derrick had found them easier to believe than what he’d been told about the island. It wasn’t every day you got a message from a woman you had no relation to, offering you an inheritance worth millions. And it sure as hell wasn’t every day said inheritance, demanded you move to an island you didn’t even know existed to claim it.

It sounded crazy and Derrick had been convinced there wasn’t even an island and that it was all just a ruse, designed to lure desperate teens like him and his sister—people no one would miss— into some new hell.

Now, standing amidst the very real plush furnishings of the island airport’s first-class lounge, Derrick wasn't so sure what to think anymore.

"Sir, is something the matter?" His Personal-Assistant drew him from his awe-struck stares out the floor to ceiling windows of the lounge.

Sir?

Derrick almost burst out laughing. Only what seemed like hours ago he'd been cleaning toilets—there weren't a lot of options in the current job climate for a seventeen-year-old with no previous experience—for laughable pay to feed his sister. Now he was riding in private jets and had his own personal assistant?

It was ridiculous. Granted, the man wasn't exactly human but that just added to the insanity of it all.

What’s the catch? Derrick studied him up and down then turned to the plush lounge again. The island was real but that only made him more suspicious.

No one gives this much away without wanting something in return. He turned to the PA again, thought to ask but instinct told him better not.

The man looked very human, looked oddly like Derrick himself. They had the same tanned complexion, had similar green eyes and the same defined cheekbones— although Derrick’s were that of a gaunt, poverty-stricken teenager while the man looked like a healthy middle-age model in an expensive tuxedo.

As much as I think this is a great idea, you're telling far too much in your opening 250 words. A lot of people start their stories too early, but you might have started too late. This life-changing news would be so impactful if we already empathized and felt for your main character. You could start with Derrick scrubbing toilets at his job, taking a lunch break and finding the crazy email/message from this woman. That gives us context about who he is, where he comes from and what an offer like this means to someone like him. Show us his internal conflict as he decides that, though it might be a trap, it's worth it to him and his sister if it's true. If this news is the inciting incident, allow us to grow to like this down-on-his-luck guy before he has such a fortuitous moment. Otherwise it may fall a little flat if you are just telling us he was a toilet cleaner and is now suddenly being treated like a prince. We will root for him and love him far more if we first encounter him working hard at his toilet-cleaning job and then returning home to look after his sister. Then you'll get readers to cheer this inheritance news. One chapter is all it would take, with the inheritance reveal being the cliffhanger at the end that both hooks readers and agents.

 

I hope this helps!


I'd love for you to critique my latest query...

Clover:

http://agentquerycon...cience-fiction/

 

Or the first 250 words of my story...

Clover:

http://agentquerycon...cience-fiction/

 


#7 1cezman

1cezman

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUnited Kingdom

Posted 26 March 2018 - 11:34 PM

I've had a lot of feedback on my first chapter over the last month(Thanks a bunch to everyone) and have reshaped the opening a little. Please let me know what you think. I will gladly reciprocate if you want me to take a look at one of yours.

 

 

 

"Sir, is something the matter?" the personal assistant asked.

Is something the matter? Derrick heard the question as clear as day and yet not one word registered beyond his ears.

His brain, for a good minute, disregarded everything but all the red around him— which was odd because the lounge he stood in had little red if any at all. The walls wore a pristine shade of white, the floors a contemporary wood finish and the furnishing a luxurious shade of black. There was no red in the actual design of the room itself, yet Derrick’s brain, for a minute, only found focus on the crimson wings of the plane reflected in its floor to ceiling windows.

“Sir, is something the matter?” the personal assistant asked again.

Sir? The PA’s words registered a little deeper this time and Derrick almost burst out laughing in response.

A day ago, he'd been cleaning toilets for laughable pay to feed his sister. Now he was riding in private jets and had his own personal assistant?

What did they put in my drink? Derrick pinched his arm.

The pinch hurt, but either he wasn’t drugged or pinching one’s self simply didn’t have the effect it supposedly did on the dreaming. Either way, Derrick turned his eyes back to the window and the red wings of the private jet.

Red was the most readily available description he could find for the thoughts whirling around his head. Red was danger and red was excitement and both emotions were brimming to bursting inside him.

He was beyond excited. It wasn’t every day you got a letter from a woman you had no relation to, offering you an inheritance worth millions. But he was also terrified because it sure as hell wasn’t every day said inheritance, demanded you move to an island you weren’t even sure existed to claim it. Then there was the fact that his little sister accepted the move ahead of him and vanished in the middle of the night.


Would really appreciate a little feedback on my first 250 words: http://agentquerycon...ya-sci-fantasy/





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users