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simonalexander2005

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I've started writing a book! Critique so far please!
« on: January 20, 2010, 05:49:20 pm »
The title is "Rediscovering Humanity", and it's a light sci-fi novel.

At the moment, it's about 30 A5 pages long.

any critical feedback would be greatly appreciated:

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ATIBhU6I76WjZHp2ZzU4N18yaG5jbnBwZzk&hl=en (you may need to sign in to a google account, but you shouldn't have to, let me know if you have problems.)

Cheers guys (and gals)!

Simon

simonalexander2005

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Re: I've started writing a book! Critique so far please!
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2010, 04:47:36 pm »
*bump* nothing? I know it's long, but still...

Offline Danee

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Re: I've started writing a book! Critique so far please!
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 05:00:12 pm »
Ill read it this weekend, Simon!   :624
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Dave

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Re: I've started writing a book! Critique so far please!
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2010, 03:13:37 am »
I think the most interesting plotline there was the fate of the humans teleported to the other world, and I really think that that thread could have been expanded upon...though perhaps that is my own personal interest speaking and not a literary one.  Altogether, I liked it. 

Things I didn't like:

- The name of the ship "Mission Highly Improbable".  Yes, I know that is a reference, but it still felt really, really cheesy to me.  "Mission Impossible" might have been a better and more direct homage.
- The italicized intro.  It felt like a cop-out when, at the end of the first chapter, you know that he failed in convincing Sano to spare Earth.  For that matter, the fact that Earth had to be "destroyed" in the first place.  If all they were going to do was wipe out every living thing on the planet and then terraform the planet to be fairly close to what it started out as, one would think that it would be easier and considerably more humane to simple settle on a planet with the right orbital distance and right amount of landmass but no intelligent life. 

Things I did like:

- The rift.  The description is vague enough that it could be a number of things; it could be a spherical one, surrounding the Kha'lek homeworld, a spherical one surrounding another planet, star, or point, a barrier that stretches clean across space, or one of countless more possibilities.  In any case, it is fascinating.
- The creation of the Spacehawks.  You did a great job conveying the emotions an entity, previously confined to an unfulfilling life, experiencing the double joy of self-powered flight and the freedom to travel anywhere it wanted to (again, except for the rift).  When I read that section, I really wished that I could fly for a few moments.

Well, that's pretty much the extent of my critique for now.  Overall, I like the book so far, and I hope you keep writing it.

Nude_not_rude

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Re: I've started writing a book! Critique so far please!
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2010, 11:41:30 am »
Just finished reading this. So far it seems like a great story with many threads to be tied together. I think it would be great if there was more detail as you went along. It seems a bit of an outline at the moment and would benefit greatly by a bit of colouring in. Describing the scenes more fully would flesh the story out more. Great ideas there though, I was fully engaged and really want to read what happens next.

Oh and I didn't need to sign in to a Google account. Great idea posting it that way.

simonalexander2005

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Re: I've started writing a book! Critique so far please!
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2010, 03:26:38 pm »
wow *blushes immensely* I wasn't expecting so many reviews or anything - thank you all very much! The reviews I got from the critique site were significantly more disparaging, so thanks for the encouragement!

Dave

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Re: I've started writing a book! Critique so far please!
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 11:43:33 am »
What kind of reviews did you get from the critique site?  What did they say you were doing wrong?

simonalexander2005

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Re: I've started writing a book! Critique so far please!
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 01:25:39 pm »
Quote
--"If you had kept it to the first chapter, I might have been hooked. 
The writing was very good, and I actually found the plot slightly
interesting.  The only complaint I noted while reading was that I
doubted you could have kept it up.

Well, as soon as I started Chapter Two I realized that you were
unable to keep it up.  Chapter Two was hard to read.  The scenes were
poorly designed.  The characters presented lacked substance.

Chapter Three was just boring.  Yes, you did need to supply some
history, but the method you used was very uninteresting.  I highly
recommend that you find another tactic to provide certain pieces of
information.

Chapter Four.  What?  I am bored.  This is not making sense.

The following chapters came and went quickly.  I gained the
impression that you became bored as well.

Sit back and work out an outline of your story.  The jumping around
is confusing and uninteresting.  I will give you credit for possibly
having a good story, but it needs to flow.  At present the tale does
not move well from a beginning to an end.

Once you have a good outline, work on developing specific
characters.  Give your readers personalities that can be identified
with as they move through the story.  I understand how you can enjoy
a wide variety of individuals, but as a writer you need to connect to
your readers.  Thus, find those characters that can provide your
readers with a good vibrant report of the events.  The other
characters certainly should appear in the story, and your knowledge
of them should provide the basis for developing depth to your tale.

If you do those two things, you should have a worthy manuscript.  I
wish you well."



Quote
--"Chapter One you set the scene.  You also set the tone.  Both of these were
right for the events, so one complimented the other.

The character you presented also worked with the setting.  I did not get the
feeling that Gordon was a fish out of water.  He thought and acted as a
citizen of the reality, and came across as believable.

The next section also followed the above rules.  Not only that, but it
supported the previous section.  I thus did not have to stop and regear, but
I found my knowledge of the previous section to help support the reality of
this section.

The sections began breaking down after that, but I felt it was proper.  In
the first chapter of modern novels you are merely attempting to hook your
reader.  Poor choppy writing is normal with the intent only to grab the
reader with a plot device, a solid tone, and introduce some characters.

Chapter Two beginning 6 months earlier is bad, but again normal for a modern
novel.  Now that you have hooked the reader, you can settle down and tell
your story.  The problem is that NONE of your characters from Chapter One
appears.  NONE of the settings appear.  Suddenly, I have to stop and regear.
That was bad.

Worse, you don't set the scene or tone.  You simply introduce the character
along with the scene as if your reader is supposed to have some familiarity.
I however had the feeling that I was reading an entirely different novel
than the first chapter led me to believe.  THEN, whop, a change of scene
with new characters and a feel of another novel.  This scene at least lasted
a few paragraphs, THEN, WHOP, "Meanwhile, on the other side of the
universe,"  OH, NO!  Right there I wanted to delete your story from the
internet as a whole.

Chapter One I understand.  Modern editors want that hook, so strong
situations and choppy writing is accepted.  Chapter Two should however allow
a reader to settle down and begin the process of going through a long story.
No settling down occured.  That is why I recommend that you settle down,
organize your story, then begin the work on how to tell it properly."

are two examples of critiques I got - rereading them now there is definitely some helpful comments in there too, which is nice.

Dave

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Re: I've started writing a book! Critique so far please!
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 09:13:12 pm »
Yeah, I can't exactly disagree with those.  Hey, look on the bright side - they gave you valuable advice.  Keep working on that novel.