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Majestic Fox

05-03-2018 - Majestic Fox - The Green Ocean - Chapter One,v9003, 2000 words

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First off, thanks for the excellent feedback on previous submissions. It's really useful and I've taken it on board. 
 
And yes, I've re-written the first chapter (as I seem to enjoy doing), including changes to the beginning, not major changes, so if you're bored to tears with this then feel free to jump past the grey text to where the major changes do kick in.
 
Apologies in advance - this one will surely be riddled with typos and possibly missing paragraphs of description, but there you go, this is what I managed to produce. 
 
What I'm looking for:
 
If it's really not working for you, please refrain from mentioning that (haha). If you thought previous drafts worked better, please don't mention that either. It's the last thing a perfectionist like me needs to hear. I'm sticking with this now...no more starting again (though no promises)
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Great improvement! I liked this version much better than the previous one. It feels like there's a more logical sequence of events here. Things flow more smoothly. There's a few typos here and there but nothing I don't think you'll easily catch on a reread.

Your writing is very engaging and I was absorbed by the story from the start. I'm liking the protagonist already; she feels like a young woman to me, maybe late teens or early twenties?

Nothing jumped out at me here, so I think you should be confident in keeping this section as it is. It worked for me and was a good opening.

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This one is much better! I think this sets up the story very well, and includes the magic/religion, the danger, and some other locations. As @Truthweaver says, I'd keep this how it is. I'm ready to see the rest of the world.

Notes while reading:
Pg 1: The immediacy in the first few paragraphs is much better.

pg 1: "As a girl she’d discovered it was sin to repeat these rumours. As a woman she had silently committed herself to finding out if they were true."
--This is very good, and succinct. However, it's so succint now that it strays into telling instead of showing. You could let the revelation expand more organically.

pg 2: "Is it sin to enjoy this?"
--very nice.

pg 2: "looming jagged forms"
--good phrasing, but 'jagged' doesn't describe a form to me very well. Is there a more specific word?

pg 3: The sequence of events here makes much more sense: being spooked around the creepy footprint, running back, telling someone, and being questioned about being out alone.

pg 4: "One of the other men in the field passed the old man’s"
--something missing at the end of the sentence.

pg 6: "How am I ever going to use one of those?"
--if she hasn't started by now, it's probably too late...

pg 8: "could guess probably have guessed at who he was"
--extra word

pg 8/9: How big is this town? I got the impression it's pretty small, and everyone knew everyone. I guess it's bigger, since W has to introduce herself.

pg 9: "I hope you feel welcome here."
--Ah. Maybe they're just new?

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Overall: A solid improvement! Definitely keep and move on. 

 

As I go:

"when has [it] ever turned away" I like how this is pointed out right at the beginning now. Or at least, I'm noticing the line this time around and appreciate it. :) 

In fact, I'm liking this opening much better now. W is reading a little bit older, too.  Though I'm wondering a bit why she thinks about the footprint being no big deal, then turns around and immediately tells someone who she knows is likely to freak out about it. 

Aww, I miss the lady hunter! The new (old) guy is fine, I'm just partial to lady hunters. ;) 

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This is definitely a lot better! Well done on the revisions. I don't have any comments, really, except the the ending could be just a bit snappier (to draw readers into wanting to read chapter two). But that's something you can look at fixing in later drafts.

Nice work!

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Posted (edited)

Oh, man, it’s that déjà vu all over again…

  • Okay, I think W’s motivation is clearer now on the this first page. Same strong opening giving the reader questions to consider, but now with added character motivation.
  • I think ‘wind-wracked’ should be hyphenated, because it is a compound adjective, but don’t take my word for it, I'm sure wiki would confirm.
  • Why then did was she drawn to it?” – typo.
  • loam-scented air” – another hyphen, imo.
  • crag-like forms” – you see, ‘crag like form’ doesn’t make sense in that arrangement, hence, hyphenated.
  • I really hesitate to mention this, but I will, on one condition. So, “When the spot where she’d seen the shadow move was out of sight she broke into a sprint”, this is really rather wordy, for me, and isn’t that first phrasing that is. BUT, this is not the time to be tinkering with phrasing. The deal then, I would be delighted to do LBLs on a completed draft of the novel, once I’ve read the whole think in draft. On that basis, I’ll try not to mention any other grammar stuff.
  • partly because they would ring the bells if they saw her sprinting at them” – this seems odd to me. What if some kids were running towards the village, just playing? Surely, they don’t just ring the bells for anyone running, without some context.
  • W didn’t correct him. He’d lived through too many attacks and lost too many friends to share her curiosity about what the footprint might mean”. For me, this felt out of POV. W doesn’t know the old man’s name, but she knows his background this well?
  • The bit around the people moving out of the field is a bit rough in terms of continuity, and missing word there.
  • white-robed acolytes” – without the hyphen, it sounds like the acolytes are white, and wearing robes, except there’s no comma either. I won’t mention any more of these, but they’re there!
  • Is it a lie that W raised the alarm? I think she did.
  • Behind him stood H’s his steed, G” – grammar. Could replace ‘him’ with the name.
  • Big run-on sentence there describing the deer. Sorry, I know my comments are always centred on details instead of scope, at least until the end. It’s the way I am; I’ll never change!! :P 
  • Did W tell O where the footprint was located? I don’t remember her doing that.
  • “I’m still little” – I don’t think children think in this way.
  • You’ve got a moment of high tension here, but it’s bleeding away with all this talk with the boy and of where the mother is from. Does any of this matter? This is not a time for small talk.
  • There’s good information here, but I think the problem is timing, If they are hurrying to the shelter, the small talk should wait until they get there, and the can collect themselves and have some downtime that they need to occupy with discussion until the all clear sounds.

I like the approach of the evacuation, but I think you lose the tension in it by lapsing into small talk. I think it’s easy enough to fix though. I was never particularly concerned about any perceived lack of character in W, but I like the changes you’ve made, just need some reworking of the last couple of pages here, in my view.

I hope to see another submission from you to maintain the momentum. Can we please agree that you won’t go back again? Why not just leave some notes in your master doc and keep going forward?

I do completely agree with the others, this is a clear improvement.

Yours hopefully, Robinski

Edited by Robinski
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On 06/03/2018 at 1:44 PM, Truthweaver said:

I think you should be confident in keeping this section as it is. It worked for me and was a good opening

Here, here!

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Posted (edited)

On 08/03/2018 at 0:18 AM, industrialistDragon said:

I'm just partial to lady hunters. ;)

As opposed to lady-hunters...

Edited by Robinski
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Great comments, thanks all.

Yes, I promise to keep going forward haha. Thanks for the encouragement to keep on with the momentum. It helps. 

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On 09/03/2018 at 2:00 PM, Robinski said:

I really hesitate to mention this, but I will, on one condition. So, “When the spot where she’d seen the shadow move was out of sight she broke into a sprint”, this is really rather wordy, for me, and isn’t that first phrasing that is. BUT, this is not the time to be tinkering with phrasing. The deal then, I would be delighted to do LBLs on a completed draft of the novel, once I’ve read the whole think in draft. On that basis, I’ll try not to mention any other grammar stuff.

Hahah, your hesitation is justified. I think you know I'm liable to spend way too long on word-smithing sentences. My internal editor / perfectionist doesn't need much of an incentive to grab the reigns and grind things to a halt. Also, does LBLs mean Line By Lines? 

On 09/03/2018 at 2:00 PM, Robinski said:

W didn’t correct him. He’d lived through too many attacks and lost too many friends to share her curiosity about what the footprint might mean”. For me, this felt out of POV. W doesn’t know the old man’s name, but she knows his background this well?

Totally agree. 

On 09/03/2018 at 2:00 PM, Robinski said:
  • You’ve got a moment of high tension here, but it’s bleeding away with all this talk with the boy and of where the mother is from. Does any of this matter? This is not a time for small talk.
  • There’s good information here, but I think the problem is timing, If they are hurrying to the shelter, the small talk should wait until they get there, and the can collect themselves and have some downtime that they need to occupy with discussion until the all clear sounds.

Pretty sure I agree with this as well. I'll add to the 'Changes for Rewrite'   list. 

 

On 06/03/2018 at 2:47 PM, Mandamon said:

--if she hasn't started by now, it's probably too late..

Good point. 

 

On 08/03/2018 at 0:18 AM, industrialistDragon said:

Though I'm wondering a bit why she thinks about the footprint being no big deal, then turns around and immediately tells someone who she knows is likely to freak out about it.

Hm, not certain which bit your thinking about exactly, but sounds like it needs some clarity. 

 

By the way, thanks everyone everyone for the positive words - for me, they're just as useful as the critiques, on the first draft at least   : ) 

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5 hours ago, Majestic Fox said:

Also, does LBLs mean Line By Lines?

Sorry, yes. Engineer's disease, the curse of the TLA*.

 

(* Three Letter Acronym)

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In that case @Robinski, allow me to say thank you very much for the kind offer. That's really generous. Let's chat by email. 

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