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Allomancy

A book... that I have been writing

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I have been working on a book recently, and I want to have others read it, to maybe get ideas of what to change.

I'm pretty sure this is where this topic would go...

Anywhosles, I hope you enjoy.

Feel free to comment on the story by replying.

I would appreciate your feed back, even if it is negative, because that will help me improve my writing.

I am probably going to add parts on, as I write them. This is what I have so far:

Chapter One


 

 

The Choosing

             

                  There I was, at yet another meeting. My life is filled with meeting after meeting. This specific one, though, just might be the last. The Këshill will announce who each region chose to represent them. If I am chosen, I will go representing Celic, the region I live in, I thought. Being chosen would mean no more redundant meetings. Those chosen to represent would be able to travel places, and get out.

              “I’m sure you have been waiting for this meeting for a long time,” a loud voice proclaimed, interrupting my internal conversation. The cacophony made my the crowd simmered down to a low murmur.

              The booming voice waited till all noise was a low hum, and then continued. “I shall read off a list the names of those who shall represent their beloved regions,” the man said. He was dressed in an outfit that a bard would dress like in the past. He had poofed out shorts, a huge white collar, and atop his long face rested a large hat with an even larger white feather. When he spoke, he over annunciated everything and rolled all of his r’s. I had to restrain myself from giggling. He acted so pompous.

              He began to drone out names of who had been chosen for the other regions. Finally, after a painstakingly long time he said, “… And representing Celic, Talia Gdhirë ”

              My jaw dropped. Me? I had fantasized about this happening, but I didn’t believe that it would happen. I walked down to stand next to the pompous man, numb with shock.

 

* * *

 

              The ride to the Centre passed quickly. This was the same for trees, rocks, and animals. The driver was probably straining the poor horse pulling the carriage. We soon arrived at the Centre. Lucky for me, the Centre is located in Celic, the Center of Meeting. If any event is held that has people from more than one region, it is held in Celic. I was lucky, because I didn’t have to stay in that speeding carriage for long.

             The driver pulled up in front of a smaller building next to the Centre. “Why are we stopping here?” I asked the driver.

              “You can’t expect to be presented to the others looking like that, do you?” he said, looking me up and down. I followed his gaze, and saw, to my sorrow, that I was indeed wearing a disheveled dress.

              “Oh…. Yeah….” I cringed, blushing visibly.

              A little woman came out of the building, looked me up and down, and said, “Oh my. You need to change out of that horrid thing. Hurry, come inside. I would be ashamed to be seen in public wearing that.” she pointed to my dress why does everyone like to point out my dress I thought to myself. After that pleasant comment, the woman hurriedly urged me inside.

              I was brought to a room on the end of one of the halls. The door revealed a room filled with dresses. Dresses of all shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and designs. I looked for a Celic dress, and, to my relief, found many. A gold dress caught my eye, and, so it seemed, the eye of the little woman.

              “Ah, that dress with compliment your eyes quite well,” she exclaimed. She bustled over to it, took it of the rack, and shoved it into my arms. “Put this on!”

              I changed into the gold dress, and right after I came out of the changing quarters, I was quickly whisked to the hair stylist. My hair was washed, brushed, and styled. After that was finished, I was transported to a cosmetician, where I had make-up put on me.

              I exited the building as a different person than I entered. Or, at least I looked like a different person. I was the same inside.

***

 

              I entered a large room that had a chandelier. Oh, there were people there too, but the chandelier caught my eye first. After I got over the fact that there was a giant crystal arrangement looming over me, my gaze wandered to the people. My eyes met with those of a boy. He had messy short hair. It was bright orange at the roots, and it faded into a bright red. His eyes were the yellow eyes of a Tregimtarian, which was probably where he came from. He looked to be about two years my senior.  And he was cute. He had that mischievous look to him, but he still seemed sweet.

    “Oooo, you got th’ hots fer Rritje!” someone said behind me. I swerved around to see a short(er) girl with messy, short, pink hair. She had a white shirt with thin sleeves, dark blue pants, and boots. Not ladylike at all. Her eyes were a bright orange, and her accent was that of a Udhëtarëtian, who travel around so much that they don’t speak properly.

              “… What? What do you…? Why do…? How…? What?” I stuttered, blushing profusely.

              “C’’mon. Are ya that dense? Heahr. You,” she pointed to me, “like,” she made a heart shape with her hands, “Rritje,” she pointed to the cute boy.

              “Shhhhh!!!!” I “whispered”.

              Sadly, Rritje had been staring at us the whole conversation, and now he knew that I liked him.

              I performed the well known face-palm.

              Rritje set down the book he had been reading, and came over to me and the loud girl. “Ah, I see you’ve met Guximshme.” he said, his voice smooth.

              “Pardon?”

              “Guximshme. She is the girl right next to you. The one with the eyesore hair color,” he pointed to pink hair. “If you’ve learned to ignore her, please share. We’ve been trying ever since she started talking.”

              “Hey!” Guximshme retorted. She stormed off, and you could see sparks flying.

              “Don’t mind her. She’s dramatic,” Rritje said after Guximshme was out of hearing range. He said it so romantically.

              Apparently I sighed outwardly as long as inwardly, because Rritje asked, “Is what Guximshme said true?” he asked this with such interest that I couldn’t help but to blush. You’d think after how many times I’d blushed that day that my cheeks would have run out of color.

              “Yeah,” I said, and my cheeks still produced color.

              “Well, nice to have that awkwardness out of the way. The name’s Në Rritje Diell, but everyone calls me Rritje.” He held out his hand.

              I, being the smart person that I am, tapped his hand. I later learned that you are supposed to shake it. At least my actions made him laugh. His laugh was the most melodic sound my ears had ever partaken. Color flooded my cheeks once again.

 

Edited by Allomancy
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Nice but a bit awkward exposition in the first lines,

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(why does everyone like to point out my dress).

At the start of the text you were using italics to mark your character's thoughts, switching to brackets suddenly is inconsistent and IMO it looks a bit sloppy.

 

The story itself seems promising.

(But please, please, please get rid of the Comic sans?)

 

Edit: I also suggest not wasting time with dropcaps (big capital at the start) or other layout stuff, just focus on the story itself at first, the design is the last step.

Edited by EagleOfTheForestPath
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To be frank, it just feels clunky, and disconnected, especially as it is a first person narrative; also, the repetition seems forced. It looks promising though, if you can just get it to flow a bit more smoothly. And Eagle is right, the comic sans looks awful. My eyes are bleeding right now.  :P

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To be frank, it just feels clunky, and disconnected, especially as it is a first person narrative; also, the repetition seems forced. It looks promising though, if you can just get it to flow a bit more smoothly. And Eagle is right, the comic sans looks awful. My eyes are bleeding right now.  :P

Ebola!!!

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Intriguing and interesting so far.  For the first few minutes, I was wondering if you had been stalking my life, with all the talk of endless numbers of stupid and pointless meetings :)

 

Things that I'm curious about, and would expect to be answered as the story goes on (some should be answered much sooner than others):

 

How do the regions pick their representative?  Representative for what?  Why would Talia have no idea at all that she'd been chosen?

How many regions are they?  What are there names?  What are they known for?  The boy from Tregimtarian has yellow eyes, which is apparently common for that region--are there other differences?  Just how yellow are we talking?  Yellow is a weird color for a human's eyes--are they actually human?  Is the rest of their coloring odd as well?  What are people from Celic known for?

 

The beginning you have so far seems fairly generic, but I've seen it done much, much worse (the whole "Protagonist is chosen for something that radically changes their life" coming of age story.)  Generic does not mean bad from a big picture sense of things; I tried finding the exact trope for it to help describe, and managed to pull myself out of the blackhole of tvtropes after only an hour to continue this.  Having failed to find what I went looking for.  But basically, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Divergent are some of the most famous and recent examples of what I'm talking about--and from big picture, they're all the same.  So by hitting enough of the same notes that they did with their stories, I'm expecting your story to be a similar Coming-of-Age/Chosen One story.  I tend to like these stories.  

 

Sooo...reading back, it looks like you've got me interested in the world.  Which is definitely a good thing.  And I'm a little bit interested in what's going on.  It always takes me awhile to warm to characters, so me being lukewarm to them so far isn't a bad thing.

 

When you've finished the chapter and had a chance to do a once-over revision, I'd be more than happy to give some specific feedback on the writing and word choice itself, rather than big picture stuff.  I know that for my own writing I tend to have specific tendencies that have to be fixed when editing that I simply don't notice in the first draft.  (For instance, I recently finished a 1500 word short story and found the usual word clumps like using the same word 4 times in three consecutive sentences and then never again, using the word 'just' 489656 times spread throughout the story, and describing things that quite literally don't work that way--such as torches placed in the ceiling, etc.  If you want any specific notes now, I can do that too, but it's a little bit early to be editing for things like that imo :))

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Yellow is a weird color for a human's eyes--are they actually human?

My mom has yellow eyes...though, come to think of it, I'm not sure she's entirely human.
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You have an intriguing opening that causes the reader to ask a lot of questions—which is good. The first page should raise questions that keep the reader going until those questions are answered. I want to know what the representatives are for, why the main character was chosen, and what's going to happen next in her life. The suspense is good, and I get the sense that you're trying to build it by delaying the revelations with her getting a dress and meeting the cute boy. 

 

However, I don't think that these answers are the sort you should delay. What is Celic? What is the Centre and why is it in Celic? How old is our heroine, and why was she chosen to represent Celic? Is her society a dystopia, a utopia, or somewhere in the middle? These are fundamental worldbuilding questions, and delaying the answers is less likely to create suspense and more likely to lose the reader. 

 

Try weaving the answers in. You don't have to give us all the information up front, but just give us a sense of why Talia was chosen. Have her think about what she'll do as a representative. Add a few details to show what her society is like—customs, beliefs, level of governmental oppression, etc. It will make your world seem fuller, and will generate even more interest in the payoff. :) 

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Here are some of your answers...

If you are confused as to which answers what, just ask me.

 

 

There are 11 regions. Celic (night gazers),  Parashikues (seers), Tregmitar (story tellers), Piktorë (painters), Pocarë (potters), Undëtarët (travelers), Magjistar (wizards), Thërret (summoner),  Mbajtëset e të lehta (light holders), Kopstar (gardeners), and Këngëtarja fjalë (singers). the color is-> This yellow, and yes, that is perfectally natural. The main character has gold eyes. Some have silver eyes. My favorite eye color that one of them has is the character that has color changing eyes. His eyes aren't ever one color for too long. Celic people can do things with stars, and so- forth. I haven't exactally set a plot line, I just go with it.

 

Weeeellll, the plot actually has a twist to it, and it veers of to a different course entirely.

 

 

 Celic is the region (country)  on the continent Përfytyrim. Talia is 15 years old. There was bigger powers making the choice of who was chosen. Talia is an orphan, so she was surprised that she was picked. And, its neither. It is a place on a normal world, far from ours. The government chooses those people, so they can train their powers.

 

 

 

Edit: I just added more on to the book

Edited by Allomancy
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Here are some of your answers...

If you are confused as to which answers what, just ask me.

There are 11 regions. Celic (night gazers), Parashikues (seers), Tregmitar (story tellers), Piktorë (painters), Pocarë (potters), Undëtarët (travelers), Magjistar (wizards), Thërret (summoner), Mbajtëset e të lehta (light holders), Kopstar (gardeners), and Këngëtarja fjalë (singers). the color is-> This yellow, and yes, that is perfectally natural. The main character has gold eyes. Some have silver eyes. My favorite eye color that one of them has is the character that has color changing eyes. His eyes aren't ever one color for too long. Celic people can do things with stars, and so- forth. I haven't exactally set a plot line, I just go with it.

Weeeellll, the plot actually has a twist to it, and it veers of to a different course entirely.

Celic is the region (country) on the continent Përfytyrim. Talia is 15 years old. There was bigger powers making the choice of who was chosen. Talia is an orphan, so she was surprised that she was picked. And, its neither. It is a place on a normal world, far from ours. The government chooses those people, so they can train their powers.

Edit: I just added more on to the book

When you go back and revise, try weaving some of that information in. For example, you could reference Talia's age at the very beginning: "My life has been meeting after meeting. Fifteen years of meetings." Information about the different nations can be added when Talia meets her fellow trainees: "I was a little nervous at the prospect of sharing a room with a wizard. I hoped for a Kopstar roommate. If anyone was bound to be pleasant and unlikely to change me into a mouse as I slept, it would be a gardener." Obviously, you can and should change the specifics to reflect your own worldbuilding, but the point is to weave information in seamlessly so it neither bogs down the pacing nor loses the reader.

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When you go back and revise, try weaving some of that information in. For example, you could reference Talia's age at the very beginning: "My life has been meeting after meeting. Fifteen years of meetings." Information about the different nations can be added when Talia meets her fellow trainees: "I was a little nervous at the prospect of sharing a room with a wizard. I hoped for a Kopstar roommate. If anyone was bound to be pleasant and unlikely to change me into a mouse as I slept, it would be a gardener." Obviously, you can and should change the specifics to reflect your own worldbuilding, but the point is to weave information in seamlessly so it neither bogs down the pacing nor loses the reader.

Uh, her roommate is a summoner. I've already written that part... and it actually mentions them in the future. And, half the books I read don't mention ages.

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Uh, her roommate is a summoner. I've already written that part... and it actually mentions them in the future. And, half the books I read don't mention ages.

I was just giving some general advice for improvement.

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Honestly, I like the idea. I can see this being a great story. Keep it up! :)

Edited by Slowswift
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Ok so a little nitpick. Right before she enters the building. "She was the same inside". In my opinion that's agreat place to share a personality trait or emotion she is feeling. For example "She was the same shocked girl inside" (reminding that this is a small nitpick)

The story is otherwise great. I myself like the 2nd part more ,but I don't know why.

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Okay Allomancy, I am not a great writer, but I like to consider myself a great reader. I have multiple critiques, but I mean them in the best way possible.

I would want to know more about her life before being chosen. Why does she go to all these meetings? What's her family like? What sort of qualities are looked for in a representative? Does she have to submit something to get in? Showing some scenes like that could show why she wants to leave so badly.

Minor thing: it might be a good idea to un-italicize that first train of thought. It would feel a little more natural to have it as part of the narrative, then as conscious thought.

The whole thing feels a little bit rushed, but then again, I'm used to huge Stormlight sized books. It's probably fine, but you might want to consider drawing it out a little.

Again, I don't know much, and it's your own thing. My advice might be crem, anyway.

(Plus I'm super jealous! I've had similar ideas for a story, and you did it way better!)

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Perhaps get her backstory in a series of flashbacks?

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I would want to know more about her life before being chosen. Why does she go to all these meetings? What's her family like? What sort of qualities are looked for in a representative? Does she have to submit something to get in? Showing some scenes like that could show why she wants to leave so badly.

...

The whole thing feels a little bit rushed, but then again, I'm used to huge Stormlight sized books. It's probably fine, but you might want to consider drawing it out a little.

Again, I don't know much, and it's your own thing. My advice might be crem, anyway.

(Plus I'm super jealous! I've had similar ideas for a story, and you did it way better!)

 

All good questions that should be answered, but really not in the first few paragraphs of the story.  Ya gotta hook the reader in early, then slowly reel them in with answers to questions like that.  

 

It's funny when people use the word 'rushed', especially in regards to writing, because it can mean (at least) two very, very different things.  For instance, it could refer to the pacing of the story, meaning that the events are happening very quickly and without the necessary time for them to develop meaningfully. 

 

It can also mean that the story itself feels like it was written very quickly, in turn implying weak/sub-par word choice, disconnected plot, nonsensical scenes, and any of a large variety of other things.  

 

It's hard to give feedback and advice that will help make the story better.  If you'd like some advice on giving better feedback, read on through the spoiler tag below!

 

The below comments are not specifically targeted at anyone in this thread, or elsewhere, for that matter.  These are just things that I have observed from my own life.  About me and my friends: I write for fun; I've tried to sell some of my better stories, but nothing has come of it as yet.  I have a friend who has sold a large number of short stories, and won a few awards for them, and who is also editor at a small online magazine.  I have another friend who has written technical manuals as well as spending a few years as a technical journalist.  A third has written a few very long, very popular works of fanfic of some manga crossover that I can never remember the name of (they had a couple thousand people following the last story, iirc).  Another is an artist primarily, who also writes some short stories, and has had success in both fields.  So, there's actually a lot of different styles and experiences melding together to form my opinion.  Which doesn't make it right, necessarily, but may of help to others.

 

Personally, when I pass around stories I've written to friends, what I find most helpful is comments about what works/doesn't work, especially for early drafts.  This can also mean whether the story seems to fit the target audience.  Example: If the story is a teen/YA coming of age story in the vein of Harry Potter or Hunger Games, then so far at a basic structural level, the story works.  If it's supposed to be a tense mystery novel, then--not as much.  At least as it stands right now.  

 

Grammar I usually don't care about too much, because consistently incorrect grammar is a stylistic choice.  For instance, I love using commas.  For me, a comma indicates a slight pause.  So, I tend to use it that way.  The key here, though, is to use it consistently wrong if you're going to be wrong.

 

Giving specific advice or suggestions to the story is dangerous.  Say that there's a sentence that's using poor word choice.  It happens.  Instead of making or suggesting the exact change you want, it's far better to mark it as a place that needs work.  This is because the audience is very good at telling when something is wrong or weak in the story; they are far, far less adept at knowing what would actually make it better.  Not to say you shouldn't ever, but (and especially with early drafts, and even more especially if you haven't read a significant amount of their work and know what their style is) you should generally try to simply let them know that it's not working.  If that makes sense.  As an example, that last sentence I wrote was a confused mess.

 

Like I mentioned, the audience knows when they like something, most times.  Try to use that specific type of feedback.  Instead of a generic, "I like it!", try to have some specific details about what you liked.  "I like the cool/weird eye/hair color combos people of the different regions have!" "You did a good job making me want to know a whole lot more about what's going on and what's happening in the world."  etc.  Please note: even though I know this, and this is exactly the type of comments I want, I'm still terrible at it.  

 

If there are specific things that you don't like, you should point them out as well.  However, there is a way to present things that will make it seem much less negative (even if it's not negative at all, it can seem that way.)  Never, ever end with a negative comment.  Always make sure that you end on a positive note.  I'm also not great at this, but there's a lot of psychology at play in it; we tend to remember the last thing said/written more than what came before.  A bad ending, or a bad comment at the end, can wipe away anything that happened before then.  

 

If you don't have anything positive to say or comment about the story, then re-think whether you should say anything at all.  In this case, you are clearly not the target audience.  If it's actually offensive, that's different--but if you just find it boring, too verbose, etc, that's fine.  I have a friend who adores Dostoyevsky, but I'd rather smash my face in with his books than read them.  That doesn't mean that Dostoyevsky is a terrible author, but that his stories were never meant for me.  That's absolutely fine, but I should also be the last person to offer editing advice for one of his works.

 

It's easy to break/destroy things.  It's hard to build them.  There's no need to offer discouragement to someone building a story when it's still in such early stages.   It's also possible to find things that you like even in something that you don't otherwise care for.  I don't like brussel sprouts.  A friend made some, and said I should try them.  So I did.  They were the best brussel sprouts I'd ever had.  I still didn't like them, and so I only had a couple, but even with the taste of terrible in my mouth I could truly say that they were better than what I'd previously had.  So if you are only seeing bad, try changing your perspective and see if there's another way to look at it to find something positive.  It's rare indeed that something is 100% bad, with zero redeeming quality.

 

Ok, wall of super-text is over!

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Perhaps get her backstory in a series of flashbacks?

Really great idea! I will use that!

And, thanks kaellok!

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I have been working on a book recently, and I want to have others read it, to maybe get ideas of what to change.

I'm pretty sure this is where this topic would go...

 

There is actually a writing group on this site, Reading Excuses, which is found under related content. It's been established for some time and there is an active and welcoming group of writers who will very happily give you a full and detailed critique of your story, if you like :)

 

Silk is the moderator, but the rules are few and simple - basically you give critiques and you get critiques.

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Wow, looking back on this I'm cringing quite a bit

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