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Jan 21 - little wilson - Crashers - Chapter 1


little wilson

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Hi! I read your first chapter tonight, and I'm pretty impressed. I loved the pacing and the dialogue. I loved how I became attached to Emily so quickly. It says a lot about the style of your writing. I also loved the interaction in the big family group. I have a huge family, and it seemed very familiar to me.

I would suggest that you take a look at the paragraph where the eggs actually explode. I had a harder time following what was going on there compared to the rest of the story.

I also think you might want to consider the last line. "What am I?" Emily seemed to jump to the conclusion that she was some kind of something fairly quickly. Maybe if you made the interrogation with the cop longer, or gave a little more reason to why she might think that, the line would seem more natural.

I'm glad you shared! Looking forward to seeing what you do with the story!

Carey

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Hi, and welcome to Reading Excuses!

Just a few things...

In the first scene, with the eggs, it seemed pretty strange to me that the girl just threw a carton of eggs at Emily. I mean either she's totally wacko, or she was much more upset than you made her out to be.

Another problem I had with this piece is the way people reacted to strange things. They pretty much take it in stride. I mean, no one is particularly worried when the eggs all break, or when Emily walks into the house saying she thinks she got a concussion (any normal mother I know would totally freak out), and I would expect Oliver at least to get pretty excited when he sees a glass levitate, even if Emily is too worried to tell anyone about it...

And by the way, Aztecs are technically from Central America..

Otherwise it was great, and I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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Thanks for reading it! Looks like I've got some editing to do... yes!

First, Carey. I've gone in and fixed both those places you indicated. More just line edits on the eggs exploding so you can follow the events better. And then a whole lot more thought-process for Emily before she makes that leap to "What am I?"

Trizee. I'll go in and clarify those parts. I'm on my phone right now, but when I get back to my computer...in the meantime, I'll explain. The girl threw the eggs at the mother, not Emily. I thought it said that, but maybe not. It's an easy enough fix if I didn't.

For reactions....the boss calls the World Order, which is the policing force. Emily was out for the freakout of the mom and the girl. Although if you're meaning Emily's reaction, I could work on that. At least thought-process wise. She doesn't really think much on it at the time. Good catch there.

Her mother doesn't have time to react to Emily. Emily says it as she's leaving the room. But her mom does go get her husband, who is a doctor. She's seen concussions before, and Emily seems pretty coherent by this point, but mom's still concerned. I should probably cut down the time she's able to sleep, though, to correlate to that. They wouldn't have let her sleep for an hour.

And Oliver. He actually doesn't see the glass. He came up behind Emily after, and heard her question to Anna. He's more looking at her like "what's wrong?" But I'll put that in there, that he walked up behind her and was waiting to pass or something.

Aztecs. *I* know that. Erik doesn't. He doesn't care. Which is why he tells his brothers not to correct him, because he knows he's probably wrong. History is David's subject. Not Erik's.

Anyway, I'll edit those places to make them more clear. Thanks for the help!

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Hi there,

So I just finished your chapter: here are my thoughts.

Things that didn't work forme:

I would have liked a little more detail about the world surrounding Emily as she passed through it to give us little nuggets of context in which to adjust to her world. That way you don't have to pull us out of POV for explanations and info dumping.

me.

Some of the writing felt a little over done for my taste. I know it sounds kind of like an oxymoron but more detail/less fat. Word choice can set the tone of the scene so if you have adjectives and word choices that may conflict with the tone you are trying to convey it can have the effect of just weighing the story down unnecessarily as the reader has to continually reconcile what you are trying to say with they pretty words that don't quite match.

Saying something in a simple way to convey the sense of confusion she is feeling might help you to relate her sense of disorientation. Example- when Emily wakes up after being knocked unconscious. { She tried to move her arm up to touch her head but someone restriained her}

She is trying to remember where she is and what is happening. It is all very disorienting as sensations and memories come rushing back to her. So how does she know it is someONE holding her back. And the word "restrain" in this context is almost too elegant and proper a word to really help your 'confused' tone.

Just an opinion.

Also at home when her family is together I got a very "leave it to beaver" type atmosphere. I get that she has a happy loving family but the whole uncle Chris Segway into "what life lesson can we draw from this moment" felt a little over the top.

And when she is meeting the World Order guy. Supposedly this is your policing force right? So wouldn't she feel at least a little bit nervous to be having a sit down with one of them. Especially since she doesn't feel good and is confused. Wouldn't being thrown up in front of an authority figure give her the slightest pause to make her question why or what she has done wrong to get this sort of reaction? She took the whole thing in stride way too easily for me.

Now for the good things :)

I am intrigued by the world building you have going on and am interested to see how you develop out the social structure . Why doesn't anyone travel? How did New York get a different policing type force. I would read more to find out.

I like the twins and slight hint of mystery surrounding the relationship "uncle Chris"has with the family.i am also interested in Emily's questions about what's happening to her and can't wait to see the interal struggle to come up with answers.

Keep writing!

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I think everyone's covered most of what I saw, so I'll keep this short. Yes, the egg scene was confusing, but I'll go farther to say you might need to look into your movement/action blocking. Some of the descriptions are a little awkward.

I was also confused by who was who in the large family. The only one I could keep straight was Erik, because he has a twin and he got more screen time. Past that, there are four (?--going from memory) other children and they walk in an out of scene without a lot of tags as to who they are. Take a look at Jim Butcher's blog on character development. It gives some good ways to distinguish characters with one or two words.

Last, I know this is the first chapter, but it seemed light on content. We got a couple vague references to some sort of World Order, but it was vague enough that it didn't even capture my interest. It needs some hook to say whether it's good or bad, powerful, shadowy, conspiratorial, etc.

This has potential and I'd like to read more. Keep it up!

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I liked this chapter. You do a good job of introducing your protagonist and her family and you do some nice world building without overdoing it.

One thing you need to watch out for is POV. I noticed two POV errors in this one. The first one is on page 5:

“Your turn, miss.”

Emily woke up suddenly.

As you wrote it, the World Order guy speaks and then Emily wakes up. How did she hear him?

The second one is on page 8:

And then she lost consciousness.

If she loses consciousness, she can't describe losing consciousness. If she did indeed lose consciousness, she would notice it only after waking up.

I think the family dinner scene is a bit too long. Uncle Chris came off as a bit pretentious with his whole life lesson thing; not sure if that was intentional.

One thing that irritated me about that scene was that people kept talking about going to Europa or going to Asia, etc. as if those were homogenous places, instead of continents with dozens of diverse countries with different languages, cultures, ethnicities and climates. But this seems to be an American quirk (I don't think it's mentioned in the story, but I presume it's set in the USA), so I suppose you can't be blamed for that.

Overall I liked this first chapter and hope to read more from you.

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One thing that irritated me about that scene was that people kept talking about going to Europa or going to Asia, etc. as if those were homogenous places, instead of continents with dozens of diverse countries with different languages, cultures, ethnicities and climates. But this seems to be an American quirk (I don't think it's mentioned in the story, but I presume it's set in the USA), so I suppose you can't be blamed for that.

Unfortunately true. I think you can blame our arrogant American culture for that.

[rant] Also the school system where students can't find Europe on a map, and finding something like Germany or Romania would be too much to handle! (Note this is not directed at little wilson at all, but at our terrible school system--it gets my ire up whenever the subject comes up)[/rant]

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One thing that irritated me about that scene was that people kept talking about going to Europa or going to Asia, etc. as if those were homogenous places, instead of continents with dozens of diverse countries with different languages, cultures, ethnicities and climates. But this seems to be an American quirk (I don't think it's mentioned in the story, but I presume it's set in the USA), so I suppose you can't be blamed for that.

Right now, it takes place on Long Island. That's only mentioned once, very briefly, at least in the version you guys got. I've fixed it up, per advice on here, and it's a more clear. And as for the geography issue....there's an in-world reason for this. Nothing to do at all with the American quirk of not caring about other countries (a quirk I'm quite happy to say that I do NOT adhere to, as I am quite familiar with all of the sovereign countries of the world...absurdly so. I'm a bit of a geography nut. And it bugs me when people, as Mandamon points out, can't find simple countries that ANYBODY should know the location of).

Anyway, if you're curious about the in-world reason, I actually hint at it just a little bit in a couple places in the chapter. The biggest hint is when they talk about where Chris is going in Asia. As far as I know, there's no Mandarin Province in any of the countries of Asia as we know it right now... The other hints are more in the cases of the World Order. And the Coalition. But I won't say any more about that here. You'll start figuring out the details of it in the next couple of chapters. Next chapter in particular.

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