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Chuck Hossenlopp

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About Chuck Hossenlopp

  • Birthday September 27

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  1. Folks here can tell you that I'm struggling with my opening chapters, but I believe in my story enough to throw that beginning out and rebuild it word by word. The skimming happens not because your words don't flow nicely. They do. I knew my first chapters had their problems, but I eventually stopped rewriting the beginning over and over and finished the book. As a result, I now know my characters and world so much better. The beginning of a story has to be so front loaded with world and character building that I'm convinced that the beginning should be written last. The front third of my book was painful to write (because there was an evil goblin on my shoulder telling me how much I sucked) But the rest of the book flowed way better and I had a lot more fun writing and rereading it. The goblin never goes away. You just start to figure out that he's not always right. Consider this first chapter a discovery writing exercise and take us forward. Figure out why you care about this story and show us that.
  2. Guilty. One hundred percent Google translate. Agreed. I'm thinking that it starts with Sam interrupting the guys gaming, (no more fake out opener) followed with a quickie scene of S doing some blatant shenanigans under cover of night. The magical loot will be transported home via magic where guys will read them. They figure out that Sam stole them, character conflict ensues. That should give all the exposition needed to make a mess of San Francisco with magic Please! Keep it coming! You guys are giving the tough love this story needs! I do actually want to see this put out the the wide world of readers someday. Thank you all! @industrialistDragon What do you feel are the best aspects worth keeping as I revise these first three chapters into one?
  3. Guilty. I'll be more mindful of that from here on out I spoiler tagged this above, if you're the type that's inclined to shake boxes to figure out what's in them I want to believe that this problem improves in Chapter 4 when all for of them split up and do separate stuff. Maybe this is a California thing. I just means "insult" either playfully or cruelly. The dig site is a train wreak. I'm using all of this commentary to slim down everything that happens before the opening of the books It's really hard keeping the creationist in the story without coming off as insulting to that worldview, but I'm trying With all that said, what would you say are my load bearing pillars here? What needs to stay in the revision?
  4. @Curiosity's Splinter Long ago, clocks had spinny hands on them that... Nevermind. Overall what i think I'm hearing from you is that my jokes and banter are landing for you, and the magic hook is working. But like everyone else the the whole dig site scene is broken and the guys are too similar.
  5. You can have it both ways. The adults in her life could be warning her about the looming darkness while Ar shrugs it all off to go feed chickens and hang out with her friends. Keep ratcheting up the pressure on her over the first chapter until she can't stop herself from taking action of some kind
  6. I jumped right in here without having read your first part, so some of this may have already been addressed. Page 1: This first paragraph struck me as a little too on the nose. It's beat for beat Frodo and Bilbo's lament before their adventures. Belle from Beauty and the Beast did a whole song about this before her *ahem* adventure. (Can we really call her unhealthy ordeal an adventure?) Your protag doesn't seem to have a real concrete want, just a vague yearning. Your second paragraph, however, hits me in the guts. (That's a good thing) Having a perfectly acceptable, moderately productive life is my living nightmare! I think that rising above the mundane to become someone that really matters is at the heart of what makes us love fantasy stories so much (and most other genres now that I think of it) Page 3: Up to this point we've been told everything and shown nothing. Ar knows why her dad has to make an emotionally charged decision without talking to him? That's a missed opportunity for character conflict. That conversation can also give us some flavor about her brother by having Dad and Ar talk about what her brother isn't doing right now because he isn't home anymore. Show that this poor kid is loved and missed. Page 4: How do I say this? Referring to R as "the brown girl" made me flinch a little. Saying that her skin was darker than Ar's is fine. But if that's what she would be called in-world, you need to illustrate that this is an in-world thing somehow Page 7: She had 'weird dreams' in the half that i didn't read, and all of the people and place names indicate that this is a secondary world story, So I'm starting to wonder when the fantasy stuff is going to show up. Page 10: "She felt content about the Vale again"? She had better start wanting something before we watch her feed more chickens. Page 11: "What would your parents think..." The beginning of some mild conflict! The dissatisfaction with the Vale should be more constant throughout. he wishy washy "Maybe I like the Vale, maybe I don't" conflict needs to be way more front and center. I wanna see her desperately trying to convince herself that Vale life is for her, and fail miserably. She'll go mad if she has to stay there a single night longer! If only some kind of Call to Adventure would sweep me out my door! Page 15" The final paragraph is roughly similar to Brandon Sanderson's least favorite way to end a chapter. "They opened the door and..." Please fill in the "..." with life changing implications that can only be settled over the course of chapter two Yes I want to know what the horsemen are here for, but please end the chapter with a revelation. That will help me to crave the details of what the consequences are.
  7. Thanks for this find! "The jawbone was discovered in 2002 by a freshman on his first archaeological dig with the group." Now that I have more of @kais's perspective, I have the nightmarish vision that the kid dug straight through the entire cranium only stopping when someone over his shoulder saw the teeth and screamed for him to stop. Sigh. The civilizations represented at my fictional dig site date back to about 30k years ago. This jawbone dates back to nearly 200k years ago. Could sophisticated societies risen and fallen during that time in our real world? I'd like to think so. Everything is true until disproved. At least that's how it works for speculative fiction writers
  8. So. Many. Caveats. For those just tuning in: Four friends found the remains of a Dwarf, Elf, Giant, and a shining knight in an archeological dig that dates back to the Ice Age. Your input on this chapter will help me greatly because I am now recafoobling an outline for a total rewrite of these three opening chapters. Here are the things that are already changing: S will be the only one on site in Germany. He's no longer a big deal archeologist, he's just allowed to help. The other three guys will follow the discoveries from home in California The both the American and German professors will be female So... With all that in mind, tell me what is worth keeping, and what aspects of the dig are horribly inaccurate. Any suggestions for improvement are greatly welcomed
  9. @kais This is what makes you an amazing find for me. You know what an entertaining story needs, and you can call me out on my BS. I really hope you stick around for the whole ride
  10. @kais I'd like you to read my unaltered Chapter 3. I have to warn you that the experience of doing so will make you slap your forehead often enough to sound like applause, but I'm leaning on you to introduce some semblance of logic to my dig site. I think your input will be crucial to my rewrite. What field are you in?
  11. Done deal. Both the American and the German Professors are female now. I have to come up with new first names for them, and oh so many pronouns
  12. I actually have a reason for my four protagonists being male. I want my story to deconstruct the martial hero archetype, and expose the toxic masculinity at the heart of the myth of redemptive violence. I also don't want to hit the reader square in the face with it either. Believe me, I thought of gender swapping the mains, but toxic masculinity just doesn't translate well to a female character.
  13. I really hope that fridging has trended down since the 90's. One thing that I'm worried about is that adding a bunch of spear carriers to the opening scene could add confusion to the intro of the four main characters. Would that confusion be alleviated at all of the spear carriers were no-name pronoun people?
  14. Chapter 3 is full of my shrugging guesswork on how field work functions. Worse than that, the dig is really just set up to get the magic stuff to happen in Chapter 4. These three chapters are in need of serious triage. If I can manage the time this weekend, I'm going to digest all of the notes that all of you have given me to get an all new streamlined intro to the story going. I just might hint at the existence of a human being that can survive and function without a Y chromosome. (How did I not see that?) Stay tuned
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