Prologue to Romantic Comedy Adventure

Post excerpts from your works in progress and give feedback to your fellow writers.
beeboo15
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Re: Prologue to Romantic Comedy Adventure

Post by beeboo15 » August 20th, 2010, 1:39 pm

I realize I'm coming into this late, and hope that my feedback might still do you some good...I don't totally disagree with other feedback, but mine is a bit different and may have some value.

I loved the original version. It was crisp and amusing and quickly paced, and the heavy handedness was great. (Did you see the movie Feast? That's what it reminded me of.)

Your updated versions have lost the edginess and quick pacing due to the additional description. We don't really have to know everything--like how many is a pack? Well, it's more than one, and I think that's all readers need to know, since the dogs run off and don't attack. Now, if they WERE attacking, that'd be need-to-know information!

Even with as much as I loved the first version, I do agree with the others that it was a bit difficult to follow dialogue in places. Just a few quick tags is all it would take, and you could maintain the quick pace originally established.

Also, I come from a family of rednecks, and we are totally proud of it and apologize to nobody. At least speaking for my clan, we are not offended by it, and by using the word "redneck" people IMMEDIATLY know what you're talking about without slowing down the pacing with a bunch of lengthy description, which brings me to my next point: you will not please everyone. One person will think this was a riot and reasonably easy to follow (me), and others may not. You need to write the story the way it feels good to you. Don't lose your voice and pace because we're asking for too much information upfront.

NickB
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Re: Prologue to Romantic Comedy Adventure

Post by NickB » August 23rd, 2010, 9:37 pm

Thanks beeboo15,

I agree about the pacing and extent of description...and the loss of edginess; but, I was struggling with the heavy-handedness of the voice. (Too much, too little, wrong direction...) I haven't seen FEAST, but will definitely check it out.

I'll look at the original again when I've let it all cool, but right now I'm working on beefing up the plot and some of the conflict. I became so involved in revamping the opening that it all looks good and it all looks bad right now, know what I mean?

And you're not too late (I'll be a lot more willing to comment on older posts now :)). Your comments are really helpful and appreciated.

Re: redneck: Exactly. It was meant as shorthand description of a character, but it sounded like I switched the voice there (an over-editing bobble) and so sounded like an author comment, not a character thought...just came out wrong.

Really, I can't thank you enough for your differing viewpoint and words on staying with what feels right to me. Between doing this and reading all the comments on Monday critiques, I've learned something I thought I already knew. Intellectually, I know everyone has their own opinion on some writing matters, but I figured the really important stuff would be largely agreed upon. Nope. We all like different books, duh. Different voice, style, content, etc..

The variety of opinion has been eye-opening. Like I've been turned upside-down. I'd like to find some betas, but it seems a lot of writers have trouble finding even one helpful critiquer. I'm looking around at Favorite Writer forums, but nothing so far.

This process here is a wonderful idea. We all have the opportunity for lots of eyes on the piece. But the lazy part of me I guess thinks it would be great if my cat read avidly in my genre and was the best undiscovered editor in the known universe. Okay, or my husband. :) (Now I'll rub the lamp and request the thick skin to take critique from someone that close to me.) There's Everything to be gained in the Quest, right?

Thanks again, Nick

beeboo15
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Re: Prologue to Romantic Comedy Adventure

Post by beeboo15 » August 24th, 2010, 12:49 pm

Nick,

Is your novel finished? I'd be happy to be a beta reader. I've never played that specific role, although I have been member of a critique group for many years, working with a variety of genres. I did once read a novel completely through at an author's request, but I had already seen it in pieces at the critique group, so I'm not sure that quite counts...

I love humor--specifically Tim Dorsey. Hurricane Punch was his best. I'm writing a humorous mystery novel with a partner, and we're about 3/4 done, with humor which I hope is similar to Tim's.

A bit of warning about FEAST. It's a comedy/horror movie with a lot of yucky stuff in it (definitely an R). Your opening reminded me of the opening of that movie. So if you're really grossed out by it, the opening where they're introducing the characters is what I found comparable to yours, so then you can stop watching!

Good luck with it!

Becky

NickB
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Re: Prologue to Romantic Comedy Adventure

Post by NickB » August 24th, 2010, 11:29 pm

Hey Becky,

My book is/was finished. A loooooong time ago. I'm now tweaking the plot and I hope fixing some things that were bothering me (a couple of underdeveloped characters among them), but it would really light a fire under me to think I needed to get it done so you could look at the (once-again) finished product. It would be an enormous help, I think.

Like writing a query letter...something I intend to do FIRST with my next novel. The difficulty of trying to put together a query for this one alerted me that something was wrong with the plot. (I started in one genre and moved to another, finally deciding to let the style flow and evolve as a learning experience. Anyhow, the plot went from mainly internal to largely external.) I want to move on to my next novel, which needs a lot of research and some travel, but this one...I go back and sometimes it's, "What made me think I could write?" and sometimes it's me reading through for an hour (when I was supposed to be editing it) because it's funny and I want to know what happens next (ummm...). Do ya know what I mean?

Long story short, I think having a beta in the genre is the next important step here and I'd be grateful for any input you'd have. You've seen the prologue (in its various states) and the first three chapters make sense, I think, so if you like I can send them...I guess you could PM your e-mail address to me...unless you're rethinking the offer already.;)

Anything from, "I'm done. It was okay." to a line-by-line is fine with me. No pressure. Just gratefulness. It'll be nice to know what makes sense outside my own head and what doesn't.

And thanks for the heads-up on FEAST. I think I've picked it up more than once, realized what it was about and put it back saying, "Maybe another day." But this time, for sure. If you're into offbeat in general, there's a little-known gem (in my humble opinion) called THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP. It's wacky...outside the box wacky. Nothing disgusting, though. It's foreign...French director, but it's in English, French and Spanish...and you don't notice.

I'll read your novel too, if you want. As-you-go or when you're done or however. Humorous mystery is right up my alley. (And speaking of comedy/horror movies, did you see LAKE PLACID? The language that came out of Betty White's mouth...she just cracks me up.)

I Love Tim! Not in a stalkerish way, I'm just saying. The only "off-ing" that comes back to haunt me is the human jerky. <shiver> Do you read Hiaasen or Christopher Moore? I just discovered Moore...a few months ago...and am on the seventh one. He'd better get writing fast. :) So should I.

Thanks again, Nick

Sea
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Re: Prologue to Romantic Comedy Adventure

Post by Sea » August 25th, 2010, 12:30 am

Hi Nick B

Just found this thread

I'm a big Evanovich reader but that's it. I have to admit, I'm pretty narrow in my tastes and I definitely lean towards light and fluffy. However, if Evanovich is kind of feel you're going for, I might be able to help.

My first thought is: Do you have a blurb? Because if I picked this book off the shelf, I'd read the blurb, and then the first page. The blurb would probably really help me put the first page into perspective.

I think overall, I preferred your first version too, at least because it was told as it happened, rather than started from him being dead and went backwards. However, I was really confused by it too. I think making it clear who the narrative is about is a definite must. I don't see why you can't put it all from the POV of the mysterious guy, which may help not having to name him too, as we never really hear any of the truckies thoughts. I think staying with one POV would help a lot, but I know you're trying to keep a distance too, and at the end of the day, you write very differently to me!

If you decide to stick with switching perspectives, having some clear descriptions of each person, as suggested by others in the forum, would definitely help.

Anyway hope this is helpful to you!

A useful exercise might be to get someone who has never seen it read it a sentence at a time and tell you as they do a) what they think is happening, b) anything they're confused about, c) questions in their head (ie why they might keep reading).

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