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Re: Opening page of my YA Steampunk novel

Posted: May 24th, 2011, 12:48 am
by Aurlumen
I agree with some of the others about the lack of contractions. I think mostly because when the two people speak sometimes they use contractions and sometimes they don't. I'd just pick one way and stay with it throughout.

And I also agree about the short paragraphs. It breaks everything too much. I know you want some lines by themselves to emphasize them more but some lines don't need that. Since someone is telling a story we expect to see paragraphs not just spaced out lines.

And I'd also cut the last sentence. Though I understand you might need it to go back to what you were talking about before. You already mention "the story traces back centuries" so in the next line you can say "the story" or "it begins with a man without a heart, who waits at the edge of a lake." that way after he dies we know that's the end of the story and you don't need to signal it.

"It is not what you think. No, it is worse, for they are not content to merely survive. They hope to take your survival for themselves." This feels kind of contradictory to me. You say they don't merely want to survive... they want to take your survival for themselves. (First of all, what? Do they want themselves to survive or you? I don't get it) And second... that IS surviving isn't it? Take your survival for themselves and do WHAT with it? This is the only part of the excerpt I don't understand :D

Otherwise I actually kind of love it. This surprises me as I'm sort of a picky reader. I have no idea what it's about or what just happened but oddly that doesn't bother me and I really want to know what the hell happens next. Like others have said it seems like I'm reading poetry (which I personally think is hard to pull off) and the way you describe everything is absolutely beautiful. I love the first sentence. I'm a sucker for good first sentences and you nailed it! You create really good mental pictures which is something we all look for in potential books to read. That said I do think it would work if you stuck with the 2nd person (I don't think this is first-person because you're talking directly to the audience. you = 2nd person) because as someone else said by the end of the excerpt we've already gotten used to it being written like that and suddenly changing it might not flow right. Well that depends of course. It's natural that you switch to third-person to tell the story (i'm not sure if that's what you meant by 3rd person) because obviously it's about someone else not the narrator so that's not disruptive. Anyway good luck! I wish I could write like this ;P