Hi! I'm 17 and trying to write a novel (I know you all have heard this sob story before) I would love to have some feedback on my first couple pages of the most recent novel. I'm looking for a 1984 feel, but in a boarding school... Anyway it's right here. Something happened and a good chunk of the first part is all bold, sorry about that.
I feel that there isn't enough description, and where there is description it's kinda.... over the top?
I'm not sure, but anything is helpful. :)
Thanks so much! Anything will help. :) DFTBA!
I read the chapters and I think In the beginning you need to be more descriptive. And don't use the word hellish in more than once in the same paragraph. Other than that It is pretty good so far=D
Thanks so much! I'll try to add in more description. I've noticed in novels that dialogue tends to have more with it than just what the characters are saying, but I can't seem to fit anything in there that doesn't sound like pointless filler.
Oh hellish! I forgot that was in there twice >< Thanks for that!
I'm now following you on Tumblr. Writing novels -- particularly good ones -- requires research. One of the hardest tasks is to develop a convincing character, that develops and evolves through the novel. A start -- and a first attempt -- is just that. I spend an enormous chunk of my day studying (reading & writing). I even write as a hobby. More than a year ago I started this writing game, with an internet friend of mine. The goal was to create a character, and live as that character (like cosplaying). While living as the character create a diary for the character. This becomes adynamic novel (written as a memoir). The character (primarily) lives on the internet. Here is the facebook page; http://www.facebook.com/pages/ζωή-Life-The-Game/254802068051
Looks interesting. A couple things I'd suggest.
Watch your tense. It settles into first person present, but the large bold section has past, present and future tense in it, which threw me while I was reading. Maybe contextualize it as having your main character explaining these things instead of a general overview?
It needs to be B.B. or BB, not B.B as an abbreviation. At first, I thought there was an emoticon in the text. Unless, of course, there's a specific reason you did it that way. In that case, ignore me.
Lastly is more of a general suggestion. Try reading it out loud. You catch a lot of the little things (And some of the bigger things) when you hear the story read as opposed to just reading it.
Hi there. I'm Vlad. I read the pages you had in the link.
So I think you manage dialog very well for such a short piece. It felt natural and free flowing.
The general flow is fine and easy to follow and all's nice and all that. I was looking at what others said about the grammar and tense structure and all that. Negligible to me. That usually comes as you start getting immersed in your own writing. So worry not.
However, the initial description: "And so they came to our president, offered him lots of money, and somehow convinced him to allow this to happen ..." That kind of kicks you in the shins as you start. It's not terrible or anything, just one dimensional giving one the feeling that you're just trying to get past this thing so that you can get to the juicier bits.
The reason I mentioned that is your "1984"ish intent. You need to have a reason why people are imposing some rules in this situation, and some other reasons that account for how your characters react.
Think of it this way, every sentence should at best underline action or forward your plot. So in your case every sentence at the beginning should ramp up the underlying issues that will become so present and central at BB. While every bit after should convey some sort of action - respectively we get to know some characters.
I like your effort. Really cool.
Oh one thing I found memorable (and I say this in a positive light): Conrad, the young man whom I suppose is or should be Eastern European to at least some degree, was funny in the detached wise-beyond-his-years-due-to-the-heavy-burden-of-unfortunate-experience. Again, I enjoyed the fact that he says "Da" every now and then.
I have a warrant to comment on that one since I'm Romanian and well, da :D
I wish you the best of luck with your story. And toss me some new stuff as you move along with your story if you like.
(too tired to edit my grammar and phrasing - apologies)
Thank you for the dialog comment, I usually find that the easiest, so I'm glad it's not all in my head.
The first part is not the best, I agree with you on that. I wanted to go for a preface, and I'm afraid that didn't transition well (something I really need to work on) I've been trying to go back and edit when I have writers block, though I have been leaving the preface alone for now, it just infuriates me too much at this point.
I'm really glad you like Conrad! He's half Russian half German (raised by a Russian mother).
Thank you very much for the help!
You're right, I shouldn't doubt myself, it's a bad habit I need to break.
I'm glad the dynamics work, The narrator is named Rhea (at least in my updated version, I've been meaning to update the link with the larger/edited document).
I've fixed most of the tense mistakes (at least the one's I've noticed) in the newer version, thank you for pointing that out though. (I didn't realize I messed up a pronoun, yikes! Thank you so much for pointing that out.)
I understand your concerns about the changing language, I wanted them to speak differently for two reasons. One, to make the setting ambiguous. I wanted to make it seem that this school could be in any place that has teenagers and rivers. Did you think the difference made it too confusing? and Two, to show that they really are a family of "Well we don't have anyone else, so we better stick together" (also Conrad, who's past will be explored more, and hopefully make it more clear as to why he sounds wiser than his years, doesn't speak English as his first language. I wanted to highlight that by having him speak with no contractions.)
The change, and the characters feeling for it, are going to be explored in about a page or two, I wanted the characters to be introduced in such a way that you saw them before they were thinking too much about the experiment, and it will change them and I want them in the beginning to be vastly different from the characters you see at the end.
Thank you very much for taking the time to comment on my story though! I really appreciate it.