Entire first chapter of an un-named practise novel. Would really appreciate your thoughts.

Sat, Oct 7 2017 10:37pm IST 1
healeymonster1
healeymonster1
33 Posts
Good evening!
I need to get some feedback on my writing and editing ability. I have posted below the 3700 words that form the first chapter of a novel/book that I decided to write in 2015. I've long since abandoned it, but as my knowledge has improved bit by bit I've aways gone back to it and edited it again and again. First I went back and removed all the direct exposition to put it into dialogue/action etc, then I went back and replaced the adverbs, then looked at filtering etc. I must have edited it 20 times!
I think I've done everything I can with it, but is what's left readable/entertaining?
This chapter was to show "a day in lives of", followed by chapter 2 which gives you a glimpse of their contrasting home lives. Chapters 3-10 show 60+ thousand words of a rambling, directionless, portal style sci fi adventure.

Thanks for your time.

James :)

PS If anybody is interested in chapter 2 then ask and I will add a new topic for it.

Chapter 1: Friday Feeling.

The morning sun shone sharp and bright through the dry winter air, a breeze stirred the faint fume of moisture that lifted from the thawing car park. Norman tipped his face up to the sky, letting the thin warmth wash over on his face and neck.
With closed eyes, he heard as feet scurried past, and scampered up the school steps. These last stragglers were in a hurry, it must be getting on for nine o’clock now.
He checked his phone, 8.58. Half an hour now, stood here in the cold, watching the sun come up. Still no messages from Will either, surely he would have let him know if he was going to be pulling another sickie.
Some kids would be going in to sit for register, best head on in.
“Norm!” Will Tullford came haring round the corner into the school entrance. “Wait for me Norm. I’d left my bag in Dad’s work van and…..uuugh!”
Will’s feet lost grip and his chubby little legs flailed at the slick pavement. He landed hard on his backside in the roadway, shouting and wriggling with pain. Norm snorted into the back his hand, failing to muffle laughter, he had to turn away.
“Aaaaagh! It’s not funny Prick! I think I’ve bust my arse bone, aaagh, Norm! aagh. It kills!”
“It’s called your coccyx. You clumsy twonk.” Norman corrected him through a broad grin as he grabbed Will by the arm, and eased him up onto his feet.
“What did you just say?” Will asked, as his own grin broke out through the grimace of pain. “Did you say, your cock’s sick?” he “That’s a bit personal isn’t it Norm? I don’t think I’m the right person to be discussing this with.”
“Shut up Will, you spanner. You’ve already made me late for school.” he smiled and gave him a firm poke in the armpit with his finger.
“Ow. You bully!” Will teased, rubbing his tailbone with one hand and prodded rib with the other. “Speaking of which, you seen Dan turn up today while you been stood here lurking like a perv.”
“You’re disgusting. Yeah, he’s here, came in with Abby Rice. Her mum dropped them off this morning. He’s obviously survived whatever was wrong with him. Unfortunately.” Will still massaged his bruised posterior as they made their way towards the main entrance.
“Abby Rice?” he questioned, “Why do all the nice girls go for the psychos?”
“I don’t know Will.” the question brought thoughts of the van on his Mum’s driveway this morning. The reason he’d left the house so early. “But they do. That’s for sure.”
He held the door open for Will and bowed a chivalrous bow. “Ladies first.”
“Ooh thank you young man.” Will trotted through the door, wiggling his backside in a grotesque attempt at feminity. Thank god Will was here, the day seemed like it might actually be bearable now.

***
They arrived at their form room just as Mrs Stokes’ last students filed in to take register. They sat in their usual quiet corner. Speaking in a low voice, purely for dramatic effect rather than secrecy, “Hey Norm?” He had a ridiculous smug look on his face. “I went up with dad to Newington court again last night, to drop off an invoice.Wow, what a kooky place.” there was an infuriating pause.
“Really Will?” trying hard to sound uninterested. This wouldn’t go away until he’d indulged it. Another one of Will’s obsessions “How’s that then?”
“Oh my god. It’s proper weird up there, security cameras everywhere, ‘Keep Out’ signs, barbed wire. Miles of chain link. It’s like a government facility. I reckon there’s some mad, freaky stuff is going on!”
“That doesn’t sound that weird.”
“Seriously mate you should see it. Dad goes up there with van loads of Meat. Along with offal and weird, other stuff. There’s no cars, no lights on, no chimney smoke. Just a big dark old house. Who even lives there? What’s he feeding that meat to?”
“I dunno. Pets? Why are you always so over dramatic? If he’s such a crazy old cook as they say, then he might keep exotic pets or something.”
Will continued to jabber on quietly under the clamour of voices, something about how only he knew a way in. Waiting for him to run out of steam Norm scanned the room, looking for somebody in particular. A broad, cruel face was here somewhere, and it payed to always know where it was aiming it’s attention. Through the crowd of backs, arms and shoulders that single face was visible alright. Directed straight at them.
Cold blue eyes had been fixed on them from across the room. Attached to them was a face that lit up with a devilish grin. It was too late to issue a warning by the time Norm saw him moving.
“Alright Turdford, you ginger little shit!”
Without breaking stride, Danny put his palm over Will’s face, and tipped him, straight over backwards.
The girls leaning against the windowsill behind Norman shrieked and scrambled at the sight of Will's face staring up at them from the floor, gasping like a fish. They clutched at their skirts and scrambled to away from him. Everyone turned to the commotion, most of them on tiptoes or chairs trying to see what all the fuss was.
“Flipping heck, Turdford you little pervert!” Danny, was admiring his handiwork from his own seat, one arm slung over the back of his chair, an exaggerated expression of disgust plastered across his face. “I’ve really missed you two.”
Will got up and repositioned his chair, accompanied by the usual cheering and jeering.
“Okay everybody, calm it down please. Thank you William for that piece of hilarious entertainment. We’ll see if you find it so funny while you’re spending your lunch break with me, photocopying worksheets! See me here at 12:45 please.” She shifted her attention to the classroom. “Everybody find your seats. Quickly please. It’s already ten past nine and we’ve got to get you off to first period.”
“You ok mate?” Norman whispered as names were called for register.
“Nothing I can’t handle. Usual crap isn’t it?” Will's usually pale, freckly face was bright pink and he had the wet stare of someone struggling to master their emotions.
“Cheer up mate it’s Friday.” Norm smiled and gave him a prod with his elbow.
“There's a lot of Friday left yet bud. I’ve got to make it to half three first.” Will was looking at Danny as he said this. “That prick’s got lost time to make up for.”
***
Why hasn’t the bell gone yet? Norm sat and stared at the clock, concentrating on the minute hand. It was moving so slowly it could be still, but he knew it wasn’t, he tried to catch its movement and track its slow transition across the clock face. The tiny sliver of white between it and the black mark showing thirty one minutes past three slowly disappeared bit by tiny bit. He ignored his chemistry teacher as he explained tonight's homework, he wasn’t going to do it anyway. He just sat in private tranquility, wondering what his Friday evening might have in store for him, and planning to stuff his face with sugar on the way home. His stomach grumbled, he’d still not eaten today. The tenner he’d brought for his lunch was still screwed up in his pocket. He thought Will would need some cheering up after the day he’d had.
A sharp blast of school bell cut through Norm’s thoughts, making him jump and vapourising his ponderings. Mr Vaughan’s voice was quickly drowned out by the scraping of chairs, and the loud clamour of kids voices. Their weekend had begun, and they all crammed at the doorway. Their teacher drawled futile protests at their unseemly and undignified behaviour. Norm sat, leaning back in his chair, and waited for the crush at the doorway to thin out before steadily making his way over. Home time, always brought him mixed emotions. More than ever today too.
***
Norm headed straight for the maths block and sauntered across the courtyard, there was no point in rushing, Sweaty Stokes’ lessons always ran over. Poor Will ha’d endured the whole hour of lunch time in detention with her, followed by the excruciating horror of double maths in the same room. He would treat him to something nice on the way home. Will never missed an opportunity to visit old Cosby’s sweet shop, plus it would buy Norm some time before he had to face whatever mess was waiting at home. He walked across the yard between the two main buildings where a small group lingered by the exit to the maths block, obviously waiting for friends. Norm strained his eyes to see who it was. One of them was Nathan Dillt, or Nate as his friends called him. He was one of the worst of Danny’s nasty little group of friends. Norm hesitated before heading over to wait with them, they looked like they were in high spirits, perhaps it would be prudent to give them a little space. Even without Danny they were a nightmare, that mouthy arsehole Tammy was over there too.
Hopefully Abby will be out first and they’ll be on their way before Will comes out, it must be her they were waiting for. He slowed his pace, hanging back.
“Hello Norman, my good buddy.” An enthusiastic voice boomed at him in a cruel parody of friendliness. Norm’s heart sank, then shrivelled inside him. “How’s it going buddy?” Danny asked, as he swung himself into Norm’s path, a big grin was pasted across his face.
“Danny.” Norm greeted him coldly, hoping to get rid of him without confrontation.
“I heard that pissed up wanker Ray Smith is shagging your mum again.” Danny laughed, he was right up in Norms face and his breath stunk. “Fucking hell Buckley she must be desperate for it if she’s letting him bang her. Let me know if I can be any help, cos I can’t imagine he’s doing much of a job.” he pumped his hips at Norm, winked and stalked off towards his friends. Norm just stood frozen with anger, staring at the back of his head as he swaggered off. Then the floodgates opened and from the double doors a torrent of adolescents poured out.
Fortunately, Will was almost at the very front of the tidal wave of teenagers that burst out of the building. Dan didn't acknowledge Will as they passed, Norm watched Will shoot a wary sideways glance and give a little flinch as he passed them, it was a pitiful sight. As soon as Will saw Norm he quickened his pace, his shaggy ginger mop bounced as he trotted awkwardly over. “Get in there. Friday night at last!”
“Come on then Will, we’ll stop at Crosby’s on the way home, to celebrate. I’ll treat you to some rotten teeth out of Mum’s booze fund.” Norm, Will and a few other kids headed away from the main flow of students and towards the sports hall. It was the long way home, but cutting across the town footy pitch would take them straight into the high street. “We’ll go down dark alley Will. It’s quicker and there’s less arse holes to deal with. I bet you’ve had a rough afternoon?” Norm asked as the sound of people faded away behind them.
“Rough? That’s an understatement. I’ve been choking on the fumes from sweaty Stokes’ armpits since lunchtime. I’ve had three hours of her. Three, hours!”
“Just be thankful it’s November.”
“Ha, ha you’re joking aren’t you? She had the heating up full blast.” They dived through the gap in the school fence, and made their way down hill towards the town. Their route was lined with fruit trees and they trod carefully on the slippery leaves.
“Well if you’re paying I’m going to stuff myself with sugary goodness, and I think maybe a blue slushy to wash it down too. How much cash we….” Will was cut off mid-sentence by a loud wet slap. A soft brown apple that had been found rotting in the grass under one of the fruit trees had splatted sloppily against Will’s skull. The cold spray flicked across Norm and he wiped his face with a sleeve. A girl screamed with excitement. “Oh my god Danny. What a shot! Right in the head.” Tammy squealed excitedly as she bounced and clapped with glee, “see if you can get the lanky one.” Norm looked back and Danny was following them at a distance. He was with Abby, who was shrunk down into her big fluffy coat, hiding from the cold. That big mouth Tammy White was the one egging Danny on. He hated Tammy almost as much as he hated Danny. Will was leant forward, trying to comb the chunks of rotten fruit out of his hair with his fingers. “What the bollocks was that?”
“It’s Dan and Tammy.”
Danny shouted to them. “Stand still Norman, you lanky Twat.” he launched the apple overarm. It was hell of a throw, it soared through the air. Norm tried to keep his cool. Let’s see where it’s headed before giving Danny the pleasure of seeing him trying to dodge. Straight for his head was the answer, He ducked. Slap. It spread onto the pavement.
“Ugh, it’s gross Norm. And freezing cold.” Will brushed the apple bits off his palms, most of it was gone from his hair.
“Let’s get going Will.” they walked briskly off towards town, and took a left turn, then over a stile cutting across the public sports field. “They won't come this way, it will be way too muddy for ‘princess Abby’. We can go over the river bridge then.” They trudged across the soft ground. There was a pleasant crunchy crust of ice on the mud that stopped them getting too mired down. This was a good route, Danny’s house backed onto this playing field but he wouldn’t go across it tonight. Their paved route went wide round the adjacent houses. Once they were past here they could be sure not to bump into him again tonight. Norm breathed in the wintry air of freedom, it smelled of grass, and wet earth. There was a faint girls voice shouting. “You hear that Norm?” Will sounded worried.
“Yeah Will, I do.” Norman turned back to look towards the sound and was frozen for a second. “Shit it’s them!” Bearing down on them at full speed was Danny Vincent and one of his cronies, a big one. Abby was shouting from the fence, it was impossible to tell what she was saying.
“Run Will. Fast.” they ran.
Norm was a good runner and they had a large area to cover. He pounded his feet at the slippery ground, his legs firing like pistons. The ground raced by below, he raced on, spurred allong by the determination to escape. The mud was slick but he was picking up momentum and the edge of the field was closing in. Then, there was a thud, a squelch, and little helpless cry of despair from behind him. It was followed by a deep breathless laugh of satisfaction as Will was slammed into the mud. All was lost. He stopped running. There was no way he was leaving Will behind with these two. He ground to a halt, stared at his feet, took a deep breath and decided to fight. His heart was racing, it made his whole body pulse with each beat. He was going to smash his fist straight out through the back of Danny Vincent’s head if he could. He closed his hand, turned, and Danny’s full weight hit him like a truck. He swung, and clawed, and grabbed. Danny was strong, quick, and very well practised in the art of physical restraint. Within two seconds Norm was face down in the grass and in considerable pain.
His left eye could see the kissing gate that would take them over the bridge into town. It was about ten running paces away. So close. His right eye was closed, pressed into the icy crust of the mud. He held his lips shut tight trying not to let mud into his mouth. Every breath brought with it the deep earthy smell of wet clay, millimetres from his nostril. Danny had a knee in the small of Norm’s back, it hurt like mad. He twisted and ground his knee into his backbone, Norm had to keep himself stiff and tensed to try and keep the full weight from being bore by his spine. Will was whimpering unseen behind him. Norm tried to move, his right arm was pinned beneath him, he wriggled trying to free it. If he could free it he’d fight, he’d scratch, tear, punch and claw for all he was worth. His Left arm was twisted up his back, and held tightly by the wrist, the awkward angle of his elbow was agonising.
Enduring this humiliation and retaining as much dignity as he could was all he could hope for at this point, he squirmed helpless and pathetic. He could hear Nathan saying something to Will, he tried to listen in. Then Danny’s hot wet breath was on his ear. “What on earth did you think you were doing Buckley?” his voice filled with a luxuriant cruelty. He whispered into Norms ear. “Why did you think you could fight me? eh?” he twisted his knee. Norm tried not to react but had to squirm and try and ease the pressure, it was pure agony. “I bet you wish, you’d kept running now. I bet you wish you’d stood and took that apple to the face too.” he breathed hot smelly air across Norms face. He could hear Will pleading, was he crying?
Danny’s voice was heavy and slow, savouring his own words. “Say it Buckley. Say ‘I wish, I’d kept running.’ and then eat some dirt for me.” Norm ignored him. Danny put more weight on his knee, and tugged at the tortured arm. He tried not to, but had to let out a squeak. “That’s better Normie. Now eat some dirt for me. Go on. A nice big bite.”
Abby’s voice was thin and shrill, but it was carried on a tone of vicious anger. “What the hell Danny! What are you doing! I'm stood round in the cold like some some dipshit while you arse around on the floor with these twats. Look at the state of my shoes Dan, Are you buying me new ones? Hey? Hey? Yeah that’s what I thought. Get of him you retard!” The pressure from Danny’s knee eased off as his balance faltered. Norm could hear Abby swatting at him in fury. He got off Norm, and stood up. The relief in his back and arm was delightful, he stared at the two pairs of feet as he lay face down in the mud.
“Okay, okay babe. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Let go inside.” he grasped and clutched at her, she swatted his muddy hands away, her feet turned and strutted off awkwardly on the slippery field. Dan’s feet trotted after arguing and pleading. Norman saw Nathan follow them, Danny berated him and punched him as they walked away, Norm and Will already forgotten.
He rolled over onto his back, with his elbow finally relaxed and his back pain fading. The wet mud was freezing cold. He lay still while the wet seeped through his jacket. “You okay Will?” he called into the air.
“Yeah. You?”
“Fine mate.” he was getting to his feet. “Look at the state of you.” he laughed at the sight of Will. His face was scratched by the ice and grit, and caked with mud.
“You don’t look too hot your self.” Will chuckled as they limped their way across the old foot bridge into the high street, the metal paneling on the bridge clanked with an uneven rhythm as they limped and clomped. The river was deep and green as it surged below them, swollen by the cold wet weather,. “What were you thinking Norm? Turning on him like that. I thought he was going to punch your head in.”
“So did I for a second. Luckily, he didn’t though.” Norm reached into his pocket. “It's not all bad mate, look what I got.” Norm smiled widely as he produced Danny’s wallet from his pocket, he shook it and jangled the bunch of house keys that hung from it.
“No way! Norm you evil genius. Is that what I think it is?”
“Yes it is Will.” Norman rifled through the wallet. “Bank cards, phone numbers,” he flipped them casually into the water as he walked, they tumbled through the air and vanished into the cold churning water. He probed a finger around inside, getting into the tightest corners, “Aha!” and dug out a tightly folded purple banknote. “Jackpot, twenty quid. Looks like blue slushies are on the ever generous and benevolent, Danny Vincent tonight.” it was impossible to try and play it cool. A toothy grin beamed from his face, he handed Will the twenty pound note with a chuckle just as they swung out into the high st. The spring had returned to their step and they laughed boldly at the people that gawked at their shocking appearance.
Outside Cosby’s was a black metal, litter bin. He tossed Danny’s wallet and house keys into it as the strode up to the shop. “Shame it’s only an only an hour ‘till Danny’s mum gets back really.” As he approached the shop window with row after row of colourful sweet jars he caught a glimpse his reflection. He stopped for a second and tugged Wills shirt to pull him in next to him. There they stood for a full moment and admired the spectacle of their reflection in the shop window. “Look at the state of those two.” He said ruffling wills ginger mop to make the drying mud and Apple rain onto their feet.
They staggered into the crowded sweet shop holding each other up like drunks, literally crying with laughter.

Sun, Oct 8 2017 10:58am IST 2
Seagreen
Seagreen
2149 Posts

Hi HM.

Er... because your post is quite long, I'll be honest and say I skim-read it, so what you have below are bargain basement comments/questions. I enjoyed the read, but perhaps it needs a general tightening up? As ever, ignore what doesn't work for you.

I'm guessing YA? How old are your main characters?

Loved the banter between the boys, and their relationship is evident, so wasn't sure if the section at the start added anything. I suspect Newington Court has some significance, but you could fit that in somewhere else. And there are enough hints of Norm’s home life peppered throughout.

Not sure where the teacher came from or why she thought Will was responsible for the scenario in the classroom. Perhaps make that clearer?

This drew me out 'perhaps it would be prudent to give them a little space.' It didn’t sound like something Norm would say/think.

Picking up on what you said about Chapter 2 and the first chapters being 'days in the lives of' - obviously I haven't read the second chapter, but it's worth checking that it moves the story forward.

You have a couple of instances where dialogue ends and you've started the next sentence lower case e.g. '... going Will.” they...

Couple of spelling mistakes – allong, payed…

Sun, Oct 8 2017 12:14pm IST 3
healeymonster1
healeymonster1
33 Posts
Thanks for that Seagreen. There is no target audience it's just formatting and technique practise really.
These first chapters are purely scene setting. On reflection I suppose I suspected that they may be completely pointless. My thinking was that if they are entertaining, or generated huge intrigue then they would enhance what is to come.
Sorry it's a bit long :s
Sun, Oct 8 2017 02:20pm IST 4
Kate
Kate
872 Posts
Hi James
Lots of positive things here. You've got your characters in action and there's nice interplay between them.
Here are a few other things you might like to think about:
.
I didn't like the way you jumped between short scenes in the opening. I found it a bit hard to engage with the characters until I got to the much longer section. So if you were going to use this as an opening chapter, you might want to think about tweaking the scenes so they could flow together as one.
.
One thing that jumped out at me in the first scene was the speech tags. It's not necessary to tag or put action around every single piece of speech. I felt maybe you could peel these back a little. You've also used tags like 'corrected, asked, teased, questioned.' It's quite often better just to use 'said' most of the time. These just fade into the writing and the reader will barely notice them, whereas the ones your using won't and to me they're also a bit telly.
.
Filtering - take a look at this paragraph fpr example.
'Why hasn’t the bell gone yet? (that bits nice and in the characters head, but then there's lots of filtering) Norm sat and stared at the clock, concentrating on the minute hand. It was moving so slowly it could be still, but he knew it wasn’t, he tried to catch its movement and track its slow transition across the clock face. The tiny sliver of white between it and the black mark showing thirty one minutes past three slowly disappeared bit by tiny bit. He ignored his chemistry teacher as he explained tonight's homework, he wasn’t going to do it anyway. He just sat in private tranquility, wondering what his Friday evening might have in store for him, and planning to stuff his face with sugar on the way home'
'Wondering' used to be one of my big ones. If I ever find myself writing 'wondering' or 'knew', I always hit the back key and rephrase. Even words like sat or stared are asking the the reader to observe the character who is doing something. You want to get rid of the observation stage and move straight into the doing. I find questions are a great way to make the reader feel a lot closer to the character, which is exactly what you did at the beginning of the paragraph, but maybe you could use more often.
There's filtering throughout. This is one clanger that jumped out at me. 'decided to fight'. A moment of action and you're filtering it by telling us his made a decsion.
I feel a bit more work needed on this aspect.
.
Pyschic distance - there are places where you use free indirect style beautifully, again like that sentence above, where you drop us into the characters head, but I found when you got to the action you lost this. Perhaps try and move away from narrating what happenes and let us experience it close in from Norms POV.
.
Here's an example where it should be tense but it feels a bit flat-
Norm was face down in the grass and in considerable pain. His left eye could see the kissing gate that would take them over the bridge into town. It was about ten running paces away. So close. His right eye was closed, pressed into the icy crust of the mud. He held his lips shut tight trying not to let mud into his mouth. Every breath brought with it the deep earthy smell of wet clay, millimetres from his nostril. Danny had a knee in the small of Norm’s back, it hurt like mad
.
This is in my style, so won't be how you'd want to do it, but just to give you some ideas of how it could be done:
Slam. Face down - mud and ice pressing against eyes, slipping between tight pressed lips, and sliding icy fingers through clothes to skin. The kissing gate, ten paces away. So close. They'd almost made it. Dan's knee slammed into his spine, crunching, grinding. God it hurt. Had to get him off.
- I'm trying to make this feel like Norms thoughts and feelings given to the reader directly, rather than narrating what happens. One of the things I've done is avoided using 'he' to make us feel closer to Norm. It's more tense when you experience it this way.
.
I think you've got a very nice visual opening, but the next one about tipping his face to the heat of the sun stopped me and I was tempted not to read on because for me it was a cliche. Always try to right something in a new way. Make it different, quirky and characterful so the reader will sit up and pay attention.
.
I hope some of that might be useful, but it is just my opinion so adapt or reject as works for you. I think there's lots of good things in this piece and now you're at the stage of maybe thinking about some of the more advanced techniques you can use to really make it shine.
Sun, Oct 8 2017 02:56pm IST 5
healeymonster1
healeymonster1
33 Posts
Wow. Thanks very much for that.
I can feel when I read through the bits that are flat and 'over filtered' but it is so subtle and hard to find. I am a bit of a wuss about getting the narrative muddled and slipping into first person. Those examples are enormously helpful, I can fix that now. :)
Sorry it was so long, thanks for your time.
I'll spare you the re-write. XD
Mon, Oct 9 2017 10:48am IST 6
Kate
Kate
872 Posts
Perhaps you could scrub up 500 words and repost that?
Wed, Oct 11 2017 06:01pm IST 7
FergC
FergC
1318 Posts
Hi Healey,

I've only just strated reading this but the first paragraph has a bizarre problem that doesn't get dealt with much, so here is the thing: there is way to much alliteration. I remember being told to avoid this in prose if possible.

here's your para 1. as is with the alliteration in bold:

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-align: justify; font: 18.0px Sabon; color: #313849} span.s1 {letter-spacing: 0.0px}
The morning sun shone sharp and bright through the dry winter air, a breeze stirred the faint fume of moisture that lifted from the thawing car park. Norman tipped his face up to the sky, letting the thin warmth wash over on his face and neck.


Wed, Oct 11 2017 10:01pm IST 8
healeymonster1
healeymonster1
33 Posts
Hi Healey,

I've only just strated reading this but the first paragraph has a bizarre problem that doesn't get dealt with much, so here is the thing: there is way to much alliteration. I remember being told to avoid this in prose if possible.

here's your para 1. as is with the alliteration in bold:

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-align: justify; font: 18.0px Sabon; color: #313849} span.s1 {letter-spacing: 0.0px}
The morning sun shone sharp and bright through the dry winter air, a breeze stirred the faint fume of moisture that lifted from the thawing car park. Norman tipped his face up to the sky, letting the thin warmth wash over on his face and neck.


Wow. That is glaringly obvious now.

Thanks for that.

Fri, Oct 13 2017 01:05pm IST 9
JackJones
JackJones
1 Posts
'Edited 20 times' shows you have the level of determination needed to be a writer, but do you want to be a published writer? You do not seem to me to be sure. Kate has given you excellent analysis whereby you can improve and develop your style but Seagreen's pertinent guess at genre is a matter you should not dismiss too easily. It is only by establishing genre that you will be able to build structure and then create strong characters that act through conflict striving for their own objective. I hope you accept this from an unpublished writer struggling with the same difficulties. You are on the path so best wishes and good luck!
Fri, Oct 13 2017 09:29pm IST 10
healeymonster1
healeymonster1
33 Posts
'Edited 20 times' shows you have the level of determination needed to be a writer, but do you want to be a published writer? You do not seem to me to be sure. Kate has given you excellent analysis whereby you can improve and develop your style but Seagreen's pertinent guess at genre is a matter you should not dismiss too easily. It is only by establishing genre that you will be able to build structure and then create strong characters that act through conflict striving for their own objective. I hope you accept this from an unpublished writer struggling with the same difficulties. You are on the path so best wishes and good luck!

Hi, JJ I didn't mean to seem dismissive of Seagreen's advice. It was good advice. I haven't started choosing genre, or planning plotlines etc. This chapter was created as a sort of laboratory for learning the bare basics of manuscript creation. I mean bare basics, like how to format and punctuate dialogue. I just got a bit carried away and posted over 3000 words. That probably gave the wrong impression. Trouble is that I got too attached to Will and Norm and kept messing with a hopeless project instead of moving on. I have started writing 1000 word short stories now. If I come back to gauge my progress again I will use my best one of those.

I'm not thinking about being published. I think I should at least learn how to write first. Thanks for the encouragement, and good luck to you too!

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