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Author Topic: YA Fantasy - TERROS *** UPDATED  (Read 1324 times)
sm_davidson
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« on: January 23, 2018, 09:50:17 AM »

Thanks in advance for your feedback!



I have never liked birthdays! I have never liked birthdays, and this one is no exception. I know what you’re thinking. It’s my twentieth, and being a Kobold, this is a turning point in my life; but it doesn’t change anything, I still hate birthdays.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 02:16:31 PM by sm_davidson » Logged
samcantcook
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2018, 05:47:55 PM »

Thanks in advance for your feedback!



I have never liked birthdays! I have never liked birthdays the repetition doesn't work here, and this one is no exception. I know what you’re thinking. <-- This sentence only works if you know what we're thinking. And since we have no idea your main character is turning 20, it doesn't work. It’s my twentieth, and being a Kobold, this is a turning point in my life; but it doesn’t change anything what's the point of a turning point if it doesn't change anything?, I still hate birthdays. This just repeats the opening line, and it doesn't build intrigue because we stil don't know why he/she doesn't like birthdays.
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jcwrites
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 06:11:23 PM »

What SamCantCook said. Sorry, but I would not read on.
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sm_davidson
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 06:12:37 PM »

No reason to be sorry, I appreciate both your feedback... I will revise...   Smiley
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sm_davidson
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2018, 02:18:21 PM »

Good morning everyone.

I have gone back and done some more research, revising, and re-thinking of the tone I wanted to portray.

Any feedback is welcome, thank you so much!


Today is the worst day of the year - a day reserved for mourning, self-hatred and avoiding that look in my fathers eyes - the combination of joy and anguish.
Today is my birthday, and the eighteenth anniversary of my mother’s death day.
Normally I'd be lucky to roll out of bed before noon, or to get dressed, or to show my face until it was absolutely necessary; but it’s my eighteenth birthday - and today is the day I get to finally inherit my magic.
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GVonCarstein
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2018, 03:35:04 PM »

First Person YA needs to be voicey off the hop - we need to get right into the PoV's head. Right now this opening is so focused on 'Birthday and I dislike it' that we aren't getting any sense of what is happening.

Let's look at that classic uber-best-seller YA that is in first person - the Opening Line of Twilight.

"I’d never given much thought to how I would die—though I’d had reason enough in the last few months—but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.”

Now, as a caveat, this is the first line of the brief prologue, but it's still the first line that a reader dives in to. The topic is actually nebulous, there's no concrete details, but we are immediately inside Bella Swan's head. She's a little dry and sarcastic, a little flippant despite the apparent danger she's in, but most importantly she is 'I'. If you notice, 'I' is prevalent in this opening; 5 times in one sentence. The repetition here has two factors. 1) Each time the reader thinks 'I' they are pulled closer into this thought and this character. 2) Each time it's repeated it's also the character speaking into and informing the reader.

Right now your opening is very 'my' focused, it's a character speaking AT the reader rather than into. If you wanted to use the same framing, I would suggest something along the lines of the following:

'I've always hated my birthday, mostly because I was too young to remember the one where my mother died, but I can still see the pain in my father's eyes every year it comes around again.'

We've switched it around to focus on 'I', and we've also tuned down the 'writing' elements from your first sentence. Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules for Writing ended with an 11th rule to sum up the list: "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

On a related but separate note, it seems like you're opening the book with the character waking up. This is an oft-noted flag cliche that agents and editors talk about - waking up is rarely where the story should actually start. Not knowing more it's hard for me to give a firm suggestion as to whether it's appropriate for your story or not, but it's still an item to consider.
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katD
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 09:18:15 PM »

I like your voice. playful and strong with a hint of melancholy. I think you may have set your hook in the wrong place.
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sm_davidson
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2018, 06:20:10 PM »

Thank you for your feedback.

I have shifted to the moment that changes things for my MC while trying to maintain the voice.

Thanks in advance for the feedback!

When the High Lord is standing at your door, whether it’s a sollowgraph or not, you forget how to breathe… or at least I did.

I’d heard sollowgraphs - “sollows” as dad had called it - were the way the rest of our magical world communicated, but witnessing it in the flesh, or rather the sand, I was dumbfounded. It was obscene how carelessly other Derlings were with magic. To send not just a message, but a complete replica of oneself, built of the sand that covered the Waestlands, instead of just sending word the old fashioned way - the breath of a Derling, sealed with it’s message, and delivered on the wings of magic - was a perfect example of why dad was always going on about wasted resources.

The High Lord, the last of the great and powerful Auki bloodline, undoubtedly did not concern himself with insignificant details, such as the fraction of magic he would need to expend to send a sollow; but that didn’t explain why he would concern himself with anyone as insignificant as me. I would have thought the sollow had erred in it’s delivery, had he not have spoken my name in greeting.

“Happy Birthday Kaylab.” The words were a deep, low rumble that sounded both near and far at the same time.

I gaped at the Derling standing in front of me, unable to move or think or comprehend that the High Lord himself was addressing me, that he knew my name.

I’d never seen magic in real life. I mean, how was I to know that the wall of Auki standing on my stoop, was a mere replica? He was so real! It wasn’t until a few specs of loose sand escaped the sollowgraph that I was able to break my stare away from the enormous lord.

I had to shake my self back into the moment to focus on the violet skinned Auki, radiating a light, a faint glow upon his skin - how did the sollow achieve that?

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Farfadet
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2018, 06:50:46 AM »

Hi!

I think you nailed the voice thing on this last one. It's good and the internal monologue is really fun to read.

Tough one thing, and maybe it's just me, but there are a lot of unknown words and I had to re-read a couple of times to really place all of them in my mind. Like Derling and Auki. Like this part :

The High Lord, the last of the great and powerful Auki bloodline, undoubtedly did not concern himself with insignificant details, such as the fraction of magic he would need to expend to send a sollow; but that didn’t explain why he would concern himself with anyone as insignificant as me. I would have thought the sollow had erred in it’s delivery, had he not have spoken my name in greeting.

“Happy Birthday Kaylab.” The words were a deep, low rumble that sounded both near and far at the same time.

I gaped at the Derling standing in front of me, unable to move or think or comprehend that the High Lord himself was addressing me, that he knew my name.

He's a Derling and an AUKI. I'm not sure i thought Kayleb was a Derling. I re-read it and I understand now, but i had to re-read it. What i mean, I guess, is since there are so many unknown words right off the bat, i believe you should be careful to put a lot without really being clear what they are because it can get confusing for a reader who doesn't know your world. (again maybe it's just me.)
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