Science Fiction Fantasy  
Go Back   Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums > Books and Writing > Aspiring Writers > Critiques

Critiques Post your writing here for critique and constructive criticism. YOU MUST HAVE A POST COUNT OF 30 TO POST A PIECE TO BE CRITIQUED.

LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 16th April 2011, 07:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
...Prepare Thyself
TheEndIsNigh's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Greater Manchester
Posts: 2,488
Blog Entries: 3
Re: Another first chapter

Originally Posted by ctg View Post
The most important question in my mind is does the prose at below hook you enough, or am I again treading down a well worn road?

I know that I need to shape the narrator's voice before it really strikes the nerve, but as a man, writing female thoughts is something that I haven't done before.

Does she comes across as a man or as a woman?

(~1050 words)

To answer your question - Not quite.

The first para is the main barrier to the bait. It has fine points but for me it's not active enough. A quick outline of the interrogator and get the the first question in quickly along the lines of

He was balding with big square classes and bad mouth hygiene.

"For the record your name is ...

Before she answers she could speculate on why she wouldn't bite him - doubting whether her fangs would be able to get through the layers of fat or some such.

That way you establish the sex immediately (though why you think this is important I'm not sure).

As for the description of the interrogator he seems normal they come in all shapes and sizes.

As for the rest.

Being a vampire isn't an occupation - It's not as though there's career progression. Though she would probably have a job which could be vampire related but it could just as easily be a hairdresser.

Do vampires crave cigarettes?

Stepping outside traditionally wouldn't be a good idea - sunlight etc.

What war? - Given she was > 200 years.

I thought it was thirty silvers.

When You describe the old gentleman as such it jars against your later revelation. it would be better to describe him as young looking and then explain how appearances are deceptive.

Hope I helped

TheEndIsNigh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th April 2011, 09:26 AM   #17 (permalink)
weaver of the unseen
ctg's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Greater London
Posts: 3,469
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Another first chapter

Originally Posted by TheEndIsNigh View Post
Do vampires crave cigarettes?
Why wouldn't they? Look for example Buffy's angel, where he turns to Angelus for second time. The first victim he snatches is a hooker from the street. One that's smoking. So at the moment the woman drops on ground he picks up a ciggie and takes a deep drag from it. Another example is Spike from same series. He seems to be having an alcohol addiction, and you can constantly seem him drinking beer.

So, as there so much character assassination in this piece, why wouldn't you be able to give your vampire character's human flaws?

Stepping outside traditionally wouldn't be a good idea - sunlight etc.
Do you think I'm so stupid that I wouldn't know that? Or do you think she's so stupid that she would actually do that? Of course she isn't, but as she has a brain in her head she can say to the geezer that does he want her to go out to have a smoke, when in fact she's already testing the facility (underground bunker) and it's personnel boundaries.

We, as humans, do that all the time. We test how far we can go before someone slaps our wrist, but oh dear, if one bloody character does, the hell breaks loose.

Why do I have to spell everything and then get told off by the people, who say, that I'm telling when I'm not. But fear not, I will take this thing in board will amend the story so that it's absolutely clear why things happen in the way they happen.

What war? - Given she was > 200 years.
Human versus zombie's, what else?

Hope I helped

It did. Thank you.
ctg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16th April 2011, 06:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
weaver of the unseen
ctg's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Greater London
Posts: 3,469
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Another first chapter

Right, I removed a lot of details and shortened the bit down to 948 words.

That’s so typical, I said to myself as I stepped through the foot thick blast door at the end of the corridor. The interrogation, or the ‘Interview Room 3’ as the placard on the wall had said, was so similar to the ones that I had seen in the movies.

Does the government employ Hollywood prop makers to design these, I questioned myself as I eyed aluminium table and the chairs that had been bolted to the floor. If everything in this facility followed the same protocol, then I betted the geezer who would come through that door would be one of those handsome types that would melt girls heart in an instant.

In fact, I was so wrong. The moment I was trying to peer through the two-way mirror, the door on the side opened and through it stepped a pear shaped, balding, four-eye type that were carrying a leather briefcase.

He looked at me for a moment and then gestured with his hand, “Take a seat, please.”

“Thank you,” I smiled and took the one opposite to the outer door, thinking that I needed at least some sort of way to see if they were coming to get me. The interrogator shrugged his shoulders and took the other seat before he started methodically to pull out stuff from his case. The moment he started lining up the pencils, papers, and other stuff I knew that he was one of those OCD-types that I had not seen since the war started.

It did bother me a little bit as I guessed that they weren’t going to let this interview to be a brief but if I guessed the Authorities at the other side of that two-way mirror really wanted to the bottom of what happened to their world at the outside.

Yet I had to test it. Test him when the man started sharpening his already sharp pencil. So I leaned back and asked, “Can we get on with this?”

“Just a moment,” he said and then continued sharpening them until every little detail was ready. Then he opened carefully the first case folder and picked up a pen to go down the text an item by an item. Finally after he had reviewed the page he returned on the top and popped a question. “Would you state your name, your age, and your formed occupation for the record, please?”

“Of course love,” I said. “My name is Jane McGriffin and I’m not sure about my current age as I was lost the count over the years…”

He looked me into eyes and asked, “What you mean you lost the count?”

“Well,” I sighed. “Let me put it this way. Even though I look like a twenty-something, I’m not, ‘cause I was sired in the Lord’s year seventeen hundred thirty six.”

“Sired?” he frowned.

I flashed my slightly pointy teeth and said, “Meaning that I was turned to vampirism, but over the years I wasn’t just a vampire, but quite many other things; starting from being a nun and ending with my former occupation as an AnE nurse.”

“I see,” he said as he laid his eyes, and the pen back on the paper. “That is correct.”

“Well, I hope so because I know for the fact that you’ve kept close eye on us.”

“You know?” He cocked an eyebrow.

I nodded and watched as he started trembling a bit when I pulled a character assassination on him. The man was not only OCD, but also clearly one of those autistic types that needed everything going by the plan, by the perfect plan.

But me, I was far from being a perfect and in the current state the world was in I couldn’t but let my ego run rampant and test him in same way as he was planning to test me. So I pulled a silvery cigarette case from between the chain mail shirt and the padded leather top and asked, “Do you mind if I smoke?”

He hastily glanced the mirror on the wall as if he were asking help. “Well, it’s against the regulations—“

“Regulations,” I rolled my eyes. “My Lord, are you serious?”

“Uh huh,” he nodded, but I didn’t let go as I pulled one of roll up from the case and as he saw it sticking out from my mouth, he started sweating and trembling before he said in loud voice, “Miss McGriffin I must protest you doing that in this government facility—“

I lit up, took a deep drag and then exhaled through my nostrils before I said, “Look mister you can protest as much as you like, because I—“


I threw him a look and said, “Do I looked bothered mister? Does this face look bothered to you?”

“No,” he said, “But—“

“Oh mister, don’t be so pathetic, the world as we knew it isn’t anymore, and to be honest, I don’t give a rats ass if the passive smoking going to kill you as there are far wrose things out there, yeah?”

He again turned his gaze towards the mirror and for first time I heard the intercom crackling alive. “It’s alright Herbert. Get on with it.”

“Thank you,” I grinned as I continued observing Herbert trying to calm down his panicking nerves. Would I had met him at the ‘Golden Old Days’ and I could have let him go. But now, I couldn’t let this go as this was just a minor victory in the long run. In fact, I did bet that this interview would take rather long time, and it would go over all the details.

“Right, right,” he finally said.

“Yes,” I said in return. “What is it?”

“I think we should start the debriefing you then…”

“If that is what you wish.”

“When was the first time you saw the walking dead?”
ctg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17th April 2011, 04:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
Registered User
Tayfax's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: China
Posts: 8
Re: Another first chapter

It hooks. In spite of the egregious lapses in grammar I was still quite interested in the goings on. That says something. I'm normally ready to toss a thing at the first sign of vampires or zombies.

Somebody mentioned there was too much dialogue, but I disagree. I got a strong feel for the character's . . . character, for lack of better words, very quickly. Steady on with the story, but do work on the grammar!
Tayfax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th May 2011, 05:28 AM   #20 (permalink)
Never Sure
RJM Corbet's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Devon
Posts: 1,780
Blog Entries: 12
Re: Another first chapter

Ok ctg: you helped me lot, so let's see if I can do same for you.
You don't need the 1st para. Start with:

Does the government ... I (asked) myself ... chairs bolted to ... protocol,then the geezer who came through that door was going to be ((sorry, I can't help you here -- but 'one of those handsome types' etc. doesn't cut it -- you need something more original here, right in the FIRST paragraph of your book?))

On to 2nd Para: Start with:

I was still trying to peer ... mirror, when the thick steel blast-door opened and through it ((try think of a more original word than 'stepped'?)) a pear shaped, balding, (nerdy?) looking guy with bad mouth hygene, who wore thick, square glasses and carried a thin, square briefcase.

Next para. Start with:

He looked at me for a moment: "Take a seat, please."
I sat down opposite the door, thinking ... get me. My interrogator shrugged and sat down before starting methodically to pull stuff out from ...

Next Para. Start with:

That bothered me a little bit. I guessed they weren't ... this interview be a brief; the 'authorities' on the other side ... really badly wanted to get to the bottom of what had happened to their world.

Next Para:

Yet I had to test it -- to test him (him in italic). I leaned back: "Can we get on with this?"
"Just a moment," he said.
He continued to sharpen his pencil to a needle point and then he carefully opened the first case-folder and started to go down the text with his pencil, item by item. Finally, after he had reviewed the page, he looked up and said: "Please state your name, your age and your former occupation?"
I looked straight back at him.
"Just for the record," he said.
"Of course love," I said: "My name, just for the record, is Jane McGriffen ...etc

That should hook? You can take it from there. Don't mean to interfere. I hope I have not altered the story, or your style, in any way. Thanks again for your valuable help with my own first chapter -- those all important first few pages ...

Last edited by RJM Corbet; 6th May 2011 at 06:04 AM.
RJM Corbet is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:47 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.