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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would appreciate any and all feedback on chapter one of my horror novella.

There's a link to buy the book at the end of the chapter for anyone who's interested, but my main purpose for posting is to get some thoughts on possible improvements.

http://judehardin.blogspot.com/
 

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At this point there have been 15 "views" of your post, and no comments.  This should tell you something, Jude.  If it does not, I will say it.  I read your chapter, formulating some thoughts.  Then I saw the ad to purchase it at the bottom of the post.  Man, I felt had.  If yours was not a cheap trick to peddle the book, it sure seemed like one.  'Nuf said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
craigr1971 said:
At this point there have been 15 "views" of your post, and no comments. This should tell you something, Jude. If it does not, I will say it. I read your chapter, formulating some thoughts. Then I saw the ad to purchase it at the bottom of the post. Man, I felt had. If yours was not a cheap trick to peddle the book, it sure seemed like one. 'Nuf said.
I put the link at the end of the chapter for anyone who might be interested in buying the book (and getting another novel free along with it), but the purpose of posting the chapter was to get feedback from other writers.
 

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Perhaps you can help me to understand what is going on here? The book is already finished, and published, and you are selling it. You posted the first chapter, because you want thoughts on possible improvements? You want what kind of feedback from other writers? I guess I don't understand, if you are asking for critiques and are in the process of revising, why has the novel already been published and offered for sale?
 

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Quillhill said:
Perhaps you can help me to understand what is going on here? The book is already finished, and published, and you are selling it. You posted the first chapter, because you want thoughts on possible improvements? You want what kind of feedback from other writers? I guess I don't understand, if you are asking for critiques and are in the process of revising, why has the novel already been published and offered for sale?
Yeah, I was curious about that too. If you're promoting it, the Book Bazaar is for that.

Anyway, I read it and enjoyed it. I would have kept reading. Not sure I'd buy it, though. I do enjoy horror from time to time, but for some reason the premise doesn't really appeal to me. I'd rather buy your other book but the ebook price needs to come way down.
 

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Since you asked, here are a couple of thoughts from the first few paragraphs...

Now Judy braced herself against the dashboard, as if by sheer will she might be able to stop the eighteen-wheeler barreling directly toward them at ninety miles an hour.
How does Judy know the truck is coming at them at ninety miles an hour? She isn't in the cab and I know very few people who can correctly judging the speed of an oncoming vehicle, especially if they are traveling in a vehicle of their own.

Charles had a deathgrip on the steering wheel. He was frozen. Judy had to do something. She reached over and pulled the emergency brake, and at the same time grabbed the wheel and jerked it to the right.
If Charles has a death grip on the steering wheel, how is Judy able to pull it to the side so easily?

The car spun out of control and then rolled onto its side, finally landing upside down in a roadside drainage ditch. The airbag deployed, pinning Judy against her seat, and her neck was bent at a painful angle against the car's headliner. But she was alive. She was alive, and she could wiggle her toes.
Wiggling her toes seems an odd detail for her to focus on at this moment? Is the rest of her body paralyzed? Why can she only move her toes?

The semi's airbrakes hissed to a stop on the other side of the highway.
How does Judy known where the truck stops? By your sentence, only the truck's brakes are stopping, not the truck itself.

I would stop reading at this point, as the questions arising from the text would prevent me from continuing. Just my two cents, your mileage may vary obviously.
 

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Just a few comments:

I was confused by the opening. Had they just come around a curve? Did her hubby not think to maybe honk his horn? Why did she never wonder why the truck was in their lane?

I'm wondering how gasoline got into the passenger side of the car. Even with the car upside down, it seems odd that the gas would flow down the side of the car from the tank to drip into her window.

Also, the flashback about their son was a bit out of place with what led to it.

Why did the trucker spit all over his cigarette? I smoke, but my filters generally stay dry. :D

At the end, she sees flashing red lights, but how does she know they belong to an ambulance and a fire truck?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quillhill said:
Perhaps you can help me to understand what is going on here? The book is already finished, and published, and you are selling it. You posted the first chapter, because you want thoughts on possible improvements? You want what kind of feedback from other writers? I guess I don't understand, if you are asking for critiques and are in the process of revising, why has the novel already been published and offered for sale?
That's one of the good things about self-publishing electronically. You can easily make revisions at any time. Nothing ever has to be "finished."
 

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Jude Hardin said:
That's one of the good things about self-publishing electronically. You can easily make revisions at any time. Nothing ever has to be "finished."
Do readers today want to purchase a draft of a novel? I have lots of drafts that I could sell. I know I prefer a finished product, but I'm old-fashioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quillhill said:
Do readers today want to purchase a draft of a novel? I have lots of drafts that I could sell. I know I prefer a finished product, but I'm old-fashioned.
Everything's a draft, lol. If you go to the bookstore and buy a novel published by Random House, that novel is sure to have some mistakes in it. The only way to correct mistakes in a paper book is through future editions. With ebooks, corrections can be made instantaneously. I put the chapter up because sales have been slow and I thought some other writers might be able to give me some insight as to why. I had no idea that SOME other writers would just persist in giving me a hard time.
 

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"Art is never finished, only abandoned" said Leonardo da Vinci, who famously finished few works. I've always admired the artists who tinker incessantly with their works. I'll bet Shakespeare tinkered with lines after a few early performances.
 

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Jude Hardin said:
Everything's a draft, lol. If you go to the bookstore and buy a novel published by Random House, that novel is sure to have some mistakes in it. The only way to correct mistakes in a paper book is through future editions. With ebooks, corrections can be made instantaneously. I put the chapter up because sales have been slow and I thought some other writers might be able to give me some insight as to why. I had no idea that SOME other writers would just persist in giving me a hard time.
I wasn't trying to give you a hard time at all. I was just offering feedback. I thought that's what you wanted.
 

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Jude Hardin said:
Everything's a draft, lol. If you go to the bookstore and buy a novel published by Random House, that novel is sure to have some mistakes in it. The only way to correct mistakes in a paper book is through future editions. With ebooks, corrections can be made instantaneously. I put the chapter up because sales have been slow and I thought some other writers might be able to give me some insight as to why. I had no idea that SOME other writers would just persist in giving me a hard time.
I thought I recognized your name. I saw you mention that you were going to put your first chapter up over on Joe's blog.

I have no intention of checking it out since it's not in one of the genres that I like to read, but I will say this.

You're receiving a hard time because it sounded like you wanted a critique on the first chapter, despite the fact that the book is already out. There are negative connotations with such a thing, especially when you say you can just put out an updated version. It no doubt reminds some of us of the people that publish a novel that completely lacks editing and says that they will put out an updated version after it gets edited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
RedAdept said:
I wasn't trying to give you a hard time at all. I was just offering feedback. I thought that's what you wanted.
Not you, Red! No, I absolutely appreciate everyone who has offered critical feedback. I just meant the ones who are scolding me for wanting feedback on a book that's already for sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Eric C said:
"Art is never finished, only abandoned" said Leonardo da Vinci, who famously finished few works. I've always admired the artists who tinker incessantly with their works. I'll bet Shakespeare tinkered with lines after a few early performances.
Absolutely, Eric! Wonderful quote. Thanks!
 

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The timing of the accident seems a bit off...

Judy sees the truck coming.  Has time to brace herself against the dashboard.  She realizes Charles is frozen, reaches over and pulls the emergency brake/wheel.  The car 'spins out of control', 'rolls onto its side' and 'finally lands upside down in a ditch'.  She has time to evaluate the situation (wiggle her toes, etc.).  Only then does she hear the semi's brakes as it stops on the other side of the highway.  

Either the semi was a couple of hundred yards away when she pulled the wheel or it would have been far beyond the accident site before it stopped.

The one other thing I'd mention is the language.  Charles is hanging upside down, both legs broken.  Yet he talks in grammatically correct, complete sentences.  Later on, Judy knows gasoline is leaking on her, her clothes are getting saturated, etc.  Yet when the truck driver approaches and lights a cigarette, she asks if he "would mind not smoking"??  Seems unrealistic.
 
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