(new writer, new book) Oblivion - Survival.

Not sure if you're on the right track? Post anything from character descriptions, snippets of text, or even whole chapters to get some advice.

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(new writer, new book) Oblivion - Survival.

Post by Sonaku »

Hi there. I'm kinda new to the writers scene and have just started writing a new novel (I'm not counting my fanfics) it's the first in a series of planned novels. i would love some critique and feedback

Oblivian - Survival: chapter 1
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The Master
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Re: (new writer, new book) Oblivion - Survival.

Post by The Master »

Welcome to SV Sonaku! :)

If possible it is best to separate your paragraphs with a space to make it easier to read.

Its a little derivative but I can see some good potential for the story idea. It probably would make a good Anime screenplay. Unfortunately, your concept is being overshadowed by a distractingly high number of grammatical errors and structural problems. This interrupts the flow of the text to a degree that the work is difficult to read. To be brutally honest I would highly suggest that you focus intently on improving your general writing skills.

I also feel that the prologue is confusing and overly dense. You have terrorists, multiple human wars, a suggestion of possible nuclear holocaust, alien war machines, and robots taking over the surface of the planet. Into this mix you have your narrator stops to introduce himself. Its...well...exausting is the right word I suppose. I think it would benefit the story to simplify the prologue to its most relevant points involving the alien machines that come to dominate the planet. If the human war components come into significant play later in the plot you might instead expand the prologue into a more complete chapter so that you can tell a more thorough history.

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Practice makes perfect

Post by thegreentick »

Hello to you, too! Before I begin, I believe in fair warning. I hate sugarcoating and I believe that in order to help someone become better, complete honesty is needed. I don't say anything to be mean or to discourage you. The fact that I'm critiquing your work is my way of saying that there's potential. If I didn't think there was, I'd suggest that you look elsewhere for your calling in life.

Starting in the writers scene with a novel is like starting out a basketball career in the NBA. That doesn't mean you shouldn't build your way up towards a series of novels (heck, that's what I'm doing) but I would suggest practicing with short stories, blogs, critiques, etc. If this story of yours has taken over your brain and you can't think about writing anything else, I would suggest short stories or exerpts from various places of the story. It will give you a chance to experiment with different characters, settings and types of conflict in much smaller bites.

Now, for the chapter itself.

I won't go through it sentence by sentence picking out grammatical errors. I'll just let you know that there are quite a few. Like The Master said, you should spend a good bit of time working on the technical aspect of your writing (however unfun it is) because no matter how good a story is, it becomes tedious if it's poorly told.

My next point is probably the one that writers workshops spend more time gnawing on than any other: showing vs. telling. A number of times in this chapter you break the flow of the action to explain something. An example would be as follows:

"I sighed and got out of my shorts and went into the vapor shower. Vapor showers really don’t use vapor, everybody just call them that. What they do is spray a fine solution of soap and water from small holes all around the shower. All you have to do is scrub."

We're following the hero of the story to the shower and you suddenly launch into an explanation of how the shower works. First of all, I don't think it's really very important that us readers know how the shower works. It's a shower. Secondly, if you really do deem it important for us to know, ie. if it's important to the plot at a later point, throw it into the story. He could be having a shower and he notices that there's too much soap in the solution that's spraying from the shower head. He could make a mental note to have someone look at it. This way, we end up knowing how the shower works but we don't get thrown from the story with an explanation. There are numerous other places in the chapter where you do this. This is just one that stood out.

Next point. You seem to be having trouble with your narrative. Sometimes it seems that the character is explaining something to me. Other times, it seems that you, the author, are explaining something to me. There can only be one narrator to a story, so you should probably work on this.

That's all that's coming to mind right now. To sum things up: practice practice practice practice. When you've done this, do it again, and then again. Once you've done all this, practice some more. See where I'm going with this? Work on grammar, make sure it's the same person telling the story at all times and if the readers need information, ESPECIALLY information about the characters, make sure that it's shown to us, not told. If you tell us that a character is of a grouchy disposition but all of their actions disagree, you lose the trust of the reader.

Keep on writing.
"God is looking for spiritual fruits, not religious nuts."

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