Saturday, January 30, 2010

The First Page Of My Book...

I would like you to read my first page, plz tear it apart. Let me know what you think, is it good or bad? and plz don't spare my feelings.

I know the grammar needs help, I am still learning that part. My wife takes care of that edit for me. But to get an idea of my first page by other people; will help me decide what works with other pages that I am going to write.

If you don't mind plz answer these questions after any comment you want to leave besides these.

1: did the start intrigue you, or was it confusing?

2: did reading the first page make you want to read the second one?

3: did it read easy or did it seem choppy?

4: plz rate it 1 - 10 10 being the highest. (remember my feeling can't be hurt)
Thx for your time and support. This will help more than you know. Well here it is.

Removed, sorry...

Thx for your time.


  1. First of all, almost all of your sentences are really two sentences which is not a way to impress an editor.:

    "Ryan sat up, black images raced before his eyes. He blinked several times trying to focus on just one of them. He furiously whipped sweat from his eyes, fear pulsed through him. He fought to gather his wits, a flicker of light cascaded from under a door illuminating the familiar surroundings of his room. He flopped back on his bed breathing a sigh of relief, thank the Gods it was just a dream he thought."

    There are many ways to correct this. I'll show you several on those same sentences, not because you should use them, necessarily, but to show you possibilities. Rework it in a way that works for you.

    "Ryan sat up, black images racing before his eyes. He blinked several times trying to focus on just one of them. He furiously whipped sweat from his eyes pulsed through him. He fought to gather his wits. A flicker of light cascaded from under a door, illuminating the familiar surroundings of his room. He flopped back on his bed, breathing a sigh of relief. Thank the Gods it was just a dream he thought.

    Also, in this paragraph, we have several words used in ways that may not be optimum. "furiously whipped" seems a curious combination with sweat in one's eyes and, though I think I know what you mean, it seems overblown. Is he furious? If not, adverbs are usually disposable (advice I should take myself more often). Did you mean wiped his eyes? Also, the word cascaded generally means to flow downward, which seems out of sync with a light that comes from the bottom of a door. Perhaps flickered or gleamed would be better.

    Now I'm going to read the rest. I probably won't do the same with the rest of the page; I thought I'd just give you some things to look for. Grammar and syntax don't seem like big deals but you want to make a good impression with the first page.

  2. Odd it didn't take all my "corrections." It doesn't make sense now. Here, I'll try again:

    "Ryan sat up, black images racing before his eyes. He blinked several times, trying to focus on just one of them. He furiously whipped sweat from his eyes as fear pulsed through him. He fought to gather his wits. A flicker of light cascaded from under a door illuminating the familiar surroundings of his room. He flopped back on his bed, breathing a sigh of relief. Thank the Gods it was just a dream, he thought.

  3. OK, I finished it. You have more of the same problems throughout the rest (I particularly was confused at the word, "pompous" in the last paragraph.)

    I'm having some trouble understanding the contradictions. At the end of the page, it has the feel of a "younger" boy and a parent, yet stabbing the parent in the back seems harsh (nor does someone having "trusty daggers" seem like a boyhood thing unless he thinks he's Peter Pan). It seems like there was a great deal of mystery about the hiding place. I'm not sure why. Or why you didn't just tell the audience.

    I not saying this to be mean. It's how I would think if I picked this up and read the first page. I'd want to be more intrigued that confused. I'm more confused. I guess that answers the first one (I wrote that before going back and looking at your questions, LOL).

    I would probably go on to read the second page, if I had a reason to (interesting cover or blurb on the outside), but I have a pet peeve about words that are a bit wrong in the context. If that continued for more than a page or two, I would put it down unless I was enthralled. I'm not yet. I tend to give a book more than a page before I give up. Not everyone does.

    It is not, however, the worst first page I've ever read by a long shot. Not the best, but there's potential there. I'd probably go 4-5 out of 10.

    I am unfailingly honest and hope that doesn't bother you. Criticism can be hard. There are pieces of this that could be good if you can reconcile the contradictions in the first page (though I don't have a clue how you'll do that. I assume you have a way, though). That alone might keep me reading a bit more.

    Also, it's important to remember that all criticism is really opinion, in this case mine. I'm one reader and we don't all look for or like the same things. In the end, it's much more important to make yourself happy with it than me.

  4. No I love it, I really do. Please don’t hold back, if you do I will never learn. I wouldn’t be posting this if I didn’t think need help, consider it like school, I am learning how to write and understand how to use proper grammar.

    My family and loved one won’t do it… to them I am intimidating and hold grudges, even though I try and convince them I will not care if the beat me down to build me up.

    Let me give you an idea of where I started.
    Before started this whole adventure; I had read two books in my life, Where the red fern grown and the hobbit; that's it.
    2: the longest thing I had ever written was a one page letter to a friend in the military.
    3: I never once paid attention in English class... I probably should have failed but ya know how that goes.
    4: I was one of those people who never thought about the future or even consider an education would benefit me at all. I only cared about partying and partying... that was my life.

    I couldn’t have told you what any of these meant before started; noun, verb, conjunction, adjective, pronoun, conjuror, simile, or anything else that relates to English or proper educate.

    So no I don’t mind, in fact I am in your debt. I am a fast learner if it is in front of me, if I can see it done for me. So I can replicate those rules to write by.

    But the one thing I can do it, see the story in my head. It is the first thing I have done in my life that just comes to me, something I feel I was destined to do. So far I have read 35 books in the space of the year 2009. I have done some online English classes, and I haven’t stop writing.

    Now my wife has done a lot of editing for me, I know that’s not the way to learn. But it does help to see what I have written; change to the way it should have been written.
    So thx again…

    Ooh, to the other part of your post. Yes it is father and son relationship, he is 13 years old. It is a society ruled by the worrier class. The world has been at war for 30 years. Every man-child is forged into a hard man from birth, to create the most feared soldier man has made. To face the dangerous enemy mankind has faced in a thousand years.

    The back story about the relationship comes quick, and so does the story of his favorite weapon the dagger… hence his trusty set. The daggers play a huge role in the story and having a deeper meaning in the end.

  5. and yes i meant wiped. i am going to redo this first page and take what you have shown me and repost it. lets see if i can make you want to turn the page... and of course not think a 5 year old wrote it lol.

    thx, so much. i have been craving this, noone i know will be honest with me.

  6. And the pompous grin was supposed to give you the images of a grown man; proud of what he just did.

    Apparently that didn't work.

    Ryan's reward for being prepared for this attack is the ability to attack his father. It would prove he was a man if he could draw blood. His biggest fantasy is to leave his father humped up on the ground in a bloody mess. And his father’s fantasy is to raise the most respected, best trained and vicious soldier to ever server the Emperor.

    Thx again.

  7. I knew you had a method for reconciling the challenging aspects, Jeff. That's likely why I would have turned the page to see how you put it together, see if it worked for me. It is, however, a lot to swallow. On the one hand, hitting the reader with instant contradictions can get the curiosity up - how can this be? However, if it's too extreme, too counterintuitive, it can make them skeptical, making the eventual explanation harder to swallow. I can't say which way to go. Other people could react differently than I could.

    I'm pretty confident about the grammatical/syntax stuff and hope that helps. However, I suggest being cautious about changing any other aspect unless it feels right to *you*. I'm just one person and I'm set in my ways. I know what I like, but this belongs to you. If I (or anyone else) suggests a change that you think takes anything away from your story, don't do it.

    Your story on how you came to be here is fascinating. Kudos to you. It's hard to start something like this from scratch and I'm impressed. I'm tempted to have a whole conversation on who you've read just so I can make recommendations on my own favorites.

    Must. Restrain. Self. :)

  8. All of Robert Jordan's books (wheel of time)
    10 Terry Brooks
    Of course the J.k Rowling’s harry potter books 1-7 (which got me started down the path to wanting to write)
    Frank Herbert (i think it was 7 dune books, which you recommended to me. I learned so much from them, his description was so enticing.)
    Stephen kings book "On Writing"
    Strunk and EB whites book "elements of style"
    Brandon mulls 3out of 4 Fable haven books
    Just started to read Obert Skye “Leven Thumps” series of books
    I think that’s it…

    And don’t worry I will not change my voice or style. You and anyone else I trust; will help me refine and better my style rather than ruin it. You input is invaluable to me, all I can say is thx.

  9. Heinlein is great stuff, particularly some of his "older" work. If you only read one, though, read "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." I also love the Liaden books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Start with Partners in Necessity (three novels) and don't give up until you meet Shan Yos'Galan. My sister didn't care for them, but they are one of my husband and my all-time favorites.

    Anne MacCaffrey is another favorite, particularly the Dragonriders of Pern series.