Sunday, August 21, 2011

Second Page

I am posting my second page, since a few of you asked to see it.

Same rules apply: be honest and let me have it.

1: would you turn the page?

Thx for all you do for me.

End of first page:
He’s here; time to put my plan into action.

......POST DELETED........

Thx for any comment you might leave!


  1. For me I am really intrigued. I think this is good stuff and would definitely keep reading cause now I'm even more interested in the dynamic between Tristan and his father and want to know what the Academy is. My only issues had to do with mechanics.

    "Time ceased to exist. Every drop of sweat hitting the floor marked an eternity." This sounds great but each sentence gives the reader opposite images--was it an eternity or did time seem to stop? I would cut the first sentence here and use it later, maybe when the physical confrontation starts, perhaps time ceases then.

    The fourth paragraph, fourth sentence that begins with: Tristan attacked - I felt like this ran on a little. I think it might read better if you made it into 2 sentences.

    That's it. I think this is good stuff. I would definitely be hooked, wanting to know more about Tristan and his relationship with his dad.

  2. Fixed the run-on, but left the rest until other comments.

    Great input

  3. I enjoyed this, still trying to figure out why Tristan's father is so much of a bastard that he wants to kill him, and why is dad trying to kill Tristan in bed? Is this all part of the training? Very good story. :)

  4. He wants to kill his father?? :O

    I'm intrigued at the words and descriptions you used. Makes you visualize the story in your mind. Great job! :)

  5. Yes it’s a strange and twisted idea of training… and far from the worst of it to come.
    His love, hatred, resentment, admiration for his father plays a huge physiological role in the novel.

  6. I enjoyed it and would keep reading. It reminds me of a more sadistic version of the training of the little girl in the movie Kick Ass. I only have one thing to add to the other comments. I would cut the last sentence. I am, like Lisa Regan, wondering what the Academy is and if you end there I would turn the page to find out.

  7. I don't think I would turn the page, and I'm not saying that to be mean, but I respect you enough to be honest. It's not that it's bad. In fact, there are no criticisms leaping out at me on anything wrong with it (perhaps a grammar tweaking or two), nothing that shuts me down or makes me want to close the book in disgust.

    But there's nothing that draws *me* forward. Youthful boy with a hate-hate relationship with his father, training to be a soldier by fighting dirty - none of that appeals to me. Not saying that's true of the whole book, nor that it wouldn't be different for someone else.

    Bear in mind, I'm probably not your target audience (I assume that's the YA fantasy-loving type). I do love fantasy, but I'm primarily involved in character-driven fantasy and the characters need to be the kind that appeal to me. Since I'm more the sneaky cerebral type, this kind of thing isn't my bag.

    Note also that, having read gazillions of books, I'm actually very very picky which books I'm willing to take a chance on any more. Largely, the ones I choose today are either recommendations by people I trust or new books by authors with a proven record. The days of reading a book to the end no matter what are behind me. If some character doesn't leap out and grab me, some aspect compel me early, I won't keep reading.

    This book might compel any number of people. In fact, if I read onward, it might even compel me. But the first two pages neither repelled nor compelled me.

    Do note also that not repelling me is something of an achievement.

  8. One thing that might change my mind, a factor that is probably the most consistent feature of the books I read today and keep reading over and over and now look for:


    And there's plenty of room for it. Right now I don't see it and it's possible it's just doesn't fit the book you've written. Nothing wrong with that either, it's just probably a strong factor that keeps me (who's thoroughly enamored by humor) from being excited about it.

  9. Humor comes later… he doesn’t have much to be happy about. His life suck and the future doesn’t look any better.

    But, that’s all about to change, his close group of friends (that he is about to meet at the academy) bring his world a 180 degrees. Tristan finds love, acceptance, happiness and adventure... and forgiveness in his heart about his father, and the way he was treated by him. Soon Tristan sees his father knew what Tristan was about to face: and at the time it felt brutal and sadistic, but in reality it ends up saving his life, because he became strong and independent from said abuse.

    But, writing is subjective… so I hope to please everyone, but realize I can’t. All I can do is write the story I love, and hope it finds a home in people’s hearts.

    Thx for the honest feedback.

  10. I'm still intrigued by the story, Jeff, but I'd have to have some sense about the overall book before I'd give it a lot of time. What I mean is nothing pisses me off more than abuse kids, and the betrayal by a parent is the worst in my book. If that makes any sense.

    A couple of things. If you need the internal reflection to show the reader the horror Tristan has experienced in the past, you might consider changing the pacing. One way is to shorten the sentences, evaluate your verbs to make sure you're using the most abrupt, crisp words.

    I'm not sure what to think of his father. I got the impression in the first installment that he was just an abuser, into the beatings for the purpose of the beatings. But that interchange at the end made him seem to me almost proud of Tristan for attacking him (the satisfied grin) but he's also disappointed in Tristan (the disgusted look). Then you're back to an almost sympathetic approach (the chuckle and squeezing Tristan's arm).

    That really makes me feel for Tristan. I had a psycho stepmother, who suffered from serious PMS. And I mean the "could commit murder the day before her period" kind. Living with her was like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But this was back in the day when doctors pooh poohed PMS and blew her off. I hated her. But as I got older and had a few life's experiences myself (and made a lot of mistakes) I learned to be more sympathetic about her situation. I could feel compassion without approving of her behavior.

    This is a lot of tmi (sorry), but Tristan's situation reminded me of her, so it made me wonder if that was your intent for the boy's father to be so quixotic.

  11. His relationship with his father and his "hard" childhood is key to the story and to his development as a kid to an adult.

    Anyone who is abused learns to grow past the event or they let it drag them down.

    Yes he was proud of Tristan attacking him, and yet disgusted because he was so small and weak lying on the floor after words.

    If it invoked a response like that it might be exactly what I am looking for.

    The growth Tristan makes is vital to his childhood, and the decision and ability to cope with his future events is also crucial to his childhood… it is horrible, yet necessary to build a man that must achieve what is asked of him later in life.

    Is boils down to believability, he must be raised a certain way, if you believe he will achieve in hardships where all others failed.

  12. You've gotten a lot of great critique, Jeff, so I'll just continue to cheer for you. :)

  13. This is great, I'm definitely intrigued by what would happen next. My usual genres are fantasy and scifi, but this has my interest and I would read on.

  14. Jeff, I'm definitely intrigued then. I just hope the message isn't that if you want your kids to be strong, beat the crap out of them. The vast majority of abused kids grow up being abusers themselves--and not for any noble reasons. In times of stress, people do what they know.

    It takes someone special to be different in spite of the abuse. *coughHarryPottercough* =D

  15. Amen...Donna.

    Tristan struggles with "good" and "Bad" choices for a long time after words.

    Growth is Key, and I would beg to differ...Vast isn't correct in my view, maybe Half.
    A lot of people I know, who have been abused, tend to rise above it: because they don’t want someone to suffer as they have suffered.

    Yet a again, I am one person who knew ten people who were abused very severely, and all of them rose above the abuse… I am sure the opposite could be said—I chose to see the positive side of it all. The dark can reign only for so long.

  16. I just want to say that you can't do EVERYTHING in the first two pages. That's not realistic. If that's the way it was done then novels would be 2 pages long. The trick is to intrigue the reader and keep them turning pages so you can do all that other fun stuff (like bring in humor, develop characters and answer all questions) later. You just want to whet the reader's appetite and I think you've done that here. And no, you cannot please everyone. Not everyone likes everything. I write suspense novels--I certainly wouldn't expect someone who reads strictly romance or strictly sci-fi to relate to or even enjoy my work. I wouldn't pick up a romance novel and complain that it didn't resonate with me when that's not something I'm interested in reading. But good writing is good writing and I think you have that here.

  17. I'm glad for your friends. My paternal grandfather was a wife beater, who brought a floozie home he picked up in a bar. Home to where his wife and sons were. My 16-year-old father decked his dad (yay!) and laid down that law that it would never happen again. My father was wonderful with my mother. His twin brother chose their father's example. You're right. It's a choice. I'm looking forward to read about Tristan's struggles to make the right ones. =D

  18. Great advice all, you are the reason these pages "work" and that I feel confident in what I do. Only if you could see the first 20 pages I ever wrote.

    I am an exception to the writing rule, unlike most, I’ve been writing for 3 years. My first attempt came at the age of 33. During my childhood you couldn’t pay me to read a book, besides write anything. I ditched school more time than not… I lamented anything to do with English and I hated grammar most of all!

    Once again, I thank you all for your support and wonderful guidance, you make me better.

  19. It's an intriguing story so far. I do want to caution you though. It's totally up to you, and you may already know this, but a lot of people say you shouldn't actually post much of your WIP online. The thinking is that if it's not its polished best and an agent sees it... Also if you query it and it's been a while, someone may wonder why it's taken so long. There's also the issue of how much is considered already published if online. I don't mean to be a nay-sayer, but I did want to let you know. As I said there are different schools of thought and it's totally up to you.

  20. Hey there. Please stop by on Monday. I'll be giving you a couple of awards. :)

  21. Hi Jeff,

    I'm definitely intrigued and would turn the page. Love it.

  22. yep, I'd turn the page. I'm definitely intrigued. There's certainly a lot of tension in the scene which I like.

  23. How's it going, Jeff? Is this your first novel?

    I wish you the best, and have a terrific week! :D

  24. The description on this page makes me want to turn the page to see what happens next between father and son. It's tough to read of a father abusing a son, so I would want to see progress on the part of the son. He does need at least small victories to make it a little easier to read.


  25. I would definitely turn the page! My favorite was the different impression I got of his dad the more he talked. That was awesome.

  26. Nice intro! I was definitely captivated, wondering why the heck Tristan was so nervous - then you through me a curveball! It was his dad...wasn't expecting that :) I'd definitely keep reading.

    I DO want to say when you said, "He watched the shadow grow as his father crept closer. The shadow leaped forward, and whipped the decoy with a belt. While his father throttled the pillows that should have been him..." I had to read that part twice. It wasn't intuitive to me that the "shadow" and "father" were necessarily related. Maybe just "His father's shadow grew as he crept closer", or something like that. Anyway, it could totally be just me, too. Sometimes I have to read things a few times - especially at the beginning.

    But awesome job, and thanks for sharing!

  27. I love the excerpt! I completely understand where you're coming from with it. Even though I don't know the whole story, I get the mood you are conveying. It sounds very Sith. Keep it coming!

  28. I like the tension in this excerpt and the feedback you've received. I felt anger and disgust and compassion for the father; having to "train" a small boy for "battle" would be tough. I would turn the page (but I love the suggestion that you end on "Academy" - that's very intriguing). Also, I do agree with Lisa L. Regan's comments about your inconsistency with time.

    The first few pages are the hardest to write. I had to cut a whole chapter before I found the true beginning of my novel...make sure this is where you want to start because that is more important than mechanics.

    Good job!