Most of chapter 1!

Yes, that’s right… I’m a noob writer and am soliciting your opinions (aka critiques) of the first bit of what I hope will become a book. :open_mouth:

I’ve attached a file in RTF format. Please ignore the highlights.

P.S.: I’ve broken out my heavy weather gear and laid in a supply of cookies and ice cream (to dull the ache of my soon to be bruised feelings), so have at 'er! :angry:

P.P.S.: After looking at Avenir, Jer’s Novel Writer and Storyist, I settled on Scrivenir.

I thought I wanted to use Storyist (after a late night and early morning of looking at these programs). It provides a very structured approach and since I’m new to all this, I figured this structure would really help.

As soon as I actually tried to type my first new word, I realized I wanted notes! I thought of Jer. Unfortunately, on my machine his had crashed twice. That, together with his (apparently) proprietary file format makes me nervous. I love the look of his full screen mode and the margin notes!

So, Avenir was the obvious choice! Some structure… Nice concept of wrapping everything around scenes. However… did I really want the structure? Was it extensible??

What about Scrivenir with the Structured template I found in this forum. Hmm… I know I should like it…

In the end I went with my own less structured Characters, Locations etc. folders and extensive use of the key words facility to tie characters and locations to scenes.

So… as of a few minutes ago I had the text imported, formatted the way I want and all the keywords setup properly etc.

… which means that I thought of this as a further way of avoiding writing for a little while longer. :laughing: (14.1 KB)

Welcome to Scriveners Little Shop of Horrors`

I think youre a very brave man, to invite criticism, the way you have. But, I think your bravery will be rewarded with nothing but the genuinely constructive type youre looking for. Im sure youll find you`ve entrusted your baby, to a knowledgeable, but innately decent bunch of scallywags.

I`m not qualified technically or academically, to offer literary criticism, but, if you posted a page a day, I would want to read it, based on the content and style, so far; if that means anything to you.

So… keep on rockin` Bruce

Take care

PS one little gripe: theres no gratuitous sex and violence so far, but I expect thatll follow, eh? :smiling_imp:

Hi vic-k. Thanx for the interest in reading more of the story. I will try to put together the rest of the chapter in the next few days. Real life may intrude, however. :confused:

To everyone else who downloaded a copy of the chapter so far, thank you and I hope you enjoyed it! Please feel free to comment.

BTW: I’m writing this entry on my spanky new copy of Leopard. 8)


Writing is real life. The rest is just a hobby. :wink:

Hi, Bruce

Had a quick skim read. What I’d recommend is that you don’t worry about Avenir, or any software issues, and concentrate on the actual writing. If you’re writing a novel I think you need to have a solid idea of where it’s going, ideally how it ends and broadly what happens in it. Difficult to commend on what you’ve submitted, but it would be worth taking yourself to a writer’s group and sharing there.

One suggestion I would make, though, is this, a classic for new writers: DIALOGUE isn’t conversation, or chit-chat. DIALOGUE is another way to move the story along. Have another look at what people are saying, and try to see if you can focus more on what NEEDS to be said rather than what people just might say.

Good luck with your writing.

Hi, Bruce

What I’d recommend is that you don’t worry about Avenir, Scrivener or any software issues at this point and concentrate on the actual writing. I don’t feel able to comment on what you’ve written so far, but I’d recommend you think of taking yourself to a writer’s group and sharing there, unless you’re doing that already.

I’d also recommend you don’t invite feedback on forums and such at this stage. One difficulty is that people can be put off their stride by criticism, and you can end up worrying too much about details (or even stop writing altogether) at too early a stage. I can give you an personal example:

I submitted a story to an SF Writers online group. The idea is you critique the work of others, get enough credits to get your story in a list so that others can critique. Two or three people read my story, enjoyed it, and gave some useful feedback so I could tidy it up a bit. One reader even gave it a five star (top marks) rating. It was published (in a hardback anthology alongside work by Michael Moorcock, China Meiville, and others). The story later got an honourable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. BUT… one person whose work I critiqued constructively, returned the favour by damning my story to hell and effectively tried to trash my story in public. Luckily I’d had a few things in print by then, but it did sting. I realised he must have had his own agenda, wasn’t prepared to take any comments on his work, and decided to lash out. I didn’t mind him not liking the story, that’s a personal preference, but the way he went about it was appalling.

My advice: just keep writing, never mind what anyone else says. And maybe once you’ve got your first draft written, invite comments.