SpiritOfKorra

Writing
A short novel I've been writing

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Disclaimer: This short novel does not contain any form of sexual activities. This is intended for Juvenile readers.

 

Hello fellow Otaku users, my name's SpiritOfKorra and I'm a novelist. The past couple of years I've been writing action/adventure stories, one big one being 300 pages! Because I don't like to stick with one genre in particular, I've recently been delving into the romance side of literature. 

 

The story that I'm about to share with you is about the love between two young boy; one of whom doesn't realize the other is a male. They will discover feelings that they never knew they had. With each chapter you will watch them grow from innocent teenagers to complex adults. 

 

Now I will be publishing this digitally through a provider whom I will not mention, due to the fact that I'm not sure it would be appropriate to post on here without knowing what I can and cannot post on the forums/boards. It will be released sometime in February.

 

If you're interested in this story after reading my sample, please don't hesitate to let me know! I'm very open to criticism as long as it's honest and detailed. I'll provide a small sample of the first page. Without further ado, here it is.

 

 

(Title of the novel will remain unknown until published. )

 

 

Note: The book is still in its editing phase, which is why I'm holding its release date until February. Furthermore, it's not pasting as it should; Format wise, etc. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                               Chapter 2

 

 

     Michael sat on his coach watching television while eating a can of soup when he heard someone knocking on the door. His mother was out to work while he stayed at home. He took a final sip from his bowl before placing it into the sink and rinsing it out. He walked over to the door and looked out the window; It was Courtney. He opened the door and stepped outside, Courtney greeting him with a hug. Michael shuts the door behind him and locks it, placing the house key into his front pocket.

 

     "So what are going to do today?" Michael asks.

 

     Courtney smirks, taking him by the hand, pulling him along with her. They reach a beautiful garden full of roses and other types of flora. Courtney releases Michael and skips over to sniff the roses near the park bench. She signals for Michael to come over and smell them with her.

 

"Smell this one," She says. Michael looks at her and then takes a whiff, his eyes falling heavy from the intoxicating arouma the flower let off. It was absolute bliss.

 

     "It smells good," Michael laughed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's the end of the sample. I implore you to leave a comment or message me with your thoughts! Thanks! :D

Edited by SpiritOfKorra

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Wow, I haven't done this in a while.  Standard preface: I am honest, often to the point of brutality.  No offense is intended, so if any is felt, please remember I am being as tactful as possible given the subject matter.
 
Right.  So, although this isn't much of a sampleâ??more of a ... a blink, I guessâ??it's still enough for me to pick out a couple of items: one comment, and one question.  Comment first.



Your tenses are inconsistent.  You switch from past to present back to past, without even realising you're doing so, I think.  And while I understand that this point could be considered an editing/revision comment, when you say you write as much as you claim and yet demonstrate such a glaring weakness in work I believe you're proud of (ugh, dangling participle), it calls into question your entire repertoire.  With so little to go on, I can't really tell if this is just a momentary lapse in style or if this sort of tense-switching is rampant throughout the rest of your work.

From experience, Present is a harder tense to maintain consistently (especially with flashbacks), and for, in my opinion, a debatable reward vice Past.  That isn't to say Present isn't useful, or is undesirable.  It's mostly just situational.  It promotes a very active narration style, since the narrator is essentially keeping pace with the main characters instead of looking back, and is simultaneously much more limiting, since you as the author are now denied the advantages of using 3rd Omniscient as a perspective, and so are restricted to the information inside the head(s) of whomever you happen to be following at the time.  By comparison, Past is much easier.
 
Tenses may seem like a relative non-issue compared to plot content and character development, but they are grammatical fundamentals that can quickly label you as a novice writer if ignored or misunderstood or misused.  Professional writers have been sensetive to what tense they are using for so long that the process of selecting, using, and maintaining the correct one are almost as reflexive as walking.
 
...no offense if you're wheelchair-bound or afflicted with some other form of paraplegia or mobility impairment.  It's just that breathing was too natural.
 
 
 
My question for you: when you say that this story is intended for "juvenile readers", what age range/reading comprehension level are you considering?  I have a remark on the subject, but your answer to this question will determine what direction that remark takes.
 
 
 
Sadly, with so little to go on, I can't really remark on anything related to style or content, or really anything fun that we as writers do.  I have a feeling your reticence to post more is due to a fear of plagiarism, which I understand.  But, unless the responses you're seeking are along the lines of Sounds great!  Can't wait to read more!, with the bare bones you've provided here, there isn't a whole lot of constructive feedback possible to give you.  You trusted the boards enough to hope you got a response at all (which is admirable, given the abundance of tumbleweeds around these parts...), why not trust us to handle your work like the mature adults most of us try to be?

...I mean, you know, when we're not deliberately being completely not mature at all.  With fart jokes.  And stuff.
Edited by Allamorph
SpiritOfKorra likes this

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Wow, I haven't done this in a while.  Standard preface: I am honest, often to the point of brutality.  No offense is intended, so if any is felt, please remember I am being as tactful as possible given the subject matter.
 
Right.  So, although this isn't much of a sampleâ??more of a ... a blink, I guessâ??it's still enough for me to pick out a couple of items: one comment, and one question.  Comment first.



Your tenses are inconsistent.  You switch from past to present back to past, without even realising you're doing so, I think.  And while I understand that this point could be considered an editing/revision comment, when you say you write as much as you claim and yet demonstrate such a glaring weakness in work I believe you're proud of (ugh, dangling participle), it calls into question your entire repertoire.  With so little to go on, I can't really tell if this is just a momentary lapse in style or if this sort of tense-switching is rampant throughout the rest of your work.

From experience, Present is a harder tense to maintain consistently (especially with flashbacks), and for, in my opinion, a debatable reward vice Past.  That isn't to say Present isn't useful, or is undesirable.  It's mostly just situational.  It promotes a very active narration style, since the narrator is essentially keeping pace with the main characters instead of looking back, and is simultaneously much more limiting, since you as the author are now denied the advantages of using 3rd Omniscient as a perspective, and so are restricted to the information inside the head(s) of whomever you happen to be following at the time.  By comparison, Past is much easier.
 
Tenses may seem like a relative non-issue compared to plot content and character development, but they are grammatical fundamentals that can quickly label you as a novice writer if ignored or misunderstood or misused.  Professional writers have been sensetive to what tense they are using for so long that the process of selecting, using, and maintaining the correct one are almost as reflexive as walking.
 
...no offense if you're wheelchair-bound or afflicted with some other form of paraplegia or mobility impairment.  It's just that breathing was too natural.
 
 
 
My question for you: when you say that this story is intended for "juvenile readers", what age range/reading comprehension level are you considering?  I have a remark on the subject, but your answer to this question will determine what direction that remark takes.
 
 
 
Sadly, with so little to go on, I can't really remark on anything related to style or content, or really anything fun that we as writers do.  I have a feeling your reticence to post more is due to a fear of plagiarism, which I understand.  But, unless the responses you're seeking are along the lines of Sounds great!  Can't wait to read more!, with the bare bones you've provided here, there isn't a whole lot of constructive feedback possible to give you.  You trusted the boards enough to hope you got a response at all (which is admirable, given the abundance of tumbleweeds around these parts...), why not trust us to handle your work like the mature adults most of us try to be?

...I mean, you know, when we're not deliberately being completely not mature at all.  With fart jokes.  And stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm very glad that you're being honest with me. And yes, I did post little in fear of plagiarism, but how am I to make my work better without trusting others to critic my work? I'll admit, after I posted the sample, I immediately regretted not posting more up. And I'm sorry that I didn't reply sooner, I didn't think anyone was going to reply. This place seems so dead, it sucks. :(

 

Before I post a larger portion of the second chapter for you and others who wish to read it, what do you mean switching tenses? I do write a lot, but I haven't really gotten anyone to read my work. Is it like when I say, "Michael sat on his couch"? Making it sound past tense? 

 

Anyway, with all that said, here's a lot more to the second chapter. Feel free to contact me via mail at spiritsofkorra@gmail.com, I'm always checking it at least every hour or so. 

 

Oh! The age range. Um, I was thinking around 15 - 18.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Chapter 2
 
        Michael was eating a can of soup when someone knocked on the door. His mother was out to work while he stayed at home. He took a final sip from his bowl before placing it into the sink and rinsing it out. He walked over to the door and looked out the window; It was Courtney.
He opened the door and stepped outside. Courtney greeted him with a hug. Michael shuts the door behind him and locks it, placing the house key into his front pocket.
 
        "So what are going to do today?" Michael asks. Courtney smirks, taking him by the hand, pulling him along with her. They reach a beautiful garden full of roses and other types of flora. Courtney releases Michael and skips over to sniff the roses near the park bench. She signals for Michael to come over and smell them with her.
 
        "Smell this one." She says. Michael looks at her and then takes a whiff, his eyes falling heavy from the intoxicating aroma the flower let off. It was absolute bliss.
 
"It smells good." Michael laughed. Courtney agreed.
     
        "Roses are my favorite. I don't know why?" She said.
 
"You don't know why you like roses?"
     
        "I know they smell good, but is that really all there is to it?"
 
"Well they are pretty," Michael answered.
 
        "Oh!" Courtney remembered, twirling around in her dress, "Do you like what I'm wearing today?"
 
        Michael took a look at her and liked what she had to wear. A beautiful red dress with black lines going vertically, and a large red rose in her hair. "You look pretty in it." Michael says, a bit embarrassed.
 
        "Well I'm glad you like it," Courtney says, "A lot of the other boys don't like what I wear."
 
"What's wrong with how you dress?" Michael asked.
 
        "I honestly don't know. My mom says it's because they like me." She replies.
 
        Michael couldn't understand why anyone would think she looked bad. He thought she looked beautiful. Of course he wasn't going to tell her that.
The two find a bench and rest, watching the birds dance around, and smelling the beautiful rose scented air. Courtney lied her head on Michael's shoulder and closed her eyes. "I hope you don't mind." She asks. Michael felt a bit uncomfortable, but he wasn't too embarrassed.
 
        "You're fine." He said.
 
        The birds flew away to trees, and the sun was now setting. Both Michael and Courtney lie asleep, the two leaning on each others head for support. Courtney's phone goes off, the loud ringtone waking them both up. She pulls her cell out from her purse and opens it up.
 
        "I have to go home." She said. Michael was still a little tired.
 
"Are you sure?" He asked, rubbing his eyes.
 
        Courtney got up from the bench and stretched. "Yeah. My mother doesn't let me stay out too long." She answered.
 
"How come?" He wondered.
 
        "I don't know?" Courtney replied, "Something about being safe?"
 
"But it's only four? That seem a bit early, don't you think?" Michael said.
 
        "My mom knows best." Courtney interjected. â??Besides, it's getting dark.â?
 
â??Alright. I'll walk you home then."
 
        Michael grabbed Courtney by the hand and walked off with her. She blushed. This was the first time Michael had taken her by the hand. Normally she was the one to take him. She scoots closer to him. "Well, someone's finally gotten use to me." She smirked.
 
        "Huh?" Michael hadn't noticed that he had grabbed her by the hand. It was just something he had gotten use to the past couple of months.
 
"You're not going to freak out again, are you?" Courtney laughed.
 
        "I don't think so. Besides I kind of like holding your--" Michael frantically shut his mouth. Courtney was curious what he had to say. She leaned in even closer to him, staring into his eyes. She could feel him tensing up.
 
        "You kind of like what?" She teased. Michael tried to play it cool.
 
"I kind of like holding your..." He hesitated, "Hand..."
 
        "Well at least you're honest about it. I wondered how long it would take to say that to me." Courtney said.
 
"Wait, you knew?" He said astonished.
 
        "You make it way too obvious, Michael. I think everybody knows by this point." She laughed.
 
        The two had made it to Courtney's house. Michael walked her up to the front door and knocked, still holding her hand. Courtney's mother answered the door. "Why hello, Michael. Thank you for bringing Courtney home." She said.
 
        "Of course, Ms. Jennifer." Michael replied.
 
        Courtney walked into her house and turned back to Michael. She looked at her mother and motioned to her. Her mother nodded.
 
        "Do you want to stay the night?" Courtney asked. Michael looked around himself, seeing if he was being played for a fool. He raises his brow, "Is this a joke?" He asked.
 
"If it's alright with your mother," Jennifer said, "Then it's alright with me."
 
        Michael couldn't believe what he was hearing. It wasn't that he didn't want to stay with Courtney longer, he was just surprised by how her mother would allow a boy to stay the night with her daughter.
 
        "Ms. Jennifer, are you sure you want a boy to stay the night with your daughter?" Michael asked. Courtney and her mother gave each other a look.
 
"What do you mean?" Jennifer asked. Michael wasn't sure if they were messing with him.
 
        "A thirteen year old boy staying the night at a thirteen year old girls house. That isn't strange to you?" He asked. Jennifer pulled Courtney aside and spoke with her. Michael wondered what it was they were discussing. Both the girls approached by front door.
 
"Michael," Jennifer said, "It'll be fine."
 
        Courtney grabbed Michael's hands. "Well, do you want to or not?" She asked.
 
"Sure," Michael replied. "Can I call my mom?"
 
        "Of course. Just use the phone in the kitchen." Jennifer told him.
 
        Courtney brought Michael over to the kitchen and gave him the phone. He called his mother up and asked if he could stay the night. His mother asked to speak with Courtney's mother. Michael handed over the phone.
 
        Both Michael's and Courtney's mother were still on the phone for what felt likes hours. They had just finished drawing their tenth picture when they heard Jennifer yell. The two of them looked at each other, both curious as to what was happening.
 
â??What do you think they're talking about?â? Michael asked. Courtney shrugged.
 
        â??I don't know?â?
Edited by SpiritOfKorra

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And I'm sorry that I didn't reply sooner, I didn't think anyone was going to reply. This place seems so dead, it sucks. :(


Yeah, it's kinda getting that way. Activity really stalled around 2010, I think, and has been slowly trickling off since then. It did used to be much more active, though. And, once upon a time, I was this section's moderator. =P

But that's neither here nor there.

 

...what do you mean switching tenses? I do write a lot, but I haven't really gotten anyone to read my work. Is it like when I say, "Michael sat on his couch"? Making it sound past tense?


Sort of. You're right that I'm referring to verb tense, but it's not the individual verbs, it's your choice of which tense you're using at the time. Here, let me show you a few examples.
 

He opened the door and stepped outside. Courtney greeted him with a hug. Michael shuts the door behind him and locks it....

//

"Smell this one." She says. Michael looks at her and then takes a whiff.... It was absolute bliss.

//

Michael took a look at her and liked what she had to wear. ... "You look pretty in it." Michael says, a bit embarrassed.

"Well I'm glad you like it," Courtney says, "A lot of the other boys don't like what I wear."

"What's wrong with how you dress?" Michael asked.

"I honestly don't know. My mom says it's because they like me." She replies.


Here, I've highlighted both the past tense and the present tense verbs you're using. As you can see, you're switching back and forth between them quite rapidly, and with little logical sense or apparent motive, which leads me to believe that you don't realise you're switching tenses at all. This problem is fairly common to newer writers, or writers with little proofing/editing experience, but the fix is fairly straightforwardâ??and, unfortunately, kind of blatantly obvious.

1. Read what you write while you're writing it.
2. Wait a few days, then reread what you've written. Look specifically for errors.
3. Pick a tense. Stick with it. If you don't know or aren't sure of the different situations for using different tenses, stick to past tense.

Once you get better at spotting your tense-switching, you'll start to develop a sense for when past is appropriate, when present might be better, and when [and how] to use future tense.


Oh! The age range. Um, I was thinking around 15 - 18.


So you're looking at a Young Adult audience. That's what I thought you meant, but I had to check.

Here's the deal. I asked the question because although you said "juvenile fiction" and that phrase is commonly interchangeable with Young Adult fiction or Teen Fiction, your writing reads like a third grade primer. It's very blocky, moving directly from key action to key action. The most difficult syntax you use is a compound sentence. I think at a couple of points you made an attempt at more complex syntax, but since you weren't sure how to handle it you fell back on what you did know, and ended up (unfortunately) flubbing it. Your narrative thus reads very simply, with little to no appreciable detail or internal character thoughts/observations. It's almost devoid of any sort of artistry at all.

Additionally, what detail you do include is token, somewhat stilted, and often contradictory. For instance, at the beginning of the excerpt you mention that the couple is outside in a park, taking in the flower-scented air and listening to the birds sing, but later you say that the sun was setting and it was getting dark at around 4pm. Now, I live in upper Washington state, so I'm fairly closer to the pole than the equator, but the only time it gets dark that early around here is in the winter. What you're describing is clearly not winter.

What this means for you is that you need a lot more practice. You need to take your story ideas and thresh them out through notes prior to setting them in prose. You need to decide on setting and character and plot details, and then you need to stick to those details. You need to write sketches, and then you need to follow the points I listed aboveâ??specifically points 1 and 2. You also need to read a lot. Read that sentence again. It says a lot. It also means many, many, many different authors. If you want to write, you need to read. You need to look at other authors' styles and how they handle the language. You need to look at what they're doing with their characters and how they're advancing their plot. And you need to do this to the point where you can start reading a book and immediately identify if an author is good, bad, average, awful, or spectacular. And then you need to write again, and reread yourself again, and critique yourself again. You have to become your own hardest critic. Look for things you did well, and look for things you did horribly. Then find ways to make the things you did well even better, and find ways to fix the stuff you messed up.

Sure, some people may be talented and can do stuff like this with what seems like relative ease compared to you. But talent does not equal skill. Skill is equal parts hard work, patience, and desire. Talent is icing on the cake. If you want to write, then write. If you want to write better, work a little more. If you want to write well, work your ass off.


By no means do I mean you are horrible and you should never write again. That's a preposterous idea. Simply being unskilled is never a reason to give up.

What I am saying is that you are currently a fairly young writer in terms of experience, and your writing shows it. You have a lot of room to improve, and I believe if you really want it, you can rise through that room and develop into a fantastic writer. You're just not there now.

I'm not going to comment on your content. I believe that any story idea can make an excellent book. The success or failure of a story depends entirely on the presentation, expression, and craftsmanship of the author, not what they choose to write about. Remember that, because many people will tell you exactly the opposite.

I wish you the best of fortune, and I urge you never to lose the passion for storytelling.



Also, the word you're looking for is 'novella'. ;)




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



sensetive

What are you even saiyan?


Retcon pun.

dealwithit_zpsrmlvjqf8.gif

Edited by Allamorph
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I appreciate your honesty and tips. I'll take them to heart and do my best to achieve greatness. I'm the type of person who likes to have things done as soon as I get the ideas down. I need to teach myself patience. I knew in my heart that I needed to take more time with this. It's funny, because this idea came from when I was telling a short story to my younger brothers. I enjoyed where I was going with it and decided to make it a novel. I hope I can stay in contact with you so you can be the person I can turn to to honestly critic my work. I truly appreciate your help. 

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