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First Page: Midnight Creek – Romantic Suspense

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Justin Walker smashed his foot on the brake pedal, but the truck’s tires spun on the slick road. Muscles bunched in his forearms while he fought the steering wheel for control. Sweat beaded on his forehead despite the chill of the truck’s air conditioning.

Dense mountain foliage lined one side of the winding country road while a sheer cliff loomed in the darkness on the other side. Neither held much appeal for a place to stop, but with Newton’s First Law in charge, he was more or less along for the ride.

His heartbeat pounded in his ears. Hands white-knuckled around the steering wheel and the brake pedal wedged to the floor, a harsh expletive repeated itself over and over in his mind as the cliff drew closer and closer.

Lightning lit up the dark abyss of the valley below. Tall pines seemed to claw up at him like demons from hell scratching to rise to the surface. Or to pull him under.

Branches from a fallen pine scrapped against the metal of his truck’s front fender while the rain and wind whipped around him threatening to throw him over the ledge. Then like out of a movie, the truck slowed until, with only a few feet to spare, it slid to a stop at the edge of the deep void.

Eyes still transfixed on the black expanse before him, Justin released the shaky breath he didn’t realize he was holding. Prying his long, lean fingers from around the steering wheel, he willed his body to relax as well, but his relief was short-lived.

A bolt of lightning had given only a flash of warning before sending the tree tumbling towards the road. He’d caught the descent out of the corner of his eye, but the driver of the car in front of him didn’t appear to be as lucky. Throwing open his door, Justin ran towards the small sedan smashed against the collapsed tree.

The cold rain soaked his clothes and plastered his hair to his head. It streamed down his face, blurring his vision, but he didn’t care. Sprinting across the short distance between the stopped vehicles, he tore his attention away from the crushed passenger’s side of the car. Tree branches protruded through the car and out the broken front windshield while steam from the crumpled hood hissed in the cold and driving rain. It’d be a miracle if anyone survived that kind of damage.

Through the shattered window, he made out the slight form of a woman hunched over the wheel. Her hair shielded her face from his gaze, but did nothing to protect her in the collision with the tree.

Justin shuddered. Rangers knew what it meant when you weren’t properly protected and during his time in the desert, he’d seen the evidence of many soldiers’ misfortune too many times to count. The muscles in his stomach tightened as those ghostly images invaded his thoughts. Every muscle taut, vibrating with tension, he battled to keep them at bay, but the lingering smell of gunpowder assaulted his senses and the escalating sounds of the storm around them echoed with sounds of mortar fire.

Too late, his mind taunted over and over. The torment of another failure ripped through him like a machete slicing through the underbrush. His lungs ached with every breath he drew. His blood ran like icy sludge through his veins and shivers scratched with sinister claws at his spine.

“I’m so sorry.” As he whispered, he touched her forehead cautiously, but jerked his hand back when she cringed at his touch.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

21 Comments

  1. Carol McKenzie
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 04:25:35

    Hi Author and thanks for sharing!

    I think I want to like this, but there’s something that keeps me from really loving it. Maybe it’s the overly descriptive quality of the writing, all the adjectives, the just-over-the-top style of writing.

    A few quibbles: if you slam on the brakes, and the brakes lock up, your wheels slide, not spin. If it’s so cold, why is the A/C on? If it’s to clear the foggy windshield, then maybe add that little detail? Otherwise it’s odd to have him in a chilled vehicle in a cold rain.

    The bit about what Ranger’s know is confusing, at least for a moment. I’m thinking mountains, wilderness and then Park Ranger, not Ranger as in combat. It took me a minute to pull my mind from what I’d imagined to him being military. “Lingering smell of gunpowder”, while I know you mean from his past, reads like the present. “Memory of the smell” or something might be more evocative.

    This is too much: “Too late, his mind taunted over and over. The torment of another failure ripped through him like a machete slicing through the underbrush. His lungs ached with every breath he drew. His blood ran like icy sludge through his veins and shivers scratched with sinister claws at his spine.”

    I think you’re trying too hard and the writing gets in the way of the story. Pick one analogy for one reaction and pitch the rest.

    I’d consider breaking the last sentence into two or three. He touches her. She moves. He jerks away. You might get more of an impact from that crucial turn of events, but as it is, all that tension is lost, for me, in the word “but”. Think too of action and reaction: she must move before he pulls away. Your sentence has him pulling away in reaction to her movement. But if you show us her movement first, then his reaction, I think it would be more powerful.

    That she moves is not unexpected; I’d have been very surprised if she’d actually have died in the crash as I suspect he and she are the hero and heroine of the story. Or if not, she’s at least the catalyst for the romance and suspense.

    You have a nice strong voice, author, and I like that. Your descriptions, while a bit overly done, are vivid. You hint at a great deal of trauma in Justin’s life, and that’s always fodder for tension later on.

    Would I read on? Yes. I’d like to know who the woman is and then what the mystery and suspense are. You’ve pulled me in on this page, despite the quibbles with the language.

    Good luck!

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  2. Carol McKenzie
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 04:29:54

    Apparently I grew to like this the more I quibbled about language and stuff…I still don’t love it but I think it has really good bones and you have the ability to craft highly readable sentences that give vivid detail. But I do think you’re trying a bit too hard to be vivid, and as I said above, that gets in the way of the story.

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  3. Ainslie Paton
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 04:56:23

    If this is a hand of poker, I’m still in, which is the function after all of a first page. But consider dropping the ‘breath he didn’t know he was holding’ line. That likely started life as a powerful depiction, unfortunately it’s so overused it’s lost it’s street cred and you want to hang on to yours even if you are going to crash cars and trees all over it.

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  4. Kate Sherwood
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 08:20:57

    I agree with Carol that it’s a bit overwritten. A few details would add to the urgency of the scene, but too many kind of slow it down.

    Right in your first paragraph I was a bit concerned… it takes TIME for sweat to bead on someone’s forehead. Not that much time, maybe, but more time than there is in a truck skidding.

    You’ve got five paragraphs (short paragraphs, but, still) describing something that probably took one or two seconds to happen. I haven’t been in a skid from rain but I’ve been in plenty from ice, and they just don’t take that long.

    And there are some possible POV tweaks, too. I’ve never, during a bad skid, been aware of much except for the sense of everything being totally beyond my control and the fast-approaching ditch. The state of my forehead, or even my muscles? I might think of that afterward, as I try to recover, but not as the accident is actually progressing. Now, he’s a super-soldier, so maybe he’s hyper-aware of everything. But if he IS a super-soldier, he should be calm enough to drive better – jamming on the brakes is a bad idea when skidding, and I’m struggling to figure out what he’s driving that he’d have to be fighting the steering wheel to control. The problem with a skid is that the tires don’t CARE what the steering wheel says, so it’s generally not that much of a strain to turn it…

    This is the problem with details! They make us think about them, and poke at them, and if they aren’t DEAD solid, they end up weakening the writing rather than strengthening it!

    Little note about Newton’s Law – I don’t think the character would really be thinking like this, so it seems like an intrusive narrative voice, but if you do decide to keep it I’d watch the following pronoun… the antecedent for “he” is actually Newton, but I assume it’s not Newton who’s along for the ride. (Unless I’ve missed a significant element of the story).

    So, for me… I might read on, but mostly because I started one of my novels with a very similar setup (heroine skids off road, hero saves her) so I’m curious to see where your story goes compared to mine. But if I was reading in a void? I guess I might give it another page or two to see if the writing calms down a bit. But for my taste, the current style is too much, and I wouldn’t stick with it for a whole book.

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  5. theo
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 08:36:10

    I wanted to like this, but as is, I just don’t. It comes across as too convoluted the way it’s written. You start with your H sliding on wet pavement. It’s not until we get to the middle of the piece to find that he’s slammed on his brakes because of a tree across the road. Or is it? He caught the falling tree out of the corner of his eye but there’s a car ahead that is smashed by what, the same tree? Or are there trees falling everywhere? It’s disjointed the way it’s written. I have too many questions. Why is he slamming on his brakes? (Carol’s right, by the way. The breaks would lock up and the tires would slide across the wet pavement, not spin.) Did he see the car ahead with the tree on top of it? Was there another tree that fell? If the tree falls on the car ahead of him, he’d see it in full, not out of the corner of his eye.

    I know I’m repeating myself a bit, but I want to like this. If I have to puzzle through it though, you’ve lost me.

    Lightning flashed almost constantly, like a drunken photographer who couldn’t keep his hand off the button. For a moment, Justin Walker was on the battlefield again, his Ranger unit under attack, shells exploding around them. He shook his head to clear it, trying to concentrate on the rain slick road, staying away from the edge of the abyss, when ahead of him, lightning struck one of the huge trees lining the forest side of the road. In slow motion, he watched the tree top shatter in a blazing show of multicolored lights before it toppled across the road and onto the car ahead.

    Not perfect of course, but it gets rid of a lot of the overwriting and still gets your point across. My other nits are, if a tree fall ON a car, limbs won’t go in the window and out the windshield. They’ll go IN the windshield. If the tree hits the car sideways, then yes, I can see that. Minor things that don’t work for me. And why would he say “I’m sorry” to the person in the car? My first reaction would be, “Don’t move,” “Can you speak?” feel for a pulse, something. But “I’m sorry” makes no sense to me.

    Some good editing and a bit more attention to the details and I’d like this because I think there’s a good story in there.

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  6. Carol McKenzie
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 08:50:02

    @Kate Sherwood: I think Kate nailed what is off kilter about this page. It’s the description of the accident itself that I don’t like. It takes far too long and it’s actually, once I’ve read it again a few times, not all that believable. You’ve disguised improbability with vivid details.

    A much briefer description of Justin seeing in his headlights the car ahead of him being hit by a tree, him slamming on the brakes and skidding to a stop behind her gives you a couple dozen words more to get us into what we really want to know: who she is and what happens next.

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  7. SAO
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 09:19:17

    This didn’t ring true for me at all, starting with Justin smashing his foot on the brake. I think of smashing as meaning you smash something, like a bug, or you are smashed, like by Godzilla’s foot.
    “Muscles bunched in his forearms” sounds like author telling reader, not Just thinking.

    I’d drive into trees over a cliff any day. I don’t get why he doesn’t choose the trees.

    I’m not highly trained, but even I know you have to pump the breaks, not keep them flat to the floor. And you need to steer into the skid. I’m a 50-something wimp, but those lessons from years ago came back when I’ve skidded on ice and if Justin can’t remember them in an emergency, then he made a lousy soldier/special forces guy. In short, you’ve convinced me he’s not that competent.

    I’ve driven on plenty of roads in third world countries, and all of them (unless they were unpaved and even some then) had guardrails protecting you against a cliff. Maybe if he’s in some mountain road on in the boondocks of Afghanistan, I’ll believe this. Anywhere else? No.

    How do the pine trees claw at him?

    There’s a car in front on him and we only hear about it half way down the page. Why didn’t he think about the chances of plowing into the car in front of him when he considered the trees or the cliff?

    In short, you’ve produced a massive amount of detail and it’s not making the scene come alive. It’s doing the opposite. Make this a lot shorter and simpler. Short and simple moves fast and skids move fast.

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  8. Michele Mills
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 09:25:55

    I wanted to like this too, the set up is interesting. But unfortunately the action/reaction/pov aren’t clear. A few paragraphs in I started to skim. It’s fine to show physical reactions, but they’re overused here- his muscles just seemed to be constantly bunching or tensing. Also, along with what Kate said about POV, remember, in an emergency, he’s isn’t going to glance at his hand and think about how long and lean his own fingers are.
    Everyone gave great ideas on how to tighten your details to make them logical and easily understood by the reader-so, keep writing! Everyone has to revise the hell outta their work, it’s normal. :)

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  9. Marianne McA
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 09:45:12

    I’ve a few quibbles.

    “Neither held much appeal for a place to stop, but with Newton’s First Law in charge, he was more or less along for the ride” confused me. Rereading, I think you mean that neither appeals as a place to crash into, but I didn’t understand that initially.

    “as the cliff drew closer and closer”: I can’t get my bearings. I have him driving into a cliff face here – because the cliff is looming over him initially, and he’s driving towards it, but then he stops at the edge of a ‘deep void’.

    And again, when the tree falls I’m confused. When you say ‘He’d caught the descent out of the corner of his eye’ I don’t know when that happened. Is it before the story starts, or after the car stops?

    “crushed passenger’s side of the car”: I promise, I’m not usually this pedantic – but this crushes the passenger for me rather than the car.

    “Her hair shielded her face from his gaze, but did nothing to protect her in the collision with the tree”. Apart from the expletive, this is the readers first glimpse into his thought processes, and it just seemed a rather poetic thought for someone trained for dangerous situations to have. I’d have expected him to be looking for a pulse rather than playing with the word ‘shield’.
    The fact that he processes her entirely accidental ‘death’ as a failure on his part does make me interested in him as a character, but again, his feelings at this point are expressed a little too poetically for me.

    Overall, my impression is that it needs dialled back a little. It’s too overwrought for me. (But, as always, personal taste and all that.)

    Good luck.

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  10. Lynne Connolly
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 11:14:33

    What they all said. It’s overwritten. You’re cramming far too much in here. Unless it’s relevant, cut it out.
    Take the first paragraph. “Muscles bunched,” – is he noticing that, or is this a pov switch. At that point I thought he had a passenger and we were in his or her point of view. Because he’s not going to be clutching the wheel going “Oh look, my muscles are bunching.”
    “Sweat beaded on his forehead” is far too static for an action scene. How about having him shaking the sweat out of his eyes, or the sweat stinging his eyes, blurring his vision? If you think you need to drag the Ranger reference in, then bang him back to another time, another place when sweat stung his eyes.
    As it happens, I’ve just revised a car crash scene, and I sliced it to ribbons. Now I have the heroine thinking, la-la-la, it’s a nice day, I’m going to have happy times, but I’m a bit tired, and then – wham. That last word is just about all there is, because that’s how it happens. Crunching metal, that awful scratchy sound when glass splinters and the litany of “FuckFuckFuckFuck,” which, by the way, would be much better on the page than a vague reference to curse words.
    Anyway, the others are giving you good guidelines here. Cut it right down to the bone. Get the pace going, make every description active, and you’re there.

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  11. wikkidsexycool
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 11:46:35

    Hello Author,

    Thanks for having the courage to submit this. I agree with many of the critiques others have posted and also how you can fix much of it, But I also really like this opening because your voice shines through, even in the passages that are over written. For example: “Prying his long, lean fingers from around the steering wheel” will work better imho as simply “prying his fingers from the steering wheel.”

    The good part is that all you have to do is trim and rearrange things. You’ve got skill and a way with words, and I was pulled into the story. I hope you’ll post a blurb with the premise, and I’m assuming the woman in the car is his love interest. I’d read on to see just what the two of them will encounter next. My best to you and your writing career.

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  12. Shiloh Walker
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 11:51:25

    I agree with what Lynne’s pointing out.

    Overall, the writing per se isn’t bad, but there’s just too much.

    You have to think of yourself, or how you’d feel/view things…the last time you had an adrenaline-filled moment how did you feel?

    The heartbeat pounding in his ears is on the right target, but he isn’t going to think this…
    Prying his long, lean fingers

    Somebody else will notice his long, lean fingers, but you don’t want him doing it.

    This sounds too passive…
    Hands white-knuckled around the steering wheel and the brake pedal wedged to the floor, a harsh expletive repeated itself over and over in his mind as the cliff drew closer and closer.

    Something more like…

    Son of bitch, son of a bitch, son of a BITCH! It raced over and over in his mind as he white-knuckled the steering wheel and wedged the brake to the floor. But still, the cliff drew closer.

    You’re saying the same thing, but by having him feel the moment, it lets the readers feel it too. It’s the show, don’t tell thing.

    Again, the writing isn’t bad and you’ve got good imagery…

    Writing is like painting a picture with words, and this is setting the ground work…

    Lightning lit up the dark abyss of the valley below. Tall pines seemed to claw up at him like demons from hell scratching to rise to the surface. Or to pull him under.

    Branches from a fallen pine scrapped against the metal of his truck’s front fender while the rain and wind whipped around him threatening to throw him over the ledge.

    You just have to avoid going overboard.

    One note about keeping the book realistic…as he’s sitting there, that adrenaline rush is likely going to continue for a few minutes. He’s going to be sweaty, he’s going to be breathing hard and fast, probably shaky as hell. It likely would take him time to steady, so you might want to consider working that in, even as he’s running to the car to check out whoever. His body hasn’t quite yet caught up to the fact that he’s out of danger. The flight/flight response kicks in fast, usually and takes a while to completely fade.

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  13. cleo
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 13:12:13

    I think there’s something interesting here – there’s something appealing about your voice. But I agree that you need to edit and tighten this a lot.

    Like Marianne McA, I also couldn’t get my bearings. And I was confused by the sudden appearance of the fallen/falling tree and other car. Up until then I’d assumed he was driving on an empty road. Like several others, I was confused by the description of the skid, and slamming on the brakes while skidding, since that’s not what I was taught to do, many many years ago in drivers ed.

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  14. Alicia Elliott
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 13:36:04

    I agree with most of the comments here. The action takes place within a few seconds, yet we received paragraphs of description. For the most part, that description isn’t bad, but lessens the tension you need to build here. I will say I really like your voice, and that’s what kept me reading. I would definitely turn the page, and hope this encourages you to rework your page with some of the suggestions mentioned above–my fellow commenters have covered it pretty well, so I won’t reiterate.

    Oh, I do want to mention the Ranger thing didn’t throw me off. I assumed Justin was Military, but I like Theo’s rewrite–a good example of how to work in some background info while concentrating on the action.

    Definitely some talent shining through here. Good luck, Author!

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  15. Kristi
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 21:07:53

    Just wanted to say Thanks for Sharing! I agree with many commenters above. I got bored and wanted to skim around the 4th paragraph, too many adjectives, etc. I think it has good possibilities though :)

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  16. Ainslie Paton
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 21:10:15

    Okay, I’m back. I can agree with almost everything said here, but, but, but your piece has energy and that’s sometimes hard to achieve.

    Have a look at the work of someone like Matthew Reilly – Ice Station and multiple other best-sellers. He’s one of those global best-sellers with movies made of his work etc. You’ll find, he both overwrites and underwrites and if you were to parse his work you’d be scratching your head about the rules broken. But his work is enormously energetic and grabs you by the seat of your pants and shakes you about. And sells by the truck load.

    Your scene is about action and action is about energy and emotion before it’s about accuracy and subtlety. Just a plea not to sacrifice one for the other. (Not that it’s necessary to). We, readers will forgive a laboured description, or a break of logic, if what you’ve written is pacey and grabby.

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  17. Carol McKenzie
    Aug 02, 2014 @ 21:56:44

    @Ainslie Paton: For the most, I agree. BUT it’s not until you sell truck loads of books that you can break the rules. First timers out of the gate don’t have that luxury.

    For example, Diana Gabaldon writes mammoth books (and sometimes wanders about in them) and sells truck loads of books, and has a TV series based on the series. But as a new writer, if you tried to send a 300,000 plus manuscript (Dragonfly in Amber is, I think, over 300,000) agents and publisher will probably not even give it a read. It breaks the rules and probably most submission guidelines, and for a new writer, it’s just too big.

    So, yeah, action and emotion are important. But accuracy and subtlety are, IMO, just as crucial, if not more so, for a new-to-the market writer. You can’t sacrifice one for the other and it is possible to have all of them in a well-written piece.

    If this were on the shelf as the writer’s first work, published as it is, I might not buy it, simply because it isn’t accurate. I’d get hung up on sliding tires and a military guy who can’t drive in the rain. As SAO said, it doesn’t ring true. And truth, above all, is what marks good writing.

    Call it nit-picky or quibbling, but I do appreciate accuracy in what I read. Even from well-known authors. But I’ll give Diana Gabaldon a pass on something sooner than I’d give an unknown writer, simply for her track record across the board, and for her body of work.

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  18. Ainslie Paton
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 05:43:32

    @Carol McKenzie: Hey Carol, do we know for sure if the author is new, unpublished? I might’ve missed that.

    What you say is likely entirely right for the traditionally published market, but with self pubbers doing well in the lists, at all lengths, formats, with all manner of rules broken there is more than one way to skin the cat. I think it used to be clear that commercial fiction and quality writing were hand in hand (do you think I can fit another cliche in here?) but that’s less the case. We can’t live in a post Fifty Shades environment and not acknowledge things have changed. Take a look at the massive numbers of readers fiction on Wattpad pulls. Its mostly new writers, though there are some successful name authors there as well, chasing the reader numbers. Mostly what these new authors, some of whom graduate to print deals, lack in craft they make up for in pure verve, energy, originality, good, bad and indifferent (there we go – one more). Same can be said for the growth of fan fiction. What readers want is changing and new technology is facilitating the rule breakers.

    The adage know the rules before you break ‘em is still a damn good one, but it’s not the difference between snagging lots of readers and not.

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  19. Kate Sherwood
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 07:36:52

    @Ainslie Paton: I think this is really true. It bugs me, but I think it’s true!

    Look at the kindle best-seller lists, and read the samples. There are still some books that are really “well written” according to traditional standards, and I very rarely see any of the truly appalling no-understanding-of-basic-grammar books up at the top of the lists, but I do see a LOT that aren’t “well written” in the way we’ve generally meant that.

    I’m still trying to figure out what makes these books popular, but I think Ainslie has a good point about them having a certain energy. I’d disagree that they have much originality, but they definitely take readers (those who aren’t put off by the writing) on a hell of a wild ride.

    I have no idea if the current sample would fit into that zeitgeist; I really can’t judge what makes a good book of this sort because I can’t read them or really understand them. I almost wish I could, because their fans seem to be having a hell of a good time reading!

    This is probably more of a separate issue than anything closely related to this submission – anyone feel like writing up a guest editorial about it?

    But for this post, and for first-page critiques in general – I think we ARE critiquing according to fairly traditional standards of good writing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing so, but, yeah, as Ainslie points out, I think there are other paths to writing success these days. And if someone’s natural style inclines them toward that alternate path, I have no idea if it’s worth it for them to try to change their style to follow the more traditional approach.

    We live in interesting times, for writers and everyone else!

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  20. theo
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 08:06:01

    @Ainslie Paton Okay, I’m back. I can agree with almost everything said here, but, but, but your piece has energy and that’s sometimes hard to achieve.

    Unfortunately, you seem to be the only one who saw any ‘energy’ here. It’s disjointed, there are so many overwritten sentences that it’s confusing and difficult to follow and when that happens, one starts looking for nits to pick at. That’s not energy. Energy is when the words jump off the page at the reader and makes one feel like they’re right there in the car seat with the driver. Right in the midst of the storm. This page makes me stop every few sentences and go, huh? That’s just flat, not energy.

    As to the self-pubbed stuff, this is just my opinion and I’m sure I’ll get slammed for it, but the only self-pubbed stuff I’ll read is work by already traditionally published authors. Authors who know the ‘rules’ and even when they break them, they do it so well that you’re not pulled out of the story at all. I’ve tried to read the novice stuff. I really have. I don’t want to scratch my head though while I’m reading something trying to make sense of things and that is more often what I found reading samples on the self-pubbed lists. I think that the whole self-pubbed thing is dumbing down readers. How else can one explain the success of the whole 50 Shades thing with a misogynistic arsehole of a supposed H and an absolute doormat of a Hn? The books are badly written, the plot is non-existent and yet, look where it went. It’s a sad, sad thing.

    When I sit down to read a book, I expect it to be something that carries me away to some other time and/or place. To someplace that I can escape to. I don’t want to have to work at trying to read it. This one as written would go back on the shelf.

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  21. Carol McKenzie
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 12:01:30

    @theo: This is it exactly: “I think that the whole self-pubbed thing is dumbing down readers. How else can one explain the success of the whole 50 Shades thing with a misogynistic arsehole of a supposed H and an absolute doormat of a Hn? The books are badly written, the plot is non-existent and yet, look where it went. It’s a sad, sad thing.”

    And, IMO, because that book was such a run-away success, the general public mistook a popular book for a well-written book, and novice writers think they can write the same way and call it good.

    This page has an energetic situation, but that’s not the same as creating energy on the page. If it were, I wouldn’t have stopped reading to start my critique at the first sentence. I would have been so pulled in I would have read the whole page and said “Wow, that was amazing!” And then gone back to analyze what I read.

    But the truth…and I’m a big believer in truth in writing…isn’t there. And truth comes from accuracy, subtlety, craftsmanship. Not throwing a lot of words on the page in a confusing jumble and calling it good.

    @Author: You have a good premise, you have strong writing abilities and you have a voice. Any criticisms left by me (and I think, without speaking for the rest, left by them) are things you have the ability and talent to change.

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