Post Reply Surviving The Abyss ( Horror/Scifi/Zombie Apocalypse Novel)
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Posted 7/26/16 , edited 7/30/16
Hello, I'm writing this story in an effort to develop my writing skills as well as for my own enjoyment. This is the first sorta "official" story I have ever written in my life so if any of you have feedback or anything to note that would be great. While this is my first fiction piece, I want to make this story as good as it can be and would be honored to receive feedback on it (constructive, positive, and destructive).


Synopsis: The time is 2045, with the introduction of many Homeless Prevention Centers or "HPCs", the United States is now on its way to becoming one of the cleanest places on the face of the planet. Kai is a troubled youth with a habit of needing to have everything under his control. One day after arriving home from school he notices a trail of blood leading to his two year old brothers room. How will he react when the daily aspects of life he took for naught vanish leaving him powerless in a cruel world with no allies?

Read the first chapter here:




- Thanks for taking the time to read this thread
(This is a revised chapter if you read the original by the way)
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Posted 7/26/16
Some comments:
-I'd say the biggest issue is your exposition. Its quite jarring, doesn't feel natural and doesn't flow well. Try to implement it more naturally into the story.
-Everything that comes before the incident doesn't work as a hook.
-Your action scene is fairly weak. The pacing is poor (use shorter sentences and less flowery language) and the choreography isn't strong. What is a gallon of milk doing there (the mom would either be breastfeeding or have a small bottle of milk, not a gallon) and I don't think electricity works that way.
-Your main character seems quite generic from his misanthropic nature to his "protagonist seat" in the back row near the window.
-Your character's thoughts don't seem logical. That last thought...I don't think there is any chance that would be what is going through his mind here.
-It needs polish. Grammar is missing at times, paragraphs are too long, some words are missing. Some details feel off (like the electricity/milk thing) like, you say his dad receives a lot of money because he is a veteran. Do veterans even receive money? Then you say his mom has custody. Then you say his mom and dad live together. Its a bit confusing. And the names of your characters don't feel American. Kai and Reina sound Japanese. Are they?
-"Arrggghh, I have nothing better to do anyway!": Don't say "Arrggghh". Try to formalize your dialogue a bit and eliminate that stuff. Even try to eliminate superfluous dialogue tags like "grumbled" or "mumbled". They bog down your writing and make it feel amateurish. ( -""Gabbnjjjkmmhh!" the boy screamed in pain. " - "Kai screamed in pain." would suffice.)

Overall, I think if you tighten up the story and cut down the exposition, it will be a lot stronger. If you need me to elaborate on anything, I'll be around.
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Posted 7/26/16 , edited 7/26/16

sundin13 wrote:

Some comments:
-I'd say the biggest issue is your exposition. Its quite jarring, doesn't feel natural and doesn't flow well. Try to implement it more naturally into the story.
-Everything that comes before the incident doesn't work as a hook.
-Your action scene is fairly weak. The pacing is poor (use shorter sentences and less flowery language) and the choreography isn't strong. What is a gallon of milk doing there (the mom would either be breastfeeding or have a small bottle of milk, not a gallon) and I don't think electricity works that way.
-Your main character seems quite generic from his misanthropic nature to his "protagonist seat" in the back row near the window.
-Your character's thoughts don't seem logical. That last thought...I don't think there is any chance that would be what is going through his mind here.
-It needs polish. Grammar is missing at times, paragraphs are too long, some words are missing. Some details feel off (like the electricity/milk thing) like, you say his dad receives a lot of money because he is a veteran. Do veterans even receive money? Then you say his mom has custody. Then you say his mom and dad live together. Its a bit confusing. And the names of your characters don't feel American. Kai and Reina sound Japanese. Are they?
-"Arrggghh, I have nothing better to do anyway!": Don't say "Arrggghh". Try to formalize your dialogue a bit and eliminate that stuff. Even try to eliminate superfluous dialogue tags like "grumbled" or "mumbled". They bog down your writing and make it feel amateurish. ( -""Gabbnjjjkmmhh!" the boy screamed in pain. " - "Kai screamed in pain." would suffice.)

Overall, I think if you tighten up the story and cut down the exposition, it will be a lot stronger. If you need me to elaborate on anything, I'll be around.


I love people like you :D. Thank you so much for the feedback. I actually got some criticism on most of what you stated earlier and updated the chapter based on it. This is my first time ever writing a story and action scenes are something I have been trying to research for a bit now. As for the names, one of my siblings names is Kai so that's actually where I got it from nothing to do with japan. As for the milk, his little brother is actually 2 years old so his mother doesnt breastfeed him anymore maybe I should've included more details surrounding the little brother and the milk situation. As for the veteran father thing I changed it a bit in the most recent edit. I was hinted at the father being much different from a retired foot soldier. In the next chapter I was gonna take some time to dive into the past regarding what his father is/did while in the army., Kai's childhood situation and his experiences(thats why I hinted at the foster mother) and the mother having custody of Kai (as his father just recently returned from the army a few months ago). I'll put in the updates and I'll try to change the beginning. It was more so in order to give the reader a chance to feel out who Kai is. An eccentric loner with control issues. Thanks for the feedback and be sure to look back for the updated version within the next 2 hours any feedback is good feedback
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Posted 7/26/16

ShuOumaAK wrote:

I love people like you :D. Thank you so much for the feedback. I actually got some criticism on most of what you stated earlier and updated the chapter based on it. This is my first time ever writing a story and action scenes are something I have been trying to research for a bit now. As for the names, one of my siblings names is Kai so that's actually where I got it from nothing to do with japan. As for the milk, his little brother is actually 2 years old so his mother doesnt breastfeed him anymore maybe I should've included more details surrounding the little brother and the milk situation. As for the veteran father thing I changed it a bit in the most recent edit. I was hinted at the father being much different from a retired foot soldier. In the next chapter I was gonna take some time to dive into the past regarding what his father is/did while in the army., Kai's childhood situation and his experiences(thats why I hinted at the foster mother) and the mother having custody of Kai (as his father just recently returned from the army a few months ago). I'll put in the updates and I'll try to change the beginning. It was more so in order to give the reader a chance to feel out who Kai is. An eccentric loner with control issues. Thanks for the feedback and be sure to look back for the updated version within the next 2 hours any feedback is good feedback


Glad you appreciate it :D

I think as far as plot goes, you should try to give the reader a chance to feel out who Kai is (Show, don't tell) and deliver a hook, hopefully both at the same time. The hook doesn't need to be the strongest because you have a stronger one after, but there needs to be something more (unless you just want to cut out all of the pre-incident, but I don't think that would be a good idea). There are a number of ways to do this. For example, you could put the character in some sort of situation which puts him outside of his comfort zone at the end of the school day instead of just finishing up a normal day at school. Alternatively, you could utilize a bit of en medias res to just move around events (although that is a risky proposition).

As far as establishing Kai's character, I think you told us a good deal about him, but you showed little other than how hes a bit of a misanthrope. If he has control issues, how do those manifest? Does he have OCD (or any symptoms)? I think you could do a good deal of environmental storytelling by utilizing how his control issues manifest. Also, remember your goal is to establish Kai, not Reina or the Teacher, so if you want to talk about them, do it in a way which tells us something about Kai.

Some other responses to your responses:
-The name thing isn't a big deal, just something to watch out for.
-The father stuff makes sense. Just, I wouldn't really explain it until you have a chance to fully explain it (or at the least be a lot more subtle about it).
-I'm no expert on giving milk to babies, but I think at 2 years old, they would either be breastfeeding or giving the baby formula. Even if they did take milk from a gallon, that would be done in the kitchen and then warmed up in the microwave so having the gallon in the room still doesn't seem to make much sense.
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