Monday, February 5, 2007

Excerpt from THE GUARDIAN

This post has been moved. Please see the page on my website for the updated version of the excerpt. It's much easier to maintain it over there.


Chandra Rooney said...

That is great. You have a very smooth and easy-to-follow style, which is nice to see as some contemporary SF becomes boggled down with world-jargon. The chapter expands a lot of information without seeming to, and I feel compelled to keep reading.

I like how it blends SF and Fantasy elements, as that's a genre-mix that's always been near and dear to my heart.

The only thing I notice is that I don't really feel like I know a lot about the narrator yet. However, I think that is part of what keeps me reading. He seems like an ordinary fellow about to be confronted by the extraordinary.

Christopher M. Park said...

Thanks for the feedback! It's taken several iterations to get the chapter to that point. SF/Fantasy blend has always been something I've loved, too (as you might imagine).

As to not knowing much about the narrator... that's definitely true. I originally had about 4,000 more words in the first chapter, and that covered a lot of his back-story. There were some things that got cut that I am sorry aren't there any more, but they just don't seem to help out the pacing of my first chapter any.

Fortunately, all of that stuff that you would have learned comes in bits and bytes through the rest of the story. And your impression of what's about to happen to him is just what I hope it would be at this point.


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris, just letting you know I finally got round to reading your novel's opening. I can't add much more to Chandra in terms of praise and encouragement: this is truly very well written, your style feels mature and works beautifully with the subject-matter. Well done! :) I would definitely keep reading beyond this point, which is a good sign... ;)

My only real 'problem' with it so far is the prologue. At this stage I just didn't feel it needed to be there, despite the drama of it! I've got to say that I'm not a great fan of prologues in general, as I feel they can detract from the opening chapter (not always, but it can happen). Perhaps it will feel like a better fit as the novel progresses...

I'd also love to take out my 'editor's red pen' and chop out a few words here and there, but that's just me! ;)

But really excellent book so far. I think you've got real talent and potential.

Christopher M. Park said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for reading and commenting! And for all the praise. :)

I'm glad that you commented on the prologue as you did. I'll have to think about this more, but perhaps I do need to finally nix that. When professional author Beverly Swerling read the book, she said that "for the first 100 pages or so I was prepared to tell you to drop the prologue as irrelevant." But then after a long while she caught what I was doing, and recommended a lot of edits to it, instead (for brevity and clarity, as I was being far too obscure before).

The sole purpose behind the prologue is to give some dramatic tension to the rest of the story. You've just seen a "thing" kill David Novak in his office, so when Sean is in his office, there is a tension of something similar. You've also learned that the Otherworld isn't what it is purported to be, but Sean doesn't have that knowledge yet. That plays into the Otherworld-truths subplot for some time, starting in chapter 1.

At any rate, I like how the prologue accomplishes those other things. However, if the prologue itself is just too weak and/or disconnected to pull in readers, then that's a moot issue anyway. Hmm. I'll have to think about this some more, but cutting the prologue is something that I will definitely consider.

Anyway, thanks so much for the support!


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't cut it just yet because, as I said, the prologue will fit in better as more of the story is revealed. (This is confirmed by what your professional reader said.) It's a very personal decision. And it's your book, after all! :) Personally, I think it reads better *now* without it, much more immediate and we go straight to the POV character, that's all.

Maybe you can incorporate it later on somehow, as a sort of 'interlude'..?