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Old 11-26-2017, 10:14 PM View Post #1 (Link) Superpowers Vs. The Apocalypse - Prologue
phoenixqueen (Offline)
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please remove the thread
						Last edited by phoenixqueen; 12-27-2017 at 12:15 AM.
					 Reason: wishes to remove the thread
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:39 PM View Post #2 (Link)
SerialLove (Offline)
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Liam West is a brilliant business tycoon who was happily married, until his wife and unborn child were brutally murdered. Now he is on the path of vengeance, seeking out all those responsible for robbing him of his family. Before he could see his task finished, the apocalypse arrives…

Sienna “Angel” Carmichael wakes with a textbook case of amnesia, four months pregnant, and the man who claims to be her husband despises her baby even though he claims to be the father. Sienna is more concerned about something else— a much more imminent danger. After the arrival of the strange world-wide phenomenon, known as the crimson rain, it is predicted that 3 out of 100 people have developed super abilities. Sienna is one of those people. Her new ability was telling her in advance of terrible things to come…
Ok, while I think that in a sense this information is nice to have and very informative on the characters and what could happen in the story i think that it is rather unnecessary. For one, its basically just a giant infor dump and its rather boring to read. Second, it kind of spoils somethings in the story that I think you could slowly engage the readers in. If you have to keep this I would say use it as the "back of the book" and leave it in the description or put it in spoilers so your readers know that it's not actually part of the story. Or leave it out and give it to us in pieces and bits throughout the plot and the development of your characters. It would be some cool stuff to pick up on as I continue reading rather than being told it all right now.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Liam awoke from his nightmare drenched in [a] cold sweat. His arm frantically reached over So, your arm cant really frantically reach itself over but you could frantically reach your arm over. Therefore, I would consider changing the underline text to "He frantically reached his arm over..." to the other side of the bed to find his wife. Cold. Empty. Mmm, I like using single worded sentences through out my own writing sometimes as well, but I dont really feel it here. For me it doesn't seem to fit the style and it kind of inhibits the flow of the peice. As he regained clarity from the fog of sleep, he was also reminded that he was living that nightmare. What nightmare? Remember, since this is a novel and, more importantly the beginning of the novel, you need to keep in mind that your characters dont really know what's happening. Now, that doesnt mean you can go and throw in an infor dump like what I crossed out in abundence above, but it would be ok to give your readers a little bit of background writing. However, its all up to you, so if you want to keep it this way then please, feel free to do so.

The nightmare always started the same way: a replay of that morning when he woke up with his wife sleeping by his side. He was getting up to get ready for work when he felt a tugging on his hand. His wife had always been a light sleeper so she would wake up the same time he did, but she never took the initiative to make physical contact before. Like I say later on, her behavior doesnt really seem like that of a happily married couple and it kind of prevents me from believing that they had a happy marriage and that he is devestated when she dies. It seems (in my opinion) that they have more of strained relationship but based off of the information given to me at the beginning of the story it shouldnt really feel like that. I recommend working on the characters a lit bit. He turned around to face her.

She was having trouble starting the conversation—something she always struggled with. He sat back on the bed, took her hands in his, and patiently waited. He knew it had to be something important. It was rare for her to initiate a conversation with him. Ok, so you basically already said that she already had trouble talking to Liam, so this sentence is a little unneeded. Also, I normally dont think of happily married couples as having trouble talking. Is there a reason why she always had issues having conversations with her husband? Did something happen to her that would have caused this?

“Happy birthday, Liam.”

A smile bloomed on his face when he heard her wishing him a happy birthday. It was just another day to him—completely forgotten about, actually—but he was glad that she remembered.

“I... I tried to tell you last night, but…” After a long pause, she continued. Mmm, I dont really like the wording of this. “And I don’t know if today is a good day to tell you, because I don’t know how you feel on the subject.” So this may sound a little weird but I would combine both chunks of dialogue and just take away the non-dialogue part here. The main reason behind this is because I feel like if you add the second chunk ager the comma and before the 'but' and then leave the 'but' for the end of the entire thing it would make it seem like Liam is interupting her and like she is actually having a hard time telling him what ever it is that she needed to tell him.

“What is it, Angel?”

She opened her mouth and closed it again [,] twice[,] before she reached over to the nightstand drawer. She pulled something out and showed it to him.You could combine this sentence to the previous one to make the flow a little better. It was a white plastic stick with two pink stripes on it. He didn’t know what he was looking at to begin with, but then he suddenly remembered seeing something like this in commercials from time to time. Ummm, ok so my first issue with this is that pretty much everyone knows what a pregnancy test is.The second thing is that this is supposed to be an adult character, therefore, unless this man grew up super sheltered or whatnot, then I dont know how he wouldnt recognize what a pregnancy test looked like right away. It just doesnt make sense to me. I would recommend cutting it just because it seems a little unrealistic to me. It was one of those pregnancy test kits. He didn’t know what two pink stripes meant. But if she was showing it to him, it could only mean one thing: she was pregnant. They were having a baby. Ok, so for the most part I would say that you should just cut the most of this paragraph. Like I said above, its unrealistic and doesnt really seem to flow well. If I were you, the parts that I would keep would be the fact that she opened the drawer, pulled something out and showed it to Liam and then the whole revelation that they were having a child.

He didn’t know how long he froze up, but when he came to again, his chest was inflated with joy. He reached for her face and pressed his forehead against hers. The description of his joy is a little weak. Maybe you could add something more this. It seems rather showing rather then telling.


Now it was his turn to have trouble expressing himself. Words wouldn’t have cut it anyway. The woman he loved was pregnant with his baby. He expressed his joy in a long, deep kiss that made them both run out of breath by the time he broke it. That's a very telling sentence. Rememver, this is a novel and while telling does have its place in a novel, it worksbetter to show because it gives your readers something to hold onto and it allows your readers to picture the secene themselves rather then being just given a description of what they're supposed to see. Besides, there are so many ways that you can write stuff like this thats a little bit more engaging. He put a hand on her flat abdomen as he reveled in the feeling of happiness overflowing from every pore.Ok, so the crossed out section is a little repetative. We already get it that he is overfilled with happiness, there is no need for you to say so again. When you start to repeat things, it makes your work lag and becomes a little boring. If you have to make it clear that Liam is overfilled with happiness again, then try to find another way to do so. Then it hit him like a brick. Last night… This would be the perfect place to put a little flashback so your readers can know what happened the night before since it seems like it is somewhat important since it has been brought up nmultiple times already. The flashback doent have to be that long either, just a short one that summed up the previous night would be nice.

“Are you feeling alright?”

She nodded.

At times like these, he wished that she wasn’t so afraid of him. Why is she so afraid of him?They had been married for nearly four years and she still had not realized how much he loved her. I mean, if he married her then she must have known, even a little, how much he loved her. Most people dont typically marry others unless there is some kind of bond/relationship there already.But then again, he couldn’t blame her; he knew she was an orphan, growing up under someone else’s roof. All of the psychiatrists he consulted told him the same thing: that she was lacking a sense of security in everything around her and learning to trust someone fully was against all of her instincts. Even if it was her own husband.Ok, so I crossed out that section because it seemed a little unrealistic to me. I know ive said that alot already in this review but like before, this doesnt really seem right (if that makes sense.) First of all, yes alot of people in foster care/being an orphan have a little issuses here and there,but most of them center around abandonment rather then trust (unless the person was orphaned for a reason like intential abandonment and or abuse, etc...) Also, why would Liam be going to psychiatrist for his wife. I mean, I'd get it if they went to psychiatrist together to work out issues but you wrote it to where it seemed like he was going by himself to talk about her. Just as well, the way you worded it makes it seem like she's a child compaired to him. I dont know, maybe it's just me, but I suggest working on the wording of the paragaph if you want to keep what I crossed out.

His thumb gently brushed the burn scar on the side of her face. She immediately turned away to hide it from view. It was another source of her insecurity.Her turning away from him to hide her face shows us her insecurity so there's need to tell us that it was a source of insecurity.

He cupped her face once again and made her lock in his gaze. “Angel, we’re going to be parents!” I dont really like the use of the exclination mark here.That may be because i'm a little biased towards them but I think the second one works better then this one. He pecked a kiss on her soft lips. “I’m going to be a dad!”

The beautiful moment [of] that morning [however,] would always melt to give way to a [the now] recurring nightmare.

He was in a meeting when he received the call.

“Liam… It’s your wife.” I think you could do without the ellipsis here. A simple comma would suffice. Also, who is the one calling him about this news? If it was someone from the hospital, then wouldnt it be more appropriate if they addresed him by his last name rather then his first. If it was family friend then using his first name is fine but the way you have set the scene and all it makes it seem like its a hospital staff member.

He dropped everything he was doing, raced to the airport and took the first flight back. He sped to the hospital where his wife was admitted. He couldn’t recall how many traffic lights he ran; only that when he got to the emergency room, they told him that his wife had passed away. Ok, I have nothing against the development of this part of the story but it feels to rushed to have any ful effect. So far, most of this feels like an entire info dump, which isnt good. Remember, this is a novel, and even if it is the prologue, you still need to engage your readers.The death of Liam's wife does seem like a pretty imoportant detail to the story so feel free to drag it out just a little bit. Give us more of the nitty-gritty to relish in. He didn’t believe it for a moment, thought they made a huge mistake, thought that perhaps he went to the wrong hospital, or [the comma should be placed after the 'or' here] perhaps it was just someone with the same name as his wife. It was only when they showed him her cold, lifeless body on a stainless steel table that reality finally caught up with him. **Just a note: you have quite a few modifying words in this sentence, all of which I underlined for you. There aren't a lot but you have to be careful with them because too many can start to make your piece become muddy and lagged down. I mean, in reality, does your reader need to know that her body was on a stainless steel table? If I were you, I'd just cut that since its a detail that's not really important and most people can come to that conclusion on their own. It was real. It was happening.It's not really "happening" seeing as it's alreay happened. There was no rewind button to undo any of it.

The morning when she walked him out the door, she was still alive. They were going to have a baby.Well yeah, duh. We already know this. There's no need for this sentence.

He reached for her face, which had been horribly disfigured by dozens of cuts. Cold. He could still remember the warm goodbye kiss on his lips from this morning. His gaze went to the old burn scar on the side of her face, to the necklace she often wore on her neck, Where else would you wear a necklace? to the wedding band on her finger, and then at last to her abdomen where their baby… Two things: one, normally when they show a body for identification, especially a murder victim, they dont typically have the body in a place where the person identifying them can touch them for the reason that they need to preserve "the crime scene" so to say for evidence. Two, since this is all part of a flashback, or dream or whatever, then I think that you should have them this entire chunk in italics. Differentiate where the dream description starts and where the rest of the plot and story is. That way it would make transitions so much smoother and it would hopefully clear up any sort of confusion that your reader may have while reading your piece.

Liam grabbed the lamp on the nightstand and smashed it against the wall in a fit of rage. Here is a prime example of telling. Based off your description of him throwing the lamp at the wall, your readers can most likely infer that Liam is in rage/mad, therefore there really isn't any need to tell us so. At this part of his nightmare, he often broke down and cried. There were times [when] he just stood there staring at her corpse until he woke. And [then] there were times [when] there was a gun in his hand[,] and he pulled the trigger on himself.

Afterward, he would wake in cold sweat, frantically searching for her on the other side of the bed, hoping to find her warm body, hoping that it was all just a nightmare. All of it. Ok, so here, you already introduced the scene with him breaking out in a cold sweat and then proceeded to tell us it was because of the nightmare. This sentence just basically repeats everything we already know. Be careful of this because too much repetition can lag down your plot and make your piece boring to read.

Sometimes he would sit there quietly until morning light shone through the windows. But sometimes when it got too unbearable, he would leave his room and go down to the basement. This night was one of those nights.

The sound of the airtight door creaked open, amplified by the silence of the night. Liam walked into the brightly lit basement and was greeted by a man and a woman dressed in black suits. Kind of a cliché description. They closed the door behind him as he entered. He then took a seat on the only chair in the room. Saying that he took a seat "on" the only chair seems rather odd to read. Yeah, technically saying 'on' is right compared to 'in' since you cant really sit in a chair but it doesn't really work much on the grammar. Therefore I would recommend changing it. The deep blue of his eyes lightened several shades when he laid eyes on the woman cowering against the wall in front of him. There was a cruel expression on his face, one so uncharacteristic that it made him look like a completely different person.
Here is a great place to throw in some imagery. You tell us that this expression on his face makes him look like a different person, well how so? What about his expression is so changing/shocking. Don't be afraid to throw in some description here and there to help your readers picture the scenes themselves.

The woman cowering against the wall didn’t look like herself either. Once considered a beauty, she was now beyond recognition. Her prized beautiful hair was scattered all over the floor. Every inch of her body was covered in bloodied bandages. Her once beautiful face was layered with fresh cuts over older ones. She looked barely human anymore. Ok, I like how you've given us a bit of detail but it's boring detail. Remember to show rather then tell, and believe me, there are ways to tell detail rather then show it.

And there were mirrors all around her, constantly reminding her of what she had become. The moment he walked into the room, he could see that she was visibly terrified of himso terrified that she tried to claw at the wall with her shortened fingers in an attempt to get further away from him, staining the mirrored wall with her blood in the process.

A twisted satisfaction laced his cruel expression. There were many nights just like this when he would come down here to watch her suffer. He once decided that death would be too quick and merciful, no matter how tempting it was to choke the last breath from her lungs and watch her die. On the contrary, he wanted her to live as long as modern medicine coul
d keep her alive and he wanted her to suffer every moment of it. He wanted to take away everything from her just like she had done to him.

Another sleepless night.

Ok, so the ending of this seemed a bit rushed and I was rather confused by what was happening.
For the most part you had a pretty solid idea here. There were a few places that I felt confused or like the plot could be cleared up a bit, but that's bound to happen in any piece. I like the idea that you had at the end of the piece and I thought that that could have been twisted into this nice portion of both horror and suspense and what not. The only thing is that it needs a little work. Remember you need to show rather then tell, especially with a novel like this.

Other then that, I think everything I wanted to cover is already in the line by line. Good luck and continue writing. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:49 AM View Post #3 (Link) This post is a reply - don't critique it
phoenixqueen (Offline)
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Dear SerialLove

Thank you so much for your critique. I am publishing my book on Amazon soon, and they require for me to remove all of my book content from the web. Can you please remove this post?

Thanks again!
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