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Old 12-30-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
DesireableLust
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Hey Everyone!! New virgin author =D

Hey guys! So, my first chapter of my first ever story has been approved and so far I think its getting a lot of good comments. I would really love it if I could get some more constructive feedback since its my first time writing.

Link:
http://www.literotica.com/s/winter-with-the-wolf-ch-01

I did not use an editor and after I submitted it I did noticed some spelling errors. I apologize for those! I'm going to proof read my writing better in the future.

I already have chapter two submitted its just waiting approval.

Look forward to hearing from everyone =D
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
sr71plt
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It's a good opening and you write well. Yes, it could use some light editing, but there's nothing wrong that should intrude on the reading.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome, and good luck. Here's some feedback.

You missed a few grammar things, such as hyphenated adjectives. The "perturbed-looking woman" had an "eight-year-old" with her. That kind of thing. But those are easy to miss, and you said you didn't have an editor. Those are the kinds of errors a second pair of eyes are helpful in catching.

I've read and written a few nonhuman stories, and while it's fine to turn some of the usual tropes around, I did wonder about a few things.

First, Keenan was in a city and moved to the country? That's definitely the reverse of the usual. Nothing wrong with that, but I think it needs some explanation. Why would a bunch of people who turn into animals that roam over a lot of territory want to squash themselves into a city, where it's more difficult to find that room to run? Why possibly expose themselves to more people who might discover what they are? There are logical reasons why writers tend to set their packs in rural, or at least suburban areas -- what are yours for not doing that?

Also, are Keenan's movers also wolves? If not, why is he doing something so obviously super-human as picking up the couch from them and moving it? Is he trying to invite suspicion of himself?

It's fine that Mia's dog is an Akita but you might want to describe it a little. Not everyone knows dogs. I have no idea what an Akita looks like. This may be a situation where it's better to use a more common dog type -- husky, German shepard -- or just to go with general "large dog" descriptions. Another example is "brindle coat." No idea what that is.

For Mia's thoughts, you should change your punctuation. For example, you wrote:

Quote:
I should have brought treats. She thought absently as she continued towards the house.
It's awkward, forcing a hard pause before "she thought." Better would be: "I should have brought treats, she thought as she continued towards the house." (I often advise removing adverbs as well. )

You have similar problems with the dialogue:

"And your name is?" He asked her gently. Should have a lower-case "he."

"M-Mia." She replied, holding the pie outstretched awkwardly. Should have a comma after "Mia" and a lower-case "she."

Why was Mia "trouble if he'd ever seen it?" All she did was give him a pie and run away. She wasn't assertive or anything else. She seems the opposite of trouble. Also, if you're going to specify height, write it out; Keen was about "six feet, four inches tall." Or, "he was over six feet tall."

I can't say much about Mia and Keenan as characters b/c there isn't much there yet, as you've just started. So far they are the usual kind you encounter in stories like this. She's cute and he's an Adonis. She can't think straight around him (I hate that trait in women in stories most times), and he immediately latches on to her as his mate. Which is not to say you can't work with that, but so far it's the same old same old.

The pace is decent so far, and the writing is clear. You do make some mistakes, as you noted, but they're pretty minor in my view. I noticed them b/c I do, but they didn't throw me out of the story or anything like that. Good luck with the rest.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:40 PM   #4
chocolatecookie3
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Hi, I think the perspective changes were too quick and frequent. I like to read one character's thoughts for a while, and it feels disruptive to go back and forth. You started with clear lines between them, then at the end you mixed them. I suggest doing one or the other.

Really good word choice ("creamy ice cream"--I think that counts as assonance).

Hopefully the later chapters have lots of character development. They seem like nice people, but not super interesting (besides the wolf thing).
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:23 PM   #5
DesireableLust
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
Hi and welcome, and good luck. Here's some feedback.

You missed a few grammar things, such as hyphenated adjectives. The "perturbed-looking woman" had an "eight-year-old" with her. That kind of thing. But those are easy to miss, and you said you didn't have an editor. Those are the kinds of errors a second pair of eyes are helpful in catching.

I've read and written a few nonhuman stories, and while it's fine to turn some of the usual tropes around, I did wonder about a few things.

First, Keenan was in a city and moved to the country? That's definitely the reverse of the usual. Nothing wrong with that, but I think it needs some explanation. Why would a bunch of people who turn into animals that roam over a lot of territory want to squash themselves into a city, where it's more difficult to find that room to run? Why possibly expose themselves to more people who might discover what they are? There are logical reasons why writers tend to set their packs in rural, or at least suburban areas -- what are yours for not doing that?

Also, are Keenan's movers also wolves? If not, why is he doing something so obviously super-human as picking up the couch from them and moving it? Is he trying to invite suspicion of himself?

It's fine that Mia's dog is an Akita but you might want to describe it a little. Not everyone knows dogs. I have no idea what an Akita looks like. This may be a situation where it's better to use a more common dog type -- husky, German shepard -- or just to go with general "large dog" descriptions. Another example is "brindle coat." No idea what that is.

For Mia's thoughts, you should change your punctuation. For example, you wrote:



It's awkward, forcing a hard pause before "she thought." Better would be: "I should have brought treats, she thought as she continued towards the house." (I often advise removing adverbs as well. )

You have similar problems with the dialogue:

"And your name is?" He asked her gently. Should have a lower-case "he."

"M-Mia." She replied, holding the pie outstretched awkwardly. Should have a comma after "Mia" and a lower-case "she."

Why was Mia "trouble if he'd ever seen it?" All she did was give him a pie and run away. She wasn't assertive or anything else. She seems the opposite of trouble. Also, if you're going to specify height, write it out; Keen was about "six feet, four inches tall." Or, "he was over six feet tall."

I can't say much about Mia and Keenan as characters b/c there isn't much there yet, as you've just started. So far they are the usual kind you encounter in stories like this. She's cute and he's an Adonis. She can't think straight around him (I hate that trait in women in stories most times), and he immediately latches on to her as his mate. Which is not to say you can't work with that, but so far it's the same old same old.

The pace is decent so far, and the writing is clear. You do make some mistakes, as you noted, but they're pretty minor in my view. I noticed them b/c I do, but they didn't throw me out of the story or anything like that. Good luck with the rest.
Whooooo that was a load of stuff hahaha. Thats the kind of advice I've been looking for, thank you for taking the time to do that.

The hyphen thing I definitely didn't even think about, I'll watch out for that in the future.

As for the city/mountains thing...I should have done better explaining that. From all of my supernatural story experiences I find there are two different types of werewolf packs, the ones that live in the city that have that wild side to them, sniffing out sex every night, being predators in the city type and then there are the kind that stick to themselves in the woods on compounds or something. Usually the city scene is more traditional to vampire stories but I've seen it with wolves too. I plan on clearing up Keenan's history more in chapter three. Thank you for telling me how unclear it was.

As for the moving thing, he picked up a coffee table not a whole couch hahaha. I think I assumed that this would be okay in my head because I imagine Keenan as a really built guy so it wouldn't seem too abnormal. I understand your point here.

I see your point on the Akita breed. I think I'm writing this story too much inside my own shoes. I'll try taking a step back and looking at it from someone elses point of view. As for a brindle coat...I kinda thought that was common sense to be honest xD I guess it isn't

I described Mia as "trouble" because Keenan is so attracted to her and shes human which naturally is problematic for a werewolf. Once again, I'm thinking about it from my own head and not what someone else sees. I promise to work on it!

With the thoughts thing I originally had them in italics so it was obvious that it was a thought but when I pasted it into the submit box it took them out. I also understand what you mean by the lowercase letters after quotes. I will start doing that in chapter 3. (2 is already submitted)

I know I'm being completely unoriginal with the trend of werewolf stories. The thing is, its what people love about them usually! I know thats what I love. I didn't want to take on too much for my first story. Sticking to what I know while I experiment with this writing thing seemed like the best choice so that I didn't get lost halfway through. If I stick with this I definitely plan on trying to come up with some more original material.

Thank you so much for your feedback I really appreciate it!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:24 PM   #6
DesireableLust
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocolatecookie3 View Post
Hi, I think the perspective changes were too quick and frequent. I like to read one character's thoughts for a while, and it feels disruptive to go back and forth. You started with clear lines between them, then at the end you mixed them. I suggest doing one or the other.

Really good word choice ("creamy ice cream"--I think that counts as assonance).

Hopefully the later chapters have lots of character development. They seem like nice people, but not super interesting (besides the wolf thing).
I know what you mean by I start out in one perspective but I find it a little difficult to describe interactions between them in only one of their views. I shall try harder!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:54 PM   #7
PennLady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireableLust View Post
Whooooo that was a load of stuff hahaha. Thats the kind of advice I've been looking for, thank you for taking the time to do that.
You're welcome and when you ask for feedback -- be careful what you wish for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireableLust View Post
The hyphen thing I definitely didn't even think about, I'll watch out for that in the future.
I've seen the book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" recommended for punctuation instruction. I haven't read it myself, but I keep meaning to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireableLust View Post
As for the city/mountains thing...I should have done better explaining that. From all of my supernatural story experiences I find there are two different types of werewolf packs, the ones that live in the city that have that wild side to them, sniffing out sex every night, being predators in the city type and then there are the kind that stick to themselves in the woods on compounds or something. Usually the city scene is more traditional to vampire stories but I've seen it with wolves too. I plan on clearing up Keenan's history more in chapter three. Thank you for telling me how unclear it was.
I think you may have been rushing things, which is common enough and easy enough to do. You have an idea, you want to get it down before you forget, and you want to get to the action ASAP. The problem is that building up usually benefits you -- building up by telling/showing the reader more about each character, their backgrounds, feelings, etc.

You're right, weres can be pretty much anywhere. I've tended to be pretty vague in my settings when I've written those stories. I tend to like my weres to not be totally isolated from regular people, to interact more. I think that makes things more interesting. So I keep them in kind of urban/suburban settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireableLust View Post
As for the moving thing, he picked up a coffee table not a whole couch hahaha. I think I assumed that this would be okay in my head because I imagine Keenan as a really built guy so it wouldn't seem too abnormal. I understand your point here.
Haha, sorry, my bad. I don't know why I thought it was a couch. Even with a coffee table, though, you might want to add some description. If it's a big heavy mahogany thing, probably one normal person couldn't handle it. If it's smaller or lighter, then no problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireableLust View Post
I see your point on the Akita breed. I think I'm writing this story too much inside my own shoes. I'll try taking a step back and looking at it from someone elses point of view. As for a brindle coat...I kinda thought that was common sense to be honest xD I guess it isn't
That's also easy to do, and it's a tough line, b/c you don't want to insult your readers nor do you want to overload them with descriptions of dog breeds, or car makes, or what have you. There'd be nothing wrong with a quick description of an Akita, for example, but you don't (necessarily) want to go into the breed's history or anything like that. And "brindle coats" may be common to you, but they aren't to me. Again, you could explain what that is, or you could find another way to describe it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireableLust View Post
I described Mia as "trouble" because Keenan is so attracted to her and shes human which naturally is problematic for a werewolf. Once again, I'm thinking about it from my own head and not what someone else sees. I promise to work on it!
But that's not necessarily "naturally problematic." And if it is in your story, that's fine, but this would be a good place to say it, and then -- I know I say this a lot -- explain why. For one thing, it is so common in these stories for one person, usually the guy, to be the werewolf (or whatever), and the woman to be human. So it hardly seems like a big problem. I mean, is Keenan the first wolf in his pack to want or mate with a human? Probably not. If this is a "problem" in this universe, it needs to be laid out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireableLust View Post
With the thoughts thing I originally had them in italics so it was obvious that it was a thought but when I pasted it into the submit box it took them out. I also understand what you mean by the lowercase letters after quotes. I will start doing that in chapter 3. (2 is already submitted)
Actually, it is the correct style these days to not italicize thoughts (something I really miss), so you're fine there. It's a punctuation issue. Also, if you want to use italics -- and this is not a place with those kind of rules -- put <i> and </i> tags around the text you want italicized. Those are HTML tags and the italics will show up in the story (I do this all the time and so do most other writers).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireableLust View Post
I know I'm being completely unoriginal with the trend of werewolf stories. The thing is, its what people love about them usually! I know thats what I love. I didn't want to take on too much for my first story. Sticking to what I know while I experiment with this writing thing seemed like the best choice so that I didn't get lost halfway through. If I stick with this I definitely plan on trying to come up with some more original material.
There's nothing wrong with writing werewolf stories, or vampires, or anything else. Trends get to be trends b/c people like them. But I find if you don't try to do something of your own with it, it's pretty boring. I think it's a good idea to keep this simple, since it's your first story, but you can always be on the look out for things that might improve it. You need to flesh out the characters is all, and you've only started, so you have time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireableLust View Post
I know what you mean by I start out in one perspective but I find it a little difficult to describe interactions between them in only one of their views. I shall try harder!!
One thing that might help is to read other stories. And I had no problem with the POV switches. I switch POVs within scenes frequently, although usually with just two characters. Nora Roberts does this all the time (I'm sure that's where I picked it up). So long as you make it clear, the reader will be fine.

Also, it's not so difficult to describe interactions between two characters from just one POV. Character A can guess at what B is thinking, for example. A can read facial expressions and body language, or B can just say B's thoughts for A to hear. This is not to say A is correct in A's interpretation of things, but that could add some tension and conflict later.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
I've seen the book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" recommended for punctuation instruction. I haven't read it myself, but I keep meaning to.
It's a fun read. It doesn't cover much ground, though. Better than nothing, certainly.
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