'Wisps of smoke rose from the fire in the middle of the room. Uther gazed into the flames, thoughts racing in his head. What would he do? Retaliate? When? How could he make sure his children were safe?'
For fuck's sake, how do I describe things so they won't be so boring? I'd really like to open with a geographical description of the area but I don't think I'm talented enough to even try to pull it off.
>>7630408 I personally try to keep my pages as neat and clean as possible, even down to using minimal punctuation (t-totally not copying mccarthy, i-i swear) so footnotes don't exact sit well with the rest of what I tend to have. It seems especially weird to put one on the very first page of the book.
it's not HORRIBLE writing, but it is lackluster for an opening.
> Wisps of smoke rose from the fire in the middle of the room
this is fine, but why start with a banal description of smoke? this is generally a cliche of second rate fantasy. Try something more profound. look at the starting sentences of some of your favorite literary novels. Be it tolstoy, mishima, early joyce (Ulysses probably isn't applicable to your accessible novel, since it's too auteur to really provide inspiration for a straightforward novel project), dostoevsky, kafka, etc. There's a lot more you can do than set a scene.
> Uther gazed into the flames
> thoughts racing in his head.
cliche. I would even just change it to "Uther gazed into the flames, thinking." carries the same connotation, without the "racing" as if he were in the middle of combat or w/e. Besides, "thoughts racing" is extremely cliche. If you just want to describe what he's doing, say he's just thinking. Or think of an interesting way of saying it. don't go into the cliche cabinet and grab the closest saltshaker.
> What would he do? Retaliate? When? How could he make sure his children were safe?'
fine, but already the novel is moving at too breakneck of a pace. Slow it down a bit. This would work for a short story, but I think it's not good for a novel to do this except when it needs to.
>>7630521 I didn't say I'd ignore what you said, but I'm saying I'm not at my best with that. I'm more focused on trying to get the whole thing finished (it's colossally long and I'm only ~30,000 words in) rather than trying to make it any better than it is. I'd even call it; as it stands now, shit.
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