Yeh - I use to write these … things. Like diary entries, but I gave everyone a character role so they seemed less ‘real’. King, Jester, Puma, Thespian are all real people. ( they’re called “scripts” )
( you think the grammer is bad in this chapter? I should post a ‘script’ - one of my ex GFs tried to edit one once … but it ruined the feel of it. )
I only read the first half (due to time constraints). Yeah, needs a good copyedit – I found the grammar issues distracting, but that’s because I look for those reflexively.
I usually don’t like to comment on style, but since you asked, I find that the opening is a bit undirected. What I mean is that the line between Neeves’ perception of the world and reality is too blurry. It can work as an analogy for how groggy he is when he first wakes up, but I feel like there needs to be a firmer point of reference somewhere. In other words, I think the initial balance is skewed too far towards flavor and not enough towards narrative. The result is that I feel like I’m decoding the thing. I imagine the language will feel more comfortable as I read on, but at the start, it’s a bit daunting.
I think you have a very lively style and are very imaginative. I would echo the grammar criticisms but those should be easy to overcome.
BTW, you may not be even aware of it, but you use a tremendous amount of “Britishisms” and British slang which you might want to tone down if you ever seek a wider audience. I think it’s OK to use such in the dialog but not the narrative.
Lloyd , can you give me an example I’m not really sure what you mean by “britishism”.
Alan - I’ll see what I can do to make things a little less “blurry” . ( I just read a bit of it again, I see what you mean byt “less falvour, more narrative” )
“Piss orf!” , mum, “Righteo”, maths
These words/expressions are not commonly used in American English nor I imagine by non English speakers who have learned non slang English in school. So unless you are setting your novel in a British locality they clash a bit as well as confuse those readers who aren’t familar with them.
This is a hilarious line.
“mum” is how we spell mom down here…
“piss orf” in my head was said like steve erwin - I never really considered how others would read it.
“righteo” … another outback aus voice. I’ll try and think of a way to define accent without saying “aussie accent”. Hmmm.
Congratulations on not only beginning a book, but for having the courage to post a chapter here. As an aspiring novelist myself, I look forward to feedback (other than my wife’s) but at the same time I’m dreading bad news. ;)
That being said, I’ll offer only one suggestion: pick a tense and stick with it… Some of your sentences drift between present and past tense, making it a little hard to read. Case in point:
Taking another cigarette and coolly popping it into his mouth as he pulled the door shut yelling a quick farewell to the Empress.
The verb “pulled” is out of place in this sentence. It should either be pulling, or all other verbs should be past tense.
But keep going! I find my own prose improving dramatically the more I write.