View Full Version : Prologue converted + a little of Ch. 1 Critique pls?

10-27-2004, 08:33 PM
Chapter 1

“Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! This is the Silkenmist, %%WORD6%I92!” George Thurman flinched as another lightning bolt lit up the raging sea. “Silkenmist %%WORD17%I92! Last known position 78 degrees west, 31 degrees north. Caught in storm - engine blown!” The ship crested a wave, and plunged down the far side. George, pitching forward nearly knocked his nephew Will away from his struggle with the ships’ wheel.
“Taking on too much water, becoming swamped, Mayday! For the love of god someone respond! Mayday!” George paused, willing a response to come through the crackling radio. Suddenly, the door to the wheelhouse crashed open as Craig stumbled through it.
“Steven’s leg is broken! I strapped him down and piled blankets on him – is there anything else I can do Uncle George?”
“By God, Craig! Where’s your life jacket? Go get it and don’t take it off again!” Craig whirled to head back below, just as the ship careened into a deep trough, and was flung sideways against the railing. Will rushed to his aid, while the wheel spun wildly, causing the ship to keel completely over to port. Will was flung into his brother; the sickening thud as their heads collided was lost in the rage of the storm. The last thing George saw of his youngest nephew was the look of utter surprise on his face as he fell overboard. Rushing forward, George barely caught Will before he flipped over the rail as well. He then had to grapple Will as he tried to jump after him.
“No! Not Craig!” Screamed Will as he desperately fought his Uncle.
“It’s no good Will you’ll only drown too!”
“Better me then him! Craig!”
Hitting the ice-cold water, Craig never knew of his brother’s frantic attempts to save him. His last thought was how much he was going to miss them. Then mercifully he lost consciousness as the heavy seas pulled him down into its cold dark vortex.
Craig regained consciousness in the pitch dark of the storm-ravaged sea as he was slammed up against a rock partially submerged by the raging tide. Astounded to be alive, he clung to his salvation. Another tidal surge washed over him nearly causing him to lose his grip on the slippery rock. Lifting his head he searched frantically for any sign of the ship.
The full moon showed briefly through the rolling storm clouds, to reveal a beach about 50 feet away. Encouraged, yet nearly at the limit of his endurance, Craig waited for the next surge, let go, and was hurled tumbling head over heels to be discarded like a broken seashell upon the beach. # Choking and spluttering, he dragged himself up the beach as far away from the howling surf as he could before exhaustion claimed him.
As the cold glow of winter’s dawn filtered weakly through the remaining storm clouds, three young fishermen made their way down the shore track to town. Gorn, the oldest, was of average height and rake thin. Possessing a rather stern nature, he was often seen with a perpetual frown upon his face.

Don't mind the first # computer glitch - lol :bang

10-28-2004, 03:22 PM
I assume the original marks paragraphs with an indent, if not, it should. This seems okay. perhaps a little terse. I would like to know more about the brothers and i think it might be improved if you made point of view stronger.

10-28-2004, 09:29 PM
Vein makes some good points. I do think you're headed in the right direction.

If Uncle George is the POV character, perhaps a quick flash back to the beginning of the trip where he berates himself for not listening to those that said the weather was getting too rough, but he went ahead anyway ... that sort of thing. You don't actually have to show the scene, he could just remember. Or say out loud something like:

"I should have listened, why did I bring you boys out here..."

to which Craig could answer:

"It's not your fault, Uncle George, we wanted to come."

Then when Craig goes over the side, George's heart is ripped out.

Of course, that would only be if you want George to carry guilt over this incident with him throughout the story, or if he doesn't show up again in the story.

10-28-2004, 10:00 PM
An interesting start. I'm curious to find out the connection (if any) between the ship's passengers and the three young fishermen.

Some of the sentences seems unwieldy and rather passive. For instance:

George, pitching forward nearly knocked his nephew Will away from his struggle with the ships’ wheel.

Craig whirled to head back below, just as the ship careened into a deep trough, and was flung sideways against the railing.

Remember your active verbs.

Also, I didn't care for the rapid switches in viewpoint in such a short scene. We start with George, then pop into Craig, then Will, then back to Craig. Switch viewpoints when the scene changes. But it's too confusing when you switch back and forth within one scene.

Unless, of course, that's the narrative style you're going for.

10-28-2004, 10:38 PM
Thanks for the comments!


Craig is the only character that continues in the book. He is transported to a world of fantasy, where the 3 fishermen find him.

Debating whether or not this world will be a post WW thousands of years after the destruction of life on earth, or a completely different planet, in another system. The book, (which is part of a series), does not depend on it being one way or another.

as for the POV I see what you mean and will correct it- I think sticking with George is the way to go, the rest of the book will be Craig's ... I think hehe

thanks again!

Always working....


10-28-2004, 11:04 PM
It occurs to me that Craig could take two emotional paths: first, he could come to accept his new existence, perhaps even find it better than his previous life. If so, then a big emotional draw (for me anyway) would be Craig's awareness of his Uncle's guilt over what happened, yet he has no way to tell his Uncle it's okay.

If it's the other way around and he hates his new life, you still have this emotional thread between him and his Uncle, only now it's resentment.

Cool beans, Billie. Good luck with it. :thumbs

10-29-2004, 01:42 AM
Thanks Chunky-

I already went with the "I wish i could tell him..." guilt thingy!



10-29-2004, 11:36 PM
That's the emotional angle I'd be more drawn to. Hurry up and write the darn thing so we can snag 'em off the bookstore shelves! :grin

Writing Again
10-30-2004, 10:24 PM
Remember the reader is present: The reader reacts to the first person they become involved with; The deeper you go into that character the more involved the reader becomes.

The person to start the novel with is Craig. The best place to start is where he is dealing with Steven's broken leg.

One of the rules of 3rd person omniscient is to only switch when it actually contributes to the story.

You don't need George's POV at all. You can have Craig entering the cabin and have him listen to George on the radio. That is a good bit to show the true desperation of the situation. However there is a trick to 3rd person Omniscient that can allow you to switch POV's yet give the reader the feeling of 3rd person limited: You only show other people's inner mind while in the presence of the protag, in this case Craig. The reader will recognize Craig as the "main POV char".

Remember when switching POV's is that the reader will readily follow the story as the author follows one character away from the scene.

However you did not follow Craig; You stayed behind with Will; the reader believes they are still on the ship and assumes this is where the future action will take place: Then whammo blammo you jump off the ship Craig has left and plop the reader into the water with him: To say this is disconcerting is an understatement.

If you feel you need to include Will's desperate attempt to save Craig, then have Craig clinging just out of reach of George and Will, then have him slip; Then follow Craig.

Over here (http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm3.showMessageRange?topicID=784.to pic&start=61&stop=65) I posted what I believe to be the five basic rules of 3rd person Omniscient.

I hope this helps you.