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Thread: Counterweight: Chapter 1

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    Senior Member Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde's Avatar
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    Default Counterweight: Chapter 1

    (I received great critiques and have taken my work back to the drawing board. Thanks for your help!)
    Last edited by Cross Avantgarde; 07-07-2014 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Information Acquired

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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    See Post 1.
    Last edited by Cross Avantgarde; 07-07-2014 at 07:05 PM. Reason: See Post 1

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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    borrrrrrrrrring

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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    See Post 1.
    Last edited by Cross Avantgarde; 07-07-2014 at 07:06 PM. Reason: See Post 1.

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    Senior Member Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    I've only managed to read the first section so far but I already love it. Anything that relates to History always grabs my attention so I was pleasantly surprised when I first began to read this. =)

    Overall, your writing is fantastic. There were some instances where you repeated words or phrases close to each other

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    A gruff voice behind me caused me to jump a bit, finally providing the stimulus I needed to wake up a bit.
    but I just thought I'd let you know in case it slipped by without notice; I know I've been guilty of doing the same thing before! A word I noticed you seemed to favor was monotonous and at first it seemed to be repetitive, but as I read on I felt it added to the way the character felt to the situation and found that I liked how it fit.

    Can't wait to read the other two parts. ^^

    [Let others wage war.]
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    Senior Member Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    @Aelwynsal : I very much appreciate your input, and your time! You’re exactly right, that phrasing in the quote is beyond redundant and I hope there won’t be much more to follow like that. In fact, I’m going to purge it right after posting this. Again, thanks for your input, and your time; I certainly hope you like the subsequent parts.

  11. #7
    Senior Member Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    Another great post! It had me thoroughly engaged and I like how you know where to add the right amount of detail where it's needed without overdoing it. If you don't mind, I'd like to give you a few pointers in a few different parts that might make your writing a little better. =)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    It had seemed that his earlier suspicions had been vindicated, and this only spelt uncertainty for everyone in the fort. My mind quickly went to the civilians who had fled to Ft. William Henry from the surrounding villages and towns. What would happen to them? They were unlike us. They were families of men, women, and children who had no interest in warfare. Many were diseased with Smallpox, just like a large amount of the soldiers in the fort.
    Again, the two phrases so close together just seems off to me. Maybe for the second 'in the fort' you could put "Many were diseased with Smallpox like a large amount of the soldiers were."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    Later that evening, during a speech provided by our respective officers, we found out that Joseph Frye was right. We were surrendering to the French and had to march out in the morning. Terms of the surrender would be made clear to us once we reached our destination, Ft. Edward, to the south. We were to march out in a full retreat, escorted by the French, in the morning.
    I thought the last sentence was a bit redundant. If I were you, I would've incorporated the fact that they were being escorted by the French in the second sentence: "We were surrendering to the French and they were to march us out in the morning."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    The room was so dark that I could barely make out the sleeping bodies of nine of the other men in the room.
    I would edit the bolded part out, it seemed a little unnecessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    The shadow of a man attempted to swat the blanket away with his right arm, but the blanket instead wrapped around his arm, from what I could discern in the scarce moonlight that filtered in through one small window on the left side of the room.
    Again, I would use 'it' to replace the second 'his arm' to prevent the repetition and maybe even word the second half differently altogether."The shadow of a man attempted to swat the blanket away with his right arm, but from what I could discern in the scarce moonlight it only wrapped around the limb."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    The intruder was undeterred by my defense and raised the tomahawk to strike once more, standing over me. Again, just as my father had taught me, I used the sparse time he took to prepare his next strike to provide one of my own. Swinging the opening of the barrel around to the right side of my face, I aimed the butt of the musket at the intruder’s abdomen and thrust it with as much force as I could muster. The intruder abandoned his attack and jumped back to evade my thrust, and quickly circled to my right in order to strike at me before I could turn the musket in time to defend my side. He raised the tomahawk again, and I knew I would be too slow in defending myself as I had not anticipated his sudden move to my right side.

    Yet it was just as he raised the tomahawk high above his head that he suddenly flinched and the weapon’s ascent was stilled. Slowly, ever so slowly, his knees began to bend and the intruder finally collapsed to the floor beside me. Standing just behind the spot where the intruder had been was Michael Tyons, one of the soldiers who shared the room with me, his musket and bayonet at the ready.

    “Don’t worry, mate,” he said with strained eyes while looking down at the intruder. “He’s been properly dispatched.”

    Standing shakily, I wiped the sweat off my forehead and nodded a thanks to Michael, unable in my fear to express my appreciation for his intervention which had saved my life. I looked down and found that my eyes had adjusted to the darkness enough to see that the intruder was..
    Just pointing those out in case you wanted to use different words to describe him such as 'he', 'him', 'the shadow', etc.

    Overall, I'm really enjoying your story so far and can't wait to read the third post!
    Last edited by Slayer; 03-31-2012 at 10:15 AM.

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  13. #8
    Senior Member Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    @Aelwynsal : I’m deeply indebted to your thorough readings and great suggestions, and I have to give you credit for helping me to polish this piece up! I’m going to make corrections by tomorrow, and once again you’re right on the mark considering the necessary changes. I hope the later installments will be equally interesting, and hopefully they’ll also reflect your very valuable input. Thanks again!

  14. #9
    Senior Member Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer has a reputation beyond repute Slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    Another great post. Enjoyed it as always and here are my suggestions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    We were ordered by our officers to give up all our ammunition to the French before we entered the makeshift camp that they had prepared for us until our retreat. Upon retreat,
    I'd substitute either of those with surrender.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    The march would happen around dawn, but it was initially supposed to happen that very night.
    The pause there seems a little awkward to me, so I would say "The march would happen around dawn even though it was initially supposed to happen that very night."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    Yet when we first got into formation to make our march, several groups of Indians assembled all around us and began to scream and yell. The French looked totally incapable of calming them, so we were told we would have to march in the morning.
    The wording of those few sentences makes it so they don't flow together very well. I'd suggest "When we had first got into formation to make our march, several groups of Indians gathered all around us and began to scream and yell. The French looked completely incapable of calming them so it was decided the march would take place in the morning."

    Quote Originally Posted by =Cross Avantgarde
    We’ll march south in the morning
    Capitalize the S in South.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    further, he was a man who had an Indian for a best friend, and none of us knew how to communicate with the Indians without help from Daniel.
    Further should be furthermore and the comma in the sentence isn't needed, in my opinion, but feel free to keep it if it suits you better!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    Oh, let us pray, shall we? Funny—I’ve never seen God open the heavens
    Heavens should be capitalized.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    I turned and squinted in the moonlight to see men in red all across the camp jumping up and running towards a group of Indians who retreated quickly out the camp and out of danger
    Sounds funny, I'd use "retreated away from the camp and danger."

    Quote Originally Posted by =Cross Avantgarde
    Nothing seemed to change, however, as the night drug on, soldiers were murdered, and kidnappings were rampant.
    "as the night drug on; soldiers were murdered and kidnappings were rampant."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    Officers began to assemble at the front of the formation, and we knew the time to march was approaching. Some of the French officers drew near to our formation and began speaking quickly to one another.
    Comma seems unnecessary, and to keep from using formation again so closely to the previous one, I'd say "Some of the French officers drew close and began speaking quickly to one another."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Avantgarde
    The number of groups made it difficult to determine how many separate tribes there were present, and none among us, save Daniel, perhaps, knew what the Indians were saying as they shouted, and none of us could have fathomed the terrifying way the Indians would express their anger toward us.
    Should be split into two sentences. "The number of groups made it difficult to determine how many separate tribes were present and none among us, save Daniel, perhaps, knew what the Indians were saying as they shouted. None of us could have ever fathomed the terrifying way the Indians would express their anger toward us."

    I hope these helped and I'm looking forward to the next part!

    [Let others wage war.]
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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    @Cross Avantgarde

    I'm going to do the same thing Slayer did and give you my critique chapter by chapter.

    Critique of chapter 1:

    First of all, let me commend you on your excellent prose! Very beautiful indeed. There were some sentences and things that I could see needed some clearing up, so I'd watch that. I figure you already do this, but if you don't, when you revise you should read aloud to yourself. You can hear the sentences when they're weird, and if you trip over them while reading (unless you have a stutter...then this probably doesn't work so well), that usually means you need to rework it.

    What I saw that could use some work:

    The beginning does have a bit of a slow start. I think you should jump right into it. Start with him having a few thoughts about his mother or the French, but then get into the conversation with Wycliffe.

    How old is the protagonist? I'm going to say late teens - early twenties. But sometimes your voice sounds a little more intellectual at times than others. So I would watch that. You're a smart cat, so it's going to show through in your writing.

    Dialogue - a few times in your dialogue I kept thinking to myself, This doesn't sound like the 1700's, especially whenever you used a contraction. You don't want your characters to sound stiff and unrealistic, but you also want the dialogue to match the historical time period.

    Sentence variation - You tend to stack clauses (don't feel bad, tones of writers do it). Make sure you use some shorter sentences to vary it up. Also, watch the way you start your sentences ex: "From what he had told me about her, she was tall, had dark skin and dark hair, and was brilliant. She had even taught him how to speak fluent Welsh in a year and a half, a feat that astounded me. I was raised speaking English, but had learned French from my mother as well. From what my mother told me, I spoke fluent French without an accent, a compliment that meant much coming from her. I had not learned the language when I was older, however, and I thought that would be a much more difficult task than learning a second language in childhood." - Make sure to vary the way you start your sentences in most sentences. The only exceptions - in my book - are names and pronouns. But here, two "From what so-and-so told me," is one too many.

    Stacked clause example: "Wycliffe and I watched the expanse of field that was visible through the aperture in our battlement, curious as to how successful this latest cannon shot would prove to be."- Remove the clause at the end, and just say they watched the cannon and describe it. Stacked clauses tend to slow the pace of a piece.
    Last edited by pleasant_disorder; 04-22-2012 at 10:49 PM.

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    Senior Member Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde has a reputation beyond repute Cross Avantgarde's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    @Slayer ; @pleasant_disorder : Your commentary is extremely useful; in fact, I’m going to polish some of it up as soon as possible. I very much appreciate your close attention to the sentences and the pace of the work, and rest assured that your input means very much. Both of you point out some much-needed amendments, and I'm thankful to have the chance to do this. Since it's pleasant_disorder's first time contributing, I'm going to respond to a few of the issues in brief.

    Dialogue has indeed been one of the most salient talking points as I have shown others this piece. I finally had to stick with the current vernacular, since “screw your courage to the sticking place” is likely to stall attention instead of gripping it when it’s time for the men to embolden themselves and charge forward. There are pros and cons both ways, and you’re certainly right about the anachronistic wording. In the end I had to sacrifice the dialogue of the age with more vernacular, colloquial words, and I hope the pros outweigh the cons.

    And you’re very close to the age of Sam! He is 17, the age I was when I was in basic training. I’ll have to make sure that I stay inside the right “voice,” with the character, mirroring his age.

    Again, many thanks for the contribution and your time!

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    Senior Member pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder has a reputation beyond repute pleasant_disorder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterweight: Chapter 1

    @Cross Avantgarde Yeah...I thought of that when I posted it. I'm not really sure how you can fix that completely, but I think the contractions might be the biggest issue of mine. When I think of the 1700s I just don't think "don't" (hahaha...lame joke). I would look at the dialogue from the Coehn Brother's version of "True Grit". Even though it's a little stiff, it's still REALLY good dialogue. Also looking at other 'historical' hollywood movies might help (i.e. The Patriot...which is the only one I can think of right now...). See if they dumb that one down for audiences or if they try to live up to the standard of speaking in the 1700's. True Grit is about 100 years later than your story (takes place in Western times), but it's a good example of dialogue that doesn't use contractions, and it might give you ideas for how to get the dialogue a bit closer. Maybe some British inflections would help too? Just trying to throw out ideas. XD

    Personally, I dunno. I write in the present so I don't have to deal with all that jazz. The most I can do with dialects is a good southern accent...but that's just because I've lived in the South my entire life. :P
    Last edited by pleasant_disorder; 04-29-2012 at 07:27 PM.

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