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Date Posted: 18:03:57 12/09/09 Wed
Author: Page
Subject: This way, Fel >>>>>
In reply to: Fel 's message, "In here, please>>>>>>" on 15:09:23 12/09/09 Wed

Before I even start to critique your piece, I have to say something you're probably not going to want to hear. If this is your first chapter, I'm afraid you're not going to keep any readers past the first couple of paragraphs.

Since Heinrich appears to be the main character, I assume he's eventually going to redeem himself. However, starting the book with him as a Nazi in charge of a crematorium at a concentration camp blows any chance you have of the reader feeling anything empathy with him, no matter what he may do later.

I would suggest starting your book way, way before he gets to this point. Go back to his childhood, and give us a chance to like him. Show his distant father, and the worship Heinrich has for his older brother. Show how he wants to emulate Wilhelm, and how he thinks everything Wilhelm does is beyond reproach. Then, with rise of Hitler, you can show Heinrich getting swept up in that, following in Wilhelm's footsteps. But you're going to have to show us that Heinrich isn't comfortable with all of that. He'll have to have moments of doubts, feelings of horror when he hears some of the things that are happening. By the time he arrives at the camp in Poland, he's going to have to have some grave misgivings about what his brother is doing, and about his own part in it, or there's no way a reader is ever going to root for him to rise above it. You're going to have a hard row to hoe getting readers to care about a Nazi. If the reader doesn't feel sorry for him being stuck in the situation in which he finds himself, doesn't feel his repugnance at what's he's being told to do, then it won't fly. If you start the book off with this chapter, then readers are going to hate Heinrich right off the bat, and you've lost them.

Now. If you're still with me and don't hate me (and I hope you don't! *G*), I'd like to know what kind of crit you want on your writing. Do you prefer a hard crit, a more middle-of-the-road crit, or just general overall impressions? Let me know, and I'll get back to you!

Hugs,
Page

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[> [> [> Hi Page!! -- Fel, 22:16:48 12/09/09 Wed

Ok. I don't hate you, Page *g*. Yes, Heinrich is my main character. Now, my two beta readers so far, have liked my first chapter the way it is, the fact that they are related to me may have something to do with it! *g*

Asking readers to feel something for a Nazi officer is a long shot in itself, but, he does completely redeem himself in the end. I will play around with some possibilities in my head first and see if I can find a better way to start the novel off.

As for the type of crit I would like to get, a hard crit at this point would be very usefull. Middle of the road and general impressions are also very appreciated.

Thanks Page!!

Fel

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