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for Novae Terrae

6/16/2018 c1 2ZA Falcon
I understand, when I have time I'll probably rewrite the chapter.
6/16/2018 c1 23St Elmo's Fire
Hi! I’m doing a round of reviews around the site, hoping to help give people constructive criticism instead of just vague appreciation or flames. If you do choose to take my advice I will be glad, but you don't have to feel like I'm making demands of you. I usually try to point out things that could help with future stories, so they can be useful even if you don’t want to edit the current story. Feel free to disagree with my interpretations and don’t be afraid to let me know why. I will be pointing out grammatical errors as well; please understand that I am not trying to be judgmental, but that I honestly believe corrections can improve the story.

Sound effects should be used sparingly in prose, and they are formatted with italics, not asterisks. You also shouldn’t have sound effects in dialogue at all; describe what the person is doing instead.

[Looking up from his pillow to glare at the object of his suffering.]

This is a sentence fragment.

[Jack really hoped that whoever was calling him would get that he doesn't want to be bothered]

The rest of the story is in past tense, so this should be as well.

You’re formatting dialogue incorrectly. Dialogue is written as [“Hello,” she said] or [“Hello!” she said], never [“Hello.” She said] or [“Hello”, she said] or [“Hello” she said]. This is because dialogue and speech tags are considered to be part of the same sentence, so they have to flow together. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb. In that case, the second part IS considered a separate sentence, so it’s written as [“Hello.” She grinned], never [“Hello,” she grinned]. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like “laughed” or “giggled” is in the second category. (“Speak” is also not a speech verb.) Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s [“Hi,” she said. “This is it.”] not [“Hi,” she said, “this is it.”] or [“Hi,” she said “this is it.”] And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s [“Hi. This,” she said, “is it.”] The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks (or single quotes) with thoughts. This is because quotation marks for thoughts make it look like your characters are talking out loud, which is confusing to the reader.

[Adam what do you want…..and what time is it]

Ellipses are always three dots, never more or less.

[still to damn early]

You want “too” here. “To” is a conjunction.

I’ll stop pointing out these errors, but they are very distracting. You should read up on a grammatical style guide, and get a beta reader to help you if you have trouble. Start looking here: fanfiction (d o t) net/topic/11834/42724996/1/Beta-Signup

[1 hour later]

This isn’t a video game. You should establish time and place through context or narration. Non-general scene transitions are jarring.

The lightning strike scene is very unclear. This is why it’s better to describe things instead of just using sound effects; even distant thunderclaps are loud, so a loud boom on its own doesn’t actually tell us anything about where the lightning hit. It would help if you described the clap as unexpectedly loud, and perhaps also noted that the lightning flash was blinding. Jack should also confirm that he was not hit, as initially I thought he was.

[And then there was the color, since when is lightning pure black.]

Isn’t it more notable that he can still see the lightning at all? You have him go on to freak out about the rain disappearing, but I would be more freaked out by time apparently stopping.

[And like a snap of the fingers the world around him stopped.]

That’s a weird comparison, as a finger snap is actually something that moves very fast. A finger snap is often used to *signal* sudden changes, but it isn’t the sudden change itself.

This is a reasonable “ordinary life” prologue I presume before the main plot kicks off, but it doesn’t give us a very good sense of who Jack is, which is the general purpose of such a chapter. Are these minor details about his annoying friend and dull life going to be important to the plot to come, or could you have started the story at the next chapter without losing anything?

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