nickhayward recent comments

written 992 days ago

Thanks Dennise,
Once again, right on the button.

Chapters 16 - 19 Are you planning on expanding the shorter chapters, or place them together? Again, watch sentence length. Shorten them with periods. Commas force the reader to keep lists. Periods allow them to move on without cluttering their minds.
Chapter 16 4th paragraph this part was confusing 'that (I recommend a comma here) for the short period of time that he had visual (I recommend a comma here) the image was very getting (I recommend removal of either very or getting) stronger. Nice page turner
Chapter 17 8th paragraph I recommend a question mark 'what about Jason Chambers' 9th paragraph I recommend contracting 'will not' to won't (I'm not sure where I read this, but contractions should be used frequently and whenever possible However, since this is a character speaking, you don't have to follow any rules except your own. Just remember to keep your characters consistent. Had a customer tell me once she wrote to an author because the author changed the rules set earlier in a series. It really upset her. She hasn't bought another book from that author since.
Chapter 18 I recommend letting us know who you we are reading about. We can assume its Mr. Chambers, but it's not a good idea to make the reader try to think who or assume.The last paragraph leaves one to wonder how he's motivated and how he's going to accomplish his goal of company. I check 19 to see if it answered this concern and it doesn't. I recommend not giving the reader to put the book down. Don't make them think. Show them his plans.
Chapter 19 1st paragraph. I recommend removing 'with the meeting' keeps the reader interested what's coming up and you tell them in the next paragraph.6th paragraph I recommend removal of 'as if' last sentence. I'm sure he paused to build.7th paragraph I'm not sure why he 'looked' maybe consider 'was' also I recommend removing 'he corrected himself as the reader can read the correction. 8th paragraph I recommend removal of 'that occurred' not needed. 9th paragraph I recommend placing 'the'before Paranormal Research. 21st paragraph I recommend either 'well then,' or removing 'well' 22nd paragraph I recommend commas 'You, all as individuals, have...'27th paragraph I recommend a period after 'will work. and an exclamaition after 'we need proof!'30th paragraph I recommend 'and we have three other projects underway.'
Summer Vacation

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written 1009 days ago

thank you for you advice. You're obviously a pro.
I've backed savannah and put it on my watch list.
If you could put Thy kingdom Come on your watch list for a while it would be appreciated.

I read your first chapter (Authonomy 2).

General comments: A dynamic, gripping start. Three fascinating characters in this chapter. Good descriptions. Excellent tension. Good pacing.

Specific comments on the first chapter (Authonomy 2):
1) Good opening line.
2) "Come near me again and I'll kill you!" One twin spat ... 'One' should be lowercase. 'One twin spat' is a dialogue tag (tells who said something). When a dialogue tag follows dialogue, the first word of the dialogue tag is lowercase (unless it's someone's name.). There are more cases where you have a dialogue tag following dialogue and have the first word in the dialogue tag capitalized when it should be lowercase.
3) ' ... shouted the man whom, had almost single handedly ... ' Remove the comma.
4) 'Bandages around both boys heads covered ... ' Boys (plural) should be boys' (plural possessive).
5) "don't let him near me again or believe me there'll be blood." Capitalize 'don't.'
6) "I'll be seeing yo bro." he grinned maliciously. Comma after 'ya.' When you address someone in dialogue, offset their name or title with a comma. Also, capitalize 'he.'
7) 'After 9 years in the marines, ... ' Spell out numbers 1-99. There are more cases where you should spell out numbers. Also, capitalize 'marines.' In this context, 'marines' is the name of a specific branch of military and, therefore, a proper noun. Proper nouns are capitalized. There is another case (ex-marine) where you should capitalize 'marine.'
8) ' ... and the diet they've been on has helped produce two excellent athletes. 'They've' should be 'they'd' and 'has' should be 'had' to keep the sentence in past tense.

I hope this critique helps you further polish your all important first chapter. These are just my opinions. Use what works for you and discard the rest.

Would you please take a look at "Savannah Fire" and keep it in mind when you next reshuffle your bookshelf?

Have a wonderful day.


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written 1013 days ago

fabulous stuff, really helpful. Thank you for your time. You are obviously a busy chap.
Even though you are new at this, you seem to have a grip on this more than I have.
I wholeheartedly believe the plot is great, but completely understand my skills are not yet there to package the book for open sale. Critique is what is required followed by editing. I'm not too proud!!
Thanks again. I've popped yours on my reading list.

Nick - I'm working my way down the SF42 booklist. I've read the first ten chapters of your novel.

It didn't take me long to make the slight mental adjustment to visualise this as a film. It's got that feel to it. Have you thought of it as a film?

First comment I'd make may be the most important. Get someone to edit this for you. I'm in a similar position to you; never written anything before but very keen to get the book in my head down on paper. In my novel, every sentence I wrote sounded great in my head but when I got someone else to read it out loud I could hear the problems. If I said most of your writing could be crafted to make it read a lot better I hope you're not offended. Actually, for me it wasn't a problem. I was quite happy to look beyond the technical writing issues and see a great plot developing.

I decided to only read the first ten chapters and I was reluctant to leave it at that point in the story, just as you make the connection with your intriguing prologue. The hook is working very nicely for me. You've got just the right level of scene description and dialogue. The only bit that possibly went on a bit long for me was the Ankh Institute check in. You've made me dislike Jason a lot....which is good. I'm trying to guess what's going to happen next....which is good. I don't really have anything critical to say about the story and those 'tag' words you've added alongside the pitch are very interesting. I can only see words beginning with 'A' but they give me a good hint of what's to come. I'll rejoin this story later on once I've been right through the SF42 book list.

A couple of other comments to make -

1. That line about Billy The Kid really grated for some reason. I imagined someone performing a imaginary cowboy gun-draw to accompany the words.
2. Is it really possible to connect the intestines direct to the oesophagus?

Haven't read any of the other comments on purpose. I find that I start getting influenced by what others say. So this is just my opinion & I'm just as new to this as you are, so what the hell do I know!


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written 1014 days ago

Hi, thanks for the advice, you're obviously a bit of a pro.
I'll get started on the changes this weekend. (Hope yours is heading in the right direction)

Great starting prologue. The introduction to the twins and their feuding is well written and worded well. Noticed possible mistake near end of prologue: "but they, nor he," may be changed to "but neither they, nor he". Just a little observation. Otherwise a great prologue that keeps the interest of the reader. Chapter 1 starts off promisingly. A little thing I like near the beginning is how he kisses the girl in bed and then tells the maid to make sure nothing goes missing. Nice touch. The medical news at the end of the chapter draws in interest to see how it pans out. Chapter 2, again, nicely worded, if a little brief. Next chapter, in the surgery is eventful and peaks interest as to what they are doing. The chapter after is not eventful enough for my liking, but that's just me. As a final word, I think the best thing you can do is to join maybe three of these chapters together to make one chapter, seperating the events with three or four line spacings. As it is, I think the chapters are too short and some are not eventful enough but joining them together would help tremendously. A fantastic story otherwise. I like the direction it is going in and the events are very intriguing. You certainly do a good job of keeping interest. I am going to return to read more chapters later on. Commented and rated. Good job. :-)

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written 1018 days ago

Good luck Dennise with the new book.
Sounds interesting
Nick view book

written 1020 days ago

Thanks for the advice - I'll get on to it.

Nice writing here. The chapters are short and punchy. A clever idea as well.

The opening is exciting with a lot of action and drama. It immediately shows me what’s wrong.

You have some punctuation issues with dialog. Look at other books/newspaper articles and sort it out.

Fix typo: “…the second twin was STANDING in the doorway.”

Jason is a nice macho character. He appears to have a human side as well. He has a fun way of speaking.

This is good work and I'll back it. I feel that it fits in the thriller category first, with a scifi aftertaste. Just make sure to go through it with a fine toothed comb and eliminate the typos and grammatical issues. Once you do that, I can see this being successful.

Brian Bandell

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written 1020 days ago

Hi Brian,
I read your first chapter and enjoyed it. Great description, I can see the landscape. Kane is introduced to the reader well and it moves along at a good pace. Description is not too flowery, but is creative. Done your research on the US southern life (or maybe you live there?).
Anyway, great start, I'll definitely read more.
Nick view book

written 1026 days ago

At this present time I am a novice (no previous writing experience) with, what I believe, is a great idea for a novel (please wait till later in the story, some big hits coming up!) you appear to be the most experienced person that has taken an interest in the book.
Again, thank you. I will be actioning your advice this weekend.

So far, I like the storyline and plan to continue reading. Some suggestions: I'm told not to make lists with sentences unless you have no choice. I'm not sure who doesn't like them. I recommend in the first sentence a period after phone, then one after am. He's waking up. Breaking up the sentence allows the reader to wake up with him. Most people don't become fully awake after a restless night (indicates lack of sleep) and/or a migraine. I recommend rewording. I looked up migraines and coffee (checked coffee because many say they aren't fully awake and functional until they've had theirs and I thought I may have heard it is good for migraines) and found this: consider using this information to "wake him up" I was really bothered that the woman slept through the phone, his shower, etc. She should be somewhat responsive if only a groan or two. I could see her lack of response if he just plain woke up, but not with the noise and it being morning. Put periods or reword sentences that have semi-colons. They're supposed to be 'out' now. :) Many of your sentences are too long. Reword or punctuate to shorten. Shorter sentences tend to add importance to what you are trying to portray. I really like your speech-mini skirt comparison. If this is a cliche, please consider rewording, if not, please leave it there. Why did he answer the phone the second time the doctor called? I like what you've done, but give the reader a reason why. Most people would have let it go until after the meeting. I recommend introducing Chris in this chapter. Either Jason thinks about him when he's telling us their plans, or actually make a meeting with him first to go over their plans. You named a lot of characters in this chapter. I recommend leaving their names out unless you'll use them in the future. ie his best friend and business partner, etc. Don't give the reader too much to have to remember unless it is important. Remember, whenever possible use dialogue to tell us stuff. I recommend going through your manuscript and fix your sentence lengths as recommended. See if some of your sentences are lists. Can be placed in other parts of your manuscript? Confirm through web searching or talking to a nurse, doctor or oncologist that his doctor would have insisted he drop everything and go. Make sure your storyline is believable. (a really good book to read on this subject is "It's Not About the Bike" by Lance Armstrong. It's been too long since I read it to remember this detail. See what he went through and use what will improve your believability) Don't get discouraged by all this. Use contractions whenever possible, ie it is should be it's unless you really want it is as a stress point, then make sure your writing shows us this stress. Like I wrote earlier, you have a really good storyline, just need to make some adjustments here and there. As always, remember, you're the author and my suggestions are only that.

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