author’s note: critique
Posted by jeanne
this is the report i received from my reader, and it outlines some very important issues in the story so far.
So far, the character development in the Antartica novel does not equal that of “Mom“. I want to care about the characters in the new work but so far, only Nathan really holds my concern. Well, I like his mother, too. As I said a few emails back, Dad is a piece of work and sis is a spoiled beastess, but they hold up well when in the family dynamic.
When the novel drifts back to the creation of the video game it becomes much more tedious in my view. Damn, that sounds rude and I don’t WANT to sound that way. It’s just that I have too much love and respect for you to sit here and write out some glowing amateur review of ‘Antarctica’ when I just don’t seem to be able to get into the story. As I said some time ago, I really enjoyed the book about Mom’s revenge. It got your attention right away and wouldn’t let it go. This newer work just does not compare.
My advice on the new book is that you consider scrapping the whole thing and going back to square one. I don’t mean that you should give up the idea of the novel. Just consider going back and starting with more character development before jumping so much into the technical aspects of the book. To me, a good book is one that grabs the reader’s attention right away. That’s integral in my opinion. I do not read many books although I do read a lot of stuff on the internet. MSNBC, TIME magazine, etc. But I can give you the names of three authors who, in my opinion, excel at grabbing and holding onto the readers emotions and interest. Of course, you know who Stephen King is. Second is Elizabeth Kostova, she of the brilliant Dracula novel “The Historian”. That is likely the most beautifully written book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Reading it was like walking into a beautiful tapestry and taking up residence. However, even that great work does have passages that go on too long. Still, to me, it is a great book. The third author is Nevada Barr. She is writing a series of novels about a national park ranger named Anna Pigeon. Barr herself was once a park ranger so she knows about what she writes. Her fictitious adventures concerning Anna Pigeon seldom disappoint.At the beginning of ‘Antarctica’ when the boy and girl are on the roof of the Atlanta skyscraper, something should be done to get the reader to invest emotionally in the two characters. Are they lovers? Just friends? It’s a bit of a shock to learn that they are actually young adults. And they bicker too much when they are in their new realm. I would want to see them enjoying themselves more before they start to build their new world. By the time they come back to our reality on the roof of the building, the reader should be really into the adventure they just had. Instead, I felt like I was on the outside, looking in, and trying to understand what just happened.
it looks like i’m going to have to do a complete rewrite on the first section, the first 7 chapters, the first year of my story’s timeline. i realized a couple of days ago that not only does a few months make a big chunk of my cutting-edge research irrelevant, but that science fiction long ago surpassed these developments, and if i’m going to be popularizing science, i should write articles, not fiction. so, since i don’t want to abandon the story after i get tired of working on it, and since i think this topic really needs to be read, i’m going to do what i need to in order to make it readable.