Re: Re: My First Book: Chapter Five

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Hello, 🙂

I know you said in an earlier chapter that you write more like your novel is a manga… I can definitely see that in this scene. The thing is, while this would work great for a manga with the pictures explaining all the in between bits, that’s not usually how its works in pictureless novels.

Its just, things like this…

“Welcome back, you three. First of all, I’d like to say congratulations on successfully exterminating those raccoons from Mrs. Mack’s place. I’m su-” The chief was interrupted mid-sentence.

“What are you congratulating THEM for, chief? I killed those raccoons. The skirt just cried, no surprise there, and Rick was injured. I did all the work!” Hero stated rudely.

“I shot and killed one of the raccoons you waste of fur! Don’t act like you did everything just because I was injured.” Rick argued back.

There’s a lot of unneeded redundancies. For example… you don’t need to say “The chief was interrupted mid-sentence” because the dash and following dialogue are already showing that he was interrupted mid sentence. You don’t have to tell us that “Hero stated rudely”…. his words already show that he’s being rude. Instead, show us how he’s acting rude. Same goes for Rick. Obviously he’s arguing back, but that’s made evident by his words to Hero. Stating it again at the end of the sentence is redundant.

Of course, I use those kinds of speech tags too on occasion… but its better to be sparse with them and stick with things like “said” and “asked” for the most part.

There’s also a lot of “head-hopping” — slipping from one character’s point of view into another character’s point of view within a single scene. This is usually a big red-flag for novelists these days. Granted, it has been done well in the past, but unless you are actually J.R.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis or someone of their high writing caliber, then you should steer away from it. In Manga, where all the action is shown through pictures, head-hopping is not nearly as noticeable… but in novel writing it can be VERY noticeable and very jarring for the reader. (I speak from experience both as a reader and a writer… I used to be that person too. :p )

Really, there’s a lot more I could mention but I don’t have the time at the moment. However, I would suggest that you brush up on some reading. 🙂 Manga is great and all, but its a completely different medium from novel writing. Manga relies A LOT on pictures to show the action, and dialogue in speech bubbles for interaction… In novels there are hardly ever any pictures involved, accept for maybe one or two in the middle grade books. Novels rely solely on words to get the pictures across, but learning how to use the words correctly can be quite tricky. Reading more non-manga type stuff might help you get a feel for how its done correctly outside of the manga medium and in the medium you are attempting here. 🙂

If you enjoy fantasy and science fiction and you haven’t already read these books, then I have a few suggestions for you that might just be helpful.

1) “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card
2) “Steelheart” by Brandon Sanderson
3) “Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson
4) “The False Prince” by Jennifer A. Nielsen
5) “Inkheart” by Cornelia Funke
6) “Artemis Fowl” by Eion Colfer
7) “The Last Unicorn” by Peter S. Beagle
8) “The Looking Glass Wars” by Frank Beddor
9) “Storm Front” by Jim Butcher
10) “House” by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker

If you get through those and you want a longer list, I can definitely give you one, but those should get you started. Some of them I chose to share for the writing style, others for the story itself, and others because I thought you would probably like them. 🙂 Enjoy! And I hope they’re useful.

Another book that might prove helpful is one I’m currently reading myself. It’s called “The Fantasy Fiction Formula” and is written by Deborah Chester. I suggest reading it cover to cover as I am doing. It gives you detailed steps on what to do to write successful fantasy and how it all works together and why. It also gives you exercises at the end of each chapter that you can do to help you put what you learn into practice.