(cross-posted on Strawpixel.com
Not something I do often (or at all), but here's a comment that I got in my mailbox about Babylon Road
Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!Yo Steph,
I finished reading your draft of Babylon road.
The title makes me think Sci Fi for some reason.
Over all, I like it. I want to read more. Story is cool so far, and I like the characters.
I find the change in style (Movie Script to narrative) and how you write the dialogue a bit distracting. You're doing this on purpose to separate the sections I think. But It takes me out of the flow a bit.
I find the descriptive narrative a bit heavy, not Tolkien heavy, but heavy.
I'm not sure when the setting is, it feels like the 1940's sometimes and sometimes present day. Then you mention something about the film style of the 70s.
I really enjoyed the chapter with Suzy in the car. You spell Suzy and Suzie at times. You have a few You when it should be Your. To be checked by your editor.
I feel it pick up a lot in part 10 on. But after the prologue I find it a bit slow. At that is the point for me in books when if I'm not hooked, I'm out.
Prologue is cool, but confusing the first time you read it. I re read it after and I get all the references now. Maybe communicating the effect of confusion of the character is your goal. I would cut a bit from there, and say only the bare minimum.
That's it so far. I like it.
Keep it up.
First, thanks for the comments. Very, very appreciated. It's bloody hard to work in the dark, especially when doing something for the first time.
Title, I'm thinking of changing, since it seems to bring up ideas of Bab 5... Too bad, kind of liked it, since it is a story with many different voices in it. Besides, there's actually a bunch of streets in the States that are actually called Babylon Road, something I didn't know (most of them seem to be in Utah... go figure).
Yup, the idea was to present different voices and jar the reader. Might not be working as well as I wanted, but I'll have to see when the whole thing is done. Maybe the voice thing is too experimental. The idea behind using a script-like structure for some chapters comes from the duality of the dream/aspirations/reality of the book. You'll see, it'll all become clear soon.
I'm not sure what you mean by heavy? Too verbose, flowery? I have to admit to a certain amount of padding, and a good editor and a second look will clean that up. Right now, I'm mainly trying to get the word count and worry about the overall flow and leanness of the writing later.
The shift back and forth in the time of the setting is subtle, but intentional. I'm very much trying to get a sense of confusion, of dream/reality duality going. You should see the chapter I'm working on. It should be up this Sunday... it was. I'm talking about Part Fourteen
About the car and Suzie: Yup, liked it a lot, and yes, I do need an editor. Lucky for me, someone has already stepped forward (and no, I'm not looking at you, although if you want a go at it...) Again, I want to wait until it's done before tightening the words/pace.
Yeah, I was afraid that the fact that I only had a vague idea of where I was going before Chapter 10 was going to show, but editing should clean that up. There are probably whole sections that can be cut out/re-worked.
Yeah, the idea of the prologue was to communicate a sense of confusion, which kinds of comes back up in the other chapters, but not as much. There needs to be some tightening there as well.