My Novel: Riverbank Seven

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StevenSiew
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Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:37 am Post

Hello,

My name is Steven Siew. This is the first time here in the Scrivener Forum. This is my second post.

I have written the first three chapters of my fantasy novel called "Riverbank Seven". Unfortunately I'm not a professional author nor am I good at writing anything.

I'm currently lacking in readers of the work and I want to know if any of you are interested in reading my writing and providing some useful feedback.

The novel is unusual in that the plot of the novel is NOT A PROBLEM. It is the writing of it that is difficult.

If you are interested, what is the best method for me to upload the writing? Can I upload a RTF file to this forum? Or should I put the file in Google Docs? What is the best way forward? Please advise.

Thank you

PS: The novel is a "Samurai style story" with supernatural creatures and magic.

Steven Siew

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vic-k
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Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:37 pm Post

Hiya Steven
Welcome aboard the Good Ship Scrivener (there`s no escape by the way :( sorry)
StevenSiew wrote: Unfortunately I'm not a professional author nor am I good at writing anything.
That`s none of your business, it`s for others to decide :wink:

How many words are there in your first chapter? On second thoughts, copy and paste the first 400 words and post them here. That should be enough for the Dementors that crew this ghost-ship, to get a good idea of what you are capable of. Don`t send any more than 400.

'Unfortunately I'm not a professional author nor am I good at writing anything' either :wink: :)

Let`s see what you`ve got.
Take care
VIc
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

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StevenSiew
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Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:51 am Post

vic-k wrote:On second thoughts, copy and paste the first 400 words and post them here. That should be enough for the Dementors that crew this ghost-ship, to get a good idea of what you are capable of. Don`t send any more than 400.


400 words is not a lot considering that I have 3 full chapters and 70% done on chapter 4.

The total number of words in the work so far is 34,822 words.

Anyway, here is the prolog + the first 400 words.

Steven Siew



A long long time ago
On a land of the rising sun so far far away

Riverbank Wars


It was a time of turmoil
An up and rising clan, the Usagi clan
Launched an unprovoked invasion to its neighbouring clan
The peaceful Tanuki clan who was overwhelmed
Before they knew what had attacked them
Ten of thousands of the brave Tanuki males were slaughtered
The Tanuki ruling hierarchy were eliminated
A people without a land, a clan without a head
Refugees!
Endless streams of Tanuki peasants flee to their other neighbouring clan
The Kuma clan directed the Tanuki refugees to a make shift refugee camp
Endless tears rain down from the heavens on refugees
Their spirit broken, their leaders killed, their land taken


Chapter 1 Hidden in the Fortress

The old command post consists of a two story old building made of wood with the second story serving as an lookout on the road. But the eight Usagi ninjas on the second story were looking in rather than out. The invasion is over and the ninjas job were done. Though this command post is guarding a road in the countryside, the road leads to the Usagi province and no Tanuki refugees would take this road.

Having served their lord the Daimyo Usagi in secret missions during the Invasion, the Usagi ninjas found themselves with plenty of time and literally nothing to do. They have not been recalled back to the Usagi country but instead given the task of preventing the Tanuki refugees and officials from escaping into the Usagi domain. Escaping into the Usagi domain indeed! What a daft idea. They have not seen a soul for days, most people travelling to and from the Usagi country would use the major road instead of this one. Having satisfied their bloodlust during the last ten days, the ninjas had decided that to the victors goes the spoils and promptly rounded up the local lasses, pickup the inn keeper’s nubile daughter and some of the other girls in the immediate area.

Inside the dark second story room were twelve young girls huddling with each other crying their eyes out. The only way out was blocked by the leader of the ninjas, a tall vicious looking Usagi with scars on his face leering at them with dark blue eyes.
His leer disappeared immediately when a stone smashed into the side of his head. The ninja looked out the window.

“Hey ninja-san! I’m looking for the beautiful inn keeper’s daughter to spend the night with. You have not seen her by any chance have you?”

A peasant duck wearing an old filthy peasant clothing stood fifteen paces away on the road, stracting his head with one hand while fiddling with his sling in the other.

The eight ninjas threw themselves out of the windows of the second floor down the the ground, one of them was so drunk and merely fell into the ground. When they got to the ground, the duck’s companion came out of the scrubs.

With a grin to his face the duck says.

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vic-k
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Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:00 am Post

Steven,
Could you tell me something about yourself? I`m sure others would like to know.
Those skilled in the art of critique would probably find it useful to know a little about the author.

I think you can tell us what the duck said. :lol:

Take care
Vic
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

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StevenSiew
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Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:03 am Post

Please let me know if you are unable to view this site.

http://sites.google.com/site/riverbankseven/

I have put Chapters 1 - 3 on the site.

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Carradee
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Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:08 pm Post

My first piece of advice: write it first, then worry about critique. You can improve something that's already on a page.

Second, a question: are you sure you're using ninjas properly? Granted, my knowledge of ninjas is colored by a best friend who loves Japanese history and video games and can tell me more than I can remember about modern-day ninjutsu practitioners if I ask. The way you're using ninjas keeps distracting me with thoughts of "That's not right!" despite my inability to point to objective sources for why not. Aren't ninjas more for quiet solitary assignments (spying, assassination, etc) than brute merc force?
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vic-k
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Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:26 pm Post

Pumpkin Pip San
Carradee wrote:Aren't ninjas more for quiet solitary assignments (spying, assassination, etc) than brute merc force?
I think Steven has already explained their mundane role (redundancy almost), after performing just the duties you refer to. :wink:
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

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Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:32 pm Post

vic-k wrote:Pumpkin Pip San
Carradee wrote:Aren't ninjas more for quiet solitary assignments (spying, assassination, etc) than brute merc force?
I think Steven has already explained their mundane role (redundancy almost), after performing just the duties you refer to. :wink:


I've only read the excerpt posted here, vic-k, and I'd intended to convey what's striking me as 'off' about it (with the disclaimer that it might just be me).

Guess I didn't express myself all that well.
Wanna hydroplane?
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StevenSiew
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Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:20 am Post

vic-k wrote:Pumpkin Pip San
Carradee wrote:Aren't ninjas more for quiet solitary assignments (spying, assassination, etc) than brute merc force?
I think Steven has already explained their mundane role (redundancy almost), after performing just the duties you refer to. :wink:


Thank Vic-k, you got it right.

The ninjas were part of the invasion force, which their job is just the kind of activities you described. After the successful invasion, they were re-assigned to a mundane tasks but kept together in case they are needed for another ninja task. But were forgotten by high command hence the boredom.

The truth is they are just a literary plot device, a MacGuffin, to introduce the protagonists to the reader and explained why the "heroes" are together as a group (reason: to rescue the girls for the local tanuki folks). It also explains why the Tanuki resistance group approached them and requests their help.

Steven Siew

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vic-k
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Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:27 am Post

Pumpkin Pip-san wrote:I've only read the excerpt posted here, vic-k, and I'd intended to convey what's striking me as 'off' about it (with the disclaimer that it might just be me).
I wasn`t taking you to task, Precious one, honest :lol: just trying to be helpful. Assumed you`d just missed it. Everything you said about ninjas was spot on, as confirmed by Steven`s excerpt.
StevenSiew wrote:Thank Vic-k, you got it right.
You`re welcome Steven-san

ja mata ne! tomodachi(s)
Vic
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Carradee
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Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:37 pm Post

Ah. Okay.
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IJB
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Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:21 pm Post

Hi there Steven,

Well, I'll preface this by saying I might be jumping in very early, as I'm a total newbie here and I'm already taking on the role of Dementor! To give you a bit of background, I have been writing for years, I've taught it at university to undergrads and my mother is a former editor at Penguin Books, so I have a bit of experience here.

I only have a few suggestions, and I think what you've written is a really interesting start, by the way:

1. The tenses move around from present tense to past tense. I actually like the sentences in present tense - it's an unusual approach and has a lot of punch to it, so the reader is immersed more deeply than if you use past tense. But it's a bit confusing if tenses move around, though.

2. You have some intense action here, and a lot of space for setting the scene. Try slowing down, really looking at the scene you're describing. Can you build tension up more, add venom, help the reader work out who they are going to empathize with to hold their interest.

3. At the end of the prologue, add a teaser. Some incredibly evocative sentences, ending on a down-note, if you see what I mean. One last sentence, about how this situation might be resolved, to hint at an adventure or a hero coming to rescue them (whatever your story involves) would really draw readers onto the next page to find out what happens next. "Into their midst comes a mysterious stranger, but can he...?" is the kind of thing I mean.

All of this is said with compassion. I think the best approach is to write everything, then go back and edit. To write and write and write, and read and read published authors because that really improves technique as much as writing does.

Take care,

IJB
Driven by biscuits; fueled by tea.

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vic-k
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Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:47 pm Post

IJB wrote:All of this is said with compassion.
My kind of Dementor. :D
Welcome aboard the Good Ship Scrivener, IJB.

There`s a thread next door, 'Short Scene', I`m sure the writer Eddy would much appreciate your input. You`ll have to ignore the crap/dross flying around there. Mostly my fault, I`m afraid. Please don`t be put off by it.

Once again, Welcome aboard IJB
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.