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Novels and novellas

Whips and Straps 1 & 2

Long or episodic work split into 5000-word sections.

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Re: Whips and Straps

Postby PaulMcDermott » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:30 am

:D Hi, Sue!

You're on MY stomping ground of course, around Merseyside & Wirral, and your descriptions of the land/seascape is very evocative.Trust you to make the horses such a central motif in the story: I loved it!

This engages the reader straight away, even someone ie me who has little experience of what life must have been like for a coach driver such as George.

Hope you won't mind if I ??? what looks like a 'typo' right at the end.

"She was overwhelmed by her longing for George, perhaps more because he was sleeping so far from him. "

I think you mean: "SHE was sleeping ... HIM"
or possibly: "HE .............. HER"

Petty quibble! Shut up Paul!!
All the best for 2012,Sue!
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Re: Whips and Straps

Postby patterjack » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:35 am

:D :) ;) At last !
Enjoyed this version. You are indeed most industrious in your revisions.

My poor memory will not allow me to compare it with past versions-- and I am not really a good prose reviewer. I will see what I can do later.
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Re: Whips and Straps

Postby WendyPratt » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:55 am

Sue, this is wonderful!

I love the horse-knowledge that is so central to the character of George. It takes it above a simple narration and builds (in me, anyway) massive curiosity about the details of coach-driving life. I find it fascinating, not being a horsey person myself.

Your writing technique and skill is evident, of course. the pace is slow enough to allow the characters to broaden pleasingly, but also keep it the curiosity of where it's leading right up there at the front, driving it on (forgive any horse/coaching/driving puns-it's an affliction :D ) so that the reader doesn't even notice that they are being led through the story and being given chunks of the future, and the character's pasts as they go.

The originality of it certainly rests with the knowledge and in-depth detail of true horsemanship: the use of the reigns, the training, the different whips, the healing time needed for horse wounds... etc but I think setting it in the 1800's adds to the atmosphere and gives a certain sentimentality, without it becoming sentimentalised.

It's very engaging and wonderfully written. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to more!

Wendy
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Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
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Re: Whips and Straps 1 & 2

Postby WendyPratt » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:58 pm

Bloody hell, you've done you're homework! I am bowing down in front of the screen as we speak!

Wendy
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Re: Whips and Straps 1 & 2

Postby Ben Allen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:26 pm

:) :) :)
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Re: Whips and Straps 1 & 2

Postby WendyPratt » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:33 pm

And it shows, Sue. Well done you. :bouquet: :bouquet: :bouquet: :bouquet:
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Re: Whips and Straps 1 & 2

Postby Phil » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:59 pm

Hi Sue.

Just read Chap 1 - pushed for time this morning.

Sets the scene well and introduces a few characters with some depth to their motivations and traits. Successful I'd say.

Couple of picks - hope they help.
Typo: horsess
Following passage, last sentence, I assume refers to the misery of the coal merchant - but seems to refer to the misery of food, fire and a warm bed. Could be the way I'm reading, but thought I'd mention it.
While he waited, a coal-cart plodded past and up the hill, the horse rain-streaked and resigned, the driver hidden under sacking. George watched it with indifference. The coins in his pocket assured him of a change of clothes, food and fire and a warm bed. It was a long time since he had escaped from that level of misery.

Looking good.

Phil
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
Groucho Marx
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Re: Whips and Straps 1 & 2

Postby Messiah » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:40 pm

.

Sue, although I would question your desire to post so much in such quick succession, I will say that your story is easy on the eye and, using the very minimum of words, sets a scene that is extremely easy to picture.
I haven't gotten too far into it as yet, but felt it worthwhile getting a flavour of that which you have put such effort into of late.

Couple of quick suggestions/comments thus far:

“End of the stage, gentlemen, I leave you here.”
“Here y’are, Nutt, better take it while it’s still readable.”

In both these pieces of dialogue I find myself wanting to put a full stop after gentlemen and Nutt, as, to me, they are complete statements in their own right.

A missing word, perhaps? “I’m glad I have inside seat on this evening’s Mail.”

“He stripped-off the other glove and straightened the leather, and while Mulvey continued to chat to Mr Nutt, he stood in front of the fire...”

I don't understand the need for a hyphen in ''stripped-off'' and would question the need for the second ''he''.
There are a couple of other instances where a little restructuring would allow for second ''he''s to be tidied up.
“He paid the deposit for the tickets, then with a nod to George he took up his umbrella and set off up Bridge Street.”

I felt that this was a more difficult read that it needed to be:
“Tomorrow morning, if you please. Yes,’ in answer to the clerk’s questioning eyebrows, ‘inside.’”

My first read through had me stopping before ''inside” to question why he was answering the clerk's eyebrows and not his direct (verbal) question. Perhaps 'he continued' or 'he added' after “yes” would help to close the first answer “tomorrow morning” and open the second – bearing in mind that, prior to their mention, the reader is not privy to the raised eyebrow.

I'll stop there (almost break time) and will return, should you so desire, at some later stage.
Is this the sort of review you wanted, or should I have simply left a smiley?
:?

All the best,
Steve.



.
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