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Literary a disaster pending - the rebirth

Discussion in 'Book Talk' started by swooperman, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. ThunderCelt

    ThunderCelt National League Punter

    I've had a read! As usual nowt much wrong with ther characterisation and passion etc, and the writing seems largely fine even for an unedited version. My only reservation is starting with two flashbacks/backstory; whether it's got enough bite for a first chapter. If this was a chapter two I think I'd be pretty impressed. It's difficult to judge a novel from a snippet, but I think it's worth continuing.
  2. swooperman

    swooperman Resident nob

    Bit too much of an infodump I've decided, TC. Think that his background could be worked in further down the road. I've got the girl down as a total free spirit, takes Luis in for a spell. I'm toying with the idea of her being the Paris contact for her father whos an ex-ETA terrorist, but now during the ceasefire he's a fixer/assassin type character. The original idea was that Luis would rescue someone from a potential kidnapping scenario & become their chauffeur. Few different things I'm pondering.
    Tbh, what I'm really doing is putting off editing 'Navajo' & the debt collector book :ohwell

    You got any decent links to MS presentation & punctuation?

    i'll tell you what I'm struggling with. something like this:
    He turned to her, ready to speak his mind
    "I'll tell you this for nothing"

    What should be after 'mind'? Shouldnt be a full stop surely?

    ONEDUNME Administrator

    I'm not a writer but surely it is a full stop. Logically, speech would be no different to any other rules. Logically, I'd say the following would be right:

    He turned to her and said, "Get your fat arse out of my bed"

    Or a full stop if the previous was a sentence on its own
    He turned to her. "Get your fat arse out of my bed bitchface"

    but I'm not a writer
  4. swooperman

    swooperman Resident nob

    Neither am I thats why i asked :lol

    For some reason Ive always thought it was a ; or a :

    ONEDUNME Administrator


    ONEDUNME Administrator


    Here's a good example to show you what I mean -- you'll notice that I've done everything I suggested above (except plan it out in advance, because I'm using two characters that I "know" very well inside my head!)

    Jess closed the door and slouched against the wall. "That man is going to drive me crazy!"

    Kye sprawled onto the sofa. "I dunno. Kirkham's not that bad. He's just a little ...."

    "Obsessed. That's what he is. I'm going to murder him."

    "No, you ain't. What you're gonna do is ignore him. Let him run around like a squirrel in a trap worrying about how the job's gonna work out. You and me will stay calm and get it done."

    Jess ran a hand through his hair. "Can I at least rough him up a little?"
  7. Colbro

    Colbro Well-Known Member

    Being Picky - The guys name doesn't seem right. Most Spanish have two surnames - the first being their fathers and the second being their mothers. I don't quite get the four names for Luis.

    ONEDUNME Administrator


    ONEDUNME Administrator


    I thought some of them just had Juan
  10. rcgills

    rcgills Moderator

    Tomas is the first surname, Fernandez the second (by the way, pretty sure there should be an accent in there - Fernández). His name is Luis Enrique (plenty of Spanish "first" names actually use two names - Miguel Angel, Juan Manuel, Jose Maria, etc.).
  11. swooperman

    swooperman Resident nob

    I hope the names right as its based on a kid I play cricket with. His dads spanish, mother english, so his name is Luis Enrique Tomas with an English name on the end. He knows virtually nothing spanish mind you which brings me to, RC, I might be needing your email at some point. I'm quite nice on email though, TC & ODM will concur....ODMs very similar to his normal self mind :unsure

    ONEDUNME Administrator

    Get fucked.
  13. swooperman

    swooperman Resident nob

  14. swooperman

    swooperman Resident nob

    Need an opinion on whether this is strong enough for a first chapter for 'navajo' so you'll have seen its basics before. its aimed at a conference with 1-2-1s in early september, & i cant put it up on the normal writing forum I go on as well as its their conference:

    This, for me, is edited :unsure

    March, 1995
    He was instantly alert. There was a noise from outside, the same one that had woken him. Like the branches of a tree scraping gently against glass. Mary lay coiled into his side, her soft breaths more felt than heard. He couldn’t move without waking her, so he listened intently, senses on overdrive.
    Nothing. He convinced himself that it was simply his imagination.
    He couldn’t sleep. Wouldn’t sleep. His mind was too alive to allow the darkness to give him the rest his nerves required.
    He lay with his fingers laced behind his head, knuckles sunk into the pillow. Eyes staring at the paint flecked ceiling. He watched the soft curve of her right breast rising and falling in rhythm, her black hair lying across his chest.
    Mike had met her in the local pub in Drumcree where she worked twice a week, her sister watching over the children for her. She had been left a widow to bring up her children, Eamon and Sarah, at the age of twenty four after her husband had been killed in an industrial accident. She didn’t know much about him. He was happier that way. Apart from him living in a flat in Armagh which she had never seen, and that he had family in the town whom she had never met. He knew that she liked the fact that he wasn’t loud and brash, with the ego that went with young men growing up in the troubles. He didn’t go looking for fights and trouble, and he knew that she looked at him as older than his twenty six years. She’d told him so. He felt the same.
    Mike Brennan thought of all this as he stared at the ceiling, wondering if Mary would stay with him if she knew what he really was. He felt ashamed as she hadn’t been in the mood for love tonight, but he was too buzzed to sleep. What made it worse was that it wasn’t love he was after but pure sex. Sex to drive the fear out of him and send him to sleep. She hadn’t said no as she was scared of losing him, but he could tell. She hadn’t stopped him clamping his hand over her mouth as he took her roughly from behind, to avoid waking the children.
    Lying there, he thought of his parents, who he rarely saw. To his father he felt transparent, the all-knowing look of an ashamed parent. He stretched slightly, hoping he would drift off into sleep. He knew that it would be a long time coming.
    He was on edge, his nerves as bad as they had ever been. He knew that living a double life was taking its toll. He had become an expert on portraying coolness on the outside, but if anyone had ever strapped a heartbeat monitor on him they would have been shocked. He wondered more and more about the previous informers that the IRA had rooted out, and their plans for them. The likes of Sean O’Callaghan and the rumours about Martin McGartland, the countless others that had disappeared without a trace. Even though there was a ceasefire he knew that meant nothing in his shadowy world. He had read somewhere that the Irish Tinkers and Pavee often only lived until their forties. He knew how they felt.
    It was getting worse. He could hardly walk down a street without looking at reflections in windows or glancing over his shoulder. It was as though the walls were closing in on him. People had noticed it, particularly Mary. She had commented on his lost weight, his diminished appetite. Secretly he thought she preferred the leaner him, being slim herself. She had often hinted that he must get his money from somewhere, other than signing on. She had stopped pushing it when she realised that he’d simply change the subject. He thought she was in love, and she didn’t want to run the risk of pushing him away. He felt a stab of guilt as he realised that someday soon, she would be alone again.
    Again he heard a noise, like something tapping on a window, but it disappeared as quickly as it had come. It was windy outside, he told himself, and he was confident that no one knew he was there. If it was back at his own flat he’d have been out of bed in a flash, pulling his gun from its hiding place in the plaster behind the bookcase. He’d have felt happier with the weight of it in his hand, the weight of death.
    He had been stopping at Mary’s even more since his brother had moved into his flat. He was happy not to get involved in conversations with him about politics and ‘The Army’. The more he knew, the more he’d have to think about passing on. Ignorance was bliss as far as he was concerned.
    Another noise, different this time, like floorboards moving. He wished that he’d hidden a gun here as well. He hadn’t done so because of the kids, and how he’d explain it if it was found.
    He shifted his head sideways to see the alarm clock. For the first time realising it wasn’t flashing. It was off. He wondered if one of them had knocked it off earlier in the night during sex. Doubtful, which meant the power was off.
    For the first time he was concerned. Sweat formed on his brow. Real fear.
    He swore to himself as he gently moved from under Mary’s head, placing it softly on the pillow. She groaned softly and turned over on her side, but didn’t wake. He was still for a few seconds, then slid gently out of bed, pulling the sheets back over Mary. He padded over towards the door as softly as he could. He contemplated putting some clothes on, but as he peered into the gloom he saw that both children’s doors were shut, so he advanced into the hallway.
    He stood motionless at the top of the stairs. Listening, sensing, alert. As happy as he could be, he walked downstairs in the direction of the fuse box, knowing there was a torch in the cupboard.
    As soon as he was in the hallway he knew that he wasn’t alone. Sixth sense and his love of living told him that. He quickly shrank away from the small window in the front door, fearful of the streetlight framing his silhouette.
    He stood still, muscles tensed, eyes darting. He was breathing quickly, his heart racing. He sensed rather than saw a small movement in front of him. As he tried to back up a hand appeared from nowhere around his neck and was clamped across his mouth. His wrists were pushed up behind his back. He tried to struggle but he was held too tight.
    This is it, he thought, the end. He was surprised how easily he could accept it, but felt guilt and pain that it would involve Mary and the kids as well. Bitter tears formed at the corners of his eyes.
    A figure appeared in front of him, whispering urgently in a local accent, the voice low and insistent.
    “Brennan, we’re friends. We’ve come to take you out, not kill you. Nod your head if you understand.”
    He nodded quickly. There was no other choice. The hand relaxed from around his mouth, but it didn’t move far.
    “Who are you?” he managed in a hoarse whisper.
    “I’m RUC, but my name doesn’t matter. He’s a Brit” he nodded over Brennan’s shoulder. “You have to come with us, now. We’re pulling you out.”
    Alarm bells rang in his head. Had he been uncovered? Could he trust these men?
    The speaker saw straight through him:
    “If we wanted you dead, you already would be” he said quickly in machine gun style. “Now we haven’t got time to fuck about, you’re coming with us because you know too much, but you can’t talk dead either, remember that.”
    Brennan blinked twice, struggling to comprehend the situation.
    “Mary, my family?” he asked quietly, unseen eyes searching, but the man simply shook his head.
    “Too late. They’ve raided your flat, that’s why we’re here….”
    “My brother?” he interrupted, fearfully.
    “Fuck knows!” He spat again, but there had been a slight hesitation, and Brennan had seen it, his heart sank.
    “Now, where’s your clothes?”
    “In the bedroom.”
    “Oh well, best hope it’s not too cold.” He smirked.
    Before Brennan knew what was happening, they were out of the front door and running for a car, its engine quietly ticking over. He was bundled into the back seat by one of the men. The other span slowly through a full circle, studying the windows and rooftops, his gun held high, before climbing in. The car sped off, with Brennan sitting naked in the back. Nothing was said for a while.
    “Bit underdressed, isn’t he?” said the driver in an English accent, picking his nose as he changed gears, “even for this bog-eyed shit hole!”
    The man who’d identified himself as RUC smiled as he looked out of the side window, before turning back to Mike Brennan:
    “Better not drip anything on the seats, lad” he said, “I’m told you can still live with nothing to drip from…..”

  15. winrew

    winrew GILF

    Decent article for aspiring authors ...

  16. swooperman

    swooperman Resident nob

    Off to York first thing in the morning for a writers festival, until sunday. Feel like I'm going on scout camp tbh :unsure

    Not sure what to expect, other than its got to be helpful, right? Got one to ones with agents & stuff on the saturday. Not expecting anything from that but you never know unless you try. £500 mind you.

    The downside is that its the last day of the season & we're facing relegation, & its the first match I've missed uninjured for something like 12 or 14 years, & I've only missed one through injury, last season. I even played later that season with a sprained wrist (no jokes)
    Bricking it to an extent actually, not sure my legenday sense of humour will be accepted by a bunch of writers :unsure
  17. hotspur

    hotspur Active Member

    Fuck me swooperman!!
    Have you been on a writing course!!?
    aint got an opinion on whether its good enough for the first chapter in your book cos I dont know about the book but this is definitely well written.Well done.
    best compliment I can give you is that after a quick read the only thing I noticed was tha,
    "For the first time realising it wasnt flashing" probably shouldnt be a sentence.
    Yes,reduced to nitpicking.
  18. Pete89

    Pete89 Active Member

    Just had a read of that swoops. I'm wondering though if your giving away too much to quickly, to me the second paragraph is too early for how they met ect ect
  19. winrew

    winrew GILF

    How did it go Chunks ?
  20. swooperman

    swooperman Resident nob

    Pretty well mate thanks. Had 3 1-2-1s with agents, all were positive. One has recommended me to another agent who I'm sending off to

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