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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    21

    Default No title

    Nothing to say... except more transcribed later tonight. Already have about 4 times this amount done.

    --------------------------------------------

    My Dearest Katerina,

    By the time you read this I will most likely be dead, maybe for centuries, perhaps millennia. In fact it's very unlikely that this journal will survive the centuries, but it seems like a good way to remind myself of how to read and write, as well as pass the time.

    I don't know how I got transported back in time, or why... if there is a why. But I do know I am at least several thousand years in the past.

    I still haven't figured out how far in the past I am. My best estimate is anywhere between 6,000BC and 10,000BC. The landscape is far different in some places than it is in our time. That place we visited in Oregon, Crater Lake? It's a mountain.

    There are also some prehistoric critters running around, some I have heard of, like the wooly mammoth. Others... not so much. There are strange scaly lizard birds that look like miniature dragons. Sad, within a short few years they will all be extinct. No sabre-toothed cats or direwolves, so I assume they have already passed into extinction.

    Magic also exists in this time, and it can be manipulated. It's hard to explain what it’s like, something at the edge of your mind that touches all other things in existence. I have been fiddling around with it, sometimes with truly drastic effects... lets just say that creating a fire elemental is a worse idea than it sounds and just about anything can be lit on fire.

    Lately I have been travelling with a couple of natives and their tribe for the past couple of years. They are LLao and Skell, and the sky people. I know, not very original, but that's roughly what their name translates to. They have taught me more about hunting and fishing that I never dreamed of, in returned I have taught them some of what I have learned of magic.
    Last edited by Asquiol; 10-29-2012 at 05:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    945

    Default Re: No title

    I'm going to give you a bit of advice that is similar to something I think I gave Zavon:

    A story is a story, not a list of events or information. Now, a journal entry can subvert this a little bit, but you seem to be using your entry to set up your story, rather than making it part of your story. With the amount of information you've just laid out in this little bit I could have written 50k words of actual story. You've introduced a lot of concepts: You go into the fact that your character has traveled back in time, and that someone has found this journal eons later. We have a bit of description of where he was. We have a description of the denizens of that place. We have an account of interaction with the natives. We even have an attempt at explaining your magic system. None of this is you writing your story. It's you writing about your story.

    The problem with starting a book with something like a journal entry is similar to staring it with a dream or a flashback. It has no immediacy. There is no character doing something, just information. And here's the kicker that it takes a lot of new writers a long time to learn: your information is no good without a story. It doesn't matter how interesting or unique your concept or your world is, it's worthless without characters we care about participating in a conflict in which we want to see the outcome. This is true for the entire book, and it's true for the very first scene.

    Long story short: Journal entries where Mr. X says "all this cool stuff happened to me" are interesting for the people writing, but not for the people reading. What you have here is just a summary. It's the Fresh Prince telling me about how his life got flip-turned upside down. Now it's time to go back and start the episode.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    1,136

    Default Re: No title

    I disagree with Esfires.

    I am trying to think of something to say other than I disagree but not sure what else to say. Everyone has different writing styles. To me, its about the journey, the story. Doesn't matter if it starts in diary form or not, as long as its entertaining.
    In this world is the destiny of mankind controlled by some transcendental entity or law? Is it like the hand of god hovering from above? Perhaps men have no control even over their own will.

    You're right, we are mortal and fragile. But even if we are tortured or wounded, we'll fight to survive. You should feel the pain we feel and understand. I am the messenger that will deliver you to that pain and understanding.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Default Re: No title

    I'm not really saying that a story can't start with a diary, it's just that you're starting with a handicap when you do that. It can work, you just need to make sure you know what you're doing.

  5. #5

    Default Re: No title

    In my experience when an author starts with a diary entry it's to set the stage by quickly moving through facts that need to be established before the proper story kicks off; although in fact a whole story can be told through correspondence. Dracula comes to mind.
    "The argument that “people now have more freedom than ever” is based on the fact that we are allowed to do almost anything we please as long as it has no practical consequences."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Default Re: No title

    I don't really make a big deal out of titles. It's nice to have a good one, but if you get published the chances are that your publisher is going to change the title, anyway.

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