Attempting first novel. Here's chapter One. Criticism highly welcomed. Watch

LolitaLover
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1
It was the middle of July and the sun, a bright burning marionette suspended in a cloudless sky, could not be held accountable for its actions, though as it steadily grew hotter inside his car, Adam Black felt compelled to disagree. He rolled down the windows but was met only by a warm, dry breeze. Without any air conditioning, Adam's sweat drenched hands slipped along the leather bound steering wheel; his insides boiled over as beads of sweat the size of jelly beans rolled from his forehead down to his neck and stomach and back.
Adam glanced at the clock. He was not making good time. He had told Reuben he'd be there by 6:00 and it was already 4:30. Worse still, he had just run into gridlock traffic at the mouth of the Grapevine. Lines of cars piled one behind another and, without the faintest hint of embarrassment, honked a discordant tune, beeping and tooting a requiem for the selfless.
Crawling along in the nothingness of the canyon with every radio station turned to white noise, like a short stint in purgatory, or perhaps those insomnia filled nights in which Adam sat alone in bed until the sun came up, with nothing but his thoughts to keep him company, Adam began to think that his mother Jessica might have been right--though he would never admit it to her. Adam was twenty-six years old, a graduate of UC Davis with a degree in English Lit, and currently unemployed. While he was still in school she had said to him, "Maybe it's better to change to something more practical, like business or science or pre-law. After all don't you think it's a little irresponsible to major in a hobby?" The way "hobby" clanked out of her mouth, hitting Adam in the gut, it was as if the word were made of metal.
Two years after graduating, Adam still hadn't found a job in the field, but had been working at the Cheescake Factory as a bus boy. In that time, it seemed as though it never really mattered how much he hustled or how much he cared. Whether he gave 10% or 100% he was demeaned and demoralized: customers sneered; management yelled; co-workers expected. Those two years had created a distatste in Adam that rivaled the insipid food they served.
An hour had gone by when Adam found himself on the other side of the canyon. He picked up his cell phone and dialed the number to the landlord, Rueben.
"Hello," said the voice on the other line in a heavy Middle Eastern accent.
"Hey Rueben, it's Adam."
"Oh hello. How are you?"
"Good thanks. But hey, I'm actually going to be a little later than expected. There was a lot more traffic than I thought there would be."
"Oh that's OK. But if you want to live in LA, you're going to have to get used to it."
Adam chuckled with feigned enthusiasm. "Yes that's what I heard. Well I just got out of the Grapevine, so I'll prolly be there around 5:00."
"OK no problem. Just call me when you're close."
"Alright. Will do."
"See you soon."
Yeah. See you in a bit."
When Adam hung up the phone, the car behind him honked with drawn out malice. It was a Mercedez Benz S class and it bolted one lane over, surpassing Adam but slowing down just enough when the two were side-by-side so Adam could see the man giving him the finger.
"Yeah **** you too, buddy," Adam mumbled as he made his way toward Los Angeles.
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martin jol
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lost me with the first sentence ffs it never ends.
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User990473
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(Original post by martin jol)
lost me with the first sentence ffs it never ends.
I liked the first sentence. It was comparing the size of sweat to jelly beans that lost me :lol:
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User990473
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I think the narrative is doing too much 'explaining', if that makes sense. I think the story needs to move forward a little faster.
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Hellcat12
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Seems a good attempt. You could improve your vocabulary more, and try using phrases best suited in their place.
"couldn't be held accountable for it's actions" ....is not suitable for a scorching sun.

"Sweat, the size of jelly beans" no...better would be "beads of perspiration slid down his already drenched skin like sparkling diamonds" (depends if you like it)

Neck, stomach, and back*

Try to use Complete words instead of Abbreviations or short forms. I don't know what kind of novel you aim for but the first chapter is not giving us much of a hint except a young man stuck in traffic on way to his friend and a flashback of his life, his love for English Literature and how unsatisfactory his present life was.

The paragraphs are well knit and I would suggest you broaden the story line and work more on the flash back , add a few details to make the reader want to know more about the protagonist. It's a novel, don't worry about the length but worry about how the length does not bore the reader.
I just love the way you attempted on describing his career but you can add more details like how deep his love for literature was and how exactly the staff demotivated him.

The dialogue between Adam and Rueben was not necessary to be broadened. Create a kind of aura around this guy Adam is going to meet, if he is an important character. Don't describe him until the next chapter when Adam actually meets him.
About that Abuse, I don't know what to say, again depends on what kind of novel and consumer you are aiming for.

Please do let us know the background of this novel and your market target.

Overall, it's a very good attempt.
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the bear
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an interesting start.

how did you choose your user name btw ?
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sinfonietta
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(Original post by martin jol)
lost me with the first sentence ffs it never ends.
This! Full stops are your friend. And the jelly bean line amused me.

Slow narrative and you 'tell' rather than 'show' - you had the right idea in the first paragraph but it was badly implemented.

You don't need to give us his back story straightaway - let the reader learn it naturally over time through dialogue with other characters. Or, if it's necessary to come through description, then at a time where it's more relevant.

Reuben and Adam's dialogue is wooden and, quite frankly, boring. You're writing how people talk - which isn't interesting to read. It also feels too formal: as if he's speaking to a potential employer, rather than a landlord.
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hannahchan
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(Original post by LolitaLover)
1
It was the middle of July and the sun, a bright burning marionette suspended in a cloudless sky, could not be held accountable for its actions, though as it steadily grew hotter inside his car, Adam Black felt compelled to disagree. He rolled down the windows but was met only by a warm, dry breeze. Without any air conditioning, Adam's sweat drenched hands slipped along the leather bound steering wheel; his insides boiled over as beads of sweat the size of jelly beans rolled from his forehead down to his neck and stomach and back.
Adam glanced at the clock. He was not making good time. He had told Reuben he'd be there by 6:00 and it was already 4:30. Worse still, he had just run into gridlock traffic at the mouth of the Grapevine. Lines of cars piled one behind another and, without the faintest hint of embarrassment, honked a discordant tune, beeping and tooting a requiem for the selfless.
Crawling along in the nothingness of the canyon with every radio station turned to white noise, like a short stint in purgatory, or perhaps those insomnia filled nights in which Adam sat alone in bed until the sun came up, with nothing but his thoughts to keep him company, Adam began to think that his mother Jessica might have been right--though he would never admit it to her. Adam was twenty-six years old, a graduate of UC Davis with a degree in English Lit, and currently unemployed. While he was still in school she had said to him, "Maybe it's better to change to something more practical, like business or science or pre-law. After all don't you think it's a little irresponsible to major in a hobby?" The way "hobby" clanked out of her mouth, hitting Adam in the gut, it was as if the word were made of metal.
Two years after graduating, Adam still hadn't found a job in the field, but had been working at the Cheescake Factory as a bus boy. In that time, it seemed as though it never really mattered how much he hustled or how much he cared. Whether he gave 10% or 100% he was demeaned and demoralized: customers sneered; management yelled; co-workers expected. Those two years had created a distatste in Adam that rivaled the insipid food they served.
An hour had gone by when Adam found himself on the other side of the canyon. He picked up his cell phone and dialed the number to the landlord, Rueben.
"Hello," said the voice on the other line in a heavy Middle Eastern accent.
"Hey Rueben, it's Adam."
"Oh hello. How are you?"
"Good thanks. But hey, I'm actually going to be a little later than expected. There was a lot more traffic than I thought there would be."
"Oh that's OK. But if you want to live in LA, you're going to have to get used to it."
Adam chuckled with feigned enthusiasm. "Yes that's what I heard. Well I just got out of the Grapevine, so I'll prolly be there around 5:00."
"OK no problem. Just call me when you're close."
"Alright. Will do."
"See you soon."
Yeah. See you in a bit."
When Adam hung up the phone, the car behind him honked with drawn out malice. It was a Mercedez Benz S class and it bolted one lane over, surpassing Adam but slowing down just enough when the two were side-by-side so Adam could see the man giving him the finger.
"Yeah **** you too, buddy," Adam mumbled as he made his way toward Los Angeles.
Personally I don't enjoy long winded sentences or paragraphs but some people do. I'd rather the story got to the point.. Explained a bit about the setting but actually got stuck into the story quickly.
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