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Posts Tagged ‘Hurdle’

Book Review: Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook

September 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Myfanwy (the w is silent) Thomas has no memory of why she is surrounded by dead people wearing rubber gloves. So starts the story told by Daniel O’Malley in The Rook. The Rook is a paranormal sci-fi / fantasy about covert British (and American) operatives who have supernatural abilities and deal with supernatural phenomena.

The story follows Myfanwy as she slowly discovers who she is. Who she is is a member of said paranormal agency, holding a position known as a Rook. She has been attacked and her memories stolen. Fortunately for Myfanwy, her former self had some prewarning that she was going to lose her memory. So the prior Myfanwy Thomas left the new Myfanwy Thomas a series of letters explaining all that she knew. Read more…

Jumping In – Second Chances Completed For Submission

June 29, 2012 7 comments

Ok, I’ve been rushing to complete my short story Second Chances for submission into a fantasy short story contest to see how things go.  Deadline is fast appraoching, like tomorrow fast, and I have been doing some polishing.

The story follows Kath’ri-sa, an elf, and the deuteragonist of my novel Under the Darkened Moon.  I just like saying the word deuteragonist.  Its sounds so quirky.

Final stats on the short story are 5,941 words, Flesch Reading Ease of 84.3, and Flesch-Kincade Grade Level of 4.1. Read more…

Actually, I Get Really Scared When People Say Things Like This About My Work

May 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Megan, one of my reviewers, has sent me a response to questions I asked of her after she finishing reading the last draft of my novel. She has been one of my best sources for critique, giving both praise and scorn when necessary. She’s been reviewing my drafts for some time now and she has seen both the original, very rough draft and the most recent one. I was very pleased when she opted to rank where my book in comparison to other novels she has read.

Megan writes:

Ok, I’ve read about 20 books in the fiction/fantasy genres over the last two years. Here is how I would the top fifteen in my opinion:

1. The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower Vol 7)
2. The Hunger Games
3. The Mistborn Trilogy
4. Under the Darkened Moon
5. Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations Vol 1)
6. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
7. Paladin of Souls
8. The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Day 1)
9. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
10. The Girl Who Played with Fire
11. Catching Fire
12. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
13. Towers of Midnight (The Wheel of Time)
14. A Game of Thrones (A Song Of Fire And Ice Vol 1)
15. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest

I think with a little bit of polishing you have a great story here!  The story might be a little weak in places, but honestly what novel isn’t? However, in terms of the genre that it is in I found it rather well contrived and sufficient unique and pleasing. I think you did something that few authors can do these days and that is tell a story, a complete story in a single book.  Frankly I am so sick of everything being a trilogy!  Good luck over coming the stigma of being an unpublished author which I think is going to be your biggest hurdle with this book.

I appreciate this reviewer’s high marks for my story. I was kind of taken aback by it. I mean, most people who have been reviewing the book have a lot of positive things to say about it, but for it to be ranked in someone’s mind with some widely acclaimed and read novels really gives me hope that I have actually done a good job.

Thanks Megan for the praise.  But it still scares the crap out of me when you say things like this.  Someone once warned me that what literary agents and publishers like is often not the same as what people who read like.

Reading Level For A Good Story

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

A friend of mine, a published author, suggested that any story I write should have a Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level of between 3.5 and 5.5 or 6.0 at most. I thought that seemed low so I cut and pasted some segments of published novels I have around in digital format into Word and checked. All of those tests actually fell into that range.

So I took the new Chapter 1 I have just written for Under the Darkened Moon and ran it though the readability statistics analyzer in MSWord.

The results were:
Passive Sentences – 2%
Flesch Reading Ease – 86.9
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level – 3.8

So looks like I am in that range and if there is anything to this I have that, probably minor, hurdle hurdled.

Just to make sure though I ran my free writing exercise which I recently completed though the tool as well.

Passive Sentences – 5%
Flesch Reading Ease – 83.4
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level – 4.4

I also ran my short story Second Chances:

Passive Sentences – 5%
Flesch Reading Ease – 85.8
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level – 3.8

Yep. Looks like I am solidly in that range.