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Old 04-01-2010, 10:21 PM   #1
ASparrow
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ABNA Expert Reviews

The ABNA Expert Reviews are out. It seems I didn't advance because one of my reviewers was simply too literate (more literate than me). He/she is absolutely right about my imprecise use of "turgid" and "detritus," though I didn't understand what was so funny about the bus scene.

I don't intend to be so stuffy. I just like variety in wording, and sometimes I want a 'truck' to be more than a truck.

See below:

ABNA Expert Reviewer #1

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

One of the strongest aspects of this work was also one of the weakest: an attempt at a very erudite use of words.

What aspect needs the most work?

While a large vocabulary will stand you in good stead in some circles; using it in a genre novel may not be too wise - especially if you misuse the "big" words. Always check a dictionary (try the actual meanings of detritus and turgid first).

Ultra literary style in a fantasy novel may be an interesting approach, but such lines as "The bus driver was in a real pickle. Queues returning from Saturday market blocked an easy escape to the shoulder. As the angular carapace of the tanker bore down...." are just way over the top. I didn't sense that this was meant to be a comedy.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I love literary fiction. I don't love pretentious attempts to write it. To paraphrase Freud - sometimes a truck is just a truck.

Whatever story is there has remained hidden throughout the excerpt in language about as penetrable as the Belizean jungle. I am assuming, of course, that you expect people to read this and recommend it to others.

Match the language to the story, the setting and the characters. Consider your audience. Do a significant rewrite and I just might order a copy.

ABNA Expert Reviewer #2

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

This is a very intriguing excerpt. I thought it was well written and it definitely kept my attention. The descriptions of Frank and Liz's arrival in Belize was particularly interesting.

What aspect needs the most work?

I noticed that this excerpt was listed in the genre of "Fantasy." Based on what I have read here, I am not sure why that is. There is nothing in this excerpt that would have me believe the story is a fantasy at all. Perhaps more could have been written that would indicate that.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I thought this was a particularly strong excerpt. The author seems to be a pro and setting the stage for an interesting story. The excerpt as presented kept my attention the whole time I was reading it. A very good submission.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Ultra literary style in a fantasy novel may be an interesting approach, but such lines as "The bus driver was in a real pickle. Queues returning from Saturday market blocked an easy escape to the shoulder. As the angular carapace of the tanker bore down...." are just way over the top. I didn't sense that this was meant to be a comedy.
I don’t see what’s funny about that scene either.

Quote:
I love literary fiction. I don't love pretentious attempts to write it. To paraphrase Freud - sometimes a truck is just a truck.
I don’t like literary fiction, but I don’t think Xenolith is – or trying to be – literary. I see it very much as commercial fiction. I’m about halfway through the novel and enjoying it immensely.

Quote:
I thought this was a particularly strong excerpt. The author seems to be a pro and setting the stage for an interesting story. The excerpt as presented kept my attention the whole time I was reading it. A very good submission.
I agree with the second reviewer’s comments. Your writing is strong and holds the reader's attention.
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:15 AM   #3
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I shudder to think I quiver cogitating with regard to the sort of literary works that would be ratified by "Expert Reviewer #1".

Hum.. a bit pretentious himself, don't you think?

Quote:
Match the language to the story, the setting and the characters. Consider your audience.
This comment could have been his opening, then he could have continued by giving examples using your writing. It would have been much more to the point and more useful to an indie author.

I, also, agree with the comments from "Expert Reviewer #2". I loved your novel, ASparrow, and can't wait for the story to continue.

Thank you for sharing this with us.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:20 AM   #4
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Thanks, guys! It's nice to hear your take on these.
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