29 Mar 2012

Another positive review.

So I have asked a couple of people to read my latest draft to the Dragon Glider and give me their honest opinion.
This one is from Cloey. Besides my grammar it was a pretty good review and hope that I will be able to find more reviews like the one she gave me. It pin point to things and chapters in my novel I need to change and is more or less on the same page and John and Mike.
Here is what she wrote:

I really loved your book. You are a very good story teller and this book is a good start but also has the potential of being a great start to your series. You did a good job writing for your market too - bravo.
Now a little about me, when I read I like to keep an open mind and allow the author along with my imagination to guide me through the story. I don't try to figure out the plot until it is necessary nor do I jump forward to see what's going to happen. With that said, I allowed you to bring me into your story world, get to know the characters, and come along with them as they lived through the story. I find that while reading from this point of view it allows me to get past grammatical and sentence structural issues so that I may enjoy the story.
The area that gave me the most problem was the beginning because I had to re-read it several times before I understood where your where going with the story – you may want to take another look at it. I could not figure out who was talking I assume it was one of the children but hopefully not Elaina because then I may have an issue with the time line – LOL. You did an excellent job developing the characters but I think that maybe you should spend some time on Elaina. I still do not know her and find it difficult believing in her. Maybe tell us a bit about her life in the orphanage or her last school on the other side of the wall? I also would like to know more about the story world maybe just teach us a little more about it? I noticed that in most series first novels there is a lot of investment in character and world building - just something to think about - especially if you are going for epic. I think that you may have spent a large amount of time on the day to day life in the school - maybe cut it a bit short and add more action in other areas of the book. Maybe when giving us some background information on Elaina give us some action to keep us motivated for more while letting us get to know her personality. The story flowed well and your scene transition is very good - the story was easy to follow. overall you are a very good writer and did a good job with your story. I would like to read your polished version before it goes public to see the changes made by your editor and to also write a review if you like.

I will definitely ask her to review my published copy which will hopefully be soon.

Thank you Cloey and can't wait for the reviews to be done so that I can revise.

27 Mar 2012

What a Review/Critique should look like

I have asked a couple of people to read The Dragon Glider and give me their honest opinion so that I may know where I have to make changes. Most of them kept hammering me on my grammar and I know that my grammar suck, which is not very helpful at this moment. I need to know what they think of my storytelling skills and was blessed when John send me his and Mikes discussion they had over my book.

Hi Isa
I have a friend from Australia that I read and discuss books with, right now we are reading your manuscript, we had a discussion about the first 33% of it this weekend, we are reading 33% per week of your manuscript and discussing it when we meet on a private chat in the weekends. I have been thinking about how to tell you what I think about it and I thought maybe it is better just to let you see our discussion about it, f
rom the message you sent me on Goodreads it seems like you are eager to get some feedback now, so instead of waiting until I finish reading it, I will let you see our discussion about the first 33% of the book and then decide for yourself if you can use any of it to improve it, you wanted an honest opinion and I dont think you can get anything more honest than reading our discussion, I hope you dont think it is a cruel way to let you know what we think about your book.I think our ages might be a good thing to take into consideration too, I am 30 years old and Mike is 55, but he is cool we have read young adult books together before and he likes them, books like The Hunger Games, Clockwork Angel and Graceling, so he does have some knowledge about young adult books, I think I also mentioned it before but he really likes to read about dragons, so I think he is more experienced about dragon books than I am.
01[16:22] did you like the dragon glider manuscript?
[16:23] ummm its okay , but not aimed at me as a target reader :)
01[16:23] it is too young adult?
[16:24] i think the target audience is young teenage girls :)
[16:25] some of the english didnt make sense too , but i gathered overall what the autor was saying
[16:26] it is a lot younger adult than hunger games i think - so far anyway
[16:26] but then i didnt really think hunger games was appropriate young adult :)
01[16:27] there was some shopping and girls giggling about boys and other stuff 
[16:27] yes - thats what makes me think it is targetted for young girls :)
[16:27] so far it is a little boring to me - not being a young girl :)
01[16:28] I also agree that it is more young adult than The hunger games so far01[16:28] I did think that some of it reminded me of Harry Potter
[16:28] Mike> you mean young people and magic ?
[16:29] well different science anyway :)
01[16:29] they were also at a school learning magic
[16:29] ahhh , yes :)
01[16:30] John> the name of the shield reminded me also of Harry Potters broom
01[16:30] it got some name too
[16:30] the samurai 2000 ? :)
01[16:30] yes :)
[16:31] im amazed i remembered that - there were so many details introduced
01[16:31] so a harry potter with dragons for girls
[16:31] that seems to be
[16:31] and so many dragon types - not to mention gliders :)
01[16:32] Yes I think for me there is too many types actually, I think it was better if it was a little more simpel 
01[16:32] is there anything that you think needs improvement?
[16:32] i did hguess the second riddle before i read it :)
[16:33] what needs feeding but drink kills
[16:33] but then i thought of alcohol :)
01[16:33] hehe thats funny
[16:35] but the major way the book needs improving is its translation to english
[16:36] i thought it was written pretty well - in description and ideas , though maybe too many ideas at once
01[16:37] yes you are right, but she did write to me again that she knows she need a good editor so it was not that we should look at that she was already working on it
[16:37] the descriptions could have been an older audience , but i think the ideas for younger
01[16:37] I think there is too much information, what do you think about that?
[16:38] yes , a bit too much for me
[16:38] maybe younger people can handle it though
01[16:39] I thought at the point after george scared alaina and Becky and alaina talked in the room I found all the information too much 
[16:39] and too much of just plain dinner menus
[16:40] but shopping and malls clinched it for me - it was aimed at young girls :)
[16:40] plus the talk and thinking of boys :)
01[16:41] lol yes
01[16:41] what about the riddles did you think that did justify all the talk about dinner menus?
[16:41] i think the 33% was right for me - i kind of cant get into the story yet
[16:41] there was too much talk of eating :)
[16:41] for me anyway :)
[16:42] im trying to remain skinny , but failing :)
01[16:42] hehe
01[16:42] is there more that bothered you about the book?
[16:45] descriptions everywhere with the ideas
[16:46] but so far 1/3 into the book not a lot has happened
[16:46] well the english translation isnt that good , so i imagine what it would be like in the authors language
[16:47] the ideas translate , but the grammer often doesnt
01[16:47] I think her main language is english
[16:47] so instead of me reading fluidly , sometimes i am stumped as to what something might mean
[16:48] i figured out most , but one idea/word that i dont know i couldnt figure out
01[16:48] what was that?
[16:49] of course i forget it :)
01[16:49] oh thats too bad
[16:49] careen or campleen or something like
[16:50] it might be a suid afrika thing :)
01[16:50] that might be
[16:55] sometimes the english was out of order too - like some words in front that should have been behind - thats why i thought author couldnt have been english
[16:57] i think its a good book so far for young girls
01[16:57] yes I like it too
[16:57] well my english isnt perfect either :)
01[16:57] a bit boring at some points like you said, I think it is because the way the univers is being built up for the reader, it is being built up mainly by dialogue
01[16:57] I thought the end of what we read for today was actually really good, the end of chapter 8 that is
01[16:58] about becky getting hit by lightning and all that
01[16:58] very thrilling
[16:58] and was she ? - or was it just the ascension ?
[17:00] she found her power was electricity ?
[17:00] so maybe the lighning was her rise
[17:01] lightning
01[17:01] oh thats interesting I didnt think about that
01[17:01] but she really didnt like that she now has to claim George
[17:02] but everyone else envied her :)
01[17:02] he was good looking but she cant stand him
[17:03] he played that prank on elaina
01[17:04] I think it might stick further that that
01[17:04] *than that
[17:04] he is a blue dragon
01[17:05] where did you end reading?
[17:05] but he was put up to it by that other bloke
[17:05] at i think chap 9 - preparation
01[17:06] so the last you read was Becky crying that the only one she could claim was George?
[17:06] i would have read a bit more if there was more about the oracle - but that was over quick
[17:06] well a little after someone said there was another boy , and she smiled at that :)
[17:07] geee - all those girls are boy crazy , and at that age i thought it was the boys that were girl crazy :)
[17:07] and boys dont really grow up :)
01[17:08] I think they are 16 year olds
[17:09] or maybe a little younger
[17:09] the girls anyway - they seem it :)
01[17:10] it was mentioned
[17:10] oh :)
01[17:11] Elaina is 15
01[17:11] "Lovers" Becky chants and I manage to blush scarlet red in between all this craziness. They both gasp. "Elaina, are you still a virgin?"
01[17:11]   "I am only fifteen, what do you think" and both girls look around nervously.
[17:12] that impies the others arnt ?
01[17:12] yes that they arent virgins
[17:13] o dear , the girls of dragonia :)
01[17:14] do you want to continue reading it?
[17:14] i havent had or wouldnt like a virgin
[17:14] the responsibility of making it extra good first time
01[17:14] good thing you are not a sun blast then
[17:15] no :) , and yes i would like to read more
[17:15] but then again , if i were a sun blast i wouldnt care about the girl
01[17:16] do we read to 66% for next week?
[17:16] yes , that seems about right for me
01[17:17] do you have some more things you think that are good about the book?
[17:18] just the ideas and the descriptive nature - i can tell by the writing the target audience - it isnt haphazard
[17:19] haphazard means all over the place - random even
I do like the whole set up around the fantasy univers, and I agree there are a lot of good and interesting ideas01[17:19] well we might see more later on in the novel
[17:20] more what ?
01[17:20] more good things :)
01[17:21] it might be a slow starter I mean
[17:21] oh - well so far the main protagonist has been that blue dragon at the start
01[17:22] I find the things going on with Becky when we ended our reading for this week more interesting
[17:22] when the lightning happened i thought it may be an attack , but wasnt
[17:23] and the oracle was a lt down
[17:23] let down
01[17:23] I think there is a lot of talk in this novel
01[17:23] dialogue
[17:24] yes - a bit boring to me , but may be what young girls like
[17:24] well shopping and clothes i know girls of all ages like :)
01[17:24] yes :)
01[17:25] I think this is a YA fantasy chick lit
[17:25] probably talking of boys too :)
[17:29] also i can pick a flaw in the grammer that is common even amongst english speaking peoples :)
[17:30] it's is not possessive
[17:30] it's is short for it is
[17:30] its is the possessive in english
[17:30] funny old english :)
01[17:31] compared to some indie books,  I have read I actually think this is one of the better

So that was what they thought about my novel so far. Some would think it's mean but it is exactly what I needed to know where I stand with my novel.
I can't wait for next week to find out what John and Mike thinks about the second part of my novel and hopefully I can get something out of it as well.
Authors should not be scared of negative critique. They are the best kind to turn your novel from average to best seller.
Thank you again for your input John and Mike and look forward till next week, for the rest of you have an awesome day till next time.


6 Mar 2012

First Review

by Meredith Bond

Merry has asked a couple of people to read her novel and then to give a review of what they think about the story.  
As an author, I do believe that the public’s view is of extreme importance to what an author has to say. I mean they are the ones that are going to end up purchasing your novel and even help you get an award or two.
My reviews are a bit different from others and I pin point the bad with the good.  

What I have to say about Merry as an author is, that I think she is an excellent writer.
Her characters are beautiful developed which is one of the most important qualities when writing a novel and the way she describe feelings, emotions, desire and even erotic moments leaves you with a sensation of what her characters are going through at that exact moment. It’s an art and a quality that can be developed, and without it, the story has no wings to fly.
Is she a good story teller - now that is a different story?
To be an amazing author you need to be able to do both.
I found that Merry really struggles to get into hers with her opening chapters. She didn’t hook me at all with her first four chapters, even with her Prologue. The story didn’t make sense and felt that I have to start over trying to get what it is she was trying to tell. It was really confusing and felt a bit disappointed because her story really has all the elements of a good book. I think for an author it is a big negative and to be able to capture your readers, hooking them from the first page is a gift and true signs of a good story teller.
I have to admit, if she didn’t ask me to do this review I was going to put the book down and wouldn’t even bother to pick it up again.  
Thank heavens I didn’t.
One of the things that I hate about a novel is struggling to get through every single page. I don’t care how good the story is or even if it is turned into a movie. If I struggle to get through pages, I don’t even finish with the first chapter. A good example is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Meredith’s novel does the opposite.
It reads like a dream, although the first chapters were boring and confusing.  
It is her gift as a writer and has made it easier for me to carry on reading.
She keeps her chapters sweet and short and don’t irritate you by repeating the same words, like some authors do.
It is one of the things I love about her and because of that, I will read another novel of hers anytime. She has a skill with developing and playing with words and my favorite comes out of chapter four – fanciful thought.
I don’t know why I love it, but I do. 
 Chapter five is what I call the magic chapter.
It is the turning point of this novel. It is where Merry finally hooked me and turns her novel into a real page turner. The chapter was not just beautiful written but the story started to develop and everything that didn’t make sense in the first chapters start to come together. It is where she became a story teller and not just a good writer. You realize who is related to whom, and what is important to each and every single character. Chapters like this are what make readers read a book more than just once, but you need every single chapter to be the magic chapter. I really struggle to put the book down after this one and couldn’t wait to discover of what is going too happened next.
After chapter five, I still find here and there the odd chapter that could have been crafted better but she always manage to throw you with a curve or an event that put the magic right back into gear.
There were parts where I smiled, blush and even giggle but the thing I have to praise Meredith for is that she didn’t turn her female MC into a slut. So many writers do it now a days and it’s one of the things that makes me put down the book and never buy anything from that author again.
No Marry does it the old fashion way. Her characters get to know one another first before jumping into the sack and give the readers a chance of falling in love with them too. She kept it real, ten hurray’s for Meredith.
 Magic in the Storm is not the type of book that I would pick up and read, although I love magic and the elements of it, still it doesn’t make me read just anything.
I have to say that I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this one.  It is a Jane Austen with a paranormal element.
The fact that it play off in an era where big dresses and balls were highly fashionable, almost put me off immediately. It’s not that I don’t love the era, I do but were disappointed so many times with the story line it self. I find most of them boring. Magic in the Storm proofed me wrong.
The book has a very good story line which I am not going to discuss, Merry does it better than me and will leave it up to her for you to discover. All I am going to say that it is about a family born with magic (known as Vallens) surrounded by a prophecy that is given to the wrong sex. The most powerful of them all is a priestess and a mother that is as sly as the devil it self and have an ability she use to her own advantage, fighting hard against the prophecy and believe with all of her hard that her youngest son is worthless and not the person this prophecy speaks off. Without any special abilities, except being able to heal the sick, the bearer (which is this evil priestess’s youngest son) of the prophecies doesn’t lose hope and as he finally meet the love of his life, his other abilities start to grow. It is an amazing story with a message that has been used so many times, but still a classic. Love conquers all.
I promise if you pass the first four chapters you will love it as much as I have.
Magic in the storm was a breeze of fresh air and will recommend it to all of my friends without hesitation.
Well done Merry, you have gained a new fan.

3 Mar 2012

Changes are GOOD

This is just a small entry,
My blog is going to go through a lot of changes this next couple of months. I have four book reviews lined up and the first one can be reviewed in the next week.
Exciting stuff is happening this month.
I am waiting for my own review of Dragon Glider: KING OF LIONS. It is part one of my series and hope that my readers is going to love it, if not, at least I will know where to fix my novel so that it might become better.
Query shark is also in the pipelines.
I have posted my query to her and is waiting in patience.
Hope that she is going to choose it, so that I might know where my query lacks.
Like I said, exciting things are happening . . .

P.s I have received my first fan mail on face book.
My page called The Dragon Glider received it's first fan mail. It is amazing what kind of power lies in word of mouth.

Hope month of March is good for everyone out there.