Remnants, my novel

To toot one’s own horn is a sin in my opinion, but it is one which I still commit from time to time.

I have wasted large chunks of free time over the last two years writing a long-winded science fiction novel. Okay, at only 178 pages of content it’s not that long-winded compared to a lot of other books, but once you see how rotten it is you’ll understand why I call it long-winded.

All right already, where is it? Here:

It’s about a post-technological society of the far future and the robots which still inhabit it. Humankind has left its fantastic technology far behind itself, but a few robots have managed to survive on their own. A few people have grown suspicious of these robots and wish to destroy them. Basically I’ve just taken the old “robots destroying mankind” cliche and turned it on its head so that humans are trying to destroy robotkind instead.

Did you make it through the synopsis? Good, maybe you’ll like the 183-page version. In any case, it’s here, available for download. I have no plans to submit it to a publisher, however, I may have Lulu print it for me. Read it if you want to, I’m not going to force you.

If you do read it, I’d appreciate a heads up on any typos you find. Thanks. :wink:

Use a spellchecker.

Actually, you might have to do just that in order to get anyone to dedicate the time required to read more than 100 pages of writing (and not very good writing at that).

I read a few pages, and to be perfectly honest, the story doesn’t do a thing for me.

The character names themselves indicate (to me at least) that you tried far too hard to come up with something original, to the point where you skipped “original” and went a little overboard (leaning well toward the ridiculous).

While using descriptive language generously is a method advised by most english teachers in highschool, there is such a thing as “overdescribing everything”, and that is exactly what you did here. I mean the whole thing reads more like an engineering schematic, rather than a novel (this is here, that is there, its this color, it smells like this…stop).

Use in-depth description only when it’s really necessary (key moments that truly guide story structure). Don’t describe “everything” that you can think of, for every given moment. That will just bore people to tears.

Btw, the concept of a “machine with feelings” and humans mistreating “robots” is nothing new. Watch steven spielbergs “AI”. Also, there have been countless anime shows at this point which portray “robots” as entities on an equal/higher conscious plane relative to humans.
(Big O, Metropolis, I even remember a string of DBZ episodes from when I was a kid, where the same concept of a “nature loving, life respecting” robot was implemented.)

Normaly, you can gauge a good book on how you like the first page. I read apage that Ive probably read a thousand times in similar stories, by similarly skilled wirters. I commend you for putting in the time, but it doesnt strike me as a particularly engaging novel.
again, Kudos on putting in the time man.

No story is new. There are only maybe 70 plots in the world, ever. I can understand a bit about the description, but I didn’t mind it, myself, it’s just a writing style and peoples preference to wordiness or lack of such may be cheered by one party and scorned by the other.

I do agree with the names, a little. They feel a tiny bit stretched. Do they follow a cultural naming pattern? Because there should always be a background for everything you write, even if the reader never hears about it. 1. it’s good practice, and 2. it lends a coherence to things.

In spite of the wordiness, the story almost felt rushed. Like it was leading into the plot too fast.

It probably wouldn’t have been a good idea to put your first and sole story out into the world where people can scorn it. That can’t be good for your perception of your story to have it dismissed so fast.

It almost has the potential to be very good, but if there are problems, it’s nothing to be disheartened about. The best writers are the ones who have been doing it for years.

In my opinion, your not a bad writer, but the first few lines of the stroy:

     Despite the birdsong, and the rustling of leaves, the forest seemed

very quiet. The air was fresh, the temperature mild, and the biting insects
were not in evidence at the moment. Yena lay her canvas on the ground and
settled on a stump. She watched the birds as they flew from tree to tree,
singing to each other. It was mid-afternoon, and the shadows of the branches
fell across the forest floor in a mottled pattern. Yena was in no rush. She sat
silently and let herself feel the rhythm of the forest, the way it breathed and
moved. Sometimes she felt that the forest was more than it seemed, that it
was almost an entity itself, a living creature with a mind of its own. It was
not a cruel being, though. It did not seek to harm or destroy. It was not good
or evil, but if treated correctly, it could be a friend.

Sound like a million other first lines to storys I’ve read.

In my opinion, too many people, when making books (or anything), are trying to make a book, instead of a simulation of reality.

Well, everything you’ve said is right, but let me remind you that I warned from the start that it was trash!

Social: I’m glad you hate it. Do you enjoy hating it? If so, I’ve at least given someone some pleasure. As far as using a spellchecker goes, they cannot pick up saying “an” instead of “and” or a redundant sentence.

free_ality: hmmm, I guess my first page isn’t that original. :frowning: I was trying to use it to express a bit of Yena’s character, but maybe I failed.

Black_Boe: There are two plots: “Someone goes on a journey” and “a Stranger comes to Town.” Come to think of it, this one starts out as a “stranger,” and ends up as a “journey.” I wonder if that’s a problem?
If you think it’s wordy now, you should see what the first draft looked like! Yikes.
And as far as “Scorn” goes, I think I can take it. After all, I’ve put up threads about my games on here, some of took over a year to make, and had them be forgotten and drop off the front page in less than a week. In my opinion, having a work be criticized to death is far better than having it be ignored.

I intend to take a class in creative writing sometime. That ought to help improve what I’ve got going for me. If you’ve been mentally injured by this novel, my apologies, just be glad I didn’t upload my first two novels, both weighing in at a whopping 33 pages and containing characters who are as 2-dimensional as can be.

I think it was written fine, but had the same ring of lots of scifi/fantasies. You expressed your character alright, but It was yet another ‘robot whos at peace with mother nature’ kind of thing, thats meant to be half profound, or something.

*scans his previous post

Nope, I never said “hate”. Reading “inbetween the lines” is better left for the newspaper. You should read my posts as they are written.

I think you missed the point of what I was trying to do with my previous post. I gave you some advice on how to improve your writing, in case you missed it.

That ought to help improve what I’ve got going for me.
What would that be? Not trying to make fun of you or anything. I’m just curious.

What would that be? Not trying to make fun of you or anything. I’m just curious.

Seriously stop, just stop. You have a tendency of (with out trying to) coming off as a real shit sometimes. Ease it down. This is someones hard work, granted not the best I have read, but still it is showing promise. Was that last comment really needed? Honestly the golden rule follows about personal work: Nothing nice or constructive to say then don’t say it. This comment was snide and harsh, not to mention not needed.

Plantperson, I cannot understand how you can hope to be a good writer if you’re so damn negative about your own work. Sure, it lacks several things, but no-one good at what he does just tried it and was magically awesome at it, although a lot of people would like you to believe otherwise. Sure, there are people with a talent, but they have to develop it as well. Do you honestly believe Rowling had written Harry Potter and it was magically terrific? She has read and written a lot before that and you can count on it she put a lot of work into Harry Potter.
If this is your first book, then be proud! Not many people who start a book make it to the last page! Now reread the thing (on real paper) and make notes in the margin where there are things you think could’ve been better and describe what they should be. Don’t forget: nearly every successful author has revises his/her books when they are finished and usually change and rewrite a lot!
I suggest you check out Holly Lisle’s site. She’s a great author and she has many articles to guide aspirant authors! You can learn a lot from her no-bullshit advice.

@Blackboe: you’re absolutely right. But honestly, it’s not the basic plot that makes the difference between a good and a bad book. It’s how you develop your characters, create a world for them (in any genre; world-building is not limited to science-fiction and fantasy) and how you pour yourself onto the page.
Plantperson, we won’t care about the story if we don’t care about it’s characters; we humans primarily want to see humans of flesh and blood in a story. Humans with flaws, problems and those little charms. We want to be able to relate to the character and understand him, even he does things we’d normally dismiss as inhumane. It’s an art making someone understand the actions of a murderer.

That’s my advice. I hope I’ve been a help :slight_smile:

I’m downloading now (damn you, dial-up!) I just thought you might want to know that there’s already a book (a series, actually) called Remnants (about life after the earth is destroyed).

Social, you can be really helpful at times, but you also try my patience. You are going beyond criticism and crossing over into being nasty.

Charlesworth999, thank you for the helpful post. I admit I’m being a bit negative… and I admit I’m not certain why. I think maybe I’m bashing it to justify the fact that I posted this at all. I’m very against boasting, so if I was to post “OMG I wrote a book read it its teh awesome!!!” or something along those lines, I’d be very ashamed of myself. I think I was using the negativity to justify this to myself.
I’m looking at the link you posted right now, and it looks good. However, I’m a bit uncertain that reading anything can really improve one’s writing. It’s something I’m skeptical of, having read several such books and seen little improvement. I will try it though.
Thank you also for the tip about the characters. I must ask, what do you think of my characters? I tried very hard to make them human. (They’re a far cry better than the ones in my previous efforts, let me tell you.)

Captain Oblivion: Thanks for the tip. However, I don’t think there’s much of a connection, though possibly a slight one. I haven’t read the series (or heard of it) myself.

Anyone who will listen: I admit that it’s not necessarily the most original plot in the world, however, I myself have never read anything exactly like it. If you like it, I’m glad. If you don’t, oh well, maybe you’ll like the next one. I’m pleased with it, for now at least.

Plantperson, I’m glad you found my post helpful. Concerning Holly Lisle’s articles; they make for a good read but don’t forget it’s not enough to know, we must apply and refine our art through practise. “38 most common fiction writing mistakes” by Jack Bickham is interesting as well. It explains several of the points I’d like to make to you. I don’t know if it’s copyrighted or not, so I’ll take it down after a day or so so hurry up and get your copy! It probably isn’t because it doesn’t have “COPYRIGHTED!!!” all over the place.
I do think that things between Yena and 'bot are a bit too smooth… I mean, they get to know each other and all without any form of conflict or resistance. In Harry Potter, Hermione isn’t accepted by Harry and Ron at first. But after the troll-incident they start to get along better. Also, things weren’t very smooth between Harry and Cho, were they? And Harry’s relationship with Dumbledore wasn’t always joyful.
See what I mean?
About your characters otherwise, they lack depth. So who is this Yena? What excites her? What repels her? What drives her towards her goals? What things would she rather not others know? How was her childhood? … all questions you must have an answer to. Not that you have to give your reader all that information, but having that in the back of your head will pour soul into Yena.
Let me stop here. There’s much potential for improvement in your story, but always remember: every one starts out by writing things which they’d rather keep to themselves. Being a moderately good author, I can assure you the path to great writing is long, but fun if you keep on having a positive outlook. And no, I won’t show you my earliest attempts at writing :stuck_out_tongue:
Keep on writing, taking note of things which can improve and don’t set impossible goals.
Cheers! :wink:

…? Umm, it was a pretty straight forward question (as I said, I’m not trying to make fun of you here). I’m just curious as to what you think your most promising writing characteristics are.

I mean wow, some of you seem to be masters of misinterpretation.

Loosen up guys.

Loosen up guys

correct me if I am wrong, but this isn’t the first time someone misinterpreted you. Maybe its not us that has the problem

Believe whatever you want to believe.

actually, just one: beginning, conflict, resolution. :stuck_out_tongue:

well it’s a shame that people would misinterpret u, social, cuz you always have good input. just try not to sound mean (your above quote), so that this kind of thing doesn’t start. framedworld - you really shouldn’t be starting this kind of thing especially if it wasn’t you’re work. plantperson is just offering some of his work, and he’s done it in a very humble way. so just get back to topic so that his thread wont be locked because of this…

plantperson - interesting twist to the stereotype…i do think it would work, but it might take more than just that effect to it…though i haven’t read it so maybe u do have enough in there to keep it going. but that’s cool that u actually were able to sit down and write something…i’ve wanted to do that before. even if it was bad writing (which i’ve only heard from you and the first page ;)) you still spent a lot of time on it, which probably was really not wasted - it’s experience just like anything else. maybe what you can do with this is either condense it or expand on it to make the whole composition of it work better.

I don’t have time to read a lot of it, but if you made audiobook mp3s, I would listen to a few hours of it at work.