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Next novel?

September 11, 2008  Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft   6 Comments

In 2006 I started a Young Adult Fantasy novel but stopped because my writing ability sucked. Now that I understand so much more about The Craft, I am tempted to pick it back up again.

Tell me what you think. Be gentle, I wrote it in my “Void Years”. I will admit, it is calling me. Be honest though: if you read this, would you keep reading? Or would you shake your head in amusement at The Hack Writer and his good intentions?

Edit: This is the original version. My 15ish minute revision can be found here.

Edit 2: I talk about my official next secret squirrel novel here.

Prelude in C

The Gaterunner was reading a book in his right hand while holding his sword in the ready position in his left.

This was a not comfortable way to read a book. Indeed, after awhile his arm felt like it was going to fall off, muscles screaming and sweat eventually breaking out over his body. If he was particularly tired his sword arm would start to shake, more of a small tremble really, but for a sword master any uncontrollable vibration was a glaring fault. It was a good way to do two things at once, and when the pain became too intense, he would simply switch hands.

The Gaterunner wanted forbidden knowledge; this knowledge was in a different book–hidden like a pebble tossed into a lake where clear waters showed a bottom covered entirely with pebbles of the same sort. His predecessor hid the book because the man felt like he could trust no one, including the Gaterunner.

The world for the hidden book, of course, was perfect, and the Gaterunner marveled at the genius that hid it by putting it on a world where one read books not for knowledge, but also pleasure. The perversity of such was amusing as it was vile.  He considered this world the most barbaric, over-populated, over-engineered polluted places he ever set foot on. Unless he was successful in his search, he would die here alone surrounded by Readers who could not Read.

The people here loved books. There where millions of books, stacked everywhere in houses and buildings, sometimes gathering dust but usually kept out of fondness for the words contained within. They even taught children to read books! Great libraries of books were built for the common folk to borrow and read, and then return for another as if they had a reading itch they couldn’t quite scratch. They had machines-of all things-that would spit out book after book after book, so that thousands and sometimes millions of people could read the same book roughly at the same time if they so wished. They even invented other machines to help them write the books. Machines that let them read books without printing. Thousands and thousands of more people wrote books, and many more than that produced the things. Men and Women worked their entire lives around them, and many died surrounded by pages and pages of tiny words composed of machine-generated tiny type.

The number of books was tremendously staggering. He often pictured himself alone on the shore of some sea, but instead of water crashing about his ankles, pages of books pushed back and forth at him, threatening to knock him over and drown him under paper.

The Gaterunner marveled at the cleverness of hiding the book here. No sane Reader would come here even if they had a Gate to spare. If they did, they would never find it. Only someone with faith in people, not books, would be able to discover its location. Only someone with faith in destiny would trust that it would fall into his hands eventually. Faith yes, faith alone would find the book. Only a Gaterunner would find the book here.

Only a Gaterunner would have faith. Indeed, it was all he had left.

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6 comments on: Next novel?

  1. Maura Anderson September 11, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Hmm – you have me curious about the world and story but the mechanics need work to make it more compelling and draw the reading further into the story.

    In this case, the story could benefit a lot by a much deeper POV. The Gaterunner appears to be the POV character but most of this is very distant and you don’t feel like you’re IN his POV. In a way it’s akin to listening to a static-laden radio. Distant and distracting.

    It’s also falling a bit victim to info dump.

    But those are all mechanical and technique issues that can be solved. The idea is interesting so far and that’s harder than just mechanics.

    I say rewrite and carry on!

  2. Anthony September 11, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    It is wordy, isn’t it?

    Thanks for the comments! And tips!

  3. Maura Anderson September 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    The dreaded editing pen never gets put down completely.

    Stop by if you want more details or examples 🙂

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