I have been considering lately what I want this blog to be about. Its main purpose, as I wrote about earlier, is to talk about the process of me writing my novel. The problem is that I don’t always have something very interesting or entertaining to say about that. Other than “I wrote words… then realized I didn’t like it and rewrote them…” Oh, the joys of editing.
So to break up the monotony of me complaining (apparently writing a novel is hard, who knew?) I have decided to introduce a weekly segment. Introducing:
Self-Published Writing Review Monday
Its a working title, don’t judge me.
Basically I will go on smashwords or amazon and I will look around the free self-published fiction. I will find something I think is interesting, read it and tell you what I think. Not only does this make sure I keep up on reading, I am a firm believer that writers should read, it will also give me a better sense of the self-publishing community.
I have built a small and simple survey, to give myself questions to think of when writing reviews. I may not always follow it exactly but it will at least give it some format. So, without further ado, here is the first review!
The story I will be reviewing today is “The Hunt” by Troy Martin. I chose to start off with a short story because right now I am actually working on a short story so I wanted to read a few to get a feel for the format.
What did you like about the story?
The main thing that I liked about the story was his imagery. It wasn’t overly done but there was enough to pull you into the world he was building. The story itself wasn’t all that ground breaking or imaginative, it’s about a guy that hunts werewolves and one in particular because it killed his wife. But what the story lacked originality it made up for in description.
What didn’t you like about the story?
There was one plot hole that pulled me out of the little world being created. This man, whom we have not been told is anything but human, is able to choke out a werewolf. Troy described to us how bad-ass these things are and how it apparently ripped a door to pieces but his character is able to choke his newly werewolf wife to death with his bare hands. This may be explained away by the fact that she is newly turned, but in a few paragraphs he holds down the werewolf that turned his wife long enough to cut off his head… I call bullshit.
What did you learn?
I have read quite a lot of fantasy and science fiction, but this is one of the first times I have consciously read with the eye of a writer. One thing I noticed was the lack of explanation. He didn’t spend paragraphs explaining the origin of werewolves in this world or give an in-depth explanation as to how to kill them. We got little snippets here and there and in these five pages I was able to learn what I needed to know to understand what was going on. Thinking back on other things I have read I realized that is normally how it works. The often repeated show them don’t tell them phrase in action.
One thing I had been struggling with in my short story was how did I explain all the different nuances of what these characters are and what they can do? Now I realized that for that story, I don’t have to. All you need to know is that they are teenagers with magic that heal fast. When I write the whole novel I will have to go into more detail but there will be no long boring paragraphs of explanation, it will be dropped here and there as needed.
Overall I thought that this was a good short story, definitely worth the read! If you want to read it for yourself you can download it here at smashwords.com:
If you do read it, let me know what you think!