Hello B. Mac & all SN followers. I am posting the prologue of my novel below. Please give honest reviews on spelling, grammar, punctuation and most importantly how good or bad it is. Here we go:
No. Maanav never wanted to be a superhero. Not even in his wildest of dreams. He just wanted be a normal guy with normal parents, normal friends and a normal girlfriend. He knew that becoming a superhero would be a very bad idea and once he set foot on this path, there would be no point of return. But he was forced to become a superhero by situations and by his father. And now he is about to be killed by his father who is aiming a gun just at the right part of his body. The middle of the forehead. It requires just one bullet to kill a person by shooting there.
”Are you ready to die, son?” asked his father.
Maanav did not say anything and closed his eyes. After a couple of second he heard the gunfire….
Upon reading this, I thought I was reading a marketing blurb. It didn’t seem like a prologue to me, but then again it’s very short.
There wasn’t anything wrong with your English, but some of the wording felt a little strange. The part that was jarring to me was, “And now he is about to be killed by his father who is aiming a gun just at the right part of his body.”
Just at the right part of his body is very awkward, truthfully there shouldn’t be a ‘right part of your body’ when getting shot by a gun. There was also a little bit too much explanation, for instance.
You say that the gun is pointed towards the middle of the forehead and then explain that you only need one bullet to kill someone if shot there. The reader knows that a shot like that is fatal, it doesn’t need to be explained to them.
If you think you are not good enough to write in English, I would recommend you write in your mother tongue. Why do you want to write in English anyway, are you hoping to reach an international audience?
This strikes me as more of a backcover blurb than a prologue. As an opening scene, it feels a bit rushed to me. My guess is that cutting the prologue and using a more standard chronology would probably be smoother. Also, if you have a critical scene like this, I would definitely recommend spending more than a few lines on it. At the very least, I’d recommend using the whole page.
In terms of English vs. your native language, the only thing which comes to mind is that the tensing strikes me as occasionally awkward. For example, “And now he is about to be killed by his father who is aiming a gun just at the right part of his body…” could be “And now he was going to be killed by his father, who was aiming a gun at the middle of his forehead.”
–”…forced to become a superhero by situations…” I think “circumstances” would be a bit more natural than “situations” here.
–”It requires just one bullet to kill a person by shooting there.” If this goes without saying–and I suspect it does–I would recommend cutting the line.
–There are a few places where I think the writing could show/imply more and tell/exposit less. For example, “He just wanted be a normal guy with normal parents, normal friends and a normal girlfriend” and “He knew that becoming a superhero would be a very bad idea.”
At this moment, I think, I should just concentrate in writing in my mother tongue and also in improving my Engish. Hope I will be able to do that in a few years time. Any advice how to improve writing in English?
I thought your short prologue was exciting and I felt I wanted to know more about Maanav. If you want to make it longer, perhaps you could put your hero in the particular setting where the shooting takes place, and then add stuff from your prologue as an inner monologue or something. I’d also like a hint when it comes to Maanav’s feelings about the whole thing. Is he frightened, or does he know what’s coming and has accepted it? I think the first few sentences were very good, they were clear and unfussy, and they made me interested in your story.
English is not my first language either, but I really love it. In my own language the text becomes more complicated and less direct because the words are often longer. The Superhero-culture is American so English feels more natural. My native language is spoken by only ten million people and our culture doesn’t even have one lousy superhero, so everything I read and watch is in English. If you decide you do want to write in English there are a lot of help out there when it comes to grammar(and everything else). Sites like this one:
I’m also pretty bad at grammar, because I forget what I learn all the time. But I’ve heard there are forums out there for struggling writers not yet ready for the commercial market and some of them have generous, kind Beta-readers, willing to help us with our English instead of dismissing us. Bless them.
Good luck with your story. I can only hope it gets translated into english eventually, so that I can read the rest of it.
Thanks. But I dont think its well written. As B. Mac and Wil pointed out, it sounds as more of a backcover blurb than a prologue. So, at this moment I am not thinking about the prologue. In fact I may not add one.
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