May 02 2013

Elec’s Review Forum

Published by at 10:14 pm under Review Forums

Please see the comments below.

24 responses so far

24 Responses to “Elec’s Review Forum”

  1. Elecon 02 Jun 2013 at 10:58 pm

    The Aeon Academy is a work-in progress novel about a young teenaged boy, who survives an attempted homicide by a fellow orphan. Wayne wakes up in a police cell, only to be seemingly rescued by a teacher and offered a place at a mysterious school for people who are different. People who have powers. People, like Wayne…

    On route to the academy, a mysterious organisation know only as the Upsilion Hoard attempts to kidnap Wayne, believing that he has the what they need for their latest experiment…

    The attempt goes awry, and Wayne arrives at the school safely. He is immediately singled out as a powerful student, and becomes the seconds youngest member ever to join the premier superhero team, The Guard …

    To view the official website I have somewhat clumsily created for the novel, please click on my name above, or type “theaeonacademy.wordpress.com” into your address bar. On that website I have the first chapter of the novel, but I also have it posted below.

    Not for the first time in his life, or, ruefully, his last, Wayne groaned. He was a teenager, aged thirteen, but his short and unhappy life had matured him well beyond his years. He had dark brown hair, hazel eyes and was just below average height. He was solid, strongly built. He was also an orphan.

    Wayne had lived at Sunny Ridges orphanage, in the town of Emergan, all his life. It was in a constant state of despair and ruin, and knocked twenty-thousand dollars off the value of every house in the suburb. Wayne hated it.

    He used to enjoy the big group atmosphere and having so many people to play with, but that had all changed. A group of tough teenagers had been moved into the Orphanage after stealing alcohol, going over the limit and then pulling off doughnuts in a hotwired car. They were bad news for Wayne and his friends. Especially Wayne.

    Manuel was the leader of the group. He was seventeen, tall and thin. He wasn’t necessarily a six foot tall wall of muscle, but was nonetheless an adept tormenter. His strength was that he had a warped influence over others, and was able to manipulate them to do whatever he wanted.

    Alvaro was the physically toughest of the lot. At sixteen years old, he already had a substantial criminal record. Rumor was that he had served time in young offenders, after stabbing someone whilst trying to escape from his robbery. He wasn’t that bright and was quite psychotic.

    Fredric was Alvaro’s younger brother. He was similarly built, and shared Alvaro’s love of violence and low intelligence.

    The other members of the group were essentially hangers-on. Some of them used to be Wayne’s friends. They lacked the ruthlessness that the three main members possessed in excess, but made up for this in their desire to impress the others.

    And today, they were delivering a beating. Not to Wayne, fortunately, who was their main target, but to a newly arrived resident, who had blond hair and looked young. Wayne hated not being able to help him, but if he tried he would probably receive grievous bodily harm.

    “Everyone, this is Raphael, please make him feel welcome and show him around,” one of the house parents shouted above the noise of the dormitory.

    “We’ll make him feel welcome, all right,” said Manuel to Alvaro and Fredric, not bothering to keep his voice down.

    The trio sniggered.

    “Thank you for volunteering, Manuel!” the house parent responded, not picking up the sarcasm in Manuel’s voice, as he left the room.

    “Nice mop, newbie,” Manuel sniggered, “but don’t you want to be the same as everyone else?” Raphael glanced around the room. Everyone had dark brown or black hair. Nobody was blond.

    “I guess…,” He responded, “do you have some brown dye or something?”

    Everyone laughed. They all knew what was going to happen next.

    “Yes, our dye is just in this bathroom here,” Manuel said as he beckoned Raphael towards a room floored with sterile, white tiles that were covered with filth. Raphael moved into the room, and saw that there were no cupboards for dye, just a blocked toilet that reeked. There was not even a tap. Manuel realized that he had been tricked, but it was too late. The imposing bodies of Alvaro and Fredric filled the doorway, preventing him from getting out of the smelly room.

    “I don’t want any trouble,” He stuttered as he backed into the corner. “Just leave me alone!”

    The whole room laughed. “Well, then,” Manuel calmly explained, “it appears that we have a disagreement.” Quick as a flash, Alvaro and Fredric grabbed Raphael and hoisted him above the toilet. “Get ready for a colour change, Raphy!” Fred guffawed, as he and his brother lowered him into the bowl.

    There was silence in the crowd as a great squishing noise was heard emanating from the bathroom. Then the two brothers pulled the twelve year-old out of the lavatory and showed the crowd their work.

    Everyone went crazy. The unflushed faeces in the bowl had completely covered Raphael’s hair and face. It was impossible to see any of his blond hair amongst the brown, and the top of his blue shirt was covered in filth.

    The laughing went on for minutes. Manuel scanned the room, smiling and giggling, he noticed someone who was doing neither. Wayne.

    “Why aren’t you joining in with the rest of us Wayne?” Manuel shouted above the noise of the room. Everyone went silent. “Could it be that you don’t find that funny?” The people between Wayne and Manuel cleared a path. They didn’t want to get in the way of either of them.

    “Yes, that’s right. I don’t find what you just did funny,” Wayne responded, standing his ground.

    “That’s too bad,” Manuel said, glancing to the right behind Wayne, “Do you think that this is funny?”

    Fredric suddenly appeared behind Wayne, holding something that glittered in the faint light of the room. It took Wayne a second to realise that it was a knife.

    Fredric lunged towards the spot where Wayne was standing, only to find that he wasn’t there. Wayne was more than two meters away, running towards the exit, having knocked those in his way to the ground. Wayne was strong and more than capable of pushing his way through the crowd towards the exit, so the crowd parted.

    Wayne exited the room, slamming the door behind him. As he pushed a chair in front of the door, he realised that the gang members were trying to kill him! They could always say that it had been some kind of accident, and Alvaro wouldn’t even care if there were consequences. There was no official record of the inhabitants of the orphanage, just house parents who knew all the kids. They wouldn’t be able to prove anything.

    Wayne heard muffled thumps on the other side of the door. He took off, heading towards the main entrance.

    He burst out the door of the orphanage and clattered down onto the pathway. The door that he had barricaded with the chair was kicked down. Then gang came screaming out, hounding for his blood.

    So, that’s the first chapter. I’ve completed over 70 000 words in the first draft of the novel, and should be ready to start the second soon, so I would appreciate feedback as quickly as possible. Thanks!

  2. Elecon 02 Jun 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Link to my website below:

    http://theaeonacademy.wordpress.com/

    Hopefully that will become a link through the magickness of the web. 🙂

  3. Elecon 02 Jun 2013 at 11:04 pm

    *Fist pump*

  4. B. McKenzieon 02 Jun 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Some thoughts:

    It sounds like Wayne could be more active — e.g. he wakes up in a police cell and gets saved by a stranger and gets named to the premier superhero team (presumably because his powers are better), without much of a personal impact. I’d recommend working in at least one unusual decision for the main character which 95%+ of superheroes wouldn’t have made in the same situation.

    “Becomes the second youngest member to join the premier superhero team…” Immediate guess: the youngest member became a supervillain? (Secondary guess: a Superman-style hero the main character looks up to).

    –I think it would help to develop the character (beyond his demographics) before you get to the visuals. For example, “He had dark brown hair, hazel eyes…” brought this article to mind.

    –I’d recommend focusing more on the character’s personality and less on his demographics (e.g. orphan, height, weight, eye/hair color, physical type), etc.

  5. Elecon 04 Jun 2013 at 1:16 am

    ““Becomes the second youngest member to join the premier superhero team…” Immediate guess: the youngest member became a super villain? (Secondary guess: a Superman-style hero the main character looks up to).”

    Not even close B. Mac! 🙂 The second youngest person to join is still in the team, and is his love interest for the story/series. Just one of the many low-level subversions in the story. 🙂

    With those other points, I probably do need to change a substantial amount of his description, but I felt that his decision to not laugh like the 50+ other orphans, which would have been easy, would have been a decision that not many other people would have made. Do you feel I need to work on that or put another unusual decision in there somewhere?

  6. Elecon 04 Jun 2013 at 1:17 am

    And thanks for the thoughts, by the way. I really appreciate how you seem to have 40+ hours in the day to answer everyone’s questions. Bit suspicious, though… 🙂

  7. B. McKenzieon 04 Jun 2013 at 11:43 pm

    You’re welcome. I think I spend only 5 hours a week on SN. In college, it definitely was full-time…

  8. Bretton 02 Jul 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Hi Elec!
    So it seems to me who have a fresh take on the “super-powered kid goes to school” troupe.
    Here’s the thing though, just based on the excerpt you pasted here, it feels like you are moving to fast. SHOW us that scene where he gets picked up by the stranger. what’s his mindset at the time, what was he doing the day before this all started? I find that it is really helpful to think about what the characters were doing the day before the story started to help with the character development.
    You mentioned his father was a cop. Just how important is his dad? What’s their relationship like?
    Best of luck!

  9. Bretton 02 Jul 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Gah! Forget about the dad thing. Sorry about that! That’s what I get for reading two things at the same time, lol!

  10. Elecon 03 Jul 2013 at 1:32 am

    “Here’s the thing though, just based on the excerpt you pasted here, it feels like you are moving to fast. SHOW us that scene where he gets picked up by the stranger. what’s his mindset at the time, what was he doing the day before this all started? I find that it is really helpful to think about what the characters were doing the day before the story started to help with the character development.”

    I really appreciate your feedback, because it definitely shows me something that I forgot to include in my description of my excerpt. For starters, this excerpt is the entirety of chapter one. There is no prologue before this.

    “SHOW us that scene where he gets picked up by the stranger.”
    🙂 that’s in Chapter three. In fact, the chase begun at the end of this chapter leads to the teacher (after tazzering by a police officer, and a distressful wakeup in a police cell). The first chapter is all about his life BEFORE he goes to the Aeon Academy, while he is still living in the Orphanage. That scene is definitely shown in full, unless some pesky vermin got into my home …

    “it feels like you are moving to fast.”
    In terms of what I think you mean I am moving fast in, I don’t think I am. Wayne arrives at the Aeon Academy in Chapter Five.

    I do hope I’ve answered any worries/questions/anythingsnotinthatcatergorie(s). I really appreciate you looking at this page, taking the time to read it and commenting. It’s great to get such constructive feedback. Have you had a look at my website yet? Click on my name if you haven’t :).

  11. Elecon 03 Jul 2013 at 1:33 am

    An updated description of my story below:

    The Aeon Academy is a work-in progress novel about a young teenaged boy, who survives an attempted homicide by a fellow orphan. Wayne wakes up in a police cell, only to be seemingly rescued by a teacher and offered a place at a mysterious school for people who are different. People who have powers. People, like Wayne…

    On route to the academy, a mysterious organisation know only as the Upsilion Hoard attempts to kidnap Wayne, believing that he has what they need for their latest experiment…

    The attempt goes awry, and Wayne arrives at the school safely. He is immediately singled out as a powerful student, and becomes the second youngest member ever to join the premier superhero team, The Guard …

  12. Bretton 03 Jul 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Elec,
    I took a look at your website and it looks fantastic. Its already trafficking a bit which is good. I have friends who have blogs and they get no traffic whatsoever (except me of course)
    “…the chase begun at the end of this chapter leads to the teacher (after tazzering by a police officer, and a distressful wake up in a police cell). The first chapter is all about his life BEFORE he goes to the Aeon Academy, while he is still living in the Orphanage.”
    That’s cool, I wanna know what happens next.
    Also I feel you did a much better job on description in a kind of “Just the facts ma’am” way
    Also, I wanted to just mention to you how cool it is that you’re Australian. My favorite character I ever created was Australian, but I’ve never actually spoken to anyone who was actually Australian. I just came up with his voice and lingo by research and listening to Hugh Jackman’s voice alot. lol Would you mind looking at a scene with the character to check if I’m on the right track? its not perfect by any means because as this post hopefully does not demonstrate I can’t proofread to save my life.
    Glad I could help!

  13. Elecon 04 Jul 2013 at 1:01 am

    Thanks for the compliments and your love of my countrymen :).I’d love to have a look at that scene. Do you have a link, or is it on your review forum or something?

    “I wanna know what happens next”

    Sorry, but I’ve got to have something unread to give to publishers :). If you want, I can email the first three chapters to you? I might even put those three chapters up on the site once I’ve finished the first draft, actually, which can’t be long …

  14. Bretton 04 Jul 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Hey Elec,
    You can send me the chapters at this address: Bsl1290@aol.com
    The story is on my review forum on this site. Just type in Brett’s review forum and it should be there.
    Now, Full disclosure:
    The MC is very, very loosely based on me. Initially I got a lot of flack on this site for the mary sueisms. I’ve worked very hard at giving the brett character his own personality, but you’ll have to be judge of whether I succeeded or not. As for my beloved Australian character, my goal was for him personality-wise is to make him like data.
    Thanks! Can’t wait to read your chapters!

  15. Bretton 04 Jul 2013 at 2:47 pm

    OOPS, FORGOT ABOUT THE SIDEBAR! GUESS YOU CAN LOOK THERE TOO, LOL.

  16. Elecon 07 Jul 2013 at 12:22 am

    Had a look at some of your chapters (and commented on them) they were pretty decent. I’ll send you an email with the first few chapters from my novel.

  17. Elecon 07 Jul 2013 at 12:46 am

    Alright, I’ve sent it. Hopefully it should have reached you.

  18. Dagger_Dropon 11 Jul 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I agree with B. Mac that Wayne should be more proactive. Maybe he stops the bullies from dunking Raphael and that’s what makes them mad and try to stab him? Attempting to stab a guy for not liking your bullying ways is a little much. Other than that the excerpt and idea was great.

  19. Elecon 12 Jul 2013 at 12:38 am

    Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate you having a look at this forum and giving me great ideas that I can use in the second draft.

  20. Elecon 19 Jul 2013 at 2:07 am

    Well, I’m happy to announce that the first draft of the Aeon Academy is complete! Clocking in at 86 896 words, it took me 360 days to complete (a lot of interruptions :(). In lieu of that, I’ll probably release a few more chapters on here. If you want to take a look at the Aeon Academy in full depth, visit my website by clicking on my name.

  21. Elecon 29 Jul 2013 at 2:49 am

    Just converted my first draft to A5 format, and it’s 340 complete pages! And that’s with one-centimetre borders and no chapter-spacing!

  22. B. McKenzieon 29 Jul 2013 at 5:02 am

    Congratulations – 87,000 words is a hell of a lot of work.

  23. Elecon 31 Jul 2013 at 2:42 am

    Thanks B.Mac. Hopefully it’s length will give me plenty of scope to cut out useless scenes. I think I’ll be getting tid of at least one or two, and shortening down some others. You should do an article on that :P.

  24. Elecon 28 Aug 2013 at 2:08 am

    Alrighty, here’s chapter two. It’s probably a little bit weaker than chapter one, but it is only the first draft. You can also read this chapter, and the next, by visiting my website, specifically these pages:

    Chapter 1 – http://theaeonacademy.wordpress.com/chapter-one-3/
    Chapter 2 – http://theaeonacademy.wordpress.com/chapter-two/
    Chapter 3 – http://theaeonacademy.wordpress.com/chapter-three/

    Chapter 2:

    Wayne changed direction and sprinted across the road, gaining valuable seconds as the gang were forced to wait for a break in traffic.
    “Fred! You guys!” Alvaro shouted. “Circle around that way, stop him reaching the bus station,” he continued as a red light halted the cars.
    “That’s the only way he can get far away from here,” he finished as he sped across the road.
    Unfortunately for him, Wayne was thinking similarly. Emergan was a medium-sized rural town. The town was new, but was still a long distance from the nearest city. Wayne knew that the only way he could get out of the town was by catching a bus from the station. Wayne’s plan was to buy a ticket for the bus with some change in his pocket. The bus came every half hour. It was currently 12:10. He would be able to run to the bus station in under twenty minutes. It was only two kilometres away.
    Wayne was about to discover that things don’t always go the way they’re planed.
    As he ran around a corner, he glanced back over his shoulder. He could not see the gang. Wayne smiled. He was just over half way to the station. It was 12:15. Everything was going according to plan.
    Five minutes later, Wayne rounded the last corner before the bus station, only to find a twenty strong group led by Fredric standing around the station.
    He hurriedly backed up, thinking fast. He could hear the other gang members catching up. They were just over one hundred meters away. His eyes fell upon a half-finished construction site next to the roof of the bus station, and noticed that, while the gang members led by Fredric were surrounding the two-story bus station, no one appeared to be inside it. A smile began to crease Wayne’s face.

    The gang members, led by Manuel and Alvaro, clattered around the corner that Wayne had been at just moments before. Manuel walked towards the smaller group, led by Fred, and beckoned for him to come and talk.
    “Where is he?” Manuel exclaimed.
    “I haven’t seen him,” Fred replied, “I would have seen him if he came here. My guys are all around the building.”
    “Are any of your guys in the building?”
    “Ummm… No,” Fredric sheepishly responded.
    Not for the first time, Manuel cursed the stupidity of his gang members.
    “Well, GET SOMEONE IN THE BUILDING THEN!” he shouted. People walking by stared and quickened their pace.
    “I’ll do it myself,” he muttered, as he pushed past Fredric to get inside the station. It was now twelve twenty-five.

    Wayne landed on the roof of the bus station. His journey through the construction site had been uneventful, save a close call on a narrower section of the building.
    Wayne entered the station through a rooftop door. At this time of day, the crowd in the station was large, so no one noticed him enter the main floor from the second story. As he moved towards the area where the bus would arrive, he pulled his collar up and deliberately hunched, to try to disguise himself. He didn’t notice Manuel make his way into the building after his argument with Fredric. It was twelve twenty-eight.

    “’Scuse me, ‘scuse me,” Manuel said as he pushed his way through the crowd.
    “Watch where you going, young man,” an elderly fellow exclaimed, as Manuel pushed past him. Normally, Manuel would have ignored him, but if the old man made a fuss, it could give away his position.
    “I’m sorry sir,” he responded, “I just have to make my bus; otherwise my Mum will be really worried when I don’t show up.”
    “That’s okay,” the man said with sympathy, “just don’t do it again.”
    Manuel hurried off through the crowd, annoyed by his holdup. He was moving towards the information board, where he thought that Wayne might be, when he saw Wayne himself. He pulled out a small knife and concealed it in his sleeve as he closed in for the kill.

    Wayne was just twenty meters from the bus station when he felt a sharp pain in his back. He quickly turned around, and saw Manuel standing there in disbelief, his knife clutched tightly in his hand.
    He must have missed, Wayne thought, but how?
    Manuel had the advantage of surprise, and he had closed to within a meter. There was no way that he could have missed.
    Deciding to ponder it later, Wayne launched a quick punch, taking advantage of Manuel’s white-faced shock. Manuel stumbled backwards, into the same old man that he had knocked into earlier.
    “I do say!” the man exclaimed in protest.
    The bus pulled up at the stop. Wayne started to move towards the bus, but a tug from Manuel pulled him back. Wayne elbowed him in the nose, causing his grip on Wayne’s shoulder to weaken.
    Unluckily for Wayne, two police officers were walking by as he pummelled Manuel with his elbow. The police officer made a quick decision, based upon the startled faces of the crowd. He pulled out his taser from his belt, and fired it at Wayne from less than five meters. There was no way that he could miss.
    He didn’t.
    The two hooked barbs projected from the taser penetrated his clothes, but, curiously, not his skin. Regardless, the fifty-thousand volts locked up his entire nervous system, preventing him from moving. He fell, forwards, revealing a large, jagged hole in the back of his shirt, where the knife had pierced it. There was no sign of any wound.

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