Rewrite of Part 1 of Chapter 1 What is Magicwood

Lafayette

Man of Artistic Fingers
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Messages
531
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Again, thank you all for your thoughtful input.

At the suggestions and comments of you all, I did another rewrite. Please, let know if this is more in line with what you had in mind. The only thing I didn't work on was making the technicalities of making instruments more subtle. Currently, I have no idea of how to do this. I'll have to think about this some more.

Additional comments. questions, or suggestions are still welcome. In advance thank you.

For Forum

Part 1 of Chapter 1

What is Magicwood?

Rewrite 2



In a warm kitchen, in a warm wooden house, in Arizona, a sturdy chair squeaked in protest as a chubby Percy Smith leaned back, sipping sweet red wine, and taking a light breath. “As usual, that was beautiful, Vincent. I especially enjoyed the interlude of the third movement. I could hear the birds chirping and the tree leaves rustling in the wind. Your virtuosity puts me there.”

“Thanks, Percy,” replied the troubadour as the twelve-string’s resonance gracefully faded into the afternoon spring air with the chirping robins and sparrows. “It is truly gratifying to display my artistry to someone that sincerely appreciates it.”

“Percy, I could make you a brilliant guitarist too,” said the troubadour. “If only you would become my student. You have the ears and passion.”

Percy glared. “Here we go again, Vincent, I’ve told you before …”

“Yes, yes, I know,” interrupted Vincent. “I am forty-seven years old; I am too old to learn anything new. The truth, my luthier friend, is, you’re too lazy and complacent, You’re in a rut. You need some adventure to stimulate you.”

“Adventure! Bah! What good is adventure? Will it feed me? Will it keep me warm? Besides, where there is adventure, there is unknown danger and I want nothing to do with it. I’m a Truer and a good Truer doesn’t need adventure.”

Vincent laughs. “Yes, you are a good Truer, perhaps too good.”

“Now, what about your guitar?” asked Percy. “Is it not perfect like all of my creations?”

“Yes, it is perfect,” replies the troubadour, softly strumming the guitar “The lows are mellow, the octaves are clear and rich and it rings like mademoiselle Shannel’s door chime. Like all of your guitars, it’s perfect. However,” he added as he sat the guitar aside and whisper, “I cannot accept it.”

“What! You do not have the money?” asked Percy, raising a black eyebrow.

“Come, come Percy!” snapped the troubadour, quickly standing and waving his hands. “You hurt my feelings. I am Vincent Rene Richards, the greatest troubadour of the three continents! I am paid in the purest gold. Copper never lines my pockets. Here,” he said, tossing his purse onto the table. “As you can see, it is twice the amount you asked for.”

“Then what is the problem?” asked Percy.

“The problem, my friend,” answered Vincent. “Is my impending poverty and surpassing perfection.”

“Impending poverty and surpassing perfection?” echoed Percy.

“Except for the coin, you see, I’m broke,” sighed Vincent. “My traveling expenses and extravagant spending are making me a pauper.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” said Percy.

“Unless,” added Vincent, “I give a performance surpassing perfection at Prince Raymond’s coronation. Our king to be is demanding, surpassing perfection from everything and everyone, including me.”

“Is there anything else?” asked Percy.

He is promising me he will give me a chateau and a generous pension for my retirement. However, … No performance surpassing perfection, no retirement no chateau.”

“You’re retiring? Why?” asked Percy.

Sitting down again, Vincent picked up the guitar and began finger picking minor chords. “Yes, I’m retiring,” Then he added, “As you know, Percy, the coronation will be the diamond event of the century.”

“That doesn’t explain why you’re retiring, Vincent.”

The troubadour let out an enormous sigh. “After sixty-nine years of performing and traveling, I am tired. When it rains, my hands ache and become stiff. I love performing, but I’m getting too old, I need to retire.”

Then, looking up at Percy, he added, “I’m sorry, Percy, your guitar is not beyond perfection.”

“What do you expect?” asked Percy, waving his hands. “I offered you a higher bridge to raise the volume. You say no. I offer ladder bracing and you say it’s too punchy and rude. I offer a maple top instead of spruce for brightness and you say no. You claim the bass runs will sound muddy and lose clarity. You want to hear octaves. I give you octaves. I suggested mahogany. You complain it’s too woody. You demanded heavenly. I give you heaven’s harp. I end up making your guitar from one of my metair trees. It’s not like you to be so temperamental.”

“Yes, that is true,” replied the old troubadour. “Until now, perfection was enough. Now I need surpassing perfection.”

Percy sputters. “You must play my guitar, my masterpiece, Vincent. Business has been turtle slow. The coronation, you, my guitar, will spark new business. Without this crowning achievement, my competitors will have my clientele.”

Vincent stared at his plump friend. “Since when, Percy, do you worry about competitors? Something is wrong, what is it?”

Percy turned his head away. Then he stared at the troubadour with woe. “I’m in debt.”

“You’ve been in debt before and paid your way out. What’s the rub?”

“The rub is Lyon the Lender,” breathed Percy.

“And?”

“And I owe him forty thousand francs.”

“Forty thousand francs!” exclaimed Vincent. “By the saints, that is a lot of coin. Why so much? And, why did you ever agree?”

“My aunt Joenic was very sick with a rare disease,” answered Percy. “The healers declared the only cure was five very rare and expensive potions. I didn’t have the coin. And the local lenders don’t enjoy lending to Truers.”

“Lyon heard of my plight and made me an offer. He would give me fifty thousand francs up front if I made his mistress a guitar of Teitton Swamp Oak in one month.”

Richards’s mouth dropped open. “Percy. just owning a plank of Teitton Swamp Oak is illegal.”

“Yes, I know, but Aunt Joenic was failing every day. I just couldn’t see her suffer and do nothing. To meet his deadline, I had to cancel five contracts and refund ten thousand francs. Swamp Oak is extremely hard to work with. I went without sleep for six days, but I completed and delivered it.

“But he was not happy,” added Vincent. “Why?”

“He was for three days. Two days later, the guitar was infested by Boemeanian Termites. The guitar was beyond repair. He screamed and waved a knife at me, saying I should have treated the guitar with Morteen. Morteen is incompatible with Swamp Oak. He wants his money back in three weeks. He vows to burn my house and shop down.”

“I can’t that raise that much money in three weeks,” cried Percy. “Without your endorsement and a royal gesture from the king, I’m doomed.”

“You can have my pouch of coins, Percy.” said Vincent. “I wish I could do more for you, Percy, but as I’ve said, I’m broke.”

“You can help me, Vincent, by playing my guitar.”

“Percy, Percy, I .. can’t .. do .. that,” replied Vincent. “I promised the prince a performance beyond perfection. In all honesty, your guitar is not beyond perfection. You’re a man of integrity. You should understand this. I am truly sorry, Percy.”

Vincent, if you don’t play my guitar, what am I to do?”

Vincent tries to smile. “I don’t know. But you will survive, you are a Truer and Truers always survive, but I’m not a Truer and I’m desperate. That is why I’m going to see Taylor Gibson.”

“Bah,” Percy sneered. “Taylor is too young to create a masterpiece guitar. His calluses and blisters are like a baby’s butt. Now tell me what is the problem and I will fix it.”

At first Vincent avoids Percy’s stare, then he sighs and speaks, “Je ne sais. There is something lacking. My friend, your guitar lacks magic.”
 

bedyak

Active Member
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
32
The Awesome

I thought the dialogue was absolutely perfect and did get the impression that the two of them are old collogues the scene was warm and inviting and I thought you made each issue they spoke of flow naturally from one topic to the the next. It was very...organic, real. I was grabbed. The actual technical details of guitar and wood, which I am wholly unfamiliar with was a real delight to read! Talk about knowledge candy!

Also I can't tell you how refreshing it is to find a story with a musician hero as opposed to a some weapon wielding bad boy/girl

Potential Improvements

I admit I was confused by Arizona being the setting but the currency being French. I found that aspect awkward. Otherwise all I really wanted was slightly more detail about them and their setting, the hot dry Arizona air, or the sun dappled garden beyond the kitchen, the sweet scent of wine that hung in the air that time of year, something like that. The dialogue is so resoundingly well crafted, I felt myself longing for more detail about the setting and what the characters look like.

Final Thoughts


Would love to read the rest!
 

Lafayette

Man of Artistic Fingers
Joined
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Messages
531
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
The Awesome

I thought the dialogue was absolutely perfect and did get the impression that the two of them are old collogues the scene was warm and inviting and I thought you made each issue they spoke of flow naturally from one topic to the the next. It was very...organic, real. I was grabbed. The actual technical details of guitar and wood, which I am wholly unfamiliar with was a real delight to read! Talk about knowledge candy!
Thank you for your very encouraging comments. I'm glad you found the scene warm and inviting and organic which is what I'm thriving for in my writing. I'm also glad you didn't find the technical details boring or difficult. I want people to love guitars and creation..
Also I can't tell you how refreshing it is to find a story with a musician hero as opposed to a some weapon wielding bad boy/girl
Some of my heroes are musicians: Doc Watson, Leo Kottke, Poco Pena, Jaun Serrano, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Justin Johnson, Charlie McCoy, Little Walter, and Billy Strings.
Potential Improvements

I admit I was confused by Arizona being the setting but the currency being French.
Again, sorry about the confusion. The original story takes place in a semi French culture (hence the Francs), but I had to change it for reasons I can't go into now. I more or less pick Arizona at random and because I love Arizona. However, the location of the doesn't take place a desert (sorry), I picture the location being more like southern France with vineyards.

You, however, have given me an idea that I should have thought of myself.
.I found that aspect awkward. Otherwise all I really wanted was slightly more detail about them and their setting, the hot dry Arizona air, or the sun dappled garden beyond the kitchen, the sweet scent of wine that hung in the air that time of year, something like that. The dialogue is so resoundingly well crafted, I felt myself longing for more detail about the setting and what the characters look like.
There is more to come.
Final Thoughts

Would love to read the rest!

In a few days, I will post part 2 of chapter 1.

By the way, a late welcome and greetings to the forum.

Will we see any writings by you on the forum?
 
Last edited:

bedyak

Active Member
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
32
Thank you for your very encouraging comments. I'm glad you found the scene warm and inviting and organic which is what I'm thriving for in my writing. I'm also glad you didn't find the technical details boring or difficult. I want people to love guitars and creation..

Some of my heroes are musicians: Doc Watson, Leo Kottke, Poco Pena, Jaun Serrano, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Justin Johnson, Charlie McCoy, Little Walter, and Billy Strings.

Again, sorry about the confusion. The original story takes place in a semi French culture (hence the Francs), but I had to change it for reasons I can't go into now. I more or less pick Arizona at random and because I love Arizona. However, the location of the doesn't take place a desert (sorry), I picture the location being more like southern France with vineyards.

You, however, have given me an idea that I should have thought of myself.

There is more to come.


In a few days, I will post part 2 of chapter 1.

By the way, a late welcome and greetings to the forum.

Will we see any writings by you on the forum?
You are very kind, I will post something when I have the 30 posts I need to qualify. You should know that I know virtually nothing about music. My scenes are history and technology so it was doubly refreshing! Looking forward to reading more from you!
 

Lafayette

Man of Artistic Fingers
Joined
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Messages
531
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
You are very kind, I will post something when I have the 30 posts I need to qualify. You should know that I know virtually nothing about music. My scenes are history and technology so it was doubly refreshing! Looking forward to reading more from you!
I like history, and as for technology, I'm amazed by it, but have little idea of how it works. Looking forward to your expertise.
 

PadreTX

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Messages
26
Location
Texas
This was smoother to read. The rewrite definitely helped, and encourages me to read more.

The Arizona part did throw me off a little while reading, however I soon after could picture this in a medieval place, like Southern France. Some words can have different pictures of the environment, but with Arizona its: desert, cactus, Navajo, Hopi, Grand Canyon. Perhaps Phoenix would be a little better. Tombstone would be entertaining, but you probably would not want that.

Nevertheless, an enjoyable read.
 

Lafayette

Man of Artistic Fingers
Joined
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Messages
531
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
This was smoother to read. The rewrite definitely helped, and encourages me to read more.
Thanks for letting me know that the rewrite was an improvement. Sometimes I wonder if my rewrites are improvements, especially when no one says anything. Yeas are just as important as nays.
The Arizona part did throw me off a little while reading,
This is where I got careless, I meant to say Airton.
however I soon after could picture this in a medieval place, like Southern France.
This is what I'm envisioning.

Some words can have different pictures of the environment, but with Arizona its: desert, cactus, Navajo, Hopi, Grand Canyon. Perhaps Phoenix would be a little better. Tombstone would be entertaining, but you probably would not want that.

No, I wouldn't Tombstone is too rowdy. Airton is a peaceful dukedom.

Nevertheless, an enjoyable read.
 

jjcomet

Active Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
40
Enjoyed the dialog. Could easily see two old friends, past the point of having any old secrets between them, trying to work out a problem.
As far as that bit of Arizona, I easily overlooked the slip and saw a medieval European setting - names can be in many places.
Look forward to reading your second part.

I am getting ready to submit a sample of my work to Chronicles, and upon seeing badyak's mention of being opposed to a some weapon wielding bad boy/girl, will adjust to a non-combat setting.

The only thing I will say, especially even regarding my own work, is the placement of comma's. But guess if you stay consistent that should work.

Did like the description of the guitar. For my story will eventually revolve around a troupe of entertainers traveling the lands in a sword 'n sorcery setting. And any insightful knowledge I can gain in writing of music, I feel you carried that off.
 

TheEndIsNigh

...Prepare Thyself
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Messages
3,226
I'm no less picky that I was.

Again, thank you all for your thoughtful input.

At the suggestions and comments of you all, I did another rewrite. Please, let know if this is more in line with what you had in mind. The only thing I didn't work on was making the technicalities of making instruments more subtle. Currently, I have no idea of how to do this. I'll have to think about this some more.

Additional comments. questions, or suggestions are still welcome. In advance thank you.

For Forum

Part 1 of Chapter 1

What is Magicwood?

Rewrite 2



In a warm kitchen, in a warm wooden house, in Arizona, a sturdy chair squeaked in protest as a chubby Percy Smith leaned back, sipping sweet red wine, and taking a light breath. “As usual, that was beautiful, Vincent. I especially enjoyed the interlude of the third movement. I could hear the birds chirping and the tree leaves rustling in the wind. Your virtuosity puts me there.”
chubby sweet
“Thanks, Percy,” replied the troubadour as the twelve-string’s resonance gracefully faded into the afternoon spring air with the chirping robins and sparrows. “It is truly gratifying to display my artistry to someone that sincerely appreciates it.”
Resonance: Did he interupt before it finished then - a bit rude. Plus the chirping birds here jars with the supposed chirping birds above.

“Percy, I could make you a brilliant guitarist too,” said the troubadour. “If only you would become my student. You have the ears and passion.”

Percy glared. “Here we go again, Vincent, I’ve told you before …”

“Yes, yes, I know,” interrupted Vincent. “I am forty-seven years old; I am too old to learn anything new. The truth, my luthier friend, is, you’re too lazy and complacent, You’re in a rut. You need some adventure to stimulate you.”
A bit confusing as to who is forty-seven etc.

Maybe:
You're forty-seven and too old...
“Adventure! Bah! What good is adventure? Will it feed me? Will it keep me warm? Besides, where there is adventure, there is unknown danger and I want nothing to do with it. I’m a Truer and a good Truer doesn’t need adventure.”

Vincent laughs. “Yes, you are a good Truer, perhaps too good.”
Vincent laughed - change of tense it happens a bit i the section below too
“Now, what about your guitar?” asked Percy. “Is it not perfect like all of my creations?”

“Yes, it is perfect,” replies the troubadour, softly strumming the guitar “The lows are mellow, the octaves are clear and rich and it rings like mademoiselle Shannel’s door chime. Like all of your guitars, it’s perfect. However,” he added as he sat the guitar aside and whisper, “I cannot accept it.”

“What! You do not have the money?” asked Percy, raising a black eyebrow.

“Come, come Percy!” snapped the troubadour, quickly standing and waving his hands. “You hurt my feelings. I am Vincent Rene Richards, the greatest troubadour of the three continents! I am paid in the purest gold. Copper never lines my pockets. Here,” he said, tossing his purse onto the table. “As you can see, it is twice the amount you asked for.”
Really picky here, but greatest on three continents implies he must travel there to be so aclaimed IMO. So why fear getting off his arse.

The rich (especially so) rarely overpay. It would be like tossing $100 notes around everywhere you go. And given his apparent impending poverty below...


“Then what is the problem?” asked Percy.

“The problem, my friend,” answered Vincent. “Is my impending poverty and surpassing perfection.”

“Impending poverty and surpassing perfection?” echoed Percy.

“Except for the coin, you see, I’m broke,” sighed Vincent. “My traveling expenses and extravagant spending are making me a pauper.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” said Percy.

“Unless,” added Vincent, “I give a performance surpassing perfection at Prince Raymond’s coronation. Our king to be is demanding, surpassing perfection from everything and everyone, including me.”

“Is there anything else?” asked Percy.

He is promising me he will give me a chateau and a generous pension for my retirement. However, … No performance surpassing perfection, no retirement no chateau.”
Chatueau - in Arizona?
“You’re retiring? Why?” asked Percy.

Sitting down again, Vincent picked up the guitar and began finger picking minor chords. “Yes, I’m retiring,” Then he added, “As you know, Percy, the coronation will be the diamond event of the century.”

“That doesn’t explain why you’re retiring, Vincent.”

The troubadour let out an enormous sigh. “After sixty-nine years of performing and traveling, I am tired. When it rains, my hands ache and become stiff. I love performing, but I’m getting too old, I need to retire.”

Then, looking up at Percy, he added, “I’m sorry, Percy, your guitar is not beyond perfection.”

“What do you expect?” asked Percy, waving his hands. “I offered you a higher bridge to raise the volume. You say no. I offer ladder bracing and you say it’s too punchy and rude. I offer a maple top instead of spruce for brightness and you say no. You claim the bass runs will sound muddy and lose clarity. You want to hear octaves. I give you octaves. I suggested mahogany. You complain it’s too woody. You demanded heavenly. I give you heaven’s harp. I end up making your guitar from one of my metair trees. It’s not like you to be so temperamental.”

“Yes, that is true,” replied the old troubadour. “Until now, perfection was enough. Now I need surpassing perfection.”

Percy sputters.
Tense again
“You must play my guitar, my masterpiece, Vincent. Business has been turtle slow. The coronation, you, my guitar, will spark new business. Without this crowning achievement, my competitors will have my clientele.”

Vincent stared at his plump friend. “Since when, Percy, do you worry about competitors? Something is wrong, what is it?”

Percy turned his head away. Then he stared at the troubadour with woe. “I’m in debt.”

“You’ve been in debt before and paid your way out. What’s the rub?”

“The rub is Lyon the Lender,” breathed Percy.

“And?”

“And I owe him forty thousand francs.”

“Forty thousand francs!” exclaimed Vincent. “By the saints, that is a lot of coin. Why so much? And, why did you ever agree?”

“My aunt Joenic was very sick with a rare disease,” answered Percy. “The healers declared the only cure was five very rare and expensive potions. I didn’t have the coin. And the local lenders don’t enjoy lending to Truers.”

“Lyon heard of my plight and made me an offer. He would give me fifty thousand francs up front if I made his mistress a guitar of Teitton Swamp Oak in one month.”

Richards’s mouth dropped open. “Percy. just owning a plank of Teitton Swamp Oak is illegal.”

“Yes, I know, but Aunt Joenic was failing every day. I just couldn’t see her suffer and do nothing. To meet his deadline, I had to cancel five contracts and refund ten thousand francs. Swamp Oak is extremely hard to work with. I went without sleep for six days, but I completed and delivered it.

“But he was not happy,” added Vincent. “Why?”

“He was for three days. Two days later, the guitar was infested by Boemeanian Termites. The guitar was beyond repair. He screamed and waved a knife at me, saying I should have treated the guitar with Morteen. Morteen is incompatible with Swamp Oak. He wants his money back in three weeks. He vows to burn my house and shop down.”

“I can’t that raise that much money in three weeks,” cried Percy. “Without your endorsement and a royal gesture from the king, I’m doomed.”

“You can have my pouch of coins, Percy.” said Vincent. “I wish I could do more for you, Percy, but as I’ve said, I’m broke.”

“You can help me, Vincent, by playing my guitar.”

“Percy, Percy, I .. can’t .. do .. that,” replied Vincent. “I promised the prince a performance beyond perfection. In all honesty, your guitar is not beyond perfection. You’re a man of integrity. You should understand this. I am truly sorry, Percy.”

Vincent, if you don’t play my guitar, what am I to do?”

Vincent tries to smile. “I don’t know. But you will survive, you are a Truer and Truers always survive, but I’m not a Truer and I’m desperate. That is why I’m going to see Taylor Gibson.”

“Bah,” Percy sneered. “Taylor is too young to create a masterpiece guitar. His calluses and blisters are like a baby’s butt. Now tell me what is the problem and I will fix it.”

At first Vincent avoids Percy’s stare, then he sighs and speaks, “Je ne sais. There is something lacking. My friend, your guitar lacks magic.”

I confess I get a little confused as to who is who and which of them is having trouble about what.

I think I prefered the earlier version where Magicwood is touched upon. Especially given the name of the chapter.

Also why would there be a coronation of a prince given the king is still alive and kicking.

The aunt is just a distraction IMO.

Hope I helped

Tein
 

Lafayette

Man of Artistic Fingers
Joined
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Messages
531
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Enjoyed the dialog. Could easily see two old friends, past the point of having any old secrets between them, trying to work out a problem.
Glad you could see that. Hope others could see it to.
As far as that bit of Arizona, I easily overlooked the slip and saw a medieval European setting - names can be in many places.
Look forward to reading your second part.
Do you mean Chapter 2? I'll have to wait a while before I post chapter 2 because I just now posted chapter 5 thinking there be little interest in chapter 2.
I am getting ready to submit a sample of my work to Chronicles, and upon seeing badyak's mention of being opposed to a some weapon wielding bad boy/girl, will adjust to a non-combat setting.

The only thing I will say, especially even regarding my own work, is the placement of comma's. But guess if you stay consistent that should work.

Did like the description of the guitar. For my story will eventually revolve around a troupe of entertainers traveling the lands in a sword 'n sorcery setting. And any insightful knowledge I can gain in writing of music, I feel you carried that off.
Please let me know when you post your writing. I like to see what you do.
 

Lafayette

Man of Artistic Fingers
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
531
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
I'm no less picky that I was.


chubby sweet

Resonance: Did he interupt before it finished then - a bit rude.
A good quality guitar will resonate awhile after the last finger touch. It is a characteristic guitarist drool over.
Plus the chirping birds here jars with the supposed chirping birds above.
The birds are chirping in response to Vincent's playing. It's a complement not an insult.
A bit confusing as to who is forty-seven etc.

Maybe:
You're forty-seven and too old...
Percy is forty -seven.

“Yes, yes, I know,” interrupted Vincent. “I am forty-seven years old; I am too old to learn anything new. The truth, my luthier friend, is, you’re too lazy and complacent, You’re in a rut. You need some adventure to stimulate you.”

Vincent is quoting Percy's past conversations.



Vincent laughed - change of tense it happens a bit i the section below too

Really picky here, but greatest on three continents implies he must travel there to be so aclaimed IMO. So why fear getting off his arse.
As a rule, luthiers don't travel to customers. Customers travel to luthiers to make special orders. Some make orders by phone or e-mail.

The rich (especially so) rarely overpay. It would be like tossing $100 notes around everywhere you go. And given his apparent impending poverty below...
If I followed this idea or fact I would have a boring story.
Chatueau - in Arizona?

Tense again
I'll look into it.


I confess I get a little confused as to who is who and which of them is having trouble about what.

I think I prefered the earlier version where Magicwood is touched upon. Especially given the name of the chapter.

Also why would there be a coronation of a prince given the king is still alive and kicking.
Who said the king was still alive? I understand that a coronation takes place after a ruler dies or abdicates his/her position.

The aunt is just a distraction IMO.
If it wasn't for her, Percy wouldn't be in trouble with the loan shark, Louie the Leech.

Hope I helped

Tein
Nice to see you again, Tein.
 
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Messages
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Well, you've got lots of feedback, so there's nothing new I can add.

I just wanted to say how much I liked it. It has that elusive quality of balance -- between dialogue, description, and thoughtfulness.

Write-on!
 

Lafayette

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Messages
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Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Well, you've got lots of feedback, so there's nothing new I can add.

I just wanted to say how much I liked it. It has that elusive quality of balance -- between dialogue, description, and thoughtfulness.

Write-on!
Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying it. You're correct writing is a balancing act.
 

Bowler1

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“Adventure! Bah! What good is adventure? Will it feed me? Will it keep me warm? Besides, where there is adventure, there is unknown danger and I want nothing to do with it. I’m a Truer and a good Truer doesn’t need adventure.”
No speech tags here and it would have helped, for such a long section, and make it clear who was talking.

“Yes, it is perfect,” replies the troubadour, softly strumming the guitar comma or full stop “The lows are mellow, the octaves are clear and rich and it rings like mademoiselle Shannel’s door chime. Like all of your guitars, it’s perfect. However,” he added as he sat the guitar aside and whispered, “I cannot accept it.”

He is promising me he will give me a chateau and a generous pension for my retirement. However, … (comma or dots, not both I think)(no capital letter here, as a sentence ends with .... not ...) No performance surpassing perfection, no retirement no chateau.”

Sitting down again, Vincent picked up the guitar and began finger picking minor chords. “Yes, I’m retiring,” (full stop or no capital letter) Then he added, “As - no capital A you know, Percy, the coronation will be the diamond event of the century.”

There were more issues I could see, but in general I thought the grammar was very good and all that has been missed is time spent on editing. I find that leaving till the next day small errors are easier to spot, and any time spent on editing is always time well spent. To me it's very clear you have grammar nailed, all that happened in my view is that you rushed to get this new section posted here. I know that feeling, but better wait a little to have small mistakes ironed out and for me this is a good general writing rule, because we all miss comma's and full stops. They gather together on blank pages and roam free, the little buggers, herds of them freed from the end of sentences to prance about giddy with freedom. Don't let them escape, nail them down where they belong, and so on, but you get the idea and I'll move on.

The dialogue is much better and I could imagine two old boys sitting and complaining about the world, so good job. However... and I know I am a crusty old boy too and hard to keep happy, but I found the pace too slow. It is a long section with not much actually happening, and the tension with money lenders etc. was remote and not immediate, so it felt slow to me. If there were chapter after chapter at this pace I would give up. This is chapter 1 and it's not hugely gripping for me, but I think I would have a peek at chapter two before making a decision on moving on, so you have managed to keep me with you. Bear in mind of course, that I have the attention span of a toddler in a sweet shop and that will help with how tough I am to keep happy. Anyway, tension was killed off by a slow pace for me, and for chapter 1 that's not ideal, but the dialogue pulled together well enough.

Right... I'm off to sink my sweaty hand into jars of sticky sweets and smear my face with all the sugar I can get, and even get some sweets stuck in my hair for good measure.
 

Lafayette

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“Adventure! Bah! What good is adventure? Will it feed me? Will it keep me warm? Besides, where there is adventure, there is unknown danger and I want nothing to do with it. I’m a Truer and a good Truer doesn’t need adventure.”
No speech tags here and it would have helped, for such a long section, and make it clear who was talking.
You are correct. I will fix them along with the grammar errors. Thanks.
“Yes, it is perfect,” replies the troubadour, softly strumming the guitar comma or full stop “The lows are mellow, the octaves are clear and rich and it rings like mademoiselle Shannel’s door chime. Like all of your guitars, it’s perfect. However,” he added as he sat the guitar aside and whispered, “I cannot accept it.”

He is promising me he will give me a chateau and a generous pension for my retirement. However, … (comma or dots, not both I think)(no capital letter here, as a sentence ends with .... not ...) No performance surpassing perfection, no retirement no chateau.”

Sitting down again, Vincent picked up the guitar and began finger picking minor chords. “Yes, I’m retiring,” (full stop or no capital letter) Then he added, “As - no capital A you know, Percy, the coronation will be the diamond event of the century.”

There were more issues I could see, but in general I thought the grammar was very good and all that has been missed is time spent on editing. I find that leaving till the next day small errors are easier to spot, and any time spent on editing is always time well spent.
Yes, editing, editing, editing, and editing covers a multitude of sins.
To me it's very clear you have grammar nailed, all that happened in my view is that you rushed to get this new section posted here. I know that feeling, but better wait a little to have small mistakes ironed out and for me this is a good general writing rule, because we all miss comma's and full stops. They gather together on blank pages and roam free, the little buggers, herds of them freed from the end of sentences to prance about giddy with freedom. Don't let them escape, nail them down where they belong, and so on, but you get the idea and I'll move on.

The dialogue is much better and I could imagine two old boys sitting and complaining about the world, so good job. However... and I know I am a crusty old boy too and hard to keep happy, but I found the pace too slow. It is a long section with not much actually happening, and the tension with money lenders etc. was remote and not immediate, so it felt slow to me.
I know that I'm going against popular writing wisdom i.e. hit someone over the head in chapter 1, but I find that style too cookie cutter and over used.
If there were chapter after chapter at this pace I would give up. This is chapter 1 and it's not hugely gripping for me, but I think I would have a peek at chapter two before making a decision on moving on, so you have managed to keep me with you. Bear in mind of course, that I have the attention span of a toddler in a sweet shop and that will help with how tough I am to keep happy. Anyway, tension was killed off by a slow pace for me, and for chapter 1 that's not ideal, but the dialogue pulled together well enough.
I decided long ago that my writing isn't for the young, but for old codgers like me that like to take their time and savor food and wine. Could you please, pretend to be an old codger and read chapter 2? Thanks for your comments.

Right... I'm off to sink my sweaty hand into jars of sticky sweets and smear my face with all the sugar I can get, and even get some sweets stuck in my hair for good measure.

 

Bowler1

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Put that cookie cutter down and step away.

There doesn't have to be blood on the floor for chapter 1 to work, but it is the chapter that has to deliver the most. Keep at it, and I'll keep an eye out for future posts.

Sweet anyone?
 

Bowler1

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I had to look Dove chocolate bars up and they look good, but I don't think I ever had one. That will be fixed and I'll report back sometime.
 

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