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Ben Zwycky

Request For Literary Feedback

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My apologies for my quietness of late (and for letting the ISS site disappear, the webspace provider's gone a little AWOL and it looks like I'll have to rebuild the whole site from scratch somehow, bleh, does anyone know of a decent free hosting provider that supports php-nuke with full database access?), I have been getting on with a lot of projects in my spare time, one of which I would like some help with. I've discovered some talents in myself since joining a writer's forum, many of which I initially developed in rp here, and I am very grateful to this community - past and present - for what it has enabled me to go on and do (as well as what I've been able to do here of course :) ). I'm writing a novel which I fully intend to get published (my own IP, completely unrelated to 3000AD or this community) and am nearing completion now (working on the first draft of the penultimate chapter at the time of this post, though progress has slowed this last couple of weeks with the kids being ill leaving me with less energy in the evenings to write, I estimate first draft complete within the next month or two).

Problem is, I've had a severe lack of quality literary feedback (I do get a lot from my wife, but then she's biased, gets all the inside jokes and English isn't her first language :D ). I know there are a lot of intelligent and trustworthy people here and I was hoping some of you who are more into literature would be able to give me an outsider's POV and help me refine what I've got so far. Those who are interested, please contact me via PM.

The thing that has surprised me most is finding I have a knack for poetry (The complete opposite of myself at school, I hated English). Here are a couple of pieces (the first was an exercise in pure wordplay, the second is more the kind I like to write):

Frozen Hope?

Huddled round a fire in the days of old,

Hiding from the ire of the burning cold.

Under the stars and the grey-white moon,

Comes hope from afar that will get here soon.

A fortress of ice that gleams in the day,

With beauty to entice down a dangerous way.

"Onward, you hounds! With all of your might!"

Drowns out the sounds of the maddening night.

Shallowing breath, sight fading to black,

Shadows of death clawing at his back,

An anxious friend gazes on in fear,

As the desperate end seems to loom so near.

A last long climb to the sheltered cave,

No thought of the time, there's a life to save.

Greeted with a cheer as he scales the slope,

"The doctor is here, there is still hope."

Days

Days of wonder, days of hope,

Days that help you learn and cope,

Days of refuge, days of peace,

Days that give your heart release.

Days of struggle, days of stress,

Days of pain and loneliness.

Days that tear your world apart,

Days to make a whole new start.

Days to overlook a fault,

Days to be true light and salt.

Days to take a stand and fight,

Days to defend what is right.

Days to cherish and protect,

Days to rectify neglect,

Days to smile and talk at length,

Days to be another's strength.

Each new day is heaven-sent,

Make every day a day well spent.

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Wow Ben. Those are really good works of poetry.

If your knack for poetry is this good, you should consider writing a book of poetry after your novel.

I like my english class, and i really like to read and give a peice of my mind . (Which is why you see me in everyones thread :D )

You can expect a PM from me. Keep up the good work, and can't wait to see your novel when you first publish it.

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Progress update: Initial draft is now complete, I really need feedback on the whole thing from as many people as possible to help me polish it and work out any kinks before I think about approaching a publisher. Contact me by PM for details (if you haven't already ;) ).

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How's about a bit o' thread necromancy, then? I've revised it hundreds of times, polished and polished and polished, submitted to a few publishers and got turned down, got someone to do some nice artwork for it and I'm finally actually self-publishing this thing, should be available for sale in a couple of weeks if all goes well. As canshow suggested here, I will be putting together a poetry collection afterwards.

As if raising one thread from the dead wasn't enough, who here remembers this? I made some improvements and incorporated it into the novel, and even made a rough sample of what it should sound like, here.

The improved lyrics are:

Hear the approach of the marching drums.
With each beat, the enemy is closer;
With each beat, your pulses rise.
With each beat, our men are more united;
With each beat, focus fiery eyes.
With each beat, our forces are advancing;
With each beat, no more room for fear.
With each beat, our targets become clearer;
With each beat, the time for war is here.
With each beat, with each beat, with each beat...
They stop.
Now is the calm before the storm, the last breath of silence before the roar of battle begins.
Every man is straining at the leash, watching, waiting, for the fateful order to be given.
Here it comes...

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I'm not sure if it would be considered spamming to post a link to the youtube trailer for my book (incorporating a much improved version of the above audio), so I'll just ask people to PM me if they want a link to it.

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