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C James

Let the Music Play

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Below is the draft Prologue (It became chapter one, and the story is now online here) to my next serial, "Let the Music Play".

I must warn everyone; this is unedited, un-betad, un-proofread, so it is very much a draft. The Genre is primarily "adventure".

 

I plan on posting the early chapters of "Let the Music Play" beginning in a few weeks, alongside the final chapters of my current serial "For the Love".

 

Criticism is VERY welcome.

CJ

 

 

Let the music play

Prologue

 

The first sign of trouble came in the form of a muffled snap as the speaker, accompanied by its mounting bracket, came crashing down from the scaffolding. Brandon felt more than heard the sharp thud as it smashed onto the stage less than a dozen feet from where he stood. He turned in time to see the last skittering components of what, moments before, had been an expensive speaker come to a standstill. Sudden, overwhelming silence, the calm before the inevitable storm, was soon shattered by Gabe

Edited by C James
the story is now online, and this became ch 1

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WOW!!! :worship: This is going to be a great story. It will definitely be well worth the wait. Just make sure you come back. :2hands:

 

Gabe - what a jerk! :angry:

 

Looking forward to learning about Brandon. :2thumbs:

 

Conner

 

P.S. Is there a pool in the theatre! 0:)

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Gabe - what a jerk! :angry:

 

Looking forward to learning about Brandon. :2thumbs:

 

Conner

 

P.S. Is there a pool in the theatre! 0:)

From this quick excerpt, my natural sympathy goes to Gabe: he's assertive, he's a professional who can't take a job poorly handled. I'll wait and see if Brandon is not a complete jerk; until now he's been wallowing in self pity, complaining about his employer (basic employee behavior: if he's not the boss, isn't there a reason in the first place?)

 

As for pools, there are plenty of them in hotels, so you shouldn't be too disappointed, I imagine.

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WOW!!! :worship: This is going to be a great story. It will definitely be well worth the wait. Just make sure you come back. :2hands:

 

Gabe - what a jerk! :angry:

 

Looking forward to learning about Brandon. :2thumbs:

 

Conner

 

P.S. Is there a pool in the theatre! 0:)

 

Thanks Conner!

Sorry, no pool in the theater... But, there are pools in the story. :devil:

 

I love it another smash baby. :2thumbs:

 

Wow, thanks Ethan!!

 

From this quick excerpt, my natural sympathy goes to Gabe: he's assertive, he's a professional who can't take a job poorly handled. I'll wait and see if Brandon is not a complete jerk; until now he's been wallowing in self pity, complaining about his employer (basic employee behavior: if he's not the boss, isn't there a reason in the first place?)

 

As for pools, there are plenty of them in hotels, so you shouldn't be too disappointed, I imagine.

 

Sympathy for Gabe. eh? :funny:

 

OK, does anyone see any problems, things they don't like, etc?

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I remember the original sneak peak you gave, and there's no comparison. There is one minor detail that my editor has been drilling into me -- don't use "now" in narration, because stories don't occur "now" -- they occurred sometime in the past and are only being "read" now. However, that's a minor thing and I wouldn't bother changing it -- I think my editor is a purist....

 

Good luck with the rest of the story -- this is a good solid start.

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...It was, truth be told, the only remaining thing in his life that he could look forward to, his sole remaining dream since the harsh reality of his isolation had dashed his formless hopes of discovery for a modeling career.

 

...Left with no home, no means of support, his friends mostly turned against him, his dreams thrown forever beyond his grasp, ended along with so much else that had once been his life.

 

...dreams die the hardest deaths of all.

 

A truely intriging beginning. Is it possible to be a little more specific about the whys of the "isolation" observation? Does this relate to the next highlighted sentence? And finally, dreams of what? Modeling, being a musician or life in general. L.A. is full of wannabes in every shape, form, color and degree of talent. Just living in that town can be isolating.

 

Enjoy the clash of the two guys.

 

Look forward to more!

 

Jack B)

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I remember the original sneak peak you gave, and there's no comparison. There is one minor detail that my editor has been drilling into me -- don't use "now" in narration, because stories don't occur "now" -- they occurred sometime in the past and are only being "read" now. However, that's a minor thing and I wouldn't bother changing it -- I think my editor is a purist....

 

Good luck with the rest of the story -- this is a good solid start.

 

Thanks Graeme!

I'll see what I can do with that "now", because it felt a little odd to me too.

 

A truely intriging beginning. Is it possible to be a little more specific about the whys of the "isolation" observation? Does this relate to the next highlighted sentence? And finally, dreams of what? Modeling, being a musician or life in general. L.A. is full of wannabes in every shape, form, color and degree of talent. Just living in that town can be isolating.

 

Enjoy the clash of the two guys.

 

Look forward to more!

 

Jack B)

 

Thanks Jack!

 

I can't be too specific about the isolation; that's covered early in Ch 1, which will be posted at the same time as the final version of this. It's peripherally related to the second highlighted sentence, but more of a contributing factor.

 

In answer to your question about dreams, the answer is yes. :) That's part of the story too. (Chapter one gets into that).

 

I can say that the "formless" part was my was my way of saying that he had no real plans regarding how to become a model, just hopes (dreams) that he'd be discovered. Those are not his only dreams, however.

 

Maybe it was the wrong way of doing it, but I kept the background info very limited in the prologue, using generalities and hints mainly to intro one of the protagonists (there are several), so that we know something went badly wrong for him, but not what.

 

What I was trying to do was show this particular protagonist, where he's at, and what his past has done to him, without having to go through all that detail first. I can then reveal it during the story itself, having intro'd a main protagonist first. If I'd just done it linearly,

without a prologue, I think it would have been a boring Ch 1 in this case as I'd have needed to write it quite differently. So, this being a prologue, the style is a little different, much more vagueness and allusion rather than specifics. That's what I was hoping, anyway (fingers crossed) :)

Edited by C James

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Starting a story is tough. You need to make it exciting/interesting enough to grab a readers attention, while also introducing characters and situations. It is a big temptation to explain too much, too soon. This results in a start that sets a scene, but doesn't move much. Getting the balance right between introducing the characters and introducing the plot is tricky. I know I got it wrong with my first novel. My next two were better, but still not right.

 

I think we'll need to see the full prologue plus first chapter before we make any comments along these lines. This sneak peak is too short. The earlier sneak peak had more information that hinted at where the story was going to go, though this one gives more hints about Brandon's background.

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Starting a story is tough. You need to make it exciting/interesting enough to grab a readers attention, while also introducing characters and situations. It is a big temptation to explain too much, too soon. This results in a start that sets a scene, but doesn't move much. Getting the balance right between introducing the characters and introducing the plot is tricky. I know I got it wrong with my first novel. My next two were better, but still not right.

 

I think we'll need to see the full prologue plus first chapter before we make any comments along these lines. This sneak peak is too short. The earlier sneak peak had more information that hinted at where the story was going to go, though this one gives more hints about Brandon's background.

 

I thing I'll argue the first point: I very much liked the intros to "Falls Creek Lessons" and "Heart of the Tree". :2thumbs::)

 

The original draft of the prologue above (the one you read quite some time ago) did indeed have some more hints as to where the story was going to go. That was the version I wrote several years ago, and it was an excerpt from Ch 1 instead of a prologue. I'm a little uneasy about prologues as many writers don't use them, but I like them, both as a reader and a writer, when they are used to "set the stage" a little.

 

At the moment, I don't plan on adding much to the prologue (just a few minor things, plus of course Beta and Editing suggestions) but I will post it at the same time as Ch 1. :)

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I think Brandon should keep a little mystery; I have way enough info in the prologue to make me want to know what comes next: he's a wannabe, he lives in the shade of the great Gabe whose respect he doesn't get, he's got skeletons in his closet... So, is CJ gonna have him meet his demise in a plane crash (Richie Valens, Lynnrd Skynnrd), get shot by Instinct fans (John Lennon), choke with his vomit (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin), strangle himself in breath play (Michael Hutchence) after he encounters brief stardom, thanks to Gabe's benevolence?

 

No, this is promising.

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I think Brandon should keep a little mystery; I have way enough info in the prologue to make me want to know what comes next: he's a wannabe, he lives in the shade of the great Gabe whose respect he doesn't get, he's got skeletons in his closet... So, is CJ gonna have him meet his demise in a plane crash (Richie Valens, Lynnrd Skynnrd), get shot by Instinct fans (John Lennon), choke with his vomit (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin), strangle himself in breath play (Michael Hutchence) after he encounters brief stardom, thanks to Gabe's benevolence?

 

No, this is promising.

 

Thanks Bondwriter!!!

 

I'm still planning on posting the edited and polished version of this, plus ch. 1, to kick of the serial in a few weeks.

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don't use "now" in narration, because stories don't occur "now"

 

This is not good general advice. "Now" is a perfectly good word to use to layer depths of time. As in: "Georgie had been sitting on Cinto's lap every time Mickey saw them. Now he was across the room in a hard backed chair, staring out the window." Or: "First he called his mother, and then his father. Nobody answered. Now he had to think of who else to call." "Tomorrow she would be back, so he had to finish her present now." And so on.

 

Stories don't take place in the actual past. They take place in "story past" which can indicate whatever it needs to.

 

However, if "now" sounds wrong, feels wrong, it should come out. And that's a general rule.

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Shivers, spine, that kinda thing. :2thumbs:

 

Don't know why I'm giving you two thumbs, you still need to be able to get through the door. :P

 

Camy B)

PS If anyone touched my Fender (don't have a Strat, but my acoustics's sweet), I'd give them a serious ear bashing ... unless they had permission or I ... erm ... well, you know :wub:

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