8 thoughts on “The Opening Chapter of My Novel

  1. Hello there, I’ve just caught your article in Dilema Veche and curiosity brought me here. I am very glad it did.

    I am on step 1 of my own novel (as in initial editing), and amusingly enough my editor is from Seattle as well. He should be done with the first pass this week, I think…

    In any event, as you’ve probably guessed by the name, I am also Romanian, and I too write in English. I also write fantasy, and I am also an engineer, although I graduated Electronics and Telecommunications. Thus, let me say that reading your article and your opening chapter has given me quite a spark of hope. The chance of publication may only be 2%, but it is greater than 0, heh.

    I admire your world-building prowess; it was immersive right away and the mechanics, if you will, are crystal clear from the get-go. I am starting with this because I found this part extremely challenging. You also capture the mindset of an eight year old girl very well – she is touching, but a bit annoying at the same time, just as one would expect a child of that age to be. The other thing I greatly enjoyed is that you spring into action immediately, and the chapter read fast and smooth, not an easy thing to accomplish if you are world-building and introducing a character at the same time.

    I would not be Romanian if I didn’t have one critical note (see it as a bit of sour grapes, if you feel it is). There are a couple of places where your being an ESL shows, as in the language gets away from you, but I am very sure your editor will catch that fast, and, in truth it’s easier for an ESL to catch another ESL out – we’ve all been there, so we tend to be hyper-alert for mistakes we make ourselves.

    In any event, lovely read! I wish I could convey as much as you do as easily!

    The other thing that I wished to mention – and this is article related – is that you may perhaps increase your chances at publication as a newcomer if your _editor_, rather than you, yourself, is a household name. Mine is (or was) a sacred monster of the fantasy world, and while I genuinely appreciate his work on my enormous novel, he actually has…connections.

    He’s worked with a few NY Times best-selling authors, and he actually does promise to help one find an agent, when the book gets to where he wants it to be. It’s not a finger in the air thing, it’s a (paid, of course) service that he provides, again, once the text is to his standard.

    Please do not think I am drumming up business for the man; I, of course, want his single and undivided attention, yet it struck me that it is one thing to try to get an agent as Mrs. Zamfir or Mrs. Arama, and quite another if you are backed by someone who already has a name in the business, and knows it inside out. Takes a bit of the fretting and panicking out of the process, I’d say.

    Apologies again if I sound too forward. I am sure you have an excellent editor already, but I think the agent chasing is a separate service altogether, so him doing the line edit is not a precondition.

    I am simply mentioning him because, like so many of the friends you wrote about in the Dilema Veche article, I’ve been sitting on a manuscript an trying to do it all on my own for about ten years. By the time a friend of mine who is even cheekier than I am roped this man in, at Google Author’s Day, I’d completely given up on ever being published.

    Of course, there is no 100% guarantee, but I think it’s higher than 2%.

    …and apologies again for the unsolicited advice, there. I guess you can tell why I envy your style a little, I am as long winded in my fiction writing as well.

    Good luck, and congratulations on a well-written chapter. Should you wish to try this guy, drop me an e-mail, and I shall put you in touch. I am a bit shy of putting his firm out there without asking him first, or knowing whether you might be interested or not.

    Cheers, and may the muse be with you,

    Maria

  2. Roxana, as i’ve always said, and believed, this story is pure magic. Your first chapter gives us everything we need to turn the page. Beautiful and masterfully written. Good luck. Mindy

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