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Ray Rhamey
I'm a novelist and editor focused on the craft of storytelling.
Interests: interested in helping novelists. email me with questions.
Recent Activity
The focus here is on the first page. If you find a story question after that, well, it doesn't count if a reader doesn't turn the page. The "something goes wrong" should not, IMO, be at the end of the chapter. Look at the checklist for the first page. The second item is about things going wrong, and this is for the first page. It's good that you're drawn in by reading the whole thing, and I'm sure the writer will be pleased. However, if I were editing this novel, my first advice would be to move all the backstory and world-building to where it impacts the story--it doesn't impact the story here.
The first page posted is from her new WIP, it's not on Amazon. She has the first in the series up on Amazon, but that's not where the first page in this post comes from
Thanks for the comment, Ken. The exercise here is to judge appeal without a book description. And you're right, if Broken Arrow had been defined in context the way you suggest, it would definitely have made the opening stronger. But so would summary narrative that quickly laid it out.
If it requires a lot of extra work, that's fine to stay as we are. I had thought it might be a simple change of an image tat could be replaced globally. Thanks, Ray Ray Rhamey Editor, author.
Fixed, I think. The errors of copy/paste strike again.
Well, it wasn't labeled as anything, the words were just the first thing in the book after the copyright page. Perhaps it is a prologue, but the author did not choose to identify it as any particular part of a book.
Chris, I agree with you on nameless characters. Characters aren't people until they have a name, IMO.
Well, to be fair, we don't know that he's wearing a jacket. As for the leaf, impact alone might not be enough to feel through a shirt, but side vision could well have triggered a response. On the other hand, it wasn't as thoroughly imagined as it could be. Thanks for your comment, Brent.
Thanks, Vaughn. Forgot to include it. Now fixed.
I'm sure Mr. Mankell well deserves his bestseller status. Keep in mind here that the focus is on the storytelling power of the FIRST page. Clearly he has appeal beyond that . . . IF you turn the page. Also, an editor and a translator would seem to be two quite different functions. Not sure that one would do the job of the other. And this editor could have paid more attention to crafting a compelling first page.
Good point, John. I was a bit quick on the trigger. The point is that it needs to be done and could be done easily. In an edit, I would suggest a remedy. Thanks for your comment.
Thanks, Tim. Same to you.
Toggle Commented Sep 15, 2020 on Dealing with fire at Flogging the Quill
I guess it depends on the venue, Ken. The image in this post is the size you'll see it on Amazon, which has to be the primary resource for looking for a good read. Barnes & Noble also has good-sized thumbnails.
Thanks, John. A cut-and-paste goof. Fixed now. Apologies.
Thanks, Ken, I've fixed it. I sometimes miss when doing a copy/paste.
Well, if you were a writer you might appreciate receiving objective and constructive criticism on your work. I DO know what it takes--I've written five novels in addition to editing scores of them. This is not "tearing down" but contributing--that is, to writers who are working on learning their craft and are open to growing their abilities.
Typepad HTML Email You’re welcome. Luck with it—you’re clearly taking a professional approach. Ray
Thanks, Dennis, I copy and paste a lot of the post and forgot to change the title. I've fixed it.
Seems to me that, even if it is true that women did not generally use walking sticks in those times, that's no reason for a character to not have one. As for the possible logical inconsistency of being glad that tea defeated the odor of werewolves yet she suspects the woman of being one, the fact that she can, by squinting, normally perceive the energy field of a werewolf without the aid of scent, and if the smell of a werewolf stinks, then it makes sense to me for her to be glad of her tea.
Absolutely, a great quote. Thanks.
Typepad HTML Email Sorry about the title, I’ll fix that. It’s a copy-and-paste goof. I know about typos—a book design client of mine found one in the second paragraph of the first page after it had been proofed, I’d read that part, and the book was into a second printing. I think computers create those things on purpose. Luck, Ray
Tiffany, I disagree with "rules" such as the inciting incident comes after chapter 1, and I don't follow or advocate a regimen of following a pattern of artificial plot points that must appear at specified points. In my view, the inciting incident should come as close to the opening as possible, and definitely not after the first chapter.
Typepad HTML Email Thanks, Lilly. It’s a long path to publication, but I’ll try to hang on to your email address and let you know. Best, Ray From: TypePad Notification Sent: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 12:48 AM To: Subject: Typepad: [Flogging the Quill] Lilly submitted a comment on "Seems there's a book drought, so take a whack at my newest" Hi Ray Rhamey, Lilly ( has replied to your comment: Sorry about the email, I haven't found time lately to check it. I'd love to beta read this book, but this is such a busy time for me [kids back in school, a couple of family weddings, and a brand-new grandchild.] I will certainly buy the book when you have it published. I'm hooked! Status: Published Options: Unpublish