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Old Jun 06, 2010, 11:50 AM   #1
Terri287
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Talking Novel Length Fiction Completed!

Greetings & Salutations fan fiction lovers....I just thought I'd drop a line here to let you know that I've just completed a 62 chapter (give or take - when I revise, I will probably collate some chapters) fan fiction entitled, Tanz Mephisto. Centered around John, this supernatural, Faustian story spans Beatles' and world history from roughly 1960 up to and including his assassination in 1980. Written over two and half years, this meticulously researched story interweaves historical figures and events with Beatles history, and offers an alternative view as to exactly why and how these four unassuming lads from Liverpool managed to transcend their rock and roll roots to become the singular greatest influence on modern popular culture the world over.
You can find my story at my Beatles Fan Fiction website, www.dasliebchenkind.viviti.com . I hope, while you're there, you'll also check out my other fictional Beatles stories as well, and be sure to drop a line in my Guest Book letting me know you stopped by! Thanks muchly!
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Old Jun 07, 2010, 12:06 PM   #2
ShowTunes
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Congratulations! I'll check it out in the near future.
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Old Jun 07, 2010, 02:33 PM   #3
Terri287
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Congratulations! I'll check it out in the near future.
I'd be much obliged, Aviva - and thanks!
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Old Jun 08, 2010, 04:49 AM   #4
Ketman
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I didn't have time to read more than the first three pages, but it looks well researched, and the grammar and spelling are all good. You come across as someone who takes pains, and doesn't just slap his thoughts down on the page any old way. Makes a good first impression. And the premise has potential - a variation on the Faust legend. You set things up quite well with some interchanges between John and Paul, but I'd have liked a little more of the external setting. Hamburg - what does it look like? What kind of street are they walking down?

I can see you've made an effort to get the lingo right, but even so there are slips.

I'm old enough to remember pre-Beatles, and "Cliff Richards and his Shadows" is a phrase our parents would have annoyed us with by always getting it wrong. It's "Richard", not "Richards", and "the", not "his".

"I feel like I have any road" - I had to do a double-take before I got the meaning. A native northerner would understand that as "anyway", but a foreigner wouldn't. It might be better to run the two words together and separate it from the rest of the sentence, as "I feel like I have, anyroad".

"Quite possibly" sounds a bit too high-falutin to be John talking.

Also, watch out for too many point-of-view switches. One moment we're in John's head thinking about Paul, then we're in Paul's head thinking about John, and finally we're in the Mephistopheles character's head thinking about both of them. That's a bit too much POV switching for the first three pages.

But when I get the time, I'd like to read on. It's a promising plotline, and well executed so far.
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 11:00 AM   #5
Terri287
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I didn't have time to read more than the first three pages, but it looks well researched, and the grammar and spelling are all good....
I’d like to begin my response, Ketman, by thanking you for taking the time to draft such an in-depth critique. As much as I appreciate and love my readers who think this story is the best thing since chocolate, it is a rare reader, (only two come to mind), who has the courage to take me seriously when I ask for constructive criticism. So, I am genuinely grateful for your honest feedback on the first chapter of this story. I have copied your response to add to my “critique” folder, and you can be certain that I will be referencing it as I make initial revisions to the draft. I am also grateful for the overall positive response to both the plot and my writing. I do indeed hope you will continue to read as time permits and that you will share your thoughts and critique as you do!

While I don’t necessarily agree with every modification suggested, there are several areas where your point is well taken, and I thank you for it. There are just a few comments I would like to respond to specifically….

I'm old enough to remember pre-Beatles, and "Cliff Richards and his Shadows" is a phrase our parents would have annoyed us with by always getting it wrong. It's "Richard", not "Richards", and "the", not "his".
"Richard" vs."Richards" = my error….yeah, that was just a straight up mistake - thanks for the correction.
"the" vs. "his": The use of “…his Shadows” was not meant to be taken literally, (as in the name of the band), but rather sarcastically. I’d thought this would be clear enough in the context of the preceding and following sentences, but I obviously need to either convey this more clearly or drop it altogether. Thanks for the alert!

"I feel like I have any road" - I had to do a double-take before I got the meaning. A native northerner would understand that as "anyway", but a foreigner wouldn't. It might be better to run the two words together and separate it from the rest of the sentence, as "I feel like I have, anyroad".
I had to giggle at this as the use of phrase in Beatles Fan Fiction has grown to become somewhat of a pet-peeve for me. If I was going to keep this line in any future revision, I would certainly take your suggestion. However, I had written this chapter nearly three years ago when I first started writing Beatles fiction. Since then, I have come across several fic writers who have put these very words in their Beatle-character’s, (usually John!), mouth. I know that John uses the line in “A Hard Day’s Night,” and perhaps that’s why it’s used so prevalently in Beatles Fan Fiction, but, IMHO, the phrase has become trite and cliché –I’ll be dumping it. However, I appreciate the head’s up on the way I write this kind of colloquialism in dialogue!

Also, watch out for too many point-of-view switches. One moment we're in John's head thinking about Paul, then we're in Paul's head thinking about John, and finally we're in the Mephistopheles character's head thinking about both of them. That's a bit too much POV switching for the first three pages.
I’d chosen to write this story in the “third person omniscient” precisely for the liberty of “getting into any character’s head,” understanding, however, that it must be clear which “character’s head” we are in. So, I returned to the story with this comment in mind and read and re-read this chapter. I have to say that, while I can see how I can revise this to limit the shift in POV, I’m not sure that it’s problematic as it stands. However, I will consider your suggestion further when I revise.
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 02:47 PM   #6
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It's good to have an honest assessment of our work as artists.
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Old Jun 13, 2010, 09:09 PM   #7
Terri287
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It's good to have an honest assessment of our work as artists.
Agreed most heartily, Judith! I treasure all of my readers, but I have a special appreciation for those readers who will go out on a limb to point out those areas of a draft that require correction and/or improvement. In the end, it contributes to creating not only a better story, but a better writer as well, (and whose writing is so perfect the first go that it can't use any improvement?!), and that is a true gift!
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Old Jun 22, 2010, 08:19 AM   #8
Ketman
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You're welcome, Terri. I'm not an avid reader of fanfic, but if a story looks like someone's taken pains over it, I think it deserves some detailed feedback. About the "anyroad" thing, I don't think you need to avoid colloquialisms like that just because others have been overusing them. The main thing is not to overuse them yourself. After all, if you remove all the expressions that are common in fanfic, you end up with nothing. The fact is "anyroad" was and is common in everyday north-of-England speech, and is therefore legit. Used sparingly, it's fine.
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Old Jun 22, 2010, 09:05 PM   #9
Terri287
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You're welcome, Terri. I'm not an avid reader of fanfic, but if a story looks like someone's taken pains over it, I think it deserves some detailed feedback....
Well, Ketman, I was very impressed and appreciative that you went to the trouble! I also appreciate your input about the use of "anyroad." You make a saliable point, and I will reconsider tossing it when I revise!
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