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16+

My Introduction for my novel. Does it hook you into wanting to read further?

by Fishr


Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

Clinical Depression, insanity, homosexuality, and so on were constant in Founding Farther’s lives. These subjects are true, and I explored each with the utmost regard for authenticity as possible.

Never in my wildest imagination would I envision dysentery becoming cynically amusing, nor when Sam Adams and John Hancock shared a bed; who’d have known one of these fellows talked about severed heads in their sleep? An elderly Thomas Jefferson really was unable to control his bowel movements.

Where questions arrive without clear, truthful facts, the Author exercised artistic license to fill in the blanks. That led to some of the quirkiest interactions I was not prepared for. It begins with the past tense, gradually moving forward to the present. The book also includes ‘Historical Notes’ after each chapter. These notes inform readers of the truth after the conclusion of each story and fiction.

Readers will learn Everything Triggers Everything explores death in ways each person responds in their unique grieving process with high regard towards platonic friendships. You will be exposed to the reality of life in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. For example, Onania was an archaic word which described ‘self-pollution’ or masturbation. It was thought engaging in the practice was dangerous to one’s quality of health. Puritans argued that self-pollution would result in diseases and physical abnormalities such as epilepsy, paleness, hysteria, feeble legs, weak jaws, and sickly babies. It was also assumed such a thing defied the purity of a body, and God forsakes entrance into Heaven.

Through the lens of modern eyes, Onania’s belief system is bizarre, so I of course included a particular segment in one of the stories. The person put himself in a most embarrassing and remorseful situation as much as humanly possible, but I am not responsible. I’m a character writer who does not plan anything. As I write, dialogue, descriptions, and traits come forth. It’s the people within the pages’ novel, not mine.

Everything Triggers Everything also presents sexual intercourse. These interactions have purposes that drive situations in a clearer light towards humanizing real people who existed.

Getting to know the larger-than-life historical men who succeeded from Great Britain and created the United States, they all are people beneath their griefs and faults. That said, I promise you will be in for one interesting ride, start to finish.


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Sat Mar 18, 2023 3:23 am
Lucrezia wrote a review...



Hello darling~

I am here, as requested! (Apologies for the slight delay—yesterday was busy for me.)

Let me begin with what I liked: I am, first and foremost, intrigued that you're taking an iconoclastic approach to these stories and historical figures. As an iconoclast myself, of course I'm a sucker for that style. I'm a big believer in the "no cow too sacred for slaughter" approach with art and writing, so it works for me that you're tackling the founding fathers with an irreverent tone and a willingness to dive into the salacious, scandalous details. That's great!

However, I disliked the execution.

For starters, it's difficult to call this an introduction. It read more like a cover letter you'd send to a literary agent or publisher, where you're telling them how great your novel is and all the nifty things about it, in the hopes they'll agree to represent or publish you. Maybe that's what you were aiming for: thinking readers would pick up this book at a store and quickly scan the first page, you're trying to convince them the product is worth purchasing. But really, this is not the way to go about it (and I'm also of the opinion you shouldn't approach an introduction with that sort of transactional mindset). Don't just vaguely tell me your book explores death in a cool way or humanizes real people, show that to me.

At this point, the "introduction" is quite nebulous and murky. I know you think the book's great, but I'm not sold on it—especially since the introduction itself is so disorganized and (as Shady said) disorienting. It's hard to grasp what, exactly, is being said and by whom. That doesn't give me much hope for the rest of the book: I am assuming, based on this intro, the novel might be equally confused and confusing.

And that brings me to your main question: did this intro hook me and make me want to continue reading? My answer would be no. I say that not only because of the disastrous way it's written and structured, but also because I'm just not interested in bathroom anecdotes or toilet humor. Never have been, never will be. So you lost me right at the start, the second you mentioned that as a selling point. To me, it had the opposite effect: I found it repellent and juvenile. But that's just me. I know a lot of people, for reasons I cannot fathom, are delighted by those sorts of stories and jokes. That's the gamble you take, I suppose: by immediately mentioning that in your introduction, you're sure to turn off a lot of people, but you're also sure to appeal to a number of people who are entertained by... that. So, here's my suggestion: if the toilet stuff plays a large role in this book, you probably should make some kind of reference to it in your introduction, so that the reader has an honest idea of what they're getting into and so you reach the right audience. But if it's something that only plays a small role, and you don't want to repel people who find toilet stuff to be an instant dealbreaker, you could omit it. Up to you.

Even if you hadn't included any reference to that content in this intro, the writing style and structure would've kept me from buying the book or reading more of it. However, if the style and structure were perfect, I still think the emphasis on bathroom habits would've been enough to make me assume the book would be base and crass and not my cup of tea. I like sacrilege, but only when it's sophisticated and purposeful, not when it sounds like something a shock-jock or twelve-year-old boy would say.

Those are my overarching thoughts. Now for some specific notes:

Clinical Depression

No need to capitalize the D in "depression."

were constant in Founding Farther’s lives.

First of all, you misspelled "father" as "farther." (Proof your work!) Second of all, I think you should say "the founding fathers," as they tend to be referred to that way: with a definite article before "founding fathers." Furthermore, neither F needs to be capitalized. And finally, it should be founding fathers' with the apostrophe after the S rather than before it, because it's plural.

when Sam Adams and John Hancock shared a bed; who’d have known one of these fellows talked about severed heads in their sleep?

This part, in my opinion, was the most interesting. It was the only detail that made me go "hmm, maybe I would like to read this."

The book also includes ‘Historical Notes’ after each chapter.

If you're American, those single quotations should be double quotations. I also don't think you need them, since you're capitalizing the H and N, which already distinguishes it.

Readers will learn Everything Triggers Everything explores death in ways each person responds in their unique grieving process with high regard towards platonic friendships.

Jesus, this sentence is a mess. Where do I even begin? Well, I'll start with the easy bit: you should italicize "Everything Triggers Everything" if that's the name of the book—which, based on context clues, I'm assuming it is. As for the rest of this sentence... um... burn it with fire? In all seriousness, this makes no sense. The structure—or lack of structure, I should say—is terrible. It feels like the writing equivalent of throwing everything against a wall to see what sticks. I've read it ten times and I still have no idea what you're trying to say. It just sounds like you had a stroke while thumbing through a thesaurus.

You will be exposed to the reality of life in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.

That E and N don't need to be capitalized.

It was also assumed such a thing defied the purity of a body, and God forsakes entrance into Heaven.

Change this to: "It was also assumed such a thing defiled the purity of a body, and would cause God to forbid entrance into heaven."

Through the lens of modern eyes, Onania’s belief system is bizarre, so I of course included a particular segment in one of the stories.

A segment of what? Onania? Masturbation? It's entirely unclear—an unfinished sentence.

I’m a character writer who does not plan anything.

I can tell.

also presents sexual intercourse. These interactions have purposes that drive situations in a clearer light towards humanizing real people who existed.

First of all: show, don't tell. Second of all: why are you moralizing your choice to include sex scenes? It's weird and unnecessary. You've already established you're quite willing to divulge prurient and puerile details. Now is not the time to get high-and-mighty about it.

And with that, we have reached the end. Whew. This was short, yet somehow still a doozy. My advice would be to rewrite the whole thing with a clearer sense of what you want to say and how you want to say it. Make sure your sentences are grammatically correct. Show more, tell less. Don't capitalize everything willy-nilly. And proofread, proofread, proofread!

Hopefully this helps. Keep writing!




Fishr says...


Woot! Thank you! As to the italicized title, I%u2019m aware, but YWS server wouldn%u2019t allow it when I clicked submit. -shrugs- As to the rest of your comments, thank you very much. I felt the introduction needed another edit, but I wasn%u2019t sure where to begin. A different perspective always helps.



Fishr says...


Ah, forgot to mention, Jefferson did once suffer from dysentery while in office during his first term. Dysentery was considered a death sentence in those days so there was no humor involved as you mentioned %u201Ctoilet humor.%u201D


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Lucrezia says...


Yes, but you described it as cynically amusing, and the perception nowadays is that such stories fall under the broad category of toilet humor, particularly when presented as an amusing anecdote.



Fishr says...


Wrong word choices perhaps then.



Fishr says...


Also, I never heard of the term toilet fever nor that there is a category for this particular genre.


Random avatar
Lucrezia says...





Fishr says...


Ah! I%u2019ve heard of scatological humor, yes. Our friend Mozart was big on scatological humor in his letters. Haha!



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Fri Mar 17, 2023 1:34 am
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Shady wrote a review...



Heya Fishr,

I saw your wall post asking for reviews, so figured I'd give this a look! My review will likely be on the shorter side as this piece is also short, but if there's anything specific you want feedback on and I don't address it in the review, please feel free to ask! I'm happy to have a back-and-forth dialogue on the pieces I review.

Where questions arrive without clear, truthful facts, the Author exercised artistic license to fill in the blanks.


Reads a bit odd to me that you used first-person pronouns in the first and second paragraphs (i.e., 'I explored each...' 'I envision dysentery...') to third-person referring to yourself as 'the Author' in the third. I'd pick a point of view and stick with it if I were you ^^

Where questions arrive without clear, truthful facts, the Author exercised artistic license to fill in the blanks. That led to some of the quirkiest interactions I was not prepared for.


... I'm actually not really sure what the heck is going on in this entire paragraph if I'm being honest. So the Narrator is not the author but still uses first-person pronouns and kind of breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging the author? I'm not really sure what perspective I'm reading currently -- it's a bit disorienting.

~

Okay, at this point, I feel like I've got higher-level broad statements to make rather than critiquing specific lines/paragraphs. I am honestly thoroughly confused about the POV of this story -- switching from first to third for the Narrator, and also switching back and forth between "you" and "the reader" is equally as confusing.

I think you've got a very strong premise and you've peppered in plenty of intrigue that makes me curious about all the tea it appears you're prepared to dredge up for our reading pleasure. So, in that sense, I would say that your hook is successful, because it's piqued my interest.

I just think you need to work a bit to find a bit of a stronger narrative voice so it's less disorienting for your reader as we're trying to figure out who it is that's telling this story to us. It feels like the narrator hops around to a bunch of different topics rather than giving us a cohesive story leading us smoothly from one point to the next, and I think that may be frustrating to try to read if this were to turn into a larger story.

But! Like I said, absolutely fascinating concept. I know very little about history I am embarrassed to admit, and your second and fourth paragraphs in particular made me go "wait what?" and want to know more about what you're talking about. So, I think you've got a great premise, just need to tighten up the voice a bit.

Hope this helped! Please let me know if you have any questions about anything I said or if there's anything I didn't address you would like me to.

~Shady




Fishr says...


Woot! Thank you, thank you! This is exactly what I missed, about the POV. Hehe. I will work on it. Apologize for it being disorienting! No, you%u2019re fine if history ain%u2019t your thang. In a lot of ways, this is better because it helps me fine tune things more tightly. Thank you again.




The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.
— H. L. Mencken