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Changing Tomorrow

(4 posts)
  • Started 4 years ago by Marvin in Tyler
  • Latest reply from Marvin in Tyler


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  1. Looks like I might have figured this thing out! The first 3 chapters are attached. I'll be watching for your reaction and comments.


    1. Changing_Tomorrow-first_3_chapters.doc (69.5 KB, 3 downloads) 4 years old
    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. MicheleB

    Hey, Marvin

    Neat story!

    I like the idea of some sort of technology that allows one to see into the future.

    I've attached a critique below, but wanted to write some initial impressions.

    Have you considered making JJ and Joey a little younger? The way they are presented reminds me much more of upper elementary school students than teenagers. Both their relationship with one another and their seeming lack of interest in girls (or maybe he is gay?) allude to younger children. Even the idea of having a single teacher (vs different teachers for every subject) says elementary school to me.

    I have a wii, but I have no "head set". Is this a new accessory or one you invented for the story? If a headset type wii accessory isn't common, you might want to consider a couple of things. It may be more concise to just make the seeing-the-future bit solely a website instead of having it interact with two other pieces of technology (i.e., the memory stick and the wii headset). I found myself confused wondering if he was HEARING audio through this headset or it contained some sort of screen he was watching, or if the video images he saw were on the monitor screen.

    Another thought on this same line is that using the wii specifically might date your story. If the wii is considered a relic in 10 years (a distinct possibility given the rapidly changing nature of that market), you don't want your story to seem stale or old. If you give it some generic name, you might be better off for it.

    I found myself liking and relating to JJ more when he told his parents he was going to the library, but then took off to the woods. That sounded like very realistic behavior for a 14 year old boy. It made him feel more real to me. More genuine.

    One bit to think about, involves JJ and Joey's failure to pitch some sort of major fit and INSIST that both sets of parents look at the the memory stick/wii/computer images of impending death. It seems they gave up far too easily. Particularly when death was on the line. It would seem more realistic (to me) for the boys to arrange some elaborate scheme to force the family to stay in town for a few more days, at the very least. Which brings up the question - if ONE portion of the seen-future changed (e.g., the boys ran away for 24 hours), does the whole time line change?

    I'm intrigued to find out what the deal is with the family next door. ARE they the Harpers but from some different time line somehow? Why is Joey the younger instead of Mark?

    I'm eager to hear more.



    1. ChangingTomorrow_critique.doc.doc (81.5 KB, 2 downloads) 4 years old
    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. Fernando


    Ain’t that NaNoWriMo thing great? You did not mention if this is a rewrite after the initial creation. I kept my comments to a minimum for that reason.

    I like the way your story is progressing. You have brought me into the scene, but an editor might want to be more in the character. I’ve heard both arguments. You have published, I have not, so go for it.

    As a simple reader, I don’t care which gets me into the place where my mind tries to be in the story with the protagonist. When an author gets me there, [as you have] I won’t put the book down, regardless of punctuation, grammar, or having to go ‘talk to a man about a horse’.

    Not sure if I agree with Michele on the boys pitching a hissy fit. These guys are Y/A geeks who might want to solve this thing themselves. In Joey's case, until his death, of course. Whether or not that is the case, there are many places in these short chapters to boost, twist, and stretch the conflict.

    I’d like to see more of this story.

    Keep up the great work.



    1. Changing_Tomorrow-first_3_chapters__Xn.doc (83 KB, 1 downloads) 4 years old
    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. This may be shorter than intended as I am about to leave for my local critique group meeting. I only WISH the local group was as great as THIS group! Locally, all I get is a few spelling or grammatical comments and lots of verbal "pats on the back." We have already covered 25 chapters and will review 26 & 27 tonight.

    THIS (on line) group has had just 2 members look at the first 3 chapters, and I have gotten back so much useful information that I am open-mouthed at the difference. I won't have time to address each of the comments Fernando and Michele have offered, but suffice it to say (for now) that my lack of familiarity with kids and middle school procedures is obvious. Hopefully, I have (or will have) addressed many of the points you addressed either in your comments on this thread or in your edited copy of my manuscript. I'll address those in a later response.

    I live in Tyler, Texas. Tyler is just under 2 hours' drive from Dallas. Frisco is a bedroom community north of Dallas. Since I have lived in Dallas and Tyler for the past dozen or more years, it never entered my mind that folks living in the east would conclude that Frisco was thought to be short for San Francisco. That type of feedback is vitally important, and I really appreciate the fact that you guys were confused by the reference to Texas. To clear that up (in the story,) I have made some changes in the early part of the story, such as; As JJ was trying to keep events from happening, he had hoped the moving van drivers might be similarly confused and would have gone to San Francisco instead of Frisco, TX. I think I wrote it in such a way that a 14-year considering that possibility could be plausible.

    One more quick note. I referenced the Tony Romo shirt. I also said that JJ and Joey were not into sports. Now that you know the setting of the story (as will other readers,) wearing that shirt would be readily accepted. And as for the athletic aspect, you will note that it was Joey's younger brother, Mark, who was wearing the shirt.

    Yes, 9th grade students have more than a single teacher. Suggesting JJ had just one teacher shows my ignorance. Thanks to both of you for pointing that out. I may change that to have her be his homeroom teacher, and perhaps a teacher for one of his subjects (math, science, English...) Would that be more in keeping with today's classes? (Lest YOU jump to conclusions, No, I didn't go to a one-room, log cabin school! :-)


    Posted 4 years ago #


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