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Tasha, otherwise known as  Gypsyscarlett, took on the brave step reading the raw, unedited first draft of my first NaNo entry. Braver still she then sent me an email saying how wonderful it was. Yes, I know this falls into the category of “praise from friends and family” which does not necessarily translate to something being ready for mass consumption but it does have its ego boosting benefits. So with her permission I have recreated her email and added my response:

Hi Ralfast,
Hi Tasha!

I finally had the chance to sit down with a nice cuppa tea and read through your novel.  I hope you realize if I wasn’t in such a white heat writing my own that I would have read yours right away.  🙂

Of course would not have dared to interfere with a writer in the grips of Great Vortex of Creation.

I’m really glad you sent it to me.   It’s cool to think that I could be reading the raw draft of a one day great seller.   I knew him when… 🙂

Wow, you flatter me madam! From your lips to the Great Publisher ears.

Anyhow,  I’m not going to critique the writing or anything, seeing as it’s a rough draft.

Yes, that way lies madness. A fun trip for sure, if you are on LSD, otherwise I don’t recommend it. 😀

But I have to say, I was  impressed by its coherency and neatness.  (you’d understand why if you saw how crazy my NaNo rough draft was. eek!)

Thanks to the use of the inner outline. It allowed me to cut away a lot of story paths that did nothing but divert from the central plot line.

The general story?  I love the mix of real-world adventure and fantasy.  Nice inclusion of The Lesser Key of Solomon.

Funny you should mention that. I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to mixing genres, I generally don’t like it as it can lead to an overloaded narrative with what looks “cool”. This time around, since my inspiration was manga/anime and they play fast and loose with that sort of thing I decided to do the same thing. It also follows the tropes established by the likes of Buffy, Angel and Harry Dresden.

As for the key, you can thank Wikipedia for that. I stumbled on it while doing research and decided that it fit so I used it. It certainly tied many loose ends and tightened the story line significantly.

Julian <edited to keep said surprise> near the beginning  surprised me.  Which had me wanting to find out why. Kept the pages flipping.  Err, the down button scrolling.

Yes. A bit blatant but I think it set the tone for the rest of the work. This is a dangerous world and the oh so perfect character is as suspicious as you think he is. I hope I did a good job of explaining why he did what he did.  And doubled as an unexpected great hook. So double bonus win for me!

Oh, before I forget.  Good job with the bits of dry humored- dialogue.

Oh, is that what you call them? Go figure!

I honestly think you have a good thing here.  I’m really interested in seeing how this will develop from its raw state to final production.
Keep going!  🙂

Thank you. Still working at it, between bits of re-drafting my first project. Still it is good to hear positive input. It keeps me going. You just won an autographed first copy!


  1. Anyhow, I’m not going to critique the writing or anything, seeing as it’s a rough draft.

    Yes, that way lies madness. A fun trip for sure, if you are on LSD, otherwise I don’t recommend it.

    And think of all the red ink splashed on my hands! (giggles).

    No, seriously- I knew going in it was a very first draft. NaNo, nonetheless. First drafts are for allowing ideas to flow, characters to start growing. It’s the seed.

    Red ink, revisions, editing, revisions, editing, more red ink comes later…

    Free autographed copy? Cool! 🙂

  2. Oh boy, I unleashed a Lady Mcbeth!

    Thank you for the input, and the kind words.


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