Far Flung by T.C.C Edwards has only got two chapters uploaded (at the time of writing this critique) so it is going to be a little tricky to review. Two chapters is not much to go by as it may not reflect the overall story. That said, it is the first few chapters that attract or repel a reader, so I thought this would be an interesting exercise.
Serial Status: Ongoing. Have read the first two chapters.
Spelling/Grammar rating: 1
William Flynn was ready for his greatest career move ever – reporting from the first human colony outside the solar system. Instead, his ship is sent far across the universe, and its crew is forced to find a new home without hope of help from Earth.
WARNING! This critique may contain spoilers!
What Was Done Well:
The second chapter utilises a captain’s log format. It was very clever to use reports from vital crew members to not only introduce vital characters but also to give a sense of their personality. Each one certainly had their own style that conveyed interesting and personal details about the characters. For example, we learned one character’s ex wife (who they were still close to) died in the collision. This opens up the possibility that this character will be very emotional. Most of us have experienced loss to some degree, which makes this character easy to relate to.
What I like most is the prospect of each chapter having a slightly different style and format. It leaves plenty of room to really explore characters, scene and plot. In fact, I might go as far as to say it’s literary equivalent of a ‘found footage’ film (only better because it doesn’t make me nauseated.) It will be interesting to see what format T.C.C will use to convey certain scenes, moods or plot points. Will we get letters/emails or diary entries? Will the author throw in a few chapters told from different characters POV? This sense of mystery is, in itself, enough to propel me from one chapter to another just to see what the next chapter looks like!
What Could Have Been Better:
This one is tough because there are only two chapters. However, what I am about to mention is more of a personal preference than something that was ‘bad’. While the mixed format is interesting, the screen play style of the opening chapter didn’t seem like a good choice. It was hard for me to make an emotional connection to the characters because they were just printed names, dialogue and camera instructions. I didn’t get to catch any subtle mannerisms or facial expressions. For example, would a character frown, hesitate, smile or laugh as they spoke? These might seem like small things but they have a huge impact on character building. Screen plays/scripts are made in this ‘blank’ manner so the actor/actress can express their interpretation of the character – it is up to them to decide what mannerisms and ticks their character might have. With that in mind, I don’t think this approach works in the first chapter of a piece like this. A different format choice would make the opening chapter more accessible and allow your readers to make a better connection to the characters they will be following. My suggestion is to start with a more traditional style – perhaps a third person narrative so we can look in on some of the characters before branching out into different styles and formats.
This is a good and intriguing story even if I personally didn’t get along with the format of the first chapter. It’s difficult to get an overall picture of a story based on just two chapters, but I would definitely recommend it – particularly if you’re looking for something a little different.
T.C.C Edwards also has a blog you can check out.