Character and plot

Discuss the October 2016 Book of the Month, Unspeakable Acts by Janet Leigh Green.
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Megwe85
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Re: Character and plot

Post by Megwe85 » 19 Oct 2016, 03:05

I wrote something similar in response to a different question but I want to mention it again. I thought the ghost characters were far better-developed than the living characters like Charlie and Sheila. We found out very little about Doug and Scott despite the fact that they were the investigators called in to help. I think the author could have explored them a lot more. The plot was interesting although not too complex - the conflicts in the story were solved too quickly and easily in my opinion.
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Post by Janetleighgreen » 19 Oct 2016, 06:37

Megwe85 wrote:I wrote something similar in response to a different question but I want to mention it again. I thought the ghost characters were far better-developed than the living characters like Charlie and Sheila. We found out very little about Doug and Scott despite the fact that they were the investigators called in to help. I think the author could have explored them a lot more. The plot was interesting although not too complex - the conflicts in the story were solved too quickly and easily in my opinion.
Thank you so much for your feedback. I have mentioned this several times on here; but I felt I needed to reiterate at this point.

I am in the process of a re-edit and rewrite on this book. The feedback I am getting from all of you is invaluable and I truly thank you for it!

The first editor missed a ton of stuff and I had to hire a new team. I am working very hard with them to make this the best book that it can be. I am getting book-1 fixed and then we will get book-2 out to you guys.

I hope you give the second edition a shot. If you will go to my website and subscribe, you will know when it's out there. Thanks again!

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Post by MarisaRose » 19 Oct 2016, 08:27

I have to say I loved the plot of "Unspeakable Acts." I enjoyed the transition from past to present perspectives throughout the book. I also felt the author developed the plot well while successfully giving the reader and creepy feel throughout the novel. However, I do feel the characters needed a little work. None of the main characters seemed real; they were difficult to relate to and did not seem to act in line with their circumstances. I found the main characters were a bit to nonchalant during some of the most disturbing parts of the novel. I wish the characters had been developed more and their emotions were more aligned with the crazy/creepy/disturbing situations they found themselves in.
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Post by Kittens » 27 Oct 2016, 16:59

It has already been said that the plot was well developed but the characters a bit flat. That's what I was going to say, but apparently everyone else thought so too and got here before I did. The most interesting characters were unfortunately all dead, having killed each other off almost two hundred years ago! My favorite character was Beth the librarian, but she got killed off just as the plot started getting interesting. The cozy foursome turned party of five could have used some conflict and maybe some comic relief.

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Post by Janetleighgreen » 27 Oct 2016, 20:35

Kittens wrote:It has already been said that the plot was well developed but the characters a bit flat. That's what I was going to say, but apparently everyone else thought so too and got here before I did. The most interesting characters were unfortunately all dead, having killed each other off almost two hundred years ago! My favorite character was Beth the librarian, but she got killed off just as the plot started getting interesting. The cozy foursome turned party of five could have used some conflict and maybe some comic relief.
Thank you for your comments, I am using everything I read to make the book better. The book is in rewrite and re- edit so you will see all of your concerns corrected, I hope! :tiphat:

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Post by CrescentMoon » 20 Nov 2016, 18:43

I really have to give the author kudos for creativity and originality. The plot was definitely something well-developed and one that I've never read before. So it was really refreshing in that respect.
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Post by Janetleighgreen » 20 Nov 2016, 19:12

CrescentMoon wrote:I really have to give the author kudos for creativity and originality. The plot was definitely something well-developed and one that I've never read before. So it was really refreshing in that respect.
Thank you so much; I hope you get a chance to read the rewrite. I am correcting a lot of issues and fleshing out the characters more. ?

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Post by Ripley3131 » 18 Dec 2016, 13:44

As a reader, here are my thoughts:
I am going to be perfectly honest, in the hopes that it is helpful. I usually don't take the time to do this, but I belief that Janet Leigh Green has a talent for writing, and I would very much love to follow her future books, but only if a few things get sorted out.
A writer of fiction is asking the reader to suspend belief at times, and the reader must, in turn, be willing to do this in order to enjoy the storyline. For instance, with this book, Unspeakable Acts, the writer is asking for the reader to accept the ghost premise, and that the ghosts are capable of going so far as to commit sexual assault on a victim. As a reader, I found that Janet Leigh Green was successful in getting me to accept these concepts enough to become engaged in the book. However, she continuously lost me when it came to accepting the characters as real people, and that was a shame, because I did quite desperately want to accept them.
Take Charlie, for instance, as a repeated victim of physical and sexual assault. She is meant to be a strong character, but even the strongest of people have a response to assault, especially repeated assault. These types of life altering happenings leave a mark on the psyche, whether we want them to or not. If Charlie was a real person, there would be an extreme amount of conflict boiling up from inside of her, and she wouldn't just be able to shut it on and off so easily. As a real character, Charlie might, or might not jump into a relationship right away, but even so, if she did, there would be reasons for it. Let's say, for the sake of argument, she did instantly fall "in love" with someone that was there to help her. Her mind would be awash with a need to feel safe, and a thought that this man could rescue her. This would make her character more weak and dependant upon others. If she's a strong character, she'll want to remain single, not be touched, and flinch away from advances, knowing that she doesn't "need" to be in a relationship to seek help for her problem. She would flinch away in an attempt to remain strong, but also because assault victim's that don't immediately jump into someone's arms in a co-dependant way, naturally flinch from contact.
With Doug and Scott, I tried to accept them but had similar reality issues. Page 202 really lost my belief in them completely, although it was already on unsteady footing. The two of them had walked passed all manner of gore, were both surprised when Sheila came out of the kitchen, a natural response, but then Scott I think it was, instantly falls for Sheila and is already wanting to be close to her. There are many responses that can occur from seeing that much gore, and body parts, and then from being startled by someone coming out of a room, but immediately falling in love is not one of them.
I found Sheila to be the most believable character, but even she lost me at times.
Also, I have not met too many groups of friends that can spend months not earning an income while they try to help someone out. Either they are all independently wealthy, in which case I wasn't told, or they are about to lose their homes, and worried about how to feed themselves and still put gas in their cars.
I also came to wonder what exactly Scott and Doug do, besides comfy up with women that they are helping and beat down doors? There is the library research, but no investigative equipment that one typically finds with ghost investigators.
I hope this helps, and I do firmly believe that Janet Leigh Green will be a successful author in the horror genre, and that she has the talent to make her mark, otherwise I would not have invested my time as a reader to share my thoughts.
I am looking forward to continuing with the series in the hopes that the characters become more life like.
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Post by Janetleighgreen » 18 Dec 2016, 23:07

Ripley3131 wrote:As a reader, here are my thoughts:
I am going to be perfectly honest, in the hopes that it is helpful. I usually don't take the time to do this, but I belief that Janet Leigh Green has a talent for writing, and I would very much love to follow her future books, but only if a few things get sorted out.
A writer of fiction is asking the reader to suspend belief at times, and the reader must, in turn, be willing to do this in order to enjoy the storyline. For instance, with this book, Unspeakable Acts, the writer is asking for the reader to accept the ghost premise, and that the ghosts are capable of going so far as to commit sexual assault on a victim. As a reader, I found that Janet Leigh Green was successful in getting me to accept these concepts enough to become engaged in the book. However, she continuously lost me when it came to accepting the characters as real people, and that was a shame, because I did quite desperately want to accept them.
Take Charlie, for instance, as a repeated victim of physical and sexual assault. She is meant to be a strong character, but even the strongest of people have a response to assault, especially repeated assault. These types of life altering happenings leave a mark on the psyche, whether we want them to or not. If Charlie was a real person, there would be an extreme amount of conflict boiling up from inside of her, and she wouldn't just be able to shut it on and off so easily. As a real character, Charlie might, or might not jump into a relationship right away, but even so, if she did, there would be reasons for it. Let's say, for the sake of argument, she did instantly fall "in love" with someone that was there to help her. Her mind would be awash with a need to feel safe, and a thought that this man could rescue her. This would make her character more weak and dependant upon others. If she's a strong character, she'll want to remain single, not be touched, and flinch away from advances, knowing that she doesn't "need" to be in a relationship to seek help for her problem. She would flinch away in an attempt to remain strong, but also because assault victim's that don't immediately jump into someone's arms in a co-dependant way, naturally flinch from contact.
With Doug and Scott, I tried to accept them but had similar reality issues. Page 202 really lost my belief in them completely, although it was already on unsteady footing. The two of them had walked passed all manner of gore, were both surprised when Sheila came out of the kitchen, a natural response, but then Scott I think it was, instantly falls for Sheila and is already wanting to be close to her. There are many responses that can occur from seeing that much gore, and body parts, and then from being startled by someone coming out of a room, but immediately falling in love is not one of them.
I found Sheila to be the most believable character, but even she lost me at times.
Also, I have not met too many groups of friends that can spend months not earning an income while they try to help someone out. Either they are all independently wealthy, in which case I wasn't told, or they are about to lose their homes, and worried about how to feed themselves and still put gas in their cars.
I also came to wonder what exactly Scott and Doug do, besides comfy up with women that they are helping and beat down doors? There is the library research, but no investigative equipment that one typically finds with ghost investigators.
I hope this helps, and I do firmly believe that Janet Leigh Green will be a successful author in the horror genre, and that she has the talent to make her mark, otherwise I would not have invested my time as a reader to share my thoughts.
I am looking forward to continuing with the series in the hopes that the characters become more life like.
I love these comments! Thank you so much! I am in the process of a rewrite and re-edit on Unspeakable Acts; I realize there are issues, and I am fleshing the characters out and correcting some of the things you talk about. I can't guarantee that everything will get fixed this in this book, but I'm giving it my best shot. Book-2 is on the way as well! Thank you again, you are appreciated!

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Post by rvenkat » 23 Dec 2016, 10:21

gali wrote:Do you think the author equally invested in both character and plot? Did you find the characters believable?
I just finished the first chapter, and yes, I found the characters believable. Do you find them otherwise?
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