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Set in 1888, The Valiard Mansion tells the story Ruth Rosewood, a middle-class Englishwoman who gets trapped inside a haunted house by a vengeful ghost. Only one spell can set her free, and only three people believe she can still be saved—her childhood sweetheart, her best friend and her little brother. To find the spell, Theodore, Gangfield and Adam set off to traverse the dangerous past of an ancient magician, while Ruth must fight to keep her sanity in the all-consuming realm of the forgotten dead.
Welcome to the first chapter of my illustrated novel, The Valiard Mansion! It's got romance, ghosts, magic and talking animals—basically all my favourite things—and it's suitable for all ages.
A new chapter is published every month or so in the format of a freely downloadable PDF. The large font size makes for easy reading on all monitors and mobile devices. Publication takes place here on deviantART as well as on the official Valiard website.
Visit www.TheValiardMansion.com/ to read the story and learn more about the characters!
Any crits and comments are welcome. I'm still a newbie author and I want to learn as much as I can! Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think, okay!
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CHAPTER 1 | >> CHAPTER 2
I have admired your characters and fabulous style for a long while, but I can't believe it took me so long to begin the story! I truly love it so far, as you have a lovely way with words. My favorite thing by far is the dialogue- you can almost hear the accents
The only thing I can think to say is I think it would flow nicer if you spelled out mister and missus rather than using Mr. and Mrs. though honestly that's more personal opinion/preference than critique.
I saw nothing blatantly wrong and I would not change a dang thing about the story! I can't wait to read the rest! Alas I should be asleep at this hour, so I will catch up tomorrow! So expect an incoming wave of comments from moi
I do have the characters emphasise the pronunciation of "Mister" and "Missus" here and there. I keep it for those moments when it's needed. Otherwise, whenever I do need it, I can't use it!
Thanks again for reading. I truly hope you keep enjoying the story! HUGS!
Actually, I'm really grateful you feel the need to revisit the story time and again. It's more than a compliment -- it's an HONOUR!
Do let me know if you notice anything that's off story-wise, though. When you read something a couple of times, those questions start popping into your head like, "Why didn't Character X just do this?" or "Why isn't there a X in town?" and so on. I feel like a cad asking you for help like this, but you're free to tell me to jump off a bridge. No pressure, okay.
Thanks again for all your support dear!
Otherwise you can download all the chapters at the official website: www.thevaliardmansion.com/chap…
If you click the links on the website, you can read the chapters on your phone or tablet, so that's a bonus.
Thanks so much for expressing an interest. I truly hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it.
So I've been meaning to read this for SUCH a long time now! Its been on my to-do list and I even started chapter one a few months back, but things just kept getting away from me and now with your trailer happening, I just because so much more eager to make time for it!
I just want to start by saying that I found your characters already interesting just viewing them as sketches, now that I'm getting to know them, I love them even more-- Especially what seems like the main trio. I love Ruth and her humor and character and I really adore Gangfield's confident and perceptive seeming demeanor and Theodore (skipping ahead a bit) is just super down to earth and wonderful!
I love the characters dialog and interactions with one another and the little illustrations placed throughout are a really nice touch.
Really enjoying this so far! I love it :'D
What I'm trying to say is it means a ton that you're enjoying my story now, too, on top of my drawings. I work very casually on my drawings, but my writing is what I pour my heart and soul into.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. Please never hesitate to share your thoughts or input. I'm still very much learning the art of storytelling and any help is appreciated!!!
Sounds intriguing ;D
Thank you in advance and sorry to bother you, but you're the only person I've seen with this kind of file on dA.
I'm super glad you like Gangfield, though, of course! BIG HUGS FOR YOU!!!
I also like the Victorian details. "He tapped twice on the ceiling of the carriage with his cane and the driver beckoned the horses into motion." I don't know if this is something you made up or if they actually did this back then, but this is the kind of detail that helps me imagine the setting. I found it enthralling.
Ruth is obviously my kind of female protagonist. Lively and real. I like her very much. I can't wait to learn what really happened between Theodore and her. Gangfield is charming, as is Ruth's father. I don't like comparing characters from an original story to another one but I have to say Ruth's mother does remind me of Elizabeth Bennet's in Pride & Prejudice. I hope you are not offended by this comparison! It is a classic, after all.
I can't wait to see when the magic comes into the story. You wrote a very lovely first chapter.
I've seen characters tap on carriage ceilings in a few movies, so I just used it. And man, oh man, I love it when a character in a story reminds me of someone I know! It always makes it so much funnier! You better go give your brother a big hug!!!!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! Please never hesitate to let me know if you notice anything wrong or off in the writing/story!!! Though so far I'm just so happy you're enjoying it!
Thanks again, dear!!!
Gotta say, though, it reads a little more like a play than a rich detailed description of goings on. But even so, it's masterfully done. With a little work, this could easily be a real tight, professional, sell it in a freaking book store! kind of piece.
And thank you for taking the time to read and comment. It means the world to me! And I'm so glad you enjoyed it. That in itself is just, ah~ BLISS!
Please don't hesitate to share any crits you may have. I'm keen to keep learning about writing! Especially when it comes to making it feel more like a novel and less like a play. I'm still struggling with prose as a whole.
(It rather makes ME want to try my hand at writing again...though I haven't done so in YEARS!)
Are you familiar with the Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi?
I only ask, because as illustrated stories go, they really make for quite a good read. (I imagine you'd enjoy them, certainly DiTerlizzi's art.)
Ah, back to my main comment!
I must say, this was a rather good start--a nice introduction to all of the characters...! Their personalities were each given a nice airing, so I think readers can get a good sense of who's who and where they stand. Yes, I'll admit it, Gangfield is EASILY my favorite. (There was really no denying THAT.)
But I like Ruth and I think she'll make for an interesting character to read about.
Perhaps it's because I know of your desire to be in animating, and it influences my mind, but I could picture this quite clearly as an animated film...
Thanks for reading!!!! I'm off to read your other comments. I hope I can reply to all of them!!! THANK YOU!
Movies are just as important a story-telling medium.
I admit I'm not as much of a movie buff these days, because I lack a lot of time to be able to sit down and watch things. *siiighhh*
(I watch very few new movies, and don't even have time for my old favorites.) T_T
Aw, and don't worry if you can't reply to all my comments--I don't mind at all!
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I would love to self-publish this on Amazon and other places just as soon as I have enough chapters done. My only problem is I want to keep it free, and I know some platforms don't quite allow for that, so it's something I need to think about. But I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Thanks again. Seriously, means a ton!!!
Unfortunately, printing and publishing an actual book is difficult and can get quite expensive, especially if you do everything yourself.
But I'm happy to keep writing when I know I've got a lovely reader like you! Thanks again!!!
I'm not fond of graphic novels—it's just not a format I enjoy reading or working on. So no, I don't think I'd ever do one.