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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Torrance, the Tidy Troll / childrens flash / fantasy / first 13

   
Author Topic: Torrance, the Tidy Troll / childrens flash / fantasy / first 13
honu
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ver 1 /
quote:
Torrance panicked as he crashed about the cave, tearing things apart and scattering trash, trying his best to make a mess before his guests arrived for the troll tea party.
He'd overslept, as usual, and now his guests might discover his awful secret.
For, you see, Torrance is a tidy troll. Not just neat, oh heavens no, but fastidiously tidy.
He scattered his rare animal bone collection about and pulled lengths of pickled innerds out of glass jars and tossed them about like tinsel and garland, then smashed the jars.
Lastly he overturned two barrels of trash over everything just as his guest's pounded on the door.
“I'll be right there!” he growled as he looked at himself in

ver 2 /
quote:
Oh no, they're due any moment! Torrance crashed about his cave, tearing things apart and scattering trash, trying his best to make a mess before his guests arrived for the troll tea party.
They'll find out my secret! Torrance feared for good reason, for, you see, Torrance is a tidy troll. Not just neat, oh heavens no, but fastidiously tidy.
He scattered his rare animal bone collection about and pulled long lengths of pickled innerds out of glass jars and tossed them about like tinsel and garland, then smashed the jars.
Lastly he overturned two barrels of trash over everything just as his guests pounded on the door.
“I'll be right there!” he growled, as he looked at himself in

[This message has been edited by honu (edited December 27, 2008).]


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Patrick James
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How are ya honu!

I liked the voice, the story shows promise for teaching children the habit of being neat.

Some minor things stuck out to me:

quote:
He'd overslept, as usual, and now his guests might discover his awful secret.

You might want to use 'would' instead of 'might'. It seems stronger.

The story might begin too fast for a children's story also 'innerds' might be too strong.

Take this with a grain of salt, I don't know if I am a good judge of these things.

[This message has been edited by Patrick James (edited December 23, 2008).]


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Tiergan
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I don't read much children's flash, I do read stories to my children though, so I probably should be a good judge, but I don't think I am. But I liked the premise so far, so I thought I would comment.

If the same rules apply to childrens as adults, or Y/A then I would say you might be better off showing verus telling us his panicked state. Torrance crashed about the cave. Then go into specifics of what he tore apart and scattered.

Truth is I liked the voice which makes it hard for me to suggest any changes. But reading it with the rules of show versus tell, I feel you could show all of his emotion verus telling it. Even the overslept part. Could be done with inner dialogue. Once again though, I don't know if the same rules apply with childrens.

Good luck.


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honu
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thanks Patrick James and Tiergan...I'll try to make a stronger development of the troll's character
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aspirit
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Honu, I prefer version 1, as it seems more in line with popular children's stories. The inner dialogue of version 2 felt awkward to me, and I expect any inner dialogue would.

In both versions, there's a strong voice, interesting situation with building conflict, and elements that might appeal to both girls and boys. I don't think version 1 needs modification. Good job.

Let us know if you want readers for the entire story.


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Yufae
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I like version 1. This sounds like such a neat idea for a story. And I would keep "innerds." Little boys like the gross stuff.

I'd love to read it when you're finished.


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KPKilburn
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Honu,

I like the first version. I like the voice, which I think is very appropriate for a children's story.

Just a couple of nits...

quote:
Torrance panicked as he crashed about the cave, tearing things apart and scattering trash, trying his best to make a mess before his guests arrived for the troll tea party.

It may be OK to just come out and say, "Torrance the Troll..." Maybe not something you'd do for an adult story, but for kids, it may be better? Just a thought. You could then just say "tea party" since you've already mentioned "troll" in the beginning.

quote:
He'd overslept, as usual, and now his guests might discover his awful secret.
For, you see, Torrance is a tidy troll. Not just neat, oh heavens no, but fastidiously tidy.

The only thing I tripped on was the sequencing. The following paragraph may be better up front. I do like the voice "For, you see, Torrance is a tidy troll..." -- but, the repetition of "tidy" is somewhat awkward here. Maybe "neat" would work for the first "tidy", then it flows a little better.

For, you see, Torrance is a neat troll. Not just neat, oh heavens no, but fastidiously tidy.

"Fastidiously" is a big word, even for adults (at least for me). It may work given the comedic tone and I think older kids would get it given its context.

quote:
He scattered his rare animal bone collection about and pulled lengths of pickled innerds out of glass jars and tossed them about like tinsel and garland, then smashed the jars.
Lastly he overturned two barrels of trash over everything just as his guest's <--guests pounded on the door.

I like this paragraph quite a bit and as I mentioned before, it may be better to put this up front combined with the first paragraph. The disadvantage to this is that you don't get to the part about Torrance's secret and being a tidy troll until later.

quote:
“I'll be right there!” he growled as he looked at himself in

Although you couldn't finish the sentence within the First 13, I see a "looked at himself in the mirror" coming up. It may be OK depending on the context.

I like it so far - it hooked me. You may be able to tighten it up a little and get some more into the First 13...

Perhaps something like...

Torrance the Troll panicked as he crashed about his cave. He had overslept (as usual) and his guests had arrived for the tea party early, pounding on the door incessantly. He scattered his rare animal bone collection about and pulled lengths of pickled innerds out of glass jars and tossed them about like tinsel and garland. He then smashed the jars. Just a few more seconds is all he needed to hide his shameful secret. For you see, Torrance was a neat troll. Oh, not just neat, tidy -- fastidiously tidy. He overturned two barrels of trash onto everything just as Elanie called to him. "Torrance," she sang. His heart pounded. Not Elanie! He couldn't let her smell the sweet fragrance of flowers, so he grabbed the bottle of "Skunk Essence" from the top shelf and dribbled it through the house.


Sorry for taking liberties with your story - I certainly don't want to tell you how/what to write. Just a (bad) example of what I think would tighten it up a bit and add some more urgency. Feel free to discard/use as you see fit.

All that said, I think it's an effective hook as you wrote it and seems to be a nice children's story,(as already mentioned) especially for boys. The innards part is nice and gross!

Good luck with it.


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honu
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thanks aspirit, Yufae, and KPKilburn it's first draft at 1200 words and looking for readers... I sent aspirit and Yufae since they offered ...but anyone else?
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KPKilburn
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Honu,

If it's only 1200 words, you may consider posting it on a private crit board. That way you can leave it there for comments. I'd recommend polishing it up before posting though.

fmwriters.com is a good site (hope I'm not violating board rules by promoting other sites here).

KPK


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