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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Monsters(working title)-WIP-Fantasy

   
Author Topic: The Monsters(working title)-WIP-Fantasy
Merlion-Emrys
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I really should be editing two other stories but this idea has been in my head for a while and wants out. Comments on the 13 lines are good, offers to read when finished are better.


Asher drove down the busy street, the huge, mad eyes of the silent monster looming in the midst of a grassy park beside the road locked onto his own.
That was how it felt to him, anyway. Nobody knew where the monsters came from or what they were. Nor could they agree whether what people saw in the eyes of the beasts was intelligence or just madness, but everyone agreed it was deeply unsettling.
Asher barely gave it a thought as he passed by the towering colossus, crouched on its columnar legs as cars passed by on either side. His mind was focused on what he hoped to find when he reached his office; information on his daughter’s boyfriend, the last person she’d been seen with.


2nd version


The huge, mad eyes of the silent monster locked onto Asher’s from the midst of a grassy park as he drove down the busy street. That was how it felt to him, anyway.
Nobody knew where the monsters came from or what they were. Nor could they agree whether what people saw in the eyes of the beasts was intelligence or just madness, but everyone agreed it was deeply unsettling.
Asher barely gave it a thought as he passed by the towering colossus, crouched on its columnar legs as cars passed by on either side. His mind was focused on what he hoped to find when he reached his office; information on his daughter’s boyfriend, the last person she’d been seen with.
Finally at his office on the edge of the city, Asher didn’t

[This message has been edited by Merlion-Emrys (edited December 10, 2010).]


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Osiris
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I had a bit of trouble with the first line. I didn't know how to exactly describe the problem I had until, while reading Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss, I came across this:

quote:

Assuming a sentence rises into the air with the initial capital letter and lands with soft-ish bump at the full stop, the humble comma can keep the sentence alof all right, like this, UP, for hours if necessary, UP, like this, UP, sort-of bouncing, and then falling down, and then UP it goes again, assuming you enough additional things to say, although in the end you may run out of ideas and then you have to roll along the ground with no commas at all until some sort of surface resistance takes over and you run out of steam anyway and then eventually with the help of three dots...you stop.


-Lynn Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

I think for me, this illustrates how I experienced your first line, though it is definitely not as extreme as Truss's example.

Basically, that was a whole lot of typing just to say I think you need a comma in here somewhere:
"...mad eyes of the silent monster looming in the midst of a grassy park beside the road locked onto his own."

Otherwise, I think there are some interesting ideas, with these enigmatic monsters sort of just hanging out and no one knowing what to make of them. I'm not real sure what the missing daughter and the monster have to do with each other, but as long as there is a connection, I'm content to find out later (though I'd like to know of if Asher suspects a connection or not).


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Merlion-Emrys
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Thanks, Mr. Undead Fertility God. That first line took me ages to be honest and I think you're right...it'll get a little work at some point.


There is a connection, but he doesnt know it yet. The story basically exists for me to play out my thoughts about the monsters, however.


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Meredith
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I'll read when it's done.
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Osiris
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Ditto, I do believe I owe you a critique. My critique plate is full for this week, but next week should be fine.
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WouldBe
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I liked it. Two interesting mysteries in 13 lines. I think the first sentence issue boils down to the 15 words separating "mad eyes" and "locked onto his own."

Good luck.


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genevive42
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quote:
Asher drove down the busy street, the huge, mad eyes of the silent monster looming in the midst of a grassy park beside the road locked onto his own. I think this is too long and that you can change the order a bit and break it into two for better effect.
That was how it felt to him, anyway. Nobody knew where the monsters came from or what they were. Nor could they agree whether what people saw in the eyes of the beasts was intelligence or just madness,period, new sentence, drop the 'but' but everyone agreed it was deeply unsettling.
Asher barely gave it a thought as he passed by the towering colossus,towering colossus - unclear if this is a monster or a building, since cars are passing it, it feels stationary crouched on its columnar legs as cars passed by on either side. His mind was focused on what he hoped to find when he reached his office; information on his daughter’s boyfriend, the last person she’d been seen with. Great hook, that this is more important than the monsters - wonderful.

In addressing that first sentence, consider something like:

Huge, mad eyes leered at Asher from the midst of the grassy park as he drove down the busy street. The silent monster loomed and their eyes locked. Asher shivered then shifted his attention back to the road.

Just a thought. It's like you've given me a puzzle and I can't not play.

I like this. It's already set up two levels of story with an interesting tone. I very much want to know more about the monsters.

We both know you're going to send this to me. I look forward to reading it.


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Merlion-Emrys
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Yeah that first sentence was one of those things where...I tried three or four approaches and sort of stopped on the first one that worked at all. It may need to be two sentences.

And it is stationary. They don't move...probably some people even figure they are statues. Actually, a little confusion about that is pretty much in line with what I'm going for, so it seems like aside from the first line I'm in reasonbly good shape.


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sojoyful
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You've already received comments about the first sentence, so I'll just ditto them and move on.

Something didn't feel right about this 13, but I couldn't figure it out. I read it over and over, and then it came to me. Almost all of this opening is about the monster, but you have stated that "Asher barely gave it a thought." Since Asher isn't thinking about the monster, focusing so much on it feels like a violation of his POV. This explains why most of the second sentence felt like an infodump to me, and why the sentence beginning, "His mind was focused..." felt more like the beginning of the story.

The idea itself seems interesting, but this opening didn't hook me.


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Merlion-Emrys
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Added a slightly tweaked version
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PB&Jenny
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Good tweak but the first sentence reads to me like the monster is driving the car. Other than that, I like it.
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