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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Where Flesh meets Stone - 7K fantasy

   
Author Topic: Where Flesh meets Stone - 7K fantasy
Dame
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This is my latest and perhaps last hope for WOTF. Any feedback appreciated. [Smile] ((Edited: I'm OK for crits for the whole piece. I'm looking for feedback on the opening to make it as intriguing, enticing and promising as possible.))

Damon.

Where Flesh Meets Stone

Euryale watched the man pull his tiny boat up onto the sand below her. Anger swelled and crackled in her chest. The last human to disturb her lay in scattered stone fragments below her perch. She had hoped to be forgotten. Had hoped to forget them, too.

He heaved the boat high above the tide mark before facing the cliffs. He obviously thought he had a chance of returning. From up here on the icy peak of the ancient volcano, only the shore was visible. The man disappeared into the shelter of the cliffs, and she shifted on her perch of rock, letting the wind lift and spread her useless wings, wondering whether to slide over the ice and peer down on him. More than likely he would slip on the slick rock and fall. Did the thought comfort or disappoint her? She could not decide.

[ November 07, 2011, 02:55 PM: Message edited by: Dame ]

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Merlion-Emrys
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Send it to me.
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Dame
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Actually, I'm fine for longer crits. I can send it if you would like to read it, but I'm really hoping to hone the opening to make it as enticing as possible. Thanks though.
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Merlion-Emrys
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Send it to me anyway. I'm not very good at looking at just the opening without context...once I know what the story actually is I can perhaps make a decent comment.

For me, the first word (in this case name) is enough to get me interested, but that's just me. The same thing will turn off anyone who is disinterested in/bored of Greek mythology.

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annepin
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I would read on. I think you did a good job of building the character of Euryale and giving her enough complexity to pull me in. Also, you've set up a pending conflict between the two characters which I am eager to see resolved.

A few little details for your consideration:

Euryale watched the man pull his tiny boat up onto the sand below her. Anger swelled and crackled in her chest [evokes two different images that to me zaps the power of both-swelled is watery, crackles is dry/ firey]. The last human to disturb her lay in scattered stone fragments below her perch. She had hoped to be forgotten. Had hoped to forget them, too. [these last two lines were a good hook, I thought]

He [The man? Just to keep us grounded in her POV. Also, you might consider building a bit more--you've established there's a man--maybe drop another detail about him so we get a clearer sense of the time/ setting we are in--is he wearing a tunic or jeans? Does he have a sword or a gun?] heaved the boat high above the tide mark before facing the cliffs. He obviously thought he had a chance of returning [don't think you need this--pretty clear what his intentions are]. From up here on the icy peak of the ancient volcano, only the shore was visible [don't think you need this line, either, as you've established us in her POV]. The man disappeared into the shelter of the cliffs, and she shifted on her perch of rock, letting the wind lift and spread her useless wings, wondering whether to slide over the ice and peer down on him. More than likely he would slip on the slick rock and fall. Did the thought comfort or disappoint her? She could not decide.

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Dame
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Thanks, annepin. Good points. I'll address them in the next draft. I love honing the opening. Much less terrifying than editing a whole draft. [Smile]
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wisealma
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Dame,

This has some good elements that peak my interest, and make me want to keep reading. I do try to take note, however, of where I find myself pausing to make sure I understood something, or when I have to read something over again.

For me, the difficulty surfaced with the orientation-related contrasts you created. I just had to read them several time to make sure I understood.

For example:

[up] on to the sand [below] her.
...lay in scattered fragments [below] her perch.

...the boat [high] above the tide mark...
From [up] here on the icy peak...

I get the sense that you are trying to create an air of mystery by how you are ordering the perspective (from up on the perch, then jumping down to the man below, then up on the perch again... etc) I felt a little disoriented.

Just my humble 2 cents.

Thanks
Justin

[ November 19, 2011, 12:27 PM: Message edited by: wisealma ]

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Dame
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Thanks, Justin. You know, it's something I notice in other's work, sending the reader's attention jumping all over the place instead of a smooth steady flow, say from top to bottom.

Seems like I need to have a look at that here! Thank you - good point.

D

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Uley Bone
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An interesting opener, and just a few thoughts of my own after reading...

In the first paragraph, you might either consider dropping the last fragment, or joining it in with the previous sentence. It's a little awkward, as is.
Same with the second paragraph, as her indecision is already obvious in the prior sentence.

Does seem to work though, as in getting the reader to keep moving on with the story.

Uley

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Dame
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Thanks Uley.

I think I'll keep the first para as it is, as I like the style of it, but your second point is interesting. Not being able to decide makes her perhaps too conscious of how she feels, and I may well cut it.

Thanks a lot.

D

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