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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » A Trader in Amtar - SS beginning

   
Author Topic: A Trader in Amtar - SS beginning
anarresti
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First lines of a short story that I intend to develop into a longer work. Comments welcome!

In those days, he was called Hazeen. He had worn out two pairs of soles on his way to trade in the Great Market of Amtar. He had slipped on icy mountain paths, fought with wolves, crossed swollen streams and buried two traveling companions by the road. But the most difficult steps lay before him.
The Morning Gate of Amtar gleamed softly golden in the light of the rising sun. An Oprotu na h-Idfena na h-Amtar, he reminded himself. Get the words right and he might pass. Speak Amtariyya flawlessly and he might sell the gemstones for enough to see his family through the next winter.
He wiped his brow before he settled on top of a low mud brick wall that ran beside the Great East Road. He kept his pack between his feet, one strap wrapped around a leg. Casually, he dusted the days from his overcoat at he watched the guards from beneath the brim of his hat.

Second go round, trying to stay close to the POV character:

The Morning Gate of Amtar gleamed softly golden in the light of the rising sun. An Oprotu na h-Idfena na h-Amtar, Hazeen reminded himself. Get the words right and he might pass. Speak Amtariyya flawlessly and he might sell the gemstones for enough to see his family through the next winter.
He wiped his brow before he settled on top of the low mud brick wall that ran beside the Great East Road. He kept his pack between his feet, one strap wrapped around a leg. The dusty yard before the gate was crowded with travelers waiting to enter the city. Casually, he brushed the days from his overcoat as he watched the guards from beneath the brim of his hat.

[ December 27, 2011, 09:52 PM: Message edited by: anarresti ]

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annepin
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Your first paragraph has more distance than the second, wherein tighten in on your MC. It has kind of an introductory or prologue feel. It almost worked for me, but I really stumbled on the last sentence. It sets me up to expected a more distant narrator and really just states the obvious-we wouldn't be reading the story if the character weren't about to face the most challenging moments of his life.

The rest of it was very smooth and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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anarresti
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I struggle with that change in distance. Thanks for pointing that out. I'll try to address that in my next draft.
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Denevius
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i think you can start at the second paragraph, as the first feels like warmup writing. it's basically you telling us things that can be relayed more naturally later in the prose.
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