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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Divine

   
Author Topic: Divine
Denevius
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Genre: Magic Realism, Word Count: 3,514, Looking for readers

Kia asked me if the Buckhead kid would come alone. I looked at her, wondering what angle she was working out in her head. “He told me he’s coming with his friends. Maybe him and three other guys.” She nodded, her eyes lost behind the blue lenses of her shades. “This will be worth it,” I reassured her as I got out of the car. We had parked two blocks from Piedmont Park on Piedmont Avenue. Kia got out also, buttoned up her long white hooded jacket, and put her hands in her jean pockets. It was early January, and Atlanta was cold. The clear sky stretched wide over us, but the sun was slowly setting, and darkness crept through the city. I wore a sweatshirt and a black leather jacket, which I zipped up. I went around the car to Kia, and we walked side by side down the street...

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Lloyd Tackitt
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It reads well and might lead to a good story - but - as a hook it doesn't grab me by the lapels and shake me. I would like to see foreshadowing or premonition of events to come.
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Daniel_W
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I agree with Lloyd Tackitt that it feels like it might lead to quite a good story. But, I think it starts to lose its impact at the middle point; my interest begins to wane, because there is a lot of description that doesn't do much more than 'set the scene' - you spend half of your 13 lines telling me that it is cold and dark in the city. As such, I think you could cut nearly everything after 'on Piedmont Avenue' and not lose anything too crucial (though there are a few details that I'd keep, like the long white hooded jacket, and Kia's hands in her jeans).

The only other thing I thought of is to make sure this IS magic realism, if that's how you're going to pitch it, and not just repackaged fantasy (urban or otherwise). If you're going to try to sell this, calling a fantasy piece 'magic realism' might irk an editor.

Still, it has an intriguing quality to it.

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LeetahWest
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The story started with a promise of action then moved into a "waiting for the action" description, which was mildly disappointing.

"on Piedmont Avenue." wasn't necessary, I would probably leave that out, unless the fact that they are on that street is crucial to the story later on.

I also might change the line "I wore a sweatshirt and a black leather jacket, which I zipped up." This felt like reading a character profile, not the wonderful story that is beginning to brew. I also might move that sentence to just before telling us how cold it is, or move the sentence "Kia got out also. . ." to just after. Keep those sentences together.

Of course these are all just my opinions and subject to the insanity that lives in me. I do hope it helps.

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babooher
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Is there a point closer to a moment of conflict that you could open with instead?
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LDWriter2
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Haven't seen that term for a while, even though I should know it, is magic realism related to Urban Fantasy?

One reason I say that is because it starts almost like some of the Urban Fantasy I read. Kia and perhaps both sound like pranksters or is this some type of revenge?

But I agree that you need something to hint what is to come. Sounds like you have something there with everyone showing up at the Park, and the "This will be worth it" line but is the park closed?

Maybe combine the end of "his friends" sentence and the next one, leaving out "Maybe him and". Your rhythm feels slightly off and that it takes a tad too long to get the punch line but that could be just me.

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Denevius
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thanks for the feedback!
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redux
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LDWriter - You might have heard the term 'magic realism' tossed around in the 90s when movies such as 'House of Spirits' or "Like Water for Chocolate' were released. They were based on Central/Latin American novels. The Argentinian novelist Jorge Luis Borges is often credited as the pioneer of the genre. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez is among the most famous for this literary style.

There is controversy as to whether magic realism is just another fancy term for fantasy. Literary critics point to certain differences such the fantastical elements being perceived as normal (no secondary worlds like in Urban Fantasy), or the magical elements existing without explanation (there are no set rules to magic), among others.

Denevius - Like others have pointed out, your first 13 leave me wishing there was a hint of what is to come, some foreshadowing, a setting of the mood. I do find your first sentence intriguing and I wonder how the Buckhead Kid came about his moniker. After that the prose seems to move into stage directions, letting me know who is standing where, what they're wearing, but leaving me unsure what kind of story is to come.

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babooher
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If you're looking for readers you can send it.
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Wonderbus
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I'll have a read if you like.
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Denevius
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sure deal. babooher and wonderbus, i'll send it now.

and thanks again for the feedback. redux, what you've written here about magic realism is interesting. more or less hits it and the controversy on the head.

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