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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » First 13 - working title Gingerbread

   
Author Topic: First 13 - working title Gingerbread
rcmann
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All feedback of any kind appreciated. Still working on it. Probably going to be either a flash or reasonably brief story less than 3k. A twisted perversion of the Gingerbread House fable.

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The village was depressing. One dirt road for a main street, and four dirt alleys for side streets. One church, eleven houses, one general store, and a public well in the middle of things. There wasn’t even a community well bucket. Everyone had to bring their own. Jess sighed and trudged her way to the general store, irritably adjusting the pack again. It wasn't really heavy, but the pack was older than she was and the worn straps were digging into her.
She paused just outside to put on her best look of unassuming harmlessness. Then she ambled through and onto the storekeeper's pretentious plank floor. Ordinarily Jess hated using the Art to gouge people. But when dealing with this woman, she was willing to overlook it. Besides, her youngest sister was going to need

[ February 20, 2012, 08:13 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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babooher
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Is there a reason to describe the outside here? Why not start inside the store since that is where the action is taking place. All I know about that is the plank floor. Seems odd that I know more about the village than I do the store.

That's my half-nickel.

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rcmann
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Hmmmm.....

I wanted to explain how she got there, and make plain that she doesn't live in the village. This is a quasi-sequel to one I have already written, and it will probably end up part of a handful of shorts all set in the same world with this MC.

How can I provide a quick background presentation on the MC and not lose momentum?

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Merlion-Emrys
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I like it. The focus is the character, which you present well and deeply, while also deftly sneaking in the speculative element.
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rcmann
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Thanks M-E, but what's wrong with it?
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babooher
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"How can I provide a quick background presentation on the MC and not lose momentum?"

Off hand, you say everything you already did about Jess but instead of describing the village you describe the store. Show us what the storekeeper is doing that annoys Jess so much and show Jess using her Art. Jump in.

And if it doesn't work, that's what saving multiple files are for.

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Merlion-Emrys
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From my perspective, nothing. However, I don't really like commenting on fragments because I'm big on context, and 13 lines only provides so much context. Within the context of what I perceive it to be, I don't really notice anything I consider a flaw.
But also bear in mind, for me the most important thing is subject matter; once you bring in magic, you've pretty much got me. But I really like the voice and I think you've created an engaging character.
Sometimes, there isn't anything wrong.

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