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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Fop and The Ferret: Fantasy F13.

   
Author Topic: The Fop and The Ferret: Fantasy F13.
Shaygirl
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I wrote this for a college writing contest (so if your judging a contest for DMACC this semester, bypass this...). Comments on the first thirteen is great, but I'm also looking for someone to critique the whole thing. This is a pre-story to the novel that I am currently working on. 6,183 words.

The Fop and The Ferret

Almark, Head Muse of the Nation’s Music Council, stood on the balcony overlooking the Nation’s Conservatory of Music. It was a dark night, with only a pale wash of light stabbing its way in through the cloud cover. It illuminated the Muse, giving his already stern features an added brush of menace. The soldier stood facing the Muse’s back, waiting to be recognized.
“Have you found any sign of the one who broke into the Vault?” The voice was light and airy, not at all the voice one would expect from the most powerful man in the realm.
“No sir. Muses Rass and Vit have searched the premises thoroughly but could not find a trace they can follow. They said that they


Thanks!

[ February 28, 2012, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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History
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Nice presentation of setting, character, and conflict.

Nitpicks:
--lose "already" in sentence 2
--may need to clearly indicate that it is Almark speaking sentence 4 ("Almark asked.")
--Instead of the narrator inserting Almark's important station (sentence 5), perhaps have the soldier do so, from his perspective (as he should be nervous in regard to the bad tidings he carries. I can imagine him tugging at his collar, swallowing before speaking, sweating, or otherwise fidgeting or trying not to fidget)
--"could not find" is passive. Though permissible within dialog, you should consider making this active: "but found no trace..." (sentence 7). Then skip the repetion of "trace" and proceed with "If the spell was used again, they..." (sentence 8)
--omit "and so did not see the man leave" (sentence 13)

Just my two shekels.
Good start.
Good luck.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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TempestDash
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I question the necessity of some of the detail in the initial couple sentences. I understand you're establishing a scene, but there are three new concepts I had to integrate just to get past the first sentence. "Head Muse" required some digestion to try to imagine, "Nation's Music Council" required some more, and then his location as being on a balcony overlooking a "National Conservatory of Music" seems extraneous unless he also in the Conservatory looking at another part of it, or he's about to be thrown from it into the Conservatory. There isn't enough in the first 13 lines to tell how useful this information will be in the rest of the chapter but it probably bears some refinement.

Also, not to be a jerk, but "Ominous man with strange title looking into a storm while someone delivers a cryptic report behind him" is way too Saturday Night Sci-Fi Channel to catch my interest. Things better get pretty lively starting on line 14.

Also a final comment, I'm assuming your intent is 3rd Person Omniscient? We appear to be aware of the Muse's thoughts ("His thoughts swirled, agitated and sharp.") and yet also are privy to information the Muse does not have ("The man saluted curtly and left the terrace. Almark [...] did not see the man leave.") If you are intending this POV, then we're good. If not, you might need to choose who's head we're in.

Thanks,
--TD

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Shaygirl
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History: Thanks for your thoughts. It gave me food for thought, which is what I needed, because frankly I had no idea where to begin. I love your example with the soldier's movements. Perviously I had to be careful with what I added because that contest had a 20 pg. limit, but I can elaborate a little now. And omitting the "see the man leave" is definitely a need to lose, since (as TempestDash points out) it doesn't support the POV.

TempestDash: I was a little worried about Almark's entrance being cliche as well, so don't worry about seeming like a jerk, its exactly what I needed to hear [Smile] . Also your point about the labels was very helpful. Looking at it now I can see how that's a bit of a problem. I'll look for more opportune places to provide them.

Thanks to both of you for your comments!

Shaygirl

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rcmann
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I like the way you tickle us in. I do suggest that you be a little more selfish with details at first. Like the description of how the light falls on his face. Frankly, I don't care if he is well illuminated, in total darkness, wearing a mud pack, or what. Same for whether or not the guard salutes and him seeing it, unless it has something to do with the plot. A short story doesn't give you much room for extra frills, or before you know it you have a novella.
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A Yeatts
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I'm up for reading the whole piece. The title alone was enough to snag my interest. Now I ~have~ to read just to find out where the ferret comes in.
Anna
[Smile]

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Shaygirl
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I'll send it your way then. Warning, I last read it through and worked on it early December, so it might be a little rough...

And thanks to rcmann for your comments. I can see I have some work to do!

Thanks!

Shaygirl

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Foste
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Would be happy to crit the entire thing.
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Shaygirl
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I'll send it when I have a minute...I get addicted to things quickly (luckily they replace each other but until then...) so I'm just checking with really no time to spare. You'll get it probably by tomorrow!

Thanks [Smile] !

Shaygirl

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