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

   
Author Topic: Bound
Eliza C
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One more first 13, then that should be it for awhile. I appreciate any comments on the start. This is a 750-word flash fantasy.

“Get up,” my ghosts said.

Their voices were not synchronous. The sound drifted to me in my sleep like a fugue, like noisy birds. I opened an eye to the throng of them at my bedside.

“Why?” I asked, though I got up anyway. The long, morose faces stared back at me, gray and insubstantial.

Stepping into the deer-skin slippers my late wife had given me, I followed them from the bedroom. I cast a glance over the circumference of shadows that encircled me. It seemed there were more now than yesterday. They herded me to the left and through the drawing room. When we reached the front bay window of my London manor they stopped, but not before the foremost ones had drifted through the wall.

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Tiergan
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A light breezy start. The writing is solid. I have a couple things i would point out.

If the ghosts didn’t say it in synchronous, I would prefer seeing it happen that way. Not drawn out, but over a two or three sentence structure maybe. I know its hard in flash when words are at such a premium.

a true nit-pick here. "insubstantial" A pet peeve of mine I guess, it is describing something by saying its not something. It just seems, well "more substantial" by describing something by what it is versus what it isn’t, saying something like "translucent."

My only true concern is, nothing really sticks out of the normal, I am not feeling anything for the character, I think it is because there is no sense of conflict, because, its routine for the ghosts to be there.

I prefer my conflict up close and quick, especially where flash is concerned.

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History
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I like the story but would consider cutting it a bit more for a flash piece. I see Flash is an exercise in being unforgivingly concise and concrete. Keep only words you absolutely need to tell the story. Also, one is in front when being herded, not following.

E.g.
“Get up,” my ghosts said.

I opened an eye to the throng of them at my bedside.

“Why?” I asked.

The long, morose faces stared back at me, gray and insubstantial. It seemed there were more now than yesterday.

Stepping into my deer-skin slippers, a gift from my late wife, I rose and they herded me from the bedroom to the drawing room of my London manor. We stopped before its large bay window, the foremost of my compnions drifting through it.

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Eliza C
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Thank you both for the suggestions!
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easterabbit
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“Get up,” my ghosts said.

Their voices were not synchronous. The sound drifted to me in my sleep like a fugue, like noisy birds. I opened an eye to the throng of them at my bedside.

“Why?” I asked, though I got up anyway. The long, morose faces stared back at me, gray and insubstantial.

Stepping into the deer-skin slippers my late wife had given me, I followed them from the bedroom. I cast a glance over the circumference of shadows that encircled me. It seemed there were more now than yesterday. They herded me to the left and through the drawing room. When we reached the front bay window of my London manor they stopped, but not before the foremost ones had drifted through the wall.

Some points to consider.

1. It's a waking scene - a cliche.

2. She seems to know it's the ghosts (“Get up,” my ghosts said.) despite being asleep and the sound drifting to her. It seems a little odd that she would know who is taking for certain when still asleep.

3.I don't like the '...not synchronous' line either. Why not consider describing how it did sound.

4.I cast a glance over the circumference of shadows that encircled me.

Couldn't you drop 'circumference of' and end up with the same action in the readers head? If you can get the same effect with fewer words then you increase reader immersion as the story unfolds more effectively and you can add other details if you want without increasing the word count.

I wasn't really hooked by this yet. The character feels a little thin and not much is going on. Ghosts, per se, aren't enough of a hook in them self and that is all you really have going on here so far.

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