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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Some Sun and Delilah

Author Topic: Some Sun and Delilah
B. Morris Allen
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The sand is different here. The crystals are larger, harder. Grittier, I suppose. Del would approve. She always wanted me to be more down to earth, to ‘come to grips with life.’ Here I sit, huddled on a damp Northern beach with a fistful of broken quartz pouring through my hands, and it’s just sand.
In the islands, it was different. Trusting the fresh sea winds to bring life to stale hopes, we sat half-naked on limestone dust as soft as flour and warm as love. We poured it through our fingers, pretending to count the shells whose bodies it was, and vowing to take each other as many times in their honor. We tried, in our quiet cove under coconut palms, with the sly serenade of tropical wavelets tickling our feet. Even the tropical heat didn’t fan the flames, only set them flickering and uncertain. my small supply of virility too

[ January 16, 2015, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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Bent Tree
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I really like the tone and voice. My only recommendation might be to try and sneak in a little more speculative or conflict for the sole reason that the romance of the voice makes it feel as though it may be from that genre.

That being said, Why is this the moment of incitement? Why does the story start here? Reference to Del is unclear in the sense of tense. She is not spoken of in past tense, and therefore readers cannot say for certain if she is deceased or if they have simply broken up.

I feel that this is a "full circle" situation, starting where something began, but what? From first person POV the writer must be very careful what information is withheld from the reader. Being told from a survivor in the first person somethings can never be. Breaking this trust will frustrate readers. It is a careful trickle of information to maintain plot etc... but the withholding device is a terrible machine to run.

I am working in First person currently and I will look at your draft if you would like a reader.

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I agree with Bent Tree's list of questions. Why does the story start here? It actually doesn't sound like an opening, but a passage in the middle of the narrative somewhere.
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I enjoyed this, colorful and visual. Beautifully written.

I might change "We poured it through our fingers" to "let it sift through..." especially since you already used poured before and one does not normally pour sand through their hands.

I would like to at least have a hint of why Del is no longer present.

Anyhow, I would definitely read on.


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This fragment stands separate from a classic's emulation, though shades of poetry and rhetorical style suggest an emotional mood of despair.

"Delilah" and her Samson -- "Some Sun" -- are separated and the agonist mourns their separation.

Several considerations bumped me out of the narrative. The first sentence is empty, more so because the context and texture are then expressed by the fragment remainder.

"The crystals are larger, harder. Grittier, I suppose."

Crystals? Sand is grains. Later, that the sand of the Northern beach is mostly quartz causes a backtrack huh?

The serial list triplet's rhythm is broken by the period after "harder."

Tropical beach "flour" like sands are formed less from shells and more from wrasses grazing coral algae. They bite off living coral and grind the coral to dust. "Coral" also has stronger trope and symbolism potentials than "shells."

The artful alliterative sibilance -- consonance -- of "the sly serenade of tropical wavelets" is sublime for evoking tropical surf and breeze sounds.

Again, as I noted in response to the "When Dooryards First in the Lilac Bloomed" thread, subtle allusion, perhaps scriptural allegory, needs strong signals so general readers realize intended connections and contrasts. This fragment misses most of the scriptural Samson and Deliliah context and texture, depends too much on the scripture passage for meaning.

Also again, I feel stronger cues for the complication setup are warranted. The viewpoint agonist is stuck in a bathtub contemplating his navel, a static opening. Static as in a state of being, a stasis state: static.

[ January 17, 2015, 12:56 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Grumpy old guy
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I found the opening lines lyrical and that carried me along. For now, I'm happy to keep reading.

I like the first sentence, but, as extrinsic says, it is let down by the following sentence.

Having also read "When Dooryards First in the Lilac Bloomed" I find the similarities in voice and style work against both narratives. True, each author must have a unique voice and style but, if the content is similarly lyric and poetic with each and every story, the writer risks boring their readers. There will be no, "I wonder how this one will sound?" moment.


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B. Morris Allen
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Thanks to all. Very helpful comments.
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Sylvia Frost
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It's a nice start, but I wish we hadn't started off with the "The sand is different here." without me being able to know/figure out where here is.
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