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Author Topic: My first story
Wenderella
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Hi, I am by noooooo means an experienced writer. I am posting the first part of a story I have written. It starts off with a dream that a character is having. Please be honest, but keep in mind that I am not a writer by any means. Thanks, Wenderella


A beautiful dark haired woman lies on a straw mattress fingering a medallion hanging around her neck. Her thoughts are lost in a distant place, of a crystal blue-eyed elf who she's betrothed to marry one day. His promises to her are what kept her warm at night, and her hope to see him again was what kept her breathing. Her delicate fingers danced over the gem at the center of her necklace, when suddenly she's interrupted by a commotion outside. She could hear a woman's blood-curdling scream and a beast growling. From her window, she sees a large beast slice the head off their neighbor John and it then grabs a woman hiding behind John. This woman was her mother.

[This message has been edited by Wenderella (edited March 29, 2005).]


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MCameron
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Hi Wenderella.

Well, the first thing I noticed was that your excerpt mixed past and present tense. I strongly recommend that you make it all past tense, as present tense usually annoys people. Third person present tense makes it seem like we are reading a synopsis, as opposed to a story. Here is your excerpt with the tense fixed (in bold).
---------------------
A beautiful dark haired woman lies lay on a straw mattress fingering a medallion hanging around her neck. Her thoughts are were lost in a distant place, of a crystal blue-eyed elf who she's she was betrothed to marry one day. His promises to her are were what kept her warm at night, and her hope to see him again was what kept her breathing. Her delicate fingers danced over the gem at the center of her necklace, when suddenly she's she was interrupted by a commotion outside. She could hear a woman's blood-curdling scream and a beast growling. From her window, she sees saw a large beast slice the head off their neighbor John and it then grabs grabbed a woman hiding behind John. This woman was her mother.
---------------------

I'm mildly interested in what is going on. I think you could make it more interesting by describing the beast more fully. We know that it is large and it has some sort of cutting instrument (a sword, or extremely sharp claws, or what?). That's not a lot to go on.

I'm pretty new at writing, myself. I've found that the hardest part is starting. So congratulations on getting past that hurdle. Keep writing, try your hand at critiquing, and you'll be amazed at how fast you improve.

Good luck.
--Mel


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Wenderella
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Thank you for your response, I really appreciate the input.

The story is actually about the life of a half-orc character. I didn't want to reveal the beast as an orc, because the woman in the opening paragraph, the human mother, has never seen one before. It is basically a history of a half-orc character named Sunshine, and the story begins with her mother's nightmare flashback of the night the half-orc was conceived. So the first two paragraphs are a dream. The dream is what sends the mother into labor and the story of the characters history begins then.

I thought maybe because it was a dream, I would put it in present tense, but that was probably a bad idea.

I only posted the first paragraph because I thought we weren't allowed to post more than that.

I'll work on it with your input....I would appreciate any other comments :0)

[This message has been edited by Wenderella (edited March 29, 2005).]


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Kolona
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I applaud your 'jump in' approach, Wenderella. You're a gutsy gal.

This does read a bit like a synopsis, telling the main points of a story (or dream), but not the in-between details. I'd suggest developing this excerpt into a full scene. Flesh out the bones of your story with all the details you see when you read those sentences to yourself.


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Kolona
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You can post 13 lines -- for your own protection, actually, since you don't want to compromise any rights you might want to eventually sell.
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Wenderella
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Heehee, the funny part is I had originally written it is a synopsis of a character I was playing in a RPG, I guess I didn't realize how synopsis-ish it really was. Now that I see it from that perspective I think it would be fun to explore more detail of what I wrote.

Thanks alot for the input!


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DatBum65
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Hi, Wenderella,

Welcome! It takes a certain amount of gumption to show other people your writing, but it is so very necessary. Congrats…

I had just a few comments/suggestions.

A beautiful, dark[-]haired woman [lay] on a straw mattress fingering a medallion hanging around her neck. Her thoughts are lost in a distant place, [THIS SERIES IS A LITTLE CONFUSING TO ME--AND MAYBE ONLY ME--BECAUSE AT FIRST I THOUGHT YOU WERE LEADING ME INTO A PLACE (A CRYSTAL-BLUE LAKE, FOR EXAMPLE) BUT IT WAS AN ELF. TRY SOMETHING LIKE THIS distant place, where an elf with crystal-blue eyes waits for her…NOT THESE EXACT WORDS…BUT YOU GET THE IDEA.] of a crystal blue-eyed elf who she's betrothed to marry one day. His promises to her are what kept her warm at night, and her hope to see him again was what kept her breathing. Her delicate fingers danced over the gem at the center of her necklace, when suddenly she's interrupted by a commotion outside. She could hear a woman's blood-curdling scream and a beast growling. [HERE, SHOW HER MOVING FROM THE BED TO THE WINDOW, IN SOME FASHION, WHETHER IT'S SITTING UP OR BOLTING TO THE WINDOW…AND GIVE HER SOME EMOTION!] From her window, she sees a large beast slice the head off their neighbor John and it then grabs a woman hiding behind John. This woman was her mother. [WE NEED EMOTION HERE…SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAM! OR LAUGH IF SHE HATES HER MOTHER.]

Peace… and thanks for posting.
Thomas

[This message has been edited by DatBum65 (edited March 29, 2005).]


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wbriggs
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>I didn't want to reveal the beast as an orc, because the woman in the opening paragraph, the human mother, has never seen one before.
Thank you, thank you for staying with your POV character!

My thoughts on the piece overall: I want to spend more time in the violent part. It's interesting, and I expect the POV character is horrified, frightened, or something like that. You might skip the thoughts about betrothal (for now), and let us see the monster attack, and feel the POV character's reactions to it.

A note about beginning with a dream: it will annoy me (and some editors too, I suspect), if there's any attempt to fool the reader into thinking it's real, and then, poof, it's a dream. At least, I often hear of editors griping about this. You might make clear from the beginning, or at least early on, that it's a dream, to avoid this.


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Wenderella
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I'm sorry I should have explained better in my last post. It is something that really happened, she is having a nightmare about the night her unborn child was conceived. Her mother also died that night, so this is months later (9 months to be exact!) and the nightmares are still haunting her. So it did really happen, its not just a dream, its a nightmare about a past event.

Thank you all for the input, I really like seeing the sory from other peoples point of view.


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NewsBys
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I like the concept, but have a few questions:

Is there a reason we can't know her name? All she is right now is a "beautiful dark-haired woman." We might feel more sympathetic towards her if we knew her name.
You told us John's name. Isn't the POV character's name just as important?
How about her lover's name? If we are deep in her POV (in her head) wouldn't she think of him by name?

Also, if this story is about Sunshine, do you need this dream-flashback and birth information in the story?

If you continue with this young woman's POV, I would expect the story to be about a young woman dealing with the shame or difficultly of bearing and raising an orc-human child.

If this story will focus on Sunshine, more than his mom, why not just start with Sunshine's POV and the moment that being a halfblood orc becomes a problem for him?


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