Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Amalgamation 1st 13

   
Author Topic: Amalgamation 1st 13
SASpencer
Member
Member # 10044

 - posted      Profile for SASpencer   Email SASpencer         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry about that. Getting used to the website:

this is my third rewrite:

My tall ears quivered at the scent of an un-bonded Hulldri female as I walked to the Black Bear Tavern in Satben. A small voice inside my head said not to turn the corner. I did, though, and her beautiful cerulean eyes shining in the moonlight came towards me. She was familiar, but I doubted she knew I was alive. I smiled, showing my canines and winked. She said, “You smell half-breed.”
How do I reply to that? Every Juvelian animal with nostrils smells, that’s why we have snouts. Hulldri are rude, even to each other, so I just kept walking. Besides, I had sniffed her, which is different from smelling. Sniffing has to do with pheromones, and her sniff left me wanting less. She was too short, even for her squatty race, I told myself.


This is my first post. The story isn't finished, I'd like feedback on this submission. Thanks.

Three diligent drinkartists and five bringers, dangerously close to dissatisfying their thirsty patrons, somehow ensured tins overflowed with barleyhops. Tables rimmed with vigorous males guaranteed the Black Bear Tavern in Satben at middark was a wild affair.
Kollby grinned, showing his nicely pointed upper and lower canines. It was his birthday, after all.
“Have one more, you hoarking half breed drunkard.” Kollby’s half-brother Viigo’s huge hand slapped him on the back; huge as compared to his body, that is, Hulldris were no taller than 16 hands, 2 fingers tall. Built for digging underground tunnels they connected burrows forming entire buried cities in Juvel’s pink clay dirt. His Vaytir half-brother, Liim, was 26 hands high.

[ March 28, 2013, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: SASpencer ]

Posts: 67 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pdblake
Member
Member # 9218

 - posted      Profile for pdblake   Email pdblake         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think you need clear up what a drinkartist is, that threw me right from the start, and also what barleyhops are. I brew my own beer and I know what barley is and I know what hops are, but not barleyhops.

I also got a bit lost about who was who, your prose is kind of muddled. I started off with Kolby in my head, then found Viigo and then Vaytir suddenly popped up, with enough description thrown in between for me to wonder which half brother I was reading about.

[ March 18, 2013, 11:20 AM: Message edited by: pdblake ]

Posts: 721 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
History
Member
Member # 9213

 - posted      Profile for History   Email History         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
First two sentences: Too much to waddle through for me.

Third sentence: I like. In fact, I suggest starting the story here.

Fourth sentence: Omit (move to later).

Remainder: too much insertion of the narrator to info dump and unclear because "hands" is used as a height measurment. If his brother had "huge" hands, then "16 hands, 2 fingers" would be tall based on human comparison of hand size to body height.

Better to work these details into the story less obtrusively while concentrating on the hooking the reader.
What is special about this celebration?
Why should we care?
What hint can you give of the conflict to come?

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

Posts: 1301 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The extraordinary diction paints a vivid picture of a riotous tavern. "Drinkartists," "bringers," "dissatisfying," "barleyhops," "middark," and "hoarking" are imaginative and vivid, though in close sequence perhaps a bit on the heavy side all at once, like trying hard to be colorful and calling perhaps undue attention to the words rather than their meanings speaking for themselves.

This is a backstory-like opening. I don't have an impression of a dramatic complication, excepting perhaps that these celebrators are tunnelers.

A "hand" measurement in general parlance is about four inches exactly. Sixteen hands and two fingers comes out to sixty-six inches or five-foot-six, a practical height for a tunneler, though much shorter might be more imaginative and meaningful and practical. Twenty-six hands, 104 inches, or eight-foot-eight. Very tall and a marked contrast of the two beings. I raise this because I didn't recognize these measurements in the moment. Stopping me reading and figuring out their meaning is disruptive for an opening, especially since they are significant in the moment. I'm not sure either that the hand measurement I'm familiar with is the milieu's measure.

The tavern is filled with patrons, obviously. "Tables rimmed with vigorous males". But the character population explosion might be more gradually revealed. I have an incomplete image of Kolby to begin with, and the narrative moves to Viigo and Liim before I've settled onto an impression of Kolby. I think this might be because I don't have a clear idea of what birthday celebrations mean to Kolby and his kin.

I have a vague and almost no impression of Kolby. "Grinning" and "showing nicely pointed" canines is a vague emotional expression, though an opening salvo for potentially more immediate viewpoint character development. Happiness maybe, joy maybe, maybe cunning concealment, maybe feral menace. This is another feature I stalled on while figuring out what it meant in the moment.

"Hulldris" and "Vaytir"s ethnic identities thrown into the mix adds yet more population explosion.

"Half breed"? Halfbreed.

The title doesn't connect to the opening for me.

The story shape is that of a gathering in Jerome Sterne's vernacular (author of Writing Shapely Fiction). Gathering as a story shape promises by turns contention (competition), conflict, confrontation, and conflagration, and coordination, cooperation, and codetermination. In other words, glad times and sad times and disagreeable times.

If this opening foreshadowed some of the disagreeable times to come, a hint of the dramatic complication, which is a want or problem wanting satisfaction, perhaps through Kolby's perceptions and thoughts of the uncertain crowd or immediately foreseeable uncertain future, and thus developing Kolby's character more before going into his comrades and brothers, I'd be more interested in knowing about them gradually soon thereafter.

[ March 18, 2013, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 2771 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SASpencer
Member
Member # 10044

 - posted      Profile for SASpencer   Email SASpencer         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow! This is terrific feedback and exactly what I needed as an obvious beginner writer. Much appreciated and if anybody else has comments, thanks in advance.

Sandy

Posts: 67 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Beginning writers are mechanical style students, typically grammar schoolers. Intermediate writers are craft students, content and organization and such, often high schoolers and collegiates. Advanced writers are voice students, students of expression, and rarely anything but solitary learners. Winning writers are audience students, meaning they closely consider audience accessibility and appeal. They are both most and least on their own on the Poet's Journey. And all writers struggle. We writers are all peer equals in that latter regard.
Posts: 2771 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pidream
Member
Member # 9544

 - posted      Profile for pidream   Email pidream         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Three diligent drinkartists and five bringers, dangerously close to dissatisfying their thirsty patrons, somehow ensured tins overflowed with barleyhops.
1. Sorry drinkartists (bartenders?) and bringers (serving people?) threw me, For me, if my guess was correct some I could more easily relate to will get me to read further. And I think you’re trying to say they were barely keeping up with the workload- right? It really makes me have to think too hard to get what you’re trying to express. I would consider re-writing to read clearer.
Tables rimmed with vigorous males guaranteed the Black Bear Tavern in Satben at middark was a wild affair.
2. Your word choice or order, for me, could be rearranged and make it easier to read. Example: It was middark at Black Bear Tavern and the Vigorous (rowdy, boisterous, rough, tough)- males (patrons, regulars) rimmed the tables jostling and shouting in drunken bliss. Only a suggestion.
Kollby grinned, showing his nicely pointed upper and lower canines. It was his birthday, after all.
3. I Know your trying to make sure we understand Kolby has cool teeth but, for me, his birthday is important thing here and explains the celebration. Maybe: Kollby grinned then laughed, what a great birthday party, he thought. His long pointed canines glistened in the torch light.
“Have one more, you hoarking half breed drunkard.” Kollby’s half-brother Viigo’s huge hand slapped him on the back; huge as compared to his body, that is, Hulldris were no taller than 16 hands, 2 fingers tall. Built for digging underground tunnels they connected burrows forming entire buried cities in Juvel’s pink clay dirt. His Vaytir half-brother, Liim, was 26 hands high.
4. I think you express this with a lot fewer words and even lose the how many hands because it, for me, slows everything down to a snail’s pace and loses the real point that these guys burrow through the ground with their bare hands-claws; which is the real hook here.
There were too many things I didn’t understand to urge me want to read more. This is not to say the you don’t the making of a good story but to make it clearer, for me, would help me read on. Good luck and keep writing.

Posts: 74 | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pidream
Member
Member # 9544

 - posted      Profile for pidream   Email pidream         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I really need to re-read and edit myself when replying instead of impulse posting. LOL
Posts: 74 | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"
Beginning writers are mechanical style students, typically grammar schoolers. Intermediate writers are craft students, content and organization and such, often high schoolers and collegiates. Advanced writers are voice students, students of expression, and rarely anything but solitary learners. Winning writers are audience students, meaning they closely consider audience accessibility and appeal. They are both most and least on their own on the Poet's Journey. And all writers struggle. We writers are all peer equals in that latter regard."

Is this a quote, or did you come up with this yourself?

Posts: 357 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you, Denevius. Asking if that's a quote is high praise. Not a quote, not by myself either. Raw ore mined from here, there, and yonder across time and space concentrated by me.
Posts: 2771 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SASpencer
Member
Member # 10044

 - posted      Profile for SASpencer   Email SASpencer         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here is my rewrite:

I am a two-sided coin, one side gold, and the other brass, each fighting to be face up, playing havoc with my psyche.
Those were my thoughts as my feet turned the corner onto Important Avenue, a street wide enough for two freighter wagons and lined with quaint shops. I headed to the Black Bear Tavern to celebrate my birthday with the gold and brass sides of my family who disgusted each other. At least they loved me, nobody else did, especially females who pretended to ignore me, or worse.
For example, I smiled at an un-bonded Hulldri female walking towards me to show off my nicely pointed upper and lower canines. She said, “You smell half-breed.”
How do I reply to that? Every Juvelian animal with nostrils

Posts: 67 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pidream
Member
Member # 9544

 - posted      Profile for pidream   Email pidream         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am a two-sided coin, one side gold, and the other brass, each fighting to be face up, playing havoc with my psyche.
1. My first thought was why state the obvious about a coin having two sides. The metaphor of coin fighting with itself for to be the side up as it is a random event, unless fate is involved.
Maybe try something like- I am like a coin. One side of me is gold and desired by all. The other is brass that tarnishes and is worth little. And like a coin flipped in to the air, I never know how I will land. Yeah, more words but for me it shows the confusion better.
Those were my thoughts as I (cut-my feet) turned the corner (cut-onto Important Avenue, a street wide enough for two freighter wagons and lined with quaint shops. I) heading to the Black Bear Tavern to celebrate my birthday. (Re-work for clarity- with the gold and brass sides of my family who disgusted each other.) At least they loved me, (cut- nobody else did), especially females who pretended to ignore me. (cut- or worse.)
2. The above sentence is a bit wordy and parts move sluggishly, for me
(Cut- is telling me not showing me For example,) I smiled at an un-bonded Hulldri female walking towards me to show off my nicely pointed upper and lower canines. She said, “You smell half-breed.”
3. You used the ‘canines’ line before and seem really attached to it, but for me it does not flow. The problem I am having and this may be just me is in humans one set of teeth is hidden by the other, so these creature must have snouts. Am I right? And these types of animal don’t so much smile as they grimace but maybe it’s smilng to them. Maybe something like- As I pass an un-bonded Hulldri female, I smile, showing both rows of canines and wink. “You smell, Half-breed.” She says.
How do I reply to that? Every Juvelian animal with nostrils
The re-write is better but still a bit wordy for me and could be cut for clarity and flow. You’re a busy guy. Good luck with all of that.

Posts: 74 | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Best to edit your original post with your re-write under it so people don't have to read the entire thread to find the latest version.
Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SASpencer
Member
Member # 10044

 - posted      Profile for SASpencer   Email SASpencer         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2