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Author Topic: In the Sphinx's Shadow
rabirch
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This story is incomplete at this time. Mostly just trying to gauge whether the opening would work to get anybody to turn the page.

Thanks!

***

The Great Sphinx loomed just ahead of Amelia Cambridge. Sweat ran down to the small of her back and soaked into the fabric of her loose white blouse, tucked neatly into the waistband of her khaki skirt. She glanced at her brother, Calvin. Despite the Egyptian heat, he kept his jacket primly buttoned, no matter that the cotton had wilted long ago, leaving the shoulders and seams limp. His skin was flushed and ruddy, and she suspected her own must match the reddish hue.

"Should have rented a bloody camel," he muttered under his breath.

Amelia pressed her lips together and forbore to remind him that their dwindling funds wouldn't have stretched to camels, not if they wanted to go on eating.

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Denevius
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My biggest concern is that I've seen this scene before. Two Europeans traveling in Egypt wearing clothes obviously not meant for the climate. Also, using the Sphinx as a focal point for the story is like using the Statue of Liberty, or the Eiffel Tower, as focal points. People who do this probably know very little about the locations, which is why they employ the most touristy thing possible in their prose.

If you have lived in Egypt, you might want to use something a bit more mysterious as the focal point of your story.

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rabirch
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Fair enough. Thank you for the comments, Denevius.
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babooher
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We know they have dwindling funds, they aren't locals, they're prim and proper types, and they're in Egypt. While the prose itself doesn't offend, its lack of content doesn't entice. I have a clue about the time period, although that's still a guess, and I might read on because it sounds like the story might fit in my wheelhouse, but overall, there isn't anything special to this yet.
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rabirch
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Thanks for the feedback, Babooher. I appreciate it.
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dmsimone
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Thanks for sharing, here is my feedback:

I was bothered by the use of Amelia’s last name, for some reason. I guess it would be more personable and real to me if only her first name was used.
Instead of talking about her sweat and describing warm-weather clothing in detail…maybe talk about how she gulped the last drops from her water bottle, or felt her blouse sticking to her back.
The use of the word “bloody” suggests to me that they are British.
The word “forebore” sounds really formal to me. Is this your intention?
I actually have no idea about the time period…but for some reason these lines immediately make me think of the movie The Mummy.

Otherwise, it’s the kind of opening scene that would pique my interest and I would want to keep reading.

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rabirch
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Dmsimone, sorry to took me so long to get back to this!

You picked up a lot of the things that I was going for here. Yes, they are British, and I was intending for them to be fairly formal in their thought processes and voice. I can absolutely see why this would conjure images of The Mummy. That was *not* intentional, and could be problematic.

Thanks!

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