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 Books » Death and the Butterfly - First 13

   
Author Topic: Death and the Butterfly - First 13
ArmadonRK
Member
Member # 8864

 - posted      Profile for ArmadonRK           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The first in a series of three or four novels, Death and the Butterfly is a blend of sci-fi and fantasy. I'm about 13,000 words in, and looking for as much feedback as I can get!

- - - - -

Nikki stared down at the man trembling before her. The moment was so familiar to her. Deja vu. She had lived a moment as this one once before. This was exactly as she remembered. Exactly the way the captain of Fandrel’s Guard had trembled before her on the riverfront those many centuries ago. Of course, she hadn’t used a gun then. To be fair, she hadn’t needed one.
Nikki fired between the man’s eyes, and smiled.

"Quickly! Straight for the keep!" Hector heard his captain shout.
The lieutenant rode onward, at the head of the Royal Guard, the two dozen horse riders galloping across the grassy plains toward the castle in the distance.

Posts: 12 | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JSchuler
Member
Member # 8970

 - posted      Profile for JSchuler   Email JSchuler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd keep reading. You get a feel for Nikki in that last line. Wouldn't want to meet her in a dark alley.

I'm not sure how I feel about the first POV shift this early. I take it there's a scene break there, so it's not confusing me or anything. It's just sudden.

Now, in your first paragraph we get four sentences saying the same thing, and then a fifth sentence that says it again, only with more (and better) detail. I think you can eliminate "The moment... she remembered." And then maybe use the saved words to give us some detail on this man she's about to shoot, or why she's going to shoot him.

After the scene break it gets a little confusing. We have Hector, who I take it is the lieutenant, hearing his captain, so he's the POV. However, midway through the last sentence, the POV slips outward to following two dozen horse riders, with, I believe, Hector subsumed into the crowd. That doesn't read properly to me.

Posts: 271 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
enigmaticuser
Member
Member # 9398

 - posted      Profile for enigmaticuser   Email enigmaticuser         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd beware of input on a first thirteen with only 13k behind. The beginning can change a lot by the time the ending is written and it forces you back to the beginning.

Having said that, I agree there's a lot of repitetion. Which would feel fine elsewhere, but here it feels like it could be better used deepening the characters. Why is Nikki smiling? She's having deja vu, did she smile back then? Is she static and unchanging (sounds flat?)? Or was she angry then? Is she just cold or did something spark this? Some hint of her motive or perhaps some details on the man where we could guess at why he is being executed?

I think my bottom line is that I'm not told enough. I need something to anchor me to someone to want to follow.

Posts: 336 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ArmadonRK
Member
Member # 8864

 - posted      Profile for ArmadonRK           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the feedback, it was very helpful.
Well, I'm now about 16,000 words in, and trying not to go back or do any editing. I am trying to use the criticism to better work my way forward with the manuscript. I know most people say not to do that until after I'm finished with a first draft or until I'm further in at least, but I like to work with ongoing feedback.

Posts: 12 | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think the thing that people say not to do is to go back and rewrite the beginning before you've gotten to the end.

So you're doing the right thing, ArmadonRK. Keep up the good work.

Posts: 8029 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Carl F
Member
Member # 10040

 - posted      Profile for Carl F   Email Carl F         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm in favor of terse descriptions. Let the reader figure out the blanks.
"She had lived a moment as this one once before"
Alt: She had lived a moment like this once before.

They tell me to exclude excess adjective modifiers. 'More punch' Do you need the 'so' in the second sentence?
'grassy' is unnecessary. 'distant castle' drops a few words.

Posts: 34 | Registered: Feb 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