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 » Love Once Lost - First 13

   
Author Topic: Love Once Lost - First 13
Matthew Petrucci
New Member
Member # 10031

 - posted      Profile for Matthew Petrucci   Email Matthew Petrucci         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Darkness filled the room much like a flood of emptiness. The room however, wasn’t empty, that darkness that was present within held so much hope. It wasn’t merely a room with no light because light was in a sense, the enemy; the fear; the revealer of all things. Here within the shade a person could attempt to live, to love.
There was a light knock on the far end of the room. Tyler’s nerves didn’t jolt or spaz at the noise, but rather became relieved. The fear in his chest subsided and he began to walk slowly towards the direction of the sound. His eyes adjusted a bit to the black shadow inside the room, seeing a long counter or desk to his right. A four-bladed ceiling fan sat dormant above him.

Posts: 4 | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JSchuler
Member
Member # 8970

 - posted      Profile for JSchuler   Email JSchuler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Interesting. I'm intrigued that darkness is a source of hope. I'd read on to understand why Tyler is hiding from the light. However, I'm getting some issues with the writing.

The first line, comparing darkness to emptiness, doesn't mesh with the later description "held so much hope." You start by saying darkness is one thing, then turn around and say it's the complete opposite.

When Tyler hears the knock at the door and relaxes at the sound, I think that's a good time to get us in his head and let us know what that knock symbolizes to him, even if it's Oh good, the pizza's here.

Tyler's eyes adjust to the blackness. I'm sorry, but I got the impression that Tyler had been in the room for a while. His eyes should already be adjusted. It strikes me as a contrivance to justify describing the room, not something natural to the story.

I think my question here is, what is Tyler doing in the room just before the knock on the door? He's passive here, almost like he was waiting in that room for the story to start, as opposed to having a purpose that the knock interrupted/fulfilled.

Posts: 271 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Matthew Petrucci
New Member
Member # 10031

 - posted      Profile for Matthew Petrucci   Email Matthew Petrucci         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's a redo.

Darkness filled the room much like a flood. The room however, wasn’t empty, that darkness that was present within held so much hope. It wasn’t merely a room with no light because light was in a sense, the enemy; the fear; the revealer of all things. Here within the shade a person could attempt to live, to love.
There was a light knock on the far end of the room; a three tap rhythm signaling the arrival of his love. The fear in his chest subsided and he began to walk slowly towards the direction of the sound. His eyes, adjusted a bit to the black shadow inside the room, could see a long counter or desk to his right.

Posts: 4 | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Matthew Petrucci
New Member
Member # 10031

 - posted      Profile for Matthew Petrucci   Email Matthew Petrucci         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*minus the line "however, wasn't empty,"
Posts: 4 | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think that you are trying to *force* a philosophical appreciation of a state of awareness.

Tyler is sitting alone in the dark. That's his physical location, however, his emotional state is a completely separate thing and you're forcing it. I can feel it in the writing and word choices you're making.

Close your eyes and imagine you *are* Tyler sitting in a darkened room, hiding from. . . ? *See* inside Tyler's psyche, his angst compels him to savor the dark, the solitude. Why?

An opening like this, IMHO requires the writer to firmly place themselves in the characters head so they can experience the thing that is eating away at Tyler's heart. Only then; only when the writer intimately understands what the character is experiencing, will the narrative pour forth naturally.

Phil.

Posts: 678 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Matthew Petrucci
New Member
Member # 10031

 - posted      Profile for Matthew Petrucci   Email Matthew Petrucci         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I took what has been said and rewrote the piece from scratch. Don't know if it's any better.


Darkness filled the room; a darkness that held so much hope for Tyler, as he entered quietly. He held his view forward to force his eyes to adjust to the seeming nothingness before him. Although he couldn’t visually see anything yet, didn’t mean that nothing was there, and that was the fear. The fear existed everywhere but more than within the clenching dimness of the room, fear loomed from the all-seeing eyes of the Final Power wherever light poured profusely. The organization had been devised in the year 2012 when the world was supposed to end, according to the long deceased Mayan culture.
The year when the world didn’t end became what now was known as the First Year. Each year after was titled with “Year” and then the number.

Posts: 4 | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bruchar
Member
Member # 10027

 - posted      Profile for Bruchar   Email Bruchar         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The scene is interesting, but I'm stumbling over the ornate sentence structure. I think Phil's advice is great. You may want to rewrite from a single perspective, instead of reiterating details about the nature of darkness.

Simplifying your main ideas might help, too. For example, the Feb.22 version has these basic points:
Darkness; Hope; Fear; Final Power(Danger).

After that, the sudden reference to 2012 and the new calendar seem totally out of place & breaks the illusion & tension I think you're aiming for.

Anyway, that's my take on it. Good luck with rewrites.

Posts: 39 | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Again, I think you're trying to do to much with your opening. Focus on the character, not the unfolding plot. Why is he sitting in the dark and what is he afraid of? I want to feel his fear, to understand his dread. I don't want to flounder about trying to divine it, I want it spelled out unequivocally.

An example of interior angst:

"The darkness gnaws at me, eating small pieces out of my heart as I cower in shadows of fear. I am alone, and yet all around me creatures of the night stalk my mind; my soul. It's her fault. I should never have loved her--but I did. Now I pay the price in this darkened room I call my mind . . ."

This is, as extrinsic would say, off the cuff; but it gives you an idea of what I'm proposing. What's your MC's problem? Spell it out! You can do it artistically and in a literary style while still 'hooking' the reader as well. Doing it this way calls on you to develop you prose, not just your ability to generate pointless action in a first 13.

Phil.

Posts: 678 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  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