This is topic Stereopsis - Fantasy in forum Fragments and Feedback for Short Works at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by alliedfive (Member # 7811) on :
I'd like thoughts 1st thirteen only for now. Not sure if there's a hook here or not.

Original 1st thirteen:

Ferl heard little Kiri begin the huffing breaths that always preceded her complaining.

“But why can’t I? Everybody else gets to pet him,” she said.

The massive old dog was patiently enduring the rough play of half a dozen children.

“Because I said so.” Ferl closed his left eye and focused hard with his right. His little sister vanished, as did the children and the street, and the stalls that lined Hawkers Trough with all their fruit and cloth and wares.

In their place was a dead man on his back, a gaping ruby mouth yawning where his throat had been. A huge old dog--that dog--was licking its blood-stained jowls and looking at Ferl.

[This message has been edited by alliedfive (edited December 02, 2008).]

Posted by jayazman (Member # 2818) on :
Wow. Creepy. I would expect some explanation really soon as to what he did, how and why but I would definitely keep reading.
Posted by alliedfive (Member # 7811) on :
Yeah, its pretty much surviving on the "that's wierd" factor right now. There's no real conflict here. Maybe if I made the dead man someone he recognized??? Hmmm
Posted by jayazman (Member # 2818) on :
I'd say not necessary, unless the dead man is important later on. Just from this I would expect Ferl's ability to be the focus of the story.
Posted by honu (Member # 8277) on :
it's definately....hooky....I can't quite figure out if he's got D T delusions or the "sight"...I would read more..... it's interesting
Posted by Yufae (Member # 8346) on :
It hooks. I'm definitely interested in what happens next.

This may be more technical than what you're really looking for right now, but I have a thought about this sentence:

"The massive old dog was patiently enduring the rough play of half a dozen children."

I think "was patiently enduring the rough play" would be cleaner as "endured the rough play."

Posted by kings_falcon (Member # 3261) on :
It hooks. The two scenes are so at odds with one another that the transition and HOW it happened are enough to make me read on a bit more. The writing is clean and the images are well drawn.


Posted by C L Lynn (Member # 8007) on :
Cool idea! I had only one issue. The phrase "In their place was a dead man on his back" threw me for a loop. I asked myself "A dead man is on whose back?" I'm not really stupid, but I had to read three times before I realized the dead man was *lying* on his back. Would it be possible to reword this sentence: "In their place, a dead man lay on his back..."? Or even more descriptive word choice, like "lay sprawled on his back"? Something to clarify and up the Wow content. Just a thought.

[This message has been edited by C L Lynn (edited December 04, 2008).]

Posted by KPKilburn (Member # 6876) on :
Very interesting. I'm hooked. The transition from current events to his vision is a little awkward, but overall I liked it and would read on.
Posted by CosmicSea (Member # 8340) on :
Very intriguing. I'd read on. Why do you have to even mention the dead man is on his back? The 'ruby yawning mouth where his throat had been' signifies he's on his back.
Posted by alliedfive (Member # 7811) on :
This one has a draft at 7,500 words if anyone is interested in reading. Here's the latest 1st thirteen:

Sprawled out in the dust of the crowded square, a massive old dog was patiently enduring the rough play of half a dozen children.
To Ferl, something about him felt... wrong.
At his side, the little pouting breaths that always preceded Kiri’s complaining began in earnest. “But why can’t I? Everybody else gets to pet him,” she said.
Distracted by the wrongness, Ferl answered his little sister absently. “Because I said so. That’s why.” He tried to turn away, but his own curiosity tugged and he stopped. Before he could change his mind, he took a deep breath and squeezed shut his left eye. He relaxed his right eye and waited for the scene to change.

Posted by BoredCrow (Member # 5675) on :
Hmmmm... I'm way behind on crits, but I'm interested. So you can send it to me if you don't mind a couple of things:
1) that it might take me a while, and
2)I am very honest with crits. I'll never be cruel, but I will be tough on your story if it needs it, and I am very opinionated. That doesn't mean my opinions are right, of course.

So, if those two things are fine with you, send it along. If not, just ignore me!

Posted by alliedfive (Member # 7811) on :
Cruel is good, and I have all the time in the world. It's on it's way.
Posted by alittleofeverything (Member # 8024) on :
I personally found the first version more hooky. We see what is wrong about the dog there, here we don't. The second version also feels clunky, with unnecessary adjectives and awkward phrasing.

Your original opening got me hooked, so I'll read what you have, if my current course load doesn't kill me first. :P

Posted by alliedfive (Member # 7811) on :
Here's yet another version of this 1st 13. Also, I managed to trim the story down about 500 words.

Still looking for readers if anyone is interested.

Third Version:

In the dirt at Ferl’s feet, a massive old hound slept on despite the heat and noise of the market and the rough play of several children. Probably a stray, and lucky to have escaped someone’s plate.

Little Kiri tugged at Ferl’s hand again and resumed whining. “But why can’t I play with him? He’s a nice dog.”

Ferl couldn’t explain how the dog felt... wrong somehow; how it menaced him with its presence. “Because I said so, that’s why.”
Ferl began to turn away towards home, pulling Kiri around with him, but morbid curiosity tugged and he relented. One big unsteady breath, then he squeezed shut his left eye. He relaxed his right one, focusing on nothing in particular, and waited for the change.

[This message has been edited by alliedfive (edited February 10, 2009).]

Posted by C L Lynn (Member # 8007) on :
Sure, I'll read. Send it on.

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