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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » spirit in hell

   
Author Topic: spirit in hell
Rocklover
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This is the second of several short segments about a demon who has been released from its prison in hell and is called to meet its master. The remainder of the segment is not long. This is half of it. If anyone could offer feedback, I'd appreciate it.


The spirit, newly awakened from its dark sleep, crept its way through a labrynith of tunnels echoing with sobs and shrieks of agony. An orange glow appeared ahead radiating from a distant cavern as would the light of coals from an oven door. The spirit moved toward it.
As it drew close, its fear increased. An unmistakable smell of power laced the dank air. This then, would be the entrance to the great throne room of Hell.
Trembling, the spirit entered the room and stood cowering just inside the threshold. Walls leafed with gold and draped with swags of vivid purple velvets circumferenced the spacious room. It was a tower most strange and wondrous for it had no ceiling, at least not one that could be seen. As the spirit’s eyes traveled upward, the circular walls rose upward and upward until they disappeared in a ring of shadow.
The throat to the upper world, the spirit thought. The passage way.
Slowly, its attention returned to the resplendant room itself. The glow, the spirit noted, was caused from flickering fires burning in huge stone urns like topiaries of flame set at every corner. In their light, shadows danced against the golden walls like imps at play. Gems studded the floor, radiant and unbelievably beautiful. It was a breath-taking sight. But the most impressive edifice of all was the massive, raised divan central in the room formed in the likeness of three, carved, marble beasts. Upon their muscular backs stood the Judgment Seat. The spirit shuddered to see it, for upon its silken cushions high above, reclined a silent, silver-robed figure.


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theokaluza
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You were kind enough to critique something of mine, so here goes.

quote:
The spirit, newly awakened from its dark sleep, crept its way through a labrynith of tunnels echoing with sobs and shrieks of agony.
The phrasing here is awkward. Something like "The spirit awakened from its dark sleep and crept its way through the labrynith." might be more effective. Stating that it's a labyrnith of tunnels is repetitive. The next part, about echoing and sobbing, has an ambiguous source. Is the spirit sobbing, or are the tunnels?
quote:
An orange glow appeared ahead radiating from a distant cavern as would the light of coals from an oven door.
I'm split on this one. Although the phrasing is awkward, the sentence got the idea across well enough that I can picture what you mean.
quote:
As it drew close, its fear increased. An unmistakable smell of power laced the dank air. This then, would be the entrance to the great throne room of Hell.
You're telling too much and showing not enough.
quote:
Trembling, the spirit entered the room and stood cowering just inside the threshold.
At this point, I'd really like a description of the spirit itself so that I can know what it looks like when it trembles.
quote:
purple velvets circumferenced the spacious room.
'Circumferenced' is a strange word.
quote:
It was a tower most strange and wondrous for it had no ceiling, at least not one that could be seen. As the spirit’s eyes traveled upward, the circular walls rose upward and upward until they disappeared in a ring of shadow.
Ok. First you tell us what the spirit is about to look at... and then you actually show him looking at it. The second sentence is much more effective than the first.
quote:
The throat to the upper world, the spirit thought. The passage way.
Slowly, its attention returned to the resplendant room itself. The glow, the spirit noted, was caused from flickering fires burning in huge stone urns like topiaries of flame set at every corner. In their light, shadows danced against the golden walls like imps at play. Gems studded the floor, radiant and unbelievably beautiful. It was a breath-taking sight. But the most impressive edifice of all was the massive, raised divan central in the room formed in the likeness of three, carved, marble beasts. Upon their muscular backs stood the Judgment Seat. The spirit shuddered to see it, for upon its silken cushions high above, reclined a silent, silver-robed figure.


Overall, it's an interesting passage, and the setting alone was enough to make me keep reading. However, I can't honestly say that I enjoyed the actual act of reading it. If that makes sense to you. I don't mean to be harsh. Even though your descriptions are vivid, your phrasing is awkward.

Anyhow, keep it up.


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Jimbob squarepants
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I like it but I have to agree with theokaluza, a few simple changes and I think your good to go. Less is more and all that.
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HSO
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I'll read the whole thing, all segments if you want...
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Warbric
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I like what you're trying to do here. I'm reasonably sure I've got some time this weekend to look at any segment(s) you send me.

(The human-sniffing anti-spam-bot should leave you be this go.)


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Survivor
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You need to say why it is important when you describe something, unless the significance is unmistakable. Something like "a labrynith of tunnels echoing with sobs and shrieks of agony" has obvious meanings. "An orange glow...radiating from a distant cavern as would the light of coals from an oven door" does not have an obvious meaning to us, and you don't supply one. Most of the description you supply here is not very self explanatory, we need to get the POV character's musings on the meaning of what it's seeing, but you don't give quite enough.
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Rocklover
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Thanks everyone. It's back to the keyboard for another go.
Judith

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