This is first thirteen of a fantasy story about 4000 words. It is rough draft now but could you comment on these lines, especially POV?
Spirits can see spirits, but spirits who see people are rare.
New York had seen people and he wondered if people had ever seen him.
He once met a spirit on Wall Street named Philadelphia Savings Fund Society. She had said, âPeople donât see spirits, they feel them.â But, if he had learned anything from his dealings with Philly he had learned this: Spirits tell lies.
He wondered if people lie too.
Atop the Chrysler building, he watched traffic stream below, he thought he could detect some a kind of order in the flow, like those lights knew where they were going.
[Edited to fix typo]
[This message has been edited by hoptoad (edited March 10, 2005).]
I like it, for the most part--very intersting idea!
Two things bugged me. 1) he says that he's seen people, but later on, when he's watching the cars, he doesn't know that people are controlling the cars? Sounds pretty inconsistant to me. 2) "He wondered if people lie too." The tense feels wrong--should it be "people lied too"? I'm not sure about this one.
It took me two reads to get what was happening, but I'm not sure this is a problem. It's *so* strange it took me a moment. And strange is good!
I have no real criticisms. I think I know why the spirits have these odd names, now, and you didn't tell us, because your character wouldn't ahve been wondering. I get why the spirit is puzzled about the behavior of the lights. Good job!
Hoptoad - It definately caught my attention. I would keep reading.
The city-named spirits threw me off for a second but that does not mean it should be changed. I feel confident enough in what you have so far that it would be explained later in the piece. I really liked shortening her name to Philly.
I did not notice any glaring POV issues but then I'm not an expert at that.
I agree with Jaina that it should be "he wondered if people lied too."
I understood the part about the lights. NY cannot dilineate between people and people controlling cars. To him they are two separate entities. That's what I understood, anyway.
I liked this piece. I had no problems with POV and agree with TaShaJaRo about the vehicle lights. I'd like to offer to look at the entire piece when you are ready for readers.
Posts: 54 | Registered: Sep 2004
An intriguing, evocative opening, particularly the first line. You set up two thematic oppositions succinctly and elegantly: spirits vs. people; lying vs sincerity. The expectation is that your story will develop and resolve both divisions.
You might consider a few stylistic points. Perhaps you could combine paragraphs 2-4 into a single paragraph, instead of breaking them up. It may help the narrative flow.
Perhaps you might consider modifying ârareâ at the end of your first sentence to enhance your openingâs drama or mood. For example, âextremely rareâ, âexceedingly rareâ (for drama), or âthe rarest and most lonely of the Disembodiedâ (for mood; use your own style/metaphors/terms).
You might take another look at a few grammatical points. Paragraph 4 might be smoother with âHe wondered if people LIED too.â Maybe place a . or a ; in the final paragraph between âbelowâ and âheâ. Perhaps switch from past perfect to past in paragraphs 3: âShe saidâ; âBut if learned anything âŚ he learned thisâ
Youâve probably caught by now the âsome aâ in your last sentence.
Not many nits in this one: "some a kind" and "lie" -> "lied" already noted; in addition, your last sentence has a comma splice. You need to EITHER add an "as" after the first comma, or replace the second comma with a period. And finally, "like those lights knew where they were going" should start with "as if" instead of "like."
Aside from that, the only thing that bothered me was "New York had seen people and he wondered if people had ever seen him." I'm afraid that I read "New York" as the city, rather than its spirit, and so "he" was simply an unnamed character. I can't say that this misreading wasn't entirely my own fault, and I got it the second time through, but you might consider some sort or rephrasing that would make this mistake impossible.