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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Lord of the High Place

   
Author Topic: Lord of the High Place
hoptoad
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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, ‘People don’t see spirits, they feel them.’ 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).]


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Jaina
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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.

Other than that, I like what I see so far.


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MrClean
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I love the first line. And the story concept is really interesting.

I'm not sure I like the Names of the spirits but I might feel different after seeing more of the story and understand why the names.

*(thought he could detect some a kind of) you have an extra 'a' in there.

I'm not sure I understand the last phrase (like those lights knew where they were going) what lights?

Oh yeah - POV. I understood right away that it was a spirit. That seemed ok.

Anyway my 2cents.

MC

[This message has been edited by MrClean (edited March 10, 2005).]


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wbriggs
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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!


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TaShaJaRo
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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'm very interested. Great opening!


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EbonRose
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It certainly is an interesting concept, and I'm sure you have something much more complicated in mind for the overall story. I would keep reading it.

I do have to agree though that you are contradicting yourself by first say the spirit has seen people before, but he can't see the people controlling the cars.

Of course we don't know how *often* this spirit sees people, or what he really knows versus what he thinks he knows. Only more text will tell

EbonRose @-,--


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RFLong
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Hoptoad

It looks intriguing. A very interesting concept. Again, not sure about the names but once Philadelphia Savings Fund Society became Philly it was easier.

If you want to send it on to me I'd like to look at the whole thing.

R


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Christine
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Jaina: I'm pretty sure it's not inconsistent because I got the impression that the spirits *sometimes* see people, but not always.

Ok, to the piece....I, too, stumbled over a few things but in this case it was all right. It's weird. I really liked it.

In fact, I saw just one problem:

"... could detect some a kind of order.."

some order? a kind of order? some kind of order?

Anyway, aside from the obvious "oops" if you want people to read this, I would be willing.


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xarius
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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.
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Beth
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I also stumbled on the names but it's interesting, so I'm willing to ride with it for a while and see if you make it work.

I'll read when you're ready.


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Ogi_Ogas
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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 “rare” at the end of your first sentence to enhance your opening’s drama or mood. For example, “extremely rare”, “exceedingly rare” (for drama), or “the rarest and most lonely of the Disembodied” (for mood; use your own style/metaphors/terms).

You might take another look at a few grammatical points. Paragraph 4 might be smoother with “He wondered if people LIED too.” Maybe place a . or a ; in the final paragraph between “below” and “he”. Perhaps switch from past perfect to past in paragraphs 3: “She said”; “But if learned anything … he learned this”

You’ve probably caught by now the “some a” in your last sentence.

Good luck!


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rickfisher
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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.

Definitely an interesting concept.


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hoptoad
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Okay, to those who said they will read it, it should be ready to send out by the weekend.

As you can see there are plenty of typos etc, so I need to clean it up (and kill-off a problem character).

RickFisher, I worry about the dehuman names too, will think on that. (I am contemplating Newyork)


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rickfisher
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I didn't realize you were offering the entire thing for critique. Send me a copy (when it's ready).
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benskia
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Hey I'd love to read this.
Any chance of a copy of the full thing too (even though i'm still a newby round here).

Thanks.


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MaryRobinette
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I'd like to read it too.
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TaShaJaRo
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I will read it.
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hoptoad
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Okay! (cool) When it is done I will send it, not happy with it yet.


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Beth
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You've got me on the list of readers, right?
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