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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Elements

   
Author Topic: Elements
RFLong
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Hi all

this is an early draft of a fantasy short story. The whole thing is about 6k words. I'd appreciate any feedback on the opening and also if anyone is free to read the whole thing, that would be great.

Hoptoad and Dakota - I remember, I promise! I'll send it on if that's still ok.

quote:

Iasc kept his eyes fixed on Gwalchmai’s back as the warrior rode ahead of him. His own shaggy pony was a foul tempered beast with the unlikely name of Dilly. The youth was sure whoever had named her had been possessed of a cynical sense of humour. Dilly sounded like the type of mount you’d give a little girl, not a pot-bellied creature akin to a sow who would take a chunk out of your arms as soon as look at you. The fact that she spent most of her time struggling to match the pace of Gwalchmai’s mount Ereborne might have excused her temper, if Iasc was feeling generous. But really, there was no comparing the two animals.

Much like Gwalchmai and himself.

But Iasc would see himself damned before he would ask Gwalchmai of the Setantii to give him quarter.

As if sensing his thoughts, his companion looked back. Iasc scowled at him, hating his warrior build, his blue eyes, even the way he sat his horse. Dilly stumbled, throwing the boy heavily against her neck. He cursed the pony under his breath, dragging his aching body upright. If anyone ever suggested he ride a horse again, even for a day, he’d summon a tempest from the farthest ocean to silence them.

"You need to sit deeper in the saddle," said Gwalchmai. Another reason to hate him. The foreigner was half horse. "Move with your mount, rather than against her. Any ideas how much further we have to go before we reach the lake?"


It's a little bit over, but do the additional lines help?

[This message has been edited by RFLong (edited March 23, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by RFLong (edited March 23, 2005).]


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wbriggs
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I'm not hooked yet. Someone's unimpressed with his horse; so far, this doesn't interest me.

There's a big focus on the names. It was a bit of effort to figure how to say "Iasc" and "Gwalchmai," but I managed. Still: after that, the guy thinks "Dilly" is a weird name? Given that his name's "Iasc," I don't know that "Dilly" would sound at all to him like it would to me. For example, "Shinnosuke" doesn't sound silly to me, but it does to the Japanese.

I'd suggest easier-to-read names, and if you named the horse "Dinky" or "Pudge-pot" or something, then we'd know why it sounded silly (the literal meaning, not the sound).


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Silver3
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The last line suggests that Iasc is in fact Gwalchmai's prisoner. If that is the case, mention it earlier and more explicitly, because that is the most interesting part of the piece.
If that's not the case, then I've got way too much imagination

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autumnmuse
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I'll give it a read if you like.
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RFLong
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Many thanks autumnmuse. I'll send it on tonight.

R


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djvdakota
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Definitely OK.

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theokaluza
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You spend more time in the first paragraph talking about the pony than you do talking about the characters. It actually makes me wonder if the bulk of the story is going to be about the pony rather than the pony's rider.

But it's well written. I'd say it for the second or third paragraph, though.


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RFLong
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Just realised that there's only eight lines up there - it looked longer when I posted. I'll add a few more and see if it helps.

R


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benskia
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Hello.

I found it a little bit confusing to be honest. I think it was the first line that spoiled it a bit for me & since then i was a bit confused about who was who. Even though there's only 2 people in the scene, it started to seem like there were about 5 because they kept being called different things.

Here's what I mean:
Iasc kept his eyes fixed on Gwalchmai’s back as the warrior rode ahead of him

Who's the warrior? Is it Gwalchmai, or an additional character? Did the warrior ride ahead of Iasc or ahead of Gwalchmai?

See what I mean? There's other bits like that too. such as:

Dilly stumbled, throwing the boy heavily against her neck

Who's the boy? I know it's Iasc, but I wasn't entirely sure first time a read it.

I think the intro needs to be a bit more gripping. Maybe start with Isasc hating the other guy (this was a nice and strong phrase) who's name is quite long & explaining why a bit more, so that we care about the character.


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