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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Allion First 13 (Revision 1.0)

   
Author Topic: Allion First 13 (Revision 1.0)
Dmfitzgerald
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Thanks everyone for your feedback.

Here is the revised Allion first 13


The commander bellowed, "Colors out". The Color Guard unfurled the flag of the City State of Deserata, a blue field with gold sunrays emanating from the base.

Allion Ne Sailon in the fourth rank of pike men waited. Like most of the four hundred soldiers in his unit this was his first battle. He, like most tried to remember a prayer as he waited for the barbarian charge.

The commander, Anjir Voc Sand Towers watched the oncoming rabble and kept his horse to a slow walk.
He knew that this was not a battle that would ever be recorded in history books. It was a small skirmish at an unnamed knob of rocks in the desert. But unlike the last time he would win this one.


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wbriggs
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I'm not hooked. Nothing seems to be happening.
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Lanius
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You might try describing in more detail the tension/feelings that the protagonist(s?) are experiencing, and melding the other actions into those descriptions. For example -- the flag unfurling - does the sight of that make the soldier's guts clench, hands sweat, knees buckle, etc. in anticipation of the impending violence?
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scm288
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Seems a bit cluttered to me. A few tips:

'The commander bellowed, "Colors out".'
NEVER refer to a quote, unless it is something that the character is thinking. Try

'"Colors out!" the commander bellowed.'

'...a blue field with gold sunrays emanating from the base.'

Try

'a blue field with a golden sun.'

'Allion Ne Sailon in the fourth rank of pike men waited.'

Try

''Allion Ne Sailon waited in the fourth rank of pikemen.'

'Like most of the four hundred soldiers in his unit this was his first battle.'

Place a comma in between 'unit' and 'this'.

'The commander, Anjir Voc Sand Towers...'
Is Sand Towers part of his name? If it is actually a title, try this:

'Anjir Voc, Commander of the Sand Towers,...'

'He knew that this was not a battle that would ever be recorded in history books.'

Try

'He knew this battle would never be recorded.'

'...an unnamed knob of rocks...'
That's a pretty wierd description. What, exactly, is a knob of rocks?

'But unlike the last time he would win this one.'
This is a strange fragment. Try something like, 'He would win this one, though.'

Now, only use these comments if you really want them. If you don't then try to change them to something that suits your style. However, as stated above, this opening doesn't hook me. Try to make it a little more gripping, say, in the middle of the battle.


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jeduthun
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This is so much better than the first version. Good job.

Since this is a novel, I don't necessarily need to be "hooked" the way people above are talking about it. Sometimes I like to be "drawn in" and this seems to be doing that now.

I'm seeing colors and images. You might consider some of the other senses: touch, smell, sound, etc. to draw the reader in more deeply.


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Survivor
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Think about why your mentioning everything that you mention. If the information doesn't interest the reader, why are you bothering with it? The flag is a good example. Why should the reader care or remember that it's a blue flag with a gold sunburst at the bottom? Why should we care that it's the flag of Deserata? If you have reasons for mentioning things, let the reader in on it.

Also, why are you shifting POV so rapidly? If this is to be full omniscient, then you need to start further back and more...well, god-like. I don't usually recommend FO, but what you're doing seems to necessitate it. Still, ask yourself if you have a good reason for it. FO is a difficult viewpoint to control, and poorly controlled FO is very irritating to the reader because of how it can ramble without revealing necessary story information.


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Eddy Gemmell
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I agree 100% with the last post. Who is the story about? The grunt or the commander? or Allion? Is Allion worried? bored? confident? terrified?

I think it's OSC's book on how to write speculative fiction that poses the question 'who cares?'. At the moment I don't, there's no emotion for me.

That sounds a bit nasty but the description needs some purpose. Why are they being attacked? are they the good guys or the bad guys? Are they defending a village where Allion's wife and children are?...


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Eddy Gemmell
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Me again, I have just read the first draft and I think that's much better but hey...what do I know...(!)

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