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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Relief Duty - Version 2

Author Topic: Relief Duty - Version 2
Member # 1923

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Hi all

looking for round 2 readers for this - urban fantasy (I think), just under 5000 words. (anyone who read before and wants a second look is equally welcome)


The library building was not what Sophie had expected. As she closed the car door and looked across the road, it appeared to be nothing more than a Georgian town house, positioned incongruously in the middle of a twenty first-century city centre. It was surrounded by a neatly tended garden, closed off from the world. The road between her parking space and her destination was jammed with traffic and she picked her way cautiously across. In the arch above the wrought iron gates, the name was interwoven with metal leaves – Ayredale Special Collection. She stepped through the cool shadow, back into golden sunlight and the traffic sounds faded away, screened by high hedges of yew. It was like stepping into another world. She walked up the narrow path, past beds crowded with marigolds and geraniums, violent reds and golds.

Posts: 284 | Registered: Feb 2004  | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 213

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The opening description is definitely a lot better, and seems to be more effective in concentrating on the impression of the place itself. There are still a few rough spots, but opinions will probably vary on them a bit. I would put "surrounded by a neatly tended garden" as direct description of "a Georgian town house", for instance. That would probably require moving "positioned...in...a...city centre" to a different sentence, and so forth.

I also hung on "road between" since that can read as "road connecting". I'd try "street between" or say she had to cross the busy street. Also, "In the arch above the..." strikes me as being somewhat graceless prose. Perhaps if one of the "the"s were replaced with the indefinite article. After all, this is the first appearence of both arch and gate (though you could mention the gate (and perhaps a fence or hedge) earlier, if you like).

As you can see, though, these are all pretty minor wordcraft nits, matters of individual taste rather than concrete issues. Overall, I'd like the description to be even a little richer, to give more sense of Ayredale's impact on Sophie. But it seems to work well as it is.

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Member # 1957

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I'll look at it. You should have my e-mail address. Just let me know how in-depth a crit you want. It may take me a few days though.
Posts: 266 | Registered: Mar 2004  | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 2311

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This is so much better than the other version. Good Job!

Sorry, I can't read right now, but I just had to tell you how much smoother it was. Maybe I'll catch you on the next go round.

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Member # 2352

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I'll read. Send it on over!
Posts: 230 | Registered: Feb 2005  | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1438

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RF, I so apologize for not getting back to you with the crit on your first version. At the time I thought I had a day before we left for a vacation, but my hubby decided we’d leave early -- and afterward we brought the grandkids here for their vacation, so I've not been mentally engaged. If you still need readers, please feel free to send your new version.
Posts: 1810 | Registered: Jun 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1923

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Hi Kolona

don't worry about it. We have a saying in my workplace "family comes first" - actually those of us with families have a saying and we need to scream it quite regularly.

I will send on the new version this evening, if that's ok.


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Member # 2743

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If you are still looking for readers I will be glad to. If you send it Microsoft Word then I can critique it line by line and send you the story back. Peace, Joe
Posts: 6 | Registered: Jul 2005  | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 2681

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I will try to read it. I enjoyed the first, and would like to see it revised. I will make time before Thursday, or after Friday.
Posts: 92 | Registered: Jun 2005  | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1831

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I'll take a look if you still need a reader. I need to keep my hand in.
Posts: 575 | Registered: Dec 2003  | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1923

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Hi all

Sorry I haven't checked here in a couple of days and have been a bit swamped so forgot to send out the additional version.

Will try to put brain in gear when I get home this evening and do it.



ps Thanks for the offers!

Posts: 284 | Registered: Feb 2004  | Report this post to a Moderator

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