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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Something I have been working on...

   
Author Topic: Something I have been working on...
samhaine3
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This is incomplete. I'm still working on it, but was wondering if anyone would like it. This is my first Thirteen, so be gentle, or harsh, whatever will help me best.

The paper he held in his hand was wrinkled and soiled, and upon it was a small piece of the puzzle, a picture nearly lost and the tale of forgotten gurl.
Water had caused it to fade and mud had taken away its readability, and, though, with a bit of patience and a small amount of time, one could eventually distinguish words and phrases that would speak only of what her name was and where she had last been seen. They couldn't tell a person who she was and what she would become if fate hadn't taken her from her friends and family.

Thanks, Sam

[This message has been edited by samhaine3 (edited November 27, 2005).]


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Monolith
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Interesting. Only one spelling mistake that I saw. "Gurl"?

You use the word "they" alot, and it does seem to detract from the story.

I'd like to see what more you have to offer though.

Just my two schillings.

-Monolith-


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samhaine3
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I used "They" because I was talking about the words. I could put "The words" in its place but that would be the same. It sounded good to me, but that's why I'm here. To learn. I'll see what I can to.

Oh, the word gurl is misspelled because that's my wife's computer name, "Xcaligurl," and it's a habit of mine to write it that way. Sorry, but when you meet someone on the internet, talk about a year to them, and then moved them from South Carolina to Texas to marry them, sometimes you get bad habits. Especially if their name is "Xcaligurl." Sorry, Sam


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Monolith
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That's ok. I figured you accidentally mispelled it. I thought I'd bring it to your attention.

You could use 'they' and 'the words' interchangably as long as your talking about them.(them being the words)

I do like your style. Keep up the good work.

-Monolith-


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TruHero
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I think you need to do some naming here. Tell us who "he" is. Tell us the name of this girl, or how that information stuck in your MC's mind, or what bothered or captivated him about it. You also need to add an "a" before forgotten girl, unless that is her name, then you should capatalize it.

I also struggled with "they". I couldn't distinguish they from anything else, probably because you didn't name anybody. It was a stumbling block for me.

This could also mean that this is starting in the wrong place. Maybe just a few minutes earlier would help. Perhaps you could start by telling us who "he" is and how he came by this faded picture and information. That way we have a basic understanding of what is going on. The thing I see from this, is that you could be heading for a flashback, and in my opinion, that isn't a good way to start a story.

One more thing, just by this first 13, I couldn't tell what the intended genre is. This could be Sci-fi, Fantasy, Mystery, really anything, because I don't have a firm sense of the setting or the MC. Starting a bit earlier and desribing the setting and/or the MC, could solve that problem.
I am intrigued, just not enough specifics to pull me in. Good luck!

[This message has been edited by TruHero (edited November 28, 2005).]


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D_James_Larkin
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All excellent comments TruHero.

I don't know what more I would add.


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wbriggs
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I'm not hooked. A man or boy has found a picture of a girl (with words and phrases?). Could be good, but I don't know why I should care. Why does MC care? Is it his daughter? Is he a private investigator? What's going on? Tell us, and I think I'll care.
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sojoyful
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quote:
Only one spelling mistake that I saw. "Gurl"?

Monolith: Only one spelling mistake that *I* saw. "alot"? (Sorry, I just couldn't resist.)

samhaine3, maybe you edited out some of the "they"s, because I didn't run into them.

Everybody's tastes are different, but this style felt fairly comfortable to me. The sentence starting "Water had caused..." was too long, and I got lost by the end, forgetting where I had started.

My biggest problem with this beginning is the big question: So what? 2 reasons:
1) I don't know who 'he' is. You don't tell us a single thing about him, or how he feels about this paper, or what he is thinking, or his relationship with the girl, or anything. Nothing. So when we boil your story down, it has no characters in it yet.
2) I might be able to forgive #1 if I could become intrigued by the girl in the paper, or what's written on the paper...except that you don't actually tell us anything about those either! The ONLY thing you tell us in this entire thing is that, somewhere in the universe, there's a piece of paper that's wrinkled and soiled. That's not a story beginning.

When I boil your opening down, there's nothing there. Just a piece of paper that we have no reason to care about. No characters, no story, no hook. The first 13 must contain enough of those three things to make us go on to line 14.

I can tell that you have a neat story waiting just around the corner, but you need to let us see a glimpse of it to whet our appetite.

Edited to say: My mom (who is visiting for Thanksgiving) happened to read your thirteen over my shoulder and said my response was totally off-base. She was completely hooked and had lots of questions that would lead her to read on. So...don't ever take any one person's response as absolute.

[This message has been edited by sojoyful (edited November 28, 2005).]


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