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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » First Draft - untitled

   
Author Topic: First Draft - untitled
Cheli
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This is an untitled snippet, about 13 lines, of a novel I began a few years ago. Thus far, I have 2 complete chapters and some backstory. It needs rewritten badly, even I can see that, yet I would welcome some feedback on the beginning. I like the beginnning personally, but would love some opinions on this. Atm, I shall be redoing my outline, then setting out on writing this once again.

Any input is appreciated - whether it grabbed you, didn't grab you, bored you, or if you have corrections you think need be made.

Thanks

And yes, this is my 2nd post and first fragment.

Allison opened her eyes, but it was still gone. Everything. The garage, the storeroom, the house, all of it. All that remained was a smoking pile of rubbish. Somehow, she'd hoped that by closing her eyes, it might change. But she knew better.

They had been warned, after all. It had been foolish not to listen. Not that it mattered now. They would never need this house again. Allison felt her jaw clench in anger, and if she cared to admit it to anyone, in fear.

They had struck in the dead of night. Just when he had said they would. It had happened so suddenly, she hadnít been able to move for one long moment, and then she hadnít stopped until daylight. Until they had been banished back to the vile place from whence they came.

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited November 28, 2005).]


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Swimming Bird
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This style. It's very awkward. Please just tell the story. Without the distraction of constant. Sentence fragments.
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Monolith
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You're style is a bit awkward for me to pick up on. You could lengthen your sentences a bit.

Also you could identify the 'they' in there too.

But I think, if you clean this up a bit, I'd read a bit more. The mystery of the 'they' is good, but if you identified 'they' it might spice things up. Like having a reader ask, what do they want with Allison and this place? That sort of question would linger in my mind until I figure it out for myself or you point it out to me.

All in all, I'd say it's decent.

-Monolith-


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Leigh
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Nothing too bad with it, but the short sentences kind of unnerved me a little. Too many is a bad thing. I think the identity of 'they' shouldnt be revealed too soon, just what happened to the house is all I want to know.

What actually happened to the house? Did it burn down? Do 'they' have a grudge against Allison?

If you make us see what happened to the house I think it would clean it up a little.


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yanos
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I'm not sure this one starts in the right place. By starting here you are leaving so many unknowns for the reader. Questions which you cannot possible answer that quickly without resorting to flashback.
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sojoyful
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Personally, I had no problem with your style. I didn't even notice it until others pointed it out, and I don't agree with them. So it must be a personal taste thing.

I actually liked this quite a bit. I was drawn in right away in the first sentence, because I could see from her perspective.

That said, here's what I noticed that could be worked on:

quote:
Somehow, she'd hoped that by closing her eyes, it might change. But she knew better.

Um...if she knew better, then why would she hope? Either she hopes, or she knows better. Which is it?

Starting the second paragraph with 'they' was jarring, because we were deep into Allison's POV and suddenly were being asked to think about 'others' who don't have names, genders, or even species for that matter. Awkward.

quote:
Allison felt her jaw clench in anger, and if she cared to admit it to anyone, in fear.

Having Allison feel her jaw clenching is awkward because it separates her from the action. Why did you choose that over saying "Allison clenched her jaw"? Also, when I read this I hear how I think you want it to sound, but you've punctuated it incorrectly for that. How about "Allison clenched her jaw in anger and - if she cared to admit it to anyone - in fear."

The last paragraph was the weakest part of this opening. We still don't know anything about 'they' and now there's also an unintroduced 'he' to contend with. Plus, you're stuck telling us stuff that has already happened rather than moving forward. I think don't think you need to resort to this exposition, because this information will come out gradually as the story progresses.

I was quite hooked by the first paragraph, but then you let me slip away. Personally, I think you should stay in Allison's POV, since you established it so well. Let us see her next actions, and all that info you want us to have will come out on its own.

I have end-of-semester graduate student stress syndrome, so I can't read anything for about 2 and a half weeks. However, if you're still looking for readers then, definitely count me in.


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Cheli
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Thanks very much for the replies Will think on these and see what I come up with.

Btw, the "they" was introduced on purpose, but as stated, it does immediately make you question - thanks for letting me know it takes you out of the story. That will need to change.

[This message has been edited by Cheli (edited November 29, 2005).]


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