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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Fantasy 2500 words. Mature content.

   
Author Topic: Fantasy 2500 words. Mature content.
Sara Genge
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Mistress wishes to conceive so she asks for her servant. Master breaks protocol and comes to fetch Lala personally: he is young and eager to impregnate his bride and he doesn't have time for "prayers and roses".
"Woman, Mistress Jandala wants you," he says. Lala can see the tension knotting his buttocks so she gets up quickly wrapping her feelers closer to her face to avoid smelling his musk. She's nervous and she would have felt reassured by prayers and roses but the wishes of a servant are not important.
Even before she opens the door, Lala can tell Mistress is ready. The matchmakers have chosen a good time for the wedding night. Jandala's smell clings to the tapestry and Lala's feelers dance involuntarily to the taste.

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Survivor
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Are you trying to invoke an alien POV with the broken language?
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Ash
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Dunno what to make of it. Reminds me of Smeagol. Lala is the speaker, but speaks in third person?
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Sara Genge
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Hmm, dunno if I understand.
It's in 3rd person, Lala is the MC. No, she's not the speaker.

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Slartibartfast
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Feelers?? I was still trying to wrap my head around the servant-conception idea. You are paying a big price by not telling us (or maybe it's just me) up front, directly, that we are dealing with insects. Slipping in information like that is an interesting style, and perfectly ok, but in the current form it is more distracting to me than smooth. Perhaps you could offer other hints such as having Master "scuttle." Or outright say that he has six or n legs.

hmm a duplicate thread.


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priscillabgoo
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Actually, it doesn't bother me that I don't know what they are. They could be insects, an insect-human hybrid, or something all together different. I can wait to find out. I also get the POV. I'm just not sure the fractured language is working for me, but I would still keep reading.

[This message has been edited by priscillabgoo (edited February 04, 2007).]


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
hmm a duplicate thread.

Yes. Thanks for posting the same thing in both of them, Slartibartfast. It made it easier for me to delete the duplicate.


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oliverhouse
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I liked it. I'm definitely reading something from a unique POV, and that POV is made clear up front. I'm not sure yet what a servant has to do with mating, but I also know that I'm likely to encounter all sorts of things -- cultural, biological, and possibly more -- that I'm not used to. Good stuff.
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wbriggs
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I found the difficulty in nailing the POV (sorry about the pun), plus present-tense summary we started with, to make it hard to follow.
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thayerds
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Maybe its just me but I did't see anything wrong with it. I would read more. It definately hooked me.
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Sara Genge
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It seems that there is something wrong with the voice--could you guys point out precisely what is bothering you? Present tense? Mistress and Master are used as the names that all the servants would call these people, I didn't mean to imply that Lala is speaking of something that happened to her in third person.
Feelers are just organs around these being's mouth which "taste" smells. These creatures are not insects. Is there another word which you think would work better and have the same meaning?

This is my rewrite of the first paragraph. Is it better?

The Mistress of Lampu farm wishes to conceive, so she asks for her jaja servant. Master breaks protocol and comes to fetch Lala himself because he is eager to impregnate his bride and he doesn't have time for "prayers and roses".
"Woman, Mistress Jandala wants you". Sexual tension knots his buttocks and Lala wraps her feelers closer to her face to avoid smelling his musk. She's nervous and she would have liked to have prayers, but the wishes of a servant are not important.

Readers are welcome although there is some adult content. If you are interested please email me and I'll explain in more detail. If you still want to read, I'll send it in.


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Survivor
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I don't understand what POV you're attempting here. I thought you might have been trying to portray Lala as a POV with limited mental capabilities before, now she seems to have been dropped but there isn't any clear replacement.
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Sara Genge
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Why does Lala have limited mental capacity? I meant her to be a simple servant girl, but she's not stupid
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oliverhouse
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I agree with Survivor that you seem to have lost the POV somewhat in the revision. I don't understand the limited mental capacity comment. If anything, the comment "the wishes of a servant are not important" imply to me that she has greater intellectual and emotional capacity than she's generally required to have. I might expect the same kind of comment from an undereducated 18th-century American slave.

I still like them, and want to read more. I'm slow on crits right now, but if you're not in a hurry...


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Survivor
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I didn't say "stupid". I said "limited" because it seemed that she might have a stunted ability to express or understand complex mental traits. Might be what oliverhouse was saying. That was simply because the "voice" of the first narration was so stilted and inexpressive, apparently deliberately.

I'm just trying to understand the affect of the POV. I think that you're trying to do something definite with your POV portrayal, but I can't tell what it is.


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wbriggs
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The present tense is a problem for me. Replacing "Mistress" with "the Mistress of ..." helped. I want to know in sentence 1 whose POV it is, and where he/she/it is and what he/she/it is experiencing. It's not a rule -- you could do "the first paragraph is free" -- but I don't think starting with non-POV'd summary is working for you here.
quote:

Lala saw her Master come in. [Some reference to them being aliens.]

"Woman, Mistress Jandala wants you". [Explanation of what she knows about the order, which presumably is what you had as the first paragraph.]





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Sara Genge
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Hmmm, Wbriggs, you've got a point.

Lala saw her Master come in waving his tentacles and dorky algae... of course, I'm kidding, but it could work. And then introduce the Mistress the conceiving and such

Thanks!


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Survivor
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Yes, "dorky", however appropriate, would definitely be a very different affect from whatever you're using now.
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RMatthewWare
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The POV is confusing. I'm not sure who the MC is supposed to be. It seems it could be much simpler. Especially in the first draft it seemed there were too many characters and too many concepts to keep up with for one paragraph. Just give me a clear start, we can get to the rest later.

Matt


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Sara Genge
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Better or worse? The flashback paragraph bothers me, does it bother you?


"Woman, Mistress Jandala wants you," Master says, holding onto the doorway with his left feeler.
Lala understands. Mistress has finally decided to conceive and has asked for her jaja servant, and Master, eager to impregnate his bride, has broken protocol and come to fetch Lala himself. She's heard him shouting from the first floor that he didn't have time for "prayers and roses".
Lala can see the sexual tension gripping his buttocks so she gets up quickly and wraps her feelers closer to her face to avoid smelling his musk. She's nervous and she would have liked the blessing, but the wishes of a servant are not important.
Even before she opens the door, Lala can tell Mistress is ready. The matchmakers have chosen a good time for the wedding night.


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Survivor
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I wish I could say something, but I'm too hung up on trying to figure out the POV affect.
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Sara Genge
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quote:
POV affect

Do you mean effect?

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priscillabgoo
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I took parts of each version and came up with this. I don't think it's perfect by any means, but it flows the way I would want to read it. I don't know what the "prayers and roses" part of the story means yet, but it seems important somehow. That's why I started with it. Hope this is helpful.

Master doesn't have time for "prayers and roses". The Mistress of Lampu farm wishes to conceive, and has asked for her jaja servant. Eager to impregnate his bride, Master breaks protocol and comes to fetch Lala himself.
"Woman, Mistress Jandala wants you," Master says, holding onto the doorway with his left feeler. Lala can see the sexual tension gripping his buttocks so she gets up quickly and wraps her feelers closer to her face to avoid smelling his musk. Lala’s nervous and would have liked to have prayers, but the wishes of a servant are not important.
Even before she opens the door, Lala can tell Mistress is ready. The matchmakers have chosen a good time for the wedding night.


[This message has been edited by priscillabgoo (edited February 12, 2007).]


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tnwilz
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I liked it. This is not a style of writing that can be resolved in 13 lines, but I like it and would read on. Reminded me a bit of Vonda N. McIntyre, not sure why, just similar in some way I havn't figured out yet I guess. This start ripples with compelling questions and ignites a desire to understand "alien."

Two thumbs up on the first 13.

Oh, google "Little Faces" if you want to see what I mean about Vonda.

[This message has been edited by tnwilz (edited February 12, 2007).]


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Sara Genge
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Thanks for the rewrite priscillabgoo. However, I'm concerned that it has the same problem than my second version: the POV which starts the story isn't the MC.
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Survivor
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I mean affect, the pyschological information you're trying to communicate.

I can see the effects you're using, and I see the effect they have on me as a reader, but I have no idea what you're trying to tell us about the POV by this heavily stylized portrayal.


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priscillabgoo
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Where are you with the story? I honestly don't have a feel for the POV, but I think the concept as far as I understand it is interesting. It might be easier to make a useful suggestion if some of us could read the first scene. I'm willing to do that if you are at that point.
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Sara Genge
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Survivor: The MC's feelings are not in the forefront because she's a servant, and she doesn't think too much about herself, and because she's an alien, and not readily understandable by humans.
I can see how this can be a problem, especially in a first 13 line format such as this.
I do agree however, that the language can be toned down. Sorry if I didn't address this earlier, but I just didn't understand what you were trying to say.

Priscillaboo: I've emailed you about the first scene.


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Survivor
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I think my advice would be to go with a more normal narrative voice, without the heavy affect. Maybe go for a "Wild Kingdom" kind of narrator...does that make any sense?
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Dude
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I think the last version is pretty good. You give enough information so that I can follow what is happening and introduce interesting characters. The first version was just too confusing because of the POV issue and lack of flow. The second version did not address it as well as the last.

I think it is a good opening now. How mature is the content? I wouldn't mind reading if the focus is more on the characters and not so much on bizarre mating rituals of alien species.


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Sara Genge
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Dude: I'll email you about that.
Survivor: thanks. I'll see how I can tone it done.

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