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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » New WotF Entry (Approx 1600 words)

   
Author Topic: New WotF Entry (Approx 1600 words)
InarticulateBabbler
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I need some full critiques. I have to have a fast turn-around, though--I'm trying to get it ready for this quarter. So, it needs to be in the mail by the 31st.

13:

quote:

Ginny stopped the old rocker in which she sat and stood up. She walked to the edge of the porch and leaned on wooden pillar that was long overdue for a whitewashing. Had the damned Federal Army not come; had they not forced her son Richard to join their war, the plantation would be running as well if her Robert was still alive. The ignorance of the Federal Commanders amazed her: Didn't they understand that they were creating Confederates?
At first, Ginny thought it was a cannonball streaking across the twilight sky that interrupted her thoughts. It would be of no great surprise if the war had come to Lone Jack. But it wasn't a fiery projectile that burned through the air; projectiles didn't turn mid-air and re-aim themselves.

New 13 Below.


[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited March 24, 2008).]

NEW New 13 Below. This is the last revision...it goes out in the mail by the day after tomorrow.

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited March 28, 2008).]


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tnwilz
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I'll read. Quickly even.

I think you're missing an A between ON and WOODEN in the first line there.

Think you’re missing the word AS on the second line too. You are in a rush aren’t you.

Actually this is confusing, had to read twice.

"Had the damned Federal Army not come; had they not forced her son Richard to join their war, the plantation would be running as well if her Robert was still alive."

Mostly the last part. It seems such an obvious, therefore redundant, statement. Kind of like saying; if I hadn’t dropped the brick on my foot it wouldn’t be hurting so much. I see your intent. It is tricky, but that was my first reaction. Maybe it’s the difference between telling and showing. Like the post that was in need of paint. Now I’ve re-read it and talked about it seems better than it did at first. Perhaps it was just the missing AS that made me pause. Well, take it under advisement. The opening has to be right on for WOTF.

The word “ignorance” wouldn’t have been my first choice. I would have gone with arrogance, but that may just be personal preference.

Decent hook, looking forward to reading the rest.


Btw, its 14,000 words and 62 pages. As in 14 THOUSAND words not 1600. Thats ok i'll still do it by monday

[This message has been edited by tnwilz (edited March 23, 2008).]


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Bent Tree
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Ginny stopped the old rocker in which she sat and stood up.[This reads/ he sat and stood up in the old rocker] She walked to the edge of the porch and leaned on[a/the] wooden pillar that was long overdue for a whitewashing. Had the damned Federal Army not come; had they not forced her son Richard to join their war, the plantation would be running as well if her Robert was still alive. The ignorance of the Federal Commanders amazed her:[This sentence didn't work for me. The one that follows is adequate.] Didn't they understand that they were creating Confederates?
At first, Ginny thought it was a cannonball streaking across the twilight sky that interrupted her thoughts. It would be of no great surprise if the war had come to Lone Jack. But it wasn't a fiery projectile that burned through the air;[Are cannonballs fiery?] projectiles didn't turn mid-air and re-aim themselves

I think this needs a little more energy. Maybe start with what she is seeing--UFO or whatever. The thoughts of the MC seem telling. Maybe more- Damn the Federal commanders; didn't they know they are turning our boys into confederate soldiers? The plantation would be in order if her Richard were home.

Some things would be implied. Civil War is something that is somewhat familiar to most so you can pass without so much expo.
Just bmy take.

If Monday afternoon is acceptable turnaround. I'll give it a go. I can probably get to it sometime tomorrow, but definately by Monday. Send it if you want.

[This message has been edited by Bent Tree (edited March 23, 2008).]


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snapper
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I would be willing to read for you. I have time to spare tomorrow. Send it if you like.
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darklight
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I'd love to read. Time's a bit tricky for me at the moment but you can send it over and I'll see if I can critique over the next couple of days.
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skadder
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Richard an Robert are confusing people to such and extent they think they are the same person. I am assuming, as it makes more sense, that they are not. I am doing this on a handheld, and I can't see the rest to comment on it, so I will leave it there. It felt rushed though.
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rickfisher
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quote:
Ginny stopped [the old rocker in which she sat]-->rocking? and stood up--> omit "up". She walked to the edge of the porch and leaned on the wooden pillar[ that]-->, which ("that" suggests that there was another wooden pillar whose whitewash was quite sufficient) was long overdue for a whitewashing. Had the damned Federal Army not come; comma, not semi had they not forced her son Richard to join their war, the plantation would be running as well if her Robert was still alive. Yeah, this sentence is a bit hard to parse. It's a logical argument of the apparent form "If A then B if C." What's that second "if" really mean? Does it mean, "If A and C then B"? Or something else? Or here's another possibility: you merely left out the word "as": "would be running as well AS if . . ." The ignorance of the Federal Commanders amazed her: Didn't they understand that they were creating Confederates?

At first, Ginny thought [it was a cannonball streaking across the twilight sky that interrupted her thoughts.] This clause could be better phrased. Starting with "it was" is usually (though by no means always) a bad idea. It would be of omit "of" no great surprise if the war had come to Lone Jack. But it wasn't "it was" again a fiery projectile that burned through the air; projectiles didn't turn mid-air and re-aim themselves.



I also have doubts about a "fiery projectile" being mistaken for a cannonball.

Sorry I don't have time to read this right now--especially since you need it in a hurry. It's a good start.

[This message has been edited by rickfisher (edited March 23, 2008).]


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InarticulateBabbler
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Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. Tracy and Rick, thanks for pointing out what should've been obvious.

As to the names, they are what they are for a reason, and they won't be changed. I know the concerns (the strikes against the syllabic and beginning letters), but this story is not just a story, it's a promise fulfilled to my recently deceased mother. Once again, I thank everyone for their help.


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InarticulateBabbler
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I don't know why I typed 1600 words, it's 16,000 words. Big difference...

Sorry for the misinformation. I just noticed the typo.


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InarticulateBabbler
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Edited thirteen:

quote:

Ginny stopped the old rocker in which she sat and stood up. She walked to the edge of the porch and leaned on the wooden pillar, which was long overdue for a whitewashing. Had the Federals not come and forced her son Richard to join their war, the farm would be running as well as if her Robert was still alive.

At first, Ginny thought it was a cannonball she saw streaking across the twilight sky. It would be of no great surprise if the war had come to Lone Jack. That a fiery projectile burned through the air was of no surprise, it re-aiming itself in mid-air was.

"Hattie Mae," she called. "Hattie Mae, come out here."

The screen door creaked open and banged shut. "Yes'm?"


It's also been tightened up to 15,750 words (by about a page).


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mommiller
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To me, your first paragraph doesn't seem to have much hook to it, as it is mostly description.

quote:
Ginny stopped the old rocker in which she sat and stood up. She walked to the edge of the porch and leaned on the wooden pillar, which was long overdue for a whitewashing. Had the Federals not come and forced her son Richard to join their war, the farm would be running as well as if her Robert was still alive.

For me, this is where your story starts.

quote:
At first, Ginny thought it was a cannonball she saw streaking across the twilight sky.It would be of no great surprise if the war had come to Lone Jack. That a fiery projectile burned through the air was of no surprise, it re-aiming itself in mid-air was.

I'd flip flop the description with the action. Or better yet, work that descriptive piece into the action.

Ginny stood up from her old porch rocker, almost tangling her hoop skirts in her unladylike haste to find her feet. The cannonball streaking across the sky frightened her. The war, she thought, it's finally come all the way to Lone Jack. Her heart all but seized beneath her stays when she saw the firery projectile shift in its course and change direction.

"Hattie Mae...'

Watch your 'was,' and 'had,' use in favor of some more stronger verbs.

[This message has been edited by mommiller (edited March 24, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by mommiller (edited March 24, 2008).]


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nitewriter
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I agree that the second paragraph is more of a hook.

This beginning could be pruned to give more impact:

"She walked to the end of the porch and leaned on a wooden pillar long overdue for whitewashing."

"...as if her Robert was still alive." I take it Robert is a son, but there is nothing here to indicate it could not be ber husband. Or is it?

""(That-delete) a fiery projectivle (burned - redundant) through the air was (of- delete) no great surprise, ..."

"It would be (of = delete) no surprise, it re-aiming..."

"surprise" used twice in last two sentences.

"re-aiming" seems awkward. changed direction or changed course might be better.

[This message has been edited by nitewriter (edited March 25, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by nitewriter (edited March 25, 2008).]


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kings_falcon
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Hi again. Life has leveled off a bit. Ship it to the new work email and I'll run through it tonight.
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DebbieKW
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Just to be perverse, I'll chime in to say I liked your re-write in the exact order you have it (description, then action). I like knowing the setting before having action thrown at me. This way, I know the exact context the cannon ball and the significance of it not acting like a cannon ball.

I'm sorry I didn't check into Hatrack early enough to critique this for you. Right now, life is full until about Friday. Next time you need a quick crit, feel free to just send it to me with the proposed deadline and I'll get to it if I can.


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InarticulateBabbler
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KF, I mailed it to the account you have in your profile, since the last account we talked on was to be changed.

Debbie, thanks. It's no problem that you can't get to this in time. I'll take you up on then offer when another chance arises.

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited March 25, 2008).]


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InarticulateBabbler
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Here is the newest incarnation:
quote:

Ginny walked to the edge of the porch and leaned on a wooden pillar long overdue for a whitewashing. Had the Federals not come and forced her son Richard to join their war, the farm would be running as well as if her husband Robert was still alive. She gazed out over the cornfield. Something big appeared and streaked across the twilight sky. Just three days after the battle at Independence, it would be no surprise if the war had come to Lone Jack. While a projectile burning through the air wasn't a strange sight, it changing direction in mid-air was.

"Hattie Mae," she called. "Hattie Mae, come out here."

The screen door creaked open and banged shut. "Yes'm?"

"What do you make of that?" Ginny asked. She pointed


Thanks again to everyone that has helped.


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Bent Tree
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It reads much nicer--more luring.
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