Hatrack River
Home † | † About Orson Scott Card † | † News & Reviews † | † OSC Library † | † Forums † | † Contact † | † Links
Research Area † | † Writing Lessons † | † Writers Workshops † | † OSC at SVU † | † Calendar † | † Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Protector of the Realm

   
Author Topic: Protector of the Realm
snapper
Member
Member # 7299

 - posted      Profile for snapper   Email snapper         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have submitted this to a slush pile that post there crit for all to read. The biggest complaint is that the opening is too slow. I have two versions. If you could tell me which one works best or if neither do I will be in your debt.

Version 1

quote:
Cirole pumped his wings twice then proceeded to glide. The green coast of Vandyer beckoned to him. An inviting change compared to the rocky cliffs of Scandalvine. Fifteen years of living on a steady diet of reindeer, walrus, and redheaded Scandalvinians had been enough for him.
Letís see what Vandyer has to offer.
A chorus of squawks and honks caught his attention. Cirole tilted his leathery wings and maneuvered to tail the migrating geese. With a burst of speed, he cut through the center of the V and caught the lead gander in his teeth. He looked back to see the flock scatter in all directions. His eye ridges quivered in delight to see how well he disrupted their formation. He chewed, then swallowed. Even the geese taste better here.

Version 2

quote:
Cirole pumped his wings twice then proceeded to glide. Vandyer beckoned to him. He flew over its green pastures, filled with abundant livestock and healthy wild life, once. Dalgan the Mighty chased him and his fellow youngling brothers off centuries ago.
Letís see what Vandyer has to offer now.
Towns and small cities dotted the countryside. Wide expanses of plowed fields filled the spaces between. Over the mountain ridge, a large city nestled in a sparkling blue bay. Cirole took note of the extravagant palace at its center. In every other city resided its own castle. Perfect.
The thought of settling in Vandyer began to appeal to Cirole. First he would need to deal with its infamous dragon guardian.

Version 3

quote:
Cirole spit out the old leathery boot. He worked his tongue along the back of his teeth; the taste of moldy clothes was still there. He eyed the offending boot and spat a small ball of fire at it. Startled yelps of terror came from the back of cave. The last ten Scandalvians huddled together, trembling in the furthest corner. He glanced at them and groaned.
Iíll lose the contents of my third gullet if I eat another dry, bony red-haired northerner ever again.
Cirole stepped out of his cave and sniffed the air. His ears perked when he caught a whiff from the brewery from across the sea. Over there was the land of plenty, of ale, of his favorite dish, and his greatest rival, Dalgan the Mighty.

[This message has been edited by snapper (edited November 23, 2008).]


Posts: 3072 | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
honu
Member
Member # 8277

 - posted      Profile for honu   Email honu         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hmmm< I was able to follow the first one easier as a read...your mc name throws me just a tad....just getting aroun the pronunciation....is this a Drake of some sort? If so he could prob. toast and gulp as he flies through the flock ...I would read more
Posts: 686 | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
satate
Member
Member # 8082

 - posted      Profile for satate   Email satate         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I liked version 1 better. The dragon? was doing something. Version 2 seemed slow, I don't care what the other place looks like because I don't have enough invested in the story yet. At this point knowing there's a castle and some sort of order is meaningless since I have no framework to interpret why it's bad or good, or useful.
Posts: 962 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
deebum25
Member
Member # 8286

 - posted      Profile for deebum25           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry Snapper it's just not holding my attention. I don't have a reason to care about this character or where he's going.

That said version 1 reads better to my untrained eye.


Posts: 44 | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kings_falcon
Member
Member # 3261

 - posted      Profile for kings_falcon   Email kings_falcon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Version 3 - Version 1 is clearer for me but not compelling. My problem is here you are with something hunting - I did like to reference to eating the Scandalvinians, it told me that Cirole isn't a humanoid, but no tension. Are the people below him shouting "Egads, it's a bird, it's a flying boat, it's a ????" or not.

In the second version we still have the boring hunt and a bunch of names I had trouble parsing but the end was a reference to "its infamous dragon guardian." Could Cirole be the tiniest bit anxious before that point about running into the guardian while he's flying over Vandyer land? Also, what made him come "back" (?) after 15 years?

If you keep the first paragraph from the first version and the second paragraph from the second version, it might hook better. Then Cicole can go off geese hunting.



Posts: 1210 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
snapper
Member
Member # 7299

 - posted      Profile for snapper   Email snapper         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks everyone. Wrote a third version and would like comments on that.
Posts: 3072 | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
monstewer
Member
Member # 5883

 - posted      Profile for monstewer   Email monstewer         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't see any real hook here. The dragon is sick of eating the northerners and has caught a whiff of a brewery, not much to keep me reading. A couple of minor nits:

Startled yelps of terror Probably just me, but I don't really associate "startled" and "yelps" with great terror. I think they're more of a surprised reaction, but if they're in a dragons cave and have just watched him eat one of their mates then I'd expect a stronger reaction.

Iíll lose the contents of my third gullet if I eat another dry, bony red-haired northerner ever again. This move into 1st comes out of nowhere. Maybe you forgot to italicize it or something?

His ears perked when he caught a whiff from the brewery from across the sea. I thought it a bit strange that his ears perk when he catches the smell. Also, the repetition of "from" is distracting. Maybe "he caught a whiff of the brewery from across the sea" or "he caught a whiff from the brewery across the sea".

Over there was the land of plenty, of ale, of his favorite dish, and his greatest rival, Dalgan the Mighty. Slightly confusing sentence, that one. The biggest hook I see in this opening is Dalgan--maybe give him his own sentence? On the first (speed) read through, I thought for a moment that Dalgan was his favourite dish. I can't see many making that mistake but I still think the mention of Dalgan will have more effect given his own sentence rather than stuck on the end of that long winding sentence. At the moment he is last on a list which includes the very vague "plenty", "ale", and some unspecified "dish"...it doesn't make him sound very important to say he is Cirole's greatest rival.

Good luck with it



Posts: 373 | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Codeô is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2