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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Bone Orchard - A Graphic Novel

   
Author Topic: The Bone Orchard - A Graphic Novel
Dogmatic
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As the hallow of the evening deepened time seemed to altogether stop, or rather the circular motion of the clock swept past this place leaving it untouched. The King’s head hung low, diminishing his regalness with a sort of apathetic weight. Thoughts and concerns languished in the chill as a new snow began to fall. This was not how a king should end. This was not a heroic deed, a great battle, a quest for honor; no this was a feeble denouement fit for a man of lesser character. And as he looked into the mirror of his life he could only see the "almost," the "could have been" and the shameful regrets of each chapter ending with no resolution. Now the ends of time frayed loosely, teasing out the last bit of hope.

No... this was no way for a king to end.


Hi all,
This is from my graphic novel "The Bone Orhcard." A retelling of a thousand year old myth from India. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Steve

[This message has been edited by Dogmatic (edited January 30, 2009).]


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snapper
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Loved the title, the prose is great.

The only complaint I have is this is in the wrong Feedback and Fragment section.

Your good, Steve, Better than the rest of us. Keep up the good work.


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Dogmatic
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Thanks for the nice comment. I wasn't sure where the best place for this was since it's a graphic novel that's only about 30 pages long as far as writing goes and maybe 70 pages with pictures.
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Crystal Stevens
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Sheesh! Do you give lessons? I wish I could write like that. Great job!
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Christian
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I must agree, the prose is great Dog. The ONLY thing I could even find to really critique is a missing comma.

--As the hallow of the evening deepened time seemed to altogether stop--

...needs a comma after "deepened". Other than that, great writing. I did need to read it twice though. The first time, I was just expecting action, and was a bit disappointed. When I reread it for what was written...I was pretty blown away. You're writing reminds me of George R.R. Martin: specifically teh scene where Edwark Stark was marched to the headsman.


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alliedfive
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Agree with everyone else--beautiful prose. I could read maybe another paragraph of it before I craved some plot, or conflict, or something non-metaphysical/psychological happening in real time in the real world. I would be rooting for some dialogue to start soon.
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skadder
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I, it seems, must a the lone voice of dissension.

I found the opening line confusing (well, most of it really).

quote:
As the hallow of the evening deepened time seemed to altogether stop, or rather the circular motion of the clock swept past this place leaving it untouched.

What is evening deepened time? Also you start your sentence with as yet fail to qualify what also happens. e.g.

As the snow fell, I got cold.

You have another dependent clause (I think that is what the are called) in the middle. e.g.

As the snow fell (As the hallow of the evening deepened time seemed to altogether stop), or rather swept down (or rather the circular motion of the clock swept past this place leaving it untouched.) ....what?


You are missing a clause, unless I am being an idiot (entirely possible!

As something happened, or rather happened to pass, then/so/ etc,etc...

The prose had an element of beauty to it--word choice, poetic construction--but says little.

Nice form, but little substance. I think you need to work in substance to get a double thumbs up.

Where are we? What is the King's name. I would recommend not using "" in prose, replacing them with italics works better.

If this is a graphic novel I would suggest putting in the artist's directions, so we know what details are evident in the graphic portion of the story.

e.g. Elderly King sits upon throne, in dark and cobwebbed hall. he rests his chin upon his hand. His face looks miserable. A guard snoozes standing up, leaning against his spear, to one side of the the throne.

Text: Bah, blah.

Otherwise it is difficult to judge what you have written.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited February 02, 2009).]


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Nick T
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Hi,

I'll be the second voice of dissension (as far as declaiming it perfect goes). Note that I'm reading this as purely story text.

quote:
As the hallow of the evening deepened

Is this the right word? As far as I know, "hallow" generally means to consecrate or make holy. I get the sense that you're striving to get the sense of a still, silent evening, but why not simply say "as the silence of the evening deepened..."?

Similarly, "evening deepened time" and "or rather the circular motion of the clock swept past this place leaving it untouched", sound really cool, but what does they actually mean? I can get the idea of the images and the feel that you're trying to evoke, but I think you can get the same effect using a clearer, sharper style.

quote:
The king's head hung low, diminishing his regalness with a sort of apathetic weight.

Once again, a good indicator of mood, but the language could (IMO) be sharper. For me, the use of the words "a sort of..." indicates that you need to clarify the image. I'd be satisfied with "the king's head hung low..." and then making my own conclusions from the following text.

For me, the best bits were after "This was not how a king should end." You get his sense of pride, his disappointment and his regrets. That's great character building. Before that, the writing isn't as precise and, as Skadder identified, the dependent clauses are all over the place.

I'll agree with Skadder that a name should be given early on if there isn't a good reason to withhold it.

Is this a written introduction to the graphic novel? It would be hell for the reader if this is stuck in a text box and doesn't leave much room for your artist in the opening panels. Or is it simply instructions for your artist to give him/her an idea what kind of mood they should evoke in their drawings? It makes it a little bit difficult to critique it without knowing its purpose.

Regards,

Nick


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Dogmatic
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Hi all,
As much as I love the great comments I must appreciate the critiques as well. I think you're right that without more info it's difficult to know what's going on. Being a graphic novel it has a little bit different structure flowing between prose, poetry, images and straight dialogue.


The King - is the only way the character is ever referred to.

As Alliedfive wisely suggested the next paragraph does introduce dialogue and plot.

Hallow refers to The sacredness, or holiness of the evening becoming greater. I think my tense might be incorrect but I sacrificed that for the poetics. I tend to drive my editor crazy that way.

The clock comment means that time passed this place over.


The main purpose for this paragraph is just to set the mood for the rest of the piece. The text is part of the image. Once I have a good rough draft I'd love to send it to some of you for comments.

Once again thank you all.
Steve


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Nick T
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Hi Steve,

quote:
Hallow refers to The sacredness, or holiness of the evening becoming greater. I think my tense might be incorrect but I sacrificed that for the poetics.

Hallow in its infinitive pretty much means "to make holy". For the phrase to make literal sense, you'd need to say something like "As the evening grew more hallowed, deepened time seemed to altogether stop". As you're going for a poetic form, you might be able to take liberties with verb tenses, but some (fussy) readers (like me) might find it irritating. I guess that's the cost-benefit of any type of writing; you're going to lose some readers along the way, no matter what you do.

quote:
The clock comment means that time passed this place over.

So why not just say that? You run the risk of the reader misinterpreting what you mean here.

quote:
The main purpose for this paragraph is just to set the mood for the rest of the piece. The text is part of the image.

So, is this text overlaying a single full page panel? This much text is going to look awfully busy on one page and I think (not being a very visual person) it might take away from the impact of the image.

Cheers,

Nick


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AmieeRock
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Try this,

As the hallowed evening deepened, time seemed to altogether stop.

Deepening the evening rather than the hallowedness of it gets the same mood across and doesn't require an unweildy sentence to do so.

huh. Strangely, I have never read a graphic novel. Right now, that makes me kind of sad. I'll read it, if you like.


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