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 » Reluctant Destroyer...

   
Author Topic: Reluctant Destroyer...
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Pyramid of the Sun defined her world. The outer stone blocks, though insubstantial like smoke, were her boundaries. Sivela peered from a stone riser as the humans climbed the steep steps past her, to the summit above.
The flat top had been empty of priests for centuries. Obsidian blades no longer flashed; blood no longer sprayed upon the gray stones--she starved. Soon, she would be so thin the pyramid would not contain her and she would walk the earth.
A young, blonde girl climbed alone.
Sivela concentrated, then reached out; her dark, shadow-hand pushed from the stone, catching the child's foot.
The child stumbled. For a moment, Sivela dreamed of blood splashing the stones as the girl's corpse crashed down; she

Revised:

The Pyramid of the Sun defined the extent of her world. Drifting through the blocks of stone, Sivela paused at a granite riser to peer at the passing humans. Shoes slapped past her, as the people climbed the steps to the plateau above.
The flat top had been empty of priests for centuries. Obsidian blades no longer flashed; blood no longer sprayed upon the gray stones--and she starved. Soon, she would be so thin the pyramid wouldn't contain her and she would walk the earth.
A young, blonde girl climbed alone, her foot touched the step.
Sivela concentrated, then reached out; her dark, shadow-hand pushed from the stone, catching the child's foot.
The child stumbled. For a moment, Sivela dreamed of blood splashing the stones as the girl's corpse crashed down; she

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited December 05, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited December 05, 2009).]


Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
arriki
Member
Member # 3079

 - posted      Profile for arriki   Email arriki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Very good. The only nit I have is the business of - The outer stone blocks, though insubstantial like smoke, were her boundaries. Sivela peered from a stone riser...

That isn’t quite working. Saying that the OUTER stones were insubstantial automatically raises the question of what were the rest? And then peering from a stone riser when that presumably is insubstantial confuses me. And reaching beyond her boundary to trip the girl -- how lax is the boundary then? I’m not quite settled into the setting from Sivela’s perspective.

The thinness and all the rest I'll take on faith expecting it to be made clear very shortly

[This message has been edited by arriki (edited December 05, 2009).]


Posts: 1580 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jamescrofoot
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm ok with the insubstatial part but is she there by choice are there spells keeping her there, why dosn't she go into the world and feed on that blood does she need blood from the temple floor? Just some thoughts. I'm sure the rest would be interesting.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NoTimeToThink
Member
Member # 5174

 - posted      Profile for NoTimeToThink   Email NoTimeToThink         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
pushed from of the stone
would be better as
quote:
pushed through the

The concept you seem to be working is interesting. I agree with arriki - the insubstantial stone blocks that are holding her in but people are walking on is confusing. If your intent is that the stones are insubstantial to Sivela, but solid to us, it's not working. It reads better without the "insubstantial".

Instead of just dreaming of blood, will your story work if she gets a taste? A small insubstantial cut on the girl? That's what I thought was about to happen. But it also seems that would strengthen the hold the pyramid has on her (she'd lose some of her thin-ness).


Posts: 406 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the comments. I have posted a revised version bearing in mind all the responses [I hope].
Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NoTimeToThink
Member
Member # 5174

 - posted      Profile for NoTimeToThink   Email NoTimeToThink         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Sivela paused at a granite riser..."
Revision is better - less confusing.

Posts: 406 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
arriki
Member
Member # 3079

 - posted      Profile for arriki   Email arriki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nits, nits, nits.
at granite riser – I’m sure it’s an oversight or typo – at the granite riser or at a granite riser

Shoes slapped past her, as the people climbed the steps to the plateau above. –I think you could eliminate the “the” and the comma here. It’s not an independent clause and these are not a specific group of people as I read this.

Shoes slapped past her as people climbed the steps to the plateau above. (Perhaps plateau is misleading. What exactly is it? Even platform would be better. I assume we're in either Mayan or Aztec territory Pyramid of the Sun seems to indcate Aztec. I've been there many times. What about sacrificial chamber or the pyramid's summit?)

I do like what you’ve done with her and the stones now. Much, much better and clearer.

Hmmm…another nit – PUSHED from the stone, CATCHING the child’s foot – doesn’t quite make sense. A push is not a catch motion

[This message has been edited by arriki (edited December 05, 2009).]


Posts: 1580 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, platform is better. I couldn't find the word.

I'm with you on the comma front and the 'the'.

I'm not with you regarding the the hand pushing out and catching the child's foot. I saw her hand as semi-insubstantial--part of it catches the child's foot making it stumble. I don't mean 'catch' in the sense of catching a ball, I mean 'catching' your jacket on barbed wire--see what others think.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited December 05, 2009).]


Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
arriki
Member
Member # 3079

 - posted      Profile for arriki   Email arriki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Push is not a catch. I think you are trying to catch as in catch off guard. You need to rephrase it if you don't want to confuse readers
Posts: 1580 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What you are saying is confusing me. Perhaps if I clarify what I mean, then it will be clearer....or perhaps I am missing your point.

I don't think I have suggested that the verb is 'push' and 'catch' are the same thing. It's a bit like saying, in the same sentence, that someone ' ran and then jumped'. Running and jumping aren't the same thing either.

Just so its clear--Sivela's hand pushes out from the stone and catches (snags) the child's foot (which is in motion) causing her to stumble--similar to tripping.

The meaning of catch I am using is:

CATCH: hitch: to hook or entangle; "One foot caught in the stirrup".

It seems very clear to me, its unfortunate that no-one else is commenting on it, as it makes it difficult for me to judge if what I have done is wrong/confusing for everyone or if it is a confusion peculiar to you (it's happened to me).

Edited to add:

I think you are commenting on the structure of the sentence.

He ran through the door, colliding with another student.

I think the other version of this type of construction:

Running through the door, he collided with another student.

In the second version the two things seem contradictory, as they appear to happen at the same time.

In the first version I think it is less so--he did something, resulting in something else.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited December 06, 2009).]


Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
arriki
Member
Member # 3079

 - posted      Profile for arriki   Email arriki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I doubt it's going to be anything that will keep the story from selling. Do it your way. It is your story.
Posts: 1580 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sure, but I was hoping you'd clarify if that's what you meant.

My grammar has never been great, so I really do want to know if what I did was incorrect.

My wife agrees with you...

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited December 06, 2009).]


Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
arriki
Member
Member # 3079

 - posted      Profile for arriki   Email arriki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You wrote -- her dark, shadow-hand pushed out from the stone, catching the child's foot.
The child stumbled.

You could say -- her dark, shadow-hand pushed from of the stone, catching the child's foot unaware.
The child stumbled.
[then the use of catch is quite clear but who was unaware? The child or Sivela?]

What I see is Sivela’s hand is like a ghost's in the movie GHOST. She has concentrated enough to barely affect the physical world. Her push of her ghostly hand (so to speak) bursts through that confining boundary for a brief moment/instant/what have you and interferes with the child’s foot. It catches the child unaware. Like putting your foot down but the step is higher that you expect (or lower than you expect) and you trip or fall. I’ve done that many times in my life.

If you meant to actually catch the foot, I think you need to change pushed to reached. To me – my opinion – a push is not reaching out to grab. The hand and palm do the action more than the fingers It is pushing against something. The barrier, for instance. Then it could be the action of pushing against the object changes to the hand reaching to grab. [Or, she reached out from the stone in the first place, rather than pushed.]

That is what I thought you were trying to show but it didn’t – for me – quite make it. Two separate actions unless the pushing hand itself causes the stumble by its changing the density(?) of the place where the child expects to set her foot.

This is getting wordy as I try and explain what bothered me and probably nobody else in the world.

If the ghostly hand was felt brushing the child’s foot and that caused her to stumble -- ???? For me, I would need just a few more words to make what you meant to be perfectly clear.

As I said, nice opening. If you ever need a reader, I’d be willing.
[To your wife. Thanks for backing me up.]

Does she still agree with me in this awkward explanation?


Posts: 1580 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is what I thought you were trying to show but it didn’t – for me – quite make it. Two separate actions unless the pushing hand itself causes the stumble by its changing the density(?) of the place where the child expects to set her foot.

Yes...

What I see is Sivela’s hand is like a ghost's in the movie GHOST. She has concentrated enough to barely affect the physical world. Her push of her ghostly hand (so to speak) bursts through that confining boundary for a brief moment/instant/what have you and interferes with the child’s foot. It catches the child unaware. Like putting your foot down but the step is higher that you expect (or lower than you expect) and you trip or fall. I’ve done that many times in my life.

Yes...

If you meant to actually catch the foot, I think you need to change pushed to reached. To me – my opinion – a push is not reaching out to grab. The hand and palm do the action more than the fingers It is pushing against something. The barrier, for instance. Then it could be the action of pushing against the object changes to the hand reaching to grab. [Or, she reached out from the stone in the first place, rather than pushed.]

No...

The hand interferes minutely with the movement of the child's foot causing it to end up being placed in an unstable way--making her stumble.

That aside I am quite happy to clarify this a little more, however 13 lines limits always makes me pare stuff down to the bare bones.

Thanks for the offer, but it isn't ready--yet.


Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
arriki
Member
Member # 3079

 - posted      Profile for arriki   Email arriki         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Then - my opinion - you need a little bit more to get that across. That she causes the stumble by changing where the child's foot goes is not clearly shown yet. Catch does not do the job. How can you say that in two or three words?

Sivela concentrated, then reached out; her dark, shadow-hand pushed out from the stone. The child's foot caught on it briefly and she fell forward onto the rough stones.

I didn't remember that you had the girl die from the stumble. I don't think she would unless she took a backward tumble down the steps and even then it wouldn't necessarily be that bad. I could see blood spilled.

If it has to be that way -- how about this?

Sivela concentrated, then reached out; her dark, shadow-hand pushed out from the stone. The child's foot caught on it briefly and she fell backward, tumbling down the rough stone steps surrounded by screams and hands reaching out in vain to help her.


Posts: 1580 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sjsampson
Member
Member # 8075

 - posted      Profile for sjsampson   Email sjsampson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
her dark, shadow-hand pushed from the stone, catching the child's foot.

The image that formed in my head was that of the stone reaching up in the shape of a hand - sort of like when you push a hand at a blanket. The blanket is still on top. I think if you reworded to 'pushed through', I would have a different image - more like the GHOST analogy.

I don't have an issue with 'catching'.


Posts: 133 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ScardeyDog
Member
Member # 8707

 - posted      Profile for ScardeyDog   Email ScardeyDog         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I didn't have a problem with "catch" either. However, I can see arriki's point, and it may confuse some people. Can you use "snag" or another synonym there?

Overall, really like the first revision.


Posts: 238 | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the suggestions but the girls stumbles and recovers, she doesn't die, although Sivela had hoped she would.
Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LlessurNire
Member
Member # 8781

 - posted      Profile for LlessurNire   Email LlessurNire         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like the second version, very concise and catchy. I would definitely keep reading

I don't have a problem with the word catch either.

My two cents: (and I'm no grammer pro)

"pushed out of the stone and caught the child's foot."


Posts: 85 | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ 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