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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Magic of Malregard - Urban Fantasy

   
Author Topic: The Magic of Malregard - Urban Fantasy
jezzahardin
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Hi all, first post of my own work in F&F. Urban Fantasy, 8000 words. (A fairy tale, really.)

Particularly looking for readers, but 13 lines critiques are welcome, too.

Thanks for reading,
Jez

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New Revision:

"Our tale begins, as so many do, with an unhappy girl. This one bore the name Elizabeth. Elizabeth didn't pine for boys. She was ten, and boys were interesting, but rather simple. She did not long for adventures, though adventures would find her soon enough. Elizabeth dreamt of shoes. Red shoes, pink ones, brown and blue. Tall ones, flat ones, slim ones, too. Shoes that clicked on tiles floors and shoes with ribbons on top. Shoes with fur inside and Wellies for muddy paths behind cottages and estates. On the day adventure found her, she was wearing those same Wellies, and family photos floated around her ankles. The floods had come to Surrey. Elizabeth did not mourn the pictures, for the faces on them would fill new frames. Mum is always taking pictures, she thought. Even the one of her"

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Initial Post:

"The rules, as I understand them, are both simple and complex. This is rather fitting for a world that simultaneously is and isn't there. In short, the less something is seen and noticed, the less likely that something is to be what one expects. In not so short, our tale begins, as so many do, with an unhappy girl. This one bore the name Elizabeth. Elizabeth didn't pine for boys. She was ten, and boys were interesting, but rather simple. She did not long for adventures, though adventures would find her soon enough. Elizabeth dreamt of shoes. Red shoes, pink ones, brown and blue. Tall ones, flat ones, slim ones, too. Shoes that clicked on tiles floors and shoes with ribbons on top. Shoes with fur inside and Wellies for muddy paths behind cottages and estates. On the day adventure found her, she was wearing those same Wellies, and family photos floated around her ankles. The floods had come to"

[This message has been edited by jezzahardin (edited December 09, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited December 11, 2009).]


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tchernabyelo
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This is quite a dense opening. I think it is muh more successful once you introduce Elizabeth - and I'd be tempted to start there. The "as I understand them" interjection implies a 1P narrative but unless the narrator is going to be important, I'd settle for the 3P narrative that actually seems to be happening with Elizabeth.

Just starting with "Our tale begins, as so many do, with an unhappy girl..." would work better for me. If it started there, I'd read on.


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ScardeyDog
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I like the first few sentences, but I think I agree with tchernabyelo. Maybe you could find a way to sneak them in later in the story. Like someone she meets could say "The rules are both simple and complex." when she asks about what's going on.
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jezzahardin
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Okay, trying those suggestions out. New revision is above.

Anyone wanting to read the short, email me using my profile email.

Cheers,
Jez


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satate
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I like the revision so much better. I think it works and is rather cute. I'll read the whole thing if you like.
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genevive42
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When you start talking about the shoes it goes a little Dr.Seuss. The only problem with that is I stopped and thought about Dr.Seuss. This felt sillier than it should have to me.

Also:

quote:
she was wearing those same Wellies

The Wellies you mentioned previously were general Wellies just like all of the shoes were shoes in general. "Those same" is specific and only works if it is clear that the Wellies were her shoes, not just ones she dreamed of.

By the way, what's a Wellie? I'm sure your audience will know but I can only guess.

Overall though, I find this interesting. I'll give a read if you like.


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tchernabyelo
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Wellie = Wellington boot. Rubber boots, calf length, common in England for gardening orsplashing about in puddles. Not sure what the equivalent US term is.
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genevive42
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The last I heard they were called 'galoshes'. Thanks for the definition.
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tchernabyelo
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Some would consider galoshes to be worn over other shoes. Wellingtons, in my experience, aren't, though they are generally not tightfitting (one of the side-effects of wearing them is that socks tend to slip down your feet; another is that they can actually get stuck in mud and you can inadvertently step out of them, with not-entirely-welcome results).


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jezzahardin
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Sent it to those that said they'd read. And yeah, Wellies are definitely a local term.

Basically, this is a gift for my wife. She asked for a fairy tale for Christmas (a week or two ago - very last minute). So I did the best I could and was fairly pleased with the results.

Eager to hear if others like it, though. Might try to get it published at some point if so. (My everyday aspirations are more novel-centric, but since this is already written...)

Best,
Jez


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Merlion-Emrys
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Writing short stories is a great...some would say almost essential...way of preparing to or improving your abilities to write novels. And publishing some short stories is likely to be a huge help trying to get a novel published.
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tchernabyelo
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There are a lot of published and successful novelists out there who have never written a short story, though, so it's by no means necessary. Writing a good short story does not mean you can write a novel, sadly (and vice versa) - although many of the necessary techniques are shared, there are things you need to do in one but not the other.

As for your second sentence, Merlion - I'd be intereted to know why you think that. It may have helped in some instances (certainly if you win awards for short stories you may well find publishers more inclined to look at your work) but ultimately they will only buy the novel if the novel is good, not because you published a bunch of short stories.


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Jesse D
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Man, if I were you, I'd start with "Elizabeth dreamt of shoes" and go from there. The rest appears completely extraneous.
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Owasm
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I agree with Jessie D. Let the reader decide if it's a fairy tale or not. I think the beginning would crisp up quite a bit. The only reason for the beginning the way you wrote it is if the narrator's going to have a heavy, heavy hand. Then I would suggest lightening that.

I am hooked just to see how this is going to start. You can send a version over to me.


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