Ethan was surrounded by darkness and the smell of earth, though the darkness was occasionally specked with the luminescence of fungi growing in the decomposing bark and twigs. The night was noiseless aside from the occasional dry rustling of the leaves that entombed him. It was rare moments like these that allowed him time to think and on this occasion he chose to dwell on some of the pleasurable memories of his past. It had been a cold morning in January. Normally he was not at all a morning person and would have spent that Saturday morning asleep. It was the fact that he had had a plan for this new day that allowed him to wake up and check out his window to see if the forecast had been correct. Sure enough, the surrounding city was draped in a layer of fresh, clean snow.
Posts: 29 | Registered: Apr 2010
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The imagery in the first paragraph is effective. However you are then immediately going from that to a memory, and the memory serves almost as a second introduction. You set one scene, then immediately before doing anything else set a second scene. In both there is just a hint of intrigue. In the first paragraph, there is the mention of the "rare moment" that allowed him to think - why is it rare? - and in the second there is mention of "he had had a plan" - what is the plan? However neither of these are given any focus, nor do we have any detail of who Ethan is, nor any real detail of when or where any of this is set (you mention, for instance, "the surrounding city" but the city is not named, nor is there a hint of description so I don't know if it's set in the past, the present, the future...
Basically, there just isn't enough to go on. There's nothing that intrigues me enough about setting, character or plot to make me think I have to read on and find out.
Sentences flow well, but I felt disparity and displacement between the imagery of the first two sentences with words like "entomb" and "darkness" and "decomposing" -- a dark, foreboding image, and then suddenly dwelling on pleasurable moments. Maybe you meant the contrast for effect, but it's too stark and contradictory. If you had used "enfold" instead of "entomb", I might have a better feeling, less jolting. I'd still be wondering why I was buried in the dirt, but I would know that I was good with it and ready to think good thoughts.
As with the previous commentators, I might like to know more about why I feel this strange position is good, rather than launching into a different story.
You used the word occasionally or a derivative 3 times in the first three sentences. I felt like the flow was a little repetitious and tedious, and that made it harder for me to connect with what was going on...
"the darkness was occasionally specked" "the occasional dry rustling of the leaves" "and on this occasion he chose to dwell on some"
[This message has been edited by Teraen (edited April 17, 2010).]
With this story I have written several sections that are not connected yet, i still haven't found i good place too start even though i have the whole time line of the story figured out. this section had the best beginning of what i have so far, but i agree, it still doesn't really work because of the flash back that appears so soon and neither idea can get introduced well within thirteen lines. The contrast is on purpose, it is the main theme of the story. It depicts a near perfect world (through flashbacks mostly) and how it is ruined. well, that's not how it ends... the characters are trying to fix everything and make everything back to the way it was. I mean for the contrast to be jolting, however i can see how having both sides portrayed within thirteen lines would be a too jolting.
and with the whole "occasionally" thing: thanks i didn't notice that. (and its slightly disappointing since that is something that i try to really look for)
another section i have written, However, i am only slightly considering making this the beginning because of when it occurs in the story, but i would like some opinion on it anyway, so i can get i better idea of how to make a good opening.
The morning dew slid off the tarp as Ethan pulled it up off of the leaves he had been sleeping in. It was still mostly dark but the morning songbirds had already started singing, effectively waking the world around them. After Ethan had decided that the tarp was adequately dry, he folded it up. As he folded it over one last time he paused to make a re-assessment of the forest around him. The sound of rustling of the leaves about ten meters to the left of him continued. Due to the sporadic spacing of the sound Ethan could tell it was a bird, most likely a Brown Thrasher, kicking up leaves as it foraged for food. Ethan finished surveying the surrounding foliage for any threats or other abnormalities, decided that there were none, and shoved the folded tarp into his back pack.
[This message has been edited by Rikki_Ross (edited April 17, 2010).]