Hatrack River Writers Workshop   
my profile login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Green Mash Dreams

   
Author Topic: Green Mash Dreams
SavantIdiot
Member
Member # 8590

 - posted      Profile for SavantIdiot   Email SavantIdiot         Edit/Delete Post 
Here's the first 13 lines, anyway. Anyone want to exchange? I can do a high-level critique but can't pick anything apart just now. For the foreseeable future until the economy picks up a little!
This thing is a hefty 7120 words. It's a fantasy with a romantic twist - there is a sex scene but it's not graphic AT ALL and it's pretty tame stuff, IMO. But it's there. I am trying to bring together some things which aren't usually presented together.

Patricia sat on a bit of old deer hide, anchored to a stake in the ground by the cord looped around one ankle.
Ma Ina trundled over, an arthritic hitch in her step Patricia recognized. Grandmamma had had the same odd rock to her gait. Ma Ina carried a steaming bowl of bitter greens cooked in aromatic fat, mussel shell spoon resting on top and offering Patricia her most friendly (and least sincere) grin and proffered the bowl.
ďNo, thank you," Patricia said, and pointedly scratched at her bound ankle. When the cord didnít abrade her skin- or tangle her legs together - it itched.
The old woman gargled something and lifted a spoonful of hot greens shiny with fat and dotted with bits of meat. Patricia swallowed back a rush of saliva and looked away. If the [This message has been edited by SavantIdiot (edited August 24, 2010).]

[This message has been edited by SavantIdiot (edited August 26, 2010).]

[This message has been edited by SavantIdiot (edited August 27, 2010).]

[This message has been edited by SavantIdiot (edited August 27, 2010).]


Posts: 168 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post 
There's room for about four more lines.
Posts: 8826 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jayazman
Member
Member # 2818

 - posted      Profile for jayazman   Email jayazman         Edit/Delete Post 
Hmmm... not a lot to work with here. I recommend posting all 13 lines so we can get a better feel for the story.

Here's what I thought of what is there:

It seemed odd to me that she had to remember that she is tied to a stake. If the skin is raw and hurting, she's going to 'remember' without having to think about it.
Since the odd gait is brought up, I'm thinking there must be something to it, but nothing is said. I was looking for the reason Grandmamma had it to suggest a reason(s) why Ma'lna has it.
I can't pronounce Ma'lna, or I don't know how to pronounce it and it irritates me as a reader.
I would really like to know why Ma'lna is being so nice to a prisoner.

In general I didn't see any major flaws, but this passage brings up a lot of questions in my mind. I would read on for a few paragraphs to see if things become clearer, otherwise, I'm moving on to the next story.


Posts: 212 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
NoTimeToThink
Member
Member # 5174

 - posted      Profile for NoTimeToThink   Email NoTimeToThink         Edit/Delete Post 
Trying to figure out why Patricia is tied to a stake by one ankle. There is no mention of her hands being bound, so I don't know if she is being truly restrained, or this is merely symbolic (and voluntary).
She refers to Ma'Ina, and then refers to her as "This woman", so she Patricia is most likely an outsider. She is offered the bowl, so I guess her hands are free, and she is a voluntary captive (or initiate, or ?). I would read a couple more paragraphs for the answer to this.
I'm willing to read - I will hold you to the exchange later (I need to write something first), which may work better for your schedule.

Posts: 406 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PB&Jenny
Member
Member # 9200

 - posted      Profile for PB&Jenny   Email PB&Jenny         Edit/Delete Post 
To me it was obvious that Patricia was 'not from around here', because here name was so different from the other woman. By the descriptions of her surroundings, especially the leather bounds, I'm thinking she is in American Indian country, or something like it. So, IMO, Ma'Ina is pronounced like it's spelled. Ma Ina, just smooshed together.

This kind of reminds me of scenes from the movie, A Man Called Horse, where they tied him up as a conquered slave. It makes me assume that she is being watched at all times and can't just untie herself. That's just what my brain envisioned.

Beyond that, I'm thinking there is more to the story than meets the eye. And I'm with NTTT, I'd love to read more but don't yet have an exchange.

PB


Posts: 365 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SavantIdiot
Member
Member # 8590

 - posted      Profile for SavantIdiot   Email SavantIdiot         Edit/Delete Post 
Yep, yep. She's a fresh capture early on by some of the Indians living around the Nacogdoches area during one of the periods the French were trying to settle there. She doesn't have to remember the stake, she has to be careful how she moves or the rawhide cord rubs her ankle.

Anyway, I am going to take you two up as readers if you're up for it and you can just send me your stuff when it's done. I like critiquing and I'm not unkind though I am honest. Which is what I ask! If I don't know what's wrong, I can't fix it!


Posts: 168 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SavantIdiot
Member
Member # 8590

 - posted      Profile for SavantIdiot   Email SavantIdiot         Edit/Delete Post 
I was wondering about the ankle thing, I may clarify that or remove it. And thanks for the affirmation, PB&J, it is Ma Ina. Maybe I should take out the '?
Posts: 168 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Twiggy
Member
Member # 9209

 - posted      Profile for Twiggy   Email Twiggy         Edit/Delete Post 
HI
Could you show Patricia chafing against the tether rather than telling us she had to remember it was there? Just a thought.

Please can you confirm your intended point of view for me? Then I may have further thoughts.

Not sure about 'this woman' once her name has been used.

Some good imagary.

You can send it to me if you want.I'm not sure how much time I will have but I'll give it a go.


Posts: 84 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SavantIdiot
Member
Member # 8590

 - posted      Profile for SavantIdiot   Email SavantIdiot         Edit/Delete Post 
I'd love it. Would you like to privately send me your email address? You can send to terijo@tstar.net
Posts: 168 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SavantIdiot
Member
Member # 8590

 - posted      Profile for SavantIdiot   Email SavantIdiot         Edit/Delete Post 
I should like to say that no one should feel bad if they cannot slog through this thing. I will understand two things - it's a huge favor to ask anyone - and if it doesn't hold your attention I need to figure out why! So it's still helpful!
Posts: 168 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
thomaskcarpenter
Member
Member # 9192

 - posted      Profile for thomaskcarpenter   Email thomaskcarpenter         Edit/Delete Post 
In general, I think you can trim a lot from these lines and make it tighter. Quite a bit of extra information we might not need and some was confusing.

"Patricia sat on a bit of old deer hide, anchored to a stake in the ground by the cord looped around one ankle."

IMHO, could be simplified to:

"Patricia sat on an old deer hide, anchored to a stake by the cord looped around one ankle."

**A stake is implied to be "in the ground" and "a bit of" doesn't add much. I have a personal vendetta against the word "of" as well, so take that into account. ;p


"Ma Ina trundled over, an arthritic hitch in her step Patricia recognized."

**Trundle, as in a trundle bed? And why wouldn't she recognize her? Is it dark? If not, you can just tell us that Ma Ina hobbled over.


"Grandmamma had had the same odd rock to her gait."

** POV shift.

"Ma Ina carried a steaming bowl of bitter greens cooked in aromatic fat, mussel shell spoon resting on top and offering Patricia her most friendly (and least sincere) grin and proffered the bowl."

**remove "mussel shell" because it doesn't add anything and if its different than a normal spoon, describe it since it's not common usage. And is the spoon even necessary? maybe remove "spoon resting on top" as well.

**also, she wouldn't know what was in the bowl at the time.


ďNo, thank you," Patricia said, and pointedly scratched at her bound ankle. When the cord didnít abrade her skin- or tangle her legs together - it itched.

** remove pointedly -- doesn't add anything to scratched. Could change to "No, thank you." Patricia scratched at her bound ankle.

The old woman gargled something and lifted a spoonful of hot greens shiny with fat and dotted with bits of meat. Patricia swallowed back a rush of saliva and looked away. If the"

**Remove "rush of" before saliva. Strange wording and doesn't add anything. It's okay to have a rush of something, but make it important.

IMHO, I would cut the 13 lines down to this:

"Patricia sat on an old deer hide, anchored to a stake by a cord looped around one ankle.
Ma Ina hobbled over, carrying a steaming bowl, and offered Patricia her most friendly (and least sincere) grin.
ďNo, thank you." Patricia scratched at her bound ankle. When the cord didnít abrade her skin- or tangle her legs together - it itched.
The old woman gargled something and lifted a spoonful of hot greens shiny with fat and bits of meat. Patricia swallowed her saliva and looked away. If the"

It doesn't flow as well now and would need further adjustment, but hopefully you understand where I was going with it. Hope that helps.


[This message has been edited by thomaskcarpenter (edited August 28, 2010).]


Posts: 118 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Apemantus
Member
Member # 9204

 - posted      Profile for Apemantus   Email Apemantus         Edit/Delete Post 
There was something that really appealed to me in this and that was the hostage's defiance. That alone is enough to pique my interest.
Posts: 12 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SavantIdiot
Member
Member # 8590

 - posted      Profile for SavantIdiot   Email SavantIdiot         Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, you'd like the rest then. She's not spunky so much as she is stubborn.
Posts: 168 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

   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