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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Dragonbone Curse F - 2900w looking for crits

   
Author Topic: The Dragonbone Curse F - 2900w looking for crits
Foste
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As always I am willing to exchange crits. Here's the first 13 (I am a bit converned that they are too "telly"):

The dragonbone taint runs deep in our village. The beastís giant skeleton sprawls from one end of the village to the other, enclosing us in its boneclast embrace. At times the hollow of its eye sockets gleams with a purple light, as if it threatened to come alive again and devour us all.
When Athuros Valerian had slain the Black Drake, people sang his praises, but now we curse and spit at the mere mention of his name. The fool had doomed us. With its dying breath, the dragon unleashed a terrible curse upon us, tainting our ground. A few scores of years passed and our soil became hard and gravely. Where once had been patches of green, now there was an ashen taint, spreading every day, as if staking out the borderlines of its little kingdom.


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Corky
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I find myself wondering why in the world they built their village in the middle of a dragon skeleton? And if it is cursing their village, why don't they move away from it?
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Reziac
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Wow. So many mysteries in so little space!

As the other reply says, why don't (or can't?) they just move away? Who and what were the dragon and dragonslayer? Not just an animal, to lay a curse, but what was its evil while still alive? What exactly is the curse? Can it be lifted, and if so, what then?? (Lift the curse and maybe the dragon comes back to life??)

So many reasons to read the rest of the story.

It didn't feel particularly "telly" to me because it reads like a villager's frustrated rant, not like an author's description. We're inside the villager's head right off.

[This message has been edited by Reziac (edited December 21, 2010).]


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babooher
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I'd take a look. Send it to me.
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NoTimeToThink
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I would lose the first paragraph - I think the second is stronger, less "telly", and more in character.
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Foste
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The village had always been there and later it is revealed that moving won't help much since the taint is ingrained in their bodies.

Babooher I sent you the MS.

Thanks everyone.


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Corky
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quote:
The village had always been there....

Even when the dragon was being fought and killed? Didn't the battle wreak havoc with the village?

Or did the dragon die first and the villagers built their houses inside the skeleton?

I'm sorry, but I am really having a hard time believing your second sentence up there, and that kills any interest I might have in reading further.


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Foste
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I think it's safe to assume that they rebuild the place. After all, a lot of time has passed.

Sorry this one didn't work for you Corky.

[This message has been edited by Foste (edited December 22, 2010).]


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History
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I concur with NoTime: The second paragraph I find is a better start to the story. Thanks for sharing.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob


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Grayson Morris
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I agree that you don't need both paragraphs, but I think your first two lines are beautifully written, and a KILLER hook. I'd be sad to see them go.

[This message has been edited by Grayson Morris (edited December 23, 2010).]


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Foste
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Thanks Grayson. The third sentence has a bit of foreshadowing too.
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Grayson Morris
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I'd say the third sentence is more of a broadcast of future dragonly re-animation and dastardly destruction than subtle foreshadowing. :-) At least, that's what I assumed; nothing naturally glows purple. The setting sun might cast a last glow that reflects vivid purple off the phosphorescent moss growing in the long-empty eye sockets, making them seem eerily alive; then I'd be willing to call it foreshadowing.

But I'm a fan - I think you've got a promising start.


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LDWriter2
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quote:

The dragonbone taint runs deep in our village. The beastís giant skeleton sprawls from one end of the village to the other, enclosing us in its boneclast embrace. At times the hollow of its eye sockets gleams with a purple light, as if it threatened to come alive again and devour us all.
When Athuros Valerian had slain the Black Drake, people sang his praises, but now we curse and spit at the mere mention of his name. The fool had doomed us. With its dying breath, the dragon unleashed a terrible curse upon us, tainting our ground. A few scores of years passed and our soil became hard and gravely. Where once had been patches of green, now there was an ashen taint, spreading every day, as if staking out the borderlines of its little kingdom.

Personally I think its not bad. I like the dragonbone taint too but maybe some how add the first paragraph to the second right after the terrible curse. Don't know if that is possible though. The last sentence is good too.

I also wondered why they didn't move but I figured it would be revealed in a few more lines. The same goes for why they live within the bones. I also figured the story might be about lifting the curse. and if Athuros is still alive.

Not sure if I can say more about it. I think it does grabber: you got dragons, a curse, a village in danger plus a hint of a foreshadowing. About all you need to know about a story but you better answer those questions very soon after the 13th line.



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walexander
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Foste,

I e-mailed you my comment on your first thirteen,

W.


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bobbyshane
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I find this rather interesting. Definitely an intriguing concept.

My only quip is more of a subjective thing I suppose. I'm not a big fan of the name "Athuros Valerian". For me names saturated with fantasy "stereotypes" tend to distract me from the story. But the story in this is strong enough to keep me interested despite this which is rare.

I would like to read the whole thing and give feedback. Thanks.


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Fahrion Kryptov
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I agree with the general consensus about the first paragraph. I think you could much more effectively convey that information. For example, you might describe how the dragon cursed the village before crashing into its middle, then have your character walking through the newer section of town under the shade of the ribcage. Recall a memory of being frightened one night as moonlight was caught in the hollow of the eyes and made it seem alive.

I'd love to read more!


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EVOC
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I think it is a good first 13. I think I would start on the second paragraph too.

Otherwise, I liked it. It had me asking a lot of questions, the good kind that makes me read on. The same questions Reziac mentioned way up top of this thread. Just make sure your story answers those questions or I as the reader will feel disappointed.

I am willing to read the whole MC if you want.


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Foste
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I'll take you up on the offer EVOC.
Thank you.

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Reziac
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When I see "The dragonbone taint runs deep in our village" -- I assumed that this taint is not unique, but its effects in this particular case are worse than usual (contrasted to shallow). This immediately gave me a wider picture than the single village. Then we got a good size measure for the beast (long as the village? Holy....!!) So... personally I like the first paragraph.


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Wordcaster
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I liked it.

2900 words? Good length - send it along. I'll crit.


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bobbyshane
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Yes, the first paragraph should definitely stay in my opinion. Not sure if you caught my earlier comment but I would love to crit this. Thanks.
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Foste
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bobby, I didn't notice your earlier comment (sorry!)

Sending it right your way!

Thanks guys!


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bobbyshane
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Hey Foste, I read it and replied with my critique. Hope it helps.
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Foste
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It sure did bobbyshane. Thanks to everyone!
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EVOC
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I just sent you my ideas after reading the whole thing. I hope it helps out.
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