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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Answers (5,000 words start) first 13

   
Author Topic: Answers (5,000 words start) first 13
Zenner
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Hey all, here's the first part of a fantasy/mystery type story
___

The front door splintered at the handle, pieces of wood flying inward followed by the sole of a large, black boot. The rest of the intruder tumbled in after the boot, arms and legs in a disoriented, awkward roll that left him sprawled belly-down on the floor. Oren felt hot wax spill onto his lap as he stood up and shrieked, his own limbs flailing. The candle he’d been holding rolled forward along the clean oak floor until it came to rest next to the head of the fallen man, a thin wisp of smoke trailing from the wick into his beard and getting lost somewhere in its wild tangles.
Oren saw steel and arrow shafts and knew immediately that he was about to die.


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EVOC
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I like it. It seems to work well. I would read on.
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Utahute72
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I like the imagery and writing here, but a couple of disconnects. If the intruder is sprawled on the floor and dis-oriented I don't care what weapons he has, it should be fairly easy to disarm him. I probably would reorder the actions of the POV character a bit. Feeling hot wax in his lap, then standing and shrieking probably wouldn't happen in that order. When someone busts into my room I'd probably be startled, shriek, then feel the the hot wax. Feeling hot wax is much more passive than the initial reaction.
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Grayson Morris
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I love it. I like your writing style, and it was active and funny and I'd definitely read on.

I didn't have an issue with the order of the wax and the standing and shrieking; "as he" told me that he felt the wax as a result of the standing, and simultaneously with the shrieking.

Utahute72 has a point about the weapons, but I'd argue that we are finding out more about Oren by the last sentence: he's not the bold type, to rush in while he's got the advantage and disarm the intruder; he's the meek type, paralyzed by his fear perhaps, often frightened in daily life, seeing danger even where there is none, maybe. Maybe he's puny and scrawny and has been told all his life he's weak. Maybe he's been bullied by bigger guys all his life. Maybe he's a bookworm who cringes at physical violence and faints when he stubs his own toe. In short, I think it's great at revealing character (assuming Oren is, indeed, so. :-) )


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Zenner
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Grayson - your description of Oren made me really happy, because that's exactly who he is in the remainder of the story. I wanted to write a story about a hero who had no heroic qualities, but still managed to answer the questions that plague him.

Thanks all for the feedback regarding the sequence of events. I'll take a look at tweaking that.


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skadder
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Rincewind is such a one.
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Zenner
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Huh? What's a Rincewind?
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skadder
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Rincewind is a hero with no hero attributes, he bumbles along accidentally solving whatever problems--Terry Pratchett .
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philocinemas
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At first read, I thought Oren and the intruder were the same person. I think it has to to with how you structured the first sentence of the second paragraph. It seemed like a continuation of the action in the first paragraph. You could possibly differentiate the characters with brief dialogue, like "What the--", just before Oren jumps up. You may also want to get rid of the sensory word "Oren felt..." You are probably trying to establish POV; however, it is an area where I believe editors view as telling vs. showing.
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babooher
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I agree with philocinemas. I had trouble figuring out who was what in the paragraph. Does Oren have a beard or does the intruder? Why is Oren so convinced he is going to die when the intruder is such a buffoon? Where are the arrow shafts?

You've got action in spades here, but I think you're missing clarity.


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Grayson Morris
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Well, I had none of those problems, FWIW. I read out of this passage that Oren was sitting quietly drinking his cup of tea (or whatever), and apparently holding a candle, when the hapless intruder intruded, and that Oren's such a 'fraidy cat he didn't grok that the intruder was in a position to be disarmed or otherwise rendered harmless.

It's a humorous piece, if you ask me, not a serious swashbuckler.

[This message has been edited by Grayson Morris (edited January 24, 2011).]


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bobbyshane
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I like this a lot but am also having trouble understanding who is doing what.
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Matt.Simpson01
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sounds pretty interesting. I would definitely read this to see what happens to Oren. I read it a few times so i would get the right impression. There was only one thing that i would change/add, and that is where Oren saw the steel and arrows. Is the steel a sword hung from the mans belt, and are the arrows protruding from his back?

I assume that would be explained in the next few senteces, but it would help sort out any confusion of why the character thought he was going to die when the intruder was on the floor.


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bobbyshane
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On a second read it's much clearer. I would guess he sees the arrows and such through the hole the intruder made? I think it would be more clear if Oren's point of view is made clear right off the bat instead of after the intruder enters. I actually thought Oren was the intruder at first.
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