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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Bones of Her Brother (F, 3500w)

   
Author Topic: The Bones of Her Brother (F, 3500w)
Foste
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Also looking for full crits! Here you go:

The bones in Reena’s travel sack clicked and chattered as if singing along to the sounds of her chase. Long branches cut and clawed at her face as she ran through the thicket, the snarling of dogs and chains, snapping at her heels. Frost laced her ragged breath and her heart was pounding like to the mad rhythm of a war drum. Stripes of pain started streaking her calves; the first sign that the effect of her bone magic was waning.
But she would not let Inquisition capture her and take her brother’s bones from her. The branches grew thinner and she left the forest’s embrace, dashing right into the shallows of a river. She said a silent thanks to the Witch Mother--the jagged vein of water that cut through the forest would mask her odor,


[This message has been edited by Foste (edited May 23, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by Foste (edited May 23, 2011).]


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Wonderbus
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I think the first sentence needs to be clearer. "the sounds of her chase" could mean she is being chased or she is the one doing the chasing. Also I don't really think the image in that first sentence works--"clicked and chattered" don't seem to suggest something that sounds like singing.

In the second sentence "the snarling of dogs and chains snapping at her heels" sounds strange to me. Are the sounds snapping at her heels? And how do chains snap? I think I might be misreading that.

Third sentence I think you have an unneeded "to" in there: "heart was pounding like to the mad rhythm of a war drum" and anyway, though you've reworked it a bit I still think that's too close to the cliche of "my heart pounded like a drum".

Fourth sentence I'm not too keen on the "stripes of pain" as I don't think "stripes" brings to mind pain. Could just be me though.

I'd try and avoid using the word "but" if at all possible, especially when it comes to starting a paragraph with it. Also, the first sentence of that second paragraph could be cut shorter: "But she would not let Inquisition capture her and take her brother's bones from her" I don't think you need all those "her"'s in there and you could definitely cut that last "from her".


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Foste
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You're right Wonderbus, I need a comma before "snapping" (I meant it as an idiom).

Editing to add the comma.


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Threebrain
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Hey I enjoyed the clicking bones in the backpack making the sound of the chase -- i felt and pictured that -- made me think of like African bone xylophones or like wind chimes because you used the word singing -- good stuff. The next sentence with the snarling dogs needs to be reworded to something like:

FROM:
Long branches cut and clawed at her face as she ran through the thicket, the snarling of dogs and chains, snapping at her heels.

TO:
Long branches cut and clawed at her face as she ran through the thicket away from the crazed dogs chasing closely behind.

haha I don't know, but something. Perhaps snapping at her heels is too close or a confusing exaggeration because then like soon after she some how escaped the dogs and is out of forest and into the water masking her odor -- if they were at her heels she'd be dead already or up a tree.

Anyways, I liked it and would read more because it gives a good exciting and urgent chase feel. As a reader I want to see where she goes next and what's going on with the bones.


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