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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Aji (SF, 3200w, need crit

   
Author Topic: Aji (SF, 3200w, need crit
Foste
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All right, here are the first 13. I also need a full crit and I don't mind swapping stories.

The thought of rewinding the timeline one more time made Shuichi’s stomach lurch, but he’d be damned if he couldn’t find a good move against Yamaguchi.
“Aji is more than the taste of tea,” old Yamaguchi said and brought the ceramic cup to his lips. His other hand fished out a shell-white stone and put it on the Go board with a click. “It is something that lingers. Hidden possibilities on the board that reveal themselves to the patient player.”
Shuichi thought for a brief moment and decided to play a peep--a probing move to lure Yamaguchi. Old Yamaguchi gave a sigh that didn’t indicate his appreciation of the tea.
“A crude move. You go fishing while your house is on fire. Your left lower corner will die.”


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pidream
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The thought of rewinding the timeline one more time made Shuichi’s stomach lurch, but he’d be damned if he couldn’t find a good move against Yamaguchi.
1. I’d consider replacing ‘one more time’, with ‘again’ (for impact), and ‘find a good’ with ‘think of a better’ of because to ‘find’ sounds to me like he’s searching the timeline for something rather than changing the timeline.

“Aji is more than the taste of tea,” old Yamaguchi said and brought the ceramic cup to his lips.
2. My immediate reaction is some kind of game involving time and has me intrigued.

His other hand fished out a shell-white stone and put it on the Go board with a click.
3. I am even more intrigued now because I want to know if this really is a time travel story or. . . .

“It is something that lingers. Hidden possibilities on the board that reveal themselves to the patient player.” Shuichi thought for a brief moment then decided to play a peep-- a probing move to lure Yamaguchi.
4. I think the second sentence is a fragment. Consider removing the word ‘that’ because for me it flows better. Maybe replace ‘thought’ with ‘considered or pondered’, or a word like that because for me it goes with the game setting. I would drop ‘brief’ because for me moment flows better- picky right, and replace the word ‘and’ with ‘then’.

Old Yamaguchi gave a sigh that didn’t indicate his appreciation of the tea.
5.Nice line.

“A crude move. You go fishing while your house is on fire. Your left lower corner will die.”
6.I enjoy the Confucius way he speaks, in context with the game of go, but it will get old fast if it continues throughout the story. I getting the feeling of a master student dynamic here; which, if continues might take on a lecturing tone- yawn.

I’m intrigued with where the story is going. From the first line, I was certain this was a time travel story, but now I’m not, and want to know whether I am right or what the story really is about. That in and of itself is a good hook for me and I want to read on. We so often want to thrust our MC's into danger, immediately, to hook the reader but your story is more subtle and I like it. The writing is good, my comments are more reflections of my style, but tweaking and trimming can never hurt.

I would enjoy doing a swap if you’re interested, though my story in not complete, but interestingly enough it takes place in Japan too.


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Foste
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Thank you for the offer! I'll send it along tomorrow. Feel free to mail me your piece whenever you are ready!

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snapper
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I agree with much of what pidream wrote. My issue isn't with your prose.

This isn't working as an opening. It feels as if the first page or two is missing and I started reading this thing in the middle of the tale. You have nice interaction between your two characters but I'm playing catch up right now.

Consider starting the story a bit sooner.


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Crane
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Makes more sense to me if "...he'd be damned if he could find a good move..." rather than couldn't.

I think you should keep the word 'brief,' because it's a contrast to 'patient' in the line above. It tells us something about Shuichi's character: he's not patient or he's stubborn when it comes to his teacher's advice.

I like the atmosphere evoked all ready by so few lines. In my mind's eye I put them in the rainy weiqi parlor from the movie Hero. Yes, and the possibility of time travel is alluring. The wise old master battles the gifted but reckless student over a cup of tea. Good stuff!


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Merlion-Emrys
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Send it to me, I'll have a read.
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EVOC
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I think this is a good starting point. The voice is good. And I am curious.

The only issue I have is you need to drop a bit more of a hint as to whats is about to happen. I see two people playing a game. I am not sure if rewinding time is a reference to the game, which I don't know or that he will actually rewind time. That may be the source of my confusion.


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Osiris
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I know you sent this to me for crit, and I will, but I figured I'd just make two comments.

quote:
“Aji is more than the taste of tea,” old Yamaguchi said and brought the ceramic cup to his lips.

Consider if you need a dialog tag here or if you could break this into two sentences and allow Yamaguchi's action double as the tag.

Second is a question. What is at stake in this Go match? What will Shuichi lose if he loses the game? What about Yamaguchi? It doesn't have to be a material object, but giving the reader an idea of what will be lost (property, honor, money) will address the issue EVOC mentioned.


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Bent Tree
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I like the idea of starting this with the dialogue. Send it over. I will have a looksey.
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Foste
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Thanks Bent Tree! I hope wednesday is ok since I won't have proper internet until then.
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