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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Harman (SF)

   
Author Topic: Harman (SF)
Sakari
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Apocalyptic SF, 2000 words atm.

-- Revision 1 (After Osiris' comments)

Ash clouds were spreading over the skeleton of a city. Wind blew from the south, bringing me a cold premonition. I watched the sun set over my beloved Sector, and wondered how I should, once again, cross this bridge ahead of me. Presently I turned to speak to the young man sitting in a rickety chair.
- "You turned 25 a month ago, Dan, didn't you?" Danyon nodded slowly, waiting, and I marveled how he'd grown since that fateful day his father passed away nine years ago.
- "And you never spoke with your father about the past?"
- "What d'ya mean, Gramps?"
- "Well, your father ruled for a long time, and those last years were quite turbulent. I wondered..", I felt deflated. The great emptiness was rearing up inside me while I considered his

-- Optional Revision 1:

Ash clouds were spreading over the skeleton of a city. Wind blew from the south, bringing in a cold premonition. Harman watched the sun setting over his beloved Sector while wondering how he should, once again, cross the bridge ahead. Presently he turned to speak to a young man sitting in a rickety chair.
- "These last nine years have been good to us, Dan." Danyon nodded slowly, waiting.
- "I know you are curious about your family. You've heard the tales, and now you should hear the truth. It is time I tell you about myself, and about Ganghelm."
- "What d'ya mean, Gramps?"
- "Well, your father ruled for a long time, and those last

-- Original

"You are now 25 years old, and I've served you since you were eighteen and some, since the day your father passed." The young man sitting on a rickety chair nodded slowly, waiting. He had grown since that fateful day, I acknowledged abstractedly, while wondering how I should, once again, cross this bridge ahead of me.
"Did you ever get to speak with your father about the times past, Dan?", I asked, shortening his name from Danyon.
"What d'ya mean, Gramps?"
I shook my head slightly, amused. He had taken to calling me that, and I didn't find it unpleasant, even after some of the other young men following him developed the same, undeserved, habit.

[This message has been edited by Sakari (edited August 09, 2011).]


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Osiris
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Hello Sakari,

Thank you for sharing your first 13. I think this is your first post here, so kudos to you for taking the plunge. Everything I comment on is meant to be constructive.

I think dialog starts are a hard thing to pull off properly. Generally I think a dialog start works if it introduces the conflict of the story.

In this case, I'm not catching a conflict vibe from this dialog start.

quote:
He had grown since that fateful day, I acknowledged abstractedly, while wondering how I should, once again, cross this bridge ahead of me.

I'm not sure how much value is being added by this sentence. The reader will assume that Danyon had grown based on the previous bit of dialog. 'Acknowledged abstractly' is in itself abstract, and clarity is a writer's friend. The important part of this is the 'crossing of the bridge', and I'd suggest paring this down to that element.

quote:
... I asked, shortening his name from Danyon.

I don't think you need to tell us the narrator is shortening his name. Just show it. For example, he could refer to Dan in dialog, but in narration, call him Danyon.

quote:
I didn't find it unpleasant,

Consider stating this in the positive rather than the negative. It will make for tighter prose.

I am big fan of post/apocalyptic settings, so I would've like some hint of your post-apoc setting early on. For me, it is a hook.

For most readers, that will probably not be enough. We have character introduction here, but we have no idea what the story is going to be about? What does the MC want and who/what stands in his way?

Hope this helps and good luck!

Thanks


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Sakari
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Hi Osiris,

Thank you for the prompt feedback!

And I happen to agree with you. Those 13 lines are .. well. Bland. However I like how you found the "crossing of the bridge"-bit, because that is the hint there is something more to "grandpa".

I like your advice about Danyon.

I disagree a bit about the "I didn't find it unpleasant"-part. Prose would be tighter, and I'd adore that, but semantically I think there's a difference between

quote:
I found it pleasant <-> I didn't find it unpleasant

Is there?

That helped. I just needed a tiny tiny shove to rework this a bit.

Thank you!


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Osiris
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I did waffle a bit as to whether or not to mention the stating things in the negative bit because I did recognize the semantic difference. However, if the meaning you are going for is that Grandpa didn't really have strong feelings about it, the reader might ask, why mention it at all?

*Shove*


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Sakari
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Alrighty!

Revision 1:

Ash clouds were spreading over the skeleton of a city. Wind blew from the south, bringing me a cold premonition. I watched the sun set over my beloved Sector, and wondered how I should, once again, cross this bridge ahead of me. Presently I turned to speak to the young man sitting in a rickety chair.
- "You turned 25 a month ago, Dan, didn't you?" Danyon nodded slowly, waiting, and I marveled how he'd grown since that fateful day his father passed away nine years ago.
- "And you never spoke with your father about the past?"
- "What d'ya mean, Gramps?"
- "Well, your father ruled for a long time, and those last years were quite turbulent. I wondered..", I felt deflated. The great emptiness was rearing up inside me while I considered his

Optional Revision 1:

Ash clouds were spreading over the skeleton of a city. Wind blew from the south, bringing in a cold premonition. Harman watched the sun setting over his beloved Sector while wondering how he should, once again, cross the bridge ahead. Presently he turned to speak to a young man sitting in a rickety chair.
- "These last nine years have been good to us, Dan." Danyon nodded slowly, waiting.
- "I know you are curious about your family. You've heard the tales, and now you should hear the truth. It is time I tell you about myself, and about Ganghelm."
- "What d'ya mean, Gramps?"
- "Well, your father ruled for a long time, and those last

[This message has been edited by Sakari (edited August 09, 2011).]


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