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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Of Mist and Memory

   
Author Topic: Of Mist and Memory
telflonmail
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Emelyne gazed straight ahead but seemed unaware she had an audience. The glass of wine in her hand was translucent as the conversation. Light string music played in the background.
“The last song you played, did you write it when --” She paused to contemplate nothing in particular. “When we were both too young to know anything. About anything.”
Marabelle put down the guitar. “You recall correctly.” She picked up a glass of wine. “I did start it then. It has matured and changed over the years. These many years.”
They raised their glasses to each other like a ritual of good cheer and friendship.
“I remembered it. Was it real? Or a flashback to someone else’s childhood.”

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Merlion-Emrys
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I'm not sure who is speaking here. We go from a mention of Emelyne having an audience, to someone asking about a song...so at first it seems as if someone is speaking to her, but then we see it's her speaking to someone. It's a bit confusing.

Personally, I feel a need for a little more scene setting...I don't feel much sense of where we are or why. Also, perhaps a little more clear info on the two characters relationship.


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Osiris
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There is a sense of distraction/passivity here that doesn't quite grab me.

Some line comments:

quote:
Emelyne gazed straight ahead but seemed unaware she had an audience.

I struggle with this sometimes too, but I think when we are in a character's POV, it is best to not state explicitly that they are unaware of something. If I'm sitting at my desk typing this post up, I'm not aware of anything happening behind me and I am not thinking about it either.

quote:
“The last song you played, did you write it when --” She paused to contemplate nothing in particular. “When we were both too young to know anything. About anything.”

Sort of a similar problem for me here. Contemplation is by definition deep thought about something, and her dialog actually suggests she is contemplating the question of when the song was written.

quote:
“I did start it then. It has matured and changed over the years. These many years.”

I liked the idea of the song changing over the years. I think you don't need 'These many years' as the repetition robs the power of the prior sentence for me.

quote:
“I remembered it. Was it real? Or a flashback to someone else’s childhood.”

This is in quotes, but read like internal dialog to me.

Hope these comments help.


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Devnal
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I agree with most of what Osiris said.

I was confused as to why Emelyne has an audience if Marabelle is the one playing the instrument. Is there someone else also playing a guitar in the background, or is Marabelle the only one? You take steps to set the scene, but it falls a bit short and in turn slightly confusing, which takes away from the actual story. This, of course is challenging to do in only 13 lines.
I would suggest either cleaning up the the scene setting (which may cut into the actual story, but will create a more solid atmosphere), or (my preference) leave it out and focus entirely on Emelyne and Marabelle's conversation, and let the reader fill in the rest.

"She paused to contemplate nothing in particular" - this is pretty weak; depending on whose POV this is from. If its Emelyne's we should know what she is contemplating, if its Marabelle, "She paused" should suffice.

"..too young to know anything. About anything" - has a poetic ting to it but seems a bit much to me and too vague, unless this is better explained later.


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