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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Changeling

   
Author Topic: Changeling
mythique890
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Ok, I'm a little nervous. I'm much more of a long story person than a short story person, but I needed a bread from my novel (as many of you know) and last night, this kind of came to me. It's just for fun, but let me know how it is for a first attempt.

NOTE: I'm working on the title. This isn't what it's going to be called.
*

I walked in on those moronic fae just as they replaced my sweet baby girl with a squalling changeling.
"Freeze!" I shouted, leveling the nail gun at their cerulean-haired leader.
"Char!" He said in mock surprise, grinning a wicked fairy grin that showed off every one of his pointed green teeth. "It's been a while."
"Spare me, Mugwort. You know why I left. Put her down or I'll pump your pointy face full of cold iron."
"I have to say, Charlotte, you've changed," his said. His pretty face pinched with disgust as he took in the mom jeans, the pony tail, and the loose shirt and cardigan I wore to cover the havoc that pregnancy had wreaked on my body.


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axeminister
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You can't get blood from a stone.
You can't get bread from a novel.

Just kidding. =)

OK, a few things.

Maybe set the stage for us a little more. She heard a noise or something?
Why does she already have a nail gun in her hand?
Char! doesn't fit. First, it's a second ! right away and I believe those should be reserved. Only one or two per short story. (Unless it's a kids story, then go for it.) Plus, you are using her nick name and I don't yet know her real name. So, when you call her Charlotte later, it made me have to go back and figure it out.
Why she left - where?
Last line is great. Lean on that one. In fact, you might move it up to either the start or the 2nd sentence. (with a slight tweak, of course.)

Axe


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telflonmail
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I 2nd that.

The last sentence would make a good opening line.


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micmcd
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From that first sentence, I was under the impression that they had already replaced her baby girl with a changeling. Rather than annoyed anger, I would expect frantic panic from a mother. "As they were about to..." feels more appropriate for her reaction; it makes me think that the fae are annoyances to Charlotte, rather than a real threat that she's afraid of. I'd expect fear if they could credibly pull off stealing her baby.
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Osiris
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I agree, the last line is great here. Lead with it.

For me, 'cerulean-haired' felt a bit too forced of a description, in that it called attention to the word and not its meaning.

In general, though, I liked it, and thinks it makes a grabby opening scene. Just needs a little tweaking.


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pdblake
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I liked it. Hooked me, though 'moronic' felt a little flat as a description.
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mythique890
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

@axe - Ha! I didn't have a clue what you were talking about until I noticed my typo. I meant 'break.' Thanks for your other feedback, I swapped the names so her whole name comes first, the nickname after. Why she left and where will be answered a little later in the story.

@teflonmail - That seems to be the consensus.

@micmcd - I'd thought of that, sort of. My intention is for them to have placed the changeling in the crib and be holding the baby, but still standing in the room.

@Osiris - You're right about the cerulean.

@pdblake - I had that thought after I posted. I'll change it. I want to convey the idea that, on the surface, she's more annoyed than anything else, but I'll come up with a different way to do it.

Once again, thank you everyone! I appreciate all of you taking the time to read this and help me. I'll toy with it and post a new version in a bit (I'm immersed in making kid Halloween costumes right now, so writing is taking a back seat to sewing during nap time).


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OliverBuckram
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I am thinking this is a stake out. If I were Char, staking out my child's bedroom, I would put a dummy kid in the crib. When Mugwort tries to make the switch, he will be foiled.

like the teeth.

you are going for a Jasper Fforde type voice here?

both his teeth and face are pointed?


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