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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Revised Intro for "Payback"(Working Title)

   
Author Topic: Revised Intro for "Payback"(Working Title)
Crystal Stevens
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Maybe I shouldn't have put this in a new thread, but here's my reworked intro for "Payback" after reading and thinking about the crits the last time. So take a look and see if this reads better (or worse). Does this version smooth things out a maybe doesn't sound so confusing?:

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Blue Smoke’s irritation swamped Julie when she dropped the saddle on the krega’s back too hard. “Sorry,” she said and snugged the cinch against his belly.

Sometimes she wondered at Toka’s intelligence, and nothing could be more stupid than going into the Noramian wilds with Degan. She could still see Degan’s face inches from hers with his index finger poking between her breasts. “Don’t even think about trying anything when it’s time for me to become chief," he said. "And that means getting rid of anyone in my way.”

That “anyone” was Toka who would be chief after his father.

And her future mate. If Degan didn’t kill him first.

Julie always tried to follow Noramian customs when visiting the village, but not this time. Degan wanted to play hardball?
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EDITED TO ADD:

Since I didn't understand what everyone has been trying to tell me when I made the above revision, I hope this one will prove more what everyone had in mind. It might need some tweaking, but see what you think:
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Blue Smoke’s irritation swamped Julie when she dropped the saddle on the krega’s back too hard. “Sorry,” she said and snugged the cinch against his belly. Next came saddle bags and a bed roll that she secured behind the cantle. She fastened the pommel bag up front then scowled at the lump the laser pistol formed right on top, but no way would she leave without it. Or the med kit also borrowed from the starship.

She grinned when Smoke’s violet eyes regarded her from a head that looked like a cross between a wolf and an anterless elk. The krega’s sleek blue-gray hide glistened in the lantern light with dawn defining the village street at the stable aisle's far end.

And the woman coming toward her. “Julie?” Nika called.
****************************************************************

I intend to put the details from the earlier version in through the conversation Julie will have with Nika who happens to be Toka's mother.

Just thought I should add that Toka is far from stupid. This is just Julie's opinion of him because she's upset at what he's done.

[This message has been edited by Crystal Stevens (edited October 04, 2011).]


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redux
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Hi!

Quite frankly, this confuses me for two reasons. First, I feel bombarded by names. In the space of your first 13 lines we have 4 characters named (I am including the horse). Others might feel differently about this - it's just my personal preference to be eased into names.

Second, I don't understand what Degan meant. Julie remembers him saying that she should not try anything when it's time for him to be chief. But then he says "and that means getting rid of anyone in my way." To me it sounds like he is telling Julie that she shouldn't get rid of anyone in his way. It sounds odd to me. Or did you mean that Degan is telling Julie that he will do anything in his power to be chief including getting rid of anyone in his way?


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mythique890
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I am also really confused by all the new vocab and names. The writing is clear, it's the content that I can't seem to follow. Sounds like it could be interesting, though, if I knew what was going on.
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Osiris
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I agree with the others, I just went through this same issue with one of my stories, Goddess, Wife Mother. You can see in the feedback there that folks also had trouble with all the introduced names and characters of the first iteration.

I'd suggest figuring out which of these names need to be introduced immediately and see if you can find a way to introduce the others later.


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Corky
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Crystal, maybe you need to make a list of what information you really need in your "hook" and see how that compares to the information you are putting there.

In the first paragraph, you are trying to show that Julie has an empathic relationship with an alien beast that she can ride. The existence of kregas and of empathic relationships with them may be important to the story, but is it all that crucial to the "hook"?

In the second paragraph, you show that Julie is worried about Toka who has stupidly gone somewhere with Degan, but we don't know who Toka is until the second paragraph, and we only know that Degan is male in the next sentence. We don't know why they have gone off together or why it is stupid of Toka to go with Degan, though your last paragraph (which should probably be part of the third paragraph, by the way) tells us what she fears.

Also in the second paragraph, Degan's words are confusing, especially the part after "he said." If Toka "would be chief after his father" then why would Degan be talking about "time for me to become chief"? and that last bit of his dialogue sounds as if he is saying Julie's "trying anything" is equal to "getting rid of anyone in my way." Would it be better for him to say "trying to stop me" and "from getting rid of anyone in my way"?

So in the last three paragraphs, you've told us that Julie thinks her future mate, who should be chief, is stupid. And he is stupid because he has gone off into some kind of "wilds" with a rival who plans to kill him (and we don't know why Degan thinks he can or should be chief instead of Toka, or how killng Toka will make people want him to be chief, for that matter). Does she think he's stupid because he doesn't know that Degan plans to kill him and become chief instead of him? Why doesn't he know such things?

What if you start with Julie riding up on Blue Smoke and asking someone where Toka is? That someone tells her that he's gone hunting (or whatever they've gone to the Noramian wilds for) with Degan.

She immediately yanks on the reins to turn Blue Smoke (thus eliciting the irritation from the krega, and giving you the chance to show that they communicate emotionally?) so she can go after them. And then she can think about how Toka is so stupid he doesn't realize that Degan intends to be chief instead of him.

However, I find myself wondering if Toka needs her to rescue him from Degan, what kind of chief would he make anyway?


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Crystal Stevens
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Okay, I've added a totally revised intro in the first post of this thread. Take a look and see what you think . And I hope it's more in lines with what everyone had in mind in the first place .
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Corky
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Now you are giving information that goes together: Julie can feel Blue Smoke's irritation (could it be strong enough to make her fumble at the cinch for an instant?), Julie is in a hurry, Julie is taking things that will allow her to be gone a while and things that will protect her and things that will help someone sick or injured. Nice clues.

One question: why does she grin at the beginning of the second paragraph? Could she take a deep breath and then pat Smoke apologetically instead? (more in keeping with her anxiety and her affection for the krega?)

One quibble: the last line is a sentence fragment, and really needs to be part (if only connected by a semi-colon) of the previous sentence in the previous paragraph in order for it to make sense.

[This message has been edited by Corky (edited October 04, 2011).]


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