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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » True Power (Contemporary/Urban Fantasy) 7,600k

   
Author Topic: True Power (Contemporary/Urban Fantasy) 7,600k
InarticulateBabbler
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This title is tentative.

Any critiques are good, but what I really need are takers for a full-read. Thanks in advance.

quote:

Rob Castillo saw a malicious grin on Mason Drevon's face just before a fist cracked into his eye. The hit rocked him and numbed almost the entire left side of his face, but Rob didn't go down. Instead, he blocked Drevon's follow-up blow. Drevan was a linebacker in school before he'd dropped out to lead the Bloodsquad, but Rob knew better than to just lay down.

Lay down for a bully once, and you never got back up.

Drevon went in with a swift elbow. Not only did that blow send Rob to his knees, but something awakened deep inside of him. As he pushed out of the alley rubble, Rob felt a surge of power well up inside of him and race through his blood like a thousand electric eels.

As Drevon swept in for another strike, Rob hit him...


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Bent Tree
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I will take a look.
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History
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As will I.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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pdblake
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I've not got time for a full read (too much proofing to do), but I'll give you my tuppenceworth if you like.

The first line threw me a little, at first I didn't know who was hitting who. As a fight scene it seemed a little slow and could have done to be more punchy (pun most definately intended:)).

I get the idea that Rob has some inate power that is just being released, but for me it came on a little sudden. Perhaps a bit more build up to it, between smacks to the head?

I like the idea though and think the opening will work with a bit of tweaking. It hooked me well enough to want to read more.

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Osiris
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The main thing for this opening to work, I think, is making the telling more immediate (or punchy, as mentioned by pdblake). Please consider the following line by line suggestions and feel free to discard what doesn't resonate:

quote:
Rob Castillo saw a malicious grin on Mason Drevon's face just before a fist cracked into his eye.
- The his here is ambiguous (is it Rob's eye, or Mason's eye?), and we can't tell who is punching who until we get to the next sentence.


quote:
The hit rocked him and numbed almost the entire left side of his face, but Rob didn't go down.
-The text in bold here slows down the pace of the action because it isn't really important how much of his face is numbed, only that it is numbed. Also, with the last clause, it is better to state what Rob did do rather than what he didn't do (perhaps he stumbled back?)

quote:
Instead, he blocked Drevon's follow-up blow. Drevan was a linebacker in school before he'd dropped out to lead the Bloodsquad, but Rob knew better than to just lay down.
Consider saving the info-dump about Drevan for later. In a fight, one doesn't really think about these things. Also consider deleting 'instead', as it slows the pace. Action scenes work when the reader sees blow-by-blow accounts in quick, sharp language that mirrors the action on the page. Words like 'instead' smooth the transition between the actions of the participants, which isn't what you want in an action scene.


quote:
Drevon went in with a swift elbow. Not only did that blow send Rob to his knees, but something awakened deep inside of him. As he pushed out of the alley rubble, Rob felt a surge of power well up inside of him and race through his blood like a thousand electric eels.
"Not only did that" has a similar effect to "instead". Also, 'went' is a weak verb, especially for one used in an action scene, especially since this strike drops Rob to his knees.

Consider also avoiding feeling/thought attributions like "Rob felt...", which like "Rob saw" distances us from Rob's POV, where as something like "A surge of power welled up inside Rob and raced through his blood..." actually feels more immediate (IMHO, I apologize for the bit of rewriting)


I think most of the issues here, then, are matters of immediacy. I'd suggest that you try to write out each moment of the fight scene as if you don't know what the next one will be, and keep the focus on the external battle, saving the internal stuff for when the supernatural power begins to awaken inside him.

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Leslie
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I liked it. It was crisp and clear with good movement. I didn't have any trouble knowing who hit whom.

You built good suspense and made me want to continue. Good luck!

Leslie

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Omakase
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Starting a story in the middle of a high action scene is really difficult for a reader to embrace. Without info-dumping there is absolutely no context.
And giving info breaks up the action description and makes it less effective.
Try coming up with at least a few concise lead in sentences if you want to go this route.

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