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

   
Author Topic: Experimental SF
Bent Tree
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Trying to rework this intro. I would be mighty obliged for any comments you have on your first impressions. Tell me what you assume, observe and think may come. If you don't mind, that is. Thanks y'all.


Mountains had been moved to win her favor in this timeless game. Ever the player, she suppressed a yawn. she would save those for a more advantageous moment. Teams of servants catered to her every need in the star lit courtyard as the Duke sat with his wife and mistress in the balcony. She felt his burning passion, his all-consuming need to impress her. Whispers and the sight of Chinese merchant ships in the port this morning told of the main event. A falling star caught her attention just before the fireworks began. Beautiful as they were it was the falling star that consumed her thoughts. A portend to be certain of something great to come. Something besides this sport she had mastered centuries ago. Exquisite explosions of color and sound lit the sky and porticos of the courtyard. The finally, a melee of

[ December 14, 2011, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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Denevius
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it's a bit abstract, so difficult to become too engaged in the narrative. i don't think all the pronouns help with that. there's also a lot going on in these beginning lines; each sentence contains it's own story. first there's moutains being moved, then servants, then the duke (who has a mistress), then chinese merchant ships, falling stars and fireworks.

that's all an awful lot for five or six lines.

the writing is strong enough, though.

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Leslie
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I agree with Denevius. I think you need to strech this out...slinky like [Smile] ...and fill in a bit because yes each sentence is a story in itself.

My first impression is that there is an intriguing story line here, and I think this has great potential, but the writing feels like you are trying to hard. Let yourself write naturally the way you speak. Leslie

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telflonmail
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What's your name girl...

Break it into multiple paragraphs (white space!)

To me, it's more like an outline than a story. It's like large strokes with a brush. Too many adjectives and pronouns can muddy the texture.

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aspirit
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quote:
Mountains had been moved to win her favor in this timeless game.
Who or what moved mountains? Naming the players (as in "Gods moved..." or "Hopeless suitors moved...") might help readers identify whether this line is literal or figurative.

quote:
Ever the player, she suppressed a yawn. she would save those for a more advantageous moment.
I was still thinking of mountains and had to re-read to see that "those" referred to yawns.

quote:
Teams of servants catered to her every need in the star lit courtyard as the Duke sat with his wife and mistress in the balcony.
The MC is the hostess, or she doesn't care about anyone else's servants. They might be at her home, or the Duke's house, or...anywhere.

quote:
She felt his burning passion, his all-consuming need to impress her.
I would prefer a bit of action or physical description here. Is he watching her, his head always turned so that he never completely loses sight of her? Is he sitting in silence despite the other women's attempts to engage him? Hiding his lap? Twisting to every opportunity to entertain her?

quote:
Whispers and the sight of Chinese merchant ships in the port this morning told of the main event.
Here's a hint of the setting and characterization. They're in China or somewhere where China does business, and the MC isn't Chinese. Now I'm wondering about her nationality, or what she pretends is her nationality.

quote:
A falling star caught her attention just before the fireworks began.
She seems to have anticipated the fireworks, so mention that first. Then the falling star can interrupt her wait.

quote:
Beautiful as they [the fireworks] were it was the falling star that consumed her thoughts.
Show that her thoughts continue with the falling star even as the fireworks erupt. It doesn't make sense to mention the fireworks' beauty when she's too consumed to think about them.

quote:
A portend to be certain of something great to come. Something besides this sport she had mastered centuries ago. Exquisite explosions of color and sound lit the sky and portico[e]s of the courtyard. The finally, a melee of orange, green, yellow, then blue cast light on everything in a surreal, almost magical sort of daylight. It was then she saw him.
This last line is disorienting. To transition, maybe in the brightness of the fireworks, she notices a familiar face. Or the colors remind her of someone, and there, under of the flashes of the finale, there he is.

quote:
He stood alone on a balcony to the West.
Leaning on a rail? Standing as if in at military attention? Again, I would prefer physical description that hints at his character.

quote:
But this was not the first time.
That he stood in that balcony?

quote:
No the last time was another time indeed. Three hundred years in the future, in a time of[...]
She seems languid, when I expected her to be excited.

Like everyone else said, you have plenty of room for elaboration, to bring the reader into a more solid world. The pronouns didn't bother me, but I can see how more detail will help clarify those.

It is an interesting rough draft. I hope you have fun reworking it.

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Omakase
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I think you mean portent (a noun) and not portend (a verb). However this typically denotes an ominous sign not a fortuitous one, so you might want to rewrite this sentence. Just the use of the word is enough to describe the feeling without reiterating it in the rest of the sentence.
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Bent Tree
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Thanks for all the input
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annepin
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I found this a bit disjointed. The sentences don't seem to logically come together and tell a story--seems more like a sketch. Maybe if you put us more solidly in her perspective?
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