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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Creatures of the Night

   
Author Topic: Creatures of the Night
C@R3Y
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Here's an old story I'm coming back to. It is about 4,800 words. It sure has been awhile, but I figured I should give it another chance, because when I opened it and started to read it at random, I thought this is actually not bad.

I am looking for comments on these thirteen to know if it is hooking/what I can fix/what's good of course/whole reads/I'm willing to swap stories too.

Thanks in advance.


________________________________________________________________

I wanted to get The Creatures of the Night collection of toys so freakin’ badly, but Poppy wouldn’t let me. I could only stare at them on the shelf, wishing he’d change his mind.
“You ain’t gettin no dang devil toys, boy,” Poppy said as we walked through the toy store. “Them toys’re for the wicked. Are you wicked, boy?”
“No sir,” I said, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the toys. A strange force drew me to them.
Poppy was already down the aisle.
“Come buy us, Robby, come play with us...” The distant voices of the toys said. I stepped forward. Did they really just talk? No. They couldn’t have. They’re toys. “Please Robby... It gets so lonely here. Please buy us.”

[ January 04, 2012, 08:53 AM: Message edited by: C@R3Y ]

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anarresti
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The second paragraph grabs my attention much more strongly than the first. I learned all kinds of things about the characters in that paragraph. The first was bland in comparison.

"A strange force drew me to them" - that's a bit trite but the first paragraph might work here instead of that statement. That would be the POV character simply stating what he felt rather than reaching a conclusion. Besides, how would a kid know the force was strange? A kid wouldn't question why he was drawn back to a toy. He just likes them so he stares at them.

I think the voices of the toys would be more sinister if they didn't mention "buy", which is commercial, but only "play", which is what the kid really wants to do with the toys. And that the kid would find strange!

I think I'll sleep with the lights on tonight, thank you.

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Merlion-Emrys
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Don't you have too much going on as it is already?

This is an example of the sort of thing you could save for later, since I know you're already having issues with at least 2 other pieces :-)

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C@R3Y
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Lol. Well... Perhaps. Perhaps. I'm just giving the story a read through. It's not really a full on out revision process like I did with the horsemen story or the one about the doll. I'm not changing anything except if a character isn't making sense or the more obvious problems, because I think this one's mostly ready.

I guess you're right though. It was ready almost a year ago and I just stopped sending it out and forgot about it until recently, so I decided to read through it again. Should I send it out after my read through or set it aside? I did have a few crit's a year ago that helped... but I'm not sure if I should send it out or wait to send it out and work on the two I have been working on...

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Merlion-Emrys
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Personally, I'd send it out, finish your other stuff and then see if you really want to tweak this one but that's just me.
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telflonmail
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Yup, startin' with dang dialog grabs me by the lughole like anarresti said.
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CGreen
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The first sentence is telling. Try showing the boy staring and wishing. Maybe even show the toys. When the toys start talking, maybe make one the voice. Describe the toy, I would love to see what they look like.

Perhaps start with the first line of dialogue to grab the readers attention.

On sending out or reviewing - If you feel you have improved, by all means run through it touching it up before sending out. BUT, I wouldn't get involved in a complete rewrite or anything like that.

Best of luck.

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LDWriter2
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Hope this isn't too late since i've come to this party a bit late.

But:

Not bad over all, as has been stated already some nice touches. The hint of evil from what Poppy said along with the toys talking. I assume it's some type of horror story. A little cliche-ish but that could very well be okay with this type of story.

It could be better if you started with him staring at the toys. then go into how much he wanted them.

One thing though is the language. The accent makes it sound like it's the back country or it takes place at an earlier time, if either case is so I'm not sure that " freakin’ badly" is the right phrase. That might be just me or it could throw some readers out of the story as they think about that.

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