I am not looking for readers of the whole work, but am merely wondering whether the opening works or is maybe too passive. I am trying to establish that we are in a maybe 1750-era technology in a fictional European country and that eccentric and wealthy Otto is Stefan's uncle.
Minor point: since Otto rhymes with motto, that is why I put "Stefan's uncle had merely quoted the motto". I could also say "Otto had merely quoted the slogan"
When Stefan arrived home at Linden Manor that summer, he discovered that the Round Pond no longer contained the galleon. This vessel, bigger than the village church and complete with crimson sails and functioning cannons, had been the wonder of the prefecture. On the lane bordering the estate, Stefan had often seen carriages full of gawkers come to see what they rudely called "Linden's Folly."
Uncle Otto had built it several years before, during his naval engineering phase. To those who questioned the utility of building a galleon in the center of a land-locked country, Stefan's uncle had merely quoted the motto of the Golthan Royal Academy: "nothing daunts a scholar." Indeed, Otto's monograph on the galleon had been well-received at the Academy.
*Minor point: since Otto rhymes with motto, that is why I put "Stefan's uncle had merely quoted the motto". I could also say "Otto had merely quoted the slogan"--I know you're concerned about this so I looked over that particular sentence intently. Normally I'd advise eliminating words when possible. The way it is now didn't sound odd, so it could stay in my opinion, but then it adds to your word count and sometimes every little bit helps. Your own suggested change is fine, but I kinda like the words mantra or axiom, but that's nit picky.
I don't think this feels passive at all. You have mysteries (Where's the darn boat? Why is it gone?), and you have a character that appeals to me. Otto is eccentric and steadfast, he's done something, and I want to know more about him.
When you're done, care to shoot this my way?
Posts: 761 | Registered: May 2009
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I think this works. My only reservation upon reading the 1st 13 is what you'd do with the next couple of paragraphs. I hope it doesn't continue with the info-dump on the galleon's building, but instead moves onto present time scene building (i.e. I think the info is both necessary and effective here, but I'd be wary of letting it go for too long).
I like it, it's fun. If you're worried about Otto / motto you could just say: Stefan's uncle had merely quoted the Golthan Royal Academy: "nothing daunts a scholar."
Posts: 11 | Registered: Jan 2012
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