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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » First 13 - Fall of Atalantes

   
Author Topic: First 13 - Fall of Atalantes
DaveS
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Greetings, I'm new to this forum and site. I would greatly appreciate any and all critical feedback on the first 13 lines of a fantasy fiction short story. Looking to know if this is a good 'hook' that will compel the reader to read the first line, the first paragraph, and turn the page. Here goes...

#

His wife raised her golden eyes to his. Archonis confirmed what she had foreseen. “They are upon us.”

Alustria flung her arms around him, muffling a sob against his chest. Their hearts pounding against each other, he gently unhinged her arms from around his neck. They needed to move. Archonis grasped a rusted sword and tucked it into his belt. Alustria’s gaze lingered on a slim polished knife lying on the table. She took the blade and hid it within the folds of her robe; her eyes briefly meeting his in unspoken agreement. The knife was for their daughter, the sword for his wife. Archonis would fight.

His wife gathered their sleeping infant from the crib and Archonis clasped her hand to step into the corridor. Faint cries

[ March 07, 2012, 09:47 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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TempestDash
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There is nothing at all offensive in here and it appears well written. I have good feelings about the quality of the story that follows these first 13. My only concern is that it is a hint generic. How does this story stand out from any other fantasy flight from an unknown assailant?

While I'm not hooked, I would probably read a little further on to see if something happens on the next page.

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Bycin
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I'd have to say I was hooked enough to read on, at least for a few more pages, if only to see what is so bad that they were willing to kill both themselves and their daughter in order to avoid it.

My only technical critique comes here:
quote:
Their hearts pounding against each other,
I think that "pounding" breaks tense and should be "pounded."

Otherwise, it was engaging and interesting. I'd be happy to read the entire piece when and if you would like.

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DaveS
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Thanks very much for the feedback. I have to think about this, it does seem generic, which needs to be addressed. This is actually the prologue to a fiction thriller happening in present day, not a sword and sorcery story - like the first thireen lines seem to indicate). Hmmm.

Thanks Bycin for the technical feedback, much appreciated. I'd like to take your offer for the read.

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angel011
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Atalantes, Archonis, Alustria... Is there a reason for all the 3 of them in the first 13 lines (plus the title) to start with an "A"? It could get confusing.

Golden eyes make me wonder if it's a pretty figure of speech, or whether she's human.

Flinging arms, muffling a sob, hearts pounding, grasping a sword... All of it in a small space seems a little melodramatic to me, though it could be just me.

Why would the little girl and the mother get killed by their own family, but the man would fight?

Overall, it seems a bit generic, so I'm not sure I'd keep reading.

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DaveS
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Thanks Angel011. I'm going to rethink and reboot this. Really helpful to receive unbiased opinion.
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