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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Spiders of the Web - first 13

   
Author Topic: Spiders of the Web - first 13
Arnen123
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Been a while since I posted, but think I could get some opinions on the following 13 lines? Thanks! [Smile]

What had Soma meant? To speak so often of a wireframe ifrit gaining substance with every step. Whose forms were a pageant licking their lips. Girls she had not yet been.
Nabin thought he understood. The future a sadist. Waiting for his sister to slip.
It was the slavers who explained this, infecting eighty demijohns of herbal wine. Cells seceded; the mind collapsed. So that hardly anyone in Douar Narayanhity noticed the words, in diwani, carved on the Asabiyya bachaga's door. Submissive to feud, then release your prisoners. Indecent to give up the profits of war. The submissive were rabbits. The slavers – selection. Nature's wolves.
Like the olive tree at harvest, Nabin felt exposed.

[ April 30, 2012, 03:34 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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History
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Well...not easy to read or follow if one approaches this as common prose storytelling.

I needed to turn my perception decoder to blank verse and slow my intake to sloth pace and crawl slowly over and under each word.

Simply, I found this too much work to comprehend (and I believe I'm one of the more obtuse tyro writers migrating in and out of the Treehouse).

I'd read on a little further, as a challenge to my intellect, but if this continued to be a struggle, I'd stop.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Arnen123
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Thanks for the feedback. [Smile] The first post is actually a revision I made after
receiving a quick rejection(much quicker than usual). Made me think they stopped reading
after the first page.

This is the original(below). I consider it much more straightforward. But, again,
my assumption was that the reviewer didn't make it past the first page.
Just for comparison, what do you think of this?


The slavers had infected eighty demijohns of herbal wine. Fifty drank before it was noticed – a word, in diwani, carved on the Asabiyya bachaga's door. Indecent to feud and not sell your enemies. Indecent to give up the profits of war. The indecent were rabbits. The slavers – selection. Nature's wolves.
Soma Suchikar Chaled maintained that mercy must be paid for. How glad, age twelve, she was to pay. Cells seceded; her mind stayed whole. She continued to catalog each tumor until the end.
Her brother, Nabin, did not join the raids. Revenge required calculation, not rage. Instead, orb and carbine safe in hand, Nabin and birharu birharu – the bravest of the brave –

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Denevius
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how long is the entire piece? i'll take a look if it's completed and not too lengthy.
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Osiris
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Here is what I think may have caused the rejection, but mind you this is just the speculation of a humble slush reader.

First, I'll only comment about your older version because I agree with History, the new version is just too much work to comprehend.

In both versions, your first sentence is a flashback - essentially talking about something that had happened before the 'now' of the paragraph. At this stage you are asking the reader to construct a history before even knowing what the story is about.

My suggestion would be to consider where you are beginning this story. Perhaps it should begin by showing the wine being poisoned. That makes a good hook because as soon as someone poisons something, a number of questions demand to be answered - who is poisoning whom and what do they hope to gain from it? We have instant sympathy for the person that is targeted by the poisoning, at least until we find out who the target is (maybe a nasty human being).

Second issue here is the prose style. It is just hard to read, and the reader is being asked to process a lot of unusual names, terms and ideas (Asabiyya bachaga, the slavers -selection, Soma Suchikar Chaled, Cells seceded, etc).

If you've ever watched the BSG remake, this almost reads like something the Hybrid would say. Compelling but so dense and disjointed as to be hard to comprehend.

So, I'd say, begin with the story at the first important even, and try to ease the reader into it a bit more gently, and try a bit more straightforward prose style.

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