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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Untitled 1,600 words fantasy

   
Author Topic: Untitled 1,600 words fantasy
Tiergan
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Has been a while since I posted a first 13. I am not sure what I have here, if anything, other than its completed at 1,600 words fantasy. Looking for any thoughts and comments, and anyone up for a quick read.


She came up behind me, her voice the barest of whispers. “You’re leaving me?”

I turned back and put a fake smile on my face. The same smile I had worn for the last year. “Never,” I said taking her in my arms. “No ghost will scare me away.”

She smiled, but her smile was as forced as mine. “They all say that.”

I laughed, and the devil rose inside me. “Tell me,” I said tickling in her in the ribs, “Just how many lovers have you had.”

“Lovers?” She slapped my hands away, and I feared it wouldn’t be the ghosts that scared me away, but her throwing me out on her own accord.

“I have been in love but twice. My husband, and you.”

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Corky
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Uhm, I hate to say it, but I don't "get" this. Who are these people? And what is going on between them?
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babooher
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I think a problem is that this all occurs in a void. There are no indications of setting nor much descriptions of the character. We could have two faces floating in the clouds for all we know.
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Tiergan
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Thanks for the comments. I think that was the feeling I was getting as well, and why I was so hesitant about the piece.
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Charles P. Shingledecker
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Well, I hate to disagree with everyone else, but I actually am intrigued by this. It does feel a little "empty" but I do like the sense of mystery to it. Not sure if that is what you intended, but it does make me want to know more about what is going on.

Perhaps it could use a little bit of description to give some setting. And for me this line seems out of place:

I laughed, and the devil rose inside me. “Tell me,” I said tickling in her in the ribs, “Just how many lovers have you had.”

The reason that it doesn't seem to fit for me, is that the conversation is a serious one, and then he tickles her -- the next line about her slapping his hands away and saying she's only loved two people does work though.

Again, just my opinion. But the talk of ghosts etc makes me thing there is something mysterious going on, which I kind of like.

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Bent Tree
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I feel this could work...

a little wordy, perhaps
quote:
She came up(awkward) behind me, her voice the barest of whispers. “You’re leaving me?”
or simply, "Her soft whisper from behind me, "you're leaving me"
Also i question the inciting moment. It feels there is anticipation built up in the MC which derails the moment for me.

The MC seems a little soft and there could be a little more tension here.

not much for a speculative event or clue... a little mundane...not helping much, am I?

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Eliza C
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I agree that a bit of setting would be nice, but I don't need more than a hint. I found an incongruity in his fake smile - implying to me that he was lying about leaving - then him worrying that she would throw him out. My other issue was her dialog at the end - "I have been in love but twice" is very stiff and formal. Unless this takes place in the 19th century or earlier, or unless she is a ghost or character from an earlier time, the dialog rings unrealistic.
The threat of a ghost scaring him off is intriguing, though.

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A Yeatts
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I'm intrigued too. Interesting dynamic happening between the two characters and in 13 lines I think that's hard to do... so kudos there!

Two suggestions.
1. Name 'her'. The reader will relate more if they have a name to latch on to. The more we care about her, the more likely we are to read on. And it smacks of withholding to not name her. It doesn't increase the tension... it only frustrates.

2. Set your fantasy rules. Not completely of course! But you have both a ghost and a devil mentioned. I'm assuming that there's a real ghost involved in the plot line. If so, then I could also assume that a real devil rose up inside the MC and is going to start stabbing her with his pitchfork any second. Might want to drop the reference to the figurative devil and find a way to work in that its a real bona fide ghost. (Unless I've gotten fully confused.. in which case ignore all this.)

Good start! Keep going!
Anna
[Smile]

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Tiergan
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Imagine my surprise when I woke up and saw this reopened. Thanks for all the comments. I am going to add a little of the scene setting. The last couple stories have all started with dialogue for me and scene seems to distract of late. But I don’t think the dialogue was strong enough to carry it on its own.

Lets see where to begin.

Charles P. - Tickling in the ribs, maybe its just something I do, when I want to soften the or lighten the mood. I thought it might show intimacy more than just lover but love.

Bent Tree - Great to see you back my friend. Good suggestions, I have been trying to write more versus edit the life out of the lines and never finish, lol. Some tightening needed for sure.

Eliza C - yes, earlier than the 19th century and formal, so the speech may have the right effect I wanted. Fake smile, yep, not really thinking of leaving but knowing he shouldn’t be here in the first place and pretending for her sake that all is alright.

A. Yeatts - The name comes out in the next paragraph, I think, unless I rewrote again, lol. Fantasy Rules, ghost is real, devil exists just not in him, trying to use the old, at least I think it was saying back when, for causing a little mischief. I thought it tied in with the fake smile, making good of a bad situation.

Anyways, thank you all. Comments were great and appreciated. Maybe not as far off as I originally thought.

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