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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Lili's Justice - First 13 & request readers

   
Author Topic: Lili's Justice - First 13 & request readers
rcmann
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This is a complete re-write of a story I recently finished and got some dreadful feedback on (Not from folks here). I'd appreciate any comments. I'm willing to reciprocate on the reading crits, naturally.

-------------------
Jess swung the pack of fox skins into position and smiled down at her sister. "Ready for this, Lili?"

The child bounced and beamed up at her. "You betcha! I been ready all year to try magic on somethin' besides birds and rabbits." She spread out her arms and spun in a circle, kicking up new-fallen leaves.

Their momma walked over, smiling. "Let's see if you're still this frisky after all day in the woods." She took a deep breath of the clear morning air. "Remember Lili, you do what Jess says. No argument. If I hear that you gave her any sass I'll tan your hide when you get back. Hear me?"

"Yes, momma," Lili said. "I won't cause no trouble. Promise." She shifted the food pouch and peered through the woods in the direction of the village.

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mayflower988
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I'd love to read the whole thing. The only thing that didn't go over completely smoothly was when Lili says "you betcha". It kinda sounds like something the Beaver would say. :)

I'm not totally sure, but shouldn't there be a comma after "If I hear that you gave her any sass"?

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alliedfive
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Pretty smooth. I had just a couple nits.

1) The "dialect". "won't cause no trouble", "somethin'". I hate it. I always hate it when I read it in stories, and guessing that Lili will be a main character here has already turned me off from reading it. I may be alone in my distaste for it, but it's something to consider.

2) This opening is pretty cheery and lacks any real hint of conflict. The only thing you have is the "Let's see if you're still this frisky after all day in the woods." line. I come away from your opening thinking, "Oh, they are off to a fun magical time in the woods." I think you want me thinking, "Oh, I wonder if they'll manage to do the thing they want to do despite the problems they face."

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skadder
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Jess swung the pack of fox skins into position - where? Is the position you are referring to on his back?

I presume there is more than one position you could 'swing a pack of fox skins' to. Also a 'pack' doesn't just refer to a backpack (is that what you meant?) here in the UK. You can have a pack of anything (within reason). A pack of smokes? Skins can also be cigarette papers in the UK.

Of course, if he swung the pack onto his back, it may be an idea to specify that, which would have cleared it up for me.

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rcmann
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mayflower988 - It's on its way.

alliedfive - I welcome your feedback on this. Opinion seems mixed. I put in their speech patterns because they are relatively uneducated peasants, which will become an issue. But I suppose I could indicate that by word choice and grammar instead.

The story's conflict is introduced at approximately line fifteen. *sigh*

skadder - thanks. I'll modify it. It's a backpack full of hides. And Jess is a she.

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skadder
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Sorry about thinking it was a he--although Jess can be a shortened version of Jesse (a boy's name).

The first line almost confirms it's a she, but if it could be misinterpreted that the 'her' in 'her sister' could refer to another female, that will shortly be introduced (yes, bad writing if that was the case...).

Anyway, my bad for not reading more carefully.

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rcmann
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No. My bad for lack of clarity.

It comes back to the 13 line issue again, I think. Fortunately, 'standard' manuscript format, that requires leavin half a page blank for the use of (now non-existent typesetters) is fading away into the unmourned past, like the stench from outhouses and yearly cholera outbreaks.

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