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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » The Scarred 7215 words

   
Author Topic: The Scarred 7215 words
babooher
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Looking for readers. I've gone through this twice now and cut about 2,400 words. I'd love to get it down to 5,000 words but I can't look at it anymore, at least not yet.

Auric Crafte didn't fight the bobbies outside the Pullman-turned-manticore den until he saw the carriage emerge from the mist. The two bobbies, used to dealing with junkies on manticore's milk, held firm and forced Auric to his knees with his arms twisted behind him. The carriage stopped beside the bobbies' wagon. Auric cried out but couldn't escape the bobbie’s grip. "It's the changeling come back for me. Don't let him have me. Don't!" demanded Auric.
A sergeant in a black poncho with a silver badge stepped down from the driver's seat of the wagon while a smaller man came out of the carriage. The man from the carriage was smoking a pipe. The smell of the coconut blend flitted by in the wind. "I know that blend," said Auric. "The changeling must have gotten Hiram and now he's come back for me. You've got to

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Denevius
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Hey, how long is the entire piece? I'm game to swap something of similar length if it's not too long. Just email me.
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Thengel
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Some details piqued my interest--"manticore's milk," "I know that blend."

I was confused with this. He "didn't fight . . . until he saw the carriage"--but then I never see him fight. The next thing I see is the bobbies pinning him to the ground. The other thing that confused me was the two men getting out of the carriage and the wagon at the same time.It was hard for me to keep the wagon and the carriage straight. I thought the two men were together, and I had to read it again to see that they were coming from two different places. I'm realizing now that the bobbies are with whoever is in the carriage, but that wasn't clear the first time I read it.

I went back and read the piece again. Once I figured out what was going on, I grew more interested in it. I'm a little curious to see why this changeling is after him. What is it that Auric has? Also, it's interesting that something is happening. You've begun the story "in the middle of things" as it were.

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extrinsic
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What works most and most doesn't work for me about this opening is probably unintended; that is, the situation of Auric being accosted by bobbies seems farcical. I suspect the intention is for the situation to be tense; however, Auric's protests seem to me of a briar rabbit saying don't throw me in that there briar patch. I'm thinking that Auric welcomes the bobbies' attention as a way to be protected from the changeling, though he naturally resists their attentions.

Part of the reason for me thinking that is not having a context and texture developed as to why Auric comes to the bobbies' attention. Probably Auric might not know exactly why, but he probably suspects why. This is causation. The bobbies accosting him is an effect.

I think why could be interleaved along with Auric's speech protests incorporated as thought. He could as well erroneously think the cause is something else than what it actually is, and artfully misdirect readers, and artfully develop Auric's character.

Patently, Auric thinks the changeling is a cause but without developing how and why, the what is left open. And I find Auric's actions or the narrator's ambiguous portrait of the action humorous due to the ambiguity. I don't think that's intended. I think the events of this opening are meant to depict an emotionaly trying dramatic event in order to set up and develop tension's empathy for and curiosity about Auric's dire straights.

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pidream
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Auric Crafte didn't fight the bobbies outside the Pullman-turned-manticore den until he saw the carriage emerge from the mist. The two bobbies, used to dealing with junkies on manticore's milk, held firm and forced Auric to his knees with his arms twisted behind him.
1. I had the same comment as Thengel, regarding the use of the word fighting. Maybe consider resist. I am not sure what you mean by Pullman-turned-manticore den. Is it an actual Pullman sleeping car on a train, is the car at a station, or abandoned in the train yard somewhere. Setting the scene might help with the imagery.
In the second sentence consider deleting ‘dealing with’ to rousting. consider- deleting ‘held firm and’, delete- ‘with’ replace with and. To me it flows better.

The carriage stopped beside the bobbies' wagon. Auric cried out but couldn't escape the bobbie’s grip. "It's the changeling come back for me. Don't let him have me. Don't!" demanded Auric.
2. You use Bobbies four times in the first three sentences. For me this seemed a bit much. Consider- ‘police wagon’.
In the fourth sentence, I get what you mean, but crying out does not compare well to escape, for me. Consider- deleting ‘cried out’, and replace with struggled harder.

A sergeant in a black poncho with a silver badge stepped down from the driver's seat of the wagon while a smaller man came out of the carriage. The man from the carriage was smoking a pipe.
3. This sentence is confusing and wordy, for me, sorry. Consider- having the sergeant already being off the wagon. Something like- The sergeant in charge turned as a small man, smoking a pipe stepped out of the carriage. Just a suggestion.

The smell of the coconut blend flitted by in the wind. "I know that blend," said Auric. "The changeling must have gotten Hiram and now he's come back for me. You've got to
4. I am trying to imagine the scene: Auric is down on his knees, and suddenly blurts out, "I know that blend," If I was one of the Bobbies, I might think this guy-junkie was insane. Consider making it an internal thought.
When you say, ‘The changeling’, do you mean there is only one? Or did you mean to say, ‘That’s not Hiram, it’s a changeling. The rest of the dialog seems to imply, to me at least that, the Bobbies know who Hiram is, true? If not, then this must be, to me, more rambling from a manticore milk junky.

I kind of liked this, but think it needs a little rewording and clarification. I like the era the story is set in very much, and that alone would get to read on. I am willing to swap for a story of about the same length. Good luck

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