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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » A story of Craft

   
Author Topic: A story of Craft
outsidious
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This is project I'm tinkering with. Any advice about sentence pacing would be appreciated. Does this offer a promise to you while you're reading it? Would you want to hear more? Still working on it a bit more before I'd like to send it out. Here it is:

Craft woke up knowing he would die. Not all of him. Not all the way… a small death. A lucrative death though- and that was important. He would remember that. Craft moved to the door. He could feel the cold night air seeping through the wooden frame. The camp was quiet and he couldn't justify delaying any longer.

The walk to the city of Gamol was a short and easy one. Hopelessly short, bitterly easy. Craft couldn't help but wish for a more difficult path. It felt like betrayal and as usual it had to be when he was just getting used to himself again. The people slept - no one was watching to bear witness to his final walk. The manor was large and had a commanding view of the city. He stood in front of the red door a long time, hand half-raised.

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extrinsic
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Dying for profit is a curiosity arousing premise with readymade empathy or sympathy interest as well. Those appeals speak loud.

On the other hand, the narrative point of view is unsettled. The fragment tries for a close distance to Craft's internal perspective looking out and mixes it up with narrator looking in from outside. An ideal is to stay in one point of view and overlap narrator and agonist perspectives.

Syntax and diction are the sources of the mixed internal looking out and external looking in perspectives. For one, a waking-up opening sentence is generally challenging and a likely Dischism. A Dischism is a writer's alpha reality intruding into a story. Waking-up openings portray a writer's and readers "waking up" from their routine alpha realities in a narrative's reality imitation scene.

Craft could as well and more artfully realize he will die under stronger and clearer circumstances that introduce specific event, setting, and character development details. For example; //Six wood pillars surrounded a courtyard. Moonbeams lighted the Pillar of Retribution. Craft knew he would die.// That or the like also eliminates the -ing present participle verb "knowing" and its nondefinite, nonsignificant time span. Definite and significant robust verbs are crucial for starts and for dynamic action pace.

The next four sentence fragments are artful; they are patently stream of consciousness access to Craft's thoughts and bridge the narrator and Craft's viewpoints, internally set up looking out from Craft's viewpoint.

The next sentence should be another scene sensation from Craft's internal viewpoint of the external physical world, though not a narrator tell. Craft cannot see himself move to the door. Nor does he think that he feels the cold night air; that's another narrator tell.

A thumb principle guidance: describe sensations, from agonist veiwpoint; don't narrator-summarize them. Craft could feel cold night air seep through a wooden frame summarizes the sensation and narrator tells Craft's action as a tactile feeling.

Likewise, the fragment remainder narrator tells the action by summary and explanation with a few minor sensory details leavened in. The details are the crucial circumstances, not the verbs that distance Craft and, consequently, readers from the scene's reality imitation closeness.

The sentence lengths set a robust pace though spoiled by limited scene development and overt narrator summary and explanation lecture as if from a storyteller who sits around a campfire or reads from a lectern on a stage to an audience.

The fragment rushes through opening introduction essentials and glosses over crucial event, setting, and character development details.

The small death and dying for a profit stand out as inspired strengths, if only the narrative point of view and sensory details were more artfully managed.

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babooher
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Seems like a lot of writing real estate has been used to walk the character to where the story should start. Information is frontloaded while sensory details are few and far between.
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outsidious
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Thank you both very much for your feedback.

extrinsic: great insight thank you so much for the time you put into telling me these things.

Truthfully, I feel pretty embarrassed and I'm going to fix things up. It seems so obvious now that you point these things out. I feel a little bad for posting something so unpolished, but the things you mention will help me greatly.

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extrinsic
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Realizations of those pointers are among the harder challenges writers face, let alone realization of them independent of external guidance. No need for embarrassment. That's what writing workshops, notably Hatrack, are most beneficial for: tapping writing capital accumulated over years at much hardship and rejection and across a variety of writers' perspectives.
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Lamberguesa
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Honestly, this is one of the better pieces I've read here. Nothing to be embarrassed about!
It's quite intriguing! Though I do think, for an opening, it loses track on the second half. Not that it's bad, just that I think that part should come later. I think we need a little bit more of what is going through Craft's mind, or at least his motivation. Let's get to know him a little better. Just my opinion. But either way, I'm enjoying it.

A.L.

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outsidious
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Thanks A.L. That's good to hear. I'm still working on it! Now that I'm done with finals (yes!) I plan to get some more out over break.
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