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Author Topic: YA Fantasy 44,894 words and counting
shimiqua
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Joi waited in the dark for the dragons to attack. Her leg pulsed against the long tablecloth that hid her and her brothers underneath the family's table, like the fort they used to play in when she was a child, when dragons were a myth, only half-believed, and not creatures that stalked the night, and took her father.
She laid her head back against the cool table leg and listened to her mother sing and the wind rage outside the walls of their home. She wished she had a book. She wished she had some way to escape, her adventure stories in particular where the hero never died. However, the council took her books, all five, even the Adventures of Jaesen she hid underneath her pallet. She had been distracted by a book and carelessly forgot the community sheep

Yep, the same story I workshopped characters for in Character Interviews.

Here is the first thirteen of the novel that has been taking up all of my computer time for the last almost six months. It amazes me that such a tiny idea rumbling around in my head for a few years can develop into an exploding novel 126 pages long, and still only 2/3's finished.

Honesty is my friend. Anyone interested in reading and giving a quick Simon Cowell like blurb about what works and doesn't in the whole dag thing?

I am not looking for line edits, other than in the first thirteen, just honest opinions of the story as a whole.
Thanks for reading,
~Sheena

[This message has been edited by shimiqua (edited December 09, 2008).]


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JoeMaz
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First of all, I think it's really good.

I'm not the best at grammar, but isn't it supposed to be "family's" in that usage in place of "families." And I didn't quite understand what it means for her leg to "pulse" against a tablecloth. That may just be me. One last thing. Did a sheep eat her book?


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shimiqua
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Ha! Great Joe. Nope the sheep did not eat her book. Pesky sheep. I stopped in the middle of a sentance. Thanks for the catch, it made my day.
~Sheena

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honu
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fantastic imagery...hook and read on for me....pulsing leg might be problematic...Is she feeling blood pulsing or trembling leg?....not a biggie...the idea I am getting is that she is super aware of her pulse...

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tempest
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shimiqua, there's some interesting ideas here. I would give it a read for you.

tempest


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shimiqua
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Tempest,

Do you want to read the whole thing, or just chapter one?


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tempest
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Which ever you want me too, I'd be happy to do either.
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kings_falcon
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There's some interesting ideas but it's not quite hooking me because you created a false senses of urgency. Your great first line fizzes since it's clear the dragons aren't about to attack.

My take:

quote:

Joi waited in the dark for the dragons to attack. Nice line Her leg pulsed pulsed? Hu? against the long tablecloth that hid her and her brothers underneath the family's table, like the fort they used to play in when she was a child, when dragons were a myth, only half-believed, and not creatures that stalked the night, and took her father. that's a whole lot to cram into one sentance. Try to break it up


She laid her head back against the cool table leg Hu? Isn't she poised to defend? If her leg was pulsing, how is the table leg cool? and listened to her mother sing WHAT? Why is this woman singing if an attack is imminent and the wind rage outside the walls of their home Oh, so it's a dark and stormy night .

She wished she had a book. this just killed me. Here I am worried about this little girl and now she wants a book? What? I probably put the story down here.

She wished she had some way to escape What? is she a prisioner , maybe delete the comma and add "into" her adventure stories in particular where the hero never died.

However, the council took her books, all five, even the Adventures of Jaesen she hid underneath her pallet. nice detail


She had been distracted by a book and carelessly forgot the community sheep Wait, what happened to the dragons? Is she really safe enough that she can have a flashback?


The idea has lots of potential but the narrative is a bit jumpy. If there's an actual threat coming or possible, focus on that. If not, don't tease and trick me.


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shimiqua
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Thanks everybody for your comments, and tempest for volunteering to read.
~Sheena

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shimiqua
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Here is a new beginning. Is it better, worse, still chock full of issues?

Joi waited in the dark for the dragons to attack her village. Her leg trembled against the long tablecloth that hid her and her brothers underneath the familyís table, like the fort they used to play in when she was a child, when dragons were a myth, only half-believed. Not creatures that stalked the night, and that took her father.
The village was silent, waiting for the signal from the guards that the dragons were within the walls.
Joi laid her head back against the wooden table leg in the dark, and listened to her mother sing Calebís lullaby and the wind rage outside. Caleb was five and usually fought against all things that made him feel like a baby. He was a big boy he always shouted, but not on dragon nights. Mothers quiet song comforted the family as they waited for the signal.

Thanks for your time


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Craigrs
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I don't know, I may be alone on this but I actually liked the part about the book in your original. I think it adds character, albeit there likely needs to be something more to draw Joi back into the present quickly to keep the tension. Something like the dragon snorting to make her realize that she was letting her mind drift.
It seems to me that this; dragons attacking, is something that happens on a regular basis in your world. If so, I don't find it unrealistic at all for her mind to drift to a book or other things from a time when she was safe. From personal experience, (2 years Iraq, 3 Afghanistan) I can say that it's actually very normal. People adapt even in the harshest environments and remaining ever vigilant is a bit difficult and when it happens night after night familiarity is something that can save your sanity. From a character standpoint it shows that she is scared but not broken by fear thus making her ideal for a hero character.
Just my thoughts.

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