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kings_falcon
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For those who've been around here for a while, this is Falcon's second appearance. It's been significantly rewritten since then. Approx 110K fantasy. I'm still editing the rewritten second half but comments on the 13 or readers for the first few chapters would be appreciated.


***

Most girls dream of being a princess in a castle. Falcon had been one. The crown stripped from her head, she no longer pined for a knight in shining armor. Her hand rested on the hilt of her sword.
She wiped her palm on her breeches and nudged her mare, Tessa, forward. The road snaked through fields until truncated by the Sun Gate, the formal entrance to the city. While Sun was the quickest way, Queen Sabrynaís summons hadnít indicated if Falcon was needed for a covert mission. Passing around the merchants entering the city for trade, Falcon nudged Tessa west toward Earth, the workerís gate.
The castle taught Falcon her first lesson; assumptions were often false.


****

Thanks


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InarticulateBabbler
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My take (and I owe you more ):

quote:

Most girls dream of being a princess in a castle. Falcon had been [one<--[IMHO you don't need this.]. The crown stripped from her head, she no longer pined for a knight in shining armor. Her hand rested [instead] on the hilt of her sword.

She [wiped her palm on her breeches and<--[Why?] nudged her mare, Tessa, forward. The road[If it goes to a gate, I think it should have a name.] snaked through fields until truncated by the Sun Gate, the formal entrance to the city [of whaty?]. While Sun was the quickest way, Queen Sabrynaís summons hadnít indicated if Falcon was needed for a covert mission. [Feels like a little something is missing right here.] Passing around the merchants entering the city for trade, Falcon nudged Tessa west toward Earth, [the workerís gate<--Does this need to be? I'm wondering if merchants (generally a richer crowd) would enter through the same gate as a brickmaker.].

The castle taught Falcon her first lesson[:] assumptions were often false.


Not bad. My three main issues:

  • The first paragraph seems a bit choppy, and I wonder if you need to announce she was a princess right off. It seems smoother without it. Plus, it switches from Omniscient to 3pl.
  • "Passing around the merchants entering the city for trade" is a preposition that threw me. I had to re-read it twice to make sense of it. Maybe "At Falcon's urging, Tess wove deftly around the merchants awaiting entrance and trotted through the Earth Gate".
  • My hook was the words "covert mission", but it didn't seem to continue on that line.

    As usual, I hope this helps.


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  • annepin
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    Hi kings_falcon. I'd love to read the first few chapters. Go ahead and send me however much you like. It might take me a week or two.

    Also, let me know what level of crit you want.


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    honu
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    Ahhh pure artistry...I wish I could write so well ...that being said...the shift you make from being a princess and pining for a shining knight...and the contrast you presented with her hand on the sword almost made me fill in and say... and now she was one
    the only huh? for me was the last sentence...how did the castle teach her that assumptions were false? was it the castle or her station in life at that time....is this allegorical? (sorry I don't have the right terminology for it)....just saying it threw me a sec....love to read your stuff

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    mommiller
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    Sure, you can send me a few, old friend. Just tell me how critical you want me to be?



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    mommiller
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    Okay here's my take on your first 13, hope you don't mind...

    Falcon didn't have to dream like most girls did, of being a princess in a castle. She was one. Once.
    Nor did she dream of a knight in shining armor, instead her own steady hand rested on the hilt of her sword as she nudged her chestnut mare, Tessa forward.
    The road snaked through the fields until it ended abruptly at the Sun Gate, the formal entrance to the city. Falcon regarded its ornate doors carefully. Queen Sabryna's summons implied nothing out of the ordinary, in fact it was downright casual in its request for her presence.
    Tessa snorted at the traffic heading steadily into the gate. "You've got that right, old girl." Falcon murmured reaching down to pat her faithful steed on the neck.
    She watched the crowds moving slowly up the path, before setting her heel into the side of her mount and heading further down to the Earth Gate, the entrance for the myriad of castle workers. Subletly was an art, one that Sabryna mastered years ago...


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    kings_falcon
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    I'll send the chapters on Monday when I'm not on a dial up (oh, the joys of living in the country) connection. Beat the heck out of it. I have to edit the second half (former 2nd book pretty ruthlessly but I think the first half is fairly clean)

    Thank you Honu. It's been a long road to get it this clean and, there's still more I can do.
    The use of the "free" paragraph for full omni was intentional since my hook, IMHO, is who she is and what the mission is. Although I may take Mommiller's version of it since it flows more smoothly.

    Honu, the next line explains the castle reference. It was built by a mage so from a distance it looks like a mountain, but when you get closer changes into a castle made primarily of spires. Also, Falcon and about 1/2 the characters aren't what they seem.


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    Unwritten
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    I haven't been to this section of Hatrack recently, so I almost missed it.

    The hook for me was the sentence "Falcon had been one." So that goes to show you that IB isn't always right. There is a big caveat here though. I liked it because I love YA fantasy, and that first paragraph sounds like a perfect YA hook. The next paragraph sounds much more mature, so I guess it depends on what you're going for.

    If it's not too late, I wouldn't mind reading more.
    Melanie


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    InarticulateBabbler
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    Unwritten, you do know what I mentioned not needing was the word "one", don't you?

    (But, I'm not always right.)


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    RDF
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    I hope you don't mind, but everyone seem to be having a good time suggesting revisions for your prose. So I thought I might have a go at it. Just a shotgun of suggestions, because other than these 13 lines I really don't know your intentions. Here goes:

    >Most girls dream of being a princess [in a castle.]

    Is "in the castle" necessary?

    >Falcon had been one.

    This line confused me and slowed me down. At first I thought the next line clarified and then I decided it didn't. As a result I spent more time on these two lines than I felt I should have, and I still haven't been able to decide: Had she been a princess OR was she a girl who once dreamed of being a princess? I lean slightly toward the latter.

    >The crown stripped from her head, she no longer pined for a knight in shining armor.

    See previous comment. I remain confused. At first I thought replacing "stripped" with "slipped" might help me. It didn't.

    >Her hand rested on the hilt of her sword.

    Perhaps a new paragraph here? Is this an important transition or is it a follow up to no longer a princess (or a girl who dreamed of becoming...)? (Perhaps it is just a way to adjust to 13 lines)
    More active: She squeezed (or gripped) the hilt of her sword.

    >She wiped her palm on her breeches and nudged her mare, Tessa, forward.

    Is that the hand from her sword hilt? Why did she wipe it? To improve the grip on the sword?

    I understand that space restrictions apply here, but rather than parenthetically naming the mare I would prefer that she nudge her mare and call it by name with perhaps a comment to the hapless horse about their destination or about the long trip. ["It's good to be home again, Tessa" or "Let's find a less crowded gate, Tessa."] That allows you to delete or edit the next sentences:

    >The road snaked through fields until truncated by the Sun Gate, the formal entrance to the city.

    I think that the next sentence must be very important. As such should it have its own paragraph? If the previous sentence is deleted, "While Sun..." needs some amplification. It wouldn't bother me if she kept up the conversation with the horse all the way to the gate, to build a bit more character. Perhaps she tells her Mare: "Perhaps we had better take the worker's entrance, Queen Sabryna might not want us to attract attention."

    >While Sun was the quickest way, Queen Sabrynaís summons hadnít indicated if Falcon was needed for a covert mission.

    The phrase "covert mission" caught my attention, but it also jarred me and seemed anachronistic. I have no suggestion for change, just wanted you to know the phrase pulled me from the story line.

    >Passing around the merchants entering the city for trade, Falcon nudged Tessa west toward Earth, the workerís gate.

    This line bothered me. The "around" is not needed. I would prefer something closer to "Bypassing Sun, the crowded merchant's entrance, Falcon nudged Tessa west to the worker's gate, East." Also, why should she go west to find a gate named East? Difficult for me to visualize. Could she go north instead?

    >The castle taught Falcon her first lesson; assumptions were often false.

    Somehow I missed how the "castle" taught her the lesson (perhaps it is explained in the next paragraph), but I am pretty sure it was not her "first" lesson. "Assumptions need not be true" is different from the statement "assumptions were often false."

    I think you have a very interesting opening that could draw my interest to continue reading the story. My primary difficulty is that I had to struggle with your intention in a few places.

    You have a good start. Thanks for the privilege of commenting on your work. I learned a lot thinking about what you've written. Keep at it.

    cordially,

    [This message has been edited by RDF (edited December 30, 2008).]

    [This message has been edited by RDF (edited December 31, 2008).]


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