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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Blood and Honey (Fantasy first 13)

   
Author Topic: Blood and Honey (Fantasy first 13)
Wufiavelli
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As Alex disembarked the ship he glared out upon the city. It shot forth in a dull glistening sunburnt tan of rotund square sandstone buildings topped with slanted stout reddish roofs. Behind the city sparse foliage slowly faded into barren sloped mountains. As Alex's gaze came into focus the cities details soon held his enveloping glamor at bay. His panoramic view of this pompous southern port was sliced to pieces by a surreal patchwork of randomly placed governing borders. Varying uniformed spear wielding men, check points, and walls made even the most congruous squares a frontier of many nations. One could easily tell the question of who ruled this land was a topic of heated debate. As he reached the end the plank Alex's feet were brought to a back stepping halt as the presence of an official made...
...................................................

[Fantasy novel I have been planning for a while, only 3k words. But I have it mapped out and spent a long time putting things together. Basic gist is taking a naive young adventurer and have him fumbling through lands experiencing their culture. At the same time have him go through an adventurer that parallels the history of the culture. Mostly looking for general criticisms and if it captures you like the first 13 should. Thanks]

[This message has been edited by Wufiavelli (edited January 02, 2009).]


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Meredith
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"It shot forth in a dull glistening sunburnt tan of rotund square sandstone buildings topped with slanted stout reddish roofs."
This confuses me. I'm not sure whether 'it' is Alex's gaze or the city. Neither really makes sense with 'shot forth'. If it's the city, maybe spread out would be better.

"As Alex's gaze came into focus the cities details soon held his enveloping glamor at bay."
Why wasn't his gaze in focus before? Does Alex have some extra sense that he has to bring into focus?
And, in this case, it should be city's.

"His panoramic view of this pompous southern port was sliced to pieces by a surreal patchwork of randomly placed governing borders."
Is the port really pompous?

[This message has been edited by Meredith (edited January 02, 2009).]


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satate
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The first sentence is interesting. Alex is glaring at the city and immediately I am wondering why he is glaring. What about the city doesn't he like? That is my biggest hook. Then it goes into a thick description of the city, which could work, but the profusion of detials is a little overwhelming and confusing. Details like, "in a dull glistening sunburnt tan of rotund square sandstone buildings" is just too much to take in at once. It was difficult for me to see the city. I had to reread most sentences and go very slowly. Also I'm not sure what you mean by "enveloping glamor".

Why is the port pompous, what makes it pompous. This would be an interesting idea to explore. It's nice to be able to see a city but it's more interesting to see it through Alex. What about it makes him think it's pompous.

"Surreal patchwork of randomly placed governing borders"
Why is it surreal? If I were you I would bring out Alex's thoughts and opinions of what he sees and cut down on the heavy description. A few key descriptions is all the reader needs, then let the reader fill in the gaps.


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Wufiavelli
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hows this:
As Alex disembarked the ship he stared towards the city. It spread out before him rotund, sunburnt,and solid with the holiday flare brought by warm weathered ports. Behind the city sparse foliage slowly faded into barren sloped mountains. As Alex moved his gaze from the panoramic view to the intricate details of the streets, squares and markets his emotional glamor sank deep into his belly. What seemed to Alex a southern port of festive pomp was sliced to pieces by a surreal patchwork of foreign troops, checkpoints, and makeshift walls. The simple sensible wholeness of the city had been imbecilely slice by foreign powers probably in map rooms leagues away. In squares and markets where no frontier of nations should exist spear wielding men sit in barricades interrogating simple locals on errands and demanding papers.

[This message has been edited by Wufiavelli (edited January 02, 2009).]


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Meredith
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Better. Lose 'imbeciley'. I know. I fight my adverbs, too.
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Yufae
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I kind of want something to happen when a story begins. I want to know the conflict from the first paragraph, but that's just me. I also know that fantasy readers do seem to love a vivid setting, so this might hook someone else more fully than it hooked me. However, I would probably keep reading just because I like the title so much.
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