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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » The Seeds of Persephone - Bad guys starts?

   
Author Topic: The Seeds of Persephone - Bad guys starts?
walexander
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Ok, this is strange but I have two different first thirteens, not sure if I should start with the good guys or the bad guy? So I figure I'll just get opinions on if ether seems more interesting. So please also read the other post and comment. I would have put them both on here, but I didn't want to bog down the post, so I posted them separate.

The bad guy -

He had been soldier, king, and wizard; all to become god of the underworld. Hades latest victim lay crumpled in a dark back ally on the dirty asphalt shivering. His pale eyes stared down at her naked flesh which bore the wounds of his depraved acts. He decided he was done with this one; there was always a certain satisfaction he felt in defiling the innocence of another godís worshiper. Such easy marks these modern mortals had become, with there technology, civilization, and fancy sciences. Never imagining what might be hunting them. Throw some of there fake money around, ply them with drink, and they invite you to their own demise. They always seemed so surprised to realize they are but mindless fools to the truth, and by the time they realize what is real, itís too late. He


Give your thoughts - w.

[This message has been edited by walexander (edited August 25, 2010).]

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited August 25, 2010).]


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JSchuler
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First, take care to look over your usage of "there" versus "their" and "to" versus "too."

I like the villain's opening more, as I have a much clearer picture of what's going on. In the protagonist's opening, there are way too many names being bandied about that it's difficult for me to get a focus.


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walexander
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Yah, it would be their technology - their fake money(Possessive),

the 'to' is confusing only because I originally had it as 'to', but it came out underlined to change to 'Too'

I'm going to drive myself nuts, every time I think I have them all they creep back in and plague me - bad habits are darn hard to break.

Thanks J.

W.

[This message has been edited by walexander (edited August 25, 2010).]


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JSchuler
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I should have specified. The "to" issue is in your protagonist opening: "They were both to dumb-founded..."
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walexander
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J

got it,

W.

[This message has been edited by walexander (edited August 25, 2010).]


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bemused
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Compared to the good guy opening, I think it showcases stronger writing, does more to set up the world of the story and has a better hook.

We know from this opening that we are reading a fantasy story wherein gods (at least the Greek ones) exist and interact with modern day mortals. It has a bit of an urban fantasy tone, appropriately sinister. And, it has a great hook in the line ďNever imagining what might be hunting them.Ē This would keep me reading, is Hades the only thing hunting mortals? Are other gods (or things) hunting mortals as well? Why are they hunting mortals? These are all questions I want to find out by reading on. Also the implied conflict between gods set up by Hades satisfaction with defiling the worshiper of another god creates a second level of conflict.

A small nit, while I like the first line it feels a disconnected from the rest of the opening. Partially because the rest of the opening seems to be in Hades pov, but I donít get why he would be thinking about the fact that he had been a soldier, king and wizard (though I like that he was all these things before becoming a god).


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MAP
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I read both openings. They are both interesting in their own way.

I think you should consider how you want to set the tone for the book. This opening is much darker than the other, the other is a little humorous. You should also think about how well the story flows when putting scenes in order. JMO.

Here's my crit. Why is Hades always the bad guy?

quote:
He had been soldier, king, and wizard; (comma instead of semicolon?) all to become god of the underworld. (I am not sure if you need this first line, but I want to comment on it. I am not an expert on greek mythology, but I thought Hades was always a god and was pretty much given the underworld to rule. This one sentence makes me think you are totally going to revamp the mythology, not that that is bad, but I just thought you should know how I interpreted it.) Hades latest victim lay crumpled in a dark back ally (alley) on the dirty (cut dirty. Of course asphalt is dirty) asphalt shivering. His (I didn't know the victim was a girl at this point, so I didn't know who the 'his' referred to, suggest saying Hades's instead) pale eyes stared down at her naked flesh which bore the wounds of his depraved acts. (Why is he doing this? Is he only doing this for fun or does he have a reason?) He decided he was done with this one; (I suggest a full stop rather than semicolon. These two ideas don't seem related enough to be connected) there was always a certain satisfaction he felt in defiling the innocence of another godís worshiper. Such easy marks these modern mortals had become, with there technology, civilization, and fancy sciences. Never imagining what might be hunting them. Throw some of there (their) fake money around, ply them with drink, and they invite you to their own demise. They always seemed so surprised to realize they are but mindless fools to the truth, and by the time they realize what is real, itís too late. He

Good luck with this.

[This message has been edited by MAP (edited August 26, 2010).]


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walexander
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It's a further exploration and explanation of the gods and their creatures,

It's a myth for the modern time,

@B - I would hate to piss off Hades by changing his well documented view of mortals.

and I have to laugh a little for in doing all the back research into many diverse myths - on one hand about a ga-zillion torments of mortals, especially those who didn't worship, but even worshiper's weren't safe, and on the other hand one or two stories where something good happened without consequences.

Beware the gods they're a vengeful bunch.

w.

[This message has been edited by walexander (edited August 26, 2010).]


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Twiggy
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Hi
I like this one best. It reads smoother, although I agree with the points on writing given by others.

I am interested by the idea that someone goes through being soldier, king, and wizard to become a god. That seems to offer enough story to fill several novels right there. But it doesn't feel like this story - just back story.


I think that you can cut some of the telling near the end of this section and do more to show us what easy prey people have become. That might give you room to show some more of your character's conflict. At the moment, he gets satisfaction from killing people, especially if they worship other gods. I want to know if other gods are coming into the story.


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XD3V0NX
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Given the fact that I don't have much time left on this computer (long story), my critique might not be as long as I had hoped.

I was hooked from the first sentence, and it got me wanting to read more. However, I have not yet read the other thirteen lines with the good guys, nor have I read any of the comments above mine from the others, but these thirteen lines were clear to me, and I personally think this is a good start you have here.

Good luck with this.


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Gan
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quote:
He had been soldier, king, and wizard; all to become god of the underworld.

Love this sentence. It's very hooky for me.
quote:
Hades latest victim lay crumpled in a dark back ally on the dirty asphalt shivering.

Just a nitpick, and it may be incorrect: Isn't it alley, and not ally?
One other issue. I would try to connect shivering more closely to the victim within the sentence. By separating shivering, you're making things more ambiguous. Unless, of course, shivering is a noun I've never heard of, which is entirely possible.
quote:
His pale eyes stared down at her naked flesh which bore the wounds of his depraved acts.

A bit of a nitpick here. His pale eyes don't stare down at her flesh -- He does. "His pale eyes" only furthers me from the viewpoint.
quote:
He decided he was done with this one; there was always a certain satisfaction he felt in defiling the innocence of another godís worshiper.

I don't much care for the portion after the semicolon. I don't feel the second portion immediately relates to the first. Maybe it would be better written in two separate sentences? I don't know, just a thought.
quote:
Such easy marks these modern mortals had become, with there technology, civilization, and fancy sciences.

Another nitpick -- The bold should be 'their'.
quote:
Throw some of there fake money around, ply them with drink, and they invite you to their own demise.

Another their nitpick in the bold.

I don't feel money should be worded as 'fake'. The money exists -- It's true value might be meaningless, but it does in fact exist. This could very well be personal to me, though.

quote:
They always seemed so surprised to realize they are but mindless fools to the truth, and by the time they realize what is real, itís too late.

Tense issue here. You start it in past tense, then move to present. It seems a bit awkward to me, personally. Keep in mind, though, I'm not a grammar professional.

Overall I like this. I can't comment on how it adds up against the other introduction, as I haven't read that one. That being said, I feel this one is quite solid, despite its flaws.

[This message has been edited by Gan (edited September 11, 2010).]


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