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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Last King's 1st 13

   
Author Topic: Last King's 1st 13
Chris Northern
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Comments welcome, of course, no sense posting otherwise. Does it grab?


There are those who believe every day should be full of meaningful tasks, rising before dawn and only seeking their beds when exhaustion overtakes them. I am not one such. Left to my own devices I would spend the whole day in the comfort of my bed, so the gentle knock at my door was enough in itself to make me frown. My household slaves know better than to risk awakening me rudely, no matter the hour, as I often sleep late; for such inconsideration I have sold more than one slave with a bad reference and thought no more of their fate; they should have thought of the possibility of ending their days in a mine in the provinces before hammering at my bedroom door like deranged and desperate debt collectors.

###

I should add here that this is a fantasy, The Last King's Amulet, and complete and available on smashwords.com as of this writing. Still, my aim is to improve as a writer. Here is a good place to to do that, I think.

[This message has been edited by Chris Northern (edited October 10, 2010).]


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WouldBe
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There is some tension about the door knock, but doesn't knock your socks off. There's no hint about the genre, place or time. This would be a slow start for a SF story. It has the feel of a Wilkie Collins story, like The Lady in White. Collins readers would be expecting a start like this, so it's hard to judge. This is a case where the buyer of the story would know more than the critters, here. The buyer picked it off a shelf and knows the genre, which sets some expectations. Maybe you could add a note about that.

I think the last sentence is long enough to be distracting.

Good luck with it.


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andersonmcdonald
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As someone already pointed out, I happen to like long sentences. I also like short choppy sentences. Just depends on the style of story and the mood I'm trying to convey. I don't have any problem with what you've done here. It has a sense of old-fashioned charm to it. I suspect it gets interesting pretty quickly. I'd read on.
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PB&Jenny
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Hi Chris,

Is this the king speaking? If it is, please throw in a point or two that this is the case. Otherwise, I'm reading it like it's just some lazy Baron or office holder for the king. Like:

quote:
My household slaves knew better than to risk awakening their king so rudely, no matter the hour, as I often sleep late; for such...

And I'm not so much a fan of long sentences. Breaking them up would be easier to read, for me anyway.

This appears to be an interesting story judging by the title alone. I hope it helps.


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Chris Northern
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There really is only so much information you can pump into the first few lines. (The first 20% of The Last King's Amulet can be read for free at smashwords.com for those who are interested). The opening is primarily to place the reader in the scene nudge the curiosity button. Seems like that is working. That last sentence is clunky and I'll be taking a look at it. My take on sentence length enerally is that length controls pace and there is no other reason to lengthen or shorten sentences.
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James Creviston
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I like it, after reading some of the story on smashwords (Good work by the way), It makes more sense.

I think the start would make sense after the 13 lines. I feel like you get a sense of how selfish the character is, as well as his tension and anger with being bothered.

Keep up the good work.

James


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History
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I also am not a fan of long sentences in the opening of a story. I had a sense that the king is not as mean as he would like to sound [I love the bit about giving a slave "a bad reference."]

I like to sleep late. As king, that is my perogative. The household slave who hammers at my bedroom door risks ending their days in a coal mine in the provinces... or at least being sold to a fat belledame with halitosis -- and given a bad reference.

Thanks for the peek. Sounds fun.

Dr. Bob

[This message has been edited by History (edited October 12, 2010).]


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Jason R. Peters
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It is well and clearly written, but nothing particularly grabbing about the knock at the door. Plus, I have read -- and written -- too many stories that began this way. I think it has become a cliche.
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MrsBrown
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My take: I think this opening could be tightened up considerably. History's suggested opening has a lot more punch. Eliminate redundancy and unneccesary words.

I like the general idea.


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Chris Northern
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I have been told before that when I finish a long work I should loop right back and write the beginning again. It's a little late to do that for TLKA but I will be taking another look at it with all comments in mind. Thanks to everyone.
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