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Author Topic: Shelter From the Storm
micmcd
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Hi All - Haven't been that active on the first-13 circuit for a while. I'd be happy to trade crits. I'm looking for volunteers to crit a 25K word first issue of a serial fantasy fiction I'm going to be epublishing in the near future.

Posted below is the first thirteen of Those Who Die Young - Issue #1 - Shelter From the Storm. Please let me know if you're game for critting the whole thing. I'm also happy to get feedback about the hook.

Summary, for those who might be interested in full crit:
Erica is an outcast from her family, hated by her half-brothers for a divorce she didn't cause and left without allies for years after her parents' deaths. She is sent to deliver a letter to the Viscount in Maen to settle the family estate taxes. On the way she meets a singularly odd wizard from the Grand Collegium in Ratio, one Lear Tanner, who is on a trip to visit an old friend. A chance encounter and good intentions lead to an adventure that could upset the balance of power in the world.
---------------------------------

Second attempt

quote:

Nothing was ever as easy as it sounded. Deliver the letter to the Viscount - that's it. That was the one and only task Erica's half-brother Marcus had entrusted her with, along with four coppers from the family coffers for lodging. Maen wasn't hard to find; follow the big road out of town. She'd know she was there when she got to the top of a giant plateau and found a huge city. Six days ago she had actually been excited to be finally trusted with something important. Six days ago she had been dry, the city guard had assured her that the road was relatively safe and that it only took four days to make the trip. Five hours into her first day's walk, a cold west wind had blown in and brought a never-ending storm. Only one farm that she passed would even let her stay the night - and they had demanded a whole copper!

First 13:

quote:

Erica was cold, wet, and tired. Tired was a feeling she didn’t mind; it was only natural. Hiking seventeen miles in a day gave her no way to avoid it, particularly as the trail went up the slope to the plateau ahead. After a while, the gentle tug of fatigue at every step on the grimy, ill-kept path started to feel familiar. Her aching feet reminded her that she was alive. Tired was an old friend. Wet, though, was a feeling she hated. She’d been on the road for almost a week and had exactly one sunny day, most of which she’d been in a forest. Wet made her feet and thighs itch; it gave her blisters on her toes. Wet was an annoying cousin that ruined her socks, spoiled her mood, and made every footfall treacherous. The only dry thing she had was the letter, tucked safely away in her pack inside a wax paper


[This message has been edited by micmcd (edited June 19, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited June 20, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by micmcd (edited June 22, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by micmcd (edited June 22, 2011).]


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micmcd
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bump... would sincerely appreciate input on the hook or volunteers
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mbwood
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Hello, MicMcd;

Well, you certainly got the message across that Erica was cold, wet and tired, plus she’s hiking seventeen miles per day through the forest up to the plateau for the past week, while carrying a letter…

Er, that’s about what I get from these thirteen lines. Is it enough to care about Erica? Maybe. Make it stronger – set the hook.

Consider letting us know something about Erica that suggests she has a problem of consequence (tired and wet from hiking isn’t life threatening – some people consider it to be recreation), or have her on her way to a dangerous location, y'know, there be dragons lurking... whatever.

To set the ‘hook,’ you have to engage the reader, and to do that, you have to make the reader worry, care or be frightened for your character. Give your character a problem (of some consequence); put your character in danger; have your character bravely face her challenges (be admirable).

Could you start with Erica having an argument with her half-brother? Perhaps have him throw her out of their home. This is the old ‘conflict’ opening favored by many writers (works, too.)

Remember the first rule of writing… Write!
MBW

[This message has been edited by mbwood (edited June 22, 2011).]


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Meredith
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I don't comment on first 13's because it's not my best thing.

However, I'll volunteer for the full 25K. Send it on.


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KathiS
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Hi Micmcd,

Overall, like your second attempt much better than the first. The first attempt really didn't hook me and wasn't making me too sympathetic to Erica.

The second attempt, however, I like. This would get me to read on. I've got more information on Erica and have a feeling things aren't going as planned.

A few suggestions if I may, feel free to disregard at will:

quote:
Six days ago she had actually been excited to [strike]be[/strike] finally be entrusted with something important. [strike]Six days ago she had been dry,[/strike] The city guard had assured her [strike]that [/strike]the road was relatively safe and that it only took four days to make the trip. And she had been dry.

kls


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A Yeatts
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I'll volunteer for the 25K as well if you're still looking for readers.

I was more engaged by the first opening:

"Nothing was ever as easy as it sounded."

I was more interested in Erica's mission than her wet/tired situation (but I did like your imagery with the wet/tired part). Some wording tripped me up. Several "that's" together in the second/third sentences. Coppers and coffers in the same sentence as well. Nothing wrong. Just pulled me out of the story for a second. I think you could tighten it up a bit but overall I like where you're going with the story.

Good job!
Anna


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micmcd
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@Anna - The one you liked was the remake - the cold/wet/tired one was the original. I'll email you the draft in a bit. Thank you very much!
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