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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » The Null Prophet -- first 13

   
Author Topic: The Null Prophet -- first 13
EmilyS
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I've been on Hatrack for about 6 months now, so it's high time I posted a first 13 The Null Prophet is epic fantasy, and I'm looking for comments and also a few readers for the first 3 chapters, ~5500 words (I'd be happy to reciprocate).

Updated version:

quote:
The loom clacked, setting the coarse brown wool vibrating, and Sidika tossed the shuttle through. Sweat beaded on her forehead and dripped down her aching back, but she ignored it, catching the shuttle deftly at the other side. The beater jabbed at the new thread, compressing it into the cloth, and the warp shifted for another pass. She threw the shuttle again. Her whole body throbbed with the rhythm of a hundred looms in tandem, as though the elemental magic controlled not just the machines, but her very heartbeat.

A sharp crunch came from the next row over, and Sidika winced. Asli again. The girl frantically disengaged her loom, but the damage was done. The threads would be hopelessly tangled, and it sounded like the shuttle had cracked.


Original post:

quote:
The loom clacked, setting the coarse brown wool vibrating, and Sidika tossed the shuttle through. Sweat beaded on her forehead and dripped down her aching back, but she ignored it, catching the shuttle deftly at the other side. Bare moments later, the loom clacked again. The beater jabbed at the new thread, compressing it into the cloth, and the warp shifted for another pass. She threw the shuttle again. The rhythm of the work was almost soothing, as long as she didnít think about the elemental magic controlling the loom, and the consequences if she failed to keep pace with it.

A sharp crunch came from the next row over, and Sidika winced. Asli again. The girl frantically disengaged her loom, but the damage was done.



[This message has been edited by EmilyS (edited September 20, 2011).]


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Wonderbus
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I like it. You set the scene well and have enough information there to keep the reader interested. I'll have a read of the first 3 chapters if you like.
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mythique890
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I also like it, especially the last sentence. That makes me want to know more.

Two things: "Bare moments later," actually makes it sound like a long time (I pictured her sitting there doing nothing for several seconds to a minute). IMO, you don't need that sentence at all; the action is more immediate without it.

quote:
The rhythm of the work was almost soothing, as long as she didnít think about the elemental magic controlling the loom, and the consequences if she failed to keep pace with it.

I think this sentence could be tweaked so it reads a little smoother. Maybe you could divide it or reword it? The '...as long as she didn't think about [it]..." makes the description seem a bit forced to me, like it's not normal for her to think about the magic. Maybe the info about the looms being controlled by magic could be put into the second paragraph, where the girl messes up?

ETA: After looking it over again, you could even just take out the word "almost" in that sentence and it would be fine.

Just some thoughts, but I liked it a lot overall. I like your names, too. Did you make them up or find them somewhere?

[This message has been edited by mythique890 (edited September 15, 2011).]


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EmilyS
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@mythique890: Behindthename.com (the two you see here are both Turkish, but I used a couple of similar-sounding nationalities throughout the book). Also, thanks for the feedback
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A Yeatts
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Interesting.. you've got me hooked. I'll read if you're still looking for volunteers.
Anna

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RyanRussellLunde
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Hello. I agree with taking out "Bare moments". It doesn't quite make sense to me. Also the "and" before Sidika in two places and "almost" isn't necessary and rather distracting.

"next row over" could be a little more descriptive. Is it to her left? right? how many rows are there? Is there just a few people working at the looms or hundreds? All this could be answered in a few words.

It's a great start to a story and I am really interested in reading on. I want to know why they are being forced to work in this magical sweat shop and what the consequences of screwing up are.


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EmilyS
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Thanks for the comments, everybody. I've added a revised 13 to my original post.
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