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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » The Waxling (new thirteen)

   
Author Topic: The Waxling (new thirteen)
shimiqua
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A fiddle rang out through the moon-blessed night. High and shrill, one long note that danced through the trees before skidding down to a lower, as the creature slid the bow over the strings. High then low, soft and haunting, the fiddle played. The wax in her fingers were too frail to push down on the frets, so no melody followed the sound, or brought me comfort as I hid in the shadows. She perched on the rickety porch steps as she played. The fire from the lantern beside her illuminated the gentle curve of her cheek, and sparkled against the glass that made her eyes. She wore only white, a homespun dress that smelled of vanilla and honey, like her hair.
I leaned back against the tree I hid behind, and clutched tighter the white roses I'd picked from Justice Barrus’s garden.


Input please. Does it make sense, and would you read on?

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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by shimiqua:
A fiddle rang out through the moon-blessed night. High and shrill, one long note that danced through the trees before skidding down to a lower,as the creature slid the bow over the strings. High then low, soft and haunting, the fiddle played.

I love the imagery in this. I did pause just a second on "a lower", but I think that could be fixed by merely dropping the "a"


quote:
The wax in her fingers were too frail to push down on the frets,
The wax was too frail.

quote:
so no melody followed the sound, or brought me comfort as I hid in the shadows. She perched on the rickety porch steps as she played. The fire from the lantern beside her illuminated the gentle curve of her cheek, and sparkled against the glass that made her eyes. She wore only white, a homespun dress that smelled of vanilla and honey, like her hair.
I leaned back against the tree I hid behind, and clutched tighter the white roses I'd picked from Justice Barrus’s garden.

So far the only name is that of Justice Barrus. Is he even important in this story?

This is because I've read an earlier version but--you're starting after the waxling has already been created. I thought there was an important slip up in her creation (what was carved on the heart seed) that might have had an impact on the ending.

Like I said, I love the imagery. I might move the line about her sitting on the rickety porch up a little to allow the reader to ground themselves.

This sounds like a romantic moment. Is that what you want?

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Denevius
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I get the feeling that if I read further, I would prefer to be in the POV of the fiddler player and not the first person narrator. Everything here screams that the fiddler player is the real interest in the narrative.

As for the writing, there's a lot of nice images, but it's a little too dense right now. I bet you could easily drop two words from each paragraph and have something that reads a lot cleaner and clearer.

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Grumpy old guy
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Being a pedant, I doubt fiddles 'ring' out. They might cry, sigh, call, serenade; but ring? Then there is, "a lower". Is that a lower third, note or timbre?

Then, there is this bit: ". . .too frail to push down on the frets, so no melody . . ." My knowledge of fiddle playing is limited to none at all , but couldn't you construct a melody with the base notes of the strings; of course you couldn't have chords, but you would have notes.

And this: ". . . against the glass that made her eyes." I'm assuming she has eyes made of glass, but the manner in which the statement is phrased pulled me right out of a beautifully poignant scene.

Despite my niggles, I enjoyed reading the opening and would keep reading. It isn't the content, it's the writers voice that has caught my attention.

Phil

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shimiqua
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Cool. Thanks for the comments and the help.


Quick question, from the thirteen, what time period would you guess this paragraph is based?

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Meredith
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quote:
Originally posted by shimiqua:
Cool. Thanks for the comments and the help.


Quick question, from the thirteen, what time period would you guess this paragraph is based?

From nothing more than this, I might place it anywhere in the last two-hundred years.
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Denevius
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The year didn't cross my mind. I don't think there's much here that addresses the time period one way or the other.
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Grumpy old guy
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Honestly, it never occurred to me to wonder. However, being asked, I would guess at early to middle 1800's. The reason? The two motifs of the lantern and the homespun cloth of her dress. It could be earlier but I doubt later.

Phil.

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besimirch
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I found this piece a little difficult to get into. I think the the first problem I had was the first sentence: does a fiddle ring? That stopped me from the start because I was pondering whether a fiddle does ring or not.

The second problem (for me) was the focus of the scene: we start with the fiddler and then go to the POV character hiding in the shadows. I think the scene could be stronger if you focus on the POV character and then through them the reader could become more involved in the scene. How does the POV character feel? Awed? Aroused? Afraid? etc etc etc and through that the reader will become immediately involved in the story. At the moment, because the way the scene is set up, it keeps the reader at a distance when you might want to be pulling them in.

The writing is good apart from the odd things here and there others have already pointed out.

Hope this helps

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