Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tenderiser, Apr 20, 2016.
how did you know I like a sherry with breakfast...
Another target for mat's's biting humour, and another great vehicle that I have had far too much to do with...
For some reason that made me smile, sounds like something alternate; post brexit dive into the abyss, the EU has taken us!
Head east of Brighton...Pevensey & beyond.
[Thread dive off a cliff...]
Never been that part of the country; Norfolk way, Yorkshire when I was a nipper, inner London for the shows and the art galleries - I'm a Devonshire dumpling don't you know.
[Attempts to ollie the thread back on topic]
I caught my breath when the dead came to join the circle. They slid through solid walls and took up stations next to this stormsinger or that, laying a spectral hand on a witch's shoulder. The dead lent their strength to the circle of weather-witches who sang their power into something greater than themselves, a force powerful enough to calm the whirling fury aimed directly for their shore.
Especially the need to chock the wheels in lieu of a handbrake!
Wow, ok. You got my attention. 'nuff said. Initial 3 sentences, tick. Now for the rest of the story....
My only slight critique is that you might hit the reader with too much, too soon. e.g. stormsinger, the supportive dead, the weather-witches, singing of power, whirling fury are all unique to your story and all introduced in the first 3 sentences. Also "caught my breath" is an expression that is a little quaint and dated. Perhaps "stared in wonder" or somesuch more modern expression. Though, on balance, this works and is a powerful start to the story, so well done!
@hyacinthe I have to agree, it sounds like you've got a really rich story full of heavy concepts and interesting ideas, but to give them all to us at once is confusing. If you want to keep it all, then I'd work on snipping a couple of the sentences in half at least. That third, in particular, is very long. The info here could probably be spread over a paragraph or two, and take a little more time with each individual idea. Finally the wording of "this stormsinger or that" caught me, just because I read "this stormsinger" as "me" (as in, the POV character) and then the "and that" got me a little like "that what?" Second reading cleared it up, and I'm sure many people wouldn't have a problem, but hopefully that helps! Keep working on it and I hope to see more, don't know if you have any of this in the workshop (I haven't looked in a while) but I'd certainly read more, so that's good.
He screamed, as the nurse dragged him down the stairs. Rough splinters dug into the heels of his bare feet and he grabbed at the banister to slow their descent; salt-encrusted iron seared his palm and warmth spread between his fingers. 'Let go of me!' he yelled, but the nurse ignored him, digging red-stained nails into the flesh of his arm.
Thanks so much for the input! I do think there is a disconnect between the first and third sentence. I've been trying to figure out how to keep both to make it flow for a while. The next paragraph recounts the MC's kidnapping (which I'm a bit worried about because telling is a big no-no). The actual story is in 1st POV, and set about 11/12 years into the future.
If it helps, this is what I have so far:
They say magic comes with a price, but they never tell you what that price is. And like a fool, like a human, you will think that you can pay it.
(Copying and pasting this makes it glaringly obvious that there should be something here)
I was five years old when they came for me.
I can still feel the damp earth between my toes, grass and pebbles biting into the thin skin of my soles as I was lead through forest and brush. I remember how I kept glancing back, watching my childhood home fade from view until nothing but a cluster of twinkling lights remained.
Prologues are by no means my strong suit, but I had a very vivid image of this when I started writing. I think its why I'm holding on so hard to the "They say magic comes with a price...." bit.
Thank you so much. I'm going to inset "It is said..." and see what it looks like. If it's grabbing your attention even a little bit it means I'm on the right path!
This is an excellent observation. thank you.
I think they're good sentences. I think they do a lot of work. I think they're full of sensory cues that help the reader feel the experience the words are evoking. But I don't know if these sentences are the right place to start a story, because the emphasis is on ungrounded, context-less action. IT's good action! but I don't know anything about the person being dragged down the stairs. I don't know what being dragged down the stairs *means.* I don't know where we are - near the sea, yes. but what manner of place is this?
I want to know and understand where we are, who we're with, and what that means before we get to this point. Keep these sentences! but they should come in a page or two, once we know and understand and identify enough to make this moment truly dreadful.
“Burt and all his bees can’t fix this one.” My lips, destroyed in the mirror. There’s still a little speck of dried skin in the left curve of my mouth and I pick at it, irritated.
The first sentence seems to be a type of in joke, meaning you have to be in the know. A reader is unlikely to be in the know. I personally found it more irritating than intriguing. The second sentence is actually a fragment and I can't really figure out what you intend by it. The third sentence is going to gross out some readers. That's fine if that's the tone for the whole story but, if not, I recommend reworking it.
Yeah, I wasn't a fan of it either. A little to cutesy for my tastes and I don't think it would age or translate well. It's not bad, though. I'm just not a fan. Don't mind the sentence fragments, though. I use them a lot myself.
I understood the reference immediately. didn't seem all that obscure.
Two WIP that I'm working on after I've edited a chapter of my Magical Girl Novel. Got to have something to do to take a break from hard copy editing.
Book 1: Unnamed Fantasy Novel
Blood ran down her cheek as the briers tore open her skin.
She ran headlong through the forest, ignoring the pain, the bushes ripping her thin clothes to shreds. Behind her, the yells and curses of the men pursuing echoed in the forest.
Book 2: Second Magical Girl novel with same MC from one I'm editing.
Perhaps this was a wild goose chase.
Rachel Barrett scanned the area around her as she pulled the collar of her coat up and continued down the path. Despite the park having lights, she walked through large swaths of shadows. Four women had been found dead around this lake over the past month, so she couldn’t afford to let her guard down.
Hey @captain kate let's have a look! The first one:
I like the first sentence (although I know a few people might tell you to use the girl's name rather than "her"). The second could be reordered a little, just so it flows on from the first a little more smoothly:
Blood ran down her cheek as the briers tore open her skin. The bushes ripped her thin clothes to shreds as she ran headlong through the forest, but she ignored the pain.
Or, an alternative order:
Ignoring the pain, she ran headlong through the forest, and the bushes ripped her thin clothes to shreds.
Either way, it follows on directly from that first sentence, rather than deviating from it then returning to it. You could do better than I have here, but hopefully that's useful?
Third sentence is pretty much fine by me! Only thing is comment on is the wording of "of the men pursuing echoed", just seems a little jarring but that's just me!
Final comment on that first one - I know you can spell brier with an e OR an a, so you're definitely not wrong, but I don't know which is the most common spelling so it might be worth checking with someone a little more knowledgeable which one to use to get most readers on board.
Not too much to comment on the second example, I like it! What I would say is:
1. If your POV character is investigating something to do with those four murders (and I'm only assuming this based on the evidence I have so far), and if she's in the area where the murders happened, then how can it be a wild goose chase? Surely it's the best reasonable path to investigate.
2. Rather than "walked through large swaths of shadows" how about telling us that she feels more at home in the shadows, or maybe even that she feels afraid of the shadows, but the lights falter every time she gets comfortable, or something just to get us a little more in her head.
Take everything you see here with whatever regard you like, I'm just one reader and you're the writer so don't feel you have to take anything on board! But I hope this is helpful
The first line delays entry to story and is out of view. The viewpoint isn't concerned about the visual of her skin and blood. She is in utter fear for her life, and thus being in view means that the focus will be tightly upon the survival instincts and immediate details of escape. Being in view means that the entire world centers around the issues of the exact moment, as limited by that perspective.
Meh, it's just a line..by the time I rewrite the rough draft, something will be different. Threw it up more for entertainment sake..I don't even really pay attention to the thread because it changes so much that by the time I'm done, what you're seeing is nothing like the final product. Rachel is unique because she's a Magical Girl, so she's, strength wise, in a different league than a normal human-so she gets bored on missions like this one because it doesn't take much for her to complete it. However, you never know if/when one will be different...
And for the "her" and "she"...I know her name. She's a slave, and been one for so long, that she doesn't remember what her name is-at least yet. Something, well a combination of something/someone, will help her remember it. As mentioned above, just thrown it out for entertainment sake. The final product is almost always totally different.
I'm having a heckin' time trying to write compelling scene openings lately.
The knock came an hour after we had put up the stormboards and battened down to wait it out. Everyone in the second parlor looked in its direction, as if we could see who it was bracing themselves against the wind that scoured the street.
Aunt Gloria dropped her knitting on her lap to wave a burl-knuckled hand at me.
I quite like it. I found it very hard to pick up on anything I'd change. I'm sure there's a few words that could be replaced with other words - in my case, I paused (on a second reading, mind) over "wait it out" and "to wave a". Just because it could refer to the knock, rather than the storm, and wave doesn't quite seem the right hand gesture, although I know exactly what you mean. Certainly nothing I'd worry about, I'd read on! See what some others think
"wait it out" should be "wait out the storm" and I'm not sure about wave either.
Separate names with a comma.