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Cuendillar
December 24th, 2002, 08:27 AM
I submitted this to sffworld just for fun.

I just wonder: is it any good?

Here's the link: http://sffworld.com/authors/r/ringstad_jon/fiction/emancipation1.html

It's a bit short, but it's just a beginning. Is there any point in continuing?

I, Brian
December 24th, 2002, 01:39 PM
I like your descriptiveness, but your narrative voice is a little melodramtic.

You do a nice job of describing a number of details with regards the figure - excepting a name - yet say little about the forest. Is it daylight? What season? What weather? You don't supply these details, but a key sentence would help define the surroundings.

A name may also help, as you need the reader to identify immediately - this is something I've learned - unless essential not to give a name.

The narrative voice - slender is rarely muscular - it's usually lean. And note the word repetition with "slender" - once for each of the first three paragraphs.

"Arrow...strike true" and "grain of doubt" read like melodrama - calm it down a little. If you're accessing character thoughts then the second highlighted phrase would be especially redundant.

Something strange - the arrow pierces his leg, but he's more immediately worried about the bow? Why?

Anyway, you've got a nice descriptive touch, but you seem to be allowing your focus to drift. Tighten up the narrative and try and get access the character more through the character, rather than as a narrator.

Just my personal opinion. Feedback, nothing more.

An8el
December 27th, 2002, 01:48 AM
I agree with naming your character right off.

I disagree with IBrian that that slender and muscular don't go together, even if the word is "lean" - but I can't imagine someone standing up to inspect the bow they just fell on. Rolling over to see it, maybe. Also he would probably do something about the fact that he's bleeding if he could - not because he can't be bothered.

So all those little things read as if the character is hampered or distracted by a belief system that makes him act strangely, as if he's been driven crazy. Maybe someone made him hurt himself with voodoo or whatever - that's what the rest of the story would be about. Then the melodrama would be justified and would be an illustration of the way the person thought who died.
In fact, maybe rather than narrating, tell some of the story with the character's internal dialogue a little, maybe when he realizes he's alone? Otherwise, it's almost as if the narrator is his "father."

Think about it; this person who is a trained hunter shoots himself in the leg and dies from it... good thing he didn't get a chance to breed if he's just accident prone, but, doesn't that give you the creeps?

Generally, just try to avoid using phrases that are cliche.

Sure, there's always a point in continuing - that's how you get better at doing whatever...!

Bardos
December 27th, 2002, 03:39 AM
I've read that piece and I don't think it's THAT bad as you guys say...

From the middle and after, it's obvious that the guy in the story is someone 'special'. Thought, he IS slowed from his wound. The point where he takes the arrow in the tight and then stands up to inspect the bow, perhaps, could be writen more analyticaly; how it hurt him to stand up with and arrow in him, etc.

His name I don't think its wrong that it doesn't appear in the begining. For one, this piece is very sort, and if it is supposed to be a novel it's OK not to write the character's name in the first few paragrpahs, if you want to create some kind of mystery about him. Also, the character is special -- and we learn this at the end of the piece -- "Zephyr, son of the Wind"; a special name indeed. So there is a just reason not to know his name imediately. His name isn't just "John" or "Nick"; it's "Zephyr, son of the Wind" -- a demigod perhaps?

I'd say a fair enough begining.

I, Brian
December 29th, 2002, 03:52 PM
I've read that piece and I don't think it's THAT bad as you guys say...

I didn't think it bad, but the criticisms were well intended. My personal feeling is that aspiring writers really need critical feedback. Better to be aware of where you may be going wrong.

choppy
December 29th, 2002, 08:40 PM
Not bad. I see no reason why you shouldn't continue - especially if this is just a first draft. There were a few blatant typos:
"He stars in broad daylight " (not sure what you mean here)
"arrow nocked and ready" (notched ?)

Anyway - sorry to nitpick.

Generally what I got out of this was that Zephyr was generally up to some mischief. He's lived a sheltered life because of his father's supernatural powers, but now suddenly that protection is gone. And what a way to find out. There was no "Hey son, guess what? You're on you own." He has to take an arrow in the leg to figure it out.

I think there's a lot of potential for growth from this point. Will Zephyr resent his father and initiate some sort of campaign against him? Or will he suddenly develop an appreciation for his own mortality?

You may want to increase the length a little, but from the initial post you said it was short, so I'm assuming that's your intention. As it stands there's a lot that happens and I think that this is the kind of world readers have to be eased into so they'll believe it when an arrow sudddenly spins around and comes back at the archer.

Cheers.

Cuendillar
December 30th, 2002, 05:56 PM
I am really thankful for all your advice, and I'm glad you bothered to read it at all.

I know it needs some work on some parts, and I intend to continue the story. I have a lot of ideas, but then again: who doesn't?

Jack Burton
January 1st, 2003, 11:33 AM
You do a nice job describing the setting and I think your narrative abilities are good..keep at it, bro!