December 14th, 2000, 09:20 AM
New Short Story, Feedback Appreciated
I would greatly appreciate any feedback on my short story that, due to a host of technical delays, has finally been posted on the short stories section of the site.
The Author Name is W.A. Straub, Jr.
the Story is "Grey Morning"
December 15th, 2000, 08:20 PM
This is my advice, as it seems to be to many newer authors. Just concentrate on telling a story in the present tense, don't worry about anything else at first. Forget about the back story, as readers simply don't care about this until well into the work. Don't bother with much internal monologue until much later as well. Just do some dialogue, narration, and some basic description.
To get a reader interested start by writing about a threat and stick with it. Don't go off on tangeants. For example:
Do this: John walked along the bridge, tripped, and fell into the river.
Don't do this: John approached the river caustiously, considering the implications of this dangerous test of grace. In his youth he would often run across a smaller bridge....(stop!). We don't care. Deal with action and threat and when the story is under way you can slow the stroy down with exposition and what not.
Also, try not to be repetitious with description. You put too much emphasis on description when all you needed to do was say "it was dark outside". Don't fall in love with your prose, just tell us a story.
December 16th, 2000, 12:35 PM
Overall I enjoyed the story. I find it to be well written and very visual. Keep up the good work.
January 10th, 2001, 07:16 AM
the story is taken as a semi-fictional look at what might have happened to the scattered bands of fighters after the battle of Hastings in 1066. The terms used-fyrd and karl, for example, are actual english terms from the age.
England was based at the time not on the fuedal ideals of Europe, but on Norse traditions (they were descended from norse peoples, after all). The Norse (vikings) were fine warriors, but not so much in large groups. There was no system of central command, no real method of giving orders in the middle of a battle, and no horse (horses were not common in England before the Normans brought them over).
the overall feel is intended to be the inevitability of defeat- they knew they were already beaten, they just weren't willing to roll over and die. Daniel, the main character, had reached the point of despair, and drifted into and out of consciousness and dreaming.
thanks for the comments, I'll keep working, of course. anyone who is interested can check out the site where I am posting a longer work as it is finished (I'm through about 10 chapters, but I'm plannign to go back and re-write one of them first).
it's at www.geocities.com/wastra/DoW.html
I'll welcome feedback on that, too, but remember that it's still in the first draft stages.
January 10th, 2001, 03:21 PM
I always try to give everyone who posts here a read; I know how much authors want a response to their stuff.
You're good at description, but I felt the pace dragging too much. Try to insert more action on that first page. I found my eyes skidding over the paragraphs, looking for a hold on some dialogue or surprise attack or something.
I will say you seem to know a lot about the middle ages and war and stuff. Your writing shows you've 'done your homework', as they say.