The Red Crystal (working title. Fantasy/Young Adult) - Page 4

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Thread: The Red Crystal (working title. Fantasy/Young Adult)

  1. #31
    Member josh.townley's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by outoftheblue View Post
    I really enjoyed this scene. I always like when libraries are used, for some reason they add such a mystique and great atmosphere to a book. I think you have great instincts about changing the name of the character, because I do like the name Ralinda more so than Galinda. I did pick up one sentence though, for your consideration, of course:

    'With a heave, she thumped the large volume onto the table. She shuffled through the papers on the table, eventually locating her wand.'

    Just a couple of things: rather than 'onto the table', I'd just leave it as 'on the table'. It still makes sense and it flows better.

    Second part of the sentence, you've mentioned 'table' again. Now, I don't know whether the papers and the book are separate things, so therefore you're alluding to that papers on the table. But I'd suggest maybe cutting the second 'table', and leave it as 'She shuffled through the papers and eventually located her wand'.

    So, all in all, it would read like this:

    'With a heave, she thumped the large volume on the table. She shuffled through the papers and eventually located her wand.'

    Of course, totally up to you. Just thought I'd make the suggestion. Very minor thing though, overall I enjoyed it
    Thanks, outoftheblue. I agree that the sentence flows better the way you put it. I'll make that change now.

    And Cadence, I thought the same thing about your writing
    I feel the same way about adding an element of science to the magic. I've studied chemistry at uni for the last eight years, so I'm programmed to think that way. The magic system is explained a bit later on, and it's very scientific the way spells are learned and used. Conservation of energy and all that. I've also put a lot of thought into the physics and biology of my world, so although some of the creatures and phenomenon are unusual, there's always a evolutionary or physical explanation behind it (although I don't always write about it because that would probably bore people).

    I have thought about having a grabbier opening, since it does start out a bit generic. I didn't want to do it with an action scene since I don't think that works terribly well in Fantasy. Maybe, like you say, I just need a really well constructed, descriptive sentence to kick things off.

    Oh, and if you'd like to read more, I have some of Chapter 1 posted in the Writer's Workshop under the name 'The Scroll of Life', I believe. It is a little bit outdated now, but I'm still quite happy with it.

  2. #32
    ****I have commented on the original post, so if there were edits on the posts later, these will not pertain to them.*****

    There are a few things I liked about this piece, and a few things I believe weaken this opening. The description could be tighter, stronger words, less of them.

    One thing, before I forget to mention.

    I believe using 'awoke/wakes/woke' remember this lessens the magic. Initially I believed she had transported, via magic, to that meadow, but when she came back to the library, you used 'awoke' and so I was lead it had been a dream. This takes away the magic, the need of a wand or tome. Or so it seemed. I could be the only one who mentioned this, so feel free to ignore.

    In ways you describe what you describe well. You rely a bit on a few common words, if you look for them you'll see. This is the time, when editing, to over-power/change a few of those common words with other words meaning the same, or stronger words. If you use, for example 'dusty' too many times - ie the dusty rose, the dusty windows, the dusty fork, the dusty room - after a while the dusty isn't as dusty, its sometimes not even seen by the reader. I have the same problem with 'would' and have a world full of nano pages probably overfilled with 'would'. Again, if you disagree, please feel free to ignore. I am one pair of eyes which see from my society's upbringing and experience, and I'm part crazy too.

    As others have mentioned, broaden your vision around the mc, show it from from her perspective, how it effects her. There was one line . . .

    With a heave, she thumped the large volume onto the table. She shuffled through the papers on the table, eventually locating her wand. It was white like her hair, and had grown gnarled and bent with age, much like her own fingers. A tiny flick of her wrist, and the candles on the table sputtered to life.
    I'd keep it a tome (it was mentioned only once by that name, and tome seems older than volume, seems more ancient, wise.


    She shuffled through some papers to find her wand. It, like her hair, was snow white, and they had gnarled together over the years. With a flick the candles sputter (to life)

    I don't think you need 'to life' because you then turn a show to a tell in a way. I am not against tell, but if show can do it better, I'm for it. There are times when you need to tell something, a writer should then just go out and say it, but other times showing brings the reader to the mc for a moment longer. Empathy is important.


    Now, all of the above, are my thoughts. There is nothing in the world saying it is the only way, or I am right. I'm just another comment.

    I enjoyed the read, you mentioned it is in rough copy, well done for writing as is.

    Last edited by seyelint; November 10th, 2011 at 09:41 PM. Reason: mis-spelt mis-word ugh

  3. #33
    Member QDOS's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    Hi Josh
    First time I’ve taken a look at you work. I enjoyed the opening it gives a vivid insight to an impending catastrophic event and leaves the reader wanting to know more. Like who are the three brave figures.

    There’s been some useful comments already made about differentiating between dream or magical incantation.
    Your last paragraph may I suggest:

    Ralinda awoke from the trance with a gasp, and gripped the edge of the table to steady herself.


  4. #34
    I think it is the 'awoke' that takes the magic away. If she found her self 'back' in the room, then I can have a sense of the journey, that she actually travelled. And if she didn't I think she should, because it makes her magic and wand more powerful. That she even travels back or to another place is fine because magic is used.

    Now if she gave some indication that she was meditating first, then awaking is great, but I believe the magical way is a stronger image.

  5. #35
    I agree with seyelint and the others above; "awakened" isn't (to me) a strong enough image of the deep magic that I had thought had been invoked here.

    Maybe you could say something along the lines of, "Suddenly, she felt the chair beneath her. The table steadied itself under her hands and she felt the library wrap around her once again."

    I don't know, but I feel like the way that she left the room should mirror the way she came back.

    For the other parts, I agree that shorter paragraphs would be easier on the reader, but I really enjoyed reading your story.
    I am very curious to know who the three figures are and how they were able to handle this creature. Good job!

  6. #36
    Member Cody's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    I reread this 3 times. I do not like the place holder that you use for the last name of your main,because I found it distracting while trying to experience your opening. I like the fantasy setting. I love magic and must and libraries and all that jazz.

    When I was reading about the library it seemed like it should be a condemned building since it had dirt all over the windows and books scattered all over the floor. That's dangerous,because someone could trip.

    My experience with libraries is that they don't generally move all the of the relevant books to a new building, because that would get expensive. Instead they weed out of date or books that are not checked out often by throwing them away or tossing them in a cardboard box with $1.00 written on the front. Libraries must work differently in your world. I can't wait to read more and find out why.

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