Thoughts on this

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  1. #1

    Thoughts on this

    Hey forum family!I originally posted this in scI-fi but I haven’t gotten any responses. So I decided to move it here in hopes of getting some opinions.

    its been about 5-6 months since i last posted. I've taken a huge break from my book. I needed to forget about it for a minute. To allow myself a chance to read my work with a fresh pair of eyes. I rewrote the first page of chapter one. I'm trying to get the reader immersed into the story rather than me telling the story. I'm hoping that this go around fixed that issue I had, or at least made it better. I'm also hoping that I fixed the third person past tense verbiage that I originally had. I know i had problems with talking in third person and using present tense instead of past tense. Please let me know how this reads so far and any other suggestions you may have.



    Chapter One: The Hunted

    Cold. Cold. Cold.

    "Get up." A voice echoed threateningly in her head.

    Sparrow’s body shivered violently in protest. The cold relentless sting of the ice called her home. It wanted her back. The ice world, the queen. They needed her. But she did not want to go back. That place was not her home. It was a trap. An unethical imprisonment to her kind. To the people inhabiting it, she was another other worldly outcast bound by birth. She would never go back.

    She grew weaker as she moved forward, determined to escape that wretched place that was her home. She’d been on the run now for what seemed like days with no end in sight.
    Sparrow squinted her eyes, trying to see through the thick veil of snow that whirled around her. She sighed with annoyance as her long chestnut brown hair danced in front of her face. It could never stay in place when it needed to. It was untamed just like her. The thought alone made her frown. The Queen could not have her. She closed her pale silver eyes, wishing for this all to be a bad dream.

    Cold. Cold. Cold. That was the only singular thought that ran through her mind. She shuddered once more before collapsing onto the ground.

    "Get up!" The memory tore at her brain. She had fallen in front of the queen, her hands raised in front of her face cowering as the queen reached to grasp her chin. "Sparrow, I will not say it again." Her voice cool, chiding her like a small child - warning her.
    Distant shouts interrupted the memory. “There she is! Get her!”
    Fear nestled its way into Sparrows stomach. “No no no.” she murmured quietly. They were getting closer. A little too close. With as much haste as she could muster, she pushed herself off the ground and glanced at her surroundings. Panic crashed through her body like a wave. There was no place to hide. She wouldn’t make it. Sparrow pushed the thought aside. She couldn’t let negativity stop her. Not when she was this close to freedom.
    Taking a deep breath, she started to run as fast as her legs would carry her but no sooner than she took two steps, an arrow whipped past her.
    Her heart leaped into her throat and a shriek escaped her lips. That was too close. She swallowed the scream that threatened to tear out her throat as another arrow landed in front of her; this one following a little closer than the one before. She flattened her petite slender body into the ground with her hands on her head. Shit they were hunting her.

    They were the Queens huntsmen. They did the Queens bidding, hiding in the shadows. Waiting, watching. If given the orders, they would kill, with no hesitation.

    Sparrow took a dep shaky breath as she stood up. She had to get away. There had to be a way to get them off her trail. She tensed her jaw and kept her gaze forward. The risk of seeing how close they were was too great. It would slow her down.
    She stumbled through the snow, wincing in pain. Her legs were frozen and numb to the bone. Sparrow gritted her teeth and forced herself to move forward and push through the harsh cold that was gnawing its way through her body. But the cold was winning. At this pace she would die.

    Unable to fight it any longer, her body collapsed onto the icy cold snow. Exhaustion dragged her body like a blanket of gravity, slowly pulling her under. She knew if she fell asleep now, it would all be over in an instant.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ScarletM.Sinclaire View Post
    Hey forum family!I originally posted this in scI-fi but I haven’t gotten any responses. So I decided to move it here in hopes of getting some opinions.

    its been about 5-6 months since i last posted.
    Have you tried offering critique/feedback on the work of other members?
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  3. #3
    Cold. Cold. Cold.

    "Get up." A voice echoed threateningly in her head.
    "Get up." A (the?) voice (stronger verb, cut adverb - maybe reverberated or some other) in her head.

    Sparrow’s body shivered violently - (cut adverb). I'm assuming fear as well as cold, so maybe 'trembled' in protest. The cold ('cold' is redundant. It's more powerful to stick with 'relentless sting'. If you want immediacy, maybe ditch relentless too. Perhaps 'sharp sting' to provide alliteration?) relentless sting of the ice called her home. It wanted her back (maybe ditch this as calling it 'home' already implies returning rather than a first visit.. The ice world, the queen. They needed her. But she did not want to go back. That place was not her home. It was a trap. (Need a bit more show and less tell) An unethical imprisonment to her kind (this sentence feels a little clumsy). To the people inhabiting it, she was another other worldly ('another other wordly' feels awkward due to the double 'other' sound. Other-wordly looks better hyphenated if the nouns it describes, follows) outcast bound by birth. She would never go back.

    She grew weaker as she moved forward, (use a walking word that indicates struggle) determined to escape that wretched place that was her home. She’d been on the run now for what seemed like days with no end in sight.
    Sparrow squinted her eyes ('squinted is enough as eyes are implied), trying to see through the thick veil of snow that whirled around her. How about something like 'Sparrow squinted, peering through the snowstorm'? It cuts out the redundancies of mentioning 'her eyes', 'trying to see' etc. Maybe even 'Sparrow squinted into the storm' would do it because using into rather than through implies that it's not possible to see through it. As we've already mentioned ice, it's a reasonable assumption that it's snow., She sighed with annoyance as her long chestnut brown hair danced in front of her face. It could never stay in place when it needed to. It was untamed just like her. The thought alone made her frown. The Queen could not have her. She closed her pale silver eyes, wishing for this all to be a bad dream.

    Cold. Cold. Cold. That was the only singular thought that ran through her mind. She shuddered once more before collapsing onto the ground.

    "Get up!" The memory tore at her brain. She had fallen in front of the queen, her hands raised in front of her face cowering as the queen reached to grasp her chin. "Sparrow, I will not say it again." Her voice cool, chiding her like a small child - warning her.
    Distant shouts interrupted the memory. “There she is! Get her!”
    Fear nestled its way into Sparrows stomach. “No no no.” she murmured quietly. They were getting closer. A little too close. With as much haste as she could muster, she pushed herself off the ground and glanced at her surroundings. Panic crashed through her body like a wave. There was no place to hide. She wouldn’t make it. Sparrow pushed the thought aside. She couldn’t let negativity stop her. Not when she was this close to freedom.
    Taking a deep breath, she started to run as fast as her legs would carry her but no sooner than she took two steps, an arrow whipped past her.
    Her heart leaped into her throat and a shriek escaped her lips. That was too close. She swallowed the scream that threatened to tear out her throat as another arrow landed in front of her; this one following a little closer than the one before. She flattened her petite slender body into the ground with her hands on her head. Shit they were hunting her.

    They were the Queens huntsmen. They did the Queens bidding, hiding in the shadows. Waiting, watching. If given the orders, they would kill, with no hesitation.

    Sparrow took a dep shaky breath as she stood up. She had to get away. There had to be a way to get them off her trail. She tensed her jaw and kept her gaze forward. The risk of seeing how close they were was too great. It would slow her down.
    She stumbled through the snow, wincing in pain. Her legs were frozen and numb to the bone. Sparrow gritted her teeth and forced herself to move forward and push through the harsh cold that was gnawing its way through her body. But the cold was winning. At this pace she would die.

    Unable to fight it any longer, her body collapsed onto the icy cold snow. Exhaustion dragged her body like a blanket of gravity, slowly pulling her under. She knew if she fell asleep now, it would all be over in an instant.
    I've gone through part of it. There's enough for me to want to know what happens next, always helpful.
    There appear to be a number of redundancies in the text. Reducing them can increase the power of the words that remain if they are well chosen.
    Skimming through the rest of the text, I see there may be other places where word count can be reduced. There also appears to be the old show vs. tell conundrum. A bit too much tell I feel, though more show could increase word count - nothing wrong with that if it's to good purpose and strengthens the writing.
    You have introduced conflict, which is always helpful.

    There's a good basis to work with here, I feel, even though the language possibly needs strengthening.
    Remember, it's only one person's opinion.
    Last edited by Phil Istine; March 21st, 2019 at 07:08 PM.


  4. #4
    You should also format the story (separate paragraphs) to make it easier on the eyes.

    That said, it's an interesting beginning. A lot of questions raised, and I like figuring it out as I go. It also opens up with a bit of a thrill, but I think the way the characters thoughts keep circling back to the Queen is a little too repetitive, though.

    It makes me want to read more. Not bad.

  5. #5
    Member Thomas Norman's Avatar
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    I agree with the comments above. I enjoyed this as a beginning, it took hold of me and made me want to read more. The writing is a little odd in places but I could cope with that.

    A couple of small points.

    Para 2 line 2. Queen (capital; also in para 5)
    Para 5 line 5. Sparrow's (possessive apostrophe)
    Para 6 line 1. Queen's (ditto, two places)

    Also beware of using cliche. There are one or two eg. (ran as fast as her legs would carry her)

    I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter. A good story, well done.

  6. #6
    Scarlett:
    I liked it, twas a promising start for a novel. You seem to have a pretty clear vision of this world you are writing about.

    The 3rd paragraph was a little rough, like it had been disassembled 30 times, and didn't quite get put back together properly. I could see what you were trying to say, but there were some formatting issues (and a couple of unnecessary adverbs).

    Sparrow’s body shivered violently in protest. The relentless sting of the ice seemed to be calling her home. It wanted her back; the ice world, the queen...they all needed her. But she did not want to go back. That place was not her home. It was a trap; an unethical imprisonment for her kind. To the people that inhabited that world, she was nothing more than another outcast bound to slavery by birth. She would never go back.

    After that it smoothed up nicely.

  7. #7
    Cold. Cold. Cold.
    Don't say it three times, it reduces the impact of that initial 'cold'. Just say it once.

    Fear nestled its way into Sparrows stomach.
    Very strange way of describing fear. Use a word like 'tore'.

    That was too close.
    Unnecessary. The audience understands how close she was to death, her reaction to being shot at just communicated that.

    She stumbled through the snow, wincing in pain. Her legs were frozen and numb to the bone. Sparrow gritted her teeth and forced herself to move forward and push through the harsh cold that was gnawing its way through her body. But the cold was winning. At this pace she would die.

    Unable to fight it any longer, her body collapsed onto the icy cold snow. Exhaustion dragged her body like a blanket of gravity, slowly pulling her under. She knew if she fell asleep now, it would all be over in an instant.
    This section is very good. I feel like the flashbacks detract from the rest of the story. Plant the seed of the main conflict in the reader's head "she had to escape X" but don't do exposition in the middle of an intense survival sequence. Nobody thinks this deeply about some abstract problem when they are focused on evading death.
    Dead by Dawn!

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