Proposed new challenge: The Paragraph Prompt - Page 2


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Thread: Proposed new challenge: The Paragraph Prompt

  1. #11
    This is a harder challenge than I expected!

    Silver morning mist blanketed the sandstone-and-thatch of Darrowdale, hiding the ebbing grip of night. Snug in this heathered heart of Eldmore Valley, sleepers stirred and stretched. Fires were poked to life beneath kettles of soup and pots of coffee, each villager determined to rise to industrious action before their neighbor. High overhead the five peaks ringing the village stropped their teeth against the sun as the first cockerel's clarion call announced the new day.



    Last edited by Foxee; March 9th, 2021 at 05:45 AM.

  2. #12
    I really like this paragraph, and was hard put to make any changes. I wanna go to Darrowdale!

    Deep in the heather heart of the Eldmoore valley, the village of Darrowdale stretched as the sun splashed atop the surrounding Five Peaks. The weave and droop of thatch and sandstone climbed dreamily from an early morning mist, edges etched in vivid light. It rattled and grumbled with the sound of waking village folk. The smell of sizzling breakfasts, piping hot soup and extra strong coffee carried on a sobering breeze, whilst smoke curled from chimney stacks, bed sheets snapped in back-gardens, hooves clattered on cobblestone, and a cockerel announced another day dawned.
    Deep in the heathery heart of the Eldmoore valley nestled the village of Darrowdale, embraced by the paternal slopes of the Five Peaks, whose capped tops shone gold in the new sun. The weave and droop of thatch and sandstone undulated through fragments of an early morning mist, their edges etched in hazy light, emitting rattles and grumbles - the sound of waking village folk - as though some giant beast slumbered there. The aromas of sizzling breakfasts, piping hot soup and extra strong coffee carried on a sobering breeze. Smoke curled from chimney stacks, bed sheets snapped in back-gardens, hooves clattered on cobblestone, and a cockerel announced another dawn.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  3. #13
    My immediate impression so far is there are writers that try to emulate the original mood of the piece and then there are writers that add in extra moods. I wonder if that's a 'respect' thing or a 'confidence' thing? The Foxee paragraph stands out to me in that it adds 'darkness' to the tonality of the paragraph. 'Grip of night', 'stropped their teeth', which is quite odd considering this paragraph is a primer for a ghost story and is never likely to be used. I'd be interested to know, Foxee, whether you decided to add in some darkness or whether you'd picked up some darkness already there.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    My immediate impression so far is there are writers that try to emulate the original mood of the piece and then there are writers that add in extra moods. I wonder if that's a 'respect' thing or a 'confidence' thing? The Foxee paragraph stands out to me in that it adds 'darkness' to the tonality of the paragraph. 'Grip of night', 'stropped their teeth', which is quite odd considering this paragraph is a primer for a ghost story and is never likely to be used. I'd be interested to know, Foxee, whether you decided to add in some darkness or whether you'd picked up some darkness already there.
    For me, it's just a mood-matching thing. I didn't feel the need to change the mood, which I quite liked.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    For me, it's just a mood-matching thing. I didn't feel the need to change the mood, which I quite liked.
    What made you add 'paternal'? Is it partly to do with the fact you recognised they were actually called 'Five Peaks'? I also like the fact you've added in some personification. When you wrote that, where would you say you saw yourself as the camera?

    I'd say I keep a pretty steady mid range camera, which is a little boring in my opinion, although I do try to bring that camera slowly in during the journey of the paragraph. The idea was a pan and then a zoom but I don't think I pulled it off.

    None specific > Specific > intimate.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    My immediate impression so far is there are writers that try to emulate the original mood of the piece and then there are writers that add in extra moods. I wonder if that's a 'respect' thing or a 'confidence' thing? The Foxee paragraph stands out to me in that it adds 'darkness' to the tonality of the paragraph. 'Grip of night', 'stropped their teeth', which is quite odd considering this paragraph is a primer for a ghost story and is never likely to be used. I'd be interested to know, Foxee, whether you decided to add in some darkness or whether you'd picked up some darkness already there.
    I remembered from the other thread that you had mentioned the ghost story angle so I wanted to try to find the darkness in scene.

    This is an interesting challenge because I don't usually think about what my style is, more what I'm aiming for in the story.
    What comes after the NaPo storm of poetry?
    Get ready for the
    May 2021 Collaborator Challenge.

    Send your potential partner a fruit basket and start begging!

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Foxee View Post
    I remembered from the other thread that you had mentioned the ghost story angle so I wanted to try to find the darkness in scene.

    This is an interesting challenge because I don't usually think about what my style is, more what I'm aiming for in the story.
    Oh, I see. I noticed that even though you've clearly stepped back from the picture often, there's a gentle intimacy about the way you dealt with it. This line for instance:

    Fires were poked to life beneath kettles of soup and pots of coffee, each villager determined to rise to industrious action before their neighbor.
    I'm seeing a villager with a stick in their hand, poking embers alive and you've imbued them with a sense of rivalry. That's something well worth noting in my opinion.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    What made you add 'paternal'? Is it partly to do with the fact you recognised they were actually called 'Five Peaks'? I also like the fact you've added in some personification. When you wrote that, where would you say you saw yourself as the camera?

    I'd say I keep a pretty steady mid range camera, which is a little boring in my opinion, although I do try to bring that camera slowly in during the journey of the paragraph. The idea was a pan and then a zoom but I don't think I pulled it off.

    None specific > Specific > intimate.
    Yeah I suppose I did want to personify the hills, to give them an embracing sense to them, and put forward a benign scene. And yes I definitely saw myself as the camera - I could see the scene quite clearly.

    In terms of zoom, I can see you started it, which works, though you might typically finish on a single character of interest.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    I'm seeing a villager with a stick in their hand, poking embers alive and you've imbued them with a sense of rivalry. That's something well worth noting in my opinion.
    The funny thing is that even though we're talking about Darrowdale it reminds me of people I know and places I've lived. People close to the land or who work with their hands often seem to me like they're making a point of being up and busy first. If you're first on certain jobs you have a kind of moral superiority and often some status that allows you to boss the latecomers around!

    ETA: In terms of the camera being close or far I essentially tried to cover a lot of the same main points that were in your paragraph so in terms of whether the camera was close to or farther from the subjects isn't changed much from the original paragraph. Mainly what I think I've changed is the angle of the camera...Look at the mist, no look under the mist. Look at the villagers, this is what they want. Look up at the mountains, they're sharp in contrast to this bucolic scene.
    What comes after the NaPo storm of poetry?
    Get ready for the
    May 2021 Collaborator Challenge.

    Send your potential partner a fruit basket and start begging!

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    Yeah I suppose I did want to personify the hills, to give them an embracing sense to them, and put forward a benign scene. And yes I definitely saw myself as the camera - I could see the scene quite clearly.

    In terms of zoom, I can see you started it, which works, though you might typically finish on a single character of interest.
    The cockerel was meant to be the final focal point, bringing the whole 'waking' theme to a conclusion. But it lacked enough intimacy mid range I think. I'm beginning to wonder if that mid camera is of any use whatsoever. It's likely what's responsible for many unnecessarily complex descriptions that remove the reader from the immediacy because of how long they have to read it. If you're Tolkein, then maybe, but from listening to many audiobooks lately, the broad stokes (ranged camera) coupled with the zoom (the occasional intimate detail) creates a dynamic scene more often than not. Although, having said that, too much and it could become jarring, so perhaps the mid range camera should be used specifically to slow things down and give the reader time to breath.

    edit: although thinking more about this, that could also be the function of the zoomed in camera.
    Last edited by TheMightyAz; March 9th, 2021 at 02:22 PM.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

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