Author Topic: Any comments please.  (Read 954 times)

Offline Bubbles

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Any comments please.
« on: July 01, 2006, 11:22:44 AM »
I'd be very pleased if you could look over this excerpt from a longer work I'm in the middle of.  Does the character seem real?  Does her misery or other feelings she might have come through properly?  Thanks everyone, Bubbles.


Goddess of the Morning.
No-one has ventured this far so soon after dawn and as she roams under flaxen sunlight she is the Goddess of The Morning; the bare-foot warrior maid of old, come haughtily to stride across her lands.  Through soaring overhead branches of pine and oak undulating shafts of sunlight spill onto her damson curls, falling in spangles of purple and russet to her waist.  The chilled dew, so heavy it falls as rain from fat summer leaves, frosts her hair with a million seed pearls.  Joyfully she turns her face to the heavens and softly shakes a low lying branch free of its moisture.  She’s laboured hard to climb so far up this hillside and welcomes its cooling wetness against her flushed cheeks.

She is alone here and although no human presence intrudes she senses the existence of  other, unobserved lives; their teaming energy a pale rainbow of activity beneath her naked feet.  A dusty bird, smaller than her hand escapes in flustered flight from the shadowed undergrowth beside her.  She stops to watch its winged escape; it flies low in undulating swoops, calling out its avian warning, ‘A stranger comes, a stranger comes.’  From high above her head, a wood pigeon answers from the canopy. The mossy floor of the forest caresses her feet in velvet, its musty perfume mixes with that of the pine needles which lay in forgotten autumnal carpets of amber beneath the curling ferns.

She walks with renewed purpose as she feels the heat of the rising sun and licks beads of salted sweat from her curved top lip.  She must reach the river soon, it cannot be far away.  She trod these hills and mountains a thousand times in youth; sometimes alone, sometimes in happy play with forgotten friends but the place she is searching for is hers alone.  No other playmate was privy to her secret, no old lover has lain with her within its sanctuary. 

She was gone so long from here and lived an alien life in thick-aired cities whose grudging green spaces saddened her.  She couldn’t pretend they were this place and so she put aside the memories.  And then she fell in love, forgetting all that went before, melding herself into him so firmly, her ancient places ironed flat, her new self a brittle caricature; a hurtful, dry obsessive who saw no one but him.  Through six fevered  months she played the supplicant to his Deity.  Then it was over and she mourned; deeply and blackly, through days of fervour and nights of sickening reminiscing.  She swung wildly between defiant merrymaking and deliberate hurtfulness, to the wretched pleading and prostration of her love.  She lost her lover and her friends as she fell so ill with longing for him she became the enemy in her bitterness.  At last, when every turn looked grim, when every room wore grey and each face was despised, she said, ‘Enough.’  She could not heal her heart in such cacophony. 

And so she came home, where she had lain on her bed for two weeks, as physically unwell as someone with a knife wound or incurable illness.  Her mother’s hands, so veined and thin in age were still blessed with the power to lull her wretchedness.  Each morning she was there with her quiet face and soft presence, bringing her the food she could not eat, encouraging her to leave her bed.  At night she sat and held her and didn’t ask what was wrong, for it was all too obvious;  Little by little her darkness had lifted and she’d been able to begin to engage with the world once more and spoken words became the ordinary blocks of speech they once were, not barbed taunts and ragged reminders of him.  Familiar actions such as movement and eating again had a purpose and a goal.  She began to grasp ordinary realities and glimmers of old pleasures.  The reluctant birth process of the mundane had begun despite her fight to own the pain of his memory.  The possibility of returning to her old life had surfaced in her mind and she knew she’d begun to garner the strength to go back; she did not belong here permanently.  She knew her home for the familiar magic it contained and chose not to dilute its potency. 

Last night she had not slept and it came to her that she must go once more to the river before she left…………(to be continued)

Offline Nekonron

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Re: Any comments please.
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2006, 02:00:32 PM »
Maybe its just me, but I find that you used the word "She" quite a lot especially when starting sentences in the 3rd and 4th paragraph. Other than that I find it pretty good :)

Offline Bubbles

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Re: Any comments please.
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2006, 06:53:05 AM »
Thanks Nekonron, I see what you mean and will try different ways to change that.

Offline Writers Block

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Re: Any comments please.
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2006, 07:58:52 AM »
I agree a lot of she's.

Personally the character is kind of flighty, probably influenced by the style of prose.  Very descriptive, but not always the best way to introduce a character.  Unless she is flighty of course.  ;D  However you want/need to grab your readers.  Not knowing exactly what syle/type of book you are planning makes it more difficult to judge.

Your opening 'Goddess of the Morning.' - is very good, it conveys all sorts of impressions - however is that what you want the reader to experience?

Quote
She is alone here and although no human presence intrudes she senses the existence of other, unobserved lives; their teaming energy a pale rainbow of activity beneath her naked feet.
- I would remove the semi-colon and crate new sentences, I think removing the first 'and' helps it read much better.

"She is alone here.  Although no human presence intrudes she senses the existence of other, unobserved lives.  Their teaming energy a pale rainbow of activity beneath her naked feet."
- of course I keep semi-colons to a minimum, so I am probably showing my predjudice.  I'd also check for other semi-colons, save them for special emphasis is best I think.  I suppose the only real problem I have with the part I quoted is that first you state she is alone, then repeat it again, with 'although she is alone'

I would prefer:
"She is alone here.  No human presence intrudes yet she senses the existence of other unobserved lives, their teaming energy a pale rainbow of activity beneath her naked feet."
- it's funny, but I'm not 100% happy with my suggestion either. :(

Quote
And so she came home, where she had lain on her bed for two weeks, as physically unwell as someone with a knife wound or incurable illness.  Her mother’s hands, so veined and thin in age were still blessed with the power to lull her wretchedness.  Each morning she was there with her quiet face and soft presence, bringing her the food she could not eat, encouraging her to leave her bed.
- I like this, flows naturally.  I really get the feeling of wretchedness and appathy - hope that is what you want to portray.

Quote
She knew her home for the familiar magic it contained and chose not to dilute its potency. 
- very good, I like it.  Consider putting it in a paragraph of its own.  Depends where your writing is going, and the importance of home to the overall story.

Very interesting, looking forward to either more or a reworked piece.

I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline Bubbles

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Re: Any comments please.
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2006, 04:45:43 PM »
Hi Writer's Block

Those were valuable comments you made and I shall certainly take the majority of them on board as I agree, they do make the work run smoother.  This is the advantage of having an outsider look at your work, we're far too attached to it to be objective.

Thankyou again, both. 

I have to admit that this was a piece I did last year for a college course on Creative Writing.... as a character study of someone who's lost interest in life, someone very depressed.  I thought I would take it, and start a story out of it.  That is why I think we should save every little bit of prose we write, you just never know when it'll jump up and bite you again, even if it looks as if it's dead in the water.  And if not, then we can at least look at it and think, 'Crumbs, that was awful stuff I wrote back then, wasn't it?'