Author Topic: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured  (Read 7510 times)

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Edited down to 1,100 words Enamoured
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2014, 08:37:56 PM »
I did do a sneaky by using a photographer who might notice detail -- and the Irish are full of blarney so it sort of fits. :-[ But thank you, all the same.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 06:33:31 PM by 510bhan »

Offline 2par

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Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2014, 08:40:28 PM »
But, but, I believe the bit about the goddess; after all, I've been to Mexico and saw another...it so takes your mind to new heights.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2014, 08:41:46 PM »
Neat! :D  Any tequila involved? ::)

Offline Dawn

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Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2014, 03:27:36 AM »
This is so alluring. Such a stunning descriptive piece. This would be great in a photography magazine (minus the woman mind) Although I like the idea of the myth. Great stuff, as always.
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Offline Clarius

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Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2014, 06:27:58 AM »
This seems to be a mash-up of three genres; travelogue, social commentary and magical realism. Each of these is well enough written but for me the magical realism is the heart and the most original of it so I'm confused as to why you relegated the best of it to just those penultimate two paragraphs. My advice would be that there are three pieces here and each should be treated as such and targeted to their respective markets.
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us

 - Robert Burns

Pale Writer

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Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2014, 07:31:36 AM »
hi Sio

I still have trouble reading and critiquing at the same time, but you've had great reviews on that aspect and I know your writing well enough to believe the story side is all intact. So I'll look at the writing side (I don't expect to find anything wrong, therefore my opinions are just different shades of view.

Quote
Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the latest batch of photos to his laptop. With his travels catalogued, he hoped his pictures would speak the thousands of words his postcard memories had captured.

his memory card
his laptop
his pictures
his postcard memories

Okay. Like I said, not an issue just something I see. The thing that first caught me wasn't so much the 'his' but rather its use with 'pictures' because the possession by that time is known or could be presumed and the focus changes to those pictures, rather than 'being in his possession' just for a moment. So I believe you could use


Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the latest batch of photos to his laptop. With his travels catalogued, he hoped those pictures would speak the thousands of words his postcard memories had captured.

I suggest 'those' to give an individual focus for a brief moment to those pictures, because I believe they work better that way.  The suggestion of removal of the second 'memories' isn't so suggestive, but it felt that it was un-necessary in a way. Still I can't really say it changed the image, so eh...

Quote
When this trip was over he intended to present his best pieces with a winsome, poetic documentary over the nature shots and a punchy commentary for the urban detail.

I think what catches my eye is those pronouns and 'the'. I understand the pov, so when it is a difficult one, as this is, when editing I always look a bit harder at ways to lessen them if the result doesn't change the meaning.

Since this is a 'list-to-do' sort of thing, you have an opportunity to format in that style. Not factual, but in a way to help lessen 'his/the' usage.

When this trip was over he intended to present his best pieces with a winsome, poetic documentary over the nature shots and a punchy commentary for the urban detail.

I'm on the fence about this also, but with the removal of 'the' - I could see the connection still, or rather they felt closer to each other.

Quote
The cover still eluded him

To be honest I'm needling a haystack in this thought. And as I go through this section what I see is darn good writing so this will be my last suggestion as, as this is written, it would have no problem with me for enjoyment of both the story and writing.  So. 

A cover still eluded him.

'The'  'A'  - Again this is more to make it an individual thing. Give it its own focus in that sentence rather than have it attached to the sentences prior. Because in a way it is something different. Where the others are positive outlooks, this is one yet seen/realised.

***

As I had though, Sio. Your writing is spot on. I really had to look for things, and only found them because I was looking and that doesn't mean a thing is wrong or needs to be changed. How I view writing doesn't mean it is the way it is.

If others disagree, that is fine too. I'm not arguing my points, merely discussing them. If I have perfected the way I want to write, well I wouldn't need to be on a writing site.

Thanks so much, Sio, for your post. I learnt things, which is always great.

pale

Offline 2par

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Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2014, 09:19:45 AM »
I guess you could separate it into three stories, but there's something of Shangrila in it. Going from a realistic life into one of magical and majestic realm.

Offline Clarius

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Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2014, 09:45:31 AM »
The magical realism piece would still need a leading normal beginning and a did it/didn't it happen type ending. It's the ratio of one to the other that struck me in this piece. If magic realism is the heart of it then b, m, e in 1 : 3 : 1 would be what I'd normally expect.
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us

 - Robert Burns

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Enamoured 1,994 words
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2014, 10:36:33 AM »
Thanks Clarius, Pale Writer and 2par -- things to think about. I hadn't thought the magical realism was the main feature but I can see why it stands out.

Cheers folks, points to take on board. ;)

Offline 510bhan

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Edited down to 1,100 words Enamoured
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2014, 06:34:26 PM »
Losing the 'people' and sticking with the surreal:



Enamoured

Shane cleared his memory card and uploaded the latest batch of photos to his laptop. He would complete his dream project, a hefty, coffee table, hardback ‘Far Out People and Far Away Places’. His mind raced at the prospects offered where the town was so close to open countryside. He hoped for something quirky, spectacular or unexpected. The cover still eluded him.

With family links to Ballymena a visit to the mountain where St Patrick had tended sheep was a ‘must do’. He had to admit he didn’t know much about the area but he was stoked when his Northern Ireland trip coincided with a hoary December. Back home he’d never ventured further south from the sun-scorched, family sheep station than Sydney. Sheep, very important.

A brisk walk to Eaton Park gave him a chance to admire Slemish rising in the distance. His immediate surroundings enchanted him. The Braid had frozen – what an opportunity.  He slotted in new batteries while he pussy-footed across the slippery car park to the riverside. It was chancy. He hoped the light would behave and not glare.

White dominated everywhere except for a flame orange orb that relieved the monochrome. Its soft focus glow emanated ineffective rays through gaps in the branches over the river. On a sweeping curve of peninsular banks, a protrusion shadowed on three sides by dense woodland impeded the tributary’s flow. An ice platform grew in its shade.

A miniature ice floe pimpled with bird tracks formed a dance template in two large apostrophes far from the water’s edge. Evidence of a winter courtship or just a hello? In the surreal stillness, snowfall canopied the trees, frost-laced branches and ice-draped twigs silvered with marcasite sparkles reflected the light like catwalk mannequins modelling the seasonal collection. Hands steady, lens level, slow exhalation . . . and grin. He caught the scene with a few opportune close-ups of the crystalline structures tinged opalescent by the solstice sun as it sank and burned more intense in its descent. Gotcha. Time-stamp 4.10pm.

Late afternoon he parked his rental car and set off to climb Slemish, an ancient volcanic plug – tertiary basalt lava of the Cenozoic period according to the blurb. Okay, it wasn’t Uluru or K2, but something about it drew him. Some of the locals referred to it as ‘the big green tit’, which offended his sense of romance. The Irish just didn’t seem to appreciate their history. Nature provided a gentle atmospheric light, but Shane could see he wouldn’t have long if he wanted to take advantage of it.

Camera lifted, he looked through the viewfinder and wondered what aspects to snap. He pressed zoom. It appeared Slemish was the habitat of timid, dim-witted sheep that wandered over dense, stubbly tussocks and nibbled at springy tuffets.  Pimply rocks, once boulders, since verdigrised over millennia dotted here and there. After he panned out, the mountain appeared as an emerald cabochon, dulled sage, jaded, desolate, and ruggedly desperate with age-softened contours eroded of menace, still part of the forty shades of green though. Folk would love this.

At this distance he saw why the locals had their nickname. An ancient goddess lay in repose on pasture fields, a faceless temptress basking in the setting sun – serene and nubile, a fair Colleen waiting for her lover. For sure, that’s what it looked like. Her back arched in surrender with her breast exposed, its tor-topped nipple not quite aroused, shadowed on the underside, tilted and slightly flattened by her stretched arm thrown back to display her midriff, plateau flat. Yes, this was some dame – reclined, languorous and indolent, oblivious to time and seasons. Through the lens, she was alive. Captivated by her spell he snapped several shots. The perfect subject struck an impeccable pose, which she deigned to hold. Some movement caught his eye – sheep grazing her ribs of the scruffy, olivine raiment covering her feminine form. She was divine. Shane chuckled. Man, I’m going nuts. I’m in love.

Overwhelmed by the far away view, the shutter whirred with every shot then the light began to fail. Stars freckled a backdrop for the blue moon while thin clouds stretched bleak wisps across its face.  Once every 2.7 years this afternoon moon in a skint, grey sky offered dilute illumination for the trees to reach above and scrape escape from the barren hillside.

‘Phenomenal mate, bloody phenomenal.’ He’d spent too long admiring her and the climb would be in gloom, but he felt sure there could be texture-rich stills of the ewes and frosted blades of grass, good as black and whites or reverse negatives. He wasn’t sure if flash photography would scare the girls. Maybe he’d get a shot with werewolves baying at the full moon on a night like this . . . or were-sheep, perhaps.

Shane clambered through sheep pebbles and rabbit raisins, slid on lichened stones but reached the top unscathed, oblivious to the cold. Satisfied with his progress, he stood on the summit to survey the mid-Antrim landscape but it had darkened so much he could see little. Moonstruck, he sighed, closed his eyes and decided to rest a while before making his descent. Though the mountain wasn’t high enough to bring on altitude sickness Shane felt dizzy.

Nonchalant sheep mooched nearby and he took a close-up of their long, sad faces. He was beginning to develop an affinity toward them and snapped away; pleased they nibbled on unperturbed by the light flickers. The camera stuck on automatic flash and transfixed him with its strobe effect.

The earth rumbled. He shuddered. Though he tried to stand, some preternatural force kept him pinned to the ground. He grasped at scrubby grass while the mountain rose and the goddess stood to kiss the moon. Sheep flocked and smiled. This was crazy. Frantic, he clicked button continuously, hoping to record the bizarre event. Flash-flash-flash.

Stuck to the mountainside, Shane clung spellbound and gasped as the goddess strode the lough, where she bent and sipped its waters before she returned to her usual repose. A cloud of bats crossed the blue moon. It blinked. Sheet-lightning illuminated the sky. Trees curtseyed and cows in far off fields danced. His camera continued its strobe flicker.

Once the disorder returned to a placid winter scene, he scrambled to his hunkers, skidded rump-side down the mountain and dashed to his car. For a moment he sat silent, puffing short, rapid breaths. He scanned the pictures. The fabulous disturbance shots were blurred but one showed a sheep in three-quarter profile, posing with a distorted goofy grin and a definite wink. Cover shot.


Offline bri h

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Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2014, 06:48:41 PM »
Good story. No crit. BUT, I'm going back to pore over the camera-techie's just to make sure you haven't used any of your 'Artistic-Licence'-jiggery-pokery.  ;D
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 2par

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Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2014, 06:50:26 PM »
Damn, that's great.

"mooched" ? not "munched" ???

In America, to mooch is to take someone else's cigs or food or money, etc.

Offline 2par

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Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2014, 06:51:11 PM »
"jiggery pokery" ?. You guys talk funny.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2014, 06:53:09 PM »
When we mooch you sidle up close to someone, uncertain but not too worried -- no thieving required. ;D

Thanks for reading, Patricia. :D

Come over some time and learn a new language! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D You won't understand it, you'll think everyone's singing all the time.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Edited down to 1,100 words: Enamoured
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2014, 06:54:45 PM »
Thanks Bri' -- top jiggery-pokery checker. :D