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Old 04-12-2013, 02:29 AM View Post #1 (Link) Roots
éan (Offline)
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I don't really know where I'm going with this; I just have an image in my mind, and I'm just trying to get it right.
Spoiler:

Flames burned behind her; a soft smacking sound slipped into her ears. They wavered with each of her heartbeats; she felt she would die if they did.

She sat on the ground opposite of him, tearing dark, brittle grass from the earth. Her fists were covered in dirt, strands of her hair covered in clods.

“Would you stop that?”

“No.”

The moment she sensed him moving closer was the first time she’d looked at him all night.

The burning behind her and in her eyes stopped him.

“It makes me nervous when you do that.”

“I know.” She grabbed a fistful of chutes and pulled them out, their roots illuminated in the moonlight. “I don’t care.”

She stared at them: they were pale and dry and covered in dirt. She dropped them to the ground. The thud met his ears and he chills scaled his spine; it sounded like flesh pounding flesh. A body dropping to the ground. A sacrifice.

He didn’t look at them; he looked at her. She continued to pick at the ground, but a shudder had overcome her.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing,” she said. His voice was grating.

The flames licked and danced, and her heart raced.

Behind him, the darkness encroached and seemed to envelop his figure. Shadows began to touch his bare shoulders.

“There’s something there,” she said. Her voice was level. The shudders stopped.

“Yes.” He stood up, agile shadows mimicking his every movement.

She grabbed an armful of the rootless grass and stood.

“What are you doing?”

She was silent. She began walking towards the fire, forming a dry, grassy trail behind her.

They were expectant.

She fed them, and the flames leapt out of their cage. A new, larger light surrounded them.

“Don’t let them swallow you,” he said.

“Yes.”
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Originally Posted by Stephen King's 11/22/63
Explanations are such cheap poetry.
Originally Posted by Stephen King's 11/22/63
In my life as a teacher, I used to hammer away at the idea of simplicity. In both fiction and nonfiction, there's only one question and one answer. What happened? the reader asks. This is what happened, the writer responds. This. . . and this . . . and this, too. Keep it simple. It's the only sure way home.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:13 AM View Post #2 (Link)
Kanen (Offline)
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crit ticket because if I don't promise I'll never get around to it so this means I'll get around to it sometime I hope fingers crossed.
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- 宮崎 駿/Hayao Miyazaki
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:54 AM View Post #3 (Link)
Derezzination (Offline)
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Originally Posted by éan View Post
I don't really know where I'm going with this; I just have an image in my mind, and I'm just trying to get it right.

Okay, so I'm going to try and help with the imagery.
Spoiler:

Flames burned behind her; a soft smacking sound slipped into her ears. They wavered with each of her heartbeats; she felt she would die if they did. It took me a while to realise that she would die if the flames did, that may just be me, or syntax problems. I like the sibilance and the union of her and the flames, I feel like the piece is at night; it is.

She sat on the ground opposite of him, tearing dark, brittle grass from the earth. Her fists were covered in dirt, strands of her hair covered in clods.

“Would you stop that?”

“No.”

There is a lack of DOP because you don't know where you're going? Yet, I like it. There feels that there is no need to explain how they said it, or who, you can figure that all out with the way she is destroying the ground.

The moment she sensed him moving closer was the first time she’d looked at him all night. This image seems, that he is unwanted, that she has already rejected him before the night, even though he persists.

The burning behind her and in her eyes stopped him.

“It makes me nervous when you do that.”

“I know.” She grabbed a fistful of chutes and pulled them out, their roots illuminated in the moonlight. “I don’t care.”

She stared at them: they were pale and dry and covered in dirt. She dropped them to the ground. The thud met his ears and he chills scaled his spine; it sounded like flesh pounding flesh. A body dropping to the ground. A sacrifice. Okay, so is this is like, him realising what she can do, the wish that he can sleep with her, would be a sacrifice for her? I'm may be in too deep.

He didn’t look at them; he looked at her. She continued to pick at the ground, but a shudder had overcome her.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing,” she said. His voice was grating.

The flames licked and danced, and her heart raced.

Behind him, the darkness encroached and seemed to envelop his figure. Shadows began to touch his bare shoulders. I like the contrast in images between the two of them, is this what you were going for? Light against dark, but not in a good versus evil way?

“There’s something there,” she said. Her voice was level. The shudders stopped.

“Yes.” He stood up, agile shadows mimicking his every movement.

She grabbed an armful of the rootless grass and stood.

“What are you doing?”

She was silent. She began walking towards the fire, forming a dry, grassy trail behind her.

They were expectant.

She fed them, and the flames leapt out of their cage. A new, larger light surrounded them.

“Don’t let them swallow you,” he said.

“Yes.”
I like the personification of the flames at the end, it reminds me of the creatures from American Horror Story.

The piece as a whole is, I suppose, flash fiction. It seems very concentrated, you knew what you wanted when you were writing it, and it will stay the same when you edited it because I don't see how you can turn it into something majorly different. I like the Gothic feel to it, the girls actions remind me of India in Stoker and I feel like the flames should have a bigger presence. I mean, you have a skeleton here. The piece is good on its own but I feel like you could make it longer, but I don't know if that would take away the charm from the piece.

I don't know if you wrote more on the shadows and on the individual characters it would become slightly cheesy. It depends what you want to do with it really. If you have questions I'll answer them, and as always I'd like to see the revision. I enjoyed it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:53 PM View Post #4 (Link)
Rose (Offline)
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Originally Posted by éan View Post
I don't really know where I'm going with this; I just have an image in my mind, and I'm just trying to get it right.

Spoiler:

Flames burned behind her; a soft smacking sound slipped into her ears. I, personally, love this line. It's simple but strong enough to be an opening line. They wavered with each of her heartbeats; she felt she would die if they did. Unlike Der, the meaning got through - that she would die if the flames did - the first time I read the line. I really didn't have any problems reading it.

She sat on the ground opposite of him, tearing dark, brittle grass from the earth. Her fists were covered in dirt, strands of her hair covered in clods.

First thoughts that hit me when I read the first line was that they're in their/a house sometime in winter, but now it all changes when you mention "grass" and "dirt". I immediately picture them in a forest, camping, perhaps? I'm just telling you what pops into my head, you know, as a reader.

“Would you stop that?”

“No.”

Okay, so here. I got confused for a moment. The minute I read this bit of the dialogue, I get that she is asking him to stop and he is refusing. But then again, even though SHE is the one who seems angry (it shows from the dirt part), it can be the other way around, my mind urges me to consider that maybe HE is the one asking her if she "would stop that", and she coldly says, "no." Maybe he is asking her to stop that, and by "that" he means to drop the attitude? To stop being mad? Maybe he gets intimidated when she shows such kind of behavior? I'm not saying there is something wrong with this bit or anything, and I don't want to tell you to add dialogue tags because maybe they might weaken this part rather than reducing this mild - if I may say - confusion here.

The moment she sensed him moving closer was the first time she’d looked at him all night.

The burning behind her and in her eyes stopped him.

“It makes me nervous when you do that.”

“I know.” She grabbed a fistful of chutes and pulled them out, their roots illuminated in the moonlight. “I don’t care.”

This, for me, makes me think that he was the one asking her to "stop that" and she was the one who calmly said no, as I mentioned earlier. I guess the voice in "it makes me nervous when you do that" is similar to that in "would you stop that?" Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but if that's what you were going for, then I DO like it much more than having it the other way around.

She stared at them: they were pale Colors are not really what they really are at night. When you say "they were pale", then it's a fact. But it doesn't make much sense to me because it is really hard to recognize a pale or vibrant color in the darkness, even when there's a source of light such as fire, then the color would be orange/red-like. Perhaps "they looked pale"? But I don't know. I'm probably being too nit-picky and I am sorry. and dry and covered in dirt I like how you use "and" twice, rather than listing using a comma. She dropped them to the ground. The thud met his ears and he chills scaled his spine; it sounded like flesh pounding flesh. A body dropping to the ground. A sacrifice. It feels like he discovered something about her (most probably that she killed her ex-boyfriends or that she kills all the guys she sleeps with and she knows about his discovery so now she dropped the sweet-girly-girl-mask and just wants to get things over with, but she wants to have some fun seeing fear in his eyes? Just a thought. Never mind.

He didn’t look at them; he looked at her. She continued to pick at the ground, but a shudder had overcome her.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing,” she said. His voice was grating. Ooh. grating.

The flames licked and danced licked and danced borders on cliche, but I don't think it really harms your piece, so keep it, I guess. If you can replace it with something better, that would be awesome. If not, it's fine the way it is, and her heart raced.

Behind him, the darkness encroached and seemed to envelop his figure. Shadows began to touch his bare shoulders.

“There’s something there,” she said. Her voice was level. The shudders stopped.

“Yes.” He stood up, agile shadows mimicking his every movement.

She grabbed an armful of the rootless grass and stood.

“What are you doing?”

She was silent. She began walking towards the fire, forming a dry, grassy trail behind her. Even if she grabbed a fistful of rootless grass, will she still have enough amount of that in her fist to throw into the fire (enough to make it "leap out of its cage), taking into consideration that she was leaving a trail behind her? Does that make sense, my question?

They were expectant.

She fed them, and the flames leapt out of their cage. A new, larger light surrounded them.

“Don’t let them swallow you,” he said. Seems like he expected that because the way I read this in my head, he seemed calm yet firm.

“Yes.” I saw the word "yes" but it my head it was "I won't." Weird brain.
Okay, so, overall, this is pretty good (as if it would be anything but that or less). It left me curious, which is great. I'm curious about the shadows, about the flames and how she's related to him - is she a demon child? :p I'm also curious about his intimidation/nervousness. I'm not sure if you're done with this or if there's an additional part, because it can work both ways.

Anyway, I'm sorry I couldn't offer you a decent critique. It was mainly me being nit-picky and I think some of my comments hardly make any sense. Forgive me(?)

Hope this helps in some way or another. If it doesn't, feel free to send me hate-mail or whatever. <3
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:40 AM View Post #5 (Link)
Isis (Offline)
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Since those guys above handled details, here’s what this piece makes me think of/imagine:

The way that she has her back to the fire and thinks of a body dropping to the ground and a sacrifice makes me think that someone she sacrificed is in that fire, or that was the fate of someone that she knew; and know she’s camped out by it, waiting for the fire to die down, anxious and in shock and tearing at the ground. It’s idle and childish at first but I get the impression that the female main character is an adult – and then she seems more adult when she feeds all the grass she’d been pulling up to the fire at the end.

It’s interesting how the fire and the darkness are personified, and it’s like the man is representing the darkness (or vice versa) and she is representing the fire (or, again, vice versa). And even though the two are talking, they seem kind of robotic, or symbolic themselves. What’s there? Who is them? There’s something big and bad and horrifying on the edges of the story that moves in as it progresses, but at the same time both figures are both in control of those horrifying things a little bit (maybe). They’re more like figures, mythological figures, than characters at this point of development.

Did you end up working this into a larger piece, or find out where this scene was taking you?
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:15 PM View Post #6 (Link) This post is a reply - don't critique it
éan (Offline)
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I haven't, yet. I've been putting all of my writing time into that one piece in my thread in the publishing bootcamp or whatever. I literally haven't worked on anything else for the last month or so.

Still trying to decide whether or not to come back to this.
__________________
Originally Posted by Stephen King's 11/22/63
Explanations are such cheap poetry.
Originally Posted by Stephen King's 11/22/63
In my life as a teacher, I used to hammer away at the idea of simplicity. In both fiction and nonfiction, there's only one question and one answer. What happened? the reader asks. This is what happened, the writer responds. This. . . and this . . . and this, too. Keep it simple. It's the only sure way home.
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