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Friday, January 20, 2012

submission #5

Title: Unnamed
Genre: Space Opera


His ship landed in the early morning hours. Eleena watched the lights and smoke from her window until the air cleared. Things grew calm and eerily silent. The lunch hour came and went, but no one brought any news to her. She slumped against the window casing and waited.
A commotion below caused her heart rate to quicken. The large metal gates that enclosed the courtyard opened to let the soldiers strut in. People rushed to their doors to watch and the air filled with cheers. The black and red leather armor had been cleaned until it shone in the afternoon light. Each man carried his helmet and waved to the crowd. Eleena gripped the velvet curtain for ten minutes of parading men, but the warrior king was still unaccounted for.  Another ten minutes passed before he walked through the archway—conqueror of worlds, destroyer of lives, and her husband.
The years of fear and hate evaporated in the wake of relief at seeing him whole and unharmed. The unwelcome truth glared at her in the form of weak knees and shaking hands. His absence had taught her what her true feelings really were. She longed for him to reach out to her, touch her, hold her. She had fallen in love with the enemy.

I can't quite pinpoint why but this passage feels very passive to me, even though it isn't really. After reading it a few times I think what I want is to know more about this backstory the author has condensed into a few paragraphs. Because it sounds intriguing. How did Eleena come to be the wife of the enemy? What was her life before she married? And who the heck is this destroyer dude? THAT sounds as interesting as Eleena's present life.

Now, what does everyone else thing about this excerpt? Care to help the author out? 

4 comments:

Brooke R. Busse said...

Firstly, a little specific linish edit.

Eleena watched the lights and smoke from her window until the air cleared. Things grew calm and eerily silent. Something about this reads funny to me, especially with the fact that in the next paragraph you use "the air filled with cheers" and "in the afternoon light." I would suggest you reword that first sentence different (ie. Eleena watched from her window as the lights and smoke cleared.) and cutting "shone in the afternoon light."

Second, I feel like this scene moves just a little too fast. Or at least in the first paragraph.

Third, I like your premise. ^^

Tara Tyler said...

she's waiting for him to return, the man she shouldnt care for but does. is this where she first realizes it? love the descriptions.

my edits would be minor, to tighten up the wording, like: As the lights and smoke cleared, things grew calm and eerily silent. (and define "things," the commoners below or something) And add something about her fierce anticipation (but you might do that before) make us anxious with her.

and i like the last paragraph with her inner conflict loving a man she should despise!

Angela Brown said...

I agree with the passive voice, particularly with the first two paragraphs. It seems we don't really engage with the main character until the third paragraph where we learn that she is, in fact, married to the enemy and discovering she'f fallen in love with him.

Huntress said...

Linish (I like that word, LOL) edits:
Cut "slumped against the window casing" and "had been cleaned until it" to speed the pace and increase tension.

"...he walked through the archway—conqueror of worlds, destroyer of lives, and her husband..." sounds like he was the destroyer of her husband.