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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Submission #2--Dragon

Please take a minute to answer the questions below and I'll compile the results for the author. This gives you a chance to give honest and anonymous feedback. You can still leave comments here as well. Remember, our goal is to help each other become better writers and reach our goals.

Genre: Fantasy

Maay hummed as she worked the old loom, the dull clack of wood like a lullaby to her ears. Sunlight blazed into the small solarium, its normally stifling heat cooled by the wind blowing through the open windows.Tall, potted plants screened the bulk of the sunlight from those first entering, their green leaves bright and inviting as they bobbed in the breeze.

She cocked her head to the sound of footsteps echoing through from the open door on the other side of the living barrier. Men. It had to be for their boots to hit the stone with such a racket. One pair even sounded as if punctuated by the clink of metal.

Maay frowned at the woven threads before her, idly looping another through. Not many men came into this quarter of the castle, mostly servants with their soft shoes and irritating tendencies to blend into the background.

She glanced over her shoulder, gaze perusing the room before settling on the wide leaves overhanging the tiny foliage-crafted doorway. You’re imagining things again. Why earlier, she could’ve sworn she’d heard the flap of massive wings. Like a dragon. Utter foolishness.Dragons hadn’t flown over this region since before her birth.

Shaking her head, she returned to her work, hoping to regain the comfort in being blissfully alone. Rarely could she find time without her brothers and sisters, both the older and the younger, dogging her. One day, or so her adopted mother believed, she’d miss their presence and the foolish games they’d played.

A smile tweaked her lips at the memory of their cavorting and the laughter. Vaguely aware of the action, she tracked the course of her fingers as they wove the shuttle through the upright cords. Wood resumed its rhythmic clacking, once again in counterpoint to her humming. For the moment,the thread was a soft white. Above sat the dark green wall of their banner.

Her idle gaze caught the patch where one line tried to overlap another. Putting the shuttle down with a sigh, she stood to tease the thread back into position. The wood creaked, twisting the other way. She circled the frame, adjusting it as she went. It always needed to be done halfway through, didn’t matter how simple the design she picked. How wonderful it would be to have the skill to weave dragons into the tapestry like her elder siblings did.

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Amber said...

I've tried a few times to fill out the survey and nothing is happening. I click on the tab but nothing happens... Anyone else having troubles?

Betty Alark said...

In all fairness - in order to answer the survey, it depends on the reader's like for that type of story line. I don't think the questions are appropriate for every reader. It wouldn't be a book I would choose to read; that's not to say that the writing isn't quality work; it just means, I'ts not my preference as far as the type of stories/books ,I like to read.

I read it several times- and I do think the writing has potential to be quality work!


blankenship.louise said...

>One pair even sounded as if punctuated by the clink of metal.

Make this more active -- "sounded as if" is kinda mushy, and it sticks out because you were being nice and definite up to here.

>Shaking her head, she returned to her work, hoping to regain the comfort in being blissfully alone.

This is where things got less interesting, for me. Instead of someone coming to warn/inform/??, she's just sitting alone weaving.

>Vaguely aware of the action, she tracked the course of her fingers

Tracking requires active attention, so how can she be vaguely aware of it?

>For the moment,the thread was a soft white. Above sat the dark green wall of their banner.

You're implying a connection between the thread and... the plants? an actual banner?

In the last paragraph -- I'm a knitter, not a weaver, and while I'd be interested to hear technical details about weaving you don't really give any and the first 400 words might not be the best place, unless it's vitally important to the story.

Overall, thumbs up for using good, clear language. I've got a clear picture what's going on. I'm willing to be hooked, just throw me something to bite. :)

Huntress said...

I didn't have a problem with the survey (?!)

Very good piece.

Amber said...

Okay, so here's my critique.

I have no idea what a loom is, so when I read the first sentence- the clacking of wood- left me completely confused. After re-reading it 3 times I finally decided I wasn't going to figure it out, so I went on. Now having said that, once I did go on it all became clear, but I wanted to know more about the character and less about knitting/ sowing/ weaving.

The hint of a dragon was almost an unfair tease. And the noises that amounted to nothing seemed like a tease as well. I don't want to know of things that COULD happen, but don't...I want things to happen. Does that make sense? I would have liked the noises to escalate, or the dragon to fly by.

As a reader when I pick up a book in the library or at a store I will read the back and the very first page, if it doesn't grab me I will sit it down and grab the next book until I've found one that I want to invest my time in. (You have one page to sell me on 10 hours of my life) This first page was not enough to give back 10 hours of my life. Sorry...it has great potential and the hints seem to leave me thinking it picks up, but I want it to start off THERE, not work its way over to the 'life changing event'. What's the life changing event that sets this story in motion? Whatever it is...start there:) Hope this helps...the writing is great, and maybe if I had the query I would be better hooked, but without the over all plot, this seemed a bit slow.

Aldrea Alien said...

I'm not posting the query here, but this is the logline I used last year for the Baker's Dozen at Miss Snark's First Victim:

It’ll take all the strength of one, small dragon to save their kind from extinction. Maayin must become that dragon. Trouble is, she believes she’s human.

Karen Baldwin said...

I'm a new follower, so I'll hold up on commenting on your blog post today till I get the feel of how things work. Thanks for your comment on my blog today. Appreciate it. :)

Amber said...

Well I love that!! Def. hook!

Andrea Teagan said...

Filled out the survey, I enjoyed this passage and think it is an interesting start to the story. I would have liked to hear more about the dragons but I can understand that it is an opening.