Wednesday, July 3, 2013

First 250 Words Smash! #22

Since I got so much guff for "hip" and "square" last time...

Very Tasty Author: Nestor San Inocencio || Frostyowlit @ Tumblr
Starving Editor: Victoria
Working Title: N/A

As he stands in front of the witch of the woods, the boy asks, “what does the wickedest of all beings want from me?”
 With this a gust of wind whirls about them and sprawls out onto the ground. The witch, not taken back, smiles as if given a compliment and answers”, it is not what I want but what I’ll give. See, when any enter my presence they must be given a curse of some sort, but you are different for I already sense something strong in you. It is great power and can bring any to their knees”- she pauses and grins this time-“or it can be so destructive that in the end you will no longer be.” The boy lowers his head in shame as if he understands, but not even he knew what this power could be.
She stretches out her arm and with a finger brushes the boy’s hair. The witch proceeds and states, “Most who come here are usually looking for something, wander in or just simply become lost. But you, you did not wander. You walked straight into these woods…”-she opens her harms gesturing to their surrounding-“… and you hoped not to be lost but to lose yourself instead, leaving it trapped here like all those that came before you.”
The witch places her hand on the boys shoulder with slight sympathy. “My foolish boy, these woods will not give you what you hope for and for that I shall give you something,

Strong Points -
First of all, you started the story right away. You haven't dawdled with any exposition or background story, no easing us in with things that can very well be learned later. I haven't really made it a secret, but I love it when a story just gets right to the point and the pacing drops you on your feet and slaps your bottom and forces you to run just to keep up. Great job there.

The way the Witch of the Woods speaks very much sets the tone for a fairytale. She's a little bit crazy, and that's freaking awesome, but she also has that air of mystery. You've done a good job at writing a woods lady.

Also, I liked the line of the wind sprawling out across the ground, because I can imagine it in rustling leaves and spreading out. Just that one word, "sprawling", gave me that visual.

Some Tips -
You've got so much telling in here that  I don't have a very good picture at all of the scene. A lot of these vague details and words you've used can be unpacked and you can do just what you did with the wind example I used above. For example, the boy lowers his head in shame. Instead of telling us it's shame, what does it look like on your MC? Emotions look different on every person. Does he furrow his brows or fidget? We'll get a much better idea of your MC if you unpack things like that.

Also, she gestures to their surroundings--but I don't know what those surroundings are. I guess they're in a forest, but what kind of forest? Is it dense with trees, or does it have more undergrowth, like ferns? Is it day or night? Cloudy or sunny? Is this a lush forest, or is it more arid? What does it smell like? What season is it? I don't need to know all of these at once, but sprinkling these little tidbits in will greatly help.

There is a great debate on whether or not dialogue tags are bad. I can't tell you the right answer for you, but personally I find them to be redundant. You say that the Witch "states". I know that from reading ahead that she states. The boy has asked a question, so when she speaks and I read when she says, I'll know she's answering. I don't have to be told this, just as I don't have to be told that the Witch is not taken aback by the boy's question. Trust the reader to fill in some of these blanks.

Just as well, take a look at the boy's single line of dialogue. Perhaps it's something that he must say, that the Witch expects of him, or a common way of addressing him, and I don't know that just from what I've read. Maybe it's meant to say a lot about your character. However, just from what I know, it is strange for a boy to speak in such a manner.

The last thing I have to say is not so much critique as it is advice. I don't know what you have planned from here. However, just from what I can see, you are heading into some serious cliche territory. Be advised that, while some cliches may still work and there are no new ideas left to be had, you may or may not want to take a look at your story and evaluate that. Just remember that you are the only one that can tell your story as it's meant to be told.

Would I keep reading?
Not yet, I'm sorry. If you decide to resubmit, though, I would happily reread and revisit this story! So please do, because I love your Witch. Thank you so much! <3

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