Monday, September 23, 2013

First 250 Word Smash! #34

Determined and Courageous Author: MBWriter
Hideous and Monstrous Editor: Victoria
Working Title: N/A

“You know you’re going to change the future, don’t you? I just know it. You’re just too special to stay here your whole life. First, you’re going to go to the sea. Then you’re going to soar above it like a seabird. You won’t know it at first o’ course. You’ll glow brighter than any other. You’re my seabird. That’s right. I know you’ll be my seabird. Fly faster. Fly stronger. You, my little seabird.”
The village sat quaintly in a valley. The wind blew. Winter, though unwelcome, intruded upon everyone’s doorstep and begged to be let in, but no one would oblige. Everything appeared dead--abandoned. But there were glows that could not be seen from afar, a little life breathed into the fireplace of its heart. Though it was weathered, this small village refused to be swept away by the foe.
When it came to it, the village was not awakened when a foreign darkness intruded its sleep. It was another darkness that had seeped into the corners of its streets. The desert was too vast and flat for much of anything to escape the attention of this village, but still it slept on. To the human eyes, nothing had transpired. Nothing could be seen. It was, as it had always been, a desert village.
“Seabird…you’re my seabird.”
The mother’s soft voice was at first only heard by her son. However, the darkness intruded upon the unsuspecting corner house and then they were being watched...

Strong Points -
Wow! Some of your description is really great, and you have a style and a tone that is definitely all your own. It sets a certain mysterious and whimsical ambiance for the rest of the novel, which is really intriguing. I like some of the visuals you have in here, like the glow of the fireplaces, the deadness right before winter sweeps in, the contrast of a desert to the ocean  and a seabird. You have some really interesting concepts going on!

Also, the mother's dialogue is pretty distinct. She has her own way of speaking, and if you can do that for one character, I'm willing to bet you can give all of your characters their own individual voices. Well done! that can be a really difficult thing to accomplish.

Some Tips -
The main issue that really stuck out at me was that you use a lot of passive verbage. Sometimes that can be okay, but it would really strengthen your narrative if you restructured your sentences and made them a little more active.

What do I mean by that? Sentences like "they were being watched" and "the village was not awakened", instead of just saying "(something or someone) watched them" or "the village slept on". When you keep "was" or "had" in there, it puts more words in the sentence and sort of dulls the effect and turns your sentence into a passive one.

For a better idea of what I'm talking about, check out what WriteWorld has to say about passive vs. active voice here. They've covered it a lot clearer than I could ever hope to!

Also, I'm not really sure if this is just a lot of background information or if this is where your story actually starts. So perhaps you need to ask yourself if this is something we can learn as we go, or if this is really where the plot begins. Is this immediately relevant, or is this a character's background that we can discover when it begins to become necessary? That's not something I can decide, only you can.

Would I keep reading?
Oh my gosh this is a really tough answer. I still have a problem with not being sure if the story has actually begun yet. For now I think I shall give you the benefit of the doubt and say yes, if not just to answer my questions. But always feel free to resubmit! We love hearing back from our writers, and we hope to hear back from you!

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