Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mini Are You Hooked #4

TITLE: Remembrance
GENRE: Contemporary Fantasy

Shame, guilt; she carried both. It was her fault, if anyone learned of her dishonor--shudder came over Arianwen as she continued her brisk pace through the forest. To leave was her only option. It was imperative that she pass the clover field and ley lines before the sun came over the horizon. Sulien and Tarrant would be furious if she were to be found out here. They'd have her head if they knew of her plans. A shiver of fear rippled through her body. With a tug she gripped her cloak tighter to her breast and hurried along. As she circumvented their energy circle her nerves jangled with worry. Should she step within it, they would know she was out here; they would wonder why and come. The plan had to work; there was just no other way. An errant tree root made her stumble and she fell to her knees on the ground. Her long robe caught on a jut of an uprooted tree branch, as she undid it she noticed it was torn. Just like her, she thought as she held the frayed cloth in her hands.

It was her circle robe, forest green with embroidered runic symbols on it for protection, guidance and wisdom. There were also a sun and moon, a hawk, flowers and a tree, all her personal talismans. Sulien and Tarrant had similar robes, but in different colors and symbols. Except for one, the unity circle.


  1. I'm having a hard time connecting with this, despite some nice descriptions. Words like "ley lines" stopped the flow for me and I kept wondering why the repeated references to Sulien and Tarrant?

  2. I love how this opens up with a ton of tension and emotion. But I feel like I'm getting an awful lot of details about Arianwen's situation -- Sulian and Tarrant, the ley lines and the energy circle, the guilt, the plan which must work -- without the background information I'd need to make sense of them. It's a bit disorienting.

    I'm not asking for an info dump, but maybe you could slow that first paragraph down a bit, get us closer into her point of view, and give us fewer details and more context. The pace of the second paragraph felt a lot more relaxed and was very engaging.

  3. I would definitely break up the first paragraph, e.g., starting with A shiver... There's just too much there, especially for the critical first paragraph. From there, I would save the background info for later and jump straight into the action because it sounds like there's going to be plenty of fun action in this story. I really felt like this piece is a diamond in the rough. Tighten it up a bit, and I'd read on for sure.

  4. Okay, here's the thing--you have a really great story here. You open with her running through the woods, she's full of shame and guilt, and she has a plan.

    All that's fantastic, but not enough to hook a reader. I don't want to know a shiver of fear rippled through her body, I already know they'd have her head if they knew of her plans... of course she's freaking out.

    This just needs some tightening, and a little breaking up of the long paragraphs and then I think you may have a killer story here.

  5. Nice description, but it is a little too wordy for me. I think you could use some more action here to draw the reader in.

  6. I want to read on but I am wondering if there is maybe a bit too much information here at once.

    It is a short intro to grab the reading yet you have filled it with a bit too much information. Talismans, Sulien and Tarrant, symbols, clover and ley fields, etc.

  7. I definitely sense her emotion and plight, but I think you could cut some of the repetitive wording (shuddering and shivering, for example.) Just pare away things you've already told us.

    I was a little impatient with the robe description, I'm sure it's relevant to the story, but I want to get to the action.

    And I too wondered what a "ley line" was.

    Nice writing!

  8. I agree with Michelle about the robe description, although I'd like to take it a bit further. The second line about robes, "There were also a sun and moon, a hawk, flowers and a tree, all her personal talismans" feels far too much tell and far to little tell. I want to know why these are her personal talismans. A little description would go a long way here.

    With a little editing, and a little polish I think I'd read this, but as is, I'd probably pass.

  9. Not hooked, I'm afraid. First off, it reads a lot more ike epic fantasy than contemporary fantasy. Second, the scene just didn't quite carry me along. It's all internal thought, no external conflict. The last sentence of the first paragraph is a little melodramatic, and the second paragraph is just description.

    I also think you could tighten up the writing a bit. It just doesn't quite pop, to me, and I really wish I could put my finger on why that is. Sorry about that - I hate pointing something out without specifics.

    All of this could be entirely personal, so take my words with a grain of salt. Good luck with this!

  10. For me, I don't care about all the extra story details this early in the work. I'm still not sure what is the conflict or reason for the scene by the end of the post.

    Also, there's a lot of telling us about the world (which I know you have to do in a fantasy). Is there a better place to put this detail?

    The descriptions slow down the action, what there is.

    Sorry, not hooked.