C.A. Tedeschi wrote:
Thank you BlackInk. It is great to see it on the S&S Magazine website. That would be so awesome, perhaps others may benefit from the insight as well.. I genuinely seek to understand the subtleties. That is where the magic happens.
Yes, it is great to get personalized feedback from a venue like BCS.
We had a power outage two days ago and it fried my old 2006 Mac. I lost half my story. The one I was working on for Q4. 18 days worth of hard trudging. I know I should've backed it up. I was on such a roll I didn't think of it. We finally broke down and bought a new computer though. So I guess I ought to look on the bright side. I must say, I have never experienced such a sinking feeling as that particular realization. Couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, felt nauseas. I wasn't sure if I would make another attempt on Q4; but now I've resolved to try. That's all I can do.
I'll be available to critique again after the Sept. 30th deadline, if anyone wants me to read their stuff, give a critique, or specific feedback.
Thank you for your time..... …. … .. .. . . .
*Quickly backs up Q4 story*
That is horrible about the power outage. I've been through it before, usually a water spill on my end. It's horrible. The good news is, if you're using the same idea for your rewrite you can consider it like a 2nd draft? I hope you stick with the attempt now that you won't lose it anymore. And if anything else, consider it part of your 1,000,000 bad words you need to get out? Hugs, it's hard to try to spin a silver lining on it.
I did read your story. So I'm not quite sure what the editor meant. Maybe she wanted it to be more 3rd person limited? Given that you have this part in the your story:
The group climbed the hill. The humans turned to watch Hondo drive the wagon back to the city. Little One lifted his head toward the sun. Tears streamed down his face, even as he smiled.
“You know,” Baluga said, “he’s gonna’ drive that wagon straight through the gates, right to the center for everyone to see.”
“Yes. I know,” Little One said. “That’s my Father.”
Or maybe parts where you do things like this in your exposition:
Years ago he had trained one of the assassin sect, a Kwee-Kerchak named Utan Dango. The bastard son of a Chieftain. He could not be gifted any of his sire’s holdings without making enemies of the chief’s legitimate sons. In a twist of fate, Red-Dog was born with the reddish hair of old noble blood. There were so few Skree born red the others were jealous, and extremely wary of him.
Maybe if you had more of Hondo's thoughts and reflections. Why does he want Barter Town? How does he feel after his long trek that the oracle was a waste, telling him it exists so long as people will it to exist. Stuff like that.
You said you were open to feedback so here are some of my reflections on it. Take it all with a grain of salt. You've a publication under your belt and I'm not even sure I have
For me, parts of the story were unnecessarily confusing. Too many names sometimes and other times not enough. For instance, there is Utan Dango and he's also called Red-Dog. There is Hondo's son and also he's referred to as the Little One. Abalu and mahnu both seem to be the same (abalu are mahnu that have been made slaves). Then there are the skree and ranks within them like the Kwee-Kerchak. For me, it was too much for such a short story. Also it starts off with Hondo climbing up a mountain to see an oracle, seemingly the promise, but then the rest of the story has very little to do with the search of that prophecy. There is still a connection but it's thin and the whole story would be the same without that beginning. The idea that Barter Town represents, as I understood it a place where mahnu and skree could live together in harmony, is a nobel one but for me it fell flat. I understand in the end he lets himself be captured so he can die a warrior but why did he have to go to the arena at all? Why let himself be captured since he mentioned to Utan Dongo :
“They’ll hunt you down,” Utan Dango said. “I have the mark of noble blood.”
“They will see that no blade has touched you.” Hondo flexed. Veins rose under his green-tinted skin as the muscles bulged.
Those were my thoughts. Thank you for sharing the story. I personally enjoy characters that value honor to a fault.