A Pelt Woven from Starlight

Discussion in 'Critiques' started by Vaz, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Ihe

    Ihe Forum Revolutionary

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2015
    Messages:
    680
    A few commas are needed here and there, as in some parts you can give the reader pause while they try to figure it out, but that can be easily tackled in revision. Also, the last line with the crotch-grab, it should be joined by a comma to the previous sentence. I don't see any other significant grammatical issues.

    I might go slightly "metatechnical" on you now (and I could be wrong): On imagery, I'd say to stick to a single motif in the beginning, specially for such a short excerpt. Motifs are good to set the tone and the feel of a piece, but you use disparate symbolic elements that do not mesh well as they cannot be mixed satisfactorily (the jump from "storm" to "poison" and "venomous animals" is not very subtle, and the spider in particular feels like a last-minute add-on). The storm/lightning/weather motif is good, but then you add spiders/webs out of nowhere, mental doors/blocks, serpents/scorpions/poisons, blood... The storm motif, IMO, is superior to the poison motif--they are the main two--(the poison motif is more overplayed in literature), and for such a short excerpt, I would keep only one, and run with it, with lesser symbolic elements strewn here and there, without going overboard. The way I see it, these motifs are directing the flow of the story in different ways which is no good, pulling the flow in different directions--the storm refers to the MC (she identifies with it, it's part of her history, it's how she feels inside, can describe her personality and maybe even actions to an extent...) while the poison motif directs the reader toward Five and the past (the poison-related bits are all about memories and Five's actions, and puts the MC in a position of reactive agent, instead of Sniff bringing the "action"). Given that Sniff is the POV, I would focus on the storm element. I'm not saying to not mention poison and poisonous animals, but I wouldn't make them recurrent. But I might be combing this with too fine a brush, so do look for second opinions on this.

    Also, the door bit needs to be smoothed out IMO, it read a bit clunky to me.

    On an inquiring note, I'm a bit unclear as to why Sniff doesn't kill Five. Sniff doesn't need her. It is Five that needs her, so she's got no leverage to justify letting her live, seeing as how Sniff has very good reasons to do it. Then again, I'm assuming it is explained later, so don't mind me.

    Does Sniff get cleaned up after making a bloody mess of herself? Spare a few words to address this, as it reads like she got back under the covers drenched in blood and bile.

    Lastly, unless Sniff has multiple personalities, that love-hate thing you're going for brought me out of the story. It's a matter of degrees. You visit both extremes of the spectrum and that's not how intense emotions/thoughts work. They usually leave residual feelings/ideas after their "climax" and fuse with the next feeling/thought in line (I'm over-simplifying, but you get the gist of it--in your case, you had no transition between extremes, and this makes the MC not believable, specially when one extreme-hate-makes logical sense, while snuggling up to her enemy does not, in the slightest). You've described a hate so justifiably visceral and insane, that jumping to a hug, caressing, and le sexy play is too much of a stretch for my suspension of disbelief, even while assuming that Sniff is bonkers. You need to either bring the hate levels down, have a realistic/logical transition, have Sniff fake the good vibes with Five for some reason, or address Sniff's mental issues in later scenes, which in your defence, maybe you have already done.

    Hope all of this helps.
     
    Vaz likes this.
  2. Wruter

    Wruter Aquarius

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2015
    Messages:
    349
    I think the way you've restructured it works much better in terms of establishing conflict. In terms of clarity I'm wondering if maybe a few more external visual/sensory cues might help to ground the setting and characters more for the reader? What's the view from the ledge; is it dark, windy, cold? Maybe the wind whips at whatever she's wearing so we get a sense of her appearance, or something along those lines? When she looks at Five is there something about Five's appearance she can notice like the set of her face or her physical condition which would provide a tag so we have a better idea of what kind of people these are? Another suggestion might be to increase specificity e.g. 'smashed it's walls' could be 'smashed the city's walls' (or whatever) so we have a clearer notion of what the place is. Just a few thoughts. :)
     
    Vaz likes this.
  3. Vaz

    Vaz We're in the pipe, five by five.

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    Thanks for taking a second look guys :)

    So, stick to one kind of imagery as its still muddled.

    Tone down the extreme love/hate vibes as their not believable.

    Give more grounded visual cues to describe setting/character's.

    Show an indication of why Sniff needs Five.

    Again, thank you. I will focus on these points during revision

    v :)
     
  4. The Big Peat

    The Big Peat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    750
    I actually preferred the first one. There's a more logical build up to Sniff's homicidal desires and once I understood why, it made sense.
     
    Vaz likes this.
  5. Vaz

    Vaz We're in the pipe, five by five.

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    Thanks for taking another look, Peat. :)

    I'm chewing over these thoughts whilst going back to the drawing board.

    Cheers

    v
     
    The Big Peat likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page