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DOGGONE VOICE: FIRE’S KISS

Friday, 29 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda
 

 

Title: FIRE’S KISS
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
“Death’s Horsemen are in town,” Katrina said.
The tankard slipped from her hand and fell back into the soapy water. Embyr frowned and pushed her sleeve higher, rooting around the wash basin. “That’s not funny.”
“I’m not joking,” Katrina said. “People say they’ve been seen in the streets at night.”
“People say a lot of things that aren’t true.” She retrieved the tankard and dunked it in freshwater to rinse the soap away. “If the Horsemen were here, half the city would already be in flames.”
“I don’t see how you’d know.” Kat snorted as she took a drink.
“Surely someone would have said something by now.” Embyr put the tankard on the bar to dry and turned to her friend.
“And who would that someone be?” Kat glanced over her shoulder at the tavern’s empty common room. “That’s why it’s slow tonight. People don’t want to venture too far from home.”
“You did.”
“Only because I know you enjoy my company so much.”
“If there are Horsemen in Al’Din and they happen to wander in here, I doubt they’ll do more than spill their ale.” Embyr dried her hands and looked around the room, at the vacant tables and neatly arranged chairs. It had been slow tonight, though she doubted it had anything to do with the Death’s Horsemen. While her tavern wasn’t an unreasonable distance from the city proper, most of her business came from people entering or leaving Al’Din. Perhaps it was merely a slow night for travelers.

Filed: Misc, Workshops

5 Comments
  • Leigh Ann says:

    I was having some trouble getting into this voice, and I think it’s because you open with a conversation between two people. That combined with the fact that you’re writing in third person means that I’m confused over whose voice I’m supposed to be latching on to. Give me someone to love right out of the gate, right?

    When I crack open your book, I do so SEEKING to be a cheerleader for someone. If I don’t know who that someone is right away, if I can’t HEAR her talking…I’m going to lose interest.

    Your solution here could be as simple as moving that bottom paragraph up to the top. Ground us in the voice, involve us in your narrator’s thoughts and feelings right from the get-go, and we’ll follow her wherever she wants us to go. 😀

  • Marieke says:

    I love Leigh Ann’s suggestion here 🙂

    Overall, I think you have a very strong opening paragraph. That comment is epic and I don’t need context to understand its seriousness.

    I think this has a lot of potential, but because it’s centered on dialogue now, I am not sure what is expected of me as reader. I’d love to get a better sense of Embyr and her emotional reactions (I love the banter, totally). Just a bit of restructuring, or a few hints or exterior here and there would totally do the trick for me.

    Other than that, great start! 😀

  • Embyr looked around the tavern’s empty common room, at the vacant tables and neatly arranged chairs, lips pursed at the thought of yet another slow night. She turned back to the wash basin, running a wet cloth over the tankard with more force than was necessary.

    “Death’s Horsemen are in town,” Katrina said from her spot at the bar.

    The tankard slipped from her hand and fell back into the soapy water. Embyr frowned and pushed her sleeve higher, rooting around the wash basin. “That’s not funny.”

    “I’m not joking,” Katrina said. “People say they’ve been seen in the streets at night.”

    “People say a lot of things that aren’t true.” She retrieved the tankard and dunked it in fresh water to rinse the soap away. “If the Horsemen were here, half the city would already be in flames.”

    “I don’t see how you’d know way out here,” Kat snorted as she took a drink.

    “I think I might notice a glow from the fires.” Embyr put the tankard on the bar to dry and turned to her friend.

    “That’s why it’s slow tonight. People don’t want to venture too far from home.”

    “You did.”

    “Only because I know you enjoy my company so much,” Katrina said.

    “If there are Horsemen in Al’Din and they happen to wander in here, I doubt they’ll do more than spill their ale.” Embyr dried her hands. She doubted her lack of business had anything to do with Death’s Horsemen. While her tavern wasn’t an unreasonable distance from the city, most of her patrons were people entering or leaving Al’Din.

  • Brenda Drake says:

    Rearranging the paragraphs as Leigh Ann suggested was brilliant. I do feel more connected now that I know who the main character is.

    There’s an easy voice here, which I feel could be even better if you infused some emotion into the situation. Is Kat anxious, scared, or excited about Death’s Horsemen being there? You show me Embyr is startled, maybe, when the tankard slips from her hand. Show us their emotions by their actions. Get us to feel what they’re feeling, but do it sparingly. Just a few placed actions like hands wringing, words stuttering, or nervous glances at the door, will do it.

    I love me some fantasy, and how this one starts sounds like it’s right up my alley.

  • callmebecks says:

    The revision is much stronger, but I agree with Brenda that I’m still not feeling a lot of connection to the emotion in this scene. Given the gravity of what they’re discussing, I feel like the intensity is missing.

    IN-LINE CRITS
    Embyr looked around the tavern’s empty common room, at the vacant tables and neatly arranged chairs, lips pursed at the thought of yet another slow night. She turned back to the wash basin, running a wet cloth over the tankard with more force than was necessary.

    “Death’s Horsemen are in town,” Katrina said from her spot at the bar.

    The tankard slipped from her (I’d use Embyr’s name here to avoid confusion.) hand and fell back into the soapy water. Embyr frowned and pushed her sleeve higher, rooting around the wash basin. “That’s not funny.”

    “I’m not joking,” Katrina said. “People say they’ve been seen in the streets at night.”

    “People say a lot of things that aren’t true.” She retrieved the tankard and dunked it in fresh water to rinse the soap away. “If the Horsemen were here, half the city would already be in flames.”

    “I don’t see how you’d know way out here,” Kat snorted as she took a drink.

    “I think I might notice a glow from the fires.” Embyr put the tankard on the bar to dry and turned to her friend. (These two lines of dialogue don’t feel natural to me. I feel like they’re here just to illustrate that the bar isn’t in the city, but you do that at the end of the excerpt, too.)

    “That’s why it’s slow tonight. People don’t want to venture too far from home.”

    “You did.”

    “Only because I know you enjoy my company so much,” Katrina said.

    “If there are Horsemen in Al’Din and they happen to wander in here, I doubt they’ll do more than spill their ale.” (This is a bit odd to me. I’m guessing she’s trying to be non-chalant, but I’m not connected with her enough to know that for sure.) Embyr dried her hands. She doubted her lack of business had anything to do with Death’s Horsemen. While her tavern wasn’t an unreasonable distance from the city, most of her patrons were people entering or leaving Al’Din.

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