Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Majestic Fox

15-04-2019 - The Trickster Girl and the Living Cape - Short Story - 2399 words

11 posts in this topic

Something a bit different this time.. A fun little faerie tale about a girl who wants to become a trickster. 

It's a first draft so apologies for typos and any roughness that slipped in.

All feedback welcome. 
 
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed this! It's got just the right whimsy of a fairy tale, and a good structure to it. I think the only thing it's missing is the payoff at the end.
(prescriptive warning)
J needs to rescue L to show that she deserves the cape. Right now we have a cool triumph showing J knows what she's doing, but then the cape shows that it knows she cares about her friend. I think with the follow through on this part, the ending will be much more satisfying.
(/prescriptive)


pg 1: "For seven years they would observe the cunning tricks of the oldest ravens, and for seven years they would seek out the secrets of the dawn hare."
--Is this 7 or 14 years, because right after, it says they get presented with a cape after 7.

pg 4: ‘If you leave, I won’t any friends.’
--missing "have"

pg 7: "for three times seven years"
--This explains the beginning.

pg 7: "as she with awe "
--missing a word

pg 9: Ahhh, that's it? I want more!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall

I liked this! The middle could have used a bit more detail, but as a straight up fairy tale, it has good bones and some sound flesh. I really liked the end. I think it probably needs a few 'filling up' passes, but that's about it!

On 4/15/2019 at 11:10 AM, Mandamon said:

J needs to rescue L to show that she deserves the cape. Right now we have a cool triumph showing J knows what she's doing, but then the cape shows that it knows she cares about her friend. I think with the follow through on this part, the ending will be much more satisfying.

While I did love the end line, I'm inclined to agree that a rescue would help. You could do it and still have that clever end line. They don't have to be mutually exclusive.

 

As I go

- pg 2: capes are gendered?

- pg 2: 'as a baby trusts its father' struck me a little weird. Babies generally trust their mothers a whole heck of a lot more, although how much of that has to do with mom being a walking lunchbox is up for debate

- pg 4: missing 'have' in 'I won't any friends'

- pg 6: 'though I am a fool, I will remind you how.' Seems strange, since 'fools' in a court generally do help people laugh

- nice end!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loving all these shorts you're putting up. It's great to see more of your ideas, and I think it really helps to evolve style and skill. (#stilllovegreenocean)

(Page 1)

- I absolutely love the title of this story: conjures all sorts of possibilities.

- Fantastic first paragraph. It tells me so much information, but also has a sort of singsong poetic tone. I'm really getting into this. I'm also taken with the name J. Good work there too.

- "as much of the trickster than as all but a small handful of the men who had passed through over the last few centuries" - This is really wordy and awkward, for me, and it's a long old sentence. These factors may be connected...

- "slept on the back of the door..." - Lol. Funny, "...in the highest room of the elder trickster’s tower", and awesome!! :o 

- "not even the most gifted thief" - Ha, ha! There's a challenge if every I heard one. So, you've nicely set the scene, got me invested in a cape as a character, and set up what seems likely to be the main conflict  of the story. Very neat, sir. I doff my cap to 'ee.

(Page 2)

- "put a hand inside one of them" - Missing word.

- "a stale toffee..." - :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:  Oh, that's good.

- "As she sunk sank into the borderlands between sleep and wake waking" - I'd say b/l was one word, but I guess this one is optional. 'Sank' is not!! ;)  Also, 'wake' is a verb.

(Page 3)

- "suffused the village up into the stronger currents" - Two 'ups' close together, and I think this is smoother, and just as clear.

- I'd say moonbeam was one word too.

- "a dream began to dream itself" - Fantastic. Lovely lyrical line.

Hmm, I'm nervous that we've got another character after only two pages of a nine page story, but I'll go with it. I was very much enjoying J's POV, so this better be good, and make sense  (i.e. having two POVs in such as short story.

- "a squat, round stone" - comma. Without it's like 'Let's squat round the fire.'

- "that run ran through the village" - Tense again.

- "scattered amongst the river" - This should be like scattered among the leaves, like many small distinct things, but you can't scatter among a single entity (the river). 'scattered along the riverbed', perhaps?

- "and had not had chance to see many river rocks" - Yikes. I think 'had not seen' is perfectly adequate.

- "he was on to onto something" - Two words is the travel version, I believe. Like, 'let's move on to the next town'.

- "He reached out a hand" - I lost some perspective here. He's at the side of a river, how does he reach in a touch the rock without wading into the river? There's something off about the blocking, or the description.

(Page 4)

- So, is J dripping wet? Or in fact, was the rock not win the river at all? You see, it was 'amongst' that started all these problems :lol: 

- "J took a long, indulgent..." - Typo. Also, comma after long.

- "I won’t have any friends" - Missing word.

- "Yeh" - Yeah.

- "I’m going to get in trouble again" - Great line. There's a lovely vein of humour running through the story. Top marks for that.

So, you very neatly got around my concern by having J as a character (and the driver) of L's scene. neatly done.

(Page 5)

- I like the jump to the action, avoiding all the plant gathering and planning. Good idea: keep us with the action.

- "to make her to put for forward her reasons" - Editing issue.

- "the sun-soaked room" - This needs to be hyphenated.

(Page 6)

- Each of the paragraphs giving a reason needs to have an apostrophe at the start, because it's all part of the dialogue. You don't put an apostrophe at the end until the last paragraph of J's dialogue however.

- "though I am a fool" - This sounds off. Shouldn't it be 'though I am not a fool' as is a jester.

- "exploded into plumes" - Plural.

- "crimson-chested humming birds" - Compound adjectives need to be hyphenated. 'half raised' too.

- "sifted herself through the down through the golden dust motes" - Extra words. Lovely image though.

(Page 7)

- "overfed" is one word.

- "plume of hummingbirds" - I think. Hummingbirds is one word.

- "as she (missing word) with awe"

(Page 8)

- "bleary-eyed" - Get onto E b a y and buy a bag of hyphens, will you ;) 

- "What had happened?" - Wrong tense.

- "ripped the seams..." - Excellent line.

- "life time" - Should be one word. Also, the tense changes half way through that sentence.

(Page 9)

- "but that you are not is why I am here" - Hmm. This suggests that J is morally superior to normal folk, but she's left L in a deadly position and seems very lighthearted about it. I'm not convinced about the consistency of the character here. Although to be fair, she was no goody-two-shoes before, so probably it is. But what I'm feeling off is that Cape seems to think she is more worthy than she is, I think.

- The last line's not powerful, but that doesn't mean it's bad.

Summary

This is an excellent story. I really like so many things about it, the tone, the style. The light, amusing and colourful touches I expect to get from you, and that rich thread of nature that is your hallmark.

One thing that I thought was confused was the distinction of J getting any old living cape, and THE Cape of the master. I'd don't think that consistent through the story.

Also, near the end, the cape seems to judge her as being more moral and law-abiding than she seems to be in practice, but I've no reason to think she won't go back to rescue L. Still, it's a very rotten thing to do to him. I suspect he'll suffer in the time he is incarcerated.

Observations aside, great work. Really enjoyed that. More than Scent, for me personally.

<R>

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 15/04/2019 at 7:10 PM, Mandamon said:

J needs to rescue L to show that she deserves the cape.

Good call. You could easily cut to a day or two later, or even come in very late and have them already fleeing together. Probably don't need more than another couple of three paragraphs.

11 hours ago, kais said:

'as a baby trusts its father' struck me a little weird. Babies generally trust their mothers a whole heck of a lot more

Yeah me too, although not enough to mention, apparently. :unsure: 

11 hours ago, kais said:

You could do it and still have that clever end line.

Yes. In fact, cape says it twice on the same page, so you easily would be justified in using it again at the very end, like a catchphrase sort of thing.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was an amusing story, and I enjoyed it, however, I didn't really get the sense of a fairy tale from it. The story is simple, yes, but the structure doesn't really seem to fit right to me. It reminded me more of some of the fun middle grade fantasy novels I read occasionally and I really feel like this could be expanded out into something like that easily. The simple style, the humor, the friendship and the magic are all great things that I enjoy about middle-grade novels that I also see here. It could be really good!

 

I agree with what most of the other have said. I also got confused bout the years of training, and with some of the phrasing in in the dialogue. I agree that J needed to rescue her friend, and that the ending as-is feels abrupt and a little unfulfilling.  The rescue would give a nice amount of closure, I feel like. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the feedback, all. I really appreciate it. 

@Mandamon - You're right about the ending. I've re-written it based on your suggestion. Thanks for that. Your instincts were right. (I've attached 

@kais - Yes, the cape is gendered haha. Don't know why but it made me laugh. I also didn't want to refer to the cape as 'it', and having the cape as a 'she' felt like over doing the feminism which is already at the heart of the story. The goat at the end of latest version (attached) is also male though. This goat could have been female, and I might even change it, though male goats tend to larger and perhaps less likely to run away when two humans randomly fall out of the sky (originally the goat was a sheep, but I changed it for this reason). 

@Robinski  Thank you for your thorough feedback, Robo-san. I believe I gave a warning about the roughness of this draft, but even if I had time to go over it, I still wouldn't have picked up on everything you pointed out. You clearly have grammor skillz.

I agree with everything you said, with possible exception of this: 

Quote

 "Yeh" - Yeah

I'm not attached this, but to me 'Yeh' sounds different to 'Yeah', and for some reason it felt more true to the character to write it that way. I'd be curious to know if anyone else thought this was a misspelling, or if it felt odd. 

@industrialistDragon

4 hours ago, industrialistDragon said:

I didn't really get the sense of a fairy tale from it. The story is simple, yes, but the structure doesn't really seem to fit right to me. It reminded me more of some of the fun middle grade fantasy

Fair point.

 

If anyone does read the revised draft, then jump off from the bottom of page 8, since only the ending has changed. 

Thanks again.

The Girl Trickster and the Living Cape - draft 2.docx

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Majestic Fox said:
Quote

 "Yeh" - Yeah

I'm not attached this, but to me 'Yeh' sounds different to 'Yeah', and for some reason it felt more true to the character to write it that way. I'd be curious to know if anyone else thought this was a misspelling, or if it felt odd.

I can respect that 5cbd724aa55e7_thumbs-upsmaller.jpg.c690aefc56ab145892e887b9de3dbae8.jpg

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Majestic Fox said:

If anyone does read the revised draft, then jump off from the bottom of page 8, since only the ending has changed. 

I liked it. It keeps the whimsy and addresses what happened to L.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I liked the story quite a lot. I liked the flow and I got the fairy tale feeling - except for a few places. But I think with tightening the prose and reviewing the style, that can be easily fixed. :)
Examples:
* "At least, she would have been, if women were allowed to become tricksters, but they were not." - I stumbled a bit over the "but they were not". I found it redundant and at the same time liked it for the flow. So I'm not sure about this one :D
* "Hearing you will have a chance to acquire me for your own – a path I would very much like to encourage.’", "If you cannot find an answer then our destinies may never entwine.’" - Doesn't sound fairly-taily to me, but very dry/matter of fact
* "who could not wait for K. A., leader of the village, to put her in her place." - That sounds like quite a change of viewpoint (to the all-knowing narrator), and is telling us instead of showing. At this point - given that it's something that happens right at that moment - maybe you can find a way to show this instead?

I liked the sun beam, that was clever :)

"You will never have this CAPE!" - Why does he assume she wants that cape? You said in the beginning that tricksters would get one from a bolt of living cloth - not that the elder tricksters cape is being passed on - or did I miss something?

The "J. shuffeling" had me a bit confused. I didn't follow how that happened (who was who and why)

"And sorry for my mood. I thought we would be laughing our way[...]" - Sounded off (out of character) to me... Too reflected, perhaps

Again, I really liked this story and I think it only needs a bit of polishing.

Edited by molah
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just saw the revision and had a read. Hmm... honestly, I don't like the addition. I think the tone and style changed a lot, and it doesn't sound like a light, run fairy tale anymore, but got more serious.

I also had issues with the execution scene. It all seems rather harsh and serious. Why would they bring him to the capital for that? Why would the king be attending the execution?

I think I liked the first version better, where the outcome of the rescue was still open, and where the finale was her stunt in front of the town folk.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.