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message 1: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 91 comments I'm currently writing a book with an unusual premise. It's a short fantasy novel telling the tale of a cursed city, but the twist is that story is told by using consectutive short stories.
I'd like your opinion on the premise, and of course the following story from the book:

Weeping Echoes

Ashyr, King of Elowen, waited upon his crumbing throne, alone this night in his ravaged throne room. In the ruins of the Sapphire Palace the undying screams of the ghosts were silent for her arrival.
Memories came to him unbidden, a bittersweet harbinger. Walking at twilight in the rose garden, the scent of the flowers mingling with her perfume. One winter’s day where they played in the snow like children. The day he asked her to marry him and the beauty of her responding smile. Their short life together flooded through his brain, grief engulfed his heart and tears slipped down his cheeks.
“Ashyr.” A whisper infused the air as the room grew cold as ice. The king watched as her spectre flickered into form.
“Isandel.” He felt pain even speaking her name.
“It is time again, my husband, for our visit.”
“It is. Why do you come, Isandel, each year? It does neither of us any good.”
“I come because I must.”
“I never meant this, Isandel. I never meant harm.”
“Then why, my love? Why did you do it?”
“I thought I could spare you the pain of our lingering life of condemned horror. I was watching your soul fade each day, living out this eternity with me. You were already dying in this imprisonment.”
“But you spared me nothing! I am still trapped in these walls, now a lifeless echo of who I was, a ghost reliving her sorrow for all time!”
“I know. I am sorry for what I did.”
“Every year I come, every year you say the same! Every year I must come on this hated anniversary to hear your hollow words of shame!”
“What do you want me to say?! That I am in agony, gorged in regret and guilt?! That I wish desperately to go back and undo my actions! That I did not truly understand the curse and there was nothing I could do to liberate you from sharing my fate!”
“I want you to say nothing! I want you to set me free!”
Ashyr sighed. “You know that is not possible. You know that any soul who dies within these walls is doomed to haunt the palace forever.”
“Yes, I do. I just wish you had thought of the consequences before you poisoned me all those years ago.”
“So do I Isandel, so do I.”
They stared at one another, the silence between them shrieking more than their words, until the sun rose in the sky and Isandel’s ethereal form began to fade.
“Until next year, my love.”


message 2: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) I love this concept, A.F. I really enjoyed your voice, almost lyrical in parts. The story is very sad, yet I found myself smiling. I think overall the story is very well written. There are a couple of parts where it gets passive and I think they're noticable to me because of the excellent parts before them. Of course, this is just my opinion, I hope it helps somewhat.

Weeping Echoes

Ashyr, King of Elowen, waited upon his crumbing throne, alone this night in his ravaged throne room. - I don't know if you can do anything about the echo here. But throne and throne room reads a bit awkward.

In the ruins of the Sapphire Palace the undying screams of the ghosts were silent for silenced at her arrival.

Their short life together flooded through his brain, grief engulfed his heart and tears slipped down his cheeks. - This is a beautiful line.

“Isandel.” He felt pain even speaking her name. - Just a suggestion, but I think this could be a bit less telling, and given the beauty of the previous lines, you could do better. Instead of telling the reader he felt pain, show the pain. Does it hurt his chest, is there a hollowness deep within? Let us feel it with him.



“What do you want me to say?! That I am in agony, gorged in regret and guilt?! That I wish desperately to go back and undo my actions!

They stared at one another, the silence between them shrieking more than their words, until the sun rose in the sky and Isandel’s ethereal form began to fade.
“Until next year, my love.” - Memorable ending. I like these lines too.


message 3: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 91 comments Renee wrote: "I love this concept, A.F. I really enjoyed your voice, almost lyrical in parts. The story is very sad, yet I found myself smiling. I think overall the story is very well written. There are a couple..."

Some nice changes. I do tend to lean into the passive sometimes, with too many uses of "was" and "were".


message 4: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) I do that too on the first draft. I think it's because that's how we're used to relaying things to others. When I edit, I literally take every line with was, were, saw, watched, looked, seemed, etc. and try to rewrite it. You can't take them all out, but often there is a more 'active' way to write it. This really didn't have a lot of passive, in my opinion. It's just with the smooth lines before and after, the passive jumped out.


message 5: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 91 comments Renee wrote: "I do that too on the first draft. I think it's because that's how we're used to relaying things to others. When I edit, I literally take every line with was, were, saw, watched, looked, seemed, etc..."

I use the find and highlight tools in Word when I do editing like that, changing what I can and highlighting the rest to mull over.


message 6: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 91 comments I tweaked the beginning with the double throne references:

Ashyr, King of Elowen, waited upon his crumbing throne, alone this night in the ravaged vestige of where he once held court. In these ruins of the Sapphire Palace the undying screams of the ghosts silenced for her arrival.

Any better?


message 7: by Renee (new)

Renee (rjmiller) Ooh, much better. Perfect.


message 8: by Erma (new)

Erma Odrach | 163 comments Mod
Interesting piece, AF. I especially like the tension and the build-up using dialogue. Renee, I agree with your suggestions - the sentences become tighter; you have a good eye. "The silence between them shrieking more than their words." Love it. Leaves the piece with a punch, wanting more.


message 9: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 91 comments Erma wrote: "Interesting piece, AF. I especially like the tension and the build-up using dialogue. Renee, I agree with your suggestions - the sentences become tighter; you have a good eye. "The silence between..."

Thanks. I appreciate the kind words.


message 10: by A.F. (last edited Dec 17, 2011 04:42PM) (new)


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