This is a review of Percy Goodfellows, vignette The Encounter.
Review of Lesson 1: The Encounter
Thanks for getting your assignment in early. Since most wait until the last minute, those that post quickly give me more time to devote to the submission. That can be both a good thing and a not so good thing… depending on the nature of the feedback.
First off I like your images. I have seen them before, doing a Google search of the keywords image dark fantasy. Actually you only needed to provide the one of Rindar. The one of Volusia you may submit next week if you choose to do so. Also, you might want to do one on Moogy and Tupa.
This might be a good time to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart…The Central Character (CC). I know you think that Rindar is your CC but from what I read he is going to be eclipsed by Volusia. I say this for several reasons. First she is more in the middle of things; (Between her children and Rindar) she’s more intelligent and finally more intriguing to a reader. I’m not saying you can’t beef Rindar up but my initial take is that Volusia is inclined to eclipse him as the CC.
I liked the font, it is easy to read.
Rindar’s problem is that he has been exiled for going against some tribal rule and is looking to redeem himself so he will be taken back into the fold. Not a whole lot about how he gets into that predicament but for now that is OK. The reader sees the superficial and obvious problem, however, soon you will want to begin showing the real issue as to how he got himself into this mess.
The before snapshot needs some more work. You still have about 800 words to play with and I would have liked to see more of what Rindar looks like and thinks about as the story opens. Physically he is not likely to change much and you do show him as a typical virile male but the reader needs more on how his mental processes work… maybe more about how he has coped with his isolation. As he gets to know Volusia you will want to show more of how his character begins to change in contrast to how we see him in the beginning. This is fertile ground for more in depth development.
Rindar’s want is to get back into the good graces of his tribe. His need is to stay sane and alive and his desire is to share his lonely nights with a woman. Regarding the first two, you could have expanded more on how he returns to the tribal village at times and looks and listens. Show some to the things he looks at and listens to…. Don’t just tell he saw familiar people and listened to their voices.
As mentioned above I think this story is naturally inclined to revolve around Volusia. If you were to ask your fellow students who they think is the central character I think they would agree. You do however; make Rindar the point of view character by showing his thoughts. However, you could just as easily have shown what Volusia is thinking. It is hard for me to tell yet for sure who the CC really is and will defer further judgment to the weeks ahead.
You seem to write comfortably about the story world. It reminds me of Jean de Auterl and her series “Clan of the Cave bear.” Writing this will require some research as part of your developmental process.
The ending shows a scene of intimacy. You are pushing the 13+ content classifications however it is in a mild sort of way. Don’t go too much beyond this however and just say enough to show your future intention to further develop this aspect of their relationship, i.e. when you get to it in the novel. I liked the way you used these lines as a “Place Holder.”
The Character Sketch was “Sketchy.” As you develop the character of Rindar keep going back and expanding and refreshing the document. It is not a one time, in the beginning, get it out of the way requirement….Keep working it and making it as rich and vivid as possible.
In summary I liked the opening and felt it drew the reader in. The images were good and proved the adage, "A picture is worth a thousand Words." I expect you will be getting some more positive feedback from your fellow workshop members and perhaps some WDC members at large. Have you considered entering this in the contest?