F – Fallhollow


Hi all, welcome to the A-Z challenge.  I thought I had this little ditty planned to go live yesterday, but when I checked my blog this morning, it was still sitting in  time out in my ‘edit’ box.  It’s all good, though.  This way I can post and do my Sunday Snippet Blog hop all at one time!

The A-Z challenge letter for yesterday was the letter “F”.  Since I’m focusing on my novel, The Eye of Kedge, let’s take a little trip to the magical and dangerous world of Fallhollow.  I think I’ll let Sir Trogsdill  Domnall tell you about it. (BTW, this scene is currently in edit mode.  Feedback and comments would be very helpful).

sunday_snippets critique blog hop image

Trog leaned against a tree and peeled the skin from an apple.  “Einar seized the kingdom and made Berg Castle his lair.  That’s when he started growing his army of shadowmorths.”

“Why didn’t the mages do something to stop him?” David asked, popping a handful of berries in his mouth.

“They tried, but everything they did failed.  Jared got involved and sent his daughters and an apprentice magician by the name of Seyekrad to Fallhollow.  Together, they confined the beast below Lake Sturtle.”

David sputtered his food.

“That’s stupid.”  Charlotte tossed David the boda bag.  “Why not just kill him?”

“His scales ward off white magic.”  Trog cut a slice of apple and ate it.  “All they could do was imprison him.”

Charlotte stood and tacked up her hair.  “Well, they didn’t do a great job did they.”

“How long ago did all this happen?” David asked, his brain trying to envision a dragon beneath Lake Sturtle.

“Oh, about a hundred years ago, give or take a few years.”  Trog wiped the blade and sheathed it.  “Of course Einar, being the self-centered miscreant he is, decided to go after Hirth, but he was beaten  by a fifteen-year old lad and an arrow tipped in heem.”    

“Heem?” Charlotte threw her satchel over her shoulder.

“The saliva from an estreal, a rare bird found in the jungles of the floating isles of Ansilar.  Dragon hunters use it to kill their prey.  Sadly, it didn’t kill the beast but it did incapacitate him, until about eighteen years ago.”

“I take it he attacked Hirth again?” David said. 

“Tried,” Trog said.  He pulled on his boots and gathered his bag.  “This time the mages were able to spin a powerful sleeping spell around him, which held until two days ago.”  

David’s stomach fell into a hollow emptiness under the weight of Trog’s words.  He knew all too well what happened two days ago.  Now if he could only figure out how to fix it.  Thing was, he didn’t have a clue.

***

Don’t forget to hop around to the other bloggers who are participating in the A-Z challenge.  You can find the list here.

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12 thoughts on “F – Fallhollow

  1. Though I know what you mean, I’m not sure that ‘spluttered his food’ works well. Might he splutter into his food, or over his food?

    I find that there are lots of names in this scene and, because it is such a short snippet, I’m muddled. Your tags are clear, but maybe overwhelmed is a better word; there are a lot of people present and spoken of.

    I’m not sure of whose story this is though. If your narrative voice is an omnipresent view, then fine, but I had an impression that we were sitting in someone’s head, but I’m not sure which person. Does that make sense?

    The conversation is well constructed though, with strong, believable dialogue if you put aside the ‘so Bob,’ aspect. To clarify, So Bob, is what my writing group calls a conversation in which the characters talk about a lot of stuff that they may already know or should already know, for the sake of the reader. Is there another way to get some of this information out?

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    1. Hi Ileandra: We are in David’s head. This is his story. There is a lot going on prior to this. The three people are actually taking a break from a long walk. They’re eating and talking. David and Charlotte truly do not know anything about what Trog is telling them. Neither does the reader. This si all new info and Trog is the only one with the answers. I suppose some of it can come up later but it’s not like they’re going to run into any books or people that they could overhear talking about it. I’ll try to cut it down more but there is a lot of info here. I hate to cut the backstory, though. I’ll see what I can do. Thanks for your help. You made some fantastic points.

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  2. You rock, Mandy! I see now what I was missing. I’ve been so close to it, revising the heck out of it, I can’t think or see that much any more. Now I see my where my weakness is, I can go back and fix it. Thank you so much for your help.

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  3. I agree with previous comments too much information in a small amount of writing. This can be expanded giving more description of where they are, what they are doing there, character description etc.

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    1. Thanks, Mandy! I guess I should have put a little background before this. The description of where they are is before this excerpt. Thanks to all of you, I know now I have too much info here for the short excerpt. I’m not sure if it would feel that way in the context of the entire scene. I did feel it was a bit long but I don’t know how to cut it without losing the information given. All of it is important. Do you have any specific suggestions for a re-write? Thank you for taking the time.

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      1. Hi – I don’t want to re-write it so I’ve made a few changes/suggestions – hopefully it helps a bit.
        Trog leaned against a tree looking back and forth between David and Charlotte. As he sliced the skin from an apple he further explained. “Einar seized the kingdom and made Berg Castle his lair. That’s when he started growing his army of shadowmorths.”
        “Why didn’t the mages do something to stop him?” David asked, popping a handful of berries in his mouth.
        “They tried, but everything they did failed. Jared got involved and sent his daughters and an apprentice magician by the name of Seyekrad to Fallhollow. Together, they confined the beast below Lake Sturtle.”
        David sputtered his food. maybe put in David’s memory of fishing here, imagining the dragon eating him?
        “Confining him was stupid.” Charlotte tossed David the boda bag. He managed to catch it before it thumped against his shoulder. ”Why not just kill him?”
        “His scales ward off white magic.” Trog cut a slice of apple and ate it. ”All they could do was imprison him.”
        Charlotte stood and tacked up her hair, her agitation showing in her deft movements. ”Well, they didn’t do a great job did they.”
        Trog could tut at the naivety of his young companions.
        “How long ago did all this happen?” David asked, his brain trying to envision a dragon beneath Lake Sturtle.
        “Oh, about a hundred years ago, give or take a few years.” Trog wiped his blade and sheathed it. Add action here – is Trog moving toward something? Is he mocking or enjoying frightening David?
        “Of course Einar, being the self-centered miscreant he is, decided to go after Hirth, but he was beaten by a fifteen-year old lad and an arrow tipped in heem.”
        “Heem?” Charlotte’s brow furrowed as she threw her satchel over her shoulder
        “It’s the saliva from an estreal, a rare bird found in the jungles of the floating isles of Ansilar. Dragon hunters use it to kill their prey. Sadly, it didn’t kill the beast but it did incapacitate him, until about eighteen years ago.”
        “I take it he attacked Hirth again?” David said.
        “Tried,” Trog said. He pulled on his boots and gathered his bag. ”This time the mages were able to spin a powerful sleeping spell around him, which held until two days ago.”
        David’s stomach fell into a hollow emptiness under the weight of Trog’s words. He knew all too well what happened two days ago. Now if he could only figure out how to fix it. Thing was, he didn’t have a clue.

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  4. Firstly: “It was odd sounding.” PLEASE make that go away. I think you can completely delete it and it will be fine.

    As much as I love this story, there is WAY too much being dumped right here, and Chorolotte sound like a parrot asking “what’s this” and “What’s that”. It feels just a bit too convenient, and it is so much info, without any action, that I’d find myself skimming. I’d pare it down to the bare minimum that is necessary, or break up the coversation wth a few other things happening.

    Sorry 😦

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  5. Yes, lots and lots going on and a strange and interesting world. I won’t repeat any previous commenters.

    Who is speaking in the first paragraph? At first the quotes threw me off until it occured to me someone’s speaking.

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  6. I think this sentence “For years he attacked, killed, pillaged and grew his army of shadowmorths.” might do better without ‘attacked.’ It’s implied by the rest, and has less impact than the other verbs.
    I could use a passing mention of Charlotte’s hair-related actions at her previous dialogue tag. Otherwise, I feel like I’m missing a step.
    There’s a lot of information here–I feel like maybe it’s too much. While it makes sense in the context, it’s a bit overwhelming. Maybe you could trim just a little from here and there to slim it down?
    Lots of interesting world-building and history. So many people fought this dragon, and then David went and did something stupid and woke the monster up. You’ve got me curious about how he did it.

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  7. Well, done I was prompted to read on. I will admit the first paragraph looked a little like an infodump. Could it be broken up a bit and used to hook the reader instead?

    Get busy I want more. 🙂

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