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  • Talia turned slowly toward the snoring man on the hammock across from her. Conrad’s hand was loose at his side, fingers grazing the floor. He looked so calm and peaceful; his features relaxed from the constant s […]

  • Talia squinted as her eyes adjusted to the darkness. Reaching her hands out she felt along the wall till she heard the soft ping of her fingers hit the lantern. The knob turned with ease as the room flooded with a […]

  • Thank you, SJ! I hope I can answer the questions that I am putting out there lol I need to start a list to make sure I can pull it all together! Hopefully, it won’t disappoint! This draft is different than the original to leave room for more world-building and character development.

  • Thank you, SJ! That is so encouraging to hear that it read like a movie to you! That is what I hope for with my writing because I too want that as a reader.

  • Thank you, Jessica! Excited to hear you are enjoying the story so far!
    I think I may sprinkle more letters and flash backs in these scenes to give more insight to what happened and who her father and Tobias are.

  • I am glad you enjoyed these scenes! I am happy to hear that the interaction between Conrad and Talia came off as awkward. I am still trying to figure out what they are going to be to each other. Conrad has a good story, I am just struggling to figure out how to reveal that. We shall see how this goes lol Thank you for your feedback!

  • Thank you! I am seeing that too this time around more than I did the first draft. I think it is because she had just been sidelined in her life until this journey. It is giving her a purpose and sparking a fire that she didn’t know she had. I am happy to see that you are enjoying her change!

  • Thank you, I will make sure I smooth that out on the next draft!

  • Thank you, Jessica! I completely understand getting behind. I appreciate you taking the time to catch up!

    Happy to hear you like these scenes!

  • Dearest Vanessa,

    We miss you both greatly. It has been so long that I fear we will not recognize you when we finally meet again. I hope we will not be much longer, but things seem to be constantly working against […]

    • Really lovely to see one of the letters here from Talia’s father. I particularly liked the bit about Talia and Conrad sharing the same stubbornness. They obviously hate each other now but is there to be a friendship or more between them in the future?

      And then to learn that Tobias also believes his twin to be dead? Excellent!

      The story has moved along nicely in these scenes. I really like Recklan’s character. The care he shows for Talia is like the fatherly love she has been missing for so long.

      I’m looking forward to them reaching their destination. I doubt Talia will keep her promise to stay on the ship!!

      • Casey replied 2 weeks ago

        Thank you, Jessica! Excited to hear you are enjoying the story so far!
        I think I may sprinkle more letters and flash backs in these scenes to give more insight to what happened and who her father and Tobias are.

    • SJ replied 2 weeks ago

      Casey,
      I think the letter from her father at the beginning is a good addition to this weeks scene. Its a backstory vessel. It allows us some insight into Conrad’s character. The letter raises more questions. Why were Talia and Tobias told the other was dead? What happened to Conrad that he has such strong animosity towards Talia? Why was she not allowed off the ship?
      The tension from last week, opens this weeks work.
      Talia had opted to keep the lantern light on low, despite Marna’s initial protests. Every board creak or large wave that rocked the boat was enough to startle her awake. She pictured the shadow and the cold that had surrounded its presence; the emptiness of the space in the lantern light immediately after. It reminded her of the shadow she had seen the first night she was aboard. She had thought it a trick of the light. A type of mirage maybe. But this second time unnerved her.
      And…we are reminded that there is something that is lurking in the shadows that seems like a threat to Talia, adding to the tension is her attempt to sneak off the ship.

      Well done this week. Eager to read next weeks work.

      • Casey replied 2 weeks ago

        Thank you, SJ! I hope I can answer the questions that I am putting out there lol I need to start a list to make sure I can pull it all together! Hopefully, it won’t disappoint! This draft is different than the original to leave room for more world-building and character development.

    • Hi, Casey! I’m a little conflicted about the letter at the scene opener. On the one hand, it reveals some very fascinating backstory. On the other, I think it reveals too much too soon. One way to keep a reader hooked is to feed tiny nibbles of information, enough to make them want more. It might be enough to just include the whole paragraph starting, “Talia’s mind stumbled over the information he had told her.”

      I love the whole paragraph that starts, “Talia let his words sink in. He was treating her like a child.” She goes through so much conflict and turmoil in such a short space. It feels very believable. I’m also loving the whole description and feel of Tarkana, the floating city. I can really get a sense of it.

      I’m not sure what’s going on with Scully. Are we supposed to be creeped out by him, or is he dropping some subtle way for Talia to be able to sneak off the boat? Hopefully, we’ll find out in the next installment.

  • I will be sure to make notes on cleaning those interactions up! The creature grabs hold of one side of the net first, gets shot by Conrad and lets go. Then it grabs hold of both of the nets which drags the ship backward with the creature swimming downward. I need to find a more artistic and clear way of showing that change. Thank you, Michael!

  • Thank you, SJ! Yes, I will need to clean that bit up in the next draft! And maybe find another word besides snapped lol

  • Thank you!
    Yeah, I was struggling with that movement too, it will need some cleaning up!
    Phil’s name is a shortened version of his full name, but I see what you are saying. I will need to adjust the lightheartedness there to something more fitting for the time.
    I am glad to hear you like Recklan! He was the 2nd in the first draft and when I…[Read more]

  • What a lovely ending. This was a great follow up from the previous action scene. We get closer and I absolutely loved that the brothel planned to become the next ban of ruling thieves over the city. The Veiled is a clever name and fitting of their group. The subtle way the characters leave the city together is wonderful. Noncommittal to each…[Read more]

  • SJ,
    Wow, these were very action packed and I found myself reading through them quickly. Your description of Afra’s fear at seeing Moll again was very effective and I felt that fear at what would happen when they had a confrontation. Which when it came did not disappoint! The way Moll came to release her made 100% sense. In her greed and…[Read more]

  • Hey Jessica,
    This was a great line:
    ‘The autumn wind grabbed eagerly at the hem of his cloak and whipped it around his calves.’
    I enjoyed the interaction between the women in the first part. Getting ready for the wedding and the union her friends will enter in to stay together is so sweet. You capture that excitement very well.
    I am…[Read more]

  • Hey Jessica,

    These are good scenes of reflection. Not a whole lot of action, but it still reads well because of your descriptions and the anticipation you are building for this union. I think there are a few spots where you repeat this phrase; ‘This year would be different’.
    I think the dream reference was an interesting touch, I am…[Read more]

  • Jessica,
    As always these were great scenes. The detail was wonderful and the action with your dialogue is great! I found myself wondering if Aengus would say Midir’s name at the end of the first scene. How would her mother react? Would it have changed how they received him?
    The second scene is vivid in the warmth you feel from their…[Read more]

  •  Talia followed the older man back down to the kitchen. The stink hit her a new and her nose scrunched as she bit back a gag.

    “We’ve got some cheese and biscuits, should be…here!” Ole Henry lifted up a small cr […]

    • I could feel Talia’s frustration here when her conversation with Ol’ Henry was interrupted by Henry. We go from ‘Tobias is alive’ to suddenly not getting any more and it really keeps us hanging on.

      The encounter with Conrad is certainly awkward for Talia. I’m curious to learn more about his character – especially since we now know how close he was to Tobias. And yet now he blames Tobias’ family for what has happened to the crew. It’s really powerful stuff.

      Near the end of the second scene, you do a really great job of describing a creepy scene. Who was the figure in the darkness? Was there a figure in the darkness? I’m looking forward to reading more.

      • Casey replied 2 weeks ago

        I am glad you enjoyed these scenes! I am happy to hear that the interaction between Conrad and Talia came off as awkward. I am still trying to figure out what they are going to be to each other. Conrad has a good story, I am just struggling to figure out how to reveal that. We shall see how this goes lol Thank you for your feedback!

    • SJ replied 2 weeks ago

      I found myself leaning into my screen as I read your work this week. I could see the scene play out, like a movie, and that is something that readers want, at least I do. I want to immerse myself completely in the scene.
      I like the bond that is forming between Talia and Ol’ Henry. I feel like he will add humor to your story. But…as you show, he can be a character with some serious information for Talia.
      I can’t wait to learn about Conrad and why he is so antagonistic towards Talia.
      The addition of the mysterious figure in the darkness adds to the mystery and uncertainty of Talia’s fate.
      Once again, well done!

      • Casey replied 2 weeks ago

        Thank you, SJ! That is so encouraging to hear that it read like a movie to you! That is what I hope for with my writing because I too want that as a reader.

    • This was a very full scene with a lot of character development. I like the way you showed how Talia is getting close to the crew through her actions (specifically the biscuits). She now shares bonds with Ol’ Henry, Marna, and Phil.

      Having a character (Conrad) who hates the main character for reasons shrouded in mystery is also a great way to keep the tension going. I also like the way you have Talia processing her thoughts and feelings without slowing the story down.

      Only two passages seemed out of place: when Talia thinks, “What was this guy’s deal?” and when Marna says, “Oh shit, turn that off.” They just didn’t fit with the tone of the rest of the story.

      The ending with the shadow in the corner was very frightening and powerful. It reminded me of the scene in A Wizard of Earthsea when Ged unleashes his own shadow in his room. Super creepy!

  • Hello Michael,
    These were two very good scenes! There was a lot going on here with the plan converging and the different view points, but you handled that very well. It was easy to follow and the twist at the end with Ahlara and the lady-in-waiting was wonderful! I did not see that coming. The spell was a nice touch to echo off Violette’s foot…[Read more]

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Casey

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@cmschneider1418

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