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Author Topic: New Opening- Historical Fiction  (Read 833 times)
Thanksgiving400
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« on: November 15, 2017, 10:54:11 AM »

Revisiting this project after a few months. Lopped off a few opening chapters, think I have a better starting point.

Thanks in advance...

March, 1671
Plymouth Colony

Arguments raged through the meeting house and Michael Tanner scolded himself for getting stuck in the middle of
 
the room. The debates around him blended into an indistinguishable uproar as the men of Swansea unleashed years

of pent up frustration and paranoia. At least someone had the good sense to open a window, but the spring air that

trickled in was no match for the angry crowd.


He glanced at the ceiling half a foot above his head, and sighed. Why did the Pokanoket do it? he asked himself.

Their raid on Swansea that morning was a gift to the villagers who insisted the neighboring tribe posed a threat.

Demands for retaliation and accusations of cowardice proved those who desired war would be taking full advantage of

the opportunity.
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lazyprotagonist
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 11:58:31 AM »

I'm at work on a short break so I didn't read this with my writer glasses on, you'll have to depend on someone else for a better critique (sorry).

From a reader perspective though, I really enjoyed this. I love that you showed the MC's annoyance with the other villagers, and that you started in the middle of an argument and showed the villagers paranoia over the gifted food. As a reader, I'm interested in what happens next.

Sorry I couldn't give you a full critique, but thank you for posting, I really enjoyed reading it.
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Thanksgiving400
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 01:47:24 PM »

Thank you for the feedback, though the comments tell me I may have been unclear in introducing the scene. I've revised a bit, and added the next few lines so the reviewers can see a little more direction:

March 16761
Plymouth Colony

Arguments raged through the meeting house and Michael Tanner scolded himself for getting stuck in the middle of the room. The debates around him blended into an indistinguishable uproar as the men of Swansea demanded either restraint or retaliation. There was no longer a middle ground, not after this morning.

At least someone had the good sense to open a window, but the spring air that trickled in was no match for the angry crowd. Michael glanced at the ceiling half a foot above his head, and sighed. Why did the Pokanoket do it? he asked himself.

A familiar voice broke through the noise, and he tried to ignore it.

“Michael! Michael Tanner! Michael” the man repeated.

“No, not him, not now,” he whispered and closed eyes.

“I know you can hear me!” the man insisted, his voice growing closer as he pushed through the crowd.

Michael took a deep breath, opened his eyes and saw a red faced Samuel Townsend standing a few yards to his right.

Townsend gave up pushing when he realized he couldn’t get any closer, but seemed content to shout from where he was. “What do you think of your friend’s across the river now, Michael? They attacked my property!”

#

I want to make it clear that the town is divided on how to deal with a growing tension with their Indian neighbors. Half the town is happy for the raid on one of their barns the tribe conducted that morning because it gives them the excuse they had been looking for. My MC is annoyed with the war hawks and having to listen to what they think is their "I told you so moment."

As the scene progresses, he finds himself getting pulled into what he despises most- politics- and must decide to stick to his quiet life or get involved with trying to help ease tensions with the tribe.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 01:51:16 PM by Thanksgiving400 » Logged
kristinb
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always writing about magic and angry girls


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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2018, 09:23:05 AM »



Arguments raged through the meeting house and Michael Tanner scolded himself for getting stuck in the middle of
 
the room. The debates around him blended into an indistinguishable uproar as the men of Swansea unleashed years

of pent up frustration and paranoia. At least someone had the good sense to open a window, but the spring air that

trickled in was no match for the angry crowd.


He glanced at the ceiling half a foot above his head, and sighed. Why did the Pokanoket do it? he asked himself.

Their raid on Swansea that morning was a gift to the villagers who insisted the neighboring tribe posed a threat.

Demands for retaliation and accusations of cowardice proved those who desired war would be taking full advantage of

the opportunity.


Arguments raged through the meeting house, and Michael Tanner scolded himself for getting stuck in the middle of
 
the room. The debates around him blended into an indistinguishable uproar as the men of Swansea unleashed years

of pent up frustration and paranoia. At least someone had the good sense to open a window, but the spring air that

trickled in was no match for the angry crowd
. [I would rephrase this last sentence? I know what you're saying, but it's still a little vague. Maybe something like, "The spring air could not dilute the ugly feelings that raged in the room."]


He glanced at the ceiling half a foot above his head, and sighed. Why did the Pokanoket do it? he asked himself. [I'm sure this is something you're aware of, but whoa - writing about the colonization of America and conflict with Native nations, that is going to require a LOT of research, and a lot of gentleness and sensitivity. I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I'd be remiss if I ignored this in my critique. Smiley ]

Their raid on Swansea that morning was a gift to the villagers who insisted the neighboring tribe posed a threat. [Great sentence.]

Demands for retaliation and accusations of cowardice proved those who desired war would be taking full advantage of

the opportunity.

*


I feel like this is a really nice opening! Great job. :D
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