Feedback Appreciated

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longknife

Feedback Appreciated

Post by longknife » January 8th, 2011, 3:14 pm

Would appreciate comments/reactions/suggestions/feedback

Title The Sailor and The Carpenter
El Marinero y el Carpintero
(A story of 18th Century New Spain)

Genre historical fiction

promotional "quick teaser"
A young English farmer is taken from his home to serve aboard a merchant ship bound for the far northwestern shores of the New World. Washed ashore on a barren land, he is found by an Indian and taken to the priests of the Roman church.

A back cover of the work
Timothy Beadle sails from Plymouth, England as a cabin boy aboard a merchant brig. After a voyage to the far northwestern shores of The New World, a treacherous blade loosens him from safety lines and he’s washed ashore on a barren land - found by a youth with reddish skin. Priests of the Roman church give him sanctuary from a Spanish prison and, with his new-found Indian friend and two Indian damsels, he sets off behind a diminutive, limping Franciscan friar to expand Spain’s toehold on The Californias.

A brief excerpt from the work
Waves lapped the shore of the Bay of Loreto. The sun ruled the cloudless sky and a few small fishing boats pulled in nets filled with squirming silver and rainbow colors. Timothy saw a few small huts on the large island to the east.

“There are large deposits of salt on the island,” one of the muleteers told him.
Loreto came into sight as they topped a gentle rise with a small cape to their right. Brownish scrub and a few cacti struggled to live in the arid land. Arroyos displayed green in trees and bushes fed by underground water deposited by rare rains.

Father Serra pointed to the white of mission buildings showing against the hills to the west. “That is la Misión de San Francisco Javier, my children. The Jesuits were good of heart when they built it but poor of judgment. They had to close it not long after opening it.”

Timothy tried hard not to suck in breath from the pace of travel of the friar who trudged along, obviously in pain. Jaime, Butterfly and Carlo did not even breathe hard as they had walked long distances all their lives.

Mountains towered to the west, the Sierra Gigante. Timothy saw green vegetation growing upon their upper slopes.

The peal of bells announced noon prayers as they waded the stream that provided the blood of life to the mission and the town.

Oh my Good Lord! Timothy thought, sucking in a breath.

In preparing to cross the stream, Father Serra hiked his habit up to keep from getting it wet and revealed his calf. A large, black lesion surrounded by angry red skin clearly caused his limp - and pain.

Timothy had lived on a farm with many milch cows and had seen his father treat similar skin problems on the animals. There must be a way to ease Father Serra’s pain. How can he be so driven in his beliefs as to not wish to seek relief?

mnaylor3
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Re: Feedback Appreciated

Post by mnaylor3 » January 10th, 2011, 12:59 pm

I had to read over this passage a couple of times to figure out what's going on.

I think Timothy is admiring a new landscape and discovering Father Serra's malady simultaneously as walk to a mission?

Emily J
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Re: Feedback Appreciated

Post by Emily J » January 12th, 2011, 12:11 am

lvcabbie wrote:Would appreciate comments/reactions/suggestions/feedback

Title The Sailor and The Carpenter
El Marinero y el Carpintero
(A story of 18th Century New Spain)

Genre historical fiction

promotional "quick teaser"
A young English farmer is taken from his home to serve aboard a merchant ship bound for the far northwestern shores of the New World. Washed ashore on a barren land, he is found by an Indian and taken to the priests of the Roman church.

A back cover of the work
Timothy Beadle sails from Plymouth, England as a cabin boy aboard a merchant brig. After a voyage to the far northwestern shores of The New World, a treacherous blade loosens him from safety lines and he’s washed ashore on a barren land - found by a youth with reddish skin. Priests of the Roman church give him sanctuary from a Spanish prison and, with his new-found Indian friend and two Indian damsels, he sets off behind a diminutive, limping Franciscan friar to expand Spain’s toehold on The Californias.

A brief excerpt from the work
Waves lapped waves lapping borders on cliche the shore of the Bay of Loreto. The sun ruled the cloudless sky and a few small fishing boats pulled in nets filled with squirming silver and rainbow colors. not sure the word colors worked for me here, it seemed to make the metaphor too... literal. I don't know if that makes sense.... Timothy saw a few small huts on the large island to the east.

“There are large deposits of salt on the island,” one of the muleteers told him. what is the purpose of this statement? I don't get any sense for the character, does the muleteer speak english? does he/she know the name of the island? can they speak in perhaps a more blue collar tone?
Loreto came into sight as they topped a gentle rise with a small cape to their right. Brownish scrub and a few cacti struggled to live in the arid land. Arroyos displayed green in trees this struck me as awkward, "displayed green in trees" and bushes fed by underground water deposited by rare rains.

Father Serra pointed to the white of mission buildings showing against the hills to the west. “That is la Misión de San Francisco Javier, my children. The Jesuits were good of heart when they built it but poor of judgment. They had to close it not long after opening it.”

Timothy tried hard not to suck in breath from the pace of travel of the friar why not "the friar's pace" to eliminate some unnecessary words and "of"s who trudged along, obviously in pain. Jaime, Butterfly comma? and Carlo did not even breathe hard as they had walked long distances all their lives. <-- this is telling rather than showing, i would make this less overt, just point out that these three have no problem with the distance (are these people? mules?)

Mountains towered to the west, <-- a colon perhaps? the Sierra Gigante. Timothy saw green vegetation growing upon their upper slopes.

The peal of bells announced noon prayers as they waded the stream that provided the blood of life to the mission and the town.

Oh my Good Lord! Timothy thought, sucking in a breath. <-- he already sucked his breath, can he do something else?

In preparing to cross the stream, Father Serra hiked his habit up to keep from getting it wet and revealed his calf. A large, black lesion surrounded by angry red skin clearly caused his limp - and pain.

Timothy had lived on a farm with many milch cows and had seen his father treat similar skin problems on the animals. There must be a way to ease Father Serra’s pain. How can he be so driven in his beliefs as to not wish to seek relief?
Be careful that your descriptions don't come across as dry. Some of the imagery with the mountains and the shrubbery felt a bit textbook. A bit too wide a focus if that makes sense. Can we narrow it down to what Timothy sees? A specific plant/animal etc.? Just a suggestion though!

longknife

Re: Feedback Appreciated

Post by longknife » January 12th, 2011, 7:05 pm

Thanks to all for your comments/remarks/suggestions.
Based on this, I’ve made another try. Tell me how this works.

Title The Sailor and The Carpenter
El Marinero y el Carpintero
(A story of 18th Century New Spain)

Genre historical fiction

Word count 110,000

A 40-word, promotional-style "quick teaser" blurb

From farm to Fo’csle to a far away land; the changes in Timothy Beadle’s fortunes have just begun. The young Englishman joins Spaniards exploring hostile deserts and mountains, confronting naked savages to bring the Californias under their control.

A back cover hype of the work (100-200 words)

Timothy Beadle’s father indentures him to a ship’s captain and he soon is in Mid-Atlantic on his way to the far northwestern shores of The New World. Padding the deck and climbing the rigging is exhilarating to the young English farm boy. The captain is a fair, God-fearing man who ensures Timothy also learns reading, writing and arithmetic. Strange islands and naked savages fill Timothy with curiosity and wonder.

Fate has more changes in store for Timothy. Holds filled with rich
furs, the ship sails for home. But, a vicious cyclone hits and Timothy ends up on the shore of Spanish California with a young Indian bending over him. After the village medicine woman treats him, Timothy’s taken before grey robed priests who welcome him. They even step in and offer sanctuary when a local official tries to imprison him as a pirate.

Jaime, the Indian boy, dreamed of Timothy’s arrival months before. Both sense the blood bond that ties them together and unite in an effort by Father Junipero Serra to expand the Catholic faith and Spain’s control of the Californias.

A brief excerpt from the work (no more than 300 words)

Jaime dreamed that night. Visions held great meaning to his people. Jaime had not dreamed since death had taken away his world. As he slept, he walked along the shore of a great body of water. Curling waves came ashore, sudsy foam swirling around his bare feet. Many peculiar things lay upon the fine grains of stone, some of them made of brittle substances in whites and blacks. They looked like the shell of a tortoise but somehow different.

Many birds swirled in the air, raucous screams filling his ears. The big black and white ones the Spaniards called gaviotas were familiar as he had seen them in his home mountains. In the distance, the rolling water washed a pile of boulders swarming with creatures. They had strange flat things where their legs should have been. Whiskers spiked from their muzzles and they barked. But not like any dogs he had ever seen.

Voices told him how strange it was that a great storm had come at that time of the year. They normally came in the time before things got cooler. Los ciclónes often dropped great amounts of rain, causing floods in the arid mountains.

He saw something strange and hurried towards it. An ocelot lay on the ground, but one unlike any he had ever seen - it was white with light brown spots. He could see it lived but seriously hurt. Then, the creature turned its head and stared at him - with pale blue eyes!

Jaime awakened.

elmtree322
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Re: Feedback Appreciated

Post by elmtree322 » January 12th, 2011, 10:28 pm

I like this second excerot a lot, it feels like more unique description than the original excerpt. If the first excerpt is still being used as the intro for the whole ms, I would suggest maybe focusing more on the character of Timothy in those first few paragraphs. It was a bit difficult to know which character to pay the most attention to with so many names right away.

I really like your plot, it sounds like a story I would love to read!

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Sanwrites
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Re: Feedback Appreciated

Post by Sanwrites » January 13th, 2011, 3:06 pm

Hi. I vote for the updated version with a few changes.
Unless 'fo'c'sle (correct spelling) is the name of a ship, it's lower case. Also, Why did his dad put him on the ship? Just a word or two of explanation would be nice.


lvcabbie wrote:Thanks to all for your comments/remarks/suggestions.
Based on this, I’ve made another try. Tell me how this works.

Title The Sailor and The Carpenter
El Marinero y el Carpintero
(A story of 18th Century New Spain)

Genre historical fiction

Word count 110,000

A 40-word, promotional-style "quick teaser" blurb

From farm to Fo’csle to a far away land; the changes in Timothy Beadle’s fortunes have just begun. The young Englishman joins Spaniards exploring hostile deserts and mountains, confronting naked savages to bring the Californias under their control. From what I've read, you might consider putting something here about spreading the Catholic faith.

A back cover hype of the work (100-200 words)

Timothy Beadle’s father indentures him to a ship’s captain and he soon is in Mid-Atlantic on his way to the far northwestern shores of The New World. Padding the deck and climbing the rigging is exhilarating to the young English farm boy. The captain is a fair, God-fearing man who ensures Timothy also learns reading, writing and arithmetic. Strange islands and naked savages fill Timothy with curiosity and wonder.

Fate has more changes in store for Timothy. {Holds filled with rich
furs, the ship sails for home. This subj is inverted. Ship sails with holds filled...} But, a vicious cyclone hits and Timothy ends up on the shore of Spanish California with a young Indian bending over him. After the village medicine woman treats him, Timothy’s taken before grey robed priests who welcome him. They even step in and offer sanctuary when a local official tries to imprison him as a pirate.

Jaime, the Indian boy, dreamed of Timothy’s arrival months before. Both sense the blood bond that ties them together and unite in an effort by Father Junipero Serra to expand the Catholic faith and Spain’s control of the Californias.

A brief excerpt from the work (no more than 300 words)

Jaime dreamed that night.
Visions held great meaning to his people. He wouldn't be telling himself this in a dream Jaime had not dreamed since death had taken away his world. As he slept, he walked along the shore of a great body of water. Curling waves came ashore weak, sudsy foam swirling around his bare feet. Many peculiar things lay upon the fine grains of stone, some of them made of brittle substances in whites and blacks.They looked like the shell of a tortoise but somehow different. irrelevant to story

Many birds swirled in the air, raucous screams filling his ears. The big black and white ones the Spaniards called gaviotas were familiar as he had seen them in his home mountains. In the distance, the rolling water washed a pile of boulders swarming with creatures. They had strange flat things where their legs should have been. Whiskers spiked from their muzzles and they barked. But not like any dogs he had ever seen. Good

Voices told him how strange it was that a great storm had come at that time of the year. They normally came in the time before things got cooler. Los ciclónes often dropped great amounts of rain, causing floods in the arid mountains.

He saw something strange lying on the ground? on the beach? Forest? and hurried towards it. An ocelot lay on the ground, but one unlike any he had ever seen - it was white with light brown spots. He could see it lived comma but was seriously hurt. Then, the creature turned its head and stared at him - with pale blue eyes!

Jaime awakened.
Nick Charles: "I'm a hero. I was shot twice in the Tribune."
Nora Charles: "I read where you were shot 5 times in the tabloids."
Nick Charles: "It's not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids."

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