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I woke in a fright, sweat beading my forehead. It was that dream again. That recurring dream of death and destruction. I looked at the clock, midnight. Time I was up. I raked the fire till the embers glowed, laying kindling and a slice of peat on top.

I lived deep down under Farmer O'Connell's chicken coop in a burrow. At first it was just going to be somewhere to sleep; somewhere convenient for the potato fields. Then I decided to stay. I added a fireplace, made space for an armchair and then a small table.

The kindling was taking its time. I puffed at it till it caught. Then pulling on my coat and boots, picked up the bucket and crawled along the passage to my front door. It came up under a row of nesting boxes in the chicken coop.

The hens gently murmured as I lifted myself onto the straw and crept out.

A fox was skulking nearby. I saw it off then keeping to the moon shadows made my way over the icy flagstones to the well. I kept a careful look out; it wasn't the fox I was afraid of, it was Farmer O'Connell. I didn't want to be discovered by O'Connell or any other human for that matter.

When I got back the peat had caught. I washed in the waters from the well and over a hearty bowl of hot porridge and the egg I had lifted from my favourite hen, I considered what to do about the dream.

The problem was my dreams had a habit of coming true.

I decided not to go to the potato fields. I needed to speak with Salinoor. I needed to know if Salinoor had had the same dream.I went to the Snake Pit instead.

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Comment by Kay Elizabeth on August 17, 2010 at 5:04am
Irene, I like this piece. It's very promising! :)

I do have a suggestion for you and you can take it or leave it as you wish. Your sentences need broken up more. When they are too long, the reader forgets what was going on at the start. Here's one way to do that. Wherever you have a comma, ask yourself if a period and new sentence would be better. It won't always work but often will. Varying sentence length keeps the page interesting. It flows more easily. However if it wanders too long, readers get turned off and pay more attention to that than the story.

For example I would suggest the first line could be changed to:

I raked the fire till the embers glowed, laying kindling and a slice of peat on top. Pulling on my coat and boots, I picked up the bucket. I crawled out down along the passage, headed for my front door.

I think "crawled out down along" is a bit crowded a phrase. That could do with reworking. Are you saying you literally crawled on your hands and knees there along the tunnel? Is it low, is that why? It's unclear what you're trying to project an image of there. Explain that part a bit more please.

I like your way with words. A little polishing can make it so much better though. :)
Comment by scribbler on August 19, 2010 at 8:18am
I can tell this has been improved upon since Kay's original comments. I like it very much too. There are typos you need to attend to, like sculking, which should be skulking. Fire place should be fireplace.

One tip: when a member takes the time to help you by commenting it's common courtesy to respond to that feedback. You can leave a follow up comment yourself on your own posts. Just editing your post doesn't tell us much about your train of thought or if you thought it was helpful. Since you changed your post, I assume you did.

You don't need to agree with feedback nor use it. But you can add a comment to say thanks at least.
Comment by Kay Elizabeth on August 21, 2010 at 5:04am
Irene, you've done a great job there with the changes. Much, much better. It's amazing how much difference a little adjustment can make. :)

scribbler, I know where you're coming from and appreciate that. Irene did send me a PM thanking me for my input the same day I posted it. It's all good. :) Thanks for looking out for me.

Irene, it is helpful too as scribbler said if you leave a public comment on what you change (or don't as the case may be) and why. We all like to learn and I've learned a lot myself just from hearing another perspective on my own writing, rolling it around in my mind and then deciding yes or no.

And by the way, no-one takes a huff if you choose not to take their advice. It's your writing and you do what you want with it, same as we'd all do. :)
Comment by Kay Elizabeth on August 21, 2010 at 5:25am
Irene, now that I see where's you're heading I think you might be interested in joining the Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction Writers Group here. The link's below or just click on Groups to find it. :)


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