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Newfound Land

Short story Ambage Write off

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#1 Offline Engineer Alexandra Humva

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Posted Dec 16 2012 - 11:30 AM

[font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]He looked at the cold waters in front of him, then at the forest behind him. All around him, men and women were hauling materials; occasionally a small child would run back and forth, delivering messages. He himself held a crate of tools in his hands, but he allowed himself a minute or two of rest and recollection. It wasn't every day you went to a new land, after all. It was a new life, a new world for him to explore. An entire ocean rested between him and his old home now. It truly was something to marvel at, and something to fear at the same time.Sighing, he carried the crate to a nearby pile of them, looking at the men sitting nearby playing a game of dice. Even so far out here, the work was being divided up amongst the unlucky. Some things would never change, even so far away. He put his crate down in a neat fashion and pried it open, revealing a number of axes. Pulling one out, he glanced at the group further away in the forest and went to join them. It took him some time but he finally arrived, lending his help to the men cutting down wood. The fall was here, and if they couldn't build shelter quickly then they'd all freeze in this new and unknown land. It was a tedious and hard job, but someone had to do it, and he was among one of the strongest youths in the party.That night there were many celebrations, several fires roaring and the best of the salted meat roasted and eaten. The ale brought along was broken out and all were happy to have made the great journey safely. They were a tight band, seventy six heads if you included the three natives they had come across in the lands to the far north they passed while on the voyage. It was a marvelous party, and he enjoyed himself thoroughly throughout it. When it had all died down and many were asleep, he stayed up, gazing at the sky. Even though they had traveled thousands of miles, the stars still were the same. It was a strange thing that he doubted he'd ever understand.Someone came from behind, a young woman. He smiled and they embraced, then looked at the stars together. The months ahead would test the mettle of all involved; society itself would have to be rebuilt. Houses would be erected, wells dug, hunting grounds established. Perhaps there would be combat with the natives; perhaps a famine would strike. Regardless, he knew he had to keep his spirits up. The gods would watch over them, he was sure. In his eyes he could see a prosperous future, thousands living in this Newfound land. There'd be children in the streets, bakers, farmers, blacksmiths, cities...And so, with that, he returned to the camp and slept. Slept and waited for what tomorrow would bring.[/font]

 

[font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"][--------][/font]

 

[font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]At 495 words, this story was written for the Ambage Skype Write Off and is being posted for the Flash Fiction contest because of much arm twisting it fits the bill nicely. :P More of a setting piece but that's what you get when you write something in fifteen minutes and spend the first five asking questions.[/font]

 

[font="'courier new', courier, monospace;"]Yes they're Vikings, and yes it's not exactly historically accurate.[/font]


Edited by Cybernetic Alex Humva, Dec 16 2012 - 11:32 AM.

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"In short, my English Lit friend, living in a mental world of absolute rights and wrongs, may be imagining that because all theories are wrong, the earth may be thought spherical now, but cubical next century, and a hollow icosahedron the next, and a doughnut shape the one after." -Isaac Asimov, responding to a letter he had received saying that scientific certainty was false, The Relativity of Wrong


#2 Offline Kragghle

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Posted Dec 16 2012 - 12:33 PM

:kaukau: [color=#0000ff;]You do realize that you're not limited to fifteen minutes in the flash-fiction contest, right?[/color]

 

[color=#0000ff;]As for a review, I'm going to keep this short: I mostly had a feeling of an author coming up with a setting and trying to describe work, finding contrived ways to draw that out with continued use of words.  After a while I got the impression that he was working.  About the second line in.  After that it just seemed like a lot of repetition, because everything else was just another way of describing work.  There wasn't really any story, so there's not much to remember this piece by, other than that I wouldn't have thought to use this definition of the word "Settlement" for any of my stories.[/color]

 

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#3 Offline Takuaka: Toa of Time

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Posted Dec 17 2012 - 09:14 PM

Oh, Vikings? I was picturing American pilgrims, but I suppose the reference to "gods" might have tipped me off.

 

I have to disagree with Jean, though. It seemed like a decent amount of story told to me, given the short space. Although you might have lengthened it a little. Some conversation between the star-gazers might have been nice, too, instead of her just showing up and that was it with her.

 

Overall, though, I enjoyed this story of first arrival in a new land. Albeit, I suppose it does only somewhat loosely fit the theme "settlement". More like the precursor to a settlement, really. "Arrival" would've been a better fit, I think. And it was a rather literal interpretation of the theme, too, but I suppose that doesn't matter.


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This is where I'm supposed to have a signature, right? Alright, then.


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#4 Offline SkyLandOceAnna

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Posted Dec 18 2012 - 10:02 AM

I do see why you used this for settlement, because they appear to be creating a settlement on this new land. I don't think you gave too much of a story though because you have the man working, partying, and stargazing with a woman. I think if you described the trip more to this new settlement they were building, it might have worked better. Keep writing! Thank you!


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#5 Offline Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa

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Posted Apr 03 2013 - 07:21 PM

[color=rgb(0,128,0);]Nuile reporting with a review, compliments of the SSCC.The best flash fiction either depicts a brief scene, tells a brief story, or summarizes and epitomizes a larger story. Generally, the rule is "choose the length that suits your story." But yes, it is possible to fit a story to a given length.You combined the three: you depicted a brief scene woven into a brief story that is part of a greater story. But you left out one very important quality: point; meaning; interest of any kind. In no way--neither style nor description nor action nor anything else--did youI know this probably sounds scathing, and I apologize. But I've read your work before and I know you can do better, which is why this story is disappointing. It does seem to be the sort of story you enjoy writing--a synopsis, a summary of a larger story--which may not be to my tastes, but can be done well, as I have seen you prove in the past.I'm not saying that this story was entirely vacuous. There's the drama of creating a home in a new land, and even a hint of romance; they're working and struggling, I get it. This is all what you told the reader. But you didn't show them any of it.It's all insubstantial. I want to see the sweat on their brows, hear them grunting in the strain of their labor, and feel their emotions; I want to see them relax in companionship after the sun has gone down and the day's work is done. And if this viking is married or in love, I want to know more about their relationship, I want to see more feeling in their exchange under the stars.I would love to see any one of these scenes: disembarking from the ship, laboring, contending with natives, relaxing around a campfire, two lovers enjoying each other's company under the stars. But in condensing it all together you leave out the taste each scene could have on its own, or at any rate expanded.[/color]

 

[color=rgb(0,128,0);]Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:[/color]


Edited by The Novelist Called Nuile, Apr 06 2013 - 05:14 PM.

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