SEFPC Critiques

Well, just one critique. I *do* have a job I'm supposed to be doing, but this is so much fun!

13. ros - I really like this. Daniel seems like a very three-dimensional character, with very believable human responses (how it was a relief to go to the shrine after his wife miscarried). There's a lot of backstory here, but it is logical because of what he's doing- he's praying for a son, of course he's going to think about what's happened so far. My only concern is the last paragraph- where he regains some hope. That provides some premature resolution to the tension you were building. What I'd like to see instead of that is some action- but maybe it's just because I'm such a fantasy nut that I see an opportunity for the god to come to life or an angel to appear. Also, your use of the name Daniel and praying to the god El and the mention of palace made me think this was meant to be the biblical Daniel, but then I don't remember him having a wife named Danatiya? So maybe some more clues about the world this takes place in would be helpful.

I hope I don't come across as inconsistent about backstory in a first page. I think it's fine if it's woven into what's happening. Just a big info dump doesn't help pull us into the story.

3 comments:

Wow, that was quick!! Thank you so much.

I think that the regaining hope perhaps takes on more significance in this excerpt (because it's in the last line) than it does if you keep reading. There is some divine action before his prayers are answered. At this point, it's just the fact that he can pray that's giving him hope. But I'll go back and see whether I need to change anything around.

It's actually a novel I'm working on based on an ancient Ugaritic myth, so there are linguistic and other parallels with the ancient Hebrew world, but it's not the same Daniel.

It's hard to know how many clues to include early on and how much is too much. I can see that taken completely out of the blue, this would be hard to follow.

Lots to think about, thank you!!

January 30, 2008 at 3:58 PM  

Welcome! I hate to admit it, but I had to look up what a Ugaritic myth was. I found the one about Daniel, and it sounds fascinating. There are so many stories hidden in ancient myths just waiting to be told. Good luck with yours.

January 31, 2008 at 11:24 AM  

Sorry, I forget that not everyone knows about Ugarit! It was only discovered about 60 years ago and the excavations are still continuing. The language is very exciting - it's the earliest known alphabetic language, and it has lots of similarities with biblical Hebrew. The myths are very fun too.

January 31, 2008 at 1:15 PM  

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