Friday Flash Fiction: The Woodsman (Teaser)

22 02 2008

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Somewhat predictably it’s been impossible this week to set aside time to write any Flash Fiction however I did, by chance, notice that the opening sequence of The Woodsman was exactly 1000 words long [due to a last minute edit it is now shorter]. Clearly it was a sign.

And so here’s the opening of The Woodsman, as ever feedback is appreciated.

The Woodsman (a fragment)
By Neil Beynon

The soldiers chased the torn and bleeding girl across the hills. In spite of the wounds she ran swiftly and unerringly towards the forest. Behind her, drawing closer all the time, the men of war spat and cursed as they came.

When she first managed to free herself from the embrace of the latest of large group of soldiers that had used her the other men had whooped and cheered. They enjoyed her deception – she’d led a youngster in to believing she’d stopped resisting then, when he had let her hand slide free, she’d reached down with her jagged, bloody nails and ripped. They laughed at her spirit as he fell off her screaming. She saw her chance and took it. She ran, to the delight of the drunken men who stood watching but then, when they realised the girl had enough strength that she might get away, they followed.

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6 responses

22 02 2008
Greg O'Byrne


Me too. I put up a scene from a long story I’m working on.

Lotsa stuff going on there. That’s a nice start. Is she a pre-destined heroine? I like the comparison of the wiser older soldiers to the younger rash ones.

I do think a slightly more explicit description of their fate might work there. I know there is mystery that you don’t want to let the reader know yet. But something that lets her know of the terrible “evil” (or is that “good”) in the forest.

Like a scream from the men as she passes out.

or the sound of chewing.

MIght not be necessary, just a thought.

22 02 2008

Thanks Greg. No, not a pre-destined heroine just very unlucky.

23 02 2008

I definitely want to read more. I agree with Greg that there is a lot going on at the beginning. I think there might be ever so slightly too much going on but if it’s going to slow down following this is might not be an issue. But yeah really, really good. I’m totally sucked in!

23 02 2008

Thanks Abbi. The pace after this section is not as full on for the entire story but there are two main issues I’m trying to fix in this draft, pace being one and a somewhat untidy ending being the other.

Feedback so far has been interesting and extremely useful. Anymore for anymore?

26 02 2008

I really liked it – will you serialise the whole story on here?

27 02 2008

Thanks Toni, not sure. The second draft came in at 53,000 words or there abouts but in the fantasy market that’s a touch short and would likely prove hard to sell even if I had proven track record of sales, which I don’t. If the third draft is still not at a market length then yes.

Once it’s done, given we know each other in the real world, you’re welcome to read the manuscript, I’ll probably knock off some bound copies for test readers anyway as it’s a real pain to haul around a few hundred pages of manuscript.

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