xuenay: (Default)
I'm trying to hone my fiction writing as well as hopefully create a longer story. I realize that it's possibly too short to meaningfully comment on, but I'd like to ask for some feedback on the brief scene I posted yesterday. More specifically, there are two things I'd like to ask:

1) How did you find the length of the "Veiran trying to get away from a high place" part? Was it about right, or should I have made the tension last longer? (Did you feel there was any tension in the first place?)

2) Did the scene make you interested in the characters? Suppose you were at a bookstore looking for something to buy and this was the first page of a book you happened to grab and look at. Would you turn the page to read more, put down the book and move on to the next one, or buy the thing?

Don't be kind, don't be mean - be honest. Thanks!

EDIT at 15:31 West Coast Time (GMT -7): I edited the original based on feedback from [livejournal.com profile] alicorn24 and [livejournal.com profile] alekseiriikonen, so if you're commenting, make sure you've read the most recent version!
xuenay: (Default)
Now edited based on feedback. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] alicorn24 and [livejournal.com profile] alekseiriikonen!

Veiran's white fingers clenched the edge of the stone roof, his legs dangling in the air as he fought back the vertigo and tried to remain sitting upright. He was sitting on the rooftop of a four-story building, the tallest in the courtyard. From below he could hear the sounds of other children. He tried hard to imagine this to be an ordinary day, with him playing down there and not ready to faint up here. This morning, Master Orasnia had said that those who wanted to become Warrior-Saints one day would need to learn to master their fears.

Veiran had always been afraid of heights.

He had originally thought he would remain up here for a while, until he was sure to have conquered his fear. It was now dawning on him that it was not simply a question of fighting back the fear until it went away. He thought that would have been, if not exactly simple, at least doable if he'd just put in enough willpower. He hadn't anticipated that he might actually fall down if the fear got bad enough.

So he should probably get down, and then maybe practice somewhere not quite this steep. First step, get away from the edge.

Get away from the edge.

Get away from the edge.

Right. Then to actually do it.

It felt like all of his weight was in his legs, and none of it in his upper body. How to safely get some of it higher up?

It took a moment's thought, but eventually he eased his grip on the edge and slowly pulled his hands backwards and leaned against them. After a moment, he had his palms planted firmly down behind his back, with much of his weight shifted on them.

Then the hard part. Okay, boy, raise your behind. Pull yourself up, and hope you don't lose your grip.

He had to gather his courage for a while for that, and when he got moving he felt the edges of his vision black out. For a few moments, his heart seemed to be beating right next to his ear. But then it was over, and he was safely away from the edge. Veiran breathed hard.

Getting himself to move from the safe position he'd ended up at took several heartbeats more. The edge was farther away now, but now that he had seen the yard below, it was far too easy to imagine losing his balance and tumbling down towards it. He barely let himself breathe as he crawled back towards the ladder he'd used to get on the roof, and he heaved a sigh of relief as his feet finally hit the rocky ground. He wasn't the only one.

”You had me really worried.” Naie's pupils, even usually large, were leaving hardly any room for the blue in his eyes. Even though he was thirteen like Veiran, he was frequently mistaken to be several years younger.

”I know. I had even me worried. Sorry.”

”Don't do that again, will you?”

”Well... not that roof, at any rate.”

”Vei...” Naie's voice was pleading. Veiran was starting on an objection when he looked at Naie's expression, swallowed, and took the other boy's hand.

”I won't.”

”Thank you.”

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