Monday, October 5, 2015

First Impressions - A Luminous Apparition's Resolve

Welcome again to First Impressions, whereby yours truly, Dianne Salerni, and Krystalyn Drown will critique someone's first page at our respective blogs. Our second submission for this month is the first page of  A LUMINOUS APPARITION'S RESOLVE, a YA Fantasy from Nathan Koronkiewicz.





A Luminous Apparition's Resolve 

Life had begun in an instant, had changed over time and it was bound to change once more. This change would send shockwaves throughout the universe shattering everything and rewriting the path of history, as we knew it. Not one species would be safe from the wrath to come. From the midst of Garrett’s good intentions was the birth of a force of pure evil.
“A Hero, a mystical person, someone who sets the criteria of what is righteous. Each culture, each world, we all have someone who has once reached this title. Yet, why is it that my race has no one to call a hero of their own?” Looking out across my blank canvas, the pathways were as sleek as ever, the reflection of the stars below glimmering. My eyes drifted downwards, and I looked upon a lone planet in the emptiness of space.
Taking my brush, I had painted the scene, which had unraveled before me.
Sword and shield in hand, the man stood next to a flag of his people. His face filled with anguish and gratitude as he looked out across the battlefield. None of his comrades had remained, but in the distance, a flag of an empire was burning.
“A sole survivor, huh? He managed to accomplish his goal, but what was his price? Was it worth the blood spilt from the war to achieve freedom? I suppose it was for his people that he set out for victory.”
My feelings were mixed on the matter; I was intrigued by the concept known as heroes. How could it be that something known as ‘heroes’ existed in almost every world? But, each of these heroes differed from one another, their morals, their personalities and what they set out to accomplish. Is there some sort of connection between all heroes? Are they somehow drawn towards this concept? I don’t quite understand it, but if I could, I’d strive for it as well. 
I grasped my painting and took one last look at it. It was the birth of a hero in action, a marvelous scene, which depicted only one kind, the hero of war. I had come across many types of heroes in my time, but I had never witnessed a war hero. If I had to guess, it was a near perfect depiction to add to my collection.
***

My thoughts: My first thought is that I'm a little confused, not entirely sure what's going on here. My sense is that the narrator is a collector of heroes - and not in a good way I'm guessing. I want to say that he's (an assumption on my part) the protagonist but maybe Garrett is, or are they one in the same and the first paragraph is from a point of view that isn't the narrator...? For example:
"Looking out across my blank canvas, the pathways (what pathways? The pathways on the blank canvas?) were as sleek as ever, the reflection of the stars below glimmering. My eyes drifted downwards, and I looked upon a lone planet in the emptiness of space." (is he still looking at the canvas or somewhere else?)
"Taking my brush, I had painted the scene, which had unraveled before me." (the order of events here don't make sense to me)
Hence the confusion on my part.
My second thought is that there are also some pretty interesting things happening on this first page. Pure evil for starters. And the painting (or is it the painter?), which reminded me a little of Stephen King's Dumas Key, in which a man survives an accident and suddenly starts painting some interesting things. 
Finally there's this last bit:
"...a war hero. If I had to guess, it was a near perfect depiction to add to my collection."
A collection of what? Heroes? Is our narrator some kind of psychopathic collector like the kind we see on Criminal Minds? Holy Cow!
My suggestion would be to make clear who's telling this story, give a better sense of where we are (in a studio? outside?), and what our narrator is doing. Is he painting without being entirely conscious of it or is there some other force at work?

Readers, what are your thoughts? Any suggestions for Nathan? I'll be back Wednesday with our final First Impression for October and after that...

...Pumpkinfest is coming :)

8 comments:

  1. Hate to say it, I was really confused as well. Wasn't sure if something was happening and I was missing it or if it was all description.

    ReplyDelete
  2. No thoughts from me, other than this has some lovely turns of phrase :) Thanks for sharing, Nathan!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Intrigued and confused. And a tad suprised that a war hero is not the first to be added to the collection. I suspect they are the one which is most readily transferable across culture, time and even perhaps species.

    ReplyDelete
  4. PS: Love the pumpkin peacock.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I got a little lost, too. I didn't get much in the way of action. He's painting a picture...maybe? Perhaps it needs to be a little more...direct?

    ReplyDelete
  6. This confused me quite a bit, especially who Garrett is, the narrator or the war hero.

    Also he went from staring at a blank canvas to holding one that had already been painted. I think this sentence should be past tense, instead of past perfect: "Taking my brush, I had painted the scene, which had unraveled before me." Change that to: "Taking my brush, I painted the scene which unraveled before me." See the difference? It's more immediate.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is very detailed, and intriguing. But I was lost through most of it. At first I thought it was a book blurb, then maybe he was in a classroom, and then it seems he's actually looking at a finished painting, although he starts by looking at "a blank canvas."

    Nathan is clearly a good story teller. Lots of ideas to work up here. Solidifying the character and setting, and give a consistent flow to the event, and this will be an intriguing beginning.

    ReplyDelete

If you're interested in my blog I'm interested in your comments.