I saw the unthinkable yesterday. Someone gave my story, "Harvest of War," only 1 star. :( They quoted the first two lines and said "It doesn't get any better." Then they later referred to the writing as "boring and banal." They did, however, indicate that it was a personal preference and that if others are tempted they should have a look at the sample of the story. I appreciated that. I then found a second 1 star review, but I have the suspicion these may be by the same person since both are "jonsomething" and both indicated they like Amish themed fiction. That can't be all that common.
Honestly, I'm not very hurt by this. People have different tastes. I am, however, immensely curious. Why did this individual judge those first two lines as being so bad? I actually think they are rather good. I began to wonder if it might have to do with different preferences for level of description, exposition, and dialogue. The opening of "Harvest" has no dialogue. It depicts a battle scene to set up the story.
But now I have a question that perhaps some of you might be able to help me with. I've quoted the opening paragraphs to "Harvest of War" below. No dialogue as you can see. However, would you consider this section to be more description or more exposition? I have to confess that I don't quite understand the difference between these two. Exposition appears to me to mean "explanation." Description gives visual and other sensory images. To me, there is some exposition below, but mostly this is description. However, I have heard this section of the story described as "classic exposition" by another reviewer, who liked the overall story very much.
Can you help me understand this concept?
QUOTE FROM STORY BELOW:
Across a snowfield that lies red with dawn, the Orc charge comes.
And is met.
Axes shriek on shields. Swords work against armor into flesh. The tips of spears are wetted. Gore dapples the snow.
For a moment, the human line holds. Then the center wavers. In a frenzy, an Orc squad punches through. More Orc pour in. The gap widens. The human forces fold back in desperate defense to either side of the breakthrough. Victory rewards the most brutal.
Across the field of now trampled snow, a new army appears—human cavalry mounted upon chargers of black. Banners unfurl. Horns skirl. Only too late do the Orc realize they’ve been tricked.
The mounted charge comes crashing. The hooves of warhorses hammer the ground to icy slush as lances headed with black iron are couched. The rear of the Orc army falls like wheat before that scythe.