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new piece... written a while ago

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by azora, May 17, 2008.

  1. azora

    azora IncGamers Member

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    new piece... written a while ago

    hey guys - just thought i'd put in my piece and see what response i get. fyi bit of a david gemmel (druss the warrior) and robert jordan (wheel of time) fan. trying to decide whether to write this one up properly or just leave it at the few paragraphs. i haven't titled it or anything yet 'cause i wasn't sure whether i'd finish it.

    --

    Darr motioned Narad to follow him further into the tomb. Faceless statues towered, intimidating, on either side of the tomb entrance, far above the rock wall. Narad gripped his halberd, crossed himself for luck, and hurried into the yawning opening.

    Darr’s hands were already on his swords as Narad’s eyes were adjusting to the light. Suddenly the sandy tomb floor kicked up in a flurry of motion. ****. Darr’s voice roared above the echoic din of shuffling and scraping, sending out an odd encouragement, whilst in the darkness Narad could make out a gigantic black shape, an eye-rending darkness moving toward them over the heads of many skeletal figures. In the flickering torchlight, Darr’s gigantic, shadowy form reached behind his shoulders and began to slowly unsheathe the gleaming twin broadswords scabbarded across his back.

    Suddenly the great man sprang into a leap, and Narad’s heart soared with him. It was an incredible sight – howling in titanic rage, Darr seemed to float across an endless legion of twisted, bony, tortured entities. His landing sent up a great cloud of sandy debris, knocking some of the enemy back into its ghastly own. But it was the gigantic shape that seemed to be Darr’s aim. He had delivered a blow, left-handed, striking across the creature’s bony head and twisted upon landing, right arm snaking for the killing thrust. His sword splintered a bone claw as tall as a man and barely avoided the other claw, aimed at his head. Narad’s eyes widened as he perceived the Darr’s speed – he was already inside the creature’s range. In a flash of steel, Darr’s swords reached out simultaneously through the creature’s chest and sent a vile, blackened fluid pouring out onto the sand.

    Abruptly, Narad was occupied with barely seen figures striking out with ancient, rusted weapons from the shadows. It took all of Narad’s presence of mind to avoid being struck. His halberd whirled down onto a bone figure’s head, splitting it in two. Still the horror shambled forward for a moment before the dark magic that held sway over it disintegrated, felling the foul creation. Another two came, and Narad danced the dance that held life in his right and death in his left hand, in perfect balance. Spinning, chopping and battering in all directions, Narad knew he would be overwhelmed eventually. The gentle golden radiance that emanated from under Narad’s feet pulsed brightly. He remembered Griez’s words.

    He hadn’t been afraid of saying them in front of Darr, though he would have been a good three heads shorter and about half as wide across the shoulders.
    “There have been a lot of good adventurers come to sticky ends out in that demonic desert. Watch your own back as much as you watch his.†With a final appraisal of Darr, sun-strained grey eyes alight in his swarthy face, he stumped back inside, jingling the coin pouch that Darr had paid him with. Darr grunted to himself, glimmering brown eyes watching him go.
    “Let’s go. We have a lot of work to do.†He eyed Narad’s old long spear. “You need to learn more about your style of weapon. I have seen many different variations.†Before Narad could protest, Darr had walked off. Before he could think about what he was supposed to do next, Darr had called him over to a wooden chest near the blacksmith.

    A jolt told Narad that something had made contact with his right shoulder. It felt hot. The axehead of the halberd hit the floor and wedged in a crack between two heavy floorstones. Right arm now numb, Narad rolled under the handle of his weapon to protect himself from a downward slash. The rusty broadsword hit the wooden shaft. It held. Far behind the sword and the rotting face that held it, the hall was aglow with bright red light – a resurrected mage. As Narad watched, a ball of pure, white-hot flame erupted out of its hand and over Narad’s head toward where he supposed Darr must be. It tore into silence, as blackness swept through Narad’s head.

    --

    if that brings a smile or relieves boredom for anyone for a little while, my job is done. thanks guys - feel free to leave critiques, etc.
     
  2. Dirkw

    Dirkw IncGamers Member

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    Re: new piece... written a while ago

    I like to have a go at it. I hope you can follow the structure; it's kind of hard to add feedback without having the textual unit almost fall apart. I hope you can bare with me =).

    --

    Darr motioned Narad to follow him further into the tomb. Faceless statues towered, intimidating, on either side of the tomb entrance, far above the rock wall. Narad gripped his halberd, crossed himself for luck, and hurried into the yawning opening.
    <A tomb is enclosed by definition. So how can statues tower above the walls?>


    Darr’s hands were already on his swords as Narad’s eyes were adjusting to the light.
    <Adjusting to the light? I would say the eyes need to adjust to the lack of it? As it is now, it reads as though the tomb is brightly lit.>


    Suddenly the sandy tomb floor kicked up in a flurry of motion. ****.
    <the word flurry, in context of 'tomb', 'sandy', and the whole set atmosphere doesn't work.>


    Darr’s voice roared above the echoic din of shuffling and scraping, sending out an odd encouragement, whilst in the darkness Narad could make out a gigantic black shape, an eye-rending darkness moving toward them over the heads of many skeletal figures.
    <"Odd" in "Odd discouragement" weakens the impression of the roar.>
    <Also, you are nullifying the impact of darr's roar because of the way the introduction of the appearance of the dark creature follows up so/too quickly.>
    <And where do these 'many skeletal figures' come from so all of a sudden?>
    <How should the reader imagine a gigantic dark shape, moving over those skeletal figures? It is too vague and lacks detail and definition.>


    In the flickering torchlight, Darr’s gigantic, shadowy form reached behind his shoulders and began to slowly unsheathe the gleaming twin broadswords scabbarded across his back.
    <The word 'shadowy' here brings a lot of confusion because the reader will instantly relate and connect that word to the approaching evil instead of to Darr.>
    <Is 'gleaming' and 'twin' really all you want to say about his weaponry?>


    Suddenly the great man sprang into a leap, and Narad’s heart soared with him. It was an incredible sight – howling in titanic rage, Darr seemed to float across an endless legion of twisted, bony, tortured entities. His landing sent up a great cloud of sandy debris, knocking some of the enemy back into its ghastly own.
    <Knocking 'some' of the enemy back... How much, what, who? What's 'some'?>


    But it was the gigantic shape that seemed to be Darr’s aim. He had delivered a blow, left-handed, striking across the creature’s bony head and twisted upon landing, right arm snaking for the killing thrust. His sword splintered a bone claw as tall as a man and barely avoided the other claw, aimed at his head. Narad’s eyes widened as he perceived the Darr’s speed – he was already inside the creature’s range.
    <Obviously he's in the creature's range, otherwise how could Darr have avoided 'the other claw'?>


    In a flash of steel, Darr’s swords reached out simultaneously through the creature’s chest and sent a vile, blackened fluid pouring out onto the sand.
    <Blackened fluid; why not just black fluid? The difference between blackened and black is to be noted here, and if you call it 'blackened', you need to explain why it's not just 'black' - 'blackened implies the occurance of a process, somewhere in time, and because we don't get to know anymore about the creature (for instance its history), 'blackened' confuses.>


    Abruptly, Narad was occupied with barely seen figures striking out with ancient, rusted weapons from the shadows.
    <Where did these barely seen figures come from? There is a flawed coherency here, because the reader did not know when or where these creatures came from, and will wonder why Narad didn't help Darr vs the 'black shape' and the 'many skeletal figures'. This coherency problem is a direct result from the word 'Abruptly', which gives the reader too little sense of time, if any.>


    It took all of Narad’s presence of mind to avoid being struck. His halberd whirled down onto a bone figure’s head, splitting it in two. Still the horror shambled forward for a moment before the dark magic that held sway over it disintegrated, felling the foul creation.
    <What exactly happens here? The bone figure is split in two, and after a while 'the dark magic' disintegrates, ok. The problem is in 'dark magic'. Add definition to the 'dark magic', so that the reader can understand how disintegration can be applied to it. Hint: How can Narad see the disintegration taking place; how would it look from his standpoint?>


    Another two came, and Narad danced the dance that held life in his right and death in his left hand, in perfect balance. Spinning, chopping and battering in all directions, Narad knew he would be overwhelmed eventually.
    <"In perfect balance" awefully contrasts with 'Spinning, chopping and battering in all directions".>


    The gentle golden radiance that emanated from under Narad’s feet pulsed brightly. He remembered Griez’s words.
    <What is this golden radiance, what does it do?>


    He hadn’t been afraid of saying them in front of Darr, though he would have been a good three heads shorter and about half as wide across the shoulders.
    “There have been a lot of good adventurers come to sticky ends out in that demonic desert. Watch your own back as much as you watch his.” With a final appraisal of Darr, sun-strained grey eyes alight in his swarthy face, he stumped back inside, jingling the coin pouch that Darr had paid him with. Darr grunted to himself, glimmering brown eyes watching him go.
    “Let’s go. We have a lot of work to do.” He eyed Narad’s old long spear. “You need to learn more about your style of weapon. I have seen many different variations.” Before Narad could protest, Darr had walked off. Before he could think about what he was supposed to do next, Darr had called him over to a wooden chest near the blacksmith.
    <I have no idea what happened between "The gentle golden"..."Near the blacksmith". Griez's word,s demonic desert, some talk about an old long spear etc... It seems as if the story suddenly falls apart and all of the fighting in the tomb was some bad dream. I just don't get it.>


    A jolt told Narad that something had made contact with his right shoulder. It felt hot. The axehead of the halberd hit the floor and wedged in a crack between two heavy floorstones.
    <Okay, so now we find ourselves back in the tomb.>
    Right arm now numb, Narad rolled under the handle of his weapon to protect himself from a downward slash. The rusty broadsword hit the wooden shaft. It held. Far behind the sword and the rotting face that held it, the hall was aglow with bright red light – a resurrected mage. As Narad watched, a ball of pure, white-hot flame erupted out of its hand and over Narad’s head toward where he supposed Darr must be. It tore into silence, as blackness swept through Narad’s head.
    <There's way too much happening here, with occurances taking place around Narad, around Darr (maybe? It's Narad's estimation), and inbetween them. All of it lacks description and the reader suffers from a severe lack of information, making this part of the story very unimaginative. It's as if you'd be watching the second half of an action movie where the director went to the bathroom and leaves it up to the actors to tell the reader something about what's going on - but the actors don't really have much time to take good care of the audience because they are either busy fighting (Darr) or are occupied with saving their life (Narrad).>
    --


    From a dramatic point of view, the main characters lack too much detail to be sympathized with. They have no background and no character; the reader doesn't get to know anything about their personality. It's also puzzling why Darr and Narad work together, as none of the story implies any chemistry between them or any synergy. They don't seem adjusted to eachother, they don't rely on eachother for any sort of actions. It's as if there's 2 fights taking place at the same time while it should be obvious it's 1 good vs 1 bad. There's also no emotion from either of the two that results from what happens to the other. It's also unclear why they are in the tomb in the first place and what they've set out to accomplish.


    While all of this may seem like harsh commentary, I do like the way you describe physical occurances. You describe with a lot of movement and you sometimes put in some nice little details with cool wording ("cloud of sandy debris", "eye-rending darkness", to "fell the foul creation" (though one might expect 'felling the foul fiend" :)).



    Well, that's about all I've got to say for now. Would like a response, as always :) Cheers and thanks for sharing your work with us. It's great to read this kind of fan fiction and to note the enthousiasm that accompanies it.
     
  3. Disco-neck Ted

    Disco-neck Ted The Dark Library

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    Re: new piece... written a while ago

    Hi there. Welcome to the FFF, azora. Thanks for giving us something to read.

    Also, big welcome to Dirkw. Thanks for putting some time and effort into a valuable critique!

    I agree with a lot of what Dirkw said, and have some general comments on writing a story that might or might not be helpful.

    1. Is it there?
    2. Is it right?
    3. Is it in the correct order?

    These guidelines, discussed below, can be applied on any level, from part of a sentence to the entire story.

    1. Is it there? So, the ideas are vivid in your mind, you can see the sweat carving grooves in the dust and grit on Darr's forehead. Did that image make it out of your brain and onto the page where we can read it? I generally found the descriptions to be far too sparse.

    Example:

    Later in the story, it is revealed that an army of skeletons sprang up unexpectedly from the sandy floor of the tomb, but it lacked impact because I didn't see it through the eyes of the characters. There are other places where it seems as if what you were imagining did not make it to the page to be read.

    2. Is it right? Assuming you have worked until you are satisfied that the essence of what is in your mind has been tranferred to the page, it is a good idea to go back and look at what you have written to see if the words are the right ones for the job. Dirkw's example of the "blackened" blood is good, since "blackened" has connotations of its own and isn't simply a synonym for "black". Here is another place where the word choices caught my eye:

    First, his hands were "already on his swords", so why is he reaching back form them now? I assumed he was gripping the hilts. Second, why is he "slowly" unsheathing them? What is he waiting for? Is he trying to intimidate the skeletons or is there some mechanical reason why the weapons need to be brought out with deliberation? Another example:

    I'm not going to start a philosophical debate, but using the word "entity" struck me as wrong, especially since a skeleton is later referred to as a "foul creation". I would choose another word rather than applying one that has connotations of the skeletons having a "presence" rather than being mindless reanimations. Likewise, describing them as "tortured" seems almost to cast them in a sympathetic light, which is cool, but not in keeping with the thrust of the story as it now stands.

    3. Is it in the correct order? So, once the images are all there on the page and the discordant words have been pruned or replaced, is the result in the right order? Kick over a jigsaw puzzle. All the essential bits are there, but it probably doesn't make much sense until it is arranged properly. Example:

    Gigantic black shape? Check. Undead horde? Sure thing. But the way the sentence is worded, it looks as if the mummy is walking across the heads of the skeletons to get to the adventurers (I chuckled). Worse, the skeletons haven't even been introduced at this point, aside from the sounds they are making and the flurry of sand kicked up. My feeling is that the first thing someone would notice/pay attention to is the critters rising from the ground right in front of them instead of peering into the darkness to see, oh yeah, there is a mummy heading this way behind an army of undeads.


    The good news is that you have a pretty fair grasp of writing and could be much better with a bit of work. Thank you again for a bit of free entertainment.

    Cheers.

    -DnT



     
  4. azora

    azora IncGamers Member

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    Re: new piece... written a while ago

    hey guys, thanks. yeah it does all happen at once... i was hoping to start by recreating that first time that you run into tal rasha's tomb and get mobbed by a pack of skeletons and hollow ones, and develop the characters as they continue their journey of demon whacking. so the characters aren't really all that easy to sympathise with as of yet. i love to lash out with emotive words here and there and everywhere, too, point taken. maybe i'll do a bit of backstory. and yeah, i read over some of the sentences, they are a bit ambiguous.

    anyway coolios i gots me some things to think about... when d3 comes out i'll probably be writing again...
     

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