It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Exclusive Writing Challenge; DeusEx Vs. Intrepid

page: 1
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 02:31 PM
link   
This is the first of what could be a whole new aspect to our little writing forum. Two very talented writers Intrepid and DeusEx have agreed to participate in a battle of their writing skills. Since both have shared with us some examples of their work and we're familiar with their styles, the goal of this battle is to challenge them to try new things and expand their current writing styles.

I have decided to make this into a three part battle. Each round will last approximately two weeks in which during that time, both writers will try their best to out do each other. Each round should get progressively more challenging for each writer. I will provide specific guidelines/genres for the writers to follow in each round. Once the two week time is over, they will move on to the next challenge and round.

Round One:

Participants must write an original story no less than 500 words. Your goal is to provide to us by the end of the two weeks a Fantastical and Magical Story Your genre for round one is Fantasy. Now go forth and unleash your imaginations.

Good luck to both of you and I hope you out do each other


(anyone else interested in participating in a similar type challenge please u2 me)

I also ask that fellow readers and writers refrain from posting comments regarding any entries made until Round One is over. If you would like to participate in offering advice and criticism specific to the writing styles of these two brave and talented writers, again u2 me.




posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 10:10 PM
link   
Galen fingered his pike, not a sliver on the weapon. He took pride in his service to his charge, the Duke of Edan. His father had served this Duke, and Galen served him as well, as much a confident and an advisor as a bodyguard. He looked up as the horseman entered the reception room.

“What news, rider”?, Gomerey, Duke of Edan asked.

“Vile happenings in the capitol, my lord. Morath has usurped and slain your brother. He has obtained the allegiances of the generals and seems to massing the Host.”

Gomerey lowered his head into his hands. His face hidden by them and his long salt and pepper locks. Carpantia, a nation comprised of 13 principalities, of which Edan was the closest to the capital, was a peaceful country, alive with artisans and men of science. Carpantia had shared in wars but was not steeped in them. This news was doubly hurtful to the Duke. His brother dead, his country in the grips of a power hungry wizard. How he got the generals to follow him he had no idea, they were honorable men, well trained and loyal. He had warned his brother repeatedly to get rid of the enchanter but his brother was not a man to be told what to do.

MORATH”, bellowed Gomerey. It echoed loudly throughout the hall. Before the yell had completely diminished it was replaced by a buzzing, like that of angry hornets as a black strip about eight feet tall appeared before the dias on which Gomerey sat. The buzzing increased as this tear in space increased in width. As it reached four feet wide it seemed as if the room was full of hornets, the sound deafening. From the blackness strode a hooded figure, draped in what appeared to be sackcloth. The darkness closed behind him and the noise ceased immediately. Unspectacular he was until this tall figure, he must have been six and a half feet tall, removed the hood. The completely bald visage and piercing obsidian eyes commanded ones attention.

“My Lord Duke Gomerey, you called?”, Morath said as he bowed low, a smile on his face. “I’m sure that you have insight on what has transpired in the capitol”. This was not a question.

“Bold of you to come alone Morath, now I will do what my brother should have done two years hence when you arrived in Carpantia”. The Dukes nod was barely perceptible and three shafts flew from alcoves behind the wizard. They sped towards their target but simply stopped two feet from their target. Morath turned to look at the bolts that were a mere arms reach away. He looked up to the alcoves and motioned with both hands and the archers started dissolving, screaming.

Galen dropped his pike and pounced upon the back of the wizard, wrapping his arm around Morath’s neck. Whatever had stopped the arrows, it didn’t stop flesh. He flexed his muscled arms but almost instantly felt the strength leaving him. He draped over the shoulders of the necromancer briefly then collapsed to the floor at his feet. The wizard spun around his eyes glaring at Galen. How can black glow so brightly, Galen thought.

“FOOL, YOU DARE TOUCH ME?”

He raised his head and looked at Gomerey, “I will have your obedience or I will have your head”.

The Duke looked at Morath and spat.

“So be it. I will send the Host, I will make an example of Edan for the rest of the principalities. However, I will also send a special treat for this little man that dared to touch me”. He looked down at Galen, “I’m sending the Soul Reapers for you little man. They will rend your soul apart as you die. Slowly”. Morath’s smile seemed to divide the lower part of his face from the rest, so large it was.

Morath made a complicated set of movements with his hands and he disappeared, the arrows fell to the floor, ringing hollowly. Galen’s strength returned to him and he looked at his Lord, there was concern in both of their eyes.

Part deux.

A vision showed itself to the chamber, there were only two people in that room, Gomerey and Galen. It was inside a tent, Morath was addressing his generals.

“Kill everything, let nothing live except the flies. BUT no one will touch this man except the Reapers. If anyone does, they will share his fate”. Galen saw his own face materialize in the air. He also saw what appeared to be dogs but these canines had little muscle and less skin. They were not of this world, their eyes stole light from the room. The Reapers. Morath turned to peer at Galen across space, “These are for you little man”. Galen shuddered but he noticed something else. One of the generals was reaching for his dagger. The power to send this vision was taxing the powers of Morath. The wizard turned away and the vision ended. This would happen, the Host would follow the generals, they were honorable men, great leaders..Galen could see how the army would follow Morath’s will, sorcery.

The Host had sieged Edan for less than two days, the end was near. Edan was not designed for a siege, it’s walls were not high. The war machines had breached the walls, Edan’s defense was gone. “Few left to fight my lord”, said Galen. He looked down and saw the men falling like snowflakes.

“Do you blame them Galen?”, Gomerey said. “Most fled, I blame them not, why do you look so forlorn?”

“I fear not death, my lord”, said Galen, “I will never be remembered though, by anyone. That plagues me, I just wish that I could be remembered”.

A bloodied archer entered the room and gave Gomerey a curt nod.

“Yes archer”?, said the Duke.

“We have lost the city, my Lord, the Host will overtake the castle in moments”.

“What of the Reapers”?

“Nothing harms them my Lord. Sword, pike, arrow”.

Gomerey bent his head in thought, “Do what you can archer”. The bowman left the room.

The fighting was closer, the screams of the dying were carrying into the chamber. There were other sounds as well, sounds that didn’t come from this world. Again, the Reapers..Galen adjusted his mail and helmet. He would defend his charge to the death.

“Galen?”, Gomerey said.

Galen turned to his lord, he was pointing a longbow at him. Had Morath’s magic reached his Lord?, thought Galen.

“I love you like a brother Galen, I would not see you suffer the death that’s before you”.

“NO my lord, I am not done in my duties”.

“Yes, your duties are done”. The bolt flew, true. Galen fell.

Gomerey sat at the table, time was running out, the fighting was barely outside the entrance to this chamber. The mewling of the Reapers was near.

I, Gomerey, Duke of Edan. I know not how history will play out but I want it noted in this scroll that we, Carpantia, was a peaceful nation. We honored art, knowledge, science and acceptance. This was torn from us by a usurper. It ended with the rise of a despot named Morath. Edan ended with myself and a truly valiant warrior by the name of Galen. An honorable man....

Gomerey put his scroll in a box sealed by Miter beeswax. He placed it in a hidden alcove. Drew his sword and the Reapers crept eerily into the room. Their stench preceded them. Gomerey dropped the bow and rose with a stiff spine to his full height............

Part Tres

“Dad, what are you looking at”?

The older man had overturned a mass of worn stone and was reading from a delicate parchment

“...Duke of Edan.... Galen...”

“Do you know what we’ve found here? This scroll proves that the 13th province existed.. There was an Edan. The stories are true but there is a new name... Galen”.


[edit on 27-11-2005 by intrepid]



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 01:05 PM
link   
The snow wasn't heavy, but the flakes were real big. Light gray skies overhead made it seem like they were coming from nowhere, piling on the heavy evergreen branches. Visibility was near nil, and the four of us were damn tired. Damn tired from hoofing it day and night to keep ahead of the orcs chasing us. Damn tired of beef jerky. Damn tired in general.

Welcome to the Twenty-First Arcturan Rangers, boyo.

The cold wasn't too bad, we were pretty used to it. The important thing was to make it to safety, get my men out of the wind and wet. Tell the Duke that the orcs were coming down again, get him to mobilize the Heavy Guard. Put some pressure on the elves to help us. Or the goddamn dwarves, get them to pull their weight for once.

Derek leaned on a solitary birch, panting. White streams of fog obscured his face as he caught his breath. Running through knee-deep snow isn't easy, much less with a big divot out of your shoulder all infected. We had about a half-day on the scouts of the orc force, tops, and we needed every minute. More, if we could get it. I figured the other Rangers were starting to harass the force- hopefully. The Eighteenth and Fifth Arcturan were in the area, on patrols. We were just unlucky enough to get caught right in the path of the most ferocious warband I'd ever seen.

"Hey, farmboy! Wing that canteen over."

"Eh."

I threw Elahn, our mage and resident pointy-ear, the last of my water. As squad leader, had to look out for my troops.

"Feeling up to a little fighting?"

"If I really have to. Damn, I'm exhausted. I'm almost out of casting materials."

Spellcasting takes a lot out of you, or so I'm told. Derek was fixing the bandage on his arm. Victor gnawed on some jerky. My stomach grumbled sympathetically, and I snapped off a bite of some venison from my own dwindling rations. Had to link up with everyone else, but the Rangers weren't a conventional fighting force. Guerrillas of the finest order, yes. Woodsmen, mages, archers, defenders, yes. Able to stand against the Horde? Not without some help.

"Think anyone's made it to the Duke yet?"

The Duke Stephenson, regent of the area, was our lord. He was responsible for above-ground matters.

"Naw," grunted Victor,shaking his head. "This is a big one, though. I haven't ever seen this many greenskins in one place. Seems like the stories my grandpappy told me."

We all had stories, from when the forces of Good finally lost the battle. Orcs without number pushed them into this hundred-mile valley, where they were ironically saved from the Great Celestial Wrath. We all heard the stories, of how the gods were so angry they made fire fall from the sky. We were safe in the Valley, though. Humans and elves and dwarves more or less coexisted for four generations, fighting off the occasional invasion. The only reason we were still on this land was a suit of the Walking Armor, salvaged by the First Arcturan right after the war. We built our own versions to fight off the orcs and ogres and trolls. Better late than never.

In the valley, there lived about five hundred thousand souls of the three surviving good races. Half of them were soldiers, at any given time. The Coalition, as we called ourselves at the time, was balanced on a razor's edge. We all fought off the forces of evil, including traitors of our own races. Dark Elves, out and out bad humans...it was a constant siege. And were there, right on the front lines.

Elahn nodded, agreeing with Victor.

"There's no way no one's noticed. I'm guessing the Dragoons are already making their way here with the Hell's Horses."

Not bad, I thought to myself. Some calvary and light armor to help us break up the attack. We just had to make it there.

The plains were about ten miles away. If we could make it there, we could get Derek some help. We could get resupplied, then get back to business of clearing the greenskins out of these woods. He was hurt, bad. Poison arrow nicked his should or something, so now it was all puffy and infected. Elahn did his best, but there was only so much he could do. He wasn't a proper wizard, it just wasn't in him. Magical ability was rare, rarer still was the magical power. Derek had a few days left in him, more than enough to make it back. Well, so I hoped.

I pushed aside a heavy fir bough, letting the snow fall. Damn the tracks, we needed to get safe. Normally, I'd love to come out here and hunt during the winter. That's exactly what got me off the farm, being caught by a ranger and conscripted. Natural ability, they said. Duty to the Duke, they said. I'd still rather be farming, not barely outrunning the largest warband in recent history.

"Stop!"

Elvish voice.

"Twenty-First Arcturan," I said, trying to sound calm.

I didn't hear a bow relax, but I knew it did. The elves were good.

"Good to see you, farmboy."

Damn the man who gave me that nickname. It didn't matter. We had linked up, and in a little while, we would be back in the fray. Derek was going to be okay.


DE



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 07:05 PM
link   
*rubs hands with glee*

Since Intrepid was first off the mark with his gloomy tale, I shall deal with his story first. As is customary, I would like to point out some obvious strengths about your writing. The characters of Galen and Gomery are well defined, even without much detail in how they looked, my imagination filled in many blanks. My interest, for some reason, was mostly on the character of the wizard Morath. His manner of entry into the chamber in part one, amid a buzzing "as if the room was full of hornets" was especially strong for me.

Galen's brave act, upon the failure of the arrows to plug the wizard, was, as you desired, the high point of the story. So, with the main characters well developed and the setting of the plot, with it's hopelessness and despair, the story has the bones it needs.

Now, to the critical bit...

In Part deux, you have the opportunity to describe the battle. I was disappointed that there were no flaming missiles arcing over the blasted ramparts, no screaming defenders as they bravely died in their vain attempt to save Edan. A little description of the onslaught would have fired my imagination immensely.

The death of Galen at the hands of Gomery was just, in my mind...but I needed to see that it was hard to do. A little angst on Gomery's part might have made it a bit less expedient, even though he (Gomery) would suffer the fate of the Reapers.

Part tres was a bit of a shock...in a few lines we have jumped the millenia to find a father and son team discover the document which proves that Edan existed, and was not, like Atlantis, a dubious legend. The fact that it had been renamed Galen was a nice touch. No doubt in honour of the brave soul who dared tackle the evil usurper Morath.

My most basic advice in this story would be for you to do more to describe the scenes. Tell us what sort of clothing these men wore. Tell us more about their weapons, how the arrows sounded when they flew. And, most importantly, where were the women and children? Was there a lady Gomery? Did Galen have a wife and child?

The evil wizard and the reapers were the best characters in the story. Perhaps you should do a story completely using an evil-bent antagonist as your main character. (just a thought). I would work on description, more than anything...it would round your story out really well.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, on to DeusEx...*chortles while wringing hands*

Well...as far as descriptive qualities are concerned, I could teach you nothing...it's great. The way you write, I can hear your voice telling it...and that's a good thing, because you're right in my head!

I'm getting a good idea of how Derek thinks early on. Within a few lines I know all about how he feels, his injury, his general liking of elves and his grudging willingness to put up with the dwarves. Very nice, compact writing with lots of 'colour'. I liked it...very much! A great little vignette.

Now, the critique...your story, though shorter than intrepids, carried much information about their circumstances. Everything I see in it are the result of a recent battle I never got to experience through your vision. As I was reading it, I couldn't help myself but look to see if there was some room left where some action might take place. If I was to suggest anything to better this story, it would be to see these brave warriors in action.

Exceptional descriptive quality, though, DeusEx...I tip my toupe to you.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Beyond that i saw only a few punctuation mistakes and some grammatical mishaps that should have been caught by careful re-reading, so I'm not even going to mention them. All in all, both were well rounded stories expertly told. I can see where both of you can learn much more from each other than from a hoary old bookworm such as myself.

You know, what I'd really really like? Intrepid should write as the evil wizard in a plot where DeusEx writes as the good guy. (nutty notion, but there it is)

this was an enjoyable experience...I can't wait for the next go-round

masqua

.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 07:08 PM
link   
Great Effort to you both in the Fantasy Genre and Round One


The Fall of Edan by intrepid

The premise and idea of the story was very good and unique. I like the idea that history was changed due to magic. The characters were very interesting, you gave good descriptions of them and honestly I wanted to know more about them. I wanted to know more of Morath and Galen. This story idea is much better suited for a novella or longer novel instead of just a short story and I think you should work on making this longer.
Now of course with the praise comes the critique:

Sentence structure, spelling errors and word selection

not many, but errors can be critical to the meaning of the story and what you are trying to get across.

for example in this sentence:


His father had served this Duke, and Galen served him as well, as much a confident and an advisor as a bodyguard.


It doesn't quite make sense the way it is written. The word "confidant" is spelled incorrectly changing the meaning of what you're saying, but that isn't the only problem with that sentence. The sentence still sounds funny even with the spelling corrected. My suggestion for that sentence would be something along the lines of:

"His father had serve this Duke, and Galen served him now, as a confidant, an advisor, as well as a bodyguard."

The "as much" part could work, however I feel the sentence structure would have change much more dramatically.

Also always proof read, use spell and grammar check. I tend to miss entire words in my sentences because my mind reads them even though they are not written.

The magical scenes were well written as well as your dialogue. I enjoyed reading it and again I think this is an idea that can do excellent as a longer story.



DeusEx entry

Very well written and descriptive. Not a major deal but I would recommend spell check and proof reading.

Now while this was a very enjoyable read and a good story, it has a bit of familiarity to it. I like the idea of the races living together and my perception puts this world in the future instead of the past.

The description of the orcs was lacking, I want to know exactly what they are running from. I can sense their urgency, but perhaps if you told what the orcs were like and what they did to those they conquered perhaps I would feel it more.

Now to get real personal, the whole ranger army warrior bit is too familiar for you DE. Coming from you it seems to have lost some of it's originality even though it is, but that is probably because I know alot of your other works. However being that it is your strongpoint and a position you're comfortable with, I can understand see why you would use in this setting.

I'd like to encourage you to step out of your shoes and try something very different in your writing style.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 08:30 PM
link   
These were both excellent pieces of writing--I really enjoyed reading them both--and I'm not that big on this genre, as a rule.

So my critique comes from the perspective that I have gained upon both of you as truly talented story tellers and writers (two different things, IMO):

*As far as plot goes, both held my attention without pause, yet Intrepid's storyline included what I call 'an ironic twisty end'; something which I feel is infinitely valuable in any storyline, regardless of genre.

One thing I would suggest, though--the third part seems extraneous unless the story continues; a situation which could possibly mar the beauty of the ironic twist between the Duke and Galen, unless another one is developed, of equal or greater twist/irony than the first. I don't think that the inclusion of the Duke's leaving the scroll sealed in the box necessarily requires a discovery of said box: I think it serves the purpose of adding more depth to the Duke's character rather well, for it provides a summation of his attitude of loyalty and service toward his province from the first person perspective.

On the other hand, as the first chapter in a longer story, it would become the perfect lead-in for the next chapter--because it definitely leaves the reader wanting to turn the page and continue.

DeusEx's storyline was not without merit, either--throwing out my affection for ironic twists of fate, it appeals to that part of me that decrees the Star Wars saga to be one of 'my favorite movies'.
It has the same wholesome spirit of undauntable warriors fighting the good fight--something that can inspire every reader's heart--even those with a hard candy shell, IMHO. The ending was appropriate, too, as far as finishing things up neatly yet not with needless complications--and it would leave things open if it were just a beginning, but it also completes it as a short story. By the same token, it is the hope in DeusEx's closing lines that provides the enticement for the reader to continue in the case of this being a first chapter.

*Characterization was really done well in both cases--although I'd have to say that DE's characters were a bit more filled-out--making them easier to form in the mind as potentially real (which always makes a story more enticing). I think this is due to the first-person POV which is effective in providing the personality of both the hero as well as the others. through that sort of observation that is uniquely inherent to comraderie forged amongst strangers who have been thrown together for the purpose of soldiering. There is something else, hard to put my finger on, that also draws the reader into the mind of the hero--perhaps it is the hint of the classic apocryphal interaction of good men vs evil men and all men vs the gods.

That same hint of eternal storyline is also evident in Intrepid's story--however, it functions differently for the reader, since the good side loses in the narration, while in DE's story, the good side is said to have once lost to evil and many things point to a similar conclusion in the present; yet the battle continues--so the war is surely not yet decided.

*General writing style/ability is more of a neutral and/or objective point of criticism--and in this case I feel DE shows more polish and offers a somewhat more readable story.

My main suggestion to Intrepid is related to sentence structure: too much use of commas to join thoughts that would be improved by using a more varied repertoire of conjunctions between clauses as well as judicial use of the semicolon. An efficient one-page reference for this type of thing can be found on-line at Barleby.com--a page suitable as a standard entry in any level of writer's 'favorites' folder, IMHO. Sentence structure always seems in want of improvement, for any writer, except in the cases of the most brilliant novelists (such as Hemingway and Steinbeck).

Also, too much spell-check is never enough
--and what spell-check doesn't pick up on (such as words misspelled into the correct spelling of another word) can be weeded out by reading each line backward. Our eyes and mind often play tricks during proof-reading efforts, but this is a good way to 'trick' them in return.

For both writers, the dialogue was well-done, to the point, and without unnecessary pointers that distract from the content; I also found it to be consistent both with characterization and setting. No small feat, in any case, for both our writers.


There are a few things, in both stories, that appealed to me just on the general principle of being delectable morsels of true literary talent.

Intrepid:


How can black glow so brightly? Galen thought.

(that's just good) I took the liberty of replacing the original comma by a question mark in the quote.


From the blackness strode a hooded figure, draped in what appeared to be sackcloth.

(this sentence painted a perfect vivid image)


The Duke looked at Morath and spat.

(this one, too)

DeusEx:


He wasn't a proper wizard, it just wasn't in him. Magical ability was rare, rarer still was the magical power.

(so true even for our reality)


Natural ability, they said. Duty to the Duke, they said.

(puts the reader inside the hero's head)


"Good to see you, farmboy."
Damn the man who gave me that nickname. It didn't matter.

(impossible to resist entering that hero's head!)



Bravo to you both! -- I am impressed by the talent with which you have met this first challenge.




posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 01:05 AM
link   
So the title bout opens up. Good entries from the both of us, I think. Can't wait for the next round, and the criticism is much appreciated. This was just a warm up, though. Expect both of us to stretch our thinking muscles in the weeks to come.

DE



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 01:05 PM
link   
Agreed DE but you've gone and done it again. Left them wanting more. I hope you aren't through with that story.

Thanks to all, the constuctive criticism is wanted and appreciated.



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 06:33 PM
link   
Hi All,

Well, I have to say that I am happy to lend a helping hand to help both writers improve their craft. I think that critiques are an awesome way for good writers to become great writers because it offers the author another perspective on their work. This often leads to new ideas and creative challenges that the author sets for his or herself.

The fantasy genre happens to be one of my favorite genres to read so I am excited that this is the theme for round one. I think that a good fantasy story is quite a challenge to pull off, because you are often creating a world that is only slightly similar to the “real” world. An entire universe has to be created all the way down to whether or not a blade of grass exists, and then you have to create believable and interesting, characters to fill your world with drama and excitement.

I am going to go over intrepid’s story first in this post, and then DeusEx’ story in another post that follows.

___________________________________________________________________________________
The Fall of Edan

Intrepid, you do a wonderful job of creating a believable world in just a few paragraphs. I was amazed at how I was quickly able to fill in any blanks with my imagination. This helped the story to flow smoothly for me and made the story believable.

Only at the end of the story did it seem a bit awkward to me, but I will explain that in a bit. Galen and Gomerey were great characters, and I felt a sense of attachment to both of them and their fate. I also enjoyed the character of Mortath, and I actually wanted more descriptive information about him, like certain mannerisms or quirks in his actions or patterns of speech. In my imagination, he is cocky, arrogant, and has a “god-centric” type of ego.

I happily filled in my own sense of who Morath was, but at the end of the story, I wondered who he “really” was. Here in this part of the story:

“My Lord Duke Gomerey, you called?”, Morath said as he bowed low, a smile on his face. “I’m sure that you have insight on what has transpired in the capitol”.

I think there is a great opportunity to give some more insight into Moraths personality. Here is an example of how I think that could be done:

“ ‘My Lord Duke Gomerey, you called’, Morath said as he bowed his thin wiry frame low, a crookedly wry smile on his face. ’I’m sure that you have insight on what has transpired in the capitol’. “

I italicized Lord to make it seem a sarcastic use of the word. Still, I felt that Morath is a great character, and does much to add to the drama of your story. I also thought that the Reapers in your story were a wonderful way to introduce more tension and apprehension to the story. They added a sense of strong foreboding, and this made me care more about the fate of Galen.

There were only a few parts of your story that I found confusing or where I thought that the sentences read a bit awkward. In this sentence:

How he got the generals to follow him he had no idea, they were honorable men, well trained and loyal.

I thought at first that Gomerey was wondering how he had gotten the generals to follow him. I had to re-read the passage to understand that he was referring to how the generals could follow Morath. I believe that I initially thought that Gomerey was referring to himself because he is being introspective and as the reader, I am being introspective along with Gomerey. I think that if sentence read something like this:

“How the foul and twisted mage had gotten the generals to follow him, Gomerey had no idea. The generals were honorable men, well trained and loyal.”, it would remove any doubts as to who Gomerey is referring to and also add some more characterization to Gomerey’s personal feelings about Morath .

I also experienced this same brief bit of confusion in this sentence:

Galen turned to his lord, he was pointing a longbow at him. Had Morath’s magic reached his Lord?, thought Galen.

I thought that at first, Galen turned his longbow towards Gomerey. The use of the word “he” without any other descriptive input, is not enough to help the reader know the identity of the “he” in the sentence. I realized who the “he” was about 3 sentences later. A possible way to fix this would be a sentence such as:

“Galen turned to face his lord, who was now pointing a longbow at him. Had Morath’s magic also reached my Lord?, thought Galen. “

The end of your story seemed out of place and a bit abrupt to me. It was a dramatic shift from the rest of the story. I liked the idea that Galen was finally remembered as he so dearly wanted. I also liked the idea that the reader learns the final outcome of the battle through people who exist an indeterminate amount of years later. ( I did get the sense that it may have been in the hundreds of years because Edan had existed as a legend to the father and son, before they discovered the parchment.)

I think that a few good transition sentences before the son speaks would help guide the reader from the last moments of Gomerey, to the now future-present moment with the father and son. An example would be something like this:

--A sharp wind blew through the treeless expanse of a field scattered with wormwood grass and spiny lizardback bushes. Throughout the field, weathered blocks of stone could sometimes be seen partially covered by brownish green soil and sometimes draped with the wormwood grass seemed to grow on anything . To the discerning eye, the few exposed blocks could be seen as strewn about in a definitive pattern. Like that of a building perhaps.

“Dad, what are you looking at”?

The older man had overturned a mass of worn stone and was reading from a delicate parchment

“...Duke of Edan.... Galen...”

“Do you know what we’ve found here? This scroll proves that the 13th province existed.. There was an Edan. The stories are true but there is a new name... Galen”.


I really enjoyed reading your story because I felt that you had given birth to a full alternate world just begging for more adventures to take place there. I would actually love to read a story about how the world changed, or did not, under Moraths tyrannical reign. Or was he able to extend his life through magic and he still rules the lives of the father and son who appear at the end of the story.
I cant wait to read more of your work!

(Below I am going to add some ideas that I think will help both you and DeusEx if you decided to write another fantasy story. I hope it helps your creative process some.


_____________________________________________________________________

I have a few examples that I thought of to really challenge yourself when you write a fantasy story.

-Instead of using common names like Duke, King, etc., use a made up name that the reader will be able to recognize as meaning the same thing as Duke, King, etc.

(Ex: Dario rushed through the trading stalls to gather the things he would need to prepare a Grand meal. The Premeire was not a being to be trifled with. All of the folk served to show loyalty by performing their duties to the best of their ability. And then some. Dario served the Premeire to the best of his ability by preparing Grand meals. Meals befitting a Premeire. Grand meals that were not for the likes of Dario. He hurried through the massing throng of the crowd. Failure was the nightmare that terrorized his dreams. ) Or something like that.

-Use examples of the fantasy characters’ thinking process and actions to further develop the world.

(Ex: Thesara leaned over the edge that jutted out from her window. The air swirled through her hair and caressed her exposed skin as if it were attempting intimacy. Her eyes sparkled with delight. The dewars are in love with me, she thought and giggled as she watched the flying creatures streak past her window and disappear into the Dark Forest. They always seemed to fly past her particular window on their evening return home. “I wonder what magic they use to fly so fast.” she wondered aloud, as she watched hundreds of the tiny humanoid beings stream into the blackness created by trees that grew very close together and had an outer skin as dark as Thesara’s hair. She waved to the dewars as she always did, and as always it seemed as if a few waved back.)

Those are a few examples that may help you. I have found that most of the fantasy type stories that I enjoy a great deal, are the ones where the world is experienced through the character, and therefore by the reader as well.




[edit on 11/30/2005 by sylvrshadow]



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 11:18 PM
link   
(--Twenty-First Arcturan Rangers--)

DeusEx, I really liked how your story starts off with the main character and his companions in trouble, trying to get someplace safe. It is a good way to throw the reader into the world that you have created. I also enjoyed that fact that the story is told from the main characters point of view, so that the reader is forced to experience the world through the speakers perspective.

Your story read smoothly, from start to finish, and although there were a few grammatical errors, I was still able to immerse myself into the story really well. I will first list a few sentences that were either awkward or a bit confusing to read. In this sentence:

Orcs without number pushed them into this hundred-mile valley, where they were ironically saved from the Great Celestial Wrath.

It at first seems like the Orcs were the ones who were saved from the Celestial Wrath. I believe this is because the use of the word “they” in the second part of this sentence is too vague to let the reader know who exactly was saved from the wrath of the Gods.

Here is a possible example of how you could add to the sentence and alleviate any confusion:

“Orcs without number pushed had them into this hundred-mile valley, where the Good forces were then ironically saved from the Great Celestial Wrath.”

In anther sentence:

We all fought off the forces of evil, including traitors of our own races. Dark Elves, out and out bad humans...it was a constant siege. And were there, right on the front lines.

The last sentence I first read as “And were(the verb) there, right in the front lines.” Then I realized that you meant we’re(we are). The sentence still reads a bit awkward to me though. I think it would read better if the last sentence went something like this:

“And here we are right on the front lines.”

I know that ultimately, you as the author, know what idea you are trying to get across to the reader. I could be completely mis-reading your intent here.
While reading your story, I found that I wanted more personal observations and biases from the main character. This I believe would make him even more endearing to the reader. As an example, here in this passage:

Spellcasting takes a lot out of you, or so I'm told. Derek was fixing the bandage on his arm. Victor gnawed on some jerky. My stomach grumbled sympathetically, and I snapped off a bite of some venison from my own dwindling rations. Had to link up with everyone else, but the Rangers weren't a conventional fighting force. Guerrillas of the finest order, yes. Woodsmen, mages, archers, defenders, yes. Able to stand against the Horde? Not without some help.

There are a great many opportunities for the main character to give the reader ideas and thoughts about his view of both his world and his fellow Rangers. Here is an example of how I think you could do that, based on my understanding of who Farmboy is.

“Spellcasting takes a lot out of you, or so I'm told. I don’t much care one way or the other, to be honest. I spied Derek fixing the bandage on his arm, as I looked past Elahn. He was a damn site better at fixin wounds then Elahn was, that was for sure. He didn’t need no magic either. Standing next to him, Victor gnawed on some jerky. His wild eyes darting franticly from left to right, as if he expected a greenskin to appear at any second. My stomach grumbled sympathetically as I watched him, and I snapped off a bite of some venison from my own dwindling rations. We had to link up with everyone else, but the Rangers weren't no conventional fighting force. Guerrillas of the finest order, we were. Woodsmen, mages, archers, defenders, we were. A fine crew when you get right down to it. Able to stand against the Horde? Not without some help.”

Even though I liked Farmboys character and I could get a sense of who he was as a person, I was still left with a sense that there was more to him. The only other way that I believe that you could enhance your story was if you provided some descriptive sentences about the Orcs behaviors and past actions. Some of Farmboy’s recollections of stories that he had heard about Orc atrocities would be one way to do this. It would also help to add some urgency and apprehension as to why the Rangers needed to make it to the relative safety of the plains.

I definitely like that Farmboy’s world is introduced to the reader from his perspective. It was easy for me imagine that I was right there, experiencing everything that Farmboy was experiencing. I also like the idea that only 500,000 beings, comprised of all of the goodly races, existed in this one small valley. It is like the valley acts as a bright beacon in a sea of darkness. There is a lot of good story telling that can come out of a situation like that. I am excited about reading your next entry for round two.



(Below I am re-posting some examples that I thought might help give you and intrepid some creative ideas, if you decided to write another fantasy themed story. I am re-posting in case you didn’t want to read all of my previous post, as it is quite long.
)

_____________________________________________________________________

I have a few examples that I thought of to really challenge yourself when you write a fantasy story.

-Instead of using common names like Duke, King, etc., use a made up name that the reader will be able to recognize as meaning the same thing as Duke, King, etc.
(Ex: Dario rushed through the trading stalls to gather the things he would need to prepare a Grand meal. The Premeire was not a being to be trifled with. All of the folk served to show loyalty by performing their duties to the best of their ability. And then some. Dario served the Premeire to the best of his ability by preparing Grand meals. Meals befitting a Premeire. Grand meals that were not for the likes of Dario. He hurried through the massing throng of the crowd. Failure was the nightmare that terrorized his dreams. ) Or something like that.


-Use examples of the fantasy characters’ thinking process and actions to further develop the world. (Ex: Thesara leaned over the edge that jutted out from her window. The air swirled through her hair and caressed her exposed skin as if it were attempting intimacy. Her eyes sparkled with delight. The dewars are in love with me, she thought and giggled as she watched the flying creatures streak past her window and disappear into the Dark Forest. They always seemed to fly past her particular window on their evening return home. “I wonder what magic they use to fly so fast.” she wondered aloud, as she watched hundreds of the tiny humanoid beings stream into the blackness created by trees that grew very close together and had an outer skin as dark as Thesara’s hair. She waved to the dewars as she always did, and as always it seemed as if a few waved back.)

Those are a few examples that may help you. I have found that most of the fantasy type stories that I enjoy a great deal, are the ones where the world is experienced through the character, and therefore by the reader as well.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 02:27 AM
link   
Thanks for the commentary, everyone. Both me and Intrepid enjoy reading them, and trying to make our writing better. I, for one, am prepared for the next phase of the Challenge. I can't wait!

DE



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 02:53 PM
link   
Round Two

Same rules as the first round, no comments until both writers have submitted their entries.

Intrepid and DeusEx, in this round, you will select one event in your life (any event) and describe it to us. Details, details, details, the look, the touch, the taste, the feel, use all your senses to describe this event to us. Let us experience it with you. We'll call this the "Descriptive" genre.

No less than 500 words!

any questions?


[edit on 12-9-2005 by worldwatcher]



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 04:20 PM
link   
Whoa, DE and I discussed this last night, wondering what you were going to throw at us. Never saw this coming. Very interesting.



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 04:39 PM
link   
Interesting. Didn't see that oen coming at all. I've used up an awful lot fo good memories so far...but I'm sure I can dredge up SOOOOMETHING.


DE



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 07:18 AM
link   
Clump, clump, clump.

Boot on gravel. They feel like they're made of lead, but they're just steel toes. Shoulder feels like someone put a shotgun slug through it. Turns out that while I was in Sudbury, I shredded my rotator cuff, which put me in the unenviable position of having huge shoulder and back problems 'cause it healed all funny. The constant, brutal weekly workouts were doing nothing to help, as the aches and twinges testified to. I was goddamn tired, goddamn sore. I just wanted some chow and to hit the sack.

Welcome to September 28th of last year, quite possibly my sole moment effing triumphant.

Clump, clump, clump.

Three miles to school, three miles home. I rubbed my face, one of those unconscious things you do when you're tired. My hand runs across a smooth face- it was hard coming home and getting readjusted to normality after Sudbury. When I was up there, I was bearded, nocturnal, free. After a summer of mind-numbing warehouse work and being stripped of my shaggy identity- just another clean-shaven youth walking along- returning to a different school, being back under the thumb of my parents, I was understandably tired and depressed.

Clump,clump, clump.

Local high school on the street home. Slid around knots of very, very high teenagers. They call my erstwhile hometown 'Cokeville' for a reason. I grit my teeth. The day is getting longer and longer. I don't fit in at school. Most of my friends have scattered to a handful of universities. I've lost most of my identity. I'm looking forward to some eggs, maybe, a few posts on ATS where I'm at least somewhat distinct. I have my avatar, my e-homies, my writing, my fans. Yeah, I remember the days when I had loyal readers. Bizarre. Maybe talk to CKK, talk to Intrepid. People I actually know.

Clump, clump, clump.

When the hell did that Mac's Convenience get there? All the landmarks changed. Even after a summer of being back in Cokeville, I was having trouble coping. Too much change. New malls. New stores. Whole new residential blocks, for Christsake. After one year, everything was changed. Felt alone. Oh well, I told myself, home soon. Eat. Sleep. I briefly pondered what to make for myself. Eggs seemed like a chore. My MP3 player began to die, and I started swearing.

Clump, clump, clump.

Those last hundred feet felt like another mile by themselves. I was exhausted, pretty much every way you could name. I was still swearing. Stared at my feet the entire way. Sleep couldn't come fast enough. I felt like something was sapping my strength. Kept walking, rubbing the bad shoulder and grumbling.

Then I saw it.

Clump.

Small brown box, sitting right in front of the door. About a foot by a foot by a foot and a half. Something inside of me trembled. I didn't remember ordering anything. It wasn't for me. I kept trying to shut down the little voice in my head that said, "Yeah, it's for you! It's what you've been waiting for! It's HERE!" I advanced cautiously, like it was a bomb or a baby or both at the same time. Looked at the label.

J.C. Matyskiel.

Oh. Hells. Yeah.

I practically kicked down the door, giddy with excitement. I didn't feel the pain as I lifted the heavy box. I tossed my bag carelessly aside and tore up the stairs. Before I knew it, I had Vera (a Carbon V, Cold Steel OSS Subhilt with blackened blade...it is my very favorite knife) in hand, trembling. I carefully slit the packing tape, no mean task with an enormous combat knife. With the kind of reverence most people accord to saintly relics or the remains of relatives, I pulled forth the contents of the Most Holy Box.

My book.

The Bunker, the finalized version of the ATS Story. I had haggled with a local artist to get the cover done. I had gone through two flat-out root canals of the plot. I had stayed up nights in Sudbury, fever dreams of swords and transplanted real people. I had carefully gotten permissions from almost everyone named, pieced it together myself. Forty copies of my short life's work, in that little brown box.

It's sort of vague what happened then. I remember yelling at the top of my lungs, running around some, and then hitting iTunes and throwing on the most triumphant music I could find. I had basically set the entire story to music, so it seemed almost fitting. I forget what exactly I played- Smaller God by Darling Violetta, the Atreides Main Theme from Children of Dune, or maybe even Wander My Friends by Bear McCreary. It was probably the fanfare from Chrono Trigger, though. I whooped and blasted the happiest, proudest music I had.

I wandered downstairs, hungry and happy. My first stop was the liquor cabinet, where I pilfered some extremely expensive scotch, and began sipping at it. I only poured myself a full shot, really. I put down my book, rooted through the cupboards. There had to be some good salvage in there. My day was turning around with gut-wrenching rapidity. For my faith in some abstract deity of luck, I was rewarded with a hidden (most probably by myself) package of my favorite brand and flavor of ramen.

So, I lounged, looking through *my* book, grinning at memories of late, late nights and early evenings. The stolen scotch was exceptionally good, making my insides warmer and fuzzier as I swam through cotton balls of elation. Or maybe it was really strong, and I was really tired, and I hadn't eaten since for eight hours. None the less, I prepared the ramen- a staple of the college diet- and wobbled up the stairs, trying to balance booze, book, and soup.

Plopping myself in front of my computer, I managed to broadcast my victory over life, posting to both ATS and my Livejournal. Proceeding to wait for orders of signed copies, I finished my noodles and my Glenmorrgie, then wandered over to the bed and passed out for eighteen hours.

Perhaps having hard liquor on an empty stomach, she was not the best idea.

None the less, I woke up feeling mildly refreshed the next morning. My day had gone from the epic kind of horrible that gives you sympathy pains in your choice of reproductive organs to the kind of wonderful that makes you want to balance karma with a swift kick to said organs. I mean, it's not every day you see the results of six months of labor, several thousands of dollars, your effing brainchild in your hands. For me, it was better than graduating high school, better than losing my virg...well, better than a lot of things we won't discuss.

I look back at that moment, and I want to relive it.



DE

[edit on 13-12-2005 by DeusEx]



posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 06:15 PM
link   
I was sitting in the back of the bus at the station trying to shake off the chill that was brought on by the Vancouver drizzle. Anyone that has spent time in the Pacific Northwest knows what I’m talking about. It’s like millions of minuscule stilettos working together to pierce your clothing. I was tired from the previous days activity and the plan was to hide and sleep during the two hour ferry ride across to Vancouver Island. This wasn’t allowed, riders were supposed to leave the bus once it had boarded the ferry but I was going to give it a shot. It was a rather nice mode of transport, not like city busses where you felt like you needed a shower after riding on them, this one was clean and the cotton fabric, along with the dull day outside, would make for a wonderful nap.

It was mid-afternoon as we pulled out of the station heading for Horseshoe Bay where the ferry was waiting, stopping occasionally to pick up additional passengers. As it was now the bus was a little more than half full. I leaned back against the seat and reflected on the night before. It was amazing, one of the best in my 17 years. I had seen my rock gods at the PNE. Queen rocked. I was about 30 feet from the stage and I took in everything. It was 1978 and it was Vancouver so one doesn’t need much of an imagination to picture 20,000 screaming kids amidst an aromatic haze that was barely above head level. The one point of the show that just blew me out of my shoes was the performance of Bohemian Rhapsody. Freddie, dressed in white slacks and matching tank top, sat down at the piano and began. The preamble wasn’t included, right to the heart of the song...

Mama,just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head,
Pulled my trigger,now he’s dead,
Mama,life had just begun,
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away....



...Mama ooo-
I don’t want to die,
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all,


Brian played his familiar style leading up to the operatic refrain, then all of the lights went out.

The refrain was recorded,

Bismillah! we will not let you go-let me go
Will not let you go-let me go
Will not let you go let me go
No,no,no,no,no,no,no-
Mama mia,mama mia,mama mia let me go-
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me,for me,for me


BOOM, the whole stage exploded, all lights blazing, all flash pots firing, 20,000 kids screaming as the band, minus Roger(the drummer), assaulted the front the stage.

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye-
So you think you can love me and leave me to die-
Oh baby-can’t do this to me baby...


The bus stopped again breaking me out of my thoughts. A petite figure walked up the stairs of the bus, she paid the driver and took a seat near the front. If she was five foot tall it would have been by a hair. And what hair, her hair was so naturally blond that she seemed to topped with summer sunshine. It wasn’t long, barely touching the collar of her black leather jacket but it was beautiful, straight and parted in the middle. She was wearing blue jeans and short boots that I barely noticed as she down. We continued on.

OK, change of plans. Nap time was off. When the bus boarded the ferry I was more than awake. Everyone rose and began to exit the bus BUT there was twenty feet of people between me and this girl. She left the bus and I wanted to scream, “GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY”. That would have looked good. Pfft. It was a 2 hour trip to Nanaimo, no problem. I spent those two hours looking for her. The ferry’s lobby, restaurant, sitting area, EVERYWHERE. TICK, TICK, TICK. An hour and a half passed and I was getting a little nervous, what if she had someone picking her up in Nanaimo? I found this prospect extremely depressing. Twenty more frantic minutes and still nothing. It was time to return to the bus.

It wasn’t a happy guy that climbed the stairs of the bus, I showed the driver my ticket and when I turned left to go down the aisle, there she was sitting in the aisle seat on my left. I stopped and she looked up. MY GOD, she was beautiful. Her blue eyes were so gentle that I felt that if I stared at them for any period of time, I would fall asleep in them. Her lips were perfect, a master of the Renaissance could not have done them justice. A few years later I saw an actress that made me stop and say, “Wow, she made it to Hollywood”. That actress was Michelle Pfeiffer, the likeness was astounding. The 2 hour search had emboldened me, I can’t see how I would have been able to do what I did next if it wasn’t for that. Pointing to the window seat I said, “May I sit there”? She nodded.

Her perfume was understated but lovely, it reminded me of the first true day of spring. I occasionally come across someone wearing it and the feeling that it leaves me with is the epitome of bittersweet. Her name was Darlene, she was 16(today was her birthday) and a strange thing, she was a Nova Scotian as well, living on the west coast. In fact her hometown was only an hours drive from mine. It was coming up to suppertime and the weak light was abating. We talked of many things, home, parents, what we did, what we wanted to do. It was so comfortable. So right.

It was two hours from disembarking the ferry to Campbell River, where I lived and we were well over half way there. I offered her my left hand and she took it. I felt like the king of the world. It ALL felt right. We continued to talk but it became clear that this evening was going to be shorter than I thought, wished, wanted. She lived in Courtney, 30 minutes south of Campbell River, that meant that we had less than a half an hour. I asked her for her phone number, hoping that this wasn’t just an interesting bus ride home and she gave me that and her address. That tucked securely away we continued to hold hands.

The bus arrived into Courtney station and a couple of people disembarked. Darlene got up to leave and I did as well. She preceded and as she went down the stairs I turned to the driver and asked, “Can you give us a couple of minutes”? He nodded with this smile on his face. He must have seen this many times before. The drizzle had stopped. We were facing each other, holding both hands. I told her I would see her next weekend. School, after school job, I would be there though. She nodded. First kisses are usually awkward, getting to that point was but once we did it was all but awkward. I eventually leaned forward and kissed her. It was like kissing warm velvet. Many thanks to that driver, we probably put him behind schedule but he didn’t hit the horn.

We saw each other EVERY weekend. Party, movie, dinner, things kids do. A few times through the week. At the end of April though I had to move back to Nova Scotia, to Kentville, which was only 10 minutes from Darlene’s hometown. We wrote to each other often for a couple of years, enough to stuff a plastic grocery bag full, the affection evident in our letters. It came to an end one day because of the Beast of the East, er,um, my first wife. She had a good point, how would I like it if she was still corresponding with an old boyfriend.

It was the winter of 1995, I was doing a friend a favor and earning some extra Christmas cash by floorwalking. That’s boring work, looking for shop lifters. I was in a Dartmouth supermarket, BORED TO TEARS when I got to the frozen foods section and I saw these two women. I felt as if kicked in the stomach by a large animal, my skin went cold and I almost lost my legs, the shock was so great. Here was Darlene, she had made it home. It was her, she was a little taller and her hair was much longer but there was no mistaking those eyes, those lips. The other woman, I can’t tell you what she looked like. Was that day December 16th? It may have been as things like this do have a way of coming around.

I wanted to talk to her but I hesitated. What if our feelings had changed? Would it spoil the memories? What if things hadn’t changed? That would be a problem as I was remarried with 2 kids. I moved to talk to her but continued to hold back. After a half an hour she was at the checkout. Last chance. It wasn’t meant to be.

Tomorrow is Darlene’s 43 birthday. I wish I could send her a card wishing her well and letting her know that I think fondly of her often. Then again, I"m sure she knows.



[edit on 15-12-2005 by intrepid]



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 03:49 PM
link   
Was it serendipidy which caused you both to write a story beginning with boredom and a slogging reluctance to plod back to your 'workaday' prisons? Deus Ex back in Coketown after his romance with the wildness of Sudbury and Intrepid heading back to Dartmouth after his summer of love... both of you doing what you have to...albeit grudgingly.

Regardless, both stories reflected the mood extensively.

Deus Ex...I enjoyed the manner in which you wrote. As in the first installment, I can hear you, telling your story over the 'clumping' of the boots. I would have made the sound more like 'crump', but that's only because of the loose gravel sound I'm used to hearing around the boonies where I live. The repetitious use of the bootsteps gave me a real sense of the passage of time and gave 'place' to your observations, such as the Macs and box stores that had sprung up during your time away in Sudbury. That was well done.

The structure of the sentences in the 'bored' part also reflected well on the state of mind you were apparently in. They were staccato, just like the sound of the boots, and lent themselves well to the mood you were portraying.

The description of your smooth face further enhanced the difference between where you wished you were and where you wished you weren't.

The single 'clump' carried the interrupted mood nicely. I could imagine you transfixed, staring in growing hope at what lay on your doostep and from that moment I could feel your moodswing and elation. The rest of the story fairly carried itself...I could tell your exitement at the glorious moment when you open the box and remove your prize.
--------------------------------------------------
critique...I wished you had taken some time to describe what you had left behind in Sudbury so that we readers could feel more of your loss as you find yourself back in 'Cokeville'. Were the cars whizzing by on the QEW as you trudged so reluctantly home? What further details could you have included, such as how you dressed compared to Sudbury...did you need to do more in order to 'fit in' back home, or did you retain that northern look in your clothing?
It needs to be stressed why you disliked being back home and what wonders you had sacrificed. Round out the environment more, DE...let us see all of it, and not just what you feel.

I suppose I'm asking you to be existential in your writing...where we see what you do, but we are able to experience it on our own terms. I'm biased in this, perhaps, because I've lived where you loved to live and my mind craved to be treated to the scenery and those people again.

The second part of the story is faultless, in my eyes...the description is extensive and I can feel your jubilation, your pride of accomplishment, your exuberance...it comes clearly through the words.

From start to finish, this story told me of your personality...it was personal, and we all got a glimpse of who you are. It was brave of you to share such a moment of your life and are allowed to emphasize in the telling of it.

Nicely done, Deus Ex
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

intrepid...You know, as luck would have it, I've been on that ferry going to Vancouver Island. The dreary Vancouver weather flashed through my mind as I relived those hours and the dripping dampness of the memory gave me a chill as well. The mood, like a denouement after the excitement of the concert, is easily caught by this reader. You're tired and wish only to sleep after a fantastic night.

Vancouver in 1978 must have had a significant effect on you...and it wasn't just Darlene. She was an extension of the concert, as if some remnant of that magical night of music had somehow detached itself from the night before and followed you to the bus.

I could visualize her in a very detailed way...streetsmart, dressed a little tough in leather and boots, her hairstyle and facial features are expertly defined. I saw her in my mind much more than I saw you...in fact, whether you intended to or not, you managed for that brief paragraph, to accomplish the reader to see through your eyes. In that moment you saw her and described her...I saw her as well...completely.

Your time with her sounded magical and every mans dream of a perfect romance.

great descriptive quality...
---------------------------------------------------------------------
critique...

There was a disjointedness to the story which was awkward. Had you started with the Queen concert, just as you have written, and then begun to describe the drizzly weather and the resignation to just sleep on the bus, the moment when Darlene appeared would have been much more poignant. The story would have carried us from the wild exitement of the music to the moment when you met her on the bus.

I would suggest also describing what happened between the end of the concert and the bus station...why were you so tired? The more you describe the changing mood, the more the readers can relate and the harder the entrance of the lovely Darlene has an impact.

The moment in time, where the bus driver 'gives you a moment together' was so real to me. That paragraph where you and Darlene establish your short relationship is particularly delicate and well written. At that point, though, I wanted to follow you to Campbell River and feel your desire to return to Darlene. It would have made a great bit of filler and shown us your place in the world...and you know how beautiful that part of the world is, intrepid...I felt robbed. (heh) I know...but the other readers have no idea other than the dismal Vancouver weather.

You do need to hesitate a bit longer before you hit that 'post' button, as there were some small mistakes made...you forgt to include 'sat' in the line;
"She was wearing blue jeans and short boots that I barely noticed as she [...] down." The rest were punctuation...you need to be careful of 'breaks' where commas need to be and commas being inserted where they shouldn't be. The best way to find these spots is to read your story aloud, and notice where you would instinctively make the breaks. That way, the readers will never be confused and it will flow much easier as a story.

great description as well, intrepid.

two great stories well told...it's a toss-up in round two, I think!

.edit for grammar and commas


[edit on 19-12-2005 by masqua]



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 07:45 PM
link   
Regarding both entries from DE and intrepid:

Did I feel it, experience it? Was I there with you?

Yes I was there with you, you both managed to share personal events that makes me feel as if I was a silent observer. However did I experience it, feel it? Only at times and not thru the entire stories.

DE, "clump, clump, clump" painted the imagery for me and the first paragraph fully conveys your pain and labored travels. Your walk home was indeed tedious and tiresome. Your excitement at the seeing the box, the elation that made the pain disappear was clearly evident.

However not knowing your hometown and Sudbury, I couldn't feel your depression, sure life is tough, conforming to everyday, but I think you could have done a better job of making really feel your mood if you had reflected more on what your life in Sudbury was like compared to the drudgery of being back home.

Overall, very well written and definitely a moment to be proud of.
btw.. I still have my autographed copy on my bookshelf.

intrepid, your entry was great, in that it had appeal to the female reader. I simply overlooked your spelling errors and missing words, because while it was a memorable experience for you, it was an event that most of us could relate to in some way.

Feeling that pleasant exhaustion, perhaps a little hangover from a concert again is an event many of us can relate to. Reminiscing on the songs was a nice touch and helped convey that happy enthusiam of a satisfied fan. Your encounter with Darlene was that of movies and romance novels, beautiful girl, handsome young guy searching everywhere for her.


However one major flaw I found is that while you wrote an excellent story of Darlene which spanned the course of years, you didn't allow me to experience that one event fully. I would have been happier if you had expanded on that very first day you met and not worry about telling us what happened after that day. Perhaps telling us about that night when you finally hit the bed, probably feeling at your best, it would have been a better entry for this round.

Overall though, I am really enjoying reading the results of this challenge and thank you both for sharing with us.

Great Job to both though



posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 06:27 PM
link   
Conragts to intrepid, that was well told. Dragged me along with you for that romp down memory lane. Thanks for sharing.

Also, thank you Masqua and all teh others for all the critique. Myself and Intepid both thank you for your help with our style.

The only question left...is what will end this epic duel of brave authors!

DE



posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 08:45 PM
link   
Round Three

I pondered this one for a while, I was going to make you guys write a romantic comedy, but in the end I settled for a Modern Day Fable
Do you remember reading the folktales and fables of your childhood, in which a moral was told and lesson was learned. Well your final assignment to is to write us a modern day fable with a moral that you can relate to.

good luck and aren't glad I'm not making you write a romantic comedy



new topics

top topics



 
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join