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Author Topic: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___  (Read 200186 times)

roseheart

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1755 on: December 05, 2017, 02:24:16 pm »

Story Prompt:


Here, he's here. Watching me... I smell him...feel him under my skin. Inside me.

Th4DwArfY1

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1756 on: December 05, 2017, 02:49:31 pm »

There is a darkness inside us all.

Thramar drew his sword, blade held upwards. Let the light play its fingers across the cold, cold metal. Then he drove it point-down into the frozen ground before him. In the distance, trees cracked under their loads of snow. A wolf howled. The eyes of owls pricked his skin.

The sword stood still and resolute. Only a small tremble, barely visible, betrayed the emotion of its wielder. Sweat beaded his brow, and condensation trickled down the length of metal. Too long, now. Too long. He had run, but now he would stand. He would stand. Resolute. The blood of his fathers demanded it be so.

Silence.

Dark, brooding silence.

The wolves had perhaps gone elsewhere, the owls flown from their perches and ceased their noise. But the woods themselves? The creaking, the breathing of a mighty mass of wood? Silenced between one heartbeat and the next? It heralded only one thing. Doom had come for Thramar.

First, came the tendrils of darkness. Against the whiteness of the snow they were deep and profound, wrapping between the distant boles of trees, spreading, wind-like, along the frozen plains. Catching hold of the hill on which he crouched, tense. Caressing it like a lost love, then climbing, slower now. Individual tendrils met and fused into one whole, one terrible pool of black, and him on an island of white in the middle.

Then, the smell. Tar. Flame and death and destruction and the folly of youth, all wrapped into one bundle that smelled of war. A profound stench which he knew well; his hand spasmed around the sword's hilt, gouging the steel deeper into the bare earth. A smell he knew too well.

Third, and final, the memories. A woman's face. A sweet face, turned towards him, a glint of intelligence deep within the hazel depths. Not a beautiful face; too hard for that, sculpted by Northern winds and the trials of life. No, not a comely one was she, but she was his, and he loved her dearly. She smiled in his mind's eye, then turned. From the side, he could see the rot. Through her breast, a sword. A sword familiar and heavy in his hand, the wildness of battle, a mistimed stroke... and then the pain. Running. Running. Knowing that his disgrace drew the Fathers' fury, that he was no longer Kith nor Kin.

The Blood Fathers know well the trials of war, but they could never condone one who became wild in battle, who lost morality. One such as him.

The darkness converged.

He was in the centre.

It was in him.

In his mind's eye, a woman's smile.

A sob broke from his mouth, and he fell to the unforgiving earth. The sword spun away from his clenched fists, and he beat the ground. Inside and out both became one. All was darkness, and all was lost.

Helenah.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 02:51:24 pm by Th4DwArfY1 »
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Th4DwArfY1

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1757 on: December 06, 2017, 10:58:13 am »

Really, no one else will write something?

Well alright, then.

I'll just leave my post there.

All alone.
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Arx

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1758 on: December 06, 2017, 12:01:15 pm »

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Happy? :P
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Th4DwArfY1

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1759 on: December 06, 2017, 12:13:01 pm »

Ye gods, man. I think you got the horror of the situation much better than me, anyway.
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Sanctume

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1760 on: December 06, 2017, 02:35:45 pm »

Spoiler: original (click to show/hide)

I felt like writing, so I hope you don't mind my re-write exercise.

Spoiler: re-write exercise (click to show/hide)

Urist McScoopbeard

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1761 on: December 06, 2017, 02:41:07 pm »

Careful about mixing that passive and active voice my good sir!
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Ehndras

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1762 on: December 08, 2017, 02:03:51 am »

Halp? Trying something new. Paint Criticize me like one of your French women.

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Th4DwArfY1

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1763 on: December 08, 2017, 09:19:45 am »

Halp? Trying something new. Paint Criticize me like one of your French women.


Hmmm, actually, I started altering before realising I was probably going against the grain. Which tense were you going for?
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Th4DwArfY1

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1764 on: March 28, 2018, 06:20:54 pm »

In lands of green-swathed rivers lost
To time that stretches blinding long
We march the way to Isengard
With sorrow for a song.
The birchen leaves are silver hued
Becalmed the many clouds of storm.
Deep come our voices now, and loud –
The pear tree weeps as does the thorn.

Da dum. Da dumpty dum dii dum.
The forge’s flame is flickering.
Da dum. Da dumpty dum dii dum.
Of death and greed entwined we sing.

Long past we sheltered from the rains
‘Neath vast and varied branches spread
Above the leafy canopy
Which formed our sylvan head.
I can recall… so long the thoughts are like
Groundwater in a drought ….
Appleblossom and elderberry sweet
As lithe as limbs could ever be
Upon this land across the Sundering Sea.
Sun-ripened Corn, Gooseberry coy
Strawberry sweet as summer wine.
Each one I loved, each one I miss
Across that gulf of time.

Da dum. Da dumpty dum dii dum.
The forge’s flame is flickering.
Da dum. Da dumpty dum dii dum.
Of death and greed entwined we sing.

To Isengard which hacks and hews.
To Wizard Tower in the vale.
Through sun and rain and winter gusts.
Through sorc'rous snow and hail.
Da dum. We go. We go. One more
March ‘ere our story ends.
The oak tree weeps its verdant blood -
Why ought we fight but for our friends
Who grew in peace, prosperity
To fall at last despite their years
To fuel the wizard’s fruitless industry!

DA dum. DA dum. Long have we lived,
My fellow leafy friends
Since Elves first sang so that we heard
The tune which grows, the song that mends.
Aye, ages pass and altered generations walk
So that I can no longer quite recall
The words.
How did our mighty race to warring fall!

I know not, though you ask me Aspen young,
Beseech me ancient Oak.
That song is lost. But this remains. For brethren slain.

Da dum. Da dumpty dum dii dum.
The forge’s flame is flickering.
Da dum. Da dumpty dum dii dum.
Of death and greed entwined we sing.
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Cryxis, Prince of Doom

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1765 on: April 03, 2018, 12:04:29 am »

I stumbled across a 13 page story that I never finished in high school and was reading through making little edits here and there to possibly pick it up again. Would this be an appropriate place to post it for some critique and see if it's worth finishing or just dropping and starting a different story?
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Cryxis, Prince of Doom

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1766 on: April 04, 2018, 10:08:10 pm »

The intro to the story, tried to clean it up some...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Arx

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1767 on: April 06, 2018, 03:51:18 am »

Speaking of activity...

Double Edge: The Rekilling

A rather silly title for a rather unsilly story. Elevator pitch for the universe:

Magic is highly accessible, but at absurd cost to yourself. The only way to offset this is to subjugate others and pump the backlash into them every time you use it. Enter Double Edge, an extra-legal hit squad comprised of the only magicians crazy enough to take the price on the chin. Their mission: hunt down and destroy other magicians.

If anyone has any thoughts, I'm interested. I'm almost happy with this just because I managed to write a story longer than the briefest of flash fiction without waffling. :P
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Aylokat

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1768 on: April 22, 2018, 11:29:08 am »

If anyone has any thoughts, I'm interested. I'm almost happy with this just because I managed to write a story longer than the briefest of flash fiction without waffling. :P


I like the idea of crazy wizards hunting amoral wizards in a sort of shadowy game of cat and mouse. Instant high stakes and unpredictable situations. Good. Lots of potential.

Unfortunately, there is an immediate problem with the premise when it starts with the characters being decidedly not crazy and concerned about the risks of their jobs, and ends with Sarah lamenting the very idea of magic because she suffered the seemingly most basic cost of magic (the elevator pitch cannot be inferred from the story at all).

I understand the feeling of finally finishing a scene in its entirety, and in that vein I recognize the associated flaws. The major ones being that it is written to be read with a full understanding of the work that only the author has and that it lacks details that were in the mind of the author but not in the text, making it confusing and abrupt for the ignorant reader.

If your characters interact with the environment you should first establish the environment; set the scene. You should also establish what the characters are wearing if that is a plot point. There is no reason for the reader to assume that they are not wearing inconspicuous clothes. As a rule, you want to ease the reader into the mindset of your work. You introduce him gradually or else he won't understand the tone.


Spoiler (click to show/hide)


Confused as I was, I enjoyed it all the same. I would be glad to see you grow accustomed to writing these larger pieces, Arx, as I would like to read more. I hope this was of some use to you.
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Arx

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Re: ___/The Writer's Apprenticeship\___
« Reply #1769 on: April 23, 2018, 02:52:35 am »

Hey! Thanks for the feedback (and welcome to Bay12). It's incomplete, yes, which is something of an issue. In an ideal universe, I would have written several follow-up stories to this by now, but I do not have that sort of time right now. >_>

That's part of what causes things like Sarah seeming too sane for the elevator pitch and the characterisation feeling thin. I should really work on that.

Most of your points are valid! I just want to touch on a few issues of language and grammar quickly.

No one is not hyphenated, like no person.

I write in British English (specifically South African English, but since I avoid slang except in dialogue you probably can't tell). British English hyphenates many words American English does not.


All right is a statement that everything is well, so avoid alright, as that contrasted with other al- words implies a separate meaning. Similar forms have such different meanings. Ex. already: now / previously, and all ready: entirely prepared.
[/quote]

Written as intended. By "alright", she means that she's clear and Timur can move. "All right" would be a bit of a weird construction in context.

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Of course consists of two words, no need to hyphenate for an interjection.

I agree in principle, but it feels smoother in practice. I'll have to think about this a bit.

Quote
There is no need to write out Mhmm and then describe it. One or the other suffices.

There are about a thousand ways you can intone a wordless murmur. :P I wanted to make it clear which.

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There is lack of decisive narration, leading to the reader having to make baseless assumptions. When Travis was carried to success, literally, was he physically carried by zombies? Why wouldn't he be?

...because that makes no sense at all? It's a turn of phrase I went back and forth on for a while. On the whole, I think it would be better suited as something else, but not because I think there's a risk of the average reader thinking that zombies physically carried Travis, in person, to some physical location denoting success.

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The narration in the directly following paragraphs is written as if it were one of the characters telling a coworker in a bar, as it is strangely familiar with the subject matter without explaining the circumstances. It skips over gathering evidence. It mentions graves that are too fresh, admits a coincidental string of missing persons, a vague statement, and ends on the note that Travis does not go the company office often. On these grounds they schedule an assassination.

Hmm. It was meant to be quite a broad-strokes picture, glossing over details, but I guess I went too far in that direction. I detest exposition crammed in unnaturally, which sometimes leads to e jumping through weird hoops to try to avoid it.

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Reading it went well until I got utterly bewildered why they were leaving before eliminating their target, only to go back and inconclusively resolve that his death was implied. Then it only got worse with the spray painting. I thought Sarah was meant to paint the back of the house.

I can see how you got there, yeah. I thought it was clearer at the time, thank you.

Quote
I thought they were locked in a room after a mission went horribly wrong.

Any chance you could elaborate on this? It's mentioned pretty early on that they're outside a mansion.

Quote
The characters do not sound like they are doing something dangerous. They sound like they are limping away from unimpressive failure. Timor was unconcerned about crippled at the start of breaching a necromancer's house. When Sarah says "What? Stub your toe?" it does not seem like she thinks there is any real danger, despite the zombie that broke Timor's arm. But two paragraphs later the muted sound of keys struck fear of a zombie horde into their hearts.

Good point. I flubbed the chronology there, thanks.

Quote
The individual sentences are very confusing. Because "Sarah affected a gravelly voice." has a full stop it comes across as either a random piece of information about her preferences or that the pain was starting to influence her vocal cords.

I did not realise that could be taken that way! Thank you.

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But the opposite problem is also present. Too many sentences are two or more unrelated clauses. I only now realized that the "She didn't look much better" sentence did not mean that she was in a poor state after sitting in the cold but rather that she was scarred too.

Interesting. I would never have taken the meaning you did from that paragraph. I'll have to think about that.

Quote
I have many unanswered questions after reading this twice such as:
Why did the medic like no other not bring painkillers? Or administer beforehand? They talk about routine work, so she must have been through the pain enough to prepare accordingly.

Any painkiller strong enough to stop a broken arm making you crotchety would also put you out like a light, as far as I know. I personally avoid opioids before breaking and entering. :P

Quote
If Travis was trying to hide his nature, why did he put a zombie in his backyard or imprison people in his bedroom rather than a basement?

He uses them on construction sites. His back yard and bedroom are hardly more conspicuous. :P

Quote
If Double Edge is extralegal, why do they sneak around? If they want to remain secret, why do they spray paint their insignia on the front door?

I'm using "extralegal" in the sense of "not sanctioned by law". I would have thought it was fairly clear why they work quietly and only mark what they've done afterwards - easier not to attract attention until it's too late for anyone to interfere.

Quote
What does it mean when a person is a "total twist"? I assume it means that a person is twisted, but I can't find a source on that, only that in that context it refers to a young woman.

Idiomatic language. A twist is slang for a sadist or psychopath.

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There are quite a few things I would say about each line, but this post is dragging on, so I'll do one.

I'll explain my thinking here.

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this implies that standing up contributed to the popping and creaking]

That would be because it does.

Quote
this sentence detrimentally combines the lockpicking with his scars and also his current state

The intention was to indicate that the cause was the cold.

Quote
imprecise. It is obviously meant to say that it hurt him, but literally it says that it just didn't heal him. Unless the narration is meant to be imprecise this is a problem

If the meaning is obvious, there is no problem here. I would go so far as to say the "implication" is so strong as to be nearly explicit. It's a common idiom.

Quote
the overuse of "as" and "while" aid the growth of this conglomerate. Additionally, the pronoun "their" doesn't have nouns to refer to other than "aches"

I'm a little confused what you're getting at here. I probably do overuse "as" and "while", but certainly not in that paragraph; and yes, "their" refers to the aches. That's also a common idiomatic construction.

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this implies he is lifting the padlock up to him rather than taking it into his hand. Once again, "lock" doesn't refer to the padlock, unless there is no other lock on the door

I wouldn't say it necessarily implies that. And it's pretty explicit that it refers to the padlock, unless you're in the habit of ripping the locks out of doors to pick them up...? There's really no other lock he could be picking up, here, particularly since it's been explicitly labeled as "the padlock" in the previous sentence.

Quote
Confused as I was, I enjoyed it all the same. I would be glad to see you grow accustomed to writing these larger pieces, Arx, as I would like to read more. I hope this was of some use to you.

I'll be writing more when I have the time. I'll see about being more clear.

Thank you for the feedback! I know I've disagreed with a lot of it, but if you could elaborate on the parts I've disagreed with that would be a big help. I may well just not understand what you were driving at.
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Hail to the mind of man! / Fire in the sky
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