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  1. - Top - End - #271
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lord Raziere's Avatar

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    Default Re: Playground Writers Workshop (Read 1st Post)

    all the more reason to get back to writing. its the only thing I really want to improve.

    The Real Saima Ragara Part One.
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    The Real Saima Ragara: What do you mean an Impostor!?

    Saima spotted a familiar face. An Air Aspect she knew as Kaligas.
    He was an oddity among Dragon-Blooded. Dragon-Blooded was a culture of strength and therefore primarily of masculinity. Kaligas was one spat in the face of such a culture by being one of the softest people Saima knew. He was cultured, sophisticated, and a complete ladies man and gentleman’s man and his hobbies included poetry and cooking.
    However this story is not about Kaligas. Its about what Kaligas was about to tell her.
    He walked up to her and smiled
    “Why hello my sweet Saima, how are faring on this fine day?”
    Saima’s cheeks a heated a little. She, like so many men and women had fallen for Kaligas charms, both figurative and magical. The way he just gone around and seduced everyone put everyone he met off-guard; either they heard of his reputation or had experienced it first-hand. She suspected it was all apart of his strategy: seduce every Dragon-Blooded he met, then blackmail them all at the same time until he became Emperor. If it that was his plan, it was diabolical and effective. Saima doubted it however. The crazy thing however was he knew Air Dragon Style, even though everyone knew he couldn't possibility hold himself to a vow of chastity for more than five minutes. Either was good at manipulating people, lying, or had somehow done the impossible by bribing one of his fellow Air Aspects with forbidden fruit.
    “I am doing FINE, you blue cockatoo.”
    “It doesn’t sound like so to me, you looked much finer during the Calibration party.”
    Saima blinked. What was he talking about?
    “Kal…..you know I don’t go to parties right? I don’t like getting caught up in Realm politics.”
    “Well then I think you are lying my dear. I saw you at the party, with my own two eyes."
    "Your eyes must be mistaken. I was never there."
    "I agree with milady. I am always with her."
    Velaine chirped up. She as always stood beside Saima in her orange clothes and red jade lamellar while holding her red jade direlance, with her black hair tied up in a rough pony tail. Velaine is the bastard daughter of one Rogar Cathak, Saima had met her after running away from the other Ragara Dynasts to join the Legions, Saima had saved her life from some fool Anathema with a golden violin for a weapon and Velaine insisted that she owed Saima her life no matter how many times Saima told her that no, you do not need to be a servant and bodyguard to me Velaine, you are a Dragon-Blooded like me and are as free as I am. Velaine responded that she had the freedom to serve Saima as she wished. No matter how many times Saima brought it up, they would never get anywhere.
    "Yes" Saima said.
    "Velaine is always with me, did you see Velaine there?"
    "Ah, but of course she would always agree with you. Even if you said something ridiculous like "the sun is green" she would agree with you."
    "Trust me, I wasn't there, me and Velaine were back at my place, sparring."
    "Yes, sparring, nothing more Kaligas."
    "Sparring you say? Is that what you two call it?"
    Both Velaines and Saima's cheek turned red.
    Saima growled through gritted teeth.
    "None of your business, why do you keep insisting that you saw me at that party?"
    "Cause I did! You were in a fancy dress and everything, anyone who looked at you couldn't possibly believe that you are actually a tomboy who loves shooting every beast she comes across with her green jade powerbow and cooking it, you wild huntress you."
    Velaine frowned.
    "That is obviously not milady. Perhaps someone was disguising themselves as you."
    "So there is an impostor of me running around. Great. But would anyone want to disguise themselves as me? Me and Velaine are the social dreg Dynasts of the Blessed Isle, the only dragon-blooded lower on the totem pole are the Found Eggs."
    "I profess no knowledge myself of this….but the boss has his suspicions."
    The boss? The boss thought this was important? If the boss was taking interest then that could only mean that this was high politics. The impostor, whatever their motives was working towards influencing the succession of the Empire itself, and probably not in a good way.
    "Does the boss care to share his suspicions?"
    "Unfortunately that is why I came to see you today, the boss wants a meeting with you, me Velaine and Pearl. What he suspects he will only share in person and doesn't want ears on the street getting out."
    Saima groaned. She hated meeting the boss.
    "Very well. Let us go see him."
    She said through gritted teeth.

    They soon arrived at the Boss's manse. They went inside, soon coming to where the boss was seated among his whores.
    Sesus Nagezzer looked upon his four agents.
    Saima and Kaligas were the most beautiful and well-dressed of the four. While Saima disliked court life, she could easily adapt to it, and Kaligas thrived on seducing people.
    Velaine was plain-looking in comparison, with her utilitarian garb and military armor worn at all times.
    But the fourth agent, Pearl Fang is downright ugly and disheveled. He is thin and bony, his skin is pale as a ghost's, his midnight black hair is messy beyond all reason and defied all attempts to comb it. His dark crimson eyes are baggy and wide from sleep deprivation. His nose is too long and is mouth somewhat crooked. He wears tattered robes of black, while at his belt he keeps sheathed a white jade short daiklaive that looked like a tooth with a serrated edge. Pearl seemed to just look naturally ill all the time
    Nagezzer knew that Pearl Fang was a Fire Aspect, but his anima was one of smoke and ash, not fire and light. Furthermore Pearl Fang knew Necromancy- he was Sesus Nagezzer's weapon against the Underworld. In fact, he was probably the entire Blessed Isle's weapon against the Underworld- it was very likely that there wasn't a single other Dragon-Blooded Necromancer on the entire Isle let alone the Imperial City. If the Underworld attacked- he would be the nearest expert available to help fight them. That didn't inspire a lot of hope in favor of a defense against the dead.

    Nagezzer clears his throat.
    "Good morning everyone. We are here to discuss today, a certain party last night and the out of character actions of a certain member of our group…"
    "Oh shut it you Slug. You know I wasn't even there."
    "Nevertheless, Kaligas told me of what happened and he is very reliable…"
    "Blah. Blah. Blah. Here is the truth: I was never there, that was an impostor. Can we skip to the part where you tell me what happened?"
    Nagezzer sighed. Saima was always a head strong one.
    "Fine. From what Kaligas reports, you showed up, danced right in the middle of the party with all the other Dynasts, then when a certain Found Egg, one named Sanalos Peleps I believe, left you hastily excused yourself and went to go follow him. Then you somehow disappeared."
    "Disappeared? What do you mean?"
    Kaligas spoke
    "For some reason when I tried to follow you, you just- I dunno….I can't exactly remember, its as if you just vanished into thin air. I just couldn't you or your trail anymore. Completely strange."
    "That is strange."
    Saima agreed.
    "Well if we can't find the impostor, what about this Sanalos guy? Can you tell me anything about him, Slug?"
    "Grr. Impetuous child, referring me as that in my presence, your lucky I don't….anyways. On Sanalos….nothing special really. Just another Water Aspect from the West. The only real strange thing about him is that House Peleps refuses to talk about him or say how he exactly got into House Peleps even though he is a Found Egg. He is oddly chaste and sober for a Dynast though. Rarely has a fun day in his life if at all, he's a hard worker in the Imperial Navy though. He runs the tightest ships and his shipping business is booming. Rarely uses Charms though. Above all else though? He is competent and no-nonsense from what I hear of him."
    "Sounds like a salty old seadog."
    "Wrong, the guys only twenty-one years of age. Makes other Dynasts his age look like immature brats."
    "Any idea about who would want to get close to him?"
    "None. Aside from what I just told you, he isn't really notable."
    Uh-huh. How long ago did he show up?"
    "Five years ago according to my information."
    "So let me get this straight: A sixteen-year old Water Aspect with the Peleps name shows up out of the blue five years ago without House Peleps saying anything about how they suddenly have a new member of their family, who seems to have no exploitable social weaknesses, and soon sets up a successful shipping business in five years that he devotes himself to, and aside from that isn't really that notable at all?"
    Saima pondered this for a moment.
    "Sounds like a spy to me. A really good one."
    Pearl Fang spoke up for once in his ashen, whispery voice
    "Are you sure? Sounds like your normal workaholic, just from the West and Dragon-Blooded."
    Nagezzer considered all this.
    "We don't have enough information. Sanalos could be a spy, or he could be a workaholic. We can't jump to conclusions. Furthermore, why would someone want to approach Sanalos as Saima? Maybe some work for House Ragara? Did they approach him because he really is a spy and holds valuable information? Or worst case scenario, that they know that you are agent of my designs and wants to foil them by convincing Sanalos to do something? This is all confusing."
    "Or worse" Velaine spoke "You could all be seeing ghosts and demons where there are none, and this might not be important at all."
    "True." Nagezzer replied.
    "But we still cannot ignore that someone impersonated Saima. Something needs to be done.
    Saima, Kaligas, I want you to infiltrate the main manse of House Peleps, go into their records and find whatever information you can about Sanalos Peleps. You have a week to prepare. Go, you are all dismissed."
    As they all left, they did not notice one of Nagezzer's prostitutes smile to herself.
    Cats Eye would have nasty surprise for Kaligas and Saima in a week.
    I'm also on discord as "raziere".


  2. - Top - End - #272
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    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Playground Writers Workshop (Read 1st Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    all the more reason to get back to writing. its the only thing I really want to improve.

    The Real Saima Ragara Part One.
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    *Snip*
    Blah review blah:

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    Interesting. I like it, actually, though it is rather hard to follow due to the formatting. Specifically, it would probably help to either use text colors to denote different people speaking, or to make use of spacing for the purpose of properly separating different speech blocks and descriptive blocks. Just my two cents, though.

  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Zorg's Avatar

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    Default Re: Playground Writers Workshop (Read 1st Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    all the more reason to get back to writing. its the only thing I really want to improve.
    The biggest thing with the writing as is is repetition and redundancy. Namely, a large proportion of the sentences start with a character's name (or he/she) or they. "The" is overly represented as a first word too. It comes off very much like reading a list of actions, which admittedly writing fiction is, but it is lifeless.

    I shall break it down for you - comments in blue, suggested changes in red. I'm also going to space it out a lot more, the single biggest issue at the moment:

    The Real Saima Ragara, Part One.
    Spoiler
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    The Real Saima Ragara: What do you mean an Impostor!? (if this is the subtitle for pt1, why didn't you call it that above?)

    Saima spotted a familiar face, an Air Aspect she knew as Kaligas.

    He was an oddity among Dragon-Blooded. Dragon-Blooded was a culture of strength and therefore primarily of masculinity. Kaligas was one spat in the face of such a culture by being one of the softest people Saima knew. He was cultured, sophisticated, and a complete ladies man and gentleman’s man and his hobbies included poetry and cooking.


    This paragraph is extremely wordy, mealy-mouthed and needs to be cut back. A good trick is to read your writing out loud - the last sentence in particular is overdone. I'd change it thusly:

    An oddity amongst the Dragon-Blooded, Kaligas spat in the face of the culure and its obsession with strength and masculinity. He was one of the most sophisticated people Saima knew he was well suave, charming and culture in the ways of poetry and cooking.

    Four sentences to two. "complete ladies man and gentleman’s man" shortened to suave, charming - the information should flow rather than being a big infodump. As a note, "soft" as a descriptor has a fairly negative connotation - again, charming, cultured and all that work better IMO


    However this story is not about Kaligas. Its about what Kaligas was about to tell her say.
    He walked up to her and smiled (no line break here, but punctuation needed)
    “Why hello my sweet Saima, how are faring on this fine day?”

    Saima’s cheeks a heated a little. She, like so many men and women had fallen for Kaligas charms, both figurative and magical. The way he just gone went around and seduced everyone put everyone he met threw his targets (?) off-guard; either they heard of his reputation or had experienced it first-hand. (obviously they'd experienced it as this is describing him doing it - perhaps "suffered his advances before" instead?)

    Double "everyone" here. I'm not familiar with the world but I'm incredulous that he's able to seduce everyone he meets. Charmed, dazzled, wiled would possibly be better choices.

    She suspected it was all apart of his strategy: seduce every Dragon-Blooded he met, then blackmail them all at the same time until he became Emperor. If it that was his plan, it was diabolical and effective.

    Saima doubted it, however. The crazy thing however (repetition from last sentence) was he knew was a student of (more evocative of monks/kung-fu etc IMO, also other 'knew in sentence) Air Dragon Style, even though everyone knew he couldn't possibility hold himself to a vow of chastity for more than five minutes. Either was good at manipulating people, lying, or had somehow done the impossible by bribing one of his fellow Air Aspects with forbidden fruit.

    “I am doing FINE, you blue cockatoo.” (is she angry, sarcastic, joking, rolling her eyes, waving a hand irritably? The emphasis helps, but the context could do with more refining)
    “It doesn’t sound like so to me, you looked much finer during the Calibration party.”
    Saima blinked. What was he talking about?
    “Kal…..you know I don’t go to parties right? I don’t like getting caught up in Realm politics.”
    “Well then I think you are lying my dear. I saw you at the party, with my own two eyes."
    "Your eyes must be mistaken. I was never there."
    "I agree with milady. I am always with her."

    This exchange could do with more descriptions of body language and whatnot. Kaligas is a smooth bastard, so should be smiling slyly, leaning forward, half turnign away and that sort of thing.
    Saima sounds flustered and irritable. Do her cheeks flush or her fists clench when she is? Giving characters 'ticks' lets you subtly indicate their mood by refering to them later without outright saying "she's angry".
    The quick back and forth is well written.


    Velaine chirped up. She as always stood beside Saima in her orange clothes and red jade (I may be wrong here but isn't jade always green? should it be red and jade [stone armour doesn't sound very effective...]?) lamellar while holding her red jade direlance, with her black hair tied up in a rough pony tail.

    Velaine is the bastard daughter of one Rogar Cathak, Saima had met her after running away from the other Ragara Dynasts to join the Legions, Saima had saved her life from some fool Anathema with a golden violin for a weapon and Velaine insisted that she owed Saima her life no matter how many times Saima told her that no, you do not need to be a servant and bodyguard to me Velaine, you are a Dragon-Blooded like me and are as free as I am.

    This is one sentence. Even if you write a run-on sentence every now and then, 86 words is way too long.

    Velaine, the bastard daughter of one Rogar Cathak, had met Saima after running away from the other Ragara Dynasts to join the Legions.
    Saima had saved her life from some fool Anathema with a golden violin for a weapon, and Velaine insisted that she owed Saima her life and she would repay her. This was regardless of the many times Saima told her that "no, you do not need to be a servant and bodyguard to me Velaine, you are a Dragon-Blooded like me and are as free as I am".


    Obvioulsy this is how I'd write it, but it's mostly just re-arranging the words that were already there.

    Velaine responded that she had the freedom to serve Saima as she wished and no matter how many times Saima brought it up, they would never get anywhere.
    "Yes," Saima said. (this bit confused me until I realised the next line was Saima talking again. There shouldn't be a line break here)
    "Velaine is always with me, did you see Velaine there?"
    "Ah, but of course she would always agree with you. Even if you said something ridiculous like "the sun is green" she would agree with you." (Kaligas should be identified here)
    "Trust me, I wasn't there, me and Velaine (unless Saima has terrible grammar as a character point, it's "Velaine and I") were back at my place, sparring."
    "Yes, sparring, nothing more Kaligas." (Velaine huffed, or something)
    "Sparring you say? Is that what you two call it?"
    Both Velaines and Saima's cheeks turned red. and Saima growled through gritted teeth.
    OR
    "None of your business," Saima growled through gritted teeth. "Why do you keep insisting that you saw me at that party?"
    "Because I did! (unless Kaligas is very young or speaks in slang he should speak in full words - he is very cultured after all) You were in a fancy dress and everything, ! Anyone who looked at you couldn't possibly believe that you're are actually a tomboy who loves shooting every beast she comes across with her green jade powerbow and cooking it, you wild huntress you."

    (I'd leave out the mention of the "green jade powerbow" myself - comes off un-natural. By this I mean if you saw your friend shoot someone you'd say "I can't belive you shot him!" instead of "I can't belive you shot him with your Beretta 92FS in black with stainless reciever!")

    Velaine frowned. (no line break needed)
    "That is obviously not milady." She turned to Saima, "Perhaps someone was disguising themselves as you."
    "So there is an impostor of me running around. Great. But why would anyone want to disguise themselves as me? Me and Velaine (and I...) are the social dreg Dynasts of the Blessed Isle, the only Dragon-Blooded (consistency in capitalisation) lower on the totem pole are the Found Eggs."
    "I profess no knowledge myself of this….but the Boss has his suspicions." (Who is saying this? It seems important.)
    The Boss? The Boss thought this was important? If the Boss was taking interest then that could only mean that this was high politics (if he's improtant and "the Boss" is his name he should have a capital for it [or be Mr Springsteen]). The impostor, whatever their motives, was working towards influencing the succession of the Empire itself, and probably not in a good way. (I don't see how, it looks at the moment more like they used Saima's identity to crash a party)
    "Does the Boss care to share his suspicions?"
    "Unfortunately that is why I came to see you today, the Boss wants a meeting with you, me, Velaine and Pearl. What he suspects he will only share in person and doesn't want ears on the street getting out."
    Saima groaned. She hated meeting the Boss.
    "Very well. Let us go see him." (no line break)
    She said through gritted teeth.

    They soon arrived at the Boss's manse. They trio went inside, soon coming to where the boss was seated among his whores.
    Sesus Nagezzer, the infamous/feared/fabulous/??? Boss, looked upon his four agents with contempt/curious regard/dipassion/a surgeon's eye etc.
    Saima and Kaligas were the most beautiful and well-dressed of the four. While Saima disliked court life, though he knew she could easily adapt to it, and Kaligas thrived on seducing people.
    Velaine was plain-looking in comparison, with her utilitarian garb and military armor worn at all times. (Assuming this is from the Nagezzer's POV now I'd throw in something about her unese or distaste for the opulence of the court)

    But the fourth agent, Pearl Fang, is downright ugly and disheveled. He is thin and bony, his skin is pale as a ghost's, his midnight black hair is messy beyond all reason and defied all attempts to comb it. His dark crimson eyes are baggy and wide from sleep deprivation (I don't know about you, but I tend to get more squinty when I'm sleep deprived - "wide eyed and bush-tailed" and all that for being awake). His nose is too long and is mouth somewhat crooked. He wears tattered robes of black, while at his belt he keeps sheathed a white jade short daiklaive that looked like a tooth with a serrated edge.
    Pearl seemed to just look naturally ill all the time.

    This entire paragraph shifts tense to present, which is a very bad thing to happen. Also every sentence save the first and last starts with "He" or "His", so reads like a laundry list description (or one cribbed from GM notes).

    The fourth agent, Pearl Fang, was just plain ugly and disheveled. His thin, bony frame was wrapped awkardly with ghost-pale skin. Dark crimson eyes, baggy and wide from sleep deprivation, darted out from under midnight black hair. Fidgeting under his master's gasze he ran a hand through the messy thatch, the locks defying all attempts to comb it.

    Show, don't tell - work in his crooked smile when he makes a sly comment:
    "Blahdy blah blah," Peal sneered, his perpetually crooked mouth creaking into an even more crooked smile.
    Paint broad brush strokes at first - and there's no need to give a full description. The pale skin, black robes and creepy awkwardness already gives a general impression of Golum and Wormtoungue's lovechild, so much is filled in by the reader's imagination. Clues can be added by talking about how he stands, moves, sniffs as if sick, scratches his skin with yellow nails or whatnot.



    Nagezzer knew that Pearl Fang was a Fire Aspect, but his anima was one of smoke and ash, not fire and light. Furthermore Pearl Fang he knew Necromancy- he was Sesus Nagezzer's weapon against the Underworld. In fact, he was probably the entire Blessed Isle's weapon against the Underworld- it was very likely that there wasn't a single other Dragon-Blooded Necromancer on the entire Isle let alone the Imperial City. If the Underworld attacked- he would be the nearest expert available to help fight them. That didn't inspire a lot of hope in favor of a defense against the dead. (suddenly a lot of dashes in the text - not a bad thing, I like them, but there haven't been any up until this point)

    Nagezzer clearsed his throat. (tense change!)
    "Good morning everyone. We are here to discuss today, a certain party last night and the out of character actions of a certain member of our group…"
    "Oh shut it you Slug. You know I wasn't even there."
    "Nevertheless, Kaligas told me of what happened and he is very reliable…"
    "Blah. Blah. Blah. Here is the truth: I was never there, that was an impostor. Can we skip to the part where you tell me what happened?"
    Nagezzer sighed. Saima was always a head strong one.
    "Fine. From what Kaligas reports, you showed up, danced right in the middle of the party with all the other Dynasts, then when a certain Found Egg, one named Sanalos Peleps I believe, left you hastily excused yourself and went to go follow him. Then you somehow disappeared."
    "Disappeared? What do you mean?"
    Kaligas spoke
    "For some reason when I tried to follow you, you just- I dunno…. (a cultured person would not say "dunno" *turns up nose*) I can't exactly remember, its as if you just vanished into thin air. I just couldn't (find?) you or your trail anymore. Completely strange."
    "That is strange."
    Saima agreed.
    "Well if we can't find the impostor, what about this Sanalos guy? Can you tell me anything about him, Slug?"
    "Grr. Impetuous child, referring me as that in my presence, your're lucky I don't….anyways. On Sanalos….nothing special really. Just another Water Aspect from the West. The only real strange thing about him is that House Peleps refuses to talk about him or say how he exactly got into House Peleps even though he is a Found Egg.
    He is oddly chaste and sober for a Dynast though. Rarely has a fun day in his life if at all, he's a hard worker in the Imperial Navy though. He runs the tightest ships and his shipping business is booming. Rarely uses Charms though. Above all else though? He is competent and no-nonsense from what I hear of him."
    "Sounds like a salty old seadog."
    "Wrong, the guy's only twenty-one years of age. Makes other Dynasts his age look like immature brats."
    "Any idea about who would want to get close to him?"
    "None. Aside from what I just told you, he isn't really notable."
    "Uh-huh. How long ago did he show up?"
    "Five years ago, according to my information."
    "So let me get this straight: A sixteen-year old Water Aspect with the Peleps name shows up out of the blue five years ago without the House Peleps saying anything about how they suddenly have a new member of their family, who seems to have no exploitable social weaknesses, and soon sets up a successful shipping business in five years that he devotes himself to, and aside from that isn't really that notable at all?" (who said this? Because I thought at first it was Saima [she seems the exitable kind], but then she ponderes so it sounds like her response to this below)
    Saima pondered this for a moment.
    "Sounds like a spy to me. A really good one."
    Pearl Fang spoke up for once in his ashen, whispery voice
    "Are you sure? Sounds like your normal workaholic, just from the West and Dragon-Blooded."
    Nagezzer considered all this.
    "We don't have enough information. Sanalos could be a spy, or he could be a workaholic. We can't jump to conclusions. Furthermore, why would someone want to approach Sanalos as Saima? Maybe some work for House Ragara? Did they approach him because he really is a spy and holds valuable information? Or worst case scenario, that they know that you are agent of my designs and wants to foil them by convincing Sanalos to do something? This is all confusing."
    "Or worse" Velaine spoke "You could all be seeing ghosts and demons where there are none, and this might not be important at all."
    "True." Nagezzer replied.
    "But we still cannot ignore that someone impersonated Saima. Something needs to be done.
    "Saima, Kaligas, I want you to infiltrate the main manse of House Peleps, go into their records and find whatever information you can about Sanalos Peleps. You have a week to prepare. Go, you are all dismissed."
    As they all left, they did not notice one of Nagezzer's prostitutes smile to herself.
    Cats Eye would have nasty surprise waiting for Kaligas and Saima in a week them.


    The big thing with this last run, and the conversations in general, is that the characters speaking need to be identified more frequently (especially when it's a five way convo) and more descriptions of their actions, body language, tone of voice etc.


    As another, slightly related note the formatting needs a fair bit of work. Nothing major but it all needs it - first up is line breaks between the line of dialogue and the "Saima said" bit. They're not needed and work against the dialogue.

    For isntance you have:

    "That is strange."
    Saima agreed.

    It should be:

    "That is strange," Saima agreed.

    Also note that there is a comma seperating the two parts, not a full stop.

    Spacing is a big issue as I mentioned at the start - especially in a format like a forum post. There needs to be a lot more spacing and paragraphing going on here.

    On the plus side I only noticed one actual mis-spelling!


    The dialogue and plot is good, though there are no ages given or alluded to for the characters here, which is needed. The Boss also escapes having any sort of physicall description. I'm imagining fat and bald, due to the prostitutes and being called a slug.


    Also don't think that I didn't enjoy reading your work or that it's terrible - these are very common mistakes and habits that most people make (I write a lot and I still bugger up my tenses sometimes or get into doing a descriptive infodump - I'm also guilty of narm ona depressingly regular basis).
    I go through my own writing just like this and probably harsher - but it's how we learn and become better writers


    Secondly
    Princess in the streets.
    Princess in the sheets.
    Don't touch me I'm royalty.

  4. - Top - End - #274
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Asthix's Avatar

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    Lightbulb Re: Playground Writers Workshop (Read 1st Post)

    I don't know if this still has a moderator, but I continued my Blast tale as per the suggestion of Omeganaut. For your consideration. Comments appreciated.

    Blast Redux (Wordcount 3345)


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    Russo slowly crept forward, willing his squeaky joints to be silent. Everything depended on the Gremlins not knowing until it was too late for them.

    This was as close as he could get to them, inching up behind a line of crates full of coins they used for gambling. The maroon skinned beasts were the ones behind the enslavement of Russo and his fellow knights these past weeks. They had somehow turned around their trick of summoning monsters to battle and were using it on those of the Spiral Order that they captured in battle. Now those knights held here had no control over where they went, simply being poofed back and forth between captivity and arena fighting.

    The Knights didn't want to fight each other but those who refused never showed up again in the battles. The Knights despaired, for they knew not who was pulling their strings.

    It was Russo who noticed the gremlins up in the back row during matches. Some of them were always looking at the action, the others looking down at something, and they were constantly talking to each other. The other monsters in the arena did not act like them.

    The next stroke of luck was getting out of their cages. Simmon finally got an empty passage under his floor grate. That and his discovery that you could smuggle one of those Gremlin bombs out of the arena in your chest plate led to the current plan. Each Knight made a stockpile of bombs one by one in their cell since no one ever seemed to check them. Eventually the Knights learned they were all relatively near each other and could join together using the stash when the time was right. That was once the Gremlins were located and an exit was found. Problem was those things ended up being in two different directions and there was a lot more than a few Gremlins in this part of the world.

    They needed a strike force to go take out the Gremlins while the rest made for the elevator. Once the arguing about it started, Russo volunteered for the Gremlin job. Nobody liked him because he hunted knights in the arena with a passion, but that passion certainly qualified him for a difficult assignment like this. No one talked about going with him but when the time came Angle, the oldest Knight in the group appeared next to Russo.

    "Let's get movin'. I've gotta make sure you get the job done." Angle said, but Russo knew he was coming along to make sure the others could get away.

    Now here they both were, flanking the enemy as they gathered for one of the matches the Knights were to be put through. There were two ways out of the room, and one of them would have to be cut off after Russo broke cover. He saw Angle creep into sight across the room so he decided to do it.

    Russo burst forth from behind the box and ran as close as he could to the gremlins, swiftly planting a bomb as the nearest one turned and began to react. Not stopping, he got two more down before he made it to the door, sliding in and getting a fourth set right on the jamb. Turning, there was a facefull of fangs and Gremlin spanner in his face so Russo fell back through the doorway as the first of the bombs began to go off in the other room. The Gremlin raked at Russo's face, pushing him back, then frantically reached for a dial on a little box on its belt.

    'That's how they do it!' Russo realized. He dropped his makeshift bandolier, now almost empty and grabbed the Gremlin's wrist tightly. It got a good whack in with the spanner but Russo held onto its other arm, then ripped the box away from the clasp on the gremlin's belt.

    Russo had no time, for these were only stun bombs. He left the Gremlin on the ground as the bomb in the doorway blew and ran back toward the other room. He had to dispatch the rest of them before they recovered and could use their devices to teleport Russo away.

    He ran toward the dissipating wake of his blast, but as Russo neared the doorway he heard the hiss of an oncoming blast wave. Because of months in the arena, his senses were honed to a very fine edge. He could hear the difference between someone running from a blast and one rushing to attack him. He could tell from the timing of this blast that the bomb had been placed after all the others, in line to ricochet from Russo's blast back to the doorway. His reflexes had improved to match his new faster senses, he should be better than this but Russo's foot caught the edge of the door jamb and slipped forward, catching the blast wave.

    These may have been stun bombs, but they were more powerful than any Russo had seen. Any part of your body that got hit, an elbow sticking out or even a foot would spread paralysis very fast throughout one's body. As Russo fell to the ground, numbness spreading, he could see some gremlins down. Angle had done his job better than Russo yet again, it was good he'd been here. But was the blast toward Russo intentional or just an accident?

    There was a Gremlin snarl behind him and Russo sensed a killing blow, then there was a thud and the Gremlin he'd left in the other room fell on top of him, lifeless. It was then that Angle stepped into view. He crouched down and looked Russo in the eyes.

    "A Knight should fight with honor, even at the cost of their own life." Angle said after a pause, and Russo realized the bomb had been deliberate.

    'You're leaving me for dead in actual combat!' Russo would have said in return, probably with swordplay.

    Angle looked as if he was trying to say something else, but ended up saying only, "Don't follow me." Then he was gone.

    Ten seconds felt like an eternity until Russo could move again. He'd built up resistance to the stun as well and could get to a sitting position in the time it took others to be able to move, but his joints were creaky from so many blast impacts. Angle had gone back the way they had come, toward the elevator they knew about. The fool. There was an army in the way and he knew it.

    Eventually Russo decided to go the other way. Better chance for survival. Yeah. It led, as he suspected to the arena where the monsters made them fight. Angle had taken whatever weapon that Gremlin was using, so Russo managed to avoid an encounter by heading away from the noise of the crowd when he could until he found a stairway down. It seemed like a normal looking basement passage below, in that it was dark and lonely. He walked a long time, finding dead ends and the occasional vent he had to crawl through, but he made progress.

    Much later Russo came to a wall that hummed with energy. the ceiling was lost in darkness above and there were hallways spreading out to either side on a gentle curve. Russo scouted one side but there were no branching passages. The other side was the same so he picked one at random, the slow curve of the hallway and unchanging scenery becoming mildly hypnotic after a while. Russo didn't know how much time passed, but all at once he came to a small utility room and past that there was a standard elevator lobby, looking out of place with the high walls all around.

    Not believing his blind luck Russo approached slowly, checking around every corner. The two chambers were empty though and the control panel was standard Gremlin, which the Knights had been trained to use back in the rescue camp. Russo even found an auto-spanner in the first room and feeling much better being armed, powered on the elevator and started up. He knew better than to think an elevator like this would go to Haven, but as long as he went of his own free will, Russo would meet whatever came with satisfaction.

    What came was a clack, clack and and a grinding noise followed by a 'pop' which sent everything into a sickening freefall. It was abruptly halted by the emergency brake and Russo was hurled against the floor, thankful that it was still there.

    Then the true wait began. Russo had heard stories about Knights who disappeared. It was said that when the oldest elevator was rotated out of haven the Gremlins simply stranded the Knights on it and left them to rust. Now Russo knew what they felt like. He had a full mist tank by the time anything else happened.

    There was a lurch and the platform cranked several feet down, followed by another, then another in a rhythmic pattern. Russo saw a light shining up through the cracks around the platform and as it grew brighter he realized there was someone down there moving the elevator, probably with a hand crank. He readied his spanner as a small, unfinished access hatch was revealed and a short, dirty Gremlin was indeed manning a hand crank, puffing with exertion.

    It was tiny even for one of their small race. Russo, who had been trained by months of captivity to hate swung at it with no hesitation. It barely dodged by lunging back faster than one would have imagined, screaming and flailing its hands as it hit a wall and collapsed.

    Russo leaped on the Gremlin and gave it a good thwack as it screamed, "No! please don't hurt me!! Auughh huh hu hu!" and curled into a sobbing, pathetic ball.

    For a moment Russo was reminded of a Knight from his very first battle in the arena, one who had behaved much like the Gremlin before him now. They had been broken by the stress of a situation that was unbearable to them. Seeing that so clearly represented in this enemy drained the fight out of Russo. He wanted to kill it, yet weren't there peaceful Gremlins in Emberlight? It seemed so long ago that Russo was there.

    He looked at his hand, still upraised to strike. "You there, Gremlin. You can understand me right?" It nodded.

    "And you don't want to die, right?" The Gremlin shook its head.

    "Then fix this elevator and tell me exactly where it goes." Russo said as menacingly as possible.

    "Uh, I p-probably can't. F-fix it that is." The Gremlin stammered.

    "Well then show me how you can't fix it." Growled Russo, letting the relieved Gremlin up, but keeping a close presence behind it.

    "The thing that usually goes out on these is the mainspring," The Gremlin said, looking over its shoulder as it crossed onto the elevator platform. "we don't even try to fix 'em. We just drop 'em and they send another one up from the bottom." The maroon face gave a jagged toothed smile. "There's lots of power down there."

    Russo moved to block the terminal. "No way pipsqueak. You expect me to believe-" But of course it was a ruse. The Gremlin had been moving the elevator from inside the access hatch! As he turned, it used one of its patented lunge moves to launch itself back through the hatch. The Knight ran toward the gremlin, never fast enough when they pulled their flying move. It grabbed onto a large lever and braced itself against the wall to pull it down and as it thunked into place Russo launched himself into the air.

    As the elevator fell out from him for good this time, he saw that the hatch was still a little out of reach. Russo had aimed for the gear housing that the elevator traveled on however, which was big enouh to seem like a ladder reaching up the whole length of the shaft with its large teeth. He clamped onto it in a bear hug and miraculously held on, considering it was covered with some kind of sticky grease. It seemed like old grease which was probably why he didn't slip of immediately, but Russo knew that he would only get one shot to make it to the open hatch.

    The drop awaiting him demanded attention but Russo stilled his mind, planting his feet and pushing off almost in one motion. Slick with grease, Russo hit the edge of the hatchway and threw his leg over before the grease killed him. There was a slow, agonizing moment when he wasn't sure if he would live or die until he inched over the edge and lay flat against the floor.

    The coldness of the floor pressed against his chest and Russo lay there for a while, thinking of the fate he had escaped. When he got up there was no sign of the Gremlin down the long hallway, so he set out aimlessly as before. If he came to an intersection, he chose a path without hesitation. Trust your instincts, the instructors had said so long ago.

    The tunnel got smaller after the first few turns so that Russo had to crouch as he went. His instincts proved true as he came to a somewhat large chamber filled with tools. There were so many different kinds of tools that Russo stopped to admire them, forgetting to check all the corners first. The room was empty however. Another door was across the room and whatever was behind it was bright, so bright that light shone through the cracks like there was a blazing inferno behind it.

    There was nothing to do but open it. Russo got close and looked into the light, trying to adjust his sight to see through the gap, but it only blinded him. When he did throw open the door, it took the length of two stun bombs for him to be able to see anything in the room.

    Finally, after so long, Russo had found a room open to the sky, such as it was inside the clockworks. The environment was one of those sunny springtime ones where there was always blue sky, except for the fact that the sky was just painted on the inside of a giant sphere that was constantly rotating. This had the effect of causing the horizon to reach impossible angles that could be quite disconcerting. One of the features of this space was a fake Sun that battling knights could look up at from afar, and it was there that Russo found himself, Behind the housing for the biggest lamp he would ever see. The light from it spilled out blindingly around the edges but in the large space directly behind it an area was dimmer. This was where the Gremlin was.

    Next to it was a Lumber, those hulking constructs that could take a pounding just as well as they gave out. This one was huge, bigger even than a Trojan but it didn't look active. The Gremlin was up on a stepladder, working in the chest cavity. It seemed very focused and gave no indication of having heard Russo fling the door open. The Knight closed to what he hoped was still a safe distance before speaking up.

    "You know that was a good move back there with the elevator." Russo said. The Gremlin flinched on the ladder but kept working.

    "I mean it." He continued. "Takes a smart one to pull off that kind of ruse. Oh I get it you're going to attack me with that Frankenstein you got there, right?"

    A few frantic seconds of the Gremlin's hands working went by, then it slumped against the side of the Lumber. "Not ready." It muttered. "Now you won't let me finish it." The creature seemed disappointed. No fight left after the chase was over. Russo looked at the giant Lumber. No way he could beat something like that unarmored with an autospanner, But that wasn't really what was on his mind.

    "It doesn't have to be that way." Russo heard himself say. Another part of him railed against what he was about to propose. "I'm supposed to kill you, and you're not supposed to help me. Well if we do the opposite of what we're supposed to, then you can finish this," Russo gestured to the giant construct, "after you get me down there." He turned and pointed out into the middle of the immense sphere, to where the tiny strip of land was suspended that was used as the battleground against Knights trying to get to the core.

    "You Gremlins summon things to battle down there, yes?" Russo asked.

    "H-How do you know about that?" The Gremlin responded, surprised.

    Russo reached to his chest plate, undid the hatch and took out the little black box he had ripped off of his captors belt during the fight with them. "You can do it with this, can't you?"

    The Gremlin, realizing he was serious blurted, "But I could kill you just as easily as send you down there!"

    "Maybe," Russo shot back, "I have no armor and a power-wrench. I'm dead sooner or later anyway. One pipsqueak like you is too easy," Russo glanced briefly at the battlground across the gap, "but down there maybe I can die fighting."

    The Gremlin looked at Russo, its face unreadable, then held out its hand. Russo put the box in it with no hesitation. After a bit the creature looked up and said, "I hope my monster is the one that gets you." and Russo knew that he might get his wish. He closed his eyes and sensed the summoning, opening them again to find himself in a place he never thought he'd see again, the familiar obstacles and scenery of a proper battlefield.

    Russo began searching for an elevator or the monsters that would likely kill him, whichever came first. However it soon became apparent that no monsters were appearing to block his way. Could this be the work of that Gremlin up there? He looked up at the fake Sun that the goliath Lumber hid behind and wondered if the Gremlin could see him.

    It was like that that the party found him, three other Knights rounding a corner to see a lone Knight, completely unarmored staring up at the fake Sun like a blooming idiot.

    "What the hell happened to you man?" One of them shouted, running up. "We thought there was no one down here ahead of us! Where's your armor?"

    Russo turned, eyes lit with a bright smile. "It's a long story."

    -----

    He let his rescuers believe that he was the last survivor of a party from a normal expedition and returned to Haven with little fanfare. Russo thanked them and then returned to his Guildhouse for the first time in many months.

    "By the core, I'm lookin' at a ghost!" Knot shouted when he saw Russo. "What the hell happened to ye? Ben moonlighting at another Guild? Haha!"

    Looking forward to finally sharing his tale with someone he could trust, Russo sat down and began to tell him of his captivity. But after he began, Knot interrupted him. "Wait, ya mean ta tell me you're another survivor of the Blast Arena?"

    He hadn't considered the other prisoners in his travels. "So they others made it back safely? That's good to hear." Russo said.

    "Nay, there was only one Knight. He came back with the same tale you're telling, got everybody pretty excited. He's a real celebrity over it, they say he'll be put in the Spiral Order elite. Angle's the name."

    Russo took a moment to let this sink in. Then he asked to borrow his friend's Divine Avenger.

    "Well, you do need new gear. What's it for lad?" Knot asked.

    "It's going to live up to its name old friend."
    Last edited by Asthix; 2011-09-29 at 10:31 PM.
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    Official president of the Teevo must die fanclub

  5. - Top - End - #275
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Omeganaut's Avatar

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    Default Re: Playground Writers Workshop (Read 1st Post)

    Critique of Blast Redux by Ashtix

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    I really like your extension. It really makes the first part more than just a meandering tale of a depressing situation, rather more of a set-up of what is to come next. While it also sets up another story, it still ends somewhere after a definite rising action and then resolution.

    Now, I think you should separate the main characters thought from the narration better. Since you are mainly in 3rd person, instances where slang terms sneak in are rather disconcerting, so try to avoid doing that.

    I also like the development of characters. If you do want to put this somewhere, I would suggest you try and emphasize this development. If these knights are making their way out of a de-individualizing arena like the one described, then they will latch onto whatever unique-ness that they can.

    Still, overall this story is rather good, and I like the improvements you made over the original.
    I have returned, and plan on focusing on world-building. Issues are being dealt with.

    Quote Originally Posted by MesiDoomstalker View Post
    Thread won! I don't think I have the authority to do that but whatever

  6. - Top - End - #276
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Playground Writers Workshop (Read 1st Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    all the more reason to get back to writing. its the only thing I really want to improve.

    The Real Saima Ragara Part One.
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    Story
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    It's interesting, but it seems to be a bit heavy on the introductions and a little light on descriptions of actions. Some sentences for example just seem a little wordy for example;
    He was cultured, sophisticated, and a complete ladies man and gentleman’s man and his hobbies included poetry and cooking.
    Perhaps you could shorten it and make the descriptions flow a little better. However you are able to get to get me intrigued in the story so, good job.
    Avatar by Onasuma

  7. - Top - End - #277
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Playground Writers Workshop (Read 1st Post)

    oh right, have to get that second part out soon.

    did some work on it, I'll have it up soon, (anywhere from tomorrow to two days from now) along with an edited part one version.

    might be a good system I think, to post in parts and to post edits along with the new parts don'cha think?
    I'm also on discord as "raziere".


  8. - Top - End - #278
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    Default Re: Playground Writers Workshop (Read 1st Post)

    Hidden Metal: Prologue; Draft 1
    Here's a sort of prologue for a story I'm writing.

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    Right and left people moved with an air of importantnce and urgency, all except for one. A little girl stood amazed at the amount of people around her. The ground shook and a deep rumble came from nearby. The girl clutched her mother's leg in fright.
    "What was that?"
    "Don't worry honey, it was just a shuttle. We'll be on one soon."
    Calmed by her mother's reassuring words her interest in the station returned. She looked overhead watching a Theron Orbital Shuttle known as Boom shuttles for the loud boom they make when take off. As she watched the shuttle her mother led her to their gate. She was filled with fear and excitement, waiting for the shuttle to take off, but soon after she was fast asleep. With caring eyes her mother watched her uneasily. Nothing was wrong and yet she had a bad feeling, but she wasn't the only one.

    "What is Girad?"
    "I don't know, I've just got a bad feeling."
    "Well just keep an eye open. We'll be fine."
    "Yeah, yeah." He said playing with the flight controls. Out of the corner of his eye he saw something move. Looking closer he realized it was a ship barreling towards them, but before he could react they collided.
    "What the hell was that?"
    "Some ship just ran into us. Idiots, they could've killed all of us."
    A thud resounded as something collided with the window.
    Girad turned to see what the sound was.
    "What now?"
    Shock went through him as he saw what it was. A man in a near black suit was outside the window holding something blinking in his hand. He slammed it against the window and jumped on top of the shuttle. a second later it exploded blowing open the cockpit and sucking the pilots out into space.

    Back in the passengers cabin everyone was murmuring about the tremor they just felt and panic was starting to set in. The mother held her child, trying to soothe her and stop her tears.
    "It'll be alright, honey." She told her daughter, but she was wrong. The door that they had boarded through exploded seending a shockwave througout the cabin. Five men followed in after the schockwave, dressed in black high-tech suits. They carried menacing looking guns in their hands. They grabbed a man sitting in the front row and started yelling about a something.
    "Give it to us!"
    "I..I..I don't have it with me."
    "Liar!" The one who seemed to be in charge raised his gun and shot him in the head. Screams filled the cabin and another of the strange men bent over and searched the bleeding body.
    "Found it."
    "Good. Leave no witnesses."
    "Yes, sir."
    The leader left through the door and the others raised their guns and opened fire. The crowd of passengers fell to the hail of bullets. When the firing stopped it was quiet except for the crying of a small girl.
    "Mommy! Mommy! Don't go mommy!"
    One of the men drew a sidearm and walked over to the little bloodstained girl crying over her mother's limp body.
    "Goodbye little girl." He squeezed the trigger. The gunshot echoed throughout cabin. Then it was silent.

    Only a couple hundred miles away a father holds his son and cries along with many other families.
    Last edited by Gourtox; 2011-10-07 at 09:04 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Default Re: Playground Writers Workshop (Read 1st Post)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gourtox View Post
    Hidden Metal: Prologue; Draft 1
    Here's a sort of prologue for a story I'm writing.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Right and left people moved with an air of importantnce and urgency, all except for one. A little girl stood amazed at the amount of people around her. The ground shook and a deep rumble came from nearby. The girl clutched her mother's leg in fright.
    "What was that?"
    "Don't worry honey, it was just a shuttle. We'll be on one soon."
    Calmed by her mother's reassuring words her interest in the station returned. She looked overhead watching a Theron Orbital Shuttle known as Boom shuttles for the loud boom they make when take off. As she watched the shuttle her mother led her to their gate. She was filled with fear and excitement, waiting for the shuttle to take off, but soon after she was fast asleep. With caring eyes her mother watched her uneasily. Nothing was wrong and yet she had a bad feeling, but she wasn't the only one.

    "What is Girad?"
    "I don't know, I've just got a bad feeling."
    "Well just keep an eye open. We'll be fine."
    "Yeah, yeah." He said playing with the flight controls. Out of the corner of his eye he saw something move. Looking closer he realized it was a ship barreling towards them, but before he could react they collided.
    "What the hell was that?"
    "Some ship just ran into us. Idiots, they could've killed all of us."
    A thud resounded as something collided with the window.
    Girad turned to see what the sound was.
    "What now?"
    Shock went through him as he saw what it was. A man in a near black suit was outside the window holding something blinking in his hand. He slammed it against the window and jumped on top of the shuttle. a second later it exploded blowing open the cockpit and sucking the pilots out into space.

    Back in the passengers cabin everyone was murmuring about the tremor they just felt and panic was starting to set in. The mother held her child, trying to soothe her and stop her tears.
    "It'll be alright, honey." She told her daughter, but she was wrong. The door that they had boarded through exploded seending a shockwave througout the cabin. Five men followed in after the schockwave, dressed in black high-tech suits. They carried menacing looking guns in their hands. They grabbed a man sitting in the front row and started yelling about a something.
    "Give it to us!"
    "I..I..I don't have it with me."
    "Liar!" The one who seemed to be in charge raised his gun and shot him in the head. Screams filled the cabin and another of the strange men bent over and searched the bleeding body.
    "Found it."
    "Good. Leave no witnesses."
    "Yes, sir."
    The leader left through the door and the others raised their guns and opened fire. The crowd of passengers fell to the hail of bullets. When the firing stopped it was quiet except for the crying of a small girl.
    "Mommy! Mommy! Don't go mommy!"
    One of the men drew a sidearm and walked over to the little bloodstained girl crying over her mother's limp body.
    "Goodbye little girl." He squeezed the trigger. The gunshot echoed throughout cabin. Then it was silent.

    Only a couple hundred miles away a father holds his son and cries along with many other families.
    just a post to mark my spot. Want to get back to it later.

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