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Postby LightBrigade » Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:07 am

(Vvisany, the southwest facing capitol capital of Therialia’s flourishing empire, along with its accompanying harbor, resigned to the night. The night itself, being of late winter, was a relatively colourless one. The rustic reds, oranges and yellows of the summer had long since made way for the more sombre winter hue’s of pink and blue, but, this evening at least, it seemed less sombre than it usually did.) Paragraph 1

The Caesar’s gaze (cross out "the")wondered over the busy evening routine of the bay. (Paragraph 1 here) From his elevated view in the personal observatorium (observatory?) of his tall tower he hardly saw movement at all, just the slow nightfall. He sat on his wooden chair, one he had long ago crafted himself, and next to a south-facing window in the dusty-scroll infested room where he was enjoying his rarely relaxed mood. Outside the window was, first and foremost, his unhindered view of his city, sitting back in its mountings on one side of the valley carved out by the sterling river. Next, the harbour, taking up most of settlers bay; next, the SOMETHING (Therialian, perhaps? – as per 1 and 3 Paragraph?) ocean stretching out to the horizon. Both the east and west windows enjoyed unhindered views (repetition 4 lines above -alternative suggested) of their own horizons, laid (lay) out across both land and sea. There was no north window. There was another observatories with a northern window, as well as all the others, in one of the northern towers of the palace, but the northern view was passe (does NOT collocate, view can not be made old, passé/French). Made up of forestry and farmlands dotted in amongst it, it was of no use to the Caesar, (it was of no use: so what? What does it matter if it was of any use to him in your text here? Prove it stating why.) and the smoke from the mines was an ugliness he could do without.

He had maintained good rule over Therialia, although he knew a large amount of his success had been a matter of luck--spoils of a nation within an age of scientific discovery. (Unclear: science spoils, success spoils… what?) The catalyst (a catalyst does not spoil, it is a positive meaning word: logical ambiguity here) of the age had spawned from one discovery in particular: Firestone— (overuse of punctuation. Revert to speech) a mineral that, when mixed with a certain compound, produced an intense and sustained emission of of heat. This valuable commodity was responsible for the birth of airships, the giant sky-faring ships that were altering the empire and the entire known world in their wake (again an unclear statement. Express what you have in mind – that is, how did they alter the Empire. This is what the reader needs to understand so as to continue to be inside your story)

In a rugged and untested world their creation had been destined to thrive. In a rugged and untested world had their creation been destined to thrive. (Inversion here) The initial heralding of these ships had inspired many expeditions into previously uncharted and inaccessible landmasses across the seas. Soon too, had they created a mining industry that single handedly raised the living standards of a once derelict peasantry.(Non-English structure. Rephrase.) (Also, handedly-Non-English: single-handed, as the lowest form you can use. Not very literary even so. Perhaps: as such alone, instead of single handedly, which does not exist in English.)The compound was certainly the discovery of the century; an inexplicably momentous goldmine for any ruler and one that Aliquan nurtured covetously.

(So far, your paragraphing has failed to convey meaning of _one_ story. So far, the reader reads a character’s thoughts. Scattered. Somehow connected. No subject matter but many, obscure: his achievement? His land? His post fame? His offer to civilisation? His people? Not one subject matter makes the reader wonder: what is this writer now taking me to?

Please, note

1. A paragraph is made so that it communicates one only meaning.

2. A paragraph in one chapter is connected with the previous and the next one.

Eloquence is observed. Vocabulary is beautiful. Narration flows compelling the reader. Imagery is attractive. If technically put well, a marvellous piece of work is likely to emerge.

I would recommend that you work on the rest of the text adopting the experience of critique already, of any source you may choose to receive it. Remember, you can always ignore critique if you feel it is not really about what _you_ as a writer have meant to convey. Although then, you may wonder what percentage of error lies with you.

Aliquan Caesar turned at the noise that came up the stairs and through the door, which he immediately recognised as impatient knockings coming from (at ?) the doors of his quarters. Sighing, he rose and went down the stairs, calling for his manservant to answer the door.
‘The letter, my Caesar!’ announced Rustayne, the Caesar’s cousin and most trusted adviser—a tall, slender, well-groomed man of around (about) fifty years—after being admitted into the room accompanied by a familiar yet typically unmemorable servant. He nodded to the servant, signaling (signalling? ) his dismissal, and continued on to where the Caesar was emerging from the wide berth of the observatorium's (although I myself would keep the word for picturing time and settings reasons) staircase.

The Caesar, himself closer to seventy years, welcomed his old and trusted friend with open arms. ‘Ah, Rustayne; the letter from the barbarians, I presume?’

Rustayne feigned exasperation, lifting his hands to his Gray (grey? )-streaked temples mid-stride. ‘Aliquan!’ he laughed, ‘you must practice calling them by their own name and (comma instead of “and”? ) not by the name we have placed upon them!’ He reached the Caesar and placed a kiss on each of his cheeks in official greeting.

‘Of course,’ the Caesar attuned, waiving the man’s fussing away. ‘The Ilyamatii, the Ilyamatii! I know this!’

‘—But yes, Aliquan, it is the very letter we await,’ said Rustayne rather eagerly for the usually calm and controlled diplomat. (Purpose of dash after quotation mark?)

One of the many things Aliquan enjoyed about this man was his hard-cored sense of patriotism— (overuse of particular punctuation, try commas in parenthetical function) an attribute, which with him, the Caesar shared and relished. Truth be told, this man had just as much input into the governing of his empire as he.

‘Brilliant,’ Aliquan exclaimed, moving towards his great jarrah desk. (jarrah ??)

(Amazing change from text to dialogue! Competence in depicting dialogue is observed! With proper eloquence to attract the reader, moreover.)

After positioning a monocle, Aliquan took the letter and began admiring its exterior. He laughed shortly at their mimicry of the imperial wax seal in which the Ilyamatii had imprinted their own motif, a rather striking image of a bear poised for attack. His laugh Ceased (ceased) though, as he considered the connotations of such an image. The meaning was not lost on him. Junatii the bear, he mouthed, as he read the seals underlying print.

‘It’s rather curious isn’t it, Rustayne,’ said Aliquan, his thoughts taking a slightly different turn, ‘how perfectly they have mastered our cursive.’

Rustayne nodded. ‘Perhaps also of note, as I recall the content of the previous letters—particularly the latter ones— (particular punctuation overuse) their surprisingly good understanding of our language.’

‘Yes… curious.’

‘Though some the idioms of our language seem lost on them.’

Aliquan snorted, remembering several such occasions. ‘They seem to be a relatively astute race. It makes one wonder at how they have remained so—so basic.’ A foreign, though merited thought came to him: Perhaps they'd wanted to. (perhaps necessary to establish why merited.)

He was bought back from his musings at a purposeful cough.

‘Patience, cousin, I want to savor this moment as much as I can!’

‘Perhaps it is an acquired taste then, sire, for if it were in my hand’s I would put these matters of negotiation to rest as swiftly as I could manage!’

Smiling mischievously, and all the while keeping his eyes upon Rustayne, Aliquan broke the seal, opened the letter, and passed it to un-expecting (one word) hands. He removed his monocle and, with a sigh, dusted it with a kerchief. ‘My eyesight is lesser than it used to be, my cousin. It is increasingly hard for my eyes to focus and this accursed monocle seems to have lost its strength.’ The knowledge of his aging hung in the air like a stench. ‘Perhaps you would do the honours?’

‘Gladly, Caesar, I live to serve.’

(Long dialogue to convey little, by standards of publishing prospect. I will try reading the dialogue part again by placing one line after the other, without leaving one blank line between them, in case I am wrong.

Aesthetically and technically, a review is complete only on a draft free of elementary adjustments. Persoanlly, I usually ask my drafts are reviewed also after I make several corrections and adjustments.
When people agree with me, I always feel that I must be wrong. -- Oscar Wilde --
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Postby tiriel » Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:02 am

Ah, I finally see clearly the error in using compound sentences! It's a natural way to talk but not so natural in writing. I feel like I've jumped a hurdle, and that always feels good! You know the times. Like when you first figure out that using the most complicated words doesn't make for good writing, and when you finally understand the Fraze "show not tell."

And I badly overuse dashes. I'll try to blame that one on George MacDonald :P

Thanks for that really very truly helpful and thorough critique, LightBrigade; in the light of your critique it suddenly needs much more work done to it. And yes I do want to keep observatorium. I won't hold it not being a word against it.

And I'll blame my misuse of passe on the dandy warhols.
I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.
— Oscar Wilde
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Postby LightBrigade » Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:52 pm

You are welcome, tiriel!

(After second reading as said). I _was_ wrong about the dialogue, it is not long at all.
When people agree with me, I always feel that I must be wrong. -- Oscar Wilde --
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Postby kormic » Thu May 03, 2007 1:52 am

this one ain't bad either
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