Stormlight Excerpt

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Mornara
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Stormlight Excerpt

Post by Mornara »

This is just a very small excerpt from the Starwalker world that I am creating, I am looking for good nit-picky critisism from anyone who has an issue with something in my writing!

The stories deal with a race known as the Aerani, Elves in many ways, but reincarnated in the way I see an immortal and wise race. The books will tell the story of some of their greatest heroes and rulers, as I write from a Tolkienish angle, telling the story of the nobility and those surrounding them.

This scene is between 7 young men who have been friends since they were children. Alleasar and Elshar are twins, Princes of Ashar, and Iasir and Alair are their guards and friends. Aleshan is the second heir to the throne of Raithar, and the last of his line, unless he marries and produces an heir. His mother and sister were killed when he was a child. Kaidas and Asrien are the sons of some of his grandfather's closest advisors, the three boys have been friends since they were born pretty much. Aleshan is one of the main characters of Stormlight, as are the Twins.


Hunting
“I hate that bird!” Alleasar groused as the shrieking cry of the Tussoki bird echoed across the previously quiet glade. “It always sounds as if something is killing it very slowly!”
“Something should.” Aleshan spoke up lazily from his place beside the large fire. “It is not like anyone would miss it.”
“We would too miss it! What else has the ability to so thoroughly annoy my dear brother?” Elshar cheerfully piped in. Alleasar glared at his twin brother. As he opened his mouth to retort however, Alair intervened.
“Who has yet to share a story with us tonight?”
“I think Kaidas is the only one left.” Iasir answered.
The twins had arrived, with their friends Alair and Iasir, in Arauna four days ago, only to find Aleshan and his two closest friends planning a hunting trip. The twins promptly invited themselves along. Aleshan agreed and begged his father to allow them to stay out for a few more days than had originally been agreed upon. His father gladly consented, the longer they were away, the less time they would have to wreak havoc in the city. The seven friends had left Arauna two days before, and had been drifting since, simply relaxing and enjoying the all too rare time together. They were now nearing the edge of the great forest, and stumbling across a small glade decided to make camp early in the afternoon. The glade was perfect, a smooth green lawn sloping down to a small, crystal clear lake fed by several large streams. The bottom was soft, golden sand, dappled with the shade of the drooping old Rayan trees hanging over it. After settling their horses in, they promptly stripped and dove into the cool water. They spent the next few hours laughing and playing, enjoying being young men for once, instead of the scions of their kingdoms. Aleshan had managed to catch several large fish from the stream and had been roasting them, and the savory smell finally drew them out of the water. After eating, they settled in by the fire to tell stories. It was agreed that each would take a turn, and Kaidas was now the only one left.
After thinking for a moment, he looked at Asrien and grinned. “Has everyone heard the story of Rien’s encounter with the Gaudgen?” he asked cheerfully. Rien blushed deeply and quickly protested that everyone had heard it and Kaidas should pick another story. The twins, sensing a story with great potential for embarrassment, quickly protested. Rien dropped his head into his hands and moaned softly as Kaidas began the story. The young warrior had a flair for mimicking voices and expressions, and he put them to full use.
“ Not too long after Rien begun his first year in warriors training, Salcar, the scout master, approached him and asked for his help on a special project, claiming that Asrien was showing such aptitude in this field that Salcar felt that he should be rewarded. He explained that the rare and elusive beast, the Gaudgen, as it is known to the Hanwer people, had been sighted in the area, and he, Salcar, had been ordered by King Narshaen to capture this great creature so that the people could see it. He had a group of hunters assembled, but he needed one more to make the full quota. He claimed that there was no time to return to the barracks to find another warrior, so Asrien was to be given the honor of accompanying them. Rien, flattered, promptly forgot all of the tales of Salcar’s love of practical pranks on his novices, and agreed to go. Leaving the palace at an easy jog, they quickly reached their destination, a small clearing in the trees and Salcar turned and informed him that he was to be tied to a tree, as the Gaudgen was a curious creature, and would wish to investigate this strange creature, whereupon the hidden warriors would tranquilize it and cart it back to the city. Asrien finally became slightly suspicious, but not wishing to seem frightened, he let himself be tied up. Salcar also warned him that the beast would probably be panicked when the tranquilizer started to work, and that he should untie the knots and climb the tree behind him. After another assurance that this would not take long and was perfectly safe, the hunters faded into the surrounding trees. After standing for about twenty minutes, Rien decided that he had indeed fallen victim to one of Salcar’s infamous pranks. He decided to wait a little longer however, just in case this was legitimate. After another fourty or so minutes, he began to fiddle with the ropes, which seemed to be slightly stuck. At that moment he heard the bushes rustling loudly. Freezing, he stood stock still, watching the bushes, which were now shaking wildly, growls and grunts also issuing forth.
At this point in his rendition of Asrien’s peril, Kaidas paused for an unnecessary drink. The young men were all hanging intently on his words, except for Aleshan and Asrien, both of whom knew this story far too well. Aleshan eyed the tense looks on their faces, a smirk forming on his own, and spit a pit from the dried cherries he was eating into the flames. The pit exploded loudly, causing various yelps and exclamations from his companions, and snorts from the horses. Aleshan smirked again at the glares he received, still calmly eating the fruit as he motioned for Kaidas to continue the story. Kaidas grinned and complied.
“Suddenly, a massive black head emerged from the bushes, staring straight at Asrien, growling. Rien started working the ropes as fast as he could but the knots were stuck. At that moment, another creature stuck its head into the clearing, looking curiously at the strange black creature, which became motionless for a moment before flying off to the side to reveal a stunned Salcar, who obviously had not been counting on having the real thing show up and spoil his plan. The real Gaudgen snorted and then ambled over to Salcar, standing with his head at eye level, sniffing him curiously for a moment before beginning to thoroughly wash the stunned man’s face with its rough tongue, finally knocking Salcar onto his backside. Rien’s jaw dropped as he watched Salcar’s companions laughing hysterically at their leader, who was now flat on the ground with the huge creature still licking him.
“ After Rien was untied, Salcar claimed that that had been his plan all along, although obviously no one believed him.”
“What happened to the Gaudgen?” Alair queried.
“It followed us back to the city, no ropes or tranquilizer required. It still roams the area, the children love it. We couldn’t get rid of it if we wanted to, the thing is insanely fat and lazy. And Salcar still glares most entertainingly whenever anyone mentions the beast! Even King Narshaen will not let it fall into the past, he brings it up somehow almost every conversation.”
The companions laughed and teased Asrien for a while before settling down for the night.
Ita Est

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Bmat
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Post by Bmat »

I wonder how it is known that the lake is fed by several streams, and also, is this information that is needed.

It might be helpful at this site to double space the paragraphs.

The story flows well.

The names may tend to be confusing since they are similar. Perhaps in a longer excerpt the reader would learn the difference.

The story is very good! I read it with full attention and enjoyed it greatly. I'd be interested in reading more.


Keep up the good work!

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Post by Ariel »

I enjoyed the story as well and had the same problem with the names being similar.

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Post by Bread Butterbeard »

I too thought the names to be to famliar however I did enjoy the story and look forward to reading more.

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Post by Mornara »

Whoops, sorry, didn't keep up with this for some reason. :scratch:

Um, the names are still being worked on, but will be far more distinct when I'm done. I hope anyway. :wallbash:

I'll work on the physical surroundings, they are a bit fuzzy... :smt037

But thanks for the critique, this was a story writtne in a bit of a panic, and a very short length of time, with no particular forethought put into it, so I'm glad it came out decently!
Ita Est

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Post by Spiderkeg »

For the twins, I can accept the names would be similar. However the majority of the other names provided in this excerpt such as Aleshan, Alleasar, Arauna, Alair, Asrien, and even Iasir are so closely related in pronounciation that one can easily get confused.

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Post by NeoScribe »

I'm sure you're sick of this now, but the names had me a bit confused as well. And you mentioned that they're like elves? I'd be careful, I know some people who will MURDER you if they think your races are to Tolkien-ish. Just a heads up.
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Post by Mornara »

I quite understand that I would be murdered if my races were seen that way, I would murder myself if I thought I was copying him. But what I meant about "Tolkienish" was that I write about the nobility, rather than a poor farm boy. I think the nobility has at least as interesting a story as a poor farm boy, and as many struggles, even if they are different.

The names are very similar to each other, I realize that, but these are based on the language I am creating. I was hoping that would make it more cohesive, I guess it simply made it more difficult, even though that seems to be the way languages work. Hebrew names are strikingly similar, and this is one language I was working with.

As for the races, I was attempting to keep the races familiar, as the story is not so much about a person, as it is about the world through the eyes of a few. I wanted to do a different race, something other than humans, and Elves are an established race in fantasy. I also wanted to show my views on what an immortal, powerful race would be like. These views have been shaped by my life, by Tolkien, by the Bible, by myth... Elves was simply to give people a familiar concept. I based them on the Scandinavian Elves, with my own modifications.

I think that as I write, these things will be made very apparent, like I said, this was a very small, hastily written snippet.

Thanks for the criticism! I'm a new writer, so style and tecnique tips would also be highly appreciated.
Ita Est

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Post by thegreentick »

I will now give you my most in-depth sort of review. The type where I take it apart paragraph by paragraph and sometimes sentence by sentence, to point out every bit of it that I can that struck me a little odd.


(“I hate that bird!” Alleasar groused as the shrieking cry of the Tussoki bird echoed across the previously quiet glade.)

I liked that sentence. "Groused" is a very good descriptive.

(“It always sounds as if something is killing it very slowly!”
“Something should.” Aleshan spoke up lazily from his place beside the large fire.)

"killing it very slowly" doesn't sound like it deserves the exclamation mark. It sounds more like an offhand comment. Exclamations are usually more clipped. Also, I might suggest taking out the word "lazily." I have this thing about "ly" words.

(“It is not like anyone would miss it.”
“We would too miss it! What else has the ability to so thoroughly annoy my dear brother?” Elshar cheerfully piped in.)

"We would too miss it!" sounds a little akward. Consider rewording? I think you can also take out "cheerfully." The fact that he pipes in with that comment alludes the the fact that he's cheerful.

(Alleasar glared at his twin brother. As he opened his mouth to retort however, Alair intervened.
“Who has yet to share a story with us tonight?”
“I think Kaidas is the only one left.” Iasir answered.)

I didn't have any problems with that chunk.

(The twins had arrived, with their friends Alair and Iasir, in Arauna four days ago, only to find Aleshan and his two closest friends planning a hunting trip. The twins promptly invited themselves along. Aleshan agreed and begged his father to allow them to stay out for a few more days than had originally been agreed upon. His father gladly consented, the longer they were away, the less time they would have to wreak havoc in the city. The seven friends had left Arauna two days before, and had been drifting since, simply relaxing and enjoying the all too rare time together. They were now nearing the edge of the great forest, and stumbling across a small glade decided to make camp early in the afternoon. The glade was perfect, a smooth green lawn sloping down to a small, crystal clear lake fed by several large streams. The bottom was soft, golden sand, dappled with the shade of the drooping old Rayan trees hanging over it. After settling their horses in, they promptly stripped and dove into the cool water. They spent the next few hours laughing and playing, enjoying being young men for once, instead of the scions of their kingdoms. Aleshan had managed to catch several large fish from the stream and had been roasting them, and the savory smell finally drew them out of the water. After eating, they settled in by the fire to tell stories. It was agreed that each would take a turn, and Kaidas was now the only one left.)

I thought that this entire section seemed to jump right into the middle out of nowhere. If this is an exerpt from something, I might suggest starting out with what leads up to the storytelling rather than throwing it into the middle. As for nitpicking that section...
"with their friends Alair and Iasir" I think you could have left out the commas at either end of that little chunk. Too many commas is a problem I always have to deal with myself.
"His father gladly consented," end this with a period, rather than a comma.
"enjoying the all too rare time together" I stumbled a bit over this. Consider rewording?
"They were now nearing the edge of the great forest, and stumbling across a small glade decided to make camp early in the afternoon." You slip into present-tense narration. You might want to switch it to past-tense. You also might want to move "early in the afternoon" to the beginning of the sentence, rather than the end. The rest of that chunk has hiccups here and there but that is easily fixable with a good edit.

(After thinking for a moment, he looked at Asrien and grinned. “Has everyone heard the story of Rien’s encounter with the Gaudgen?” he asked cheerfully.)

I would suggest chopping out cheerfully.

(Rien blushed deeply and quickly protested that everyone had heard it and Kaidas should pick another story. The twins, sensing a story with great potential for embarrassment, quickly protested.)

The word protested is used twice in a short time. I suggest replacing one of them with an alternative.

(Rien dropped his head into his hands and moaned softly as Kaidas began the story. The young warrior had a flair for mimicking voices and expressions, and he put them to full use.)

The story that he tells is entirely narrative, with no sort of voice immitation required. I would suggest changing this sentence to accomodate or include a lot more character dialogue in the story. I'll save the rest of my critique for after your decision on this matter, as taking apart the story will be unnecessary if you decide to change it.
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Post by jerico »

You have potential, unlike many of the members here. I don't need to reiterate the comments about the similar-sounding names. Also, Starwalker sounds cheesy as hell - think of a new name. You're smart because you're concious of the imortance of building nuance around your characters, but pay careful attention to descriptive flow, and the necessity of certain details. Keep up the good work.

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Post by Mornara »

Hey guys, thanks for the critique, I really appreciate it. Yes, the names the names... I've been working on those, the ones used are old working names, from when I first began writing. Same with Starwalkers. I don't yet know what I'll be calling the series, but we shall see.

Thank you jericho, the praise means alot. I've been in a slump for weeks now, simply unable to write anything I need to. I've even scrapped a highly developed project because I felt I had lost it. Apparently the stress is getting to me right now. Anyways, I've set this project aside to develop it better, so I'll post more once I feel happier with it!
Ita Est

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Re: Stormlight Excerpt

Post by clknaps »

Okay, I won't mention the name thing, i can see it's been beaten to death. Your story is FANTASTIC, definitely keep it up. I've got some very minor grammar stuff to point out, that's about it, all really just suggestions, nothing crucial. Great work! CLK


“I hate that bird!” Alleasar groused as the shrieking cry of the Tussoki bird echoed across the previously quiet glade. “It always sounds as if something is killing it very slowly!” No exclamation here, or rewrite it by removing the "very slowly" part.

“Something should,” Aleshan spoke up lazily from his place beside the large fire, “It is not like anyone would miss it.”

“Who has yet to share a story with us tonight?”
“I think Kaidas is the only one left,” Iasir answered.

The twins had arrived, with their friends Alair and Iasir, in Arauna four days ago, only to find Aleshan and his two closest friends planning a hunting trip, and the twins had promptly invited themselves along.
The seven friends had left Arauna two days before, and had been drifting since, simply relaxing and enjoying the all too rare time together. They were now nearing the edge of the great forest, and stumbling across a small glade, had decided to make camp early in the afternoon.
new paragraph
The glade was perfect, a smooth green lawn sloping down to a small, crystal clear lake fed by several large streams. The bottom of which, or of the lake, was soft, golden sand, dappled with the shade of the drooping old Rayan trees hanging over it.
new paragraph
After settling their horses in, they promptly stripped and dove into the cool water. They spent the next few hours laughing and playing, enjoying being young men for once, instead of the scions of their kingdoms. Aleshan had managed to catch several large fish from the stream and had been roasting them, and the savory smell finally drew them out of the water. After eating, they settled in by the fire to tell stories. It was agreed that each would take a turn, and Kaidas was now the only one left.
new paragraph
After thinking for a moment,

At this point in his rendition of Asrien’s peril, Kaidas paused for an unnecessary drink.

I really like how you developed this part, putting the pause here and bringing the reader back to the present tense, it added more excitement to the end of the tale.


Can't wait to read this print! CLK

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