A story that needs a rating :)

Not sure if you're on the right track? Post anything from character descriptions, snippets of text, or even whole chapters to get some advice.

Moderator: Bmat

Post Reply
drizzt808
Just Registered
Just Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:48 am
Contact:

A story that needs a rating :)

Post by drizzt808 »

Hello all! I have been writing for a while now and i really enjoy it, but i have the feeling that i am not good :P so if you all don't mind I'm going to post a part of the story i have been writing and hopefully you guys can tell me to keep on writing or to quit now thanks in advance!

~ The world has been thrust into war, the first major war the races have seen since before the oldest dwarf's grandfather's generation. Everywhere he looked Durier saw rocks that were red with warm blood, and bodies upon bodies, piled up and being prepared to be burned. Durier felt sorrow for his fellow dwarves but now was not the time for sorrow, now was the time for revenge. He vowed, that day, while looking upon the dead, that he would avenge them, and he would attack the damned trolls at the heart of their army. Their leader, a dumb, three-headed, giant brute named Plaudd would surely be enough to avenge these brave souls. but now Durier knew he must plan himself carefully.
~~~~~~
~ Plaudd stood in rage, almost striking out at the unintelligent orcish messenger as he heard of his armies' loss with the dwarves. He did manage a smile ,though when he heard that the dwarf death count was over five hundred. But Plaudd, no smart beast (even by troll standards) knew that if the dwarves kept fighting as well as they had this past ten day that his army would be destroyed, along with his hopes of one day forming a civilized kingdom of Trolls. Thus he decided to pull back his forces and wait for the right moment to strike. "Retreat, full retreat, back to camp now," he told the messenger in their own rough language. He then turned back to his tent to vent his anger on a slave he had waiting.
~~~~~~
~ "Their retreating, general, they've abandoned their ol' positions!" screamed a dwarven scout to General Oolregna. A great cheer went up at that, though it was dulled by the pain of loss, and dwarves celebrated together that night, with ale and food!
"Here's to ye great fighters out there, and all the fighten' ye all been doin' as o' late!" roared King Dagna, raising his mug of ale up in a toast. And the whole dwarven kingdom, made off all stone, shook as the ensuing cheers went up.
(The end of this part)



Note: thanks for anyone that took the time to read this, i hope it was good and please know that if you think it was really bad, tell me i won't mind THANKS AGAIN!!!

User avatar
Grand Evander
True Visionary
True Visionary
Posts: 1221
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:52 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Post by Grand Evander »

First of all, I would never tell someone who has a passion for writing to give up on it. Writing is a skill that improves with time the more that we read and write. Syntax and organization can be learned but passion can never be infused. So I say, if you love it, keep at it. Keep this in mind as I offer my critique. Note that my comments represent an opinion and should not be viewed as such. It is unfortunately hard to comment on your organization and ability to progress a story from the selection given, but I will offer what criticism I can.

With regards to your first paragraph, the scope of the narrative abruptly shifts from a broad overview of the world to following your main character (which can be disorienting). You offer the reader a picture of the immediate setting but not the context of what the battle's significance is to the war. I find it difficult to get a grasp of where I am in the story.

I feel there is very little character development beyond the stereotypical personality of a warrior presented in the first paragraph. Most of the sentences follow the thoughts of the characters in the selection rather than seeing a progression of the story through action; this and the second scene appear fairly static for such reason.

I also feel that the classic advice of "show don't tell" applies here as well. From your phrasings such as "felt sorrow for his fellow dwarves" and "these brave souls," it appears that you're trying to force-feed the reader certain emotions that should be evoked by the writing (such as by having Durier cry while reverently burning the bodies of his kinsmen).

Concerning the second selection, I am wondering why Plaudd would be the head of the troll army if he is "no smart east (even by troll standards). If he is mentally inferior then the rest, why would he be their leader? Also, I feel the phrasing should be "Even Plaudd" rather than "But Plaudd," since the sentence concerns an observation that Plaudd did have. I also feel that there is not enough character depth here either to keep me as a reader interested. Also, in the third paragraph, it should be "They're retreating" rather than "Their retreating."

Consider elevating your sentence structure a bit and using crisper diction choices. I don't think you should give up on your story if you want to write it, or have already written it. This is just my opinion and hopefully it will give you a few things to think about. Thanks for sharing! :D

User avatar
Bmat
Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Posts: 5899
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:31 pm
Location: East coast US

Post by Bmat »

The world has been thrust into war, the first major war the races have seen since before the oldest dwarf's grandfather's generation. Everywhere he looked Durier saw rocks that were red with warm blood, and bodies upon bodies, piled up and being prepared to be burned. Durier felt sorrow for his fellow dwarves but now was not the time for sorrow, now was the time for revenge. He vowed, that day, while looking upon the dead, that he would avenge them, and he would attack the damned trolls at the heart of their army. Their leader, a dumb, three-headed, giant brute named Plaudd would surely be enough to avenge these brave souls. but now Durier knew he must plan himself carefully.


This comes across as an outline or summary. You won't want to change tense in your actual draft. "dwarf's grandfather's" isn't a good idea. He saw warm blood? I'm not sure how he would see that it was warm.

The sentence beginning with Durier felt sorrow is awkward. Maybe something more like this: Durier felt sorrow for his fellow Dwarves. It was not time for sorrow, however, but time for revenge. ... Just an idea.

"
Their leader, a dumb, three-headed, giant brute named Plaudd would surely be enough to avenge these brave souls. but now Durier knew he must plan himself carefully." I don't understand this sentence. Plaudd is the leader of the dwarves? He has three heads? He is dumb? Durier knew he must plan himself? I'm not sure what this means, that he, himself, must plan? Durier must be making plans?

When you write your story, you may enjoy putting more action in and less description. Let your action give description.

Look at your story cold. That is, set it aside for maybe a week and then pick it up and read it as if you were a stranger reading it. Or read it aloud. Or have someone else read it to you.

I'd suggest reworking your paragraph. You have the content that you want, now think about the reader, how to get the reader to see what you see. I feel that you already have some good description. The blood on the rocks, for example. The piles of bodies.

It is wonderful that you feel moved to write, Keep it up. If you like to write, it means that it is what you should do. I am honored to read your work, best of luck to you.

User avatar
thegreentick
Forum Addict
Forum Addict
Posts: 636
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 4:23 pm
Location: Mission, BC, Canada

Post by thegreentick »

Hey, good to have you here. One bit of advice that I never give to another writer is to quit. If they are not good, they should write all the more. I'll take each of the three chunks of what you posted here and give you a nice detailed review.

~ The world has been thrust into war, the first major war the races have seen since before the oldest dwarf's grandfather's generation. Everywhere he looked Durier saw rocks that were red with warm blood, and bodies upon bodies, piled up and being prepared to be burned. Durier felt sorrow for his fellow dwarves but now was not the time for sorrow, now was the time for revenge. He vowed, that day, while looking upon the dead, that he would avenge them, and he would attack the damned trolls at the heart of their army. Their leader, a dumb, three-headed, giant brute named Plaudd would surely be enough to avenge these brave souls. but now Durier knew he must plan himself carefully.~

I thought the first sentence was needless. The best way to let us know that a war has been going on is to drop us in the middle of it, as you do in the second sentence. As far as Durier's sorrow for his fellows, it would be best not to tell us that he feels this way, but to describe his anguish in a way that we can relate to it. I would also specify that the death of Plaudd would be enough to avenge the brave souls. You don't actually say that he needs killing. Overall, I would recomment extending this first part. Giving us a feel for the battlefield. If I read something, I want to be taken to where it is happening, not be a mere outsider looking in.

~ Plaudd stood in rage, almost striking out at the unintelligent orcish messenger as he heard of his armies' loss with the dwarves. He did manage a smile ,though when he heard that the dwarf death count was over five hundred. But Plaudd, no smart beast (even by troll standards) knew that if the dwarves kept fighting as well as they had this past ten day that his army would be destroyed, along with his hopes of one day forming a civilized kingdom of Trolls. Thus he decided to pull back his forces and wait for the right moment to strike. "Retreat, full retreat, back to camp now," he told the messenger in their own rough language. He then turned back to his tent to vent his anger on a slave he had waiting.~

The fact that a big mean stupid violent giant is standing in rage bothers me somewhat. If he is so terrible, he should perhaps kill the messenger. Also, he managed a smile? Does this mean that all three of his heads smiled, or just one? Why would this Plaudd be seeking to form a civilized kingdom of Trolls? I thought he was a giant. Whe would he want to make the kingdom civilized at all? He doesn't sound very civilized himself. This part, I would also extent. It seems a little rushed. You need to give the readers a feel for what is happening. One idea you can toss around with is the behavior of the three heads. It would be an interesting sub-plot if the heads argued with eachother from time to time or something of the like.

~ "Their retreating, general, they've abandoned their ol' positions!" screamed a dwarven scout to General Oolregna. A great cheer went up at that, though it was dulled by the pain of loss, and dwarves celebrated together that night, with ale and food!
"Here's to ye great fighters out there, and all the fighten' ye all been doin' as o' late!" roared King Dagna, raising his mug of ale up in a toast. And the whole dwarven kingdom, made off all stone, shook as the ensuing cheers went up.~

Once again, extent extend extend. If the dwarves are celebrating, I want to be a part of it. I want to eat, drink, and engage in drunken acts of revelry with these dwarves! (Okay, maybe not THAT far, but I hope you get my meaning.) You could get a few good quality pages out of those two little paragraphs.

In summary, I believe that you are rushing the story far too much without taking the time to let the reader become immersed in your world.

You do have potential though, keep it up.
"God is looking for spiritual fruits, not religious nuts."

drolgh8
Just Registered
Just Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:46 am

To Drizzt808

Post by drolgh8 »

I especially liked the part about seeing warm blood spilled on the rocks. That sparked emotion in me that sympathized with durier's situation as having lost his brethren dwarves. The blood being described as warm means it was recent and it could even accentuate how it belonged to the 'good guys' so to speak.

User avatar
clknaps
Site Regular
Site Regular
Posts: 235
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:59 am
Location: A different place every day

Re: A story that needs a rating :)

Post by clknaps »

[quote="drizzt808"]Hello all! I have been writing for a while now and i really enjoy it, but i have the feeling that i am not good :P so if you all don't mind I'm going to post a part of the story i have been writing and hopefully you guys can tell me to keep on writing or to quit now thanks in advance!

Never give up, that's my advice. The more you write, the better you will get at it.

~ The world has been thrust into war, the first major war the races have seen since before the oldest dwarf's grandfather's generation.
The first sentence doesn't belong with the second, I think the other posters said it in more proper terms. Why not have Durier mutter the first sentence (reworked) under his breath or something to make it fit with the rest.

Everywhere he looked Durier saw rocks that were red with warm blood, and bodies upon bodies, piled up and being prepared to be burned.

I really like the imagery here, but unfortunately you can't see warm blood. Now you could if you saw the steam coming from the rocks or something, I don't know it needs a rework.

Durier felt sorrow for his fellow dwarves but now was not the time for sorrow, it was the time for revenge.

He vowed, that day, while looking upon the dead, that he would avenge them, and he would attack the damned trolls at the heart of their army.

Why not make this sentence present tense and give it more grip? He vowed, that day, just doesn't do it for me.


Their leader, a dumb, three-headed, giant brute named Plaudd would surely be enough to avenge these brave souls. but now Durier knew he must plan himself carefully.
I'm really not sure what you're trying to say here.

~~~~~~
~ Plaudd stood in rage, almost striking out at the unintelligent orcish messenger as he heard of his armies' loss with the dwarves.

I don't like this sentence. I don't think you can stand in rage. How about: Plaudd was enraged, nearly ready to strike the foolish orc (how can you be orcish, meaning orc-like?) as he described the losses of the battle.

He did manage a smile, though when he heard that the dwarf death count was over five hundred. Though Plaudd, no smart beast (even by troll standards) knew that if the dwarves kept fighting as well as they had this past ten day that his army would be destroyed, along with his hopes of one day forming a civilized kingdom of Trolls.
new paragraph
Thus he decided to pull back his forces and wait for the right moment to strike. "Retreat, full retreat, back to camp now," he told (instead of told how about growled or barked) the messenger in his own rough language. He then turned back to his tent to vent his anger on a slave he had waiting.
~~~~~~
~ "They're or They are retreating, general, they've abandoned their ol' (I don't understand why you chose the word ol' here) positions!" screamed a dwarven scout to General Oolregna.

new paragraph

A great cheer went up at that, though it was dulled by the pain of loss, and dwarves celebrated together that night, with ale and food!

Hmm...I'm having trouble with this sentence. Saying that the dwarves celebrated together would seem to indicate that otherwise they would not have. I don't think there should be an exclamation there. How about:
At that, a great cheer went up, though dulled by the pain of loss, and that night the dwarves celebrated the victory with ale and food.



Just suggestions, hope this helps, thanks for sharing it with us. CLK
Last edited by clknaps on Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Bread Butterbeard
Forum Addict
Forum Addict
Posts: 939
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:35 am
Location: Haunting the ruins of Applegate
Contact:

Post by Bread Butterbeard »

Well I liked the piece don't get me wrong and I would offer my advice but everything I would have said has already been said it seems, but like others have told you I too say never give up or quit, especially if you like to write, writing is a skill and like all other skills in life practice is the road to improvement, keep up the good work!
"The world you know is over Grandmaster Shard, will you stand and fight for your people, or let them slip into darkness?" Tartikoff Greenwood to Brayan James Shard

Fifthwind, Terry Brooks, Legends

Post Reply