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Postby Bmat » Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:14 am

RHFay wrote:
Bmat wrote:As the Sea

Roderick dizzily leant against the sea-washed rock...


Hey Bmat!

That was a lovely short short story. I like how it moved from Roderick's determination to complete the mission, to the king's encampment, and then to the present. You managed to convey just enough background for the reader to feel for Roderick, without saying too much.

There are just a couple of typos, and spots where the word order might need to be changed a bit, but the actual storyline seems fine. My only big question is, does sea water actually stop bleeding? I guess it could if it was cold. I know salt makes wounds sting, even burn.

Anyway, the emotions in the story are handled well. The fact that it move effortlessly from the past to the present gives it a timeless quality.

Well done!

Cheers!


Thank you, it is kind of you to say so. :)

I'd be interested, if you have time, in where the story could be corrected- the typos and word order? It is so easy to miss typos even when re-reading many times, and I'd like to correct it.

About the salt water. I don't even know. The friar believed it (but since he is imaginary, he may be wrong). Perhaps he believed that the cold from the sea water would slow down the bleeding. If sea water actually encourages bleeding I may have to leave the sentence out. Now that I think of it, blood attracts sharks, so perhaps the sea water idea is all wet.
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Postby RHFay » Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:33 pm

Hi Bmat!

About the sea water...if the sea was cold, it could perhaps slow the bleeding. Would a medieval friar know this? I'm not sure. The story might work with that bit out; just have the friar say that Roderick shouldn't have been able to get as far as he did with the wounds he had sustained. It could be attributed to Roderick's loyal determination alone. Besides, adrenaline can make people do extraordinary things, and knight were capable of taking some punishment. The stories of wounds that medieval soldiers survived is astonishing.

I wasn't sure how much proofreading you wanted on the piece. I'll see what I can do to help.

Cheers!
Last edited by RHFay on Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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proofreading for Bmat...

Postby RHFay » Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:14 pm

Bmat asked me to do a bit of proofreading and give some editing suggestions for this story. So, here goes.

Bmat wrote:Roderick dizzily leant against the sea-washed rock.


I think this would work better as:
Roderick leaned dizzily against the sea-washed rock.

It sounds better with the adverb after the verb it's modifying. I guess you can use the British version of the past of "lean" (leant), but for some reason it sounds odd. And I usually like to use the "proper" British spellings!

Or was it the sound of his own heart and his own labored breathing that he heard?


If you are going to use the British variant of leaned, leant, you probably want to stick to British spelling throughout. Labored would be laboured.


With a gloved hand he wiped his face, smearing the blood that was seeping from the cuts.


Just a suggestion; cuts could be replaced with a stronger word like wounds. He's obviously seriously injured. Maybe it could read: "...seeping from his various wounds.

Another wave of dizziness.


This is a fragment; you may want to replace it with a proper sentence. Again, just a suggestion. Something like: Another wave of dizziness coursed through his trembling body.


Roderick and his companions had been anbushed.


Spelling error/typo: anbushed should be ambushed

They had fought valiantly, but they were outnumbered.


I don't think you need both theys, this could read: They had fought valiantly, but were hopelessly outnumbered. (Unless you think "hopelessly outnumbered" is too overused.)
One trembling step. Another.


Again, you can leave these, but they are fragments. I know I've seen stuff like this used in literature, but it's not really proper. Consider making them into complete sentences. They can still be short, just include a whole thought. Something like:

The dying young knight took one trembling step, and then another.

Another step. Another breath. Another step. Another breath.


Again, these are fragments. You might want to consider making them complete sentences.

Marie! O my sweet Marie. I shall never see thee again, nor our baby.


You could perhaps say: "Marie! Oh my sweet Marie! I shall never see thee nor our baby again!"

Numbness now. A step. A breath.


Again, these are fragments. You can make them sentences. It could be something like: Roderick felt a creeping numbness, but took another step, and another breath, followed by yet another agonizing step. I know it's a bit more than you said, but it's just a suggestion.

...should have killed him within a few minutes.”


Minutes seems somewhat "modern" and out of place here. Maybe use a less specific word like: should have killed him swiftly, or something along those lines.

She wondered what the knights had done that they would have been honored like this.


Again, if you use the British spellings vatriation "leant", you should probably use the British spelling of honored, which is honoured. Also, this sentence might work better if tweaked a bit. Perhaps something like: She wondered what those knights had done to be honoured in such a way.

Oh well.


Again, this is a fragment. You can probably develop it into a complete thought, something like this:

"Oh well," Patricia thought to herself, quickly forgetting about her little private mystery. The bus was about to leave anyway, so she hurried off.

Other than the obvious typos, most of my suggestions are just that, suggestions. Other may feel that the fragments convey fragmented thoughts, and are fine as is. Personally, I would make the fragments into complete thoughts. It gives just a bit more information.

I hope this was helpful.

Cheers!
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Postby LightBrigade » Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:32 pm

RHFay wrote:About the sea water...if the sea was cold, it could perhaps slow the bleeding. Would a medieval friar know this?

A man whose life has to do with the sea, such as an islander, may know sea water can stop bleeding. I did not type "stops". I typed "may know" and "can".

Details : arteries severed will not cease to pump matter out if left unattended; the salt allowed to dry on the wound, and the iodine in sea water cauterise any interruption on human tissue; the first liquid haemostatic was animal and human saliva, the next was sea water. Horrible detail : smearing salt on open wounds did not aim at causing pain only - a pain as if cauterising live flesh actually, it also aimed at prolonging the life of the tortured by helping to stop the bleeding.

RHFay wrote:...loyal determination alone... adrenaline ... knight were capable of taking some punishment... stories of wounds that medieval soldiers survived is astonishing.

There is always a lot to learn. *soft smile*
Last edited by LightBrigade on Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby RHFay » Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:57 pm

LightBrigade wrote:A man whose life has to do with the sea, such as an islander, may know sea water can stop bleeding. I did not type "stops". I typed "may know" and "can".


Like I said, I don't personally know if sea water will stop bleeding. Perhaps it will, under certain circumstances. However, plenty of people bleed profusely when attacked by sharks and the like. Still, the bit about salt is interesting.

Light Brigade wrote:smearing salt on open wounds cauterising live flesh


Like I said, this is actually interesting, in a disturbing way. It could be useful information for someone writing an intense horror or fantasy tale.

Light Brigade wrote:Would you feel an urge to correct a story of mine for improbability of theme, if it read that once a man received a bullet between the eyes, directly on the forehead and did not die?


No, I would not correct you if you had a character in your story suffer amazing wounds and survive. Of course, Roderick in Bmat's story did succumb to his wounds eventually. I just questioned something in Bmat's story that I wasn't sure about. The bit about salt may be fine, but I personally would want to do more research about it, just to be sure.

I've read plenty of real war stories, both modern and medieval, that describe soldiers and warriors surviving horrific injuries. Some lived to tell the tale, while others only lived long enough to perform some heroic feat. I specifically recall a medieval skull that showed healed injuries to the face. The warrior must have been an old war veteran, but he had been in one too many battles, because he finally suffered fatal injuries. The damage that these caused were plainly visible beside the healed wounds on his skull.

There was also this chap named Phineas Gage who had a tamping rod pierce his skull through and through. It went right through his brain, but he survived. He did suffer from a change in personality, though.

Now, this may be something that people writing realistic fantasy may want to know; death on the medieval battlefield wasn't always swift and sure. Contrary to what's portrayed in the movies, death might come slowly for those unfortunate enough to suffer fatal wounds. Many of the wounded would have to be finished off by men wading through the bloody battlefield wielding long daggers. One euphemism for the dagger was "misericorde", referencing the "mercy" doled out by it's sharp point to fallen foes. Daggers would be thrust in the eyeslit, or in the armpit, or even the groin. Really nasty stuff, but a part of history. It wasn't the glorious and abstract combat as seen in many role playing games, it was brutal!

Basically my point is (pardon the tasteless pun); medieval warriors, like Roderick, didn't always die right away. They often slowly bled to death, again, like Roderick. The salt-water bit may be unnecessary.

I agree, there is always a lot to learn. That's why I have a house full of books, and ask questions like I do.

(All of this is actually related to what I said regarding research in the thread about researching historic details.)

Cheers!
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Postby LightBrigade » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:39 pm

RHFay wrote:Like I said, I don't personally know if sea water will stop bleeding. Perhaps it will, under certain circumstances. However, plenty of people bleed profusely when attacked by sharks and the like. ...

Obviously you did not notice "when an artery is severed...". In the shark case, basic anatomy may be necessary if one really needs to know. i.e. femoral artery.

RHFay wrote:No, I would not correct you if you...

Lacking experience yet speaking based only on books one has read, is a common mistake. I made that mistake myself when I was very young *blushed s*

RHFay wrote:I personally would want to do more research about it, just to be sure.

One might start with salted preserves.

RHFay wrote:The salt-water bit may be unnecessary.

It would be doing injustice to the story if I missed a subtle point which truly ornaments the story. The term is 'paramythia' - learned men are familiar with this stylistic device Homer introduced. (I mention because I suspect you can talk about such matters well *s*)

But generally, I agree! When reading a story, people understand as far and as deeply as they are prepared to show interest in. And can.
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Postby RHFay » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:58 am

LightBrigade wrote:Obviously you did not notice "when an artery is severed...". In the shark case, basic anatomy may be necessary if one really needs to know. i.e. femoral artery.


Please, never ever make assumptions about what I do or don't see, or what I do or don't know. Yes, I did see the bit about arteries. And, yes, it is a valid point regarding shark attacks. Of course, it can also be a valid point when you are talking about sword cuts down to the bone.

Swords could cut right down to the bone, and even take limbs right off! There are plenty of skeletons recovered from medieval battlefields that show this to be the case. Of course, if Roderick had suffered from wounds like that, I would think he would have bled out long before he got to the king's encampment.

LightBrigade wrote:Lacking experience yet speaking based only on books one has read, is a common mistake. I made that mistake myself when I was very young *blushed s*


By the way, don't ever make assumptions about a person's knowledge or experience without knowing something about that person first. Prior to this recent attempt of mine to become a published writer, I spent many years working in biology and health labs as a laboratory technician. Before that, I graduated summa *beep* laude (that's highest honours, for those that don't know that) with a degree in biology. Yes, I know a little bit about arteries, and how the blood is pumped vigourously through them. They are thick walled and muscular, actively pumping the blood, unlike the thin-walled veins, which have valves to stop the blood from flowing backward. A severed artery does indeed bleed furiously, and is a dangerous thing.

As for book knowledge, that is the best way for me to gain information and details about medieval history and arms and armour. When I say I have a house full of books, I mean just that. I don't just have a handful of books on medieval history and warfare, I literally have hundreds of books on these subjects. Many of these volumes are by supposed experts in the field. They are not just "popular history" volumes; some are rather academic. I haven't just read some of these books, I've actually studied them, and have referred back to them repeatedly.

However, I have tried to have some "hands-on" experience, at least as much as I can in my current situation. I have experimented with reconstructing some armour, mostly leather, but I did make a metal coat-of-plates, and brigandine-style cuisses. I even bought some do-it-yourself rivetted mail links to experiment with making more authentic mail armour. I also own several replica medieval swords, perhaps the lowest end of truly "usable", but they have given me a greater respect for the handling characteristics of these weapons. They weren't heavy and ponderous; rather, they were well balanced and weighted for the job they performed.

I am not sure if you were trying to imply that I am "young": don't! I may just recently have had success with my poetry submissions, but I have done many other things with my life. However, I am also a firm believer in reading as much as you can about a subject that interests you, and especially one that has to do with what you may be writing. My previous writing endeavour, prior to my recent poetry, was a fantasy novel with elements from real medieval history and warfare. I also wrote a few articles for an on-line resource for historic arms and armour collectors, one of which was already posted. (They changed their publishing schedule, and drastically reduced the frequency of updates, so I don't know if my other articles will ever see the light of day.)

I hope that this gives you a little better insight into who I am, and from where I speak. As for "the salt bit", I have personally never heard that before (medieval physicians would often cauterize blood vessels with a red-hot iron), but I am admittedly a land-lubber. Yes, perhaps someone who makes their living from the sea would know the answer to my original question. Remember, I was just asking if that was true, I wasn't stating that it was false! Keep in mind, too, we are talking about medieval knowledge here, not modern knowledge. Even if such a thing were true, would it necessarily be known to a medieval friar, when cauterizing with a red-hot iron was standard medieval European procedure for treating severed arteries? (And, yes, I got this bit out of one of my books.)

I'm sorry if I came off as being a bit intense, it's my nature. I just wanted you to know some things about me.

Cheers!

P.S. Hey, it bleeped out my Latin! It's not "rude", it's Latin for "with", I believe, as in "with highest distinction".
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Postby LightBrigade » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:33 pm

RHFay wrote:Please, never ever make assumptions about what I do or don't see, ...

In this case, it is obvious to me. If it is not to you, we disagree on the matter.

It is obvious to me because your repeated the same question after it was covered.

To disagree, is ours to choose in a debate, like good friends with common interests in this community. *smile*

As every free man, I shall definitely speak about what I discover in the world around me when I find it is my pleasure to do so.

On the other hand, neither I nor any decent man has any right to tell others what they must see as obvious or not. Only a dictator does that. Or someone who has grown up to be told what to do so he thinks it is a decent way for him to behave, too.

Moreover, with your post above, one more time you do ignore my very words "it is obvious..." to twist them making them "I assume...". If you feel you have any right to do such a thing.

Learned men avoid such habits. *smile*
Last edited by LightBrigade on Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby RHFay » Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:03 pm

Light brigade,

I'm sorry if you took my posts as being dictatorial, or if you feel I twisted your words. I don't know if your definition of "obviously" is the same one I am thinking of. I took it as if you were sure I must not have seen the bit about arteries.

Perhaps some of this could just be chalked up to the problems of internet communications. In my opinion, it's not the best venue to carry on a debate. I've been in the middle of too many heated discussions elsewhere to have a lot of faith in the ability of the internet to act as a forum for true debate.

Never cease to speak your mind, but expect me to do the same.

I believed I was more learned than the average man, but perhaps I was wrong.

Frankly, I'm ready to go on to other things. I don't have time for this stuff, and this is the same kind of stuff that caused me to leave the arms and armour forum where I used to spend much of my time. I hope you would feel that it would be a loss to the SV community if I were to vanish, never to return. It would be a sad situation if that were to happen. Then again, perhaps I am putting too great a value on my contributions here.

Cheers!
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Postby Bmat » Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:21 pm

RH, thank you for going to so much trouble on my little story. As soon as I have time I'll study your suggestions and decide what to do. Already I can see that it would be a good idea to keep the language consistent.


LB, thank you for the information about sea water.
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Postby LightBrigade » Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:51 pm

You are welcome, Bmat. Did you mention you did some research on 'paramythia'?

RHFay, *opens the fridge, gets cold lemonade, offers to Bmat and RHFay... then has some himself, chalks the other thing up to internet communication*

Personally speaking, I would feel you are definitely far more learned than the average man, much to my delight here in SV.

I agree this is the same kind of stuff that causes us to leave forums where we spend much of our time. On the humourous side of it, after all, how else could we tell the warrior vein is still ticking? *LOL ?*

RHFay wrote:... loss to the SV community if ...

If I were American, I would utter "gotta be kiddin', man!"

Same for the contributions you mentioned, RHFay. They are priceless. And you can take that to the bank! (An idiomatic quote from the cinema elicited from my vault, enhancing the validity of the word spoken.)
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Postby LightBrigade » Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:52 pm

No.

More than priceless.
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