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druid91
2010-11-13, 10:08 PM
Well I've been trying to write.

Emphasis on trying.

Below spoilered so that those of you who lack the ability to read poor writing can be spared the horror.

The story-tellers boy had come far to get where he was now. Deep in goblin country, practically a stones throw away from the capital sprikang. But it would be worth it, if his father was right it would all be worth it. A few months ago his father had stumbled across a copy of the story of Ared, the hero of the age of crusades. It was in patches but it gave hints of a deeper story than the usual. In most accounts the story focused on Ared and his human companions, leaving out all but the barest mention of his… stranger comrades. And once the story-teller knew that there was more to be had he began doing research in the subject, until finally for the hefty sum of 30 gold coins a goblin told that one of Areds companions still lived in the mountains above the capital, now an ancient being, it never stirred from its lair and was brought offerings of food weekly. Now if only he could hang on for just a few more feet, the cave was in sight... After a few minutes of frantic climbing he was in the cave panting from exertion and soaking wet. That’s when he heard the voice “Come boy… Sit by the fire.” It was sibilant and menacing but at the same time tired and carried no hint of malice. He had made it to the lair of Ibel lizard monster, last surviving companion of Ared. Soon enough the boy requested to hear the full tale of Ared, including the story behind the hero’s friendship with Ibel and Kivish. Ibel sat down in a chair by the fire. And began his story “You see this happened long ago, pieces of the tale abound, even I don’t know for myself what happened in the beginning, but I don’t doubt Ared. If he says he fought a night spouse, a troll in your tongue, hand to hand before losing use of his arm I believe him. He certainly showed himself impressive, even with only one hand. There were sometimes when I wonder if he was a human like he seemed. But you came to hear a story and I wish to tell it.”

Ared was born in a small hamlet, the circumstances of his birth were mysterious as his father never stepped forth to show himself, soon Ared was working in the fields like any boy, but he was certainly stronger than most. So Later on when he was grown and the village faced ever increasing predations by a monster who lived to the north the obvious choice to face it was Ared, he got together a backpack and traveling clothes and left. He made it through the wilderness without incident, passing by a kobold tribe in the hills. He made it to the beasts cave, there were bodies strewn about, some in various stages of being… processed for food. Ared felt that shiver of fear but ignored it and walked in, pushing the crude wooden door aside. Here were the corpses of previous “heroes” who’d attempted to put an end to the beast, and here was the beast itself. For hours the two fought. Exchanging blow for blow, kick for kick, and scratch for scratch. Until finally the monster threw him into the wall, and sank its teeth into his arm, Ared screamed in pain and fear as he felt his hand weaken, the blood flowing freely from the wounds. Certain that his end was near Ared looked about for something that he could use to get the beast off of him, and there it was a corpse not an arms length from him, impaled on a spear and mounted on the wall of the cave. Ared reached out and grabbed the spear and stabbed the monster in the mouth, prying the creature off of himself and then he finished it with a quick thrust to the throat, he dropped the spear and walked away, cradling his shattered arm on his other arm he made his way back home as the sun went down. Behind him a kobold acolyte went to visit the creature and beg its blessing upon the tribe. He opened the door and went in, finding the troll dead, its blood spreading across the floor of the cave.

He arrived back at town and immediately set about looking for allies to help him fight, now that his arm was ruined. He met with little success; none of the villagers had the courage to join him. In fact the only creature who offered was Ibel, the prisoner kept there since the last war with the goblins. But the mayor was adamantly against this wanted the monster kept prisoner till it rotted away. Ared wouldn’t have it, “If the only brave creature among you is a monster, then I suppose I have to trust a monster don’t I?” Ibel was soon freed. And then the two traveled to the court of the king, where they discovered Kivish the bison demon, a deserter, who had fought in the last war as well imprisoned in the castle. Ared asked him “Why do they keep you here?” Kivish took a moment to focus before answering “Becaushe I Drinksh too Much...” Ared looked to Ibel who said “We should free him; he was a good fighter, before he drank.” Ared nodded and walked out, he had a meeting with the king. The king was seemed distant, as he should be as the king of a land beset by all manner of monsters and outlaws. He refused to share news of trouble with a “local hero, no match for the soldiers of the massing kobold armies…” He did however grant Ared three swordsman to aid in ridding the area of bandits “If you can manage that, then we’ll talk about bigger assignments.” On the way out Ared stopped by the dungeons and released Kivish, And they set out, traveling to the location the bandits were last sighted, when they got nearby Ared took the lead and got out of sight of the group. When they found him again a man was lying at his feet, dead from his neck being snapped. They fell upon the rest of the bandits and soon the fighting turned to absolute chaos, Ibel and Kivish fighting back to back with Ared as all around the soldiers sent by the king perished, by the end of it the bandits were slain, but the only survivors were Ared, Ibel, Kivish and a swordsman named Rosmic. They piled and burned the bandits’ corpses, and buried their own in cairns. Then they loaded up the donkey with plunder and set off for the castle. On the way back they Heard a cry of “For Dronkas the terrible!” and arrows whistled through the trees as kobold warriors began bursting out of the foliage all around, Each member of the band was fighting ferociously the bodies of kobolds were everywhere. Soon the kobolds broke and fled, vanishing as quickly as they had appeared. Soon the band returned, and Ared met with the king, “You lost most of the men I sent with you, but you seem to have at least preserved the monsters you choose to travel with.” He points to a location on a map. “To the north there is a cave, there dwells warosp, the great winged terror. He has attacked us for years. But this has stepped up with the ongoing war with the kobolds. A war might I remind you that you started by slaying that troll. But what’s done is done, can’t turn back the past now and besides we’re winning. If you can strike at their monsters I’m sure we could end their threat permanently.”


It just feels wrong, wooden and bad to me. I'm just trying to write this story, I have the general idea the skeleton, but... Well... I'm terrible at coming up with the little stuff, the meat of the story.

Could someone please help. Point out the names of things I mess up, say I did something right, curse me for writing such horrible drivel, etc...

Haruki-kun
2010-11-14, 12:06 AM
Hmmm.... I can suggest a couple of things.

First of all, your sentence structure is made up mostly, if not entirely, out of sentences that follow the format "X did Y". He went there, he did this, it was that. This is not incorrect by itself, but every once in a while change from "The evil overlord took over the world" to a passive voice. "The world was taken over by the evil overlord." Go from "The door was broken" "The door had been broken by the minions."

Passive sentences make a story sound more slow-paced. Otherwise it feels like you're rushing through it.

Also, we do not get enough of a description of Ared.


Ared was born in a small hamlet, the circumstances of his birth were mysterious as his father never stepped forth to show himself, soon Ared was working in the fields like any boy, but he was certainly stronger than most.

Almost anybody could fit this description as long as they didn't meet their father (which is common in fantasy settings). How tall is he? What color is his hair? How long is his hair? Eyes? Skin? Was he a good boy as a kid? Anything interesting about him? You need to show us who he is, not tell us.

This goes for the other characters, though to a lesser extent (but only because they're not the protagonists).

I can analyze this a bit more deeply (if you want) and go by parts, but right now I'm tired, it's late and my brain isn't working so well anymore... I'll look into it tomorrow and post again.

Take those two things as quick notes to take a look at.

Savannah
2010-11-14, 02:28 AM
The story is very much a series of events. "He did x. He traveled to y. He did z." While the events are interesting, they become boring when you don't give details. Tell us more about what it looked like, in enough detail that we can see it in our minds (to a certain extent, I like the way you put "some in various stages of being… processed for food" because it's clear enough that the exact details are left to our imagination). Tell us how he felt and reacted; what was running through his mind when he saw the things you just described? Then tell us what he did. You did this better in the first fight, but it's almost completely lacking in the later bits, making them difficult to read.

I was very confused by the change of focus in the story. Based on the first paragraph, I thought this was going to be a story about the storyteller's son, not about Ared. I'm not sure if you mean to go back to the storyteller's son or not. If so, I'd put in his reactions to the creature's story as it goes, because right now he's completely forgotten. In fact, you should probably include the creature's comments on the story as well; I very rarely hear someone tell a story without making rambling asides to explain their views on it.

Some of the events in the story are very implausible. Your heroes get what they want very easily. The creature immediately agrees to tell a story that no one has ever heard to some kid who comes wandering into his cave. The king grants an audience to some farm boy who's slain a troll (and apparently started a war). Don't give things to your heroes, make them work for it (at the very least, make them comment on how easy it was, so that the reader isn't left wondering if the king has nothing better to do all day than talk to random villagers).

On the subject of starting a war, please explain more why the kobolds start this war. Make it clear that they were allies with the troll, and that it was important enough to them to start a war over. Also, you might want to explain a bit more about the peoples of this world. I doubt many non-gamers would know what a kobold is, so a little explanation would help.

Finally, you have some fairly minor grammatical issues that don't really interfere with the reading the story and some more major ones that do interfere. Watch out for sentence fragments and run-on sentences, as both can make the reader have to stop and reread the passage to figure out what was going on.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if any of it needs clarification. And I want to hear how this story ends :smallsmile:

druid91
2010-11-14, 02:01 PM
The story is very much a series of events. "He did x. He traveled to y. He did z." While the events are interesting, they become boring when you don't give details. Tell us more about what it looked like, in enough detail that we can see it in our minds (to a certain extent, I like the way you put "some in various stages of being… processed for food" because it's clear enough that the exact details are left to our imagination). Tell us how he felt and reacted; what was running through his mind when he saw the things you just described? Then tell us what he did. You did this better in the first fight, but it's almost completely lacking in the later bits, making them difficult to read.

I was very confused by the change of focus in the story. Based on the first paragraph, I thought this was going to be a story about the storyteller's son, not about Ared. I'm not sure if you mean to go back to the storyteller's son or not. If so, I'd put in his reactions to the creature's story as it goes, because right now he's completely forgotten. In fact, you should probably include the creature's comments on the story as well; I very rarely hear someone tell a story without making rambling asides to explain their views on it.

Some of the events in the story are very implausible. Your heroes get what they want very easily. The creature immediately agrees to tell a story that no one has ever heard to some kid who comes wandering into his cave. The king grants an audience to some farm boy who's slain a troll (and apparently started a war). Don't give things to your heroes, make them work for it (at the very least, make them comment on how easy it was, so that the reader isn't left wondering if the king has nothing better to do all day than talk to random villagers).

On the subject of starting a war, please explain more why the kobolds start this war. Make it clear that they were allies with the troll, and that it was important enough to them to start a war over. Also, you might want to explain a bit more about the peoples of this world. I doubt many non-gamers would know what a kobold is, so a little explanation would help.

Finally, you have some fairly minor grammatical issues that don't really interfere with the reading the story and some more major ones that do interfere. Watch out for sentence fragments and run-on sentences, as both can make the reader have to stop and reread the passage to figure out what was going on.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if any of it needs clarification. And I want to hear how this story ends :smallsmile:

Thanks for the advice!:smallbiggrin:

And I suppose that's because the first fight is the one I had most vividly in my head. Well aside from the last fight.

As to the story-tellers son I couldn't think of a way to get the story started.. and "The Name of the Wind" was one of my favorite books so I decided to do it that way, with occasional jumps back to the story-tellers son and Ibel, Have a few exciting things happen at the cave. And so on. The story is mostly about Ared though, though I had planned to show more focus on Ibel once he showed up.. I just didn't and I can't even remember why I didn't.

As for Giving up the story too easily.. well he has his reasons. Your right about the king though, also I probably shouldn't make two trips to the prison so close to each other. Besides the story isn't completely unheard of, just not by your average human being. Goblin scholars know it, it's just they keep to themselves and it would hurt them to make it known.

And thanks again.

Drolyt
2010-11-14, 11:33 PM
I'm not terribly good at teaching, but I'll try to lend a hand. When you are reading a story, it doesn't work unless you feel like you are there. Your story reads like a list of events. Don't feel too bad, you are only one small part of the 99% of people that aren't that good at writing. The only way to get better is through practice, but I'll try to give some tips. First, read a lot. You might already do this if you are trying to write, but it is really one of the best ways to improve your own writing abilities. More to the point, read good literature. There's nothing wrong with Star Trek novels or genre fiction, but they won't be that useful in helping you to improve your writing. Second, write a lot. Doesn't matter what you write, just do it. At least some of the time let it flow naturally, just writing whatever you are thinking, a sort of stream of conscious. Third, here's an exercise. Pick something mundane. A tree, a flower, the sun. Whatever. Now try writing about. Write about it as if you didn't expect the reader to know about it. Don't just write about looks, write about all the senses, sight, hearing, touch, smell, and most importantly how it makes you feel. It's difficult. It's even more difficult to do the same thing with an important character or place in your story, so this is good practice at learning to describe things. Then, repeat the exercise with something that inspires you. Perhaps try it with someone/something from your story. Just practice describing, and remember to describe using all the senses and with feeling. Alright, one more tip. Check out TvTropes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage). It's a great place to learn about the pieces that make up a story.

leakingpen
2010-11-24, 12:20 PM
I do editing as a sideline, so I've seen a lot like this.

Everyone else gave good advice, but what I'd like to add in, specifically that you want to make everything story. You aren't listing events, you are talking about events. So the opening section, WRITE the story of the storytellers son. We find out that his father found the volume, when he TELLS his son about it.

like so. (since you didn't name him, i'm just using the generic name boy1. its a common trick in writing, if you don't have a name, use somethign unique like that. When you DO figure out a name, use a search and replace function in your word processor! I always use a number though. Had a friend who did it, named the guy tom, changed it to mark, and suddenly people were talking about what they were doing marcmorrow.)

****************
The story-teller's boy had come far to get where he was now. Deep in goblin country, practically a stones throw away from the capital of Sprikang. But it would be worth it, he thought to himself. If his father was right, it would all be worth it. Climbing the mountain path, hand over hand, the boy's mind wandered back to that fateful night, mere month's ago, when it all started.

Boy1 entered his father's library, sent by his mother to summon him to dinner. He found him sitting at his reading table, hunched over an old leather bound volume, ripped and torn. He coughed lightly to get his father's attention. The man started suddenly, looking up at his son. He blinked a few times as his eyes refocused. "Ohh, Boy1, its you. Come here, come here. This is most exciting."

"What is it father?"

"I found this at the bottom of a scrap pile, old books meant to be burnt, ruined with age. They had no clue what treasure it was. It is a tale of Ared!"

"But father... Ared is one of the greatest heroes of the Crusades! Stories of him are a silver a dozen!"

At this, his father laughed dryly, then coughed once. "Yes, yes. But all the stories we have deal with Ared, and the humans with him. He had other, stranger companions. Companions that are bare footnotes, ohh, also, there was a non human, but ignore him, let us talk about ARED! This book... This book is from the point of view of his non human companions. But its missing so many pages, and those I have are torn and stained. I must know more. I must have this story!"

As the weeks went by, the quest for the story of Ared's companions became an obsession with the man. Boy1 watched as he spent time in dusty archives, speaking to old sages, hunting down bits and pieces. One day, he came home just in time to see a bundled figure sneaking out the back door. He hurried inside, to find his father, beaming a smile of joy.

"BOY! Come, this is wonderful. Expensive, thirty gold worth, but wonderful."

"What happened father? Who was that man who just left?"

"No man, my son. Goblin. One who has been charged with bringing offerings, food, clothes, to an ancient being that lives in the mountains over the Goblin capitol. An ancient goblin, become a hermit in a cave. And who was one of Ared's companions! Still living, a companion of Ared! Do you know what this means! I must go, get the story from him, first hand, I..."

At this, his father bent over, coughing deeply, the exertion taking its toll. Boy1 knew that his father's health would never let him make the journey. He also knew that his father would not stop until he had his story.

Thus did his resolve to protect his father lead him here, on a mountain side, scrabbling from rock to rock. Recollection and memory left him, as the steep side suddenly broke, a small plateau, and a cave yawning dark in the side of the mountain. He stopped, shivering, wet with the sweat of his exertion. His thoughts warred with themselves, fear of the cave, the unknown, desire to enter, to learn. His decision was almost made in his mind, when when he heard the voice “Come boy… Sit by the fire.” It was sibilant and menacing but at the same time tired and carried no hint of malice.
************************

And so on from there. Make things actions that happened, people talking, people thinking. You list events, you are no longer a storyteller, you are a history teacher. And who managed to stay awake in history class?

feel free to message me for extra assistance if you'd like.