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Thread: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I always thought of it as the ultimate gift for the players

    I want to play in your games

    Welcome! This snippet was very enjoyable; I sincerely hope you stick around! It sounds like there is a lot more to this story--I hope you decide to keep telling it!
    ...His sword had become the bane of evil nearly everywhere.

    That was yesterday.
    Heh, very nice. I like this opening a lot.

    Green lights, fireballs, cones of cold and rays of death
    "green lights" and "cones of cold", I think, could be more descriptive. You're describing an ongoing, rather chaotic battle here, and some more vivid descriptions of the spell slinging around would be nice. They don't even have to be particularly faithful to the spells they're describing; in fact I think this sort of thing works better if descriptions do not conform exactly to spells. A cone of cold, for instance, is unlikely to actually look like a code of cold except to someone with the knowledge to call it by its spell name--it's really more of a blast of elemental ice.

    "Jantus, get a troop of soldiers and take the galleys out of port. Fit as many men and women as possible in our fleet, and sail to Green Island. May you fare well."
    The strong fighter hid trickling tears in his beard, shot with grey like a frosted wood in the moonlight.
    This whole passage is fantastic, except that the part I bolded is unclear and feels very game-mechanics-y. First, "the strong fighter" seems like it might apply to either of them--who is the subject here? If it's Kylorin, the exposition is a little too forced. We already know that he's a sword-wielding type with a battered crown, so we can assume he is both strong, and a fighter. However, in the next sentence, "he" clearly refers to Jantus, so now I have to wonder if that's who was being described, instead. I think you should get away with just using a name here, or else just describing him less explicitly but more clearly (refer to something about him that elicits a feeling of strength, rather than stating it outright, then use Jantus' name in the next sentence. Or if the whole thing is describing Jantus, give a description that clarifies that; something that would apply to Jantus but not to Kylorin).

    Hundreds of arrows hissed at him, and he blocked them with a shield of white fire. For he was not only a warrior, but a king wise in the ways of magic.
    The same goes here. If he's conjuring a shield of white fire, it's obvious that he can use magic. In this case, though, the explicit statement reads better, since I (as the reader) am caught somewhat off-guard by the shield of white fire coming from a warrior type (and since the phrasing could be a little more vivid in general). I think this passage would read more smoothly with the order switched around a bit, something like "Hundreds of arrows hissed through the air at him, but Kylorin was not only a warrior, but a king wise in the ways of magic, and every shaft that approached him was consumed in a flicker of white fire."

    He was wounded, but he stood strong in the dying Kingdom of Kyloria.
    When did he get wounded? Just now? This could use some clarity.

    They fought not a duel, for a duel has principals
    *principles, though I think a different word might be better here, anyway.

    A slight, young woman had fired it through the window. Her blue eyes were wide with determination as she raised another to bear.
    The demon casually fired off a barrage of spells at her, watching, as did Kylorin, as she withered into a pile of dust under incredible amounts of magic.
    This is a good moment, but as a reader I really want to know who that woman is. In a moment you mention Kylorin's queen--is this her? If so, I would expect a reaction from Kylorin, even though he's at the edge of death. If it's not her, then who is this random person? She gets a bit of description, but no name or context, and is then disintegrated. I want to know more!

    Battlefield crows pecked the bodies of the dead, ignoring one metal-shelled man who stared glassily at the sky. He would be too much of a nuisance to pick out of the shell that enclosed him. With a flap of black feathers, the crow flew off into the darkening sky.
    I like this final scene; it feels a bit rushed though. The repeated "shell" is a little awkward, and I assume that final "crow" is supposed to be plural. In general I'd like this ending paragraph to be just a bit longer--it's supposed to (unless I'm mistaken) give a sense of desolation and stillness, and force the reader to reflect on the battle. Just another sentence or two of description would be nice; it's good to make the pacing of the prose line up with the feelings you're trying to convey. Picture this snippet as the final scene in a movie--this shot of crows pecking at the dead, perhaps with a couple of widows/children appearing to look for survivors, would be a pretty long closing shot, all things considered, even though nothing is actually happening. I find that to be a helpful way to think about how much time to spend on a given description; obviously there are exceptions.
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-07-24 at 09:51 AM.
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