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Untitled Story From a Page in My Notebook

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countingfingers
  • countingfingers

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#1

Posted 12 March 2016 - 02:05 AM Edited by countingfingers, 12 March 2016 - 02:31 PM.

Author's Note: Hey, I'm relatively new to the Writer's Discussion section of the forums, so I'm not much of known face, or rather, username. I want to be a bit more active here, and I'm greatly enjoying what I've seen and who I've met in the conversations. Though, I wanted to give a portion of narratives I've written during my earlier years. To put it basically, I want to be an active member in this community of writers.

What I present to you fellows now is the first chapter of what I wrote a year or two ago. I didn't give it a title, so I'll give it the place holder name "Sand." It's the first chapter, since I don't think I finished it, but I did like the concept I created.






Chapter 1

The sand blew across the ever silent desert. The day was hotter than usual, beating down on the two lowly wanderers, saddled on a camel. The one sitting in the back drew a bead of sweat from his youthful, sunburned forehead.

"How long do you think it'll be till we get there, sir?" The youth inquired. He nervously adjusted his goggles mounted tightly on the young ling's eyes.

"Not too long," the other grunted, "I reckon we'll arrive in under a quarter of an hour." The other man seemed far older than the young boy. His face was riddled with wrinkles and scars. The gusts of wind created clouds of orange, hiding the precious blue of the sky.

The old man wiggled his scabbard lightly. The boy marvelled in the man's blade, wishing he, too, will be able to wield such a mighty blade one day. The sand burned as it landed gracefully onto the duo's faces.

"Master, you haven't told me where we're going," he anxiously said, "Would you tell me, please?"

"No, boy," he quickly replied, "I'd like to keep it a surprise." He laughed mightily and gave the young follower a pat on the shoulder. The old man tugged on the brown, hooded cloak. He stopped the camel, his eyes followed a rustling from the sand. He smacked the boy informatively. Rushing for his dagger, the boy turned white with fear. The old man was emotionless, focusing on the predator.

"Stay behind me, boy," the man jumped off the camel, pulling a mighty sword from the scabbard. It glistened as he held it towards the supposed foe. The boy scurried behind him, holding the small dagger in front of himself. They stood motionless.

A massive sand serpent burst through the sand, measuring at an average length of two men. This one was a special case, it was twice the average size. Its scales were colored a sandy orange as its natural camouflage. The man stood idle, holding his blade before the feral creature. The snake slither rapidly to the idle man.

It released a menacing hiss as it crawled to the men. The boy stumbled backwards, fearing the worst. The monster pounced for the man, its vicious fangs dripped with deadly toxins.

The man swiped his massive sword gracefully, grunting as it travelled a diagonal motion. The blade sliced through the monsters face. The snake dropped before it could touch the man, dying as it touched the sand. Blood trickled from the blade, dripping onto the hot sand.

The boy was astonished, for the man has faced the wasteland's perils without showing the slightest bit of panic. Wiping the blood from the blade, the man ordered, "Go get the venom, it'll probably be worth something."

The boy rushed to the dead snake. Standing closely to the beast, he quickly mounted the dead beast and began to slice away at the roof of the head. He dug his way to the venom sac, pulling a bottle from a satchel on his hip.

"I've gotten it, master!" the boy exclaimed.

"Good job, boy," the old man chuckled, "But we've got to get moving. The weather will only get worst."

The two scurried back to the camel and leaving the dead snake in the heartless desert. Their silhouettes vanished in the airborne sand.






End of Chapter 1

----------------------------------------------

Feel free to give your thoughts, I'm all ears.

AEsob
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#2

Posted 12 March 2016 - 07:42 AM Edited by AEsob, 13 March 2016 - 12:25 PM.

Well, could've been a bit longer, but who am I say things like that...I write one chapter in two weeks and then scrap it because I think about the quality.

 

Well, there are a few typos here and there. like 'their' instead of 'there' (second line). Also there's one grammatical error..."I've gotten it, Master" instead of "I've got it Master". At least, that's what I'd write, although sometimes English eludes me. Ahh, the wonders of growing up in the 90's and early 2000's.

 

The boy was astonished, for the man has faced the wasteland's perils without showing the slightest bit of panic.

 

This line could've been done better.

 

Like: The boy stared at the man with wide open eyes, while he'd been frozen stiff out of fear, the man had cut down one of the desert's greatest perils without some much as another glance at it.

 

I liked the imagery though. Keep it up, I guess.

 

AEsob


countingfingers
  • countingfingers

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#3

Posted 12 March 2016 - 02:26 PM Edited by countingfingers, 12 March 2016 - 02:41 PM.

I usually don't write very long chapters. Also, I have no clue when I wrote this, but I found it in a notebook. So I decided to upload to the forums. I haven't seen any other chapters in the notebook, so I think I might've given up on it. Quite a shame. I should continue, I guess.

I blissfully make typos, later to fix them because I feel like a dumb ass for putting it in there like that.




If I do ever feel like continuing it, that is.
  • AEsob likes this

Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

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#4

Posted 13 March 2016 - 01:55 AM

I'll have a tear through of this tomorrow, all being well. Watch this space :)

Aesop, great to see you giving feedback but if you're saying 'you can do better' why not show an example, or more in depth explaination?

AEsob
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#5

Posted 13 March 2016 - 12:21 PM

I edited my example in Mokrie.

 

AEsob


Mokrie Dela
  • Mokrie Dela

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  • Most Creative [Writing] 2016
    Most Talented Writer 2015
    Most Talented Writer 2014
    Most Talented Writer 2013
    Best Story/Poem 2013 "The Storm"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2011 "Justice in Flames"
    Story/Poem of the Year 2010 "City of Lies"

#6

Posted 13 March 2016 - 02:49 PM Edited by Mokrie Dela, 13 March 2016 - 02:50 PM.

 

Chapter 1

The sand blew across the ever silent desert. The day was hotter than usual, beating down on the two lowly wanderers, saddled on a camel. The one sitting in the back drew a bead of sweat from his youthful, sunburned forehead.

I liked this intro. It sets the scene efficiently, with my only problem being "The day was hotter than usual" - what is usual? The reader has no frame of reference; some deserts are scorching hot, others can be cooler. Simply stating the day was hot, or combining the sweat part with the heat (showing, not telling) might be more effective: Oh, and "on" not "in," as i highly doubt the wanderer is sitting in the camel.

 

"The sand blew across the ever silent desert. Two wanderers, saddled on a camel, crossed the dry sand. The one sitting on the back wiped a bead of sweat from his youthful, sunburned forehead."

"How long do you think it'll be till we get there, sir?" The youth inquired. He nervously adjusted his goggles mounted tightly on the young ling's eyes. Firstly, where someone's speaking, you don't capitalize here - ignore the presence of the ? - think of it as a sentence without punctuation; "How long do you think it'll be till we get there, sir the youth inquired." My advice is to read it aloud; where are you pausing for breath? that's where the sentence ends. I'd also combine these lines, or show the action quicker:

 

"How long do you think it'll be till we get there, sir?" the youth inquired, nervously adjusting the goggles mounted tightly on his eyes."

 

Or better yet, show us which one the young guy is:

 

 

 

The sand blew across the ever silent desert. Two wanderers, saddled on a camel, crossed the dry sand. Sitting on the back, the younger man wiped a bead of sweat from his sunburned forehead.

 

"How long do you think it'll be until we get there, Sir?" he asked, nervously adjusting the goggles mounted tightly on his eyes.


"Not too long," the other grunted, "I reckon we'll arrive in under a quarter of an hour." The other man seemed far older than the young boy. His face was riddled with wrinkles and scars. The gusts of wind created clouds of orange, hiding the precious blue of the sky. I think this could be tighter:

 

"Not loo long," the other grunted. "I reckon we'll arrive in under a quarter of an hour." The other man's face was riddled with wrinkles and scars. He gripped the reigns with rough, weathered hands. The following sentence, about the gusts of wind, might be better suited where you're showing us the desert in the opening.

The old man wiggled his scabbard lightly. The boy marvelled in the man's blade, wishing he, too, willwould be able to wield such a mighty blade one day. The sand burned as it landed gracefully onto the duo's faces. You're talking future tense here, so would is better. Also, i feel "to be able to" could be cut completely. Finally, the sand burned as it landed gracefully - these two words seem to contradict eachother a little. You've got an aggressive word like burned, but then a calmer one like gracefully. You could use the latter to describe floating sand, but if it burns, you'd be better off thinking of the sand as a swarm, not something nicer.
You could just take a simpler approach:

 

"The sand burned as it hit their faces, kicked up by the sharp winds."

"Master, you haven't told me where we're going," he anxiously said, "Would you tell me, please?"

"No, boy," he quickly replied, As we're changing speaker, I'd avoid "he" without some kind of qualifier - like you just did with showing the boy's thoughts, you made him the active character. Now you're changing the active character to the older man, just using "he" implies previous familiarity - as if the boy's still talking. Simply saying "the older mam quickly replied." "I'd like to keep it a surprise." He laughed mightily and gave the young follower a pat on the shoulder. This sounds awkward to me. If he's in front, reaching behind to the young boy would be difficult. (If not, you need to have previously stated who's in front) The old man tugged on the brown, hooded cloak. (What cloak? :S)  He stopped the camel, his eyes followed a rustling from the sand. He smacked the boy informatively. Rushing for his dagger, the boy turned white with fear. The old man was emotionless, focusing on the predator. Things moved a bit too quickly for me. I didn't fully know what was going on. I''d show the rustling sound first, then stop the camel, showing the man trusting his instincts - draw it out a little bit and build the tension. Once the camels stopped, let the reader witness the man tracking the sound. Then he hits the boy, then reveal the predator, maybe giving a little description first.

"Stay behind me, boy," the man jumped off the camel, pulling a mighty sword from the scabbard. It glistened as he held it towards the supposed foe. The boy scurried behind him, holding the small dagger in front of himself. They stood motionless.

A massive sand serpent burst through the sand, measuring at an average length of two men. This one was a special case, it was twice the average size. Its scales were colored a sandy orange as its natural camouflage. The man stood idle, holding his blade before the feral creature. The snake slithered rapidly to the idle man.

It released a menacing hiss as it crawled to the men. The boy stumbled backwards, fearing the worst. The monster pounced for the man, its vicious fangs dripped with deadly toxins. Venom would be a stronger word. Also i think you could ditch the "for the man".

The man swiped his massive sword gracefully, grunting as it travelled a diagonal motion. You might be able to condense this down:

 

"The man grunted, gracefully swiping his massive sword diagonally downward. The blade sliced through the monsters face. The snake dropped before it could touch the man, dying as it touched the sand. Touched is too weak a word for me. Maybe crashed, or something? Blood trickled from the blade, dripping onto the hot sand.

The boy was astonished, for the man has faced the wasteland's perils without showing the slightest bit of panic. Wiping the blood from the blade, the man ordered, "Go get the venom, it'll probably be worth something."

The boy rushed to the dead snake. Standing closely to the beast, he quickly mounted the dead beast and began to slice away at the roof of the head. He dug his way to the venom sac, pulling a bottle from a satchel on his hip.

"I've gotten it, master!" the boy exclaimed. To me, Exclaimed is a strange word. I've used it but whenever i see it, I think a better word is available. Here, it's clear that the boy is calling out, so simply using "called" or even an action might be better:

 

They boy held up the small bottle. "I've got it!"

 

"Good job, boy," the old man chuckled, "But we've got to get moving. The weather will only get worstworse."

The two scurried back to the camel and leaving[color=green]left the dead snake in the heartless desert. Their silhouettes vanished in the airborne sand.





 

End of Chapter 1

----------------------------------------------

Feel free to give your thoughts, I'm all ears.

 

On the whole I liked it. It was short, and there was a little bit of conflict, though you could have made it more of an event - gone into the fear of the boy more, Without that conflict, there's nothing in this (even any) story. So I'd make it a little more prominent

 

Decent structure, though. Pacing wasn't bad. Nice little short - and it'd be easy enough to extend this into a longer story. As a one shot, it's not got too much in it - could have been a lot richer etc - but on the whole it was nicely written. Some problems with tense and spelling, but usually a proof read catches those. Don't be too eager to upload.

 

Oh, and welcome to WD. Look forward to seeing more of your stuff :).





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