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kongming
March 22nd, 2005, 04:16 AM
This story took me a day to write (well I was woking too, but I put alot of thought into it)

Please read it and let me know what you think!


http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/362p0.html

tooeviltoknow
March 22nd, 2005, 05:51 PM
I'll read your story over the weekend, however, please take a moment and critique my story as well :D

part one

http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/255p0.html

part two

http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/300p0.html

kongming
March 23rd, 2005, 04:01 AM
I have critiqued your story here:

part 1:
http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/366p0.html

part 2:
http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/367p0.html

Let me know when you have read my critique so that I can delete it.

cheers :)

Kevin


I'll read your story over the weekend, however, please take a moment and critique my story as well :D

part one

http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/255p0.html

part two

http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/300p0.html

kongming
March 23rd, 2005, 04:06 AM
If a moderator reads this, is it possible to create a critique section like the story posting section? I had to post it as if it were my story which it isn't I would like to avoid any confusion.

Holbrook
March 23rd, 2005, 06:26 AM
If a moderator reads this, is it possible to create a critique section like the story posting section? I had to post it as if it were my story which it isn't I would like to avoid any confusion.


Not a mod but in answer to your question; most folks place their critique on the thread relating to the request, in that way everyone can see the various critiques in one go.....

juzzza
March 23rd, 2005, 07:58 AM
If a moderator reads this, is it possible to create a critique section like the story posting section? I had to post it as if it were my story which it isn't I would like to avoid any confusion.

Yup, we call that facility the Discussion Forum... and you're in it!!!

As Holbrook said, most writers that want a critique will ask for it here in the 'Writing' forum and that's the place to post your comments and feedback.

Cheers

Zanzibar
March 23rd, 2005, 10:51 AM
Here are some of the technical mistakes you made pointed out with suggested corrections, though the story is well written. I especially liked all the jumping around you did; stories can never be too complicated!

Nabakan and the men and charged on to the village.
-The second “and” is unnecessary here.

“You’re silly Sea God shall not harm me.
-“You’re” should be “Your”.

Standing on a ridge overlooking the tiny new sea Nabakan wept for he was unable to find a single of his riders.
-Should be “he was unable to find a single rider” or, if you prefer, “he was unable to find even one of his riders”. “A single of his riders” is bad diction.

Raising his spear in time he blunted the thrust.
-Not sure if this is technically wrong but “blunted the thrust” sounds strange. Maybe “blocked” or “parried” or something similar would be more appropriate.

The sword slid down the shaft and Nabakan, flicking his wrist, sent the sword flying.
-The second “sword” is repetitive; you should change it to “it”.

He crawled and then walked to the cliff face as the Gollum turned towards him. It thrust both fists towards him and he scrambled out of the way.
-The second “towards” is another incident of repetition. Consider: “It thrust both fists at him…”.

“How do you like that my beastly friend?”
-“How do you like that, my beastly friend?” Comma.

The Gollum hovered in the centre of the spherical chamber its arms quivering.
-Another comma, this time after “chamber”.

A short time passed when a rope dropped into the chamber from the small hole in its roof.
-“When” should be “before”.

He took a rock from his pouch and started bashing it on the creature’s head.
-Consider: “He took a rock from his pouch and started bashing the creature on it’s head.”

He made a grab for the robe, but missed and flew off the Gollum’s head.
-I think you meant “rope”.

Benikhir grinned and rushed Nabakan who brought his spear up to block his opponent’s thrusts.
-Comma after “Nabakan”.

They locked weapons glaring at each other, neither flinching.
-Comma after “glaring”, or maybe change it to “They glared at each other over their locked weapons, neither flinching”, or something similar.

Later, when Nabakan had yelled his voice horse cursing Aminagra…
-“Horse” should be “hoarse”.

Reaching the Altar of H’Al’im, he knelt.
-The comma is unnecessary here.

That day, Nabakan, after eating a feast prepared for him by the priests mounted his horse and rode through the mountain pass to Al’ Jibiki.
-Change to “That day Nabakan, after eating a feast prepared for him by the priests, mounted…”

Nabakan leaped down the ridge and sliding down the gravel surface yelled: “Stop thief!”
-Should be: “Nabakan leaped down the ridge and, sliding down the gravel surface, yelled, “Stop thief!”

When the next thrust came, Benikhir sidestepped and rushed his opponent, sword aimed for the heart; Nabakan drew back and barely managed to block Benikhir’s sword.
-The semi-colon should be a period.

As Nabakan and Benikhir fought the crabs, the thief had made good his escaped.
-In the preceding paragraph you referred to the crabs as clams.

Benikhir grinned. “You are now as rich as I: you should buy them their drink as it was I who slay Po Gan.”
-The colon should be a semi-colon and “slay” should be “killed” or “defeated”.

Who loses our fight shall buy their drinks.”
-“Who” should be “whoever” or “whomever”.

By the time the sun had reached its zenith, both champions had fallen asleep in the grass content in the warmth provided by the Most High.
-Throw in a comma after “grass”.

Holbrook
March 23rd, 2005, 03:00 PM
Ok; Here is my critique, please don't take anything I say personally it is just my opinion.

Overall comments;

A lot going on in the story, the pace was fast, maybe a bit too much of both, but you created two fairly strong characters and made them different enough to not seem clones of each other. Like the religious details, you gave a base for Nabakan's actions and motives.

Dialogue was easy to follow though perhaps a bit more use of said rather than grinned, snorted, yelped etc...

Once or twice the action read like a list. As in he did this , then this happened, then he did.... It was if you were trying to get everything in when there was really no need.

Two paragraphs where the work flowed well...

Nabakan wept openly now. The salty tears cut through the grit and slowly his vision returned. It was not perfect but he was able now to see the silver sword that cut toward him. Raising his spear in time he blunted the thrust. The sword slid down the shaft and Nabakan, flicking his wrist, sent the sword flying. His opponent jumped back to avoid another thrust by Nabakan and then tried to rush for the sword, but was blocked again by Nabakan. His opponent dodged thrust after thrust, watching the sword.

There was a rumble and a roar in answer. The tunnel burst open and the creature came through the new opening like a volcanic eruption. It stood there briefly before it was drawn into the room. At first it just seemed to float into the room, but then its arms started to gyrate and it tried to grab at the wall and ceiling but it was too far from either. The Gollum rumbled and growled.

The second one flowed well up to the last sentence, which felt added on.

The big problem with this is your continuity, it jumps and wobbles a hell of a lot...

Bennikhir falling down a cliff and then into a cave does not quite work, caves are normally in the sides of cliffs, so maybe fell then rolled. Also he is crawling along the cave floor when a tunnel seemed to open up beneath him , yet next he is still crawling. The section after that reads like a list of what he was doing instead of having Benikhir doing it.

The bit with the rope it is somehow is thrown down, by whom? Why? Then he is climbing down It does not make sense...

The spear in his left hand was still glowing, but it was like a long blue river

I would loose the "but it was"

Halberds, never heard of them being used on horseback a bit to big for that, foot soldiers weapon...

Also rock face of a cliff Change the "a" to "the", its the only cliff your character is by, its the cliff, same with his horse, the horse, the square... "a" makes the sentence stand back from the character "the" makes it more personal to him or her... it flows better.

The stone dug in deep not really needed as the previous sentence said the same thing.

"Tiny Trees" maybe better stunted trees.

Why was the Gollum slowed in the tunnel it wasn't explained.

His eyes were wide as he gazed and grinned a the silver sword... reads a bit like his eyes were grinning in fact he does a bit too much grinning.

I really think the big problem is that you are trying to tell too much. It jumps far too much, just when it is getting interesting you dash off to another place instead of sticking with the one tale. Maybe if you just write the meeting of the two characters in this story and write others to add too it...

kongming
March 23rd, 2005, 04:20 PM
The critique that I filled out was way too long. I figured it would just annoy everyone if I posted it here... the link is fine for now... I just figured we could have a proofread section like the story section


Yup, we call that facility the Discussion Forum... and you're in it!!!

As Holbrook said, most writers that want a critique will ask for it here in the 'Writing' forum and that's the place to post your comments and feedback.

Cheers

kongming
March 23rd, 2005, 05:10 PM
Ok; Here is my critique, please don't take anything I say personally it is just my opinion.

Overall comments;

A lot going on in the story, the pace was fast, maybe a bit too much of both, but you created two fairly strong characters and made them different enough to not seem clones of each other. Like the religious details, you gave a base for Nabakan's actions and motives.

Dialogue was easy to follow though perhaps a bit more use of said rather than grinned, snorted, yelped etc...

Once or twice the action read like a list. As in he did this , then this happened, then he did.... It was if you were trying to get everything in when there was really no need.

Hey thanks for the useful commentary... I think it was quite thorough and I apreciate the time you spent on it. You gave me some very useful tips.

I try to use said as little as possible b/c that leads to saying somthing like: said angrily, or happily or some other emotion. I like to show rather than tell and would rather describe the facial expressions of the emotions or the body language and let the reader use their imagination. That said can you think of a way I can tighten up the dialogue descriptors and use things such as said without telling?

And with the action sequences, I wanted to get from point A to point B and not confuse the reader as to how they got there... I wanted to avoid something like he did this, then he did that, they fought some more and then they did this. Do you really think it's better to leave out important information on the fight progression? I know I do it elsewhere but I wanted to avoid it in the fight between the two protagonists for reasons that I will explain later re: vignetting.




Two paragraphs where the work flowed well...

The second one flowed well up to the last sentence, which felt added on.

Yeah, you might be right, but I had to set up a mechanism for the Gollum to express itself b/c later it would lose it's mobility and I would lose body language and action, so I needed sounds to express it.... do you think I should a) drop the Gollum's vocal expressions entirely and let the reader decide that the Gollum is probably upset about the jewel theft w/o actually telling OR showing it? OR b) change that sentence someway? Ithink you have something there and I'm glad that you pointed it out... I think I like option a.



The big problem with this is your continuity, it jumps and wobbles a hell of a lot...

I take it you mean between the vignettes? That was Kind of what I'm trying to do. The main vignette is the fight between the two protagonists. The other vignettes are their back story so that the reader can discover who they are, what they want and why they are fighting. There aren't enough post-modern fantasy tales and I've always liked vignetting. The point I think to vignetting is to show small sequences that seem unrelated at first but come together when read as a whole. Much like how Pulp Fiction works. And that even messes with the timeline of events. This story, for the most part follows a linear path. I mean the fist interweaving vignette re: the protagonist fight stays linear with itself and the other vignettes stay linear with each other, they just accentuate the main vignette, which is the actual plot of the story. The others are subplots. Do you really think it is too confusing for the reader once the story is read? I can't necessarily tell b/c I know the story from start to finish. But does it feel to you like you're peeling an onion and slowly the minor vignettes are revealing the major one?



Bennikhir falling down a cliff and then into a cave does not quite work, caves are normally in the sides of cliffs, so maybe fell then rolled. Also he is crawling along the cave floor when a tunnel seemed to open up beneath him , yet next he is still crawling. The section after that reads like a list of what he was doing instead of having Benikhir doing it.

The bit with the rope it is somehow is thrown down, by whom? Why? Then he is climbing down It does not make sense...

As far as I know caves can be anywhere in a rock formation. The mouth can be on the top, bottom or middle. Also when the chamber opens up I thought I had expressed that he slid to the bottom of it. because when the tunnel opens up into the chamber he is still crawling and since he's on his belly he'd have to keep crawling to get into the chamber. I don't know what you mean by the section after reading like a list "..." b/c I was just describing what Benikhir was doing, so therefore he was doing it.

As for the rope, I figured mentioning the hole in the roof of the chamber early would foreshadow that something would either go in or out of the hole.... I also thought it was aparent that Benikhir dropped the rope down b/c he then slides down it. So what I was describing was him leaviing the chamber and then "offscreen" he was climbing the cliff and then looking for the hole, finding it he dropped the rope and climbed down it and came "onscreen" again. Does it make sense now, and do I need to add something to the description to help the reader? Can you think of a way I can do it w/o dumbing it down?



The spear in his left hand was still glowing, but it was like a long blue river

I would loose the "but it was"

Yeah, excellent point... that's horrible that way. Thanks.



Halberds, never heard of them being used on horseback a bit to big for that, foot soldiers weapon...

I think lances can be much bigger than some halberds... But I've read alot of stories using them on horseback... the Main one would be Three Kingdoms and that's a historical drama... as far as I know halberds were used on horseback all the time in that period.



Also rock face of a cliff Change the "a" to "the", its the only cliff your character is by, its the cliff, same with his horse, the horse, the square... "a" makes the sentence stand back from the character "the" makes it more personal to him or her... it flows better.

But it's not the only cliff. There are cliffs above and others around. The way I've described it is that there is a precipace with Nabakan on it then a cliff to another precipace where Benikhir is and then a cliff that goes down to ground level where the village is. Do I need more description of this?





The stone dug in deep not really needed as the previous sentence said the same thing.

"Tiny Trees" maybe better stunted trees.

Excellent points again.




Why was the Gollum slowed in the tunnel it wasn't explained.

I really want to avoid explaining this. I figured I gave too many clues already. He's made of Iron, Benekhir's iron parts rip off in all directions, and then his silver sword is unaffected, except by the special stone in his hand the chamber is magnetic, and as far as I know gold isn't magnetic (even though it can be magnetized) I couldn't find any data on silver but I assumed it wasn't magnetic like gold. So the stone in his hand has some other property. And the silver has to have some special properties anyway because silver is softer than steel and iron so for it to chip into the gollum or defend against the spear it has to be stronger than normal silver, but I figured showing it a abnormal re: the stone would be enough of a clue and let the reader wonder and decide for themselves



His eyes were wide as he gazed and grinned a the silver sword... reads a bit like his eyes were grinning in fact he does a bit too much grinning.

I really think the big problem is that you are trying to tell too much. It jumps far too much, just when it is getting interesting you dash off to another place instead of sticking with the one tale. Maybe if you just write the meeting of the two characters in this story and write others to add too it...

Yeah he grins alot... They're both happy guys, but you're probably right and I should change the wording a little to avoid unneeded repition.

But since this isn't modern fantasy but post-modern does the vignetting or as you put it "jumping around" make sense and work now?