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January 10th, 2002, 03:40 PM
Please take the time to read the two sword & sorcery stories (Storm in the Jewel & Temple of the Mandricanth) I've recently had posted here at sffworld. They were done awhile back and I'm now working on a novel set in the same genre. I'd appreciate your comments also!


Martin Edward Stephenson

January 11th, 2002, 09:35 AM
I have finished the "Temple" story, but I want to read both before commenting. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif

January 11th, 2002, 09:48 AM
Okay, I read them both.

First, let me just say that personally, I really dislike reading stories that are written in present tense.

Otherwise, there were just a couple of typos that could be fixed. The stories are entertaining, but the setting seems very...generic. I almost got the feeling when reading it that it was set in pretty much every fantasy world that has been created since the advent of role-playing games. That certainly doesn't mean the world has no merit- a novel might flush out its originality very well.

Putting my feelings about "present teanse" aside, the writing style is solid. Run with it and let us know when the novel is ready!

January 14th, 2002, 01:00 PM

Thanks for your comments. The present tense thing was an experiment that I've gotten alot of feedback on; some good, some bad. The novel I'm working on isn't being written that way...that would be exhausting. If it's not done just right it comes off like reading a screenplay. My real goal now is to remove weak verbage.

As for the setting seeming "generic" to you. Oh well. It's very real to me, but I'll keep working on it. The room allowed in a novel provides so much more freedom to flesh it out.

Funny I've never really been tainted by fantasy role-playing scenarios. I'd say my settings have been influenced by Howard, Glen Cook, Karl Edward Wagner and the artwork of Brom, Frazetta and Ken Kelly. I'll keep pushing in hopes of aspiring to that level. Of course, I can see where you might see that as generic, but that's where I want my characters to dwell.

Martin Edward Stephenson

[This message has been edited by martinsonly (edited January 14, 2002).]

January 14th, 2002, 02:09 PM
First what I liked about the stories.

You seem to have a good “story telling” feel to your stories. In other words, I think the stories would translate very well to live story telling. There is a great deal of action, adventure and description. You also show a great deal of potential.

However, there were a few places that seemed a bit cliche. For instance this expert from "Temple" . . . "Let us disarm her, and take her to our master, Verim-seth," growls the wounded guard to his fellows. "Perhaps she will know respect when is he is done with her."

Also, I had major flash backs to movie “Conan the Barbarian” throughout the "Temple" story.

I look forward to your future contributions to this site.

[This message has been edited by KATS (edited January 14, 2002).]

January 15th, 2002, 01:40 PM

Thanks for your critique and the kind words about my storytelling potential.

It's often hard to conjure up images and dialogue in a sword and sorcery story, without writing down something that someone will see as cliche. I'll admit, the excerpt you quoted was a bit "pulpish." I'm working on it. I've been studying the dialogue used by Glen Cook in his Black Company stories. He's able to get very realistic phrases out of his characters, almost modern speech in a dark fantasy setting/culture, and it works.

I don't no how to take the "Conan the Barbarian" comment. I love the original Conan stories, but I don't care for much of the movie fluff. There are a couple of decent images there (in CtB), maybe I absorbed some of that...as far as the story goes though, I see, nor feel, any real connection in "Temple".

Martin Edward Stephenson

January 15th, 2002, 03:07 PM
Try speaking the dialogue aloud. It sometimes helps.

No offense meant. It’s just that you have to admit there are some similarities between the two stories. Heros for hire infiltrate a temple on a mission to save a girl from a charismatic cult leader. These similarities are what made me think of the movie, which is not a negative thing. In fact, some authors intentionally do this.

And to be honest, we all unintentionally do it to some extent. I could show you a song I wrote when I was a teenager. Thought it was original and unique, only to later realize that it was an Evil Presley song. One that as a young child, I’d heard my sister and cousin play extensively. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/redface.gif

January 15th, 2002, 07:57 PM
No offense taken friend. Again thanks for your kind comments.

Martin Edward Stephenson