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estranghero
February 17th, 2002, 08:14 PM
Hrmm, hrmm, hrmm...

Well, I've done it. I've submitted a work. Now tell me what you think.
http://www.sffworld.com/authors/n/nacino_jc/fiction/beloved1.html

And yes, it's a love story. Kinda.

P.S. Ok, it also involves warfare, armies on the march, vampires, blood and gore, and the like. So get thee and give me an opinion!!!


[This message has been edited by estranghero (edited February 19, 2002).]

[This message has been edited by estranghero (edited February 19, 2002).]

estranghero
February 18th, 2002, 06:37 PM
...

... is it that bad?

Hell, if someone doesn't give a critique, opinion, violent objection, I promise to keep posting on this bloody thing to keep it at the top, people!!!

Grrr!

[This message has been edited by estranghero (edited February 19, 2002).]

Bardos
February 18th, 2002, 08:35 PM
Since I don't want you to make you threat true http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/biggrin.gif I would like to tell you that I've readed your piece.

Some SPOILERS below
*
*
*

I liked it, in general. But, uhm. I liked the begining more than the end. I think in the begining you create the "epic feel", but in the end you try to create strong feelings in the reader but fail. Perhaps this is why we don't actually know Lisian that well to care about her and her man; we've just met her before 3 pages.

Another things is, the undead horde: Too cliche, IMHO. Vampyr etc don't tell me much.

Of course, this two comments are both subjectif, and are not there to dissapoint you!! Perhaps it's just me. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

Your writing style is good, and you have talent. So just try to be more original.

Keep writing!!
always http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif

estranghero
February 18th, 2002, 09:49 PM
Bardos:

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Whew! Sorry, I wanted to see what the hell was wrong with this piece and it was driving me nuts.

Nice to see that you picked up on the first half/ second half feel of the story. True enough, the 'epic' feel of the 1st part was my true target. However, I wanted to give the story a personal feel on the 2nd half hence the abrupt change. The problems of using a medium like the short story.

No problems with the info-dump though? That was my worry. Ditto with the ending.

As for undead hordes, I know. But I'm racking my brains and I can't remember any specific story about the undead. Ah, well. Thank god for cliched enemies as plot devices. On to the revisions! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif

Bardos
February 19th, 2002, 06:10 AM
Info-dump in this story?!

You don't know what is info-dump! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif Info-dump is 8 pages of thoughts that don't advance the story --that's info-dump!

Btw, I think there is no need for revision to that story. Except if you're going to do something drastical about it; like turn it into a novel. For, as much as someone tries, IMHO, it's very diffuclt --if not impossible-- to make you actually care about a characters in less than 10,000 words (i.e. 30 pages). And even that doesn't suffice, many times. Hell, I've read published books wherein I wouldn't give a copper piece about the characters, or found a scene boring, or less realistic, or something wrong with it.

So your story is good for what it is: a short story. A scene (or two) actually.

<<As for undead hordes, I know. But I'm racking my brains and I can't remember any specific story about the undead.>>

Huh... Just take a look at the D&D and Warhammer stuff. Huge undead armies --skeletons, zombies, vampires, and whatever your heart disires! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

The most important piece of advice I'd give you it's try to be more original and unique next time.

Awaiting your next story,

Bardos

Greek Fantasy Web-Zine: http://fankingdom.topcities.com/

<PLUG! PLUG!>
http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

nicba
February 19th, 2002, 05:01 PM
Good story, estranghero.

I didn't find the use of undead horders disturbing, I haven't read much D&D and know next to nothing of Warhammer, so for me they didn't feel as cliched. Yet those few stories I do know, always seems to treat undeads too lightly, IMO.

You take steps to remedy that, but I think you could carry it even further. When you descripe the million undeads about to attack, you could emphasise the fear of the defenders even more. The attackers are not just a vastly bigger army, but an UNDEAD army, an army of the living-dead. During most of the attack on the walls, I also think that you could get a greater impact by focusing more on the un-naturalness of the attackers. Again, let the undeads strike fear in the hearts of the defenders, let them cry out with shrill, non-human voices or come on soundlessly and mindlessly.

I am notorisly bad at names. I always confuse them and can never remember them, even after reading 300+ pages, sometimes. Therefor I also think that maybe you had a bit many named characters to keep track of for such a brief story. Especially all their ranks gave me some troubles. I found it slightly disturbing that you italiced part of the ranks, too.

Finally, I agree with Bardos. The ending scene were good for a short story, but it didn't quite bring me to tears. I have a feeling that part of the problem may be the 'lull' in the middle of the story. You start out by introducing a hopeless situation where they are about to be overwelmed by the masses of the undead, but then there's that almost quiet spot in the middle where things seems to go well. I think that maybe short stories in general is be better served by keeping the tension building.

I feel that the story would be more intense if you actually let the battle go badly for the defenders. At least for a while. Perhaps you could have the undeads break down the gate and have Lisian and her friends run into the courtyard to fight a desperate battle to keep them out?

What about this scene? Lisian is fighting hard to keep the undeads out but then she suddenly slips. She falls to her kness and an undead rears above her. In her fatigue she looks up, expecting to see the dead-blow come. The undead, however, hesitates and she hear it whisper the word "Althain" and with horror recognise her husband. Thus you could end the story with an open ending, not telling if the undead completes the stroke. Or you could have her rise and cut him down as the 'act of love' in your original version. Then end with a happy ending as the trumpets of reinforcement is heard in the distance. Or maybe the undead did strike and the heorine dies just as the reinforcement arrives, or...

OK. Sorry, I got carried away. Actually, the story is perfectly fine as it is. I like the epic feel of the story, the opeing is really good. It gives the story context, somehow. It feels as if it is just part of a bigger story, just a single battle in a war. Also, I think you do a really good job at painting the central characters: Lisian, her husband and the Lord-Marshall.

In short I enjoyed the story. Please write more!

estranghero
February 19th, 2002, 07:07 PM
Muchos gracias, Bardos and nicba. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

You know, I never really knew how effective these reviews were until I submitted a story and had it critiqued by you people.

Bardos: someone once commented that the story felt like a piece of a bigger story, which is true since my reading is generally limited to novels.

Also, now that you mention it, most evil armies are kinda cliched already. However, best enemy I ever came across was Michael Scott Rohan's 'Ice Age'.

P.S. Would like to read your site, Bardos, but don't understand Greek! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/frown.gif

And nicba, that was the true feeling I wanted to convey in the story-- the gothic horror of such an undead army. Glad to know I'm going in the right direction.

Also, I agree with you on the names and rank. Had a profusion of names at the time and wanted to use 'em all.

Anyway, thanks for the words of encouragement and advise, everyone. Will cut-and-paste 'em out to have a better idea of where the story should go. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

[This message has been edited by estranghero (edited February 20, 2002).]

[This message has been edited by estranghero (edited February 20, 2002).]

estranghero
February 19th, 2002, 07:23 PM
On a final note, I just found something ironic on this thread.

Basically, one of the problems of hopeful writers is self-marketing or self-advertising their writing to traditional publishers and readers. Considering I had to make threats on this forum to get reviewed, doesn't that strike you people funny? http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif

Erebus
February 19th, 2002, 07:37 PM
Well, you really didn't need to make threats - lighthearted or otherwise - you just needed to be a little patient I guess! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

estranghero
February 19th, 2002, 07:50 PM
I would rather think myself as a 'bad patient'. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif (Sorry, couldn't resist!)