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Tyler Hawke
December 9th, 2005, 12:27 PM
Here is a sample of a first draft from my ongoing project. This is 575 words or about a page and a half from a soft cover novel.

First some back story to this part: These are the bad guys. The Goorgones. They were a race that was banished from participating in the world a long time ago into a far away region of the world. Garrisons and outposts were built up along the border of this banished land – most of them along the Jaftar Range, a small run of mountains that bordered the end of the Kingdom of Men and this banished land. For years it was busy with activity keeping an eye on the Goorgones. There were revolts, battles and such but they were always repelled. Over time, the Goorgones withdrew further and further into the banished land until they were far out of sight. In time, the outposts saw less and less troops, until the present where their existence was antiquated and nearly abandoned except for some routine training runs.

Now the Goorgones have arisen, in secret. A small band has crossed the Jaftar Range and invaded the small outpost town of Fa-Tonock. They destroyed parts and then retreated into the south quarter of town that stands on a rise in the land. They are awaiting a response from the Kingdom as planned. (Past Rogue occurrences were not necessarily uncommon but were always swiftly and successfully dealt with by the Kingdom). This plan was to make it look like a rogue army, but really it’s an attack on The Kingdoms army. This will eventually lead to a full-scale major attack on an ancient military stronghold – it will be successful.

BTW - Sorry for the improper indentations and such - I copied and paste this and I couldn't get it to format quite right.

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


The first scout made his way back to the center compound. He had news they were all waiting to hear.
“There is movement coming east out of the flatlands. There dust trails show a considerable force moving at a good pace.”
Hekgrat nodded. “How long?”
“Two days at the given pace.”

Hekgrat was pleased. This was good early information. Hekgrat turned to the scout before him, acknowledged his effort and had him report for another post. The rotation of scouting reports had begun. The deployment of scouts was made so there order would roll back from the furthest point out along the Jaftar Range. The range was the best place for seeing great distances over the flatlands. It was doubtful if the oncoming army even considered there would be eyes in the hills. The procedure was such that the first scout would return when he was able to make a solid general assessment of the oncoming force. On the return to the compound the scout would signal the second scout. From this point every 6 hours or as needed, the next scout in succession would head in to report. As long as cover was kept, the succession of scouting reports should come in uninterrupted.

Other reports came in as well: reports on fortifications, supplies, and battle movement verifications. There was also a report due in from the south road. Hekgrat gave little concern over it, as it was a longer and harder road to traverse for the Kingdom army. Never-the-less he put together a small team to keep an eye on things so there would be no surprises. Hekgrat also awaited an important visit from a messenger about the massing force that was suppose to be taking its positions along the range for the surprise attack.

Hekgrat enjoyed the organization. There was a fluidity that was not common with Goorgonian military operations. And this is exactly what that was, a military operation. Hekgrat took great pride in the way events were beginning to unfold. The Kingdom of Men were in for a rude awakening. He could sense their arrogant swagger; thinking they were coming to exterminate a rouge movement. Nothing was won yet but he knew things could easily fall in there favor rapidly – which was the whole plan to begin with.

Then, without making a spectacle, in walked the barbarian Hekgrat was anticipating. The creature stood clad in his proud chest armor, a dull silver sash draped across his body, signifying a diplomatic presence.
“I’m looking for Hekgrat,” he announced. There was a force in his voice, as he stood tall before the room in the entranceway. “I’ve come with pleasant news and greetings.” Then a wry smile came to his face, a smile that could only mean a glee for destruction.
Hekgrat stood tall and answered the dignitary with a proper greeting. The formalness of the moment pleased him. Others were a little more awed and confused by the situation but Hekgrat knew the meaning of the moment and its importance for the rise of the Goorgones.
“I gather preparations are of order now?” Hekgrat said.
The tall barbarian walked closer to Hekgrat. “I have word from within and the word is a job well done.”
Hekgrat bowed his head. The silence of the moment was enough.
“I am Grajnik,” the Goorgone said. “And the forces of our kind are waiting for the onslaught.”
Hekgrat raised his head. “And they will have it.”

Expendable
December 11th, 2005, 12:26 PM
I can see that you have a very good idea on where you want to go with this story. But what I can see here is you're mostly telling us things instead of showing us.


The first scout made his way back to the center compound. He had news they were all waiting to hear.
“There is movement coming east out of the flatlands. There dust trails show a considerable force moving at a good pace.”
Hekgrat nodded. “How long?”
“Two days at the given pace.”
Is the scout excited? Does he salute? How does he make his entrance? What does the central compound look like? Does anyone try to stop or challange the scout?


Hekgrat was pleased. This was good early information.
How was he pleased? Did he smile? Did he nod?


Hekgrat turned to the scout before him, acknowledged his effort and had him report for another post. The rotation of scouting reports had begun. The deployment of scouts was made so there order would roll back from the furthest point out along the Jaftar Range. The range was the best place for seeing great distances over the flatlands. It was doubtful if the oncoming army even considered there would be eyes in the hills. The procedure was such that the first scout would return when he was able to make a solid general assessment of the oncoming force. On the return to the compound the scout would signal the second scout. From this point every 6 hours or as needed, the next scout in succession would head in to report. As long as cover was kept, the succession of scouting reports should come in uninterrupted. Most of this is unimportant. I know you're proud you worked this out but surprisingly enough, it's not necessary to let the reader know everything. This is too much of a datadump for minor information.


Other reports came in as well: reports on fortifications, supplies, and battle movement verifications. There was also a report due in from the south road. Hekgrat gave little concern over it, as it was a longer and harder road to traverse for the Kingdom army. Never-the-less he put together a small team to keep an eye on things so there would be no surprises. Hekgrat also awaited an important visit from a messenger about the massing force that was suppose to be taking its positions along the range for the surprise attack. Why not have Hekgrat ask about the South Road and then show us he's unconcerned about it? Or better yet have someone bring up the missing South Road report only to have Hekgrat demand to know where that messenger is from the surprise attack force? It's clearly a much more important detail. Use conversation and description more rather than just telling us these things.


Then, without making a spectacle, in walked the barbarian Hekgrat was anticipating. The creature stood clad in his proud chest armor, a dull silver sash draped across his body, signifying a diplomatic presence.
Without escort? Without challange into the central compound? Without any announcement?


Hekgrat stood tall and answered the dignitary with a proper greeting. The formalness of the moment pleased him. Others were a little more awed and confused by the situation but Hekgrat knew the meaning of the moment and its importance for the rise of the Goorgones.What is a proper greeting? Do they shake hands? Bow? Share a bowl of water and a pinch of salt? Share scathing insults? And if others are confused, how did this creature, diplomatic sash or not managed to get into the central compound? Will someone object or try to produce a weapon to challange this newcomer?

At the end, you make better use of description and conversation.

Have you thought of Hekgrat demanding to know where the messenger is, the diplomat arriving and then receiving the scout's report? It might help you to pull readers into the story while avoiding those nasty datadumps.

As always, you may accept or reject anything I've mentioned.

Tyler Hawke
December 11th, 2005, 01:49 PM
Some goo points were made for sure and thanks.

The problem with placing a small sample is the unexplained portions as you pointed out asking where is this or what is that..., and for some of the points its valid and for others they have been explained and then don't need re-explaining - Like the South Road, which is addressed previously and then gets addressed again much later.

The note about the alignment of scouts is good - you're right, it's a fleshing out of a thought.

The point about the compound has already been described earlier.

Hekgrat was pleased - and you asked how pleased. Again, his charcter has been developed and one would should be able to picture it by this point in the developement in the character and so it would be redundant to always explain every smile, pleasure, etc..,

Again - you make some interesting points that I will pay attention to.

I thinkthe biggest issue with these samples on line is that it's hard to convey the whole of the work by sampling 575 words out of a much larger project. Too many quesitons get asked that have been addressed that should be in the collective memory of the reader - but how can it when this is the only sample you get?

The data-dump is a most interesting note - I do have to seperate that from the story. It is a weakness where I'm writing a story and at the same time fleshing out ideas and then not really going back to clean it up - or missing it altogether in the edit.

Thanks though for taking the time to read and critique - most appreciated!

Expendable
December 11th, 2005, 03:13 PM
You're welcome.

You might want to post this as a short story in the Community. When you decide to add on to it, you can do so.

-Ex.

AskPik
December 14th, 2005, 03:36 PM
I agree with Expendable's comments.

Another point:

You described someone's armor as proud. Armor cannot be proud

I like the story overall. I noticed that I didn't find myself particularly liking the Goorgones, however. They don't seem too endearing. Are we supposed to like them? What about Hekgrat? Are we supposed to like him? Is the whole story told from his point of view.

I would be interested to read more.

--aaron

Tyler Hawke
December 14th, 2005, 03:42 PM
Good catch on the proud armor!

The Goorgones are the bad guys. Hekgrat is one of the leading soldiers of the movement.