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March 9th, 2006, 03:40 PM
Well, I've got two little things I'm bringing up here. First of all, I have a sample of writing that represents the first time I have ever written an argument. This is below. I need to know if anyone believes this to be a viable argument and not just a tittle between two fools. This argument is a part of a chapter that I wouldn't mind having critiqued. I'm not saying anyone is forced to check out either one, I'm just a perfectionist with many things and I try to make most situations as reasonable and as believable as they can become.

It has occured to me that many may not understand references or situations in here, so please forgive me. However, my style is what is in jeapordy, and if it is your interest I would greatly appreciate feedback as to how badly you think I have done this.

Here is the link to the chapter if you wish to see it.

Chapter XII: The Long Goodbye (http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/1334p0.html)


For some reason, Leilamish frowned, “Eventually, they nominated me as a chairman. I accepted, but under the pretenses that I first completed a few errands. One of which was meeting you here and finding out what you were up to.”

They both stopped in the pathway, and Yeran turned slowly to face Leilamish. It was silent, and only an obscure veil of darkness seperated them. Millions of thoughts ran through Yeran’s head, and not a single one could explain what exactly was going on. At least once or twice during the silence he tried to open his mouth to say something, but it was utter confusion that made it close again. His eyebrows continuosly shifted positions, as though trying to speak for themselves.

Finally, he began to speak, “But…. But I could have sworn you came for… The king didn’t send you?”

“It was the council that sent me. They knew that the king had asked you, privately, for some unkown task, and I was here to affirm it. I’m sorry I decieved you so. In truth, I had also come for Durantem, although I know very well you are displeased of that choice.”

Yeran’s mind drew several blanks while trying to figure out why exactly Leilamish would do such a thing. It had a name, of course: betrayal. Yeran told him about the plans when they were at the wood-site several hours ago. He was completely convinced that the king was perhaps asking Leilamish to assure that the plans made it safely to Daelynyr. However, he had – foolishly – never asked Leilamish, and only assumed the he had already known. He was taken aback by this, and furthermore taken aback by Leilamish mentioning Durantem leaving with them.

It was true. Yeran thought he could perhaps hide his feelings, but the fact of the matter was that he could not. Period. Plain as day, and Yeran had to admit that he hadn’t tried very hard. He had dissaproved of Durantem leaving as soon as it was introduced, and had tried desperately to keep it from happening. However, as the Stage council was the one who issued the command to recruit Durantem, he was under their thumb. The council, although dissaproving of their ruling, was under the thumb of the Empire. There was more than a repremand in store for whoever deterred this decree; one that stated, clearly, that “in a time of great need, all able men and/or adolescent over the age of fifteen and a half year must report to a local academy for proper training and fight for the cause as is current with the needs of the people.”

Vague, senseless and cruel, the ruling was passed by a small majority of the king’s court. Some say it was rigged, for the king had very “tempting” ways to woo the ethics of his jury. Either way, it came into effect shortly before the First Age War had begun, which not only caused many young children to join the war, but lead many skeptics of the Empire to riot in outraged throngs. If this wasn’t bad enough, the king declared the third realm, Myrthrain, as an enemy. It practically coerced the cynics into fury, and the king, afraid of rebellion, negotiated a neutral status. The Stage council was enfuriated as well, for their relationship with the Myrthrain was great as well. In a way, the public simply had to live with the kings law pertaining to the adolescents and accept the neutrality status with the Myrthrain. The Stage began accepting young students, and since then it has been considered an academy.

The kings law still lived on despite public indignation. Yeran now understood how forbidding this law was, but what was he to do? Technically, he worked under the king, and considering that he was a member of the Imperial Stage he could lose everything for a personal vendetta against the king and his ideals.

“So, I am displeased. What of it? If it wasn’t enough to take the child from his home, must you stick your nose in my business?” Yeran raised his voice. Clearly, he was annoyed at Leilamish. Leilamish was slightly unnerved by his friends anger, and quickly responded with a soft voice as an attempt to call him down.

“I’m not sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong, Yeran. As for the boy, you yourself said that he never had intentions of staying here for the rest of his life. You don’t even know where he was born, so you’d never understand what it’s like. Being cooped up here doesn’t help him.”

“Is war, truly, something he needs to be involved in? I mean, seriously, Leilamish! You hate war as much as anyone, so why do you try to justify it now?”

“Yeran, I’m not justifying anything. Even if it wasn’t the council’s ruling, I would still believe Durantem should follow his dream. I understand what the boy has gone through today, and it doesn’t make it any easier for me to… to take him with us.”

“Steal, take, however you want to say it.” Yeran turned away and his fists made a wrenching sound as he clenched them.

“Yeran, you are the very model of what he wants to become, he verily speaks of you in a brotherly manner, how could you not expect him to take such a liking towards your trade? You never know, this boy could very well be a savior in the League. I know I sound hypocritical, but who am I to meddle with his own wishes?”

Ignoring him, Yeran continued to speak in an angry mutter, “Damnit, I told you not to break it to him suddenly. You got him all worked up about it, and it was as…-” Suddenly, he broke off from his sentence as though coming to a realization. He spun around with a finger pointed directly at his friend’s forehead, which made Leilamish jump. “You knew, didn’t you? You planned this all along, and you knew there would be no argument; that he would be more than willing to go! I thought I could convince him to stay here for several years to come, maybe make him disagree. Only a moment passes after I give him his first sword - an enjoyment away from the reality - and here you come trailing behind me, planning to steal him away at the point where he is most excited about it, like some filthy kidnapper! You bastard!”

The quickness to anger was astonishing and incredibly shocking. It took only a second, and a transformation took hold of his friend. Was he still a friend?

Leilamish had heard of quarrels like this all of the time. It happened almost daily. In some way these arguments changed him, made him realize what kind of values a man considered to be important. But this was his comrade, someone he had known for a long time. He was practically trying to recruit his friend’s blood-brother. He thought it wasn’t as bad when he caught sight of the bubbling exitement in the boy’s soul. It was as though he had given him a new direction to follow, albeit a violent one. Sending a child to the military was always an unhappy thought, but with Durantem at the Stage it was as though he was spreading a cure for corruption.

Yeran stood panting in front of him, a dark scowl was upon his face as though an avenging was soon to follow. Here was his great friend, reduced to a snarling dog like so many others. It made him wonder, does he not see Durantems true potential? Is he blind to it, or does his brotherly love keep him from his senses?

What a foolish thought. He knew Yeran beter than that. He respected Yeran better than that. What was he to say, though?

“Stop this,” Leilamish snapped, “you cannot see where I am coming from, and I cannot possibly step into your shoes and view your ideals. Durantem has potential, but he’s never going to find out if he remains here, and that, Yeran, is plain no matter how you look at it. You know this is not where he belongs!”

“You know damn well he doesn’t belong in a grave.” Yeran whispered furiously, spittle flying from his mouth.

It occurred to the elf that there was nothing he could say to sway him, but he had to try. He remained silent for a moment, and they both stood in the dark. Yeran was still huffing away his anger, his bottom lip stuck up like an erect statue, his eyes still vexed with anger.

“You knew he had to leave, Yeran, and you knew the council was goin to send someone as well. You’ve been hiding it from him, hoping you wouldn’t have to tell him. Don’t give me this drivel about how you gave him a sword for ‘enjoyment away from reality’. You gave it to him because you knew he had to leave! I thought that, by this, you had accepted his responsibility.” Leilamish realized that he was beginning to show signs of anger. Quickly, he regained his composure, “Listen Yeran. I understand people like him, and I know that his soul calls out for something more. Perhaps his destiny isn’t to fight, but we’ll never know if he continues to work his boredom out on a pile of radishes. Besides, you cannot speak of negativity, whislt in the same breath defend your mission from the king.”

He knew as soon as he finished that Yeran would be upset at this. He prepared his esteem to become assaulted.

“You,” Started Yeran, shaking his head, “you come all this way to take a child from his home to shape him into… into someone like me – another pointless number among the defenses – and then, as though trying to spurr my patience, dare mention interferring with what the king assigned to me. That’s damn pretentious of you, Leilamish. I never knew you had the impudence to introduce such trivialities, because you yourself carried with you a false mission – interfere with my young friend’s life, that you can unfortunately get away with. But you shall never touch me or my undertaking. Are you trying to take away everything important to me? You’re like a competitor, not a friend! You are a relentlesss buzzard!”

This was going too far, Leilamish thought. “You see me as a relentless buzzard, Yeran. I see you as a stubborn jackass. You throw away all hope for the boy’s future because you think he will become like you. If you ask me, the pretentiousness lies within your own self. To think he would ever set himself to become like either one of us is an assumption I wouldn’t even dare to make. I don’t ‘peck’ at things that don’t need to be unearthed, but you my friend have a distinct issue, and therefore I do not care what you believe. Durantem deserves more, and as for your task, you know it hides within it some form of unconstructiveness; of something even malevolant if you took the time to think about it”

This might not have been the right thing to say, for Yeran was stung deeply. “Dare?” He said with a quiet sense of repression, “Dare? How bold of you to speak to me about daring! Why, such a word was meant to depict that which you yourself speak of. You ‘dare’ to quesiton my king’s decision, of which you know perfectly well to be law, and you ‘dare’ to question my love for that boy back at his cottage. Undoubtedly he is sleeping in his bed, and you ‘dare’ to remove him from it. You fool him with trickery and illusions of a better future for him, and you perhaps fool yourself into thinking that he deserves a life of utter misery. I’ll pray you will understand that I will never be fooled by you again. I was fooled, for the longest time, into thinking I could trust you. Damnit, you were my comrade in the war! We watched each other’s backs, the last thing I would expect would be for a knife to appear in mine. Now, Durantem may very well be killed within his open arms of the faith of your expectations, and all because of a dream you believed you once had, and that he now has within him. May my misplaced trust damn me to whatever hell I deserve, but in the same breath it will damn you too.”

Without a moments hesitation, he stomped off towards his home, dissapearing into the dark forest.

“Yeran, this is the same king – your king – with whom the council is obeying!” Leilamish shouted after him, “or have you forgotten?!”

Yeran must have ignored him, for his footseps were still moving away. It was an ominous silence that followed afterwards, and Leilamish nearly shivered from it. To follow Yeran home would be a mistake, and so he decided to take lodging at the guest home.

March 9th, 2006, 07:48 PM
4 very quick things:

1) "Without a moments hesitation, he stomped off towards his home, dissapearing into the dark forest. " Stomped makes him sound like a huffing child, i don't think it fits with the rest of your work.

2)"The quickness to anger was astonishing and incredibly shocking. It took only a second, and a transformation took hold of his friend. Was he still a friend?" Use either astonishing OR incredibly shocking. We get it by the speed of Yeran's reaction, and you then only need one of these two to reinforce that. They kind of mean the same thing anyway which takes away from your work.

3) "I know I sound hypocritical, but who am I to meddle with his own wishes?" Saying that he sounds hypocritical takes away from his argument, I think the second half of the sentence works fine by itself.

4) "Undoubtedly he is sleeping in his bed, and you ‘dare’ to remove him from it. You fool him with trickery and illusions of a better future for him, and you perhaps fool yourself into thinking that he deserves a life of utter misery."
Since i haven't read anything else you've done i can't be sure, but i don't think the - "and you perhaps fool yourself into thinking that he deserves a life of utter misery." - works right.

Other than that i really like the arguement. You get the fact that they're old friends just by the point that they allow each other space to finish what they want to say. It sounds interesting and well grounded. I think the only other thing you need to worry about is an occasional spelling error but i really enjoyed this.

Hope this helps you any.

March 10th, 2006, 02:26 PM
Blast! I HATE spelling errors.

Anyways, I thank you very much. You've helped me in this argument as well as the rest of my book. I make mistakes like those frequently, and it drives me to near insanity that I cannot spot them myself. I really, REALLY appreciate it. :)