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December 31st, 2006, 06:43 AM
Two weeks ago, my HD crashed losing ALL data <sob, sob> including all 234 pages of my novel. It was heroic fantasy based in a golden age of dwarves, some of the humans, and the elves.

One of the main characters was a barbarian from across the mountain chain in prairies as extensive as the American ones approx 750,000 square miles. Another was a war orphaned half-elf girl who had escaped from an "orphanage" where she was little more than a sex slave with the aid of a summoned crocodilian type creature who had been summoned because of his healing abilities. What he actually was a leading researcher into a magic that allowed him to magically "see" the genes of a creature/ person and allow any gene they had to be expressed. During the escape, he changed Rana's brother into a girl for a while with interesting and, to her brother, rather distressing results. The final two characters were elves; the husband an elf Champion supreme magician and warrior extraordinare plus his, thousand year in the making, armor and weapon. His wife of 3,000 years is an emotive dancer, she dances and pulls out the emotions of people, broadcasting them over a range of up to several miles. She is changing professions and becoming an mage like her husband. Think of her as a Hollywood dits, until she is taught that evil really exists the hard way when they are out on a trip with the war orphans in the prairie. Also, I had Gods making personal appearances and a powerful evil race.

I have two of the short stories I had based on the barb and the half-elf girl. Posting them appears to be a problem since one is 1200 words and the other is 7600 words. Any thoughts?

December 31st, 2006, 12:02 PM
I am so, so sorry for you, friend. Back-ups on disk or finger drives and print-outs next time, eh? At least you have the stories to work from. And who knows, maybe it will be better this time around, because you'd already worked out a lot of stuff and know your characters much more fully. Still, not the most fun thing in the world.

If you're asking for our two cents if it's worth it, well then, I don't have any real answer for you, as you are the only one who can decide it. But for me, the characters sound very interesting. I particularly like the elf woman, an emotive dancer who's thinking about switching careers and goes on a trip with war orphans. That's just, well, I would read that, even if it isn't suppose to be a comic fantasy. And the poor guy who gets switched to a girl.

I'm not sure what the length limits are for uploading a story into the story section of the forum (and then you put a link here for people to give you feedback.) Contact Mark -- screenname Hobbit -- by Instant Message for information. Or maybe Rob can weigh in on that.

In any case, much luck and no computer troubles, whether you decide to recreate the story or not.

December 31st, 2006, 02:11 PM
I know this is 1200 words. See what you think. Could I send the longer "A Beauty Unveiled" to interested parties? I have no webpage.


Embedded two feet into the cavern’s floor, the sword still stood five feet high. Inset in its pommel was a huge diamond; the transparent blade had a green falcon embedded near its center. An old man of proportions to fit the huge sword was seated beside it, chiseling away at the rock encasing it. It had indeed been the Smith/ War God of his culture who had forged it. More than the old man’s size and girth matched the unusual sword, the beaded green falcon on his leather loinclout and vest also matched it.
Holding his hammer in hand, Lear said, “I have you now! Once more and you’re free!”
The blade flashed deep red; the pulse starting from within the pommel and continuing through the clear blade and fifteen feet of stone disintegrated below it leaving a circular hole just wide enough for the two-foot pommel to fit as the sword plummeted out of his desperate, leaping grasp.
Laying aside the chisel and hammer, the barbarian chief paced until his anger abated. Finally, he knelt beside his pack and pulled out a neatly folded rope and hook. For hours he futilely tried to yank the sword out, but to no avail. The sword kept dodging his hook.
Exasperated, he shouted, “Quit moving, Ogrebane!”
Drawing a deep breath, he said, “Yes, I know if I hadn’t sunk you in the stone ten years ago, you wouldn’t be mad at me now!”
He paused as if in conversation with someone, but no one was present but the sword. He continued, “But you killed my grandson. So yes, I stabbed you into the stone and swore never to use you again.”
“How did that make you feel? How should I know? You’re a sword! A bloody, stinking sword! Quit moving and let me catch you! I need you! “
“For what?”
“To kill enemies! Stupid talking sword,” he grumbled as he continued to work his rope and hook.
“I have you now,” he shouted as he rapidly pulled the rope up. As the blade reached the edge of the hole it flashed blue, flew to the cave roof ten feet over the hole, and hovered there. It was a dancing sword, after all.
Lear had been an athlete his entire life. No longer a young man, he could still make that jump, but just as his hand was about to close on the pommel, the sword spun around and spanked him! He fell with a crash.
Worse, the sword was now completely invisible. The Smith God was talented and had poured all of His abilities into the forging of this blade for his Champion. After surveying the entire cave, and walking in complete silence as only a true hunter could do, he finally gave up and crawled around the cave probing the crevices with his hands.
The much-humbled warrior mumbled, “At least no one is here to see my shame.” He heard footsteps from the cave entrance…
“Lear! Honey! You’ve been three days up here! Haven’t you gotten Ogrebane free yet?”
Lear whimpered and collapsed.
Rana, his petite half-elf wife, hurried to him.
“Honey! Are you hurt?”
“No,” he answered, a low moan escaping his throat. “He’s hiding from me. I finally got him out an hour or two ago and he spanked me. Me! His master! Now he’s invisible and he’s hiding from me.”
“Sounds to me like he’s mad at being stuck in the stone for so many years without even a visit,” Rana said.
“He’s a sword! A bloody, stinking…”
“Shush now,” she spoke gently, like she would to one of their many grandchildren. “You know he hears everything you say. Did you tell him why you needed him?”
“No.” Lear snapped.
“Did you mention the new enemies from the south who attack us with our own dead, making our own brave lads run in terror?”
“No,” he snapped more quietly and slowly, almost a mumble
“Did you mention how your brother Sean told you how you were the last of the Great Heroes they haven’t killed?”
“No.” His lips moved soundlessly.
“Honey, don’t you think you should?”
She lifted his chin to gaze into his tear-streaked eyes and kissed his forehead.
Gathering himself to his full near seven foot height, he cleared his throat, “Ogrebane, you heard why I need you. Come to my hand,” he said holding his hand out.
Nothing happened.
“I said I needed you. Come here!”
Again, nothing happened.
He tried over and over, ignoring Rana’s hissed advice to apologize.
Lear just kept going on about how it was a “bloody, stinking sword” That it had killed Camlain and deserved to be stuck in the stone.
Finally, Rana stepped in front of Lear and held up her hand. She said, “This is about your guilt over Camlain’s death! You couldn’t help it! He ignored your orders and stepped in front of you while invisible. You never saw him till he was dead!”
In battle, Lear had never left a foe standing. But one foe he had never had, never could beat was his own conscience. He collapsed to his knees, heaving gut-wrenching sobs for the millionth time.
A tear ran down Rana’s cheek as she continued. “Honey, I don’t blame you for that. Nobody does. Exiling yourself as ‘kinslayer’ has only hurt you. Everyone was so happy when you returned last week.”
When he couldn’t stop bawling and listen to her, she shook him. When that didn’t work, she shouted, “Lear, listen to me!” When that didn’t work, she slapped him. He never noticed her blows until she closed her fist and punched him as hard as she could until he caught her hand. He had stopped bawling and with a move almost too fast to follow, caught her hand in an immovable grip. He looked up at her. She took his cheeks in her hands, gazed into his eyes, and said, “Lear, listen to me. You aren’t responsible. You were never guilty. The only thing you did wrong was let a headstrong boy use your ring of invisibility. Honey, Darling, I give you permission to forgive yourself. Camlain is dead and you have punished yourself for too long. You have punished me for too long.”
His tortured look became confused when he held her hands gently between his. “I punished you?”
She hesitated before answering. “You dear, dear fool. Where have my hugs been for the past ten years? Where has my joy at seeing you play with our grandchildren been? Yes, you’ve punished me. For too long.”
“I’m… sorry. I never thought about it like that.”
He took her tear-streaked face into his own massive paws. “Rana… I’m so sorry. You’re right. I was wrong. Can you ever forgive me?”
She wrapped her arms around him as they cried together. After awhile, he stood and said, “Ogrebane, I was wrong about you, as well. I’m sorry for blaming you for all those wasted years.”
Ogrebane instantly appeared in his hand and pulled him toward the cave’s mouth. Regaining his balance, he resisted being dragged for long enough for Rana to lug his pack to him.
Pecking his cheek, she said, “Go! Save our people again.”

December 31st, 2006, 04:26 PM
This should go over to the Community (http://www.sffworld.com/community/) Section. Click on where it says "stories" up top and you can add the Community to your SFFWorld account.

December 31st, 2006, 05:48 PM
Expendable, thank you for the heads up. I am brand new here. Thanks to you, I have posted 2 stories on my place on this site for posting stories. I am very interested in people's opinions of this work.

As far as my novel, I am hoping that one of the 2 last people I e-mailed it to, will be able to send it back.

December 31st, 2006, 08:08 PM
You're welcome. When you would like us to critique your writings, post it in the community and then give us a link here.

December 31st, 2006, 10:37 PM
As for you original problem, sometimes dumping the whole project and starting over is a great editing method. Write from memory, the important parts of the story will come out, but of course it will change, hopefully for the better.

I usually aviod using that particular editing method for longer stories, but sometimes technology steps in.


January 1st, 2007, 12:37 AM
Thank you MrBF. I am considering doing the rewrite. I have also considered simply doing it from the point of this short story, "A Beauty Unveiled", which covers the events in two of the more traumatic chapters. It is first person and the novel was third person. Please review it and let me know what you think. I only minutes ago realized that I had to post it and "Sword Play" as "published". I had thought that meant it was a published story. Ah well, live and learn. http://www.sffworld.com/community/story_edit.php?pid=2210
I hope that is the correct link. I am still so new to this.

January 1st, 2007, 12:44 AM
use http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/2210p0.html instead, that other link allows people to edit your story. You want to link the page that's created, not where you edit it. Everyone has this problem at first.


January 1st, 2007, 01:00 AM
A Beauty Unveiled has a slow start but a good hook.

However, I'd cut "(the Dwarven Teleport Stations)" from page 3. You've stop telling the story to explain a point you want your reader to get. Unless you're visiting the 'Ports it's not necessary to give us that yet.

I'll try to find more later.