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Jacquin
November 28th, 2003, 09:30 AM
Good afternoon!

It is time for our second writing exercise. This one will be exploring the concept of viewpoint. The idea is to write scene of your choice in first person perspective. I ask a number of things of you.

Firstly no more than 400 words please! Writing to a strict word count is a great skill to have, the closer to 400 words you can get the better.

Secondly don’t edit it. These are writing exercises not collaborative stories, we want your first draft warts and all.

Thirdly the scene in question should contain other characters and have a spec fic theme.

It does not have to be a story in itself, it can have as many characters in it as you want, the idea is just to write something in first person.

Then of course I want you to re-write it from the third person perspective, this time you can tidy it up as you go along if you feel the need.

I will post mine later today…

Happy scribblings!

J

P.S. Any questions?

Sammie
November 28th, 2003, 11:40 AM
Yeah - when do we get tea and biscuits?

Holbrook
November 28th, 2003, 01:30 PM
423 words.

So it was true; fear really made a man’s gonads shrink. Detorney’s looked as if they had crawled back into his belly. We circled again; the wooden floor was getting greasy with sweat and blood. I could feel the red liquid trickling down round my ankle and through my toes; it was making it difficult to keep my purchase.

Detorney was good; he had gotten through my guard twice. My right calf was ripped a good three inches, not deep, but messy and he had scored a tip slash across my belly, just above the belly button. I tapped my rapier point on the floor, waving Detorney on with my main gauche. He lunged; I side stepped, sweeping my main gauche up; catching his blade on the quillions of the long dagger before forcing him back. At the same time my own sword cut in seeking Detorney’s heart; but his main gauche came across deflecting the steel.

I felt my arm forced back and against my chest. I swore under my breath, what was attached to my chest got in the way of my arm as I sort to lift and break free. Damn; whose idea was it to settle this naked. Mine I think? I must have been drunk. Most likely, I can’t remember how the argument started anyway, only that Detorney had annoyed the hell out of me again.

We circled again, I ran my rapier tip round in a gentle circle on the floor, tap, tap; it was my trade mark… four taps, five… I bounced on my heels, dancing backward. Detorney’s eyes widened and locked on my chest area as I retreated. So, there was some advantage to being naked. I jiggled again and heard a ripple of laughter run round the audience.

I charged forward; slashing. Detorney sort to guard and avoid, slipped on my blood and went down on one knee. My sword was in, hell I couldn’t kill him. I just ran him through the muscle on top of his right shoulder. An advantage to being naked I could mark the target quite well. He screamed, I grunted as I twisted the blade and pulled it sharply out. The crowd roared and so did I; at Detorney’s second. “Honour settled?”

The man blanched and looked first at my heaving breasts then my dripping sword. Then he nodded. “Good.” I bowed to the prone Detorney and walked, no limped to the corner. I laid my blades down carefully on the bench and shrugged myself into my cloak.

Holbrook
November 28th, 2003, 04:05 PM
388 words

They circled again; the wooden floor was getting greasy with sweat and blood. The red liquid trickled down round the ankle of one combatant and through their toes; making it difficult to keep their purchase.

Detorney was good; he had gotten through his opponent’s guard twice, their right calf was ripped a good three inches, not deep, but messy and he had scored a tip slash across their belly, just above the belly button.

The bleeding duellist tapped their rapier point on the floor, waving Detorney on with their main gauche. He lunged; his opponent side stepped, sweeping their main gauche up; catching his blade on the quillions of the long dagger before forcing him back. At the same time their own sword cut in seeking Detorney’s heart; but his main gauche came across deflecting the steel.

Detorney’s attacker’s arm was forced back against their chest. They swore under a breath, as what was attached to their chest got in the way of their arm as they sort to lift and break free. “Damn; whose idea was it to settle this naked.” The duellist muttered, “Mine I think? I must have been drunk.”

They circled again, Detorney’s challenger ran their rapier tip round in a gentle circle on the floor, tap, tap; it was their trade mark… four taps, five… bounced on their heels, dancing backward. Detorney’s eyes widened and locked on the chest area as his opponent retreated. So, there was some advantage to being naked it seemed and the opponent jiggled again and a ripple of laughter run round the audience.

Detorney’s nemesis charged forward; slashing. Detorney sort to guard and avoid, slipped on the blood on the floor and went down on one knee. A sword was in, running him through the muscle on top of his right shoulder. An advantage to being naked the attacker could mark the target quite well. Delorney screamed, the victor grunted, twisted the blade and pulled it sharply out. The crowd roared and so did the victor; at Detorney’s second. “Honour settled?”

The man blanched and looked first at the woman’s heaving breasts then her dripping sword. Then he nodded. “Good.” she bowed to the prone Detorney and walked, no limped to the corner. She laid her blades down carefully on the bench and shrugged myself into her cloak.

Comments:

In third it is harder to hide the fact that one of the duellist is a woman, which was the whole point of the snippet actually to hint at her sex and let the reader go, oh yes... It also is a little "flatter" in third. I couldn't do the "asides" and thoughts as well, because of that reason, so it lost its humour to some extent... It also brought the word total down because of that... I missed a myself, which should be a herself...

Dawnstorm
November 30th, 2003, 10:28 AM
Wendy came into my room with a bottle of wine to cheer me up. I lay on my bed, on top of my blanket, hugging my knees. I had closed my eyes, wanting to limit sensory input, but it was eary, feeling folds in my blanket, budges in the matrass, that I thought didn't exist. So when Wendy entered the room I was grateful for a diversion. The blurs (I wonder what they'll call my condition, once they're done describing it) were easier to take when you had something to focus on.
Wendy held out the bottle of wine and said, "Let’s celebrate your success, instead of brooding, shall we?" And she smiled. "Hey, we’ve proven people can travel through time."
I stretched, then sat up and looked at her. She was quasi-wearing her glasses; the bridge on her nose and part of the right lense were vivid enough to be real, but the rest oscillated in various states of transparency. I picked up a hint of her favourite perfume, which I was pretty sure she hadn't brought to work. But her smile was pretty singular. I was grateful for that, so I smiled back.
"There are, however, side-effects," I said.
She put the bottle of wine down on the round table made of black galss, but also on a variety of other tables the hotel management must have decided against when furnishing the room and consequently weren't there.
"I know. But your quantum state registers normal, Aaron's found you to be in perfect health, and..." Her voice trailed off and didn't. "I bEt the neuroLOgistsss won’t find’d anynything’ng eitherah."
"...you bet the neurologists won't find anything either."
Wendy nodded. "You actually heard me say that, didn’t you?"
I sighed. "I'm pretty sure you didn't say it, but yes, I heard you."
"I thought that would have been pretty much the wrong thing to say at the moment." She sighed. "It's that hard to ignore is it?"
I took a deep breath. "You don't understand. It's replaced my perception."
"Well, then," she said, grabbing the bottle of wine from the table and presenting it to me, "how do you think this one'll taste? Aren't you curious?"
And despite myself I had to laugh.

[374]

Wendy came into Darren's room with a bottle of wine to cheer him up. He lay on his bed, on top of his blanket, hugging his knees. Obviously, he was still trying to come to terms with the "blurs", as he had named his condition.
Wendy held out the bottle of wine and said, "Let's celebrate your success, instead of brooding, shall we?" And she smiled. "Hey, we’ve proven people can travel through time."
Darren stretched, then sat up and looked at her. For a second or two he wore that detached expression, eyelids half closed, eyes moving sluggishly. But then the spell was broken and he smiled.
"There are, however, side-effects," he said.
Wendy put the bottle of wine down on the table, as that expression re-visited his face.
"I know. But your quantum state registers normal, Aaron's found you to be in perfect health, and..."
"...you bet the neurologists won't find anything either," he finished her sentence with a slow and steady voice, not really looking at her.
Wendy nodded. "You actually heard me say that, didn't you?"
Darren sighed a regular sigh. "I'm pretty sure you didn't say it, but yes, I heard you."
"I thought that would have been pretty much the wrong thing to say at the moment." And now Wendy sighed, too. "It's that hard to ignore is it?"
Darren took a deep breath. "You don't understand. It's replaced my perception."
"Well, then," Wendy said, grabbing the bottle of wine from the table and presenting it to him, "how do you think this one'll taste? Aren't you curious?"
And Darren laughed.

[267]

Comments:

The second one's shorter. However, I feel the word count would increase, if I went over it again, as I'll have to imagine the scene more closely; a bit of research, perhaps. Basically, it's experience vs. description, and it's easier to do experience if you haven't worked out all the details.

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Comments about Holbrooks piece:

I found, that, in the third person piece referring to Detorney by his name and to his opponent in general terms biased me towards his point of view. "So, there was some advantage to being naked it seemed and the opponent jiggled again and a ripple of laughter run round the audience.", for example, got an interesting reinterpretation, here...

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Tea and Cookies for Sammie:

|_D o o

===

Waiting for comments and further contributions.
:)

Jacquin
December 1st, 2003, 03:41 PM
Sorry for the delay guys, my computer took it uopn itself to die on friday and it has taken me this long to get it up and running again...

Here is my scene in first person, I will put up the third person version asap.

400 words exactly!!!!! :p
I slumped behind the wall, my sword lying on the ground next to my leg. I couldn’t get my fingers to undo the buckle on my helmet without pulling on my stubble so I gave up. I’ll shave tonight I thought to myself knowing it for the lie it was. I wiped the sweat from my face to find it was blood. I wasn’t surprised.

“Dickon,” said a voice. I looked around, Petyr was sat a few metres away. He held out a flask. “This’ll warm you up lad!” I caught the flask as he tossed it threw the air and took a swig. A couple of days ago the idea of drinking neat grain spirit in the morning would have been unthinkable, but then so would sitting on a corpse.

I smiled and tossed back the flask.

“Watered down Rat’s piss! If that’s the best you can do I’ll bring the drinks tomorrow.”

Petyr just laughed. He thrust the flask back into the folds of his coat and picked up his sword.

“See you in the mess tonight.” He stood, and turned to the commotion on his right. Another ladder had reached the walls and this time they had managed to get a foothold. A giant of a man with a long black beard was holding the defenders back with a two handed sword. Petyr charged. For a moment I thought he stood a chance but it seemed his luck had turned. As the longsword curved towards him he raised his sword and buckler together to block, he caught the blow squarely and twisted round for the counter. I saw the arrow but wasn’t quick enough. It punched a hole under his arm. For a second he was still, but then he fell. The bearded man didn’t even notice. He just redirected his next blow and opened the throat of another unarmoured defender. Under my breath I thanked the Gods I hadn’t taken my helmet off and reached for my sword. It was an old weapon, the hilt was worn and stained with sweat and blood, the edge battered and blunt but it had served me well. I stood and waited for my chance. The second he looked away I lunged. The tip of my sword glanced off his brigandine, and with a reverse cut he swung a ferocious blow towards my head. I knew I couldn’t block it.

Jacquin
December 1st, 2003, 05:52 PM
Here is the same scene from the third person perspective.
Dickon slumped behind the wall, his sword lying on the ground next to his leg. His fingers struggled unsuccessfully to undo the buckle on his helmet. With a sigh he gave up. With the back of a hand he wiped the sweat from his eyes smearing blood across his face.

“Dickon,” a voice called. He looked around. Petyr was sat a few metres away. He held out a flask. “This’ll warm you up lad!” Dickon caught the flask and took a swig. A couple of days ago the idea of drinking neat grain spirit in the morning would have been unthinkable, but then so would sitting on a corpse.

He smiled and tossed back the flask.

“Watered down Rat’s piss! If that’s the best you can do I’ll bring the drinks tomorrow.”

Petyr just laughed. He thrust the flask back into the folds of his coat and picked up his sword.

“See you in the mess tonight.” He stood, and turned to the commotion on his right. Another ladder had reached the walls and this time they had managed to get a foothold. A giant of a man with a long black beard was holding the defenders back with a two handed sword. Petyr charged. For a moment it seemed he stood a chance but his luck had turned. As the longsword curved towards him he raised his sword and buckler together to block, he caught the blow squarely and twisted round for the counter. Dickon saw the arrow fly, he tried to call but his parched throat made no noise. It was too late anyway. It punched a hole under Petyr’s arm. For a second he was still, but then he fell. The bearded man didn’t even notice. He just redirected his next blow and opened the throat of another unarmoured defender. Under his breath Dickon thanked the Gods he hadn’t taken his helmet off and reached for his sword. It was an old weapon, the hilt was worn and stained with sweat and blood, the edge battered and blunt but it had served him well. He stood and waited for his chance. The second the giant looked away Dickon lunged. The tip of his sword glanced off the big man’s brigandine, and with a reverse cut he swung a ferocious counter. For the second time that day Dickon knew he would not be fast enough.

I prefer the first scene, but that could just be because that is how it happened in my hhead as I wrote it. There just seem to be too many he's and his in the second. I also noticed that there was a large chunk in the middle that was in third person anyway so it was pretty easy to change... The word count is almost identical (397 for the second) so that hasn't made a big difference, but I feel I am using as many words to get across less information. Maybe because it is easier to describe thoughts and feelings in first. I missed the little internal dialogue at the beginning in the second version.

I will comment on those who went before me as soon as I can...

Take Care all

J