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giko
January 6th, 2004, 03:21 AM
I am starting off on a longheld dream to write a fantasy novel.

Just curious what you think about the prologue.......


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The unrelenting fury of the Cabak Clan was well known in Chibal, but Giko had never expected it to be unleashed upon him! After all, he had only been collecting paltry sums from the local fishermen in exchange for the ensured “welfare” of their vessels! However, at this moment a large Cabak Assasin descended down Giko’s alley in a signature black cloak, his eyes focused on Giko’s door. A telltale black-stained axe hung loosely from his side.

Giko lived in a typical Chibaldian dwelling, adorned with two tiny porthole windows, and no door other than the one the Cabak was fast approaching. There was no chance for escape….except for the chimney! Giko frantically wedged his way into the base of the hearth, and began to ascend the slippery walls.

The Cabak blew open the weak entrance with a single kick, and quickly spotted helpless Giko wedged halfway up the chimney, his huge feet dangling in midair.

“Giko, is this the hospitality you extend to your guests?”, the Cabak spit out in disgust.

“Sorry lad! Ya caught me in the middle of cleaning my hearth! I didn’t hear you enter, give me but a brief moment to descend.”, Giko stuttered.

Giko struggled furiously to get out of the chimney, kicking ash about the room. His struggles proved futile, for he was now wedged in solidly, his girth from many years of downing turnip ale coming back to bite him at a most inopportune time.

“Can’t wiggle your fat rump out eh?”, the huge Cabak spit out in disgust. “’Tis said in Chibald that a dwarf as rotund as yourself could only be a Cabak noble. For only a Cabak noble could afford the funds to grow so large in girth! And you Giko, are no Cabak noble. I say you look more of a thieving hog! And a hog with his hocks dangling above a most convenient fire.”

At that moment the Cabak let loose a furious chop at Giko’s dangling legs with his black stained axe, severing both legs at the knee. Giko let out a howling wail that all of the south shore could surely hear. His entire body tensed at the searing pain creeping up his spine. When feeling returned a few moments later, he heard the Cabak methodically adding kindling to the hearth below.

“Live as a hog, die as a hog Giko!”, the Cabak screamed as he threw a flaming bottle of ale into the hearth. The flames leapt up high and immediately sprung to life on what remained of Giko’s trousers. Giko screamed even louder than before, the flames quickly engulfing his stout body and thick beard. The Cabak strolled slowly towards the door as Giko struggled in his death throes, and made his way out to the alley.

As the assasin turned the corner towards the main road, he glanced back to rising smoke from Giko’s chimney. What a fool Giko had been to cross the Cabak Clan! And even more the fool for placing himself in a position to be so humiliated in death. The Cabak had killed dozens of Chibald residents for crossing his clan, but this killing would certainly be one of the most bizarre. His victim had not only offered no resistance, but had wedged himself into his own chimney, with both wood and kindling just below. How convenient! The Cabak laughed to himself, and continued down the road puffing on his intoxicating weed. It was time to find some female companionship.

Jacquin
January 6th, 2004, 04:37 AM
Hi giko

Welcome to SFFworld. I moved your post to the writing forum as it is the place where those of us that write discuss our work and if we are feeling brave offer up sections for critique.

J

wordsarepoison
January 6th, 2004, 05:02 AM
First off, I commend you for posting your work as I know it can be daunting.

Okay. For some reason the exclamation marks ending the first two sentences are jarring. They feel as if they're trying to instill excitement into the reader, rather than just letting the writing speak for itself.

Chopping Giko's legs off is nicely shocking (I flinched) as up until that point the tone's been, IMHO, quite comedic - oh-ho a fat dwarf stuck up a chimney.

The assasin seems nicely unhinged. With development he could make a compelling main character.

Thanks for posting.

JRMurdock
January 6th, 2004, 06:24 PM
I agree that you were brave to post your writing for all to see and bear the brunt publically.

1) Stop using so many ! unless you really need them. I'd remove any you used that are not for spoken parts.

2) This piece is well written except that you change tone in the middle. As noted, it starts out comical, then turns quite dark.

3) WHY? Why is the assassin killing this fat dwarf?Why does the dwarf fear him? Why is the black-stained blade a signature?

4) WHAT? What does the assassin look like? What else may be inside the house? What does this have to do with the rest of the story?

I liked what you wrote, don't get me wrong, but you may want to elaborate a little more in a couple areas. Also, try to use proper names only when needed. It did become a little repetitive and I already knew 'the door' was 'Giko's door.

Good start, let us know when there's more.

Maus99

Erebus
January 6th, 2004, 06:44 PM
A good first draft, Giko.

May I suggest that you overcome an error with your dialogue please? Dialogue punctuation errors are common and easily done, so hopefully, my comments will point you in the right direction.

All punctuation for dialogue should be within the quotation marks, and if you already have an exclamation mark or question mark, there is no need for a comma or a period.

“Can’t wiggle your fat rump out eh?”,

The comma is redundant here and in many other similar sentences.

If you have a line of dialogue that says something like:

"This is a nice sentence," the character said.

It should be written as above. However, if you are wanting more emphasis and need the !, it can be written like this:

"Wow, this is a nice sentence!" the character said.

“Sorry lad! Ya caught me in the middle of cleaning my hearth! I didn’t hear you enter, give me but a brief moment to descend.”, Giko stuttered.

In this passage the period should not be there and the comma should be inside the quotation marks, as the sentence does not come to an end until after 'stuttered'.

Hopefully you will find these few words of advice helpful and stop you from getting into a bad habit. (Poorly written dialogue is a pet hate of mine, so wherever I can I try to assist others to get it right. :) )

Cheers,

Neil

Dawnstorm
January 6th, 2004, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by maus99
2) This piece is well written except that you change tone in the middle. As noted, it starts out comical, then turns quite dark.


Actually, I think that was pretty clever. The tone doesn't change that much, if you read closely, it's only comical, because there's a fat dwarf stuck in a chimney, but he's afraid from the beginning, isn't he?

===

Your writing is at its best in the dialogues. Outside of dialogues, you might want to try out saying the same thing with fewer words (especially in the last paragraph).

An example, so you see what I mean:

"As the assasin turned the corner towards the main road, he glanced back to rising smoke from Giko's chimney."

--> "Turning the corner towards the main road the assassin glanced back to rising some from Giko's chimney."

Iskaral Pust
January 11th, 2004, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by maus99
3) WHY? Why is the assassin killing this fat dwarf?Why does the dwarf fear him? Why is the black-stained blade a signature?

4) WHAT? What does the assassin look like? What else may be inside the house? What does this have to do with the rest of the story?


Sorry, but I would dispute these points. "What does the assassin look like" - not really necessary. If he's a main character we'll propably get a description later, if not, the reader doesn't need a description.
"What else is in the house?" - I aslo don't think this would be needed. There's no point bogging down the story, the other things in the house aren't used, so why list them?
"What does this have to do with the rest ofthe story?" - we can hardly find this out from the prolouge. We haven't read the rest of the story, that question would more likely come up after we have read the first chapter, if the relationship is not seen.
All of point three - well I would think that the answers to these questions is the story.

Ilnaulro
January 13th, 2004, 11:07 AM
:p Hello Giko. As a fellow writer I thought I would take the time to let you know what was on my mind after reading your work.

I am a fan of feeling that you have been dropped into the middle of a story (too many writers give the impression that the world began just as you started to read) but perhaps you took that a little too literally here. imho, you need a little before this to lead into what you already have.

I agree that it seems to be set in a comical tone - is this your intention?

Something I do not like so much is the way you try to describe what it feels like to have your legs chooped off at the knee. It always struck me as the sort of experience that really defied description ;)

My last point would be that it did not engage me and I found I did not care who the dwarf or the assassin were. This is probably because the piece is short.

Anyway, luck te ya! And keep tapping those keys...

speculative-one
January 14th, 2004, 11:22 AM
Pretty good. I think the part where the leg's get the 'ole heave-ho could be described a bit more though. For example, I didn't find it realistic that an axe would take off both legs with one fell swoop. How did he get a clean swipe with an axe if the dwarf is up the chimney? Also, what does it sound like as the steel crunches through flesh and bone, and what does it smell like as blood and fat crunkle in flames on the fire?

-speculative