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JRMurdock
July 30th, 2004, 10:59 AM
Wow! Are we really up to 10 already? Neat. Here's the one you've all been waiting for in this series:

Conflict.

In the Title of your post, please state the 'type' of conflict you're going for in your work (man vs. man, man vs. nature (animal), man vs. himself, etc). The conflict can be whatever you can dream up. It's not a requirement that you have posted in any past exercises to post, but I think it'll help if you have.

So let's see your character get into a conflict. Once again, please try to remember all elements you've include in your story and try to work as much into your conflict as you can. I know you can only use 400 words and this can be difficult, but try. I was at over 500 when I wrote my piece yesterday and managed to trim it down to 400. I don't think it suffered too much. I'll let you be the judge.

JRMurdock
July 30th, 2004, 11:02 AM
The shot glass was again in his hand and he rolled it between his fingers. He drew his sword; a long, broad blade. He it, then looked at Chezron.

Chezron dropped his gun to the floor where it hit with a loud clunk. His left shoulder was still burning from the shot gun pellet move his sword to his right hand. Between ragged coughs he managed to say, "When you're ready."

Echer downed the shot and held the whiskey in his mouth. His lips were wet and glistened. Again this caused Chezron's anger to grow at this blatant taunting. Chezron knew he was a better swordsman than Echer, but Echer hadn't spent four days walking in the rain.

With a flick of his head, Echer downed the drink. His expression changed from a sneer to a look of honest compassion. "Last chance, buddy. Take that hat and walk away from this town. Don't look back."

"This isn't about the horse anymore." Chezron took a defensive stance.
Echer too, took up a position and the two circled. Sword tips neared each other and Chezron felt his adrenalin surge as the metal tinged together. Echer's left hand came up and he tossed the shot glass over Chezron's shoulder. Without thinking, he followed the flight with his head. It passed by and it was then he realized his mistake: he'd taken his eyes off his opponent. He felt the cold steel of Echer's blade pierce his abdomen.

It wasn't a killing blow. It was intended to incapacitate. Chezron released his grip on his sword, but he didn't hear it hit the ground. The pain in his side was causing his ears to throb loudly and his vision blurred. He almost vomited when Echer removed the blade. The pain nearly blacked him out and he lost his footing. He fell hard to his knees, but the pain didn't seem to matter anymore.

A hazy figure crossed his field of vision. He couldn't be sure if it was Echer, but the figure was taunting and jeering. Chezron reeled and tried to keep his balance. He fell slightly backwards and his hand landed on his boot. He had only one chance. When the hazy figure lunged its face into his again, Chezron pulled the dagger from his boot and lunged forward with a scream. He felt the blade pierce flesh. Both men fell to the floor.

choppy
August 2nd, 2004, 09:39 AM
Good vs. Evil as Man vs. Woman

In the night, the Angelese rolled gently over the cold ocean swells. Low clouds blocked the stars. Only flickering lantern light danced on the black water as it lapped against the wooden hull of the ship.

Elisabeth fought to keep her balance standing at the edge of the rail, her wrists bound tightly behind her back. The plank before her ran out from the deck of the ship – four feet – and then nothing.

“You are truly an evil man, Captain Embelaser,” she said. Tiny tears too strong to be held back ran down her cheeks.

The captain stood alone behind her. His owl perched on his shoulder and glared at her just as he did, with large yellow eyes meant for seeing in the night. Embelaser held his sword at his side.

“On the sea there is no right or wrong, Elisabeth. There is only what is. There is no law to be perverted by politicians. There is no privilege. On the sea a man earns his own fortune when his stars are hidden by the black clouds.”

Elisabeth looked over her shoulder at the captain. “Evil is evil, Captain Embelaser, no matter who is watching.”

“See me as you wish.” He pushed her forward with the tip of his blade. Without the rail for balance, she felt unsteady. The ship kept rolling and shifting beneath her.

There were no lights in the distance – no islands to swim to – no ships carrying valiant sailors to come to her rescue. There was only black water – endless and cold. Death would slowly surround her and penetrate her flesh. In time it would lull her from life. She would slip silently into the belly of the sea. No one would ever know of her fate.

Elisabeth suddenly turned around. She stared at him, facing down his steel. The tears no longer fell from her eyes. “I’ll not make this easy for you,” she said. “You shall have to force me to my death. In doing so, you will condemn your soul. I will not alleviate you of any responsibility.”

With a fluid sweep, Embelaser stuck her leg with his blade. The sword dug straight through the flesh of her thigh stopping only at her bone. Then he slowly drew it out.

She winced, then toppled over making no more sound than a gentle spelunk as she struck her grave.

SubZero61992
August 2nd, 2004, 01:30 PM
that was truly a gut wrenching evil man.

michaelS0620
August 3rd, 2004, 01:31 PM
Was able to chop this down from 800+ words to 411. I did write for exercise 7, but not the others. This deals with the same character (Renamed Daniel) at a much earlier age, where he discovers his father's secret.

Enjoy, and I welcome any and all feedback.

Michael

---------

Daniel was playing with the long knives his father had tucked out of site in the parlor. Downward curved leather wrapped handles, held an upward curving two foot blade, sharp on both sides. They were marred, but even after laying dormant for years, they were sharp. As Daniel sliced his way through enemy hordes, the idea that he was only playing wasn’t quite right. It was more intense than that. He whirled and stabbed at invisible enemies. They dead laid in piles at his feet.

His father walked in on him. He froze then threw the swords onto the bench.
“Where did you learn-”
“What?”
“Play straight,” his father said, grabbing his bicep. The boy winced, did not struggle. He had never seen his father this-
“Well?!”.
-intense, with his face -
“I was careful!”
- such a mixture of anger and disappointment. And fear.
“No one taught you?”
“No.”
“You’ve never seen anyone use such?”
“No.”
“Danny,” he said releasing his grip. “Remember what I told you about lying.”
“Yes.”
“Tell me.”
“You can love someone, or lie to them.” He rubbed his arm where his father had grabbed him. “But you can’t do both. Not at the same time.”
“Right,” his father said, “No matter how good your intentions are.”
He looked down at him.
“Which is it?”
Danny grunted under his breath, turning away from his father. He was shamed, but angry too. Then, in the flash of intuition which would serve him so well, Danny understood the truth buried below the truth. Not all of it, but enough.
“You tell me,” he said, forcing himself to stare into his father’s eyes. It was difficult, but it was important.
“What has gotten into you?” his father said, but even then Danny realized his father was covering.
“Those knives,” he said pointing, “weren’t some distant uncle’s.” His voice rose, “and they aren’t deads, worth only for hangin’.” He sighed. ”They’re yours.”

His father shifted his weight, leaving his hand on his hip, right eye narrowing slightly. His father could judge a height with impossible accuracy. Danny, knew that he was the one being measured now. Then his lip trembled, looking at the boy with both respect and shame. He placed his hands on each shoulder. Dropped to one knee.
“I ask–“
“Da, no!”
“-for your forgiveness.”
“Yes. Dad, alright! Just get up!”
His father looked at him, seeming smaller, weaker.
“Leave me,” he said, a whisper.
Daniel left.

michaelS0620
August 3rd, 2004, 01:37 PM
Choppy,

No mistaking the conflict in your piece! I liked it, but one thing that struck me was the very last piece where she is struck and falls overboard. Up to that point we seem to be in Elisabeth's POV (Although distantly). The very end, though seems to change to a much more distant POV. She would have felt the pain of the blow and the ocean rushing up to meet her, or some final thoughts.

Michael

SubZero61992
August 3rd, 2004, 01:43 PM
Michael,
I know the word limit has a great impact on the story so to judge it I will say it barely had any sense in it.
At times I wondered.

Example: He placed his hands on each shoulder. Dropped to one knee.I ask–“
“Da, no!”
“-for your forgiveness.”
“Yes. Dad, alright! Just get up!”
His father looked at him, seeming smaller, weaker.
“Leave me,” he said, a whisper.
Daniel left.

He left his father? The way the story was going I would have thought Daniel was being asked to end his Father's shame with death.

michaelS0620
August 3rd, 2004, 01:49 PM
I think I cut this too deeply, and I probably should have chosen a different exerpt (hell, I am at the office now, and should be WORKING anyways :D . The idea here is that his father has been keeping the origins of the swords (and more importantly the fact that HE used them) a secret.

With his going on about loving and lying, Daniel essentially throws it back in his face because now he suspects the truth. The father is asking his forgiveness because he himself has lied over many years.

He asks the boy to leave him while he has to now decide whether to train the boy in the arts that he was trained in.

Thanks for the feedback. I know one of my issues as a writer is that I tend to rush through scenes, and people get lost as they dont know whats going on, even if I do. Its good to keep in mind.

SubZero61992
August 3rd, 2004, 01:51 PM
Oh I see.
I use to start most of my stories off like that.

JRMurdock
August 6th, 2004, 12:32 PM
Exercise 11 is up and ready for posting!