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Thread: Original Writing and Critique
July 30th, 2007, 08:58 PM #1
Original Writing and Critique
Lots of folks who visit here love to write, so I thought it would be nice to give you a place to show off your chops. I can't guarantee that I will personally critique all submissions, but I'm sure someone will.
1. Submit no more than a chapter (unless the chapters are like James Patterson short) or a short story.
2. Stories need to be Fantasy/SciFi/SpecFic.
3. Keep comments constructive. Try to find the good that's there.
Remember, the pen is mightier than the sword...and a lot easier to write with.
July 30th, 2007, 09:23 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- Um.... *glares* that's for me to know, and you to never find out. So there.
Oh fun! I have to wait till I get home, though. I'm at work, so therefore none of my work is with me. But I do have something to post, and it's part of a short story. When I get around to posting it I'll just edit this post (if it's still the newest one here, which is highly unlikely with this prolific bunch) and I'll explain more when I post it.
July 30th, 2007, 11:42 PM #3
'kay! this ish a short story, 'bout my main charrie, Lucy.
The title ish
Unicorns don't get Lost... or do they?
Standing on the forest floor, unusual for the short red head, she looked around. “This is just great,” she muttered, hands on her hips. “I’ve never gotten lost. Before. Where’s Pegasus-boy when you need ‘im?” Seeming to lose her fire, she sighed. Her green eyed gaze scanned the clearing. After almost a complete circle, she latched onto an old oak. Running lightly over to it, she leaped and grabbed onto one of the lower branches.
“I’ll just climb this here tree, and see if I can get any directional bearings.” With that, Lucy pulled herself higher, using her legs for added push. It wasn’t long before she could push her head above the treetops.
“Broken horns!” she exclaimed, her gaze roaming the plateau created by the interlocking branches and their leafy covering. She eyed the thick, roiling, grey clouds with distaste.
“Well… guess I won’t look to see which direction the sun is in. Time to try something else.” She made a slow descent before she was again standing on the forest floor.
“What to try next…” Lucy mused as she surveyed the remains of her camp. She passed over the dying fire from breakfast, to her bed roll, coming to rest on her pack. “I have my compass magnet!” she exclaimed, slapping her hand to her forehead. She skipped across the short distance and stuck her hand into her pack. She quickly found what she was looking for and pulled it out. But when she help up the string, nothing happened.
“Broken horns! Don’t tell me I left it too close to my spare. Again.” She threw the compass magnet back into her bag and plopped down onto a log that she had used as a seat the previous night.
Lucy leapt up a moment later with a noise of surprise. “An old wives’ tale says that moss grows on the north side of a tree.” Her gaze flicked from tree to tree until she caught the tell tale green shading of moss. Crying out in delight, she quickly threw her pack together, rolled up her bedroll, and tied it in place. Kicking dirt over the embers, she said, “North to more familiar lands.” Swinging her pack to her shoulders she set out. Lucy hadn’t been walking for long, when she saw it. Facing north, she saw moss on the south side of the tree. “I guess that’s why they also say that one should take the tales of old wives with a grain of salt.” She sighed and sunk to the ground at the base of a nearby tree.
After a time, Lucy awoke, not remembering having fallen asleep. “At least that reminded me of the most obvious possibility.” She murmured, a note of disgust in her voice. Standing up, she stretched sore muscles. She unslung her pack and laying on the ground, threw her long, red braid over her shoulder.
The next instant a majestic unicorn, red tingeing its pure white mane stood where Lucy had been. Picking her bag up in her teeth, Lucy set off at a smart trot at a forty five degree angle to the way she’d been going.
When she stopped for the night, Lucy was in much more familiar country. She hummed as she built her fire and boiled water for soup. “ I should be home in a day or two,” she whispered.
An uneven beating rhythm, the likes of which two flying creatures would make, reached her ears. “I know those wing beats!” Lucy exclaimed in surprise when they got a little closer. “Balaon and Magnar,” she confirmed when a pegasus and a silver-winged lion appeared, skimming the treetops. The two landed and Lucy waited for Balaon to assume his human form before running to greet them both.
“It’s great to see you,” Balaon began, just as Magnar said,
“Long time no see, Little-one.”
“It is great,” Lucy agreed with a laugh. “And have I got a story for you.”
July 30th, 2007, 11:48 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- Um.... *glares* that's for me to know, and you to never find out. So there.
Ok, sorry I'm late. Aw, Roh beat me to it, she gets first dibs at critiques.
This is only part of my story. The title is called "Amari's Love". I had the story critiqued at the Florida Christian Writer's Conference. One of the suggestions that the person made was to show the friendship between my main character (Amari - a unicorn) and her best human friend (Karel). I had originally just said they were best friends, and he said I the reader is basically taking my word for it, rather than seeing it for themselves.
So, last night I had a chance to write, and I have two brand new pages that is the new beginning to the story, and I hope it shows well the friendship between Amari and Karel, as well as has some foreshadowing in it. Enjoy!
The unicorn's gaze scanned the forest glade, and she narrowed her eyes, trying to see between tree trunks and bushes. She moved slowly as she searched for her friend, her hooves soundless on the forest floor. She pushed branches aside with her horn, blinking as leaves fell from the trees.
A twig snapped. The unicorn pivoted, turning in the direction of the sound. She shook her head, tossing her mane. Where is she?
Soft laughter floated down from above and the unicorn looked up into the the tree to her right. There sat Karel, the object of her search. The girl in the tree held a hand to her mouth as if trying to hold back an eruption of giggles. Her other hand held a broken twig.
The unicorn stretched her neck forward as far as it would reach and touched the tip of her crimson horn to the bottom sole of Karel's sandal.
Karel lost control and giggles poured out of her, tears streaming down her face. “Amari ... that was priceless!”
Amari turned and Karel dropped onto her back. She snorted as she began walking. “I don't find anything funny about that.”
Karel leaned forward. “Did you really think that it was I who snapped the twig?”
Amari looked back and huffed. “Well ... no. But I--” she nodded and her tone softened. “I guess it was kinda funny!”
The two friends laughed for a bit, and the sounds of their mirth eventually trailed off into peaceful silence. Karel slid off Amari's back and walked beside her. Amari caught a glimpse of the setting sun and inclined her head slightly to look at her human friend. Usually about this time the two of them would race back to Farron, Karel's home town.
Karel looked up and met Amari's gaze. There was a hint of mischief in the girl's eyes, and a smile played at her lips.
Without hesitating Amari quickened her gate and was soon cantering and weaving around the trees. She broke through the edge of the forest into the clearing with a triumphant shout, and slowed her pace. Amari turned around to see how close behind Karel was, but the girl wasn't there.
“Karel?” No reply.
Amari walked back into the forest, and soon found Karel leaning against a tree, taking deep breaths as though she were having trouble breathing. The unicorn frowned. Karel had been slightly out of breath most of the day, and whenever Amari asked, Karel just said she didn't get enough sleep that night and was just more tired than usual. But now Amari was worried.
“Karel ... are you sure you're all right?”
Karel looked up, her hand pressed against her chest. She took another deep breath and straightened. She gave Amari a small smile. “I guess you won this time, my friend.” She swallowed and took another deep breath, then walked forward to lean against Amari's flank. “Congratulations.”
Amari reached her neck around and nuzzled Karel's cheek. The girl giggled at the touch. And the unicorn lowered herself to let Karel mount her easier. Karel grabbed a chunk of her mane, and pulled herself up. Amari gave her a little nudge, and once Karel was safely up Amari began walking slowly towards Karel's home.
Amari turned her head and glanced at Karel. “Do you need any more unicorn medicines? I'm sure we can go see Nerem--”
Karel waved a hand, dismissing the offer. “I'm sure it's just a bug. It'll be gone in a couple days.”
Last edited by Pais Charos; July 31st, 2007 at 12:42 PM.
July 31st, 2007, 01:14 AM #5
I like it Pais! you really get a feel of their relationship towards each other. you can see how much of friends they are through how willingly they joke with each other, and how they have something they do on a regular basis.
and then there ish the touch of mystery that makes you want to keep reading with the 'bug' and how Karel doesn't seem like herself, even to those of us who have only known her through the last couple of paragraphs
July 31st, 2007, 01:36 PM #6
I've got a short story I'd love to have some opinions on. It's on this site
CLICK HERE: A WORLD WITHIN
This short story has actually expanded to a full novel now, but this is the original--its been accepted to an upcoming fantasy anthology.
Love to here what you guys think, WAyne.
July 31st, 2007, 02:30 PM #7
********WARNING***** The below contains graphic violence! This is a working prologue to Book one of the Dragon Bearth Chronicles. I need some input. I believe there to be some major issues with it! Hopefully it is not too bad!
A dark, cloaked figure staggered out of the woods holding his profusely bleeding arm. Black blood soaked his entire left arm of the midnight blue cloak he was wearing.
“Nzcafar,” screamed the man and slowly like melting ice his body dissipated within the dark, grimy ground.
“Where are you? Reveal yourself,” screamed a white cloaked older man with a grizzled Santa Claus beard extending down to his waist. In his arms was a 7 inch dagger with silver casting which radiated a glinting light throughout the dark, smoggy air of the region. Dripping from the end of it was finger length droplets of black blood. When the older man heard no response the hems of his white cloak flew up as he threw the dagger upon the ground and began chanting the language of the old, the holiest of all.
“Hos Cuos Ich Favror,
Sckol Nox Ich
Haskah Nox Iard,“
The words of his spell whispered throughout the residing lands of Nagabra, the land of Shadow. Each word gave beauty to a very dark region of the old man’s newly created world. The trees and dirt seemed to tear up from the beauty of the soft and echoing voice of the man. The old man slowly picked his sword up and remaining on the ground was a patch of red flowers containing a glowing of gold white light radiating off of it.
“That is not the first of it,” he spoke as he slowly brought the dagger to his side as he stripped of his white cloak leaving it upon the dark ground. His skinny, frail body consisted of pale yet beautiful clear skin which seemed to show the reflection of the trueness of someone if they were to look upon it. Unlike normal men, this man had no reproductive organs to dispose of waste of, instead in the nether regions of his body was nothing but more of the clear reflective skin.
For this man was no normal man, this man so powerful yet so loving, was called by the name of Boaz Ichi Savolour Latoro, more commonly known by the name Boaz which in Slavig meant one of great power yet which a forgiving and loving heart. His eyes glistened with tears as he lifted the bloodied dagger to his heart chamber. Slowly his eyes closed and out of his mouth came a beautiful humming which would have brought tears to the eyes of any living being.
As the humming continued he slowly scrapped the dagger violently across his heart chamber, scraping away the cartilage. Blood and bones spilled upon the ground as he continued to hum a quicker yet even more beautiful tune. In a matter of time a great mass of spherical shaped gunk consisting of ruby red skin and veins spilled upon the great river of cartilage bone and blood. Boaz slowly, bleeding continuously, grabbed the bloodied dagger out of the great mass of blood and licked it clean as he prepared to start to cut off his left arm.
“With this sacrifice of my arm and the blood of my inners, I will create one in my vision who will have a lovingly relationship with me,” he spoke as he closed his eyes and suddenly the left arm of his fell upon the ground after a violent snap. Blood guzzled like a fountain out of his left arm as the arm of his dissolved within the bloody, bony mess upon the ground. Gracefully, Boaz closed his eyes and suddenly like a snap of lightning, he began humming.
Grass and trees began growing out of the bloody mess, and then the bones transfigured themselves to fish, deer, and many other various creatures. The left over blood formed rivers, oceans, and lakes. Boaz staggered and crawled his way to the great ball of gunk residing in the middle of his newly created land. Clutching the dagger, he slowly cut across the remaining regions of his left arm. Blood spilled from each of the wounds upon the great gunk of flesh. Gold beams of light shot out of the spherical ball as newly added blood spilled upon the ball.
Suddenly the ball shot out a blast of radiating gold light as the ball broke apart revealing a vein, gunk covered organism resembling Boaz. Only difference was within the nether regions of the organism appeared reproductive organs and a pair of pointy ears. The creature not moving seeped huge amounts of gunk upon the newly grassed land. Boaz took himself upon the creature and slowly brought his lips to the creatures.
“You my creation will be called an elf, a creature who will live in harmony with nature and with the one who created you. You are of free at will to enjoy what I have created, but you are not to listen to a certain creature who like a prancing lion will be waiting and offering you all types of awards, do not listen to him, for what I have given to you already is enough for you,” he whispered as he slowly breathed a harsh breath of air into the creature on which he was laying vertically on top of.
As the last few fragments of air were absorbed into the creature, the creature stood up as Boaz staggered off of him. Boaz realizing he forgot something reached his hand into the heart chamber of the creature and took out his heart. Blood gushed everywhere as he held onto the heart of the creature. With the sharpened edge of his knife he cut the heart into two and kept one half while putting the other back into the chamber of the creature. Boaz this time cut off the other arm of his and threw the arm upon the heart and allowed his blood to gush upon both.
Out of the mess revealed a creature similar to the elf but with different reproductive organs, the creature had long brown hair, and fiery red eyes, and was beautiful beyond anything of nature. Boaz quickly took himself upon the creature using the remaining arms he had left and put his lips to hers and breathed a great gush of breath into her. After absorbing the last of his breaths, the creature stood up as Boaz backed away.
“Listen to what I have told the man, also you my pretty are called an elf but one of a different gender, you both are too share your lives with one another, and are to spread the land with your offspring’s which you will left to figure out just how to do that, Goodbye my children, obey my orders , for disobedience will cause withdrawal from this land and a new feeling which I hope you will never experience, “Boaz cried as he flung himself into the life stream, a river which bordered the small newly created land, which was to take him back to his world, a world which for now was held off for him, for he was the creator, the great one, the infinite and the omega.
The two elves looked upon each other with loving eyes; they quickly exchanged the instructions which Boaz had left for them to follow. Excitedly they ran off to the lake to wash off and to learn more about themselves and just what they were capable of. As splashes and laughing were heard, a dark skinned orcish creature with pointy teeth seeping with black blood crawled his way out of the bush. The creature, hunched over, giggled as his reptilian legs and arms slowly transfigured to a creature who looked like Boaz, except the only difference was the eyes, instead of piercing blue eyes, his eyes were blood red, signifying the evil nature of this creature.
What was soon to happen was to change and upset Boaz, for his newly created race and land was soon to drift into darkness. Thanks to the disobedience of both creatures, who were soon kicked out of this land and forced to live out in a new land, a land less beautiful. A land with pain and suffering, with new feelings Boaz hoped either of them would ever experience A darkness which was to last a long time. Luckily Boaz more powerful than the shadow brother of his had a plan, a plan which was to change the entire world. A plan he hoped would help revert the world back to its former grandiose. A plan which would send down upon the land, an elf unlike the others who would experience more pain and suffering than any elf on land, and help to change the course of the world of Asikar forever.
End of Prologue….
A/N:I am so lucky to even have written this out! I am extremely unconfident with my writing skills. I think most of my stuff stinks. I have rewriiten things too many times. Ripped up paper in half. Cried in frustration. Sometimes I feel as though I can't write. I learned that anything is not easy and takes practice. I am in no rush to write now! I'm only seventeen. I have many years to improve!
July 31st, 2007, 05:07 PM #8
Everything takes practice to become accomplished, including writing. I've knocked out four novels now and I'm still trying to learn how to do it well.
I had some trouble following what it is exactly you are trying to say with this passage. I understand the "extremely gorey" way of creating, but it seemed a bit disjointed.
I'm glad God only had to speak...this sounds like a very painful way to create a world!
Don't stop trying to improve yourself. I'm sure, even a bestseller like WAYNE is always trying to improve with each new endeavor.
July 31st, 2007, 06:26 PM #9
Thank you for the tip! there is much more to Boaz, he is not dead, I prob. may since he is a God, make him not bleed. I'm not sure. I am really going for a more different take on creation. I mean, singing things to life (Narnia,The Simmarillion), or speaking things to life have already been done. Also since he is God (well even though he is named Boaz) he does not feel pain, even though he takes on a mortal state. When I reread it, I noticed that you are right it is very disjointed. I hope to rewrite using somewhat of the same ideas in this version. But as you said, I will make it a bit fleshed out and nowhere near as disjointed as this one is! Thanks you for the tips and support! Thank you for being honest! I know it is nowhere near perfect and needs much editing before it is made final
BTW, I hope to read some of your works, the summary of the novel you published sounds awesome, and I really enjoyed your short story!
Last edited by fantastyfreak; July 31st, 2007 at 06:31 PM.
July 31st, 2007, 10:58 PM #10
I'm posting my prologue. The purpose of this particular prologue is to give background info necessary to the story. See what you think:
In the year 1793, in the heart of London outside the Royal Society of Arts
"Get out of here you freak!"
"We don't want your crazy notions here."
"And, you, nigger, get lost! Your kind aren't allowed here."
The voices echoed in the two men's heads as they walked along through the quiet streets. They had been thrown together by circumstances and were loath to break that bond, even new as it was.
"This is where I dwell, my friend," one man said, "but I will walk you to your berth and offer the protection that two bodies provide."
The other smiled, his teeth flashing in the darkening light. "I am most appreciative. You carry not only intelligence beyond your years, but also a stout heart."
The first man was deeply touched by this affirmation from on he considered his peer.
"Yet," the second man continued, "it is I who am privileged to be able to accompany you to your dwelling."
The first man looked up into the bronzed face illuminated by a gas street lamp and noticed, for the first time, the largeness of the man in front of him and the strength he exuded. He chuckled.
"My intelligence fails me when my mind is occupied with other matters. Forgive me, my friend. You can certainly hold your own."
The second man waved his hand, brushing off the apology as inconsequential. "I was quite interested in your dissertation you presented this evening. It is most unfortunate that you were unable to continue."
"Even if I had, others were intent on not letting you listen along with them." The first man shook his head at the state of affairs in London these days. The whole world seemed to be going mad with the demand for more and more factories. Was it only he who saw the yellowed air, the sickly children in the streets, the dying vegetation, and the gleam of the almighty dollar in the bureaucrat's eyes? How could earth sustain itself like this?
He sighed. It was the very reason for his presentation tonight. He had tried to show them alternatives, a cleaner and safer ways to create machines. But of course, they didn't want to hear; they wouldn't heed his warnings.
And they totally shunned his thoughts on the possibilities of voyaging through space and time. Called him a freak and through him out.
"If you would be willing, I would desire to seek more of your counsel in this matter of space travel. I must confess that I am greatly intrigued," the second man said, brushing off his top hat held absently in his hand.
The first man looked up in surprise. "Certainly. I would be honored."
And so began a friendship between Lord Tom Promulous (prodigy, scientist, and inventor) and Candu (freed slave and former tribal prince).
Because of oppression, these two families bonded together. Being convinced in their minds that the earth's demise was imminent, they planned their departure from earth.
Word leaked out of a monstrous machine hidden on the grounds of Lord Promulous's summer estate. The people, scared of what they did not understand, surged into a frenzied mob and sought to destroy his life's work.
Candu forewarned Tom. They gathered their most precious belongings and boarded the Flying Cradle. It was aptly named; the spacecraft housed a wide variety of plant and animal life, Candu and his wife and three daughters, Tom, his wife Bea, and the unborn babe in her womb, and a stowaway-a young street urchin by the name of Wilson.
Thus, 8 people plus one yet unborn journeyed across space into a new galaxy to land on a hospitable planet, Radonner.
August 1st, 2007, 11:34 AM #11
You should see the mess I had made of my first Chronicles of Soone novel: it began in college as just a creative writing story to take my mind away from all the term papers I was having to do at the time--just an escape. I was actually writing a jedi story with my own original characters and then once I had written a great deal, I decided to go for a novel. I changed the star wars theme to an original idea and then proceeded only to go back and change the entire premise once I had nearly finished. I had to all the way back through changing things to the spiritual story I was really wanting to tell. I've grown a great deal as a writer since that novel was published by Breakneck Books and now I have in mind a lot of revisions for that same novel--still trying to make it the best it can be and introduce the allegory that really breaks loose in the second book: Rise of Lucin, from the very beginning of book one...it's just not so obvious in "Heir to the King."
I'm glad it got published, but it needs a lot of work to be what I intend for the series opener to be. So keep going on your work and don't give up. One thing that has helped me in writing is reading the works of others to see good things and bad things as well. Another good practice is to read your own work aloud and see how it "sounds" to you. Sometimes we tend to gloss over our own work omitting our mistakes unconsciously, but we read aloud at a slower pace, so it forces us to pay attention more.
Thanks for the compliment on A World Within. The short story version is only the beginning of this tale. The full novel is nearly finished and it will be a trilogy, Lord willing.
August 5th, 2007, 09:58 AM #12
I wrote this poem for myself and fellow Christian fiction authors. Kevin Lucia had it posted on his old ezine, Dreamscapes and Horizons. I had a short story there also, which I may post later.
A Kind of Writer --
I write of the new worlds
That fill up my daydreams
I weave stories from my
I seek to bring your mind
To a fantastic place
I desire to pull you
Down the road untraveled
I write the essence of
I make them feel real as
They tug at your heart strings
A novel releases
A fresh world of wonder
As the chapters unfold
And the story deepens
There within the drama
Are truths manifesting
They speak to the spirit
And stir the conscience
I now pray to the Lord
His guidance continues
As I write the words that
Prompt inner dialogue
Now, who am I, you ask?
A struggling author
But truly I am this--
A parable writer
Copyright(c)2006 by D. Shane Burton
August 9th, 2007, 12:57 PM #13
very cool poem...I really like that and how true, eh?
August 9th, 2007, 07:23 PM #14
I have a ton of poems and several short stories in a thread on the Third Day forums. If you click on my name, and then click on my public profile, you'll see a link to my website. I have a link to that thread in the box on the left side of my home page. If you then click on the "Creative Arts Corner" forum link above the thread, you'll see I have a few new threads with short stories and poems. My name is ChristChild on that forum.
Please check out my short story in that first thread named Headline: Jesus Dies in Heaven and tell me what you think--and yes, it is a Christian story. It was also posted in Kevin Lucia's old ezine.
I ordered your novel from Amazon the other day. We both write Christian Sci-fi/Fantasy, so I think I'll enjoy it. Wayne's book had a four to six week delay, so I haven't ordered it yet. I'll get it soon though.
Last edited by CoolDog; August 9th, 2007 at 07:27 PM.
August 10th, 2007, 07:17 AM #15
I've been told I'm too critical of it, but it was my first and I've just felt it needed to be brought up to the level I'm currently writing at -- some fine tuning I guess.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.