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Workshop => Review My Work => Topic started by: Brix on April 15, 2008, 05:25:15 PM

Title: Chapter 1, 2 & part of 3. (short chapters) 1,200 words
Post by: Brix on April 15, 2008, 05:25:15 PM
Chapter 1: Through the eyes of a stray

What fires burn within my heart and force me to contend,
with the perils that await me at this tragic journey’s end?
What fear of wound could ever still this last defiant cry,
as I stand against the shadow ‘neath the endless burning sky?

   The dawn was alive with the calls and shouts of morning buyers in the city of Sardic. The sun was only just breaking over the distant horizon of the towering mountains that drew the line between Henron and Gershan, painting the clouds in an array of bright colors.

   Trees blossomed in the city streets, most clustering in a certain pattern at the castle gates and in its large courtyard that seemed to stretch forever. The castle was white, though it was ancient, never had anything been able to stain its pure walls. People would come from every corner of creation to gaze at it. Just the sight of it sent ripples of power down the spine and a wave of calmness through the body as if it were a guardian, watching. It was a castle that even the dragons respected.

   Somewhere in the morning haze, two ears perked up at the voices of the shop keepers, luring in the morning shoppers. Un-noticed, his green eyes were silently watching. Thanatos was nothing more then a stray dog to everyone that passed by him, disregarding that fact that he was even there, half hidden by the shadows of the small alleyway. A few, if they even looked at him, might have been able to tell that he was more then just a mutt with matted down and tangled black fur.

   Across the street, a child slipped an apple into his coat, a morning thief. Casually, he continued on his way, ignored by everyone as he turned the corner to hide in an abandoned alley to eat his stolen food in peace.

   It was a normal day, just like any other; thieves roaming about, taking advantage of the large crowds to steal from unsuspecting travelers, guards standing at every corner half asleep, their armor glinting in the golden sun rays, and shop keepers trading and selling goods. Normal. Everyone except him was normal. Thanatos was used it, it was his life, he had to accept it. Nothing could change what he was.
But the castle didn’t care what he was. It would gaze down at him without judgment and all he could do was stare back at it. Somehow, the white walls that built the stone structure comforted him, told him not to give up, to keep fighting. Almost, to him, it seemed as if it was alive, the pulse ever beating. It was the heart of the city. It could never die.

The thought passed through his mind making his heart skip a beat. For a brief moment panic filled his mind, and he was scared. Slowly, he looked up at the magnificent white heart. What would happen if it were to be destroyed?

Chapter 2: The Fight Begins.
Fading from our thoughts,
we begin to accept
what destiny has chosen for us,
not putting up a fight…

   Money had been bet on the finest fighter, and now, the crowds were gathering to find their seats in the arena to watch the brutality begin. One life would perish in failure while the other would triumph in life; a simple game of life or death.

Beneath the stadium was a maze of hallways that wound every which way, leading to thousands of cells. Inside each barred prison was a soul, sold into a life of fighting, trained to kill, whether they liked it or not.
Astrid’s well-defined muscles tensed as she heard footsteps echoing in the dark, rebounding off the seemingly endless walls. They did not pause, or stop, but drew closer, closer to her and closer to the cell that held her, like an animal.

Her back was pressed against the cold, damp wall, chains biting into the flesh of her wrists and ankles. A smart fighter knew when to submit to a master and when to try to escape. So close to battle, it was foolish to waste energy on an escape and better to save it for the fight. This she had learned from observing the others, both winners and losers.

She let a deep calming breath escape her lips and fill her square prison. The door screeched open, screaming in the silence. She could feel the guard hesitate. He knew that if he made one small mistake, she’d swiftly kill him without a second thought and before he could even blink. His nervousness made Astrid grin. He had every right to be afraid of her. The guard gripped the chains connected to her hands and feet, giving a rough tug. Obediently, she stood up and walked past him into the hallway. Silence, then, they walked. They walked deeper into the darkness, seemingly deeper into the belly of the beast, only the clanging of her chains daring to whisper.

Astrid had walked through grim and narrow passage many times before, always from the same cell, for the same reason. She closed her eyes, letting her feet take her to the final destination.

Only one image filled her mind. Power traveled through her body, and calmness filled her mind. The castle, it was what she gazed at before every match. Her goal was to someday acquire the rank of a knight or skilled assassin for the royal guard. It was her dream; it kept her from giving up. It gave her hope.

She had heard stories from other fighters and opponents about the castle, what was inside, the luxuries it held. Every time, she’d picture what they said.

Her eyes snapped open, her feet had stopped moving. The guard was watching her cautiously, though his site was poor in the darkness. On the other hand, she saw almost clearly. Armor covered his chest, legs, and arms, and a helmet adorned his head, the emblem of the dragon engraved on the front.

The bindings fell first from her ankles then from her wrists. This was where the guard had to trust she was a disciplined fighter. Without chains, she was free to any action she wanted. She could kill him if she really cared.

Astrid had only lost one 1 fight in her entire career...and by the grace of God, she had been allowed to live.

Chapter 3: Light and Sound
The painted clouds sing lullabies,
the voices echoing here and there,
moving silently in the never ending sky,
those moments are rare.

A small cabin hid near the edge of the never ending forest, on top of a hill that overlooked Sardic and its beating white heart. The sun was now high enough to glaze the hills with its golden light and seep through the canopy of the forest to create sequins of that barely broke through the leaves and hit the ground.

Only one person lived in the run down structure that looked as if it had been built ages ago. Vines curled around its logs and long grass lazily grew at the base of it, like the kindling of a fire. 

Alright, so...this is actually a remake of an old story. The old version was completely pointless and retarded. I've changed it around some and I hope it flows a better, at least...I think it does.Mainly, it started out with me just doodling with words. Hope you all like it.

Title: Re: Chapter 1, 2 & part of 3. (short chapters) 1,200 words
Post by: SteveJ on April 15, 2008, 05:40:42 PM
I have to admit, I really dislike fantasy stuff, but I loved this; it's very, very rare for me to like this kind of story, so that's a really big compliment to your writing, Brix. Excellent! :)

Title: Re: Chapter 1, 2 & part of 3. (short chapters) 1,200 words
Post by: PaulW on April 15, 2008, 06:56:19 PM
This is good, I like the imagery, but you're selling it short. You've got a 'certain pattern' - describe it, make it real for me. How do the trees smell? What about the other smells? Animal dung, exotic spices, the stench of urine from the tanners? Can you taste the dust? What is its colour, does it sting your eyes?

You're doing too much telling as well, pick a character (thanatos in the first bit) and use them to show it to me. Show me how it affects them, what reactions it stirs in them. Narration is OK in its place but treat it with caution, it gets boring really quickly. If you can tell it from the character's viewpoint I'll a) bond with them b) get much more than the static description.

Thanatos winced as the bitter smell of freshly-voided Garak-dung overlaid the delicate scent of the petals.

The sentence above sort of gives more information than saying 'the beast shat in the street'. It gives the idea that smell is more important to him than sight or hearing, which would presumably be the case.

There's a couple of typo's, no big deal with them

more then a stray dog
should be 'than' 
Astrid had only lost one 1 fight
remove the 1

Like I say, nothing bad, just needs a light edit. Reading it back it seems a harsh critique - believe me, it isn't, I really enjoyed it. Just a few suggestions about directions it could go in to get more sensory information in. Good stuff.


Title: Re: Chapter 1, 2 & part of 3. (short chapters) 1,200 words
Post by: domenic on April 15, 2008, 07:28:27 PM
I can't add much to what Steve and paul have said. good job.
Title: Re: Chapter 1, 2 & part of 3. (short chapters) 1,200 words
Post by: Don on April 15, 2008, 09:49:56 PM
This is good and could be a lot better.  Watch the spelling that Spell-Check can't pick up, i.e., site instead of sight.  Paul is right.  Stop telling me and show me.  Keep going.