Author Topic: T4B - River Battle - YA Fantasy - 1100 Words. Is it good enough to publish?  (Read 846 times)

Offline marcus redgrave

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Thanks for taking time reading a portion of my piece. Is this river battle (part 1) good enough for you? If not, please tell me what I am missing.

-----------------------------


The gears in Dwendel’s head were turning.  He was trying to figure out a way to save the captain before the fish made a meal out of him.  His adrenalin pumped and his nails began to grow and curl into strong talons.  Like a jaguar, the shade of his eyes turned lime-green.

   “I’ll go and get him!” Dwendel barked, self-confidently. 

   Dwendel reached for the metal chains that Raegon still held in his hands, yanked them out of the solid wooden pole and jumped into the water. Immediately, he paddled his feet and hand upon plunging into the cool Sheldor river, holding on tightly to the chains with his other hand. Even when the fierce splashes pelted on his eyes as he swam, he did not take them off from the helpless captain. 

   The screams erupting from Raegon and Elissa were drowned as the sound of crackling wood rang through the air.  The floating wooden beam was split in two by the Bolbonic Rockfish’s  jagged teeth, ripping the timber apart like shredding a piece of paper.
   
   “Get away from me!” boomed Captain Stithy.

   “Grab hold of this, Caps!” screamed Dwendel, able to catch the captain’s attention as he quickly launched the chain toward him.  This time, the chain landed within the captain’s reach and he grabbed the soaked interlocking steel, wrapping it around his trembling hand.

   With all of his might, Dwendel yanked the chain and hurled the captain toward the raft.  The captain’s mangled body flew in the air and plopped in the water close to the wooden vessel. The captain managed to stay afloat and swam the remaining distance to the raft where Raegon dropped on his knees. He grabbed the captain’s arm and pulled him safely into the raft.

   As soon as the captain was dragged on the wooden vessel, a loud shrilling sound rang in Dwendel’s ears.  He looked over his shoulder and saw the Bolbonic Rockfish showing even more aggression by screeching and splashing the water around it with powerful paddle-shaped fins.  He had angered the river monster by stealing its prey and was now going to pay.

   Dwendel turned and swam as fast as he could when he felt a thrust and a stabbing pain in his leg.  Something had struck him and snatched him from behind.  The Bolbonic Rockfish sent him hurling back to the same spot where Captain Stithy had struggled, just next to the broken wooden beams.

   “On your right, Dwendel!” Elissa bellowed, thrashing her hand.

   The infamous sparkling beady dots that highlighted its black eyes were now emerging from the rippling water, slowly making its way to its prey.

   While keeping himself buoyant in the water, Dwendel raised and effortlessly brandished the steel chains in the air like a rope, whipping it straight toward the lurking creature.  He heard the giant Rockfish shriek when the chains struck its back but it kept on coming.  The chains did not appear to have even nicked the river monster’s scales, truly living up to its name.

   Dwendel prepared for another charge by gripping the four-foot beam and waited for the river monster to advance.

   Less than ten feet away now and the beam clasped securely in his hand, Dwendel swam straight toward the monster’s face.  Out of sheer luck, the monster did exactly what he had anticipated and opened its mouth wide.  The hideous monster’s extensive jaws were at their limit, exposing jagged tooth that dotted the terrifying foul-smelling orifice, ready to tear Dwendel into hundreds of pieces.

   Dwendel swiftly spun the piece of wood around like a baton and rammed it vertically into the river monster’s mouth.  He pulled his hand away an instant before the creature slammed its mouth shut, easily crushing the four-foot beam into splinters of wood.  The plan had not worked!

   Raging in fury, the creature turned and crashed its barbed tail at Dwendel.  Ducking to the left, the monster missed him by a few inches.  Seeing that its prey was not downed, it swung the barbed tail once more, trying to strike Dwendel’s shoulder. 

   Dwendel swam to the right, keeping his arm away from the spiked tail.  And before the creature could launch another attack, he grasped the chain that he was still holding onto and lurked around to the monster’s face.  He threw the chain inside its opened mouth and grabbed the slack of the chain, moving quickly down to the other end.  He began wrapping the end of the chain around his hands while the creature jerked and pulled on the other end.  As strange as it seemed, the giant fish could have easily let the chain slide out of its powerful jaws but it simply did not let go! 

   Dwendel’s intention was to infuriate the creature and his plan had worked well.  It dipped in and out of the water, thrashing its head.  Then it raised its torso so high that this sent Dwendel flying onto its back.  Releasing the chain from his arm, Dwendel stuck one hand into a hole that resembled an ear and moved his other hand around another opening on its opposite side.  With arms outstretched on both ends, Dwendel mounted its head and wrapped his feet around it for balance.

   Every time the fish calmed down for a quick breather, Dwendel would spread his sharp, eagle-like claws and dig deep into its stone-like skin.  Just like the chain’s ineffective assault, his tough sharp nails did no damage to the armored body.  Dwendel even felt that he might have broken a nail off in the process.

   “Use your dagger and poke his eyes!” Raegon shrieked from behind.

   As strange as it seemed, the creature understood the human language.  Dwendel wished that Raegon had never spoken because as soon as the creature heard this, it thrashed its head repeatedly until Dwendel began to slide down its back.

   Then, the giant Rockfish turned and faced the raft.

   Even with the water pelting on Dwendel’s eyes, he peered at his friends’ restless faces.  Captain Stithy still looked appalled as he sat on the bench, shuddering in fear with his hands across his chest.  Elissa was notching an arrow on her bow that she must have kept inside of her enormous saddlebag.  He had not seen that weapon before.  Nevertheless, he cried to not loose the long dart yet because she might hit him instead of the creature.  Besides this, an arrow would prove to be as useless as his razor sharp claws.

   “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” Dwendel drew his breathe from his lungs. 

   Elissa acknowledged him by bringing down the bow and arrow.

   Within a second, the creature snapped its huge head upward, ejecting Dwendel into the brown water like a helpless rag doll.  Dwendel’s body twisted and splashed hard on the water, turning his vision away from his friends on the raft, the endless blue sky and a cluster of trees in the nearby woods.  He realized that he was going to die soon.  While holding his breath in the water, he did the only option that was left.  He pulled out his dagger and pointed its sharp tip at the creature.

   Just then, Dwendel heard and saw something familiar coming from underneath him.  As the Rockfish charged straight at him, a fish-like creature went between his legs.  He impulsively grabbed hold of the Halicant’s long nasal barbell and pulled them toward him. In mounting the giant fish, he locked his feet in a recessed space between her head and neck. Miss Silu had returned to help him once again!

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Thanks for taking time reading a portion of my piece. Is this river battle (part 1) good enough for you? If not, please tell me what I am missing.

-----------------------------


The gears in Dwendel’s head were turning.  He was trying to figure out a way to save the captain before the fish made a meal out of him.  His adrenalin pumped and his nails began to grow and curl into strong talons.  Like a jaguar, the shade of his eyes turned lime-green.

It might just be me, but "gears" just doesn't do it for me when referring to someone thinking. Perhaps, if you really like the word, consider changing it to "high gear." That would require restructuring the sentence into something like " Dwendel's mind switched into high gear? or something along that line.

   “I’ll go and get him!” Dwendel barked, self-confidently. 

   Dwendel reached for the metal chains that Raegon still If this is part One of the story, the reader would not know that Raegon "still held" the chain since, as the reader, I haven't met him yet. held in his hands, yanked them Chain is singular - them is plural. out of the solid wooden pole and jumped into the water. Immediately,"Immediately" would be understood unless his aim was to sink. color] he paddled his feet and hand upon plunging into the cool Sheldor river, holding on tightly to the chains with his other hand. Even when the fierce splashes pelted on his eyes as he swam, he did not take them off from the helpless captain. 


That's all I'm going to attempt for now because I believe if you printed this out and read it aloud to yourself, you would catch many of the same things I noticed.

But you have captured my interest in your characters and their world. And, if things were reworked and improved, I would like to read more. 
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The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

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Offline marcus redgrave

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Thank you Country4Gal. I've seriously considered your ideas and applied most of your great suggestions. The only thing I dropped was my description and your comment about the "gears" as this does not really reflect the era I wanted to depict in my story. I replaced it with something else instead. I also tried to restructure and rewrite some sections of this piece. I hope that it reads better now than the original version.

Thanks also to those who took some time reading my post.

Here's the 2nd draft...
-------------------------

Dwendel’s head throbbed as though a ticking bomb lodged behind his eyes was about to explode. He thought of a way to save the captain before the fish made a meal out of him.  His adrenalin pumped and his nails began to grow and curl into strong talons.  Like a jaguar, the shade of his eyes turned lime-green.

   “I’ll get him!” Dwendel barked, self-confidently.  

   Raegon turned to face Dwendel when the metal chains in his hands were yanked away.  Dwendel took the chains and jumped into the Sheldor river. Even when the fierce splashes pelted on his eyes as he swam, he paddled his feet and hand frenziedly and did not take his eyes off from the helpless captain.  

   The screams erupting from Raegon and Elissa were drowned as the sound of crackling wood rang through the air.  The floating wooden beam was split in two by the Bolbonic Rockfish’s  jagged teeth, ripping the timber apart like shredding a piece of paper.
  
   “Get away from me!” boomed Captain Stithy.

   “Grab hold of this, Caps!” screamed Dwendel, able to catch the captain’s attention as he quickly launched the chain toward him.  This time, the chain landed within the captain’s reach. The disorientated captain grabbed the interlocking steel, wrapping it around his trembling hand.

   Drawing in a deep breath, Dwendel yanked the chain and hurled the captain toward the raft.  The captain’s mangled body flew in the air and plopped in the water close to the wooden vessel. The captain managed to stay afloat and swam the remaining distance to the raft where Raegon awaited anxiously for his return. Dwendel saw Raegon grabbed the captain’s arm, pulling him safely into the raft.

   As soon as the captain was dragged on the wooden vessel, a loud shrilling sound rang in Dwendel’s ears.  He looked over his shoulder and saw the Bolbonic Rockfish showing even more aggression by screeching and splashing the water around it with powerful paddle-shaped fins.  He had angered the river monster by stealing its prey and was now going to pay.

   Dwendel turned and swam as fast as he could when he felt a thrust and a stabbing pain in his leg.  Something had struck him and snatched him from behind.  The Bolbonic Rockfish sent him hurling back to the same spot where Captain Stithy had struggled, just next to the broken wooden beams.

   “On your right, Dwendel!” Elissa bellowed, thrashing her hand.

   The infamous sparkling beady dots that highlighted its black eyes were now emerging from the rippling water, slowly making its way to its prey.

   While keeping himself buoyant in the water, Dwendel raised and effortlessly brandished the steel chains in the air like a rope, whipping it straight toward the lurking creature.  He heard the giant Rockfish shriek when the chains struck its back but it kept on coming.  The chains did not appear to have even nicked the river monster’s armor-like scales, truly living up to its name.

   Dwendel prepared for another charge by gripping the floating four-foot beam and waited for the river monster to advance.

   Less than ten feet away now and the wooden beam clasped securely in his hand, Dwendel swam straight toward the monster’s face.  Out of sheer luck, the monster did exactly what he had anticipated and opened its mouth wide.  The hideous monster’s extensive jaws were at their limit, exposing jagged tooth that dotted the terrifying foul-smelling orifice, ready to tear Dwendel into hundreds of pieces.

   Dwendel swiftly spun the piece of wood around like a baton and rammed it vertically into the river monster’s mouth.  He pulled his hand away an instant before the creature slammed its mouth shut, easily crushing the four-foot beam into splinters of wood.  The plan had not worked!

   Raging in fury, the creature turned and crashed its barbed tail at Dwendel.  Ducking to the left, the monster missed him by a few inches.  Seeing that its prey was not downed, it swung the barbed tail once more, trying to strike Dwendel’s shoulder.  

   Dwendel swam to the right, keeping his arm away from the spiked tail.  And before the creature could launch another attack, he grasped the chain that he was still holding onto and lurked around to the monster’s face.  He threw the chain inside its opened mouth and grabbed the slack of the chain, moving quickly down to the other end.  He began wrapping the end of the chain around his hands while the creature jerked and pulled.  As strange as it seemed, the giant fish could have easily let the chain slide out of its powerful jaw but it simply did not let go!  

   Dwendel’s intention was to infuriate the creature and this time, his plan had worked well.  It dipped in and out of the water, thrashing its head.  Then it raised its torso so high that this sent Dwendel flying onto its back.  Releasing the chain from his arm, Dwendel stuck one hand into a hole that resembled an ear and moved his other hand around another opening on its opposite side.  With arms outstretched on both ends, Dwendel mounted the back of its head and wrapped his feet around it for balance.

   Every time the fish calmed down for a quick breather, Dwendel would spread his sharp, eagle-like claws and dig deep into its stone-like skin.  Just like the chain’s ineffective assault, his tough sharp nails did no damage to the armored body.  Dwendel even felt that he might have broken a nail off in the process.

   “Use your dagger and poke his eyes!” Raegon shrieked from behind.

   As strange as it seemed, the creature understood the human language.  Dwendel wished that Raegon had never spoken because as soon as the creature heard this, it thrashed its head repeatedly until Dwendel began to slide down its back.

   Then, the giant Rockfish turned and faced the raft.

   Even with the water pelting on Dwendel’s eyes, he peered at his friends’ restless faces.  Captain Stithy still looked appalled as he sat on the bench, shuddering in fear with his hands across his chest.  Elissa was notching an arrow on her bow that she must have kept inside of her enormous saddlebag.  He had not seen that weapon before.  Nevertheless, he cried to not loose the long dart yet because she might hit him instead of the creature.  Besides this, an arrow would prove to be as useless as his razor sharp claws.

   “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” Dwendel drew his breathe from his lungs.  

   Elissa acknowledged him by bringing down the bow and arrow.

   Within a second, the creature snapped its huge head upward, ejecting Dwendel into the brown water like a helpless rag doll.  Dwendel’s body twisted and splashed hard on the water, turning his vision away from his friends on the raft, the endless blue sky and a cluster of trees in the nearby woods.  He realized that he was going to die soon.  While holding his breath in the water, he did the only option that was left.  He pulled out his dagger and pointed its sharp tip at the creature.

   Just then, Dwendel heard and saw something familiar coming from underneath him.  As the vicious Rockfish charged straight at him, a familiar looking giant fish went between his legs.  He impulsively grabbed hold of the Halicant’s long nasal barbell and pulled them toward him. In mounting the friend fish, he locked his feet in a recessed space between her head and neck. Miss Silu had returned to help him once again!


« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 12:54:08 AM by marcus redgrave »

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Quote
Dwendel’s head throbbed as though a ticking bomb lodged behind his eyes was about to explode.

I like this much better than 'gears.'  ;)

I'll try to get back and read the rest of it later. My head is feeling a little foggy just now.
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi