Author Topic: The Assassin and The Lord - assassin involves her friend - Please Comment  (Read 3709 times)

Offline Writers Block

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Previous posts relating to same story if any wish to clarify anything:

Dialogue - http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=2898.0
Fight Scene - http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=2818.0
Opening chapter - http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=2728.0

Patience a Lady and part-time assassin tells her friend 'Amelia' what she does, and goes on to describe how she started it(which will appear in a later post).  She is currently taking them to a more private area for their discussion.

Amelia (friend) opens the conversation - I state this to clarify.  Whats happens before should make that obvious to the reader though.

I avoid having she said and its variants on every line of dialogue - they detract from the dialogue if used constantly - dialogue is very good at moving a story forward.


“Where are we going?”

“The Folly my Father had built.  It is private and easy to see anyone approaching.”

“Ah Spendeer, please arrange some refreshment for Miss Swordright and myself.”

“Certainly Miss,” he responded.  His distinguished, impassive demeanour, gave no indication of the unusualness of the request.

They made their way to the library, then out to the garden and trekked over to the Folly.

“I am sorry it's a bit of a mess.  No one comes here anymore,” Patience looked around in surprise.  “I think I need to make sure the servants keep it cleaned.  It seems to have been neglected since Father died,” she finished on a rather sombre note.

“Don't worry,” Amelia regarded her friend compassionately.  “These things happen.”

Patience smiled rather wistfully, before gather herself together.  “I miss him,” she said, simply.  “This may seem like a strange request, but the are people who can discern what a person says from watching their lips move.  It isn't a common skill, but we need to guard against it.  So, when we are talking we must face each other or obstruct our mouths.  Impolite I know,” smiled Patience.

“Well, you have now thoroughly managed to peak my curiosity.  Do please explain,” she begged.

“You remarked last night I seemed to be unavailable quite often?”  Amelia nodded.  “The reason is that I have become an assassin.  Before you run off in terror,” Patience quickly added.  “There is a reason, well two as it happens, for this.”

Amelia calmed down, she realised that Patience would never harm her, quite the contrary.  “And,” she prompted?  Patience said nothing, just indicated the approaching maid.

The maid stepped into the folly with a tea tray; including some warm muffins and Cook's delicious Malliere cake – a delicate fortified wine, recently imported from Malliere where it was made.

“Thank you Seddy, we can serve ourselves.”

“Certainly Miss,” Seddy bobbed a little curtsey and left.

Patience poured tea.  Both then helped themselves to warm muffins; liberally spread with freshly churned butter and delicious strawberry jam.

“We must do this again,” complemented Amelia, sucking Jam from her fingers.

“Indeed.”  Patience continued, “I believe we will, it is for the moment a private area for us to discuss matters.”

Amelia rolled her eyes in exasperation. “I meant the muffins.  Delicious.”  She then noticed that Patience was smirking at her.  “Pah, or should I say touché?”

“I was bored,” Patience deliberately allowed Amelia to misunderstand for a moment, before continuing.  “But more importantly, I was bored of being busy doing nothing.  I wanted to do something useful.  One day I dressed in some old clothes - I found them in the attic, perhaps father's when he was younger -  and went exploring until...”

After this is a flashback - I could have done a prologue, but I prefer to avoid them.  The '...'are used to indicate there is more -  a kind of continuation.  Whilst Patience is telling what happened to Amelia - the flashback will be written in the present tense which is better I think; as one gets dialogue etc.  I will post more when I've written it ;D  Been stuck on it! :(

The reason I metioned it is how many people have prologues, I've commented on the possibility of considering other methods.  I suppose the reason I don't like prologues (and to some extent epilogues) is that they seem less a part of the story - at least to me.

Edit: Already modified the final paragraph slightly.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2006, 06:03:53 AM by Writers Block »
I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline Writers Block

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OK,

Whilst I like critiqing others work - it's helpful to me - and I have been doing often.

The effort involved in doing a good feedback is considerable.

For some reason, many posters are quick to post for comments, but slow to add theirs to others work.

I don't like doing this as I am against mutual aggrandisement: But if you havn't critiqued my work, I wont critique yours.

Some may feel that you don't feel like commenting, after all it's not compulsory, nor do you like being 'blackmailed'.  I can agree completely and sympathise.  If nothing changes, well no matter, I posted this piece and got no comments anyway.

I don't know how others feel, but if you don't like what I have written, then I have no problem with someone saying 'it's poor', 'dont like it' - whatever - it's better than wondering why people read it, but consistently don't comment.

Am I bitter? Yes.  But I hate hot weather, makes me very tired and bad tempered.

I suppose I see people joining, and their first post is in the welcome section, their second is an article.  I actually read others, and offered some feedback before posting - thinking I would be polite.  Well as you see from my post, polite is out the window. >:(


If I get booted from the forum? /shrug

I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline Foxy

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Writers Block, you do seem to have been ignored on this post, so I will give you some feedback. I have read the comments that you have given to others on this forum, and it has all been well considered, constructive, and useful feedback. You come across as a man who knows what he is talking about, and therein may lie your reason for lack of feedback on this piece. A lot of the writers on here are newcomers to creative writing, and so may not feel qualified to comment on the work of a man who clearly knows his stuff...Then again, they may all be a bunch of ingrates...just kidding everyone.

Ok, this reads well, and is obviously the work of someone who can write. The dialogue is excellent and has a real sense of period. My only criticism of the dialogue is in the use of tags such as: he responded, she begged, complemented Amelia, etc. They interrupt the flow of the writing and sound unnatural. Personally I try to avoid dialogue tags wherever possible and stick with the he said/she said variety when I have to use them...but hey, that's just my preference.

Here are some things that I would change, and some typos I noticed:

“I miss him,” she said, simply. I'd delete the adverb, "I miss him" is a simple statement, so it doesn't need modifying.

“This may seem like a strange request, but the are people..." should be there.

Impolite I know,” smiled Patience. Do people smile speech? This one really leaped out at me, and, in my opinion, would be better as, Patience said smiling.

“Well, you have now thoroughly managed to peak my curiosity..." should be pique.

“And,” she prompted? The question mark should be after the "And", and when it is you could delete the "she prompted" because "And?" clearly is a prompt.

“Indeed.”  Patience continued, “I believe we will..." no real need for a dialogue tag here as we've just been told it was Amelia who spoke the line before, so this must be Patience talking, and it interrupts the flow of the dialogue.

Ok, all very nit picky, I know, but as you are very thorough with your feedback I thought I would try to do the same for you. I just hope this is of some use to you. Like I said at the start, this piece reads well, but what I forgot to say was, I enjoyed reading it. ;)


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Offline Writers Block

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Hey,

Thanks for your comments, always nice to receive feedback.  I agree with what you say, and I expect I will change most if not all you have suggested.

I agree I try to avoid tags where possible, but I also try to add variety, always a problem.

Quote
Impolite I know,” smiled Patience. Do people smile speech? This one really leaped out at me, and, in my opinion, would be better as, Patience said smiling.
- not sure I agree with you exactly here, I know what you mean, but it is possible to hear smiles when on the phone.  And it is certainly possible to hear the absence too. ;D

Once again, thanks.

Of course critquing is about writing, or at least thats only part of it, our main concern is how it reads, everyone on this website is likely to be experienced readers:)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 02:45:17 PM by Writers Block »
I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline writerfox

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Every time you add something new to your wonderful story, I never get the update.  Anyway, I like how it is progressing.  Flashbacks are a tricky thing at times, so i hope that yours works out.  I often have to remind myself that our spelling of words differs, as we are from different parts of the world.  Ex:  I say 'somber,' you say 'sombre.'  Other than that, I like this little tidbit of story, and await more.  I have gotten the go-ahead on mine, so be on the lookout for the next few days.

Offline Doug

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Writers Block,
you have commented on my posting often and I do appreciate it.  :)

We differ in the use of prologues and epilogues. I like them because I can give background/historical information more easily than fitting it into the dialog using flashbacks etc. Hopefully, as I gain skill in writing, this will not be as big a problem for me as it is now.

I very much enjoy your writing. I would have commented earlier but 4th of July holiday is a big family affair and I was really busy.

You have a easy style of writing that (for me) is easy to follow and stay with. I like storys that are easy to keep in mind when I'm not reading, so when I come back to it I remember what was happening without going back a few pages. I think that has to do with the interest level you generate throughout the dialog.

Keep Writing, I'll follow. :)
Doug

Offline Writers Block

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Hey Doug,

Happy 4th, we don't celibrate it here, think it was when you guys finally saw the light and booted us out.  Although restaurants will sometimes do events, so we know it exists. ;D

Thank you for your comments, always appreciated.

I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline wtbay

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Foxy wrote:  Writers Block, you do seem to have been ignored on this post, so I will give you some feedback. I have read the comments that you have given to others on this forum, and it has all been well considered, constructive, and useful feedback. You come across as a man who knows what he is talking about, and therein may lie your reason for lack of feedback on this piece. A lot of the writers on here are newcomers to creative writing, and so may not feel qualified to comment on the work of a man who clearly knows his stuff...

This is all very true.  Being a novice, I do not feel particularly qualified to critique your work.  But I can give you some feedback.  I do not love this segment.  It's okay but it felt a bit tedious to me.  Then again I do not read a lot of period pieces and they do have a bunch of social customs and rituals and language that I find a bit tedious.   I am not sure what you are going for here entirely.  For a flshback it seems a bit long to me. ( Some back but not alot of flash)   If you want to delve into the reasons why Pateince became an assasin, couldn't she do it better by reminiscing while looking for something in that old trunk of her father's posessions?  Or if she does share it with her best friend, couldn't it be done in fits and spurts with more excitement thown in?  Shouldn;t her friend at least lose her breath or faint or spill something and send the servants dashing?  I just felt it didn;t fit with the jammy finger sucking and muffins conversation.  This is a shocking revelation - - her friend should swoon or need to be consoled / reassured / convinced that Patience is not mad or evil or a mercenary but is some sort of heroine hopefully.  Just my opinion of course!  You're a very talented writer so I am sure you will be able to spice this up.   Anyway, you asked for feedback so  :)


Offline Writers Block

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Great

Just what I'm looking for, a readers perspective.  After all that is where it's heading, I hope. ;D

Now to look at ways on enhancing the dialogue.  The dialogue itself isn't the flashback, that comes next.  But your points are equally valid.

Quote
her friend should swoon or need to be consoled / reassured / convinced that Patience is not mad or evil or a mercenary but is some sort of heroine hopefull

good point, however it is a little sterotypical for us to expect women of the day to faint/swoon, or otherwise be melodramatic - there are those that did, and to be honest the clothes (corsets) could contribute to this.  The fact that sections of society did so little - even less than the most sedentary of us these days - that their bodies simply reacted spontaneously.  It is a fantasy piece, yet set in a world not unlike the period you perceived.  Pity I didn't provide more info, practice what I preach, so to speak.

Quote
This is all very true.  Being a novice, I do not feel particularly qualified to critique your work
- you may be a novice wruter, but I expect you are an experienced reader. ;D

Thank you

I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline jordanofengland

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I am by no means a big period piece reader, but I do read a fair amount. I quite enjoyed this, it seemed to flow quite nicely. I can't really criticise the content because as I said, this isn't the genre I would usually read so I think I would be biased agains it. The only comment I have towards content is, if my friend told me she was an assassin, I would have quite a few questions, possibly a bit of disbelief. I don't think I would accept it quite as quickly as your character has. But then you never know how exciting her life is do you, her dad may be an operative for the government and she herself might be a stunt horse rider. My life is quite dull, so an assassin friend would be quite big news.

Well, there's my 2 cents, or pennies as it is.

Jordy
I bought some powdered water, but I don't know 
what to add to it. - Sums up life quite nicely.

wizard7wolf

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Let me first say that I'm in no position to nitpick your work because I don't really know much about the proper way to write like sentence structure or any of that stuff but I will tell what I like and don't like ok?

What I like is your thinking about having 'she said' after every line. I also think that it sometimes takes away from what’s being said. But every now and again you need to be reminded of who's talking and you have done just that.

The bit where you said: Patience smiled rather wistfully, before gather herself together.
I don't get that??

I’ve never heard of a Lady and part-time assassin it sounds a bit strange but all the more intriguing

I don't know if that was helpful but there you go eh

wizard7wolf

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Ps. I think jordanofengland has a point

Offline Writers Block

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I am by no means a big period piece reader, but I do read a fair amount. I quite enjoyed this, it seemed to flow quite nicely. I can't really criticise the content because as I said, this isn't the genre I would usually read so I think I would be biased agains it. The only comment I have towards content is, if my friend told me she was an assassin, I would have quite a few questions, possibly a bit of disbelief. I don't think I would accept it quite as quickly as your character has. But then you never know how exciting her life is do you, her dad may be an operative for the government and she herself might be a stunt horse rider. My life is quite dull, so an assassin friend would be quite big news.

Well, there's my 2 cents, or pennies as it is.

Jordy

Intersting point, think I'll have to work the believeability - my feelings are that believeability is the most important aspect of a story.  It's fantasy as well as anything else that runs through the story, don't know if that makes a different to your comments.

@wizard7wolf

Appreciate your comments, will check for how easy it is to follow the speakers, and remain aware of who is who.

I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline Karayana

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Going on the believability point as it is the only thing that really struck me..... I felt that there wasn't enough build up to Patience saying that she was an assasin. Then once it was out Amelia was a bit of a let down. I haven't read any other parts of this story yet and so the above things may feel better if it was read as a whole with more knowledge of the characters. Apart from that I could see the scene, and hear the dialogue fine.  :)
"Boredom is the greatest enemy of both reader and writer."
Sol Stein.

Offline Lysianassa

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I found this piece very easy to read, apart from a couple of lines that needed picking at (as Foxy stated), it flowed quite naturally.
My head is longer my own - I am furious. When will my torment end?... If anybody is frustrated or unhappy in this lycee, it is me! They will make me lose my head  - Jean-Francois Champolloin