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Lesson One - Death is not honorable


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#1 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4680

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 06:52 AM

"Every block, every parry, every attack. Be sure to burn each move into your mind." My Master uttered these words to me as we watched from the rooftops. I heeded these words well. A fight between Master-Students. It is as elegant as it is terrifying. Each fighter flowing from one attack to another. Blocking, feinting, and parrying as if it was pure instinct. Seemingly natural movements that could be mistaken for a dance. However, that illusion was broken from time-to-time by the chunks of brick that would fly from their fists and lodge themselves into the surrounding landscape. My Master pointed just left of the fighters and said, "Watch, young one, she will meet that wall soon enough." Thankfully my eyes quickly moved from his finger back to the fight. The two women paused. Then quickly went into a flurry of attacks. One Master-Student dressed in gold and black attacked with a barrage of alternating kicks and knee thrusts. The other Master-Student dressed in blue with a purple outlining attacked with her fists. She attacked so furiously that at times I could not see her forearms and fists. As my Master predicted, the Master-Student dressed in gold and black slammed into the wall with an unrelenting force. To hear her bones crack from the rooftop, made me wince just a little.

Suddenly, from an adjacent rooftop, two men dressed in orange, leapt from the rooftop. Triangle jumping on their way down. After each man landed, they immediately began to survey the area. Each man checked one of Master-Students. After some discussion, both men declared the Master-Student dressed in blue the winner. As the winner, she could choose to let her opponent live or die. Normally in a match, both fighters, regardless of rank, are allowed to live. But since this was a match to determine the next Master of their school, death-matches are allowed. The Master-Student bowed to each man and began to walk away. I started to rise, but my Master signaled me to stay still. Perplexed, I continued to the watch. As the Master-Student who lost began to rise, a sharp whistle broke the silence. Then a loud, but thunderous crack followed. The Master-Student dressed in gold and black also was now dressed in red. Her skull replaced by a sizable chunk of brick.

"Now the match is over. Unfortunately, it had to end like this. Be sure to never cross that woman in the near future." My Master's eyes pierced through me like a rapier. I was not sure whether or not my Master feared this woman or was just trying to instill the understanding of the difference in skill between me and her. But again, I heeded that warning with the utmost seriousness. My Master then signaled for us to leave. As we ventured back to the School, I replayed the fight over and over in my mind. At one point, unconsciously mimicking the moves I was envisioning in my head.

"It seems that the Old Man has finally brought out his Pupil. What do you think about him?"

"At the very least he's obedient and a good observer. Already mimicking the moves with near accuracy. But obviously, he has no real understanding of the nature behind those moves."

"It's a shame what happened to her. She would have won if she had transitioned between her kicks and knee thrusts faster. Well let's clean up."

"If the Old Man wasn't here we wouldn't have to watch the match from 10 buildings away. Lucky bastard. Getting front row seats and having the rank to keep us at bay."

"Obviously his murderous temper is the least of your concerns. Let's go before the sun rises. I'm pretty sure the rats are feasting on her by now."

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#2 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4680

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:16 AM

Well 67 views and no posts like "it sucks", "really bad", or "huh?".

So on to lesson two [smile]

#3 Wai   Members   -  Reputation: 861

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 05:06 PM

Re: The Main Problem

If I am in your target audience, my main problem with your scene is that the situation does not make sense to me enough to care about the story. As an audience, I need to know the following before any break in the presentation:

o The purposes of the schools
o The purpose of fighting besides competing against each other to head the school

I need to know these before any break (before Lesson One ends) because if this scene is a trailer, there isn't enough hook for me to choose to keep reading.

Assuming that the Old Man and the Young One are of a different school, why does the school hosting the fight allow them to watch their own deathmatch, when their school would kill their own people for the sake of selecting a master? Now that they have just killed their second best candidate themselves, wouldn't that make their school more vulnerable? Why not just kill the other school masters, like the Old man and the Young One?




The second problem

Why isn't it interesting enough:

o Because the main character (the young one), has no problem with the situation. Although the situation is violent, he has already accepted it and is willing to train to become more powerful. According to the comments in the dialog at the end, the only thing between him and his goals are his "understanding of the nature behind those moves." But as an audience watching the unrealistic fight, I would assume that these natures are made-up. Therefore this conflict is too weak for me to identify.

Suggestions:

o Show the rewards of becoming the master of the school
o Show another conflict that can be more easily identified.
o If lesson two answers these questions, your presentation should have no break between them. Because your lesson one only has a thematic hook (violence and combat) in my opinion. For me that is not enough and not relevant. If you continue with the other hooks before a break, then I would keep reading as an audience.
o Add something mysterious when all else fail.





Quote:
Well 67 views and no posts like "it sucks", "really bad", or "huh?".


I read it at around 41 view and my reaction was: "Finally more people willing to post something."




Minor Problems

o One word that stood out was 'rapier' in paragraph three. Since the scene reminds me of asian martial art setting, and there is no rapier in that genre and the fighting uses no weapons, it feels rather odd. So it stood out.

o I think the term Master-Student should be replaced by a shorter word.

#4 Oluseyi   Staff Emeritus   -  Reputation: 1670

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 05:08 PM

Huh? It sucks really bad.

[smile]

Seriously, it's not bad. It's context-free, in that we have no idea what the larger world is, and we certainly don't know how this story would work for a game - what sort of game? is this mere backstory for NPCs or direct plot for the player to act out? It's a good start, and I'll be looking to see what you come up with next.

#5 INFINITE LIGHT   Members   -  Reputation: 54

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 03:20 AM

I read it. I was entertained.

#6 Fiddler   Members   -  Reputation: 737

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 03:41 AM

I thought it was ok, although the main character doesn't seem to have much of a personality.:

  • How does he feel seeing a young woman brutally murdered? Is he really indifferent? If so, why?

  • Why is he training there? Choice, circumstance, other?




Also,

Quote:
I started to rise, but my Master signaled me to stay still. Perplexed, I continued to the watch.


Either my parser is wrong or that 'the' is unecessary. :)

#7 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4680

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 08:50 AM

Quote:
Original post by JustOwninDaFINALBOSS
I read it. I was entertained.

Thank you [smile]

Draft of Lesson Two is currently here.

Don't worry I'm not taking only complimentary advice. I've read the advice of others as well and am taking in heavy and serious consideration. Thanks all for responding and please continue to do so. [smile]




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