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The Last Verse


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#1 Orsony   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 03:16 AM


THE LAST VERSE
Super-abridged version.

TLV is the story of two brothers, born and bred in a dieing city with a seemingly perpetual winter. They abandon the safety of an orphans life, and delve into the violence of the streets and a life of teenage criminals.

While these kids fight and bleed their way through adolescence, their society falls to pieces. Those in control have divided the city between the privileged and those in poverty, and the city suffers. Ideals inherited from an ancient world are bringing the city to it's knees, and the two boys rise up to fight what is.

All the while, a demon from the past emerges in the heart of the land. Ancient technology and knowledge long forgotten are harnessed again, and a war of worlds and ideals erupts.

Abandoned children to champions, the brothers fight to save a world that would've left them for dead.



The story is set some 10'000 years in the future. Our world was taken over by a fundamentalist dictator :wink:, and was destroyed by a supernatural cataclysm a few decades later.

Skip 9'000 years forward.


In the ruins of the greatest of the destroyed humans' (whom I'll call the 'First') cities, a new race is created. This new race has an unexplained power over nature, and for the first generation of their race, they thrive in a completely new society. Though over time, they begin to harness artifacts from the age of the First. Their society is influenced deeply, and it splits them apart and drives them to a war.

As the war intensifies, they begin to lose their powers over nature. At the height of the battle, a force of immeasurable power appears on the battlefield. With a tremendous show of supernatural might, the mysterious force cowers the humans. It then warns them of the fate of the ancient world, and how close they are to the same fate.

The new humans having learnt their lesson, lay down their arms and agree to disagree. They split apart and wander and settle across the world. With their peace and abandonment of the First's ruined city, their powers begin to return. Though the influence the First's artifacts had on them is irreversible, and forms their culture for centuries to come.

Say the war ended 100 years after their creation. Skip 870 years forward...
Current world! 970th year.


The race of humans has split into three regions. One of the natural powers (Fire, wind and water) is primarily recognized in each. The influence of the First's is greater than ever, and some societies are dieing. The story focuses on people from the Fire region, and their capital city which is suffering from the idea of social eminence.





Edited by Orsony, 28 June 2011 - 06:17 AM.


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#2 Zethariel   Members   -  Reputation: 310

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 03:34 AM

The story was quite interesting. I do have a few questions/points:

1. What actually made people created by Forn drop their weapons and weep? The scene didn't seem dramatical at all -- "and upon witnessing such a power" is not defined. In the Bible God shook the earth while Jesus was being crucified and on the verge of death. Then he rose from the dead. That is a proper display of power that allowed for a civilization to worship a god for centuries. Unless the miracle was intentionally weak (so the civilization drops dead after a millenium, as stated later) I find this a weak point. Maybe you should describe the actions he took, apart from saying "You are blessed" and vanishing for no rason whatsoever.

2. Wouldn't it be kind of reckless for an almighty entity to actually leave such rubble behind and go on vacation? And why give a newborn race such immense powers over his own sons? IMO Forn was asking for it.

3. I was interested where the whole thing with Gabriel was going. And then it stopped. Maybe you should add a description of people actually trying to prevent the cataclysm? If the catastrophy wasn't snap-your-fingers fast, they would rather have at least some of their population packed onto shuttles, submarines, ships and whatnot to survive.

4. As a responsible God I would at least tell the new beings "See those ruins? You make trouble and it's your graves". Before each cataclysm there was at least one prophet who claimed to be contacted by God or another entity that humanity should repent. Unless Forn and his sons are ruthless (which is kind of to my liking) they would act with more caution and love towards their creation.




Disclaimer: Each my post is intended as an attempt of helping and/or brining some meaningfull insight to the topic at hand. Due to my nature, my good intentions will not always be plainly visible. I apologise in advance and assure I mean no harm and do not intend to insult anyone, unless stated otherwise

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#3 Durakken   Members   -  Reputation: 502

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 04:14 AM

Your message from the back story is confused at best and saying this isn't the real world, just very similar, and the reason it's different is cuz it's set in the past makes you, yourself sound confused as well.

So first thing I'd say is just set it on Earth and say this happens in the future. Our civ falls because rampant christian dominionism... thousands of years pass and your story continues.

synthetic organism that would become the image of the Archangel, Gabriel.




#1 Most scientists that could do this wouldn't
#2 Those scientists that would do this couldn't
#3 It's called genetically engineering and it would require the child to grow up educated very specifically and likely be abused to such a degree to get the kid to believe he's an actual angel



The story goes, as per what the characters in-game have heard, that the three sons of the Giant of life (Forn) had grown angry at the humans indulgence and growing abandonment of balance, among other reasons. Not to mention their social regression, in that instead of forgetting the gods and justifying all things natural with their science, they had turned to a faith created to control and in turn devolve the race so lovingly crafted by Forn.




This says that theists are technically right... and god destroyed them for being right. That makes your god evil.



the later generations of this new race began to delve into the mysterious of the ancients, and began to learn of and harness the old technology and knowledge, which they deemed more efficient, smarter, easier, etc. They became corrupted by the old world, and among the technology they found weaponry.




#1 This contradicts the previous quote. Technology is not "corrupted" by itself and this god likes beings that try to advance their knowledge so he would see this as a good thing
#2 this implies that science and technology are "corrupt" somehow and that it has some sort of cooties that gets all over the pure ignorant being...again in direct opposition of the opening ideas.






basically what I see is


This is not the real world...but it is
Religion is bad but right!
Science is bad!
Technology is bad!
We have magic...but lost it because we forgot about it cuz technology!


That is one big ball of crazy confused messaging.




Also I'm not sure you need to go in that deep at all...


Humanity was destroyed by Forn for losing site of progress
A new race rose in place of the greatest of the fallen cities of man
They for a time were taught by Forn and his children in the ways of magic
But one day ancient weapons were found and the new race began warring with itself
As time passed the ways of magic were lost but to a few and history faded to legend
Forn angered at this showed his power
The warring stopped, they'd realized their mistake.
They put aside their weapons and built great cities to worship each of the sons of Forn
Millenia passed and all fell into legend once more


There, now you can tell your story with all the background set with no contradicting messages ^.^

#4 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 04:18 AM

What you've done is puke out a bunch of stuff, and that's what I do, and what I usually do at this point is look at and ask, "What does this MEAN?"

So let's do that!

The #1 thing jumping out at me is the cycle of decay and refresh that Thomas Jefferson and the founders talked about that inspired the right to bear arms. It'sabout the tendencies of societies to break down into corruption. We always have these revolutions and then they just fall apart, things go back the way they were. Russia does this over and over again, for example. They throw out one class of sociopathic autocrats to usher in another.

Your piece paints a picture of humans as something like Windows 98. Its state grows fucked more and more, little by little, until it has to be rebooted and sometimes even wiped clean and reinstalled.

I'll pitch some questions at you.

1) Does that sound like something you'd say about humans?

2) Are there three sons because you felt like having a Numbered Blanks of Blank? I would see if I could rewrite this so that it's just Forn, or some kind of second individual (a "devil"? a divine punisher?) performing destruction. Furthermore, if they don't have some purpose as individuals, I would eliminate them altogether.

Once you've more clearly fleshed out your story it may be the case that many things you've written are vestigial. But that's OK because you can be a pro and pros delete stuff.

3) Do they worship these transcendent individuals? Are they gods in the eyes of man?

I'd recommend Robert Ellwood's Introducing Religion. It is a small book but it is dense.

A main point I'd like to bring up though is the worship of gods as a response to emotional needs. Religion is a social act; people try to cultivate socialish relationships with gods. They "talk" to gods, and its social role in ratifying the social conventions we have, to imbue them with meaning, is key.

A side effect of this is that religions can die when societies change, and one thing that radically changes social structures is technology. It changes how you produce things, and a lot of social conventions and lifestyles stem from how we produce.

Process that in the context of your story and see if you come up with anything.

4) "if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

5) Why orphans? Could this decay cycle be expressed at the individual level? Could they have grown up in wealth? Is the gang they join decaying too?

Final note. Try a lot less to draw on other genre works and try to look at the things they drew on. Philosophers, statesmen, etc. Real life history.

Asking what it's really about, is about writing something with passion because it means something to you. Regurgitating superficialities from other works is how to become the moron who wrote the "nine pieces of eight" plotline in those half-baked Pirates of the word I can't remember how to spell sequels.

#5 Orsony   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 04:50 AM

Great criticism, big eye-opener. I'll write down all your questions and post them answered, essay style.

#6 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 04:51 AM

Just to be clear, my questions are largely rhetorical. I'm less interested in getting clear answers about what you've made than in giving you something to think about while you work your story.

#7 Orsony   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 05:45 AM

Just to be clear, my questions are largely rhetorical. I'm less interested in getting clear answers about what you've made than in giving you something to think about while you work your story.


I'm going to have to answer them if i want to improve what I've written :P

#8 Orsony   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 07:37 AM

Sorry if it got a little confusing.

Here's some explanations/thoughts:

Could it be possible that the Angel is just a complicated machine, with an even more complicated AI.
Built with the technology of the ancient world, with an created mind, memories and emotion. Perhaps the Angels understanding of these things is completely different to the average humans, and much less complex, but the execution is enhanced to seem real. That's a way i can justify it.

The humans that were destroyed lived in an age of technology, say 50 years ahead of our own, and the current story is based roughly 10 thousand years later. The whole idea is based in a fictional universe.

Forn didn't destroy the human race, his sons did. Forn saw that they were stagnating as a race but could not bring himself to kill what he had created. His sons were not so kind, and they destroyed them with all their might. Think volcano eruptions, earthquakes, tidal waves, storms, tornadoes. Maybe it was a more personal eradication, where they reaped destruction by distorting the laws of nature. Perhaps this distortion of the laws of nature paved the way for the new race to harness the powers of the Sons of Forn.

The first generation of the new race was taught by Forn that balance was essential to progression as a race, and that happiness and safety always needed to be equalized by pain and suffering. It is a bit superficial.

Lets say they they find all these objects from the old world. Some that still manage to function. Guns, wheels, toasters, etc. They find all this knowledge that gives them immediate ease of living, without the cost of suffering to aquire it. Wouldn't there be a negative social effect that accompanied being given everything for free?
I'm fairly simple minded so this is hard to process or explain, but isn't free time so much sweeter when you've been working your ass off all day? I do feel moved by the idea of a thriving society, overcoming any obstacles with the virtues they learned through good hard work. I also feel moved by the tragedy of them being influenced by the modern world.

A main point I'd like to bring up though is the worship of gods as a response to emotional needs. Religion is a social act; people try to cultivate socialish relationships with gods. They "talk" to gods, and its social role in ratifying the social conventions we have, to imbue them with meaning, is key.

A side effect of this is that religions can die when societies change, and one thing that radically changes social structures is technology. It changes how you produce things, and a lot of social conventions and lifestyles stem from how we produce.

Process that in the context of your story and see if you come up with anything.


I thought about this, and what meaning the Sons of Logi would have to the new race. I suppose Logi, Kari and Ogir might be simply the mythical embodiments of the compounds. Perhaps they're just created to explain the powers the humans have. Like the lore about the ancient race and Forn is created by the new race, as a means to explain the history of the world.

Humanity was destroyed by Forn for losing site of progress
A new race rose in place of the greatest of the fallen cities of man
They for a time were taught by Forn and his children in the ways of magic
But one day ancient weapons were found and the new race began warring with itself
As time passed the ways of magic were lost but to a few and history faded to legend
Forn angered at this showed his power
The warring stopped, they'd realized their mistake.
They put aside their weapons and built great cities to worship each of the sons of Forn
Millenia passed and all fell into legend once more


I don't think I would've ever summed it up this well.

These are what explanations i can come up with for the present, will continue tomorrow.

Feedback welcomed and appreciated.

#9 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:24 AM

"Could it be possible that the Angel is just a complicated machine ... whole idea is a fictional universe"

Always err on the side of less details.

The details of the false angel are irrelevant, I disagree with bringing them up. The simple facts are this...

"A fundamentalist dictator ordered his engineers to craft a false Gabriel."

That is literally 100% of what you need to know, and if you were to encounter this false Gabriel later, you can make up whatever. The sentence above also sums up their technology level and goes a long way towards characterizing the civilization as a whole.

But the real problem with the angel is, as I explained and I think one of the others did, is that it's vestigial. They get to work and then everything goes bang.

"Wouldn't there be a negative social effect that accompanied being given everything for free?"

Definitely. In fact, worse than you're imagining right now I think. If I may add some material for you...


"Lets say they they find all these objects from the old world ... immediate ease of living, without the cost of suffering to aquire it ..."

The fact that it would not do that is an easy lead-in to the subsequent war and collapse.

Most technology is not easy to make. Everything we have today depends on a vast industrial base that was built with a lot of blood. Slaves and underpaid laborers dying to work in coal mines and build rails, things like that. Over a thousand people still die in coal mines in China annually. That's a Chernobyl worth of death every year. (Speaking of which, you don't master nuclear power without first fucking it up a dozen times. Or medicine. Or jets. Or spaceships. Or ...)

Computers and things require complex manufacturing which is advanced every year. The Soviets would try to copy our computers, and would only ever succeed in making half-assed versions of 5 to 10 year old systems for that reason; they didn't know how to fabricate them.

I'll also throw in a few examples of real live people given tools of war form vastly more advanced civilizations with no manufacturing ability: Native American tribes who fought in proxy wars between superpowers, the Confederacy (had British ships), the Taliban, every African dictator, every South American dictator, Kim Jong Il, ...

In short; goatfuck.

But I'm still definitely seeing the refresh, decay cycle in full force. The original folks didn't get anything for free, did they? And you describe them decaying again, after their tech-bump wars are ended. There are in fact three distinct decay events here, only one of which involves a tech bump.

In either case, if this is about windfalls, you might want to cut away a lot of extraneous stuff and you might want to think about how you can map this to the individuals at the heart of your story. You might even consider Forn giving them some freebies at the start.

"Perhaps they're just created to explain the powers the humans have"

Might be like patron saints of technologies.

Fire, water and wind are at the heart of most of our technologies.

Just look at the F-22 and its hydraulic control and kerosene powered gas turbines. We are still developing new technology around fire.

#10 Durakken   Members   -  Reputation: 502

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 09:25 AM

Sorry if it got a little confusing.


it's not confusing. It's confused as in I can follow it but what you are saying is not coherent as a complete structure.

Forn didn't destroy the human race, his sons did. Forn saw that they were stagnating as a race but could not bring himself to kill what he had created.


You're suggesting in 50 years we'll be able to create a genetically engineered being or a sophisticated android but that will be considered "stagnating." that doesn't work as any creature with knowledge about human civ would note the dark ages and know that that short amount of time is not enough to say a civ is stagnating.

stuff about introducing advanced tech to less advanced civs


there have been instances where guns were given to unadvanced civs and they ended up using them as clubs

but it seems you are talking about a civ that gets the tech and then works out how it works and mass produces it which is a hell of a difference

#11 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 05:54 PM

Also, this is a small detail but, please don't say "balance". You're the 2nd or 3rd person with a story involving someone upset about "balance" here this week. It doesn't really mean anything. I'll spare you the essay on why, the upshot is that it has nothing to do with the rest of your story and is just a filler-word that means "some thing that sounds important or something".

"it's not confusing. It's confused as in I can follow it but what you are saying is not coherent as a complete structure."

It's a lot of junk as-is, but it could be a seed for something. Sometimes it's important to throw art at a wall and see what sticks to figure out what you're doing. This:

"Wouldn't there be a negative social effect that accompanied being given everything for free? ... isn't free time so much sweeter when you've been working your ass off all day? I do feel moved by the idea of a thriving society ... good hard work ... the tragedy of them being influenced by the modern world"

^^^ This strikes me as what it's really about. If the OP did not think about that, but understands it now, he can begin to build a story.

#12 Orsony   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 03:56 AM

Sorry for not explaining, but the false angel is to make a reappearance.
An idea I'm throwing up is that he was engineered deep underground, in some incredible ceremonial chamber.
Of course the incredible ceremonial part is because of the dictators fancy. He wants his lie to be as genuine as possible.

Lets say this chamber isn't completely destroyed in the cataclysm, just roughed up a bit.

Now lets say that alongside this chamber, he fabricates a part of his religion that says that 'An angel will come forth and hack & slash sinners and unbelievers'
He creates all this scripture for Gabriel, and writes it on the walls of the chamber.

Now people from the current world of story find the chamber, decipher what they can. These people feel abandoned by their own god, Forn, and as they start to read up on what they can find, they start to fill in the blanks themselves, and being easily swayed they start to believe.

That's a 'what I've got so far' in terms of the angel.

#13 Durakken   Members   -  Reputation: 502

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 04:58 AM

Sorry for not explaining, but the false angel is to make a reappearance.
An idea I'm throwing up is that he was engineered deep underground, in some incredible ceremonial chamber.
Of course the incredible ceremonial part is because of the dictators fancy. He wants his lie to be as genuine as possible.

Lets say this chamber isn't completely destroyed in the cataclysm, just roughed up a bit.

Now lets say that alongside this chamber, he fabricates a part of his religion that says that 'An angel will come forth and hack & slash sinners and unbelievers'
He creates all this scripture for Gabriel, and writes it on the walls of the chamber.

Now people from the current world of story find the chamber, decipher what they can. These people feel abandoned by their own god, Forn, and as they start to read up on what they can find, they start to fill in the blanks themselves, and being easily swayed they start to believe.

That's a 'what I've got so far' in terms of the angel.


the angel would be found long before the translation happened...

Also we have the conflict of Forn for religion or against it? You're story seems to point to he's against it, but you come across as it's a bad thing that religions are largely forgotten...and if religions are largely forgotten and Forn likes this they are more likely to figure that the angel is a regular biological being or a mechanical one.

Again it's incoherent.

It seems to me that you don't have a clear vision of what you are going for and you aren't good enough to wing it.


Here's what you do
First off, right everything about the world that you can possibly think of down from how magic works to the way the governments of the 3 cities work, their history, their general beliefs and divide them into pertinent categories like "how magic works" "city 1" "city 2" "new race"

After that right down every thing you can about all the characters that are important to this story you are trying to write. Short precise information in profile type form as in...
Name = Bob
Race = Human
Eye color = blue
hair = short black with orange highlights
magical powers = none
city of origin = Calsatropia
Physical markings or piercing = Tattoo on his back of dagon
Favorite food = Cats
Favorite weapon = dogs
Favorite fighting style = Sneezing Bear
Personality = Slacker
Background = Bob grew up in Calsatropia, yearning for adventure, but as years went by his dreams faded and he became the city's most notorious belligerent drunk until one day Frank Cocaro challenged him to a fight that he lost. Since that day Bob has followed Frank which has lead Bob into worse and worse situations...They're now on the run from the law, because the law wants their heads.

Write a general synopsis of what happens in your story. Not the background. What is the goal of the characters in your story and what do they need to do to accomplish that.


Once you are at this point you'll notice things are not working or you need some more info here or there or you don't need this or that info. Discard and add what you need based on the story and the characters you've created.

I say story and characters you created because I think there are two types of writers out there... those that write the characters and the characters inform the story and the background and those who write the background and from that background emerges the characters... and I feel that your the character/story type.


I also have to point out that a good rule of thumb is don't tell people what they don't need to know. Don't concern yourself much with it because it is not important. Now here's the thing people will say, "but people will ask about that stuff" to which you can give two answers...

#1. "I don't care"
#2. Make it up, remember it, alter it or the world if it doesn't exactly fit where you can. It

I prefer #2 because I find answering questions helps me think about that and make the world a deeper place...but a lot of people don't have coherent visions of their worlds so they often can't do it on the fly so sometimes it is better to say i dont care instead of possibly giving contradictory story elements.

#14 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:58 AM

I would pitch a slightly different approach, but just to be clear, I would agree 100% that what you have in front of you is sorta junk and you need to start writing from an individual perspective.


I pitch the following:

You have a sufficiently clear mental image of the world to start winging it. I do recommend winging it. The specific details of the background and facts 'n figures of the characters are not important. You can go through the whole book without so much as mentioning their eye color, really, in fact that's usually appropriate.

But to reiterate; you need to wing it from the individual perspective.

Pick a starting point from the perspective of your main character, drop him in and see what happens. Don't procrastinate and get stuck on detailing the background because the actual writing is harder than it sounds and the background details are less important than you think. Character personal details should be made up on an as-needed basis and, if you realize something doesn't work, go back and change it. If half-way through you feel the main character needs to have a cousin Larry, by all means throw him in. If it clashes with something you wrote earlier, feel free to delete that and rewrite it.

It also works perfectly, 100% well to make up background as you go. Avoid obsessive compulsiveness because it prevents you from puking out the crap you need to puke out in order to realize what you're interested in. The flip side of this, of course, is to not love your words, characters or ideas because you will probably need to delete them in order to be competent. Throwing away junk you wrote is a key part of winging it.

I have a story in the other window that I'm trying to finish that has 97 thousand words, a figure that excludes at least 30 to 50 thousand that were deleted and rewritten. Sometimes over and over again, including about 10 false starts which were typically axed around the 500 word mark. This represents about 3-4 months of work.

Again, you need to get started because you don't really get the implications of your background crafting until you're writing the actual story. You may quickly discover that your world fundamentally clashes with the kind of individual story you want to tell. Mine initially started with some people in a fort in a large forest that had a road going through it, and a developed world, then inverted to a city in a forest that had no contact with anyone.

I'd also like to note, as a general rule, that if you have an RPG epic idea, and have never made a game before, than you are not about to turn this into a game. (Your situation is extremely typical and I've been there before too.) Thus I recommend you just start typing it in prose. Just go until you feel like you're done.

Afterwards you will do something else. Do not fail to have a subsequent work, whether you finish this one or not.

#15 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 06:11 AM

Also, final note, don't worry too much about which way you go (wing it or plan it) as long as you go.

#16 Orsony   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:30 AM

I'll stick to writing about the characters for a while :P. I've done more of that than writing of the game history, but i wanted to read some opinions on what might be a feasible history.

Thanks heaps for the advice. The hard truth of writing i think is something i needed to hear.

Something I'm very keen on now is the unfathomable nature of Forn. I can't explain why Forn does what he does, i can only speculate, and my characters can only speculate.

#17 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:54 AM

Excellence. I thought you had just written that! Yeah, write some real story, maybe even post it, though some folks recommend a closed door writing process to avoid comments that may hurt the process prematurely.

Anyway.

I'll make one more comment about:

"Something I'm very keen on now is the unfathomable nature of Forn. I can't explain why Forn does what he does, i can only speculate, and my characters can only speculate."

We can see that Forn is very concerned with the creatures in the story. This itself pretty strongly characterizes him, as does the fact that he doesn't want to actually destroy the creatures. If Forn were happy to wipe everyone out and try again it hints at a very different thing. It also hints at a limited entity; neither omniscient nor omnipotent.

It's clearly a parallel to the Christian God, but that we don't have any presuppositions means we can more clearly explore its character as above. Without making declarations like "he is all powerful and all knowing!" you've written some actions and we can go back and see what they really say about the character.

#18 Orsony   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 03:47 AM

This is a bit of story i wrote a while back. The second of 3 prototypes for the beginning of the story.

Enjoy.

Comments/Criticism welcome and appreciated.

It was one of many cold nights in the city of Jackson. Snow danced from the sky and settled on the rooftops, and a blue wind chilled the hearts and minds of all those walking the street. It had been an unnaturally long winter, and they were only growing longer with each passing year. In fact, for a region so close to the desert lands, the winter itself was unnatural.

The city itself was split into quarters, not by walls, but by status. An idea of social eminence imposed by a late Kaiser (King) had put people in their place, so to say. The repercussion was that some quarters of the city thrived, while the others were diminished by poverty and crime.

In the far south-east quarter, sitting tiredly against the outer wall of the city, stood the Suns Orphanage. The building and its inhabitants were long forgotten by those who governed the city, and it was sustained only by the stubborness of one man, James Bjørnar.

The man stood alone in his office, clasping a bottle. Despite his drunken state, he couldn't take his mind off the turmoil in his mind. He felt wasted here, looking after these abandoned children. It'd been a long time since he'd felt the compassion that made him take on the position, but now only a blatant sense of what is right kept him from taking his coat and walking out the front door.

The children, he knew, could sense his frustration. They were quiet spoken, and fearful even. One thing that pained him more than his regret was that the lives he guarded could not appreciate it. He took a deep swig from his bottle, and stared blankly. After a few moments his face crinkled into lines of misery and he dropped to his knees, sobbing.

In a cold room upstairs, two children shivered in their beds. One stared at the ceiling, blowing plumes of steam into the air, while the other gazed at the pitiful flame that burns valiantly against the dark. They could faintly hear the man downstairs, crying in the late hours of the night.

A loud crash echoed from downstairs, rousing them. They both looked to the door and, ready to feign sleep, should he come checking their rooms. After waiting for a few tense moments, then turn back to their freezing vigil.
“Os, can you still do it?” Quietly asked Vegard, the older brother.

“I think it’s too cold”, whispered Osmond, shuffling out of his blanket and holding up his hands.
He shut his eyes and sat quietly for a moment, his brow crinkling as he concentrated.


Slowly but surely, ribbons of heat curled upwards from his fingers. As numb as they were, both brothers felt rising heat in the room.
‘Kult’, remarked Osmond.

Another crash echoed through the floor from downstairs. The warmth emanating from his hand disappeared, and the room was cold again. ‘Asshole’ thought Osmond, frowning. He pulled his blanket around himself and shivered.

They sat in silence for a few minutes, waiting, then Vegard's stomach rumbled.

“Are you hungry”, asked Osmond, looking over.
“Yes”, replied Vegard, with a wide yawn.
Osmond leaned his head back, and shut his eyes again. A few moments later, A floorboard creaked and he looked over to see Vegard stepping quietly to the door. “What are you doing?!” Osmond hissed.
“He’s been quiet for a while, he probably went to bed.” Said the older brother, listening at the door. He turned the doorknob quietly and inched it open, checking the hallway. “What if he’s still awake?” Asked Osmond fearfully. Halfway out the door, Vegard looked back briefly. “I’ll be fine”, then disappeared into the hall.

‘I hope he’s asleep’ thought Vegard, as he tip-toed down the hallway, avoiding the loose floorboards with his numb feet. He reached the staircase and peered down, and saw the light from the carer’s office. Despite the danger, he began to creep down the stairs, and hopped over a toy train left fatally at the first step.

Sneaking through the landing into the kitchen, he searched the kitchen quietly for a scrap of food. He grabbed what remained of a loaf from the kitchen bench, and upon hearing the carer moving around again, he rushed back to the stairs. Forgetting the toy on the floor, he kicked it over and sprinted up the stairs as its noisy rattle echoed through the house.

Osmond sat in his bed, listening intently to what might be happening downstairs. Suddenly, he heard someone running down the hallway. Vegard burst into the room and threw something under the bed; then shut the door and listened quietly against the wood.
“He was awake” revealed Vegard.

“Idiot” repeated Osmond ruefully. They listened as the carer stormed up the stairs and yelled down the hallway. They heard a door open to one of the other orphans rooms, and murmuring.

After a few second hoarse yells echoed down the hallway, accompanied by a young girls voice. Osmond realized suddenly that he was yelling at Saga, a girl he had a growing crush on. Osmond ran to the door, and angrily burst onto the landing “Don’t touch her, asshole!” He yelled heroically through the house. A few doors along the hall opened fractionally, as other orphans wondered tiredly what the racket was. James looked down the hall hazily at Osmond, and then he turned from the girls doorway and walked purposely towards him. “Was it you then?!” He growls, stumbling briefly. His angry eyes came into focus, as he drew nearer.
"Did you not hear when i said go to bed?! DID YOU NOT?!".

Osmond stood terrified and defiant in the doorway, victim to his own heroism. As the carer bared down on him, a pillow flew over Osmond's head and slapped James in the face with a slight thump. Vegard dashed past Osmond and threw a kick into the man's shins. As a very drunken James collapsed to his knees, grunting in pain, Vegard delivered a clumsy kick to the side his head and turned back to Osmond. "Come on!" He yelled. Osmond eyes widened fearfully, then swallowing his fear he ran and leaping over James, avoiding a slightly flailing arm. As they ran by Saga's room Osmond glanced in and briefly saw her crying face.




Edited by Orsony, 30 June 2011 - 06:31 AM.


#19 Zethariel   Members   -  Reputation: 310

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 04:05 AM

"It’s ironic, that Osmond was so good at taking life, yet he hated it deeply" -- I am not sure this is irony. It would be irony if he would love life, yet be able to take it easilly, if not subcontiously.

"“It’s so cold”, whines Osmond.
“Do you want my blanket”, murmurs Vegard.
“No, you would freeze”. ‘Idiot’, the younger brother thinks."
You are doing the same thing I did when first posted here to be rated :) avoiding the usage of said. And I think that saying "thinks aloud" sounds better, because as it is now stands the brother just thinks the whole sentence(s?)

"“What are you doing?!” He shouts a whisper." -- I am not sure this is a correct form. I would rather use hiss or a similar verb -- shouting a whisper doesn't sound right.

Throuought the story you use different times that had me confused a bit while reading. The consistency is a tad shaky and the story feels rushed by the end.
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#20 Orsony   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 04:22 AM

"It’s ironic, that Osmond was so good at taking life, yet he hated it deeply" -- I am not sure this is irony. It would be irony if he would love life, yet be able to take it easilly, if not subcontiously.

"“It’s so cold”, whines Osmond.
“Do you want my blanket”, murmurs Vegard.
“No, you would freeze”. ‘Idiot’, the younger brother thinks."
You are doing the same thing I did when first posted here to be rated :) avoiding the usage of said. And I think that saying "thinks aloud" sounds better, because as it is now stands the brother just thinks the whole sentence(s?)

"“What are you doing?!” He shouts a whisper." -- I am not sure this is a correct form. I would rather use hiss or a similar verb -- shouting a whisper doesn't sound right.

Throuought the story you use different times that had me confused a bit while reading. The consistency is a tad shaky and the story feels rushed by the end.


Edited with your suggestions in mind. I'll work on the end.
Thanks !




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