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Shane C

Longer story I wrote

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Here is what a more extensive story I wrote looks like, which I made quite awhile back. I won't be using it for games, but my games storyline in this thread: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/648915-my-quick-rpg-storyline/ may end up looking like it, which means I could still use a critique. Here it is:

"I need a smoke," said Bob.
"That's all you think about," said Trent.
Erin shook it off. "I'm bored."
Just then, two of the king's guards walked up.
Brandy smiled. "How's it going?"
Erin stood. "You."
Brandy looked. "Yeah, what's wrong with me?"
The other guard was Phil.
Phil approached. "Yeah, what's wrong with him?"
There was an awkward silence as Erin and Brandy stared at each other. These weren't pleasant stares.
Bob pretended to be smoking a cigarette. "So, what's up?"
"We're just passing through," said Phil. Then, he and Brandy left.
Erin stomped his feet. "I just hate those two."
Bob sighed. "Why?"
Erin shrugged. "They give me a bad feeling, I guess."
Trent jumped in. "They do seem like trouble."
"I don't get why that is," said Bob. "But King Alexfor is a little weird, I will admit that."
"Let's overthrow King Alexfor," said Erin.
"Whoa!" exclaimed Trent. "Easy now. We've never even seen him before. Well, me and you haven't, Erin. Bob has."
Bob shook. "Like I said, he is a little weird."

Bob jumped and kicked, knocking a roll-sledder off his bike. Roll-sledders were people who rode roll-sleds, a type of bike which hovers above the ground. Bob hopped on the bike and took off flying as he gripped the turbo buttons on the handle-bars. He crashed through Eras ahead. Eras were the king's loyal foot-soldiers. The bike hummed as it took a slightly steep curve. Snow splashed in Bob's face, landing even on his teeth. "Woohoo!" exclaimed Bob.
Bob arrived at a locked entrance, and got off his bike. Then, he had an idea. He got back on the bike and gripped the turbo buttons as hard as he could. The engine revved. Suddenly, his bike propelled forward. At the last second, Bob jumped off the bike, skinning his knees. The bike hit the entrance-door and an explosion blew the door open. "Works like a charm!" said Bob to himself. Then, he entered through the entrance. He looked around to see Eras everywhere. "Uh-oh. I could have used that bike."
Eras pointed at him and ran toward him. Bob avoided laser-beams being shot his direction with aerobic-like abilities. He ran forward, dodging the occasional Era and the frequent laser-beams. He climbed up a tower like he was part insect and jumped inside the top opening.
His pace slowed. "King Alexfor, what a pleasure to see you."
"Look, I know what you did," said King Alexfor. "You got past the Eras."
"You don't seem very surprised to see me," laughed Bob.
"What do you want?" snapped Alexfor.
"To be in your army, but as a sneak," said Bob. "All this was to demonstrate my abilities."
Alexfor sighed. "Okay."

"So why did you leave?" asked Erin as Bob recalled the story.
Bob stiffened. "The king wouldn't pay me what I wanted."
Trent crossed his arms. "It was stupid for you to join him in the first place."
"I guess so," Bob smirked. "But that was before I was tied down to you guys."
Erin felt insulted, but he didn't know why. Trent simply laughed.
Erin took Bob aside. "Are you with us if we try to overthrow King Alexfor?"
"I guess," laughed Bob. "Why do you want to overthrow him?"
"He is evil," said Erin. "I sense it."
Bob pounded his fists. "I can take him on."
"How old was that story you told?" said Erin.
Bob twitched. "Years ago."
"I thought so," answered Erin. "He has grown more powerful since then. And he has gotten more elaborate forces as well, from what I hear. You can't just invade his fortress so easily anymore."
"Whatever," laughed Bob. "So, what's your plan?"
"Plan?" asked Erin. "Well, I don't have one."
Bob smirked. "I don't need a plan. I was just wondering if you had one."
Erin scratched his head. "Ah."
"You have a long way to go before you have the capabilities of me," said Bob. "Fight an Era or two first. I want to see what you're capable of."
"Where do I find one?" asked Erin.
"You just leave that to me," answered Bob.

Erin faced a couple of Eras. He knew how to fight with a sword, and he defeated them gracefully and easily. But once he did this, he saw Bob talking with a couple of Eras. "The king has agreed to pay you what you wanted," said one.
Erin smiled. Bob would never go for it now that he was with them, he thought.
"I agree," Bob said to an Era. "What is my first mission?"
"The king wants you as his bodyguard. He has special instructions," said the Era.
Bob nodded. "Okay."
He turned to Erin. "If you or Trent try to overthrow the king, you will have to go through me first,"
Bob jumped so high in the air, he disappeared.
"From friend to foe," said Erin. "I never thought this would happen."

Erin went to the weapons and armor dealer. He plopped his life savings on the table to buy him and Trent some nice weapons and armor.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" asked Trent.
"We are going after Bob," said Erin. "To bring him back or kill him."
"Surely you don't mean that," said Trent.
"Maybe I do, maybe I don't."
"So in other words, you don't know."
As Erin and Trent got suited with their new armor, Bob was getting suited with armor as well. "Only the finest," said an Era as it put a helmet on Bob's head.
Bob looked in the mirror. "Doesn't look so fine to me."

"Hiya!" Erin yelled, gently tapping at the reigns of a rope.
"You could afford horses too?" said Trent. "How much money did you have?"
Erin plopped a straw hat on Trent's head and one on his own. "Enough to buy us hats too."
"Where will we go?" asked Trent.
"To Trance Valley," answered Erin.
"I've heard you don't want to drink the water there," said Trent. "Or anything, for that matter."
"How come?" asked Erin.
Trent motioned. "Because, they put stuff in them."
Erin shook his head. "I'm sure they wouldn't drug the water."
As they traveled, two men suddenly jumped in the way.
"Brandy!" exclaimed Erin.
"And Phil," said Trent.
"We're here to stop you," said Phil.
"Yeah, that's right," agreed Brandy.
Erin drew his sword. He leapt off the horse with god-like speed and beheaded the both of them. That's what could have happened, in Erin's mind.
Slam! Brandy threw Erin's face into the ground. Thud! Phil threw Trent into the ground face-first.
"Ouch!" exclaimed Erin.
Brandy and Phil ran away laughing.
Trent rubbed the dirt off his knees. "What caused that?"
"They're minions of King Alexfor," said Erin. "What did you expect? For them to deliver snow-cones?"
"What's more important though, is that they know what we're up to," said Trent. "King Alexfor can send any of his minions after us."
Erin got back on the wagon. "Well, we'll just see about that."
Erin hummed as the wagon rode.
"Your face is still bloody," said Trent.
"Yours too," said Erin.
"Not as bloody as yours," laughed Trent.
"Well I can change that," mumbled Erin.
"Hmm?" said Trent. But he didn't care to ask what Erin meant. Erin was tense because he had met Brandy again. It must feel terrible to be whooped by a person you despise so much, Trent thought.
"How far do you think we are from Trance Valley?" he asked. He already knew, but he wanted a response from Erin to reassure him that Erin was alright.
"Oomdunno," said Erin. He was barely speaking words, Trent thought.

Erin and Trent arrived at Trance Valley. They were surprised to see King Alexfor and a small legion of Eras in Trance Town. "They're here to fight," said Erin.
King Alexfor bowed. "You are here to stop Bob, are you not?"
"And you," said Erin.
"Bob has taken over my kingdom, and killed a lot of my Eras," said King Alexfor.
"Then why did your guards, Phil and Brandy, attack us?" asked Trent.
"They are working for Bob, I'm afraid," huffed King Alexfor.
King Alexfor said, "Let me show you everything."
He moved his hands around in a spherical motion and an orb appeared. In the orb, you could see Bob attacking the Eras as King Alexfor fled.
"So, may we join you?" said King Alexfor.
"For what?" asked Erin,
"Killing Bob."
"I say yes," said Trent. "What do you say, Erin?"
Erin nodded. "I guess. But we can stop him ourselves. Why do we need you and the Eras?"
"Bob... has become a god of power," said King Alexfor. "There is a power source which I had which made me extremely powerful. And Bob took it."
"Oh," said Trent.
"I see," said Erin. "I was wondering about that. Can you lead us to Bob?"
King Alexfor nodded. "But it is a long way. I was able to use my remaining power to warp me and some of the Eras here. But we will have to travel by foot now, which will be a long way."
"Or by horse," said Erin. "If you and the Eras have the money to buy your own."
King Alexfor shook his head. "Bob has exhausted my resources. I will have to leave the Eras here and ride with you, if that's okay."
"It's okay," said Trent.
Erin nodded.
"Let us sleep at the inn," said King Alexfor. "They said they would let me stay for free, given the circumstances. I'm sure they'll do the same for you guys."
Erin and Trent lied in a separate room from King Alexfor.
"Can we trust the king?" Erin asked.
"I think so," said Trent. "I trust him."
"Okay," said Erin.
Erin turned over in his bed.
"Goodnight," said Trent.
"Goodnight."

Erin awoke in the middle of the night. He decided to go out and explore the town. He was thirsty, so he dipped some water and drank it. Suddenly, he fell backward and landed on the ground, eyes still open. He saw visions of Bob, distortions of a Bob-like figure who was king. "Bob is king," he said to himself. "And King Alexfor is no longer King Alexfor. He is just... Alexfor."
"Erin, are you okay?" a voice asked.
Erin shrugged it off. "Where am I?"
"You drank some of the water," said Trent. "I told you it was drugged."
Erin got up. "I don't think it's drugged, it tasted fine."
Trent motioned toward the Eras. "Then how do you explain this behavior?"
The Eras were dancing with one another and being merry.
Erin laughed. "I don't know."
It was morning. Alexfor came out of the inn.
"Tell me more about the power source," said Erin.
The two chatted. In the meantime, Trent wondered what he wanted from this adventure. Was Bob really evil? Could he really kill Bob?
"You two need some training," said Alexfor.
"I think we're fine," said Erin.
Alexfor cast a fireball. Erin and Trent slammed into the ground.
"Like I said, you two need training. We will have to settle for training here in Trance Town. They know what they're doing here, I think."
Erin and Trent spent three days training. With about as much of it as they could stand each day. By the time the training ended, they felt well-prepared.
It was time to leave Trance Town, and Trance Valley. Erin, Trent and Alexfor were on the wagon that day.
As they traveled, a dragon suddenly plopped down before them. "You two distract it. I'll go in for the kill!" said Erin.
Erin hopped off the wagon with sword drawn. He moved toward the dragon. The dragon lunged at him with its head, Erin parried.
"Hurry! I can only cast a few fireballs!" shouted Alexfor.
Erin parried again. This time, he dove down with the sword. His sword pierced through the dragon's head. Erin released the sword and started to walk back to the wagon. Suddenly, the head rose up and grabbed Erin with its teeth.
"It's still alive!" called Trent.
"Hurry, we must save Erin," said Alexfor.
The two battled the dragon fiercely. It was just enough for it to drop Erin. Then, the dragon flew off - it had enough.
"Are you okay?" asked Trent.
Erin's shirt was covered in blood. "I think so."
"Next time, the three of us go for the kill," said Alexfor.
Erin agreed.
"That was good work, though," said Alexfor. "Both of you."
Alexfor looked at them. "Now, fight me."
Erin and Trent battled Alexfor for several minutes. It was becoming clear that both of them together were stronger than Alexfor. But after all, this was just a play fight.

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- there are 5 names listed in the first paragraph (6 if we count the king too). That's an overkill. If you dump so many people in one scene the reader will be lost. The "two other knights" could be without names (just knights).

- there is a lot of "swiftisms" in your text (google it, or ask on some writers forum, they will explain it better, in short "Bob said" is good but "Bob exclaimed" is bad)

- you don't need to put a name after each dialogue line, reader will know who is who (unless you put like 5 people in one scene biggrin.png)

- no setting (where it takes place), "talking heads" syndrome

- you could include/mix some information in form of narrative between dialogue

 

 

A quick rewrite of the first sentence. Note I ommited all "said", "answered", etc and it's still easily readable, also I prolonged the reveal of the knight's names till the last moment, so there was less of these names in the dialogue, plus note the addition of small explanations/insults/friendliness like "vermins" which helps establish the relationships between characters.

 

The morning was chilly, fog was surrounding the Avarak's castle. Bob looked down the walls, a figure of a tall archer on jousting grounds below looked familiar.

"Is that you Trent?"

"No, I'm your belowed Gertruda."

"Very funny, do you have any tabacoo?"

"Nope, you used my last reserve yesterday. At the banquet. You remember I hope? You owe me."

"Yes, yes, anyway..." Bob stopped as he noticed approaching knights. "You!"

The knights stopped. The smaller one looked at Bob with disgust.

"Yes? What's wrong with me?"

"Nothing, really, I just don't like you"

"Neither I like you"

"We're just passing through" said the second knight "We do not look for trouble Mr Bob".

When the knights passed through Trent moved silently behind Bob.

"Who were they?"

"Brandy and Phil, two little vermins in the service of our belowed king"

"You really have a long list of people you dislike Bob"

"Dislike!? I hate those bastards!"

"Anyway, I don't know why our king keeps them"

"Indeed, king Alexfor is a little weird"

"Weird? Why? You mean the incident with the elvish girl? Maybe a bit indecent, I agree, but why weird?"

"I mean the incident with the dwarvish girl"

"The one with beard?!"

"Yep, that one"

"Oh gosh... that's weird. Let's overthrow the king, we can't let..." the sentence was cut by the sound of Bob's choking.

"Whoa! Wait here, that's high treason we are talking about. I mean, *you* are talking about"

"Calm down, I was just joking. Maybe joking."

 

Hope this helps smile.png

I also recommend reading carefully dialogues of famous writers (like Pratchett, he has nice, yet complex, dialogues).

Edited by Acharis

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This isn't a game script. Simply because pretty much everything would be lost in a game format.

 

Players can't read the character's minds, unless you explicity say what's happening in text.

 

Infact, none of this really translates to gameplay. You've essentially made the script for a 15-20 minute long cutscene that requires text bubbles to explain what's going on.

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This isn't a game script. Simply because pretty much everything would be lost in a game format.
 
Players can't read the character's minds, unless you explicity say what's happening in text.
 
Infact, none of this really translates to gameplay. You've essentially made the script for a 15-20 minute long cutscene that requires text bubbles to explain what's going on.


I think it's safe to say my actual game script will be somewhere between the thread that I linked to, which is just too brief for a RPG, and what I posted here, which is a bit bookish.

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