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Author Topic: Gods, Wars and Heroes Chapter 1  (Read 5570 times)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« on: 11 April 2009, 02:05:56 »

Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin sits at his desk, in a far off room of the Lorehold.  Light from the tallow candle gives off flickering shadows on the wall, causing the Remusian to let his mind wander.  In his mind, he hears his mother’s voice when he was a child, recounting the stories of his ancestors; bold adventurers and fierce warriors among them.  With Nayriss gone, and his brother Denrykmar without children, it seemed that these stories would die.  He watches as the shadows play against the yellow light, melancholy filling him.  His ancestors deserved not to die in antiquity and anonymity.  The stories his mother told him needed to be preserved, if not for future Shialt-eck-Gorrins, then for someone who wished to know what it was to be Remusian.  His eye travels to the shelves of his room where ancient tomes, rolled up scrolls of parchment, and other collected works sit, patiently waiting for him to pick them up and immerse himself once again in his studies.  But no; not tonight.  They could wait.  A new parchment is splayed across the rich grain of the desktop, and a new quill is dipped carefully into the inkwell, hovering above the parchment, careful to not drip.  No, tonight, in the dim light of his room, the ghosts of ancient Remusia would once more breathe life....



516 AS.  Remusia is the largest kingdom in the Ice Coast and Iol Peninsula.  But there are many enemies about, and they watch and wait for their opportunity to strike back.  Into this, three brothers come of age in a world that is going to change drastically before their eyes.  



"There he is!"

The young girl wiggled forward in the tall alth'ho grass, peering ahead to where her companion was pointing. Her eyes were alight with the excitement of the moment, her interest at its peak. They both lay on their stomachs on the top of a low hill, enjoying the warming sun's, the injera's, rays. The grass tickled the exposed skin on their arms, and occasionally the soft skin of their neck or chin as they moved.

At the bottom of the hill was the object of their interest; a deep brown, pinnipeye mare and her newborn foal, so called because of the deep rich brown of their coat was akin to that of the eye of the sea creatures that inhabited the shores of the Bay of Calinth.  The colt, also a pinnipeye colour, lay on the thick grass, sunning himself in the mid afternoon sun. As his dam grazed nearby, she kept her senses alert for any sign of trouble.

"Oh, Jorgan!  He's so beautiful!"  The girl could barely contain her excitement. Her voice was a higher pitch and her eyes wide. She loved horses, or more specifically, wild horses.  They were beautiful and free, something she longed to be. She couldn't help but reminisce over her own life, comparing it to the newness of the colt's own: His entire life a mystery, unplanned, chaotic and beautiful. Her own… it had direction and purpose, the girl longed for the spontaneity and freedom of the colt's life.  A Remusian woman had few choices in life.

"Would you like me to have grandfather's men capture him for you?  I could give him to you as a gift." Jorgan's instinct was to give her anything she pleased, to see the happiness spread across her face. To his disappointment, that did not happen.

"No!"  Rohanna's answer bit hard and she immediately saw the hurt in her companion's eyes. She softened her words. "Being free is what makes them so beautiful.  If you took that from them, they would die inside." Rohanna's voice waned at her last words, she felt as though she may be talking about more than this little colt.

His face flushed red, Jorgan nodded that he understood what she was trying to convey, then followed her lead and turned his attention back to the horses.

The mare continued to graze on the spring grass, but the colt had forced himself shakily to his feet.  He was getting hungry and pulled himself over to his dam, on thin legs that looked far too long for his body.  He anxiously pushed his nose under her flank and began to suckle.  The colt became very excited at the taste of his mother's milk and his tail twitched uncontrollably, which then extended to his rump twitching excitedly.  He became so enraptured that he tripped himself, his back legs entangling, and he fell to the ground.  For a brief moment he was still, and then his head swung about and his thin legs began to move, as if to see who had witnessed his embarrassment.

Watching with glee, Rohanna could not help but laugh aloud.  She clapped her hands over her mouth, and with wide eyes, glanced at Jorgan, but seeing him only made her laugh that much harder.  Rohanna regretted making noise, but the colt was adorable; awkward in its own body and her fit of giggles would not subside.

At once the mare's ears picked up.  Her gaze traveled up the slope of the hill to the tall grass where the two spies lay hidden.  With a low snort of disdain, she trotted toward the tree line, glancing back once to see her colt obediently following.  It took only a moment before the mare and her foal disappeared, swallowed by the forest, and Rohanna's few minutes of delight were over.

Jorgan quickly climbed to his feet, although he would have enjoyed lying in the grass with this girl forever. He reached down to help Rohanna to her feet, holding out a big hand for her own dainty one. When she took hold, Jorgan's heart pounded once again. They didn't have to touch for him to feel this way, but when they did the feeling had no describable match. Glancing up, he looked at the position of the injera, which told him that it was now mid afternoon.  It would be prudent to start back toward town. "We should start back." Jorgan looked apologetically at Rohanna, his brown eyes searching her own, but knew it would keep them both from trouble.

Rohanna nodded, knowing it was bound to end, and knew he was right. "Thank you, Jorgan, for showing me the horses."  Without thinking, she leaned forward and kissed him lightly on the cheek. He was taller than her, she had to stand up in her toes, but she grabbed hold of his broad shoulders and hoisted herself up to the kiss, her full lips momentarily pressing against his skin.  She watched in satisfaction as she took a step back and Jorgan turned a bright karikrimson and averted his gaze, unable to look directly at her. More than anything Rohanna enjoyed showing Jorgan her affection. Not only because of his reaction, but because of how she herself felt in how she could bewitch him.

Rohanna was genuinely attracted to, and intrigued by, Jorgan Shialt-eck-Gorrin. She knew many of the town's young men, and for years now she had figured out what they wanted from her, and how best to use that to her advantage. Honing her skill in the art of manipulation over the years, this was most often in the form of help with her chores, as her family was poor and was in charge of looking after the town's herd of cancu sheep.  It was a smelly, dirty responsibility that she hated, definitely unfit for a lady, so if she could get a boy to do her chores for her with as little as a kiss, or perhaps something more, then she felt no remorse in doing so.

Jorgan, however, was different.  She felt an attraction to him that she had not felt before.  She often found herself daydreaming about him.  She could see herself as his wife one day, the wife of the next Lanrul of Oollantra.  Once she was his wife, she would leave her current life far behind, forever.  Never again would she look after cancu sheep.  In fact, she would never even eat mutton again!  From now on, it would be roast klymmer, smoked fish, nuts and fruit from exotic countries, and expensive wines.  She would hold great banquets, inviting all the great nobles in the land.  Then they would move to Remusiat, where they would be guests of King Nik himself!  

It wouldn't take long before Jorgan and she would be one of the most powerful families in all of Remusia.  And she would give him such strong sons that would one day rule all of Remusia. The freedom of this other life, the freedom she envied in the colt, drew her in to Jorgan all the more. Rohanna's daydreams were not simply of recognition and fortune. She could imagine herself holding Jorgan's hand on cold winter nights, kissing him goodnight as he lay beside her, aiding him when he became ill. She would not stand for any other woman taking this position in his life.
 
"Are you alright?" Jorgan looked truly concerned, as he hadn't seen her respond to anything for the past few minutes. He was facing her, his face giving away his body's masculinity.

Rohanna blinked and realized that they had stopped on their walk. "Yes, sorry.  I was thinking about how lovely the woods are in spring," she lied smoothly, but that thought was nearly complimentary to her own.
 
Jorgan smiled knowingly, yet oblivious. The woods were lovely, indeed.  They were lucky to be this far west; most areas in Remusia had no trees.  "Yes, which is why I wanted to show you one more thing." Jorgan's eyes were suddenly more alive. He found himself wanting to share everything, even the smallest things in his life with Rohanna and another chance for that had arrived.

He seemed so earnest that Rohanna could not say no, and he began to lead her off the path that led back to Oollantra and into the woods. The woods were beautiful, the browns and greens were calming, Jorgan regretted that there had not just been rain, or a fine mist.  In the morning dew the forest sparkled, a magic witnessed only in the rarest of moments.  A short way through the trees they came upon a small clearing where the river passed through. The way the sun shone through the trees made the clearing radiant, flecks of light dancing from within the stream, and Jorgan was just as radiant as he presented the beautiful view, holding his arms wide.
    
"What do you think?"
    
Confused, Rohanna glanced around. The clearing was beautiful, as natural and free as the little colt, but she couldn't guess at the reason for the excitement. "It is lovely, Jorgan, but I don't understand."
  
As patient as ever, Jorgan smiled and motioned to a large rock that protruded from the water's surface in the middle of the slow moving river.  "This is my private retreat.  I come here when I need to be by myself."  To be completely honest, Jorgan would come to this spot often.  Somehow, in Rohanna's lack of excitement he did not want to embellish the spot's importance. He felt at ease here.  This was a place where he could collect his thoughts and escape the complications of life, an escape he may not be able to live without. Even a small break away from two brothers and a chiding, protective grandmother was much needed. Furthermore, a break from the responsibility expected of him by his grandparents was overly welcomed.  In fact, the rock was an especially spiritual spot for him.  He would often lay on the rock, late at night, and meditate for hours.  Sometimes he could almost hear his father's voice, talking to him, advising him. This made the clearing so much more special, as if the river carried his father's spirit and spoke to him amongst the gurgles and rippling waters.
    
Rohanna could see the passion in his eyes, even if she did not fully understand, as he showed her the refuge he had found for himself.  This, in turn, fuelled a passion within her, but of a different nature. Jorgan was attractive, his passion for this beautiful place adding to the many mysteries she hoped to unlock within him. Why not unlock one more right now?  With a beguiling smile, Rohanna stepped towards the water's edge and let her simple gown slip from her lithe body and fall to the ground.  "Let's go for a swim."
    
Jorgan's stomach flipped. He couldn't breathe as he watched her dive headfirst into the still water.  He felt as though he should turn his back to her, his face a deep red as blood rushed to greet his cheeks and ears, but he stood transfixed as Rohanna glided just below the surface. She was indeed a most beautiful specimen.  Still, the water would be like ice.  Sometimes, if the weather had been particularly warm, in the late summer you might get away with swimming, but this early?  “Rohanna!  Are you crazy?  You’ll freeze to death.”
    
Rohanna's head burst above the surface and she stood, the water coming to her chest, leaving an ample view of her full cleavage.  She pulled back her long light brown hair away from her face.  She smiled seductively at Jorgan, her eyes alight with amusement, and an attitude that said she knew exactly what she was doing. "Are you going to just stand there, or are you going to come into the water?" Her voice purred, suddenly more seductive than ever, if Jorgan had thought possible.
    
Jorgan swallowed hard, his heart pounding in his chest, threatening his ribcage, "Uh, yes, I'll, ah, come into the, uhm, river." His voice quavered slightly, he wished his embarrassment wasn't so plain when Rohanna obviously wasn't having any problems. He then began to unbuckle his sword belt, when he noticed that Rohanna was brazenly watching him. With that, he stepped warily into the tree line. He hung his sword belt on a nearby branch then, with shaking fingers, undid the string on his breeches and let them fall to the ground.  He stepped out of them, and then pulled off his shirt.

It amazed him how much more alive the forest seemed when one did not want to be seen. Suddenly every reflection, every rustle of a leaf, every movement of the earth was a threat. Glancing toward the river, he saw that Rohanna was still standing, waiting for him. "Turn around!" he called out. Jorgan heard Rohanna laugh uproariously, but she obeyed. In only a moment, his feet suddenly carrying his large body much faster, he crossed the gap between the trees and the river, and dove into the cold, clear waters of the Camlyn River.  The water was crisp, refreshing and clear. It did a poor job at hiding what was beneath its surface, and Jorgan's embarrassment did not subside. When he surfaced, he stood, the water coming slightly higher than his waist.  He looked about for Rohanna, ready to make sure she wasn't still staring at him, but she was nowhere in sight.
    
Jorgan was starting to get concerned for her, his mind running in circles. How could he allow himself to put them in such a vulnerable position? Was the water too cold for her?  His own body was beginning to chill from the cold water.  Jorgan peered anxiously into the water, ready to dive after her, when the glassy surface in front of him exploded.  

Rohanna giggled as she once more brushed her hair back from her face, flicking the cool water towards Jorgan. Brazenly, she stepped forward, so close that her breasts were brushing up against him. She could feel his body trembling before her, and that fuelled the fire that was raging inside her. She reached up and gently ran her hand around to the back of his head, her fingers entwined in his thick black hair.  With her gaze boring into his deep brown eyes, she slowly pulled his face down to hers, standing on her toes again.  Their lips met, tentatively at first, and then slowly gaining in hunger as their tongues met, each tasting each other.

Jorgan's mind was swimming, drowning in the emotion that was rushing through him. Even Rohanna breathed hard from her nose as her breath was stolen from her. Small kisses gifted to helpful boys felt nothing like a kiss of this magnitude. For Jorgan, this clearing would now have one more grand memory to make it special, he could imagine the trees parting, the sun's rays beating down upon the young couple, illuminating the passion of their moment together. If there was any doubt whether or not Jorgan was falling in love with Rohanna, it was completely washed away in the water's of the Camlyn. His father's triumphant voice rang in the water about them.

A twig snapped from just beyond the tree line, and Jorgan hastily pulled from Rohanna.  He listened intently, and Rohanna was somwewhat insulted until he motioned her to be silent.  He was beginning to wonder if he had just imagined the noise, when another sound of movement came from the woods. Jorgan's blood ran cold, his body tensed for any movement. Suddenly his joy transformed into terror, the fierce need to protect first this woman, and then himself took over. Who was there? Could it be the Horde?  He had heard that they had been seen in the area.  How could he have been so foolish as to bring Rohanna so far from town? To allow her to become so vulnerable, and to put himself in a position where he could not fully protect her?
    
"Go hide on the other side of the rock!" Jorgan commanded, his voice suddenly hard and cold.  He noted with satisfaction that she obeyed without question. He then turned his attention back to the threat in the woods. His heart pounded for different reasons, now. Without a thought of shame for his nudity, he emerged from the water and worked his way to where his sword and belt were.  He pulled the blade from its scabbard and looked about for his clothes, which were mysteriously missing.  Jorgan, however, did not have time to investigate.  He concentrated on the woods before him, listening intently and searching for a glimpse of movement.  His head turned in the direction of another sound, this one slightly further off than before.  This was followed by more noise, the sound of a single person running through the underbrush, followed by the sound of raucous laughter.
    
A bemused, and reluctant, smile crept across Jorgan's face.  "Damn you, Grodyn!  You get back here now!" He yelled into the forest, more embarrassed that his own brother had witnessed those minutes of passion than anything else. Private moments like those weren't to be shared, and now everyone would know in just a matter of time.
    
There was more laughter, further away now.  A familiar voice floating out from amongst the trees, "I will see you at home, big brother!  Enjoy your swim."  The voice was full of good natured humour. Hanging on the last word was a note of sarcasm, and Jorgan snorted into the forest. I won't be enjoying anything now... he thought sullenly.
    
Jorgan considered chasing his younger brother, but there would be no catching him now.  At least he left him his weapon, though Jorgan assured himself that he would box Grodyn's ears when he got home.  Shaking his head, Jorgan turned to go get Rohanna, but she was already out of the water, and was slipping on her gown.  The moment, and whatever that moment held, was gone. Jorgan regretted it fully, wherever it was leading was out of the question now, and he sighed regretfully. Now it was definitely time to get home, but how? Jorgan looked down at himself, grumbling at his lack of suitable attire and made sure he was safely hidden where Rohanna could not glimpse his nudity.
    
Rohanna made her way to where Jorgan was hiding in the trees.  She could barely contain the laughter that she felt, her shoulders shook with it, seeing him trying to cover himself with his hands and underbrush.  "Well, you can't go back into town like that," she said, giggling.

Jorgan watched as her eyes searched him up and down, and was too uneasy to request anything of her. Jorgan sighed. This is just what he needed, for the town to see their next Lanrul naked, sneaking back home. His grandmother especially, knowing he was with Rohanna and not a more suitable woman, would never allow him to live it down. He scowled, damn that Grodyn!
    
"Give me your sword."  Rohanna reached out and took the weapon from his hand.  Without a second thought, Rohanna lifted her gown and began deftly cutting material from the bottom of it.  Instead of reaching her ankles, her dress now only reached halfway down her thigh.

Jorgan, for a moment, couldn't take his eyes away from her perfect legs, this mind wandering back to her form gliding through the water, her breasts exposed as she stood. His ears hot, Jorgan took the rest of the material she handed him, and wrapped it about his waist, making a skirt of his own.  It was far from dignified, but much better than the alternative. Taking a deep breath, Jorgan took hold of Rohanna's hand, squeezing it tightly. "Thank you," he said in earnest, "I'll make sure I get you a new dress for this.  Let's get home before someone sees me."
« Last Edit: 26 June 2009, 08:22:06 by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

"Lather...Rinse...Repeat"   Why has God made my life so complicated?

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #1 on: 11 April 2009, 04:34:02 »

Oh Altario, a story from you, and I have no access to my comp (is occupied by my daughter), just stole some minutes on this laptop with the wrong keyboard.. maybe tomorrow!
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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #2 on: 11 April 2009, 04:45:15 »

No problem, Talia. :)

Yes, a story.  My whole reason for finding a site like this was to reawaken my writing that I had let slip for quite a number of years.  But, after getting involved so heavilly here, my writing has still sat dormant.  So, I thought if I was to post my writing as part of Santh, it would spur me to pick it up again and continue on it.
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #3 on: 24 June 2009, 16:26:13 »

Blarrow?
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #4 on: 24 June 2009, 23:33:27 »

Ummph, no. Well, depends what the others say.

A year ago I would have said "Fine, you know well to write!" Since then I have visited a German writing board and now I see some weaknesses.

For one - it does not really draw me into the story, though it is a nice read and the content ok. Part of the reason is too much infodump throughout the chapter, that e.g.

Quote
Ilyania Shialt-eck-Gorrin was determined to have her eldest grandson marry into an influential family. In a businesslike fashion she presented them before Jorgan, and just as businesslike, he turned them down. It was too planned; Ilyania expected too much.  Her husband, Teletar Shialt-eck-Gorrin, was the Lanrul of Oollantra and surrounding area. His kind eyes and gentle nature frustrated Jorgan; why did he let his wife torment their grandson so? Jorgan guessed in some way it amused Teletar, so he let it drone on. Their son, Jorgan's father, Jokbar Shialt-eck-Gorrin, was an only child and had been heir to the mantle of Oollantra, but he had been killed in battle many years ago, leaving Jorgan as the heir to the mantle. Jorgan couldn't be sure he was cut out for the responsibility. He felt twenty was hardly an age for such a burden, but he would carry it with pride, as his family intended. It was this fact that drove Ilyania to search for a suitable wife for Jorgan.
Quote
Yet, for Jorgan, it had always been a source of great frustration. Should he be old enough to accept the great responsibility of his father, he was certainly old enough to choose his own bride. The daughter's of nobles, diplomats and great warriors that he had met had failed to pique his interest.  Virtually all of them had no spirit, nor fire in their eyes. Rohanna Crovaar, however, had no lack of either spirit or fire.  She both intrigued him and excited him. The little colt they held together in their sights reminded him of her.

I know, you want to introduce the persons of the story, but up till now it really doesn't interest me this much, that I read a genealogy.

Sorry, the doorbell...
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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #5 on: 25 June 2009, 00:15:52 »

 :D  Ok.  I shall get out my scizzers and start cutting.  Info dump huh?    I'll keep that in mind.  Thanks Talia.
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« Reply #6 on: 25 June 2009, 01:48:30 »




Altario, as I said, I don‘t know, if my hard comments are really rectified. It reads nicely and I‘m sure if such a comment is really what is needed here in Santharia. But since I visit this German board I try to apply it to every story, but I‘m not sure either, where the rules apply and where not. Somehow your story is so well-writen, but then, it was a bit boring for me as well, thouhg I don‘t know excatly why - is there too much of this colt in it? But the comparison with Rohanna is good!  Is it just the wrong place - in the beginning of the story?  The single pictures you draw are so beautiful, so, I would not want to miss them. Am I just corrupted by stories which run so quickly?  - Goethe and co are so boring as well, unreadable!
So, please be not hurt, I‘m just writing down the ‚feelings‘ when I read the story for the first time. To help to improve your text. And keep in mind, it is just me, ask Irid and Rookie to read it as well.


"There he is!"

The young girl wiggled forward in the tall alth'ho grass, peering ahead to where her companion was pointing. Her eyes were alight with the excitement of the moment, her interest at its peak. Both of the young people were lying on their stomachs on the top of a low hill, enjoying the warming sun's, the injera's, rays. The grass tickled at the exposed skin on their arms, and occasionally the soft skin of their neck or chin as they moved and interacted.
Great beginning  
At the bottom of the hill was the object of their interest, a pinnipeye mare and her newborn foal, so called because of the deep rich brown of their coat was akin to that of the eye of the sea creatures that inhabited the shores of the Bay of Calinth. The colt, also a pinnipeye colour, lay on the thick grass, sunning himself in the mid afternoon sun. As his dam grazed nearby, she kept her senses alert for any sign of trouble.
Well, I did expect more than just a horse and her young one. But well. Cut out the description of pinnip, maybe use just pinnipeye - brown or ‚a mare of the deep brown of a pinnipeye‘. Doesn‘t matter if I don‘t know in this moment, what a pinnip is.

"Oh, Jorgan!  He's so beautiful!"  The girl could barely contain her excitement. Her voice was a higher pitch and her eyes wide. She loved horses, or more pointedly, wild horses.  They were beautiful and free, something she had longed to be. She couldn't help but reminisce over her own life, comparing it to the newness of the colt's own: His entire life a mystery, unplanned, chaotic and beautiful. Her own… it had direction and purpose, the girl longed for the spontaneity and freedom of the colt's life.  A Remusian woman had few choices in life.

Though thisis beautiful written, I think it is too much  narration for the begining of the story. You have the reader not yet caught. Compare her to that colt, but only in a short way. Keep your text for later.

Jorgan Shialt-eck-Gorrin stared at the girl next to him, his brown eyes friendly; longing.  As he did so, his heart pounded in his chest, as it always did when he was near Rohanna.  In his twenty summers of life, he had never met a girl that excited him the way this girl of sixteen summers did.  Everything from the ring of her laugh to her playfully angry scowls interested him. And he had met plenty of girls, thanks to his grandmother.  

Ilyania Shialt-eck-Gorrin was determined to have her eldest grandson marry into an influential family. In a businesslike fashion she presented them before Jorgan, and just as businesslike, he turned them down. It was too planned; Ilyania expected too much.  Her husband, Teletar Shialt-eck-Gorrin, was the Lanrul of Oollantra and surrounding area. His kind eyes and gentle nature frustrated Jorgan; why did he let his wife torment their grandson so? Jorgan guessed in some way it amused Teletar, so he let it drone on. Their son, Jorgan's father, Jokbar Shialt-eck-Gorrin, was an only child and had been heir to the mantle of Oollantra, but he had been killed in battle many years ago, leaving Jorgan as the heir to the mantle. Jorgan couldn't be sure he was cut out for the responsibility. He felt twenty was hardly an age for such a burden, but he would carry it with pride, as his family intended. It was this fact that drove Ilyania to search for a suitable wife for Jorgan.


Yet, for Jorgan, it had always been a source of great frustration. Should he be old enough to accept the great responsibility of his father, he was certainly old enough to choose his own bride. The daughter's of nobles, diplomats and great warriors that he had met had failed to pique his interest.  Virtually all of them had no spirit, nor fire in their eyes. Rohanna Crovaar, however, had no lack of either spirit or fire.  She both intrigued him and excited him. The little colt they held together in their sights reminded him of her.
Skip last sentence anyway, we know this already.
[/color]

"Would you like me to have grandfather's men capture him for you?  I could give him to you as a gift." Jorgan's instinct was to give her anything she pleased, to see the happiness spread across her face. To his discontent, that did not happen.

"No!"  Rohanna's answer bit hard and she immediately saw the hurt in her companion's eyes. She softened her words. "Being free is what makes them so beautiful.  If you took that from them, they would die inside." Rohanna's voice waned at her last words, she felt as though she may be talking about more than this little colt.

Now, this is good, the reader makes the connection himself, that is much better.

His face flushed red, Jorgan nodded that he understood what she was trying to convey. It was the fire in Rohanna he loved; to take that away would count her among the many other women he could not bring himself to care for. He scolded himself for his stupid suggestion. He then followed her lead and turned his attention back to the horses.

 I think you are explaining again too much. That makes the reader angry, if yu underestimate him.

The mare continued to graze on the spring grass, but the colt had forced himself shakily to his feet.  He was getting hungry and pulled himself over to his dam, on thin legs that looked far too long for his body.  He anxiously pushed his nose under her flank and began to suckle.  He became very excited at the taste of his mother's milk and his tail twitched uncontrollably, which then extended to his rump twitching excitedly.  He became so enraptured that he tripped himself, his back legs entangling, and he fell to the ground.  For a brief moment he was still, and then his head swung about and his thin legs began to move, as if to see who had witnessed his embarrassment.

That is nicely described, buthere you have a change of perspective, no, not really, but your focus is not longer on Rohanna, buton the colt. You begin every sentence with „He“  

Watching with glee, Rohanna could not help but laugh aloud.  She clapped her hands over her mouth, and with wide eyes, glanced at Jorgan, but seeing him only made her laugh that much harder.  Rohanna regretted making noise, but the colt was adorable; awkward in its own body and her fit of giggles would not subside.

At once the mare's ears picked up.  Her gaze traveled up the slope of the hill to the tall grass where the two spies lay hidden.  With a low snort of disdain, she trotted toward the tree line, only glancing back once to see her colt obediently following.  It took only a moment before the mare and her foal disappeared, swallowed by the forest, and Rohanna's few minutes of glee were over.

This is a very nice scene, Alt, but I asked myself nevertheless,why you told it. To introduce your characters, but that might not be enough. Is this scene of any real importance to the story?  



Again, I have to stop. And don‘t feel too bad now! Don‘t throw it away ;)  It was just me...

And no time for a spellcheck... have to pick up Garret

Skip the bold parts ;)

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« Reply #7 on: 25 June 2009, 03:19:12 »

Ain't nobody as brutally honest as you Talia. :P

I will work on this further.  So, now I need scizzors and tape, and glue.
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« Reply #8 on: 25 June 2009, 03:32:16 »

I've just printed the story - comments to come later this week :)
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« Reply #9 on: 25 June 2009, 03:52:16 »

I know, I know, but, should I better not criticise this hard? You could always argue, that what I long for is a modern style of writing and that you have a style which fits more to an earlier age, but then, your readers live in our modern time.

Btw, the critique in this forum is much harder - they took one of my English stories apart, which I thought was great  - but they were right and I fear I have to rewrite the magic robe one day. But only this way it is possible to learn. And as always, it is just one opinion, and not even one of a versified writer, but a mere beginner.
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« Reply #10 on: 25 June 2009, 04:59:19 »

Hello Alt! I need to go to bed soon so I'll only do a small section of the text tonight. I shall analyse the rest in instalments - hope that is ok with you? Sorry for the brusqueness - too tired and having difficulty putting sentences together!

Now to business:

- Four books had a tremendous impact on my writing (when you read the version of A Seagull's Cry that is on the site and compare it with the new chapters, it is almost scary to see how much my style has changed. Now I am still very much a newbie writer and there is a lot of room for improvement so I cannot pretend to pass words of wisdom. So while there is still a great distance to travel, it really motivates me to see how far I've come. A bit like those "before and after" pictures ;) ). So I would highly recommend them highly to anyone interested in fiction. If you can get your hands on them, the best order to read them would be:

(1) The Act of Fiction by Ayn Rand (controversial and at times arrogant like most of AR's works, but it marked a paradigm-shift for me - especially the chapters on style and the role of the subconscious);
(2) Plot & Structure (Write Great Fiction series) by James Scott Bell - an extremely useful, quick reference book. Very user-friendly
(3) The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri - a must
(4) Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld

#1 and 3 are more abstract. They give you a very solid foundation and show you the main principles. #2 and 4 are more like practical how-to books; walking you through specific problems.

- I agree with Talia but I would suggest a different way of doing it. Ultimately, it is a matter of style and opinion :) I'll go over the text paragraph by paragraph. Of course it really depends on the style of prose you will be using in the rest of the book - is it a more elaborate, ironic one? is it hardboiled and direct? etc - but one way to enliven the text and hurl the reader into the story is to make the first few paragraphs as lean as possible, trimming everything that is not essential. Usually, you have about one page to cement the reader into the story - it's a bit like baby-sitting: bore them within the first page and you will no longer have the benefit of the doubt. I'll mark my suggestions in redbelow. Anything that sounds a bit off -word choice or grammar - will be in grey.



"There he is!"

The first sentence should "hook" the reader so dialogue always makes an excellent beginning. Three words and the reader is already wondering: What is there? Who is speaking? To whom is s/he speaking?

The young girl wiggled forward in the tall alth'ho grass, peering ahead to where her companion was pointing. Her eyes were alight with the excitement of the moment, her interest at its peak. They layon their stomachs on the top of a low hill, enjoying the warming sun's, the injera's, rays. The grass tickled at the exposed skin on their arms, and occasionally the soft skin of their neck or chin as they moved and interacted.

At the bottom of the hill was the object of their interest, a pinnipeye mare and her newborn foal, so called because of the deep rich brown of their coat was akin to that of the eye of the sea creatures that inhabited the shores of the Bay of Calinth. The colt, also a pinnipeye colour, lay on the thick grass, sunning himself in the mid afternoon sun. As his dam grazed nearby, she kept her senses alert for any sign of trouble.

I actually disagree with Talia on this point. I would keep the explanation of pinnipeye. Generally I am not a fan of inventing fantasy names for everyday objects. An orange should be an orange. Unknown, made-up names simply do have the same connotations. A brief line explaining them however, can give that sense of a rich new world underlying the story.

"Oh, Jorgan!  He's so beautiful!"  The girl could barely contain her excitement. Her voice was a higher pitch and her eyes wide. She loved horses, or more pointedly accurately? specifically?, wild horses.  They were beautiful and free, something she had longed to be. She couldn't help but reminisce over her own life, comparing it to the newness of the colt's own: His entire life a mystery, unplanned, chaotic and beautiful. Her own… it had direction and purpose, the girl longed for the spontaneity and freedom of the colt's life.  A Remusian woman had few choices in life.

Very good. The last sentence is the strongest one in a paragraph, and the short, direct quality of this one really nails the point home. Style following function :) Btw, this is a good paragraph because it gives us a sense of R's character - and therefore subtly hints at the story-problem. Character is almost like the undercurrent of the conflict to come.

Jorgan Shialt-eck-Gorrin stared at the girl next to him, his brown eyes friendly; longing.  As he did so, his heart pounded in his chest, as it always did when he was near Rohanna.  In his twenty summers of life, he had never met a girl that excited him the way this girl of sixteen summers did.  Everything from the ring of her laugh to her playfully angry scowls interested him. And he had met plenty of girls, thanks to his grandmother. 

Ilyania Shialt-eck-Gorrin was determined to have her eldest grandson marry into an influential family. In a businesslike fashion she presented them before Jorgan, and just as businesslike, he turned them down. It was too planned; Ilyania expected too much.  Her husband, Teletar Shialt-eck-Gorrin, was the Lanrul of Oollantra and surrounding area. His kind eyes and gentle nature frustrated Jorgan; why did he let his wife torment their grandson so? Jorgan guessed in some way it amused Teletar, so he let it drone on. Their son, Jorgan's father, Jokbar Shialt-eck-Gorrin, was an only child and had been heir to the mantle of Oollantra, but he had been killed in battle many years ago, leaving Jorgan as the heir to the mantle. Jorgan couldn't be sure he was cut out for the responsibility. He felt twenty was hardly an age for such a burden, but he would carry it with pride, as his family intended. It was this fact that drove Ilyania to search for a suitable wife for Jorgan.

Yet, for Jorgan, it had always been a source of great frustration. Should he be old enough to accept the great responsibility of his father, he was certainly old enough to choose his own bride. The daughter's of nobles, diplomats and great warriors that he had met had failed to pique his interest.  Virtually all of them had no spirit, nor fire in their eyes. Rohanna Crovaar, however, had no lack of either spirit or fire.  She both intrigued him and excited him. The little colt they held together in their sights reminded him of her.


When you remove this part, the text flows a lot more smoothly. You then have three lines of dialogue more or less one after the other, each moving the text further. It is best to feed the information bit by bit, showing only to whet the reader's appetite. Act first, explain later ;) Most of the information you have here comes through in the rest of the chapter anyway. So if you get rid of this, you can keep the others.

"Would you like me to have grandfather's men capture him for you?  I could give him to you as a gift." Jorgan's instinct was to give her anything she pleased, to see the happiness spread across her face. To his discontent, that did not happen.

"No!"  Rohanna's answer bit hard and she immediately saw the hurt in her companion's eyes. She softened her words. "Being free is what makes them so beautiful.  If you took that from them, they would die inside." Rohanna's voice waned at her last words, she felt as though she may be talking about more than this little colt.

His face flushed red, Jorgan nodded that he understood what she was trying to convey. It was the fire in Rohanna he loved; to take that away would count her among the many other women he could not bring himself to care for. He scolded himself for his stupid suggestion. He then followed her lead and turned his attention back to the horses.

The mare continued to graze on the spring grass, but the colt had forced himself shakily to his feet.  He was getting hungry and pulled himself over to his dam, on thin legs that looked far too long for his body.  He anxiously pushed his nose under her flank and began to suckle.  He became very excited at the taste of his mother's milk and his tail twitched uncontrollably, which then extended to his rump twitching excitedly.  He became so enraptured that he tripped himself, his back legs entangling, and he fell to the ground.  For a brief moment he was still, and then his head swung about and his thin legs began to move, as if to see who had witnessed his embarrassment.

Watching with glee, Rohanna could not help but laugh aloud.  She clapped her hands over her mouth, and with wide eyes, glanced at Jorgan, but seeing him only made her laugh that much harder.  Rohanna regretted making noise, but the colt was adorable; awkward in its own body and her fit of giggles would not subside.

At once the mare's ears picked up.  Her gaze traveled up the slope of the hill to the tall grass where the two spies lay hidden.  With a low snort of disdain, she trotted toward the tree line, only (two only s one after the other) glancing back once to see her colt obediently following.  It took only a moment before the mare and her foal disappeared, swallowed by the forest, and Rohanna's few minutes of glee (repetition) were over.

- end of scene 1 - think of the story as a motion picture :)

(My eyelids are dropping so I need to call it a night. I like the story; my comments come across as a bit more haughty then intended - forgive that for now. It's just that I'm too exhausted to express myself properly)


Hang in there! A little polishing and all will be worth it in the end! :D
« Last Edit: 25 June 2009, 13:59:24 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #11 on: 25 June 2009, 06:03:34 »

Coren, 'they both lied' means they were not telling the truth. The past of lie as in lying down is 'they lay', and personally I think 'they were both lying' is better in this particular sentence because it is scene-setting. But I have to go to bed too, so that's all I'm saying for now ;)
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« Reply #12 on: 25 June 2009, 07:00:03 »

I will have to go in search of those books, Coren.  No need to worry about seeming haughty, I'm used to Talia.  Haha, just kidding Talia. :P  I appreciate both of you commenting on my writing.  It's been a long time since I had someone there to help me improve.  Coming to this site was all in preperation for me to learn how to write again, as I haven't really been doing it since shortly after high school.  I love writing, and if I can get hints on improving it, I will gladly take all the help; haughty or not. :D 

Talia's writing I only know from the RP side, and I'm very impressed with yours from the story you are creating now.  Between the two of you, hopefully I can improve enough to create an entire Santh novel for the Library at the Lorehold. :D
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« Reply #13 on: 25 June 2009, 15:56:11 »

Coren, I assume your reference books are not available online, but true books ?

And where is your way so different to what I said?   noidea

Alt, I have two stories written (which are on the site), apart from the myth stuff. Though I did them quite untouched of any other writer's advice, before I knew the word 'infodump' and heard about too much adjectives are too avoid - so nothing to learn from them.
  buck And as I said above - one at least I have to rewrite...

Story:

Quote
I actually disagree with Talia on this point. I would keep the explanation of pinnipeye.

Well, I do not object the mentioning of the pinnip itself, but that long, dry hald-sentence is infodump about the pinnip. But you could integrate the information in the dialog.

At the bottom of the hill was the object of their interest, a pinnipeye mare and her newborn foal, {so called because of the deep rich brown of their coat was akin to that of the eye of the sea creatures that inhabited the shores of the Bay of Calinth.} The colt, also of that rich brown colour, lay on the thick grass, sunning himself in the mid afternoon sun. As his dam grazed nearby, she kept her senses alert for any sign of trouble.

"Oh, Jorgan!  He's so beautiful!"  The girl could barely contain her excitement. „Look at his colour, a true pinnipeye! I saw recently one of those beautiful seabeast basking in the sun on the beach and could admire its eyes from not too far away. ... „

Or similar, you get what I mean? She could even include his brown eyes...

Her voice was a higher pitch and her eyes wide. She loved horses, or more pointedly, wild horses.  They were beautiful and free, something she had longed to be. She couldn't help but reminisce over her own life, comparing it to the newness of the colt's own: His entire life a mystery, unplanned, chaotic and beautiful. Her own… it had direction and purpose, the girl longed for the spontaneity and freedom of the colt's life.  A Remusian woman had few choices in life.
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« Reply #14 on: 25 June 2009, 19:40:02 »

Thanks Irid - I always mix those two if I'm not paying attention...

Talia: Just a minor difference. I would keep the pony paragraphs in the beginning as they are and get rid of the background ones etc. Essentially we remove the same content but from different places.

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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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