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  1. #1
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Default Hmm. Rate this passage please.

    I'm writing some background stories, I wrote this passage a few days ago, I'm not very happy with it and would like some opinions about it. Don't mind the lack of context (besides names, appearances and such are subject to change), all I want to know if this 'scene' appeals or not to ones imagination. I'm pretty satisfied with most of the stuff I write, but action scenes are hard to pin down for me. And this one doesn't feel right to me personally. But I'll have a biased viewpoint being the writer so I'd like others to comment on it. Better to hone my skillz before writing the big times. :P

    A ghastly apparatus appears inbetween Kiana and her assailants. Skreeking through it's chilling breath "Death, death, death...". The words, cold and trembling, sends chills up her spine. Firmly squeezing her fingers around the shaft of her spear in cold anticipation, the conveyer fades slowly and disperses into thin air. The three towering hooded figures still standing before her finally break their still stature, synchronously raising their head, revealing their unholy crimson eyes surrounded by nothing but darkness. Kiana squints, "Tsk.". In a fit of frustration she curses herself beneath her breath for ending up in this situation.
    Not able to read the movements of her malevolent assailants like she would any man or beast of normal flesh, she finds herself unnaturally tense. Sharply staring at the dark trio, realizing there is but one course of action for her to take. With animalistic speed Kiana throws herself at the hooded men with the grace of a swan streaking through water. As the trio ensues toward her almost instantaniously, she grinds her teeth feverishly. All three figures move as one, drawing needle like blades engulfed in unholy smoke. Kiana sidesteps just short of crashing into the potruding tips, jumping her weight effortlessly to the side of the trio. Landing right next to the ensuers she instantly pierces her spear with one powerful thrust filled with all power she can muster through the flimsy husks of her assailants. The terrible shreaks of the dark trio engulf her own cry of battle. The husks are shriveling up, leaving nothing but a pile of ash and black rags.

    Dropping to her knees, she grasps her left arm. Blood runs through her fingers. The closest assailant had changed the direction of its blade and met her arm as she charged her spear. Cursing in herself she desperately fights the unbearable pain that courses through her entire body, like poison the darkness rapidly engulfs all of her senses and within seconds she loses consciousness.
    The biggest issue I'm having is wondering if I should use animal metaphors for fights. I liked Robert E. Howards style that did that with Conan and tigers. But it sort of feels like I'm ripping him off. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    I have an issue with your use of the present tense. But this sentence could use some polishing up, 'The terrible shreaks of the dark trio engulf her own cry of battle as the husks shrivel back into nothingness leaving nothing but a pile of ash and black rags.' The first thing I noticed was the double use of the word "nothing." And then as I looked at this sentence more closely it just seemed a bit too wordy for the idea it was trying to present.

    I don't have an opinion on the use of animal metaphors, but this: "With animalistic speed Kiana throws herself at the hooded men with the grace of a swan streaking through water" could use some cleaning up. Try something like, "As gracefully as a swan, Kiana threw herself at the hooded men." Or, "With the grace of a swan gliding through water..."
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  3. #3
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    It's better to write in past tense you think? I figured writing in present tense includes the reader more directly in the story. Would like to hear your opinion about why you have a problem with my usage of present tense, please.

    Also, the other points you mentioned are well received. I didn't even see the double nothing myself lol, that definately needs cleaning up. In fact I'll do that right away since that was a bad error.

    I also like "As gracefully as a swan, Kiana threw herself at the hooded men.", starting with the animal metaphor it'd also be easier to get into the action. Kind of odd I didn't realize that first, but that's what critisism is all about. This also makes me realize probably why I have so much trouble writing action scenes. I tend to start with the actual physical action and then explain the aesthetics of said action. Doing it the other way around will make it read much better.

    Much appreciated input.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  4. #4
    my floof is luxury Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    I think your should try to rewrite this paragraph using as few words as possible. I think some of your description detracts from the immediacy of the action you're trying to convey.
    And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow,
    you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth

  5. #5
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Mhm, I've thought about that too, but I tend to be a descriptive writer and have a distinctive writing voice, that seems great when the scenes don't call for timing and action and has a certain fluidity to it. But is very hard to pin down while writing action scenes (romantic scenes on the other hand.).

    Anyway I fear that if I change the voice too much, strip too much out of the action scenes, they will, in contrast to my other writing, look bland. Possibly rushed even.

    Freaking action scenes, bane of my aspiring writers career.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  6. #6
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Intriguing action, way too many adverbs.

  7. #7
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I think the opposite. Being a fan of fiction writing, I always loved a good, well-thought out and detailed battle.

    How I would edit this.. You can take it or leave it: (the main thing that I saw is you switch between past tense and present tense.. "appeared inbetween" vs "sends chills up her spine")

    A ghastly apparatus appeared inbetween Kiana and her assailants. Skreeking through it's chilling breath cold words, "Death, death, death...". Its voice sent chills up her spine. Firmly squeezing her fingers around the shaft (rofl) of her spear (Also, lol) in anticipation, the conveyer faded slowly, dispersing into thin air. The three towering hooded statues before her suddenly broke their motionless stature. They synchronously raised their heads, revealing unholy crimson eyes engulfed by darkness. Kiana squeeked, "Tsk.". In a fit of frustration she cursed beneath her breath. She was not able to read the movements of these figures like she would any man or beast. Her body was flexed with anxiety instead of normal, practiced tension. She knew a decision had to be made, and now.

    With primal speed, Kiana threw herself at the hooded men to take the first strike before they could start. (Really, I'd love to see a lot more writing in the action here.. She just threw herself? Was there a punch, a kick? Did she bite their ankles?) The figures intercepted her attack (again, I feel details on how should be placed here, followed by her disengaging somehow to collect herself for a split second.) She grit her teeth feverishly, mind racing at how to out maneuver these things. All three figures moved as one, drawing needle like blades billowing a smoke no fire could create. Kiana narrowly avoided her fate at the end of one as she pushed, jumping her weight to the side of the trio's attack. Landing right next to the ensuers, she noticed their unified movements. She could take advantage of this... if she lived long enough. (I say more fighting needs to be in placed here. How her arm was hurt, etc.. Again, details on how she moved, or maneuvered them, into a position where she could do the next bit.) She took advantage of her position, and called a battle cry with all the power she could muster to drive her spear head through their flimsy husks. As she reared back, one of the dark ones moved to pierce her. She needed to drive her spear through, she would not get another opportunity. She would push through, and try to deal with whatever consequence came with it. She had hoped it would be enough, and the terrible shreaks of the dark trio overpowering her own cry helped reassure her. The husks shriveled up and hollowed out even more, decomposing into nothing but a pile of ash soiling black rags that once hung from their ghostly forms.

    Dropping to her knees, she grasped her left arm, gasping for her breath and trying to shake the survival mode she'd been in for the past battle. Wetness flooded her fingers, and the dark scarlet hue stained her clothing and the floor as it bled freely from the cut. The cut itself did not hurt, but the unbearable burning that started to infest her arm was another story. She knew it was a risk. Her vision blurred, and the room tilted and waivered, before going black.
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  8. #8
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Spears have shafts. I'm not sure how else to call it. :P

    And the throwing herself part just meant that she charged towards them really really fast and instantly. Like poing.

    Also, I wanted it to be a one blow battle, these creatures have but one destination, one thought, they don't plan or strategize, they go straight for the throat and do so extremely fast without a moments pause. They need to be nearly invincible. And because the actual action happened in a split second, I wanted to leave the fact that she hurt her arm until she realized she had hurt her arm and not at the actual clash. And I also didn't want to stop during the action and take a step back to explain.

    Still, I appreciate your draft a lot. I really need to work on my action writing sense, so I'm taking everything in and I'm practicing a bit with some other drafts as we speak to see if I can find my flow in them, so I'll be able to consistently write decent scenes without scrutinizing them for ages until they're good.


    PS: This isn't going to be a passage of the book I intend to write or anything like that, I'm still in the world creation process and am pitching some ideas to myself about various characters and aspects of the world while writing some random shorts, backgrounds and small tales as I am filling up the gaps of the world, all in an attempt to familiarize myself with the world I intend to create, and won't begin novelwriting until I feel familiarized. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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