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AidanWaggy
November 29th, 2010, 08:47 AM
I open my eyes a changed being. As I sit up, I can see those subtle shades of colour which had seemed to escape me before - crystal clear before me, as bright as the sun itself - from the immediately obvious greens to the slightly more subtle pinks and blues, which decorated the flowers in the leafy scenery. I blink, my eyes hurting from their vibrance. I inhale, taking in the crisp air. It makes my throat smart, but it refreshes me. I stretch my aching limbs, shaking off the stiffness. Slowly, I begin to walk around. At first, I am almost paralysed by the new colour I see in everything - from the dew-covered needles of spindly pines, to the birds, who dart and dive, this way and that - but eventually I adjust to it, and I welcome the new, vibrant world. I silently trot through a hallway of oak, their branches forming a thin roof above my head, seeming to absorb me into the forest and it's secrets. I take a deep breath, enjoying the peace. Above, a sudden breeze causes a shower of droplets to cascade, soaking me to the skin, but I just laugh gaily, leaping in my joy. I lean over to some brush, and nibble on a leaf, savouring the rich flavour. It releases a beautiful fragrance, and I stop to smell it. Then I hear a noise - almost inaudible. I spin my head to try and find the source of the sound, but to no avail. Then there was another sound... A sudden snap....

I leap, and slash downwards with outstretched claws, rending my prey in two. With my razor-like teeth, I lift it up by it's hind legs, examining the measly kill. A young deer lies before me, a bloody mess. Others stalk out of the brush like me, and together we haul the equine out of the clearing, and into the leafy bushes which swamped the lower areas of the trees. The carnage will, no doubt, attract scavengers, so we begin to eat our fill - our grey fur glistening with sweat and blood that is not our own. We rip out chunks of flesh, savouring the rich taste of the young creature. We take our fill, then swap places with the rest of the pack who were watching whilst we ate. Silently, we stand - like monuments to nature's glory, the true rulers of the forest. Then, nearby, there is a sound. Not stealthy - loud, metallic. One of the large males edges towards the sound, then there is an almighty BANG! Something hits him, leaving only a bloody hole where it hit. I try to run, but more things appear to be hiding in the undergrowth, hampering our escape. I turn to fight, only to feel a cold circle pressed against me. In a strange language not our own, it whispers something strange, sounding menacing. Then I see it tighten one of it's thin limbs...
Critiquing Welcome

Verum Scriptor
November 29th, 2010, 05:17 PM
I praise your creative writing in paragraph one, however, I have to admit I was getting a little bored while reading it due to lack of action. Also, I would recommend not using "crystal clear", cliché, been used too many times.

FalconsHonour
November 29th, 2010, 09:51 PM
My first critique on the site! Be afraid; be very afraid.

Okay, initial thoughts: I like this. There's a lot of strong imagery and you definitely use all five senses to draw the reader into the scene. I really love the contrast between the tranquillity of the first paragraph: "subtle shades of colour", "flowers in the leafy scene", "dew-covered needles of spindly pines", the darting and diving birds, the hallway of oak -- especially like that phrasing -- right on up to laughing gaily and nibbling on a leaf. That last bit especially provides a stark contrast to the bloodiness later on. You do use 'subtle' twice in the second sentence, but it doesn't detract from the piece much for me; I'd still suggest seeing if you can think of another word, though, as there are those who would say that's just bad form.

The second paragraph is a blur of action, which works very well as a counterpoint to the peaceful first part. One thing to note, though -- deer are of the genus Cervidae, not Equidae. ;] And you change tense in 'The carnage would, no doubt, attract scavengers, so we begin to eat our fill' (should be 'will, no doubt'), but I'm really nitpicking now.

Again, the second paragraph has some strong imagery (I particularly like "glistening with sweat and blood that is not our own"), and you portray the gunshot very well from the POV of a creature (being? person?) who presumably hasn't got the knowledge or experience to just say "A gun went off." It's clear what's happening without breaking the character's voice, which is great.

Bit of a cliffhanger ending, though I suppose that was deliberate, and it does a nice job of encouraging the reader to continue. Overall: nice work!

So uh, I'm relatively new to critiquing, so if anyone sees anything wrong with this, please PM me to discuss. Always open to pointers from more experienced folks!

ex-cession
November 30th, 2010, 06:36 PM
its pretty good. i definitely like the idea you are going at; taking the narrative out of the human body. it certainly gives you an enigmatic edge as you start off - but i feel like the enigma does not wear off in time. you should really spend a lot more time exploring your surroundings, as in specific objects, the size of yourself and everything else. your character has to interact with these things as well as look at them in order for you to properly transport the reader into the world you are in. that is the only thing that will lead to them being truly startled when the hunters burst in and crash the party.
putting more suspense around killing the deer wuld also help - build it up into a climax, maybe you are watching the deer's movements, licking your lips as you see its muscles flex back and forth etc etc. build yourself into a born hunter.
the other thing. after one of the creatures gets shot, what are the rest of them doing? how does this event affect the atmosphere? i think you need to freeze the moment and describe total uproar in slow motion, then make your writing jumbled and confused as you try to escape.
at least, that's what id do.
keep writing anyway, youve got a good idea.

AidanWaggy
November 30th, 2010, 09:54 PM
My first critique on the site! Be afraid; be very afraid.

Okay, initial thoughts: I like this. There's a lot of strong imagery and you definitely use all five senses to draw the reader into the scene. I really love the contrast between the tranquillity of the first paragraph: "subtle shades of colour", "flowers in the leafy scene", "dew-covered needles of spindly pines", the darting and diving birds, the hallway of oak -- especially like that phrasing -- right on up to laughing gaily and nibbling on a leaf. That last bit especially provides a stark contrast to the bloodiness later on. You do use 'subtle' twice in the second sentence, but it doesn't detract from the piece much for me; I'd still suggest seeing if you can think of another word, though, as there are those who would say that's just bad form.

The second paragraph is a blur of action, which works very well as a counterpoint to the peaceful first part. One thing to note, though -- deer are of the genus Cervidae, not Equidae. ;] And you change tense in 'The carnage would, no doubt, attract scavengers, so we begin to eat our fill' (should be 'will, no doubt'), but I'm really nitpicking now.

Again, the second paragraph has some strong imagery (I particularly like "glistening with sweat and blood that is not our own"), and you portray the gunshot very well from the POV of a creature (being? person?) who presumably hasn't got the knowledge or experience to just say "A gun went off." It's clear what's happening without breaking the character's voice, which is great.

Bit of a cliffhanger ending, though I suppose that was deliberate, and it does a nice job of encouraging the reader to continue. Overall: nice work!

So uh, I'm relatively new to critiquing, so if anyone sees anything wrong with this, please PM me to discuss. Always open to pointers from more experienced folks!

Thanks a lot - very detailed critique, just the sort of thing I'm looking for when I post ;) The 2nd paragraph is in the PoV of a wolf - perhaps I should make that more clear (not too sure how at this moment). If you have any other ideas as to how I can expand upon this piece of work, just post/message me.

Thanks ex-cession, I'm going to try and implement some of those ideas, but it might take me a while - I tend to only settle for the best of what I can do (or what I think I can do). I'll do a draft, then post that on this thread, then perhaps you guys can read through and re-critique?

EDIT: By the way, don't feel that you have to be kind with your critiquing, be brutal by all means :)

ex-cession
November 30th, 2010, 10:07 PM
just remembered something. i read somewhere that smell is the most powerful sense for memory recollection. it also happens to be the most powerful sense in a wolf. try to incorporate this idea into the writing, it might make it feel more real.