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Stealth
February 3rd, 2012, 06:31 PM
See reply #21 for a new excerpt.

Canis
February 6th, 2012, 05:55 AM
I saw a couple omitted words here and there but I forgot to make a note of where those omitted words were so a read through should fix that problem. I have to say, the story started a little slow and I nearly left it to read another. That being said, I'm very happy I continued reading. You have a knack for writing believable action sequences, something I lack, and I applaud you for that. This story reads as a D&D-ish (yes I make up words) novel and if I saw it on the shelf, I would definitely buy it.

I did notice two blaring errors.

1)It seemed as if you either deleted a sentence or changed thoughts mid-sentence.

“And now you are on the verge of defeat. I’ve seen the state of your army. They won’t last another month, less if this king attacks. I don’t need your help Jekarda, you need my help. Thing is, I’m not willing to give you my help. I want to get out of here and go about my business.” Taloc’s respect for the man in front of him when he saw the General nodding.

2) You didn't misspell a word, you accidentally used a synonym. Throne is the word you were intending to use.
“Our Lord is not with us. He sits on His thrown watching over us.”

Overall, I loved this excerpt and I would love to read more.

Stealth
February 6th, 2012, 08:04 AM
This isn't the very start of the book, this part was supposed to start kinda slow, because this was right after an intense fight. Thank you for pointing out those mistakes, sometimes I get to typing and my fingers can't keep up with my brain and I accidently leave out words. I've been very busy recently and haven't had much time to write more, but I may post more later on. Thank you for your reply and I'm glad you like it!

josh.townley
February 7th, 2012, 03:55 AM
I found the story very intriguing, but I think some of the writing needs a bit of polishing. As Canis mentioned, there are a few omitted words here and there.
I felt that the fight scene with the assassins was a bit rushed and hard to follow. It might benefit from going through line by line and make sure every action is clear and flows well into the next.


The woman, or girl, Taloc realized as she got closer. For closer to a girl she was.
These two sentences are fragments. I think I noticed a few others in there, so you need to watch out for that.

These things aside, though, I thought there was some great stuff here. Taloc seems like an interesting character with lots of potential to grow throughout the story. I was a bit confused by the fact that both of their sisters seemed to have died recently, but maybe that would be cleared up by the preceding section. I'm also a bit worried by the direction you seem to be going with their God. Jekarda is starting to sound very Christian, and that could turn a lot of fantasy readers off it.
Thanks for posting! :)

Stealth
February 7th, 2012, 05:29 PM
Thank you for pointing out those fragments, I corrected them. When I have more time I'll read back through to find any other fragments. The preceding section does give the reason that both sisters died. As to Jekarda sounding Christian, he is supposed to some. I am a Christian and I want to show it through my writing. I'm sort of going off the The Door Within trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson. I might make it less obvious when I rewrite though.

RedSuinit
March 9th, 2012, 07:47 PM
I thought it was very good. Well written with almost no errors. The grammar for the most part was good, but there were a few parts that didn't make sense, like something was missing. Also the jump from present to past was very sudden, and I think it maybe could have used some sort of transition, instead of just a straight jump. Something like:

As they followed the commander, Taloc allowed his thoughts to capture him. Remembering that time when he too looked for nothing more than food and shelter in an army.

tputnik
March 10th, 2012, 08:02 PM
Very nice work my good sir. Like the others said, could use some polishing but for being written past midnight, the work is pretty good.

patskywriter
March 10th, 2012, 08:44 PM
Pretty good stuff. When you get the chance, go through your work slowly and weigh the values of the words and phrases that you choose. I added a few comments in red.

—————

Pain. All Taloc could register was the universal pain. [there's no emotion in the word 'universal'; try describing pain that throbs or comes or cascades in waves] His head, his leg, his side. Nothing outside the pain made sense. Everything he saw was blurry and came in broken pieces.

Light, darkness. Faces. More faces. Taloc could tell he was laying [should be 'lying'] on his back, looking at the sky, but beyond that he couldn’t understand anything.

When Taloc finally awoke his first thought was his thirst. His lips were chapped and broken [lips are usually described as 'cracked,' and you used the word 'broken' a couple of sentences ago] and his dry throat made it difficult to swallow. A moment later, however, the pain came back [if at the beginning you changed the wording to refer to waves of pain, then you could say that he was hit by another wave of pain]. He groaned as his vision blurred.

A face appeared above his. Long brown hair brushed his face and a sweet aroma met his nose.

A woman’s voice reached Taloc’s ears, “Stay with me Taloc, you’re safe, just stay with me.”

Taloc blinked his eyes rapidly until his vision became slightly less blurred. He could make out a little bit more of the soft almost childish face above him. Bright blue eyes highlighted the smooth, rounded face.

“Muline?” Taloc asked.

“Shh, don’t speak.”

“I…have something…for you,” Taloc moved his hand so that it dropped off his waist. “Sword…where is the…sword?”

“The sword is probably in the armory,” Muline sounded confused, like ['as if' sounds a little better] she didn’t know why he wanted the sword.

“Get…it,” Taloc closed his eyes and allowed himself to slip out of consciousness again.

The next time Taloc woke the pain was less intense. A dull throbbing pulsed through his head and it hurt a little to breath [breathe],[;] but other than that[,] he felt, for the most part, better['he felt a bit better, for the most part' is less jagged].

His vision was clear [you can say that his vision had cleared or that his eyes regained the ability to focus] so he took the chance to look around the room he was in. The room appeared to be inside a tent. The walls were brown cloth and swayed slightly in the breeze [single objects like trees sway; maybe you'd want to say that the walls occasionally bowed outward in the breeze]. The ground was dirt and trampled from many feet walking across it [maybe you can say that the top layer of dirt had been trampled into dust by many feet walking across it].

Stealth
March 12th, 2012, 08:11 AM
RedSuinit: I see what you mean, I will create a transition to make it smoother.

tputnik: Thank you very much

PatSkyWriter: Thank you for the feedback, I will certainly make changes you suggested. This is the first draft, so I have not done much editing or revision. I do struggle with some phrases and words and whatnot, thank you for pointing those out for me. I do struggle with commas, thank you for correcting some of those too.

Nevermore
March 12th, 2012, 12:48 PM
You do a very good job of setting up your character and conveying their thoughts, and the conversation is very smoothly done. It has rough edges, but simply reading your stuff out loud to yourself should help you find those.

abuistrago
March 21st, 2012, 01:48 AM
Same thing as the others have mentioned, needs some polishing. The action sequence, for me, was a little difficult to follow because of the lack of commas and such. But overall it kept me interested and wanting more.

Also, in the beggining of the story you say he's in a room and later realizes it's a tent but you kept refering to it as a room. I'd just go with it being a tent from the start:

His vision was clear so he took the chance to look around the room he was in. The room appeared to be inside a tent. The walls were brown cloth and swayed slightly in the breeze. The ground was dirt and trampled from many feet walking across it.

Taloc shifted his gaze upward. He saw that he wasn’t the only one in the room.


I'd put it like this:

His vision cleared so he took a chance to look around him. He appeared to be inside a tent. The walls were brown cloth and swayed slightly in the breeze. The dirt was trampled with prints of the feet that had walked across it.

Taloc shifted his gaze upward. He saw that he wasn’t the only one inside the tent.

Anywho, I liked it :)

Stealth
October 12th, 2012, 05:25 AM
Been a while since I've been on here...

Thank you Nevermore, I will try to iron out the rough edges when I go back and do my revising.

abuistrago: Thank you for pointing that out. You are absolutely right. I went back and fixed it.

Cairney
October 12th, 2012, 07:58 PM
Just thought I'd chip in and quickly say I really enjoyed it. I especially like how short and sharp the beginning part is, if you get what I mean. Good work for after midnight, I would definitely read more!

Stealth
October 18th, 2012, 05:39 PM
Thank you Cairney. I was trying to show how he wasn't all there with that part.

JLAu
October 19th, 2012, 12:27 PM
I think that your characters are too polite. The plot is sound. Reading this makes me want to read from the beginning to have a better understanding of location, background, and character depth.

Andrew81
October 19th, 2012, 07:49 PM
Hello Stealth, I have to say I really enjoyed reading this and it made me want to check out the rest of it. I think you did a great job with the fighting / action sequences and I was able to get a very clear picture in my mind of what was going on. The only thing I noticed is just one word in this paragraph........

Taloc pulled his legs under him and rose to his hands and knees. He heard one of the men step up behind him. Taloc’s eyes flew open and he lashed out with his right foot. It connected with the man’s leg and sent him falling face-first into Taloc’s waiting elbow. The man lost conscious immediately and his limp form rolled off of Taloc.


You may want to use the word "consciousness" instead of "conscious", but other than that, it is very interesting. Thanks for sharing and good job!

Stealth
October 20th, 2012, 08:18 PM
Too polite? You think so? If Taloc is polite, it is mocking, and he's not very polite later. The others didn't feel too polite to me either. Muline is I suppose, but where do you think the others are too polite?

I may post the beginning or another chapter farther along before too long.

Stealth
October 20th, 2012, 08:20 PM
Andrew: Thank you for pointing that out. I pay close attention to my fighting sequences, especially later on.

JLAu
October 21st, 2012, 12:17 AM
It's all just opinion, but I'll try to point out what I mean.

The commander cleared his throat and spoke. “We are, uh, supposed to take you to our commanding officers.”

Here he just had a dagger put to his throat. The general feeling was put in above with the previous two paragraphs, but not his specific reaction. To me he should be shaking with fury or adreneline dump instead he simply states the above.

“I told you not to touch with this thing.”

Perhaps "I told you not to touch me with this thing."
might be better.It seems you are going for the cold tough hero so I'll let the inflection be.

“Welcome Taloc Tlensson, I am General Jekarda. Please, sit,” Jekarda said, standing.

This is what I'm talking about. The General begins with "welcome",stands, and says "please". You might say well that is just good manners he doesn't know about the confrontation earlier with the commander, he doesn't see his own commander nursing his hurt arm, last he is a general who is so incompetent that allows discipline to fall to the such a level that his commander sent to fetch someone he wants help from and that man puts the bully moves and intimidation techniques on said person, but manners are important. You could say he apologized afterwards but that either makes it worse or is false which isn't indicated. This is also the same problem I have with the earlier flashback sequence only it deals with elite groups and training.
All in all I stick with what I said before I'm interested in seeing where you're going with it. Please take this in the way it is meant as just my opinion.

Stealth
October 21st, 2012, 01:09 AM
The General is trying to get Taloc to join them, so he has to tread carefully. He also knows that Taloc only listens to those he respects and his respect doesn't come easily, so he has to do everything he can. None of my characters pay much attention to violence either. In this world/time period, nobody does. Little fights happen all the time. Nobody was seriously hurt so he doesn't care. As forthe discipline: Jekarda is not the only general. He does not have full control. This army is set up in a way that it falls on every officer and squad leader to control those under their immediate command. Jekarda controls some of the high ranking soldiers, not all the officers. He has his own standards, which he lives up to, but he doesn't force his men to.

As for the commander, you are right, he is supposed to be scared, but I struggle sometimes with showing their emotions.

I appreciate you pointing out your opinion, I hope this all made sense.

Stealth
October 22nd, 2012, 07:50 PM
This excerpt is from farther on for those that read the previous.

Some background for those that haven't and even some for those that have:
Taloc was an assassin in the Red Hand. The ruling king attacked and killed most of the assassins and his younger sister. He has no family left and went to kill said king. He failed and was seriously injured. This army saved him. He reluctantly joined them because they were fighting the king as well.

The army was just attacked in their camp. Taloc was wounded. Uh, I think that's about all you need to know for this excerpt.

What I'm looking for: Mostly I'm looking for comments on my character developement. Danelle in specific. Did I do a good job introducing her? Is she likable?
I'm always open to any comments or critiques you have.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~

Pinpricks of pain jabbed his back, pushing him toward the hospital tent. A line of wounded waited outside the tent. Blood dripped of wounds and stumps of limbs. As he watched a pale man collapsed, dead from blood loss. Taloc closed his eyes, remembering why he hated this kind of warfare. Too much blood. Too much loss. He preferred the quick, clean and precision fighting he was used to.

“Let me in!” A female voice pierced the air. Taloc looked for the source of the voice and spotted a young woman running the to tent. Blood was streaming down her arm from a large cut on her shoulder. “Let me see my brother!”

“I’m sorry, we can’t let you in right now,” The medic at the entrance of the camp said.

“I need to see my brother!”

“He’s being operated on right now, please get in line to have that cut looked at,” The medic turned and ushered another patient inside.

“I’m fine! I need to see my brother!”

Taloc stepped out of the line and moved toward the woman. “That wound looks nasty,” He said to her, “You’re bleeding a lot.”

“I’m fine!”

“Can’t feel the pain, not a good sign,” Taloc commented, “You may lose your ability to use that arm unless it is looked at quick.” He said the last phrase looking directly at the medic.

The medic looked at him suspiciously, but after a moment’s hesitation nodded, “Get in.”

The woman looked at the medic in surprise then turned to Taloc and mouthed a thank you and she stepped inside.

Taloc gave a slight smile and returned to the back of the line. Men were taken into the tent and taken out again, many times on stretchers with cloths over their faces, until Taloc was next in line. As the medic stepped out of the tent to usher him in the blacksmith came walking up to him.

“Taloc. I finally got that order done for you,” The blacksmith held out two vambraces.

Taloc took the armor pieces, “Now? After the battle?” He shook his head.

“They’re fresh off the table. If I could have gotten them done in time for the battle I would have. Now go, get that wound taken care of,” The blacksmith turned and walked into the tents.

Taloc shook his head again before stuffing the vambraces in a pouch on his belt and following the medic into the hospital tent. He gagged at the stench of blood and death. Groans mixed with the sound of flesh being carved open beat on his ears. His eyes immediately sought out the young woman. He spotted her across the tent, sitting on a chair, her knees tucked up against her chest. Three medics were frantically working on a somebody in front of her.

“Over here,” The medic called from his right.

He took his eyes off the woman and followed the medic. The medic told him to lay on his stomach. Taloc felt the straps holding the swords on his back being undone. He winced as the shirt under the swords was peeled up, taking what little scab had started to form with it.

A shiver ran through him, followed by a searing pain as the medic dripped a liquid onto his back. He clenched his teeth as a needle pierced the skin around the wound. An uncomfortable tug told him the medic was sewing the cut closed. His teeth remained clamped together until the stitch was cut and he was told to stand up. He grabbed his swords and pulled his shirt down.

“Should heal nicely, come and get those stitches out in about ten days,” The medic said, then ushered him toward the exit.

He caught one more glance of the young woman. Her head was down and the medics were still working. He felt her pain, the memory of Julie’s death flooding back.


The body of another soldier slid off his sword. His eyes darted left and right, searching for his next target. He spotted Muline engaged in a fight with a soldier on the ground, Dana and Julie cowering behind her. Two horsemen bore down on them. He sprinted at the cavalry, hoping to reach them before they had a chance to strike.

He did reach the first horseman in time, his legs protesting as he threw himself over the side of the horse, driving his blade through flesh and bone of the rider. He hit the ground and rolled, coming up facing the other soldier.

The man raised a spear, aiming for the trio. He pushed off the ground with all his might, soaring toward the rider. The spear left his hand a moment before Taloc threw him off his horse.

They both rolled to their feet, facing each other. A small cry came from the right. Taloc turned his head slightly and saw Julie fall to the ground, the spear lodged in her stomach.

Anger and hate bubbled inside of him, boiling to the surface. His vision clouded, everything draped in red. His grip tightened on the blade in his hand. With one savage cry he sprang at the soldier, his sword raised.

Steel struck steel, jarring his arm and forcing the man onto one knee. He stepped back and kicked the man in the chest, forcing him to fall backward, his sword falling out of his hand.

Taloc dropped onto his knees, planting one firmly on the man’s neck. He pushed a button on his right thumb. Spikes folded out of the side of his vambrace. He turned his head to look at Julie one more time, then dug the spikes into the side of the man’s face and ripped outward, leaving the man unrecognizable.

“You deserve worse,” He spat in the man’s face before standing up, blood running down his forearm.

He jogged to where Muline was crouched next to Julie’s lifeless body, the man she had been fighting bleeding out next to them. He dropped to his knees and lifted Julie’s small frame into his arms. A small gushing sound came as he pulled out the spear.

He buried his face in her bloody chest, “I’m sorry Julie.” The blood ran down her sides, diluted with his tears. “I should never have brought us here.”

After another minute he set her body down. Muline’s head shot up. Footsteps came rushing for them. The anger and hate came back in full force. He spun around, stood up, and threw a knife in one motion. The knife met the man’s chest with such force he was thrown onto his back.

“Get out of here,” Taloc growled to Muline before picking up his sword and rushing back to the fighting.


Taloc came back to reality leaning against a tree outside the hospital tent. The young woman was coming out of the tent, tears forming sad streams down her freckled face. He black hair was matted with fresh blood.

He walked over to her, “Your brother…?”

She shook her head. Her legs started wobbling. He draped her arm over his neck and helped her to a tree where she slid to the ground.

“I’m sorry,” He whispered, “I know what you‘re going through. Is there anything I can get, uh…”

“D-Danelle,” The woman whispered and shook her head again.

He nodded and sat next to her, setting his swords on the ground. Muline came over, blood that was clearly not hers splattered on her face, a thin cut on her upper thigh.

“Danelle?” She looked at Taloc questioningly, “What-?”

Taloc stood up, “Her brother just died.” He whispered.

“I’m so sorry Danelle,” Muline crouched down in front of the young woman.

Taloc glanced around at the other grieving men and women. This could be anyone, His old doubts crept back into his thoughts, but he forced them out, It isn’t, it’s these people. The soldiers attacked us, they caused this, they shall pay.


He looked at Muline and Danelle one more time before grabbing his swords and taking off at a jog. He quickly reached the place he left Gashir and found him and Meshlock watching the forest.

“Get yourselves checked out, I’ll keep watch,” He commanded them and they nodded, looking relieved.

He watched as they walked toward the hospital tent, then looked out into the forest. He grabbed his vambraces and examined them. The fit snuggly on his arm. He hooked a ring around his thumb and cut a small string that was holding it out from the rest of the vambrace. A button pressed into the base of his thumb. Two switches sat just below the button. He could feel the wait of the steel inside. A smile lit his face, it was good to have them back.


Taloc watched as tents were taken down around the camp. Two days had passed since the battle, and the army was finally moving out. He could tell the soldiers were glad to be on the move. Morale was way down after the battle, but it started to come back with movement.

He turned his attention back to his task. He was helping Danelle take her tent down. She had almost substituted him in for her brother, hardly leaving his side since he comforted her. Muline seemed to be around less than usual.

Danelle didn’t talk much, but he managed to learn that her parents had died in a house fire three years back and the army took she and her brother in. He noted the similarity to his story. She trained with them and soon rose in the ranks until she had command over a squad of ten men, half of which had died in the attack. He learned she was skilled with knives and daggers, and was very quick, a perfect combination in his mind.

They finished packing up the tent and he straightened up. He glanced at her once, “You lost most of your men in the attack right?”

She nodded.

He thought for a moment, “I would like to see the remainder train.”

“Why?”

“Five is too few for a squad, but I’m forming a group of thirty. I was hoping you would join it, and possibly them.”

“Sure,” She replied without hesitation.

He looked at her in surprise, “Really?”

“Why not? Like you said, I don’t have a squad of my own to command anymore.”

He smiled, “Great. I would like to see them train when we stop again.”

“Will do,” She said and hoisted her tent onto a cart nearby.

J Anfinson
October 23rd, 2012, 12:47 AM
“Let me in!” A female voice pierced the air. Taloc looked for the source of the voice and spotted a young woman running the to tent. Blood was streaming down her arm from a large cut on her shoulder. “Let me see my brother!”

and

“He’s being operated on right now, please get in line to have that cut looked at,” The medic turned and ushered another patient inside.



These two don't quite seem right to me, may I suggest something like “Let me in!” A female voice said, piercing the air.
and "He's being operated on right now, please get in line to have that cut looked at," the medic said, as he turned to usher another patient inside.

But please, take it with a grain of salt, I'm not a seasoned writer, so I may well be wrong, and your way may very well still work. Other than that, I did find the story enjoyable. Good luck with it.

Stealth
October 23rd, 2012, 06:18 PM
Thank you for your suggestions, I will take them into account.

Serenade
October 29th, 2012, 09:11 PM
This excerpt is from farther on for those that read the previous.

Some background for those that haven't and even some for those that have:
Taloc was an assassin in the Red Hand. The ruling king attacked and killed most of the assassins and his younger sister. He has no family left and went to kill said king. He failed and was seriously injured. This army saved him. He reluctantly joined them because they were fighting the king as well.

The army was just attacked in their camp. Taloc was wounded. Uh, I think that's about all you need to know for this excerpt.

What I'm looking for: Mostly I'm looking for comments on my character developement. Danelle in specific. Did I do a good job introducing her? Is she likable?
I'm always open to any comments or critiques you have.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~

Pinpricks of pain jabbed his back, pushing him toward the hospital tent. A line of wounded waited outside the tent. Blood dripped of wounds and stumps of limbs. As he watched (,) a pale man collapsed, dead from blood loss. Taloc closed his eyes, remembering why he hated this kind of warfare. Too much blood. Too much loss. He preferred the quick, clean and precision fighting he was used to.

“Let me in!” A female voice pierced the air. Taloc looked for the source of the voice and spotted a young woman running the to tent. Blood was streaming down her arm from a large cut on her shoulder. “Let me see my brother!”

“I’m sorry, we can’t let you in right now,” (t)he medic at the entrance of the camp said. (for these kind of dialogue sentences that end with a comma, the following attachment should be lowercase unless its a name or proper noun. In the case of a statement such as "Leave right now." The medic turned away...this is where you use a capital.

“I need to see my brother!”

“He’s being operated on right now(.) (P)lease get in line to have that cut looked at(.)” The medic turned and ushered another patient inside. (just think that would look and feel better broken in two sentences. Your choice though.

“I’m fine! I need to see my brother!”

Taloc stepped out of the line and moved toward the woman. “That wound looks nasty,” (h)e said to her, “You’re bleeding a lot.”

“I’m fine!”

“Can’t feel the pain, not a good sign,” Taloc commented, “You may lose your ability to use that arm unless it is looked at quick.” He said the last phrase looking directly at the medic.

The medic looked at him suspiciously, but after a moment’s hesitation nodded, “Get in.”

The woman looked at the medic in surprise then turned to Taloc and mouthed a thank you and (as) she stepped inside.

Taloc gave a slight smile and returned to the back of the line. Men were taken into the tent and taken out again, many times on stretchers with cloths over their faces, until Taloc was next in line. As the medic stepped out of the tent to usher him in(,) the blacksmith came walking up to him.

“Taloc. I finally got that order done for you(.)” The blacksmith held out two vambraces.

Taloc took the armor pieces(.) “Now? After the battle?” He shook his head.

“They’re fresh off the table. If I could have gotten them done in time for the battle I would have. Now go, get that wound taken care of,” The blacksmith turned and walked into the tents.

Taloc shook his head again before stuffing the vambraces in a pouch on his belt and following the medic into the hospital tent. He gagged at the stench of blood and death. Groans mixed with the sound of flesh being carved open beat on his ears. His eyes immediately sought out the young woman. He spotted her across the tent, sitting on a chair, her knees tucked up against her chest. Three medics were frantically working on a somebody in front of her.

“Over here,” The medic called from his right.

He took his eyes off the woman and followed the medic. The medic told him to lay on his stomach. Taloc felt the straps holding the swords on his back being undone. He winced as the shirt under the swords was peeled up, taking what little scab had started to form with it.

A shiver ran through him, followed by a searing pain as the medic dripped a liquid onto his back. He clenched his teeth as a needle pierced the skin around the wound. An uncomfortable tug told him the medic was sewing the cut closed. His teeth remained clamped together until the stitch was cut and he was told to stand up. He grabbed his swords and pulled his shirt down.

“Should heal nicely, come and get those stitches out in about ten days,” The medic said, then ushered him toward the exit.

He caught one more glance of the young woman. Her head was down and the medics were still working. He felt her pain, the memory of Julie’s death flooding back.


The body of another soldier slid off his sword. His eyes darted left and right, searching for his next target. He spotted Muline engaged in a fight with a soldier on the ground, Dana and Julie cowering behind her. Two horsemen bore down on them. He sprinted at the cavalry, hoping to reach them before they had a chance to strike.

He did reach the first horseman in time, his legs protesting as he threw himself over the side of the horse, driving his blade through flesh and bone of the rider. He hit the ground and rolled, coming up facing the other soldier.

The man raised a spear, aiming for the trio. He pushed off the ground with all his might, soaring toward the rider. The spear left his hand a moment before Taloc threw him off his horse.

They both rolled to their feet, facing each other. A small cry came from the right. Taloc turned his head slightly and saw Julie fall to the ground, the spear lodged in her stomach.

Anger and hate bubbled inside of him, boiling to the surface. His vision clouded, everything draped in red. (I'd say find another way to express his rage. 'Seeing red' is definitely over done.) His grip tightened on the blade in his hand. With one savage cry he sprang at the soldier, his sword raised.

Steel struck steel, jarring his arm and forcing the man onto one knee. He stepped back and kicked the man in the chest, forcing him to fall backward, his sword falling out of his hand.

Taloc dropped onto his knees, planting one firmly on the man’s neck. He pushed a button on his right thumb. Spikes folded out of the side of his vambrace. He turned his head to look at Julie one more time, then dug the spikes into the side of the man’s face and ripped outward, leaving the man unrecognizable.

“You deserve worse,” He spat in the man’s face before standing up, blood running down his forearm.

He jogged to where Muline was crouched next to Julie’s lifeless body, the man she had been fighting bleeding out next to them. He dropped to his knees and lifted Julie’s small frame into his arms. A small gushing sound came as he pulled out the spear.

He buried his face in her bloody chest, “I’m sorry Julie.” The blood ran down her sides, diluted with his tears. “I should never have brought us here.”

After another minute he set her body down. Muline’s head shot up. Footsteps came rushing for them. The anger and hate came back in full force. He spun around, stood up, and threw a knife in one motion. The knife met the man’s chest with such force he was thrown onto his back.

“Get out of here,” Taloc growled to Muline before picking up his sword and rushing back to the fighting. (I'm just guessing from the beginning words italized, but you meant to do that with the whole flashback right?)


Taloc came back to reality leaning against a tree outside the hospital tent. The young woman was coming out of the tent, tears forming sad streams down her freckled face. He black hair was matted with fresh blood.

He walked over to her, “Your brother…?”

She shook her head. Her legs started wobbling. He draped her arm over his neck and helped her to a tree where she slid to the ground.

“I’m sorry,” He whispered, “I know what you‘re going through. Is there anything I can get, uh…”

“D-Danelle,” The woman whispered and shook her head again.

He nodded and sat next to her, setting his swords on the ground. Muline came over, blood that was clearly not hers splattered on her face, a thin cut on her upper thigh.

“Danelle?” She looked at Taloc questioningly, “What-?”

Taloc stood up, “Her brother just died.” He whispered.

“I’m so sorry Danelle,” Muline crouched down in front of the young woman.

Taloc glanced around at the other grieving men and women. This could be anyone, His old doubts crept back into his thoughts, but he forced them out, It isn’t, it’s these people. The soldiers attacked us, they caused this, they shall pay.
He looked at Muline and Danelle one more time before grabbing his swords and taking off at a jog. He quickly reached the place he left Gashir and found him and Meshlock watching the forest.

“Get yourselves checked out, I’ll keep watch,” He commanded them and they nodded, looking relieved.

He watched as they walked toward the hospital tent, then looked out into the forest. He grabbed his vambraces and examined them. The(y) fit snuggly on his arm. He hooked a ring around his thumb and cut a small string that was holding it out from the rest of the vambrace. A button pressed into the base of his thumb. Two switches sat just below the button. He could feel the wait of the steel inside. A smile lit his face, it was good to have them back.


Taloc watched as tents were taken down around the camp. Two days had passed since the battle, and the army was finally moving out. He could tell the soldiers were glad to be on the move. Morale was way down after the battle, but it started to come back with movement.

He turned his attention back to his task. He was helping Danelle take her tent down. She had almost substituted him in for her brother, hardly leaving his side since he comforted her. Muline seemed to be around less than usual.

Danelle didn’t talk much, but he managed to learn that her parents had died in a house fire three years back and the army took she and her brother in. He noted the similarity to his story. She trained with them and soon rose in the ranks until she had command over a squad of ten men, half of which had died in the attack. He learned she was skilled with knives and daggers, and was very quick, a perfect combination in his mind.

They finished packing up the tent and he straightened up. He glanced at her once, “You lost most of your men in the attack right?”

She nodded.

He thought for a moment, “I would like to see the remainder train.”

“Why?”

“Five is too few for a squad, but I’m forming a group of thirty. I was hoping you would join it, and possibly them.”

“Sure,” She replied without hesitation.

He looked at her in surprise, “Really?”

“Why not? Like you said, I don’t have a squad of my own to command anymore.”

He smiled, “Great. I would like to see them train when we stop again.”

“Will do,” She said and hoisted her tent onto a cart nearby.

Hey, good reading your piece. Just a few things if you don't mind. First, as I said in the beginning, the whole dialogue punctuation thing was a problem you had throughout the whole thing. Easily corrected of course, just grammatically incorrect. I'd also like a more in-depth description on the vambraces, since I only got a vague idea by your description at the end. And speaking of descriptions, some for your characters and surroundings are just the things needed to immerse your reader into the story even more. It doesn't have to be one of those block-of-paragraph descriptions as soon as we're introduced to a new character or place, but occasionals physical observations and the like will help the reader imagine the story better.

As for Danelle, I sort of have no opinion of her at the moment and know little except that she's lost her brother, latched onto the first person who showed her kindness in a moment of weakness (which is a little abrupt, despite the situation. I think easing her into her role of trust over a good time period would make it more believeable), she recruited by the army, and she barely has any more people in her squad. The only thing I'm wondering about is the chain of command in this army. Even if you command your own soldiers, you still have someone to report to, and making decisions such as taking another company into your own isn't believable...unless of course, you'll be addressing all of that in the next excerpt! If so, then I look forward to seeing how you handle it.

But to reiterate, more description to pull us in. Even the nameless soldiers can flesh the story out with a little detail, and what's the blacksmith's name and description? Seems like they are at least on familiar tersms. A teacher of mine once told me that there's no such thing as an unimportant character, so let us know what they look like so we can imagine what it looks like when your main character interacts with(or slices through) them. I'm truthfully not too keen on the story so far (former assassin, revenge, a nation in trouble, etc.) simply because it's not that different from many other fantasy stories. Hopefully, there will be something that sets yours apart from the rest, and I'm definitely looking forward to it. Good luck and I hope this wasn't too long!


xxxEditxxx

Just read the other posts and saw that there was another excerpt that wasn't posted, so I obviously missed out on some build-up before you posted your next excerpt. Especially my chain of command comment, if that was already set up in the previous piece. Still, I stand by what I said in regards to THIS excerpt. Maybe you can repost the previous one?

Stealth
October 29th, 2012, 10:49 PM
Thank you for pointing all of this out.

Dialogue: Thank you for that, I struggle with dialogue.

Vambraces: A little bit later (maybe a page) he uses them and it reveals what they are. I left the details out on purpose.

Description: I go back and forth between a lot of detail and not much. I need to work on it. Soon after this I get back to lots of detail.

Danelle: I know I rushed her in there, I was writing to get my ideas down. When I revise and edit I'll fix that. The rest of this chapter and start of the next give you more insight, but it was too long for me to put with this excerpt.

Command: Before this Taloc was given free reign by the general to recruit anyone he saw fit into his squad up to twenty soldiers as long as they were willing.

The previous excerpt was from a ways before this one, so they do not run together. It did say how he got free reign with his soldiers and whatnot. I might put the excerpt back up in the original post.

Stealth
January 13th, 2013, 06:43 AM
I'm back to trying to write on this novel. I'm trying to focus on my description now over the rest of it. I'd still like comments and critiques on everything else, but mainly on my description. I know the excerpt I have right now is pretty dry in this area, but still, any help would be appreciated.

Silen
January 13th, 2013, 05:19 PM
"The body of another soldier slid off his sword. His eyes darted left and right, searching for his next target. He spotted Muline engaged in a fight with a soldier on the ground, Dana and Julie cowering behind her. Two horsemen bore down on them. He sprinted at the cavalry, hoping to reach them before they had a chance to strike.

He did reach the first horseman in time, his legs protesting as he threw himself over the side of the horse, driving his blade through flesh and bone of the rider. He hit the ground and rolled, coming up facing the other soldier.

The man raised a spear, aiming for the trio. He pushed off the ground with all his might, soaring toward the rider. The spear left his hand a moment before Taloc threw him off his horse.

They both rolled to their feet, facing each other. A small cry came from the right. Taloc turned his head slightly and saw Julie fall to the ground, the spear lodged in her stomach.

Anger and hate bubbled inside of him, boiling to the surface. His vision clouded, everything draped in red. His grip tightened on the blade in his hand. With one savage cry he sprang at the soldier, his sword raised.

Steel struck steel, jarring his arm and forcing the man onto one knee. He stepped back and kicked the man in the chest, forcing him to fall backward, his sword falling out of his hand.

Taloc dropped onto his knees, planting one firmly on the man’s neck. He pushed a button on his right thumb. Spikes folded out of the side of his vambrace. He turned his head to look at Julie one more time, then dug the spikes into the side of the man’s face and ripped outward, leaving the man unrecognizable.

“You deserve worse,” He spat in the man’s face before standing up, blood running down his forearm.

He jogged to where Muline was crouched next to Julie’s lifeless body, the man she had been fighting bleeding out next to them. He dropped to his knees and lifted Julie’s small frame into his arms. A small gushing sound came as he pulled out the spear.

He buried his face in her bloody chest, “I’m sorry Julie.” The blood ran down her sides, diluted with his tears. “I should never have brought us here.”

After another minute he set her body down. Muline’s head shot up. Footsteps came rushing for them. The anger and hate came back in full force. He spun around, stood up, and threw a knife in one motion. The knife met the man’s chest with such force he was thrown onto his back.

“Get out of here,” Taloc growled to Muline before picking up his sword and rushing back to the fighting."

Think that this part should be done differently. first time i read it through i read straight over it and thought WTF is going on.

Stealth
January 13th, 2013, 07:48 PM
How do you suggest I do it differently?