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Silvers
April 23rd, 2012, 09:17 AM
{I haven't spent much time writing recently here is a quick free write of a story. Was wanting some opinions on if it is good enough to continue on with.}


A Stranger appeared in the Greenwood a mile outside Orphan City where an abandoned boy lie dying near an old tree. The spring wind blows to the east towards the city disturbing leaves as it goes. A wind full of peace, so contradictory to the perils that plague the rest of the world. He shuddered. Even after hundreds of years, seeing a boy so young dying of starvation pained his soul. It was not the fault of his parents. They probably could not feed themselves. Dropping children you could no longer afford to take care of off at Orphan City was becoming very common among the peasant class. Most are too embarrassed to take the children all the way. It is a sad twist of fate for this one. He did not seem to have the strength to walk the rest of the distance and would die soon.

“There is nothing I can do for him.” He thought. “Only stay here and watch him die.”

Once the Stranger had the power to help others, now however he was a shadow of what he once was. Heaven reigns over men. His powers were useless.

Hate filled in boiling his soul.

“I’m tired of this!” He roared. Eyes filled with grey intensity as he looked towards the capital. It was then he made a decision. He could no longer fight the beast his way. It was a lost cause. It was time to join the game. He will fight Heaven’s blades with white fire.

“Forgive me child,” his voice crackling ice. “Old magic will rise again in you. Do not fail me.” His voice grew soft. “If you do all is lost.”

The boy of 12 lie dying there. Reaching out the stranger put his hand to the boys chest and invested unto him ancient powers the likes of which this world has never seen. White flames danced from the child’s skin playfully. It seemed so wrong that the flames seemed so cheerful. All the Stranger saw in them were the deaths of millions.

The boy opened his eyes, flame retreating inside of him. Pain and hunger consumed him again. As if iron nails where being pounded into him by the thousands the boy howled. It seemed as though his very soul had shattered. Perhaps it had. The howls of the boy chilled the anger from the Stranger. He would have wept in sorrow if he could have wept at all. The pain receded as all consciousness was lost to the boy. When he awoke all he saw was a stranger’s ghost-white, pale face.

His first thought was of Heaven’s Cell. All atheists go to Heaven’s Cell, he could hear his mother saying. Worship Heaven and join the glory of Heaven’s Empire for all eternity. He knew he was in the Cell though, he was an atheist. In his heart he was at least. It was a dangerous thing to admit.

“Only 12 and I know I’d rather believe in the Old God than Heaven.” He thought. “Do the dead even think?"

The heat of a long run filled him. It was pure energy. How odd it was to be dead and feel more alive than ever. Realization took him. The Stranger had vanished without him even noticing. He was alive! The hunger and pain had gone. Memory returned to him. “That boy there, yes that one. Get him out of the line.” It was the Deacon running the soup kitchen in his home town.

“This food is supposed to be for all who need it. We have no money if we cannot eat here we will starve,” his mother complained.

The Deacon looked annoyed. “I said nothing of you and your husband just the boy. We will not suffer an Atheist among us. Heaven will not suffer them. Truth be told I would put his head on a chopping block, that is what the law states that I am to do! Be gone with him before I change my mind.”

He remembered his mother’s face turning pale. Gilt crushed his spine. He could scarce breath let alone move. He should have never spoken. It was impossible for anyone to have heard him. It was just a mumble under his breath. The words were still a vacuum draining all emotion from him leaving behind only gilt. At the soup kitchen there were Deacons everywhere preaching of Heaven and his empire. Preaching of living to worship the one true god. It irked at him so much that he made a stupid mistake. Heaven is not the one true god. The Old God, now him maybe I might believe. Only a few witty words, but they were words to make men bleed. In his case though starve was probably the better term.

/end

- Comments

{I've spent as many hours planning the story out and going over what was already written as I've spent writing & re-writing this opening scene (which isn't even complete yet) So I thought I'd like a few more opinions on how it's going so far. From a fresh perspective}

{The italics on this forum do not stand out very much so I've underlined where I had the main character recollect memory by direct wording. (words spoken inside his own head from memory) }

DarkMoonlight
April 23rd, 2012, 06:50 PM
I really like it so far, I picked out one main mistake ( I think ) at the bieginning and that was replace the word lie with lay but hey I'm not one to correct as my spelliong and grammer are terrible!
Keep up the good work, will look forward to reading more.

Silvers
April 23rd, 2012, 08:22 PM
bieginning and that was replace the word lie with lay

I had it like that originally so I understand what you are saying however, lie is present tense lay and lain are past tense. You made the same assumption I did. I havn't critiqued the story much yet only general grammar, spelling, and story line. I kept most things in present tense I am not sure all words reflect this but I will look into it.

Elvenswordsman
April 24th, 2012, 02:13 PM
Hmm... so if you're not looking for a specific overall critique...

Guess my morning's blown.

You need to reconsider use of commas... as in, there are a million places I see you're missing them. The first sentence alone could be benefited by two. Second sentence could use more than a couple, and could be benefited by removing the "He shuddered" and continuing with the imagery. It would definitely help you out, and especially add more to the "draw-in" you're looking for to make sure the reader continues reading.

As it continues throughout the story, I'll stop "specifically critiquing", and just say that you're at least well structured on your paragraphs, on spacing them out and keeping consistent. You also understand when to break a paragraph apart, which is nice for once. Your dialogue is drawing, but has only a tiny bit of character. The whole "Forgive me child," thing is a bit too catholic-priest-esque, and makes me wonder why you're making the same cliche everyone else does when they write an older character into dialogue. Nothing wrong with it, I've done it before, but maybe you should try something a bit more... well, you're the writer.


take care of off

I know, drop off is a term. You wouldn't use it in this context, nor does it sound good.

Not sure I agree with your use of capitalization for stranger. Also, you tend to break thoughts apart.
Once the Stranger had the power to help others, now however he was a shadow of what he once was. Heaven reigns over men. His powers were useless.

Heaven reigns over men? A bit random, and also a bit cliche. I know that we want to colour our stories, but don't use that. If it's a religious story, use a different paragraph to imply it. Also, try not to be redundant. That last "His powers were useless" was kind of stated prior to saying it again. Just because most people are dumb, doesn't mean your readers are. We don't need it restated.


Hate filled in boiling his soul.

Don't know what you're going for here. Hate boiled in his soul? His soul boiled in hate? Somehow you've managed to imply quite a few things without it meaning anything directly.

When you imply the capital... are you implying the capital is Orphan City? Is the name really Orphan City, or a dirty name it has received, like Detroit when it's called Amityville because of the murder rate? Also, Capitol is the name of the city (?) in the hunger games series - watch you don't associate too closely with another authors materials.

Also, you state again "The boy of 12 lie dying there." First off, improper use of there. Second, redundant. Try not to restate so often, it gets on the nerves. There are some times you should restate, and I might say that it could have been used in the translation I read of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, however most restates come at a cost to the work.

Also, just as a note. The whole "here comes the fire" scene where he roars and comes to cause, well... it's a bit over the top, without any real background. Unless this is a diehard film, which I assume it isn't, then you may need to build a bit more.

I'll stop critiquing here, I've got some exams to study for.

Keep it up, the story has an interesting start. I'm not sure I get the whole dying kids thing, nor the actual title of the city. I believe a city would refute that title as much as possible, so I'm assuming it's more of a district in a city.

Silvers
April 24th, 2012, 07:13 PM
You need to reconsider use of commas... as in, there are a million places I see you're missing them.

I just went through and read one really long page about the use of commas to refresh my memory. I edited the first paragraph or so. Some things still confuse me about them.


I know, drop off is a term. You wouldn't use it in this context, nor does it sound good.

You're right, I guess I was trying too hard to not make the parents look bad here. The blame goes towards "Heaven" (I still need to think of a name for him.) Changed it to Abandon and removed Orphan City altogether from the sentance. They would be abandoning children everywhere. The cities name implies how common that particular city was.



Also, Capitol is the name of the city (?) in the hunger games series


Never read the book, nor watched the movie, but your point is taken. I just have not thought of a name for it yet.

Well out of time on this post I'll try to fix it up a little to make it more readable.

Silvers
April 24th, 2012, 11:16 PM
I believe a city would refute that title as much as possible, so I'm assuming it's more of a district in a city.

The name comes from the number of orphan children there. I should give it a real name and put it in there as a nickname I think. An entire city of orphans would be inapropriate for this story I think.

Heaven is an ascended god. He was once mortal. He took over the spiritual realm. With the power he gains he grants his followers immortality and they rule the world in his name. Perhaps I need to retreat a little on the drama this early on. I should focus more on the Deacons and other government leaders. The idea is not for direct interaction of the two warring gods but a war against a boy who must become an assassin and warrior in a combination to remove the religion from government and kill the immortals.

Elvenswordsman
April 25th, 2012, 10:36 AM
Don't think I meant to say it needs fixed. Build it the way you need to in order to develop the story. Just trying to help add a bit of form and function.

DarkMoonlight
April 25th, 2012, 01:21 PM
I liked the name of the city, kind of see what Elvenswordsman is sayingt hough about it sounding odd as the actual name for the city but a district within the main city would be cool.

Silvers
April 25th, 2012, 06:07 PM
Don't think I meant to say it needs fixed. Build it the way you need to in order to develop the story. Just trying to help add a bit of form and function.


Well as I read it over and over I grow used to it, making me more content. Trying to look at it after your advice I see I need to take a more practical approach in places.


I liked the name of the city, kind of see what Elvenswordsman is sayingt hough about it sounding odd as the actual name for the city but a district within the main city would be cool.

Well I think I found a solution. "a mile from the city of Elvendisor, most people just called it orphan city, ................."

:) I kid, I kid, but Elvendisor does sound like a good name for a large city in a fantasy story.

AustinReis
May 1st, 2012, 04:03 AM
(1) what makes the Old God seperate from Heaven? (2) Does Greenwood mean like green forest ( lacking understanding)

bluesilverlily
May 1st, 2012, 06:05 PM
I think that it's a good start. It's obviously a rough draft, so there are things that need to be tightened up, but frankly you don't need to worry about that yet. I'd like to see more of this story, it seems like an interesting concept. In my experience, it's best to work on the thread of the story before you worry about editing too much. Keep it up!

Elvenswordsman
May 1st, 2012, 06:18 PM
Why not just name everything after me? It'll sell novels. Guaranteed.

Silvers
May 6th, 2012, 04:03 AM
It is only the opening scene. This runs on the "god only has power based on those who have faith in them," theory. So there are multiple gods, I only have two gods named at the moment. Perhaps there will only be two I'm not sure yet.