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View Full Version : Introduction to the Antagonist (Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes)



MBNewman
January 29th, 2013, 02:16 AM
Hello again. I decided to post an excerpt, as stated, of the introduction to the antagonist of Brookrow Bastard: Sins of the Father. This is a dark and mature themed story, so warnings there. I tried to show a bit of the blooming Killian Todd through his personality, and I really wanted to portray the antagonist, Liam Morin, as a truly psychotic, cold and cruel mind.

Brief synopsis for the excerpt to make sense: Killian Todd is an orphan turned pickpocket, and by the time he is in his mid-teens, he has fallen in with a group of urchin thieves in the port city of Irianna. Another gang of thieves in the city, the Fisher's Street Kings, threatens to kill them for encroaching on their turf, and they kidnap one of Killian's gang members as a warning. Killian goes after them, but ends up captured himself, and brought to the leader of the gang, Liam Morin...


Wrath of the Kings:

My head hurt. It was hard to focus when I came to, and my captives made my recovery no easier. The moment my eyes began to flutter, a flurry of blows began to rain down upon me. My face, my chest, my arms and legs; there was no mercy for any part of my body.

“Hold him!” called out a voice in front of me, staying the ferocious assault for now.

The two sets of arms brought me onto my knees, each holding onto one of my arms. I wanted to break free from their grasp, but lacked the energy, and could not even keep my head up.

I could not see all of whom the voice belonged, for my eyes were blurry with tears and swelling from the beating. I could see a rough outline of him, but not many discernible features. I could not see him well, but I heard his feet scrapping against the ground as he made his way over to me. His hand gripped my face, squeezing my jaw roughly. My face was brought up to eye-level with the owner of the hand, who leaned in close. I could see a rough outline of his face, but no discernible features. It angered me for I wished to know the face that belonged to the hands that would end my miserable life.

The voice that belonged to the out of focus figure spoke again, “So…you’re that bitch Aleria’s lackey. I’ve heard a lot about you. Shocking, I know, but I like to learn about my enemies. Their strengths, their weaknesses; and oh…oh, do I know yours.”

I groaned my response. I didn’t give a shit what he knew. Everyone knows that a knife to the chest will end anyone’s life. That’s all I needed to know about my enemies, and now I counted this boy as one of mine.

“Do you know who I am?” the boy asked. “I want to give you the credit for knowing.”

“I have an idea,” I seethed through my bloody teeth, “and I will fuckin’—”

I was not allowed to finish my threat as a fist collided against my cheek. My head lurched back, but I was kept from falling over by the thugs' firm grip. The boy allowed himself some more fun at my expense before lowering his fists once more.

I had a moment of peace, and I did my best to get a view of my situation and ignore the throbbing pain. I looked around the room to see where Dom was, but I could not find him. I had no idea what they could have done with him, but I feared for his life.

“Where’s Dom?” I asked the boy, my voice weak. “What have you done with him?”

“Your friend?” he hummed idly, placing a finger on his cheek. “Oh, he’s fine, don’t worry your head about him. I’ve got my guys tending to his every whim as we speak.”

I glared at him, not that it accomplished much. I prayed they weren’t torturing Dom, but I knew I could not hold my hopes high. Besides, I had to worry about my own well-being first.

This boy was no mere thug, I could tell. It had to be him, the leader of the Fisher’s Street Kings, Liam Morin. The pitiless conqueror of the streets toyed with my face, examining it like one would a painting; analyzing and criticizing me with his eyes. He began turning my head left and right while saying: “Do you know what I’m going to do now?”

“Kill me?” I laughed bitterly.

“Kill you? Oh, no, no, no,” he said behind a smile. I was glad that I was able to see more now, but that cruel smile was not something I wanted to regain my sight for.

“No?” I echoed, spitting blood that had been pooling in my mouth onto the ground. It left a coppery, bitter taste in my mouth, but it was not my main concern. I cleared my throat, and groaned, “I’d rather you fuckin’ do it and stop fuckin’ talking.”

“Don’t worry, kid,” Liam said, patting my shoulder in a sickening, almost reassuring way, “your time will come. But,” he looked around the room, as if searching for something, “you really caused some shit with my guys. How many did you take out by yourself? Three, four—doesn’t matter, really. I have more than enough urchins under my command to destroy your little gang.”

I said nothing to that remark. It was true. Liam had many of the smaller street gangs working for him. They easily outnumbered Aleria’s crew and they were definitely more ruthless. They were thugs, we were pickpockets. We didn’t stand a chance.

“What’s the matter?” Liam asked, sounding concerned. “Oh, I see. You know that I’m right. You know that bitch Aleria is fucked. That bitch has been treading on my territory too much, you know. I mean, how did that bitch think it would be okay to steal from me?”

I hated Liam Morin. I hated what he had done to me, and to Dom. I hated how he kept calling Aleria a bitch. I hated how he kept smiling so smugly. And I hated that I could do nothing about it.

Liam chuckled, bemused at how his words were angering me. He noted that I was reacting violently towards his jeers, and I noted to wipe that smug grin off his face the first chance I could.

“What?” Morin seethed. “Don’t like the truth, kid? Don’t like to be the one who’s stepped on? Get used to it, you little shit! You will be stepped on, and crushed, and ground into the dirt. As for Aleria? I’ve heard that you two have a thing together, and I respect that…but I can’t promise you that I’ll be gentle with her.”

I growled a guttural, primal rumble from within, driven from the awakening of the hatred that had consumed me all my life. My hate for Liam Morin could not be described. I wanted him dead, more than I’ve ever wanted someone dead before. I could kill, I knew I could kill, and, gods…if I could only have the chance I would end Morin’s life, even if it meant my own in return.

Morin continued with his little monologue, gaining satisfaction from my every fidget and struggle. He probably enjoyed tormenting me as much as he enjoyed his own voice, and that was saying something. “Oh, yes, I will do things to that girl that should never be done. I won’t make her feel special, I can tell you that.”

Morin squatted down to look me face-to-face on my level. Staring into my eyes, he wore his wicked grin, and whispered, “I’m going to plow her, kid. I’m going to fuck her brains out, and then—” Morin clobbered the side of my head, causing the world to spin around me, and when it was done, my head hung limply again.

“Then I’m going bash her brains out.” Morin giggled with glee. Leaning in closer to me, he jeered, “I’m going to plaster the walls with dear ol’ Aleria. I’m going to take my time, and do it slowly so that you—” He grabbed my jaw again, squeezing with such force I thought he might break it. He pulled me close to him, close enough that I could feel his breath on my ear, and whispered so that only I could hear, “I’m going to make you watch.”

Higurro
January 29th, 2013, 08:47 AM
Wow, it's certainly gritty - not a genre I'm familiar with, though I confess I rolled my eyes when I read "orphan turned pickpocket" and "urchin thieves", though the actual writing was interesting enough for me to forget that. There were one or two duff bits


The two sets of arms brought me onto my knees, each holding onto one of my arms. I wanted to break free from their grasp, but lacked the energy, and could not even keep my head up.

I could not see all of whom the voice belonged, for my eyes were blurry with tears and swelling from the beating. I could see a rough outline of him, but not many discernible features. I could not see him well, but I heard his feet scrapping against the ground as he made his way over to me. His hand gripped my face, squeezing my jaw roughly. My face was brought up to eye-level with the owner of the hand, who leaned in close. I could see a rough outline of his face, but no discernible features. It angered me for I wished to know the face that belonged to the hands that would end my miserable life.

I think this section needs rewriting but that's all really. I thought you did a good job of portraying Morin as a horrible character, although there was nothing from this scene that suggested there is much depth to him. He was certainly evil, just not necessarily intriguing. I'm sure reading more than this short bit will deepen him. I really liked the "what happens next" quality going on here, and the pacing was great.

rotsuchi1
January 29th, 2013, 06:33 PM
o.o I cant say anything except i like it

rave
January 30th, 2013, 08:10 PM
i like the work, you wouldnt happen to have a rough synopsis of what the story is about would you? like the back cover of a paper back id like to know the general direction the story is going, also some world building would be good to see so far its all character driven and curious to see the world

MBNewman
January 30th, 2013, 08:49 PM
I never made one, per say, but I can try and give you a quick synopsis so you get the general overall theme of the story:

There are many points that can break a man. An abusive childhood, a murdered mother, and a father with blood on his hands; Killian Todd should have broken. Vengeful and hateful, Killian blames the Gods for taking everything from him. Being driven by rage kept him alive through the worst of it all, but to survive on the cold, grey streets of Irianna, it was not wise for an urchin to wage war with the Gods. Through death, and loss, and the cruelty of man; the Gods were relentless in their assault, but for Killian Todd, defeat is not an option.
Misery and loss will follow in Killian's wake as he pays the penance for the sins of his father.

Caragula
February 1st, 2013, 06:58 PM
Technically this is a well worked piece, easy to read and good pace and interwoven exposition. I could picture the scene well, if not the protagonist, but this is an extract so that's fine. I think there's a lost opportunity with Morin though as you say he's out of focus at the start but the protagonist never, when he's close, describes him.

The interrogation feels a bit by the numbers, bordering on cliche, with the 'oh I won't kill you I'll make you watch me hurt the girl you love', replete with evil laughter and a growl of rage, which feels a bit 'tell' like it's signposted.

This might all make sense in the wider context as your blurb suggests he is driven by that rage, so these thoughts may not be of use. I flag them only because there might be an opportunity to 'show' more. Morin might demonstrate his power through a necklace of teeth he's pulled from previous tortures, some uncomfortably small teeth might make it a bit more gruesome, or the way a lackey might obey a command at some point that shows his spirit is utterly broken, like cleaning away his pisspot and being demeaned and made fun of. Equally the protagonist's rage might be exemplified in a cold study and storing away of the details of Morin's face, the things he will do to it, or he might recklessly insult him, really go for it, because such rage is at odds with a calculation of what might be in his best interest.

Other elements of colour that might add to the reader's impression of these boys could be exemplified in details such as Morin's breath on his ear; what did it smell of? What were his teeth like? What exactly does a cruel smile look like? When he says 'I could kill' you could describe what he pictures himself doing to Morin, his fists flexing as they itched to dig into his eyesockets up to the knuckles.

MBNewman
February 1st, 2013, 09:04 PM
To Caragula, thanks for your read and criticisms. This scene is roughly 3/4 through the book, and the protagonist is definitely not the focus, so I understand that you don't get much character building here on his part. As for Morin, this is only the first physical appearance, he is mentioned and talked about, and his motivations were previously explained. I do like your idea about showing Morin's cruelty to his underlings, really drive the idea that he is cruel and chaotic. As for physical appearance, I definitely should go back and add some of that in, don't quit know why it's missing.

Morin is one of the most complex characters I've written, personally. Every time I have to stop and think and imagine countless things about him, like what he would do in each scene, what he is capable of, or how he would respond to a certain insult or attack. Liam Morin's demeanor is relatively calm, and it takes a lot to actually make him mad. I have been delving into tons of research and watching videos on sadists, psychopaths, and serial killers to really try and feel who Morin is and what makes him tick. This is only the first draft of the scene, so I understand it's a little loose right now.

In the long run, as always, there's editing in my future. Cheers!