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xwolf910
April 27th, 2013, 07:20 AM
This a short story I wrote, but I never came up with a title for it. I was trying to improve my grammar and dialogue skills in this one, so there's not much action to it. It will probably look horrible because I had all of the grammar, dialogue, and indentation right in Word, but when I pasted it into the site the formatting was all screwed up. I did my best to fix it, so please point out any grammatical or format related errors.



“And stay out you worthless drunk!” a larger man said as he threw another man into the alley. Glass broke and stung under Michael when he hit the ground. The wooden door in front of him slammed shut and its rusty metal hinges rattled for a minute. He inspected the garbage around him and decided to get out of here before the smell killed him.

Just as he stood up a fist flew at him knocking him back down into the broken glass. “Why did you do that? Ah…this hurts so much,” Michael said with a stutter. He inspected the now small blood pool accumulating around the broken glass. The hand that hit him forcefully grabbed his now ruined wool shirt and pulled him up.

“Is this what you have come to? Getting in to bar fights and drinking so much ale you can’t remember your name?” a deep and concerning voice asked.

“Yeah well what do you know, it’s my life and I’ll wreck it if I want to,” Michael yelled shoving away.

“Then give me your father’s spellbook so you can stop disgracing his and your family name.”

Michael stopped brushing the glass off of his shirt and stared at the man now with a clear mind. “How do you know about that book?” he asked curiously.

“Your father and I fought together in the Loktar Caverns. He was a good man and he doesn’t deserve to be remembered like this, he would want you fighting like him,” the man said staring into the sky.

Michael now noticed the hood veiling the man’s mysterious face. The man also wore a long robe with a single metal buckled-belt holding it up. It swayed in the wind forcing the man to keep pushing the belt up.

“At least I don’t dress like a monk. Now leave me alone and let me sleep,” Michael said starting to crouch down.

The man quickly grabbed the corner of the spellbook that was hanging out of Michael’s cloak and started to sprint away.

“HEY! Get back here you thief!” Michael screamed. He chased after him nearly tripping over his wounded leg. He muttered something which made the glass shards fly out of his leg and seal up his wounds. He cracked a smile and started running.

Michael started to realize that the man must be older because he kept tripping and could not keep up a constant pace. Within minutes of the pursuit, Michael tackled the man to the ground. “Give me a reason not to kill you old man!” he said with disgust.

“I came here to train you and make your father proud,” the man said struggling.

The man’s face was now revealed and Michael’s prediction was right, he was old. Michael guessed he was in his late 50’s and from the scars around his green-eyes Michael guessed he was in some sort of war. His scraggly grey beard matched his long braided hair and smelled as if the man had not bathed in several weeks. Michael yanked the spellbook of out his hands and got up.

“Why would you train me?” Michael asked out of breath. The man slowly got up and coughed loudly.

He took a minute to catch his breath and then said, “There is an army of necromancers coming here right now. They will be here in minutes and it is my test to see if you are worthy of my training.”

“You led an army of necromancers to this small village, just to see if I’m worthy for you?” Michael snickered.

The man nodded and leaned up against a wall.

“You’re crazy, and I’m leaving before those soul eaters get here,” Michael said as he walked towards the gate.

“Good luck getting far when the army is closing in on all sides,” the man replied smugly. Michael slowly turned around and walked up so close to the man it made him flinch.

“Why wouldn’t I just tell the guards? They can handle some necromancers and a crazy old man,” he said angrily.

“Sure, tell the guards and endanger more innocent lives,” the man answered.

He had a point Michael thought, if there really are necromancers coming I can’t let these people die, but I haven’t used my magic in years.
He stood there for a minute gritting his teeth and then finally said “Fine. I’ll kill your necromancers, and then I’m leaving this town and you are not going to follow me, okay?” as he pinned the man up against the closest wall.

“Yes okay, we’ll see what happens. Can you let me down?” the man whispered with dismay.

Michael quickly dropped the man and cracked open his spellbook. A plume of dust shot in the air as he opened the book. He swatted it away and looked at the old parchment pages. Thousands of lines instantly translated in his head as various spells and recipes. He glided his hand across the page and landed on a line that read, “Braht ak yuo vi” He spoke it aloud and held out his palm. A large flicker of fire started to appear and slowly it sputtered into life. A ball of fire with many tentacles flickering off its top floated in Michael’s palm. It lit up his face and revealed the many scars he had from bar fights, and the arena. Quickly flicking his wrist towards the sky, the fire ball shot up and exploded into a brilliant orchestra of reds and oranges. It seemed to eat itself before disappearing into sky and letting out one last howl of life. Michael turned back to the man and started to grin.
“I don’t think your necromancers will be a problem” he said confidently.

Mat
April 27th, 2013, 07:39 AM
I like the idea of a sorcerer/wizard gone to seed, it could make things later on interesting regarding a bit of rustiness? The dialogue for me was a little wooden; i can't help but think if I got punched onto a load of broken glass my response would be slightly more colourful than 'why did you do that?'. Otherwise, the dialogue does set the scene pretty well, and manages to inject some history too.

Olly Buckle
April 27th, 2013, 08:26 AM
A matter of fact approach that sits well and makes it believable


a larger man said as he threw another man into the alleyI would go for the definite, so "the larger man said as he threw the smaller man into the alley."
The wooden door in front of him slammed shutdoors tend to slam behind people.
Just as he stood up a fist flew atI hate 'just', it means so many things so imprecisely, I would go for something like 'As soon as' or 'He had no sooner' I think that is your intention, it differentiates from 'He was standing up with difficulty', which is another interpretation of 'just standing up'.
He inspected the now small blood pool 'Now' is an unnecessary word, it raises questions, was the pool once larger?
The hand that hit him forcefully grabbed his now ruined wool shirt and pulled him up.Here are two more, we know it was forceful if it gave him a nose bleed, and drunks thrown in alleys are not nattily dressed in the first place.
Your father and I fought together in the Loktar CavernsThis is ambivalent, they could have been fighting each other, it is also a bit long winded and awkward, something like "We were compatriots in ..." might serve better.

I am going to stop there because I accidentally hit the 'post' button and can't see the original on 'edit'. I like the 'Real life' tone, try and stay away from the grandiose speech making, and look out for the unnecessary words, would be my advice. It does what dialogue should do and advances the plot.

Folcro
April 28th, 2013, 04:31 PM
Interesting. I'm always up for a good fantasy. I would like to see your ideas develop, but I have some suggestions concerning your style in the meantime.

In writing, especially where the reader will have enough of a challenge adjusting to the premise (especially if this is to be a high fantasy), it is important to be as to-the-point as you can in your writing. It makes the narrative smoother and clearer. For example, here is how I think your opening paragraph should read:

“And stay out you worthless drunk!”
Glass broke and stung under Michael when he hit the ground. The wooden door in front of him slammed shut. Its rusty metal hinges rattled. He inspected the garbage around him, decided to get out before the smell killed him.

The prose is better served by just a few small cluttersome words and clauses removed.

On the same note, a good exercise for many writers is to try writing without adjectives. Adjectives are like a spice. They're important for taste but we all overuse them, especially in cases where it is already implied (as Olly pointed out with "forcefully").

One more minor thing: you seem to switch the tenses every so often, like when you say:

Michael started to realize that the man must be older because he kept tripping and could not keep up a constant pace.

Again, just a small thing there, but something to take care of, as even minor things can cause great confusion.

Other than that, keep it up. I'm curious to learn how deep into the principals of your world you plan on taking me.

Jared77
April 28th, 2013, 11:33 PM
The necromancers/soul eaters sound like Harry Potter's Dementors. The word 'Necromancer' is what Sauron is called in The Hobbit. BUT...i realize is darn nearly impossible to avoid comparisons with those works. I want to write in this genre as well and am trying to figure out my own ways around it.

Folcro
April 28th, 2013, 11:40 PM
The necromancers/soul eaters sound like Harry Potter's Dementors. The word 'Necromancer' is what Sauron is called in The Hobbit. BUT...i realize is darn nearly impossible to avoid comparisons with those works. I want to write in this genre as well and am trying to figure out my own ways around it.

I, for one, wouldn't worry too deeply about such things. The way Necromancers have become implemented into fantasy literature, it's almost like trying to avoid writing about humans because humans are too commonly used. I'm OCD for originality myself, but when it comes to such broad concepts, like the name of something, it's not worth obsessing over, and virtually impossible to avoid. Worry more about the characters and plot. Get those right, and no one will nag you for what pre-packaged content you implement. If you're really good, you might even make these things yours, add a twist to them no one else imagined.

Jared77
April 28th, 2013, 11:50 PM
I, for one, wouldn't worry too deeply about such things. The way Necromancers have become implemented into fantasy literature, it's almost like trying to avoid writing about humans because humans are too commonly used. I'm OCD for originality myself, but when it comes to such broad concepts, like the name of something, it's not worth obsessing over, and virtually impossible to avoid. Worry more about the characters and plot. Get those right, and no one will nag you for what pre-packaged content you implement. If you're really good, you might even make these things yours, add a twist to them no one else imagined.

You're totally right. I guess i was just giving a small warning, especially since 'the Necromancer' will become a hot topic in the next Hobbit movie (and maybe the third). But yeah, if a writer can successfully take a subject and make it his or her own then no one will complain.

Folcro
April 28th, 2013, 11:55 PM
'the Necromancer' will become a hot topic in the next Hobbit movie.

No, actually, you have a point. I hadn't considered that. Even King put off the Dark Tower series to avoid redundancy from Tolkein. Now the bastard's back 60 years later to make us stuff our stories back in the drawers. Ugh.

Pelwrath
April 29th, 2013, 04:34 AM
I thought this was nicely done. As for comparisons with others, you can' stop it, only so may tory lines you can write on, but you can do as Folcro says, make it your own.

ISDAMan
April 29th, 2013, 06:39 AM
This is a very interesting concept. I can agree with the previous posts. I would also caution you to look out for loose ends. For instance, your main character asked why the old man would want to train him but never received an answer.

lowprofile300
April 30th, 2013, 02:38 AM
“And stay out you worthless drunk!” a larger man said as he threw another man into the alley. Glass broke and stung under Michael when he hit the ground. The wooden door in front of him slammed shut and its rusty metal hinges rattled for a minute. He inspected the garbage around him and decided to get out of here before the smell killed him.
'a large man' 'as he threw him' 'decided to get out of there'



Just as he stood up a fist flew at him knocking him back down into the broken glass. “Why did you do that? Ah…this hurts so much,” Michael said with a stutter. He inspected the now small blood pool accumulating around the broken glass. The hand that hit him forcefully grabbed his now ruined wool shirt and pulled him up.
Fists don't fly. 'As he stood up, his face connected with a fist, knocking him down into the broken glass'


Michael quickly dropped the man and cracked open his spellbook. A plume of dust shot in the air as he opened the book. He swatted it away and looked at the old parchment pages. Thousands of lines instantly translated in his head as various spells and recipes. He glided his hand across the page and landed on a line that read, “Braht ak yuo vi” He spoke it aloud and held out his palm. A large flicker of fire started to appear and slowly it sputtered into life. A ball of fire with many tentacles flickering off its top floated in Michael’s palm. It lit up his face and revealed the many scars he had from bar fights, and the arena. Quickly flicking his wrist towards the sky, the fire ball shot up and exploded into a brilliant orchestra of reds and oranges. It seemed to eat itself before disappearing into sky and letting out one last howl of life. Michael turned back to the man and started to grin.
“I don’t think your necromancers will be a problem” he said confidently.

You may want to consider reducing the font size. It's hard on the eyes. Nice ending here:) I am a big fan of World of Warcraft, are you? Cheers

MattyMattyMosca
May 6th, 2013, 05:27 AM
I liked the idea! and the twist with him being rusty with his spells sounds like it would add to the story nicely.

However, I was a little bit confused near the end of the story, when the older man asks, "Can you let me down now?"
I read further back in the story, and I couldn't find any indication that Michael had picked the man up in the first place...

Either way, nice story!