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Silen
June 6th, 2013, 02:22 PM
Hey guys, I've recently came back from a six month break, Just curious as to what you think of my work :) xx

Clouds of satanic thunder, dark and foreboding hung relentlessly in the sky above Pesadelion. Spiteful red lightning ricocheted around the thick sky, like forks of pure hatred. Andreas of the watch looked on from his post atop the mighty tower of Blockade. His dull grey eyes, ever watchful, set deep within his skull, his scarred face illuminated by the flashes in the evening sky. He was a tall man, standing at nearly six feet, his frame lean and agile. He wore a long black fur cloak and a hood atop his head. In one hand he held a spear, an eight foot shaft of black foerium, atop which rested a tip of Kalitrin steel, its tear shape lending itself to the long watch of the Blockadesmen. On his other leather garbed arm rested a raven; it too scoured the charred fields before them.

His watch had been quiet, too quiet. He gazed out over the ruined cityscape, Pesadelion he pondered, city of kings my arse. Plumes of smoke still rose from the rubble adding to the blanket of impenetrable clouds, the occasional flame licked upwards.

The raven spotted something; it alerted its master with an angry caw. Andreas’ eyes quickly scanned and spotted the movement. Three shadows, strafing a twisted dance towards the tower, his body moved into action. He wrung the bell to his left, and then leapt with great majesty from atop the palisade. He rolled off the impact and began sprinting towards the shadows. They had spotted him, with void-like eyes, they barked at each other as they came at him. They circled like a pack of dogs, feigning attacks; he looked around eyeing his foes, searching for a weakness. The creatures of the Underlands always had a weakness, they were always flawed. As he observed them, they seemed to shift, never holding a single form for too long, limbs protruded from their bodies then sank back into them.

As one they surged forward, Andreas spun his spear as if it were as light as a feather, knocking one void dog to the ground, then brought it up and into the many eyed head of another, the tip passed through it , like fingers through smoke. The third grabbed his arm, but he shook it off, and his raven dove at it, distracting it for a moment. He raised his spear and lunged, penetrating one void body, the shadow yelped and turned to ash, he turned to the distracted dog and hurled the spear into its flank. It yelped and dissolved as its companion had. The last dog was on him, trying to tear out his throat.

Thunderous footsteps distracted Andreas for a moment, a huge armoured shadow walked arrogantly towards him, its steps reverberating through the blackened ground. He punched the void dog again and again. Atop the walls he could hear the Blockadesmen making their way. He wrenched free a dagger from his belt, and gutted the shadow dog, it turned to ash in his hands, and he quickly examined the wounds the dog had given him, then dove backwards, rolled and reached for his spear. He clasped his fingers round the shaft then turned to face the oncoming monstrosity.

Some of Andreas’ men at arms had joined him on the fields, twelve men, in the same attire as himself stood in awe of the behemoth that approached. They lowered their spears as one. Lighting struck a nearby stump; the creature spared not even a glance. He kept coming.

“Back to the void!” Andreas shrieked, and charged. In that moment he knew he was already dead. The hulking creature had been a distraction. Something caught his eye, a swift shadow, faster than the lightning in the sky, it moved unnaturally fast, decapitating all of his men, leaving Andreas alone to face the Behemoth.

“My lord grows weary!” shouted the void creature as it caught Andreas by the throat.
It slammed him to the ground, crushing him into the charred earth. His last sight was an enormous bastard sword. Blacker than the clouds above him, the behemoth plunged its blade into Andreas’ face.
“Za’zu rises!” the Behemoth shouted angrily at the men atop the walls. Then he turned to dust.

escorial
June 6th, 2013, 02:36 PM
The raven spotted something;..that drawn me write in.

domovoi1995
June 11th, 2013, 12:23 AM
I like it! If I read this off of a shelf I would get it.

shinyford
June 11th, 2013, 01:13 AM
I like this, generally: it's well set up and with good grammar and punctuation (which is always something that I find an immediate turn-off if it's wrong).

Two points I'd look at:
1. There's an awful lot of exposition - "He was a tall man, standing at nearly six feet", for example. I think the old adage "show, don't tell" holds here: have him easily get something down off a high shelf, rather than just state how tall he is. (Not that such a passage would suit what you have here; but hopefully you get my drift.)
2. I was greatly surprised that after such a great set up, Andreas was on the receiving end of a broadsword. I tend to think that sort of writing limits the possible income from sequels. Do you have more planned for him, or was that the end?

Either way: good, atmospheric writing, and I look forward to more.

Silen
June 11th, 2013, 09:16 AM
Firstly , i would like to thank you all for your critiques.
Shinyford: To answer your questions.
Andreas is not a main character, he has relevance. He is a demon hunter. his death will cause the story's spark.
The focal point of this section, is the giant and the swift shadow. The warning they give is a recurring factor in the story line itself.
Though it is quite difficult, without reading further on to see all these things, something i struggle with is that nothing becomes truelly clear untill the end of the book, where all the story lines merge and all the subtle details from earlier pages add to the experience of the final discovery.

Though if you liked Andreas, i could easily bring him back from the Void ;)

Silen out :)

Jeko
June 11th, 2013, 02:20 PM
hung relentlessly

Not sure how you can hang relentlessly. The adverb isn't needed either. I would focus on the heart of your description rather than dressing it up with unnecessary words:

Clouds of thunder hung in the sky above Pesadelion, dark and foreboding.

'Dark' and 'foreboding' are good adjectives as they help build the scene; foreboding tells us things aren't going to be peachy. I don't know what thunder has to directly do with Satan, but 'satanic' doesn't add anything IMO. Also, you are starting with the weather; whether or not it's interesting, it's a turn-off for potential agents/publishers.

Similarly, this:


Spiteful red lightning ricocheted around the thick sky, like forks of pure hatred.

is all purple time-wasting. I want to get to the action! I know there are clouds, and I know what thunder is like, and my imagination is already making these clouds more than they are because they are 'foreboding'.

Also, similes that are followed by metaphors don't sit well with me. Not sure if they've ever been used successfully, but 'forks of pure hatred' isn't successful.

All in all, you need to focus on what's important, rather than painting pictures; your imagery will evolve when you let it roam free and you start showing rather than telling.

If you want to work on this more, take out every adjective and adverb and start from there.

'The raven spotted something' is a good opening line.

Al D
June 11th, 2013, 03:21 PM
Hey, Silen.
Your overall effect here is successful, I think. You've evoked a sense of long struggle against impossible odds, a doom-laden atmosphere.
It isn't your weather report at the beginning that does it, though. I have to agree with Cadence on the matter of your descriptions, though I'm happy to admit it may be due to my own personal taste.
It's the props and characters that sell it for me. A raven immediately conjures thoughts of battlefield dead. A tall, thin man evokes long hunger. The spectral enemy - quite effective here - mirrors the fate of the human soldiers.
You've made some very good choices here. But your characters and situations don't really need the purple language; they do the job on their own.
Finally, when you go to second draft, I'd be in less of a hurry to finish. The soon-to-be-decapitated soldiers appear out of nowhere and are dispatched as quickly; you can build suspense by having Andreas anticipate their arrival during his desperate fight with the dogs, then give him hope when they arrive, only to dash it all when the Behemoth nears.

It might sound like I didn't enjoy this, but I did (I'm still trying to get the hang of this constructive criticism thing). Hope to see a second draft soon.

brightlex
June 11th, 2013, 04:05 PM
Hi Silen, I really loved the darkness of this piece of writing. The raven is a good ambassador of all things that are dreadful and morbid. I enjoyed reading your style of wrting. One thing that put me off a bit and this is really small and my own point of view--city of kings my arse--this immediately made me think of Jim in the Royale family. Unless your character is from earth when that phrase was about, I'd use something older or made up for your world like in 2000ad judge Dredd says Drokk or someting but we know its a future swear word. e..city of kings--pig's swill or horse shit isn't as Jim Royaleish and modern.

Apart from that great action scene that grips the reader from the onsaught. So well done.
brightlex

Lsahlm
June 11th, 2013, 08:22 PM
Hi Silen,

The first "hiccup" for me was the extensive description of a simple spear. I think that could have been handled in a single, simple sentence and the reader's imagination could fill in any gaps. It was like everything went into slow motion as soon as I got to that point which seemed to have nothing important to add
to the first paragraph.
Though your writing is good, I felt more like I was reading an "author" than reading a story.

Pelwrath
June 12th, 2013, 11:57 PM
I liked this. The description seemed a bit over the top yet it allowed me to visualize it in my mind as I read. This included Andreas with his spear. Now, I have no idea from the story as to why this place is "The City of Kings" Keep the work up and continue with this story.