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Badhorses Mare
January 3rd, 2014, 08:41 PM
This is a portion of the story I'd like to write. I've had the idea for several years and wrote various little snipits but this is my first real attempt at starting it out. I've read it over and over and there is something missing, I just don't know what exactly.
Hope you like it!

Shutting the back door Gideon entered into the boot strewn hallway and stumbled. Swearing under his breath as he tripped over the bulk. The chore chart he and his brother drew up apparently had no merit anymore as the floors were Rick’s responsibility. Pulling a length of wood from a pocket in his jeans he gave it a flick and the cluttered footwear rose a couple of inches off the ground and zoomed against the wall to land neatly on the rug. “Rick, if I have to clean the whole house I’m not gonna cook anymore!” Gideon yelled up the stairs as he passed them on the way to the kitchen, only to realize that Rick was no longer home. There was a note by the coffee pot (To his brothers credit it was hot and full.)

“Calderman rescheduled the hearing, didn’t want to wake you. I’ll be home later and I’ll take care of the hallway when I get back.
Rick”

This time he swore loudly. That hearing was his idea; the whole thing was his Idea. He spent a month and a half studying the area, seeing just how much of the woods the non-wielders actually used, weather there were any leftover power or gas lines still buried. Gideon pouted, logically he knew that their stance had more weight if it came from and un-afflicted but that thought just aggravated him, “Just because I’m a werewolf.” He poured himself a steaming cup and moodily put the pot back causing it to shatter. With a huff he waived his wand again and the pieces flew together though the contents stay spilled on the counter.
As long as they could get the barrier enlarged nothing else mattered, but that was a pretty big if. They had a hard time getting one in the first place. “And it doesn’t help that Kheldar hates me.” He didn’t understand why, when he and his brother started “Wayward Wood” Michael Kheldar was one of their biggest sponsors. Letters of recommendation, donations, even discounts on ingredients. But now it seemed he was stalling them from expanding, ‘You’ve only been in operation for a year... You shouldn’t over tax your selves.’ Gideon didn’t quite care for the pompous windbag, but his sway with the committee certainly would’ve helped. ”Probably doesn’t want the competition” He thought to himself, “You’d think having the largest transformation site in the territory he’d be willing to give a little ground.”
Sighing, Gideon nabbed a couple of cookies from the jar and sat down at the table, picked up the day’s paper and ate his breakfast.

It’s been a long year, but all in all pretty successful. 4 dedicated guests and a handful of last minute drop by’s. The ingredients for the tincture have gone up slightly and the guest donations are less and less but he knew they would manage to find the funds. Unlike The “Wolf’s Heaven”, they didn’t charge fees; afflicted showed up and were given room and board, they were encouraged to bring food to share and the dedicated guests did from time to time though it wasn’t required. A month ago Susana, (she’d been coming the past 8 months) donated 40 lbs of flour and sugar and 80 gold pieces, but the gold was used up now, the coffee in his cup was thanks to her. Gideon looked up at the calendar on the wall, not like normal calendars (if they were lucky enough to have one in these dark times), this one was as big as the wall and Friday the 17 of October was outlined in a dark blue and the 6 consecutive days were also outlined. The cycle was 3 days away, and he was worried. Usually Guests arrived a full week before hand to start taking the tincture but not a one had shown up yet. They could take it the day of, but it wasn’t nearly as effective, and thanks to the hype several afflicted thought that too much was damaging, even addictive. Where the rumor came from is a mystery but the committee and media was doing its best to dispel the fear. The last thing they needed was a bunch of unthinking maddened wolves running around.

A small chiming sound that seemed to come from the walls themselves meant that someone had crossed their barrier. Rick had come home, and sure enough after 15 min or so he came through the back door, walked through the hallway and reached the kitchen. He was a tall thin man with handsome features, and when he took off the stocking cap it revealed dark brown hair that tumbled down to his shoulders. “You’re up!” He said a little too brightly.

“How’d it go?” Gideon asked dispensing with any further pleasantries. He had a feeling, not all too well.

“I said I’d take care of the hallway when I got back.” Attempting to forestall the answer Rick went to the coffee pot and began to make up a fresh one, after sopping up the cold brew still left on the counter.

“How did it go?” Gideon asked again forcefully and stared at the back of his brothers head.
Rick’s shoulders slumped and a deep sigh told him all he needed to know.

“They said no.” Turning to face his brother, “Calderman had the whole committee convinced that we couldn’t handle the extra people....yes I told them about your plan to hire help.” Seeing the question in his brother’s face

“And they just ignored it?”

“Kheldar’s mouth man inquired how we intended to pay them.” Rick replied bitterly. “The Comity’s noticed your request for financial aid.” He said in a mock imperious voice, “And though we’ve all agreed to approve it, we would not, at this time, find it prudent to expand your holdings.”

At this Rick threw a small bag onto the table with a look of disgust as he sat down, it clinked and sat unmoving.
Gideon stared angrily at it; he knew that the conclusion would have been the same if he had gone instead. Yet he felt that if he could just explain to them...

“You’re upset with me.” Ricks voice broke through his thoughts. Looking up from the coin purse Gideon saw the sadness and guilt in Rick’s dark brown eyes.

“No...I’m not upset with you,” Gideon said leaning forward and clasping his brother’s arm, “I know you did your best.” That seemed to assuage Rick’s fears and he gave a wan smile. “We’ll try again next year.”

Hopscotch
January 4th, 2014, 01:17 AM
Hello and welcome – first thing first you might want to post in Prose writers Workshop – it’s a helpful forumn on this site – usually get good crits there. Anywhoo I’ll have a deek – it’s all opinion and you can probs discard what I say – dnt be offended –I hope!

Shutting the back door Gideon entered into – maybe get rid of into??? the boot strewn hallway and stumbled. Swearing under his breath as he tripped over the bulk – bulk of what???? Also he stumbled then tripped in next sentence uve told me twice.

. The chore chart he and his brother drew up apparently had no merit, anymore as the floors were Rick’s responsibility.

KIND OF UNSURE WHO IS DOING THIS NEXT BIT ----- Pulling a length of wood from a pocket in his jeans he gave it a flick and the cluttered footwear rose a couple of inches off the ground and zoomed against the wall to land neatly on the rug. So he moved some shoes about with a magic wand – onto a rug – why?

“Rick, if I have to clean the whole house I’m not gonna cook anymore!” Gideon yelled up the stairs as he passed them on the way to the kitchen, - bit of a long sentence myb just - Gideon yelled up the stairs - only to realize that Rick was no longer home. There was a note by the coffee pot (To his brothers credit it was hot and full.) when you describe the coffee pot don’t tell me its hot and full tell me what Gideon sees to tell him why he thinks its hot and full – steam piping, weight etc. otherwise it becomes this crazy psychic narrator guy telling me and im like who the F is this guy? Na wha a mean?

“Calderman rescheduled the hearing, didn’t want to wake you. I’ll be home later and I’ll take care of the hallway when I get back.
Rick” – ah the note!

This time he swore loudly – as opposed to what other time???. That hearing was his idea; the whole thing was his Idea.

He spent a month and a half studying the area – what area???, seeing just how much of the woods the non-wielders actually used, weather????? – whether ---- there were any leftover power or gas lines still buried ------- how would he look for these lines???? What would he look for????. Gideon pouted, logically he knew that their stance had more weight if it came from and un-afflicted but that thought just aggravated him, “Just because I’m a werewolf.” He poured himself a steaming cup and moodily put the pot back causing it to shatter. With a huff he waived his wand again and the pieces flew together though the contents stay spilled on the counter. –cool but can be worded better I think.

As long as they could get the barrier enlarged nothing else mattered, but that was a pretty big if. They had a hard time getting one in the first place. “And it doesn’t help that Kheldar hates me.” He didn’t understand why, when he and his brother started “Wayward Wood” Michael Kheldar was one of their biggest sponsors. ----- ‘wayward wood’ – I think in singles if ur not speaking it.

Letters of recommendation, donations, even discounts on ingredients. But now it seemed he was stalling them from expanding, ‘You’ve only been in operation for a year... You shouldn’t over tax your selves.’ Gideon didn’t quite care for the pompous windbag, but his sway with the committee certainly would’ve helped. --- singles ‘’----”Probably doesn’t want the competition” He thought to himself, “You’d think having the largest transformation site in the territory he’d be willing to give a little ground.”
Sighing, Gideon nabbed a couple of cookies from the jar and sat down at the table, picked up the day’s paper and ate his breakfast.

---- Who is this thinking now????, it’s like I’ve popped into someone else’s head -------It’s been a long year, but all in all pretty successful. 4 dedicated guests and a handful of last minute drop by’s ----dnt like drop byss but hey – whateva ----. The ingredients for the tincture ---eh?---- have gone up slightly and the guest donations are less and less but he knew they would manage to find the funds. Unlike The “Wolf’s Heaven”, they didn’t charge fees; afflicted showed up and were given room and board, they were encouraged to bring food to share and the dedicated guests did from time to time though it wasn’t required. -----this looks like it could be split up and you could tell me what everything looked like, smelled, felt etc.

A month ago Susana, (she’d been coming the past 8 months) donated 40 lbs of flour and sugar and 80 gold pieces, but the gold was used up now, the coffee in his cup was thanks to her. Gideon looked up at the calendar on the wall, not like normal calendars (if they were lucky enough to have one in these dark times), this one was as big as the wall and Friday the 17 of October was outlined in a dark blue and the 6 consecutive days were also outlined. The cycle was 3 days away, and he was worried. Usually Guests arrived a full week before hand to start taking the tincture --- whatthe hell is a tincature???---- but not a one had shown up yet. They could take it the day of, but it wasn’t nearly as effective, and thanks to the hype several afflicted thought that too much was damaging, even addictive. Where the rumor came from is a mystery but the committee and media was doing its best to dispel the fear. The last thing they needed was a bunch of unthinking maddened wolves running around. ---- unthinking maddened wolves – dnt sound very scary maybe could sound scarier – not sure how????

A small chiming sound that seemed to come from the walls themselves meant that someone had crossed their barrier --- I like this description bit ---. Rick had come home, and sure enough after 15 min or so he came through the back door, walked through the hallway and reached the kitchen. He was a tall thin man with handsome features --- yeah im not sure about saying someone is handsome - -- well actually I dnt know just unsure about it ----, and when he took off the stocking cap it revealed dark brown hair that tumbled down to his shoulders. “You’re up!” He said a little too brightly.

“How’d it go?” Gideon asked dispensing with any further pleasantries. He had a feeling, not all too well. ----- Nice so we are staying in Gideons head this entire story???? That’s not a bad thing im just unsure if we are popping in and out of other peoples head – which u shouldn’t do regularly – what I mean is not every other para – k -------

“I said I’d take care of the hallway when I got back.” Attempting to forestall the answer Rick went to the coffee pot and began to make up a fresh one, ---- do I need this next line??? ---- after sopping up the cold brew still left on the counter.

“How did it go?” Gideon asked again forcefully --- do I need the next line ---- and stared at the back of his brothers head.


Rick’s shoulders slumped and a deep sigh told him all he needed to know. --- cool ---

“They said no.” Turning to face his brother, “Calderman had the whole committee convinced that we couldn’t handle the extra people....yes I told them about your plan to hire help.” Seeing the question in his brother’s face ---- nice

“And they just ignored it?” --- nice

“Kheldar’s mouth man inquired how we intended to pay them.” --- yeah a mouth man --- like it! ----Rick replied bitterly --- maybe dnt need bitterly ------ reader should be able to tell by following the story you shouldn’t have to tell me ----- like your trying to communicate with me psychically ----.

“The Comity’s noticed your request for financial aid.” He said in a mock imperious voice, “And though we’ve all agreed to approve it, we would not, at this time, find it prudent to expand your holdings.” – like this dialogue ----

At this Rick threw a small bag onto the table with a look of disgust as he sat down ---- too long ----, it clinked and sat unmoving. ---nice----

Gideon stared angrily at it; he knew that the conclusion would have been the same if he had gone instead. Yet he felt that if he could just explain to them... --- nice---

“You’re upset with me.” Ricks voice broke through his thoughts. Looking up from the coin purse Gideon saw the sadness and guilt in Rick’s dark brown eyes.

“No...I’m not upset with you,” Gideon said leaning forward and clasping his brother’s arm, “I know you did your best.” That seemed to assuage --- nice word --- Rick’s fears and he gave a wan smile. “We’ll try again next year.”

Overall I don’t like wearwolves – il like the story – needs rewritten and once it reads better people will crit it. Nice words, decent descriptive ability, not my cup of tea however there is some cool stuff in there anyways no-one will ever win me over with wearwolves and magic. If I was to change it I’d make it more gritty and visceral – not talking ripped out spines maybe just a bit darker. Apart from that re-write and let me know! U got some good skills – anyways you’ve seen how flawed my own writing is so you can take what you will from the crit – choose.

popsprocket
January 4th, 2014, 04:09 AM
]Shutting the back door, Gideon entered ['into' doesn't go in a sentence like this] the boot-strewn hallway and stumbled, swearing under his breath as he tripped over the bulk.
This is all one sentence. I'm sure that Word would have tripped the second sentence as a fragment. As a secondary issue, this is straight-up telling and could flow better:

Shutting the back door, Gideon swore under his breath as he tripped over an army of boots strewn throughout the hallway.


The chore chart he and his brother drew up apparently had no merit anymore as the floors were Rick’s responsibility. Pulling a length of wood from a pocket in his jeans he gave it a flick and the cluttered footwear rose a couple of inches off the ground and zoomed against the wall to land neatly on the rug.
As above, this is straight-up telling and could (should) be made more interesting. The purpose of 'showing' actions is to make them seem more real; more genuine; to give them life so that it doesn't read like a cut and dry report. Also, I have a bit of an issue with the 'length of wood'. Why not just call it a wand? At first I imagined him pulling a 2x4 out of his pants.


[there should be a line-break here, new dialogue starts on a new line] “Rick, if I have to clean the whole house I’m not gonna cook anymore!” Gideon yelled up the stairs as he passed them on the way to the kitchen, only to find that Rick was no longer home, according to a note by the coffee pot [no: parentheses=bad; any information included in parentheses should be worked into the text another way] which, to his brother's credit, was hot and full.

“Calderman rescheduled the hearing, didn’t want to wake you. I’ll be home later and I’ll take care of the hallway when I get back.
Rick”
As a side note, you should format the text of the note differently to how you format dialogue. Not a requirement, but it'll help with clarity.


This time he swore loudly. That hearing was his idea; the whole thing was his idea. He spent a month and a half studying the area, seeing just how much of the woods the non-wielders [should terms like this be capitalised? are they proper nouns?] actually used, and whether there were any leftover power or gas lines still buried. Gideon pouted, logically he knew that their stance had more weight if it came from an un-afflicted, but that thought simply [as opposed to 'just'; be mindful of using the same word close together as it tends to stick out like a sore thumb] aggravated him, “Just because I’m a werewolf.” He poured himself a steaming cup and moodily put the pot back causing it to shatter.
Just going to pick you up on the lifeless wording again on this last sentence. You could convey his frustration/anger/annoyance so much better than it is being done here.


With a huff he waved his wand again and the pieces [ambiguous wording - the pieces of the wand, or the pieces of the pot?] flew together, though the coffee stay spilled on the counter.
So it's a wand now but a length of wood earlier?


As long as they could get the barrier enlarged nothing else mattered, but that was a pretty big 'if'. They had a hard time getting one in the first place. “And it doesn’t help that Kheldar hates me.” He didn’t understand why, when he and his brother started Wayward Wood, Michael Kheldar was one of their biggest sponsors. Letters of recommendation, donations, even discounts on ingredients. But now it seemed he was stalling them from expanding, ‘You’ve only been in operation for a year... you shouldn’t over tax yourselves.’ he had said. Gideon didn’t quite care for the pompous windbag, but his sway with the committee certainly would’ve helped. "Probably doesn’t want the competition.” He thought to himself, “You’d think having the largest transformation site in the territory he’d be willing to give a little ground.”
This whole section is a mess of quotation marks and italic thoughts. As far as ease of reading goes, I would suggest that you present thoughts as simply italics, no quotations marks around them. It makes it easier to read when you have bits like this that include dialogue as a bit of a memory. Also, the name of the place they started doesn't need to be in quotation marks. People will understand that it's a proper noun and that it is the name of whatever it is the characters ventured into.


Sighing, Gideon nabbed a couple of cookies from the jar and sat down at the table, picked up the day’s paper and ate his breakfast.
What, without cleaning up the spilled coffee? What an ass :P


It had been a long year, but all in all pretty successful. Four [the only time you should use numerals in fiction is for writing the date of the time of day] dedicated guests and a handful of last minute drop-by’s. The ingredients for the tincture went up slightly, and the guest donations were lessening, but he knew they would manage to find the funds. Unlike The Wolf’s Heaven, they didn’t charge fees; afflicted showed up and were given room and board. They were encouraged to bring food to share and the dedicated guests did so from time to time, though it wasn’t required. A month ago, Susana, [as above, parentheses=bad, numerals=bad] who had been coming to them for the past eight months, donated forty pounds of flour and sugar and eighty gold pieces. But the gold was used up now, the coffee in his cup was thanks to her. Gideon looked up at the calendar on the wall, not like normal calendars, if they were lucky enough to have one in such dark times, this one was as big as the wall and Friday, 17 of October was outlined in a dark blue and the six days following were also circled [another instance of using the same word too close together]. The cycle was 3 days away, and he was worried. Usually Guests arrived a full week beforehand to start taking the tincture, but not one had shown up yet. They could take it the day of, but it wasn’t nearly as effective, and thanks to the hype, several afflicted thought that too much was damaging, even addictive. Where the rumor came from was still a mystery but the committee and media were doing their best to dispel the fear. The last thing they needed was a bunch of unthinking maddened wolves running around.
Oh boy. Did you change this from present tense to past tense? This paragraph was riddled with present tense slip-ups.


A small chiming sound that seemed to come from the walls themselves meant that someone had crossed their barrier [this is poorly constructed. you are giving it as fact that the chiming sound means someone crossed the barrier, but aren't making it clear that the chiming sound has actually occurred]. Rick had come home, and sure enough after fifteen minutes or so he came through the back door, walked through the hallway and reached the kitchen. He was a tall thin man with handsome features, and when he took off the stocking cap it revealed dark brown hair that tumbled down to his shoulders.

[line break here] “You’re up!” He said a little too brightly.

“How’d it go?” Gideon asked, dispensing with any further pleasantries. He had a feeling, not all too well.

“I said I’d take care of the hallway when I got back.” Attempting to forestall the answer, Rick went to the coffee pot and began to make up a fresh one, after sopping up the cold brew still left on the counter.

“How did it go?” Gideon asked again more forcefully and stared at the back of his brother's head.

Rick’s shoulders slumped and a deep sigh told him all he needed to know.

“They said no.” Turning to face his brother, “Calderman had the whole committee convinced that we couldn’t handle the extra people [this was an incorrect use of ellipses], and before you ask, I did tell them about your plan to hire help.” Seeing the question in his brother’s face [fragment - remove it entirely]

“And they just ignored it?”

“Kheldar’s mouth man inquired how we intended to pay them.” Rick replied bitterly. “The Committee's [suddenly you can't spell committee? also, it's suddenly a proper noun? the committee hasn't been a proper noun anywhere else in the text] noticed your request for financial aid.” He said in a mockingly imperious voice, “'And though we’ve all agreed to approve it, we would not, at this time, find it prudent to expand your holdings.'” [this last bit needs the extra quotation marks to show that Rick is quoting someone rather than saying that all of his own accord, otherwise it gets too confusing]

At this Rick threw a small bag onto the table with a look of disgust as he sat down, it clinked to a halt and sat unmoving.
Gideon stared angrily at it; he knew that the conclusion would have been the same if he had gone instead. Yet he felt that if he could just explain to them...

“You’re upset with me.” Rick's voice broke through his thoughts. Looking up from the coin purse, Gideon saw the sadness and guilt in Rick’s dark brown eyes.

“No...I’m not upset with you,” Gideon said, leaning forward and clasping his brother’s arm, “I know you did your best.” That seemed to assuage Rick’s fears and he gave a wan smile, “We’ll try again next year.”


Your biggest problem by far is the telling in this, though I tried not to repeat myself on that front too often. So I'm not really hesitant to say that you should have a go at rewriting this. With all the words and ideas there it won't be very hard to arrange them in a more interesting fashion.

Otherwise there were a few small mistakes that you could have picked up with a bit of a closer edit. I've marked them where I found them. I also changed up some other words but I find it poor etiquette to do too much rewriting in a crit - I only changed the areas that bothered me most.

Other things:
You could stand to work on clarity. There aren't a whole lot of issues, but the text formatting makes things like thoughts vs dialogue difficult to discern.

You needed a lot more commas than you had. I've added some in but there isn't really a remedy for this that isn't just 'keep writing until you understand how to use them'.

You were missing a number of possessive apostrophes, but you were also missing them inconsistently - some times you had it right and sometimes you had it wrong. That smacks of this needing a more thorough edit than it has already had.

Badhorses Mare
January 4th, 2014, 04:14 AM
Thanks a bunch! A tincture is (courtesy of wiki) an alcoholic extract of plant or animal material or solution of such or of a low volatility substance.
I think Im trying to write this in 3rd.(?) Composition was not my best class in HS so Im a little sketchy on the rules. This is Gideon's intro, the other main characters will have one too.
I've re-written it a bit and I'll PM it too you and post it in the forum you suggested. Hopefully it's a little better.

cosmictide
March 1st, 2014, 06:07 PM
Hi, I think this is a great start to your story; you have introduced the characters quickly and got straight to the problems they are facing (although I'm not sure what their company/shop does exactly - maybe I missed it but all I've managed to pick up is that they have something to do with wood?) and you have managed to come up with a original, interesting idea, though maybe you could spend a few sentences clearly stating what it is that they do, especially as it seems it's connected to the problems that they are having.

I agree with popsprocket, who said that you should change the font on the note, or maybe indent it (though I'm not sure you can do that on these posts). You also have used speech marks for parts other than speech, and while I'm not sure if it's actually a valid stylistic point, I personally would refrain from using them with the thoughts - especially as you have already put them in italics. The letter also doesn't need to be emphasised with them, and it could be slightly confusing for people (including myself) who started reading it as speech.

Is there a particular reason why there is magic and werewolves? Only because it seems they have both been brought in pretty soon and sound, not exactly cliche, but perhaps too much at once. I just feel that when I read it the two ideas didn't flow, though really if they are just fact in your story's world then you don't need to change it, and as I haven't read more than this I can't say if it works or not. (Also i fear many people would be put off by reading that your story involves werewolves - a change brought about by all the Twilight writers desperate to join the bandwagon of vampires, werewolves, and romance - although from what you've posted it doesn't have any hint of that, and really once you've chosen a base idea it's unavoidable and there is not much point in changing it.)

The conversation between the brothers is written well, beside the few grammatical points already pointed out. I do think this story has potential!