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Moxis
April 13th, 2014, 04:57 AM
The air was stale. The six of us sat in the dark, cold and confused, trying to stay calm unsure of what is to become of us. They have already separated us into two groups, the rest of the other hundred sailors where in the second group being lead into what they called the Apokalight Chamber. The rest of us are now waiting. Waiting for our captors and for the judgement for crimes we didn't commit. "We will find a way out of here. we need a plan." I heard whispered behind me, the remaining crew was talking quietly, but I couldn't help but think how this all happened.

It was a morning like any other the Ruscan shore was washed in a blue shadow as Norex approached the sun, I could feel the light grow dim on my face. The ship rocked lightly back and forth in the tide as the last of the cargo to Pramis was loaded onto our Porter. The town was alive, as merchants and fishermen haggled and and the people talked, but above all I could hear our quarter master Jona arguing with the captain through the wall of his cabin. "HE IS DEAD!" our Captain shouted "No! if you read the letter its him he is out there!" Jona's brother Evan has been missing for a year now, He use to be a part of the crew until he found this map to a lost island claiming treasure enough to make us all kings, but when no one would go with him he started out with a rowboat into the ocean, a week ago Jona found a letter in a bottle saying he sailed six days southeast and has found it signed Evan. "I'm not going out there chasing ghosts. There is nothing southeast for at least a month." There was a silence for a moment. "You may outrank me Mason, but I do have the crew on my side and I will take the ship from you." Jona said calmly. Silence still, as I pressed my ear to the wall I heard the captain talking. "After this run. we go to Pramis collect our pay then we can go see if this island even exists." his tone was more of a pleading question than an order. I heard them coming to the door, I jumped back, as the wooden door sprang open. They both came out, first was Captain Mason his red coat was stiff in the wind. After him came Jona in his weathered black waistcoat, he was a Catfolk a rare race of people that had cat like eyes and agility. With everything loaded onto the Porter Jona walked over to me "Its finally happening Jason. We're going to find him." explained Jona as he leaned against the rail and continued. "Now we just have got to find our way to Pramis in two days and collect our pay." I was to stunned to respond. "But Pramis is three days northeast from here?" I said confused, in the background the captain was shouting orders, and Jona began to smile. "Well if we get there in two days we get double the pay." This caught my attention Evan and Jona could always get the best deals. "Then we better get going!"


The ship was about to leave port when we were stopped by the commanding officer of the Royal Navy and his two soldiers. "Well I do wonder where this vessel is going?" he questiond as he stepped onto the deck, as his soldiers followed. "Pramis to bring wine and salted meat to be delivered to the King." I said in a tone of annoyance. the captain heard this and came over immediately. This is the seventh time the Navey has tried to take our ship from us "What a fine ship, captain you know the Naval fleet is always in need of new ones." their commander mused "Ah but we are just a simple porter ship surely there are better ships to steal and employ?" the captain mocked. The entire crew has stopped to listen at this point. "Yes but to what ship would have such nice cannons as yours?" he mused. My hand crept to my sword, and Jona to his pistol, I knew where this was heading and it wasn't good. The air was tight with tension and the commander could feel it as his soldiers where already shuffling unsure of how to defend their leader. "May Drooden take your ship to the depths! We have other businesses." and he signaled his soldiers to follow. they left the ship, I watched them as they left waiting for them to come back, but they never did and we went back to making sail, the porter began its journey to Pramis, the last journey it would ever make.


Cheerful was the crew that night as we sailed to our destination, and why shouldn't we be we saved our ship from the Navy, and we were on our way to a glorious payday due to this favours wind. As we sailed through the night the only light came from the lanterns, The warm glow on the wooden deck combined with the rocking of the sea is one of the most soothing things I can remember. That night we slept well, but the next day would bring us to our fate. the crew arose from their sleep to begin their duties. We were making good time as the day went about normally the captain looked on edge but would not budge as to why. I was filling out my log when it began. the crew was cheering up on top the ship, and when I came up I could see Pramis we were about an hour out of the docks with three hours to spare. Another successful trip victory was flowing through me as it was the rest of the crew, That's when the first cannons went off. from our side came a war ship owned by the Three Kingdoms as it turned to line up with us on our left side their side became a wall of strobing smoke.


Chaos seized our crew as they tried to take combat satiations against our new enemy. We all knew this to be the outcome of the stand off from earlier but never did we think that this would be how we would meet our end. I started shouting orders " Get those cannons going, hard right we can lose them in the sea , dump the cargo, where is the captain?" from the general shouting I got that the captain was on the bow fighting the Navy. I sprinted to his aid, as he was moving About the deck with Jona firing their muskets at the enemy ship. I reported to the captain of what was being done as we took cover from fire. The air was thick with the taste of black powder and grey smoke surrounded us from all the musket fire. we heard the cracks of the cannons as they tore into our ship looking over the side I could see cargo being pushed out of the holes the Navys cannons where making. We started making way as the ship caught a good gust of wind, and our ship gradually getting lighter started to lose them in the race to the faster waters. as we left the range of their weapons the crew could relax a count of the dead and wounded was taken and there where about 30 wounded and about 22 that where dead as we talked of these things. There was a shot and Captain Mason fell forward and Jona quickly caught him. "More speed! Get us into the open water!" Jona cried out he was trying to help the captains wound but he was dying.

stormageddon
April 13th, 2014, 11:44 PM
Hello Moxis! Skip to the end if you want the good before the "needs improvement", and don't be worried by the length of this post- it's long because I like the extract and wanted to take the time to do this properly ;)

It seems you have yet to make a real friend out of commas- you could do with using a lot more of them. They help organize what you're saying, and improve the flow. You could also split sentences up a little more sometimes with full stops. There are also several tense slips from past into present- a lot of writers have problems with that, myself included, but they get easier to avoid when you're looking out for them.

For example, "The air was stale we tried to stay calm as the six of us sat in the dark cold and confused unsure of how exactly we have come to be here."
could become, "The air was stale. We tried to stay calm as the six of us sat in the dark, cold and confused, unsure of how exactly we had come to be there."
Also, "how exactly" as you have phrased it takes on a slightly different meaning to what you intend. "exactly how" or "how, exactly," would give the meaning you're looking for.

You could also change the arrangement of the things you say in the sentence to make it slightly easier for the reader (again, something I have a lot of problems with- good to see I'm not alone in it). Using the same example sentence, rather than having the emotional reaction at the start, you might first give the situation:
"The air was stale. The six of us sat in the dark, cold and confused, trying to stay calm as we wondered exactly how we had come to be there."

"the rest of the other 100 sailors where in the second group being sheperd into" sheperd should be spelt "shepherded" (looks really weird, I know), and in novel sort of writing, one would tend to write out numbers in full rather than use numerals. So "100" becomes "one-hundred".

After "Apokalight Chamber" (awesome name) I think you wanted a full stop rather than a comma. Also, is the introductory paragraph separate from the rest of the narrative? I would suggest either italicizing it or putting in a fancy paragraph separating device if that's the case, because it isn't immediately apparent. BUT, if it isn't the case, and the rest is recollection, you're going to have the wonderful job of going through the whole thing and throwing in some "had"s and whatnot. I'm not a grammarist, so I don't know what the proper words are for the different tenses, but if your "right now" in the novel is in the past, your "back then" needs to be mega-past. Hopefully someone who knows what they're talking about will come along and give a coherent explanation...

Anyway, if you don't want to go mega-past (I find "had been" very difficult to do, but you might understand it better), then I would suggest you turn the first paragraph into a prologue of sorts, perhaps expand it a bit to make that work better. Otherwise, a slight rework and some lovely italics, and you're done.

Forging onwards. I won't repeat any of the punctuation stuff, but it applies to the whole thing, not just the first paragraph. Dialogue is more interesting to talk about, and yours reads a little stiff in places. I can only suggest that you read the dialogue out loud as you envision your characters saying it, and change or punctuate it accordingly. Also, capitalizing shouting is fine, but you don't have to do it if you've said the character is shouting, and personally I would tend to avoid it as it can draw attention away from the actual words coming out of their mouth.

"You may outrank me, but I do have the crew on my side and I will vote you out." outvote you. It's a little more concise, optional though, as you may have been trying to avoid the emphasis created by putting outrank next to outvote.

"another silence came from the cabin" unless it's a tagline (he said, he shouted etc), the first letter of a sentence that's placed between/after dialogue should be capitalized. So, another... >>> Another... also, "another silence came from the cabin" sounds strange. Specifically, "another silence" does. I would simply have phrased this line as "Silence, still." which may read just as weirdly. Hopefully you can come up with something better, but don't feel obliged to change anything at all in your writing because I have told you too. I should probably have said that at the start of this...

Oh dear, I've just realized how long this post is getting so I'm going to focus on the most important things...ah! Missed this one on dialogue- new speaker, new line. Otherwise conversations become very confusing to read. So:

"Now we just have got to find our way to Pramis in two days and collect our pay."
I was for a moment unable to respond. "But Pram is three days northeast from here?"

And "I was for a moment unable to respond" that's weird arrangement again, but in a slightly different way from before. Try something like "For a moment, I was unable to respond."

"I creped my hand to my sword Jona to his pistol" creped would be a lovely verb, but unfortunately, it's "crept". And this sentence is oddly phrased. Something like "My hand crept to my sword, and Jona's to his pistol" might work better.

"The tension was tight in the air" perhaps "The air was tight with tension"? I hope you can see why because I don't know how to word my reasoning, sadly.

Drooden! Yay! Okay, I think I've covered most things, and the kettle cries for my attention so I shall leave it here.

This was a very entertaining extract, as I am sure you can see from my insanely long critique, which I would not have bothered with had I not thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more of your work and learning more of your world, and hope I have been of some help. I also apologize for the inevitable plethora of typos, and anything that doesn't make sense- I am on something of a sugar high, and don't have the attention span necessary to check back over my post. Any questions you have, or anything you want me to clarify, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you for the intriguing read :)

Ari
April 14th, 2014, 02:02 AM
Cool, Moxis (:
I've read Storm's critique so I wont just give the same advice, but I will begin by agreeing: please use commas! You really do need them. I've also just been told myself that it's much easier for people to read your work here if it's split into more paragraphs... I could suggest you do that too?

'Shepherded' does look weird, but you could say 'herded' instead if you liked.
"New speaker, new line" is a very important rule. Storm said that too, but it's really true... like the commas (:

...three days ago Jona found a letter in a bottle saying he sailed six days southeast and has found it signed Evan.
You know how incredibly, mind-bogglingly unlikely it is that Jona found that bottle, right?

I'd also add that there's a lot of characters introduced all at once. I haven't got a grip on anyone at all. There's not one person I know enough about to like to dislike. No one that stands out, no one to care about.

Also, there doesn't seem to be much feeling in anything. It's just like a list of recorded events. That happened, then this happened. Interesting events, but no matter how cool your plot, people wont read if there's no characters they can care about. It comes across like a history book.
Does that make sense?

Thanks for letting us read, and good luck (:

Moxis
April 14th, 2014, 05:08 AM
I was kinda afraid that it would come off as a history book. But I have ideas and can change this, the commas I actually thought I had to many and took some out.


It is quite mind bogglingly unlikely that Jona finds the bottle but you come to find that 70% of things that happen in the story are a set of events planed by one person not coincidence ( that time traveling gnome damn Cuffy ) not a spoiler its actually a theme.


The numbers thing that is a bit of my being lazy. I write mostly at night and I put the actual written numbers later.


Reading back over the post it doesn't have that much feeling and this dose make me quite sad, but again I have ideas and this can be changed.


As far as spelling, I'm kinda bad at spelling I'm working on this and its getting better but its still a road that has to be traveled.


I do need to make the characters pop more the ones trying to shine here are Jason and Jona, Evan is merely hinted at so when he shows up in a bit its not confusing.


The first paragraph is in the present and the story as of yet is a recap of the past until we catch up to the present. Because this is the only way that I could think to start this without being corny. And I thought it would be funny to have a tense change with time travel being in the story.


On the outrank / outvote deal that was an on purpose thing because I don't like using the same words over again like you mentioned. Even though I do it I try to avoid this as much as possible.


I would like to thank you guys for reading and commenting I will fix and repost

30Drummer30
April 16th, 2014, 02:16 AM
That was a good read. I looked forward to more. The others pointed out flaws and I agree with them so that's all I'll say on that. But even with those mistakes you kept my interest so big props on that!

Moxis
April 29th, 2014, 02:45 AM
Made some corrections is this more towards what you guys are talking about?

stormageddon
April 29th, 2014, 08:16 PM
It's been a long time since I read the original version so I can't draw comparisons, but I can say that I like this version.

I think there's still some tense confusion in the first paragraph, here's a cleared up version that's entirely present tense. Changes in bold (most very minor, some just typos):

"The air is stale. The six of us sit in the dark, cold and confused, trying to stay calm, unsure of what is to become of us. They have already separated us into two groups, the rest of the other hundred sailors are in the second group being led into what they called the Apokalight Chamber. The rest of us are now waiting. Waiting for our captors and for the judgement for crimes we didn't commit. "We will find a way out of here. We need a plan." I hear whispered behind me. The remaining crew is talking quietly, but I couldn't help but think how this all happened."

I don't recall noting any tense slips anywhere else, so it seems you mostly need to watch for it in present tense.

I don't like to do rewrites, but I think it would be easier to demonstrate what I mean with the rest of it than to attempt to put what I mean into words. So, changes marked in bold again, and unnecessary words with brackets, I'm going to take your second paragraph (bear in mind as always that I make mistakes myself) and demonstrate my main points:

"It was a morning like any other. The Ruscan shore was washed in a blue shadow as Norex approached the sun, and I could feel the light grow dim on my face. The ship rocked lightly back and forth in the tide as the last of the cargo to Pramis was loaded onto our Porter. The town was alive, as merchants and fishermen haggled [and] and the people talked, but above all I could hear our quarter master Jona arguing with the captain through the wall of his cabin.
"He is dead!" our Captain shouted.
"No! If you read the letter it's him. He is out there!" Jona's brother Evan has been missing for a year now. He use to be a part of the crew until he found this map to a lost island claiming treasure enough to make us all kings, but when no one would go with him he started out with a rowboat into the ocean."

I think your main problem is sentence structuring, in particular knowing when to split a sentence and how to continue it - that's something that can be learnt, with a little practice and some study of how professional writers do it. Unfortunately I can't say anything more helpful on that front, only that you can be a lot more creative with it than I was here.

The dialogue between the captain and Jona is a good example of when "new speaker, new line" is very important. It took me several confusing read-throughs to realize there was a second speaker, a problem easily avoided by that extra click of the enter button.

This: " "HE IS DEAD!" our Captain shouted. "capitals suggest shouting, but as you have already said the character is shouting, and used the exclamatory mode (!) they are unnecessary.

Not a lot more to say. The sentence thing will take some time to get the hang of, but once you've managed it, the story behind your writing will really begin to shine through. I'm sure someone round here will be able to suggest a writing guide or something that will help with that.

Hope I've been of some use, and sorry if I made any mistakes/phrased anything badly. Thanks for the read, and don't hesitate to PM me when you submit new work/update old stuff :)

A_Jones
April 29th, 2014, 10:50 PM
I love your imagery. The feel of the boat rocking back and forth. Very nice! But your sentences are primarily run-ons. It is difficult to read because you change thought mid sentence and I suddenly have no idea what is going on.

, a week ago Jona found a letter in a bottle saying he sailed six days southeast and has found it signed Evan.

I would suggest you indent the letter contents and let us read them. As in:


I sailed six days southeast and have found it!
Evan


Then continue on. It is a bit difficult to read in the paragraph. So continuing with the other comments, yes, you need to work on your commas. I look forward to reading an edit. :)

Ari
April 30th, 2014, 02:33 AM
Heya (:

Like stormageddon, it's a while since I read the first version so comparisons are hard, but I remember you had some tense issues... you're kinda still having them. Is the first paragraph supposed to be present tense, and then the rest of it past because he's "remembering what happened?"

It was a morning like any other the Ruscan shore was washed in a blue shadow as Norex approached the sun, I could feel the light grow dim on my face.
- The imagery here is muddling. Is Norex the name of the boat? 'The Norex' would be easier to understand... if it's morning, why is the light growing dim and why is there a blue shadow? These seem like evening things...

Please remember: New speaker, new line. Always! It gets confusing otherwise...

Jona's brother Evan has been missing for a year now, He use to be a part of the crew until he found this map to a lost island claiming treasure enough to make us all kings, but when no one would go with him he started out with a rowboat into the ocean, a week ago Jona found a letter in a bottle saying he sailed six days southeast and has found it signed Evan.
- To me, this is a muddling, marathon sentence. And capital H on 'he' is usually reserved for God.

Cheerful was the crew that night as we sailed to our destination...
- This phrasing is very archaic. And as the only phrase of its kind in the whole piece, it seems out of place to me.

Overall, I think it's a lot more readable than it was before. The story is much more clear, and because I understand I'm much more interested. I don't know about tall-ship sailing, so I have to assume you got your facts right there...
Good edit, Moxis (: