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View Full Version : Meet my protagonist. 960 words. First Person. Violence. Fantasy. WIP



InS_ght
May 16th, 2014, 04:45 PM
Hey! Thank's for your time. Please let me know if this introduction for my main character is entertaining, or draws you in. Don't be shy to give me your harsh reviews, let me know how I can polish this baby up. Any help you can give me is written gold for me - invaluable. Cheers! :eagerness:


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Have you ever choked on a refreshing drink in surprise? It's quite a halting experience. Normally this can happen when a buddy tells a poorly timed joke, and the drink catches just above your lungs as you sputter to keep it out of the wrong tube. You know how it is; you're out with the boys and are halfway through a swig when your mate cracks a joke about the unfortunate horse face that the waitress was cursed with. I could have appreciated choking on this brew had that been the case. It would have been better than what really had just occurred. Instead, everything came crashing down in my wretched little world with a single passing glance across the bar to the open doorway. Normally the patrons entering this skreethole of a bar would be of no recourse for me, but the appearance of this particular woman was enough to make me cough up a mouth full of swill back into my glass and turn my face red as a beet.

In order for me to properly explain to you the sheer panic the sight of this woman brought me, I have to share with you some back-story. Indeed, I must have left my manners at the door this evening as you don't even know my name yet. Nicholas Row at your professional service; a man well versed in the art of death. Or should I say, the arts - as there are many. You may not have guessed it from the surface, but underneath these lively eyes and this easy smile is a paid killer.

You see, blood money is the currency of lions and wolves - or in other words men like myself. Personally though, unlike the beasts of the violent and filth ridden city that I call home I have always strived to keep it a profession and not a poorly excused sickness of the mind. Of course, there are a million and one legitimate ways for me to make coin, and a dozen more times that in illegitimate ways. However it takes a certain breed to kill for coin and in that there is no shame. What difference is there between an assassin and a soldier when all is said and done save for the reason they kill? None, I say, other than freedom - and there is no greater freedom than freelancing. Look around! Some people live their entire lives without embracing their passion. They end up wasting away as horse faced waitresses serving trash like myself. As a self managed business there is nothing tying me down as long as I do my job right and close contracts quickly and efficiently. After years of experience, that’s something I've become rather excellent at.

I dare you, head down to Keepers Point and ask around about the name of Nikky Row, and you will hear rumor of some blood curdling stories. Whether or not they're embellished or not of course I wouldn't tell, but the truth of the matter is that I'm damn good at my job. So why would this girl entering the bar send a mach speed jolt of dread up my spine, you ask? It would seem silly, wouldn't it - she looked no more than ninety pounds soaking wet and like a lost puppy in the woods.

Truly, she was one of my easiest targets yet. A shame, honestly - she was a walking porcelain doll and if circumstances were different I may have even tried to woo the lass. Instead, I had a business deal to honor, and I tracked her for less than a day before she opened herself up for attack. When the moment was right I had stabbed her in the back, right above the kidney, sliced open across the side. Off my mark just enough that she could have a few moments of comprehension to come to terms with things before she bled out. Cakewalk. I waited around during her final minute to clean my blade and fill out my contract, smearing the magical seal with a few drops of her blood to close the deal.

I had watched her die. I was the instrument of her demise. And yet here she was now - across the room, pale as a ghost and ordering a meal. There was something extremely bad about this scene. Her presence was obscenely wrong. Yet alas, before my very eyes she sat; unless she had a rather convincing identical twin. (Oh by my very soul, what a twisted turn of events that could lead to!) I had to know more. No one comes back from the dead for no reason. I wondered just what I was really up against here.

Of course, there exists a whole world of magical and wondrous things out there. Spell casters and wizards and elves, the list goes on - and no one in this country would trust a single one of them for a second. To be honest, finding real magic in this city would be like finding a million credits behind your buddy’s ear when you snap your fingers. It just doesn't happen. Around here we have human magic - trustworthy and controlled by steel and circuits. I can trust a battery, but I would never put my faith in a tricky wizard; and the same goes with everyone I know. I highly doubted this frail little woman could have gotten her hands on magic potent enough to drag her back from Arcadia.

As I recovered from choking on my drink, a plan began to form in my mind. A few seconds later I had decided. Never one for subtlety I figured I should grab a seat next to her and tackle this problem head on. There was no way I was risking my neck by letting this contract slide between my fingers...


WIP.

Ari
May 16th, 2014, 10:02 PM
Hi (:

So... the beginning drew me in well. I could feel it happening and that surprised me, because chocking on a drink isn't all that interesting.
You let me know he was a guy in the first few sentences, which is good. Sometimes I read first-person things and for the whole first page or two I'm trying to guess!
And then I found out it was an assassin story and was like, "ah, awesome." And settled down for a good read until I got to... well, I'll show you in a bit.
First some nitpicky stuff.

You see, blood money is the currency of lions and wolves -
Lions? Maybe not... for me, lions are all noble and princely on the outside, but are really bone-lazy. I do not think a lion would be cunning or care enough to go for blood money. Maybe hyenas and wolves?

They end up wasting away as horse faced waitresses serving trash like myself.
So far, this guy has come across as pretty arrogant, and so him saying 'trash like myself' really sticks out for me. He doesn't seem like the kind of person who would call himself trash.

- and you will hear rumor of some blood curdling stories.
I'm not sure 'rumour of some stories' is really necessary? I think removing 'rumour of' makes it flow nicer.

- shame, honestly - she was a walking porcelain doll and if circumstances were different I may have even tried to woo the lass.
Kiss her or kill her? Jeez. For all he's an assassin, I'm starting to really dislike this guy. I think if I don't have a reason to like him soon I will abandon his story altogether..

Whether or not they're embellished or not of course -
Two 'or nots' too close together. You don't need them both (:

Off my mark just enough that she could have a few moments of comprehension to come to terms with things before she bled out.
- gosh, why? Because he's totally horrible...?
So, this is where I abandoned the story. I don't like him because you haven't given anything that I can like, any redeeming factor. And very, very few characters can get away on coolness only.

And so, there you have it. My opinion, for what it is worth.
Thank you for the read.

InS_ght
May 16th, 2014, 11:32 PM
Hi (:
- shame, honestly - she was a walking porcelain doll and if circumstances were different I may have even tried to woo the lass.
Kiss her or kill her? Jeez. For all he's an assassin, I'm starting to really dislike this guy. I think if I don't have a reason to like him soon I will abandon his story altogether..

Off my mark just enough that she could have a few moments of comprehension to come to terms with things before she bled out.
- gosh, why? Because he's totally horrible...?
So, this is where I abandoned the story. I don't like him because you haven't given anything that I can like, any redeeming factor. And very, very few characters can get away on coolness only.



Oh man, I can totally see what you mean now. I was trying to make his arrogant humor step him up from crazy psychopath, but it wasn't really enough. This was a first draft at a new direction with this protagonist, and so I'm really glad you pointed this out. I want to make him out as the rouge, but not a heartless bastard. (Whoops!)

Ill tweak this up for sure, your feedback was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the grammar check as well, I did this on my tablet - the program's aren't as great at finding my slip ups as I'd like!

Ari
May 17th, 2014, 12:19 AM
No problem. ^_^
I'd like to read it again when you've revised it, if you wanted to post it up..

Nosretap23
May 17th, 2014, 05:30 PM
I will second what Ari said for the most part. I was definitely intrigued by this opening. One additional thing that I will say about the protagonist is that I don't necessarily need to like him, but he needs to make me want to read more about him. He's a bad guy, and I don't mind reading stories where the main character is a bad guy, but there has to be some conflict somewhere. Where is the conflict? I see the external conflict, the fact that he killed this woman and now, here she is, standing in front of him. But what about internal conflict?

The second issue I had was some of the vocabulary use. Let me point out a couple places that were a little rough for me. "Normally the patrons entering this skreethole of a bar would be of no recourse for me" I was a little confused by the verb usage here.

"if circumstances were different I may have even tried to woo the lass" The use of the noun lass is one of endearment. Would this assassin really call her a "lass."

Maybe, I just thought it was a little confusing for me. I know that as writers we are encouraged to not use the same noun, especially, in the same paragraph more than once, however, the trick is finding one that fits. And if we use to many synonyms it can get a little much for the reader. I am only speaking from personal experience.

Lastly, the first paragraph you talk about the joke about the horse faced waitress. This guy seems pretty seedy and to me, that joke wouldnt even make him flinch. I am not one for excessive vugarity, but to make this guy spit up his beer, it seems it would have to be something a little more racey than just a simpe joke about an ugly waitress. Maybe even tell us the joke, give an example of one that has actually made him spit up his beer.

Thank you for posting

RubyEclipse
May 17th, 2014, 05:52 PM
I honestly like the idea of this character, I like those who go outside the box and I think you are brave to do so. However, for the normal people who aren't like me, I think Ari is right in saying that you need to give a little something to make him seem a little less like a douche. I am incredibly curious to read more, especially about why this woman is still alive.

My one thing would be the storyteller way in which the main spoke to the reader only in the one section. I can't completely put my finger on it but it just felt a little off to me, the rest of the passage is not directed directly towards the reader so it's a bit of a change.

MysticalMind
May 20th, 2014, 04:22 PM
It's a nice read, even if fantasy doesn't appeal to me, but I feel that third paragraph is a little long. Is there not a way you can break it up? It talks about blood money and then goes onto to talk about assassins and soldiers. To me these are two separate ideas. Also, it then goes onto mention:
I dare you, head down to Keepers Point
The name (Keepers Point) appears from out of the blue. You state it without actually introducing it first. At that point the reader has no idea of what is meant by Keepers Point (Keepers'/Keeper's? Not sure if it should have an apostrophe.). I can only assume that it's important to the story but, in my opinion at least, you perhaps should talk about Keepers Point before introducing the name Nikky Row.

30Drummer30
May 21st, 2014, 01:31 AM
I really liked it and i will continue to read. But i'm going to be different here. I enjoyed his douchyness factor i think that only added to him. He's one of the better killers out there of course hes going to be a little arrogant.

Plus he calls himself trash so maybe he fronts a little. Maybe deep down he's not that douchy and he just wants to hide his flaws. (If thats the case awesome because that is a character i can relate to in real life)

InS_ght
May 21st, 2014, 06:01 AM
I really appreciate your time guys, but alas I'm running rather low on time myself. I'll give you all proper responses when I am able!

dmr400
May 25th, 2014, 06:31 AM
I enjoyed it, and would continue to read. I'm assuming the WIP in the title of the thread means "work in progress" so I'm not going to do much critiquing. The "trash" struck me as a little off as well, perhaps just "people like myself" or something like that. I also think the character came off as a real prick, but let's face it...anyone who is a contract killer is a sociopath. They aren't going to be likeable. A solid effort IMO!