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View Full Version : Cyan's Revenge: Moonlit Shadow (565 words)



Fei
July 26th, 2014, 09:11 PM
Ten years later

The man was dressed in dark conservative colors so that he blended seamlessly with the night. His left hand was seated at the belt attached to his trim waist, an unstrung bow leaned against the sleekly muscled thigh of his right leg. His piercing eyes roamed the wide stretch of open land before him searching for their prey.

Lady Ruona was the title she'd borne when she'd lived within the walls of Luthoria some five years before. Few within the kingdom knew why Ruona and her father, one of the last Elders had been banished to the very outskirts of the land. He'd taken it upon himself to make that secret circle one or two members fewer.

Exiled from Luthoria and unaided by servants she was forced to attend to chores that had once been far below her station. Retreating further into the cover the dark forest provided, he watched her, his eyes giving nothing away.He noted the weary look on her pale face and slight slump in her shoulders.

At first glance he would've described her as a woman defeated, try as she might, she couldn't get a fire started. On what seemed to be a final attempt, the meager pile of dry wood began to crackle as the fire came alive.Ruona's fair oval face glowed in the firelight, her expression brightened with the small triumph. He smiled suddenly reminded of his baby sister. Though lively with a heart as pure as any 3 year old's Nela had been stubborn as a mule. A decade ago she'd been slaughtered like livestock on Christmas Eve. The smile on Cyan's face disappeared as though it had never been there.

The evening breeze had gathered momentum, defiantly lashing out at God's other creations. Dark clouds had materialized, partially obscuring the full moon. Closing his eyes, Cyan drew in a cleansing breath, he could already smell the rain. Unperturbed by the likelihood of a storm he continued to watch her through heavy lidded eyes.Staggering under the weight of a large pot and battling against the strong wind, Ruona made her way to a well. The light but full skirt she wore billowed about her legs and often threatened to deny them refuge altogether. Having had more than just a glimpse of slender shapely thighs Cyan felt his mouth go dry. Disgusted by his reaction, he looked away until Ruona had reached the well.

After bundling her skirt between her thighs she bent forward, preparing to draw water from the muddy depths of the well. After picking up his bow, his fingers made short work of stringing it. Reaching behind him, he retrieved an arrow from the quiver on his back and balanced it in his bow. He moved out of the cover of darkness and held his aim.He knew it was flawless, having put in more than enough practice. With an arrow through her heart Ruona would be dead before she hit the ground.

An aged man stumbled out of the dilapidated cottage behind the well, calling for Ruona. Cyan cursed fluidly as he was forced to retreat once again into the shadows to prevent detection. He lowered his bow as he dropped down next to a heavy oak tree and prepared to ride out the storm.

For now he would watch and wait, a shadow beneath the moonlight.

Ride the Pen
July 27th, 2014, 11:26 PM
I'm gonna assume this is an excerpt out of a long story or a novel. Which makes it difficult to judge plot or character here, so I'm just gonna concentrate on a couple of points I noticed.

I like how well you describe the hunter/deer dynamic, the physical (unstrung bow, belt, sleeky muskled thigh, slump in her shoulders, etc...) as well as the psychological ("Disgusted by his reaction, he looked away...") aspect; I like the sexual undertone.

All the background info you insert takes out a lot of dynamic: Instead, if this is a longer text/novel, I would bring the info in at some other place. You might be thinking "If I bring it in at an action-packed moment, it's easier to digest for the audience, because it won't be that stale and boring", but I would just bring it in differently, probably in dialogue, and not just tell it that bluntly. It waters down a highlet in tension in the plot. Just giving out the info like that without any real reason doesn't look very elegant either.

But above all, I want to give you two pieces of advice which will let this look a lot better:

1. Cut out all of the language cliches: "stubborn as a mule", "eyes searching for their prey", "make that circle one or two members fewer", "full skirt she wore...often threatened to deny them refuge altogether"

Those are templates of language that authors use as an escape when they don't know how to express something with their own words. It's like a cheap shortcut, and that's how it sounds: Cheap. Go with your own words, trust yourself as an author, you do it in many parts of this excerpt, so do it in those few other parts you are not doing it yet as well. Throw out all cliches!

2. Give the rhythm of your language more variation: You are always going with the same rhythm in your phrases. For example, read the following phrases out loud:

"After bundling her skirt between her thighs she bent forward, preparing to draw water from the muddy depths of the well. After picking up his bow, his fingers made short work of stringing it. Reaching behind him, he retrieved an arrow from the quiver on his back and balanced it in his bow. He moved out of the cover of darkness and held his aim."



The phrases have all pretty much the same length and a very similiar structure of subclauses. You mostly start with the -ing form and start both of the first two sentences with "After". Bring some variation in there, for example with a "short-phrase; short-phrase; long-phrase structure" - that's rhythm! For example, like this:

"She bundled her skirt between her thighs and bent forward, preparing to draw water from the muddy depths of the well. After picking up his bow, his fingers made short work of stringing it. He reached behind him. Retrieved an arrow from the quiver on his back: He balanced it in his bow, moved out of the cover of his darkness, held his aim."

Variation of punctuation characters helps as well (see colon).

Try to incorporate those two things into your writing, and I promise you, you will make a[I] huge step forward in the quality of your texts!

Hope this helps and good writing!

Fei
July 28th, 2014, 12:16 AM
Ride the Pen, thanks for your comprehensive critique haven't had that in a long while. Oh and its a series I post on some other site, this was the first chapter. There was another piece before this though.