View Full Version : Puck's Bane

September 17th, 2014, 01:23 AM
Written during a rehearsal for my school's production of Midsummer: I really, really wanted the part of Puck.

All too oft was the so-called 'Gentle Puck' a misspeaking. Perhaps not whilst he crouched in the form of a lovely young man, hair curly and tangled with sticks and flowers, matted with salt and pondwater. Perhaps not either when he was a lithe blonde lass with freckles on her nose and sunlight in her eyes, curtsying to every hopeful Jack and John with pale skirts sweeping the dirt. To Oberon he jested in the twilight flooded forests with a heart full of maple leaves, red with the autumn chill. He smiled and tripped his toes and tipped his curly head with the enticing scent of earth and rain and candlewax behind every limb, filling every flaw.
But all too oft was this Puck gone. The young, slender, sun-kissed thing was replaced by something no one knew. A beast, perhaps. A smell as harsh as iron, a skin as pale and far as the ring round the moon, and Puck was something older. Something dearer to darkness than starlight, with fingernails as clean as boiled water and a wide mouth empty of jest and gap-toothed grins.
This Puck, dark and uneasy as a sunless sky, was a fairy closer in heart to a consort of an old god, appeasing the unseen with death and blood and silence. Every boar and stag, moth and mouse, crept to the comfort of holes and thickets, shivering to the sound of unafraid tiptoes. And the men hid their brides away, with round stomachs and glowing moralities, afeared for the humanity of their own children, afeared that in the place of sons or daughters the beast would bear them snakes or earth or blood. Afeared the Puck would leave sleeping inside some unfortunate woman an echo of the forest, human in body and form but with hair as black as night and eyes filled with the darkest groves, the ones that grew on the edges of town, the ones that their toddlers sauntered towards and their mothers shivered at the mention of.

So this is very much not done, but do you guys think it's worth finishing? I really can't tell if this is any good or if it's overdone/too much. Thanks for your criticism!

September 17th, 2014, 06:12 PM
There's something I really like about this; probably the archaic language and style you use, and yet at the same time it's very readable and easy to understand. A very nice change from most modern texts.
As to your question of whether it's worth finishing – I could answer that better if I knew exactly what this is. Is it a book, a short story, a page, something else? Whatever it is though, I'd encourage you to keep writing. : )

September 18th, 2014, 01:38 AM
I definitely like the direction. Now, take this dark, mysterious, and frightening Puck and have him do something dark, mysterious and frightening! Maybe this a sort of prologue that introduces your villain before we meet the protagonist. I think you have a flowing style and a neat start. Keep going!

September 18th, 2014, 02:01 AM
Hmmmm, Crying ... this is a tough one to judge. To begin with, I'd be looking for a conflict before now in the story. Secondly, sifting through the convoluted essence of this section, I see little or no plot. It seems to be all description.

A hook? Fine. It has that. Major character named ... yep. Conflict ... no. If I picked it up at a store, I'd be heading right for that first page, first thing. I imagine myself standing in a dimly lit book store, perusing novels that catch my eye because of containing vivid covers. Yours would probably show an elf enticing a semi-naked maiden, he-he.

At first glance, this page would seem gibberish because of the long paragraphs, to much for my tiny brain to grasp in one glance. Reading again, I'd be taken by the old-fashioned style, reading it more carefully. I might be intriqued ... or not.

Finally I'd flip through pages, about fifty at at time, to get at the meat of the story.

Unfortunately, based on this sample, I'd probably shrug and put it back on the shelf. The reason, based on my own preferences, now, would be that it seems like too heavy a read for me. That is, if the story continues in this vein.

Based on the size of this sample, I'd say there's a lot that could be done with it. Maybe switching between eras, Puck in the past and his influence in the modern world. Or this could be the style of thinking of one major character only, the rest of the story along more traditional styling.

Puck could impregnate a maiden in his own time -- or even world -- and the story jump to a modern era, maybe only a few hundred years later. His progeny would be half like Puck and the other half human. It might have powers akin to a wood sprite. Or even be a wood sprite, controlling nature. The story could be about it's trying to survive. Maybe even a colony of them. Or a wronged male or female taking revenge for something or other.

See? A lot of story could be based on this sample but I don't really think I'd buy or even read a long one written in this style.