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C.Waveman
March 30th, 2015, 12:00 PM
Ayyy, finally I can post stuff. Here's a portion of something I wrote a month ago and I kinda want to make it a novel (Probably will name it "A Legend of Clouds and the Sky", I know it is a weird name). Hopefully you'll enjoy it and remember to provide feedbacks! Any critiques are welcomed! Also forgive my bad English lol.

(the story has a "steampunk" type setting)
("I" was on a airship)

Turbulence shook the cabinet, followed by sounds from the old wooden floor beneath me. I gained my conscious back. The glimmering light from a bulb above me kept shivering. Howling wind’s scratching the small window. Couldn’t see anything out there except darkness. It was probably midnight; Don’t remember; doesn't matter anyway. My mind was exhausted, yet can’t sleep.

“The night is too quiet.”


I braced myself and loaded two bullets in my shotgun—a piece of old metal from the first war, then grabbed my jacket and walked out. Cold and dark. I held the icy shotgun handle even tighter.


“Violin…”


I heard it as I moved closer to the stairs. As I got up the deck, Cap’ Vadden was sitting on a bench beside a candle lamp.His skinny, long, coal-stained fingers were plucking violin strings. His dry lips were murmuring a song. Like always, he doesn't play with a bow. He was old; long, dirty grey hair and beard waved in the air. But his not weak, nor sick. he didn't notice me until I walked up to him.


“Hold your fire right there! Young lad…What are you trying to do? Hijack my ship!?” his raucous, yet powerful voice stopped me.


“No sir, night’s too quiet. Made me nervous, especially in this wild sky,” I replied quietly.


“Good, good. Being skeptical is always good…Come and sit.”

Vadden was a veteran from the first war, a pilot. He survived his battleship’s explosion and lost his left-ear hearing. After the war, he continued being a pilot—for old transport airships instead.


“Hellfire alpha, famous during the war.” he said while looking away.


I realized he was talking about my gun.


“You never fired it, did you?” he was still looking away.


I didn't say a word.

Wind howled through us and the candle light quivered. Vadden was staring into the darkness like something was there.


“I remember the night skies were lightened, by burning ships in the horizon…like the sun. Beautiful.”


He turned his head, looked at me and then the ground. He stood up, and walked away.


“I’m going to sleep, tired.” Vadden said.

I sensed eternal sorrow from his voice.

“Me too.” I said.

We both left, left the violin in the wind.

J.J. Maxx
April 1st, 2015, 12:18 AM
Waveman, first of all welcome to the forums. I don't think I had an opportunity to properly welcome you.

Now to your piece here. You mentioned your 'bad English', does this mean that English isn't your first language? I only ask because many of your words are not used properly or are not properly punctuated. It needs a lot of work as it is difficult to read as it is.

I really like a good steampunk story and I believe you can make this into a really great story, but the language issue is a big one. If you can't properly express what you are trying to say, then the reader can't picture or feel what you want them to.

The best advice I can give is to practice, practice, practice and read, read, read.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.


Turbulence shook the cabinet, followed by sounds from the old wooden floor beneath me. I gained my conscious back.

[This should be 'I regained consciousness.' Also, how could your character feel the turbulence or hear the sounds if he was unconscious? It would be okay if this was in third-person narrative, but it's being told from the perspective of the main character so we should only be able to see what he sees and hear what he hears.]


I would also suggest doing research on dialogue, and even post over in my thread, the Daily Dose of Dialogue (http://www.writingforums.com/threads/155855-J-J-Maxx-s-Daily-Dose-of-Dialogue!). Formatting and punctuation can be tricky regarding dialogue.

Overall, I think you have a good idea of the world you are creating and you might even have a good plot! I enjoy steampunk and look forward to reading more as you progress.

Cheers.

~ J. J.

Olly Buckle
April 1st, 2015, 12:53 AM
I like the short sentences, they give it an edgy feel. This illustrates some things to look out for:-

I heard it as I moved closer to the stairs. As I got up the deck, Cap’ Vadden was sitting on a bench beside a candle lamp.His skinny, long, coal-stained fingers were plucking violin strings. His dry lips were murmuring a song. Like always, he doesn't play with a bow. He was old; long, dirty grey hair and beard waved in the air. But his not weak, nor sick. he didn't notice me until I walked up to him.

'I heard it as I moved closer to the stairs. As I got up the deck, Cap’ Vadden was ...'
Repeating words too close together very quickly notices, especially when it is a two word combination, 'when' in the second instance would do fine. 'His', 'he' and 'him' are all similar enough in sound and meaning you could say the same about them, though I think 'his' is in error for 'he is'.

'skinny, long' jars, somehow it is always 'long, skinny'; like black and white, not white and black. That sort of works, adding to the weirdness of the man, but I don't feel it was deliberate, everything else would have to be spot on for it to work properly.

'But' is a conjunction, a word for joining things, so it shouldn't come at the beginning of a sentence.

Welcome into the full forum, a good start, I hope we see much more of you, Olly.

C.Waveman
April 1st, 2015, 01:17 PM
Waveman, first of all welcome to the forums. I don't think I had an opportunity to properly welcome you.

Now to your piece here. You mentioned your 'bad English', does this mean that English isn't your first language? I only ask because many of your words are not used properly or are not properly punctuated. It needs a lot of work as it is difficult to read as it is.

I really like a good steampunk story and I believe you can make this into a really great story, but the language issue is a big one. If you can't properly express what you are trying to say, then the reader can't picture or feel what you want them to.

The best advice I can give is to practice, practice, practice and read, read, read.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.


Turbulence shook the cabinet, followed by sounds from the old wooden floor beneath me. I gained my conscious back.

[This should be 'I regained consciousness.' Also, how could your character feel the turbulence or hear the sounds if he was unconscious? It would be okay if this was in third-person narrative, but it's being told from the perspective of the main character so we should only be able to see what he sees and hear what he hears.]


I would also suggest doing research on dialogue, and even post over in my thread, the Daily Dose of Dialogue (http://www.writingforums.com/threads/155855-J-J-Maxx-s-Daily-Dose-of-Dialogue!). Formatting and punctuation can be tricky regarding dialogue.

Overall, I think you have a good idea of the world you are creating and you might even have a good plot! I enjoy steampunk and look forward to reading more as you progress.

Cheers.

~ J. J.

Thank you J. J. for your reply, NICE TO MEET YOUUUU

No, English is not my first language :(

For the first sentence I tried to express something like "the turbulence woke me up from daydreaming". I will try to rephrase it.

I admit I need work with dialogues. Thank you for the link, it is very helpful.


-Waveman

C.Waveman
April 1st, 2015, 01:27 PM
Hi Olly!

Thank you for your response!
Sorry about that "as I", it was an unnecessary mistake.
Eh, I didn't know "long" goes before "skinny". Learned something new!
I will post more stuff in the near future!

-Waveman

Olly Buckle
April 1st, 2015, 11:25 PM
Eh, I didn't know "long" goes before "skinny". It isn't a 'rule', it simply goes that way normaly, like being tall and thin, or short and stout. Your English is excellent if it is not your first language, I was slightly sceptical when I saw JJ. asking, well spotted Mr Max.

ShadowEyes
April 5th, 2015, 12:49 AM
I'm not going to critique the grammar and syntax as it's already been done. However, I will say that the story is lovely. A few points to make:

1. I think the dialogue is great, a kind of clipped reticence to really say much.
2. You've got the bare bones of story-telling down, which surprises me. Basically, you've left me with the emotion of: anxiety. And also, the conflict seems to be wo/man versus nature.
3. You've got descriptions (particularly of the pilot and the ship) in the right places (for instance, we don't learn it's a "battleship" in the first paragraph. This leaves room for mystery.)
4. The character's actions are also left up to the reader's judgment, which is the "show" of "show, don't tell". For instance, you don't say what the pilot is thinking; you simply say that he "looks down." You could even take out the "eternal sorrow" sentence.

Great work!