Devraj and Jivan First Draft


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Thread: Devraj and Jivan First Draft

  1. #1

    Devraj and Jivan First Draft

    Hi,


    I have just written a new story and would appreciate some critique. To let you know, the main characters are based on William Shakespeare and Leonardo Da Vinci.

    Devraj and Jivan

    Following a night of heavy rainfall, the sunshine shimmered, sending its beams through one of the bay windows of Pemari Library. Here, a historian specialising in the artistic, was seated at a table, perusing one of the many books that were piled up before him. He had chosen two historical figures whose biographies he wanted to write. One was a famous artist; Devraj Pallav, and the other a famous playwright and sonnet composer; Jivan Toya.

    “Caw” screeched a crow outside, making Gabriel Harrison look up briefly before returning to the newspaper article he was reading;

    A portrait sketch of Devraj with his mother, Kamalika Pallav and his stepfather, Biju Pallav, preserved for 500 years among the artist’s papers, will be displayed for the first time later this month in an exhibition of 200 drawings at Le Musée de la Nuit. It is well known that although Devraj was raised by his mother and stepfather, he was the biological son of Azdarr, the God of Sun and Fire.

    Gabriel glanced at the displayed portrait. Kamalika was a parohuman of Roseifrons ethnicity with pale rose and pale green skin, and long straight, pale rose hair. Biju was a parohuman of Rupel ethnicity with blue and grey skin, and long, straight, blue-grey hair. Devraj of course resembled his mother. He returned to the newspaper article;

    Devraj was gracious yet at the same time reserved in personality. His bearing was always elegant and he usually dressed in colourful clothing in styles that went against current customs. His mind was inquisitive and he took a great interest in natural science, mathematics, philosophy and history.

    Gabriel picked up his black biro pen and made some notes in a lined notebook. He was unsure if he was allowed to photocopy the newspaper article so he instead used his mobile phone to snap a picture of it discreetly. Mr Harrison turned a few pages, stopping at a photograph. The inscription underneath read;

    Devraj was educated in reading, writing and arithmetic before being apprenticed at the age of fifteen to Daya Hemraj.

    His eyes moved back to the photograph. Hemraj was a Pararose parohuman, with deep rose and green skin and brilliant rose red hair. Gabriel paused at a particular diary entry.

    According to the diary entry, Hemraj had initially trained as a goldsmith, before becoming the pupil of a Chawalayan artist; Adesh Bansi. It was under the tutelage of Adesh that Daya commenced his career in painting and sculpture. Eventually in his own renowned workshop, Daya provided Devraj with multifaceted training which included painting and sculpture.

    Gabriel photographed the diary entry and continued to diligently take notes. He then turned to the next page, coming across yet another diary entry;

    I also had the privilege of working in the adjoining workshop belonging to Jaison Gopaal. Gopaal was a sculptor, painter, engraver and goldsmith.

    Devraj’s diary entries detailed how he began to work independently five years later. It was after he began working independently that he crossed paths with his cousin, Jivan Toya.
    Gabriel once more attentively studied the images of Devraj’s famous paintings. Although all historical sources claimed that Devraj and Jivan were merely close friends, the actual paintings suggested otherwise. It was unsurprising that the artist and the playwright were forced to pass themselves off as close friends, given the homophobia prevalent in the town of Lametsa.

    He placed a bookmark in the book before opening another. The first painting depicted Petarr, God of the Moon and water, and Jivan’s biological father. Like Devraj, he had also been raised by his mother and stepfather. The second painting in the book depicted them. Pari Milan and Hari Akash were both parohumans of Pararose ethnicity. According to the book, Jivan studied Latin, and classical historians and poets. At the age of eighteen, Jivan devoted himself assiduously to writing, penning 44 plays and 154 sonnets, over a lifetime. His plays were divided into the genres of comedy, tragedy and history.

    Gabriel was familiar with several of Jivan’s plays. Though he had specialised in history, he had nevertheless studied literature and given his interest in the arts there would naturally be overlap between history and literature. Just like Devraj’s paintings, Jivan’s writings also contained references to his romantic relationship with Devraj and his romantic inclination towards both genders. Harrison sighed. How unfair that both these brilliant achievers had lived during times of homophobia and oppression but every cloud had a silver lining and the most treasured plays, sonnets and paintings had come from it.

    He glanced at two brief newspaper reports detailing how Jivan passed away from Tuberculosis at the age of 54 while Devraj had a fatal stroke at the age of 60. After making his notes, he decided to return the books he had borrowed to the shelves, pack up and see if ZigZag Café had any sandwiches.


    Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy it.

    Lizzie.

  2. #2
    Twas a good piece to fit into an ongoing story (not quite exciting enough to be the opening piece).
    You clearly have good mechanical control of your writing, and my biggest complaint about this short would be repeat word usage. Several times you would use an atypical term, then use it again in the same paragraph or soon thereafter. ex; You ended a paragraph with the term "diary entry" then started the next paragraph with "diary entry". Parohuman was another term that kept coming up too much (without explanation of what it is.)

    Something else to consider: When the crow cawed, having the guy look up was just empty action. Sure, it seems literary, but nothing in it speaks to the nature of the character. Ideally, whenever you have action, it should be something that either paints the scene or helps illustrate the character. Here is an example:

    Above him an owl screeched loudly in the sill, causing Gabriel to jolt in his seat. Never a bold man, he felt as if he had spent his entire adult life looking over his shoulder. Giving a grimace, he shrugged off the bird's interruption.

  3. #3
    Thanks, I'll see what I can do.

  4. #4
    Lizzie -

    This was enjoyable... Like Ralph mentioned you do mention things repetitively without explaining them but let’s not kill an already dead horse.


    One of the things I noticed was in your first paragraph you describe a pile of books that the Historian is perusing yet then you go to a newspaper clipping that was not even mentioned in the description of items right before it... so was the historian perusing books or perusing newspaper clippings? Or were the clippings in the Books? Just a small detail but it takes the reader from being immersed to being confused and when you have the readers attention you don’t want to give it up.

    On a a side note I’m kinda a fan of random things like the crow catching the Historians attention but it shouldn’t be done regularly or often and probably never in a short story... the reason I like it in novels is this sort of stuff really happens in real life (randomness) and it lends a little more believability to the story. The example I can think of is from the wheel of time books... I started reading them and wasn’t really sure if I wanted to keep reading them or read something else but then while the characters are being chased one of the main characters horses rears up and he trots the horse in a circle for what seems no reason (it didn’t add to the story or show anything about the character) but it’s what hooked me to keep going because In real life stuff like this happens. I once read something that said we need to write truth and if we do that we will be successful... adding random acts very sparingly adds a small element of truth because that’s truthfully the way real life works. Just my apparently 12 cents (ok rant over)

    Great work by the way... I enjoyed it but do tell us what a parohuman is please!!

    Shockhawk
    Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands! - Auron, FFX

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Shockhawk View Post
    Lizzie -

    This was enjoyable... Like Ralph mentioned you do mention things repetitively without explaining them but let’s not kill an already dead horse.


    One of the things I noticed was in your first paragraph you describe a pile of books that the Historian is perusing yet then you go to a newspaper clipping that was not even mentioned in the description of items right before it... so was the historian perusing books or perusing newspaper clippings? Or were the clippings in the Books? Just a small detail but it takes the reader from being immersed to being confused and when you have the readers attention you don’t want to give it up.

    On a a side note I’m kinda a fan of random things like the crow catching the Historians attention but it shouldn’t be done regularly or often and probably never in a short story... the reason I like it in novels is this sort of stuff really happens in real life (randomness) and it lends a little more believability to the story. The example I can think of is from the wheel of time books... I started reading them and wasn’t really sure if I wanted to keep reading them or read something else but then while the characters are being chased one of the main characters horses rears up and he trots the horse in a circle for what seems no reason (it didn’t add to the story or show anything about the character) but it’s what hooked me to keep going because In real life stuff like this happens. I once read something that said we need to write truth and if we do that we will be successful... adding random acts very sparingly adds a small element of truth because that’s truthfully the way real life works. Just my apparently 12 cents (ok rant over)

    Great work by the way... I enjoyed it but do tell us what a parohuman is please!!

    Shockhawk
    Thanks for the feedback.

    A parohuman is a humanoid descended from parrots kind of like we are descended from apes but since this is already covered in my first story; In the Beginning I didn't feel the need to repeat it in this story but I forgot to let you know at the beginning of the thread.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzie Brookes View Post
    A parohuman is a humanoid descended from parrots kind of like we are descended from apes but since this is already covered in my first story; In the Beginning I didn't feel the need to repeat it in this story but I forgot to let you know at the beginning of the thread.
    A common misconception, we are not descended from apes. Both apes and humans are descended from a common ancestor who was neither ape nor human, so we are related to apes.
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
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  7. #7
    I enjoyed the different words and themes hinted at in this segment, looking forward to an expansion.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    A common misconception, we are not descended from apes. Both apes and humans are descended from a common ancestor who was neither ape nor human, so we are related to apes.
    Thanks for reminding me - I've forgotten all my science.

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