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Death (1 Viewer)

Riptide

WF Veterans
How long had I been walking again? Too damn long I bet. Another tree knocked its ever limber branches into my open face as I tried to brush it away.. I swear these trees live. I took the bark in my hands, which, I guess, are abnormally small for a man of my stature, and snapped it in half. A hollowed out scream sounded through the forest. Dang it... That couldn't be a good sign.

I dropped the branch in the mossy earth at my feet, watching as something or another wrapped their tendrils around it and sucked it deeper into the ground. There was something under this moss that same moss my two feet were planted firmly down upon. Gah! That makes everything even better! I bolted... at least I planned to, but as I was idly watching the branch get eaten away, I too was getting brought under. Trying to get out felt like I was sloshing through thick snow without, what they call, snow boots, but I managed, as I had before in the snow. Ha! They said I needed snow boots!

Free and out, I looked down at my once submerged foot only to see it coated in a murky green substance of goo. I brought my foot up next to some bare wood, and scrapped the substance off. Well, now that was taken care of, I could get back to my journey at hand, which was find the nearest town.

This huge batch of trees didn't seem to have a river running through it, or none I could see. Were there any roads here? What if there wasn't anyone here? I didn't want to turn back, those mountains weren't the best of spots. The people sucked as well. I was sure here had to be someone here. Nothing ever stays inhabited for very long.

Lost in navigational thought, I didn't realize until the last moment the ground piling higher and higher into a bundle of green semi-solids wraps. Again, not a good sign. This time my run was not hampered by anything and I actually did dart away swift enough.

Forcing my way through the thicket of the growing ever thicker foliage I happened to glance backwards. What ever was moseying its way over to me, I was willing to bet it was that bundle of green, at that alarming pace struck me as enough danger for my heart to skip a beat, and my brain to order my legs to do some longer strides to get the hell out. That animal- monster?- I saw was nothing I had ever encountered before, and I've encountered a few vile best during my journeys. Okay, so all I really saw was a clumped ball of nature, but it moved with a certain dedication in its 360 rolls. I just didn't want to get caught up in its tracks that's all, hoping I wasn't the source of that dedication that is.

I curved pass several motionless trees, quickly coursing through this forest as if it was nothing, as my cockiness rose through me, and I lost track of safety, an ever non-suspecting tree limb reached out, purposefully I bet, and cut me down by a jab to my naked ankle. I tumbled through that forest faster than I could've ever had ran down it. I kept going and going, somehow missing the multitude of trees that usually populate a forest like this one, until, finally, a saving tree sprouted out and stopped me in my tracks. I sat there, waiting for something else bad to happen, but nothing did, so I got up. I stood my full height, removing the twigs, and leaves that had nestled themselves into my now roughed up black hair. I needed to get it cut. I had bangs almost extending pass my eyes, but it was so over the place that one patch went to my eyebrows, one stayed back, and another freely covered my eyes. Crazy, my hair.

I shook my head like I've seen animals do, coursing my hands through my hair to retrieve those extra difficult pieces of dirt and grime. Raising my head straight, my breath caught in my throat as I stared down the tree that had protected me. It shone a red with an halo like glow in its canopy. Something ticked deep, deep within my center, but it connected with nothing, and all I was left with was an odd feeling. Keeping my eyes on the unusual tree, I began walking backwards. Such an odd hue, an odd glow, an odd...

What was that?

I swerved my head left. I knew I had just heard something, but what? Rustling to my left, circling. I trailed it, but above me also showered down leaves as someone scampered up there. I crouched lower than I already was and began pivoting from my toes, trying to keep check of all my sides. Of course they come from the one spot I was least expecting, the ground.

A burst of dirt soared in between my feet and I flung backwards from the immense force. The emerging brown mixed black chimp stood where I once was with a dagger pointed at some critical organs of mine.

“You wouldn't mind moving that deadly little piece of silver from my crucial part, would you?”

The chimp cast his, maybe her, ice cold, killer gaze in my direction. The eyes were night sky marble style, but without the saving grace of the moon. It was offset by its white furry face. I was in some dire situation, and it got even worst as it crept its weapon closer and closer.

“Down!” Roared a voice that even cracked the bark. The chimp's eyes grew wide, and it brought them to the floor, kicking up some dirt as it did so. Was this the boss? Mighty king of sorts?

“Hey man, thanks!” I said as I scurried up to my full height, a foot taller than the chimp that had me at my weakest only seconds ago. Scanning the area in quick left, right, up, down, I did not see who had shouted out that order. “Hello?”

Out dropped a blurred image of a man half ape. This guy was definitely a man, I had no problem discerning that, but past that I was at a lost. He was a hairy man, with ape like attributes. I couldn't even tell his fur color, weird, I know, especially since he was mostly covered in it. His eyes, though, I could wrap my head around, and they were a sapphire blue.

“Man, why are you here?”

“They call me Wolf, nice to meetcha.” I stuck out my hand and watched it be analyzed by the warrior chimp and the king ape. I was pretty sure that the chimp was a female... yeah, most certainly a female.

“A.... ritual?”

And here I thought I knew very little. “Naw, never mind. It ain't much of nothing you need to worry about.” I pulled back my hand.

The kind grinned and nodded. “Many men have walked these lands, but none have offered up their hand and less have stared at me with such intense eyes. Come.” He waved and walked off. I followed like the good man I was, away from the brighter by the moment tree.

Were my eyes really that freaky? Sure, I've heard they were a hue of red, like a bright red, but was that so odd? I guess so.

The female warrior chimp flanked the back, never averting her dagger from my body. She had some trust issues, I could tell.
 
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erinranning

Senior Member
Hi riptide!

I enjoy a bit of fantasy and I'm pretty sure that's what I'm looking at now. That's the thing: Sometimes I wasn't sure who was what and so on. I don't know if the MC was male or female, human or otherwise. I think we're talking about a human girl since you refer to bangs in the hair. That's a very small detail and I missed it on the first read. Who am I reading about and why do i care is the number one reader question at the beginning of a book - the sooner you answer it the sooner they have something to get involved in. Sometimes the action too was unclear - things were coming up out of the ground (I think) and I didn't know what or why.

It tended to be relentless in its movement, rather than stopping to breathe and let the reader catch up with him/herself, and didn't quite manage to build up to a point. I think this could really benefit from delivering the action in bursts, notably stopping to take stock whenever the creature/person (MC) does. Would really like to see this build in tension and suspense to a striking crescendo that grips the reader up to hook point, which you have the beginnings of.

I would also avoid generalised, adjective-strewn object descriptions, such as the wood he/she/it scrapped its foot on (may seem small but when added to all the others it really clogs up the action, which is what we came for). Specify tree/wood type, perhaps position and interactions (verbs).

I feel there's something interesting in this forest, both within the trees and the characters, but I know nothing more. It's too vague so far and everything is missing character-specific details and actions - the things that make each one stand out / become real.

If you choose to be mysterious about the hunters, go all the way and describe them in terms of the few key details the MC manages to pick up on, all of which should be chosen to drive intrigue and mystery through deliberately obtuse clues.

It could be something very intriguing if the run-up to the hook is handled well, as long as it isn't highly similar to the planet of the apes. I'd hint at a much broader fantasy than that by having the leader of the hunters clearly not an ape. In short, it could be great - Make it much more concise and clear, strengthen characterisation a lot! Be imaginitive!
 
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Riptide

WF Veterans
Um... I get you. Slow it down a bit, make the character clearer. It's supposed to be a guy. I thought the end greeting of Man made that clear, but I see how it could mean mankind as a whole, and he's supposed to have amnesia, but he doesn't know it yet. that's why I try to be vague during some parts
 

stormageddon

Senior Member
More descriptive writing would be nice, but it's looking good so far :)
Quick question before I go on- is this set in "our" world or a world entirely of your own devising? And what sort of age range is it written for?
Thank you for reading my wonderfully detailed crit ^-^
 

thepancreas11

New Writers' Mentor
Senior Member
I'm not really sure what's going on here. Is the forest attacking him/her? Is there any reason it should? Like, did he chop that bark up himself, and the trees are angry, or did is he in the wrong place...? Then this chimp thing comes out of the ground (maybe), and tries to stab your MC for what reason? And who is the king guy? I'm so confused.

God help me for saying this, but you need more explanation here. There's a cause to all these effects, probably a cause for each INDIVIDUAL effect, and I'm just not picking any of that up here. It's not a cohesive storyline, Rip. You don't ground any of the action in reality; it's all up in the air in some kind of mystery that you're not letting onto.

Be careful with your tenses because you crossed them up a couple of times.
 

Riptide

WF Veterans
More descriptive writing would be nice, but it's looking good so far :)
Quick question before I go on- is this set in "our" world or a world entirely of your own devising? And what sort of age range is it written for?
Thank you for reading my wonderfully detailed crit ^-^

An entirely different world and... maybe young adults?
 

Riptide

WF Veterans
I can answer the tree thing at least, pan, he did snap that bark and that's when the forest kind of screamed out, and attacked him. For the apes it's more territorial than anything significant. That will be answered later on as he follows them. The king Ape And I'll check through the tenses

Another thing is that the MC is amnesic, so things just happen to him, he, though, doesn't know he has no memory.
 

thepancreas11

New Writers' Mentor
Senior Member
That's cool, Rip. My MC has a similar situation where he doesn't really remember what happened to him before waking up. I've toyed with how to introduce that kind of thing without using too much exposition. For me, it falls in the way that the character senses things. Confusion is okay if the character is confused. In this case, include the emotion of the character, put that fear into him. "Why the hell am I here?" kind of thing, or "Monkeys? Are you effing serious?" I tackled my problem with a very opinion-laden first person narrative. I supplement a lot of the action with thoughts and asides. I'm not sure what would solve your problem here, but you definitely need to convey what's happening better. The good thing is, you have a voice already that can do his best to relay what he senses.
 

stormageddon

Senior Member
If it's YA your style is fine, one thing I would say though is that when I'm reading about a different world, I find phrases like "dang it" really take me out of the story. It's a very American thing to say so it just seems odd, unless your world mirrors ours enough for it to fit. For example, George RR Marrin uses overly British phrases like "bloody" a lot, but it fits his world so it works. In the same way, if "dang it" fits your world, by all means keep it, but if not I would consider removing it. It probably does fit, I just can't tell from this extract :
 

cosmictide

Senior Member
I agree with stormageddon in the way that 'dang it' seems like an odd phrase to use, although as later on you type the speech of your main character in a way that compliments it, I don't think it is much of a problem, but because it is your own world I can see why she said it is slightly out of place.
Overall, I feel that your writing style is more in the range of teen/9-12 instead of your young adult target, though as you yourself are in between those ranges it's totally understandable if you have been influenced by what you have been reading (I know I definitely am).
 

(s)aint

Senior Member
I liked it, the only thing that threw me off was the phrase "I swung a 180", it just seemed out of place to me. To me something along the lines of "I shifted my gaze over to the left" would have fit better. I could be wrong though.
 

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