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Invisible Phantom

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so i enjoy writing fantasy and i had been working on this for a while. I decided i would post it to gaia and see what people thought. it had a few (as in 7 or cool major problems and now i want to improve so i eddited it a bit (or ALOT) from what it was you can see the old post here if you want to compare. I hope i did better. Please judge honest be brutal if you need to but be honest. thanks guys!

http://www.gaiaonline.com/forum/original-stories-prose/would-i-be-a-good-fantsy-writer/t.79542681/

prolouge

Hundreds (maybe even thousands) of years ago in what some might call the dark age (which must have been darker than people thought because no more than ten or fifteen souls know of the following events) there lived a world of orcs, dwarves and all sorts of other creatures. Nobody today thinks they exist.

These creatures do exist though. The orcs of today don't have sharp teeth and green skin they are just large and full of muscle. The dwarves of today don't always have long bushy beards down to their waist, but they are short and burly.

Zandak was an elf, but he was not what some people reading this might have in mind, not short and happy and helpful. Elves back then were tall and thin with pointy ears and they were usually very good with a bow and arrow.

Zandak was tall and thin with blond hair that was usually very greasy, but it didn't look very long because he usually had it put into spikes that would point to the back of his head, he had pointy ears (most elves did) he wore a pair of dark brown boots and pants of a lighter brown. On his torso Zandak wore a worn and ragged vest along with some leather bracers.

Zandak wasn't the kind of person that "played well with others" he didn't hate everyone he met, but he was a bitter and cold person all the same. Zandak almost never worked with others in his travels, he preferred to work alone because he never trusted anyone without getting to know them very well. Many called Zandak a hypocrite because he wasn't very trustworthy himself. He never returned things he borrowed (mainly he "borrowed" things like money) and he never kept to his word.

He had to avoid city guard on a regular basis and he killed for money. He killed for money because he had to. He had no other choice. He had been raised on it. His parents taught him how to steal and pick pocket with fingers light as feathers and kill and murder as quietly as a mouse.

He didn't just rush in and kill the target though, he wasn't some kind of psychopath, besides, if he did that they would have him caught and on the death sentence in seconds. In the most common cases he would scope out the targets daily routine and follow them into a secluded area even if it meant breaking into their house at some point.

Other times he would get special orders from the buyers. One of his favorite contracts was when he had tortured his victim before he killed him, and when he DID kill him, he did it slowly and in the most painful way possible. Zandak enjoyed it, although he had no reason to hate the man he killed that day, although quite obviously the buyer did.

At the current moment, Zandak was riding in a carriage lead by mules. Alongside him was the dwarf who was driving the cart that was guided by mules. The dwarf was more interested in the road ahead then in Zandak's attempts at conversation with him. Neither Zandak nor the dwarf expected what came next.
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Invisible Phantom

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hey everyone who sees this. if you have an opinion please reply because im working on chapter one and i will GLADLY post it if you like the prolouge!
The idea is pretty cliche, but you have the good beginnings of a complex character. I think there might be better ways to characterize him; think about using more action and dialogue.

Maybe begin with Zandak attempting to carry on that conversation with the uninterested dwarf and then he can think back on past events rather than just relating them through pure narration.

On an organizational note, you should probably split this up into multiple paragraphs. That will make it more readable and you can guide your readers through changes in topic, changes in speaker in dialogue, back and forth between the present and flashbacks, etc. Play around with line breaks a little to emphasize different aspects of the story.

It ends with a good cliffhanger. You should polish this up for sure, but you'll be ready to move on to editing the next chapter soon!
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CambriaCate
The idea is pretty cliche, but you have the good beginnings of a complex character. I think there might be better ways to characterize him; think about using more action and dialogue.


i'm writing the first chapter now and there will indeed be action

as for the braks in the paragaph i will indeed edit the previous post.

EDIT: also i can see what you mean by cliche an elf with blonde hair and a bow. it reminds me of lord of the rings very much so
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CambriaCate
The idea is pretty cliche, but you have the good beginnings of a complex character. I think there might be better ways to characterize him; think about using more action and dialogue.

Maybe begin with Zandak attempting to carry on that conversation with the uninterested dwarf and then he can think back on past events rather than just relating them through pure narration.

On an organizational note, you should probably split this up into multiple paragraphs. That will make it more readable and you can guide your readers through changes in topic, changes in speaker in dialogue, back and forth between the present and flashbacks, etc. Play around with line breaks a little to emphasize different aspects of the story.

It ends with a good cliffhanger. You should polish this up for sure, but you'll be ready to move on to editing the next chapter soon!


as you might see i added some spaces and also here is the 1st chapter


chapter 1

calm before the storm


Zandack snapped out of his state of peace and quiet when he heard a noise. To him it was unmistakable. It was surely the twang of a bow string.
He knew this sound well. (You might remember me mentioning he was good with a bow)
He looked around for the source of the shot, and he was having a hard time. That is he WAS until he heard a slit and a loud gush of blood spattered him from the side where the dwarf was clearly hit and injured injured.

Zandack was not sure what to do. That is whether to search for the enemy (or enemies) that had shot the arrow or to attempt to escape in the case that there be something important in the back. He made the wrong choice. He lunged at some of the surrounding bushes with his dagger until he heard a screech of pain.

He pulled his blade out and saw the thick and slimy dark green liquid on the tip of it which as far as he knew, could narrow the possibilities to only one type of creature. It was a goblin. He stretched his arms out ready to grab the ugly thing from behind the hedges, but before he could even scratch the short green and apparently agile thing, it jumped over his head and shot its bow straight down and Zandak swerved to the side, but without Zandak realizing it the arrow had still cut open the skin covering his abdomen. It wasn't deep and it was only minor, but it still bled. He sucker punched the goblin in the side of his chin and just like he wanted to, Zandack heard a loud crack.

He knew what this meant and it was how he planned it to happen. The goblin's jaw was broken. The freakishly evil little bugger was knelt on the dirt path holding his jaw and laughing almost maniacally.

Zandak started at a run then flinched and stopped in shock when the goblin got back up and swung his bow out violently, even so Zandak took his dagger and stabbed violently at the goblin, a hit, the cut started to bleed. The goblin fell down holding the cut and moaning, almost crying out in pain.

Zandak was the one laughing now. He kicked the goblin in the side, jabbed his dagger once more into the goblin, this time in between his ribs. Zandak twisted the blade and grinned, in then out, back and forth. Now the goblin was screaming and crying for the pain to stop (they couldn't take much pain at all to begin with)

Zandak picked up the goblin from the scruff of his neck and slammed him face first into the cart for the horse carriage and roared into its tiny, but sensitive ears "DOES THIS MAKE YOU HAPPY!?" he was filled with rage, and of course pain from the cut. He took a breath and screamed into, the now terrified goblin's ear "YOU MAY HAVE KILLED THIS DWARF AND HE HASN'T DONE ANYTHING TO YOU!".

He threw the goblin to the ground. With another loud cracking sound the goblins neck started to seep the same thick, green, slimy, blood as the blood on the tip of the dagger. Zandack tore the quiver, still full of arrows all covered in blood, off of the goblins back and picked up the bow laying beside the goblin also covered in blood. Zandack was about to put the equipment in the back of the carriage when he heard more screaming and at first he thought "not more of this" but he realized they were screaming of happiness.

Two other goblins were running, almost skipping, in the opposite direction. The dwarf, surprisingly still alive, muttered from the seats in the front of the cart "that was amazing!" The dwarf turned to view the back of the cart and cried out "Its gone!"
And in reply Zandak sounding worried, as if he knew what the dwarf was talking about, cried out "what's gone what are you talking about?".

The dwarf began to explain "it's a small wooden box, you see it's very important can you get it back? For me? Zandack disagreed instantly and started to walk away, but the dwarf continued asking this time offering a reward for the box. "I'll pay you!". Zandack, interested stopped and peeked over the back of his shoulder and groaned deeply "I'm listening" the dwarf, excited, thought for a moment and quickly after he exclaimed: "how does 30 gold sound and a few drinks on me afterwards at the tavern and inn in craverest just north of this point?"
Zandack was delighted he was headed there in the first place because none of the city guard knew him as far as he knew, and he wasn't exactly rich.

It sounded like a good idea most of all because he could definitely go for a drink now. He had a lot on his mind after the cart ride and even more after the attack on the cart. Zandack agreed and told the dwarf to meet him in the tavern, but before he left he grabbed the dwarf's shoulder and asked for his name (he still didn't know it even after all that had happened) the dwarf shook Zandack's hand and told Zandack that his name was Kevros.

They agreed to meet at the tavern and inn. Zandack bandaged himself and the dwarf before he followed the direction of which the group of goblins had fled to. The rest of his day was almost more shocking than what had just happened.
Zandak
so i enjoy writing fantasy and i had been working on this for a while. I decided i would post it to gaia and see what people thought. it had a few (as in 7 or cool major problems and now i want to improve so i eddited it a bit (or ALOT) from what it was you can see the old post here if you want to compare. I hope i did better. Please judge honest be brutal if you need to but be honest. thanks guys!

http://www.gaiaonline.com/forum/original-stories-prose/would-i-be-a-good-fantsy-writer/t.79542681/


I'll see what I can do.

Zandak
Prologue

Hundreds, (maybe even thousands), of years ago in what some might call the dark age -- (which must have been darker than people thought because no more than ten or fifteen souls know of the following events)-- there lived a world of orcs, dwarves and all sorts of other creatures. Nobody today thinks they exist.


It seems you're having trouble conveying your ideas in a manner that flows properly. The parenthesis in this paragraph seem completely out of place and unnecessary.

Zandak
These creatures do exist though. The orcs of today don't have sharp teeth and green skin; they are just large and full of muscle. The dwarves of today don't always have long bushy beards down to their waist, but they are short and burly.


How exactly did these creatures evolve/adapt to blend in with human society?

Zandak
Zandak was an elf, but he was not what some people reading this might have in mind, not short, and happy, and helpful. Elves back then were tall and thin with pointy ears, and they were usually very good with a bow and arrow.


Don't actually address the reader.

Zandak
Zandak was tall and thin with blond hair that was usually very greasy, but it didn't look very long because he usually had it put into spikes that would point to the back of his head. He had pointy ears (most elves did)and he wore a pair of dark brown boots and with pants of a lighter brown. On his torso, Zandak wore a worn and ragged vest along with some leather bracers.


The description of the hair confused me.

Zandak
Zandak wasn't the kind of person that "played well with others"; he didn't hate everyone he met, but he was a bitter and cold person all the same. Zandak almost never worked with others in his travels. He preferred to work alone because he never trusted anyone without getting to know them very well. Many called Zandak a hypocrite because he wasn't very trustworthy himself. He never returned things he borrowed (mainly he "borrowed" things like money), and he never kept to his word.


As in the first piece, you're still telling instead of showing. Set up a scene and show him "borrowing" money, working alone, and not being trustworthy. Show us, don't tell us.

Zandak
He had to avoid city guard on a regular basis, and he killed for money. He killed for money because he had to. He had no other choice. He had been raised on it. His parents taught him how to steal and pick pocket with fingers light as feathers and kill and murder as quietly as a mouse.


Why did his parents teach him that? Why didn't he have another choice? This is unclear.

Zandak
He didn't just rush in and kill the target though. He wasn't some kind of psychopath, besides, if he did that they would have him caught and on the death sentence in seconds. In the most common cases, he would scope out the targets daily routine and follow them into a secluded area, even if it meant breaking into their house at some point.


I'm fairly sure that's what a serial killer or a psychopath does.

Zandak
Other times he would get special orders from the buyers. One of his favorite contracts was when he had tortured his victim before he killed him, and when he DID kill him, he did it slowly and in the most painful way possible. Zandak enjoyed it, although he had no reason to hate the man he killed that day, although quite obviously the buyer did.


Once again, sounds incredibly similar to a psychopath.

Zandak
At the current moment, Zandak was riding in a carriage lead by mules. Alongside him was the dwarf who was driving the cart that was guided by mules. The dwarf was more interested in the road ahead then in Zandak's attempts at conversation with him. Neither Zandak nor the dwarf expected what came next.


You're still telling and not showing.
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Invisible Phantom

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Saffron Bunny
Zandak
so i enjoy writing fantasy and i had been working on this for a while. I decided i would post it to gaia and see what people thought. it had a few (as in 7 or cool major problems and now i want to improve so i eddited it a bit (or ALOT) from what it was you can see the old post here if you want to compare. I hope i did better. Please judge honest be brutal if you need to but be honest. thanks guys!

http://www.gaiaonline.com/forum/original-stories-prose/would-i-be-a-good-fantsy-writer/t.79542681/


I'll see what I can do.

Zandak
Prologue

Hundreds, (maybe even thousands), of years ago in what some might call the dark age -- (which must have been darker than people thought because no more than ten or fifteen souls know of the following events)-- there lived a world of orcs, dwarves and all sorts of other creatures. Nobody today thinks they exist.


It seems you're having trouble conveying your ideas in a manner that flows properly. The parenthesis in this paragraph seem completely out of place and unnecessary.

Zandak
These creatures do exist though. The orcs of today don't have sharp teeth and green skin; they are just large and full of muscle. The dwarves of today don't always have long bushy beards down to their waist, but they are short and burly.


How exactly did these creatures evolve/adapt to blend in with human society?

Zandak
Zandak was an elf, but he was not what some people reading this might have in mind, not short, and happy, and helpful. Elves back then were tall and thin with pointy ears, and they were usually very good with a bow and arrow.


Don't actually address the reader.

Zandak
Zandak was tall and thin with blond hair that was usually very greasy, but it didn't look very long because he usually had it put into spikes that would point to the back of his head. He had pointy ears (most elves did)and he wore a pair of dark brown boots and with pants of a lighter brown. On his torso, Zandak wore a worn and ragged vest along with some leather bracers.


The description of the hair confused me.

Zandak
Zandak wasn't the kind of person that "played well with others"; he didn't hate everyone he met, but he was a bitter and cold person all the same. Zandak almost never worked with others in his travels. He preferred to work alone because he never trusted anyone without getting to know them very well. Many called Zandak a hypocrite because he wasn't very trustworthy himself. He never returned things he borrowed (mainly he "borrowed" things like money), and he never kept to his word.


As in the first piece, you're still telling instead of showing. Set up a scene and show him "borrowing" money, working alone, and not being trustworthy. Show us, don't tell us.

Zandak
He had to avoid city guard on a regular basis, and he killed for money. He killed for money because he had to. He had no other choice. He had been raised on it. His parents taught him how to steal and pick pocket with fingers light as feathers and kill and murder as quietly as a mouse.


Why did his parents teach him that? Why didn't he have another choice? This is unclear.

Zandak
He didn't just rush in and kill the target though. He wasn't some kind of psychopath, besides, if he did that they would have him caught and on the death sentence in seconds. In the most common cases, he would scope out the targets daily routine and follow them into a secluded area, even if it meant breaking into their house at some point.


I'm fairly sure that's what a serial killer or a psychopath does.

Zandak
Other times he would get special orders from the buyers. One of his favorite contracts was when he had tortured his victim before he killed him, and when he DID kill him, he did it slowly and in the most painful way possible. Zandak enjoyed it, although he had no reason to hate the man he killed that day, although quite obviously the buyer did.


Once again, sounds incredibly similar to a psychopath.

Zandak
At the current moment, Zandak was riding in a carriage lead by mules. Alongside him was the dwarf who was driving the cart that was guided by mules. The dwarf was more interested in the road ahead then in Zandak's attempts at conversation with him. Neither Zandak nor the dwarf expected what came next.


You're still telling and not showing.


i can work onthe grmmar but
i tell and not show because i show after i tell. if you don't want to continue to read i can understand and im glad you tried to help smile but this is why im not showing

SPOILER ALERT DO NOT READ THE BOLD IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS
after finding the box zandak returns to the tavern and inn and begins to reveal information written in scenes of flash backs his parents. in one scene Zandak is taught (from some bad parents) that life is much easier if you take what you want and kill if you don't get it. he is taught how to use a bow how to climb buildings and how to kill quickly and silently he then "shows" the dwarf that his parents were assassinated this is all done in scenes. the reason i did this is because of people on the old post complaining about information pours.



I am glad you tried to help but if you don't like the way i write then you dont have to read

i made a few speling mistakes in this post but i just got back from school and im tired so #^&$ it
Guardian of my soul's avatar

Lonely Seeker

lemme guess, the character is supposed to look like your gaia avatar?
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Invisible Phantom

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Guardian of my soul
lemme guess, the character is supposed to look like your gaia avatar?


i hope that was an instant thought. my avi's name is zandak even
Guardian of my soul's avatar

Lonely Seeker

Zandak
Guardian of my soul
lemme guess, the character is supposed to look like your gaia avatar?


i hope that was an instant thought. my avi's name is zandak even
Ha ha, yeah kinda figured that out. Aside from the name, when i read the description about the hair, i glanced over and noticed your avi's hair seemed to match the description. It was then that i remembered about the bow and arrow, him being an elf, and all that. Yeah, i caught on pretty fast xd Good Luck for your story, i too am working on my own. blaugh 3nodding wink
Zandak
Saffron Bunny
-the most useful information ever-
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She's right. On all accounts. First of all: you asked for help. She gave it to you, don't dismiss her by saying "if you don't like it you don't have to read it."

Parenthesis have no place in fiction writing, especially fantasy writing. If your nouns and adjectives don't speak strongly enough for themselves, you need to use different ones, not clarify with parenthetical side-notes.

The ambiguity of the very first line makes me not even want to continue. Give us a specific time. There's such a gap between hundreds and thousands that it leaves your reader confused right off the bat.

There is a certain level of awareness that you have to assume your reader has, simply because they have gone looking for something to read on this topic. You probably don't need to give a step-by-step explanation what orcs and dwarves look like. Or elves for that matter. Actually, when you said Elves, I didn't even think of "short, happy and helpful." That seems more like a gnome to me.

I'd also like to note here that aesthetically, I immediately notice that three paragraphs in a row start with your character's name. That just tells me that you're not creative enough to describe him by anything but his name, or creative enough to be able to vary your sentence structure, and being that your 'paragraphs' are only about two sentences long, this is not a good way to start writing. Experiment with putting something before his name, or calling him by adjectives. "Being the nimble hunter he was, Zandak..." "With his brow furrowed in thought, Zandak..." "Others have often said of Zandak that he..." are just a few examples of how those paragraphs could have been started better.

"[...]and he killed for money. He killed for money because he had to. He had no other choice." So your character is an assassin? A contract killer? A hit-man? Don't tell us he kills for money. Call him a hitman. The best thing about writing is how many things you can say with so few words.

I have to say, "His parents taught him how to steal and pick pocket with fingers light as feathers and kill and murder as quietly as a mouse," this line gives me hope for your future as a writer. You have this kind of potential, yet I don't see it anywhere else in this writing. GRAB ONTO THESE KINDS OF METAPHORS AND SIMILES. They will make you or break you. I, personally, have never heard someone describe fingers as "light as feathers" so it got me kind of excited to add a new metaphor to my vocabulary.

This next sentence kind of bothers me, though... "He didn't just rush in and kill the target though, he wasn't some kind of psychopath, besides, if he did that they would have him caught and on the death sentence in seconds." It should be two (or more sentences). You have too many appositive phrases. If you don't know what appositive phrases are, get yourself a grammar book, they are brutally important to writing. Who is they? I see no mention of anyone other than Zandak except for like a couple paragraphs ago you mentioned the city guard. Your reader has already forgotten about the guard, remind them again. Lastly, the phrase "on the death sentence" makes NO sense whatsoever.
This really needs to look more like this: "He didn't just rush in and kill the target, though, he didn't consider himself a psychopath. Besides, if he hadn't planned carefully, The Guard would have him caught and sentenced to death in mere seconds." Also, get rid of common in the next sentence. There's nothing common about being an assassin, and if there is something common about being an assassin in these times, you need to let us know that before you start introducing this character. Maybe you should go back and sort of describe where he lives. The state of affairs, if you will, is very important to how the characters in your story act. If there is mutiny in the governing body, then maybe being an assassin is a normal occurrence. But if there seems to be peace in the community, being an assassin may not be commonplace.

In the last paragraph, you say "At the current moment, Zandak was riding in a carriage lead by mules. Alongside him was the dwarf who was driving the cart that was guided by mules." Read this aloud to yourself, it is completely unnecessary to have both sentences end the same way. You just told us the carriage was led by mules! (Also, wrong le[a]d. Lead is different from led and they can't really be used interchangeably.)

Overall, I think this story has great potential, and I think you have great potential. I think one of the reasons I am as adept of a writer as I am is because of how much I've read from other people. I also like to read everything I write aloud. Sometimes things look really good on paper, and sometimes, they really don't.

(Just so you know, I am a junior in college, an English Major, and have submitted multiple pieces to my school's paper and literary journal. All of which were accepted. I have had to sit through classes where everyone loved my work, and classes where everyone hated my work. But I didn't let their criticisms break me. I let them strengthen me as a writer. You can't please everybody, so don't try to. But you certainly want to make your work readable enough to have a broad audience.)

I hope you found this helpful. Good luck with your writing.


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