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Requesting criticism!

 
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scerab



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:48 am    Post subject: Requesting criticism! Reply with quote

Hello every one, I am working on a story it's not my first as I have loved writing ever since I knew how to write! But I wanted to see what you bright people think of this brief introduction to my story that I have been working on for some time:

''The queen of the wood elves, guardians of the holy lands, blessed by Elune and host to the divine tree of life the well from which the elves draw their heavenly essence and infinite years, gifted with foresight saw the shadows of destruction riding in the darkness of a cursed deity that consumes the world as she knew it. Laughter replaced cries, joy turned into tears and love into hate! But then she saw the unthinkable as her beloved only daughter sinking in the shadows. Her daughter would reach for her mother crying in pain. But the mother stands powerless to help that which is most precious to her! As the queen looks around her only to see death and grief dominate life and hope! And finally just before she would faint her eyes lie upon the ashes of holiest of elven symbols! The tree of life would burn, her leaves scattered in the air lifted by the ashes of fire and evil, her branches fall on the ground atop each other piles upon piles they grow as tall as the trees with in the forests and her roots that once reached for the core of the earth it self are headless as they suffocate from the flame!

The illustrious queen exhausted every source of knowledge within her reach in attempt to understand her terrifying vision, her goddess gave her no answers, her high priestess could not agree on what their queen's vision meant, on and on they went arguing in an unparallel fashion that would only lead to confusion away from the truth! Left with no other alternative the queen had to sin not only against her goddess but her entire race at that! As she attempted to contact secretly the prince of darkness whom resides upon the flame within hell it self! They came to an agreement as the dark prince would save her people should this evil arrive in exchange that she would give him a son of her divine blood line, the blessed blood line of Elune! No one knew of this not her high priestess not even her daughter. For great shame will haunt the queen should any one finds out of her prostitution to the prince of darkness, an act of treason against her goddess and people! Even though her intentions were for the best of her people.''

What you people think of this? Please I want criticism I donít want complements though I appreciate them but I want criticism, criticize every letter if you can I will be eternally grateful for you.
Thanks in advance
Note: I would be willing to add a few more details should you people think my work is worthy of your attention.
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Fat squirrel



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 347
Location: A splendid place with a delightful selection of delectable dishes.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one thing that stood out to me. You write with many long complex sentences, which obviously have their place. But when you overuse them the read becomes exhausting and people start having to read everything twice to understand it. It would flow more comfortably if you try to restrict your syntax more to the way you would actually talk. Try to avoid fluff words that don't add anything. Like "illustrious" for a queen, and "terrifying" for the vision that the reader, at this point, already knows very well to be terrifying, thanks to your description (Which I thought did its job marvelously). Illustriuous is implied in the meaning of the word "Queen". Stacking adjectives is kind of like writing a big long side story that never ties into the plot. Except on a smaller scale. But its just as exhausting in the end. You can write a great story without ever using a single adjective. Not that you shouldn't use them. But don't tell the reader about a hard rock, a hot flame, a cool breeze, or a famous queen. If you want to emphasize that fire is hot, don't tell the reader that, make them feel it burning their skin.
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Last edited by Fat squirrel on Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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scerab



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for the reply, I will defiantly remember that!
What do you think about the introduction?
Does it grab your attention? I tried to be as original as possible.
Thanks again and I would appreciate more criticism!
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Fat squirrel



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 347
Location: A splendid place with a delightful selection of delectable dishes.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I added something to the other one. I liked the intro. You have to make sure you don't say too much though. I would have left it where you say that the queen goes to strike a bargain with the prince of darkness. Leave the reader wondering what the bargain is, why she would trust him, wether it will work out, so on so forth.
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Exodus



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 2262
Location: P-Town represent!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got corrections at the start, but there's complements at the end Very Happy.

Quote:
The queen of the wood elves, guardians of the holy lands, blessed by Elune and host to the divine tree of life the well from which the elves draw their heavenly essence and infinite years, gifted with foresight saw the shadows of destruction riding in the darkness of a cursed deity that consumes the world as she knew it.
I'd say that this is a major run-on sentence, and needs some periods, or dashes, or parenthesis, or something.

Quote:
Laughter replaced cries, joy turned into tears and love into hate!
The first part doesn't make sense to me when I read the next two parts. Happy from sad, and the others are happy to sad.

Quote:
But then she saw the unthinkable as her beloved only daughter sinking in the shadows.
This also doesn't quite make sense. Maybe her beloved daughter sunk into the shadows?

Quote:
As the queen looks around her only to see death and grief dominate life and hope!
Am's the expert on this, but I'm thinking that this is a dependent clause without an independent clause.

I'd like to point out at this point that you seem to have quite a few exclamation points ending your sentences. Try reading the whole thing over, but every sentence that ends with an exclamation point you should yell, and ask yourself if it sounds right to yell it. If you're trying to build suspense, exclamations don't usually do the trick because when you yell it usually lets out suspense.

Also, in that first paragraph you have a few mix-ups with tense. A good example of this is "The tree of life would burn, her leaves scattered in the air lifted by the ashes of fire and evil." You've got the first part, which says it would burn, but then you switch to it was burnt. Earlier you have the Queen who "looked around," and then her daughter "would reach for her mother," and it's all a bit muddled.

The 2nd paragraph starts with a pretty big run-on, then has a few more exclamation points and dependent clauses in there, and it's missing a comma before "at that!" The last sentence is also a dependent clause that is very lonely.

As a story, I'd say that it's pretty good. It's got some originality, and it could flesh out to be pretty entertaining. I have to say, however, that I hope you don't flesh out the characters to be good or evil, since shades of gray really make stories like this interesting, and too many fantasy stories make their characters too polarized.
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scerab



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exodus wrote:
I've got corrections at the start, but there's complements at the end Very Happy.

Quote:
The queen of the wood elves, guardians of the holy lands, blessed by Elune and host to the divine tree of life the well from which the elves draw their heavenly essence and infinite years, gifted with foresight saw the shadows of destruction riding in the darkness of a cursed deity that consumes the world as she knew it.
I'd say that this is a major run-on sentence, and needs some periods, or dashes, or parenthesis, or something.

Quote:
Laughter replaced cries, joy turned into tears and love into hate!
The first part doesn't make sense to me when I read the next two parts. Happy from sad, and the others are happy to sad.

Quote:
But then she saw the unthinkable as her beloved only daughter sinking in the shadows.
This also doesn't quite make sense. Maybe her beloved daughter sunk into the shadows?

Quote:
As the queen looks around her only to see death and grief dominate life and hope!
Am's the expert on this, but I'm thinking that this is a dependent clause without an independent clause.

I'd like to point out at this point that you seem to have quite a few exclamation points ending your sentences. Try reading the whole thing over, but every sentence that ends with an exclamation point you should yell, and ask yourself if it sounds right to yell it. If you're trying to build suspense, exclamations don't usually do the trick because when you yell it usually lets out suspense.

Also, in that first paragraph you have a few mix-ups with tense. A good example of this is "The tree of life would burn, her leaves scattered in the air lifted by the ashes of fire and evil." You've got the first part, which says it would burn, but then you switch to it was burnt. Earlier you have the Queen who "looked around," and then her daughter "would reach for her mother," and it's all a bit muddled.

The 2nd paragraph starts with a pretty big run-on, then has a few more exclamation points and dependent clauses in there, and it's missing a comma before "at that!" The last sentence is also a dependent clause that is very lonely.

As a story, I'd say that it's pretty good. It's got some originality, and it could flesh out to be pretty entertaining. I have to say, however, that I hope you don't flesh out the characters to be good or evil, since shades of gray really make stories like this interesting, and too many fantasy stories make their characters too polarized.



Thank you for the awesome reply. I do admit I didnít make good use of commas and I did over use the exclamation marks. But I will make sure not to in the future.
About my description of the queen's dream, was it lacking in meaning? As I tried to write it as the queen her self saw it. And the great evil that she endured in her nightmare was the reason she was so keen to do any thing in attempt to save her people and most importantly her beloved daughter, hair to the wood elven thrown.

About the story's main character it would be apparently that very child who was born to the queen later. His birth survival and future experiences will be the story, as it seems that a third faction was interested in that boy's future (the elves are one, the prince of darkness's minions are two and a third faction will surface). There will be a wide range of other characters too; some are loyal to their king and country others are puppets running blindly behind power where it ever it may be found. I donít believe I have any of that '' we are the good guys lets go kill the bad guys'' stuff.
Based on what I said so far would you maintain interest while reading?
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Exodus



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 2262
Location: P-Town represent!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that sounds like some interesting stuff. The daughter would probably be the heir though, rather than the hair Very Happy. As for the dream, it really did confuse me with all the woulds and then the dids and switching back and forth to what would happen, but then it did happen as it would happen, and it was just all over. Part of this was what fat squirrel mentioned with the really long sentences. Really long sentences work well to describe things, but this is your intro and so you're building suspense. You need some short sentences to balance all the long ones and help build the suspense.

I like to think of it like a movie, since sentence length and scene length (scene as is before the camera angle changes) often correspond. For instance, if you have a nice big panoramic shot of some forest, and then it zips over to a quick shot of a bunch of birds flying out of the trees. The two things contrast, and make you wonder why, in such a serene setting as the forest is, are the birds being scared from their trees so violently? If you want a nice, vivid image, stick with the shorter sentences. Save the longer sentences for the bigger pictures.

I'm rambling on now, but for instance you could do a whole long description of the dream-scape before it turned to hell in a few long sentences, and then have something like, "Joy turned into tears. Love turned to hate. She saw her daughter swallowed by the shadows. She heard her as cry out." Then you could do another few long sentences describing the apocalyptic dream-scape with fire and shadow and what not.

Keep in mind that I'm absolutely no expert on this, and some of it is pure dogma. I look forward to your story Very Happy.
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