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Story I've started on.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 3:08 pm    Post subject: Story I've started on. Reply with quote

What I've written so far in a story that I'm working on. I've also posted this in the Writer's Guild, but decided to also post it here, as this seems more specifically dedicated to the feedback I'm looking for. This is all cut and pasted, so no itallics or boldface;most notably for instance, the first letter of terms like Wise or Wisebeast, and various species of 'Wise' such as i.e. Wolf is boldfaced(as opposed to 'common' representatives of a species i.e. 'wolf', without capital or boldface). Might make thisngs a little more confusing below for a minute two than in the original document. I'm thinking of seeing if I can just post the section as an attachment.

I'm specifically interested in feedback on the last section, which contains the first real dialogue and character interraction. Does it flow well, and seem true to what what's described of the character/s so far? Does it read easily, or is there anything I could clean up for clarity? Thanks in advance. Oh, and for the record the title is still only provisional. Laughing

Edit 2-2-'08:Edited the intro. *sigh* I just couldn't resist doing it now;it's leaner, with an entire paragraph gone, and no mention now of any 'traces of habitation' visible from the teeth-which I think fits better with this world as I'm coming to envision it.


A Dog's Life

"Is this what you truly want, Wolf?"

The Wolf-like all Wise Wolves larger than it's 'common' cousin-nods once, eyes never breaking with hers'.

Rebecca watches his eyes, his face; there's no hesitation, no doubt.

Her blue eyes rest for a moment on the leather collar about his neck.

Rising from her crouch, she walks swiftly across the room and turns back to him, their eyes locking-

"Show me."

-And waits....


Raised in a farming village at the frontier of settled lands-beyond them, nearly, until recent years-she'd been afflicted with wanderlust from childhood; she'd hear stories from hunters and trappers that came through, and one week in her seventeenth year-Gods knew how and much against her mother's wishes-talked one that took a liking to her into dragging her along. Gods, but he must have been mad, madder than she; twice the burden, and damn little to contribute on her end. And it HAD been rough for her, at first. But she'd adapted...and the compensations had been well worth it-what began as teenage wanderlust(among other things)had become a hunger, images of those months etched and burned into memory: her first glimpse from high in the 'Teeth of the land spread out beneath them, vast and open, her village lost somewhere far beyond the distant horizon; her first encounter with Wise-and his constant teasing about it; the nights....They planned, at her request, to marry next time they went through her village.

Plans change.

He'd taken sick that winter as they headed to her village and died, hand in hers', two days out. She spent three days finishing the trip. Alone.

She hadn't spoken of those ten transformative months since.

Mother had been furious when she returned; the moreso when it became clear she planned more treks into the wild...and wouldn't hear otherwise. It wasn't just her defiance-and concern for her safety-that had angered Mother; Rebecca's father died in her childhood, and two brothers and a sister(all older)notwithstanding, every extra hand was a help around the farm. But if you traveled light and knew your trade-and truth be told luck was with you, often as not-there was money in trapping; the savings she brought with her when she came through led to-well, call it acceptance of her choice, though Mother still constantly asked during stints at home when she planned to 'settle in.'

Maybe someday.

Not soon; The watch the Autumn sunrise crest the Dragon's Teeth like Creation's dawn, silhouettes against a burning sky; to walk the hidden trails carved by beast common and Wise, unmarked by humankind-to feel yourself first to walk the Earth, stranger to the world; It was in her-a longing, a thirst that broke no denial.

You lived at the boundaries, your boundaries. There was clarity in Necessity; your preconceptions meant nothing to Her.

Take, for instance, patronizing village attitudes toward Wisebeast.

Trappers learned better; It was their world they must often travel through. It paid to be on good terms with the Wise, and it's hard to disrespect those you spend time and effort knowing. And far side of the 'Teeth, having friends among the Wise could save your life.

Gods knew it saved her ass.

She'd taken a risk, last trip, starting back late; game was better far side of the 'Teeth, especially late in the autumn season. Still, barring disaster she'd been well on pace to make the pass with time to spare....

Yeah... ' barring disaster....'

Her horse spooked, sending her flying in it's panic and she'd snapped an ankle. She hadn't seen it since.

Losing the horse was bad.

Losing an ankle...that was fatal.

She'd holed up, gotten wood for a fire and one burning-ten times the work and hurting like hells, but she managed-and she did have a bow and good practice in it's use;problem was, without ankle or horse it was useless.

But it was risky-to put it mildly-to try the mountains in winter with a horse; on foot, and half-crippled at would be suicide. She was out of options-

-no, not every option; hoping she guessed right, she'd raised a cry for aid.

A cry carried on a howl to send a shiver through the folks back home.

And Gods-be-praised she'd been right-the pack crying in the night was Wolf, not cousin.

They had her gratitude. Really, they did; Wise respected Wise(human included)as unlawful prey, but in the lean season why divert time and resource from real obligations? Fortune smiled on her that night. Of course that was exactly why you took pains to ensure your snares fooled only cousin, never Wise; why you made gifts of your catch after skinning (or the guts when hunting); why you offered medical aid when the situation warranted. She'd known the pack that saved her.

Including Gray....

They had her gratitude, yes-

-but Gods, what misery!

She didn't think she fell sick during those nights and days of endless waiting, but she couldn't be sure of it.

No wood, no fire for food or warmth. Confined to the Wolf-den, inactive save to answer Nature's call(her fortune for a thrice-damned pair of crutches, instead of what she must do with). Weeks and months of half waking from half-slumber to cold, to pain, to hunger dulled but never quelled by snow-melt, blood and pap(Ahhhhhhh Necessity....).

Sometimes waking to warmth, a presence(the same?)beneath her soft and comforting, barely noted as she slips again beneath the waves... sleep, to wake again to the hunger and cold, to stiffness and exhaustion, to the waiting waiting waiting through the long dead months for the coming of Spring.

Overjoyed at its arrival. Elated just to be outside the den beneath a pleasant sky. Walking...weak and unsteady at first, but oh to walk freely, skin bare to the wind and stretch her legs; to find a stream and rinse away the months of grime, sweat and blood.

And oh, how she relished her first taste of solid meat, juicy and whole, cooked over open fire!

Well, she did still have her flint when spring returned at last; there was that, at least.

It was soon after that great and glorious day she at last departed the den for the final time she first had cause to note the behavior of a certain gray-eyed member of the pack. Not wishing to try the mountains in her still-weakened state, she had made camp in a cave a short walk from the den;shelter from the rain that held the fire's warmth, it was enough. He began coming to her there-sometimes with part of a kill, sometimes just himself-and remaining with her as she went about setting traps, snatching fish, or whatever else she need do during the day, often staying in the evening as she cooked and settled in for the night, curled by the fire, until the cry at last went up to call the pack together for the hunt.

Strange indeed for a Wolf; they tended to keep to their own. Pack politics? Challenged for Alpha and found her company more pleasant than constant reminders of his defeat, something like that? She hadn't asked of course. Certainly never carried himself like he'd been thumped. The more she considered though...

...his demeanor around her; Others might not have noted anything peculiar, but to eyes familiar with his kind-his gait and carriage, his body language-the more time they spent together, the more it reminded her...well, sometimes-by the fire in the evenings, say-she couldn't help thinking of Snow, a husky her family owned when she was a child, and have a guilty chuckle over thoughts respect for his kind would never let her voice aloud, even in jest...

...but was there a strange and sudden current beneath those musings, dismissed and gone again as quickly and the dismissal itself unnoted and forgotten?

What she grew quite aware of was her growing attachment, and the pleasure she took in his company;Certainly she was glad enough for companionship and easy meat while she recovered her strength for the trek through the 'Teeth; though less perhaps-she'd thought with some bemusement-than had he been able to converse in language she could discern and learn, instead of making do with nodding and shaking his head.

Still, in his company such musings at his odd behavior often set in her subconscious a certain vague unease.

So the weeks had passed, Spring giving way to Summer, until she felt strong enough for the journey at last-strong enough that is to carry in addition to herself some furs, the shelter(made from hide),a week's rations of smoked meat, and bow and arrows over several day's hard climb with energy to spare at the end;and again the Wolf surprised, trotting up to her and falling in beside the first day out. This was unexpected! He was leaving everything behind to come with her;he knew her destination lay east, that she wasn't heading back-she'd told him when he evening'd with her last, surprised at the degree of loss she felt at their parting.

Not the only one, it seemed.

How should she label that strange behavior of his?

Was that why she'd grown so attached?

HER attachment? What about him? Winged Folk excepted, Wise seldom ventured beyond the 'Teeth; why him?

Why her?


"Y'know furface, there's a reason Wise don't venture East of the 'Teeth."

The Wolf laying a few feet to her right turned his head from the hare's leg he was devouring, eyes catching the inconstant light of the fire as the last dregs of Sunset faded in the West.

"My kind...we're not all trappers. You think the other Wise never roamed in the East? Hells, some still do if you believe the rumors;never more than that though. They do a prime job keeping near to ground, can't imagine why...."


"Alright alright, don't gimme that look;If you wanna know, aside from stating the obvious my point is in a few weeks we'll be somewhere I can lighten my burden a little, preferrably in exchange for at least a horse"-

'ANY horse.' Rebecca flexed her shoulders;leather gave her skin some protection from the ropes, but rot did it chafe under them!

-"and with luck, lodging as well; and that could give us problems."

Gods, but was she ever GLAD to be other side of the 'Teeth! Every step upside had seemed to add another Stone to the weight on her back and shoulders, topside was cold even in Summer, the pass through the Narrows-nothing but rock without good camp, for three days on foot-was even *more* fun than usual...and in the higher altitudes her ankle throbbed. It always would, now; hidden scars were just as real. And just as permanent.

"I mean think about it; the sight of you would be enough to clear the market! Don't laugh" she grinned "and don't think-not that you would-that just telling everyone 'He's Wise, so no worries' would smooth things out. Like I said;we're not all trappers. People find a free-running cousin your size scary enough;now tell 'em when they see those big ole eyes of yours turned their way that 'someone's' watching behind all them teeth...Rot, inkeeper might take one look and decide he's full...for the month! Sure, yeah, I'm used to sleeping rough, but a warm room and soft bed do make a nice change from time to time, you know!"

She finished cutting the last leg from the hare and tossed it to the Wolf. It was already cooked;easier all-around that way, though it must try Gray Eyes' patience! 'Hah! Still worth the wait ain't it, furface!' *sniff sniff;deep breath* 'mmm mmmmm'

. "No sense being the center of attention and scaring people half to death in the process. Trust me;letting on you're Wise could be more trouble than it's worth." She popped a slice of meat in her mouth."Humans can be funny about other kind-hey, we're the species that came up with a special single name for all the "Wisebeast"; 'cept for us, naturally. Liver!" Switching the knife now burried in the hare's gut to her left hand, she pulled the liver with her right and tossed it to him.

'Would've shuddered at the thought of eating that once' she mused wryly as he caught it in the air and tore in. Hells, she still wouldn't eat it if she had any choice! blech

"Course letting them think you're common carries headaches of it's own. You'd definitely be stuck with me as long as we're in town, for starters, which thought doubtless tears you up inside" she brought another piece of meat to her mouth with the knife and grinned at his pained expression "and we'd be trying to pass you off as something other than wolf altogether. More we put people at their ease the better". Headshake "Now how in twelve hells you think we can give first impression that you're controllable, tame, and just another mutt." She rolled her eyes "And at every town we go through..." She groaned;maybe they could seperate and meet up other side of town, but you couldn't always plan ahead unless the strategy was 'in and out' at every stop, and even then, it'd be damned inconvenient....

"And how do we handle it when I stop at home?" That, more than any other question, she had put off considering.

"I mean, if the idea's that people don't feel like running first time they see you and me-uh, mostly you-walking toward them...rot, whatever we do, you'll still be one big, intimidating, dangerous-looking and very toothy canine!" She put her hand on her forehead. "Be a lot easier with a dog collar...."

She instantly wished the words back. 'Godsdamned farmgirl!'

She froze and looked at Gray'. He stood still, gaze fixed right back at her.

So much for hoping he hadn't heard...

At least he didn't look upset..

He nodded.


"You're serious?


"Come on, you can't be serious. Look, we're talkin' minor inconvenience here, annoyances, that's all." She chuckled. "It's more tryin' to make everyone comfortable around me and you-'kay, forget about me-than the other way around. I was bein' dramatic."Which doesn't mean what I said about my kind ain't still true" she said gesturing with the knife "so you can stop givin' me that look, too. But even letting on you're Wise, we're not gonna be doin' or stayin' anywhere long enough to need to worry 'bout any real knotheads. Rot, I'm embarassed' enough to think of walkin' around actin' like you're some, some oversized husky;you wanna-what? What's so funny?"

Rebecca stared at the Wolf, mouth gaping and huffing with laughter.

Sigh "Huh, you really wanna try this 'eh?"

Nod. The look in those eyes....

She looked up at the stars for a moment. "Fine, you really wanna do this, we'll do it. Hells, you'll be the one embarassin' yourself, so what'm I gettin' so excited about anyways?" She chuckled "I should probly be grateful ya didn't want a rotin' leash to go with it."

Her chuckle died off as she looked at him

No "I mean, that would be absurd. There's no need to take it that far, right?. Right?"

No. He had to be joking.

"You are joking."

He wasn't joking.

She put her head in her lap;

'Take me now...'

Last edited by Howellfan on Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:27 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done. The beginning really captured the incoherence of her recovery period. As for the dialogue (monologue? The wolf was not actually speaking) it ran very well. Interesting dialogue and character development are my pet peeves. I can't seem to get it right, but you accomplished it easily.
The way you included her accent and actions as she spoke really brought out her nature. As for when you want to describe her, take opportunities when she is doing something to highlight an aspect of her appearance. Examples can be: She pushed her thick brown hair out of her green eyes.
Or: With a casual flick of slender fingers, she tossed the meat to the wolf, reclining backwards to support herself on a hideskin-clad elbow.
Things like that. Sometimes authors prefer to take an entire paragraph to explain a character's appearance. That is not my preferred method when reading, but it does make it very clear what the character is like.
Looking forward to more!

I'm guessing your guess is as good as mine...
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, 'fellow newbie! *waves* Did I already say hi on an intro thread of yours? Confused

Ooh ooh, look;more, more! *points below* As for doing descriptions that way;weelll, my purely personal feeling is that for me, it still just feels a little clunky, sorta like an open casing on a Disney animatronic, if you know I mean. The 'mechanics' of the story are still showing through, if that makes any sense at all!

'Probably because I have an impossible goal/ideal for writing:that every line of a story, weather description, exposition, introduction, or dialog, is such that the reader will read it's every word without skipping the first, tenth, or hundredth time through. Like I said;impossible goal. But that's the point, 'ey? Laughing

Incidentally:Th' hell with the damn boldface and italics;Insert as appropriate when reading! Laughing

Now enjoy! Cool

Edit:1-9 Just can't leave my stuff alone, can I? Minor editing to R's little monologue below among other things which felt a little 'clunky' to me. *shrugs*

Edit2:(Later that same day.) And again-this one big, complete rewrite of the last part. Last edits were a big improvement, but still didn't make this scene what I wanted. Think I've finally got the damned thing where it does what I'm tryin' to make it do, so this should -finally!- be it for any major editing or revisions...I hope. I keep coming back to it 'cause it's the key scene that sets up everything that follows, so it plain has to work, simple as that.


The Wolf was huffing. She glared. "Doesn't the idea of going around tied and collared like some dumb beast bother you just in the least? I mean sure, nobody else'll know you're Wise and many wouldn't care if they knew anyway;but that doesn't make it any less degradin', damnit! And supposin' the wrong trapper catches on that my tamed and collared mutt is a collared Wise and is a bit impulsive, say?." 'Specially if they're Guild' she thought, the inlaid carving in the knife's handle glinting in the firelight; a circle trisected by lines that swooped back as they curved away from center, the three sections so outlined like teardrops stretched and bent, each curving 'round the one behind it and the flat bottom and straight sides of the teardrops and circle difining the rim laid in silver plait.

She stood to stretch her legs. "That should bother you, furface;'Many wouldn't care if they DID know.' For too damn many of my kind, the Wise're nothin' more'n a rotted cousin with a few more tricks and a bit o' extra wits thrown in. Cute. Amusin' diversion. Not like they're Human, though. Not like they're persons, deservin' a person's respect." Her voice began to rise; she didn't notice. "I mean, my own damn family's that way;I jus' don't mention the subject when I visit now. Oh, they listen ever so politely when you explain, but they truly don't, they won't understand, same as half the damn human race-I'm feelin' generous-and it drives you absolutely mad knowin' there's nothin' for it but grit your teeth an' shut it an' move on because of what JACKASSES we are, and there's nothin' helpin' it but keep your peace and promise yourself you will never, NEVER be 'that' way." She turned back to him "So your pardon, Wolf, if I'm less than amused when one of those Wise seems eager to go around town led and collared like a GODSDAMNED STREETMUTT!"

She couldn't have been five Hands from and above where he lay holding down a leg he was -had been worrying, face to face and her glaring, challenging had she been Wolf. And he backed off, averted his gaze....


She felt her pulse racing, her quickened breaths. Damn;Where'd THAT come from? She consciously relaxed the hand gripping her knife;it had clenched hard enough to tremble. Past year must've frayed her more than she realized.

She shook her head; 'And the Wolf's still crazy....';reached up to rub her neck.

"Sorry. I'm-, sorry." as she turned back to the still-unfinished hare. "Just bothers me, is all;just doesn't seem right. But" she knelt down and began cutting;a length of intestine "you're probly right, much as I hate to admit it -well, 'bout the collar, 'tleast. Does seem like the simplest solution."

She turned to toss the piece she'd cut to the Wolf. Oh. He'd followed;had been standing just a few hands behind her.

On an impulse, she took the knife and cut off a smaller piece, held it out to him. He took it, threw back and swallowed. Nosed her palm and gave a lick.

She patted his shoulder- just a friendly pat; and his back end snapped to the ground.

Huuuh? She took a step back. He sat there, tail still, looking at her.

She reached out, almost hesitantly and scratched his neck. He leaned into it, arching his back, eyes slitting as she moved up the side of his head, between his ears.

She didn't notice her heart beating faster; She was focused on him, something within mired and pulled by guilt and shame pushing just beneath the surface, filling the moment with strange anticipation as she switched to scratching with her left hand and cupped his lower jaw with her right, brought his face up meet her gaze, to lock eyes with him again....

"You know,'ll be interestin' when we reach town."

Last edited by Howellfan on Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:31 pm; edited 14 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argh! More great dialogue.
I can feel the same irritation/anger as the woman when it comes to people being the way they are and you being unable to change it.

I'm guessing your guess is as good as mine...
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awwwwh, poor guy. Sad Laughing Cool

How's about some action? Action's good! Cool *points below*

Edit, Dec. 31st.: And here's the rest of it! Enjoy! Smile Cool

They were nearing civilized land now, the trail beneath their feet was more dirt than mud and no grass.

Rebecca kept scanning ahead;this was mainly because scanning the dense and towering forest to either side of the trail -itself bathed in near-perpetual twilight- was a futile effort.

She hated this stretch through the forest, between the hills and the plains. Too many things could happen to a lone pair of travelers;even a pair as strange as theirs'.

Here real predators lurked in the shadows.

DAMN, she wished for a horse!

At least trappers were small fish....

The Wolf seemed nervous as well, she thought. He paced a steady rythym on her right, ears and eyes forward, alert.

'Reading me?' She should probably try to relax;Wasn't doing either of them any good.

By the time you saw it was probably too late anyway.

Still in hill country, their trail ran between two wooded slopes, a dirt and mud track barely wide enough to acommodate a wagon-were one to ever come that way;the only traffic this road saw-legitimate traffic, at least-was trappers heading to or from the 'Teeth.

They came to a bend in the road, a long curve, and halfway through Gray went rigid and in a blink was a silent blur dissapearing into the undergrowth to their left.

First thought:'WHAAAAA....?'

Second thought:'Uhhhhh...NOT GOOD!'

From sonewhere beyond the bend she heard a scream and the sound of panicked horses. She ran ahead-

-which proved one of the dumbest decisions of her life;Two mounted figures waited in the road, in armor -WHADDAFUK-, chain with plate over the shoulders and curving in rows around the trunk, bows at the ready and by the time she saw she could do nothing but drop like a stone to the dirt and hug the ground -'STUPIDSTUPIDSTUPID'- nearly losing her breath on impact from the weight on her back and try to crawl, crawl on elbows to what she knew she would never reach as eternal seconds raced by she was moving too slow too damn slow as the trees drew closer and somehow she was there -STILL BREATHING WHY WAS SHE STILL BREATHING- pushing off with her hands to stumble through the brushline into the woods, to shrug off the damn pack with the useless damn unstrung bow, flatten her back against a tree and peer around with the corner of her eyes at the road below, a confusion of white and gleaming silver and gray


and above a horse was charging through the woods, straight down on her it's rider drawing sword as she crouched and drew and let fly at the horse -'PLEEEEESE' - letting the momentum of the throw carry her to the ground and rolled, over and over and over she was going downward she couldn't stop and she was back on the Godsdamn road.

Behind her the horse came crashing from the woods, stumbling and hitting the ground in a tangle of legs and armor and a fierce smile bared it's teeth to see the rider caught beneath the rolling horse, and she gave a shout, a roar when she saw the knifes-blade buried in it's chest.


To be continued.... Twisted Evil

'LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY'- but not that lucky;the rider was moving to rise, not so injured as she hoped, her only weapon stuck in a horse that would take time she didn't have to die. Try to take him still on the ground or run again to the woods? She saw a movement in the corner of her eye and turned;Gray, coming full speed-but not to her. A glimpse of bared teeth, of his eyes...and he was past her, on the rider not yet to his feet, scream cut short with a crimson spray. Gray turned to run again, stopped, flew over the horse and had her blade in a single motion before he landed. a running snap of his head and the knife was flying, skidding toward and past her as he disappeared again into the trees.

She stood, turned to pick up the knife-and froze. An armored figure stood in the road, bow drawn. And she knew she'd had too much luck already. Knew he wouldn't miss. Knew whether the arrow or his sword, she was dead.

The man turned his head at a growl that filled the air and chilled the blood, and the beast was on him. Rebecca looked away;crash of metal, choked-off scream and it was -FINISHED?

She held up a hand to Gray. Hoofbeats echoed in the trees, and only when long minutes passed without incident did she finally let herself relax.

Last edited by Howellfan on Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:30 pm; edited 8 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice.
My word of advice is to watch the run-on sentences. I get out of breath just reading them! Though sometimes it is a good tool to convey urgency or moment by moment passage of time, things can get confusing if it goes on too long.
Another suggestion, when you insert side comments using the "-" character, try putting a space on either side so it's easier for the reader to tell the difference between comments and combo words like gray-colored and fast-paced. That's the format I use, anyhow.
Otherwise, exciting! I'm ready to read more whenever it comes.

I'm guessing your guess is as good as mine...
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one example where I reeeeally wish copy and paste didn't lose the italics. First, the spacing;yeah, i considered it; since it appears to be a problem now, I'll probably start doing it that way, at least for the posts to the mesageboards. In the Word document I'm writing this story in, thoughts are always italicized, and just for the record that's what all of those little asides are and obviously so in the original document;what she's thinking(I mean seriously, who says 'Still breathing, why was she still breathing' while running for their life? Laughing). Here, you'll need to pay attention to the quotation marks;two for speaking, one or none for thoughts, depending if it's first or third person.

I wish I could just drop the thoughts into the action without distinguishing mark(except they're in italics)at all, but that wouldn't work! I'm trying to keep everything fluid and moving in this scene, like it's happening in real-time, with as little of the usually built-in rythym and cadence of the written word as possible. Much as I 'm enjoying writing this, there are times when I feel frustrated at the constraints of the medium!

With run-ons:Any other time, absolutely. However, in this insctance, especially where I feel I'm stretching myself a bit, I have to go with how well if puts across to me the reader what me the writer was going for. When you stop listening to that first and foremost, your writing goes south in a hurry. May well be an example of immaturity as a writer but for now I have to call writer's prerogative.

And this scene is a stretch for me, so much so that I am seriously debating if I will keep this scene, and possibly a chunk of the world this story takes place in along with it, in the story's final form. The way I imagine this scene being set up and playing out may have some inconsistencies I didn't recognize at the time of writing;I think I'll be okay, but it's because I'm still getting a clear grasp of where everybody is and exactly what they're doing that you don't have the rest of the scene yet. Hell, I'll fudge it if I have to now to give y'all some resolution! Razz Laughing

Last edited by Howellfan on Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just posted the rest of the scene above. Figured it was better than chopping it up between two messages! Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And some nice character focus and interaction to round out the scene.


And as she relaxed, take a knee exhausted, trembling, shock chasing adrenaline. Lucky, so damned lucky;she should be dead, would be if not for -'Grey Eyes'- .He was trotting over to her.

"Hey, I'm fine, I'm good-ai'!, watch where you stick that thing. I'm not hurt, alright, just a little bumped 'n shaken, so you can _stop_it_. _Now_. The last said in a voice somewhat sharp;commanding, not raised. In an instant he stopped and sat, looking at her. "What about you? Any, any of that yours?" His coat was covered in red. She felt him over, his sides, his back and neck. "Nope, not a scratch on ya;lucky Wolf." She laughed, her hands on either side of his head;leaning in 'till they were nose to nose, blue eyes to grey. "Good Wolf lucky Wolf." Singsong, affectionate, right hand scratching, stroking between his ears and down the back of his head, his neck. Loving the way he melted in her hands;what a contrast to that face of teeth and cold fury minutes before! "I'll have you know, sir, that I did contribute somethin' to the fight." She gestured to the dead horse behind her;"hungry?"

He leapt to his feet, gave a chuff.

She laughed;"I'll take it that's a yes."

She picked up the knife, a brief, painful memory flashing as the handle's silver-laid design catches the light;of the man who brought her into the guild, who taught her to throw it. 'Thanks, Jack; Found a use after all.'

A single slice to split the horse along the middle: "Dinner is served."

She tried not to look at the dead figure a few hands away.


Later, back on the trail again, she wondered;thinking back to the first moments of the fight, Gray bolting into the woods, in full attack, how much of his actions had been on good evidence, how much guess? This time he guessed right(thank Gods), but guesses could be wrong. Dangerously wrong. Towns would be new and strange to him, to say the least;maybe the proverbial 'short lead' would have more than asthetic merit, at that...

'Godsdamnit girl, listen to yourself! Just talk to him and trust his good sense to follow your lead. Complicated, right?'

Still, she mused, a lead would certainly...simplify things.

'Yeah;right! Hilarious. You are your mother's daughter, y'know that, girl?'

Save it for later.

They came to a bend in the road, and Gray stopped, gestured with his muzzle.

Rebecca's heart skipped a beat. "What is it, Gray?"

A low growl as he gestures again, more emphatically. Wha-...OH. "Go on ahead? Myself?"

Nod, and a look roughly translatable as 'Gee, ya think, dummy?!'

"Alright, alright, I got it."

She cautiously followed the bend-and froze.

'Lucky, LUCKY Wolf!'

A stallion stood in the road, pure, jet black, in full tack and harness. It could only be one of the mounts from the earlier fight.

There had been four waiting for them in ambush;two in the the road and one to each side. All wearing the exact same mix of plate and chain mail;All-at least that she had seen-riding black and white horses of war, prime chargers. Which didn't make a damn bit of sense;who paid that kind of money for small fish?

It was nervous, and moved farther up the trail a couple of times as she came nearer, clucking and cajoling it, but in the end it let her approach and take the bridle.

Well, okay then;problem solved.

That night:

Rebecca sat, glaring at first the Wolf, then the stallion straining against it's rope, wide-eyed and as far from the Wolf as possible, then back again.

Gods-be-praised she'd had the sense to be on the ground leading it when it first caught sight of the Wolf! She'd had to fight the entire trip to keep it from bolting. With her pack still on her back, naturally, until she could rig the netting of and in said pack into something appropriate for said horse. Her shoulders hurt in new and interesting ways.

The Wolf thought it all about the most hilarious thing imaginable.

She glared;'Lucky Wolf, my ass!'


Last edited by Howellfan on Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:55 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep it coming. I'm curious about where the story will go from here.

Reading through the one section again, I find you're pretty on the mark regarding what the reader needs. It would be hard for a writer to portray the urgency in that manner by following all the rules of grammar.
(Thanks so much for the feedback in my thread!)

I'm guessing your guess is as good as mine...
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the whole run-on sentence thing. It seems like a run-on here or there would do well to convey a sense of rush and urgency, but here I think it is overused.
Styx: "Oh sure like flaming a dragon going to do massive damage, brave challenge there Teric."
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, as I said Teric, in most of my work point taken;I can see it's something I have to work with, and I watch for it in my writing. But in the case of the fight;I've read it over numerous times and it just works for me as a reader. Yes, it's one long sentence, but there's plenty of breaks-commas and asides, one which essentially breaks the sentence into two paragraphs. The whole rythym and flow of it has just the right energy I want in the scene. Just got to trust myself on it. *shrug*

Now, if you're talking the rest of my writing...ehhh, I'm workin' on it, what can I say? Confused
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any time, Onic! Smile

Did you wanna see what happens next? Your wish is my command! Smile


The tavern door opened, two entrants silhouetted in the light of the afternoon sun. Nobody took note of the blond, leather-clad woman who entered first, mid-to-late 20's, average height and hair gathered in a ponytail;female trappers were unusual, but not remarkable.

Everyone turned to look at the beast that came after, behind and close at her side,an enormous canine, coat in rippling shades of white and gray with a predators' gaze.

"~I have lost my damned mind.~" Rebecca muttered through her teeth, twisting the end of the leather lead wrapped around her hand as they approached the bar.

"Haven't seen you through here in a while." said the bartender, smiling.

"'Ey John; how's business?"

He shrugged; "Same as ever, nothing changed;still the crossroads to nowhere."

'If you say so.' , she thought.

"What ya' having?"

"Same as ever;cheap licquor 'n a few days' rest."

"To sleep it off, no doubt. Good thing you like the cheap stuff, 'cause it's all we get here. The usual?"

"You remember?" she said, raising an eyebrow.

"You're hard to forget." He was looking at her companion, then glanced at the window; "Say; that your horse outside?"

"'Aye." She held up her hand. "Don't ask." The horse had finally (finally!) begun to relax around the Wolf;she still wasn't ready to trust it to carry her, though.

"And don't worry 'bout Gray here;" she took a seat and setting down the lead bent over to scratch him behind the ears "He's harmless."

He gave her the price, she paid and he went to get her drink.

"Godsdamn trappers!" Patron on her left. Staring at her. He was big. And drunk.

"How's that?" She asked, not turning to look at him.

"Scrape and bow to the will o' the Gdsdamn frfuckin' Guild is how!"

"Ah" still looking straight ahead "you mean petty little rules like 'don't murder Wise, always act the guest on their land, keep your godsdamn hands off their _persons_', things like that."

"I mean putting thir own people second to a bunch o' frak* BRUTES!" he said standing;she followed. Now she did turn to look at-er, up at him.

"Awh, th'poor mistreated humans. I'm all teared up over it;seriously, I-I think I might need a hug."

"I'll give you huuug!" He made a clumsy swing at her.

She ducked, and in an instant had him over the bar, arm bent behind his back with one hand...and her knife at his throat in the other. He froze.

"Mother never told you it's not nice to hit a lady?" she hissed in his ear.

She stepped back, sheathed her knife-and the asshole swung at her again, a ceramic jug this time. He missed, stumbled away from the counter and suddenly-

"GRAAAAY!!!!" 'Ohshitohshitohshit....'

The Wolf had the man on the ground, was bent over him growling, claws on his chest and teeth bared inches from his throat.

She ran over and bent down by him, heart racing; 'Rot! Uh...Okay; sell it, girl.' She grabbed the leather collar on Gray's neck and yanked. He let himself be pulled(Gods praise!). "NO! GIDOFF HIM!" She snarled the words;grabbed the scruff and shook hard. Lightly smacked the side of his muzzle-solid, but not vicious. Grasped his bottom jaw and locked eyes "NO! LAY DOWN!", giving it a jerk. He lay.

She caught his expression;"Later" she said in his ear as she stood.

"Sorry 'bout that, John. He can be protective."

"Can't say as I'd blame him;" John's voice was loud enough for the whole tavern to hear. "Jackass had it coming!" Judging by the response of the other patrons, many standing now, he wasn't the only one who thought so. She flashed him a grateful look.

Still, his eyes didn't leave the canine.

The man slowly struggled back to his feet;He took a step forward, looked around at the patrons on either side now shifting their attention to him and finally got a clue. He glared at Rebecca and pointed:

"Watch your back, trapper;trails are getting dangrous these days."


And stumbled out the door.

She turned to the bartender;"I should probly leave too;sorry 'bout the fuss."

He grinned;"Guy's been here all day. Trust me;like I said, he has it coming and then some. You not worried about-"

"No." She half-drew the blade at her right hip, motioned to Gray with her other thumb;"Y'think he's that drunk?"

He laughed;"And if he is, what's to worry about anyway? Look, inn's just up the road;you go on ahead, I'll see to the horse."

She smiled;"Thanks, John." 'You have no idea.'

She grabbed her shot off the counter, tilted back and drained it in one swallow, then got her and Gray the rot out of there.

Last edited by Howellfan on Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:10 pm; edited 7 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe there's always some JERK who's not afraid to dump all over you right to your face. It's a good thing that Grey didn't allow himself to get angry, or that guy might've ended up like the stiffs back on the road with their throats ripped out.

Grey trusts her. A lot. If he allows himself to be 'disciplined' like that, knowing that it's all an act, then he must already have quite a bond with her. Very interesting.

Styx: "Oh sure like flaming a dragon going to do massive damage, brave challenge there Teric."
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read it again in a few minutes;I'm goin' right now to change a few things after the 'JERK', as you so eloquently named him, walks out that just didn't click right with 'where' this scene's supposed to be taking place(chicken-spit farming village at the 'crossroads to nowhere', as one character put it-though Rebecca might argue one's definition of 'nowhere'! Smile ).

Not to mention-duhhh-I, err, umm...kiiinda sorta forgot about her horse-still standing out front! DOH!!! Embarassed

EDIT: There now, isn't that better! Smile

EDIT, part deux: Incidentally, there couldn't possibly be any connection between the 'JERK's' parting comment and their little 'incident' on the road earlier, could there? Naaaaaaah.

Not a major plot-point of this still-damn-well-saying-it's-a-short story( Laughing );that's all about our two protagonists. But in a conversation later on it will become part of the context/world in which it takes place.
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