The Dark Legion (Opening) - Critique all you want

Discussion in 'Critiques' started by AlexM, May 17, 2008.

  1.  
    AlexM

    AlexM Trying to Write

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    Hey guys I had some spare time last night so I put this together, hope you like it. I know some names might be a pit corny but I didn't have much time ;) Critique all you want, it'll help out

    The smell of death filled the air. Another scout of the Jerane Kingdom died before his companion’s blade. Their lair was the only place that the Jerane Kingdom did not control in the southern land.




    “How did he find us Naemus?” asked Babarus, a rather tall man revealed himself out of the darkness. His clothes were identical to Babarus’; he wore a thick black cloak and a hood which darkened out his face. He pulled down his hood to reveal a man that did not look a day over 25. He had brown hair and hazel eyes which could draw a man into if he looked long enough.





    “That does not concern us Babarus; the Dark Legion remains safe and so shall it. We may have to cover our surroundings though, the light we need to use can reveal our position to travellers miles away” replied Naemus, he gazed upon Babarus seeing how he would reply.




    “Very well, I shall inform Zeresis of this, be gone and guard well” ordered Babarus, they saluted each other and parted to attend to their duties.



    The Dark Legion is a group of warlocks and assassins that used to live in peace but when the church took a place in the politics of the world they were banished from the land and hunted down like a pack of dogs accused of hierarchy. Only 17 of them remained, and their means of survival relied in the fall of the church and their king. But with only 17 they stood no chance, their only hope was surviving and making sure none of their scouts located their home.




    “Zeresis, another scout has tracked us down, this is the fifth this month, what should we do!?” demanded Babarus, he was filled with anger. He could not bare another of his brothers to fall.




    “We will remain here, we are close to farms to feed off and we have a stream in this cavern to supply us with water, this is our home! Just because a few scouts come does not mean we have to move, we were here before them, this is our land!” yelled Zeresis, he looked even angrier than Babarus.



    Cheers,



    Alex
  2.  
    Precise Calibre

    Precise Calibre Storywright

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    448
    I'm about to offer some blunt suggestions regarding your piece here, but it is not meant to be hostile. If you do a little editting and perhaps smooth some things out, I'd be very interested in seeing this progress much further.

    It's very compact and clipped, I didn't get into the mood of anything at all; it seemed very matter-of-fact. The entire thing could possibly be expanded to allow some character development while also allowing you to put forth information without it seeming like a play script.

    ---

    The first lines

    "The smell of death filled the air. Another scout of the Jerane Kingdom died before his companion’s blade. Their lair was the only place that the Jerane Kingdom did not control in the southern land."

    These lines do not hook me at all. Your first line not only sounds like a phrase I hear often enough in war-torn worlds, it also fails to make sense in the continuity of things; why is there a smell of death if someone has just been killed? People don't usually "smell of death" until some time after they die. The second line is the equally confusing. How are the two mentioned companions? From the later portion of the story, I'm under the impression that their "companionship" is only due to the fact that they were from the same loyalty before the group was branded evil by the church. Perhaps they were former allies? The flow is further disturbed by an information note that is not linked to any particular group or person. Who's lair is this? And why do we care right after someone has been killed?

    ---

    "The Dark Legion is a group of warlocks and assassins that used to live in peace but when the church took a place in the politics of the world they were banished from the land and hunted down like a pack of dogs accused of hierarchy. Only 17 of them remained, and their means of survival relied in the fall of the church and their king. But with only 17 they stood no chance, their only hope was surviving and making sure none of their scouts located their home."

    This is an info-dump, at least to a degree. These elements and facts could all be brought out within the narrative through more subtle means than simply stating the situation.

    Assassins and Warlocks; roles generally involving an ideal of combat, subterfuge, magical prowess and ruthlessness, living in peace? The image doesn't hash, at least not in my mind.

    Do you perhaps mean "heresy"?

    Type out numbers that are less than three digits I believe is the rule of thumb.

    ---

    Again, I apologize if I come across as too blunt, but I don't usually respond unless I actually want to help.
  3.  
    AlexM

    AlexM Trying to Write

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    HERESY! thank you, i was hoping someone would finally tell me ;P

    And i thought you spell the third less than 10 and after it you write them as numbers?

    And thanks for it, i needed some help I guess but this wasn't the final copy and I'll try and work with your suggestions and the next time i post it I hope i've used what you've said well.

    [FONT=&quot]

    How about that for an opening?
    [/FONT]
    Cheers,

    Alex
  4.  
    AlexM

    AlexM Trying to Write

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    Well this is another question I figured I should add, but in a new post.

    - Am I still info-dumping?
  5.  
    Precise Calibre

    Precise Calibre Storywright

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    448
    A little bit better. You might try expanding that entry and perhaps adding some more description to it. Also, you don't have to simply state things so plainly. Some bits of info can be introduced via dialog or through other entries earlier or later in the story.

    As an example: You could allude to their desperate situation in the conversation, then bring the total picture into view as the story progresses. The reader doesn't have to know everything at once unless it's absolutely vital.

    On numbers; I was always taught to type numbers out unless they were larger than ninety-nine. And to me, as a fiction piece or narrative goes, I believe it keeps the flow going. It's not a technical document after-all. Someone with more knowledge will probably over-ride me though.
  6.  
    AlexM

    AlexM Trying to Write

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    Alright, i'll take you on this one and write them as numbers unless consistently told otherwise. I think I may have been able to spread it out a bit and written more since then, though it is about twice the size and not sure if i should post it...
  7.  
    AlexM

    AlexM Trying to Write

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    Just to get the plot thickening here is my 2nd attempt at the first page. If something is wrong state it so I can try and fix it :) though I don't think I have with your advice Precise but I tried.

    --

    A scream ripped through the air which could have easily given away their position. Another scout of the Jerane kingdom died. Their lair was still safe, for now. For centuries they have been hunted down like a pack of dogs accused of heresy by the church that now controlled the politics and soon everything of the southern land, but only now were they starting to be uncovered.


    “How did he find us Naemus?” asked Babarus, a rather tall man revealed himself out of the darkness. His clothes were identical to Babarus’; he wore a thick black cloak and a hood which darkened out his face. He pulled down his hood to reveal a man that did not look a day over twenty five. He had brown hair and hazel eyes which could make you get lost in.


    “That does not concern us Babarus; the Dark Legion remains safe and so shall it. We may have to cover our surroundings though, the light we need to use can reveal our position to travellers miles away” replied Naemus, he gazed upon Babarus seeing how he would reply.


    “Very well, I shall inform Zeresis of this, be gone and guard well” ordered Babarus, they saluted each other and parted to attend to their duties.


    “Zeresis, another scout has tracked us down, this is the fifth this month, what should we do!?” demanded Babarus, he was filled with anger. He could not bare another of his brothers to fall.


    “We will remain here, we are close to farms to feed off and we have a stream in this cavern to supply us with water, this is our home! Just because a few scouts come does not mean we have to move, we were here before them, this is our land!” yelled Zeresis, he looked even angrier than Babarus.


    “I do not wish to oppose you, but I sense that they are getting close, if we want to survive we should leave now!”
    Zeresis lifted his hand up and began to clench it, his eyes turned green. Babarus felt his neck begin to close, as if he was being choked. As Zeresis’ hand rose up into the air so did Babarus, was he going to get killed over his intuition?


    “Zeresis, we have to flee, they’ve found us!” yelled another member who still wore the same clothes as the rest. Babarus fell to the ground, he felt his elbow graze but it did not concern him, he rose to his feet and drew his sword ready for combat. He gave a disgusted look to Zeresis, the presence of the men lurking outside their cavern ready to attack felt warmer than a hot summer’s day to Babarus, but why hadn’t Zeresis known, was his age getting the better of him? He ran over to


    “We must not let them destroy us, there are only seventeen left of us, quick tell the men to get to their positions, we can defeat them if we stick to tactics, I feel they out number us” ordered Babarus, he looked into the other man’s eyes to see if he would comply with the orders, he saw trust and walked over towards Zeresis.


    “You are getting weak old man, if you survive tonight you might not tomorrow” hissed Babarus, he disappeared into the shadows leaving Zeresis there with his jaw dropped. Babarus began to question himself, should he have threatened their leader? The lust for power and wealth took over him, how could they get stronger with him holding them back!? He climbed up onto a wooden ledge he constructed below the ceiling and hid himself ready to slay those who dared walk past.
    [FONT=&quot]

    It was dead silent and dark without the moon’s light, where was the enemy? He wondered. He heard a feint footstep. And another followed. How could they be that silent? Were they wearing armour? A group of five men came into view, their tabards were white with a gold cross in the middle, he could see no armour but focused more on what part of their bodies he should attack.
    [/FONT]
  8.  
    MetalJon

    MetalJon Sword and Sauce-ery

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Hi - I like the opener! I just think this sentence is a little long a could perhaps be broken down a little:

    For centuries they have been hunted down like a pack of dogs accused of heresy by the church that now controlled the politics and soon everything of the southern land, but only now were they starting to be uncovered.

    How about something like:

    Accused of heresy by the church, who's iron grip controlled almost all of the southern land, they had been hunted down like a pack of dogs. However, only now had they been uncovered.

    How about that?
  9.  
    AlexM

    AlexM Trying to Write

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    oh that is great, can I use that? xD
  10.  
    RcGrant

    RcGrant Loves semi-colons

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    335


    The first line doesn't hook me. It's still cliched. Screams. Air ripping. Yeah. I'd scrap it. Even starting on the second line is better, although I'd be inclined to think of a gripping first line.

    As stated by MetalJon, the last line of this part needs work.


    is Barbarus the tall man? If so, then it should be 'asked Babarus, who was a rather tall man...' Or is Naemus the tall man? In which case it needs to be a new sentence. Confusing.

    If someone's name ends in s, and in the sentence you need to use an apostrophe to indicate possession, then you add another s. Therefore: his clothes were identical to Barbarus's

    Describing someone as not looking a day over twenty five is rather weak. Whose definition of twenty five are we using? The getting-lost-in-eyes line is a cliche too.


    So shall it?

    ...miles away," replied Naemus. He gazed upon Babarus to see how he would reply. - this is now techinically correct, but the description about the gazing is redundant. What does it add to the scene?



    Full stop after 'this'.
    Full stop after Babarus.

    What duties? Show us, don't tell us.


    You keep making the same mistake with your description surrounding dialogue. Full stop after Babarus.

    Full stop after down.
    bear


    Maybe have another look at the rules of punctuation? Familiarise yourself in the areas of the comma, the semi-colon, and dialogue punctuation.

    Redone:

    "We will remain here because we are close to farms to feed off, and we have a stream in this cavern to supply us with water. This is our home! Just because a few scouts come does not mean we have to move. We were here before them, this is our land!" yelled Zeresis, who looked even angrier than Babarus.


    He has magical colour-changing eyes?
    Throat begin to close?
    Zeresis's
    Barbarus rose in the air, or his hand?
    Full stop after Babarus. Or semi-colon, if you want to shift emphasis.

    Do we need to know the other member is wearing the same clothes?
    Redo: Barbarus fell to the ground. He felt his elbow graze but it did not concern him. He rose to his feet and drew his sword for combat.
    The last sentence of this is just one long run-on. It needs to be looked at.

    I'm assuming you missed a bit when you pasted?


    Again, you've not used the correct punctuation.
    This whole part of speech seems to jump to being about the enemy, and then back to the original group, then back to the enemy again.


    comma after weak.
    full stop after man.
    comma after tomorrow.
    full stop after Babarus.
    I'd be reluctant to use a question mark and exclaimation at the end of the same sentence.

    [FONT=&quot]

    [/FONT]Dead silent? Cliche again.
    Without moonlight it generally is dark, so do we need to be told this too?
    Who wondered?
    faint
    Silent or faint? You can't have some noise and no noise at the same time.


    In conclusion, I think you have a strong imagination, and if you persist in getting your tools polished then your finished product will be much stronger for it. :)

    Keep at it!
    Last edited: May 18, 2008
  11.  
    AlexM

    AlexM Trying to Write

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    Thank you for picking up on a lot of my mistakes, when I have some spare time I will go back over but I have put this on hold for a bit until I finish ASOIAF :D

    Cheers,

    Alex
  12.  
    AlexM

    AlexM Trying to Write

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    Alright I got bored and fixed it up, once again I really appreciate you taking the time to go over my work, though I will try to make less mistakes next time.

    Cheers,

    Alex
  13.  
    MetalJon

    MetalJon Sword and Sauce-ery

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Of course you can use it - help yourself!
  14.  
    AlexM

    AlexM Trying to Write

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    - Oh by the way, I bring this in a few paragraphs later. To use magic you must look inside of yourself and discover what your true color is, and supposeably the color fills your eyes when you cast the spell.

Share This Page