Revenge

Discussion in 'Critiques' started by svalbard, Jun 9, 2011.

  1.  
    svalbard

    svalbard New Member

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    A short action piece from the second book in my WIP. It is pretty raw and I would appreciate suggestions for it.

    “Give me a good reason why I should not kill you?” The question was spoken without any emotion in the voice. It was that lack which frightened Greb Jordan. He stood in the center of the tavern drenched from the storm and had being in the process of removing his cloak when the hooded man at the tavern’s counter spoke. Jordan knew that voice. He had heard it bawl out commands on the battlefield many times in the past. Ragnar ‘Toothless’ stepped away from the counter, pushing his hood back. Dark eyes bore into those of Jordan’s.

    “My Lord?” asked one of Jordan’s men. Greb looked about at the empty tavern. Ragnar was alone and he had ten men with him. He should have known that Ranald would send an assassin after him. The Earl did not lack courage, but he would be damned if he died in a duel with a Weapons-Master. Backing away from Ragnar he indicated for his men to step forward. Swords were drawn and Greb saw a flicker of a smile on Ragnar’s face. At that moment Greb felt his bowels loosen and the heady aroma of **** filled the tavern. Ragnar sniffed at the air and laughed.

    “So many…” the Weapons-Master said, producing two long daggers from the folds of his cloak. “I much prefer these in confined spaces.”

    Jordan was sweating now, the cold and wet of the night forgotten. A thought crept into his head, a brief regret for his betrayal of Prince Thrand. “Kill him!” the Earl suddenly shouted. He had a glimpse of his men rushing forward and Ragnar falling into a fighting crouch, before he turned and fled. The wind screamed into his face as he burst out into the muddy courtyard. Turning left he bolted for the stables, a mere ten yards away. The doors were open and he found the two men he had left to care for the mounts.

    “Saddle my horse, any horse!” he roared, the fear rising up to be replaced with hysteria.

    Mutely one of the men pointed to a horse that was still saddled. Jordan rushed for it.

    “What the …” the other soldier said and Greb heard swords being drawn. He reached the horse and placed his hand on its back, ready to vault into the saddle. Screams echoed behind him and suddenly he was falling back from the horse. Searing pain engulfed him as he fell to the ground and the last thing he saw was the smiling face of Ragnar ‘Toothless’ leering down at him.
  2.  
    Christian Nash

    Christian Nash ---- Never Give Up ----

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    Granted i dont know the character, so some of my points might not be vaild. But i try to apply logic where i dont know the back story.

    I have tried to be picky for you because i know from people posting on mine that its that style of feedback that i gain most from. I hope you can do the same.

    I liked it over all, and it fits in as a fantasy easily.


    Hope i have been of some help and feel free to use / discard as you see fit.

    Christian.

    Edit - its late and will provide better advice if needed, just re read over it and i can see the tired, sleepy replies ive put. Makes sense still, just. If you want more, just let me know.
  3.  
    Boneman

    Boneman Active Member

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    Hi Svalbard, good to see some more of your work. I'll admit to real confusion with the use of names- sometimes Greb, sometimes Jordan, and then the Earl. Stick with Greb, or Jordan, I had to re-read it to understand. And the close proximity of Ranal and Ragnar made me uncertain too Here's my sixpennyworth...


    And that's it. We know what's gone on because the 'bad' guy's got him. And I'm not sure you need the 'toothless' either. You had it earlier... Hope this helps.
  4.  
    terryweide

    terryweide Smarter Than I Look

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    I think you have established a good mood and tone. It's easy to envision the setting and the action. Both Christian and Boneman have given you detailed critiques, so I'm just going to touch on a few things.

    On the sentence,

    The question was spoken without any emotion in the voice.

    I agree with Christian. You don't need "in the voice," because if it's spoken, it has to be voiced.

    This sentence,

    He stood in the center of the tavern drenched from the storm and had being in the process of removing his cloak when the hooded man at the tavern’s counter spoke.

    is too long and needs to be broken into two. Also,

    He stood in the center of the tavern drenched from the storm...

    is what's known as dangling modification. It's hard to tell if it's Greb Jordan or the tavern that's drenched. That should be tigthened. On a similar note, in a section this short, I'd refer to this character by one name, either Greb or Jordan. I had to remind myself that this was one person, not two different characters.

    I'm also not sure what I'm supposed to make of Greb Jordan's character. At one point you say the Earl (meaning Jordan) did not lack courage, but his bowels loosen at the start of a fight, he has his men fight for him, he runs for a horse while they do the fighting, and apparently he has betrayed his prince for which he has only brief regret.

    This is not exactly a sympathetic character. If your intention is to make the reader dislike Greb, you have succeeded in that. If the reader is supposed to identify with Greb, then I'd like to see him actually do something courageous. He can't both possess courage and then be filled with fear rising to hysteria as he runs away.

    What you have here is a good scene and a good idea. I'd edit it for wordiness, clarity, and for characterization. Greb either needs to be a hero or a coward, right he's leaning towards the latter. I don't think he can be both simultaneously.

    I hope this is useful and I wish you good luck with your story.
  5.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    Usual things

    Remove
    Suggest
    Comment

    Only opinions.

    Obviously, as Christian (Liked the crit by the way) has pointed out, there are parts when who's who and who's with who is confusing.


    OK, some long comments there. I think it has some potential although I would let Jordans men show their disgust at Jordon doing a runner. They don't have to die. It would be nice to expand on just what killed him too. A thrown dagger or something of the kind. The old looking down he saw the dagger protruding from his chest - line, would do any harm.

    The atmosphere seemed to hold my attention. You painted quite a good scene and with few words. I liked it on the whole given the above.

    Hope I helped

    TEiN
  6.  
    svalbard

    svalbard New Member

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    Hello Folks,

    I appreciate the detailed critiques. A common theme seems to be the confusion with names. This will be easily fixed. When writing I thought the part with Jordan 'pooing' himself was good and a indicator of Ragnar's reputation, not Jordan's cowardice. Which he is not. Now looking at it I see that I was wrong. Again you all picked up on this.

    Good suggestions on tightening up the prose which I will take on board. TEIN, Ragnar is not an assassin, but a famed warrior. He doesn't do hiding. I must bring a from of logic to this to make his actions realistic. In the greater context of the series I hope I do. I also wanted a Sergio Leone moment in the book.

    Christian,

    Thanks for the detail in your critique. There was nothing tired about them.

    Boneman,

    Good critique. I will cut out the 'pooing' :) It does not work and does not fit with Greb Jordan's character.

    Terry,

    Much appreciated. There is nothing sympathetic about Greb Jordan. He is a grasping nobleman who caught onto more than he could hold.

    Thanks again for the effort put in.
  7.  
    Damiynn

    Damiynn Fantasy Author

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    LOL I had every intention, of critiquing this and to my woe, I found out that everyone else had already hit pretty much on the same things I was going to, but still I am just going to give it a quickie.


    “Give me a good reason why I should not kill you?” The question was spoken without any emotion in the voice. It was that lack which frightened Greb Jordan. He stood in the center of the tavern drenched from the storm and had being in the process of removing his cloak when the hooded man at the tavern’s counter spoke. Jordan knew that voice. He had heard it bawl out commands on the battlefield many times in the past. Ragnar ‘Toothless’ stepped away from the counter, pushing his hood back. Dark eyes bore into those of Jordan’s.

    “Give me a good reason why I should not kill you?” He spoke the question without any emotion in his voice. It was that lack which frightened Greb Jordan. Standing in the center of the tavern drenched from the storm, he had been removing his cloak when the hooded man at the counter spoke. Jordan knew that voice. He had heard it (bawling) out commands on the battlefield many times in the past.

    Ragnar ‘Toothless’ stepped away from the counter, pushing his hood back, his dark eyes boring into Jordan’s.

    (I hope you didn't mind, and it's a short piece so I worked with it a little to offer another view for you to read)

    “My Lord?” asked one of Jordan’s men. Greb looked about at the empty tavern. Ragnar was alone and he had ten men with him. He should have known that Ranald would send an assassin after him. The Earl did not lack courage, but he would be damned if he died in a duel with a Weapons-Master. Backing away from Ragnar he indicated for his men to step forward. Swords were drawn and Greb saw a flicker of a smile on Ragnar’s face. At that moment Greb felt his bowels loosen and the heady aroma of **** filled the tavern. Ragnar sniffed at the air and laughed.

    “My Lord?” asked one of Jordan’s men as he looked about at the empty tavern. Ragnar was alone and he had ten men with him.
    He should have known that Ranald would send an assassin after him. The Earl did not lack courage, but he would be damned if he died in a duel with (could it be his)a Weapons-Master.
    Backing away from Ragnar he indicated for his men to step forward. Swords were drawn and Greb saw a flicker of a smile on Ragnar’s face. He felt his bowels loosen and the heady aroma of **** filled the tavern. Ragnar sniffed at the air and laughed.

    (again I redid it slightly.)

    “So many…” the Weapons-Master said, producing two long daggers from the folds of his cloak. “I much prefer these in confined spaces.”

    “So many…” the Weapons-Master said with with a deadly smile, producing two long daggers from the folds of his cloak. “I much prefer these in confined spaces.”

    Jordan was sweating now, the cold and wet of the night forgotten. A thought crept into his head, a brief regret for his betrayal of Prince Thrand. “Kill him!” the Earl suddenly shouted. He had a glimpse of his men rushing forward and Ragnar falling into a fighting crouch, before he turned and fled. The wind screamed into his face as he burst out into the muddy courtyard. Turning left he bolted for the stables, a mere ten yards away. The doors were open and he found the two men he had left to care for the mounts.

    Jordan started sweating, the cold, wet night forgotten. A thought crept into his head, a brief regret for his betrayal of Prince Thrand.
    "Kill him!" (I would leave out Earl cause it makes me think for a moment another man is in the room). Glimpsing his men rushing forward and Ragnar falling into a fighting crouch, he turned and fled. (I like the rest of this paragraph.)


    “Saddle my horse, any horse!” he roared, the fear rising up to be replaced with hysteria.(he roared, his rising fear, now replaced with hysteria)

    Mutely one of the men pointed to a horse that was still saddled. Jordan rushed for it.

    “What the …” the other soldier said and Greb heard swords being drawn. He reached the horse and placed his hand on its back, ready to vault into the saddle. Screams echoed behind him and suddenly he was falling back from the horse. Searing pain engulfed him as he fell to the ground and the last thing he saw was the smiling face of Ragnar ‘Toothless’ leering down at him.

    Love the last part, Hope you see what I did.
  8.  
    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    In which case :-

    You should then develop it along the lines of accusing/confronting Ragnor with the fact that his presence belittled his reputation whilst somehow not provoking a fight at the insult. they both need to leave this tavern with their heads held high and a measure of mutual respect if not friendship. (I assume)

    One way would be to have our hero explain that he couldn't understand why he would do Ranald's bidding . Then have Ragnor query this along the lines of'

    "You speak of Ranald. I know nothing of this. Your death today will be because of your foul mouth and it's mention of my sister's good name. Draw and defend yourself, you pig's turd"

    "Your sister!"

    ....
  9.  
    Jake Reynolds

    Jake Reynolds Wordslinger

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    As well as the above comments, I'd query the motivations. If Greb is an abject coward, he'd likely be made braver with ten men around him, famed warrior or not. This is a convention that we see all too often, and I blame hollywood. No swordsman can best ten men in close quarters. If he has a means of reducing how many he faces at once (such as a doorway) or if he has room to move then he may stand a chance, but in the common room of an inn he's toast, no matter what his skill (assuming, of course, he has no supernatural assistance).

    I'd reduce the number of men with Jordan to five, much more realistic.

    Finally, if Jordan had a pants related 'accident' such as you described, it adds a new dimension to what might happen if he were to, say, vault onto a horse.
  10.  
    svalbard

    svalbard New Member

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    I see so many difficulties with the passage now. A big glaring one for me was that when I went over other areas of the story, Ragnar is not even there. He is elsewhere. That is a massive mistake on my part. I am having a big re-think on this at the moment. The scene will stay, but it will be a different assassin.

    I tend to agree with you on realism, Dubrech. But because it is fantasy I believe there is always room for manouvre. As long as it is not constantly overdone.

    TEIN,

    Your advice on how the scene could work will fit nicely with the character I am introducing as the assassin.
  11.  
    TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Ninja agent Staff Member

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    So it turns out that Ragnar had an alibi? :D

    I was too late for this one -- everybody else has already covered it.

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