Royal courtroom drama less than 900 words

Discussion in 'Critiques' started by Starchaser3000, Feb 28, 2012.

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  1.  
    Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Science fiction fantasy

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    A very red in the face Redd continued to debate the head sage in front of the emperor upon his elaborate altar/throne of pillows and silk satins. And with all the sages seated in choir like fashion, solemnly and stoically behind him within the highly vaulted background. Dope was handled roughly in being returned back to his properly designated seating in the royal courtroom before the emperor. He now just sat there with arms folded, sunk in chair, and eyes crossed in annoyed anger. The debate was entertaining nonetheless with rude hand gestures from Redd and the head sage rolling his eyes, and then taunting him in return, which would make Redd’s face even more redder. Everyone in the court as of now was not sleeping or idly chatting away with each other. The emperor as always in his subtle gestures of self-grooming, different poses, and occasional looks of wide-eyed interest, intermixed with more relaxed and content demeanors along with occasional loud purring, continued to oversee court procedures. But may a god forbid that the emperor makes direct eye contact with anyone, or else that individual is completely under his mental control that not to many beings can break out of without some type of outside intervention.

    Currently the emperor was pleased, because everyone was paying full attention to the current speech of the head sage defending his good name. “Your blasphemies are an outrage. Have you gone mad?? How dare you continue to mock the benevolence of our perfect emperor!!”

    Redd in a stern rebuttal. “I have always seen him as perfect in certain ways. But when you have a life experience in interacting with those that have suffered under his long tyranny, there just undeniably has to be a change for the better. If the emperor is truly as benevolent as you say, then he should champion social equality for all.”

    The head sage just shook his head in befuddlement. “But that just takes us back to square one of old rhetorical arguments dating back to when I was a valedictorian student, and you were a highly decorated post grad at the academy. Social inequality in a well-organized caste system is proven to allow the rightfully chosen to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. It is by divine right that this is so. The suffering of the average minority with no political sway is a necessity in the all knowing philosophy of our illustrious emperor.”

    The mighty Louie purred loudly, and was then tempted to go into his sphinx pose, in which he finally did. As the head sage was about to continue on his rebuttal, he quickly held up his hand and told Redd to wait. Then he proceeded to pay gratuitous homage to the emperor, and kissed both of his extended paws repeatedly in a noticeably prolonged amount of time. Next, he went back to his standard standing position by the emperor’s side, who then briefly groomed himself. The emperor Louie then casually repositioned himself to lie comfortably on his side, and then finished grooming himself all around his plump and rotund body and face. The emperor was now in a relaxed attentive pose. Now the head sage was about to finally finish his rebuttal, but Redd then rudely interrupted and declared that he ask the emperor to allow him to seek counsel with his partner in crime Dope.

    Dope straightened his posture as Redd sat beside him to address the matter of court litigation at hand. “I think that it would be wise for you to take a side don’t you think??”
    Dope nodded in approval. “OK…I will make it known that I am definitely on your side. Regardless…you know I’m indifferent to your social equality rhetoric. All I know that in the long run….its all about me….and no one else…hmmf.”

    Redd just sat silently and then gave Dope a pat on the back. “But its good to sometimes have friends on your side. You give a little and you get a little back…won’t you agree.” And so Dope then boldly takes a stand to speak his mind. “This is time for my piece of the pie and even the emperor himself is going to LIKE IT!!”

    The whole courtroom is in complete aghast at what was just uttered. It’s as if time just stopped when every noble, sage, and even the guards, and minstrels were like WTF??? But Dope continued on, while the emperor was engaged in wide-eyed attention. “This whole thing is a sham. And even though I have had my disagreements with Redd, I concur that there has to be a change for social equality that calls for the abolishment of slavery. And the ones who are in of the high borne class, including myself, must spread the wealth and help people who really need it!!”

    There were now lots of negative rumbling murmurs within the courtroom, and Dope could see the worried looks on his mother and his three sisters. His older brother and his father had looks of uncertainty and disappointment, along with the rest of the family. Dope looked around the room and felt as if he should have chosen to maybe recant his allegiance to Redd. Then he bit his lip and turned to the stoically solemn congregation of the lower class hooded sages seated directly behind the emperor.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  2.  
    The Judge

    The Judge Truth. Order. Moderation. Staff Member

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    Starchaser, don't forget you need a clear line's space between every paragraph. You're in time for editing, so perhaps you could sort this out to make it easier for potential critiquers.
  3.  
    Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Science fiction fantasy

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    Got it. Sorry about that.
  4.  
    Peter Graham

    Peter Graham New Member

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    I'm afraid that you need to do an awful lot of work on structure. Your sentences are very badly constructed and, consequently, are very hard to follow. I gave up even trying after the third one.

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but you need to go back to basics and learn about the mechanics of a sentence. There's plenty of books or courses available and you'll find them invaluable.

    Regards,

    Peter
  5.  
    Bowler1

    Bowler1 Senile Member

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    Sorry Starchaser but it was very difficult. It might seem like a silly question but were you trying for an off beat, novel alien pitch? If not, then you may have some work ahead of you.
  6.  
    Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Science fiction fantasy

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    So you did not find my dialogue intellectually riveting with all the big fancy words I used??:confused:
  7.  
    ctg

    ctg weaver of the unseen

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    It's not because you were using big words, but like Peter I started to get lost at the beginning because there's too much of description. It almost borders purple prose. And as a reader you're asking me too much. I want to be clearer; much, much clearer. So you need to go back to the beginning and rewrite the whole thing.
  8.  
    Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Science fiction fantasy

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    Yeah that first paragraph was bad. Let me fix it better.

    A very red in the face Redd continued to debate the head sage in front of the emperor upon his elaborate altar/throne of pillows and silk satins. There the minor sages seated in choir like fashion, watched solemnly and stoically behind the ruler's throne within the highly vaulted background. In the meantime, Dope was handled roughly in being returned back to his properly designated seating in the royal courtroom before the emperor. He now just sat there with arms folded, sunk in chair, and eyes crossed in annoyed anger. The debate was entertaining nonetheless with rude hand gestures from Redd and the head sage rolling his eyes, and then taunting him in return, which would make Redd’s face even more redder. Everyone in the court as of now was not sleeping or idly chatting away with each other. The emperor as always in his subtle gestures of self-grooming, different poses, and occasional looks of wide-eyed interest, with a relaxed demeanor accompanied with loud purring, continued to oversee court procedures. But may a god forbid that the emperor makes direct eye contact with anyone, or else that individual is completely under his mental control that not to many beings can break out of without some type of outside intervention.

    Is that at least a LITTLE better? I believe I got the subjects, predicates, and commas in the right place.
  9.  
    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    I also found it difficult to read and didn't finish. It kinda doesn't read like a story. It reads like you're sitting somewhere taking notes of what's going on, if that makes sense.

    It's not in anybody's POV is it? (I don't know all the technical terms for the different POVs like others here, but I know how they work).
  10.  
    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    It's better, but most of the sentences are too involved and hard to read. I also think it's still over-written.

    Whether something is intellectually riveting depends on the content, not on the "big fancy words." Prose (including dialogue) that is intellectually stimulating may or may not be about concepts that can't be expressed in simple language.

    So the answer to your question is "no."
  11.  
    Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Science fiction fantasy

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    Your right on point there. I'm trying to make the mood of prose in this particular scene like its a chronicled event. But as others pointed out, I see that I can eliminate some description to make it easier to read. I love being descriptive with colorful adjectives and adverbs. Yet I see the need to do this in more moderation. Then I am sure people could easily comprehend the political and social issues being discussed partially in this scene. If you read some of the dialogue aloud in an English accent, IMO it sounds like it could be on the Game of Thrones TV series.:):p:D
  12.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    Well I read it aloud in an Irish accent - I even tried to do a rewrite and see if I could grasp it, and I stuggled. And GOT seems to have a fair lot of northern english accents, which I am very well used to.

    The extract seems to me to be really hard to follow, and to have too many words that aren't needed to tell me the scene. so eg.

    I'd have (and I am an amateur writer like you, and if you hate it, that's fine);

    The emperor, as always, was subtle in his gestures. (except the ones listed aren't subtle, they're very overt.) He used different poses and occasional wide-eyed interest to oversee the proceedings. Of course, an emperor couldn't make direct eye contact - it would bring the individual under his mental control. So much so, they would need direct intervention to break out of it.

    Still clumsy, but it's a first draft. I'd then take this and rewrite it a lot. (I'm hoping it will fall, at the moment I'm down to about 5 before I'm generally happy; it used to take at least 10 with weeks between them.)

    If, as it seems from this post, you're serious about writing, I think, in my opinion, and it's very uneducated, that you need to go back to the basics about how to bring a scene along, about the sort of language to use, what to show and what to tell, when to show it. I'd suggest you go in and do detailled critiques of others in this thread not overviews, but line by line this works, and this doesn't, and this is why (even down to commas, we're all obsessed with commas) and spend some time doing it.

    I didn't intend to respond to this thread as I think you have pretty much ignored anything I, and anyone else, has put forward in other threads, but if you're serious, then it's the basics you need to look at, like all of us. Once you have them, you can go and be as creative and retro as you like; until then, it doesn't have any impact, and I suspect, like all of us, you want it to have impact.

    Good luck.

    ps please don't come back and tell me I got the gist of your tale, or what you intended; what I'm saying, and I'll be very clear, is I didn't, because your writing woudln't let me. Sorry.
  13.  
    Peter Graham

    Peter Graham New Member

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    You might want to get used to writing little, simple sentences before you start worrying about big fancy words.

    But to answer your question in the spirit which it was not asked - no. It wasn't rivetting at all. You struggle with the basics of sentence construction. Once you've got that sorted - and it can be learned - you can move on to imagery, narrative voice and characterisation. The second attempt was better, but only marginally.

    Regards

    Peter
  14.  
    Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Science fiction fantasy

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    Aww..so my writing is not as exquisitely compelling or intriguing as Martin's?:eek: But I see what you mean Peter. The basic gist of this scene is that I'm trying to make fun of the plot heavy scenes that I have seen in Game of Thrones and other TV/theater based fiction/fantasy movies in the past where nothing happens because its nothing but a bunch of blah, blah, blah, dialogue of characters constantly interacting back and forth with long winded speeches. I do this only differently in which the ruler/king is a spoiled cat instead of some actor that talks like a Shakespear acting reject. So your advice on improving the sentence structure will help me do this.

    Right, improvement on subject/predicate sentence structure and cutting down over descriptive sentences. Well at least there was no major errors in punctuation, spelling, or misplaced periods which I fear the most on being critiqued. Yet I am sure that despite the over description that may have made it "difficult" to read, everyone could generally understand what was going on with the given dialogue and character interaction. I mean even my teenage cousins were able to easily understand and comprehend what this scene was about with little or no problem.
  15.  
    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    Starchaser, it needs a lot of work. I'll just try the first part of the first paragraph. I don't normally rewrite other people's work, but I'm hoping it will help you.

    As always, anything I've done here is just my opinion.

    He should be able to debate the Head Sage without blushing, but Redd felt his face turning the very colour that had earned him that hated nickname at university. Behind the Head Sage, Redd could see the Emperor lounging upon his elaborate altar/throne of down pillows covered in silks. The Emperor was framed by the choir of solemn and stoic sages, who were seated within the highly vaulted background.
    The debate was interrupted by Dope, who had well and truly earned the name the Emperor had thrust upon him. Dope wasn't smart enough to sit down and shut up and let Redd argue for their very lives...
  16.  
    Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Science fiction fantasy

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    I don't capitalize characters emperor, head sage, chamberlain, and chieftain on purpose. Please don't make me explain why. With that said, your rewrite of my first paragraph was beneficial. Hopefully with your help and others I won't have to pay an editor a hefty fee to make my work more readable.
  17.  
    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    Okay, I won't ask. :)

    Glad it helps.
  18.  
    Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Science fiction fantasy

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    Oh yeah in regards to the character Dope. The name does not fit the character. He is a young, handsome, and well educated nobleman who is a womanizing playboy that finds true love with a low class common slave. And the scene before explains WHY Dope was not in his designated seat. The absurd names or lack thereof of my characters is my own artistic expression of refusing to give them generic long winded fantasy/fiction names like Armatheion, Tritariousenadal, Praetonicus, or something of that nature.
  19.  
    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    That's cool. I hate fantasy names that are so long and twisted that I couldn't pronounce them.

    But I think your readers will want to know why that's his name. Most parents aren't quite cruel enough to name their child Dope.
  20.  
    Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Science fiction fantasy

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    LOL!! Well if I ever develop a following one day, I will write a prequel novel that will explain this if it really is that important. Until then, my explanation is that it is within the context of parody/satire.;)
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