General Segment for an Attempt to Write Better

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Who Walks Through Walls
May 14, 2005
I like cats, knives, cuddling, and expolsives. No
Okay, I wrote this almost a year ago. The story prior to this segment is three women, a bard, a warrior, and a mage are traveling around together, searching for treasure and things to bash and burn and they come to this fortified city with an interesting cast of characters stolen from everywhere. I have no intention of publishing this section, but I tend to describe things a lot without giving names and hoping the audience draws its own conculsions. So in the spirit of generally trying to improve my writing skills-I present it here for you to guess the characters that appear and tell me how I can improve descriptions so that the audience "gets it" and finds the literary Easter egg.

Kimeria watched people walking by. Most of them seemed to be some kind of warrior or another—there were knights in armor plate and chain mail—one of them had a broken nose; women in breastplates and a little bit of leather—they had to be cold; a man with sandy-blonde hair and a cloaked woman who was actually smaller than Auttya; a man in a long black coat and hat—he was walking with a Christian monk of some kind; a man in a bright red coat and yellow sunglasses with rather wild hair; a small, blonde man with hair in his face—he was limping slightly; there was a kid in an orange-yellow coat with a black bird that looked entirely too intelligent to be simply a pet; another knight in black armor with a hawk on his arm and a sprightly boy leading a big black horse near him. “I’m surprised this place hasn’t broken out in a fight yet,” Kimeria said to Auttya, who was digging in the packs. Auttya gave a grunt and shrug in reply. After another moment Kimeria asked her, “Doesn’t it surprise you that nobody notices the fact that we have a giant scorpion with us?”
Auttya sighed and took a swig out of a wineskin and handed it to Kimeria. As she was drinking, Auttya climbed up and sat on the spilt rail fence outside the inn. “Kimeria,” she said, “look across the street and tell me what you see.”
“There are four men standing in an alcove,” Kimeria said, not seeing the point. “One of them is smoking, he’s wearing a robe, he looks extremely sour, and he is being beset by a boy of your height with brown hair.”
“What about to other two?” Kimeria gave her a Look. “Humor me; I’m trying to prove a point.”
“One’s red haired and the other has a monocle and is smiling. The smiling one has a small dragon on his shoulder.”
“Now look down the street,” Kimeria obediently looked. “You see the giant suit of armor standing just inside the alley?”
Kimeria saw, “Whoa! I…wha…uh…ooookay.”
“Don’t feel bad, I missed it too.” Auttya gave a racking cough, “The first thing I saw was the shivering kid in red beside it.”
“Why are you having me do this?”
“Just humor me; I’m trying to prove a point.”
In proving Auttya’s point, they picked out a double-headed dragon arguing over a map, a man with ears sticking out of his white hair, and a young Chinese man arguing with a red lizard on his shoulder.
“I think it’s a dragon,” Kimeria said when Auttya pointed it out.
“Dragon—lizard, it doesn’t matter.” Auttya coughed again. “My point is who is going to notice our scorpion?”
“Good point.”

Improve descriptions by telling what impression they give.
Improve descriptions by giving in some more details and others less detail.

a man in a long black coat and hat—he was walking with a Christian monk of some kind; a man in a bright red coat and yellow sunglasses with rather wild hair;

A man wearing a long black coat and perfectly matching hat of the same colour, he was accompagnied by a monk. Probably Christian, Kimeria judged by the huge glimmering silver cross that hung at his golden necklace. Another man passed, but he wasn't weird enough to look up to.

If you make all people somehow weird and well describe them the same way, you'll give the impression that you are taking a long time just to say: "there were a lot of weird people". While if you describe some deeply and leave the others to be normal people, the reader will feel like these things are important for the story and remember and be interested. Well that's only my view ofcourse.

I didn't get the easter egg I'm affraid, well maybe I just haven't read/seen the thing it's based upon.:p
you know this could be an interesting game of spot the character:)

i saw sparhawk, and vash the stampede, but i am probably wrong on both counts!!!
Very capably written, I thought. I like the tone, jokey without being entirely farcical - more wry than anything. I agree with Scalem, cut back on some of the description. Give an impression rather than a list of concrete facts. Some bits I feel can be trimmed down - 'armour plat eand chain mail' to 'plate and mail' for instance. Also, there was a bit of repetition I felt disrupted the flow a bit - Auttya's lines, 'Humour me, I'm trying to prove a point.' Could be reworded second time around.

Oh, and I missed the eggs, too....
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