Author Topic: May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?  (Read 1248 times)

Legend of the Past

  • Errare Explorer (+1500)
  • *
  • Posts: 1679
    • View Profile
May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?
« on: September 18, 2006, 12:58:24 pm »
Well, I'm writing a story of mine, and have been somewhat uncertain on where to put. ZeaLitY suggested putting it here (as it's not Chrono fanfiction or anything of that effect) so here it is. I'd like to know what you think, so do reply with suggestions for imporvement or any other qualms you may have.

Prologue


"Well, kids, we're going to enter the museum," Said Mrs.Parker, teacher of class 10-A, "be careful not to touch anything. If you break anything, it'll come out of your pockets, and things around here aren't cheap." she glared at a group of boys meancingly, "That includes you." she hissed warningly.

The teacher then turned and said: "Everyone follow me in an orderly fashion."

The children followed the teacher, who was just greeted by a young man who worked by the muesum. He had short blonde hair and a very pointed face, and he seemed very tall and very skinny. He wore a casual blue T-shirt and a pair of jeans, with a name tag on his chest.

"Hello there, kids," said the man. "I'm Josh, your instructor for this short visit in the muesum. Now, if I'm not mistaken, this is not your first visit here?"

Several kids replied with a 'yes', to which Josh nodded.

"Very well, so today we'll be going to the eastern wing of the museum." Josh continued, "We'll be seeing quite a few treasures from the Middle and Far East, which we have quite a few relics of, dating back to what we believe is as far as the Battle of Jericho. We will split to two groups, one group will go with me and the other will stay with the teacher and wait for the other instructor who will return shortly."

The teacher pulled a name list from her bag and drew a line with her pen after the 18th student.

"The ones who are above the line are your group," Said Mrs.Parker, handing the name list to the instructor, "be sure to check everyone's here... Ah, mark out the one who's number eleven in the list, he didn't show up today.."

Josh nodded and crossed out the name.

"We should be done with this part of the tour in about an hour," Josh said, "and we'll meet back here for lunch."

"Alright," The teacher nodded and turned to lead her students out.

Josh called to his group of students: "Okay, everyone in the list until Luther, David please follow me."

Seventeen of the sudents gathered around Josh who led them out. They walked slowly down the halls for a few minutes until Josh stopped in front of a pair of large white steel doors.

"This is the Middle-East exhibit." Josh said, turning to face the students. "We'll be seeing many items that were found in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, among many others. The security here is very delicate, so try not to touch anything. Also, keep in mind there are other visitors here, so please try to be quiet."

Some of the students nodded in agreement and Josh pushed the doors opened. The children walked into the large room beyond the doors, and saw many exhibitions surrounded glass cases around them. Floruscent lamps lighted the room brightly, and the walls were painted a brown-red, and the smooth floor was colored blue. Josh walked to one of the cases and told the students,

"If you could turn your attention here, you'll see a few spears that came from Babylon. They originiate back to around the sixth century B.C., and have been very well preserved, so they look almost like they did originally, give or take cracks and other cosmetic matters."

The kids glanced at the spears for a few moments, some of them with awe, and Josh moved onwards to another item protected by a glass case. It was a blue gemstone covered by red, sharp-looking crystals.

"This is a fairly new article here in the muesum," Josh said, and gestured towards the stone. "we only got it a few months ago, and we're pleased to have it here. It's passed quite a few hands, and is very valuable. This stone was found in the Dead Sea in Israel a few years ago, due to the falling of the sea level because of a very hot few years in Israel. It was discovered in a natural cave, and the red crystliazation is said to have been formed by the many salts in the Dead Sea."

The students looked with intrest at the stone, at how the light reflected through the jewels. Among these was Tobias Zaiben, who looked just as chramed as his classmates. But the more he looked, the warmer it seemed to get in the museum, and Tobias wondered if the air conditioning in the place had failed. Then came the tingling feeling in his fingers, which spread throughout his body rapidly, like a bad rash. Tobias flexed every muscle he could, hoping it would make the uncomfortable feeling go away, but the flexing made it worse, he realized a moment later-a sharp pain shot through him, as if his head was being split apart.
As the boy collapsed to the floor, moaning with pain, a few of the children gasped in shock, while Josh grabbed the boy by his shoulders and examined him.

"He's... sweating." He said, and looked at the boy's quivering eyelids. "Like... a bad dream."

The boy gasped and turned, and then, despite all he could hear a moment ago was a painful hum in his ears, he heard something clearly, very clearly:

an animalistic howl, breaking apart clouds and winds, on the fifth day of creation.

Mavix

  • Enlightened One (+200)
  • *
  • Posts: 220
  • I'm the pirate and I make any fool walk the Plank.
    • View Profile
Re: May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2006, 04:24:12 pm »
Really good. the litature in it is deep. when will you write more?

Legend of the Past

  • Errare Explorer (+1500)
  • *
  • Posts: 1679
    • View Profile
Re: May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2006, 05:19:42 pm »
Really good. the litature in it is deep. when will you write more?

Thank you. I've already written two more chapters, but I'll post them once I get some more replies.

Lord J Esq

  • Moon Stone J
  • Hero of Time (+5000)
  • *
  • Posts: 5463
  • ^_^ "Ayla teach at college level!!"
    • View Profile
Re: May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2006, 07:53:03 am »
Always interesting to see my own name appear in print. Given the museum exhibit, is Josh a play on the Israelite leader? The style of the writing strikes me as young-adult level; keep that in mind as it may indicate your current limitations, and try not to bite off more than you can chew. The prologue is too abrupt, with detail more suited for the interior of a story than the prologue, and indeed it reads as though I've stepped into a story already in progress than the start of a new one. For a prologue, it's not engaging enough--not interesting enough for the crucial first pages of a story. Josh is not very well-characterized; as a children's guide, he should speak as though he were trying to engage children. The characters so far have no depth or differentiation; even Josh, who gets the most coverage, is empty. The apparent protagonist--the kid who collapses--receives no introduction whatsoever and is immediately thrust into an important event without proper setup. One second Josh is talking about the museum, the next second this kid is passing out, and that's too abrupt to follow comfortably. Structure is good for the given style. Work on your details; try to make them less of a chore to read--but at the same time improve and expand your descriptions so that we get a better picture of the setting and events. Improve your setups. Definitely give more attention to characterizations. The length you have written is inappropriately short (i.e., low on plot/characterization content) for a prologue to all but the briefest of short stories. Examine your motivations; why are you writing and what are you trying to say? Where are you taking us? Don't go from zero to melodramatic in so few words.


Legend of the Past

  • Errare Explorer (+1500)
  • *
  • Posts: 1679
    • View Profile
Re: May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2006, 08:38:29 am »
Josh isn't a play on the Israeli leader, no.

Well, to point something out-this prologue isn't here to intrdocue characters. All of the events there, consequence, etc, are expanded upon in chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8-the first introduce the main protagonists and their respective situtation. The characters in this prologue, other than Tobias, truly have zero importantce. They are background characters, who are named only for the sake of convenience-they might as well be nameless and it would hardly matter, because they only push the plot wagon for a bit, until the main narrative takes over. If I feel something needs expanding or true introduction, I will devote more than 5000 words for it. It's abrupt, indeed. And how does it seem to someone who's there? Josh is talking about Middle-Eastern relics, and suddenly, without any apparent reason or explanation, a kid faints. This prologue touches on the plot, because events are deeply immersed and sunken into the background plot. What you see now is the beggining of something that had begun in Genesis and moved on forward to modern day. Now, you don't know what I'm talking about. From Episode 01 and forward, I'll drop hints, until the final revelation towards the end. But to put it simply, this is a story about humanity, the sins man could never knew he's done, the accusation of life against man and the eventual attempt at letting man recieve a bit of redemption. I  had a friend read it, and he commented upon saying I moved away from action and sci-fi and moved straight into dillemas-what is redemption? What is man? How does God view man? How does all life view man?

Now, you said I write like a young adult-well, what did you expect from a sixteen year old? I'm still learning, still building my style, still searching for how to write right and how to write like me in the same time. Flow issues, proper insertion of the plot, and still writing in a style that's unique to me-that's what I'm building. That's why I should say-this is a first draft. This is me working on the story to put the flesh and muscles on the skeleton I've managed to build-which I'm told is built fairly well. Now, this is centered around the Jewish mythos-so I have infinite sources to draw from and ask in case if I'm uncertain or trying to build the plot further, adding more motifs or events. It's a stretch for me to expect to write this perfectly on this first attempt-I'm not even out of high school! But, if I keep writing this first draft, see my mistakes and holes, I'll be able to fix this well enough. Now, I think, if I may voice my opinion on my style (a thing I rarely do), that this is a step forward for me. This is the first time I think of this as a book-other times, I was too centered on games and had a hard time imagning battles and events in story format. This is a step forward, because now I can get a certain idea of how to write and how to keep going about it. I've constantly ditched stories, mainly because I saw I simply CAN'T go on with them. I can't have a random battle popping up or an animation. I was thinking too visually, if you will, too much like a gamer. This story is therefore, to my eyes, a step forward, because now I'm finally starting to write STORIES instead of games.

But yeah, I agree the prologue needs refining-but like I said, I'm still in trial and error, so for now I'll keep it as it is, and once I get more of an idea of how to do it better, what to add and remove, and how to make it flow I'll get back to fixing it. Right now, I simply can't see how to improve it-while I certainly see it needs improvement. For that reason I posted it here, to see where it went wrong so I can use that knowledge once I've taken my writing up a notch. 

Mavix

  • Enlightened One (+200)
  • *
  • Posts: 220
  • I'm the pirate and I make any fool walk the Plank.
    • View Profile
Re: May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2006, 04:17:20 pm »
Thank you! I'l be waiting for your two new chapters. Can't Wait.(well I'll have to wait but this fraise always makes me feel better)

Rat

  • Alternate Primary Member
  • Porrean (+50)
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Impersonal Text
    • View Profile
Re: May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2006, 04:17:49 pm »
Considering that there is only one major event in the prologue that is such a short/abrupt event with everything else being of zero importance and so you decide not to focus on it at all (sometimes, something doesn't have to be important for a focus to be on it for awhile), this prologue seems a bit extraneous.
Depending on the flow of the first chapter, you might want to scrap the prologue altogether and merge it with the first chapter, or perhaps even start abruptly with the main character coming to and thinking back on events in the prologue that led him to where he is as he tries to get his bearings.

I'm curious - are you finished writing at all? Some writers are usually a bit too emotionally invested in a work that they are currently building on to take constructive criticism well. If you are finished, or just recently finished, you might want to put the story away for a few months until you can distance yourself from it, or forget what you write well enough that you can go through and view it as a reader might. Of course, you don't have to if you don't want to - it is simply a suggestion.

Legend of the Past

  • Errare Explorer (+1500)
  • *
  • Posts: 1679
    • View Profile
Re: May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2006, 04:25:27 pm »
Considering that there is only one major event in the prologue that is such a short/abrupt event with everything else being of zero importance and so you decide not to focus on it at all (sometimes, something doesn't have to be important for a focus to be on it for awhile), this prologue seems a bit extraneous.
Depending on the flow of the first chapter, you might want to scrap the prologue altogether and merge it with the first chapter, or perhaps even start abruptly with the main character coming to and thinking back on events in the prologue that led him to where he is as he tries to get his bearings.

Ah, I will very much take this suggestion to heart. Like I said, first draft, so this can very much shift and change somewhat later on.

Quote
I'm curious - are you finished writing at all?

Actually, no, I'm not. I've only got this prologue and two chapters up. This is why I'm posting it now, to be able to deal with problems early on so that later on, it won't be as painful as it could be. Now, I won't really distance myself from the story for monthes-not because your idea doesn't work, because honestly, I'll plain out forget, or possibly continously delay it. I would eventually get to it, but then I fear my style would be too different to withold such a story. I'd rather get a couple of drafts through, go through all the problems and fix them, make the story at least somewhat comptenent, and then leave it out to dry, later on picking it up and refining it.

Quote from: Mavix
Thank you! I'l be waiting for your two new chapters. Can't Wait.

Depending on it these forums allow double-posts, I might post it in less than an hour. We'll see.

Legend of the Past

  • Errare Explorer (+1500)
  • *
  • Posts: 1679
    • View Profile
Re: May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2006, 04:31:26 pm »
Chapter 01: Hanvil, Beast of the Cresent Moon

The lock clicked, informing the empty apartment of the arrival of it's master, Tobias Zaiben. The door was pushed open a moment later, and the young man of twenty-six years walked into the room. Tobias had short, wild black hair and green, piercing eyes. He wasn't very tall, but his composure made him seem much more so than he truly was. It was perhaps a thing of character, for he appeared to be a man of much power. Indeed, all who knew him agreed that his appearence belied nothing. He was a strong, reliable man with a cool intellect and powerful sense of duty to his friends. He wore a blue, short-sleeved shirt and a pair of long jeans. The shirt revealed just barely the man was very well-built.
Tobias turned and locked the door behind him, dumping the keys on a small table by the door. He slumped into the sofa, his face landing in the cushion. He sighed in relief, finally resting after nine hours of work at the computer shop. His throat hurt from all the customers who came in and all the calls he had to take, but he was generally pleased with his work, and even more greatful to return home for a much deserved rest-nothing felt better than resting after hard work.
He sighed again after several moments, this time of relief, and stood up from the sofa. He walked over to the fridge and opened it up, examining the contents. A few cans of beer, some water and apple juice. He pulled out the cold water and took a long gulp.
Just as he put the water back into the fridge, his cell phone rang. Tobias pulled out the small device from his pocket and brought it to his ear.

"Hello?" Tobias asked,

"Mr. Tobias Zaiben?" A man's voice replied.

"Speaking," Tobias said.

"This is Mr. George Cranning from Cranning Computers," The man said, "you sent us an order for five computers a week ago, and I was supposed to let you know when we finish shipping it."

"I see," Tobias replied slowly,

"Yes, well, I just approved the shipping it, so we should have it sent over to you by tommorow." George Canning said.

"Okay, thank you." Tobias said. "If there are any difficulties, technical or otherwise, please let me know."

"Very well." Canning replied, "Goodbye, Mr. Zaiben."

Tobias hang up the call, but before he could slide it back to his pocket it rang again. Tobias accepted the call and heavily said,

"Hello?"

"Hello," Said a woman's voice. "Am I talking to a Mr.Wolf?"

Tobias groaned slightly at the sound of the name and his eyelids slid shut. When he opened them, he blinked a few times and then smiled amused.

"Yes, yes you are," Tobias replied, sounding much more relaxed than he was a moment ago. "thank you for calling me like I asked you, dear Garuda."

"Anytime," The woman replied. "as a reward, could you let me know where you're going today?"

"A little visit to the Greenwood Museum in New York," Tobias said slowly. "they're bringing this gorgeous necklace with a topaz in it. I think it comes from Japan, very precious."

The woman slightly giggled. It was almost like a witch's cackle.

"You, intrested in jewelry?" The woman asked, clearly amused.

"Normally, no," Tobias calmly replied, also amused, "but in this case, I am.. I hear they call it the 'Wolf's Eye'."

"Ah." Was the woman's reply.

"Yes," Tobias continued, "it should be rather intresting to add it to my collection."

--- --- ---

At midnight, the Greenwood Museum was usually closed. No one was inside the during the night, and things were silent. On the surface, this seemed to be the case at the night of July 16th, but in fact, the museum was very much disturbed. The power was down due to an area blackout, and so security was completely useless at the time.
A man in a grey, tight suit slithered through a ventilation shaft into the lobby. The man wore a grey mask of silk that covered his face completely, except for holes for eyes and his nose. The sneaking in was done very carefully and quietly, with precise movements. He stood for a moment, breathing heavily, turning his head here and there, as if trying to catch a scent. His eyes moved swiftly around the room, and then, as if on a whim, he passed through a set of doors on the left of the dark room. This new room was smaller than the lobby, with more selected exhibits that were probably not opened for the open croud. His eyes darted quickly around the room, trying to understand the objects in display despite the lack of light. He stopped and sniffed the air once more, than said quietly,

"This scent.."

He stepped up to one of the glass cases in the back of the room and narrowed his eyes, focusing on the object inside. Indeed, a small, ancient necklace of gold lay there, with a topaz inside.

"Indeed.." The man continued, obviously pleased. "This is the Ookami no Isha... The Japanese Jewel that was the prized possession of Keitai Tenno.."

"So, Hanvil is a wolf?" Asked a voice from the other corner of the room.

The man turned quickly aside, an angry growl starting to grow in his throat. He focused his eyes and saw the shape of a tall man, who was heavily dressed and masked.

"Who are you?" The man asked with a low, warning voice.

"That matters not.. Not yet." The voice slowly replied, "What does matter, Hanvil, is that you focus on the truly important things, rather than run around stealing jewelry from humans. Those of your kind are not thieves. They are rather honorable beasts."

"Speak not to me of my kind, foolish worshiper of the sun." Hanvil growled more threateningly.

"I admit, I would have never expected a wolf.." The man continued with the same slow, almost musing, tone. "And moreover, I would have never expected a wolf to steal worthless things. You truly are obsessed, aren't you?"

Hanvil's eyes glared at him, full of rage.

"Who are you?" He barked, almost madly.

"Hush, Hanvil, you would not want to alert anyone to your presence.." Said the man, and Hanvil could almost hear the muscles in his face curving to form a cruel smile. "I'm afraid you must learn to control your emotions, my friend... But is it not your nature to strike at those who pose a threat?"

"Why don't you come and find out?" Hanvil said quietly, still purring his threatening growl.

"It wouldn't matter even if I would.." The man merely shrugged, "But I came merely to tell whoever's been doing this buisness to pick up the pace. The Drop would soon be out of reach, and I doubt you could force yourself to chase it around the world. It can be quiet elusive."
"And now," the man said and gave a fairly long pause, "I suggest you take your little prize and leave. In about four minutes, I will pick up the payphone outside and call the police to report I have seen a shady character going into the museum. I would recommend you take the time to distance yourself from the place."

A wry grin quickly grew on Hanvil's lips,

"And if I choose to murder you here and now?" he asked.

"You will both fail and more than likely will be caught due to the noise you'll make, and arrested and imprisoned for several robberies and an attempted assault." Said the man and paused. "I believe a minute has passed... You have three minutes left to leave."

Hanvil growled with rage, the dillema burning in his mind, but didn't dwell upon it. He merely picked up the glass case with his gloved hands, gently placed it on the floor, took the jewel and very carefully placed in a nylon bag he took out of his pocket, which he pocketed a moment later, and just as delicatly placed the case back in it's place.

"One minute," The man said slowly, as Hanvil quietly crept away from the room and slithered back into the shaft, placing the vent's shutter carefully inside. Within half a minute Hanvil had already left, and a minute later, true to his word, the mysterious man picked up the payphone outside to find the phone's wire was ripped apart savagely. Snickering, the man slowly walked to another one down the street, and alerted the police of a suspicous presence by the museum. By the time they arrived, Hanvil was long gone, and the last thing he thought before his conciosuness slipped from him was who the man was, how he knew what he knew and why did his presence feel so threatening...

--- --- ---

Tobias opened his eyes, as morning sunshine streamed through the window and lit the room. Specks of dust floated lazily in the rays of sunshine, seeming drowsy as if they, too, have awakened from sleep. Tobias lay on his side for several minutes, his left hand on his left temple, feeling the monotonous, ever-repeating beat of the blood shooting through his veins. After a while, Tobias sat up and stretched, sighing heavily as he did so. He wore a white, sleevless shirt and a pair of black boxers. His face seemed long and tired, for this night his sleep was strewn with disturbing dreams. Each dream seemed to consist of growls, whispers and a maddening cackling. Moreover, these dreams only made him half-asleep, because while he dreamt he could hear things of real life-the drone of the computer that stood two meters from his bed, the barking of dogs outside, the door to the bathroom slamming gently and then swinging open... It was not very pleasing, to say the least. Tobias was relieved to remember today was sunday.
Tobias rose from his bed, rubbing his eyes slowly and went into the bathroom, examining his face in the mirror. A gloomy, tired reflection returned him an exahusted glance, and he bowed his head, turning the faucet open with his left and letting the water flow on the other. He washed his face thoroughly, and then turned to brush his teeth. While washing up did awaken his body, it did not clear his mind. The dreams still disturbed him.
However, he pushed the concern apart and walked into the kitchen, opening the fridge and pulling out a glass bottle full of milk, stopping at the cupboard to take out a box of cereal.
As he sat at the scrubbed table, his cereal ready, he gave his apartment an examining glance. It was not extremely decorated, in fact, it was even quite simplistic. The walls were a dull white without only a few pictures and decorations here and there-a picture of a younger Tobias on graduation night with three of his friends and a picture of a child Tobias with his father, with a few souvenirs of other places-a wall scroll of Hawaii, and a large framed picture of the Empire State Building, and finally, a large, grey framed clock ticked on the walls somberly. His apartment itself was very small, with only three rooms-a combined living room and kitchen corner, a bathroom and a bedroom. The living room had two small sofas and a large comfortable, cushioned chair. perched in front of the television. On the floor around the sofas was a red, circular rug. Everything was was very neat and organized, which seemed to defy the natural order of apartments of men his age.
While Tobias was halfway through his cornflakes, Tobias' cellphone started vibrating. He picked it up and accepted the call.

"Hello?" He asked,

"Hey, Tobe." a familiar voice replied,

"Ah, hey, Tom." Tobias said, recognising the voice to be that of his best friend, Tom.

"So what's up?" Tom asked, "You sound like you've been run over by a steamroller."

"Thanks for the encouragement, buddy," Tobias muttered. "I just had a bad night."

"Do you have any good nights?" Tom asked and Tobias could almsot hear his friend's eyes rolling in their sockets.

"Not lately, no," Tobias replied tiredly,

"Well, I've been wondering if there are any chances you're free tonight," Tom continued, ignoring Tobias' remark. "I'm thinking of going out with the guys tonight for a drink. Feel like coming?"

Tobias considered for a moment, then replied, "Sure... Why not? Hope I won't get drunk, though."

"Great!" Tom exclaimed, "We'll be meeting over in my place, alright?"

"Sure.." Tobias muttered.

"Well, bye, then." Tom said and put down the phone.

Tobias gave the cellphone a very long look of disapproval, as if trying to pass the sentiment over the phone, and put it down, shaking his head tiredly.

Mavix

  • Enlightened One (+200)
  • *
  • Posts: 220
  • I'm the pirate and I make any fool walk the Plank.
    • View Profile
Re: May I ask for your opinion on a work of mine?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2006, 04:59:52 pm »
Were number 2. this is awsome.