Author Topic: Works in Progress  (Read 7996 times)

chronotriggerfreak

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« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2004, 06:10:25 pm »
One more post to set up Garg's character. I'll leave it up for comments and probably post it to the story thread Thursday. As opposed to the formal aspect of the last post, this one is Garg's more casual side--and an indication that in either setting, Garg is, generally, angry.

-----

Scene XX - Lenina Crown


The knocking at Garg’s door was faint, but he heard it clearly. He’d been waiting for it since the elder and Eyram Green had left his room an hour ago. His reply, an invitation to enter, was just as soft, but the caller at his door heard it just as well. The door inched forward and the elder’s secretary slipped in, slowly pushing the door shut until it clicked. Meticulous, it was. That’s what Garg liked about this one so much.

She turned to face him and they stared intently at each other for a while. The corners of Garg’s lips curled downward a bit, and she seemed to recognize this; her gaze grew more and more anxious. He was upsetting her, and with damn good reason, he thought. She’ll soon learn what it means to screw and screw with Garg Wardell.

It wasn’t long before she cracked, broke down into a fit of sobs and incoherent mutterings and rushed to him, arms outstretched, taking it for granted that he would catch her, hold her close and whisper assurances into her ear. But he didn’t stand up, and when she fell down on her knees and wrapped herself around his neck, he didn’t move. She could cry into his shoulder all she wanted, but he wasn’t moving, and every second she continued to blubber about, the risk of some passerby noticing the sound increased—just what she had been trying to avoid in her careful entry.

She seemed to realize this, as her bawling trailed off and she backed up, looking inquisitively at him. He tried to stay sober, but it was difficult. He turned his head to the side, glancing into her eyes, as puffy and watery as they were. He wouldn’t give any sign of emotion, no, but damn if he couldn’t help thinking that she was a pretty one all right, and if ever there was a one worth keeping it’d be her. Too bad he couldn’t.

“What’s wrong?” she sniffed.

“You come in here howling and leaking your face all over my shoulder and you’re asking me what’s wrong!” he said. “Bloody hell, Lenina, I thought you were more fashionable than this.”

Lenina broke out wailing again, choked out her words in between sobs. “What happened, Garg? What did they say?”

“It’s not what they said, girl. It’s what you didn’t say.”

She shook her head, not understanding. Garg snorted.

“You come in here as prim as can be and all you say is ‘Elder’ll be here soon.’ Nothing more, not a word.”

“B—but, Eyram, Mr. G—Green—“

“Don’t give me that. You know perfectly well as do I that you were deliberately aloof as possible. Tell me, did the elder say he was kicking me out? That he was going to let Eyram run the case without my testimony and take the spoils for his own eldership? What did you know!”

“Garg, I—I don’t un—understand, I just—“

“Or did he know he was too much of a plum fool, and that he’d screw up the case, and so he was going to kill me and drop the matter before it became public embarrassment? Tell me!”

Lenina couldn’t stand to face him anymore, buried her head in her hands. Garg stood up, kicked a thing or two around. He’d been saving up all this cruel rage since she walked off earlier, but he hadn’t thought to be this angry with her. He must have been channeling some of his anger at that smug Eyram Green, too. Either way, he was letting it all out now.

She finally composed herself enough to let out a whole sentence in one breath. “Garg, please don’t be so angry with me... I l—love you...”

He rounded on her, slammed his foot upon his chair and leaned forward on his knee, drawing as close as he could to her face without touching her. “Not one person has ever loved me, and I think I’ll be able to tell the difference when one does.” He stared into her eyes, already regretting how far he’d taken this whole ordeal, and searched for the hint of deceit in them, the sign that she knew what she had gotten herself into and would be able to get over it soon enough, that she knew he was right and she’d be fine with it. When he found that, he held onto it, because it was the only thing preventing him from breaking down.

She had touched a nerve, all right, and it was an acid touch. Even as he tried to concentrate on the purpose of things, he found his stance deteriorating. The thought of his parents never did anything but destroy him. They loved each other, sure, and they had treated him fine, but they never had any love left over for him. He knew that. If they had loved him, it was guaranteed that his families would love him now, but they obviously didn’t. They had disinherited him, and for what? To come crawling back twenty years later, when they realized that he had a shot at becoming more of a lasting legend than they could have collectively in their entire lives? And Garg had patronized them, had let them in on the fame and fortune, all because he was too compassionate, too human to deny them because of his dead parents’ negligence.

The dead parents who wanted him to study interregional law years ago...

“Get out,” Garg said.

“What—“

“I said—“

“Shut up, Garg, and listen to me, for your own damn good.”

Garg dropped the deceit and saw the spite in her eyes. She held some malice, too, it seemed, and Garg noticed that she was still pretty even with her face all scrunched up.

“You want the truth? Honestly, you’re a bitter asshole and the only reason I argued with the elder not to throw you out was because you know how to please a girl.”

A game, that’s what it had all been. She’d only just begun to play her part. Well, Garg wasn’t going to let her take her crown.

“Doll-face knows how to hate, huh?”

She slapped him and stood up, storming away. She was serious, but that didn’t make it any less of a game, and the simple fact was that she didn’t realize it soon enough to win. She turned around at the door.

“I’m not surprised no one ever loved you. You’d probably have no idea of how to react and wind up slitting their throat, you miserable thief.”

It was a strong blow, all right. Garg commended her for playing valiantly, but still, it took more than that to make a last-minute comeback against Garg Wardell.

“Listen, Queen Leene, would you mind doing your job while you’re busy running away? Tell the elder that he couldn’t throw me out if he wanted to, because with or without his funding, I’ve already got a ticket for the next ferry to Porre and I sent my formal request for schooling to the dean there a week ago. I leave in an hour, toots.”

She slammed the door behind her.

* * *

The image of Garg's victorious grin burned in Lenina's mind. If she had something to throw at him, she’d have taken out one of his eyes, or maybe walked closer and took a shot somewhere lower on his body. She rushed past the main desk, grabbed her coat and, without stopping, made for the exit.

“Idine,” she called over her shoulder to the other secretary at the desk.

“Ms. Crown?”

“Tell Elder Openhal I’m out for the day, Idine, and that if that Gargeth Wardell hasn’t made good on his promise to get the hell out of here when I come back tomorrow, I’ll get rid of him myself.”

Leebot

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« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2004, 07:53:41 pm »
Watch the POV. Near the end you switch from focusing on Garg to focusing on Lenina.

chronotriggerfreak

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« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2004, 09:18:51 pm »
To make a point that cannot be made in any other way. Just because we're using third person limited doesn't mean POV can't be switched at any point in a scene. I mean, you're going to have lots of trouble telling that to many accredited authors. If this is a major affront to many others, though, I'll include a generic scenebreak (* * *).

Leebot

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« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2004, 09:57:47 pm »
Don't blame authors. This convention is in place for readers. When the POV shifts in the middle of a scene with no section break, the reader is jolted out of the story. More aware readers will realize what's happened; others will just feel that something's wrong.

chronotriggerfreak

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« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2004, 10:42:33 pm »
I concede. Better?

And taking a quick glance at the books tossed around my desk, I found that only Frank Herbert does such a thing very often, and quite honestly Dune is one hell of a confusing book.

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« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2004, 10:54:50 pm »
Well, Dune's written in 3rd-person omniscient style. This style tends to not be very popular for the very reason that it makes it confusing on the reader.

chronotriggerfreak

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« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2004, 06:50:41 am »
Exactly the point. But the question is, does this work now?

Leebot

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« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2004, 08:40:00 am »
Yeah, what you've got works.

Aitrus

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« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2004, 03:13:15 am »
Chapter ## - An Evening Above The Clouds - The Lady and the Princess

Aias sighed when he heard the knock on his door.  Would the servants never stop coming and going, asking him the most mundane of questions to which they already knew the answers?  “Go away!” he yelled at the closed door.  “For the fifth time, my clothes are already set out.  For the fourth time, I’ve already ensured that Ensar will be picking Sessimine up in time for the opening gala.  For the eighth time, I have already bathed and require no assistance in doing so.  And for the last time, leave me in peace so I may relax before my sister’s birthday!”

He finally turned around, his tirade having finished.  He had expected many possible things to be there – a frightened servant, an empty space where a frightened servant had been, a closing door – and had set his most furious scowl on his brow to greet them.  However, the sight he beheld when he turned took the fire out of his anger and deflated him like a punctured balloon.

“Hello, Aias,” his younger sister, Eir, said.  She smiled at him, amused by his little display.  “Shall this common servant go away and leave her master in peace?”

“Eir,” he sighed happily as he walked toward her.  “I’m so sorry about that.  The servants haven’t left me alone all day, and I just wanted to relax for a couple minutes.”  He embraced her.  “However, that just means no servants.  Sisters are an exception.”  He gestured toward the small living area, and the couches therein.  She sat down, and he sat beside her.  “Looking forward to your big gala tonight?”

She leaned back.  “Honestly?  Not really.”  She shook her head, set her blue hair shimmering.  “After all, what’s the big fuss about?  It’s just me we’re talking about, and it’s not like I haven’t had a birthday before.  And besides, with as many as we’ve had, you would think that we wouldn’t really care about them any more.”

That’s my sister for you, he thought.  She always thought of everyone else before herself, and rarely ever made a fuss about anything.  However, she also had all the political sense of a house cat.  She’s one of the only innocents left in this world, he thought, and that’s why I can’t let the Council win.  

“You know, it’s not just a birthday party,” he told her.  “This is a state occasion, and we Royals must show the common people that we are still the greatest people on this planet.  By showing off our wealth and vanity,” he said sarcastically, “we can reassure the common folk that we are still looking out for them and protecting them from the other evil nations of Earth.”  Eir was about to take offense when Aias smiled and laughed.  “Or so the political theorists say, whatever they know.”  She laughed, realizing he hadn’t been serious.  “But Cassandra and I are both forced to have one of these ourselves, so you’re going to have one too, whether you like it or not.”

She looked at him indignantly, but couldn’t sustain it under the force of his smile.  She slowly started to smile, and then laughed.  They both degenerated into laughter, a sound too often lacking from the Zealian halls.  When he could finally speak again, Aias wheezed out “Eir, you know what?”

It took a couple of minutes for Eir to get her breath enough to reply.  “What’s that, brother?”

“You are the last bright spot of this entire kingdom,” he said.  A cloud floated in front of the sun as if on cue, dimming the room.  “I don’t think we could ever stand it if you became as cynical as the rest of us,” he said as the room brightened again.  “I know I couldn’t.  Don’t ever let us change you.”  She nodded somberly.

He stood up, Eir only a beat behind.  “In any event, my dear, you have a big night ahead of you.”  He smiled at her, hoping to set her at ease.  “I’d better let you get to it, and I’d better be getting ready myself.”  

She nodded, and he walked her to the door.  As she was about to exit, she turned around and embraced Aias.  “Thank you,” she said, and then left the room.  He stood there for a few moments, watching as she walked down the corridor, before shutting the door and heading back to the living area.  He sighed as he looked at the sky, and went on towards the bedroom to get changed.

About five minutes later, he came back out, ready for the night.  A servant had brought the message earlier detailing what Sessimine was to be wearing, and another had ensured that he would match.  And even Aias, as fashion-challenged as he was, had to admit that he liked what he saw.  The white tunic offset his black coat and pants, and the golden sash he wore at his waist combined with his purple cape to provide a touch of color.  He didn’t look half bad, at least so he thought.  He was sure one of the servants would fuss about him later, but he didn’t care.  That’s what they were supposed to do.  Another quick glance at the sky told him that the gala would be starting within the hour, as the sun slid slowly down the horizon.  His eye slid across the wall, and caught upon his sword collection.  Could probably use one with this, he thought, and picked a ceremonial sword from among them.  Fastening the jeweled scabbard to the sash, he turned for the door and heard someone knock.  “Enter,” he called, never stopping.

A servant entered, bowing.  Aias bade him to rise and speak.  “Provostia Sessimine is here, your Majesty.”  He told the servant to have her escorted to the Conservatory, and then stepped past him and into the hallway.

He arrived in the Conservatory to find it empty, as he’d hoped.  With all of the gala’s opening less than an hour away, everyone was concerned with it.  He drew back the curtains along the western wall to reveal the floor-to-ceiling windows covering it.  The red light from the sunset cascaded over him, reflecting off of the clouds below and bathing the room in deep reds.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?”

Aias turned around, a touch startled at the voice, but still calm as he realized that it was Sessimine.  She was smiling at him from the center of the room, arms folded across her kimono, which seemed almost blood-red in the light.  He bowed to her slightly, and she curtsied back to him, both ignoring the formalities that would normally come with one of his station.  “Thank you for coming, Sessimine.”  He looked at her dress again.  “And, as always, you come in on the cutting edge of fashion.”  She curtsied again – no mean feat in the kimono – and stepped up to the window, next to Aias.

“It was my pleasure to be here, my Prince.  After all, who can refuse a request from the Prince of Zeal?”  She smiled, a ravishing sight in its own right, but he could tell that she was giving her appearance a bit of, shall we say, help.  He didn’t let on, though, and proceeded to ignore that fact.

He smiled back, warmed by her smile.  “When it’s simply a request and not a command, the right to refuse is always there.”  She chuckled slightly at his sincerity, which he also chose to ignore.  He looked at her reflection in the window, and noticed something.  “You changed your hair color,” he said.

She stroked it gently, smiling.  “Do you like it?”  He nodded, turning slightly towards her.  “Then it was worth it, wasn’t it?”  Aias shrugged, but kept a grin on his face.  Sessimine looked around for a moment before asking, “So, why are we up here?  Shouldn’t we be heading towards the ball?”

The spell broken, Aias shook his head ever so slightly before replying, “Yes, we should.  I wanted to speak with you for a moment before we went in, though, and thought this would make for an excellent place to do so.”  He offered her his arm, and then they began walking slowly towards the hallway.  “As a member of the Royal Family’s party, you will be in the receiving line as we greet our guests.  Don’t worry too much about that; it’s mostly ritualized, although some can be informal.  If you want to go mingle with the crowd during the festivities, just ask.  It won’t be a problem; and if anyone thinks it will be, I’ll be sure to let them know it isn’t.”  Some people said that worst thing that could happen to you than becoming an enemy of the royal family.  Other than getting on the wrong side of the Council, Aias didn’t know of any.  They continued to talk, now about Eir, whom Sessimine had never met, then about Naomi, whom Aias had never met.  Finally, they reached the balcony overlooking the ballroom, where the Royal Family was assembling.  They had time for quick introductions before the court page called out from the bottom of the steps, “Presenting his Royal Highness, Prince Aias, escorting Lady Sessimine.”

“Here we go,” he whispered through the side of his mouth as he took her arm.  Slowly, regally, they made their way down the stairs amidst the cheers and applause from the gathered crowd below.  Aias couldn’t help but scan the crowd, and picked out fairly easily four of the Council members, none of whom were near each other.  Did I expect otherwise? he thought.  He knew they’d be here, but his meticulousness wouldn’t let him just assume that.

Once they reached the bottom of the steps, the page cried out “Presenting her Royal Highness, Princess Cassandra, escorted by Sir Kaleo.”  He escorted Sessimine to the side, and they turned to clap for his sister and her escort, the spokesman for the School of Sorcery.  He was about what she would pick: tall, dark, handsome, and well-spoken, even if he only said what others told him to say.  Especially since he only said what others told him to say.  Aias shrugged mentally, sure Sess would pick it up, but doubting anyone else would notice.

“Introducing her Royal Highness, Princess Eir, escorted by Sir Suman!”  The cheers came to a climax as Eir came forward.  Suman, however, seemed on the verge of passing out.  He was a student at the School of Summoning, and was also what Aias had thought his sister would pick: caring, gentle, and naïve.  However, he quickly recovered from his fright and descended the stairs slowly enough for the crowd to see her, but fast enough to get to level ground quickly.

The page nodded to the trumpeters standing by.  “Introducing their Royal Majesties, King Fakhri and Queen Ciarin Zeal!”

The King and Queen, arm in arm, descended the grand staircase to the ballroom floor amid the cheers and applause of the crowd, waving to them on either side.  The trumpeters played the Zealian anthem, and the King and Queen, out of long years of practice, made it to the bottom of the stairs just in time for it to end.  King Fakhri raised his arms for silence, and finally got it.  “Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to welcome you to my youngest’s birthday!”  Cheers and whistles erupted, forcing the king to ask for silence once again.  “Now, as a gift, the School of Temporal Magic has decided to make a presentation on its work for the entire assembled audience, which will commence at 8 o’clock sharp.”  He paused and looked around solemnly, before breaking into a laugh.  “Until then, rejoice!  Drink, dance, be merry!  This is a party, after all!”  Everyone laughed with him, and turned back towards the floor.

“Well, Sessimine,” Aias said, turning back to her, “shall we dance?”

Leebot

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« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2004, 02:21:14 pm »
Quote from: Aitrus
“It was my pleasure to be here, my Prince. After all, who can refuse a request from the Prince of Zeal?” She smiled, a ravishing sight in its own right, but he could tell that she was giving her appearance a bit of, shall we say, help. He didn’t let on, though, and proceeded to ignore that fact.


"shall we say" - Avoid using idioms and first person outside of quotes and thoughts.

Quote from: Aitrus
The spell broken, Aias shook his head ever so slightly before replying, “Yes, we should. I wanted to speak with you for a moment before we went in, though, and thought this would make for an excellent place to do so.” He offered her his arm, and then they began walking slowly towards the hallway. “As a member of the Royal Family’s party, you will be in the receiving line as we greet our guests. Don’t worry too much about that; it’s mostly ritualized, although some can be informal. If you want to go mingle with the crowd during the festivities, just ask. It won’t be a problem; and if anyone thinks it will be, I’ll be sure to let them know it isn’t.” Some people said that worst thing that could happen to you than becoming an enemy of the royal family. Other than getting on the wrong side of the Council, Aias didn’t know of any. They continued to talk, now about Eir, whom Sessimine had never met, then about Naomi, whom Aias had never met. Finally, they reached the balcony overlooking the ballroom, where the Royal Family was assembling. They had time for quick introductions before the court page called out from the bottom of the steps, “Presenting his Royal Highness, Prince Aias, escorting Lady Sessimine.”


"Some people said that worst thing that could happen to you than becoming an enemy of the royal family. Other than getting on the wrong side of the Council, Aias didn’t know of any." - Awkward. I'd probably change it to "Some people said that little worse could happen to you than becoming an enemy of the royal family. Other than getting on the wrong side of the Council, Aias didn’t know of any such thing." But, that's just how I would do it. Work with it yourself to find something that gets across your intentions.

Quote from: Aitrus
Once they reached the bottom of the steps, the page cried out “Presenting her Royal Highness, Princess Cassandra, escorted by Sir Kaleo.” He escorted Sessimine to the side, and they turned to clap for his sister and her escort, the spokesman for the School of Sorcery. He was about what she would pick: tall, dark, handsome, and well-spoken, even if he only said what others told him to say. Especially since he only said what others told him to say. Aias shrugged mentally, sure Sess would pick it up, but doubting anyone else would notice.


"Especially" - I'd italicize it.

"Sess" - Change to "Sessimine." Don't use nicknames outside of quotes/thoughts unless that's how the focused character always thinks of this person. This would seem to not be the case, since you say "Sessimine" everywhere else.

Aitrus

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« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2005, 02:38:08 am »
Thanks for the suggestions, Leebot.  I took most of them, and the "Sess" thing was an oversight on my part.  Only one I left was the one to italicize "Especially", as I think that the impact is conveyed without the extra formatting being needed.

Thanks.

ZeaLitY

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« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2005, 07:31:53 pm »
Failed; I'm going to send him an error log. But how do I configure MS Dos to not scroll everything off screen and make it irretrievable? It's pretty long, so about 80% is scrolled off before the program stops.

Edit: I'm attempting to just do command < file.log .

Okay, that didn't work. The log is empty.

Leebot

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« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2005, 07:59:45 pm »
Quote from: ZeaLitY
Failed; I'm going to send him an error log. But how do I configure MS Dos to not scroll everything off screen and make it irretrievable? It's pretty long, so about 80% is scrolled off before the program stops.

Edit: I'm attempting to just do command < file.log .

Okay, that didn't work. The log is empty.


Uh... Was this accidentally posted in the wrong thread or wrong forum?

Radical_Dreamer

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« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2005, 10:02:02 pm »
Quote from: ZeaLitY
Failed; I'm going to send him an error log. But how do I configure MS Dos to not scroll everything off screen and make it irretrievable? It's pretty long, so about 80% is scrolled off before the program stops.

Edit: I'm attempting to just do command < file.log .

Okay, that didn't work. The log is empty.


That's because you're taking input from file.log. Try command > file.log instead.

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« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2005, 12:03:18 am »
Oops. Yeah, I was browsing the WIP section of ZEAL. I'm not ruling out a revival at some point down the line. The site's size will afford a good selection of participants.