Friday, April 29, 2011

Page 57...

Thank you all. The advice from last time paid off BIG TIME!

I really appreciate all the advice you give me. It has helped me see flaws, overcome fears, enhance the feel of my work, and best of all—it made my story stronger.

Give this page a read if you will. It means a lot to get this just right, this scene should make you sit up and take notice.

If you don't want to give an in-depth answer, just say: poor, good, or great... or: I would stop reading, or: I might turn the page, or: I would definitely turn the page.



  1. I'm not great with fight scenes, but I have been meaning to mention to you--do you have an online critique group? The one I joined (and moderate for) is The Critique Circle.

    It's free to join, and there are lots of people there all wanting to learn together. I was just thinking that it might help you as you can collect loyal readers who will read and offer thoughts on your work chapter after chapter.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  2. Good point, thx.
    It’s weird, my daughter and my blog readers (so far) are the only ones I have let read my work. Someday I will progress farther. I’ll give it some thought.

  3. I was thinking the same things as Angela, wondering if you were in a critique group. It's amazing what a group of people point out with our work and how it can help make it so much better. Plus I'm not sure many agents want you to post too much stuff on the Internet. :)

    Anyways, I liked the scene and actually wanted a little more, or for it to last a little longer. It seemed quick from the start to the point Tristan already takes an arrow and thinks he's going to die. Here are a few thoughts I had while reading:

    First paragraph, first sentence:
    "Tristan stood up and removed his daggers, then began to jog, weaving in and out of trees." 'began' is one of those words you can leave out. So just start right in with "He ran..." You might have to change up the sentence a bit for pace/flow, or not.

    Second paragraph, second sentence:
    "He was prancing like a dear through the underbrush, footsteps almost nonexistent." This didn't seem to jive in my mind. Prancing through underbrush I would imagine makes a lot of noise because twigs crack and leaves crinkle etc. A possible option (as an example) could be 'he advanced through the underbrush..." or 'progressed' or something like that.

    Also, I wondered more about his thoughts during all of this. While he's moving through the forest what is he thinking? What does he think when he slices the man's throat? Little things about how he feels sprinkled in will help us be in the moment too. You do that in the paragraph where he thinks he's dying.

    Hope something here helps. If not, just toss it out the window. :)

  4. All advice/opinions matter to me.

    I need to purge the "no-no" words out of my work... that’s for sure.
    After getting the feel down, of my work, once I like the flow and direction. I’ll make another edit for specific problems: clichés, overused words, weak modifiers, slow pacing, passive adverbs, and a whole list of offenses I commit.

    Great points BTW.

  5. Hi Jeff. I loved this scene. I have such a difficult time writing action like this and I thought you did an awesome job. My only advice is that I agree with Kimberly above as far as the prancing. When I think of prancing, I picture little fairies, lol. Also when you say "pain crashed into my mind," I thought he was hit in the head. Maybe say that after you tell us that he was hit in the shoulder, or say the pain crashed into his shoulder shooting daggers down his arm or driving pain down or something like that. Great great job! :)

  6. Second paragraph. What do you mean by "removed his daggers"? It's not only vague, it's potentially misleading. Is he taking off his daggers before going in to fight? If so, where is he leaving them? Or is he unsheathing them in preparation of battle? In this case, specific is best and action words and phrases beat relatively bland and passive vocabulary. Second sentence, is a run-on. Better to cut it into two. Short sentences have more urgency, especially in action sequences. Third sentence should be three, not one long run-on. Skip the comma in the last sentence of the paragraph.

    Third paragraph. dear=deer. "Footsteps almost nonexistant." Does that mean silent (which seems and odd pairing with "prancing") or that the footfalls barely touch the ground he's moving so swiftly. Specific is best. "He began circling his hands in his preferred attack motion, mentally preparing to kill." I have no idea what this means, which is a pity since it's an opportunity for a visual that supports this sequence. Try fluid for fluent.Take the comma you deleted from the last sentence in the last paragraph and put it in the next to last sentence in this one.

    Fourth paragraph. "A large man was sitting on a boulder facing the fire. He had raised a bottle of ale to his mouth when Tristan swung his dagger connecting with the back of his neck, nearly cleaving the head from the shoulders." Clumsy and wasteful technique with daggers. You might want something more elegant.

    Fifth paragraph. "saw the head of an arrow jutting out from his left shoulder." So, what, he was shot from behind and the arrowhead is protruding out the other side? Or did you mean the fletching of the arrow with the arrowhead sunk into his shoulder?

    Sixth paragraph. Again, split up the first sentence into at least two. "spit then began to drip from his mouth, mixing with the dirt." What does this buy you? Visual image but it doesn't do much and seems pretty unimportant what with roasted people and presumably blood flowing everywhere. "Falling to the ground, he looked towards the sky, wishing for one last glance at the stars" This is where knowing what direction the arrow came from and what part is protruding where is important. I presume, now, that the arrow came from the front.

    I've read worse battle scenes. I've read better. Without knowing the significance of the people and the scenes, however, it's hard to get a bead on how good it is. I don't know what you're trying to do other than describe carnage. If you're just trying to describe carnage, it could work, with a little editing.

  7. I sent you an email with my suggestions, Jeff. Have a great week!

  8. You won an award Jeff!!! Head over to my blog and find out what it is!! :)