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 Post subject: My Book Series
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:24 pm 
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How many of you have heard me talk about my book series? Well, I will post bits of them here for critiqueing. Thanks!

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Chapter One
Friend



It had been a long time since I had last seen traces of humanity. Most people avoided these woods, for they are were the creatures dwelled. But these were no regular creatures. They were freak mutants, mixes of more than one creature, created by genetic experimentation. So, although most would avoid these woods at all costs, here was a girl, nonchalantly strolling though the forests.

She had long brown hair, held up by a hair clip. She was wearing scuffed up jeans and a light jacket. Her eyes were a light blue, almost inhuman. She was of an average height. She appeared to be a teenager, but I could not see if she had any crystal shards. I watched as one creature, which had been following her through the woods, lurking in the shadows, pounced at her. She pulled a clip out of her hair, and I saw a bright flash, that of metal flashing in the light. She now held a blade above her head, which she then popped back into a hair clip and put back in her hair.

The creature, I cannot remember what it was, had been killed. It fell back into the shadows, where other creatures took it for food. She seemed unshaken by these events, and simply kept walking. She was intent on her destination, and she new that the woods were the shortest route there. Then, she veered off the beaten path, turning right and going down a small path, partially concealed by a large boulder. She was heading in the direction of my camp, so I continued to follow her, wondering what her destination could be.
She continued in the same direction for a while, but then she stopped. She could have gone straight or right, but she instead went left, down a path that I personally tried to keep concealed. She was nearing my camp, and I was becoming worried. She could discover my camp. As far as I knew, my camp was a secret, known only by me. Yet, she was heading along the only true path to it. At the same time, she was occasionally looking back, as if she knew someone was following her, but could not find them.

When she was not but 25 yards from my camp, she stopped. She looked back again, but this time, she spoke. “I know you’re back there. Why are you following me? I don’t have any money, and I have no valuables. Either show yourself, or leave.” She appeared worried, believing someone was going to hurt her, so I responded.

“I am simply curious as to why you are headed in this direction, down two well concealed paths, one concealed by myself.” The moment I finished speaking, I regretted it, as she looked straight at me. I knew I had made a mistake, and I tried to hide, but she had spotted me. She knew where I was, so I gave up hiding and walked out into the open. I had dark blonde hair, was slightly taller than she was, and a bit too thin. I was wearing some bland, white, homemade clothes. I had dark blue eyes, and some poorly made leather shoes.

“I had no idea people would want to hide paths in the woods. No one comes here, and there are no reasons I can think of to hide a path. So, why did you hide the path?” She looked at me, and I pondered how old she was. She appeared to be around my age, but why would someone of my age be walking through the woods?

I responded, “I have been hiding from civilization, for I am being hunted down.”

“Why do you talk so formally?” She replied.

“When you live alone in the woods, you have a lot of time to work on your grammar.” She laughed, and for the first time in ages, I realized how much I had missed human interaction. “Why are you in this forest?”

“For the same reason as you, I’m being hunted down.” She looked somewhat sad, and I could tell she did not like having to hide away. “So, do you have a shard to?”

I pulled up my sleeve, revealing a crystal shard no larger than a marker. “Yes, I do. While it’s awesome having one, it sucks being cut off from civilization, doesn’t it?”

“I wouldn’t know, until yesterday I was hanging out with my friends all the time, sometimes just sitting with them, not talking at all.” Friends. The word stuck in my head, hanging on like a parasite. I hadn’t had friends for years, not since I was 11…. I shook my head, refocusing on what was happening.

“So, what’s your name?” I asked, wondering how long I would be able to talk to her before I was isolated once again.

“My name is Silbit. And yours?” She cocked her head slightly, curious.

“Well, I no longer use my given name. Too many bad memories. You can call me Capperroff.” I hoped she would understand, and not pry into the reasons why.

She raised her eyebrow, an arch above her right eye. “So, Capperroff. Where did you get that name?” She seemed to think the name was strange, and I agreed completely.

She waited for my response, but I just shook my head, saying, “I don’t really know. I just came up with it. I haven’t needed a name in ages.” She lowered her eyebrow, apparently satisfied.

“So, Capperroff, how long have you been in these woods?” She asked.

“Well, I was 11 when I first came here, so…. 4 years. How long have you had your shard?”

“Not long, under a month. I kept it a secret for a while, but…” She trailed off, obviously not ready to talk about it, so I broke the silence.

“How old are you, Silbit?” The name sounded strange and foreign on my tongue. I had not spoken a new name for months, and I was not used to them.

“I just turned 15 a few months ago, so I’m as old as you.” She seemed relieved to be off the subject of the crystal shard. I decided to ask her something.

“Would you like to stay with me? My camp is just up the road, and there’s strength in numbers.” I wondered why I was so readily willing to invite her to my camp. Did I really miss people that much? But it was too late to stop myself. I could only wait for her reply.

“I don’t know, can I see your camp first?” She seemed to smile for a moment, but it could have been my imagination.

“Sure.” We began walking towards my camp, me leading. My camp was in a small clearing in the woods, just big enough for a few tents and a fire pit.

“Alright, I’ll stay.” She said as we arrived there. She then pulled off her backpack, rifling through its contents. She pulled out a portable tent, and found a nice spot to pitch it.

“Here, allow me.” I said.

“No, I can do it.” She continued to set up the tent.

“Look, you don’t have to do that. I can. Could you grab some firewood? It’s going to get dark soon.” I pointed to a woodpile, but she just kept working, so I started setting up the tent anyway, helping her finish faster.

When we finished, she muttered, “Thanks….” Under her breath. I just smiled at her and walked over to pick up some firewood. I walked back, and I released a ball of Plasma to start the fire. “So, that’s your power?” She asked.

“Who says I only have one,” I responded. She raised her eyebrow, so I said, “It was just a joke, I only have one power. So, what’s yours?” I attempted to raise my eyebrow, but it ended up just making me look stupid.

She laughed, “I have Ice.”

“Oh, cool. It’s almost the polar opposite of mine.” I laughed. She just chuckled.

“Yeah, you’re really punny.” This time, we both laughed. As the laughter died down, we just stopped talking. We sat on opposite sides of the fire, warming ourselves as night fell.

“Well, I’ll go get dinner.” I took one of the animals I had caught that day, and I cooked it. I gave her half of the meat, and we ate. “We need to get to bed. We have to get up early to hunt.” I headed into my tent, adding “Goodnight, Silbit.”

“Goodnight Capperroff,” she replied. She headed into her tent too. I got into my sleeping bag, thinking about the days events. I was no longer alone. For the first time in years, I had something I had wanted for a long time. A friend.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That's it for now. What do you think?

Edit: I put up a full rough draft of chapter 1.

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 Post subject: Re: My Book Series
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:16 am 
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Well, I happened to be browsing the writing section and your chapter one didn't seem like it would take too long to read, so here I am.

First of all, Capperroff supposedly speaks rather formally, yet he uses words such as "awesome", "sucks", "cool", "sure", etc. These words, in the context you have given, are actually extremely informal and can even be considered as slang terms. There are plenty of alternatives. "Sure", for example, can easily be replaced by "certainly".
My second criticism is about the pacing of the relationship. In my opinion, I believe that Capperroff and Silbit became friends way too quickly. Both of them are being hunted, yet they seem to trust each other almost instantly. Now, I might be wrong about Silbit, as this is all written from Capperroff's point of view. You might be planning something else for her. However, for someone who has been on the run for years, Capperroff seems to trust a stranger, even one similar to him, all too readily. In fact, he's already calling Silbit a friend, and he just met her. That gives me the impression that he's extremely naive. Did you intend for him to turn out that way? If not, you might want to consider making him more wary of Silbit, seeing how they don't know each other very well at the moment. Remember, this is only chapter one. You have plenty of time to develop their friendship.

Well, I do have a few other points, but those might be based off of my own personal preferences, so I'll keep them to myself. I apologize if I seem harsh, but I tend to focus primarily on characterization both in my own reading and writing. Overall, I would say that you're off to a good start, but I would suggest refining your characters more.


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 Post subject: Re: My Book Series
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:16 pm 
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He stops talking formally after she mentions it. I'll make that more apparent. You have a good point on the friendship thing. I need to work on that. Thanks, Faustgy.

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 Post subject: Re: My Book Series
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:07 pm 
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Alrighty, here's what I found... and I apologize if I come off harsh, no need to sugar-coat words... I think I know what I'm doing *cough*5onAPEnglishLanguageandCompexam*cough*

Along with what Fautsgy said about charactarization and stuff, here's some grammar errors or typos or whatever that I found.

Also, something I noticed that I'm kinda picky about is you started a LOT of sentances in a row with "she". Try to vary it up a bit.

Most people avoided these woods, for they are were the creatures dwelled.
Should be: Most people avoided these woods, for they are where the creatures dwelled.

She seemed unshaken by these events, and simply kept walking. She was intent on her destination, and she new that the woods were the shortest route there.
Should be: She seemed unshaken by these events, and simply kept walking. She was intent on her destination, and she knew that the woods were the shortest route there.

“Why do you talk so formally?” She replied.
Should be: “Why do you talk so formally?” she replied.
--speaker tag, lowercase

“So, do you have a shard to?”
Should be: “So, do you have a shard, too?”


I pulled up my sleeve, revealing a crystal shard no larger than a marker.
--Don’t know time frame you’re going for, but if it’s a medevial setting, then it's an anachronism.

“So, Capperroff, how long have you been in these woods?” She asked.
Should be: “So, Capperroff, how long have you been in these woods?” she asked.
--Speaker tag

“Well, I was 11 when I first came here, so…. 4 years. How long have you had your shard?”
--Not necessarily an error, but generally you write out numbers less than twenty, I believe. Something like that. Definitely less than ten, but that’s not altogether a big deal, just thought I’d point it out.

“Alright, I’ll stay.” She said as we arrived there.
“Alright, I’ll stay,” she said as we arrived there.
--"She said" is a speaker tag (not sure if that's the real term, but it's what I call it), so end with a comma and follow with a lowercase letter.

“Here, allow me.” I said.
Should be: “Here, allow me,” I said.
--Speaker tag follows the quote, therefore it ends in a comma.

When we finished, she muttered, “Thanks….” under her breath.
--Not too sure about this one, other than “under” def isn’t capitalized. There may or may not be a comma after muttered… I kinda make up my own rule in that case :P

“So, that’s your power?” She asked.
Should be: “So, that’s your power?” she asked.
--Speaker tag means lowercase.

“Who says I only have one,” I responded.
Should be: “Who says I only have one?” I responded.

She laughed, “I have Ice.”
Should be: She laughed. “I have Ice.”
--It’s not a speaker tag, so no comma. She laughed, and then informed him that she had ice. Unless she was laughing out the words “I have Ice”, in which case… okay. I guess you could do that too, if you want. It just seems awkward to me, but I guess that's personal preference.

Good story, though! I'd write more about how I don't think it sucks, I'm just trying to edit, don't think I'm a mean person, but pressed for time, gotta go!

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"To love another person is to see the face of God." ~ Victor Hugo
"Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid." ~ William Ernest Henley
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 Post subject: Re: My Book Series
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:40 pm 
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Thanks. I'm going to write a Prologue for the reasons of certain things. First of all, if you have a crystal shard, the government will kill you, no exceptions, so they knew they could trust each other. (Explanation. Somewhat lame, but still.) And what you said didn't seem mean, Saber. Thanks for the help everyone. I still need to work on why they so quickly became friends. Still, I have more than enough time to work on it. Thanks for the input.

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