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Character Voice Game

Forums Fiction Characters Character Voice Game

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  • #149171
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    Excellent character voice is extremely hard to pull off, and so like I do with all hard things in life, I decided to make a game out of it.

    It’s a joke.

    I’m kidding.

    Mostly. 😉

    Anyways, to the point. Character voice makes everything from dialogue to normal scenery descriptions pop off the page, but, for me at least, it is a very difficult thing to grok and utilize.

    Though introspection mixed with descriptions is extremely valuable, true character voice really comes into play in dialogue, descriptions, and beats.

    Thus, I propose a game with the following rules:

    • Each player is to select two of their characters (or invent them) and write a passage from each of their PoV’s no longer than 300 words each.
    • In each passage, instead of telling through introspection, each player is to show their characters’ personality, flaws/fears/misbeliefs, culture, background, normal life, and occupation through descriptions, dialogue, and beats (some introspection is okay, but using it to info-dump is not ideal).
    • Then, I, and anyone else who wants to, will read the two passages and guess each characters’ personality, culture, background, flaw, etc.. (it doesn’t have to show all of those things, but at least some of them)
    • Writing two different PoV’s will cause readers/guessers (and the writer) to juxtapose the two PoV’s in our minds and see how unique and different they sound from each other.
    • Each player is welcome to make as many such posts/entries as they desire, and they are welcome to make guesses on other players’ entries.

    Well, this is a spur of the moment idea, so take it or leave it. 🙃

    I’ll try to post my own entry in the next few days, but if y’all would like to, you are welcome to present your character voice skills to the world at anytime (or if you’re like me, use this to improve them 🙂 ).


    @obrian-of-the-surface-world


    @jared-williams


    @kimlikesart


    @rose-colored-fancy


    @erynne


    @inkhorn


    @storysmith


    @emma-walker


    @braelynn


    @r-m-archer


    @irishcelticredflowercrown


    @joelle-stone


    @taylorclogston


    @mamaauthoress


    @elena-n


    @crazywriter


    @emily-waldorf

    @Anyone

    #149172
    Emma Walker
    @emma-walker

    @noah-cochran this sounds very fun and I shall get back to it 😉

    "If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth Elliott

    #149181
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    @noah-cochran This is a fun idea! I’ll try to come back to it later this week while I’m on break from my bigger writing projects and I’ll hopefully have some more brain power, lol.

    Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

    #149182
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @noah-cochran
    Here’s one of my characters, but I will have to add another separately.
    Not sure if this is what you were looking for:  (320 words)
    His name is GrumBlud…

    I hate legless creepy crawlies.  One night I tucked under a rock ledge to rid meself of the sleepies.  Rain and wet had mucked the field and that imbecile Shelberd, I’ve been saddled with, has this bright idea for us to duck into this rock crevice to get out of the drips.  We usually sleep with pigs.  Noisy they are but they provide good cover during the night.  Shelberd snores. Loud. Worse than a thousand swamp frogs. We’re not allowed in the soldiers’ barracks.  Not even in the camp tents. Shelberd got us kicked out. An I got blamed for honking with him, on account of big nostrils.  Both him and me got’em. Schnozzes as big as a red onion. Happened with the change. We were street muckers before. The stone city gets cold at night.  Cobbles are wet with seep and street stink. No dry places to be had. Folks batten down for the night. Bolt their doors. Those of us in the made kind, don’t mix with the beforelings. Most of us don’t have family. Each of us scrabbles for our own scraps.  But when we drink the black water, we are given a place and a seat at a table. No more fighting over moldies, and crusts. The king’s own give us meat. Bloody meat. We rank with the dogs, ‘cept we are rewarded with doin’ what were good at. Listenin’ and blending. Bringing the secrets out. Findin’ the fears and turnin’ out in on them. Dark eying, we calls it. Worming it out. Just like that night in the crevice. A crawlie slithered out of the crack in the rock. Found me nostril and…

    I hate crawlies. Can barely sleep with my mouth shut.  Rocks in my nostrils, ever since that night.

    Pigs are snake-killers. Pigs’ll eat up a crawlie, bones and all.  Whenever we can, we climb in a pig pen. Sleep with the pigs.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #149183
    Mr.Trip Williams
    @jared-williams

    Interesting… Here’s a first draft bid with a few current WIP character…

     

    Character 1

    He’s back.

    My heart fluttered, yet the pit in my stomach grew. Where the tales true?

    I’d cried at his wife’s funeral, but to hear what he’d done in the vaelintrien capital? Even if they were our enemy, no one deserved that. I still couldn’t believe it. But where’d he been all this time?

    When I’d asked fa- … I mean, counselor Shemokeen,  about it, the only thing he’d said was he could ‘neither affirm nor deny said rumors’.

    I thrust my fingers into the earth and pulled out a few strands of grass by the roots.

    I hated it when he was like that.

    Feeling the essence of the small seed within the soil cupped in my hands, I closed my eyes and built the image within my mind.

    A small, green strand grew from amidst the halms of grass and split into thirds. The outer edges grew into lustrous, thin leaves that glistened in the dim fire’s light, while the middle stem grew and widened into a bud.

    My thoughts challenged my concentration.

    Why would I be promoted to this position of royal vedette if he insisted on keeping me in the dark? Did he not think it was pertinent? I mean, how could I trust myself if I couldn’t trust…

    The bud that had begun to bloom in my hand tightened, and the stem drooped to match my mood.

    I guess I’d just have to learn for myself. The man I used to know just wouldn’t do something like that. He wasn’t capable of such evil. He wouldn’t betray my trust…

     

    Character 2

    “Reporting in, sire.”

    I stopped just outside the range of the light, not wanting the camp’s fire to effect my night vision.

    The civilian woman scanned the forest for me, but the king turned his head toward me immediately. How’d he know?

    “Yaxkin, I warned you about this.”

    He always seemed to know.

    Kneeling, I siphoned my emotions and cleared my mind. With two fingers, now white as paste, I placed them upon my chest and bowed my head.

    “My apologies, my liege.”

    “Very well. Report.”

    My lord king was kind, but much too forgiving. That’s why brother always took advantage of him.

    I grasped the hem of my pants as I tried not to glance over at the female sitting at the fire.

    It wasn’t proper. Ladies like that should be protected, not flaunted about where armed conflicts could arise at any moment.

    “Preparations are ready, sire.”

    “And the men?” asked the king.

    The woman was staring at me.

    My hand twitched. Maybe it was the fire that danced upon her blackened hair, but she reminded me of mother. Brother said he had no memory of her, but I never believed him. After all, he’d lived with her for just as long as I had. But, that was the way of the tribe.

    “They are in position, my liege.” I gazed up at my benefactor.

    We could never repay the king for his benevolence. Most men looked upon our likeness with disdain.

    A flight of emotions erupted inside me, and I strained the contain it.

    Indeed, not many were welcoming to our particular skill set.

    “Very good,” said the king. “Fetch a stretcher for the general, and we shall head out as soon as they’re ready.” He nodded his head in the direction of the fire.

    If the king willed it, so shall it be done. Even if it did churned my stomach…

    “Yes, my liege.” Lowering my head, I released the essence, and a familiar warmth swirled along the base of my skin, spreading throughout my body.

    I rested my hand on the nearest tree as I took one more glance at the lady.

    The woman’s mouth gaped open, and the white of her eyes shimmered in the face of the flames.

    Peering at my hand, I smiled as the dark browns and greens mingled upon my epidermis.

    I stalked forward, confident I had disappeared from sight.

    Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried. ~ G.K.C.

    #149184
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @noah-cochran

    Hey Noah! How’s life? Thanks for subbing to my emails, I hope you enjoy them!

    This sounds like a blast! Thanks for the tag!

    I will try to get to this tomorrow, I just have to read the other people’s things to make sure I have the right idea.

    Btw… I doubt it, but you’re not by chance going to the conference in Puxico next month are you? 😂

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #149186
    Mr.Trip Williams
    @jared-williams

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    well done! a bit hard to read due to the shortness, and odd vocabulary, but it does give credence to their creaturely intelligence. Having read a description of your character elsewhere, it probably wouldn’t be quite fair for me to make guesses, but I think you did a good job of giving it a distinct voice. Very interesting!

    Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried. ~ G.K.C.

    #149193
    Mr.Trip Williams
    @jared-williams

    oh… I just reread the bullet pointed directions again…

    I had too much introspection, didn’t I…

    Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried. ~ G.K.C.

    #149195
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @emma-walker

    Sounds good. 🙂


    @r-m-archer

    I feel ya. xD I’m looking forward to seeing your post!


    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Wow Brian, that was an amazing read! GrumBlud is obviously not human (or not completely human at least), they have a tenuous grasp on language, they might be pariahs of some sort, but despite speaking of sleeping with pigs, I don’t think they like filth. And their minds are somewhat simple. Those are my guesses anyway. Having another PoV would be nice to contrast it with, so I look forward to your next post. Either way, though, that was a very distinctive voice and it has me intrigued.


    @jared-williams

    I had too much introspection, didn’t I…

    Don’t worry about it. And it’s nice to meet you!  🙂

    Character 1:

    This character has a powerful father who they are on formal and possibly estranged terms with. They have some sort of ability and are probably knowledgeable about plants. They know about politics and probably have  high class blood in their veins.

    Character 2:

    This character is somewhat obsequious in nature and has a possibly gratuitous amount of reverence and respect for the king. He seems to trust the king completely and love him for taking him in even though he was a pariah of sorts. He also has a strong inclination to protect women and keep them away from danger–which might be connected to an event or tragedy in his past.

    Some of those guesses were somewhat random, but I enjoyed it. xD The second PoV in particular I felt was distinctive and very easy to see it’s differences when compared to the first. His attention to women in a dangerous place, and his subservient attitude really stood out.  Great post and thanks for the response!


    @erynne

    Hey Noah! How’s life? Thanks for subbing to my emails, I hope you enjoy them!

    Life’s going pretty well, and no problem!

    I will try to get to this tomorrow, I just have to read the other people’s things to make sure I have the right idea.

    Sound good! I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

    Btw… I doubt it, but you’re not by chance going to the conference in Puxico next month are you?

    Well, considering that I’ve never heard of it, probably not. xD What is it?

    #149198
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @noah-cochran

    Ohh, this looks like fun!

    In each passage, instead of telling through introspection, each player is to show their characters’ personality, flaws/fears/misbeliefs, culture, background, normal life, and occupation through descriptions, dialogue, and beats (some introspection is okay, but using it to info-dump is not ideal).

    I have two characters, but I can’t decide whether it would be better to write a snippet of each in their daily life or to make them meet and have a conversation which I show from both povs. If the point of the exercise is to show their voice through their descriptions and dialogue, I think the latter would work best. If it’s more to show their character through how they interact with the world, the former would work better.

    Both are awesome ideas! I look forward to seeing your characters too!

    Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

    #149199
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    @rose-colored-fancy
    Either way is fine. It would be best if there were two different pieces of writing, each from a different characters’ PoV. You could write two completely different scenes, or you could do something like I’m thinking about doing and write the same (or similar) scene from two different PoVs. That would show the contrast a lot. A conversation between the two PoV characters would be great, but two separate pieces of writing would be best–either the same scene shown twice, or two completely different scenes.

    Hopefully that made at least a modicum of sense.  xD I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

    #149200
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Hi Noah! @noah-cochran

    The three hundred word limit is very tough.  Can we get a vote for upping it to 350? 🙂

    Here’s my second character part:
    (349 words)

    My name is Will.  Not that you’d care.  I don’t know why I keep getting jerked back here.  Wherever this place is.

    Now that Dad is dead, I never wanted to come back here again.  I saw him die here and awoke to find him dead there.  I’ve had nightmares about this place.  This between place.  I can still hear the growling of the wolves.  See their bloody muzzles.  See them leap for me.  If I’d only had a gun.

    But there are no guns here.  This world is savage and brutal.  Being weak here gets you dead…eaten.

    At least back in the other world, it doesn’t take much to pull a trigger.  The victim can sometimes get the upper hand.  So the strong and cruel hesitate.  No one knows whose carrying these days.

    Turn the other cheek. Ha!  You turn the other cheek, where I come from, you’ll get shot right in the…

    Mom doesn’t like me to say that word.  What does she know?  Mom could do nothing, and dad came home in a box.

    I need me some payback.  I hate those who did this to him.  Hate ‘em!

    Just four more years and I can join up.  Get me that payback.

    But the dreams keep coming back, and I end up here again.  Now, dad is no longer here.  Only the lingering ache of me watching him die here and I can do nothing but cling to the frozen tree.  So cold.

    I feel it even now.  I can hear the growls.  The silence.  Dear God, the silence.  I can’t look down.  I just can’t.

    Where was God that night?  Where was God when dad was shot by that Wolf Pack unit?

    The wolves seem to always win.  Why would I ever want to be a sheep among wolves?

    For all mom’s talk of God, she is still only a sheep.  But I am not.  The Good Shephard never came that night, so the wolves ate him. Hate is all I have left.  I cannot love anyone or anything anymore.  I must become a wolf.

    ———————-
    You are correct.

    GrumBlud is obviously not human (or not completely human at least), they have a tenuous grasp on language, they might be pariahs of some sort, but despite speaking of sleeping with pigs, I don’t think they like filth. And their minds are somewhat simple. Those are my guesses anyway.

    GrumBlud was once human but is now a Troll.  He is a pariah.  He is simple-minded and mostly driven by raw, negative emotions, and resentful fear of punishment.  He hates those he serves because he fears them.  He would double-cross them in a minute if he thought he could get away with it. He doesn’t particularly like filth, but he will not let filth and stench prevent him from acting, and slogging through it to get whatever he wants.  He does whatever he must to survive and has no particular loyalties to anyone or anything.  His language is a kind of broken cockney.  He moves like a gorilla, alternating between feet and knuckles.  He is a short and squatty fellow, chubby with a rubbery face, fat-lipped with broken teeth, a bulbous nose under a thick brow, with piggish, inset eyes.  He has a cartoonish appearance. The black water that transformed him into what he became, also gave him the mystical ability to look into someone’s eyes and see their fears and torment them with a rush of their own unwanted memories.  Never lock eyes with a troll. They will wound you from within.  And they have a fondness for knives.

    Hey Jared, @jared-williams
    Thanks for the shout-out.

    well done! a bit hard to read due to the shortness, and odd vocabulary, but it does give credence to their creaturely intelligence.

    You are correct. GrumBlud is a creature of base intelligence and has his own dialectic, calling things as he perceives them from his own context.  He assumes everyone knows what he is talking about because he has zero empathy for anyone but himself.  He is sullen and takes very little pleasure in anything but trickery and cruelty. His insults are the most colorful thing about his language.

    Your character 1 appears to be female.  She has some sort of herbalist gifting that allows her to mature a plant in her hand.  She seems to have a strong empathic nature but does seem to be a bit naive in the ways of war. 

    Even if they were our enemy, no one deserved that.

    Not sure what she is alluding to, so that may be just my limited perception.

    This seems intriguing, because she hesitantly appears to refer to “counselor Shemokeen” as, what one can assume to be her “father”, but she backs off of that affectation and formalizes his title in her own private musings.  I wonder what might cause her to do so.

    Her primary thought seems to be about her feelings for this man whom she has been separated from for years, but she is having trouble reconciling rumors about him with the image she has maintained about him.

    The man I used to know just wouldn’t do something like that. He wasn’t capable of such evil. He wouldn’t betray my trust…

    The passage also references that she has recently been promoted to “royal vedette”:

    Why would I be promoted to this position of royal vedette if he insisted on keeping me in the dark? Did he not think it was pertinent? I mean, how could I trust myself if I couldn’t trust…

    Was she promoted by the man she is thinking about or someone else?

    This does exactly what any passage of this short length should do.  It hints at and raises intriguing questions, making a reader want to lean in to find out more about the character and what concerns them. Good job!

    Character 2, “Yaxkin”, is male and appears to be a scout on night patrol, because he is aware of diminishing his night vision by coming to close into the firelight.  The woman must have been looking into the fire, for when he speaks she cannot see him in the shadow and instead scans the forest.  This tells me she is relying on others for her own safety, and not attentive to it herself.  The king’s immediately locating him tells me the king is avoiding looking into the fire and is mightful of his own protection as well, finding Yaxkin easily to address him.
    Yaxkin appears to be able to camouflage or make his body invisible at will with some sort of “essence” magic.  This ability may disturb others without this gift and make his kind suspect and distrusted.  A potential spy.  He seems to want the king to be more suspicious because he is ashamed of how his own brother “takes advantage”.  He seems sincere in his appreciation for the king, yet conflicted by it too.  He is also drawn to the woman seeing in her a resemblance to his own mother.  He wonders at his brother’s willingness to resist affectation, and dismiss feelings of nostalgia.

    My hand twitched. Maybe it was the fire that danced upon her blackened hair, but she reminded me of mother. Brother said he had no memory of her, but I never believed him. After all, he’d lived with her for just as long as I had. But, that was the way of the tribe.

    If this quality was indeed a tribal thing, what makes Yaxkin feel differently from his brother and the rest of his tribe?  This is one of those intriguing points that draw us deeper into Yaxkin’s character.  Why does he seem to care more about the welfare of the king and this woman?

    Good job, sir!

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #149215
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @noah-cochran

    I don’t know where Puxico is other than it’s in Mo, so don’t ask me XD

    It’s the For His Glory cconference at a Baptist church in Puxico. Apparently Paul Washer is supposed to be there which would be so cool. (Idk that for sure, but that’s what we’re being told)

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #149221
    Noah Cochran
    @noah-cochran

    Uhh…. I broke like all of my own rules. xD So yeah, @obrian-of-the-surface-world over 300 words is totally fine. In fact… *goes to count his words*

    So 900 words is the new maximum per PoV. 😅

    Oh, and Brian, wow. Just wow. Not only was that second PoV written in a very unique style, it also captured is voice very well. Will is a cynical man who looks out for himself and has had a rough past that causes him to put self-preservation above all else (that last part is surmise).

    So here are mine:

    Character 1:
    A warm breeze swept through the dusty street, lifting a strand of Talia’s disheveled hair and caressing her cheek with its gentle fingers.

    No. The wind was not gentle. It was like humankind. It put on a show of kindness to ingratiate itself with the world. But that facade was thinner than a fraying thread, and the truth was revealed as soon as the malice broke through the pretense. Like the storm of two weeks past that had thrown their ship into rock and rent it like a rabbi’s vestments. No facade could hide the violence of that storm, nor could the affable faces of the people milling about behind her in the street hide their avarice. Humankind served themselves, and those who didn’t ended up being ravaged by those who did.
    But none of that mattered. The void of detached nothingness would protect her from the things of life, and emotion could go hang itself with its own flamboyant robes.

    “Do you plan on standing there forever?” came a voice that would have irked her if she hadn’t been wrapped in the void.

    Talia gave Evander and his blue cloak a languid glance. With a smooth hand holding open the inn door, the troubadour stood before her, that ever-present smile playing on his lips. Smiling was a waste of effort at best, and in Evander’s case, it was a mask for whatever he held behind those enigmatic eyes.

    “Perhaps I will. Standing still is much more enjoyable than following you around.”

    Evander’s lip quirked. “I enjoy your company as well, but perhaps we can move this conversation inside.”

    “Oh, but we’re having such a glorious conversation right here, I couldn’t bear to be interrupted.

    With a smile still dancing across his lips, Evander gestured toward the main room of the inn from which obnoxious music and vociferous voices spilled. “We’ll miss that tongue of yours.”

    With an expression flatter than freshly pressed fabric, Talia slipped into the inn. Ignoring the noise, the people, and the scent of spiced stew, she searched the room for the most isolated corner.

    The void loved isolation.

    Character 2:
    With a skipping step that matched the musical flute notes filling the air, Wren entered the main room of her father’s inn, a platter of steaming stew bowls in one hand, and a platter of spiced wine in the other. Their chef’s stew smelled as delightful as always, and the wine was a glorious red that did honor to the to Champagnenian vinter they had bought it from.

    “Wren! Where is that father of yours? Not off on another trip north, is he now?” called a rough voice from the closest table.

    With a radiant smile, Wren set the two platters down in front of the big man with a head smoother than an olive fresh from the orchards of Apulia or Dalmatia.

    “Asa, you just saw him yesterday. Don’t start pretending to be foolish again. You know that annoys me.”

    Asa chuckled. “That I do.” He glanced at the two platters that lay before him on the round, polished table. “Bloody sea snakes, what did I do to deserve all of this?”

    Wren cuffed his shoulder. “It’s not for you. Now keep that sailor’s tongue of yours in check, and help me serve our new guests.”

    “Me? Serve guests?”

    Wren gave him a full smile and swept a strand of her light-blonde hair back behind her ear to join the long braids that cascaded down her back. “Come now, Asa. I know you’ve secretly longed to serve at tables your whole life and your very being is shaking with excitement at this offer.”

    After a moment, Asa’s expression of fake shock faded and he chuckled. “Aye, girly, I’ll help ya.”

    Letting her teal dress flare, Wren twirled and snapped her booted foot down on the wood-paneled floor with a click-clack. “Perfect! I feel like dancing, and as soon as you help me with this, I’m going to do exactly that!”

    With another chuckle and a shake of his head, Asa rose and took the platter of stew bowls. “Don’t kill any of yonder guests with that lively spirit of yours. Oh, and I’ll be expecting me ale.”

    “One cup.”

    “One cup? What kind of bargain is that? I’ll take a full pint.”

    Wren gave him a sweet smile. “Three-quarters of a tankard–and not a drop over.”

    Asa’s sigh was drowned out by his grin. “Fine, fine. Lenray has pounded too much of his bargaining nonsense into that head of yours.”

    Wren scooped up the wine platter. “You know very well that I taught father everything he knows.”
    Asa snorted. “Sure ya did. Now where do ya want this stew?”

    After directing Asa to a group of charming Sicilians in the middle of the room, Wren swept toward a table in the far corner like a ship slicing through water.

    As she approached the table, three of its four occupants looked up. A man with a lovely smile was the first to catch her attention. A vibrant, blue cloak rippled down his back like the waves of the Mediterranean, and a gold coin glinted in the firelight as he rubbed it between his fingers. He looked like a man nearly as well traveled as herself–perhaps more so.

    The man beside him was a massive fellow with a stony face that needed some animation in it. Some might say he looked dangerous, but that was silliness. People weren’t dangerous unless they were given a reason to be, and life was safe unless you made it otherwise.

    Across from the two men, sat a pair of women. It was always a pleasure to guess where people were from, and the woman facing her was definitely a Roman. It had been a while since her last visit to Constantinople, but Romans had something in their dark eyes that screamed their ethnicity.

    Wren glanced at the last occupant. The woman still hadn’t looked up, but what was most surprising was the loose hair that fell around her face. That was strange, but Wren could commiserate. The thought of the sea wind sending her loose hair flying in every direction and the warm sun kissing her skin as she stood on the bow of their ship was–

    “I like my hair too,” the woman said without looking up.

    Wren nearly jumped. The woman must have eyes sharper than a lateen sail.

    “Oh, I’m sorry. People always say I’m too forward with my eyes. But your hair is lovely.”

    With a snort, the woman looked up, the hair still covering one side of her face. “Flattery is boring. Try something else.”

    For a moment, Wren lost all ability to speak. But her surprise quickly transformed to curiosity and she proffered a cup of wine as she gave the woman a bright smile. “How about wine? It’s the sweetest I’ve ever had in a long time. You’ll love it.”

    The woman raised a languid brow that Wren would change to one of relaxation and cheerfulness by the end of the evening. “Sweet, bitter, what does it matter?”

    Packing away the confusion for later, Wren slid the cups in front of the four guests. “Life is sweet, and a fine wine will sweeten it still further.” She leaned closer with a mischievous smile. “But I can get you some bitter wine if you would like. The tavern two streets over specializes in it.”

    The woman huffed a dark laugh that was completely inappropriate for such a glorious day. “You have much to learn.”


    @erynne

    Ah, that’s neat. I’ll have to look into it sometime.

    #149223
    Mr.Trip Williams
    @jared-williams

    My name is Will.  Not that you’d care.  I don’t know why I keep getting jerked back here.  Wherever this place is.


    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    So, is Will from earth and gets in some form or fashion teleported back and forth? Similar to Ted Dekker’s book, Black? From the sound of the gunslinging, I would hazard a guess, Wild West or some sort of post-apocalyptic?

    guessing he’s a pre-teenager (12-14ish) who has a lot of anger which he displaces on his parents mostly because he doesn’t know how to handle his father’s death but he actually loved them deeply. (but his feelings for his mother turns to annoyance? derision due to her perceived weakness.)

    For all mom’s talk of God, she is still only a sheep.  But I am not.  The Good Shephard never came that night, so the wolves ate him. Hate is all I have left.  I cannot love anyone or anything anymore.  I must become a wolf.

    this is a really really cool description, and makes me curious just how much of that paragraph is analogous and how much is literal in the story. I liked it.

     


    @noah-cochran

    and


    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Thanks for looking at my characters! You both had good insights into them, though I think Brian hit it a little more on the head.

    For the comments, for Character 1, I probably could have illustrated better that it was her father who promoted her in rank, and as such she had her father as her boss, in a way, and so she found the change in her relationship with her father difficult – in ways she was closer to him but in others further apart – such as not being privy to certain information and having to refer to him by his rank – since he was her superior (My cousin actually had this happen to her. lol. Her father outranked her, so right after celebrating her graduation from bootcamp, he had her go outside, then he purposefully walked the opposite direction in his uniform just so she had to stop and salute him. lol.)

    Yes, she can manipulate plant life, and the man who returned was someone she had previously idolized and someone who used to be her teacher (of sorts). I didn’t allude to it, but hoped to hint at it, that she used to have a crush on him, but then with the reference to his wife’s death, she had to let go of that crush.

    The part about not even the enemy deserved it… the rumors going around about the man she admired was that he massacred the entire town. So, far from naiveté, I think, she just can’t believe the man she knew was capable of it. (of course the massacre wasn’t hinted at, but hopefully it was clear the rumors were something really bad.)

    I am also really glad Brian was able to catch that character 1 was a girl. Lol. My main protagonist (not character 1) is also female, so I’ve been worried about my ability to write feminine voices. (Especially since this WIP is my first attempt at fantasy romance – or any form of romance.)

    Seems my second character was much easier to peg. which is good. His character, I feel, is actually more nuanced. Perhaps that’s why it was easier to distinguish… idk. One thing I’d hoped you would pick up on is his brother is a twin.

    After all, he’d lived with her for just as long as I had.

    And with reference to tribe, yes, his tribe, skill set, and the fact that he’s a twin all lended to his ostracization and pariah-ness. His essence ability to blend in makes for perfect espionage, assassinations, and similar shady dealings, so his “tribe” would be akin to the “ninja tribe” trope – and him being a twin isolated himself from his tribe – which is where the king becoming a benefactor comes in and their gratitude toward the king. Oh, with the woman, yes, he is very prim and desires to protect, but more than that… and this was harder to portray by showing instead of telling, but he doesn’t converse well with women, and they make him nervous. Just in general. There was one small hint that he does struggle with controlling his emotions (which is the key to his essence ability to change skin colors). And yes, he and his twin brother are near opposites personality wise – as he is more by the book and his brother “takes advantage”.

    Writing from their POV’s was a fun exercise! I may have to come back and do some more…


    @noah-cochran

    I would guess Talia is either a noble, an important personage, or a religious priestess of some kind from the first few paragraphs; however, toward the end, my opinion changed. I still think she may have ties with religious leadership, but my ultimate guess is she’s a diva – a singer. She was traveling somewhere she desired to go but was shipwrecked and forced to resort to singing for crowds she deemed inferior or in the least not her normal clientele.

    I also get the feeling she is from a place that holds a certain amount of vitriol or tension/animosity with the place she ended up. (That or she just doesn’t trust anyone.) The troubadour, I would guess, actually likes her, but she sees him as an annoyance, like a flee or necessary nuisance. And I would gather to guess, he also has a sense of humor and livens up the story – perhaps comedic relief? perhaps not… Their relationship does seem to be complicated, and very interesting.

    Wren baffled me a bit more than Talia, I think. At first, I thought port bar that her father owned, grew up working around sailors and the restaurant – but the well-traveled part got me befuddled. She seems seasoned and well acquainted with the region and the people therein – well loved, but came across as naive to the world outside her hamlet and the regulars that ported therein… (which is why the well-traveled bit is even more confusing). The first two at the table near the end were well described – the first with the money, I pictured a swordsman/pirate-ish captain or first mate lad, and the second a muscled “heavy lifter” (probably wielding some blunt, heavy object when in battle…). The roman lady, good… but then the last woman – what a doozy… I have no guesses. Lol. She’s an enigma, mystery at this point and very intriguing. You had to stop the scene there?? lol.

    Fun reads, both of them.

     

    Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried. ~ G.K.C.

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