fb

Fantasy Writers

Hello! Is anybody in the mood to critique a short story? 😀

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #137414
    Brooke
    @wingiby-iggiby

    Hi! It’s Wingiby Iggiby (a.k.a. Brooke)! I have been absent from the forum for a long while, ever since life decided to go from a trot to a gallop. But I am never gone forever! *cue majestic trumpets and drum-roll*

    Anyway . . . . I have a short story (700 words long) that I’d like some honest critique on. I’m planning to enter it in the monthly Kingdom Pen Picture Prompt Short Story contest (my first contest, XD)!

    I mostly want to know how well the story flows; if there are any consistency errors; or if its just downright cheesy (bc who wants to enter a cheesy story in a contest?), etc. And, of course, anything else you can think of, including grammatical stuff, bc we all know that language arts is holding a grudge against me. Don’t be at all afraid of offending me, bc I will only be eternally grateful for your honesty 😉

    Anyhow, enough with the jabber. Here it is:

    Wooden Dolls

    I rested my feet on the pedals and coasted down the hill toward the wharf on my squeaky, derelict bike. The dirt road was smooth, packed down by the passing of many feet now eerily silent. The rickety buildings on either side looked like they might’ve been crying, and in the distance a tower and two windmills rose like twisted fingers against a watery sky.

    My shirt clung to my back and my tongue was thick — I really regretted speeding past that well of shimmering water. I could, at least, picture the water’s rippling pattern in my head and refresh my weary mind.

    But in the saggy pockets of my brown trousers, I heard wood rattle against wood — tiny dolls no taller than the length of your hand; dolls with dull black eyes.

    My heart lurched at the thought of them, and I turned and braked in front of an antiqued shop beside the grey sea.

    I pushed open the door and a tiny bell tingled. I emptied the dolls onto a table and sniffled as dust tickled my nostrils. All along the walls were shelves; shelves full of more unnerving dolls. There were old men and women, young boys and girls — even tiny babies. And there were also all sorts of animals. Sunlight sifted through a window, filling the room and glinting off of hundreds of dark black eyes.

    In a far corner, a man bent over a table, gently flicking flakes of wood off a chunk of aspen. I cleared my throat — gruffly. His hair was brown, peppered with gray, and it curled out from under a slouching cap. When he turned toward me, the curls flounced.

    “There ya are, Isaac,” he hummed, picking up one of the dolls I had brought and tracing his fingers over its eyes. “Ah, very good, very good. There are more fer ya by the door.”

    I gulped warm water from a ragged flask, gagged, and then sighed. “Can’t I be done?”

    The carpenter looked up. The stubble on his chin quivered and his blue eyes flashed. “No.”

    I stuck out my lower lip and despised the man even while submissively collecting more dolls.

    But these were eyeless dolls.

    Goosebumps prickled my skin as I held them.

    When I stepped outside into the searing sun, I decided to venture down a cooler side street. After a few minutes, I stopped in front of a tall, shaky building full of musty windows. I stared at it for several moments, feeling my muscles tense. Then I opened the door and let light tumble into a molding kitchen. In the sun’s glow I could see two bodies lying on the floor, the rise and fall of their chests almost imperceptible.

    A tall man with flaxen hair; a woman with emerald eyes; and then, in a crib, was a tiny baby with hair so fine it was nearly invisible. The cradle was carved with a shaky but loving hand: Lora.

    I walked over to the man and pushed the hair back from his face; I kissed the woman on the cheek; and I coddled the baby’s tiny fingers in my hand. I glanced about the mournful room and noticed a mouse limp on the floor by the wall.

    I tiptoed over, and placed a teeny mouse doll next to it. Then I squinted my eyes shut, took a deep breath, and pushed down on the mouse’s body. A small burst of air puffed out of its mouth, and two black eyes appeared on the doll’s face.

    It’s life was “dolled” for the carpenter.

    I stared at the small body while stinging remorse filled my heart until it throbbed. Then I bit my lip as warm tears slid down my cheeks and I clenched my fists, inhaling sharply.

    No longer. I couldn’t do this any longer. No more would I be his servant! I refused to steal the souls of the people I loved. 

    Even if that meant he dolled me too.

    I walked over to the cradle and picked up the baby. She was light in my arms. Then I stepped toward the door.

    The sun’s light was golden.

    Golden like my sister’s eyes.

    *************************************************************************************

    I didn’t mention this above bc I didn’t want to influence you before you read it, but do you think I ought to show more of Isaac’s thoughts, and therefore less of the descriptions? 😀

    I light the arrow, pull the bow,
    Shoot that fire right through my soul.

    #137418
    calidris
    @calidris

    @wingiby-iggiby I would be up for that!

    I definitely agree with showing more of Isaac’s thoughts.  I think that it would help me to connect with him as a person, and also could help reveal some background, such as why he’s forced to “doll” people for the carpenter.

    One of the things that I noticed was that you have a lot of description, which is good, but some of it doesn’t seem to contribute to the general flow of the story.  One thing that I really like is to cut down on words by using verbs.  Here’s an example:

    “The rickety buildings on either side looked like they might’ve been crying, and in the distance a tower and two windmills rose like twisted fingers against a watery sky.”

    “The rickety buildings on either side wept, as a tower and two windmills rose like twisted fingers against the watery sky.”

    Another thing that I think is really important is consistency in description.  You have some very good description, but some of it lacks consistency, either within the story, or in the real world.

    “The rickety buildings on either side looked like they might’ve been crying, and in the distance a tower and two windmills rose like twisted fingers against a watery sky.”

    Here, the italicized part broke the flow because it is extremely specific, and not consistent with what we see in the real world.  I really like the description of twisted fingers, but it doesn’t line up because the tower and windmills are straight, inorganic shapes (I assume) and fingers are bent and organic.

    “The rickety buildings on either side wept.  In the distance, a tower and two windmills pierced the sky like broken nails.”

    You could go even further and change a tower and two windmills to something like derelict buildings to cut down on words.

    I would recommend seeing if you can split up and rearrange some of the descriptions.  Get the basics down at the very beginning (environment, character, etc.), then narrow your scope as the story progresses.  I hope this helped!

    *laughs as one fey*

    #137419
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @wingiby-iggiby

    WINGIBY!! I missed you so much!! *Bowls you over with a massive hug*

    OooOh, I love that story! It’s creepy and hopeful at the same time! I love the concept, and Isaac seems like an interesting character!

    Okay, here are a few things I’d change. I’m mostly focusing on paragraph-level.

     

    I rested my feet on the pedals and coasted down the hill toward the wharf on my squeaky, derelict bike. The dirt road was smooth, packed down by the passing of many feet now eerily silent. The rickety buildings on either side looked like they might’ve been crying, and in the distance a tower and two windmills rose like twisted fingers against a watery sky.

    Okay, Calidris covered that last sentence, and I shall cover the first two!

    It seems you’re getting your descriptions slightly out of order, though they’re good in and of themselves.

    I rested my feet on the pedals and coasted down the hill toward the wharf on my squeaky, derelict bike.

    You can cut “I rested my feet on the pedals” since it doesn’t really add anything to the story. If you just say he’s coasting down a hill, that’s assumed. Also, you might want to show his bike squeaking and rattling, contrasting it against the silence of the street.

    The dirt road was smooth, packed down by the passing of many feet now eerily silent.

    The eerily silent part feels tacked on, like an afterthought. If you show that earlier, you can cut it out entirely. And you can take out that the road is smooth, so you’d get something like this:

    The dirt road had been packed down by the passing of many feet. No more. Now it was just me and my rattling bike.

     

    My shirt clung to my back and my tongue was thick — I really regretted speeding past that well of shimmering water. I could, at least, picture the water’s rippling pattern in my head and refresh my weary mind.

    Instead of saying he regretted it, you can show him regretting it by thinking something like “I should have stopped by the well of shimmering water.”

    Also, the mood in your scene is good, I really like it! But the well of fresh water rather contrasts against it. If it was murky or dull, it would add to the mood of the scene.

    Unless you deliberately want that contrast for symbolism! It could be cool!

    But in the saggy pockets of my brown trousers, I heard wood rattle against wood — tiny dolls no taller than the length of your hand; dolls with dull black eyes.

    Considering what we learn later, you can even expand on their eyes, to add a little more creepiness to it. He could think about how the dull eyes never sparkled and how they seemed to gaze into him reproachfully.

    Oh, and you’re filtering! “I heard–”

    You could simplify that into: Wood rattled against wood in the sagging pockets of my trousers–

    My heart lurched at the thought of them, and I turned and braked in front of an antiqued shop beside the grey sea.

    I pushed open the door and a tiny bell tingled. I emptied the dolls onto a table and sniffled as dust tickled my nostrils. All along the walls were shelves; shelves full of more unnerving dolls. There were old men and women, young boys and girls — even tiny babies. And there were also all sorts of animals. Sunlight sifted through a window, filling the room and glinting off of hundreds of dark black eyes.

    This is pretty cool! I think the only thing I’d change is to add a little more of Isaac’s internal thoughts and actions. And maybe describe the inside of the shop in a really broad way? Something like: “There was no speck of color, the wood of the dolls blended into the wooden walls, only interrupted by those hundreds of glaring eyes.”

    In a far corner, a man bent over a table, gently flicking flakes of wood off a chunk of aspen. I cleared my throat — gruffly. His hair was brown, peppered with gray, and it curled out from under a slouching cap. When he turned toward me, the curls flounced.

    I like this description, but you’re describing a few things twice. Like his hair curling. You could cut the italic sentence entirely and simply say: Gray-streaked curls bounced out from beneath a slouching cap as he turned toward me.

    “There ya are, Isaac,” he hummed, picking up one of the dolls I had brought and tracing his fingers over its eyes. “Ah, very good, very good. There are more fer ya by the door.”

    I gulped warm water from a ragged flask, gagged, and then sighed. “Can’t I be done?”

    The carpenter looked up. The stubble on his chin quivered and his blue eyes flashed. “No.”

    Okay, this is pretty good, but you can add more of Isaac’s thoughts here. What’s his relationship with the carpenter? Is he scared? Regretful? Uncertain? You say he despised him, but you can expand on that even more.

    Also, you can add stakes. What would happen if he stopped? What keeps him coming back?

    I stuck out my lower lip and despised the man even while submissively collecting more dolls.

    But these were eyeless dolls.

    Goosebumps prickled my skin as I held them.

    When I stepped outside into the searing sun, I decided to venture down a cooler side street. After a few minutes, I stopped in front of a tall, shaky building full of musty windows. I stared at it for several moments, feeling my muscles tense.

    Okay, I’m going to suggest a bit of poetic irony. To enhance the mood of the scene, you could possibly make it overcast, the whole world washed out with gray. And then when he steps outside with his sister, you can have the golden sun come out. This works too, I just think it would be cool!

    Then I opened the door and let light tumble into a molding kitchen. In the sun’s glow I could see two bodies lying on the floor, the rise and fall of their chests almost imperceptible.

    A tall man with flaxen hair; a woman with emerald eyes; and then, in a crib, was a tiny baby with hair so fine it was nearly invisible. The cradle was carved with a shaky but loving hand: Lora.

    I walked over to the man and pushed the hair back from his face; I kissed the woman on the cheek; and I coddled the baby’s tiny fingers in my hand. I glanced about the mournful room and noticed a mouse limp on the floor by the wall.

    Now, I’m assuming this is his family, and he seems to love them, but you can expand on his thoughts here. (If it isn’t his family, I’d clarify that) Why are they still asleep? (Also, if they’re asleep, it doesn’t make sense to describe the woman’s eye color as though he’s seeing it.) Have they been dolled already? Is he the only one taking care of the family?

    I tiptoed over, and placed a teeny mouse doll next to it. Then I squinted my eyes shut, took a deep breath, and pushed down on the mouse’s body. A small burst of air puffed out of its mouth, and two black eyes appeared on the doll’s face.

    It’s life was “dolled” for the carpenter.

    I stared at the small body while stinging remorse filled my heart until it throbbed. Then I bit my lip as warm tears slid down my cheeks and I clenched my fists, inhaling sharply.

    Okay, it’s interesting that you chose to do a reveal here, I quite like it! Isaac seems quite good-hearted.

    No longer. I couldn’t do this any longer. No more would I be his servant! I refused to steal the souls of the people I loved.

    Even if that meant he dolled me too.

    But in order for that to work, you’ll have to establish stakes earlier. I don’t know what he’s giving up or risking by deciding to go. You’re implying he would be dolled too, but why? Is it a punishment? You could clear up the carpenter’s motivations in the conversation. You don’t need to expand on it too much, just hint at it.

    I walked over to the cradle and picked up the baby. She was light in my arms. Then I stepped toward the door.

    The sun’s light was golden.

    Golden like my sister’s eyes.

    Okay, I love the ending! But I’m wondering, is the rest of his family already dolled? Why is he leaving them behind? Where is he going? You could leave that vague, but you could also have him look out at sea and think about a land that isn’t ruled by such an evil man. Or something, I don’t know XD

     

    Anyway, loved reading it! And I’m so happy to see you again! How have you been? What have you been up to? How has the writing been?

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

    #137421
    Brooke
    @wingiby-iggiby

    Thanks so much, y’all!!! I really appreciate it!! I couldn’t exactly put my finger on the issues, but you guys hit the nail on the head! I’ve got a way better understanding of what I’ve gotta do now.


    @calidris

    I definitely agree with showing more of Isaac’s thoughts.  I think that it would help me to connect with him as a person, and also could help reveal some background, such as why he’s forced to “doll” people for the carpenter.

    Definitely! Now that I look back on it, he’s just sort of “there,” lol

    One of the things that I noticed was that you have a lot of description, which is good, but some of it doesn’t seem to contribute to the general flow of the story.  One thing that I really like is to cut down on words by using verbs.  Here’s an example:

    “The rickety buildings on either side looked like they might’ve been crying, and in the distance a tower and two windmills rose like twisted fingers against a watery sky.”

    “The rickety buildings on either side wept, as a tower and two windmills rose like twisted fingers against the watery sky.”

    Ah, yes! Thank you — that will help with word count as well.

    Another thing that I think is really important is consistency in description.  You have some very good description, but some of it lacks consistency, either within the story, or in the real world.

    “The rickety buildings on either side looked like they might’ve been crying, and in the distance a tower and two windmills rose like twisted fingers against a watery sky.”

    Here, the italicized part broke the flow because it is extremely specific, and not consistent with what we see in the real world.  I really like the description of twisted fingers, but it doesn’t line up because the tower and windmills are straight, inorganic shapes (I assume) and fingers are bent and organic.

    “The rickety buildings on either side wept.  In the distance, a tower and two windmills pierced the sky like broken nails.”

    You could go even further and change a tower and two windmills to something like derelict buildings to cut down on words.

    Ha ha, you’re totally right! I’ve never seen a bendy windmill . . . . thx!

    I would recommend seeing if you can split up and rearrange some of the descriptions.  Get the basics down at the very beginning (environment, character, etc.), then narrow your scope as the story progresses.  I hope this helped!

    This totally helps! I tend to forget that short stories are more focused on the character instead of the setting. Thank you for taking the time to critique; I’m so glad I posted this here!!


    @rose-colored-fancy

    HELLO!!!!!! So good to “see” you again!! I’ve totally missed y’all!!

    And I’m so glad you like it 😀 I’m also glad I got the creepy and hopefulness down, ‘cause that’s what I was subconsciously going for.

    You can cut “I rested my feet on the pedals” since it doesn’t really add anything to the story. If you just say he’s coasting down a hill, that’s assumed. Also, you might want to show his bike squeaking and rattling, contrasting it against the silence of the street.

    The eerily silent part feels tacked on, like an afterthought. If you show that earlier, you can cut it out entirely. And you can take out that the road is smooth, so you’d get something like this:

    The dirt road had been packed down by the passing of many feet. No more. Now it was just me and my rattling bike.

    Ohhhh yes! That would totally be better. Contrasting is a great technique!

    Instead of saying he regretted it, you can show him regretting it by thinking something like “I should have stopped by the well of shimmering water.”

    Also, the mood in your scene is good, I really like it! But the well of fresh water rather contrasts against it. If it was murky or dull, it would add to the mood of the scene.

    Unless you deliberately want that contrast for symbolism! It could be cool!

    Yes, the water does contrast (I’m using my contrasting backwards XD) The well is actually shown in the picture prompt, and the water is this rich turquoise, so it stood out. What I could do is to perhaps use the fresh water to lead to thoughts longing for his once beautiful world . . .

    Considering what we learn later, you can even expand on their eyes, to add a little more creepiness to it. He could think about how the dull eyes never sparkled and how they seemed to gaze into him reproachfully.

    Oh, and you’re filtering! “I heard–”

    You could simplify that into: Wood rattled against wood in the sagging pockets of my trousers–

    Oooooo! Yes! Creepiness factors! Perfect!

    This is pretty cool! I think the only thing I’d change is to add a little more of Isaac’s internal thoughts and actions. And maybe describe the inside of the shop in a really broad way? Something like: “There was no speck of color, the wood of the dolls blended into the wooden walls, only interrupted by those hundreds of glaring eyes.”

    Definitely; I’ve gotta work within the word count!

    I like this description, but you’re describing a few things twice. Like his hair curling. You could cut the italic sentence entirely and simply say: Gray-streaked curls bounced out from beneath a slouching cap as he turned toward me.

    Yes, bad habit of mine 😛

    Okay, this is pretty good, but you can add more of Isaac’s thoughts here. What’s his relationship with the carpenter? Is he scared? Regretful? Uncertain? You say he despised him, but you can expand on that even more.

    Also, you can add stakes. What would happen if he stopped? What keeps him coming back?

    YES!!! I knew those things were missing, I just couldn’t pinpoint them. Thx!

    Okay, I’m going to suggest a bit of poetic irony. To enhance the mood of the scene, you could possibly make it overcast, the whole world washed out with gray. And then when he steps outside with his sister, you can have the golden sun come out. This works too, I just think it would be cool!

    That is a perfect idea!

    Now, I’m assuming this is his family, and he seems to love them, but you can expand on his thoughts here. (If it isn’t his family, I’d clarify that) Why are they still asleep? (Also, if they’re asleep, it doesn’t make sense to describe the woman’s eye color as though he’s seeing it.) Have they been dolled already? Is he the only one taking care of the family?

    Yes, they’re family, and you’re totally right: he doesn’t have x-ray vision 😛

    Okay, it’s interesting that you chose to do a reveal here, I quite like it! Isaac seems quite good-hearted.

    Thank you (and he is)! 😀

    But in order for that to work, you’ll have to establish stakes earlier. I don’t know what he’s giving up or risking by deciding to go. You’re implying he would be dolled too, but why? Is it a punishment? You could clear up the carpenter’s motivations in the conversation. You don’t need to expand on it too much, just hint at it.

    Exactly! This is extremely helpful!

    Okay, I love the ending! But I’m wondering, is the rest of his family already dolled? Why is he leaving them behind? Where is he going? You could leave that vague, but you could also have him look out at sea and think about a land that isn’t ruled by such an evil man. Or something, I don’t know XD

    Good idea; I always did hate stories that left me with no clear idea of what might happen afterwards! Thanks so much!

    And how are you? I’ve been great — just been up to “life,” lol. I’ve started my Physics class, and I’m taking piano. My writing’s been off and on, but I plan on entering each of these little contests to hone my skills (of which I don’t have very many XD). How’s your fantasy series been coming along? Is Liorah still into trouble (nevermind, I know the answer to that 😛 )?

    I light the arrow, pull the bow,
    Shoot that fire right through my soul.

    #137422
    calidris
    @calidris

    @wingiby-iggiby of course!  I’m glad I could help 🙂

    *laughs as one fey*

    #137423
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @wingiby-iggiby

    Yes, the water does contrast (I’m using my contrasting backwards XD) The well is actually shown in the picture prompt, and the water is this rich turquoise, so it stood out. What I could do is to perhaps use the fresh water to lead to thoughts longing for his once beautiful world . . .

    That’s a brilliant idea! *Hurriedly looks up picture prompt* Wow, your description was flawless! That looks exactly like I imagined it!

    Yes, bad habit of mine

    LOL, same! I either describe nothing or describe everything four times XD

    Good idea; I always did hate stories that left me with no clear idea of what might happen afterwards! Thanks so much!

    You’re totally welcome! I can’t wait to see it in its proper place as the winner! 😀 You did awesomely and I’m glad I got to read it! It had me thinking about it for hours afterward.

    And how are you? I’ve been great — just been up to “life,” lol. I’ve started my Physics class, and I’m taking piano. My writing’s been off and on, but I plan on entering each of these little contests to hone my skills (of which I don’t have very many XD).

    That’s awesome!

    Physics buddies! *High fives* My books should arrive tomorrow, and then I have to suffer through that for the next year. I have biology and physics as my exam subjects this year. (whY did I choose so many sciences? I hate science! XD Oh, wait. The alternative was geography and economy. Blech.)

    That’s so cool, piano is a lovely instrument! Don’t you play guitar too?

    Oh, I can’t wait to read your fabulous stories! Please do post them on here if you feel like it, I love reading them!

    How’s your fantasy series been coming along? Is Liorah still into trouble (nevermind, I know the answer to that   )?

    OOh, I can barely keep hold of the little brat XD *Whacks Liorah over the head with both manuscripts.* Stop! Picking! Fights! With! Everyone!

    I finished the first draft of the second book a few weeks ago! It ended up being 120k long, which was longer than I’d thought but I’m really proud of it! And now I’m going back to rewriting book 1!

    And I’m kicking the ideas for that Edwardian standalone into a corner because it won’t leave me alone but I can’t start writing it now XD

    And yours? Are you still working on Dancrow and Kiark’s manuscripts?

    Besides that, (home)school started this week, so my time has suddenly diminished XD I’ve been drawing a lot over the vacation, otherwise just life as usual 🙂

     

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

    #137463
    Brooke
    @wingiby-iggiby

    @rose-colored-fancy

    That’s a brilliant idea! *Hurriedly looks up picture prompt* Wow, your description was flawless! That looks exactly like I imagined it!

    Thank you! 😀

    You’re totally welcome! I can’t wait to see it in its proper place as the winner! 😀 You did awesomely and I’m glad I got to read it! It had me thinking about it for hours afterward.

    Aw, thanks! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂

    Physics buddies! *High fives* My books should arrive tomorrow, and then I have to suffer through that for the next year. I have biology and physics as my exam subjects this year. (whY did I choose so many sciences? I hate science! XD Oh, wait. The alternative was geography and economy. Blech.)

    Whoa, ouch! I feel your pain, XD!

    That’s so cool, piano is a lovely instrument! Don’t you play guitar too?

    I know! I love piano 🙂 And yeah, I was taking guitar lessons, but then I decided I wanted to swap them for piano, so yeah, now I’m playing piano.

    Oh, I can’t wait to read your fabulous stories! Please do post them on here if you feel like it, I love reading them!

    Oh, thanks! I will totally do that! And if you have any stories I’d love to read them! I’m not sure how great critique I could give, but I just love reading that stuff for the sake of reading it anyway, lol

    OOh, I can barely keep hold of the little brat XD *Whacks Liorah over the head with both manuscripts.* Stop! Picking! Fights! With! Everyone!

    XD 😛 But you’ve gotta admit: her type of character is one of the most fun to write! Which is your favorite character out of your novels?

    I finished the first draft of the second book a few weeks ago! It ended up being 120k long, which was longer than I’d thought but I’m really proud of it! And now I’m going back to rewriting book 1!

    *Blows and horn and spouts confetti and runs around with a cake above her head screaming “whoo! whoo! whoooo!!!” I congratulate you!!!! That is awesome!!!! (Especially since I’ve never finished any novel and so I know how much stamina its got to take)

    And I’m kicking the ideas for that Edwardian standalone into a corner because it won’t leave me alone but I can’t start writing it now XD

    Oooo, was that the one with the dressmaker in it, if I remember right? And those “plot bunnies” are so annoying!!

    And yours? Are you still working on Dancrow and Kiark’s manuscripts?

    *shuffles feet and looks at the ceiling* So, no . . . . I can’t stay focused for long, lol. Right now I’m working on another fantasy, but I am determined NOT to give up on it. I will plod forward if only an inch at a time until it comes to realization. That is if I don’t see another plot bunny first. (oh, and you remembered their names!)

    Besides that, (home)school started this week, so my time has suddenly diminished XD I’ve been drawing a lot over the vacation, otherwise just life as usual 🙂

    Totally get it! Add that to getting distracted watching Studio C on YouTube, and that’s why I  never get anything done 😛

    I light the arrow, pull the bow,
    Shoot that fire right through my soul.

    #137570
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @wingiby-iggiby

    I know! I love piano   And yeah, I was taking guitar lessons, but then I decided I wanted to swap them for piano, so yeah, now I’m playing piano.

    That’s so cool! I’m still playing harp. Can you read sheet music yet? I remember what an absolute struggle that was to learn XD Learning to sight-read was an uphill battle and until then I had to memorize the songs XD

    Did you know harp and piano can mostly use the same music? I have a limited amount of modulations I can do, (E, A and B flat, and C, D, F, G sharp) and some runs are harder, but otherwise it’s really similar! What’s your favorite kind of music to play?

    Oh, thanks! I will totally do that! And if you have any stories I’d love to read them! I’m not sure how great critique I could give, but I just love reading that stuff for the sake of reading it anyway, lol

    LOL, I’m afraid Liorah is a jealous brat and doesn’t allow me to do anything else XD I’ve actually never tried short stories, though I do want to! I might end up doing a few over the winter!

    XD   But you’ve gotta admit: her type of character is one of the most fun to write! Which is your favorite character out of your novels?

    Totally! Liorah, hands down! I can’t help it, she makes me love her. She can be a frustrating pest sometimes but she’s soso alive. She’s one of the most vivid characters I’ve ever written and her voice comes easily to me. I love all my characters, but Liorah is closest to me XD I’d say my other favorites are Ziyad, Chantara, Faye, Gavril, and Ferran.

    Ziyad is probably the most complicated character in my WIP. I won’t give too much away, but every time I write him he throws me for a loop. He’s layered and complex and oftentimes not at all loveable.

    Gavril is one of the characters I relate the most to. He’s my classical hero character, trying to bear the whole world on his shoulders and crumbling under the weight.

    I didn’t like Ferran at first, but he really grew on me. He’s sweet and he and Liorah are a great dynamic together.

    Chantara is a straight-up villain. She scares the daylights out of me, she really does. But like Liorah, she’s layered and so very alive.

    And Faye is my precious smol cinnamon roll who must be protected at all costs. She’s my baby.

    LOL, sorry, I can’t resist ranting about my characters. XD What are your favorites in your current WIP?

    *Blows and horn and spouts confetti and runs around with a cake above her head screaming “whoo! whoo! whoooo!!!” I congratulate you!!!! That is awesome!!!! (Especially since I’ve never finished any novel and so I know how much stamina its got to take)

    Thank you!!! I’m so happy I managed to finish it! How come? Do you usually get new ideas or do you just fall out of love with it?

    Oooo, was that the one with the dressmaker in it, if I remember right? And those “plot bunnies” are so annoying!!

    You remembered! That’s the one! Though, by this time, it’s almost a full-fledged story. It has also evolved into what might be a heist story with lots of betrayals and plot twists XD Most of the characters are almost fully realized, only unnamed. I have almost half the plot XD And I keep trying to push it down because I’m working on something else XD

    *shuffles feet and looks at the ceiling* So, no . . . . I can’t stay focused for long, lol. Right now I’m working on another fantasy, but I am determined NOT to give up on it. I will plod forward if only an inch at a time until it comes to realization. That is if I don’t see another plot bunny first. (oh, and you remembered their names!)

    Ooh, that’s so cool! Tell me about it! I want to know everything! Also, if you ever get back to Kiark and Dancrow’s stories, I still want to read them 🙂 They sound so incredible and awesome!

    Totally get it! Add that to getting distracted watching Studio C on YouTube, and that’s why I  never get anything done

    LOL, YES! Distraction is everywhere!! XD

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

    #137683
    Brooke
    @wingiby-iggiby

    @rose-colored-fancy

    That’s so cool! I’m still playing harp. Can you read sheet music yet? I remember what an absolute struggle that was to learn XD Learning to sight-read was an uphill battle and until then I had to memorize the songs XD

    Oh, the harp is such a beautiful instrument! And yes, I can read music, but I’ve only memorized one song (well, most of it); do you have a lot memorized? And reading music is so hard, especially when those notes go way up or down, LOL

    Did you know harp and piano can mostly use the same music? I have a limited amount of modulations I can do, (E, A and B flat, and C, D, F, G sharp) and some runs are harder, but otherwise it’s really similar! What’s your favorite kind of music to play?

    No, I didn’t! That’s so cool! I think my favorite type of music to play might be theme songs, but I like swing too, bc swinging notes is just “jazzy.” Then again, I feel elegant playing classical, lol What about you?

    LOL, I’m afraid Liorah is a jealous brat and doesn’t allow me to do anything else XD I’ve actually never tried short stories, though I do want to! I might end up doing a few over the winter!

    Well, if you do write ’em, I’ll read ’em! (and tell Liorah Brooke says she needs to share 😛 )

    LOL, sorry, I can’t resist ranting about my characters. XD What are your favorites in your current WIP?

    All of your characters sound SO AWESOME! I would totally love to meet all of them, and if you ever publish those books, let me know! Could you tell me more about Chantara and Ziyad (if you don’t mind)? They sound really interesting! Do you have a method for coming up with characters, or do they just sort of “pop” into the story as you go?

    Ah, and my favorite characters. Here we go! *rubs hands together and takes a deep breath*

    I really love Chaha, the MC. She tends to say the wrong things at the wrong times, and she fakes optimism while inwardly wailing about anything that might go wrong. She also wails about her oily hair. She tends to be impatient, but is really caring and braver than she thinks. I haven’t gotten her all figured out yet, bc I’m still figuring out the first chapters of the book XD

    And then there’s Chet, the cowboy. I feel really bad for him *sigh* He fell into the wrong company and did some bad things *another sigh* He’s sort of like the lion in The Wizard of Oz, in that he believes he is courage-less, and so when he stands up for his friends and then *starts sniffling* I’m just going to go cry into my pillow now. . .

    In short, I just love all of them, so it would take forever to explain, haha, but I do like Nakkali too, because he is so interesting and stern and imposing and has a negative character arc *laughs evilly*

    Thank you!!! I’m so happy I managed to finish it! How come? Do you usually get new ideas or do you just fall out of love with it?

    For both of those reasons combined XD Sometimes, though, ideas from those stories will make their way into my new ones, so its interesting.

    You remembered! That’s the one! Though, by this time, it’s almost a full-fledged story. It has also evolved into what might be a heist story with lots of betrayals and plot twists XD Most of the characters are almost fully realized, only unnamed. I have almost half the plot XD And I keep trying to push it down because I’m working on something else XD

    Oh man, that sounds so EPIC!!! I can see why you’re having a hard time avoiding it, lol If you ever need to rant about it to someone, I’d love to hear it!

    Ooh, that’s so cool! Tell me about it! I want to know everything! Also, if you ever get back to Kiark and Dancrow’s stories, I still want to read them 🙂 They sound so incredible and awesome!

    Thank you! Maybe someday in the future I will resurrect their stories and bring them to fruition! As for my currect WIP, its that one I think I mentioned a while ago about the girl, Chaha, going on a quest to kill a silver tiger to save her sister from going mad. Chaha and her family are forced to leave the Kidishi mountains, because the bad-guy hired raiders from the country of Aride to do his dirty work. But then Chaha’s sister, Ihina, get poisoned (long story), and then an old lady tells them they have to kill the fabled silver tiger so Ihina can drink its blood. Then they go on a quest and run into new allies and dangers and get attacked by stuff and get themselves lost, etc. They also realize the bad-guy, Bagha-Pagala, also wants to drink the silver tiger’s blood. The main villian of this story is actually one of the hired raiders (Chet was once a raider), and I was planning to give him a redemption arc, somehow.

    Okay, that was a mouthful. I hope you were able to swallow that without choking, XD I just love how we can talk and talk about our stories on here, and as fellow writers, we all get it!

    I light the arrow, pull the bow,
    Shoot that fire right through my soul.

    #137873
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    *kinda peeks in…*

    OH @WINGIBY-IGGIBY I MISSED YOU!!!! *bowls over with a hug!*

    Oooh *reads shortstory. Oi…dolls, eyeless dolls, soul stealing/twisting…*glances uneasily at my current WIP** That was a fantastic story! Just kinda popping in I think everybody already covered whatever I was gonna critique, but I will add I would legit read a longer story about this Isaac and his interesting situation there <3

    Anyway, HI! 😁

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #139379
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @wingiby-iggiby

    , the harp is such a beautiful instrument! And yes, I can read music, but I’ve only memorized one song (well, most of it); do you have a lot memorized? And reading music is so hard, especially when those notes go way up or down, LOL

    LOL, nope! Just this week, my harp teacher asked me to play a song from memory. (I know it really well, I can play it perfectly without even thinking about it) and I couldn’t do it at all XD If I focus on memorizing one I could, but I haven’t for quite a while. Though, muscle memory is a blessing. I can’t even count the times it kicked in in the middle of the song although I was zoning out and my fingers just remembered what to do XD
    LOL, yes! I usually have to squint at those a lot XD I always get them mixed up XD

    No, I didn’t! That’s so cool! I think my favorite type of music to play might be theme songs, but I like swing too, bc swinging notes is just “jazzy.” Then again, I feel elegant playing classical, lol What about you?

    YES! Swing is the best! I have been known to put swing in pieces that don’t have it because it’s more fun XD My harp teacher thinks that’s hilarious XD

    I’ve tried in vain to like classical music, but it’s hard and I get bored XD I think my favorite is definitely folk, especially Celtic and South American. It’s just too much fun! My favorites are by Ortiz. (Oh, his books are for piano too! I have the International Rhythmic Collection parts one and two.) My favorite songs are Habanera Gris and Danza de Luzma. Look them up, they’re really pretty! What are your favorite songs to play?

    Well, if you do write ’em, I’ll read ’em! (and tell Liorah Brooke says she needs to share 😛 )

    Thanks, I’ll remember that! LOL, I’ll tell her, but will she listen? XD

    All of your characters sound SO AWESOME! I would totally love to meet all of them, and if you ever publish those books, let me know! Could you tell me more about Chantara and Ziyad (if you don’t mind)? They sound really interesting! Do you have a method for coming up with characters, or do they just sort of “pop” into the story as you go?

    Aww, thank you so much! Publishing isn’t the current plan, but I’m having fun with it 🙂

    OOh, of course!!!

    I can’t tell you any details about Ziyad because it’s kinda spoilers. He has kinda a tragic backstory so he has his…. issues. And because of character agency, that means he’s made a lot of really bad choices XD He’s honestly a mess, but he really tries and I love him for it. I think he has a genuinely good heart and good intentions (mostly) but he’s been dealt a really bad hand and he can’t seem to escape it.

    He isn’t a POV character, so I know less about him than you’d expect XD

    Chantara is in a kinda similar situation, actually XD I can tell you more about it because it isn’t some big reveal. She’s an assassin and she regrets it every second of her life XD She has more empathy than you’d expect, so it’s extremely traumatizing for her. She’s been so thoroughly messed up she’s become a villain.

    But unlike Ziyad, she doesn’t try to start over or get a better life. She’s decided there’s no way out of it so she might as well make the best of it, no matter what that entails. In her case, that entails a lot of murder.

    She’s very manipulative and sly, and an amazing liar. But I think my favorite part about her is that she has some good in her. She’s very loyal and close to her friends, and she takes things to heart a lot. I have her in the Villain’s character castle so I write a lot of her POV, and it’s fascinating to see how she’s constantly at war with herself. She’s the kind of side character who could get an entire spinoff to herself XD

    Method for coming up with characters…. Well, it usually starts with a concept. Sometimes the concept is a part of a character dynamic like “Annoying kid and world-weary mentor”.

    Like, I have a side character (One of Chantara’s friends) who started with the concept of a really cheerful, funny, nice person who’s also basically a psychopath but doesn’t realize it. XD (He’s fun! XD)

    And then I’ll usually fit that character somewhere in the story and give them a role, and then I try to figure out why they became that way. And then I figure out what they’d do in the story. Their appearance develops somewhere along the way 🙂

    How about you? How do you do it?

    I really love Chaha, the MC. She tends to say the wrong things at the wrong times, and she fakes optimism while inwardly wailing about anything that might go wrong. She also wails about her oily hair. She tends to be impatient, but is really caring and braver than she thinks. I haven’t gotten her all figured out yet, bc I’m still figuring out the first chapters of the book XD

    LOL, wailing about your hair is a universal experience XD There’s a fine line between “Messy romantic waves” and “birds nest” and I use it as a jump rope XD She sounds awesome! I think I’d love her!

    And then there’s Chet, the cowboy. I feel really bad for him *sigh* He fell into the wrong company and did some bad things *another sigh* He’s sort of like the lion in The Wizard of Oz, in that he believes he is courage-less, and so when he stands up for his friends and then *starts sniffling* I’m just going to go cry into my pillow now. . .

    He sounds like Ziyad! I love characters like that! They’re my absolute favorites! (Next to the sassy ones like Li’ah XD)

    In short, I just love all of them, so it would take forever to explain, haha, but I do like Nakkali too, because he is so interesting and stern and imposing and has a negative character arc *laughs evilly*

    Negative character arcs are awesome! I love them, I have one I’m planning and it would be so cool!

    For both of those reasons combined XD Sometimes, though, ideas from those stories will make their way into my new ones, so its interesting.

    Ooh, that’s cool! I love it when that happens! I do the same thing! Like, the character I described above, Chantara’s friend, he only has like two scenes, so his character concept is probably going to be recycled into the Edwardian story!

    Oh man, that sounds so EPIC!!! I can see why you’re having a hard time avoiding it, lol If you ever need to rant about it to someone, I’d love to hear it!

    Thank you! I’m so excited about it! It has the coolest aesthetic, it’s kinda Art Noveau and Rococo mixed up, to fit the combination of 1700s and Edwardian. Like… think Pirates of the Caribbean meets Phantom of the Opera XD It’s just the coolest!

    The pirate idea is definitely still a large part of the plot! I love it, it’s just so fun! But now it’s basically pirates vs. secret agents in a heist setting, so that’s going to be chaos XD And there are a few side characters who were circus artists, a sharpshooter, an escape artist, and an acrobat. (And the sharpshooter and the other two are on opposite sides and hate each other.)

    There will be at least one masquerade ball, and research involves how to pick locks, weaponize jewelry, and how corsets could turn bullets.  I have no idea what I’m doing but I love it!

    Okay, that was a mouthful. I hope you were able to swallow that without choking, XD I just love how we can talk and talk about our stories on here, and as fellow writers, we all get it!

    Yes! I remembered something about a tiger XD That sounds amazing!!! Wow, I love the premise! What’s your favorite part about it? How far into it are you? I don’t remember, are you a plotter or a pantser?

    Also, yes! Connecting to other writers is the best, they all just get it! I have to keep myself from talking in detailed jargon about my WIP to everyone else, let alone writer humor. Like: “Oh, I’m going to murder a character this afternoon, wish me luck! XD” or “Do you think he’s miserable enough? I think I can make it worse…” and talking with great enthusiasm in upsetting detail about stuff like poison LOL XD Apparently, other people don’t get that XD

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

    #142136
    Brooke
    @wingiby-iggiby

    Checking to see if this will post . . . .

    I light the arrow, pull the bow,
    Shoot that fire right through my soul.

    #142152
    Brooke
    @wingiby-iggiby

    And will this post? Sorry, it wasn’t working for me lol >_<

    I light the arrow, pull the bow,
    Shoot that fire right through my soul.

    #142154
    Brooke
    @wingiby-iggiby

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    CATHY!!!!!!! *screams with excitement and joy and scares all birds within a five mile radius*

    Oooh *reads shortstory. Oi…dolls, eyeless dolls, soul stealing/twisting…*glances uneasily at my current WIP** That was a fantastic story! Just kinda popping in I think everybody already covered whatever I was gonna critique, but I will add I would legit read a longer story about this Isaac and his interesting situation there <3

    Aw, thank you so much!! I’m so glad you like it 😀 Btw, how are Rosario and Ehud? Are they getting along? Does Rosario still think Ehud’s ridiculous? I miss them! I miss all of the characters, actually, lol It’s funny how I get to know y’all through your characters 🙂

    I light the arrow, pull the bow,
    Shoot that fire right through my soul.

    #142157
    Brooke
    @wingiby-iggiby

    @rose-colored-fancy   (I’m posting this in segments to see if that will make it go through . . .)

    LOL, nope! Just this week, my harp teacher asked me to play a song from memory. (I know it really well, I can play it perfectly without even thinking about it) and I couldn’t do it at all XD If I focus on memorizing one I could, but I haven’t for quite a while. Though, muscle memory is a blessing. I can’t even count the times it kicked in in the middle of the song although I was zoning out and my fingers just remembered what to do XD

    LOL, yes! I usually have to squint at those a lot XD I always get them mixed up XD

    Yes, muscle memory is amazing! I love it so much 😀 Our bodies are so awesome, lol (but my mind blanks out on stuff all the time, so yeah . . . . 😛 )

    YES! Swing is the best! I have been known to put swing in pieces that don’t have it because it’s more fun XD My harp teacher thinks that’s hilarious XD

    Oh my goodness, I do the same thing!!!!! I was playing Canon in D and I couldn’t get rid of the swing unless my teacher counted the beat for me XD

    I light the arrow, pull the bow,
    Shoot that fire right through my soul.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Enroll in Our Seven-Day Mindset Challenge Course

Enter your email to begin taking the course. We'll send you a link to begin the mindset course along with emails to help you grow in your writing craft!

You've joined the course! Check your email to watch the first video.

Plotting Is Hard

That’s why we created a worksheet that will help you make sure your story hits all the right plot beats.

 

Sign up below to learn how to ace story structure.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the plot sheet in one moment...

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.

 

Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the character questionnaire in one moment...

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

 You can download the entire Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers series in e-book form for free!

 Learn how to wisely handle subjects like violence, language, and sex as a writer.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Worldbuild Smarter, Not Harder

 Some worldbuilding questionnaires force you to answer as many questions as possible about your world.

 

Ours doesn’t. Answer targeted questions that reveal what’s actually important about your world.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the worldbuilding questionnaire in one moment...

Take Your Style to the Next Level

Take Your Style to the Next Level

The written word matters to God.

 

Does it matter to you?

 

Learn how to develop an eloquent, practical, and personal style by downloading our free e-book.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

 Don’t be the next.

 

We understand how exhausting writing can be, so download our free e-book and find inspiration to press on!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Don't Be That Kind of Christian Writer

Want to impact the world for Christ with your writing—without being preachy or cliched?

 

Learn how to avoid common pitfalls and craft powerful themes by downloading our free worksheet!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the theme worksheet in one moment...

So You Have Clichés in Your Novel...

Thankfully, we’re here to help!

 

Enter your email below, and we’ll send you a simple process for smashing clichés.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the cliche worksheet in one moment...

Sign Up for Updates

Enter your email to receive updates on the Engaging Plots Summit, along with emails to help you grow in your writing craft!

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Does Christian Fiction Need to Be Clean?

Our Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers e-book examines how to depict sensitive topics like violence, language, and sex with realism and wisdom. Sign up to download it for free!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

It can also help novelists write better stories!

Get our Harnessing the Power of Poetry e-book to learn how techniques used by skilled poets can enrich your storytelling.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

You can download the entire Harnessing the Power of Poetry series in e-book form for free!

Learn what surprising insights and techniques novelists can glean from poets.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Learning how to help readers connect with your story's characters doesn't need to be a mystery.

Get our Evoking Reader Empathy e-book to discover how successful authors build empathy.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.

 

Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.

 

 

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the character questionnaire in one moment...

Plotting Is Hard

Plotting Is Hard

That’s why we created a worksheet that will help you make sure your story hits all the right plot beats.

 

Sign up below to learn how to ace story structure.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the plot sheet in one moment...

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Enter your email to get your guide, along with other resources to help you grow in your writing craft!

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Pin It on Pinterest