WIP Hellhounds, Revisited

Discussion in 'The Writer's Corner' started by Fatmankev, May 1, 2012.

  1. Fatmankev

    Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

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    This is the prologue to the novel I'm working on developing that hosts the characters I've posted in Cross' Build-A-Character thread. In the spoiler tags, I've got the first few paragraphs so you can decide if you think it might be interesting, 'cuz the prologue is twelve pages long and I know a lot of people don't have time to read that kinda stuff. It's based off of an old story I've got posted on the WC called Hellhounds, which is a lot shittier and has terrible, soap-operaesque dialogue. I aimed to make this a bit more interesting and the dialogue more believable, and an overall decent story, so I hope some of you have the time to check it out and give me your comments. I'd love to know what I can do to make it better, to improve it; as much as I love hearing that it was a good read, it doesn't help me write a better story, you know?

    Anyway, thanks to all that check it out. I really appreciate it.

    Tertia held his hand over his eyes, scanning the vastness of the valley sprawled out before him. The trees and vegetation were thick, there, much thicker than it was at his altitude, and he knew it’d make for slow-going. He growled to himself, trying to quell his anger as he stared into the soft orange glow of sun, trying to map the rate of its rapid descent. He guessed that he had about two hours until the sun made its way past the horizon, casting their world into shadow, and leaving him yet another day behind. He growled again, his earlier efforts to calm himself having failed, and lashed out at a nearby oak with the side of his fist. The tree cracked and shuddered, huge slivers bursting out and splintering off of the opposite side of the tree, and Tertia clenched his fist at the inconvenience; he was patient, no doubt, and prideful in his capacity to wait until the exact right moment until acting, but after more than one hundred years of searching, his patience had run well dry.

    The Gate. That damned Gate. He’d searched the world twice over without so much as a hint as to its whereabouts. There’d been stories and myths, legends of a time when the Gate was first created between the worlds and the horrors of Abyssus were able to escape freely into their world, but they were only that. Only legends. Of course, Tertia knew that there was truth behind them, but relics of knowledge from ages long before even his time did him little good. Tertia grinned, in spite of himself. It had done them little good, as well, but they wouldn’t have the chance to gripe as Tertia did. Still, he’d traveled far and searched day and night, through rain or sun, in the sweltering summers and the frozen winters. He’d searched the cities and towns, the kingdoms and villages, the forests and the deserts and the tundras all across Mundus, all in vain. So far, he’d gotten no further than he had when he’d first begun his search. No further, but there’d been a lot of blood.

    And for that, he held no regret.

    He opened and closed his hand. No feeling, as usual. Stretching his neck out to either side, he rolled his head in a quick circle to pop his spine a bit and continued his descent down the mountainside, trying to cover as much distance as he could in the remaining light. He could see his goal, a small, riverside village almost in the center of the valley, the torches flickering into existence as they were lit one-by-one. It was tiny, secluded, and cut off from most of the rest of the world. His blood started racing as the excitement welled up in him, coursing through his veins. Where better to hide a prophet than in the middle of nowhere? Its obvious simplicity was almost amusing. He forced his breathing to even, calming his racing heart, forcing his hopefulness aside; he’d been close before, he’d thought, only to come to another dead end. There was no reason to suspect that this time would be any different, but there was something about this place, something he could feel. Whether it was in the air or his bones, he couldn’t tell, but it damn well didn’t matter. If this human could answer his questions, then all of his efforts would be realized. Realized, and vengeance would be at hand. Tertia grinned all the wider.

    He couldn’t wait.
     

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  2. Syndrome

    Syndrome You can change this now in User CP.

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    I really like the prologue so far, you did a fantastic job of writing the beginning; it really starts to reel you in by the time Tertia arrives at the village. Most people including me have a bad habit of 'fluffing' up the beginning with world building but you managed to keep it short, concise, and to the point. I am very interested to see what kind of person, or thing, Tertia is and how he develops as a character.
    Please write more!

    EDIT: Sorry if you wanted more criticism but to be honest I'm learning tons just by reading your story haha. Seriously though, the way you show things rather than telling them is something I aspire to learn.
     
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  3. Fatmankev

    Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

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    Hell, I just appreciate the fact that you read it, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. The next chapter will be at least a week or two in coming, because I'm still working the details for the story out, and how they'll get from one place to another in an interesting way that isn't just filler. Thanks again, there.

    Also, the story will not continue from Tertia's point of view at any time in the future, and his character won't be revealed until the end. Hopefully, the other characters will be able to draw you in as well.
     
  4. thewrongvine

    thewrongvine The Evolved Panda Commandant Staff Member

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    'Twas a good read indeed. Tertia sounds to me like a female's name, but that does make him more unique ha. That's all I have. I will wait for the next part.
     
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  5. Fatmankev

    Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

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    Thanks for reading it, bro. Much obliged. Tertia is pronounced like (Tersh-ee-uh). Dunno if you were saying it right or not in your head, but I'm sorry it sounded like a girl's name to ya =P


    As for chapter one's progress, I'm only on page 5 so far... but I also just started today, so there's something. I was having a lot of trouble deciding how exactly to start the story, and although I'm still sort of skeptical about it, I'm fairly satisfied with the results so far. My main character isn't as much of a douche as I was afraid he might be, but he's still got a somewhat comical degree of arrogance to him that I want to continue through the story. Hopefully, progress continues at this rate with the rest of the chapter, and I can post some more up here for anyone interested in reading it.

    Thanks again for checking it out, guys.
     
  6. Fatmankev

    Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

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    Alright, first chapter is complete. This one is 19 pages, so I totally understand if no one gets around to reading it.

    That is, if anyone is still here...

    But here's the first few paragraphs in spoilers, with the file attached.

    Galan ground his teeth against the clamor of the crowded Central Square, its normally bustling streets absolutely packed to the bursting point with residents from all corners of the kingdom. There were people talking, laughing, dancing and shouting, bent down scolding their children or carelessly gaping up at the stage. Some were even staring his way, watching him. He glared back bitterly. He didn’t want to be here. There was the fetid stench of sweat and body odor hung thick on the air, so thick that it left a sour taste lingering on his tongue. The voices and cries of so many people at once had melded into a single, constant, unbearable droning that left him wanting to do nothing more than throw his hands over his ears. Thousands of faces hosting a myriad of expressions from curious to excited to bored peered all around, awaiting the commencement of the ceremony. The whole thing was an assault on his senses, overloading him to the point that he was nearly ready to succumb to it. He fought at an overwhelming urge to just turn around and leave, and found himself wondering for a moment at why he shouldn’t do just that. He gently rested his hand over the pommel of the blade at his hip, closing his eyes in an effort to shut out the noise, to close out the people. It didn’t help. He didn’t want to be here.

    There was a guard stationed at every ten paces along the various shops and stalls huddled up against the high walls of the Central Square, but they seemed careless, like they weren’t taking their duties seriously. Up on the stage along with Galan were even more guards, homeland soldiers dressed in chainmail and blue-and-yellow tunics, but the more there were, the less good they seemed to be doing. He felt his mouth turn down in a frown as he watched them abandon their posts to congregate in groups of three or four, laughing at jokes Galan couldn’t hear over the din. At least the ones down in the square were keeping to their places, but then he wasn’t sure if they’d be able to move against the throngs if they tried. It was an unruly mess, something he never should’ve been involved in. “Curse you, old man,” he swore at his mentor, wishing he’d never been stuck here. The man was probably sitting down in his forge now, chuckling to himself at Galan’s misfortune. He’d let the man know his feelings plain and clear before he’d left, but it hadn’t made a difference. It was just something he had to accept.

    He turned away from the guards to look on the Magister, standing near the back of the center-stage while exchanging words with a big bear of a man. He looked familiar, that big man, with his angry, lined face and the rugged black beard creeping up the sides of it. Galan had seen him somewhere before, although he couldn’t pick out where from. He could hear the heat in the man’s voice even over the racket, but he couldn’t make out his words. Judging by the man’s expression, he didn’t really want to. The Magister said something back to the man and the man scowled before stalking off to the back of the stage where he stood with his arms crossed, frowning. The Magister stared after him for a moment before turning to his audience, and he began moving toward the podium at the head of the stage.

    **Edit** Re-posted reworked Chapter One. I could only figure out how to post it as a PDF, so apologies for that. Hope ya'll enjoy it.
     

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  7. Ninva

    Ninva Анна Ахматова

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    This is an unconventionally long first chapter, Kev. What's the synopsis? Maybe I can help you cut it up. I can't read it tonight though because I'm going on a rather long trip, but I'll be back next weekend. I'll be writing all during my trip, so don't worry about me.

    Keep up with good work, man.
     
  8. Fatmankev

    Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

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    You might be right, there - it seems a bit longer than most tend to be. The problem is that there's so much that has to happen that I didn't want to end the chapter until I had the idea finished, so I could move onto a different character's perspective. But like I said, you might be right about it being too long. Let me see if I can work Chapter 2 in with part of Chapter 1, without making Chapter 2 too long, too.

    Anyway, general synopsis:

    Galan (protagonist) is on guard duty for the Magister (major political figure), making sure no harm comes to him while he addresses the nation with a sort of declaration. During the speech, a mysterious figure comes out of the crowd and attacks the Magister, whom Galan must defend. The mysterious figure is stopped and the Magister is whisked off to safety, or so they thought; he realizes that it might have been a ploy, and he rushes off to rejoin the Magister. There's some heavy dialogue as he tries to explain his thoughts on the matter, and another skirmish breaks out. More dialogue with some character-and-world-building, and Galan and Vasallus (the Guard-General, who is also there from the start) are instructed to escort the now prisoners to Carcerum (a sort of prison compound).

    So there's the gist of it, cut down to 1% of the length. Trust me, it's a much better read when you get in there =]

    Thanks for checking it out at all, though!

    (Chapter One has been put back up, just so it's known.)
     
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  9. Syndrome

    Syndrome You can change this now in User CP.

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    Woah. I totally missed this. Dling and reading it tonight!
    Glad to see another work by you haha.
    I'll be sure to write my thoughts on it soon

    EDIT: Wow. It's huge O____O
     
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  10. Fatmankev

    Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

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    Yeah, sorry. Take your time with it, or if it's too imposing then don't worry about it :) I won't be offended. Currently having trouble working Chapter 2 out, as I'm dreading having to rewrite close to 4,000 words that do little to advance the storyline. Lousy stuff, that. Received critique that the prologue wasn't descriptive enough, and I overcompensated later on... Bah.

    But thanks for showing interest! Much obliged.
     
  11. Ninva

    Ninva Анна Ахматова

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    Rewriting is a bitch. :(

    I've went through some of this. The quality is there, but since it's so large, I wasn't able to finish it (with the other stuff that I want to do with my free time). When I began reading, I thought to myself: "Ah, gold!" But as much of a superficial bookish person I am, I put it down too early to comment. Hopefully Syndrome will have more patience than me. I'm sorry that I really haven't gotten to this earlier... nor do I have any excuse. My only advice is to keep writing and that you have the talent to develop a really good story.
     
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  12. Syndrome

    Syndrome You can change this now in User CP.

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    I'm worried now lol. My own story is about this long for each chapter. Would that turn people off?
    That said, I'm reading it now. You people and your patience for wall of texts :p

    EDIT: Wow, I like where this story is going and how you introduced a lot of ideas that drew the reader in a bit more, but I think you've also done a bit too much regarding the fluff and world building. I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly where, but I could find myself skipping an odd sentence or so just so the flow of the story wouldn't break and I would still be able to imagine the scene more or less perfectly.

    The Magister is an ass lol. You really portrayed that well. I bet no one could stand the guy, let alone serve under him.

    Gallen seems to be like a war veteren, or something of the sort. His extensive knowledge of tactics the Eruo employ shows he's not the run-out-of-the-mill soldier. A Hellhound too, whatever that is lol. So far he's seemingly normal, if not a bit above average. The level of intelligence of those that surround him is too low to compare Gallen with lol.

    I'm very curious as to how you will tie the introduction and the rest of the story together, we have the Gate, Hellhounds, Eruos who seem to be rebelling against the state that could be just recovering from an ordeal... It's a lot of intriguing elements you have here. It's definitely refreshing to see a different start to a fantasy novel, most of them have a village burning down with only one survivor, or the survivor is sent off to find the golden triangle, cube, sphere, whatever.

    Great job with the story so far, definitely looking forward to chapter 2!
     
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  13. Ninva

    Ninva Анна Ахматова

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    Nice critique, Syndrome. :)

    I'm not a big fan of Steinbeck or Tolkien, yet I see that they write very well and should be seen as examples to follow. With that said, both being awesome world builders, world building is an unique art, something that I'm not particularly fond of, and I guess Syndrome touched on this. The worlds I am more able to follow and enjoy are ones that I can just jump into because I either know the context or the writing is in such a way that the main concepts are just introduced as I go. Examples of such worlds would be Eureka 7 (I know you hate that), War and Peace, and arguably 1984.
     
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  14. Fatmankev

    Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

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    Hey, thanks to you both. I've actually gotten a little discouraged because I'm going back and reading through it and I just kinda hate the narrative voice I'm using. Too stuffy, most times. Fuckin' annoying.

    Really appreciate you reading it, Syndrome, and thanks for checking it out, Ninva. I'm gonna try my hand at a short story, something I can actually finish, so I'll be off of this project for at least a week or two, and maybe come back for a whole revamp of the story.
     
  15. Syndrome

    Syndrome You can change this now in User CP.

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    A short story? I guess I can try my hand at that as well though I have never ever written an ending to any of my stories before. Should be interesting, though I need to read a few of them to get a feel for them. How long is a typical short story? Does anyone know one they would recommend?

    Definitely looking forward to seeing yours, is it a tie-in to Hellhounds or a stand-alone story?

    I hope you get back to working on this soon, the board has been laid out, the pieces set, and the die cast. All we're waiting for here is the first move xD
     
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