The Crimson Thorn (Critique)

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Gormal
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The Crimson Thorn (Critique)

Postby Gormal » Sat Dec 23, 2006 1:51 pm

Its been nearly a month since anyone posted in this forum, so I figured I'd do something to contribute. Its also been ages since we've had a critique thread, so here's my invitation for you to tear apart my first draft of a piece of a story I started last night.

I don't have any ego invested into this, so feel free to critique as harshly as you want.



Kitra T'sarith– The Crimson Thorn

The pattering of cold rain beat a soft rhythm against the wide brim of Kitra T'sarith's dark
fedora. She hardly noticed the thin stream of water that spilled from the oiled black leather onto
the matching cloak held tightly about her body. The gentle drizzle of the night’s rain only seemed
to punctuate the tingling sensation that was racing along her body.

Beneath her cloak, the long unlacquered nail of her index finger caressed the ebony-hilted
dirk sheathed at her waist. She bit her lower lip as she traced the entwined silver brambles
carved into the handle. Her finger lingered on one of the tiny thorns, and imagined it drawing
blood from the tip of her finger. She could almost feel the sharp prick, could almost see the drop
of blood well up from beneath the skin. She could almost see that small drop open into the
beautifully soft petals of a blood-red rose.

Her reverie melted away as the sound of approaching footsteps carried into the alley
where she was waiting. The sound materialized into a tall and well-dressed man hunched
beneath a dark canvas umbrella. She detached herself from the damp wall where she was
leaning and stepped into the flickering light of the streetlamps.

“A copper for a kiss.” She spoke as the man passed.

The man stumbled a bit as he halted and raised his eyes to her. Speaking clearly
seemed almost a monumental effort for him as his forehead was screwed in concentration, “A
copper? And what would a thilver get for a fine man thuch as me eh?”

Kitra forced her hand to let go of the dirk and reached out, gently twining her slender
fingers into his hair.

“Why don’t you come and find out.” She cooed seductively.

Releasing his hair, she ran the back of her hand down his face and gripped the front of his tunic,
drawing the drunken fool closer. His heavy breathing carried the overpowering smell of ale and
hot peppers, but Kitra barely noticed. With a slow wink, she turned on the tall heel of her boot and
led him out of the street.

As soon as the alley’s shadows claimed them, his umbrella splashed to the ground and his hands
clumsily found their way to her backside. He pressed her against the wet brick wall and buried
his face in the hollow of her neck, mumbling praises between eager kisses. Kitra grabbed his
shoulders forcefully shoved him backwards into the opposite wall, pressing her body against his
and her mouth to his ear.

Hot blood pounded behind Kitra’s temples, and her breath caught in her throat. She fought to
control her trembling fingers, letting the tingling of her skin wash over her.

“Mine.” She exhaled, and planted her dirk into his belly with a savage twist and a shudder of
pleasure.

Kitra backed away, ignoring his panicked eyes and stared down at the dark patch of blood
blooming on his shirt.

Beautiful. she thought.

Kitra released the man’s shoulder and plucked her blade from his stomach, letting him slump to
the ground. She leaned over only long enough to draw the blade across his throat and wipe it
clean on the sleeve his shirt. His eyes did not follow her as she stood and stepped back out into
the adjacent street, dripping rainwater and blood from the hem of her cloak.

~o~

Kitra held nothing but disdain for the robed and hooded figure seated before her, rocking
in its chair behind a well-polished desk. Kitra had never been able to determine the sex of who
gave her the names, but she supposed it didn’t matter. It was the thick black, hooded robe it
always wore that she despised the most. What fear the thing must have to hide itself so. The
enveloping hood hid the face within behind a constant curtain of unnatural darkness.

“Tell me a story, pretty.” The figure commanded in a raspy voice that sounded like two
stones being scraped against each other.

“As you wish, Listener.” Kitra replied, barely masking her contempt. “My mother once told
me of a young outland nobleman who, in his cups, decided on a stroll through a beautiful garden
of roses. The man saw what he held to be the most beautiful blossom, and stopped to pick it to
wear in his hair. What the foolish lordling did not know, however, was that this garden was
enchanted to defend itself. He marveled as the rose wrapped itself around his wrist, and slid up
towards his face for a kiss. “

The Listener shifted its hunched weight in the chair. “And this outland Lord… did he get
his kiss?”

“Eventually.” She replied. “The sharp thorns of the rose kissed him just so, upon the nape
of his neck, until the garden floor was watered with his blood.”

“Your stories all end the same, pretty. One might think that roses drink naught but blood.
They suit me well enough, though. I would have you return again to treat me with another.”

“If you wish. What sort of story would you have me tell?” Kitra cocked her head
questioningly.

“Perhaps a tale of the Lady Easterling of the Ten Towns. That would do nicely.” The
figure in the chair replied in its coarse voice.

The Listener gestured with an arm completely swallowed by the heavy fabric of its robe to
a flat purse on the desk. Kitra helped herself to the reward and deposited it into a silken pouch
hanging at her waist.

“Thank you, Listener.” Politeness never hurt, after all. Kitra took a step backwards before
turning to grope for the doorway
Last edited by Gormal on Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:21 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Tasan
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Postby Tasan » Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:18 am

Basically you've summed up my worst fear. Thanks for the horrible nightmares :(
Danahg tells you 'yeah, luckily i kept most of it in my mouth and nasal membranes, ugh'

Dlur group-says 'I have a dead horse that I'm dragging down the shaft with my 4 corpses. Anyone want to help me beat it?'

Calladuran: There are other games to play if you want to play with yourself.
Birile
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Postby Birile » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:01 pm

Tasan wrote:Basically you've summed up my worst fear. Thanks for the horrible nightmares :(


'Least she didn't give 'im the clap. :shock:
Gormal
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Postby Gormal » Sat Jan 13, 2007 4:39 pm

Not one critique, bummer.
Ashiwi
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Postby Ashiwi » Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:39 pm

Actually, as a character introduction, I thought it was excellently done. The writing style is poetic, and while it veers close to the border of bodice-rippers, it manages to maintain its dignity and grace without actually stepping into the land of Cheese.

A stab to the belly does not cause sudden death, or paralysis, or acute helplessness in most victims, even when coupled with a tearing force, no matter what romantic literature might have us believe. While dramatically effective, if you wrote a full story then you would have to make your methods more effective than that, or you lose believability.

The writing is excellent. The research could use some polish.
Gormal tells you 'im a dwarven onion'
Gormal tells you 'always another beer-soaked layer'

Inama ASSOC:: 'though it may suit your fantasies to think so, i don't need oil for anything.'

Haley: Filthy lucre? I wash that lucre every day until it SHINES!
Gormal
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Postby Gormal » Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:52 pm

Yay!
Tasan
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Postby Tasan » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:41 pm

Ashiwi wrote:A stab to the belly does not cause sudden death, or paralysis, or acute helplessness in most victims


A) He was drunk.
B) He was most likely a degenerate drunk, what with all the peppers.
C) If you want to read Realism, read non-fiction.
D) This space reserved.

Cheerio!
Danahg tells you 'yeah, luckily i kept most of it in my mouth and nasal membranes, ugh'



Dlur group-says 'I have a dead horse that I'm dragging down the shaft with my 4 corpses. Anyone want to help me beat it?'



Calladuran: There are other games to play if you want to play with yourself.
Lilira
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Postby Lilira » Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:26 pm

Besides, she finished him off by giving him a second smile.
~\o--Lilira Shadowlyre--o/~

You group-say 'my chars will carry the component on them if I can.'
Inama group-says 'hopefully they'll have some sort of volume discounts on ress items for people like you'
You group-say 'oh? Ya think? *giggle*'
Inama group-says 'they could at least implement frequent dier miles'

Suzalize group-says 'oh, eya's over weight i bet'
moritheil
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Postby moritheil » Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:41 am

Ashiwi wrote:A stab to the belly does not cause sudden death, or paralysis, or acute helplessness in most victims, even when coupled with a tearing force, no matter what romantic literature might have us believe. While dramatically effective, if you wrote a full story then you would have to make your methods more effective than that, or you lose believability.

The writing is excellent. The research could use some polish.


On the flip side, I could argue that since this is a fantasy reality where death is not a career-ending injury, wounds do exactly what they are depicted to do in books, no more and no less. In an official FR book, Mask is depicted as stabbing someone in the gut with enough precision that they are paralyzed and would bleed to death over the course of four hours if not aided. Thus it is possible in the world of FR, even if it is extremely unlikely or impossible in real life.

It all depends on what you think "real" means when discussing FR.
Yotus group-says 'special quest if you type hi dragon'
Shevarash OOC: 'I feature only the finest mammary glands.'
Silena group-says 'he was so fat and juicy..couldnt resist'
Ashiwi
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Postby Ashiwi » Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:43 am

Heh, I love reading fantasy, but I'm obviously not a good one to critique them... R.A. Salvatore made a TON of money cranking out those craptastic piles of paper dreck he saturated the market with, so the reading world apparently thinks his writing is par excellence. For one or two novels I could have understood it, because he has a great flair for writing, but his rote recycling system of writing is so predictable and painful to read that after forcing my way through the Drizt series I couldn't make myself read any of his other works.

I like the way Gormie writes. I just don't want to have to stop and re-think the story as I'm reading it.
Gormal tells you 'im a dwarven onion'
Gormal tells you 'always another beer-soaked layer'

Inama ASSOC:: 'though it may suit your fantasies to think so, i don't need oil for anything.'

Haley: Filthy lucre? I wash that lucre every day until it SHINES!
moritheil
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2001 6:01 am

Postby moritheil » Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:17 pm

Ashiwi wrote:For one or two novels I could have understood it, because he has a great flair for writing, but his rote recycling system of writing is so predictable and painful to read that after forcing my way through the Drizt series I couldn't make myself read any of his other works.


Mmm, this I find interesting. I did think that his books were rather formulaic, and I don't hold them up as shining works of art. What I'm interested in is what you think his "rote recycling system of writing" consists of. Are you just referring to predictable plot, or is there something in the actual mechanics of the writing that you're picking up on?
Yotus group-says 'special quest if you type hi dragon'

Shevarash OOC: 'I feature only the finest mammary glands.'

Silena group-says 'he was so fat and juicy..couldnt resist'

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