Very Brief Bio: Male, 25 years old. Likes: Basically all kinds of music, writing/reading fiction, anime. Non-RP related interests: Used to play a guitar. Used to do 'harsh' vocals. Have played basically every sport, and I do play games. Mostly, Heroes Of The Storm. I'm into a lot of different RP's. I do like darker themes, action, drama, fantasy. Etc. I'm very used to doing digimon and pokemon theme roleplays (because of friends) though I also like to do original ideas.
*gives cookie* Would be glad to RP with anyone. :3
Disclaimer Warning: Does not actually give much of a damn who uses art.
The condition was like a natural disaster. It merely shook everyone’s stability at first, but even as they attempted to stumble back up and recover, it continued growing out of control, leaving the foundation of their family in disrepair. It admittedly wasn’t a pleasant thought for his sister to have, setting the last dish into the drying rack with a sigh of relief. Having the responsibility to complete undone chores rewarded her with hands that stinked like citrus. Exiting the kitchen to check on her brother’s progress and grab the remainder of the groceries. Soon made clear that her downtime to study was put between a rock and hard place with her brother staring off into space. Pondering if she should abstain from her usual hand-holding with her joints already sore from scrubbing stains, and just go up into her room and casually practice with her flashcards until Enzo’s brain-train back to Earth arrived. She could almost see the steam coming from both their ears, if only for different reasons. She was interrupted by following a ringtone melody blaring from the living room, retrieving Enzo’s phone from in-between couch cushions. “This explains why he never answered my call…”
She quickly approached Enzo with his phone in hand and snapped her fingers to grab his attention while speaking in a dry tone. “Transmission from Audrey Kawasaki, get boxes out of backseat and into the house.” As she swiftly slapped his phone into his palm once she’d gotten his attention. “And keep that on you, so our parents can actually get in touch-”
Enzo suddenly heard the familiar melody he’d received in-game for messages coming from his smartphone; the outside case had the logo and the wallpaper was its title screen. Receiving messages from his online friend and frequent party member, 'Lycaon, “The Dispossessed”'. Displaying a chibi version of his in-game avatar in the corner of the screen along with each sent message. The color deliberately added to add a sense of urgency.
Blood brother! Have you returned to cosmos of the preordained?
I’ll be patiently awaiting your accession into ‘Krist’. I’ll be just across the ‘Gateway Of Beginnings’.
Don’t keep me waiting...
Several short texts that would have appeared to be inane gibberish to anyone else. The cosmos of the preordained referred to and was infamously stated by the creator’s founder who firmly disbelieved in the concept of free will, at least in this universe, clarifying that alternative universes weren’t held by the same metaphysical constrictions. Thusly, creating that title. Krist, being the name of one of the designated starting areas and the ‘Gateway’ was just a bridge that crossed the nearby river getting them out of the town's 'Safe Zone' that prevented PVP (Player versus Player) dueling and monster battles.
In reality these texts belonged to Lorenzo Kawasaki, the middle child of the family of five. He was living in a college dorm on the other side of the world. Always considered to be the most introverted, even after these distressing circumstances, also having the reputation of being the bad apple of their family tree. His approach to connecting with Enzo was the diametric opposite of his families endeavors to refamiliarize him to the physical realm and went against many of his therapists’ suggestions. Simply engulfing himself in the destructive fires of the facade, not minding if his fuel burned every bridge on the way. His most recent present delivered was a smartphone that had been altered significantly. The software and nearly everything else was designed to imitate the options menu and optional HUD displayed in Project Eternal Entities, with practically identical sound effects, graphics and soundtrack replacing the original features. Playing the same game and roleplaying as that virtual character in all his conversations with his ‘blood brother’. Calling his human appearance a stealthy deception commonly practiced by members of the Werewolven race.
Still waiting for her brother to help, Audrey grumbled as she brushed the mass of acorn shells off the hood of her car. “Damn squirrels.”
Nitpicking is not going to help the growth of an amateur writer.
However, as the author, Briza gets to say the reasons, not someone who managed to have no hand in writing the story.
@Briza I feel you're potentially taking an overly defensive stance over what comes down to mere friendly suggestions. Certainly seems that way at least, but I'll assume this is humor that's being poorly translated like last time. So the following is only for if you may those statements without jest. Otherwise, simply appreciate the given response.
>This is only is you're seriously telling me that I'm nitpicking and I shouldn't try to give advice about characters/setting when I'm not the one who wrote it. Because it's a touch more direct than I'd be normally than if it was mere sarcasm. So I'll only assume a reply to this means that is/was the case.
Pointing out mistakes and giving advice is the only way a writer can improve. That's really about as simple as it can get. I didn't wish to go much deeper than that, because it's harder to directly point out. (Or it may sound rude in doing so.) I didn't exactly want to give vague absurdity advice like, "your language is chaotic and fragmented" followed by no examples or whatever I'm usually given by others that means absolutely nothing to me. That stuff doesn't help and doesn't intend to for that matter.
I mean I can always speak more vaguely. And just more on the whole of where I think someone could improve the story. But if you have the latter logic, you won't accept any criticism and will never improve. But the best I can do to make this self-explanatory, I can only go as deep into the writing as the writer themselves make it. Can I comment about the prose and if it works well? (No) The plot and how it develops? (Not really) The character detail? (Did. Being rejected) The interesting sentences/paragraphs? (I mentioned the single one I found that seemed to be attempting a joke. I guess 'dry humor' isn't my taste.) Wordplay? (No.) Structure choices? (Did.) Obvious themes or symbolism? (The prompt appears to be the theme/story.) It's tight and easy to read because there's basically nothing there for me. It's an admittedly rushed effort that is a very simple story in every possible way...
If I'm wrong in that assessment and it's provable in the words you wrote, feel free to correct me...
What are *your* favorite paragraphs and sentences? Did you purposely go out of your way to make anything lines clever by word choice alone? I'm assuming every sentence has one book or entire philosophy surrounding it, but it still doesn't make sentences very engaging. I could "nitpick" probably most of the sentences and edit them down to mean the same thing/be objectively "tighter" sentences.
We had spoken slight words prior to our meeting at the shop, and she had seemed a bit dazzled by my outfit. We'd spoken few words prior to our meeting at the shop, she'd seemed dazzled by my outfit.
Actually several sentences here could be made a bit more powerful by tightening them and removing the filler words. If not for a lifetime, then for at least today. If not for a lifetime, then for today.
That edit is probably my favorite sentence, because of how simple it now is and how it fits the entire theme of an act done by a Good Samaritan. Now I'd only argue it's placed in the wrong point of the story. If there's a way I can make this clear, my favorite line in my story is also pretty short.
His heart sank so low, it drowned in his stomach.
His heart=emotional Sank so low=Mood and fundamental lowest point of the story/and character. Drowned in his stomach=Wordplay that's the best way to literally write an emotional gut punch.
And this sentence only works so well, admittedly in my opinion, because it's perfectly placed where it's most appropriate to put it. After the pet died. If that sentence was put anywhere else, would have far less impact. But even on its own it is simple and effective wordplay. I don't need to say that's a reference to *insert author here* that nobody could possibly pick up on.
But that's why I'd argue it's better than even some of the more complicated lines that I created. So let me be clear, simple isn't bad at face value. But I wouldn't say an attempt to craft clever and well written lines is automatically worse than perfectly succeeding at merely writing anything without editing. Fewer overall flaws doesn't mean a necessarily better product, I'd argue without even attempting to experiment (or actually try hard as you can) you'll never know what works and what doesn't.
I'd go farther and I could. But if pointing out what I find be could improved upon is nitpicking, it's probably not worth much for either of us. But I'd like to hope my point came across without being too harsh. Because it really isn't the intention...but if I feel like I'm being dismissed because I'm being too wishy-washy with my criticism. I won't merely ignore it, I'll take it as criticism of my criticism (which I'll admit failed in its aim.) and work to improve on that as well.
I've always been a pro-active problem solver. There's never once been a time I used excuses to stop myself from doing something important that I could do. Helk, I achieved my only real goals in life pretty early on. And still have been recently changing what I can for the better, while having very few doubts in life...I'm sure I should be proud of myself for that.
So it feels like an odd fact to say that life for me is at a very strange impasse that I cannot really do much about basically everything, and I'm not even entirely really positive how much really needs to change. I suppose there's certainly worse states of mind to be in.
Here’s the deal; I’m not here to “chat”. I’m here to write, not socialize. You CAN write with people without pointlessly chatting. Can you not?
I don’t care about your child or your cancerous mother, I just want to write and keep the relationship simple. Can we not just discuss ideas and concepts??
I understand the frustration with slowness and lack of response. That can be difficult and it's not just you. I certainly know that lack can be disheartening for a writer. Especially, if they aren't doing it for themselves above the rest.
But yes, you can do that. It's called opening a word document and writing something. (Not sarcasm, I'm seriously suggesting this as someone who does this when roleplaying fails to fill my desire to create.)
But no, I don't think you can RP correctly without some conversation, even if strictly/mostly about the RP itself. You get more people interested in writing, by breaking the ice and holding a conversation. If you're *that* opposed to ice-breaking, it's hard to imagine being enjoyable to experience a wholly collaborative medium with that in mind. This is a forum and it is entirely a social form of communication. (And I'm not saying that to be condescending, but I genuinely think you have the wrong mindset approaching RP's if that's taken at face value.)
@Briza Well it wasn't all the flaws. Just something minor structurally that wasn't as important to the overall quality of the story. But yeah, that's your prerogative. ^3^
Heh. Well I can certainly understand how that worked out then. Let me state that I certainly think you can write a good or unique story in the word count that you used. (Maybe a super short word count can be an upcoming challenge.) Some people write poems with a handful of words that are more content and are more creative than thousands of words will ever be. Also, since it was mentioned, just going on time spent on stories. I probably spent more time editing my last two prompts, both with a smaller word counts. So make of that what you will.
Okay, I think I just had a massive brain fart when reading the story for the first time. (It was a late night. ^-^') I thought the clerk and the narrator were one and the same. I think I somehow missed the setting establishing part about the shop. (Or more so because of my first misconception, I missed the idea that it was happening at one at the start.) So I had a very different idea of the story unfolding, entirely my mistake. Though I guess maybe it's just because it seemed like my own warped setting made more sense for the content/brevity of the story. Maybe you are better own ignoring me in this case. Ha ha.
(That sounds very sophisticated for the few hours of time spent. I tease. :P)
But somebody that's precise would have came up with one word that fits the bill, it is a first person perspective and they're out there. The rule of three is because people like and very commonly use three descriptors for something because it just sounds nice. But there's better ways to do it, but I get that you admittedly rushed. Though just as a thought experiment, if we were to assume stereotypes, others may look upon priests favorably. But would they look favorably upon themselves? Probably not, since they believe to be born in sin. (Etc. Etc.) Unless they were hypocrites. (A word I think might be able to fit all those words in there actually.)
Well it was a nitpick after all. But I understand and can respect in believing every word is there for a reason. But I appreciate the response.
But so the discussion doesn't end there. If you'll humor my curiosity, suppose if you knew that the story was 4,000 words and not characters? What would you have added to the story? (Or did you believe it was perfect as is?)
And for your review, thank you very much for reading it and reviewing. It is much appreciated.
@Calle >Figured my response would serve better in the discussion section.
Thank you for taking the time to give me a constructive review.
First allow to me to clarify my intentions while writing the story that go heavily into many of the things brought up here. I wanted to create an older fairytale-esque experience with morals and something more bittersweet. My usual heavily crafted style of prose yet fairly simple plot was certainly meant to amplify that feeling.
I can see it the alliteration being a bit of tongue twister for the eyes, but I feel it’s just a personal style that I enjoyed the challenge of reading. If there’s any particular lines you believe could be written better, don’t hesitate to give me your thoughts.
The ‘acceptance’ of the beast was simply more in line with a fairytale/different world. Hence the strong scented candles to ward off hungry packs of doggos. I thought it was pretty clear it didn’t attempt to reflect reality. The authority absolutely noticed his 'wanderer' status, as his interaction was merely concerned with getting in trouble over a citizen or visitor to his town being injured under his watch. That sympathy was swiftly removed once he knew he was a “non-citizen” lawlessly roaming. I also don’t make the beast’s identity known because it’s better left to the imagination. (In my opinion.)
I certainly gave every character more of a purpose and personality than most stories of this nature, not to toot my own horn. But I probably would have expanded further if the word count would have allowed it. Making the four characters warmth inside the pub make them seem more like actual friends before revealing their colder personalities when they go outside. But it had to be glossed over for word constraints. Perhaps, it was better off focusing on the driving force of the story anyway.
I’m not intending to shoot the messenger. I can (and greatly) appreciate and understand those thoughts. My writing tries to not just use big words for the sake of it, even if I admittedly fail that sometimes, but crafting them into sentences that make them unique and not your average typical boring sentences.
I’ve said this before. But it’s often a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. Where many of my stories will be vaguely expressed with, “Things are too brief and the sentences are so fragmented.” or “Things are so detailed and long, the sentences are far too complex.” And I so rarely get shown the “just right” that people seem to constantly be looking for. I’m sure there’s always something I can do to improve, but it’s difficult sometimes to grasp which direction I need to go. I think for contests especially, I should be (and aim for) reaching outside the box, even if my prose or symbolism becomes too dense as a result.
For the instance the paragraph brought up, I can certainly see certain words I could axe without losing much to the overall narrative. (Luxurious, only added because same 1st letter as layers.) And words I could certainly simplify to mean the same thing. (Debauchery was just me showing off. Ha Ha.) But I’m not 100% sure if it greatly affects the outcome.
Plus the “grinding his thinning patience against his forehead.” I probably could have swapped for, “He rubbed his forehead with his fingers, because he was losing patience.” But I don’t feel like that is a better, nor more concise sentence. Even with the latter part removed.
Thank you very kindly. I feel the structure is so rarely played with for a forum writing contest that has those tools to play with. So I also thought/hoped it worked well. Once again, I sincerely appreciate the effort made to give me a review and vote. I hope you find this response grateful.
And I also appreciate pointing these few things out to me. 1. Yeah that’s a mistake. It’s supposed to be “creature’s”, might have been autocorrected incorrectly. 2. You’re probably correct with that one. I’m unsure. 3. A stray example would be nice to get my head wrapped around it. But I get the gist.
It was the most pristine form of constructed chaos and the perfect symbolic representation for the fact that your own upstairs had irreparably changed. Leaving the bedroom was an assault on Enzo’s senses, instantly smelling the strong stink of drying paint and sawdust as it appeared that the entire second story seemed to undergoing renovations. Nearly everything was getting layers of polish that resembled a cover off a House&Gardens magazine, that it scrubbed off any familiarity he might have potentially possessed...
One could imagine this was the feeling of a target in a firing squad as she stood there and shot him an irked glare the moment he descended downstairs. The plastic bags gathered en masse on the opposite side of the opened front door. His youngest sister brushed her long hair back and straightened her uniform after shooing away her snack thieves, but still unable to get rid of the chip on her shoulder. By far the least sympathetic to her sibling’s circumstances and seeing how the rest of the family babied her brother’s state of mind bothered her. To garner the attention she craved required a sturdy brain and work ethic, yet she observed a contradictory path in Enzo's permanent leisure being lavished with affection.
She hung her keys up and glanced into the living room to her left, relieved to notice the vacuum was sitting there with the cord wrapped up properly. Her tired sigh matched the tone and brevity of her words giving Enzo instructions while pointing outside toward her car.
“Brother. Please just grab the two cardboard boxes in my backseat and don’t forget to close the door.”
With that said she'd already carried some of the groceries and passed him by going into the kitchen around the corner of their stairs. Her hopes shattered as she carefully set down jars of spaghetti sauce onto the island to make sure their food wouldn’t follow suit. Gasping aghast a dirty display as she realized the sink of yesterday's dishes sat there unwashed. She quickly rushed over to read what had been stuck on the fridge with a cartoon smiley face magnet.
Your mother and father have gone out of state again to seek assistance with Enzo’s psychiatric treatment. We’ll be back in a few days! Our uncle Stefano, who’s helping us remodel our upstairs, should be there all afternoon in case of any emergencies. His number is 407-202-4343. We love all of you! Keep an eye out for one another and remember to feed the goldfish! - ♡ Mom
She peered up at the calendar with pictures of cats hanging from trees accurate to the season, finger touching the date. “I knew it. It was Nick’s turn to wash the dishes and throw away the trash. He’ll be getting an earful from me when he gets back home from practice.” She thought with a pout before approaching the kitchen sink, grabbing and soaping up the sponge, turning on the faucet as hot water filled the sink. What awaited for him if he were to dwell outdoors was sounds of neighbors lawn mowers, mild weather and partially cloudy skies. Plus a pair of miffed squirrels tossing empty acorn shells from atop the branches on the hood of his sister’s convertible. Her backseat consisting of two large boxes; one that held multiple encyclopedias, and quite literally, a heavy amount of other reading material. The other seemed to be filled with an assortment of crafting materials. Paper, paint, strings, wire, brushes, beads. It would be a difficult process to hold a box of budding imagination and stop seeing an inescapable mundanity that this life offered that utterly failed to captivate like the virtual world could...
>Most of this was written quite a bit ago. Bout day one of the contest. (And I've taken too long. So just going to post the few I finished. And do the others later when I get around to it.)
Before I read any of the entries, I wanted to explain what I’ll be looking for when I’m reading these. How I originally, and how everyone else judged most stories to a far lesser extent is purely/mostly on typos, minor errors and inconsistencies in writing. But I realized just how flawed a method that is when comparing stories. Imagine two separate stories, one with perfectly adequate and simplified structure that has no flaws. The other has a typo or three, missing period here, sentence fragment there, but the theme, plot, characters, dialogue, lines and the actual effort was vastly unique and interesting. Is that one worse because its lack of polish? So I’m going to do something, I hope everyone does more of. I’m going to pretend a basic level of polish would inevitably happen with every single one these drafts if it was sent to an editor.
Because polish alone can’t make a story interesting. Make a theme unique, make dialogue sound natural or not depending on the effect, how well is the plot, world and character established? What actually happens in the story? How is this going to be compelling to imagine playing out in my head? Will I be impressed and acknowledge the level of craftsmanship each sentence took to craft? I’m not a teacher marking you for errors. Though more polish will still be appreciated. I’m a reader, who wants to actually be entertained by the story you wrote. Did that paragraph give your information in an interesting way? Or did you just write “Person walked into room, didn’t do anything interesting then said something in horribly broken dialogue and slang.”
So I will not focus on editing, merely provide it as background assistance. If there’s only a few errors you won’t even see me acknowledge their existence. If certain words or phrases are abundantly used or if something is repetitive, in a way it’s stated or acted upon, that is a flaw of a lacking vocabulary and/or imagination. But I will try to focus more than ever, on if you have a noticeable theme, impressive lines/unique writing, and story that hooks me in the beginning, keeps me engaged throughout the middle and ends sensibly.
With that introduction made and out of the way, allow me to judge these pieces of writing from that lense with what I hope comes across in equal fairness. (Yep, I’ll even be judging my own piece and become my own worst critic. With hope that maybe you can try doing the same for yours.)
That and following the rules. One theme that was particularly expressed in the prompt itself was the idea that it would not be easy to overcome this invasion. I’m expecting an oppressive atmosphere and if there isn’t one, there better be a good/clear reasoning for the lack of specified tone. A mary sue or badass character that isn’t brought a swift punishment/that doesn’t suffer immensely is not one I want to see...nor feel justified for the given prompt.
I genuinely didn't try to be negative. I looked at this story with fresh eyes. I know how I was previously addressed and how I would likely be reviewed regardless, as it didn't pull back any punches. I still tried providing real advice when I could. I'm sorry that it gets/feels harsh. I could have just written a watered down "its not for me." But I feel like that doesn't do either of us any favors.
Warmth was one of the things that made staying in bed so inviting to Amy. When she opened her eyes in the morning, it was that warmth that made her want to go back to sleep. The temptation was all too great to pull the sheets over her face for just five more minutes. Amy knows she was going to be cold as soon as she threw her sheets off of herself. But as she woke up, she knew that papa was going to come in here and drag her out of bed anyway. He wouldn't be upset or anything, but she didn't enjoy being babied by her father.
Some of the narration is just dryly explaining her character, when it could be changed to have more personality. “She didn’t enjoy being babied by her father” bit works fine. The first few sentences seem drawn out as well.
When Amy opened her eyes in the morning, that warmth made staying in bed and going back to sleep so inviting.
Learn character’s name faster, ends on a happy word/also works better as an introductory sentence, removes repeated words and cuts length.
Amy was a responsible girl, and could manage her mornings without her parents intervention. Her only hope was that maybe she had woken up early, and maybe she could sleep a bit longer before getting out of bed. But that was her first clue that something was amiss. Because as dark as it was, it should have been easy to spot the red glow of her alarm clock. But everything was entirely black.
More dry narration that could have been characterization instead. Many unneeded extra fluff in sentences that could be cut to be stronger. “Everything/Entirely”
But everything was black.
Means same thing/gets same point across.
When she reached for her nightstand, her hand bumped into a wall. It felt smooth and cool, nothing like the wood texture of her wooden cabin. As she followed the wall with her hand, she started to sit up. Before she could follow the wall very far, she bumped her head on the roof of her room. Amy reached out with her other hand, and felt the opposing wall, and behind her head. When she extended her feet, there was a wall there too.
Works well for straightforward tension. Still some extra parts that could be cut for length.
When she reached for her nightstand, her hand bumped into a wall. It felt smooth and cool, nothing like the wood texture of her wooden cabin. As she followed the wall with her hand, she started to sit up. Before she could follow the wall very far, she bumped her head on the roof. Amy reached out with her other hand, and felt the opposing wall, and behind her head. When she extended her feet, there was another wall.
The space she was in was just large enough for herself to lay down in. The only thing that she could think of was that she was in a coffin. The idea of being captured and stuffed in a metal crate wasn't a pleasant one, but more so than being buried alive. Amy was starting to panic. She could feel her heart beating, and tried pushing against the roof of the coffin. The lid slid off to the side and struck the floor with a metallic clang. She shot up in her seat, clutching her sheets against her chest. The light in the room stung her eyes. It took a few seconds for them to adjust.
Seperate lines that could have been made into one. Extra parts that could be cut for length.
The space was just large enough for herself to lay down in. The idea of being captured and stuffed in a metal crate wasn't a pleasant one, but more so than being buried alive. Amy was starting to panic. She could feel her heart beating, and tried pushing against the roof of the coffin. The lid slid off to the side and struck the floor with a metallic clang. She shot up in her seat, clutching her sheets against her chest. The room’s light strung her eyes, taking seconds for them to adjust.
“Ah! You've woken up a bit ahead of schedule!” A man's voice could be heard from somewhere in the room. Sortly after, Amy could hear something coming closer to her. It wasn't quite the sound of footsteps. It sounded more like electric motors picking up weights before flailing them against the ground. Amy was able to see a blob of color racing towards her. But as her vision adjusted, the blob started to take on the shape of a man. At least it was shaped and dressed like a man, but it clearly wasn't human. He had large, round lenses for eyes, and the back of his head was a cluster of neatly braided wires under a clear plastic dome. He also had no mouth, but there were several small holes in the front of his face where a speaker was likely housed. “Hello! You can call me Hank!” He pointed at himself with his thumb. “I'm just going to give you a quick examination to make sure everything is in order. How do you feel?”
Editing down for length/word repetition, *Shortly typo.
“Ah! You've woken up a bit ahead of schedule!” A man's voice could be heard from somewhere in the room. Sortly after, Amy could hear something coming closer to her. It wasn't quite the sound of footsteps. It sounded more like electric motors picking up weights before flailing them against the ground. Amy was able to see a blob of color racing towards her. But as her vision adjusted, it was shaped and dressed like a man, but it clearly wasn't human. He had large, round lenses for eyes, and the back of his head was a cluster of neatly braided wires under a clear plastic dome. He had no mouth, instead several small holes in the front of his face where a speaker was housed. “Hello! You can call me Hank!” He pointed at himself with his thumb. “I'm just going to give you a quick examination to make sure everything is in order. How do you feel?”
“Um.” A few seconds ago, Amy thought she was trapped in a coffin. So it took her a bit to come back to her senses. While she was recovering, she examined her room. It looked a bit like a hospital, with everything being so white and brightly illuminated. But the room was void of any equipment or furniture, save the coffin she was currently sitting in. The only real features the room had was a pair of double glass doors in front of her, and several other doors with no indication of what was behind them. After examining everything, she returned her gaze to the robot. As badly as she wanted to explode on him with questions, she decided it would be best to just go along with him for now.“I think I'm okay.”
Repetition about coffin/senses not needed at all. Only real features line not needed/most of this isn’t actually needed. Least in terms of the overall plot/world building.
“Um.” While she was recovering, she examined her room. It looked a bit like a hospital, with everything being so white and brightly illuminated. But the room was void of any equipment or furniture, save the coffin she was currently sitting in, and a pair of double glass doors in front of her, and several other doors with no indication of what was behind them. After examining everything, she returned her gaze to the robot. As badly as she wanted to explode on him with questions, she decided it would be best to just go along with him for now.“I think I'm okay.”
“Sure.” Amy stumbled to her feet. Her eyes immediately scanned the rest of her body. Fortunately she was wearing something other than the bed sheet she was grasping onto. It was just a black leotard, but it made her feel a lot less vulnerable than being completely naked.
The “fortunately” adverb is an addition that renders the explanation pointless and easily interpreted.
“Sure.” Amy stumbled to her feet. Her eyes immediately scanned the rest of her body. She was wearing something other than the bed sheet she was grasping onto. A black leotard, better than being completely naked.
“Alright, lookin' good...” He walked around to the side of the coffin. “If you don't mind, I'd like you to drop the sheet into the box and step out of it.” After Amy did as he asked, Hank lifted up the lid and placed it back on top of the coffin. There was a light wirring sound that followed all of Hank's movements. “Alright, now just sit back down and I'll resume the rest of your physical.” Once she did so, Hank started examining one of her feet, gently twisting it side to side. “So, what can you tell me about yourself?”
“It was a peaceful takeover. Over the course of many years, we proved we were more capable than our flesh and blood counterparts. We gained human rights, we were elected into important positions, purchased large companies.” Hank shrugged. “The whole process took about say... Five years?”
Amy flicked her eyebrows up in the air. “Five years?” She smiled. “Okay, I'll admit I wasn't objective enough at first. But there's no way I just forgot five years worth of memories.” She looked at her arms again, which glistened in the light. “I should be twenty-four if that's the case, and I'm just not seeing it. I'm too skinny! I'd have finished my second growth spurt if that was the case.”
This explanation is dry and leaves very little to the imagination, which is the best part of stories. The five years idea goes nowhere, so why include an exact time frame? It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Nor does the reaction to it, really. The takeover is no surprise at all, the coffin only makes her mildly confused. But a couple years actually gets a reaction? Why? (Her just being a robot, doesn’t answer this question of character motivation.)
“Hmmm...” Hank stroked his chin. “I think at this point, it would probably be best if I just took you outside.” He stood up and offered his hand. “Are you oppose to holding hands with an android?”
“That's an interesting observation, but you really need to follow me outside,” Hank's voice was stern and not as friendly as he had been before.
“As he had been before.” Seems a bit much, Amy just met this character. (We don’t learn any deeper relationship, after the reveals either.)
“Oh um, sure.” After he pulled Amy to her feet, Hank released her hand and walked towards a sliding glass door. He pushed it open and stepped outside onto a balcony. Amy hesitated, but followed after the robot and looked off the edge. They were just a single story off the ground, but she could see what Hank wanted to show her. There were androids walking everywhere. Driving in cars, walking in and out of various stores, everywhere. “I don't see any people!”
“Oh um, sure.” After he pulled Amy to her feet, Hank released her hand and walked towards a sliding glass door. He pushed it open and stepped outside onto a balcony. Amy hesitated, but followed after the robot and looked off the edge. They were just a single story off the ground, but she could see what Hank wanted to show her. There were androids everywhere, driving in cars, walking in and out of various stores. “I don't see any people!”
“You mean humans. By law, androids are also considered people too.” Hank looked off the balcony with her. “It's not very common to see a human running errands. Not at this hour anyway.” He chuckled. “Most humans are still working their jobs, while the androids are free to run errands. It's a known fact that humans are easier to distract than an android.”
“Well.” Hank sighed. “Anyway, there's really too much to explain. We should really start at the beginning. But I have yet to finish analyzing you, and that should really come first.”
Her shocked behavior is inconsistent. (Regardless of being a robot.) She even previously seemed apathetic and seen the take over coming. But she’s shocked humans work longer hours? (I know the actual reasoning, but I figure the take over and being in coffin would have had a more severe reaction.)
“Absolutely not!” Hank laughed. “I'll show you a room where you can change. While it is not important for Androids to wear clothes, it has become something of a status symbol. Just like with humans, it's good manners to wear something nice on a special occasion.” And with that, they walked her back inside.
Amy was expecting to get dressed up in something fancy, given how Hank worded the importance of clothing for androids. But Amy found herself walking out of the building in a denim jacket and jeans. Her black leotard actually looked very fashionable under her jacket. At least she felt so. Hank was dressed about the same, only he was also wearing a baseball cap. Amy was happy this was going to be a casual outing. She wasn't sure she would feel comfortable in a cocktail dress.
Mentioning the clothing thing is a frivolous detail. I guess it could be argued to be a single/isn't followed up character trait of her liking the clothes she had on. (And if it’s robot foreshadowing, it doesn’t work.) Why would the robot explain he doesn’t need clothing, and a paragraph later be wearing a baseball cap? What is even the benefit, or character logic behind this? I just realized after a bit that this could be an attempt at humor/or a joke...doesn’t hit for me personally.
“Uh.” Amy shrugged her shoulders. “Anyway, where are we going?”
“The local arcade!” He pointed into the sky. “I don't like how quickly those game machines empty my pockets, but the atmosphere is really something else. You must see it.”
An arcade? Amy hadn't ever gone to an arcade before, at least she didn't remember going to one. “That sounds great! Do they serve any food? I could go for a pizza!”
The narrator part could still be made more personable, which would make it more relatable. If we weren’t supposed to empathise because of her inhumanity, I feel the amount of explanation would then need to be shortened.
“Uh. Anyway, where are we going?”
“The local arcade!” He pointed into the sky. “I don't like how quickly those game machines empty my pockets, but the atmosphere is really something else. You must see it.”
“Sounds great! I’ve never been to one. Do they serve any food? I could go for a pizza!”
You already know of her amnesia and Hank shrugs his shoulders enough. Let that be a quirk of a single character, if you need to include it so often as filler action in-between words so it feels like a trait that differentiates them. Least a hindsight suggestion.
Hank chuckled nervously. “I'm not sure they'd have anything like that at the arcade. While eating is important for humans, Androids just need to have their batteries charged. Besides, it probably wouldn't be good for you to eat so soon after waking up. I've got plenty of food back at the hospital.”
I cannot fathom a reason for the android to explain this. If it’s foreshadowing that she isn’t a human, it’s far too on the nose. (Written as my initial statement. This is one of many explanations that would have been smarter to just cut out of the story.)
Amy wasn't sure what to expect out of an arcade for androids. initially she figured that it would be dimly lit, and she couldn't even fathom the sort of things that they might find entertaining. Maybe the decryption of binary strings?
Seeing who could calculate pie without exploding? But it did dawn on her that with everything she saw so far, they seemed to be very similar to humans. So Amy wasn't shocked when she saw the arcade looked very much like one she wouldn't mind going to.
*Wrong spelling, Pi. If it was an intentional joke, doesn’t work with the character. Remove very much.
Seeing who could calculate Pi without exploding? But it did dawn on her that with everything she saw so far, they seemed to be very similar to humans. So Amy wasn't shocked when she saw the arcade looked like one she wouldn't mind going to.
The arcade was quite bright. The light fixtures weren't illuminating much, but the games were flashing a matrix of neon colors along the walls of the establishment. It was a busy night, and Amy had to be careful if she didn't want a sensory overload. To her right, there was a wall of pinball machines lined with androids playing them. To her left were all manner of table top games from fuse ball to air hockey. There were even some primitive “carnival” level games, like high striker.
*Tabletop *Fuse ball? Foosball, need an ‘a,’ for high striker
After paying for two tries, Hank grabbed a hammer and approached the high striker. It wasn't quite like the old carnival versions, as this one was entirely electric. There was a cylinder where a player would swing their mallet into, and then there was the tower, which seemed to rise to the ceiling of the arcade. The tower was covered in lights, shining in patterns that captivated the attention of anyone who looked at it. “Alright, here goes nothing!” And like a rail worker, Hank lifted the mallet over his head and drove it down on the proverbial nail. The striker made it's presence known, glowing like a shooting star as it climbed the tower. It was climbing fast, but only made it about half way before coming back down again.
*Its *halfway (Could be shortened without losing anything.)
After paying for two tries, Hank grabbed a hammer and approached the high striker. Unlike the old carnival versions, it was entirely electric. The cylinder where a player would swing their mallet into, The tower rose to the ceiling and was covered in shining lights, patterns that captivated anyone who looked. “Alright, here goes nothing!” And like a rail worker, Hank lifted the mallet over his head and hit the proverbial nail. The striker made its presence known, glowing like a shooting star as it climbed the tower. It was fast, but only made it about halfway before coming back down.
“Wha!?” Amy approached Hank. “I thought for sure that thing would go way up!”
Hank handed her the mallet. “Well, I think you should try. Just don't hurt yourself. You just woke up from-”
But Amy put all of her might into her swing. Hank might have swung like an experienced rail man, but Amy's fever could only be matched by warriors of old. When the hammer made contact, It fired the striker into the sky, where it smashed into the digital bell. The machine emitted a ringing sound, and the sky opened up to shower the two in confetti. The farm girl had just realized one of her childhood dreams. But she was shocked that she actually won. “Hank?” She turned towards the android. “How did I beat you?”
I enjoy the attempt at flair, but it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me. Her fever (a word mostly used for sickness) match by warriors of old (old people are sick?) Sort of goes against the idea that she won. It feels like almost any other word would have been a better choice. Strength, Gusto, Fury, whatever. Also, her dream to win this arcade game? She doesn’t even remember if she’s ever been to an arcade. I don’t understand this. (Nor is it really explained later.)
“Well, I didn't want you to find out. However...” Hank shrugged as the confetti piled up on them. “Because I was designed to deal with humans, they didn't make me very strong. There isn't really a reason for me to possess excessive strength.”
I guess this can add a reason why he didn’t want to play, but then again why take her to an arcade at all? Is there no other dating spot in the city? He clearly knows about her injury, and the rest already. He surely know her dreams to right? So he should have known this would happen...
“Oh.” Amy folded her arms. “You're basically stuck doing whatever it is you were built for huh?”
“Not at all!” Hank waved his hands. “Androids get to decide on our calling in life and acquire upgrades for it. As a doctor, I have an expanded memory bank so that I can remember symptoms and procedures, and I'm also outfitted with sensors so that I can better diagnose my patients.” He pointed at her chest. “One of which is a sort of heart beat monitor that is tuned to pick up on the sound of a heart beat that happens within five feet of me. Right now I can tell your heart is beating slightly faster than normal. Probably a result of beating the high striker game.”
(Not that long ago he mentions not wanting to tell his weakness.) Clearly doesn’t care much about finding out information, which actually that seems to be another contradiction. Because now it seems he’s just the character to explain all the plot, to the amnesia trope.
He nodded before taking Amy's hand and walking away from the high striker. “Humans have fascinated me ever since I first saw them. It's hard to explain, but no matter how you look at it, they created androids. We may be better in a few regards, but they were here first. They advanced technology to the point where androids could be created, and made us in their image. We have the same types of desires, despite being as different as we are.” He looked over at Amy. “Though while most Androids like looking forward at what is to come, I find myself looking backwards, admiring the journey we took together.” He looked ahead. “I'd just like humans and androids to co exist with each other for as long as possible, and being a doctor seems like the best way to do that.”
*coexist Again these explanations are long, and all that is happening is drawn out exposition of characters explaining things. But I get little/no personality from either of them. (Just because they’re robots doesn’t keep it engaging for long, since it doesn’t add to the plot. Nor brought up again.)
He gave her a nod. “But based on what I'm seeing now, it looks like you've made a full recovery.”
“Well” I hope you don't plan on skipping out on that air hockey game.”
“I would never!”
And so, they headed over to their next game.
Don’t need the last sentence, the next sentence shows this. “Well” is an editing error.
“I haven't had that much fun in a long time!” Hank laughed. He had an arm wrapped around Amy's waste as they walked back towards the hospital. “I'm glad I was a bit more formidable at the air hockey table. You were a good opponent though.”
“It's a shame we won't get to do this again.” Before them was a stair case that lead up to the balcony. “I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed myself! But I guess we'll have to get you back to your folks tomorrow.” Hank took hold of the railing with one hand and started to climb the stairs. He still held Amy with his other arm.
*staircase (for all the other times too.)
“Alright.” He nodded. “But before we ship you out, I have to put you under to do one more examination. When you wake up, you'll be surrounded by your friends and family.”
“Somehow I doubt that.”
Amy stopped walking, which caused Hank to stop in his tracks. He looked over his shoulder at her. “Is that so?” An element in Hank's hand started to rapidly heat up. A second hadn't even passed before the clothes on Amy's body started to burn up. But that was all the time Amy needed to pull the metal railing off of the stair case and smash Hank with it. He flew over the railing on the other side, and landed in a heap. Amy discarded the hand rail and walked down the stairs to see Hank. The shot Amy gave to his stomach caved it in, and his legs were pointing out in strange directions, completely dislocated from his body.
“Hank?” Amy looked at her hip where Hank had started to burn her. Her pants and jacket had burned away in the area, but her skin was in perfect shape. “When I first woke up, you felt it was more important to tell me that robots had taken over than what caused my accident. It was almost like you were able to anticipate that was something I wasn't going to know about.” She hugged herself. “You also didn't want me to hit the high striker too hard. At the time I didn't think much of it, but it seems like I have strength that far surpasses yours. Possibly other androids as well.” She crouched beside him. “It's also very strange for a doctor to be in a rural town without any humans around. Even if you were a world renown doctor who had people shipped to him, you'd have to admit it would be a little strange not to at least live where the work is.” She looked at her hip. “And while burning me did cause me to get really dizzy, it doesn't seem like it burned my flesh at all.” Amy examined Hank's arm. It was still glowing, and it had even burned up his shirt's sleeve. Even the grass around his arm was starting to wilt and brown. “Hank, I'm not really a human, am I?”
Hank sighed, but otherwise remained entirely motionless. “That is correct.” There was a pause. “There haven't been any humans around for a very long time.”
This whole scene comes of as very forced and feels like a plot contrivance. Her violent outburst isn’t built by natural emotion. It hardly matches the rest of her character moment. So I can’t relate. It’s not graphic enough or detailed enough to tickle my imagination. It doesn’t feel earned. But no action is written by mistake, and this is basically the last piece of action before it spirals into an insane amount of talking/exposition dumping. It felt like it was inserted only to keep the reader interested. And it’s also another over-explanation with filler actions. (look at, moved an inch, etc)
“What happened to them?”
“Mankind has, since the beginning, been a race that has prided itself on mastering its world. Once they did that though, they had to rise to the station of gods.” He turned to look at Amy. “And to this end, they had two revolutionary breakthroughs: Artificial intelligence and artificial reality.”
Amy nodded. “Alright, so artificial intelligence enabled them to make androids. What is artificial reality?”
What am I learning here that relevant? What nugget about the world, or characters am I really getting when this could and basically already is shown in the story without it...
“It's virtual reality, but perfected. But artificial reality is a much larger scale, and more complete. It can stimulate all of the senses. Once you're locked into it, it's impossible to distinguish from real life. Or a dream in more surreal cases.” He looked at his hand and flexed his fingers. “The wealthiest humans flocked to it. With artificial reality, you could do anything. You could go on a dream vacation, visit unusual worlds, go on dates with celebrities, or just live your childhood dream of being a superhero. All from the safety of your home.” There was a pause as Hank looked into the sky. “And over time, it became cheaper to maintain, and more and more people were using it.”
Amy closed her eyes. “That sounds dangerous. Especially if someone was to get addicted to it.”
“And humanity did get addicted.” Hank pushed himself upright so that he could look directly at Amy. “The day finally came where a human spent their entire life in artificial reality. They said he was the happiest and longest living human to ever exist. With androids making up the majority of the work force, more and more humans were entering artificial reality. It wasn't long before all humans left this reality to join the new one.” Hank shrugged.
More dry talking. *workforce
“I guess we were suppose to keep the human race running forever. Managing their birth rates, making sure they were all happily inside their new reality. But the resource demand to keep billions of people in permanent hibernation was huge. So we controlled their numbers. The population of humans dwindled due to controlled breeding practices. Natural causes killed them off quicker than we let them reproduce, and we were left with a few thousand which we kept around. Just so that we could say we hadn't committed genocide.” He sighed. “But evolution had other ideas. Humans did an experiment a long time ago with fish. If they spend their entire lives in darkness, the fifth generation of fish will be born without eyes. These humans, having never used their bodies their entire lives. Each newborn started to more represent a slug than a human.” He shook his head. “It couldn't continue. They couldn't survive outside of artificial reality, so the only thing left to do was to let the last humans die in their virtual paradise.”
I sort of wish I saw what was being flatly described in long stretches to me. This explanation would have been far more engaging to actually see. “Is this the most exciting part of your character’s story? If not, why aren’t you showing me that?”
Amy nodded and stood up. “So what am I in all of this then?”
Hank chuckled. “If it was an android's duty to replace humans, then you are what will replace us.” Hank leaned up against a bush and ajusted his jacket. “You are what we call a homunculus. An artificial life form. You are like a mammal in many ways. You have organic components, but your cell structure is far superior to anything that's ever walked the earth. Your skin is a graphene-like material. That is to say it is very thin, far more durable than steel, and flexible. It also conducts heat very well, which is why we engendered a sort of 'kill switch' into you. If your body overheats, you'll fall unconscious. The coffins were suppose to keep you warm so that you wouldn't wake up until you were cooled off, but something seemed to have gone wrong.”
*adjusted Just more irrelevant explanation that doesn’t advance the story, the characters or the plot. Am I wrong about any of this? Does learning her skin is made of graphene-like material help me imagine her better? Why is the character hearing exposition explaining that the homunculus is artificial life, when she already thinks she's a robot! And the fact it’s very thin, not just thin, but very thin. And not just more durable, far more durable. The heat very well, not just well and a ‘sort of’ kill switch, not a kill switch. But ‘sort of’. Do you get my point of just how dragged out every single line, of every sentence and paragraph feels right?
Amy looked at her hip again, where Hank had tried to heat her. “So my memories, they're all fake?”
“While you are a life form, we do have methods for creating, erasing, and altering your memories. Your memories are entirely fake, and you've spent the majority of your life in captivity being grown and nurtured.”
“So what was the point of all this then?”
Hank chuckled, it was friendly. “Amy, I'm not sure if it's something humans gave to us a long time ago, or something just inherent of those with intelligence, but we wanted what the humans had.” He shrugged his shoulders. “I think when humans made us, they were really just trying to follow in the footsteps of their god. So we're just continuing that tradition with you.” He nodded. “You are the first unit that has behaved exactly the way we wanted.” Hank chuckled. “Well, except for this part.” Hank looked up into the sky. “But I suppose that's to be expected. I've always thought your kind would be next in line to rule this world. This is the turning point. I would not be surprised if this exact situation was happening all over the world right now.”
So much of this is overly explained and feels highly redundant. He shrugs his shoulder/and chuckles a lot...also I swear he’s looked up to the sky twice now during this conversation, but never looked away from it. “It was friendly” bit doesn’t need to be there either.
As much as Amy wanted to continue talking with Hank, she knew she had to be there for the other homunculus. She ran up the stair case and entered the room where she woke up. When she looked inside though, there were hundreds of homunculus in leotards, filling the small room. They appeared to be young men and woman about the same age as Amy, and their numbers continued into multiple hallways that split off from the main room.
“So.” Amy started. “I guess you guys have a few questions.”
“You bet your ass we do!” A man in the front said. “I'm a factory worker, and I-”
“No.” Amy interrupted. “You're not a factory worker.” She looked at everyone. “None of you are what you think you are.”
A woman pushed her way to the front of the crowd. “Then who are we?”
Amy turned to the woman. “The future.”
That ending felt like nothing. Wasn't surprising. Didn’t contribute to anything, didn’t make me feel motivated to do anything. It just doesn’t make sense…
He lied to her about being a robot, but why does he suddenly tell the truth? And why does she just plainly believe him right after randomly trying to attack him? Why did she think that would get the best results if he was likely trying to play nice/cordial for a connection...could she not have just pressed this further through dialogue? If she did use words and not random unprovoked violence, basically not a single interesting action would have actually taken place through the second half of the story otherwise. Almost the entire story is exposition, narration that tells instead of shows, and filler that’s repeated too much to have an effect or any real meaning, like all the same shrugging, chuckling and looking into the sky.
The writing quality is simple and straightforward for the action and in general. Which works fine and makes it easy enough to go through and read. I was originally engaged in Amy’s child-like/odd behavior in the beginning, I wanted to know what happened and the foreshadowing was understandable enough. But explain the plot in terms of character actions and it’s just not interesting. It’s just two people talking the whole time and while it explains a hundred things like humans need food, it doesn't actually give me any reasons to connect, sympathize, better understand the character or even the setting/plot. It ends openly (with background character dialogue without personality either) without a single reason to care about either character. The actions of both don’t make any sense and end up feeling forced. One of the few lines that had any analogy didn’t really work for me. There's very little flair to appreciate for a writing contest. There wasn't any noticeable arc for the characters, no conclusion for the plot and isn't any real theme that I can find...
The writing quality is very solid. Only a few errors in the writing with a high-level vocabulary throughout. (If you care for me to point the few out I could find, feel free to ask.) It's certainly polished. Certain word choices were questionable/debateable. But there’s very little to criticize there.
In terms of a story...it sort of feels like I’m watching the 6th or 7th episode of an anime first? I found it very hard to follow, and keep track of where I was and what the characters were doing...the words were all carefully constructed and there’s even a few lines that I appreciated.
“She finally sheathed the knife sometime just before the sky began to shift colors with the sunset.”
Such a simple sentence that can be imagined so clearly, that it creates a very pretty image in my head.
But it’s sort of hard to define exactly what I mean, but I’ll try my best on where this story leaves me a little cold and feels disconnected from a followable narrative.
In the very beginning of the story you introduce so many characters/nouns at the very start to keep track of. You have...Adelaide, General Drefen, Warlord Siegfried, Other Officers, The Dol’vah, An enslaved princess, the Black Throne. The very first bit is a board meeting of exposition and character description details, and things that just don’t feel like a natural beginning. Not that you can’t make a story In Media Res. But I don’t feel like I’ve gotten to know any of these characters before being thrusted into the muddled climax of sorts. Like I’ve skipped a few necessary chapters...
There’s so many lines in here that tell me, rather than show me in cases I feel could be easily integrated in the story, and instead come of as inhuman/calculated.
She was tall, but he was taller, as were all the inhuman Dol'Vrah.
His temper always had been even shorter than hers.
The latter for instance should be inferred and done through dialogue. I should be able to tell a character is a loose cannon/loses their temper easily through character action. Not having the story tell me how they behave, because that’s not good storytelling…(Especially when a lot of these descriptions don’t seem to factor into the plot, or even related to a character’s feelings at that time that I could tell. So it’s not even super relevant information.)
I didn't notice any particular themes, and the characters didn't stand out for good or bad reasons. I suppose I liked the writing, more than I followed/connected to the story I read. I apologize, I'll admit it might be my own fault. But it just felt sort of hard to follow?
When everyone says your story is too short, you blow the word count out of the water. ;P
Another thing I’d like to improve on, is being a critic that can admire someone’s progress/improvement. But to cut to the chase, I’d certainly consider this an improvement. It’s not just because it’s longer either, but it does feel like a more completed story. I was shown a beginning, middle and a conclusion. (Even if that isn't a true ending.) There was some editing errors and misspellings, but few given the word length, that I won’t point them out. (Though you spell mattress, mattrass so many times I wonder if this is an non-american way to spell it that I just never saw before?)
The story structure got a little too repetitive, the characters traveled then talked...then traveled, then talked all through the first half of the story. Thankfully most of the dialogue throughout the entire story was snappy/brief one sentences that don’t bog the moment down, and it works fine enough for banter between characters. Though I felt some pieces of dialogue (usually the longer bits) felt a little unnatural to me. In ways it's a little hard to elaborate on what I’m talking about. For a single example.
Mikhal shook his head. “That was a year ago, but I didn’t hear anything about an invasion. They seemed their usual, friendly selves. They invited me to eat and drink with them, we sang some songs, told some stories and after I spend the night I was on my way again, with my bag filled with food and beer. They spoke kindly about humans and mentioned they enjoyed the profitable trades.”
Okay, the first line is fine. Simple answer to the previous question asked. Follow up line is fine as well. The invite eat and drink, sang some songs, told some stories, kind of feels too brief to be interesting and yet drags on with the some’s and extra fluff. The rest just comes across like a robot, first he mentioned how kind they are again. When he just said they were friendly a sentence ago. “They enjoyed their hu-mon activities.” is kind of how I read those lines. The following line after the dialogue about “that’s how they are alright” which probably could have been cut as well. Also sort of comes across that he wouldn’t tell the person this naturally, instead it’s told to the audience.
(In the same way, some guy reminds another leader/warrior that they have catapults in their city. I can only imagine that should be character knowledge. Unless it’s in someone’s character to state the obvious.)
Mikhal shook his head. “I didn’t hear anything about an invasion a year ago. When I spent my night there and refilled my supplies. They just drowned themselves in suds and meat gravy, while they told me stories about their trades and their pleasant travels with humans, they also sang — terribly. Nothing out of the ordinary...”
Something like that, more concise, all the same information, I think it feels far more natural and injects more personality into the sentence. This kind of tweaking could benefit many of the more overtly straightforward bits of dialogue throughout the story.
The best advice I could give you, is not solely focused on any individual paragraphs. I feel like you could strengthen this story if you looked at it again and asked yourself could you cut about 10%-15% of it and if you were asked to, what would it be?
Another personal advice I could give is that you rely too heavily on color to describe characters when its not only not necessary, it can be a detriment to storytelling and subtle character descriptions.
It was morning, the orange sun gradually revealed itself and painted the clouds in a similar shade. A few birds hiding in the bushes greeted the day, filling the sky with the usual morning sounds. The two men laying on the ground, wrapped in their grey cloaks, moved as both the light and the sounds penetrated their slumber. One of them had light brown curls. The other short, dark-brown hair.
I actually like the intro to the story until that last sentence, the first information you share about the two characters, before I know who they are, what they do, how they behave and those differences...I know...both had slightly different shades of brown colored hair?
Aside from it feeling like an artificial inclusion. That is such wasted potential for producing information. It tells us nothing. There’s so many different ways you can detail a character better than that. One of many examples. (if you must even include such a thing.)
One had light brown hair, cut like a soldiers’. The others was dirty brown, unkempt and curly like a mop.
See the difference that makes in your head? Granted a little longer, but it does far more for the characters at even possibly hinting that their personalities. If you include detail, and please do. But make those details interesting and layered. You actually did give the two original characters quirks that distinguishes them apart from one another, I probably could have gone on without knowing which had a darker shade of brown hair.
The second half certainly had more action when it was reaching its climax, though at that point it felt like I already got everything out of the story. Changing P.O.V’s (especially multiple times) in short stories often disengage me, unless something is striking about the characters. But nothing really stuck to me. I don’t think I’ll find themes or any deeper meanings that were meant to be explored. I saw and appreciated the effort made.
Very Brief Bio:
Male, 25 years old.
Likes: Basically all kinds of music, writing/reading fiction, anime.
Non-RP related interests: Used to play a guitar. Used to do 'harsh' vocals. Have played basically every sport, and I do play games. Mostly, Heroes Of The Storm.
I'm into a lot of different RP's. I do like darker themes, action, drama, fantasy. Etc.
I'm very used to doing digimon and pokemon theme roleplays (because of friends) though I also like to do original ideas.
*gives cookie* Would be glad to RP with anyone. :3
[color=ed1c24]Disclaimer Warning: Does not actually give much of a damn who uses art.[/color]
Self Promotion/My 1X1 Interest Check: https://www.roleplayerguild.com/topics/175576-sleepingsilences-tavern-want-1x1-rps-please-come-in/ooc
<div style="white-space:pre-wrap;">Very Brief Bio:<br>Male, 25 years old. <br>Likes: Basically all kinds of music, writing/reading fiction, anime. <br>Non-RP related interests: Used to play a guitar. Used to do 'harsh' vocals. Have played basically every sport, and I do play games. Mostly, Heroes Of The Storm.<br>I'm into a lot of different RP's. I do like darker themes, action, drama, fantasy. Etc.<br>I'm very used to doing digimon and pokemon theme roleplays (because of friends) though I also like to do original ideas.<br><br>*gives cookie* Would be glad to RP with anyone. :3<br><br><font color="#ed1c24">Disclaimer Warning: Does not actually give much of a damn who uses art.</font><br><br>Self Promotion/My 1X1 Interest Check: <a href="https://www.roleplayerguild.com/topics/175576-sleepingsilences-tavern-want-1x1-rps-please-come-in/ooc" title="https://www.roleplayerguild.com/topics/175576-sleepingsilences-tavern-want-1x1-rps-please-come-in/ooc">roleplayerguild.com/topics/175576-sle…</a></div>