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Magus Gar Kan



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 151
Location: Somewhere between Nowhere and Everywhere.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well here it is, comments and criticisms appreciated.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Powers of Observation

He stepped into the room, closed his eyes and took a deep breath. As he opened them, the world slowed and then stopped, becoming as unmoving as a photograph. Looking around the room, he took note of the guests. He noted each face, regarded every posture and compared each outfit to his memory. Here was a collection of the city’s socialites, gathered for the purpose of celebrating their status. Several hours ago, one of their own had been killed and it spoke to their character, and that of the dead man, that few of the guests were in mourning.

He noted the expressions of the guests. There in the corner was Lady Aberdine, the victim’s widow and she wore a mask of sorrow. Of all the guests, she alone seemed to truly grieve for her husband. Though, whether it was for his loss or the loss of his political influence, he could not say. He moved his gaze to the youth sitting next to her. He was Montgomery, Lady Aberdine’s son. Tall and wiry, he looked out of place in this room of proper gentlemen and elegant ladies. His gaze was fixed on the door, and the youth bore a look of utter contempt. Did Montgomery stab his unconscious father with the letter opener several times before dumping the body down the laundry chute?

Now he began to move, continuing his observation of the room. Professor Hocks was standing before two of the other guests, Dominic Hudson and the Reverend Pool, with drinks in hand. Hocks’s face was pleasant, though lines of thought creased the professor’s forehead. Looking closer, he noted with some satisfaction the still cloud in the center of one of the professor’s glasses and the granules of white powder suspended between it and his fingers. Perhaps it was the professor that administered the dose of poison that incapacitated the dead man before he was stabbed? Of course, this could this simply be a way of allowing the reverend to take his medicine discretely, or perhaps supply the drug addicted Hudson with his “fix”?

The other guests were of minor concern, they had iron clad alibis and little motive and opportunity, knowing this, he turned his attention to the servants. The butler stood by the punch bowl, pouring its contents into a fresh set of glasses, the frozen drops coming from the ladle looking like rubies suspended in the air, or possibly drops of blood. Shaking these more prosaic thoughts from his head, he returned to his task. He noted that the butler had taken care to conceal his feet under the tablecloth, though he couldn’t completely hide the fact that his shoes were caked in mud. Mud that would clearly match the kind found in the bed of the rose bushes against the back of the mansion and shoes that would most certainly would match the footprints found there.

The maid was next, with a look of terror on her face. She had found the body in the laundry room, though she would not give her reason for being there. He looked her over and saw that there were flaws in the otherwise spotless uniform. Her skirt was slightly off center, her hair had been disturbed and she had apparently discarded her gloves. She knew of the secret passage that lay between the master bedroom and the lower quarters, what role might she have played in the murder.

At last he returned his attention to where he stood. His suspicions had been confirmed and no pieces were out of place. Taking a final look around the room he allowed his senses to relax and the room returned to life. As each guest looked towards him, the Great Detective said with ultimate conviction, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I know who the Murderer is.”
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Dubbed Marcus by Asa
Magus Gar Kan = Magus = Margus = Marcus

"Nothing is predictable in regards to humans, save for their infuriating ability to do the unexpected."

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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3531
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, I had to shake my head at the clicheness, but whatever.

My second reaction was a little more complicated... I personally feel like this is cheating, because for your narrator and for us, time hasn't really stopped. I think the easiest way to fix that (if you were to take my advice) would be to get rid of the hint of supernatural powers, keep him in the doorway, and simply have him take in the scene at a glance. Describe it as the single moment it is.

It'd be more impressive, also.
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Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Ravenna



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 637
Location: Toward The Terra

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to refute Asa's comments on the grounds that a cliche is only a cliche when badly written.

While Magus' idea has been seen before, I don't deny, there is a knack for writing present, but there's a few things to be sorted out.

- I think there are one or two small grammar issues that need to be tightened up, some punctuation.

- The story seems to focus on multiple moments of introspection rather than just one, which I believe is the focus of this WG. If you're wanting to continue to focus on the murder mystery theme, why not the moment the maid finds the body, and stick to describing her reaction? ( er, so long as it stays PG13 ^^;; ) It's only a suggestion, but in order to keep to the rules of this one, it will have to be cut down to just one moment.

Other than that, keep writing!
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Magus Gar Kan



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 151
Location: Somewhere between Nowhere and Everywhere.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
Firstly, I had to shake my head at the clicheness, but whatever.


I happen to like cliches! Sad

I understand where you are coming from with the moving around, but I find it hard to write the frozen moment without letting his mind "wander". Its like trying to describe a painting or a photograph when you cannot see in the 3rd dimension. Its hard (for me at least) to write something that descriptive without being in pain from reading it. (Though this is probably better than my first idea, which was to write about a sorcerer who stops time with his magic)

Plenty of time before the end though, so I'll start to revise it.
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Dubbed Marcus by Asa
Magus Gar Kan = Magus = Margus = Marcus

"Nothing is predictable in regards to humans, save for their infuriating ability to do the unexpected."

I'm not dead, just lurking and very very tired.
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3531
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you can stop time, then you'll have plenty of it. ^_~

To clarify, I know that cliche can be well written, but it can also be re-worked so that it's not cliche anymore. Retelling a common theme is different from cliche.

Well, the point of the group is to push our boundaries, so reach for it!

Maybe you could focus on the first person he sees as he walks in the door. Not all of them, but something like, "Time seemed to slow to a stop, as [John's] eyes were drawn to Lady Aberdine..." Whatever. It doesn't have to be long, just enough to fulfill the requirement. Even a paragraph is fine; surely you can write a descriptive paragraph?
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Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Magus Gar Kan



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 151
Location: Somewhere between Nowhere and Everywhere.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried rewriting my earlier piece, but it just wasn't working. I did however get a bit of inspiration in another direction entirely. This should be more appropriate:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For the first time in hours the rain had stopped. The little boy rushed out and began to play, splashing around in the puddles left by the storm. His play did not last long, for a monster had come. The boy turned as he heard the screeching bellow of the creature’s roar and time stood still.

The beast’s draconian wings seemed to be made of countless crystals that rose in great arcs beside its head. The monster's wide mouth was full of silver teeth dripping in anticipation. Painful rays of light shone through the molten white of its eyes, distorted and warped by the drops of rain suspended before it. Veins like frozen rivulets of water ran along its bulky crimson hide. It loomed before the boy and he knew the fear of death.

With a screech of the breaks the SUV swerved, missing the child and went speeding away. As the child started to cry, soaked by the cascade of water kicked up by the vehicle’s tires, his mother ran out and gathered him up. Together they returned to the warmth of their home.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As always, comment and criticize.
*Edited based on suggestions
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Dubbed Marcus by Asa
Magus Gar Kan = Magus = Margus = Marcus

"Nothing is predictable in regards to humans, save for their infuriating ability to do the unexpected."

I'm not dead, just lurking and very very tired.


Last edited by Magus Gar Kan on Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:08 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 1384
Location: Land of the troll.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a good idea, just a couple of pointers. Repitition of great in the second paragraph should be altered, and I was puzzled by the specificity of the dragon. It might be better to be more vague as to the nature of the beast and use generic words like creature. I did like that it turned out to be a car though.
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Last edited by Allicat on Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or say "like a dragon" I didn't know it was a metaphor for the SUV until you started talking about an SUV. BUT: It's much better than the last one, and a great snapshot.
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Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Think but this and all is mended...
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 1384
Location: Land of the troll.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She dances. Like the flakes surrounding her which seem suspended in an endless flurry, she dances, one arm upraised in the sheer joy of the moment. She seems impervious to the cold which surrounds them as she glories in the bare beauty of nature’s rest. All sound is muffled by the blanketing snow as she gazes back over her shoulder into his eyes, a laugh frozen on her lips, the crimson of her coat stark against the blinding whiteness and echoed in the flush of her countenance. The flick of her dark hair across her face caresses her cheek as he longs to do now.

This is how he remembers her. Full of joy and life. Not later, as the red of her coat seems to run and spread from under her still form in an endless sea of death. Not as he hears the shot and sees the shock and fear on her face. Not as she falls, her eyes never leaving his even as they empty of life. Not the weight of her body as he lifts her to him. Not the cold which seeps from her and the chill ground she was buried in. Not the grief she left in her wake.
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theBSDude



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
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Location: The boring part of Washington

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's beautiful, Alli.
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Outasync



Joined: 17 Feb 2009
Posts: 26
Location: At a computer

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. I second that, BS, "beautiful" is the word.

I especially like how you use "sea of death" and then "in her wake". The repeated imagary makes it all the more powerful.

How are the rest of us supposed to follow that, now? Wink
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Combining the charming good looks of Neddy Seagoon, the courage of Bluebottle and the wisdom of the famous Eccles.
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Magus Gar Kan



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 151
Location: Somewhere between Nowhere and Everywhere.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked wow...I can only agree with what has been said before Allicat, sheer beauty.

I've edited mine to account for the comments, but it can't compare to that. The point of mine was to see things from only the perspective of the child, then see things as they really are. Hence the leaving the SUV to the end.
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Dubbed Marcus by Asa
Magus Gar Kan = Magus = Margus = Marcus

"Nothing is predictable in regards to humans, save for their infuriating ability to do the unexpected."

I'm not dead, just lurking and very very tired.
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3531
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the first paragraph, but I don't like the second - it's too jarring. Probably that's how you meant it, but I'll also add that it pulls out the timeline of the piece, making it not quite the same snapshot as only the first would do.

And I want to head complaints off at the pass: I'm working on mine, and it's becoming better as I comment on yours, so it's not like I'm not going to contribute as well!
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
__________________
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 1384
Location: Land of the troll.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*blushes* Thanks guys, I'm glad you liked it.

Asa: Yeah, I wasn't sure about that either, but it seemed a bit empty without something else there. Think I'm gonna leave it as is, no one's perfect eh?
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's your piece, and like I said - I really like. I think it deserves to be fleshed out a bit more, if you ever feel the inclination.

Marcus: The new version is wonderful, a much better image.
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
__________________
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
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