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  1. #1
    Robert Ethans
    Guest

    Revenge of the Snake

    This is the first two pages to a story I'm writing. Just looking for criticism, and hopefully congradulations. Thanks ahead of time.

    Did I do the right thing? A man sat in a cell, staring blankly at the wall. The cell itself was of little interest, what was in it, of less. How did I get myself into this? He thought. The cell was of gray stone, well built, with a single barred window and gate. Well it’s to late now.



    “Do you, Skiev ‘Snakefang’ Karlinga, Solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you by whatever gods you believe in?” Asked the guard. Kyle Skerlingar, age thirty-three, guard for seven years currently residing in lord Carlingans’ manor.
    “I swear to tell the truth.” He said
    “Good, then we can begi-”
    “I also” He interrupted. “ Solemnly swear that if I am sent to jail, that everyone in this courtroom, and those unfortunate enough to step in it while I am in here, will die.” Skiev said.
    “Are you threatening everyone here, Mr. Karlinga?” Kyle said, ironically enough, in a threatening tone.
    “I don’t make threats.” Skiev said simply. “I also, however, don’t break my promises.”
    “Let us begin already.” said the judge wearily. Judge Fefka, age sixty-seven, judge thirty-two years, lives at his home on the outskirts of town. What was he doing here?
    “Where’s judge Taylor?” Skiev demanded.
    “Sit and be quiet.” The judge said. “Taylor caught a fever and couldn’t make it.”
    Skiev went to the witnesses’ bench and sat, he had no lawyer, he had refused one. There were twenty people attending this farce. The guard, the judge, twelve jury members, and six bystanders, two workers who saw, nor heard, anything but claimed they did., two Carlingans, and two witnesses. This farce would end today or tomorrow, he was sure of it.
    “ May I call to the stands the suspect?” Asked the guard, playing the prosecutor.
    “You already did.” Answered the judge, obviously wanting this farce to end as well.
    He called it a farce because, well because it was. He had been found, standing over lord Carlingans’ dead body, with a knife dripping blood from his lordships jugular. Those two witnesses were maids who had vomited at the sight and had immediately sought help, not wanting to deal with the ‘delusional’ assassin .
    “Where were you at the night of the murder?” Kyle asked.
    “I was at Damon’s mansion.” Skiev said tiredly.
    “So you admit to the murder!” Kyle said excitedly.
    Honestly, where did they get these guys? “No, I was visiting Damon that night. I was there to express my thoughts related to the hospitality shown to my companions and myself.” Skiev said thinking about the four different times the citizens had tried to beat him up, the eight times he’d had to deal with thieves, and the fact that he was given scraps that a rat would refuse!
    “And what happened?” Asked Kyle.
    “He Apologized and I was dismissed.” He said.
    “And after that?” The insufferable guard continued.
    “He got up, danced a jig, and gave me everything he owned.” He paused as if thinking back. “And then asked if my poor aged aunt needed a foot wash.” Skiev managed to say this with a perfectly straight face.
    “Did he now. And did his talk of your aunt, or his dancing, enrage you and made you want to kill the man?” Kyle asked.
    Skiev was quite sure that his voice was sarcastic enough so that even a half-wit dolt such as this specimen would understand what was happening. It appeared, however, that he would have to suffer this man as the farce continued. “I was joking.” He simply said, the man should have had a verbal beating, but he had refrained. “After I was dismissed I left.” Skiev left it at that. Apart from the sarcastic comments, it had all been the truth.
    The trial continued, and was boring. At 3:26 a man walked in the courtroom, a little confused, and left smacking his hand and muttering about bugs. That had been detective John McStrevin, right on time too, age 34, residing at his home on Main St. Court adjourned and the farce would begin anew tomorrow.






    ‘Trust is the sound of the grave-dog's bark.
    Trust is the sound of betrayal in the dark.
    Trust is the sound of a soul's last breath.
    Trust is the sound of Death’

    “How did you do it?" A man asked. The man was sitting outside his prison door. He himself was sitting against a corner facing him. "How did you kill all twenty of those people while guarded twenty four seven?" The man wondered. He had it wrong, twenty one were dead, he just didn't know it.
    127
    “Magic.” He answered simply. This man only whished he knew. He started laugh.
    “What are you laughing at?” Asked the man worriedly. He probably thought that he had drifted off the edge of insanity, which he might have.
    “Nothing, just a joke I heard once.” He reassured the man. Was he insane? He couldn’t remember anything before he was sent to prison, how long had he been here? A day, a year? He just couldn’t remember. Why was he here?
    106
    Why are you here? What did you do? Was it for the greater good?
    Yes it was, wasn’t it? He almost felt like whining, he just didn’t know!
    “Another thing I want to know, why did you kill that man? What did you think it would accomplish? Did you want money? Did he do something to you? Why?” The man wouldn’t shut up and he wouldn’t go away.
    It’ll all be over soon
    57
    He used to have higher morals, right? He used to call himself a man of honor, a model, what was he now, where were his morals?
    “Do you trust me?” He looked the man straight in the eyes, his eyes were intense, the man seemed startled by the intensity.
    “Of course not! You’re a convicted murderer!” The man was shocked at the question.
    “They used to.” He said quietly, almost to himself. “If I said something, they would take it to heart, and believe it always.” He seemed to be in another world now. Where was he? Who was he?
    “Who used to?” The man pressed. Why did he care?
    32
    “They’re all dead now.” He said, almost too quietly to hear. “Do you trust me?” He asked again.
    “I already answered that question, and the answers the same as before. No!” The man said.
    “That’s probably for the best.” He said as he started to nod off to sleep.
    “Sir, visiting hours are over, you’ll have to come with me.” A voice said. It wasn’t talking to him so it must not have mattered.
    21
    “Ok, give me a minute.” The man said in reply.
    You don’t have a minute.
    It’ll all be over soon.
    1



  2. #2
    Smiling Curmudgeon
    Guest

    Re: Revenge of the Snake

    Robert,

    "Congradulations." Takes courage to post your work for critique.

    The very first thing you need to do is learn how to punctuate dialogue. Ten minutes of serious study will get you there.

    I won't take time to read the entire excerpt. My comments are in CAPS. I'm not saying anything about you as a person. Not saying anything about your future as a writer. Commenting solely on the material you presented.

    Did I do the right thing? A man sat in a cell, staring blankly at the wall. The cell itself was of little interest, what was in it, of less. ASK YOURSELF WHAT PURPOSE THIS SERVES. HOW WILL THIS GET YOUR READER'S PULSE UP? How did I get myself into this? He thought. The cell was of gray stone, well built, with a single barred window and gate. Well it’s to TOO, NOT TO. late now." FOR THIS READER, THIS PARAGRAPH, THE OPENING OF YOUR TALE, WOULD CAUSE ME TO PUT THE BOOK DOWN. I'M A THOUSAND MILES FROM YOUR CHARACTER. YOU EVEN REFER TO HIM AS "A MAN." ASK YOURSELF WHY YOU DON'T NAME HIM HERE INSTEAD OF IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPHS. IF THIS IS INTENDED TO BE SCENE SETTING, WORK ON MAKING IT MORE SUSPENSEFUL.

    Do you, Skiev ‘Snakefang’ Karlinga, Solemnly WHY HAVE YOU CAPITALIZED SOLEMNLY? swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you by whatever gods you believe in?” Asked the guard. PUNCTUATION. CONSIDER TRADING IN THE PERIOD FOR A COMMA. Kyle Skerlingar, age thirty-three, guard for seven years currently residing in lord Carlingans’ manor. THIS IS HERKY-JERKY. TWO ISSUES FOR THIS READER. THE LAST NAMES OF THE TWO CHARACTERS ARE SIMILAR ENOUGH I HAD TO READ SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE I FIGURED OUT WHO WAS WHO. AND THE SENTENCE STRUCTURE LACK FLOW. IT'S CHOPPY. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH SHORT SENTENCES, BUT THEY GOTTA FLOW. THIS DOESN'T.
    “I swear to tell the truth.” He said
    “Good, then we can begi-”
    “I also” He interrupted. “ Solemnly WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO CAPITALIZE SOLEMNLY? swear that if I am sent to jail, that CONSIDER DELETING "THAT." IT'S ONE OF THE MOST OVER USED WORDS FOR NEW WRITERS. everyone in this courtroom, and those unfortunate enough to step in it while I am in here, will die.” I LIKED THIS. YOU'VE ESTABLISHED SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR MAIN CHARACTER (MC). Skiev said.
    “Are you threatening everyone here, Mr. Karlinga?” Kyle said, ironically enough, I DON'T SEE ANY IRONY. in a threatening tone.
    “I don’t make threats.” Skiev said simply. “I also, however, don’t break my promises.” WOULD THIS BE STRONGER IF YOU SAID SOMETHING LIKE, "I DON'T MAKE THREATS," SKIEV SAID. I DO KEEP MY PROMISES."
    “Let us begin already.” said the judge wearily. Judge Fefka, age sixty-seven, judge thirty-two years, lives WHY HAVE YOU SWITCHED TO PRESENT TENSE? at his home on the outskirts of town. What was he doing here?
    “Where’s judge Taylor?” Skiev demanded.

    ------

    Okay, switched out of CAPS. I'd suggest writing classes, books on writing, lots of reading, and lots of writing. Neurosurgery requires practice. So does writing.

    Hope this helps.

    Feel free to ignore.

    Cur

  3. #3
    Robert Wilson
    Guest

    Re: Revenge of the Snake

    This passage contains lots of unnecessary words, can you say VERBOSE?

    The narrator is conveying way to much info to the poor reader. Info that has nothing to do with anything, such as, "Honestly, where did they get these guys?"

    You need to do some severe editing.

    RW

  4. #4
    Casey Walts
    Guest

    Re: Revenge of the Snake

    First off, I agree with both comments. (Except for the fact that EVERYONE has to severly edit their work) That still doesn\\\'t take away the practice you received while writing this work. Practice is very valuable and no matter what, you will become a stronger writer the more you read and write.

    Now: What really jumped out at me while reading your work, on top of techinical errors, which I struggle with myself-- no one is perfect, ha ha; was the fact that you asked questions to the reader. I was reading through it and I read the same questions I was asking myself. The point of a good story is to begin with the reader asking questions-- to themselves; and the feeling the reader experiences when finding out those questions when they are answered in your writing.

    Good work though and a very good start!

    Remember if you get down with the comments above or even with mine:
    It is much easier to pick something apart than to put it together.

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