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  1. #1
    Sam Fletcher
    Guest

    Punctuation and Sentence Fragment Help

    Some of you may remember that I'm writing a fantasy book that is substantially different from other fantasy literature. This passage is about a mariseph named Itikthrixil. A mariseph is a creature composed entirely of magic. Think of something in the line of a ghost dragon made entirely out of energy rather than flesh. (That isn't really right but it's close enough) My greatest weakness as a writer is proper grammar usage and proper punctuation. This passage was particularly difficult for me to punctuate. I need some idea of what needs to be changed, especially for comma and semicolon usage. THANKS!

    --------------------------



    I rise.

    In splendid waves of color the sun bleeds in, bleeds out like a never ending tide.

    Hunger consumes. How long? How long?

    I am diminished. I am not what I was.

    Winter and summer, springtime and harvest, year come and year gone; and I slumbering ‘neath the hills, nothing but a shimmer in the grass, a glinting as of dew in the sun.

    I spread my wings, grasping for the high road, longing to feel the kiss of sunshine and cloud at wingtip and wingtip. But the weakness compels with terrible, wracking tremble and I pull back from the heights, shuddering down to the brown and yellow of wintered earth. I who set the blackness of empty space beneath my wing, now earthbound and crawling, flowing like water down the hills, through rocks and ridges, to the long windswept valley below.

    And yet, though diminished, I prevail. I, who was the first and will be the last, now ebbing but not extinguished. I am the eternal. Lesser creatures live and die while I yet remain. In summer and winter, springtime and harvest, year come and year gone as the world revolves around its ancient sun, I ever remain. I am the constant, the undying. I will feed. I will become again. This great weakness will vanish into the cloudy recess of time already spent and I shall leave it behind as I leave all things behind.

    It may take me weeks to restore what time has taken, or months, or years, or centuries. What is that to me? I will hunger. I will feed. I will grow. I will become. It is the way of the earth. I will sup first on the lesser things, as I once did eons ago. And then, by and by, I will consume the greater things. As I once was I will become again. In sunlight and shadow, in springtime and harvest, year come and year gone I will reach down to gather, collecting the souls of the dying, collecting the innocence of the young, collected the strength of the powerful and the wisdom of the wise. Adding bit by bit, in pieces and parcels until I finish this great work, until all of the pieces have been gathered and then still, even then I will remain. I was the first and shall be the last. I will gather all things to myself. I was the first, and shall, in due time, when the work is finished, centuries come and centuries gone, I shall be the last.



  2. #2
    Lea Zalas
    Guest

    Re: Punctuation and Sentence Fragment Help

    Winter and summer, springtime and harvest, year come and year gone; and I slumbering ‘neath the hills, nothing but a shimmer in the grass, a glinting as of dew in the sun.

    Too wordy. I know you're trying to paint the picture with words and that's lovely, but annoying. Try:

    The years have passed over me and still I slumber beneath the hills, nothing but a shimmer as if dew in the sun. Question: if he/it is slumbering beneath the hills, how can he/it be seen as dew in the sun? Wouldn't he/it have to be on top of the grass?

    I spread my wings, grasping for the high road, longing to feel the kiss of sunshine and cloud at wingtip and wingtip. Something's off kilter here. Grasping for the high road seems to imply climbing. Don't say "wingtip and wingtip". Try "upon my wingtips."

    It may take me weeks to restore what time has taken, or months, or years, or centuries. Urk! Instead of stating every point in your range of time, shorten to the smallest and the largest measurement. It may take weeks, maybe even centuries, to restore what time has stolen from me.

    You have a very poetic way of "talking", beautiful even. But try to keep it poetically to the point.

    Lea

  3. #3
    Lisa P
    Guest

    Re: Punctuation and Sentence Fragment Help

    Sam, I don't read much fantasy and I'm aware some of the character names are "unusual",
    but Itikthrixil would stop me in my tracks. I'm curious, do most fantasy readers just skim the
    names without trying to pronounce them in their head?

  4. #4
    Sam Fletcher
    Guest

    Re: Punctuation and Sentence Fragment Help

    Hi Lisa,

    I used this name because it seems alien. Itikthrixil isn't really too hard once it becomes familiar. (It ick thrix ul) His alien thought patterns are what I'm trying to portray in this entire segment. This is going to be the first and only time we see itikthrixil's thoughts. Later on the characters will refer to him as Thrix or the 'seph - short for mariseph.

    Lea,

    As I mentioned the idea of a ghost dragon doesn't really paint the picture correctly. Itikthrixil is the oldest and largest of the mariseph. A mariseph can appear as almost any type of creature. Their bodies are made of magical energy and they can change them at will anytime they wish. This one has decided to take on the shape of a giant bird. Now that he is so old he stretches miles long from one wingtip to the other. He seems more like a moving cloud in the sky than a living thing. Since he's composed of magical energy the part of him that is visible above the ground glistened like dew in the grass. It had taken seven wizards to still him down to slumber. He slept unseen merged in with the hills for almost 500 years. But now he is awake again and intends to consume the life force and magical energy of everyone in the world.

    As far as the writing style goes. This particular style and sentence structure is only for itikthrixil. The rest of the book has been written in 3rd person limited. The rest of the book doesn't consist of this type of artsy, poetic language. All of that is simply to give us a sense of his alien-ness. This entire passage consists of his thoughts and we are watching as he thinks them.

    Thanks for the input. I always appreciate someone taking the time to answer.

  5. #5
    Sam Fletcher
    Guest

    Re: Punctuation and Sentence Fragment Help

    Lea,

    I should have mentioned this. For a sample of my regular writing style you can go here <http://www.writers.net/forum/read/11/52900/52900>

  6. #6
    leslee
    Guest

    Re: Punctuation and Sentence Fragment Help

    I used to comment about the nutty fantasy names, too, but Joe Zeff told me to knock it off - and he was right.

    It isn't a genre I read or write, and what I didn't realize was that the oddball names are part of what fans like about it.

  7. #7
    Lea Zalas
    Guest

    Re: Punctuation and Sentence Fragment Help

    Just read your regular style and really liked it. Have you finished it yet?

    Like this one too. I get what you're saying - it's dragonspeak. And you do paint the words beautifully.

    Lea

  8. #8
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Punctuation and Sentence Fragment Help

    Yeah, this mariseph thing yammers too long for me. I vote you cut this by about a third at least, if not entirely. It strikes me as pretty banal, like the monologue of a super-villain. And to me, poetic language does not connote alien; it connotes high mindedness, power, intelligence. Action is what sets an alien apart from the herd. Hunger consumes it, right? Describe this thing waking up and feeding on a herd of cattle. I'm sure that would convey alien way better than any thoughts. I don't think many beings would engage in monologue while starving, especially if there's food nearby. Save the high words for when this thing actually speaks to someone.

  9. #9
    Conor Beaulieu
    Guest

    Re: Punctuation and Sentence Fragment Help

    This character seems the exact opposite of alien to this reader; he seems more like a bastion of nature.

    "I have always been, and always will be"

    Something just a PART of the world, not alien.

    Also, I do like that he continues to engage in monologue even while starving, it gives him an unrelenting arrogance that I like. A feeling of superiority no matter what the circumstances.

    Also, I agree that it goes on a bit too long. A lot of what is said is repetitive.

    The writing is quite poetic though, you paint pictures.

  10. #10
    Sam Fletcher
    Guest

    Re: Punctuation and Sentence Fragment Help

    Thanks for all the help.

    Conor - that is actually more what I'm going for. A malevolent force of nature.

    Lea - I'm about half done. By this weekend I will be a 70,000 words. I expect it to end up at about 120,000.

    John - That's good advice. But, I don't want him to get too strong too fast. But, I'll think about what you said and see if there is some way to make this into action rather than poetic verse.

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