HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    23

    Post The Black Ship of Valutia

    I am trying to get the hang of this ‘show don’t just tell’ thing. I started this Fantasy/Y.A. piece the other day and I am wondering if I am ‘showing’ enough to draw the reader into the story? – Isabella.

    The Black Ship of Valutia

    The young woman rubbed the sleep from her eyes, sat up in bed, and gazed wistfully out of the hotel window. The early morning mist still clung to the mountains and obscured her view of the lake. Last night it had looked so beautiful, with hundreds of tiny ships all decked out with fairy lights that sprinkled the lake with a thousand streams of white light. As she watched, the mist began to dissolve and she caught a glimpse of a large black ship, flying the Valutian flag.

    ‘’Oh! So you have finally woken up, have you? I’ve been waiting patiently with the news,’’ said Markoff, tapping his pudgy fingers impatiently on the coffee table.

    Arletta jumped and spun her head around. A deep frown creased her forehead ‘’How long have you been sitting there? Don’t you P.R. people ever relax, and don’t you believe in respecting a person’s privacy?’’

    ‘’No, we are always on duty and it’s lucky for you that I am. You have seen the ship and you realize what this means?’’ Markoff responded.

    ‘’Yes, I’ve seen it and I know what it means for me, but I’m not so sure I can grasp just exactly what it means for you and your boss. You need to explain this to me.’’

    ‘’Where shall I start? Let me see. You are probably aware that my employer, Stanton Divine and The Earthgene Party, have thrown down the gauntlet and issued a challenge to the Valutian Government about the use and conduct of magic.’’

    ‘’We all know how you Halgors feel Markoff, and it’s no secret that Divine wants to eradicate the Magicians from my tiny little island home,’’ said Arletta, as she pulled the sheet up under her chin and pouted.

    ‘’That’s true, but what you don’t know is the reason why my boss feels that way. If you will indulge me, I would like to tell you a story of betrayal, deception, power and greed.’’

    ‘’This had better be good Markoff. Divine makes my skin crawl. He is fortunate that I have pledged not to use any magic at the conference,’’ said Arletta, tossing her long red curls and laughing out loud. ‘’I am sorely tempted to turn him into a lump of lard or a sack of potatoes. However I will not break my pledge and bring dishonour to my people, so he is safe for now.’’

    ‘’I thank you for your patience, shall I begin my lady?’’ Markoff inquired, seemingly unaffected by Arletta’s obvious animosity towards his employer.

    ‘’Yes, yes, carry on, but you must turn your face away whilst I get dressed. I know you are a eunuch and have no interest in the female form, but I am no exhibitionist.’’

    Bowing in Arletta’s direction, Markoff grunted and heaved his large, overweight body out of his chair. Still grunting and puffing, he turned his seat to face the wall, took a deep breath and commenced his story.

    ‘’My tale starts 18 years ago in the Province of Halgor. Stanton Divine, as a young man of high standing, growing up in the rich and pleasant land of Halgor, had everything anyone could ever want. He was a good student and was well liked by his peers and his family. Whenever he desired something, he only had to snap his fingers and one of his father’s many servants would fetch it for him. Spoiled and indulged as he was, Stanton had a very pleasant outlook on life and was a generous and kind young man.

    Towards the end of his final academic year, his father came to him and informed him that he was to be married to a Valutian noble lady of high standing and immense wealth. The marriage was to take place within three months. To explain the haste of the marriage, his father told him that it was a condition of the will of the lady’s father that she marry within six months of his death, assuming that she was not already married.

    Stanton’s father told him that the lady’s father, who was Halgorian by birth, died three months ago. The second stipulation in the will was that she must marry a Nobleman from Halgor. After researching possible bridegrooms, Milady’s advisors decided that Stanton Divine was the best candidate.

    In due course Stanton and Milady Piper Laurenta were married and all seemed blissful. After the first year of their marriage, Piper gave birth to a fine baby boy. Within six months of the birth of their son and heir, tragedy struck. Stanton woke up one morning, reached out his hand for his wife, who should have been next to him in bed, only to find a handwritten note pinned to her pillow telling him that she had left him.

    In the note she explained that she wanted to have complete control of her father’s money and the only way to do that was by marrying Stanton. She told him that she was taking their child with her, because she didn’t want her child to grow up in an environment where he would be taught to hate her and eventually come looking for her in anger.

    She warned Stanton not to search for her, or to try to get her back, because she was under the protection of a very powerful Magician. She told him that if he decided to try to gain custody of their son, she would cite mental cruelty in the courts for the reason she left him, and that she had a number of witnesses who would bear this out. The note was written in dissolving lithograph and all traces of what it said disappeared from sight within an hour after Stanton read it.

    From that moment on Stanton became a different man, full of hatred, anger, and resentment. Driven by the desire for revenge, his life revolved around his obsession with the use of magic.

    To save face his family put it about that Stanton’s son had died suddenly in the night and his wife, who was unable to control her grief, had gone back to her family in Valutia.’’

    ‘’This is all very well Markoff, and quite an eye opener for me, but I fail to see what I have to do with it,’’ said Arletta.

    ‘’There is more, once again I ask that you allow me to continue with this story,’’ Markoff replied.

    Isabella du Lac © 2015



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    The copyright notice is paranoid overkill.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    688
    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mutt View Post
    The copyright notice is paranoid overkill.
    Hey, there's desperate people out there, lol.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    23
    Somebody told me to put the copyright thingy on everything I put up - should I not bother doing that?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    688
    Isabella

    Off the top of my head:

    I like the opening sentences. They're atmospheric, setting the tone nicely. I spotted various issues, though.

    Arletta jumped and spun her head around.
    Like the exorcist? Should we call a priest already?

    Markoff responded.
    Generally, you don't need dialog tags between two speakers.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    23
    I am now confused - is it unnecessary to put © on everything?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    688
    Quote Originally Posted by Isabella du Lac View Post
    I am now confused - is it unnecessary to put © on everything? Somebody told me to put the copyright thingy on everything I put up - should I not bother doing that?
    You can if you want, but generally, it's unnecessary.

  8. #8
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Anyone who would steal your work isn't going to care that you put a copyright at the end.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    23
    'Arletta jumped and spun her head around' - OK - a bit over the top - I can rework that. I was wondering about the dialogue tags, thank you for clearing that up. 'Narcissism' - well, what can I say? Thanks for the feedback, I think I am starting to catch on to 'mirroring'. Jay Greenstein critiqued a previous excerpt I put up (a murder mystery) and pointed out that I wasn't mirroring actions and emotions enough, I'm just trying to work out how much I need to show, how much to tell and how much to ignore. It's quite a complex thing, this Creative Writing business...

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    23
    Thank you - Author Pendragin (love your name!)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts