The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

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Hatter_Madigan
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Re: The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

Post by Hatter_Madigan » July 12th, 2009, 6:28 am

Thanks for all of the suggestions. It definitely prompted me to read over it again.

For neatly, undefined scrolls, neatly is used as an adjective describing undefined, not scrolls. They weren't put together with great effort, so much is left in chaos. As if it almost seems like it took great effort to make it look unorganized. And I wasn't planning on the reader ruining their eyes over my text, just giving them a look over... with their eyes lol. "are but not in vane" I'm not exactly sure what the right way is to spell vain, or vane, in this situation. But it's meant to be the one that means for nothing. in "are but not in vane, all is understood. So, "your desires are all but in vane" would work better in this situation, so I will get to that. And your right about the second sentence. What I was thinking in my wind wasn't exactly what came out when I was typing. Right now I'm having fun rubbing my soul patch against my lower lip xD. I believe that I was thinking something along the lines of how you start a note off with, to whom this may concern. and the narrator was willingly informing the people that the notes concerned of the information that follows in that sentence. I hate how it feels like I have to decode my sentences when I read them back in order to understand them. and I said ill advised in order to let the ones who are there to read of the heroes know that they were there for the wrong reasons. Like they were possibly told that's what it was about. and I would much rather like to change his to his or her. what is the difference between forgetful knowledge and forgetful information? both are not quite right.. and thank you very much for letting me know about that huge mistake I made in the wording xD. You're right, I didn't mean to say that I couldn't and then do it lol. And I will change it to your example.

and thanks again for all of the help! :mrgreen:

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The1exile
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Re: The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

Post by The1exile » July 12th, 2009, 2:00 pm

Hatter_Madigan wrote:For neatly, undefined scrolls, neatly is used as an adjective describing undefined, not scrolls. They weren't put together with great effort, so much is left in chaos. As if it almost seems like it took great effort to make it look unorganized.
In that case, you should remove the comma, and consider changing "neatly" to something more like "almost deliberately".
Hatter_Madigan wrote:And I wasn't planning on the reader ruining their eyes over my text, just giving them a look over... with their eyes lol.
Yeah, I don;t know what I meant there :oops: Disregard that.
Hatter_Madigan wrote:"are but not in vane" I'm not exactly sure what the right way is to spell vain, or vane, in this situation. But it's meant to be the one that means for nothing. in "are but not in vane, all is understood. So, "your desires are all but in vane" would work better in this situation, so I will get to that.
I think you misunderstand me - "in vain" is right (we're not talking about a weathervane here), it's the "but" that bugs me. You seem to mean something more like "your quest is in vain".
Hatter_Madigan wrote:And your right about the second sentence. What I was thinking in my wind wasn't exactly what came out when I was typing. Right now I'm having fun rubbing my soul patch against my lower lip xD. I believe that I was thinking something along the lines of how you start a note off with, to whom this may concern. and the narrator was willingly informing the people that the notes concerned of the information that follows in that sentence. I hate how it feels like I have to decode my sentences when I read them back in order to understand them. and I said ill advised in order to let the ones who are there to read of the heroes know that they were there for the wrong reasons. Like they were possibly told that's what it was about.
I do see what you mean, but "willingly" is still superfluous (perhaps you mean something like "I freely admit..."), and I recommend against presuming the reader's intentions unless you have a pre-prologue explaining that.
Hatter_Madigan wrote:and I would much rather like to change his to his or her.
The problem is not "his or her", but just that you can;t sahy "heroes" in the plural" and then say "his" (or "his or her") in the singular. You can dodge the gender issue by keeping heroes plural and saying "their", viz: "glorified heroes of war dying valiantly in their final, bloody battles".
Hatter_Madigan wrote:what is the difference between forgetful knowledge and forgetful information? both are not quite right..
I don't know what "forgetful information" means, so I just changed "information" to "knowledge" to make it sound better.
Hatter_Madigan wrote:and thank you very much for letting me know about that huge mistake I made in the wording xD. You're right, I didn't mean to say that I couldn't and then do it lol. And I will change it to your example.

and thanks again for all of the help! :mrgreen:
You're welcome!
Rubies for passion, rubies for revenge.

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melinath
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Re: The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

Post by melinath » July 12th, 2009, 2:38 pm

I feel like in general, you're trying to use a very archaic-sounding register. The result is that you're writing sentences that don't really make sense. Although it is important to set a tone that is in Wesnoth's distant past, it would be a good exercise for you to improve as a writer to try writing in simple, modern language. Then later, you can go back and add in some floweriness.

If you are going to stick with the archaic language, you have to remove "bug my father", "added on pounds",

Also, this is something that he's been thinking about for a long time. The sudden outbreak of anger at "I have lived all these years" doesn't really fit... I would expect him to be more clinical about the dream details.

"This story takes place from the time the ruby of fire was created, and shortly after the scepter of fire was made. You may wish to join me in my retelling of these cataclysmic events. Or you may wish to not. Either way, it really makes no difference to me."

These sentences are a dramatic shift in the tone of the piece. It doesn't really work. The author is extremely aware of the fact that he's writing - we can see that in the beginning of the piece, where he goes on about the paper and what's on it, etc. So he wouldn't invite us to 'join him' for a retelling, because the person reading the text will be somewhere else at some other time.
melinath wrote:This may be helpful to you. It's not complete yet, but the acquisition of the Ruby is fairly well laid out already. Warning: spoilerific.
I'm bringing this up again because you should read it before you do any more work on this story. Don't take any cues on how people talk. The writing itself is pretty terrible and I'm planning on redoing it. However, the lore is extremely relevant to your story. Highlights: the ruby of fire came from the Western Isle, where it had been an artifact of great power that the lich lords made at an indeterminate point in the past. It was brought to the Green Isle, where it was locked beneath a temple by human mages. Some 200 years later, Haldric retrieved it and brought it to the great continent. 40 years later, the scepter is completed, then promptly lost for 500 years.

Your story says "This story takes place from the time the ruby of fire was created, and shortly after the scepter of fire was made". I assume you mean "This story takes place from the time the ruby of fire was created to shortly after the scepter of fire was made". What YW is this being written in? From his lifespan, if he somehow managed to experience everything, it would be around probably 200/300 YW. However, the chances of him experiencing everything are very slim. Even if he is immortal, you can't easily explain how an elf ended up on the Western Isle some 400 years before humans set foot on the main continent. Travel between the Western Isle and the Green Isle was extremely difficult and essentially one-way. Travel to the main continent was thought impossible until the Prince of Southbay allied with the mermen and Lady Jessene.

Hatter_Madigan
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Re: The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

Post by Hatter_Madigan » July 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm

I think you misunderstand me - "in vain" is right (we're not talking about a weathervane here), it's the "but" that bugs me. You seem to mean something more like "your quest is in vain".
The but is used that way as if to replace except. Like "Your desires are everything except for nothing." Meaning that it wasn't for nothing lol, I see what you mean, sort of in the reference of double negatives. Sometimes they are needed to describe things in different detail. I don't like for everything to be repetitive.

Yes I did mean like freely admit.. I thought that would have been obvious to the reader? Not as if he is trying to be held against it.

The problem is not "his or her", but just that you can;t sahy "heroes" in the plural" and then say "his" (or "his or her") in the singular. You can dodge the gender issue by keeping heroes plural and saying "their", viz: "glorified heroes of war dying valiantly in their final, bloody battles".
Thanks, I will get to that as soon as possible. And I'm just going to remove the forgetful information part, but thanks for the help :P



If you are going to stick with the archaic language, you have to remove "bug my father", "added on pounds",
I will do that thank you^_^
Also, this is something that he's been thinking about for a long time. The sudden outbreak of anger at "I have lived all these years" doesn't really fit... I would expect him to be more clinical about the dream details.
I don't know about you, but when I'm writing a journal or something, and I get to a point that strives with emotion, I usually want to explode with loads of texts trying to explain how I feel in the deepest detail possible. I want to get it all out, and try not to leave anything behind to stick in my head. Although, I know that I'm not an elf, and cannot link their personal thoughts with myself, but who ever was an elf, right?
These sentences are a dramatic shift in the tone of the piece. It doesn't really work. The author is extremely aware of the fact that he's writing - we can see that in the beginning of the piece, where he goes on about the paper and what's on it, etc. So he wouldn't invite us to 'join him' for a retelling, because the person reading the text will be somewhere else at some other time.
The author is also extremely aware that he is just writing to get everything out of his head because it plagues his dreams. This is nothing but an experiment to try and get this ongoing nightmare to stop. He doesn't care how it sounds to anyone else, and doesn't even expect anyone else to read it.


And the character never actually experiences the creation and the main storyline throughout. That is previously stated in the line that explains about the story being of what lies underneath the legend. Basically it's about an orc, and elf, a human, and a dwarf. The elf of course being himself, that's why he said three others.

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melinath
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Re: The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

Post by melinath » July 12th, 2009, 6:58 pm

First of all: in the phrase "your attempts to free yourself are but in vain", the word 'but' is used in the meaning 'only', not the meaning 'except'. In otherwords, the phrase would mean "your attempts to free yourself are only in vain", i.e. it's not gonna work. This is a fact of the english language and I think it's what The1exile was trying to tell you.
Hatter_Madigan wrote:I don't know about you, but when I'm writing a journal or something, and I get to a point that strives with emotion, I usually want to explode with loads of texts trying to explain how I feel in the deepest detail possible. I want to get it all out, and try not to leave anything behind to stick in my head. Although, I know that I'm not an elf, and cannot link their personal thoughts with myself, but who ever was an elf, right?
Incidentally, this isn't a journal. It's a text about a dream/an event from his past. If it's a journal, he should also write about the 'now'.

You're right in that he might get angry. However, the phrase "enough damn peace" doesn't fit with the tone of the rest of the peace. It's too sudden, too isolated, and he doesn't reflect on it. In other words, if you have a spike of anger like this, perhaps he would reflect on it later?
Hatter_Madigan wrote:
These sentences are a dramatic shift in the tone of the piece. It doesn't really work. The author is extremely aware of the fact that he's writing - we can see that in the beginning of the piece, where he goes on about the paper and what's on it, etc. So he wouldn't invite us to 'join him' for a retelling, because the person reading the text will be somewhere else at some other time.
The author is also extremely aware that he is just writing to get everything out of his head because it plagues his dreams. This is nothing but an experiment to try and get this ongoing nightmare to stop. He doesn't care how it sounds to anyone else, and doesn't even expect anyone else to read it.
... which is yet another reason he wouldn't invite us to 'join him' for a retelling. He directly talks to the reader and tries to build a relationship: "You may wish to join me in my retelling of these cataclysmic events. Or you may wish to not." If he isn't expecting anyone to read this, he wouldn't even mention the possibility at the beginning - i.e. the whole "if someone's reading this looking for etc." shouldn't be there either.
Hatter_Madigan wrote:And the character never actually experiences the creation and the main storyline throughout. That is previously stated in the line that explains about the story being of what lies underneath the legend. Basically it's about an orc, and elf, a human, and a dwarf. The elf of course being himself, that's why he said three others.
You mean this line? "This tale is not of legend, but rather of what lies underneath the legend. What the scholars of old regard as ‘forgetful’ information."

This says absolutely nothing about the character not experiencing the creation... what it says is that the character is telling the truth that lies beneath the legend. Which to me implies "I was there." And I don't know what forgetful information is... but The1exile mentioned that already. A general bit of advice I can offer is: never assume the reader knows what you're trying to say. You have to take us by the hand and lead us where you want us to go.

If you don't mind, I'd like to know where and when the story takes place. That would really help me.

Hatter_Madigan
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Re: The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

Post by Hatter_Madigan » July 14th, 2009, 4:08 am

First of all: in the phrase "your attempts to free yourself are but in vain", the word 'but' is used in the meaning 'only', not the meaning 'except'. In otherwords, the phrase would mean "your attempts to free yourself are only in vain", i.e. it's not gonna work. This is a fact of the english language and I think it's what The1exile was trying to tell you.
Actually that phrase is nowhere in the story at all, if you actually read it. And what you're claiming is that my grammar was correct the first time I had written it, and there was no need for change as was stated in other posts.
Incidentally, this isn't a journal. It's a text about a dream/an event from his past. If it's a journal, he should also write about the 'now'.

You're right in that he might get angry. However, the phrase "enough damn peace" doesn't fit with the tone of the rest of the peace. It's too sudden, too isolated, and he doesn't reflect on it. In other words, if you have a spike of anger like this, perhaps he would reflect on it later?
It may not be a journal, but it is an experiment. He's going to write down whatever he thinks is going to help. Whatever comes into his mind first. Why would writing about something occurring in the now, help his thoughts of things long before? And the enough damn peace thing.. Everyone has very different levels of emotions and they can change very quickly. Especially those suffering from insomnia caused by recurring nightmares. It has been scientifically proven that those that don't get enough sleep suffer greatly with "mood swings".

... which is yet another reason he wouldn't invite us to 'join him' for a retelling. He directly talks to the reader and tries to build a relationship: "You may wish to join me in my retelling of these cataclysmic events. Or you may wish to not." If he isn't expecting anyone to read this, he wouldn't even mention the possibility at the beginning - i.e. the whole "if someone's reading this looking for etc." shouldn't be there either.
He is just making sure in case anyone does happen upon his notes, that he would join him in his retelling of it. Hoping that it would seem as if they were there. That is what the "join me" bit is about.

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melinath
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Re: The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

Post by melinath » July 14th, 2009, 8:36 am

Unfortunately, Writing doesn't have it's own critique guidelines yet, so I can only direct you to the art contrib critique guidelines. Particularly this one:
Remember that, regardless of skill level or tact, the critiquer is trying to help your work to be the best possible. They aren't picking on you (usually).
I did read the story. I'm making suggestions and comments about how it works. Of course you're free to take them or not, as you see fit.

I know perfectly well that your story doesn't use the phrase "your attempts to free yourself are but in vain"... I was using it to demonstrate what "but in vain" means, which you incorrectly use in the phrase "then your desires are but in vain." Or maybe it's not incorrect. I could be wrong about what you're trying to say.
Hatter_Madigan wrote:
I think you misunderstand me - "in vain" is right (we're not talking about a weathervane here), it's the "but" that bugs me. You seem to mean something more like "your quest is in vain".
The but is used that way as if to replace except. Like "Your desires are everything except for nothing." Meaning that it wasn't for nothing lol, I see what you mean, sort of in the reference of double negatives. Sometimes they are needed to describe things in different detail. I don't like for everything to be repetitive.

Yes I did mean like freely admit.. I thought that would have been obvious to the reader? Not as if he is trying to be held against it.
I took this to mean that you thought "but in vain" meant something other than what it does. Perhaps I misunderstood you. Sorry.

A general rule for writing: anything can be done if you can pull it off. Mood swings will be interesting. And again: let me emphasize that it's okay if you don't agree with me. When I critique your piece, I'm telling you what I see as problems with it, inconsistencies or whatever. It's always hard with a first draft because there's so much that an author fixes themselves in the second draft.

Hatter_Madigan
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Re: The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

Post by Hatter_Madigan » July 14th, 2009, 4:28 pm

I understand completely. I know I shouldn't be as defensive because I posted this on an open forum. Especially one where anyone can take it and make out of it whatever they want. And I know that people changed and it has happened to me on many occasions where I will have to read back over it a certain amount of times before I realize something was amiss in the sentence structure or in the wording. And later on I might feel the need to just make it a little more understandable. I'm the type of person who thinks for about 10 minutes before I let the sentence go down. That's why it takes me so long to write the actual thing. So again, I want to thank you, and anyone else who is at least taking this seriously and trying to help me out. I'm just glad that people would take the time to read it, that's all I'm asking for. Oh, so may I ask you if I had it right the first time when I wrote, your desires are but not in vain?

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melinath
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Re: The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

Post by melinath » July 14th, 2009, 10:05 pm

Hatter_Madigan wrote:Oh, so may I ask you if I had it right the first time when I wrote, your desires are but not in vain?
I'm afraid not.
The1exile wrote:"are but not in vain" - I'm not quite sure what this means?
I'm not quite sure what it means either. There are two archaic phrases:
1. but in vain. This means hopeless. You can also just say "in vain". "but" is a strengthener in this case, meaning "only". It's probably one of the few cases left in the English language where 'but' takes this meaning.
2. not in vain. This means there is hope.

3. but not in vain. This means ???. "but" as a strengthener meaning "only" doesn't make sense, but neither does any other meaning of 'but'...
If you’ve already begun to read these neatly, undefined scrolls in hopes of running your eyes over dried up ink smoothed into thousands of words, then your desires are only not in vain.
If you really want to have both words in there, the correct way would be "not but in vain", but that's a really awkward phrase.

Hatter_Madigan
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Re: The Scepter of Fire (short story) Intro is up

Post by Hatter_Madigan » July 15th, 2009, 3:28 am

how's the edit?

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