Picking Apart the Past 1: "Anna Greenwood and the Staff of Natalie Nymphian ~ Prologue"
Posted May 8th, 2018 by SilverMoon
in timately acquainted with the void
Picking Apart the Past 1: “Anna Greenwood and the Staff of Natalie Nymphian~ Prologue”
Hello all. I will be beginning a series in which I analyze and critique my old writing posts on KP, and perhaps even older and more embarrassing pre-KP things if I can find them and you all are interested. This is my own version of the once-popular “old writing critiques” on KP and I invite other older writers on KidPub to join in. It would help the younger and newer of us to see how to improve their own writing, I think, and it would help those of us doing it see how we have improved and where we can still yet improve. And so we begin with the very first thing I ever posted on this wonderful site, all the way back in 2011.
The “Anna Greenwood” idea had been in my head since roughly the third grade, two years prior to its posting date and long before I joined KP. I became obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise that year, and, naturally, made a rip-off. At first, it’s only natural to emulate what we see. Besides, I was convinced I could do this sort of idea better than they had been done originally—and while my writing was nowhere near that level, my ideas weren’t awful, and I began trying to tap into my own potential. I still haven’t been able to reach it, but I’ve come a long way. I still emulate what I see, but I’m craftier about it—do the same, and journey with me through the critique of my first foray into KidPub and, arguably, my internet debut.
I am planning on publishing this, whenever I finish it. My, even then I was ambitious. I am currently on chapter 1 (I am writing this on MS Word)
This is actually a rewrite but I didn't post the original. It wasn't original enough. And there were still more rewrites to come before the story eventually faded, and although I never finished this story, I did improve every time.
So here goes my first KP story!
Hope you like it.
Prologue: I frequently began with prologues in the past. They are not always bad, but at least with my own I often found that they were superfluous or gave too much away.
A Magical Miracle
A tall man about six feet tall Okay, so, first of all, that’s redundant, and the six feet description is unnecessarily specific for the situation.sprinted, crouching, almost, across a moor as dark as night, appropriately named the Midnight Moor. Again, the name of the moor is unnecessary to the story. This is the kind of thing you write in your notes, since you want to know the world you’re writing in detail but detracts from the actual story if you put it in there. At least I had already established my trend of beginning stories with an action and description, rather than fluffy exposition.Through the tall grass he went, Am I Yoda? where the Dark Ones would not spot him, for two tall towers with Dark Ones at every window loomed into the night. I doubt a moor would have grass tall enough to conceal him, also ‘Dark Ones’ is so cliché and extra. Also idk if your guards are that incompetent whoever owns this place should get some new ones.
He was almost to the West Border (Am I one of those dudes who wrote the Bible, because can I just say, Gratuitous Capitalization?) when the alarms started sounding.
In seconds, the man was surrounded by Dark Ones, and directly in front of him stood Scytheina, Ok so first of all this lady is named after the word “scythe”, probably trying to invoke some badassery and sense of evil, like grim reaper vibes or something, but either she’s a giant Edgy Teen™or her parents are, thank god I got better at character names over the years. the Mistress of Magical Murder herself. Gotta admit, that’s a pretty rad title. Not to mention, far more original than Voldemort’s ‘Dark Lord’. But Voldemort’s name is far more thought out and cool, so I guess J.K. and I are even.
“Hand them over now, or else!” The proud, tall figure commanded. Wow that’s a generic piece of dialogue. Says very little about Scytheina’s character beyond that she’s the type to shout out orders and expect to be listened to. Also, Ha idk I feel I’m overusing ‘tall’ as a physical descriptor.
“Not even if I meet Death!” Argued the Bright One. Okay, I’ll admit that’s a pretty savage, if generic, response, but the descriptors kind of ruin it. Not only does “argued” feel like the wrong word, but “Bright One”? Are you for real? God, I hate the tired old light vs darkness dichotomy.
“Dorchas basa!” Scytheina yelled, and with a bang and a flash of blinding purple light, all was silent.
Nothing made a sound until dawn, when everyone stirred, except for Her What is she, God?, Scytheina, who had vanished, and the twins, Okay, so 10-year-old me apparently forgot the people reading this would have no idea about the twins and their importance. They have literally had no introduction except the vague “hand them over” from Scytheina. Why did you do this. I think this is one of the more crucial errors that have been made here.who were supposedly still alive, but nowhere to be seen. You, me, and Ging Freecss, kiddos.
Only two seconds Again with the overly specific descriptors. had passed when the Dark Ones decided to Weapon-And-Wand duel This is so extra. Why not just say duel and then show that it’s with weapons and wands. Daniel Corpus, the Bright One who had been trying to smuggle Anna and Thomas Greenwood across enemy lines. Okay, that’s a biiit better but still with very little introduction/explanation.
Daniel Corpus, being intelligent, OH MY GOD I HATE INFORMED ATTRIBUTES. Don’t fucking tell me he’s intelligent, show him BEING intelligent! At most, have another character comment on his intelligence. raced to the spot where Scytheina had stood a should be “the” right there night before, and found the stolen Sun Horn of Juniper Flint, Are you… going to give any explanation as to the significance of Juniper Flint, whoever she is, and the stealing of her Sun Horn?and had only just discovered it when it started skittering across the shale ledge Why the fuck is it on a ledge. towards Death’s Drop MORE EXTRA BULLSHIT JESUS down to the raging waters below. Since when were there waters?? I assume that cliff and the water is the west border but like? Explain yourself? Have a clear idea of your scene? Know your geographical shit and biomes?
He snatched the chain of the Horn Stop. right before it skid over the edge and blew it, for Sun Horns would bring help and reinforcements upon being blown. Pretty sure there was a horn like that in Narnia, but whatever, I’ll allow it. Instantly, How the fuck does it INSTANTLY summon aid?five other Bright Ones appeared next to him, and the Duel to Deaths No. began.
“”Morsolas!” Corpus cried. Two fell, and one vanished. What the fuck do these spells do, anyways. At least describe their effects clearly.
“Dorchas basa!” A Dark One cried. Whatever this spell is seems particularly ambiguous since it’s the same one Scytheina used before.The Cursed Curse Wow that’s like an Unforgivable Curse. So original. But I do like the idea that rather than any sort of moral reason for not using it, the curse itself is somehow cursed.hit the shale cliff, exploding it; one of his own tumbled over the edge to meet Death.
“Bianna!” A bright one insulted. I didn’t capitalize it that time and somehow it’s even more annoying.
A Dark One in a jet veil Wow. Edgy.jumped over a spell, a fallen one, and a ridge, trying to reach the spot where the Twins had suddenly appeared unconscious. What the fuck? And also, why? This happened with no explanation?Three of the five Ones of the Light (Bright Ones) Please stop. I beg you.were closing in on her, and she knew she would not take the twins by hand; she disappeared with a rush of fire. This was known as Traveling by Power. Ok that’s kind of cool I will admit I stuffed some interesting magic concepts in here.
Other Dark Ones did not know this (as they are Dark, some of them are not very bright); OH MY GOD THAT’S SAVAGE. But also, God I hate the dumb evil lackeys trope. It’s just bad writing, frankly.they thought she was dead, and she was the best of the Dark Ones, save Scytheina, Lady of the Stone Scythe. How many epithets does this lady have lmao. Does she even deserve them?They yelled in rage and were about to yell insults, when suddenly she appeared in a burst of flame over their heads. She pointed her long, knobby stick of a wand at Anna and Thomas, shouting, “CailinAnna, buachaillThomas-’’ Also, I’m pretty sure this was my attempt to recreate a Bellatrix Lestrange-like character. Lol.
“Turasaer!” A tall female Bright One with violet eyes and long, dark hair bellowed, creating a booming echo.“Now they are gone where none of you will be able to find these Pure-Hearted Are you. Are you for fucking real.children, and now so shall I, but first, Chuig!”
And all Dark Ones were back in their disguises, or ‘normal lives’ and the middle-aged woman was gone to the location of Anna and Thomas.
Far away, in a quite different place, the woman and the Surviving Twins That’s literally just. The Boy Who Lived. It’s. The same goddamn thing.had just arrived. They were in a room, but ‘room’ hardly described their location. Then don’t describe it as a room, dipshit.The place had a high domed ceiling that always looked like a canopy of great trees above. Crème marble floors covered the large amount of space that was the room, I hate that phrase.and long stone columns supported the ceiling, and This is a run-on.in between each column there was a little bit of wall and enormous stain glass Stained glass.windows, depicting scenes of waves and seas, which were actually moving (Tile-Moving Charm). YOU DON’T NEED TO EXPLAIN THE SPELL. But I’ll admit, that’s pretty lit. Even though they’re literally in like, the Great Hall, Except Irish™.
Immediately, a man in green robes came up to the lady, who was carrying the Surviving Twins.
“You brought the Twins, Aednat? Are they well? What happened?” questioned the man.
“Yes, Aodhan, I believe they are well. As for what happened, that is to be discussed at a different place and time,” the tall woman with the name of Aednat replied. “Though they may be very well, I would still like their health checked for any curses or diseases; Also, please do a memory scan, I would like to see what they have seen since The Taking.” These children being kidnapped is pretty interesting. But why are these kids so Special™?
“Is that all?”
“Yes. Do what I have said, and quickly. We must get them to a place where they can stay for a while that is safe to them. They cannot stay here until their Start of Sanctuan Ceremony. Stop that bullshit.While you do what I have told you, I will figure out where they will go.”
The man of Aodhan took Anna and Thomas through an oaken door, his footsteps, though light, made slight sounds on the marble floor. This is a weird sentence?
Twenty minutes later, they both appeared near a scene of a ship climbing a wave more than four times larger than it, Aodhan with Anna in one arm and Thomas in the other.
“They are healthy, except the scars they already had, and these-”-he pointed at two black scars on each left shoulder- Original.“and, as for memory scans, they apparently Power Traveled to the areas of Between-Worlds, That’s kind of cool but also so cliché.but we could not tell by what. As for other information, I think that should be told at a better place and time; there is so much to tell and so little time. That’s just because I was too lazy to come up with something, probably.And what of their staying place?”
“Their aunt, a Watcher, That’s interesting kind of.and in the Normal No.world, an orphanage manager, would be suitable. She will probably be in a state of grief for quite a time, though. She wouldn’t spoil them, but wouldn’t mistreat them.”
“And how shall they get there? It is in Wexford, is it not?”
“Yes, it is, and I shall be taking them there by power.”
“Isn’t that a bit dangerous, considering the current circumstances?”
“It is less dangerous than anything else. Farewell, Aodhan.”
And just like that, she was gone. Ok can we talk about how I more or less created reverse McGonagall and Dumbledore? Don't be like me, kiddos. Make sure your characters are your own. The twins were more or less original, as were their planned friends, but everyone else was just a carbon copy. Don't do this. Even your minor characters should be original and intriguing.
Meanwhile, miles away, Niamh Flint, Juniper Greenwood’s sister, Okay, so Juniper Flint is the kids’ mom then.was just preparing for bed. It had been a busy day at the orphanage, but she couldn’t help thinking about her sister, Juniper. Oh goody, exposition time.Juniper was dead as far as she knew, and had been dead for almost a year. She had been expecting Anna and Thomas to come to her, but they hadn’t. She had soon found out that the twins had been Taken by Scytheina, and she was alone.
She still grieved her sister and brother-in-law, but she tried not to let it interfere with her work. Soon Niamh Flint was fast asleep. Wow. Way to show the emotions.
A little before midnight, Niamh awoke with a strange feeling of foreboding, but not knowing why. But then it hit her: Scytheina was gone. How the fuck can you sense that.Now she knew that Anna and Thomas were coming to her; she guessed they were coming at exactly midnight. Why though…?She stayed up, until, at exactly midnight, a flash of fire out on the street caught her eye. She was surprised; she hadn’t expected Aednat herself to come here. Niamh waited until Aednat had gone, then went and received Anna and Thomas from the windowsill. It was so shocking to see the exact images of her sister and brother-in-law that she ran with them up the stairs to the attic. And there they stayed until the morning. The ending is kind of strange and underwhelming. Also this is more or less carbon copy Petunia Dursley except single and nice. I am done.
Well, did you like it?
Anything written that you don't recognize are Irish Incantations. You can comment questions on Irish Incantation meanings.
I hope you enjoyed me getting exasperated with ten-year-old me, and that this entertained and educated you in some fashion. I will definitely continue these critiques, but no more of Anna Greenwood unless I can dig up some old files.
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