Aakaash Excerpt: I Would Appreciate Some Help Here.
Posted August 22nd, 2011 by Kiwara
Sicilian Sea |
in a place where your secrets are whispered on the breath of the wind.
August 22nd, 2011
A/N: Here's the dealio: It's like I have a mini case of writer's block. I just can't write this chapter and make it flow. I tried to lengthen it, since the first chapter is ten or eleven pages, and the original second chapter is like three. So, this lengthened it to about six pages, which helped a little, but my writing throughout this chapter is so horribly forced it's not even funny. :/ I feel like I'm telling more than showing and I just can't seem to find my rhythm like I could with the first chapter. How do you get over that? What are the tricks? I attempted to add thoughts, a little more description, but it's just not clicking. Please, help me. Oh, and this is pretty much a page. I have five other pages in the same style as this one.
This excerpt, characters, names, and references are all copyright (c) Sicilian Sea. Whatever you do, don't steal. I'll find out, trust me.
The clouds swirled overhead, morphing and twisting into a single mass of monotone grey. On the land below the tops of massive trees swayed in a light breeze, yet at ground level the breath of the air was still. A pathway was cut several hundred feet up into the tree trunks, making a gouge into the soft heartwood, though after thousands of years of exposure to the elements the trees had regained a thinner version of their rough outer coating of bark. Each gouge led to a thick branch reaching for the tree beside it. Gaps filled the spaces between the trees that some of the branches couldn’t reach.
A she griffin ran along the pathway, easily filling the voids between the trees with smooth, well timed leaps. Muscles rippled under her slate pelt, propelling her along the wood with each bound. The female kept her wings tight against her sides, trying to keep herself as streamline as possible. Even her ears were flattened against her skull to try to maintain the same effect.
Clouds of steam billowed from her nostrils and her green yellow eyes were narrowed against the wind with a determined spark twinkling in their depths. Her breath sawed the air with ragged gasps, each bound causing more pain to spasm through the muscles lacing her spine. She had been running since the coastline, crossing the small island through the network of causeways connecting the trees. That had been well before dawn and with the frisky ocean winds pushing her along. Now, it was almost sun high, the wind only toying several hundred feet up with the trees. The young female felt as though the pads of her feet were being ground into the tree bark, each nerve screaming in pain with every paw step.
A crosshatch pattern ran across her back with every bound, the shadows slightly darker than her coat, courtesy of the branches creating a living awning above her.
I can’t stop…I must keep running… I must reach the isle before nightfall. The thoughts had been replaying in her head over and over since she had started, though as her exhaustion took hold the statements became more desperate. She knew that if she failed to return before nightfall she would have to face a disappointed elder, let alone face the same antagonizing course repeatedly until her time improved.
All this for becoming a scout…just to make a title for myself. If Duni can do it, so can I…I can do this! I’ll have to do is reach the fork in the trail and then make it to the shallow water before the Great Eini tree…
Deep within herself she found a burst of strength. Her head lowered as her stride lengthened, the spark rekindled in her eyes. The blood rushed in her ears, the adrenaline in her veins coursing through her with a renewed energy. She felt hope flair up in her heart, it was a bright, blossoming flower in a time that demanded so much from her.
The burst of speed didn’t last long, however. She started to slow when the pain burned her lungs and the back of her throat. Her dispirit grew when each breath was like swallowing fire.
How did Duni do this before me? I thought running behind was so boringly easy, but now…now I know how difficult it really is. And I thought I was in condition for this thing! I thought-
Her thoughts broke off abruptly when her usual surefootedness failed her as she dashed around a bend in the trail. The bark connected with her shoulder, sending a shock of agony through her as she skidded for the abrupt edge of the path. She could feel her fur catching on the uneven, rutted substitution for ground, rubbing the skin underneath raw. She felt a strangled cry escape her throat as she saw the edge come closer, threatening to swallow her in an unthinkable dizzying abyss.
The grey’s saving grace came in the form of a broken tree branch lying haphazardly on the pathway. It was small, nearly miniscule compared to the massive branches that made up the canopy overhead and all around her. When her body slammed into it the momentum carried both of them up to the spot where lip of the bark receded over the side, returning to the natural width of the trunk below. She rested there for several moments, her back claws clutching the branch in a death grip as she lay on her side, half of her face pressed against the cool bark. She could feel the relief rushing through her body, noticeably relaxing her muscles as all the tension was drained away, leaving her a shuttering husk. She breathed deeply, trying to calm down her frantically beating heart.
Thank Taceo, she thought as she briefly closed her eyes, thank Taceo that I didn’t fall.
“Durra!” A voice cried out, nearly scaring the griffin out of her wits. She could feel the vibrations of feet rushing toward her only to stop, causing her to open her eyes.
“Duni! Remember, we’re not supposed to interfere!” A second voice reprimanded the first with a quiet hiss. The she griffin raised her head to see three of her own standing a few feet away. Each watched her, their nervous gazes flicking away from her stare. She felt her heart drop into her stomach as she realized what seeing them meant.
A/N: See what I mean? I mean, yeah there are some little things I need to tweak here and there, but for the most part this is what I have. I really need some help. This is the longest I've been stuck on a chapter(over a week) and it's just not clicking.
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What are you talking about? I think this is excellant! There's a few parts that could use a little tweaking, but not much at all. If you need to find that certain click, then try setting it aside and working on something else, or writing poems/short stories. I've never really had this before that I can remember though, so I can't help you much.....
Try adding a little more emotion- maybe that'll help you. And if you still have problems, set your computer aside, lay down, close your eyes and play the scene out in your head, putting yourself in the place of the main character. What do you feel? See? Smell? Hear? Is your heart racing or are you calm? How's the ground feel beneath your claws/feet? Is the wind chill that nips you, or is a warm summer breeze? Can you smell honeysuckle? Pine trees? Or is the air fresh and pure? Just play it out like you're the main character, asking yourself those things.
I hope I helped....it's an awesome excerpt though. Really it is. :D
*~Dreamwalker~*The First in the Trilogy
"Harry Potter. The boy who lived.....come to die." ~Voldemort (Harry Potter 7 part 2)
Smell! /face palm/ how could I forget smell! I got touch, sight and sound, but not smell... Thank you! I just can't get the emotion like I want to. I can't get you all excited in this chapter like I can with the short stories.../sigh/ I need to rework this... Bring some more emotion...hmm... Get your heart racing with her..
The magic exists...
First thing to do when you revise: fix verbs. A common folly of writers is to make good verbs into nouns and use weak verbs in place of them. For example "A pathway was cut..., making a gouge into the soft heartwood"
Making a gouge. It would be much better to say "gouging into the soft heartwood" or something of the sort.
If you're ever unsure of whether to do this, remove all adjectives or unnecessary additions and read just the subject, verb, and object to yourself. "Pathway cut, making heartwood" doesn't make as much sense as "pathway cut, gouging heartwood."
Thank you! As you can tell I'm horrible at grammar. I will try my best at fixing that up too. Thank you so much Sagar!
The magic exists...
I LOVE IT.
I love it love it love it.
Your description is beautiful. :D
I think the only thing to improve would be, as Rachel said, more emotion. Instead of a physical description of how she's feeling, try a few more thoughts instead. :3
So many people treat you like you're a kid so you might as well act like one and throw your television out of the hotel window.
~ Gerard Way <3
Thanks, Gabi! There's more thoughts throughout the chapter, but not as much as I would like. I'll try to add more. (:
The magic exists...
OH MY FREAKIN' TEXTBOOKS. (First day of school: can you tell? :P )
What are you talking about?! If this is how you write when you have Writer's Block, you are obviously extremely and insanely and completely talented. You will do amazing this with this amazing talent of words that you have.
I know I have told you before, but your talent for this is amazing. Your description is so deep, so mature, so BREATHTAKING. I don't know how else to describe it. It's just magnificent. Wow.
My advice?? KEEP WRITING. I am still just in perfect awe of your talent. Listen; no matter what anyone else says, you DO have an AMAZING talent. And don't forget it!! :)
~ Mallori Sparke
Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."
be L oyal O bedient V irtuous E ncouraging
I'm having the same problem with one chapter of KRTW RIGHT THIS SECOND. :D
This sort of thing has also happened to me in the past. What I do, is first I start a completely new version of the chapter. Just cut off wherever you are and make a new page that says "Chapter ?? Ver. 2"
What I find is that I can start off the chapter alright, but as I go on it's like wading through quicksand and eventually I just can't get any farther, but I don't want to delete all my progress. So, I make a second version and start in a completely different way. This usually helps.
However, this time for me it didn't help. So, I read my second version out loud to myself so I could actually hear how it was flowing. (I hate doing this, but I promise it really helps) and as you read just make any changes you want, don't worry about plowing through the chapter and just spot edit.
I hope I helped!
"There is a cow mooing somewhere in the depths of the forest behind my house..."~ME
I agree with what the others said. It could use more emotion, but your description is great. It doesn't seem forced or like you have writer's block at all to me.
Perhaps, for adding more description, imagine yourself in your character's point of view, and describe everything they see, smell, hear, feel, taste, etcetera, and what it makes them think. It doesn't have to be well grouped or anything. Then, when you're done, integrate them into the story and throw away the unnecessary stuff, unless you really like that description, then find a way to work it in.
Yeah… failish advice. :P Now… Onto two pieces of CC! Wait… no… it's one… *Face palm* Wait, no, it's two. *Double face palm* Wait. It's two fail suggestionish things. *Doesn't even bother fail palming* In the second paragraph, you say she has her ears flattened for less wind resistance. Don't animals tend to flatten their ears when their tense/stressed, so she would do that anyway? I'm not an animals behavior expert, and I'm mostly referring to dogs and cats which are definitely not griffins(unfortunately :(), and in your story they definitely seem smarter than an average dog. *Coughsergeantharriscough* :P And for the second, I don't know how griffins in your story usually think/speak, but her thoughts seem a little stiff/formal to me. Says the one who tends to fail at being formal unless it's in a narrative and even then it probably fails. :p
I think your ending is well done. ^_^ *Pokes* Pst… If you happen to find your way into the Aakaash universe canIprettypleasehaveagriffinpleaaaase?! :3 XP
Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say.
Mallori: awe, thank you! I really appreciate that. This chapter is tearing me emotionally and mentally apart right now.
Nin: (I'm calling you that now. Lol) thank you so much! I'm going to attempt that now.
LST: Animals running at high speeds with pointed ears generally lower them to make themselves more streamline to avoid wind resistance. I've based the Lenora on cheetahs, with thin bodies and long tails, dependent on speed and agility. Stiff and formal... Yeah I can kind of see that. I can add more emotion to her overall, I kind of need to. I mean she's got some personality, but not much.
The magic exists...
No, I don't see what you mean, this is amazing writing! But I'll try to help you. Yes, you are showing more than telling, but that just takes time to fix and it's a simple fix.
She rested there for several moments, her back claws clutching the branch in a death grip as she lay on her side, half of her face pressed against the cool bark. She could feel the relief rushing through her body, noticeably relaxing her muscles as all the tension was drained away, leaving her a shuttering husk. She breathed deeply, trying to calm down her frantically beating heart.
You started all of these sentences with she. Try to add some variation. Hoped I helped a little. But this is awesome. You have some really strong writing in it and some that still needs work. But mostly awesomeness!
The Dark Side says that they have cookies. They are lying. Come to the Light Side. We have cookies, brownies, and TACOS! Really!
Thank you Moogle! I know it needs variation, I just get that way when I'm forcing myself to write. :/ I knew this chapter was going to be trouble after the first sentence. Lol
The magic exists...
wow, sicilian sea your writing is amazing!!! I was blown away!! I could really understand the characters, I love this!!
PS. Can I make a website for this book? Only if you want it though.
"Tom Felton only has one fangirl. Thats me. I killed all the others, they were getting in the way of me and Toms wedding plans"~ Me "I like bananas. bananas are good" ~ the Doctor From Doctor Who
I agree with what the others said, but there's one thing I want to add:
Description is really important and all, but you want to be careful not to get too wordy with it. Like what...oh, I don't remember whose comment it was, but someone mentioned using "gouging" instead of "making a gouge". I really like that because it cuts down on unnecessary words.
Or, here's another example.
"'Duni! Remember, we’re not supposed to interfere!' A second voice reprimanded the first with a quiet hiss." You could just write, "A second voice hissed." or something along those lines. From the dialogue, it's obvious to me that there's reprimanding going on, and unless mentioned otherwise, hisses are usually pretty quiet.
Here's another line to consider:
"She could feel the relief rushing through her body, noticeably relaxing her muscles as all the tension was drained away, leaving her a shuttering husk."
I love love love the shuddering husk thing, but again, you're a bit wordy. First, "Relief rushed through her body" would work, be shorter, and eliminate those three She... sentences you have in that paragraph. "Noticeably relaxing her muscles as all the tension was drained away" also sounds a litle redundant, but that's more of stylistic thing, so if you want to fool around with it, you would probably be a better judge of what sounds right than I.
Basically, since you've already tried bulking the chapter up to avoid rushed-ness, you might want to go through and try to trim it down. Even without removing any of the description, you could probably eliminate a lot of unnecessary words. The extra stuff makes it seem a little...chunky, if that makes sense, and then when you move onto the next thing, the reader gets surprised by the change. It's like driving: you feel accelleration more going from 25 to 40 than you do going from 40 to 55. And if you're going down a residential road and try to pull the former, your mom (or dad, or whomever)'s way more likely to yell at you for speeding. XD
Starfire: Hmmm I'll think about it, thanks though!
Clarissa: I'll work on that too/tacks onto list of things to work on/ the thing is I really like the wordier words...I'll probably have to find a middle ground. A way to make it still flow, but not as pointlessly wordy...like in the short stories...dang where did that style go?! Haha, I get what you mean with the driving thing.
The magic exists...
I think you are too critical of your writing (It's OK I do that a lot, too--I think we ALL do! XD)
I thought it was awesome! It, to me, flowed very well
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