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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
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For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

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Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 Sagas of Aether - excerpt

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Shadow Dragon


Number of posts : 55
Age : 31
Registration date : 2008-09-24

PostSubject: Sagas of Aether - excerpt   October 12th 2008, 4:33 am

This is a major battle scene that happens in the first chapter. While any SPaG corrections would be appreciated, I mainly want to know if you found the scene clear and enjoyable. Warning: Very Violent


Three days had passed and the sun was beginning it’s descent into the horizon in front of Lonan. Two-thousand of his best men clad in black leather and chain mail armor stood at the ready on top of the small hill. They were all waiting in utter silence for their enemy to arrive.

The corner of Lonan’s mouth curled upward into a grin at the sight of the freelance army that marched towards him. These men were armed with long suits of chain mail armor, large wooden shields and short swords. Column after column of wooden shields stretched nearly as far as the eye could see. Every movement they made was in perfect unison. They showed no expression on their faces, as they moved closer to the bandit army.

Lonan’s crimson eyes went wide at the site of the massive man in the middle of the center battalion. The man wore iron armor, and had a lance in his right hand. Lonan thought “That has to be him. Celeres, tonight I will kill you.”

Lonan’s right arm went up into the air, and then pointed forward at the enemy. A hail of arrows came from the bandit archers rained down upon Celeres‘s army. The freelance army soldier’s shifted their position, and placed their shields in front of them. The weak arrows bounced off of the wood and harmlessly fell to the ground. Another volley flew and proved to be ineffective as the first one. With their shields held up, they slowly continued their march towards the hill controlled by the bandits. “That’s it, just a little closer.” thought Lonan as his army continued firing.

Suddenly, the second half of the bandit army came running across the field, attacking the freelance soldiers from behind. Unlike the rest of the bandit army, these men were berserkers. They wore four, heavy layers of leather and wielded large two handed steel swords. The ones led by Lonan continued firing arrow after arrow, as the enemy soldiers tried to turn towards the new attackers. Lonan laughed as hundreds of the enemy fell dead, covered in arrows.

The moment that Lonan drew his blades, the other bandits dropped their bow, and did the same. They charged in and attacked their enemy. Celeres’s soldier’s battalions broke down into complete chaos, as they fell one after another to the bandit horde.

Two of the soldiers approached Lonan as he charged at the frontline. He ran straight at the one on the left, with his blades together. They slid between the soldier’s sword and shield, and pried them open. His forehead connected with the bridge of the soldier’s nose in a loud thud, unleashing a geyser of blood. The other one attempted to attack Lonan from behind, but Lonan quickly turns and kicks the man’s shield. As he tried to regain his balance, Lonan’s sword came down and sliced the man’s face in half. Turning back to see the one that he knocked down, he saw one of his men on top of the soldier. The bandit’s dagger plunged into the soldier’s face and neck over and over again, until he no longer looked human..

The grass they were fighting on had a crimson tint to it now and the scent of blood hung in the air. The screams of death and clash of swords were all you could hear. Lonan looked at the frenzied chaos that encircled him, barely able to make out individual people in the mass of humanity. His berserkers were taking wide swings at everything that moved. Those that stood in their way were cut to ribbons. Some of them had taken a few stab wounds, but kept on fighting. His other soldiers used their quickness to circle around and between the enemy columns, slicing at every opening they could find.

“And under the heavy, beautiful glow of Eris, the Knights of Justice made their last stand. Clinging to hope as they were slaughtered.” thought Lonan as he laughed. “Well, look on the bright side. Unlike most of the people that I’ve killed, at least you guys can say you went down in a blaze a glory.”

Another of the soldiers ran up to Lonan. He quickly kicked the bottom of the man’s shield and stabbed into the man’s left arm. That soldier swings his sword over, but his arm is stopped as Lonan’s other blade stabbed into his wrist. The Bandit Lord moved in a little closer and bit into the man’s throat, ripping it out with one quick jerk. He looked into the soldier’s dying eyes, enthralled by the fear that he saw in them as the man’s blood dripped off his chin.

“That scout was right, you really do become a demon during battle.” said a deep voice.

Lonan let the piece of flesh fall from his mouth and looked over in the direction of the voice. There stood the giant known as Celeres, towering over Lonan. While up close, Lonan could see that the man had bright green eyes and long blond hair. His muscles bulged as if ready to break through his armor. “So, the others haven’t killed you yet? Good, it would have been disappointing if you died that easily.” said Lonan in a completely calm voice. “By the way, your soldiers suck at fighting. You just add in a little chaos, and it’s like they don’t even know their left from their right anymore.”

The second that Celeres got into a battle stance, Lonan charged him with god-like speed. The lance swung in from the left, and Lonan’s sword came up to try to block it. The force of the blow knocked him off his feet and to the ground. He quickly rolled out of the way as the lance came down, the point thrusting into the ground. Lonan got back to his feet and swung his blade straight up at Celeres’s hands.

Celeres released his grip of the lance and jumped back. Lonan got close and jumped up as Celeres put up his left arm to block any attack. Lonan quickly threw his left blade down, stabbing through the middle of Celeres’s foot. Using his now free hand, Lonan grabbed onto the man’s arm and pulled himself up while swinging at Celeres’s neck. The giant of a man quickly threw Lonan off before the sword could go deep into his throat. Lonan flipped through the air and landed on his feet.

He quickly charged at the large man again. Celeres yanked his foot from the sword, slicing the rest of it. He threw a punch at Lonan but Lonan spun around it and tried to slash into Celeres’s side. Celeres jumped back so the swing only grazed the skin. Lonan grabbed his sword from the ground and readied himself for the next round. “This….this is amazing.” he thought while he ran towards Celeres once more.

In the distance, stood the scout with the purple cloak. Using a telescope, she watched the battle as her long blond hair blew around in the gentle night wind. “You two are indeed amazing warriors. I had hoped that you would live up to my standards.”

The ground began to vibrate as thousands of mounted soldiers pass by her. The few hundred in front wore heavy full body armor made of steel. Their horses had leather armor draped over their sides. The one in the very front had a blue cape with a white horse on it. . These horsemen wielded long steel lances. The rest wore brown leather armor, and their horses had a long lance on one side with a bow and quiver on the other side.

She gave a little laugh. “So, I get to see the famous knights and riders of Adon in action. I wonder if you can win against these kind of odds, Lonan.”

Lonan and Celeres began to feel the ground shake. As Celeres looked over to see what it was, Lonan planted his sword into Celeres’s groin and then his other blade plunged into Celeres’s stomach. Lonan pulled out both swords and turned his back to the seven foot giant. He walked forward for a little while, until he could see the horsemen coming. “Damn it. That bitch sold me out to Adon.”

Just then all noise stopped and everything moved in slow motion. Looking down, Lonan saw the end of Celeres’s Lance sticking through his chest. He turned his head to see Celeres on his knees, giving Lonan a smile as he finally collapsed to his death. He rubbed his hand on his chest and then held it up to his eyes. The Bandit Lord fell down to his knees, while laughing. He fell to his side and laughed himself to his eternal rest.

A few hundred of the bandits saw their leader die and tried to retreat. The heavily Adonian knights chased them down from behind. One of the bandits turned back, right before being impaled through the eye. The rest of the retreating bandits where either impaled or trampled.

The riders rode in a circle around the soldiers that kept fighting and rained arrows down on them from all angles. It wasn’t long before the slaughter was over. Both the freelance army and the bandits, all laid dead on the blood soaked ground.

As the knights arrived back at the gruesome battle scene, the one in front slowed down and got down from his horse. He took off his helmet, revealing his dark green eyes, a scar across the face and short red hair. “Begin stabbing the bodies. Make sure none of them are playing dead.” shouted the red-haired man.
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PostSubject: Reply   October 12th 2008, 8:40 am

Was it clear? Yes. You accomplished that objective.

Watch your tense. You fell back into present tense in places.

Watch your PoV. You switched in places. Now, again, this is not something that bothers me, but professionally this is a major error. You should have kept the focus on Lonan with only mentions of the riders as he notices their presence. The line “Damn it. That bitch sold me out to Adon.” would make a good place for a scene switch (although waiting to have him say it somewhere around his 'death' might work).

The writing style overall has improved. Good. Keep working.

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Re: Sagas of Aether - excerpt   October 12th 2008, 2:29 pm

I'll have to agree. It is clear as to what is happening.
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PostSubject: Re: Sagas of Aether - excerpt   October 12th 2008, 9:38 pm

Heya SD,

I read the piece and like it. I think there are a few places where the sentences could be tightened up to improve the story’s flow. I have made a couple of suggestions from the story’s beginning. I will continue later tonight.


The corner of Lonan’s mouth curled upward into a grin at the sight of the freelance army that marched towards him.

This last bit is really unnecessary and just makes the sentence appear clumsy. How about “The corner of Lonan’s mouth curled upward into a grin at the sight of the approaching army.”

These men were armed with long suits of chain mail armor, large wooden shields and short swords. Column after column of wooden shields stretched nearly as far as the eye could see.

This could be tightened up. The two sentences could be combined to improve the overall flow of the story. "Column after column of chain mail, large wooden shields and short swords stretched as far as the eye could see." You see the difference? One sentence instead of two, the flow is improved, and the image you painted remains unchanged.

Every movement they made was in perfect unison. They showed no expression on their faces, as they moved closer to the bandit army.

Personally, I would do it this way.
"Every movement was in perfect unison. Every face was a blank mask. Every moment they drew closer."
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Shadow Dragon


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PostSubject: Re: Sagas of Aether - excerpt   October 17th 2008, 4:01 pm

Thanks Rumpy.
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