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Old 11-13-2012, 02:51 AM   #1
TravellingWilly is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
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first time story poster (Timeros: A Clash Of Gods)

Hi All,

So I have just posted Chapter one of a story that has been knocking about in my noggin for a little while now. chapter two is pending but as a first time writer I was hoping to get a little critic on Chapter one and Chapter two before moving forward.

It is a sword and Sorcery Fantasy story. Though sex is involved I have pushed more towards creating the world and filling out the characters rather than shoving a sex scene into every chapter.

Any positive or negative (be gentle) comments are welcome.

Here it is:
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:08 AM   #2
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CWatson is offline
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This is not too bad, all things considered, but there are technical issues. You have a lot of missing commas, resulting in run-on sentences; the entire story is riddled with them, as well as miscapitalization. As an example from the fourth paragraph:
"Crusader," The call came from behind, a voice of pure fury and vengeance the word descending into a terrible scream "Crusader," he turned too fast his head throbbed an almighty pain, his stomach lurched again and he fell forward his left arm barely keeping him up right.
This is four or five sentences. You have it punctuated as one. Here's what it should be:
"Crusader!" The call came from behind, a voice of pure fury and vengeance, the word descending into a terrible scream. "Crusader!" He turned too fast. His head throbbed, an almighty pain. His stomach lurched again and he fell forward, his left arm barely keeping him upright.
(If you want to be technical, some of those periods could be replaced by semi-colons. But those are a bit advanced for someone who isn't yet using commas and periods correctly. )

Some historicals: what kind of "broad sword" are you talking about? The sword that is actually named "broadsword" is a basket-hilted sword that became prominent in the 16th century--probably in the future of your story's historical standpoint. Modern historians also use the word "broadsword" to refer to stereotypical straight-bladed cruciform swords used by knights, crusaders and their ilk (as opposed to the slim-bladed, stabbing weapons of fencing). Modern historians call them that. Knights and crusaders did not. Your character would call his weapon an arming sword or a longsword. (These weapons pre-dated fencing swords, so there was no need to differentiate in the first place.) Also, a spaulder made of iron? Iron is quite brittle and shatters under sufficient force, which a giant with an axe would almost certainly be able to deliver. (This is why almost all forms of metal armor are made of steel.) It's not hard to do this sort of research, and if you don't, you run the risk of alienating anyone who has done any of it--which is liable to be quite a few people.

The idea that Rosen would be so casual about his affair being discovered is a little ridiculous. For the queen to sleep around is high treason and punishable by death, and Rosen would certainly meet the headsman beside her. He should be struggling to maintain his composure a lot more than he is. Additionally, the idea of Oundle being concerned with her pleasure in bed is possibly anachronistic. The idea that women enjoy sex is very, very old; Lysistrata predicates on it. The idea that women should enjoy sex is rather more modern. What Oundle believes is partially dependent upon the morality being espoused by the Barthenite church, but any culture that is willing to launch a crusade is bound to be pretty repressive. And women's sexuality is always a threat to heredity, because (as Oundle proves) the king can't actually prevent the queen from sleeping around. And yet she's supposed to bear him heirs. What if she shows up one day with a kid she says is his, but is actually Rosen's? And now you know why the king needs to encourage her to lie back and think of England. Or Dolan, as it were.

Finally, we must address the plot--or rather, what little of it is there. It's obvious you're planning to take the story somewhere, but you've saved too much of it for later--were I reading this for fun, I would not come back for Chapter 2 because I haven't seen enough in Chapter 1 to actually make me interested. I'm sure you plan to say more; your instincts are correct in keeping the first chapter to absolute minimums; and obviously there is value in leaving The Reader wanting more... But there is also such thing as withholding too much, and you've landed squarely on that side of the line. I mean, the chapter's not even 3000 words long! Additionally, you've misplaced your priorities. If I wanted to read about crusaders, I'd fire up Wikipedia. What I want to know about are the things only you can tell me: the gods Barthen and Gorgorath, the kingdoms of Dolan and Timeros, Rosen and Oundle and Balestre. And when an entire chapter goes by without you actually saying anything about those selling points, I get bored and walk away. So please, for Chapter 2, make dead certain that we start learning something about these characters. If we don't care about them, the story is over.

Oh, and, I'm sorry, but I have trouble taking the name "Oundle" seriously. It sounds like it belongs on a gnome, not a queen.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:44 AM   #3
TravellingWilly is offline
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Hey Watson,

Thanks so much for your response and it has certainly given me alot of food for thought in a good way.

The characters will be fleshed out as the story progresses as indeed will the regency of the gods and where one stands above the other.

Looking back at chapter one with a fresh eye I certainly can see where the lack of more character background could turn people off.

As for Rosen and Oundle there is a far bigger back story to these two. Rosen certainly is not aloof about his affair but I will put that down to my phrasing and will look into a more appropriate way for him to make this clearer to the reader.

Crusaders as you say seem quite repressive and with the main hero being one I want to create a littel bit of uncertantity in our "hero" should we be on his side or Rosen's again looking at future chapters I am going to have slam the brakes on and move character motivations to the fore before I loose anymore readers.

Thanks again
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