Vagabonds- Chapter 1

Vagabonds- Chapter 1

A Chapter by Alli
"

The first chapter of my novel 'Vagabonds'! Please do review, the positives and negatives.

"

The floating ‘Wanted’ announcement was starting to get on Joan’s nerves. The tribes had finally gotten her face right, and the Sprite dust casting the image almost perfectly captured her fighting form. Joan watched the dust restart, a mini-Joan flipping around a faceless opponent, twin swords dancing.

Childish, some arrogant tribes-folk call her fighting style. Joan didn’t see anything childish about being named the Thief of Embers.

What was childish was the ridiculous new bounty they had placed over her head. Three pounds of gold. Like she was some amateur thief sneaking out pieces of bread.

A crash spun her head back to the clearing she was watching from her perch on a tree. After 5 years of hit-and-run thievery, Joan's heart shouldn't be beating quite so fast. But there was something about the insane thrill of thwarting Aisaet's most feared crime-lord that set her heart thundering, her soul flying.

Joan groaned inwardly at that word- crime-lord. As if Mortemin was just smuggling magical relics or cracking nuts. As if he didn't imprison hundreds of Aisaet's citizens. As if Joan didn't survive those wretched camps herself…

The thief shook her head, brown hair whipping her face annoyingly, she had to focus. Every mission was a new chance to screw up, she couldn't afford to let her guard down. Or let those memories surface. Not when this mission held so much personal value for her. Her mind still twisted around why the Dealer asked her to complete it.

Just a little jewel, he had said. His dark eyes telling her that he knew exactly what this jewel meant to her.

The eyes were the window to the soul. Someone long ago taught her that, and since then she had learned how to read them, how to tell a liar from an honest man, a friend from a foe, just from their eyes.

And the Asuras below had eyes black as night, no white showing.

Joan watched Mortemin’s soldiers prep to leave, dousing fires and loading tents into the carriages they pulled with them. Two storage, one prison, one precious objects. She took deep, steadying breaths, urging her heart to slow to the gentle, throbbing pulse of battle cursing through her veins.

With a boom that shook the trees, Joan's first bomb went off, spreading thick, colored smoke into the air. Smoke that carried a confounding potion with it. One last big breath and she covered her face with a wet cloth and leaped from the trees.

Confounding potions were highly illegal, the wind-horse magic used to carry the thick smoke even more so. And only one bandit uses them- the Thief of Embers.

The Asuras would be aiming to kill.

Fine by memakes it more fun.

She landed with a roll, eyes swiveling- there, in the smoke, the Asura's unnaturally large shape loomed. Her muscles acted on their own, bounding through the smoke. An arrow flew and her double blades rose to slice it down. She ducked under a blow, and side stepped around the beast.

Asuras possessed uncanny strength, but most of their mind had dulled under the relentless 'training' Mortemin put them under. Joan never looked for an answer of how Asuras were made, as they certainly weren't born. It was a question she didn't mind being left in the dark on.

Quickly she sliced at behind the Asura's knee to lessen the height difference between them, and finished him off.

Joan winced as black blood sprayed.

They aren’t human. She reminded herself.

Once, a long time ago, they may have been. But not now.

Would it really make a difference? A small part of her whispered back. A part that seemed to grow every day.

Joan growled at herself, focusing back on her mission: find the cart, find the box and get out of here.

She bounded through the smoke, the confounding potion disorienting her just a bit despite the wet cloth around her face. Different sieges, sieges with a boy with eyes like chocolate and swords that flashed red raced through her mind. What she would give to be back there with him-

Joan yelped in pain. "You little jerk…" Joan hissed at the small nail protruding from the carriage. Blood seeped into her shirt's sleeves. Faster she gets done with this the better.

She smashed the hilt of her sword through the bottom of the wood carriage where her short surveillance time told her the jewel would be. She began rummaging through the other items, all endued with some type of magic, hoping they would all be Partum and not Caligo.

Why she still bothered with hope was beyond her. She stifled a scream as her hand clutched something burning hot.

"You're a little jerk too," She shook her burning hand and dared a peak- a puckered scar was already forming.

"By the Lyk's breath I swear…"

She flung the crumbling letter with a wax button that flared when anyone but the intended receipent touched it behind her.

"Who in the great land of Aisaet uses wax buttons anymore?" she muttered.

Her heart leaped as she pushed aside a foul-smelling bag.

"Aha," she whispered, "got you." She emptied a little brown satchel and smiled at the small red jewel she now cradled in her hands.

A little red jewel that had flashed alongside its twin as it fought for her, with her. It had been guided by a gentle hand then, one that fought out of necessity, not sport. What life it would have now that she held it, she was too scared to consider. But she thanked all 5 Lykaians, real or not, for keeping her brother’s jewel safe until she could find it again.

An Asura stumbling over a nearby carriage pulled her back to reality and she pushed the memories down to where they belong, somewhere deep where she can't feel them. She turned to make her escape and…stopped.

About 10 feet to her right, was the prison carriage- designed to keep people in. This one wasn't doing its job very well. An arm protruded from the small window, and the arm had a small piece of metal that was frantically trying to unlock the door of its cage.

She was frozen. She had once worn shackles like that, her wrists still bore the scars. What would she have given for some help back then? For a strange act of kindness?

Probably less than what she would give to never be back in a cage.

She turned to leave.

"Shame it's a fake." The prisoner called out from behind her. Male. Strong- unusual for an Asura prisoner. They were notoriously mistreated. Starved and beaten, not carrying a hint of the strength and swagger the man locked away had.

Joan made a face at that cocky arrogance and turned again, not believing a word he said.

Until his hand disappeared into the dark cell, and came back out with a red jewel, a perfect copy of the one he held in her hands.

"You ruined my escape plan," was his only explanation.

Joan narrowed her eyes. She was running out of time. But if the jewel she had was indeed fake…

Cursing, she sprinted over to the prisoner. "Give it to…" her voice faltered. The hand holding the jewel was scarred and calloused where a sword would lay. The arm well toned and fingernails pecked with blood. And 5 strange, ragged scars stacked up his forearm.

It was the scars that stopped her. That shot a bolt of pain up her wrist.

She drew her own dagger and grabbed his hand, the steel glinting in the thinning smoke. The prisoner growled and tried to withdraw his hand, but Joan was faster. The dagger slid into the keyhole of the man's shackles, clicking satisfactory when the shackles fell free.

The man didn't move.

"You can't help me," he said without a lick of emotion.

Joan snorted and moved to the other hand, greedily eyeing the jewel laying within. "I'm more clever than I look."

The man moved his now free arm out to stop her from unshackling him. Joan froze at the hand now clutching her arm, heartbeat rising.

"I would be careful who you help it these parts, heard there are a lot of wolves."

She dropped his hand. Her heart was hammering.

"Wolves?" Wolves are fairy tales, made up legends made to scare unruly kids.

Wrong.

There is one wolf in existence, working for Mortemin. And he's…

"Bloodthirstry ones too." The so-called boy didn't sound like a killer, his voice was strong and sure, but when she hesitated, he dropped the red jewel into her hands and growled,

"Run."

She didn't need to be told twice. Her feet barely touched the ground as she hurdled shrub, fighting against the branches that wanted to drag her back to that demon. The demon that didn't strike her as evil, but definitely from hell, nonetheless.

So what does that make you? She gripped the jewel tighter and ran harder.

Joan ran for 3 hours, leaping from the trees, crawling through mud, doing anything and everything to keep the Wolf of Mortemin from tracking her. She knew it was near impossible, knew this may well be her last night alive.

What a shame that would be- she would lose her bet to Atreyu.

She grinned at the challenge, even as the sky to the east turned a dark blue, the sun setting to her left. She clamped down on the fear that snaked its way up, refusing to acknowledge it. She didn’t want to meet the monsters that stalked this land in the night, but she couldn’t go back to her camp now. The wolf would have found it hours ago.

Her stomach growled for the rabbit stew sitting back there, but she didn’t yield to it. No, it would just be her swords, wits and an unhealthy stubbornness that refused to roll over and die against the blackness of the night and horror of a wolf.

Or, a man who could turn into a massive white wolf with teeth and claws that could tear through metal, let alone flesh. Didn’t matter either way- it wasn’t a creature the Lyk’s had created.

Joan saw the lip of the outermost canyon of the Teiler as she struggled up a hill. The Teiler- an epic three-tiered canyon whose innermost level is said to hold the souls of the dead. Her home, for the last three weeks. She had come to be fond of it, a rare feeling for a place within the tribes reach, within Mortemin and his wretched camp’s reach.

She could run now…leap off the cliff and fly for a few moments before her safety gear engaged. A smile worked its way onto her face as she thought of the wind whistling past her hair, the twist in her stomach as she fell. She could take the tunnels leading through the island and be on the small boat she had stored away before the sun fully set. And then, be gone and onto her next adventure. Her last adventure, if all went as planned.

Joan sighed heavily. The wolf would have guessed that line of action already. It had been tracking her for ages. A glorious tale of talent and wits, the constant back and forth game they had played. One to be etched into the stars when they died.

The thief laughed- she knew her place among the dead, and it was not in the stars. She knew her place in this life, too, although she seldom acknowledged it.

No, it would be another hour of stomping around The Southern Forest before she escaped, hopefully enough time to confuse the wolf.

And then, Ember Island.

Ember Island was only a two-week travel away. Joan plotted the route she would take, thumbing the small note she had received from the Dealer.

E.I. 2. 15. Big.

A man of little words, the Dealer. She had two weeks to be at Ember Island, or he would give the job to someone else. And she wouldn't let that happen, she needed the money. She needed to go far enough away that the tribes and the Ads who ruled it couldn’t touch her, where even Mortemin couldn’t stalk her dreams. She needed to fulfill her promise to her brother[AM1] .

She paused at the top of the hill, breathing heavily despite her life on the run. The sun was setting over the western rim of the canyon, casting the trees in a golden light. She made a face at the beauty, knowing all too well what monsters it hid.

Aisaet- the land of islands and legends. Old hags and crazy seers say a giant's war broke apart the once connected land mass, resulting in the hundreds of scattered islands Aisaet's inhabitants now roam.

As someone who couldn't swim, it wasn't the best scenario.

The thief smiled to herself, allowing herself to bask in the few moments before dark.

Her fingers twitched at her side, relentlessly tapping out a beat she could never place where she heard it from. She frowned down at her swords. Maybe it was worth a try…

Legends surrounded the swords too, but they could only do magic when complete, that's what her brother use to tell her at least. And now that she had the other jewel…perhaps they could aid her in getting away from the monster at her back. She took a deep breath and pushed the little thing into the sword. A soft click followed and then…nothing. Not one thing. She looked around skeptically, nothing.

Welp, another legend down the drain.

She couldn't feel too disappointed, she did after all, know nothing would happen. Legends were as quickly fading as the sun now dripping its rays of blood onto the earth.

The wolf was a legend. The strange wolf with 5 strange scars along its arm. She wondered if the wolf was scared of the dark, or if he flourished in its cover. It certainly had its-

Joan froze. Her fingers stopped tapping as they gripped the hilts of her swords. There was a flash of blue in between the shadows of the trees.

It was too late if it was already this close to her. Joan cursed under her breath, it may have been following her for miles now. No hope for a clean getaway, but she enjoyed playing dirty.

She gave the wolf hiding in the shadows a vulgar gesture, stuck her tongue out, turned tail and sprinted as hard as she could.

Wind whipped her face along with twigs and leaves. Over the steady beat of her own heart and crashing limbs she could hear the thud of paws hitting the ground hard. It was fast. And although Joan couldn't outrun a wolf, she could outrun just about everything else, and with a little bit of trickery, she could outrun a monster.

She unclipped a bomb from her sash- one more remaining, all 8 throwing knives still there- undid the pin and chucked it behind her.

"Bon Voyage, sucker!" A wicked grin on her face as the blast of air and smoke hit her from behind.

She skidded out of the forest, coughing, making her way to the gnarled old oak tree that had stood on the edge of the canyon rim for as long as she had run these woods.

A rope was already fastened securely along its trunk and she took a precious second to be sure the wolf hadn't tampered with it. Then she slid into the harness she had tied, took a deep breath, and jumped.

Joan yelled in delight, no sense in being quiet now. With the wind whistling through her hair, the ground a startling distance below her and a fate worse than death chasing her, she smiled. It felt good to be alive.

Too bad she couldn't stay that way.

The ropes around her waist came to a crushing halt- the bruises wouldn't have bothered her, but the fact that she came to a stop much earlier than she knew the slack in the rope would have allowed her did. She let out a moan in pain, and then more curse words as the ground below her got farther away.

It only took a few seconds for her to reach the top- her pursuer was strong for sure. She refused the indecency of being dragged over the lip of the cliff and so she pulled herself over and stood up promptly, cutting the rope so at least she wasn't tied to this monster- yet.

Let’s see how the wolf played with her own demons.

"Well good day, sir!" Joan said cheerfully to the boy- he must have shifted back to its human form. if it could be called that- with white blonde hair and 6 scars lined up on his left forearm. "You seem a little lost. You see, these are my part of the woods and you happened to interrupt me during my most favorite activity." She copied the accent of a cheerful old cracking nut dealer. "Very indecent of you to grab someone's leaping rope, don't you think?"

She rose an eyebrow at the boy/wolf/thing as if asking for an apology on its part, her hands on her hips.

The wolf's eyes never strayed from her own, boring into her with an intensity and ice that almost made her shiver. There was a depth in them she wasn't expecting to see- not a predator on a hunt, but a human boy on a mission he wasn't excited about.

His voice, however, was devoid of emotion. "On the order of Mortemin, you are under-"

"No."

The boy's gaze turned weary, his hands beginning to clench and unclench in a nervous habit. "Please don't make us do this."

Indignation flared in Joan and it overcame any caution or fear she had. If anyone was making them do this, it was the murderer.

She crossed the few feet between them and even though she was a good 6 inches shorter, stared defiantly into the deep blue of its eyes. They were cold as ice. She was close enough to hear its heart beating smoothly, slowly, close enough to smell the sweat on it, and the blood, there were always blood involved with the Asuras. But there was also something else, the smell of freshly dug dirt, moist leaves after a rain storm and the smoke of a good fire.

Too bad blood had to taint all that beauty,

For an instant it's knitted brows and nervous fidgeting stopped her, she was expecting an assassin not some boy. Only for an instant though.

"I would rather die than be imprisoned by those monsters again," she growled. She noted the slight widening of its eyes and the mouthed word again. Joan laughed, this fool didn't even know who he was killing. "But, really, sir, I must jump." And she ran straight off the cliff ledge.

It was a gamble, she knew. But gambles were her currency, take enough and maybe she would even feel something. She felt something today.

She felt the wind blow back her sweaty hair, her swords- out of their sheaths now- glinting in the sun, this is what it is like to fly, to soar, like the dragons of the Krags. This is what it is like to be-

Pummeled by a large wolf boy. Even in free fall his weight hit her like a boulder.

They grappled in the air, each one trying to get on top of the other. He was strong, but this was not the first time she had fought in free fall. She had won last time.

She hooked a leg around his back and swung on top of him, jumping off his back to get some distance. She took the rope around her waist and tied it to one of her throwing knives she keeps around her chests, tying a sturdy not.

She knew she really shouldn't be enjoying this, but man, it is satisfying to tie a knot while hurtling 1000 feet to certain death. But before she could launch her dagger into the opposing wall and make a semi safe descent down, the Wolf's scythe caught her foot and dragged her back down to her. Blood from her foot flew past her as she grimaced- they were getting dangerously close to not being able to swing out of this.

She twisted in air, swords extended to give this thing a scar that makes those little scratches on its arm nothing. Then she saw the tattoo on its left wrist.

The same tattoo she will forever wear on hers, the one she keeps covered with a ripped piece of shirt. The mark of Mortemin's prisoner, slave. He was subjected to same cruelty she was. Only difference is he didn't make it out in time. He didn't have someone looking out for him, someone whispering legends of warriors of old, someone scheming in the dark to get him out.

The camps take out pieces of your soul. Turns them dark and then chip them off. No one ever survives. But looking into those eyes, she knew that it had survived, that once it was a he. But not now, now there was an empty shell that they made into a monster.

A monster in the night. She was like that too wasn't she? An empty shell that they had filled with whatever they wanted. Her breath hitched, and it had nothing to do with the wind whistling by her.

She whispered a sorry to it, but it was too late, she messed up and before she could drive her swords through its gut, it had wrapped its arms around her and pulled her close. She fought desperately in that flash of a second, not wanting to feel the dagger slide through her flesh.

A flash of pain in her jaw and she blacked out.

***

When Joan was little, and afraid, her brother would slip his hands through the bars of his cage and into hers. He would tell her to close her eyes and dream. And then he told her a story.

Usually they were stories written in the stars, but sometimes they were stories still being lived, the heroes and heroines out there still, fighting off the darkness for a small spark of light. She liked those stories the best, would dream of one day fighting back too.

Deep down, she knew she wasn’t a hero. The Lyks didn’t choose little prison girls to quest for them. They certainly didn’t choose cowards.

But her brother could make her believe that she wasn’t any of those things, and she had clung to that belief for years- through the sharp bite of metal and the shock of a Pulse. She had believed.

What she would have given for her brother to whisper those stories to her now.


 [AM1]To not just live, but survive



© 2019 Alli


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You're working hard on this, and putting a lot of yourself into it. And since your word-smithing skills are good, I thought you would want to know what would cause an acquiring editor to say no before reaching the end of this.

That's not what you were hoping to hear, I know, after all that work creating and polishing it. But the good news is that what I'm about to say has nothing to do with good/bad writing, your talent and potential as a writer, or, the story.

First, you're transcribing yourself telling the story to an audience. From front to back this is the voice of a narrator, reporting events and explaining the meaning. That's a technique designed for verbal storytelling. But storytelling is a performance art. HOW you tell the story counts as much as what you say, because the emotional part of the story comes through the storyteller's performance. Strip that out and...

When you read this it works. But you cheat. You begin the story knowing the setting, the people, the society, and the situation. So when you say, "Floating wanted announcement," you know the size, placement, and the background to it being there. To a reader who doesn't yet know where they are in time and space, whose skin they wear, and what's going on, a floating sign is in the water. Sure, you clarify, but you cannot either retroactively remove confusion or generate a second first-impression.

Think about it. Suppose you had begun with, "Joan shook her head as she studied the wanted notice floating at nearly treetop level in the clearing." One sentence and we know who we are. We know what she's doing. We know, in general, where we are. And that gives context for what follows, which should add to the context. But because you know all that, its lack is invisible to you, and you don't fix the problem. And in any case, no one ever told you the three issues you need to address on entering a scene—or what a scene is, for that matter...or what the elements of one are...or... But more on that later.

Here's the deal: At the moment you're using storytelling techniques that do not reproduce in our medium. When you read it, the voice in your head is yours, and it's filled with emotion. You vary intensity, cadence, and more. You whisper and shout. You hesitate for a breath at meaningful places. You rush on to show urgency, and stop and shake your head at others, using visual communication skills. You use body language to amplify or moderate emotion. You punctuate visually with gestures. And, you illustrate emotion with a smile or frown. But how much of that makes it to the reader, given that only you know how you want the words read, and the performance that goes with them? See the problem? Have your computer read it aloud and you'll hear how much of your performance goes missing on the way to the reader.

Every medium has strengths and weaknesses, which mandate the necessary techniques. The storyteller has sound and vision. We have small shapes printed on paper. That kind of limits us. But on the other hand, we can take the reader into the protagonist's head, in that tiny slice of time they call "now." We can make the reader BECOME the protagonist, living the story in real-time, instead of just learning about it from someone they can neither hear nor see.

So why didn't you know this before you began recording your stories? Because of the second problem you face, which is that we pretty much all leave our school years with a basic misconception: We think we learned how to write. So, it makes sense that to be an author all we need is knack for storytelling, a good idea, and practice.

If only.

Yes, we did learn to write, but as an employer, not an acquiring editor views that act. Think about how many reports and essays you wrote in school as against the number of stories you were assigned. The goal of public education is to supply commerce and industry with a pool of potential workers who come equipped with skills THEY find useful. And what kind of writing do our employers require most: reports, essays, papers, and letters—nonfiction applications designed to inform the reader. And to do that clearly and concisely, nonfiction is author-centric and fact-based, as this chapter is. Your focus is on plot events, with authorial interjection to explain the situation as needed. Informative? Absolutely. Entertaining? Well... But remember, it's not your fault.

The goal of fiction is to entertain. Assume that you're reading a horror story. The fact-based approach is to tell the reader that the protagonist feels terror. The emotion-based approach is to terrorize the reader and make them afraid to turn out the lights. How much time did your teachers spend on how to: use an emotion-based approach and entertain the reader; how to present dialog and use tags; the elements of a scene on the page; the role of the short term scene-goal; why a scene usually ends in disaster for the protagonist?

In other words, we leave our school years precisely as well prepared to write a novel as to remove an appendix. Luckily for our friends, we don't try surgery without additional knowledge and practice.

So here's the fun part of writing in a character-centric and emotion-based style, summed up in one word: viewpoint. Instead of reporting what we decide is happening, and the actions characters must take to follow the plot, we turn it around, and place ourselves into the situation of the protagonist, on the scene, driven by their imperatives, and with nothing more than their resources and background available to drive their actions. What they do isn't a function of the needs of the plot, it's what a person in their situation and resources would feel is the best course of action. So if we want the protagonist to do something, we arrange the situation to make them see that as their best option.

Here's what that small change in approach does for you:

1. The character will no longer be smart when smart is needed and dumb when the plot needs that. Presto, more real-seeming characters. They will tell you, "Hell no," when you try to bully them, keeping you honest and the story real.
2. Looking through the protagonist's senses, you'll react to the protagonist's environment, and use more than sight and sound. You'll show only that matters to the protagonist in their moment of now, and appear as yourself only in support of the protagonist, from the prompter's booth, not center-stage.
3. If, because of your writing, the other characters don't appear to react realistically—as the protagonist views them, s/he'll warn you. And you'll know all the character as people who are the protagonists of their own drama, through your protagonist's view of them. The protagonist may be wrong in that interpretation, but fair is fair, it is their story, warts, misconceptions, and all.
4. Your reader, knowing the protagonist from the inside out, and knowing what they know, will either come to the same conclusions as for what to do, or at least understand why the protagonist acts. That turns what your doing from "telling" to "showing," because another name for showing is viewpoint. We all may experience the same events, but viewpoint is what drives our actions, and our viewpoint unique to us—or in the case of fiction, our avatar. To see how much effect a character's background and necessities have on how they react—and differ from each other, try this article:
https://wordpress.com/post/jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/454

So how can you make that small change I mentioned? Simple...though it won't be easy. The simple part: add the tricks of writing fiction to the nonfiction skills you now own. The "not easy" part is that you're learning a profession as complex and difficult to master as any other. That's the real reason we learn none of the tricks of fiction in our school days. We learn professional skills after we master the set of general skills our public education years give us.

So...while it would be nice if we could pick up a few, "Do this instead of that," tricks and start turning out professional prose, it takes a lot more. Forgetting that each issue is a ball, one of many, that you must keep in the air, and in play, as you write,
your existing writing reflexes are practiced till they're automatic, even intuitive. And they're going to howl in outrage when you try to write in a way that will start out feeling "wrong." They're going to grab the controls to fix it as you write, and because it feels right you won't notice, at the time. But it will come, and you'll LOVE the difference. And, the learning is fun, like going backstage at the theater for the first time. Over and over you'll find yourself saying, "Why didn't I see that for myself? I felt so stupid that at one point I gave thought to putting the book I'm about to recommend down. Luckily, good sense prevailed. And the good news is that once I brought it under control, my next query resulted in my first novel sale. I wish you the same.

So, because you are writing well, a prescription:

First, take a look at this article. It's a condensation of one of the many tricks in the book I mentioned, and it has the potential to make a huge change in the realism of your writing:
http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/scene.php

Chew on it for a time, till the technique makes sense. Then apply it to your own writing and you'll see how it forces you to become the protagonist as you write, and how that forces you to approach the scene far differently. In the beginning, it will feel awkward and stilted, like practicing the box step, if you've ever done ballroom dancing. But once it becomes a refles, it's easy, and done without thought. I think you'll like the result.

Next, for an overview of the many areas you need to work on, look through the writing articles in my blog. There are a few short stories there, too, to show what the result of using those tricks. One article, "Deconstructing Samantha," will show you the kind of thinking that goes into bringing the reader into the story as a participant.
https://wordpress.com/post/jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/359

Then the most important part: Pick up a copy of Dwight Swain's, Techniques of the Selling Writer. It's an older book, one that talks about your typewriter. And like so many men of his time, he assumes that the serious writer is male. But it is the best book on the nuts-and-bolts issues of creating scenes that sing and tying them into a story. He doesn't give rules. It's more an analysis of what works, and why, to give the hopeful writer insight into the processes and the need for them.

And when you get the book, don't just read it. About every other page, from chapter two on till the middle of the book, he will introduce a new idea. Stop there and think about that point, and how it relates to your writing. Then practice using it till it becomes part of your toolkit. Without that you'll forget you hear about it a few days later.

Then, use those tricks for about six months and read the book again. More then a few people have told me that, with a better understanding of where he's going, they learned as much new the second time as they did the first time.

This was, I know, a lot like trying to take a sip from a firehose, and a lot different from what you were hoping for when you posted the story. But as I said, I thought you would want to know. And whatever you do, hang in there, and keep on writing. If you become just a little better every day, and live long enough...

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/

http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/scene.php

Posted 1 Year Ago


Alli

1 Year Ago

JayG,

I greatly appreciate your review! Of course, I would have loved a publishing ag.. read more

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Added on January 7, 2019
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Tags: fantasy; fiction; young adult; m


Author

Alli
Alli

Colorado Springs, CO



About
Writing is my passion, and a way to get out what I can't say out loud. My head is in the clouds 90% of the time, and I love to write fantasy stories and, more recently, poems! Outside of writing I lov.. more..

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