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Author Topic: Autumn Sample  (Read 613 times)

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Offline GreenTrap

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Autumn Sample
« on: May 02, 2017, 01:37:29 PM »
As promised, here is my attempt at writing in prose. It's from a larger work that I'm doing for my University Masters application. I have artwork included to aid the, uh, digestion of my subpar skills. Anyways, here's some paragraphs from my story: Autumn.



Mabyn (Female, around 17 years old)


Jericho (Female, nearly 30 years old)



Summary:

In a world where a class of super-humans rule over normal and mutant folk alike, one noble family tries to take a different path.

--------------Chapter Sample------------


Mabyn was always curious about the streets of Rathlin City.

She had been born a Noble, within the walls of her Lord father's Keep, not over five minutes away from where she now stood. There it had well-dressed humans, clean and professional, who would either work with the luxury of electronic technology or seek an audience with the council. All under the watchful eyes of guards patrolling the walls.

Outside the keep's walls was different. It was a primitive yet lively area, nearly three miles of human sprawl over the bend of the Galloping River. All contained within sturdily built walls 30 feet high on both sides of the river. It smelled of summer-work sweat and manure. There were no electric-systems here, only people of rustic fashion; both Human and Demi alike. These were stubborn buildings that rarely went over two stories, some still bearing scars from the Second Great War twenty years ago. Here market stalls cramped the pavements while packed caravans and horses kicked up dust along the pinched roads. This was too claustrophobic for the Young-Lady of Rathlin, who was now acting regent in the absence of her Lord father and elder siblings.

And of course her bodyguard was only half a step behind. Whenever Mabyn took leave of the Keep, a quick moment was all Jericho needed to arm up and follow.

Her thrust into regency had been a rushed affair, having been declared so within the pantheon of Rathlin Keep. She was a believer in the Green Mother and her descendants, like most nobles of her status. To say otherwise would warrant a clip round the ear from her tutors.

"My Lady?" Jericho would prompt every time Mabyn browsed a stall. She kept one armored hand on her sword belt. Her sharp amber eyes fixated on anyone within arms reach. Mabyn was anxious of the space everyone gave them as a result.

"For the fifth time Jericho, I'm just having a look." Mabyn rolled her eyes "Don't make me send you back to the keep."

Mabyn could see that her bodyguard was not happy with that. "You stare at those trinkets for so long. It's off putting."

The teenager shrugged. "I find markets interesting." Mabyn could see the tightness of Jericho's mouth.

"I wish you found taverns interesting. They would be better places to stand idle whilst you fascinate over the mundane." Jericho said. The two went onto the road again and strolled further away from the Keep.

You wouldn't understand, she thought to herself. Raised to have the national treasury as her own wallet made her current environment almost foreign. She wondered why people would haggle over a set price. Could they not afford it in the first place? If saving a few silvers meant that much, it says a lot at the gap in wealth between her and a normal family. It wasn't as if Mabyn had the best role models to look up to. Her father rarely had time for family matters, mother had been away eight months for a diplomatic mission, Ariadne was indulgent and excessive as regent, and Pyrrhus's dyslexia put him off statesmanship. Tutor Grenlow would have been too stubborn to change the weekly subject to economics. Now that Mabyn was Lady-Regent though, she had the power to follow up on her curiosity.

Mabyn was beginning to enjoy the strangeness of the markets. The further she travelled, the stranger and more primitive it became. The sweet aromas of colorful, scented soaps were replaced with the pungent tang of animal waste fertilizer. Articulated transactions turned into boisterous banter. Wealthy travelers, merchants and politicians soon became hardy men and women clad in leather. She even spotted the odd Demi-Human minding their way through their taller brethren.




Turning a corner, the pair came upon a mustached candy merchant offering pieces of different shapes in paper wrappers to passerbys. "Toffees! Caramels! Red Sugars!" He bellowed in an accent Mabyn never heard before. When she crossed his stall, the stout man gasped and tipped his colorful hat. "'Tis an honour to be in your presence ma'am."

Jericho grunted at the display, but Mabyn smiled and asked, "You know my language?"

"But of course! Being multilingual is important to a successful merchant. I can speak Anglo just like you, but I can go Latina for the commoners, and perhaps Mandari for a rare tourist." He licked his swollen lips before continuing "Might I offer the ma'am a candy? I bring most my stock from the Silver Isles."

Without a second thought Mabyn agreed and reached out for a sample. It wasn't until her fingers had reached her lips that Jericho had swiped her treat from her grasp to inspect it.

"Give it back." Mabyn whined, she tiptoed to poke a finger at the silver-haired woman's cheek.

The bodyguard did not respond to the action. Instead she unwrapped the sample, it was a rectangle of dark chocolate, soft from the hot weather. Jericho popped it into her mouth whilst the candy merchant rubbed his hands together in anticipation. Her stone-set features made no indication towards either pleasure or pain.

"It's not poisoned." Jericho nodded, as if she was doing Mabyn a favour.

"Of course it's not poisoned. Why on earth would someone poison me through a traveling merchant?" The young regent scowled.

The candy merchant, though amused by the two, took the chance to apply some oil to his thin mustache. "I don't take my job lightly," Jericho lectured, shaking her head "If I have to eat every meal you come across, that's a burden I'll carry."

"You're just greedy!"

"Oi."

Mabyn gave up arguing after a few minutes. She could see the merchant struggling to sustain his forced smile. They paid him for a box of chocolates and continued on their way. He would not be the only merchant who would approach them in such a manner however. A toothless nanny offered a bowl of soup. A Demi-human, Mabyn had assumed a swamp-folk, gave away a wooden doll. A suited man nearly trapped the teen into a free trial for house-insurance but Jericho sent him fleeing with a bloodied knuckle. She was used to getting what she wanted. The national treasury is my own wallet. She had told herself many times before. Why is it that I'm receiving these gifts for free. In a market of all places.

The question was passed onto Jericho. "Not many shops can boast a visit from nobility, let alone the current ruler of nation they live in." Jericho might have come into her father's service less than three years ago, but Mabyn knew she was exceptionally observant. She seemed to understand people almost upon greeting. "Its advertising at the end of the day. Give the rich girl something, get several fascinated customers in return. A lady and a lord may rule and be cruel, but the common-folk will still always be fascinated with your kind."

Mabyn had a sausage in each hand when Jericho finished. One pork, the other beef, they had been gifted to her by an elderly farmer from his meat stall. "I see," Mabyn chewed "I'm not complaining."

A strange sound suddenly came to her ears.

Scritch. Scratch. Scritch. Scratch.

Voices and footsteps melted away as Mabyn focused her hearing.

Scritch. Scratch. Scribble.

She could feel the eyes of a nearby boy on her. He was sat outside an inn, The Wild Mare, holding a thick wad of paper stained with graphite finger prints. The movements of his hand suggested he was drawing rather than writing.

"Excuse me, might I ask what you are doing?" Mabyn asked, though the boy simply blinked and carried working.

Jericho pointed a finger "Boy, your Lady-regent is asking a question."

The same lack of response almost had the bodyguard reaching for her sheathe, but the boy perked up, "Finished." He turned the pad towards the pair, earning draws of sharp breath at the level of accuracy and detail the portrait revealed. "Does My Lady approve?"

"I do!" Mabyn nodded "Can I have it?"

The boys yellow teeth formed a grin "Of course. For five silvers."

Fingers fumbling in her purse, Mabyn offered the coins but Jericho gently held her arm still. "You dare charge such a price for your work? That's ten decent meals we could have for five S-." Mabyn responded by butting her head into the taller woman's side, causing Jericho to bite her tongue. "M-my lady?"

"Can't you see he's the only honest trader in the street?" Her eyes narrowed on the guard "Whilst the other merchants fill their purses on my assumed patronage, he offers me a work of art that isn't to be consumed in a day but looked upon for years." She turned to the boy, warmth returning to her smile "For five silvers, this is an honest transaction."

The youth carefully removed the drawing from his pad, wrote something swiftly on the reverse then rolled it neatly into a scroll which he secured with a piece of coloured ribbon from a bunch threaded through his buttonhole. Mabyn asked if he had just signed it.

"It is a riddle, My Lady. If you could solve it then you will learn the details of how to find me if you ever require my services in the future."

And with the most outrageous wink she had ever encountered, he turned on his heel and was soon lost in the crowd. As she rejoined Jericho, Mabyn's smile was the perfect foil for the other's deepening scowl.
 

 


« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 02:00:22 PM by GreenBeverage »

Offline GreenTrap

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Autumn Sample- Art
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 02:45:43 PM »
Here is some concept art to aid in the visualization of the story. The first two are Swamp-Folk, often hunched and aloof. The next two are Fur-Folk, dextrious yet small and short lived. The last one is just Mabyn, uh, eating food.










Offline Grimmjagger

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Re: Autumn Sample
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 10:32:52 AM »
Review on Autumn

 

First thing first, I couldn"t feel this "chapter 1" vibe, like it seem a little bit off, although the start is great it missess various cases of making us, readers, understand the world of Autumn, where are the world explanations?  For example, "The Galloping river" which fonction those it take in the city? Perhaps it isn't an important river?

 

I think it would be interesting to give detail onto, why is Mabyn and Jericho travelling? What is her relationship to Jericho? You gave details about the other instructors but somehow we didnt get information on Jericho which I think would be a good head up.

 

I enjoyed the dialogues, it felt "realistic", what I mean by "realistic is , none of the character deviated from there own person, no 180° degree most nobeliat end up doing by mistake, ia Mabyn the main character? Because so far its either her or Jericho my favorite.

 

The drawings are wonderful, they are refreshing in a sense, it represent perfectly the scene and give us a visual of the character.

 

The guy selling sweats tho! Awesome, I could feel his desire to sell and made me smirk a little when he oiled that moustache.

 

The riddle is definetly a great set up for a story adventure to start, or am I mistaken?

 

{Ideas}

 

Wouldn't it be fine to give Jericho a hand to hand combat with the moustache seller? Like probably have him try to "grope" or "fraud" Mabyn, who seem like trusting everybody? Ofc by 1vs1 I meant a "wrist throw" showing the potential of power Jericho may have from the "commoners", It could also open a new dialogue where Jericho could suggest they return to the castle, or make her get separated from Mabyn that then encounter that Young artist, getting a much more "mysterious" vibe to the young boy.

 

I will give your current chapter a 8.5/10, an interesting plot, charismatic characters and a great use of wording. That a review I have been itching to write for a while, if you plan on adding new chapter just notify me about it.

Offline GreenTrap

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Re: Autumn Sample
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 11:25:09 AM »
Thank you for the review.

You are correct, this is not a chapter 1 but something I plucked from a larger story I'm doing at university. It was more to demonstrate my writing rather than storytelling but I will take any feedback I can get.

The lack of detail would probably be due to being in the middle of the story. I tried editing it to make it less strange to readers, though it seems to not have worked. I'm glad you enjoyed the dialogue and characters however, I was worried they weren't giving off much personality because they're observing rather than acting for most of the sample.

And yes, the riddle will be for another plot later on...

Having Jericho fight the moustached man would add more action into an otherwise passive scene, however it would be very stupid of the merchant to grope a Noble, that's asking for a death sentence within itself. The fraud is better idea. I'll consider it.

I do indeed have other chapters, I can post another up in a day or two once I've finished editing it.

Offline eldritchmaestro

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Re: Autumn Sample
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 02:23:18 PM »
Short Review
1. In a world where a class of super-humans rule over normal and mutant folk alike, one noble family tries to take a different path.

- This is how summaries should be done. Short and straight to the point. Love the character art by the way, really helps soidify the characters' looks in my mind. And you wouldn't know, but there was a story with anthromorphic characters here written by an old member called Aero. Ah, I was so hooked by it. Unfortunately he vanished off the face of the earth before it was finished. Tis' a pity. I'm looking forward to being thrilled by this story. No pressure haha.



2.
There it had well-dressed humans, clean and professional, who would either work with the luxury of electronic technology or seek an audience with the council. All under the watchful eyes of guards patrolling the walls.

- First sentence seems to apply that the only goals of the humans is to work with electronic tech or seek audience with the council. Perhaps use 'could' instead of would? Dunno how to explain it. 
- I'm not sure but I think you need a comma before the 'All'


3. Outside the keep's walls was different. It was a primitive yet lively area, nearly three miles of human sprawl over the bend of the Galloping River. All contained within sturdily built walls 30 feet high on both sides of the river. It smelled of summer-work sweat and manure. There were no electric-systems here, only people of rustic fashion; both Human and Demi alike. These were stubborn buildings that rarely went over two stories, some still bearing scars from the Second Great War twenty years ago. Here market stalls cramped the pavements while packed caravans and horses kicked up dust along the pinched roads. This was too claustrophobic for the Young-Lady of Rathlin, who was now acting regent in the absence of her Lord father and elder siblings.

- The forum formatting sucks, so this may be the case, but spacing out descriptions with paragraphs helps make it easier to read the text.  I like how quickly you describe the scene though.


4. To say otherwise would warrant a clip round the ear from her tutors.

- Would she ever have reason to say otherwise?

5. "I wish you found taverns interesting. They would be better places to stand idle whilst you fascinate over the mundane." Jericho said.

- Hear, hear, Jericho


6. "Toffees! Caramels! Red Sugars!"

- What are red sugars? Ever since seeing Turkish Delight in Narnia, I always loved cuisine and candy from fantasy worlds.


7. "It's not poisoned." Jericho nodded, as if she was doing Mabyn a favour.

- Wait wait wait is that ever a good idea Jericho? What if it's a tasteless, odourless slow acting poison?


8.  "If I have to eat every meal you come across, that's a burden I'll carry."
"You're just greedy!"

- Hahaha yeaup.



9.  A suited man nearly trapped the teen into a free trial for house-insurance but Jericho sent him fleeing with a bloodied knuckle.

- Insurance? I keep on forgetting that tech exists haha.  I guess a lot of things are mordern as well.


10. The same lack of response almost had the bodyguard reaching for her sheathe, but the boy perked up, "Finished." He turned the pad towards the pair, earning draws of sharp breath at the level of accuracy and detail the portrait revealed. "Does My Lady approve?"
"I do!" Mabyn nodded "Can I have it?"

The boys yellow teeth formed a grin "Of course. For five silvers."

- Oh, that is an idea isn't it? Make street sketches of famous people and offer it to them for lots of cash. You could make a killing! You'd be the Paparazzi Artist or something.



11. And with the most outrageous wink she had ever encountered, he turned on his heel and was soon lost in the crowd. As she rejoined Jericho, Mabyn's smile was the perfect foil for the other's deepening scowl.

- I'm not sure how you can wink outrageously, to be honest haha.
- Ah Jericho, lighten up. Isn't candy supposed to make you happy?


General thoughts.

Pretty simple to get through, which for lazy people like me is a blessing. I have a clear image of what kind of characters' we're working with, and the scene descriptions are so effective that I find myself already comfortably along for the ride. Because it's sparse on details and not much happened other than this mysterious strangers' sketch, I don't feel any plot yet or feel in touch with the world, but that's only a matter of time as the story goes along, I suppose.

If I had anything to point out is that the sentences that start with All tend to feel clunky to read, along with the sentences written around them. You should look into those. I pointed out once that more paragraphs would be useful, but honestly your writing is so sleek that it isn't a problem yet, and dialogue is easy to follow.

How long have you been working on this story? Do you have a good idea of how it'll end up? Do you have any favourite characters?
Keep at it!

Offline GreenTrap

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Re: Autumn Sample
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2017, 03:27:45 PM »
Thank you for the review.

1. Personally I dislike long summaries. I don't want it to describe what I'm about to read, I just want a heads up on the flavour of the story. The art was only designed by me (Aside from Mabyn looking like a certain My Hero Academia character) which is a task in itself when you want things to be drawn a certain way. Otherwise the thanks is to my household which is full of artists  :ninja: I'll have to look up this Areo person however...

2. I understand the point you're making. It was a hard thing trying to describe the extreme technological divide in one city.

3. I'm still practicing my scene descriptions, since I'm so used to script writing. I'll take note of more spaces in the future.

4. It's more a comment on how strict the religion is rather than Mabyn being outspoken. I'll try to fix that line.

5. Hear!

6. Red Sugar is the normal sugar grain sweeted with syrup and red food colouring, a delicacy among the sweet-tooths. I'm glad we share the same outlook on the Chronicles of Narnia and it's Turkish Delight.

11. The wink can be interpretted as flirting in a way. That alone from someone so low in status would insult most people of noble birth.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm feeling more confident on my writing skills, now I just need to show an example of my story-telling skills at some point  :ninja: I'll neaten the paragraphs like you suggested, I'm glad that's the biggest writing criticism as I was fearing much worse.
I've been rattling this story around for about a year. It's barely similar to my first idea of it, since I was planning something more akin to Star Wars, yet instead I've ended up with a sci-fi and medieval blend. I've got about three art books full of characters, all in different costumes, ages, poses and such. I would love to post more on here but I just can't get a good first chapter written down... yet...


Offline GreenTrap

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Re: Autumn Sample
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2017, 12:34:11 PM »
So it's been six months and what do I have to show for progress?  :noidea: To be honest, even though I work on this weekly, I find myself burning through a lot of previously written content (That is, editing, cutting, scrapping, etc) because I often go overboard with 'perfecting' the story so to say.

But have I given up? Nope, far from it. I'll still keep working on this until I've made enough tweaks to have a colourful, living world! (One of the problems of big world stories is how much you have to write for them!)

In the mean time, I'll be posting either some finished content or scrapped content (Better here then the bin);


Maps of the main setting, with the first draft in pencil and pen, and the second draft in a map maker app







When testing out panels with the artist, we tried it with a scene that I have now scrapped. So consider it a small treat  :ninja: