Monday, September 28, 2009

A Writing Sample

So, here is a sample of my writing. This was originally the opening scene for the fantasy story I am working on. I may or may not use it, as I have decided to reboot the story with a different opening. I would like some constructive feedback from anyone. Don't be afraid of being overly critical. I think it reads very well, but I'd like some other honest opinions...


Agenor wasn’t a particularly strong youth. Well, in relation to other, human children he may have been above average. But unfortunately, he didn’t live among humans. He was a “halfbreed”, born from a union between an orc and a human. And he lived with orcs. Orcs are strong. And very cruel and unforgiving.

So, when Agenor ran afoul of Ishnakk and his cronies, he knew he was in for it. Orcs have a tendency to settle disputes with their fists as children. Later in life they use weapons, but the principle remains the same. Beat your opponent until you win the argument. And that is just what Ishnakk was proceeding to do to Agenor.

But, even though he was smaller than the grey skinned orcling who had just punched him with enough force to knock him to the ground, Agenor was still half orcish himself, and stubborn as a mule. He refused to just give up. To capitulate the fight to the bigger, meaner Ishnakk. Instead, he ignored the blood trickling from his split lip, and surged up with a roar. This caught all of the gathered orclings by surprise, especially Ishnakk, who did nothing to avoid the savage punch that Agenor landed on the orcling’s nose. The halfbreed had felt the punch come from his toes. He used the leverage of his upward momentum to bring his right fist up with as much force as his body could muster. Though a product of pure instinct, and perhaps a little luck, it was a masterful punch, worthy of the most seasoned brawler. As it connected, Agenor’s feet were firmly planted on the ground, his body balanced, and the muscles in his arm uncoiling like a spring. There was a sickening crack as Ishnakk’s stunted nose caved beneath the blow, and his head was snapped back with a fount of blood spraying into the air. Ishnakk staggered back a step, and sensing the advantage, Agenor shuffled forward and threw another punch with his left fist. This one landed just to the side of the broken nose, and the halfbreed felt a pang as his fist connected with heavy cheekbone of the orcling. But he didn’t relent. Even as Ishnakk tried to regain his bearings, Agenor continued to throw punches to the face and head of his enemy. He no longer felt fear, nor was he conscious of his surroundings. All he saw was Ishnakk’s bloodied face, and all he felt was the urge to destroy it. So, when the orcling fall backwards to the ground, Agenor was on his chest, raining punches down like hammer blows onto Ishnakk’s pulped face.

After a few moments of this, Agenor began to tire. His blows were less powerful, and landing with much less speed. But what was done was done. And soon he stopped and looked at the remains of Ishnakk’s face. Both eyes were swollen shut, several teeth had been knocked out, and the nose was smashed and bleeding profusely. But, most importantly, Ishnakk was unconscious. The only sign of life was his shallow breaths bubbling through the blood in his mouth and nose.

Agenor slowly stood, his hands still clenched into fists. Through his tears, for somewhere in the midst of the assault, he had begun to cry, his oddly yellow eyes surveyed Ishnakk’s cronies, as if daring any of them to jump to their leader’s defense. None took up the challenge. In fact, in their eyes Agenor recognized the feeling they felt. For he had felt it many times. They feared him. There was power in that realization, and the halfbreed took a step forward. They all stepped back as one, each holding their hands in front of them, trying to ward him off as if he were some cursed thing. He chuckled in grim amusement at that, and turned. He didn’t even glance at the inert form of Ishnakk as he staggered away, the crowd that had gathered parting like a curtain before him.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Okay... So here's my honest criticism. First the good stuff: I'm interested in the main character. Why? Well pairing a human (emotional) with an orc (unemotional, or better yet, undeveloped emotion) is interesting. Keep going with it. He's got a future. That much is clear. But you're telling too much. Show a lot more. The whole ocrs as children could be a good character building scene between Agenor and his peers or Agenor along with his peers. I've read this several times and know you have given this character some thought. But how much thought. Give him some life, not just some narrative! And one last thing: the writing is passive. Be active. Use less words. Shorter sentences, or descriptive transitions.

Okay, you're turn to rip me. I'll email you...