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E - Everyone

(Need a title)-Chapter One~Part One.

by StoneHeart


(I will warn you that this piece was written EXTREMELY quickly and will have a LOT of problems. For sure!)

“Hey kid!”

Dane spun around to find himself face to face with Sergeant Koth,” oh, hey sir!” he said, nervously slipping the ancient, rusted dagger he held back into its sheath under is coat.

The towering, armoured guard scowled down at him,” you seen a guy go by this way? About yeah big,”he held his hand up to about his own chin,” black hair?”

Dane shrugged, trying to keep casual,” no, why do you want him?”

Koth ran a finger through his thick black hair and looked up and down the crowded street, his face was hard.” He stole something. If you see him he'll be wearing a shirt with a red sword on the back. Call me if you do.”

Dane nodded easily, leaning against the adobe wall of one of the houses lining the street,” sure.” he said, trying not to think about the shirt with the red sword painted on it that he'd thrown into a garbage bin a few moments ago.

Koth nodded absent mindedly one more time before pacing back up the street toward his post. He wasn't too interested in catching this 'thief', Dane, because he was then there'd have been nothing to stop him. He'd have just used a tracking stone and caught him in a moment.

That was why Koth was one of the few castle guards that Dane liked at all. He didn't like the law. When the guards in the castle went on one of their sprees to get things they 'needed' from the people, Koth usually hung back, and when things were 'stolen' back, he didn't make much effort to retrieve them.

But it was also the reason he stayed were he was, at his lonely guard post, day in and day out, week after week, year after – Dane cut his mind away from Koth, time to get moving!

Turning around, he slipped into the thick, mid-day market crowd, and wove his way through it, on his way back to his house. Well, his stepfather's shop really, but it was where Dane stayed.

As he entered the tiny, but clean, candle-shop he instantly caught sight of his step-father, Paine Telyx, sitting sleepily on his stool behind the counter, reading the morning paper. Slowly Paine raised his eyes to Dane and smiled slightly, tiredly,” morning Dane,” he said evenly.

Dane glanced at his stepfather's rumpled clothes and disarrayed hair, knowing he'd probably spent the night in the store or the work-shop,” morning,” he said, pressing the dagger firmly to his side and walking up to the door that opened to the part of the shop where Paine (with Dane's help) made the candles that he sold in the store.

He was just stepping through the doorway, his heart flooding with relief, when his stepfather's voice stopped him dead,” Dane.”

Gritting his teeth he turned back into the store,” yeah?” he asked.

Paine's hard black eyes bore into Dane, the only life in his wrinkled, tired face.” Your mother's been worried about you,” he said,” coming home late, or not at all, as you have been these days. I respect that you're almost a man, and that you need your freedom, but please, try to at least keep her appeased in some way.”

Dane nodded, he'd talk to her,” okay.” Again he turned to go.

“Oh, and Dane,” rolling his eyes he once again turned back to Paine,” Winson sent me five kegs of Bull Wax this morning, if you could get me some blanks ready I'd be much obliged.” Winson was Paine's brother, the producer of the waxes that Dane cut out into blanks, and that Paine carved into intricate candles, inlaying them, painting them, and forming them into fantastic shapes that were the source of the family's money.

Dane nodded once again, and then finally made his escape into the back of the store. Here the room was larger . . . well, it really wasn't a room, more like a two walled, high-roofed garage, but there was lots of space.

Picking his way through heaps of wax, shavings, and tools, he went over to the back of the room. Walking up to a certain huge clump of rough bee's wax which was heaped up against the northern wall, he glanced around, making sure the coast was clear, and then slipping the dagger out from under his coat, examined it's slightly rusted blade and stone pommel for a moment, before slipping it into a hole behind the wax where he kept the odds and ends he didn't want the army taking.

That dagger was the only thing he held in remembrance of his REAL mother. Years ago she had died and given Dane to her brother, Paine, and his wife, whom Dane now knew as his stepfather and mother. They were good people, and truthfully speaking, Dane was quite happy with his life.

But he still wished his mother had left him something more. A memory of her face? His father's name? A few coins? Anything.

“Dane?”

Dane started violently and looked around for the source of the voice. Standing a few feet away was the last person he'd expected to run into that day: Varien, his cousin, Winson's only son,” oh, hey Varien.” he said, keeping his voice even and wiping his hands off on his coat,” what are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be at work?”

Varien raised a dark eyebrow and grinned, his gentle face playful as ever,” aren't YOU supposed to be working, not digging around in the bee's wax?”

Dane rolled his eyes, and running his hands through his long brown hair, he headed for the five keg-sized blocks of Bull-wax lying on Dane's side of the workshop, opposite his step-father's table, littered with delicate tools.

Varien shrugged and followed him,” okay, the truth is, Ike,” the ropemaker down at the docks who employed Varien,” has a grandmother he never told me about who happened to go ill and die yesterday! What with the new war-ship in the harbour there are so many sailor's going around he's not sure I can hold the fort alone! So, no work today.”

Dane nodded absently to Varien, then carefully ran his hands along the edges of one of the incredibly dense kegs of Bull-wax. It was high quality, expensive wax. He felt a surge of pride at the thought of Paine trusting him with it's use.

“Varien,” he said suddenly, looking up at the thin, black haired boy -only a couple years younger than he himself,” do you need something here?”

Varien shrugged,” I thought I might be able to give you a hand with your work . . . ?”

Dane nodded,” good,” and then heaved the first keg of wax up onto the heavy table he did his main slicing work.

“What do you want me to do?” Varien asked.

“Well,” Dane smiled to himself,” you could start by getting the fireplace going.”

Varien frowned,” but it's roasting hot in here already!”

Dane gave him a mock glare,” Bull wax is as hard as wood. You can't cut it with a saw or it'll crack, you can't use pipe or it'll shatter, and you can't slice it normally or it'll split! I need to heat up this!” reaching over he picked up a long, thin-bladed knife.

Varien nodded,” okay,” and then trotting over to the fireplace set in the wall a few feet away, began to get a fire going.

“So,” Dane said, picking up a brush and scrubbing the block of wax, cleaning it,” a new war-ship in port?”

Varien nodded, grunting as he stocked the fire,” yeah, The Naurstone. I talked with Ike, about her this morning and he said she's a big one if he ever saw one!” Ike had once served in the Senetran Navy,” Said she's probably got at least fifty stonebearers on-board, about a hundred and fifty normal soldiers, and then about four hundred sailors!”

Dane frowned,” why'd she be here though? If we need a garrison then they can march over from Fort Kurpak. Anyway, isn't Starmound's port just for harvesters and hunters? Of course, besides The Gray Heart.The Gray Heart was the fort and surrounding city's defending battleship.

Varien nodded, taking the knife from Dane and laying the blade in the flames,” I don't know, and neither does Ike. But she's not a re-vamped harvester, like Gray Heart, she's a real port-made war-ship. From what I heard there's some kind of dignitary on board who's visiting the maurman, but Ike said never to believe sailor gossip.”

Dane nodded, taking the heated knife from Varien and beginning to cut up the wax into perfectly shaped blanks.” Well, if it's anything important then I guess we'll learn about it this afternoon once some real information's gotten around and replaced the gossip. Who knows? She might just be dropping by on patrol duty!”

Varien looked at him curiously, leaning against the wall. Slowly his gaze drifted to the flames flickering in the old brick fireplace,” Dane,” he said softly,” what would happen if I got recruited?”

Dane kept working, concentrating on what he was doing,” Varien,” he said,” we pay our taxes, we bear the burden of war. We support it as we can and must. I don't think they'll have a recruiting spree any time soon.”

“That's exactly it,” Varien said,” it's been years since the last recruiting. It's high time we had another one!”

Dane sighed,” I hate war,” he muttered. He hated the way that the government took what it wanted from the people whenever it wanted to, he hated it how they taxed them, he hated it how that after almost two hundred years, nothing in this war had changed. Dernland was still there.


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304 Reviews


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Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:28 pm
barefootrunner wrote a review...



Hi Nether :) Well, I'm guessing skorlir got all the typos, so I'm just going to go through plot, characters and style.

PLOT:

Right, so you've got it going. There is a good setting-up of the space, so the readers know exactly where and when they are, then you have a setting-up of characters so the readers also know who you're talking about. But there isn't much happening yet. You took an entire chapter just to set it up, but there has been no exciting instigator of a story to entice readers into the second chapter. So while the other elements of your story are thriving, the plot is feeling slightly neglected and could do with a push, even though it is only the first chapter. How else would you get readers to keep going to the next chapter?

CHARACTERS:

Oh, well done! You managed to give a great background without too much pushing of information dumps. You made the characters more rounded in a natural style that doesn't advance characterization just for the sake of it. I think more detail will come with time, but this is fine for the first chapter.

STYLE:

Good work. The main issue with writing a story in another time is making it sound real without modern diction. You did that quite well, and except for 're-vamped' and 'spree', I think everything is in order. (Though even those two are minor misdemeanors.) Otherwise, I find nothing else problematic.

OVERALL:

So, you just need to get a plot going and all shall be well! I'm hoping skorlir bit down on all the direct speech problems etc.

Good job! I enjoyed the read!
barefootrunner






He sure took the grammar typo's seriously . . .

thanks!



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Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:02 pm
skorlir wrote a review...



(I will warn you that this piece was written EXTREMELY quickly and will have a LOT of problems. For sure!)


... Okay.

Take with salt; mind the edges.

Dane spun around to find himself face to face with Sergeant Koth,” oh, hey sir!” he said, nervously slipping the ancient, rusted dagger he held back into its sheath under is coat.


Look carefully, and you will see some misspellings littered amok a giant run-on. Otherwise, it's an interesting opening.

About yeah big,”he held his hand up to about his own chin,” black hair?”


"yeah" should be "yea."

Koth ran a finger through his thick black hair*,* and looked looking up and down the crowded street,. [H]is face was hard. "He stole something. If you see him he'll be wearing a shirt with a red sword on the back. Call me if you do.”


Awkward wording. Asterisks denote insertions, items in blue are moved or altered. Strikeout indicated "delete." A single letter, if changed, is wrapped in square brackets.

This is all clarifying, grammatical, gritty revision. Once I have done it some, I will simply point out places it is needed. This is the writer's work - unless that writer has the fame or gall to pay an editor, of course. :)

Wait wait wait. Is Koth running just one finger through his hair? That's a weird image.

Your quotation marks are not right - they're littered a bit. They start too early and are slanted the wrong way. Gah, that bugs me. Not a big deal, of course. But irritating nonetheless.

Dane nodded easily, leaning against the adobe wall of one of the houses lining the street an adobe house lining the street,. "sure[,]” he said, ...


Most of this is simple: Your descriptors are too protracted. "the adobe walls of one of the houses lining the street" is a sentence filled with much egregiousness. Humor my explanation of egregious words at that link, and see if revisions prescribed by those suggestions (revisions as the ones I offer here) do not empower and sharpen your work.

He wasn't too interested in catching this 'thief', Dane, because he was then there'd have been nothing to stop him. He'd have just used a tracking stone and caught him in a moment.


Look again at "because he was then".

And remove Dane's name. It just complicates your structure, and the reader can surmise from the earlier shirt reference that Dane is the thief.

"He'd have just used a tracking stone." Expand "He'd" to "He would." Otherwise the first time I read it, I see "He had have just..."

That was why Koth was one of the few castle guards that Dane liked at all. [?]He (Dane or Koth? Fix the antecedent.) didn't like the law. When the *other* guards in the castle went on one of their sprees to get things they 'needed' from the people (Rephrase), Koth usually hung back[.] [A]nd when things were 'stolen' back, he didn't make much effort to retrieve them.


This bit is rather important background, but it is muddled by the occasional lapse in clarity. Consider the revisions above, and fix that nasty antecedent error in the second sentence. The part I ask you to "rephrase" does not read well, as you might guess. I stumbled over it.

This is an interesting story. I anticipate a turn on the Robin Hood adage, but hold my suspicions until further notice.


But it was also the reason he stayed w[h]ere he was, at his lonely guard post, day in and *-*day out, week after week, year after – Dane cut his mind away from Koth[.] [T]ime to get moving!


End with a period and add a line break before the thought begins. For clarity.

Turning around, he slipped into the thick, mid-day market crowd, and wove his way through it, on his way back to his house. Well, his stepfather's shop really, but it was where Dane stayed.


Run-on followed by a run-on.

As he entered the tiny, but clean, candle-shop[,] he instantly caught sight of his step-father, Paine Telyx, sitting sleepily on his stool behind the counter, *and* reading the morning paper. Slowly Paine slowly raised his eyes to Dane and smiled slightly, tiredly[.] ”[M]orning[,] Dane,” he said evenly.


I don't see the need to introduce the full name of Dane's stepfather so explicitly and abruptly. It tripped me up a bit. The revisions I suggested are mostly for clarity. Of course, if something doesn't jibe with you, ignore it. But still try to reconsider wherever I've suggested revisions, even if you revise differently than I suggest.

Dane glanced at his stepfather's rumpled clothes and disarrayed hair, knowing he'd probably spent the night in the store or the work-shop,” morning,” he said, pressing the dagger firmly to his side and walking up to the door that opened to the part of the shop where Paine (with Dane's help) made the candles that he sold in the store.


Massive run-on.

Quick note: The storytelling is quite good. But your grammar is, in places, atrocious. It makes it much harder to read and review. I will try to look less at grammar from this point (and into the next part of Ch. 1), because otherwise this will take quite awhile. It takes much longer to point out these errors than to fix them, and I think you have seen what and where they typically are.

Picking his way through heaps of wax, shavings, and tools, he went over to the back of the room. Walking up to a certain huge clump of rough bee's wax which was heaped up against the northern wall, he glanced around, making sure the coast was clear, and then slipping the dagger out from under his coat, examined it's slightly rusted blade and stone pommel for a moment, before slipping it into a hole behind the wax where he kept the odds and ends he didn't want the army taking. (<-- run-on)

That dagger was the only thing he held in remembrance of his REAL mother. Years ago she had died and given Dane to her brother, Paine, and his wife, whom Dane now knew as his stepfather and mother. They were good people, and truthfully speaking, Dane was quite happy with his life.


This gets quite confusing. I must read twice to get the whole picture, although I can catch the gist with a once-through. The second paragraph in particular seems to have a lot of subject confusion and at least one run-on.

Varien shrugged and followed him,” okay, the truth is, Ike,” — Ike was the ropemaker down at the docks who employed Varien — ”has a grandmother he never told me about who happened to go ill and die yesterday! What with the new war-ship in the harbour there are so many sailor's going around he's not sure I can hold the fort alone! So, no work today.”


The aside about Ike is poorly delineated. I suggest using parentheses or dashes. The latter is improvised into the quote above. Otherwise the passage is alright.

Dane nodded absently to Varien, then carefully ran his hands along the edges of one of the incredibly dense kegs of Bull-wax. It was high quality, expensive wax. He felt a surge of pride at the thought of Paine trusting him with it's use.


I swear this is the best-written paragraph. It's pretty much perfect. Do this. More. :)

onto the heavy table *where* he did his main slicing work.


You were missing a necessary preposition there. And I don't like prepositions, so that one really is necessary.

Varien nodded,” okay,” and then trotting over to the fireplace set in the wall a few feet away, began to get a fire going.


Tense disagreement. Nodded -> trotting. It's almost okay, but not really. I can see where you may have thought it worked, but it's convoluted. I would revise.

Varien nodded, grunting as he stocked the fire,” yeah, The Naurstone. I talked with Ike, about her this morning and he said she's a big one if he ever saw one!” Ike had once served in the Senetran Navy,” Said she's probably got at least fifty stonebearers on-board, about a hundred and fifty normal soldiers, and then about four hundred sailors!”


Again, your aside about Ike is poorly demarked.

The Gray Heart was the fort and surrounding city's defending battleship.


This is confusing. Perhaps "The Gray Heart doubled as the city's fort and defending battleship."

Varien nodded, taking the knife from Dane and laying the blade in the flames[.] ” I don't know, and neither does Ike. But she's not a re-vamped harvester, like Gray Heart, she's a real port-made war-ship. From what I heard there's some kind of dignitary on board who's visiting the maurman, but Ike said never to believe sailor gossip.”


Maurman needs to be italicized if all the other names are. You very often go from narration to dialogue with a comma, but need to use a period. This is true here, as well as many places elsewhere.

Varien looked at him curiously, leaning against the wall. Slowly his gaze drifted to the flames flickering in the old brick fireplace,” Dane,” he said softly,” what would happen if I got recruited?”

Dane kept working, concentrating on what he was doing,” Varien,” he said,” we pay our taxes, we bear the burden of war. We support it as we can and must. I don't think they'll have a recruiting spree any time soon.”

“That's exactly it,” Varien said,” it's been years since the last recruiting. It's high time we had another one!”

Dane sighed,” I hate war,” he muttered. He hated the way that the government took what it wanted from the people whenever it wanted to, he hated it how they taxed them, he hated it how that after almost two hundred years, nothing in this war had changed. Dernland was still there.


And you end with another rather well-written passage. You clearly have the potential to better the semantics and grammar, so I won't split hairs.

This is an interesting story. The progression is a little scattered - by some houses, to the candle shop, in the back with Varien. But it will likely tighten up some when you clarify as you revise.

Anyway, I need to go, or else I would point out a few parts I really liked... You get which bits they are, though, as I paused to mention them as I reviewed.

Keep it up! And try screening your grammar a little better before posting. Please~!

Be forever hortatory,

~Skorlir






I'll really get to this review in a little! (And I speed wrote this with the hope you'd be there for the grammar ;) thanks!)




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