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Part Two - Voices in the Darkness

by ChildOfNowhere


Lorin opened his eyes to darkness. Damp, cold air seemed to be weighting him down, making it hard to move and harder to breathe, as he tried to stretch his arms. He could feel the metal around his wrists; chains were cold against his skin, too heavy for him to move and too thick to break, keeping his arms up and his hands around the level of his forehead. He blinked as his eyes got used to the absence of light, and winced at the throbbing in his head when he turned to look around. Something was slowly creeping down his temple, a tickling presence which might have been both a drop of blood or an insect - regardless the fact it'd mean he was hurt, and in combination with knowing he couldn't move to brush it away, he was hoping for the former.

Something moved across the room, and he squinted in that direction. Vaguely, he could see a man behind bars, surely at least fifty years older than himself, sitting on the floor and leaning against a wall.

"Welcome to the land of the living." His voice was cracked, sounding like steps on old wooden floor, echoing in the dark chamber. "Ya hit your head pretty hard, eh?"

Lorin frowned, closing his eyes for a moment again as he felt dizzy. Hit my head? At least he was sure now that it wasn't an insect - but on the other hand, he was now faced with a hole in place where his memory should be, void of plausible explanation of what he was even doing there.

"They took your tongue out?" The man slowly pushed himself up.

"No.." Talking seemed strange, his voice sounding almost fearful from thinking of that possibility. Perhaps my brain is so used to the way I talk, that I don't even realise that I'm not making a sound anymore. He swallowed, wondering if such action would be possible if he had no tongue in his mouth. "Where am I?"

The man waved his hand around, walking in a small circle before flopping down on his place by the wall again. He wasn't chained to a wall - the bars seemed to be enough protection or barrier for him, apparently, or the architects of the place thought the guards of the prisoners could move more easily if one side of the room was covered in chains instead of cages. "Where d'ya think you are?"

Lorin glared at him. If I knew, would I ask? He parted his lips to say it, then licked them instead as images flashed through his head.

The feeling of the smooth wood against his fingertips, the colours in the dim light. The eyes on the walls, following his every step, the weight of the bag against his shoulder. The figure in the dark, sharply drawn silhouette against the open window and the sky outside. Eyes glowing behind a mask with silver marks, cold voice piercing the silence, and a sharp blow from somewhere in the shadows deleting everything..

He winced, recalling what happened, remembering what preceded those blurred images. The deal he made, job he agreed to do, and whom those masks belonged to.. He tugged at the chains, more eagerly this time, his heart pounding. Nothing miraculous happened; the chains remained as tight around his wrists as ever, equally heavy and clanging against the stone, sending sharp pain through his head once again.

He looked at the man again as the pain faded. "Is this the Palace of Justice?"

"The Palace of Justice?" Another voice, coming from somewhere on the right, a bit further down what Lorin thought was a relatively small chamber. Now, though still as nothing but contours in the darkness, he could see it had to be more of a narrow hallway filled with cages and chains, leading somewhere into deeper darkness. Figures of not quite determinable features seemed to be peeking at him through the bars, occasional whispers getting cut by the sharp song of iron and stone. Lorin was fairly sure this voice was female, and belonged to the person gripping the bars of the cage next to the man's. It was impossible to tell by the shape of her clothes - or whatever it was that she was wearing - but he had a feeling one could spot the attributes of her gender if they went through the trouble of dressing her into anything more ladylike.

"This ain't your Palace of Justice," she said. "Gods know Ledare lords and ladies are bad enough, but you have time till they ship ya off to there." She was silent for a while, maybe waiting for a response.

I can't believe this is happening. Lorin's thoughts were slow, as if his mind was filled with a liquid of some sort. This isn't true, I didn't really get caught..that thrice damned house was supposed to be empty... "A-are you sure?"

She sighed, so loudly that he heard it as if she stood next to him. "Iono what you did, boy, to think you should be there, but let me tell ya - if you were in the Palace of Justice, you wouldn't be able to use that lovely voice of yours right now. They cut your tongue off, and all ya can do is scream as they slowly relieve you of the weight of your limbs."

He was pretty sure that she grinned, but too busy with trying to calm the sudden riot of his stomach to be able to think of an answer.

The woman's next words got cut by sharp clang of metal against metal, followed by a voice sounding almost the same. "Silence, Forty-Eight!"

She growled, echo turning the sound into a roar as she clung on the bars. "I have a bloody name!"

"You might find more of your things getting bloody if you don't shut up." It was another voice, quieter and calmer yet at the same time more authoritative, making Lorin's heart jump and stick in his throat. He heard a key turning in a lock and saw the tall figure walk in as the door opened for him. He got up, leaning against the wall behind him, unpleasantly aware of his legs shaking as that man walked closer to him.

"You left your names outside of these walls, along with the freedom you were stupid enough to lose." The man made a move, and a small fire appeared on a long candle in his hand, casting its light on the mask on his face. It was black and covered his eyes and most of his nose, its silver decorations almost glowing in the still dark chamber. "Fifty." Every glimpse of hope Lorin had that he might just keep walking, now seemed to have gotten shrouded in his long shadow. He dropped something on the floor between them, and it took Lorin a few moments to recognise it as his own bag. "Where did you get this?"

"...my bag?"

"Yes, your bag." The man's voice was flat. "I'm dying of desire to get one of those, and I'm asking you because I have no other way of getting what I want."

"Ah." Lorin licked his lips. As prepared as anyone could be in such situation, he'd been expecting threats and short, dark remarks about what they'll do to them, orders or just silence and pain - not sarcasm spilling from every word of a stranger barely a few years older than himself. "So then.. the... the content of it?"

"Such wonder you got caught with that intellect."

Lorin frowned. He was caught stealing masks from the house of one of the families closest to the Palace - no matter what he did now, things could hardly get worse. He couldn't tell why this young lord - and judging on the way he was dressed and the tone of his words, even though he was speaking in a way understandable to Lorin's ears, there wasn't anything else he could be - was interested in the papers he had in the bag. But the eyes behind the mask, though shaded by it, seemed to shine with curiosity, and Lorin knew that look well enough. He had something to bargain with.

"I can't explain where I got it," he started carefully, then finishing the sentence in a breath; "but I can take you there if you let me go."

The man glanced at the guard that yelled at the woman before. For a moment, Lorin expected him to turn away and leave again, leaving him in the darkness to die of food and water deprivation - then he felt something sharp against his back, like tens of spiky begging children's fingers poking to get his attention. He stepped forward to avoid them, but they followed, not stopping even after the chains around his wrists no longer allowed him to move from the wall. He tugged them again, turning his head around to glance at the spikes; thin at the ends and wider at the bottom, they creeped out of the wall, resembling cannons of a ship, seeming endless, their tips threatening to pierce Lorin's body like a needle through fabric. He closed his eyes not to see it happening. So much about bargaining.

Turning back to the man, his heart skipped a beat, as he felt something sharp pressing against his eyelid.

If he moved as much as inch ahead, even if he kept his eyes closed, he had a feeling he'd in the best case lose sight on that eye - if he stayed in place, however, the spikes from the wall would pin him to it like a bizarre butterfly in a collection of some ill mind.

"Wait.. fine.." He bit back a sigh of relief as the spikes stopped moving, struggling to keep his breathing calm enough to be able to talk somewhat properly. He found that a blade, or whatever it was pressed against his eye, could be incredibly distracting. "Could you..remove it.. please?"

The pressure increased, sending a pang of dull pain through the entire right side of his head. "I'm waiting."

Lorin wet his lips again, finding it harder with each passing second to keep his breathing regular. "I really don't know how to explain where I took those papers from. I swear, I.. I remember the way, but--"

"The name of the person you took it from," the man cut, demanding.

Lorin's hopes got extinguished by one swift blow. "...I don't know."

"Then what exactly," the man's hand gently pushed his shoulder, making the spikes bore into his skin again, "do you think you're offering me?"

"There's more of them!" Lorin wished he could take the words back, blurting them without a second thought. What are you doing? You know you took it all. He swallowed again, trying to buy time, suddenly glad his eyes were closed and hence unreadable.

The blade against his eye pulled away a bit. "Very well. If you can take me to that place, you will live until we reach it, and I shall think of how this little journey will affect your punishment for trying to steal from my family."

It was hard to tell which exact word he stressed in that sentence, but they all kept ringing in Lorin's mind. That offer was hardly even a choice. If he's ready to kill me for breaking into his house, he couldn't help thinking, what will he do if he realizes I'm dragging him across the sea and land without the slightest idea if what we're chasing even exists? He turned his hand around, feeling the iron cuffs slowly digging their way into his wrists.

"We have a deal," he said then, silently. "I can take you there. I will take you there." He bit his tongue as his voice shook, struggling to recover his mind from the sticky substance it turned into. He knew how to read people better than that - he was supposed to be able to find the right words to change the game - yet it seemed all the knowledge and experience he had about the matter somehow managed to flee from his head.

For as long as he remembered, because he had no choice, he'd been learning about the people's desires, their thoughts and true faces. The streets, he believed, were the best schools one could imagine when it came to that; up until now, he had never thought that dungeons might be even better.

***


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Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:30 am
EloquentDragon wrote a review...



Nitpicks on phrasing and details and such below.

Spoiler! :
Lorin


Briefly pausing here to ask you why you’ve chosen “Lorin” as this guy’s name. There’s nothing wrong with it per say, but remember that names are largely psychological—what you chose to name your character will send subtle, subliminal messages to your reading. Since Lauren is a girl’s name, and since “Lorin” contains soft-sounding l and n, the reader might take your protagonist to be feminine and, let’s face it, a bit of a wimp. Which might not be what you’re going for.

weighting him down,


“Weighing,” not “weighting.”

making it hard to move and harder to breathe, as he tried to stretch his arms.

The conjunction of the phrase after the comma doesn’t fit in this sentence. Try: “...making it hard to breathe and harder to move. He tried to stretch out his arms.”
He could feel the metal around his wrists; chains were cold against his skin, too heavy for him to move and too thick to break, keeping his arms up and his hands around the level of his forehead.


The action is a little awkward in this section here. I often find that using verbs gives a clearer image than just drily describing what something looks like or how something is situated.

Example:
“He could feel the chains around his wrists, the metal cold against his skin…” (re-ordered those words there.) “too heavy… to break.” (eliminate this here, I would suggest. Doesn’t make much sense and is a bit awkward. Normally, people can’t break chains to begin with. Remember, only add details that are necessary.) “keeping his arms suspended over his head, his hands above his forehead.” (there’s where I added the verb. Like I said, simple details like that can keep things easier to read, clarify things, for the reader.)

as his eyes got used to the absence of light


“Got” is a banned word. Don’t use it. There are verbs out there, handy nice verbs just waiting to be used!

“…as his eyes adjusted/grew accustomed/became familiar to the absence of light.”

tickling presence which might have been both a drop of blood or an insect - regardless the fact it'd mean he was hurt, and in combination with knowing he couldn't move to brush it away, he was hoping for the former.


This is a very literal “huh” moment right here. And “tickling presence,” eh?
Suggested revision:

“He felt something trickling down his temple (or, the side of his face). It was either blood or an insect. And if it was the former that would mean he was hurt. So regardless of the fact that he could not move to brush it away, he hoped it was the latter.”

Something moved across the room, and he squinted in that direction. Vaguely, he could see a man behind bars, surely at least fifty years older than himself,


1. “Something moved in the corner of the room. He squinted to make out what it was.”

2. Scratch the “surely.”

sounding like steps on old wooden floor,


“it sounded like the creaks in an old wooden floor.”

for a moment again as he felt dizzy.


“Again” is in the wrong place. “…for a moment as he again felt dizzy.”

At least he was sure now that it wasn't an insect - but on the other hand, he was now faced with a hole in place where his memory should be, void of plausible explanation of what he was even doing there.


Another “huh” section. Try: “So that was blood on the side of his face. But when he tried to recall what had happened, he was faced with a gaping hole where his memory should have been. His brain void of any plausible explanation of what he could have even possibly been doing there.”

"No.." Talking seemed strange, his voice sounding almost fearful from thinking of that possibility. his voice almost betraying his fear of that possibility. Perhaps my brain is so used to the way I talk, that I don't even realise that I'm not making a sound anymore. (What? This makes no sense. Not to mention that it’s not something people think about, usually. He swallowed, wondering if that simple action would have been possible if he was missing his tongue.


The man waved his hand around


What’s “around?” Maybe “waved his hand at him.”

He wasn't chained to a wall - the bars seemed to be enough protection or barrier for him, apparently, or the architects of the place thought the guards of the prisoners could move more easily if one side of the room was covered in chains instead of cages.

Huh? What were you trying to say here? Usually a cage suffices for containing a prisoner. (Especially an old one.) And the whole “half chain-filled room” thing isn’t very clever, and I got lost before hitting the next line of dialogue.

I’ve noticed that you tend to state the obvious a lot. My question would be why? Write naturally. Don’t force yourself to be technical. Yes, it is a scary prospect if you are missing your tongue. Yes your voice sounds weird when you haven’t talked in a while. Unless you can present such ordinary details to the reader in a new perspective, don’t mention them at all.
as images flashed through his head.


Now here is the opposite problem. It’s too vague. Images of what, exactly? It hangs there, oddly, unless you provide further explanation here.

The figure in the dark, sharply drawn silhouette against the open window and the sky outside.


“A sharply drawn silhouette against the sky outside the open window.”

Eyes glowing behind a mask with silver marks,

What? Describe these marks. Are they angular? In a pattern? What?

and a sharp blow from somewhere in the shadows deleting everything..

Just going to point out here that people don’t generally remember the exact moment when the lose consciousness. Also, how is a sharp blow in the shadows? And “deleting everything?” Like, the whole world? Or just his thoughts?

He winced, recalling what happened, remembering what preceded those blurred images.


Redundancy here. Just cut most of this. “He winced as he remembered what had preceded those blurred images.”

The deal he made, job he agreed to do, and whom those masks belonged to...

This sounds a bit to modern for the mood you’ve tried to set up here. And it’s “to whom.”

Try: ”The agreement he had made, that which he had agreed to do, and who were behind those masks…”

Also, watch your ellipses, you often use only two “..” as opposed to the correct number, which is three.

equally heavy and clanging against the stone,


Which means they are equal in weight and clanging? Huh? Cut the unnecessary adverb here.

Another voice, coming from somewhere on the right, a bit further down what Lorin thought was a relatively small chamber.


Why would he think it’s a chamber if it [i]is[/] a chamber?
“Another voice came from a small chamber to his right.”

Now, though still as nothing but contours in the darkness, he could see it had to be more of a narrow hallway filled with cages and chains, leading somewhere into deeper darkness.


Eesh. Try reading this out loud. It just doesn’t work.

Revision:

Although he could still only see rough contours in the darkness, he determined that the narrow hall was filled with more chains and cells, leading indeterminably into deeper darkness. Featureless figures stared at him through the bars of their cells, their whispers cutting through the silence. The sharp songs of iron and stone echoed through the prison. Lorin was sure the voice belonged to a female, and from the direction where it had come from, he saw that the speaker was gripping the bars of the cage next to the old man's. It was impossible to tell by the shape of her clothes, but he had a feeling that she still possessed the distinctive attributes of her gender if one were to dress her in something more ladylike.


"This ain't your Palace of Justice,"


“The,” not “your.” I realize that was intentional, but it just doesn’t work.

that thrice damned house was supposed to be empty...


He was speaking quite contemporarily there for a while, so now why is he using Shakespearean curses? It’s cheesy. Either change all of his inner voice so that it is consistent, or pick expressions that match his voice.

"Iono what you did, boy, to think you should be there, but let me tell ya - if you were in the Palace of Justice, you wouldn't be able to use that lovely voice of yours right now. They cut your tongue off, and all ya can do is scream as they slowly relieve you of the weight of your limbs."


Another inconsistent voice. She wouldn’t say “ya” and “ain’t” and then say “as they slowly relieve.” She’s trying to torture him here, make her description more gruesome. “As they slowly rip ya’ limb from limb.” Also, it’s “cut your tongue out,” not “off.” Also also, “Iono” I read as his name. Try “I da no” or something.

He was pretty sure that she grinned, but too busy with trying to calm the sudden riot of his stomach to be able to think of an answer.


Again, modern expressions here. “Pretty” and “too busy.”

“He was certain that she was grinning, but was too preoccupied with calming the sudden riot in his stomach to think of a fitting reply.”

BTW, what exactly way he “answering” to? Dialogue needs to flow naturally and effortlessly, none of it should sound forced.

...next words got cut by sharp clang of metal against metal, followed by a voice sounding almost the same. "Silence, Forty-Eight!"


The “got” again. And you seem to be beating the poor dead horse of “metallic” imagery to death here. You tend to confuse your tenses. “Sounding” might work, but it’s awkward and not really correct. “A voice that sounded,” not “a voice sounding.” You need to make them work with adjectives, not as verbs. Although I would suggest trying to get rid of them completely, as the weaken the impact of the diction.

echo turning the sound into a roar


Ah! Here it is again! “The echo causing it to roar in the stone corridor.” (Take out “sound” completely.”

"You might find more of your things getting bloody if you don't shut up."


“Things?” What? This guy doesn’t sound authoritative and refined when he says this--- he sounds hashed and distinctly non-threatening.

making Lorin's heart jump and stick in his throat.


Well, granted he did get knocked upside the head, but why is he jumping at every little sound? Stating that a character is terrified doesn’t actually make us think that there is something we should be afraid of… it makes your character seem weak.

He heard a key turning in a lock and saw the tall figure walk in as the door opened for him. He got up, leaning against the wall behind him, unpleasantly aware of his legs shaking as that man walked closer to him.


Agh. Indirect action again. Remember what I said about using verbs. Also, how could they hear him through the door? And why is Lorin’s legs shaking when the dude hasn’t done anything yet? (Maybe he’s afraid of losing his tongue? In that case you need to set that up more… make it more direct and seemingly possible.)

“He heard a key turn in the lock and the door to the prison opened. Lorin pulled himself to his feet, leaning against the wall behind him. He was keenly aware of the uncontrollable shaking in his legs as the man stepped across the threshold, walking closer to him.”

along with the freedom you were stupid enough to lose."


Yeah, this guy sounds pretty stupid right here for throwing out hashed expressions like this. (“Ha ha ha, little man! You will learn to fear the name of Lord Doom!”)

The man made a move,

A dance move? Things fall flat here. What kind of move? Maybe “snapped his fingers” or something.

Every glimpse of hope Lorin had that he might just keep walking, now seemed to have gotten shrouded in his long shadow.


“Got” again. And not “glimpse.” That’s something you see. “Hope” is generally an invisible noun.
“Any last shred of hope Lorin had that he would ignore him entirely and keep walking disappeared, vanishing as quickly as the light under the shadow of the man’s long, dark shroud.

"I'm dying of desire to get one of those, and I'm asking you because I have no other way of getting what I want."


Try the local mercantile, I would suggest. Bags are pretty easy to come by in any standard town.

That aside, I am “dying of desire” for this guy to stop trying to sound like a Disney version of Voldemort.

As prepared as anyone could be in such situation, he'd been expecting threats and short, dark remarks about what they'll do to them, orders or just silence and pain - not sarcasm spilling from every word of a stranger barely a few years older than himself. "So then.. the... the content of it?"


Uh, yes… what is the “content” here?

Revised:

“He had tried to prepare himself for this situation,” (although he hadn’t, may I just say) “and had been expecting threats, grim facts of what would be done to him, shouting or worse, silence and pain. But not this. Sarcasm spilling from every word of a stranger barely older than himself.
“What were… what were its contents?” he asked.


"Such wonder you got caught with that intellect."


No, Lorin’s the intellectual one here. This isn’t sarcastic or clever… its just… flat… and nonsensical.

He was caught stealing masks from the house of one of the families closest to the Palace


Tense check! “He had been caught stealing masks from one of the houses closest to the palace.”

- and judging on the way he was dressed and the tone of his words, even though he was speaking in a way understandable to Lorin's ears, there wasn't anything else he could be –


And judging by the run-on sentence here, it is clear that punctuation aids you little in this case. “–and by the way he spoke and dressed he most certainly was-”

though shaded by it,


Shaded by what? The mask? That’s what I inferred, but sentence structure leaves that relative. How about “shaded by its brow piece” or something.

at the guard that yelled at the woman before.


That “had yelled.”

Also, why is he running a top-secret interrogation in front of all the other prisoners? Makes very little sense to me.

turn away and leave again, leaving him in the darkness to die of food and water deprivation


“Leave” and “leaving.” This should be changed. Also, it wouldn’t be “again” since he never left for a fist time. “expected him to turn and walk away, leaving him to waste away in the darkness.”

like tens of spikey… (to) about bargaining.”


Major edits needed here:

like dozens of bony fingers driving into his spine, begging for his attention. (although I really don’t get the finger metaphor here) >He arched his back to< avoid them, but they followed him, pressing even harder once he ran out of chain. He tried to tug away from the wall, but to no avail. Turning his head, he saw thin, cruel spikes creeping from the wall. Their tips threatened to pierce through Lorin's body like a needle through fabric. He closed his eyes, trying to shut out the reality of what was happening. So much for< bargaining.


Turning back to the man, his heart skipped a beat, as he felt something sharp pressing against his eyelid.


“Turning back to the man…” meaning his eyes are opened. And why “turn back” to his tormentor to start with? Why is his heart skipping beats again? And “something” sharp against his “eyelid” isn’t actually all that threatening. For all I know it could be a stalk of grass, or something.

If he moved as much as inch ahead, even if he kept his eyes closed, he had a feeling he'd in the best case lose sight on that eye - if he stayed in place, however, the spikes from the wall would pin him to it like a bizarre butterfly in a collection of some ill mind.


Revised:

“He knew if he moved even an inch ahead he would lose his eye. But if he stayed in place he would be impaled by the stakes behind him, like a bug pinned to a board.”

"Wait.. fine.."


Wait fine what? What information is the man actually trying to get out of him. And why not “Wait!
Fine, I’ll talk.”

"Could you..remove it.. please?"


“Remove it?” how about “Please, take… it away.”

buy time, suddenly glad his eyes were closed and hence unreadable.


Yeah, but I’m not really glad, since we can’t see anything. What if he keeps one eye open? I personally wouldn’t dare shut my eyes in a situation like that. (Never know what they’re going to do, you know?)

For as long as he remembered, because he had no choice, he'd been learning about the people's desires, their thoughts and true faces. The streets, he believed, were the best schools one could imagine when it came to that; up until now, he had never thought that dungeons might be even better.


This makes no sense. The streets are good teachers when it comes to lying, cheating, stealing, and surviving. Not “reading” people. And he hasn’t “read” anyone—he’s hung there helplessly and compliantly this whole time!


So overall, this shows a lot of promise. I don’t know why the old man character or the woman character was suddenly dropped. If you’re not going to use them, don’t bother giving them such hefty intros. I think this is also only about half the chapter? It didn’t seem to end in the right place.

You need to have more verbs in your descriptions. Right now everything is sort of static and flat. You’re telling and not showing.

I also felt that the torture scene moved too fast. He needs to resist, and the lord dude needs to draw things out. You need to build suspense, and that comes through pacing. Slow revelation of details, spacing out the dialogue. Suspense is key.

But this looked interesting. I’m sort of wondering why all this happens in chapter two, but you seem to have your characters and their goals pretty fleshed out.

Hope all that helped.
~ED




AriaAdams says...


Hello~
Thank you for the review, and especially for digging into details, I really appreciate that.

About his name, frankly, it was just a name when I picked it, but I like the message it seems to be sending. (Actually, he won't too often be called by it, except for by the narrator, but that doesn't matter now.)
What I'm curious about is, why do you think I accidentally made him seem weak and scared and all that, like with that jumping on every sound that you pointed out? Not all characters must be brave and/or strong, not even the main ones, do they? ;)

Same goes for the lord guy, really - you might not believe me, but Disney version of Voldemort is pretty much the best possible way to describe him right now. Both his and Lorin's actions and words are a part of their characterisation, which, of course, I neither could nor wanted to show entirely in one or two chapters.

If it comforts you, they will both realise some things soon enough, and you might grow to even like the way they're acting - or at least understand why they're the way they are now :3

Speaking of which, if you ever read the first part, and the parts which will follow, you might find that some of the things which now make less sense are there on purpose c: Like the fat torture scene. It wasn't even what I call a torture scene, really.. but it will get to that later as well.

Before I end this reply (which really is turning longer than I expected), I don't have a tendency of using characters and then just dropping them - though it might take a while for them to find their way back into the story.

I think that's all xD Once more, thank you very much, I'd appreciate it if you did this at some point again. And if you need anything reviewed, at any time, feel free to let me know :D





Well yes, I did notice that Lorin's "weak" character was intentional later on, I must have forgotten that I had those comments earlier and didn't go back and change them. Sorry about that. X_x

However, that being said, characterization isn't something that should be "intentional" to start with. It should flow naturally from your understanding of the character. Simply SAYING that he's cowardly and weak isn't going to cut it... you need to show us that, though slow revelation of details, through the tiny, little, gritty things. Right now, both characters mentioned ^^^ are way over the top. It's melodramatic, and makes them seem shallow as opposed to giving them a depth of character. I don't mean to sound harsh, but it is one thing I noticed.
One thing you can do is to NOT define a character by their one, dominant trait. Yes, Lorin is a coward. But what else is he? Try and bury things (meaning, the exposition of character) in their actions and speech mannerisms. Go for the subtle, not the overt. Readers are actually quite perceptive. They'll pick up on stuff even when you don't mention it directly in the text. (Well, they're perceptive most of the time, I should say. ;)

I would be interested in reading more of this though. PM me after review day and I'll look it over. I might not be able to be as detailed as this review here, but I would be happy to help.

~ED

P.s., I still think you should make the torture scene more of a torture scene. ;)



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Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:58 am
anabelsinclair wrote a review...



Good read.
I honestly couldn't find much to nitpick about this. Very interesting dialogue between protagonist and the other characters, it took me another read to appreciate the sarcasm...

The only thing I noted was the long sentences. It's easy to lose the train of thought, especially in first person pov, when the sentence is rather long. For example:

Something was slowly creeping down his temple, a tickling presence which might have been both a drop of blood or an insect - regardless the fact it'd mean he was hurt, and in combination with knowing he couldn't move to brush it away, he was hoping for the former.




AriaAdams says...


Thank you~
I'll consider changing my sentences in the later chapters ^^




That there's some good in this world, Mr Frodo - and it's worth fighting for.
— Samwise Gamgee