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Sariah

by SeraphTree


I'm not exactly sure what kind of genre this is. I took it from the Book of Mormon, so... religous fiction....? I thougth that it would be an interesting little story. Anyway, sorry for the cut off. *^^ I'm not sure what I want to put next, or rather, how to say it.

“What did you catch today Kish?”

“Ah, just a Nephite trying to cause trouble.” Sariah glanced at his raised arm. There was a bow, a bundle of sharp arrows, a sling, a couple of spears and a sword. He was obviously up to something.

“What were you doing, substituting for your ten thousand?”

Kish laughed at her comment, his grip slackening dramatically. Sariah was surprised that the Nephite didn’t run at the chance.

“He calls himself Ammon. He’s from Zarahemla.”

Sariah gazed at the young man before her, not bothering to hide her disgust. His perfectly light skin, hair falling plain and black around his face. He didn’t seem much of a threat, she thought smugly. Sariah turned and stretched, knowing that it would catch both of their eye. She turned to see Kish have a playful smile on his face, and the Nephite looking across the valley. Sariah frowned at him, wondering why she hadn’t caught his eye. Kish cleared his throat uncomfortably.

“I’ll see you later.”

She watched them go, the Nephite’s drab clothes contrasting sharply with Kish’s colorful garb. I wonder how he will die, she mused. She herded the sheep to the protected side of the mountain, away from the waters of Sebus. The last batch of servants had been slain because the flocks had been scattered and stolen. She was not about to let that happen to her.

*****

Sariah crouched next to the tent flap, listening to King Lamoni. He had asked if Ammon wanted to live with his people, the Lamanites. Sariah held her breath, forcing her thoughts away from the busy street to the silence in the tent. What would he say? How would he die? She wrinkled her nose and shook her head. Sometimes her morbid fascination was too much for her to handle. It was partly because Lamoni had a new torture method for each Nephite, and there was that calm, cool, completely confident Nephite standing in front of him. I bet he doesn’t even have a kitten’s scratch on his back, she thought savagely.

“I desire to dwell among your people for a time. Perhaps until the day I die.”

Sariah pushed the tent flap open a little more, sharing Lamoni’s astonishment. He wanted to live there? In their jewel of a valley, with the crystalline water flowing from the springs on the mountain?


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Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:25 am
sworddance says...



ROFL I'm DANCY now??? Ok, 'sword' was fine, heck, I'll take 'dance', but DANCY???

Seraph, I know where you live...

On topic, however- when do we get the next part? Or are you holding out on us for that? :evil:




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Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:58 am
SeraphTree says...



Thanks for the advice you guys- OO"
Um, okay dancy. I'll hop to it and revise it as soon as possible. Thanks every body :D




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Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:08 am
Sam wrote a review...



Hey, SeraphTree!

Ooh, cool piece- things taken from relgious books are always interesting, because there's a million different ways you could interpret some of these things. Especially the Book of Mormon- that's an interesting topic even without a re-write.

But, since it is a re-write, there are a few things you should keep in mind, just to make sure it's fresh and interesting:

- Start with a bang. Most people start with an info-dump- and you did the opposite. You told us too little!

I wish I could say, "Oh, just play around with it. You can't go overboard," but sadly, that's not the truth. :wink: Play around with the beginning and have someone else look over it- I'd be happy to do that. You want to make sure it's interesting for the reader, though, and not a huge description of the character's lineage (most religious texts do this, and it's uber-boring).

Some ideas? Describe setting, or even the weather. Setting is a good thing to get out of the way first because it fills in what I like to call the 'greenscreen effect'- or just a blank backdrop that a lot of writers leave gaping.

- Make sure you've got interesting characters. That's a huge thing that I don't like about relgious characters- they're all Mary Sues! (That is, they're perfect in every way, shape, and form, or highly clichèd. Well, not perhaps highly clichèd, but the source of the clichè itself...) That's the thing about remakes- you're allowed to take creative liberties. And if you don't feel comfortable with it for religious reasons, simply don't write the story.

- This is kind of a personal preference, but try to use a clear, modern voice. Mostly, what's offputting to readers in relgious or historical texts is its stuffiness- there are some things that writers of old just wouldn't go into. Desribe their hair, speech, walk, eyes- anything that's interesting. Don't feel you have to limit yourself simply because the text you're taking it from did. It all goes back to the creative liberties thing.

___

Again, very cool story, SeraphTree! Feel free to PM me if you've got any questions or want me to take a look at something else. :D




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Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:26 pm
sworddance wrote a review...



Heyla hun :D I didn't realize you'd posted a story! >.< and why haven't I read this one already? :evil:
anyway- you first shall get my infamous pick-aparts.


" “What did you catch today Kish?” "
--> today, Kish [use comma]


"“Ah, just a Nephite trying to cause trouble.” Sariah glanced at his raised arm."
--> new paragraph at "Sariah"; it isn't her saying it, it's him.


"There was a bow, a bundle of sharp arrows, a sling, a couple of spears and a sword."
--> is that all on his arm? Dang, he's strong! >.> or is it next to him...? clarify please :D


"his grip slackening dramatically."
--> 'dramatically' is a bit o'er done. If his grip slackened that dramatically he'd have let go completely. I suggest saying he laughed at her comment, 'slackening his grip as he did so' or something like that. At least cut that adjective.
--> Then again, saying it that way makes it sound deliberate, so I'd suggest 'unconsciously slackening his grip as he did so.'


"Sariah was surprised that the Nephite didn’t run at the chance."
--> bit of a jump, and slackening his grip is a subtle thing, unless you're saying he did it intentionally, so you might say 'Noticing this, Sariah..." etc.
--> an' a new paragraph at the beginning of that sentence is in order.


" Sariah gazed at the young man before her, not bothering to hide her disgust. His perfectly light skin, hair falling plain and black around his face. He didn’t seem much of a threat, she thought smugly. Sariah turned and stretched, knowing that it would catch both of their eye. She turned to see Kish have a playful smile on his face, and the Nephite looking across the valley. Sariah frowned at him, wondering why she hadn’t caught his eye. Kish cleared his throat uncomfortably."
--> the sequence is a bit muddled here. I'll take it apart bit by bit, I think, but the problem encompasses all of that...


"His perfectly light skin, hair falling plain and black around his face."
--> sentence fragment >.< attach it to the next one somehow, make it whole. such as...
--> "Perfectly light skin, hair falling plain and black around his face- he didn't seem like much of a..." and etc. And you'd need a new paragraph for that.

"she thought smugly."
-->smugly usually implies superiority in an 'I-told-you-so' kinda way- for example, like she was right about something that someone had said she was wrong about. You need a different adjective, since we see no reason for her to be smug.

"Sariah turned and stretched, knowing that it would catch both of their eye."
-->eyes
--> stretching catches their eyes? You're going for a seductive sense here, hun. Don't be afraid to be more forward about it- although I'd be careful, because if you have her trying to drag their attention to her shape, you have her come across as slutty, which you may or may not want. Anyway, you need to be more forward, because when I think of stretching, I picture a bunch of football players sitting in the grass going "Are you ready?" "Ready to go!" "One, two, three, four, five..."
-->so yeah. "stretched leisurely" should do the trick, or help it at least.

"She turned to see Kish have a playful smile on his face, and the Nephite looking across the valley."
--> still unclear. And she does a lot of pointless turning- this doesn't feel connected to the stretch. Nor does the Nephite looking over the valley seem at all significant, yet you want it to be.
--> the 'Kish have' segment is a bit awkward.
--> To solve both those, try this maybe: "She glanced behind herself under lowered lashes, rewarded by the playful smile on Kish's face, but the Nephite was looking across the valley, apparently oblivious to her presence."

"Sariah frowned at him, wondering why she hadn’t caught his eye. Kish cleared his throat uncomfortably."
--> caught his eye is repetitive from above.
--> unclear as to why Kish is suddenly uncomfortable. He was just smiling playfully. Maybe he's hiding a grin at the fact that the Nephite doesn't care? If so, tell us that.

--> ok, so, the bigger problem with that segment is this- the motives and emotion switches don't make much sense. First she was disgusted with him, then she was trying to catch his eye, flirting, almost, then she was frowning, a serious sort of matter, then in the next paragraph she wonders how he will die. What do each of these have to do with each other? Why does she go from one to the other?


"I wonder how he will die, she mused. She herded the sheep to the protected side of the mountain, away from the waters of Sebus."
--> new paragraph when she starts a thought.
--> combine these two sentences- "...she mused, herding the sheep..."


"He had asked if Ammon wanted to live with his people, the Lamanites."
--> wth did he ask this for? Bizarre question, if he's going to torture him. Is he merely mocking the guy, or is it his custom to give captives a chance? or is it led from earlier speech?

"What would he say? How would he die?"
--> see how this doesn't seem to correlate from the above? If the king was giving him a chance, then he shows mercy, yet you have this whole attitude of the king's torturing and the inevitable and extremely brutal death and OMG my foot is asleep and it's taken my whole leg with it *makes odd faces while adjusting and typing at the same time*
...give me a break, it's 6 AM.


"It was partly because Lamoni had a new torture method for each Nephite"
--> What was partly because? I was lost on this statement. Her curiosity...? or the question...?

" and there was that calm, cool, completely confident Nephite standing in front of him."
-->again, muddled connection between the parts of that sentence.

"I bet he doesn’t even have a kitten’s scratch on his back, she thought savagely."
-->still muddled connection. Who doesn't have a kitten's scratch? I assume the captive, but from the phrasing it could be either. So how is this connected to him standing calm and cool?
--> and why is she suddenly savage?


" “I desire to dwell among your people for a time. Perhaps until the day I die.”"
--> he asked if he did, so there should be an indication that he is answering as such. "I do desire" instead of just 'desire' would do it.


"He wanted to live there? In their jewel of a valley, with the crystalline water flowing from the springs on the mountain?"
--> Here, not there.
--> now, this is odd. She is shocked- this is with disbelief that she thinks this. Yet at the same time, she's thinking in compliments toward the city, which sounds like she can't believe he would want to live in such a beautiful place, like the beauty of it should deter him... which is downright odd.



...yeah. You've never received one of my combing through pick-apart things, have you? *winces* they're annoying beyond belief, I'm sure, but hopefully they help.
Anyway, overall the issue is clarity in motive and emotion. Sometimes when that's unclear, the character is a lot less relatable- not inflatable, which is what my spell-check thinks I mean. :roll:
/shoo begone, pest!
Anyway, less relatable because they seem somewhat bi-polar. Now, yours aren't that far out that they're bi-polar, but that needs a bit of tweaking.

Other than that, it was well-written, good conventions-wise, etc. And a good subject for you to tackle ^.^ I was wondering if you'd go in that direction at all. There are lots of stories in the Bible and Book of Mormon and all that, and they make for strong pieces when used well- even when used as a metaphoric base or just as a reference. And you know them- some of us... don't. can't. won't. *shudders* purity... *hides under the desk*
*when no one's watching...* It burns us, precious, it burns us!!

...*cough.* Moving on. 'Tis kinda cool, because I recognized the story, or at least, the basis of it, based on what I know of the Book. So that was interesting. Oh, that reminds me- I was unclear a bit about the whole torturing/killing/taking prisoner thing, because it paints the king in a very negative light. See, I recall the names, and the situation is setting off a little ringing bell, but I can't remember who was the protagonist and who the antagonist, if you'll forgive my reducing it to storybook terms. PM me and clarify for me? It's nothing to do with the story, no problem with your post, just with my memory. rofl of course, you could just call me and tell me too. :roll: whatev works for you.

sooo..... waiting to see what happens next, extremely curious, partly because her memory fails her but mostly because she wants to see how Seraph develops the story...

...
>.>
...
<.<
....ta!




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Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:15 pm
SishBee wrote a review...



Wow! That is really good! please could you write some more, if you're stuck for ideas, perhaps you could do someting from Ammon's point of view so that we can understand the character better. Just a suggestion!

Keep writing I'll keep critting!

~SishBee~
x





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