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  1. Dalven

    Dalven New Member

    Jul 7, 2013
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    New writer here, probably need more help than I think.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dalven, Jul 7, 2013.

    Hey guys. I'm a new writer (If I can be called that yet) and I'm having a pacing issue. I'm trying to write a short story about human kingdom that has taken over all except one of it's surrounding kingdoms. My main character is a smuggler from the last free kingdom who gets a lead on someone from the capital who sympathizes with her cause. She is supposed to wait for a signal to meet with him, and decides to wait in an abandoned village a ways off from the capital walls. This village however, has become somewhat of a symbol for both cities. It was put to the sword by the capital years ago for secretly helping the rebels get supplies. The soldiers from the capital don't like to talk about it, because they fear that the ghost of the Lady of the village still haunts it and wants revenge for what they did to her, and at the same time, the people of the last free kingdom kind of see her as a saint. My issue is with pacing and backstory. I like where my narrative is now, but I feel that if I don't add the backstory now, when I do, it'll be too late and the reader will think "Where did all THIS come from?". I like how I've kept it personal and small, so my fear is that I'll lose the closeness and the pace when I stop the action and pan out to give a history lesson. Yet the history is pretty important to this story. I stopped where I began to try to tell some of the backstory because I feel like that's where I put the brakes on the whole thing.

    So I come to you as a miner who's just picked at this shiny rock, but don't know how to go about digging it out without shattering it. Anything you can give me will be helpful. I know It's not much to go on, but I hope the premise at least entertains. Here goes.

    Also, before you roll your eyes, I know Widow's Wail is a total rip off A song of Ice and Fire, but I'm currently on book four and I cant seem to get it out of my head. I'll will definitely change it to something better later on.


    There was no moon. Fog and darkness weighed down on the village of Cinderly. It stilled the air and made the place seem frozen in time, forever locked in the last night of its inhabitance. The doors were all open, fruit carts lay empty and overturned in the street corners, and the cobblestone streets that linked it all together were wet with the early morning dew. Most of the windows were broken, and the ones that remained were covered in a light melting frost that gave them the appearance of weeping.
    The manor house at the southern end of the village was one of the only houses left intact and furnished. The lord and lady's bedroom on the second floor remained as lavish as it looked on the last night the giant four poster bed, which dominated the whole right side of the room was slept in. On the opposite wall, a wardrobe and mirror framed a large hearth lined with ornaments and figurines. Gifts they had received from the villagers over the years. All of them now covered in a dust that seemed to weigh them down to the mantle. The smiling faces on them were twisted by the dust and darkness to where they now looked mournful. The window at the end of the room sat open, allowing the cold air into the bedroom and chilling the bones of the woman waiting by it. She sat by the window in a guest chair, its red embroidery graying from years of abandon. The cold air forced her to wrap her cloak tightly around her, and and she kept her hood down.
    Her thoughts were in two places at all times. One half kept reminding her of the eeriness of where she sat. It kept her fully on alert. Always reminding her that at any moment, she could feel a hand on her shoulder. The hand of Lady Yane, who was killed over the very bed to her right six years ago. She would turn around and the Lady would be looking down at her with tears in her eyes. Her robes heavy with all the blood she lost that night. Then she would open her mouth and scream the Widow’s Wail. The one she screamed that night after the soldiers broke down her door and thrust her Lord husband’s head into her arms. The one she screamed after they drove their swords through her belly as she looked through into her lovers dead eyes. The one that woke the capital, and is still spoken of today.
    The other half tried for naught to make her forget that and keep herself focused on the reason she was here. She had to keep watch out the window if she didn’t want to miss the signal. From here, she could see the northern facing wall of the capital quite well. And at its base, she could make out the sewage drain that was her target. Sometime tonight, when the sewer spit out a lit torch aside from its usual waste, she would know it was time to move. That’s when she would meet there with the nameless man she was told would come with the supplies.
    Her eyes strayed upward to a small ember that was dancing in the sky. Beneath it, she could see the silhouette of a guard making his rounds along the top of the capital walls. Even from here she could see his dark hair, and the thick cloak that covered him from the neck down. His armor glistened in the torch that he held out far before him as he walked slowly, stopping now and then to peer over the edge. A few dozen yards ahead on his path, there was a lit brazier where three other soldiers sat talking and resting their legs. Every now and then, one would laugh or cough loud enough that she would hear him here. They would be the only sounds in the otherwise silent night.
    None of them ever looked in the direction of the village, as she expected. The Widow’s Wail was now more of a tale used by people in the capital to scare their children into behaving, but the soldier’s knew It all to differently. None of the men who heard it first hand were alive today. Of the six who came into Lady Yane’s bedchamber that night, one was found hanging in his home, another went missing, and the other four simply walked off the capital walls one night. The ones who weren’t found broken beyond recognition still had their eyes open, the fear in them still plain in the early morning sun.
    Lady Yane and her husband, Lord Barthus Morely were very much loved by the people of the region
  2. T.Trian

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Mar 12, 2013
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    Mushroom Land
    The forum rules say:
    "Posting in the Writing Workshop requires 2 or more constructive critiques of other members' work for each new posted work.
    You must be registered for at least 14 days and have made 20 posts before you can create a thread in our workshops."

    Seeing as you have just 1 post, you need to do some crits and post some more before you can enter your own work for others to critique (and it should be posted in the Writing Workshop instead of here). In any case, welcome to the forums (you could consider posting an introduction of yourself in New Member Introductions).

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