Feed back on a story I'm writing?
I'm writing a story about a young girl who gets seperated from her tribe, the scene takes place thousands of years ago. I'm thinking about turning it into a graphic novel, but I'm not sure. In this scene, the main character Keihya has just killed a young species of deer and is curing the meat.
Bending willow and stretching greenwood out, she constructed a frame that stood like a tripod. Keihya took out a different thick knife and skinned the animal very quickly. Throwing the skin over the frame, a small tent was erected over the flames, protecting it from the winds
She was thankful for the small shelter she had come across, up further from the boulder she had seen a small hint of a cave, which save for a few spiders was thankfully unoccupied.
She sliced through sinew and fat, separating accordingly. Sinew could be used to make new boots, hers were wearing thin. She glanced up at her hide, which was steaming evenly. The hut continued to gather smoke. Keihya sliced the remaining good meat into thin, even strips and lay them within the hut frame to smoke them.
She then pulled out a small blackened metalic bowl, she had used this since she had learnt to make fire. Filling it with snow, she placed it in the flames and watched it boil into water. Cutting off the animals hooves and gathering the cartilage, she threw it into her cauldron and watched the mixture begin to simmer.
She stopped instantly and whipped around, she had caught wind of a strong musky stink, much like wet dog and blood. A soft crushing of snow behind her confirmed her fears and she left to her feet. A lone wolf, grey and grizzled. A female, with two pups hanging back in the shadows. The moon was thankfully out and full.
Without warning, the mother sprung and snarled, Keihya reacted and spun left, but in a second the mother was upon her back. Teeth sank down into the back of her neck and she screamed. Grabbing her life blade from her rabbit mitt, she cried out “Omnia!!!!” and plunged the knife into the eye of the beast. She howled with anger and reared back, but only for a second. In that second, Keihya grabbed her sling. The wolf was on her again, but this time she lifted her sling to catch the mothers mouth. She thrashed about and Keihya kicked her as hard as she could in the stomach. She felt the hot blood running down her neck, felt her ear, gone, her head was spinning.
Grabbing her knife, she flung herself upon the wolf and plunged her knife deeply into her side, whimpering, she lifted and stabbed again and again. Instead of draining the animal, she howled and foam gathered around her lips, teeth snapping at air but hoping for flesh. Using her knee against the wolf’s side, she kicked several times and landed on her back. Upon her again, the wolfs frothy jowls snapped inches in front of Keihya’s face. She screamed back at the animal and with a swift punch landed two blows on her snout. Snarling and growling, the wolf trotted back for a second, stunned. Wasting not a moment, Keihya leapt upon her side and plunged her tiny shunt into her side, warm steaming blood running down her mitts and forearm, matting the fur of her coat. She stabbed and stabbed, until no more life remained in the animal.
Muttering with her eyes closed, she tried to remember the proper ritual for killing an animal that tries to kill you. It was supposed to be done amongst an elder, but her Mikra had told her once. Muttering further inaudible murmers, she spred out some water on the fur, and immediately went to work on removing the animals skin. She could not eat it, as it was poison. She remembered the pups in the woods, and bowed her head and said a further prayer, for protection to her kin.
I want you to feel sorry for the mother, because the main character does as well. She's attacked because of young deer she just killed, the mother is looking for an easy meal. I'm glad you feel the characters fear and emotions.
- Lolita BLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
Reading your premise and the sample, I couldn't shake my immediate comparison with the Earth's Children series by Jean M Auel (the most well-known book being The Clan of the Cave Bear). It's very similar.
Auel meticulously researched all the books, including how Stone Age people cured furs and butchered animals, the flora and fauna in the setting at the time, etc. I assume your story is set in the Iron Age, as you mentioned a blackened metal bowl. Have you also done the requisite research?
I think your story would work really well as a graphic novel, as opposed to a normal novel which is sure to invite disadvantageous comparisons with Auel's work.
- 1 decade ago
First of all, I think you would have to cut out a lot of this description if it were a graphic novel. I’m not very familiar with graphic novels, but I was under the impression that the only written words in them were dialogue and the occasional one or two sentences of description, in which case you would have drawn pictures for most of this instead of written words. But since I have nothing better to do at 2:00 in the morning, I will just go through the whole written story and critique.
-“Bending willow and stretching greenwood out”--this should be clearer. I’m assuming that it is a branch from a willow tree somewhere, and that Keihya obtaining this branch happened in the preceding paragraph. Also, what is greenwood?
-“Keihya took out a different thick knife”--again, maybe this was in a preceding paragraph, but when was she using a knife? For the bending and stretching? If she used a knife for that, then say so.
-“skinned the animal very quickly”--Personally it annoys me when people use “very” too much. It’s too vague. It’s like saying that something is good.
-“a small tent was erected over the flames”--this is in passive voice, a classic mistake for writers. It’s better to stick with the active tone and say “she erected a small tent over the flames”
-“winds” should have a period at the end
-There should be a period, not a comma, in between “across” and “up”
-“was thankfully unoccupied”--you’ve already used the word “thankful” in this sentence. Just take out the “thankfully”
-“up further from the boulder”--this is unclear. Where is up from the boulder? Upstream, maybe? Or further away from the path?
-Also, I would say she had found a small cave instead of seen a small hint of a cave, because you then go on to say that there were a few spiders inside, which means that she did more than just see the cave, she actually went inside it
-The third paragraph isn’t really related to the second. If you’re going to just jump from topic to topic like that unresolved, I would have some kind of transition. Actually, what I would do is put the second paragraph somewhere else, maybe before the first paragraph, and then put the third paragraph directly after the first or join those two into one big paragraph.
-“Sinew could be used to make new boots”--this is what we call an infodump, and it’s something writers avoid. All you have to do is fiddle around with the wording a bit to make it less obvious: “she could use the sinew to make new boots; hers were wearing thin.” Also, that is another area where there should be a semicolon instead of a comma.
-“She glanced up at her hide”--this is confusing because it implies that she is looking at her own hide. Generally even if the animal is female people refer to it as an “it”--it’s less ambiguous that way.
-“The hut continued to gather smoke”--just the wording here. The tiny kindling tent isn’t a hut. When I first read this I thought you meant she had set someone’s hut on fire.
-You used the word “sliced” twice in this paragraph; just use a different word for one of them like “cut”
-“Keihya sliced the remaining good meat into thin, even strips”
-“and lay them”--it should be “laid.”
-Metallic has two l’s
-Comma between “small” and “blackened;” semicolon between “bowl” and “she.”
-Where did she pull the bowl out from? Sorry, does she have a bag now?
-“she had used this”--this is awkwardly phrased. Better to say “bowl, which she’d used since she first learned to make fire”
-Technically snow melts into water, not boils.
-By the by, I just realized that you haven’t said what kind of animal it is yet. I know that it’s a deer because you said that in the introduction. But I would refer to it as “the animal” all of the time. Actually, I would just call it the deer.
-Apostrophe before the s in “animals”
-“she threw it into her cauldron”--what did she throw into her cauldron? The hooves or the cartilage? And since when is it a cauldron and not a small bowl? There is a difference.
-She is doing a lot of watching. This isn’t necessary, but I would change one of them. You could say, for example, that “she filled the bowl with snow and placed it in the flames, where it quickly melted into water”
After generally scanning over the rest of it, I would say just stay away from using human pronouns for animals. Call them “it”. And be very explicit about which animal is doing each action. We don’t want any ambiguity in a novel. Also, it’s “frothy jaws” not “frothy jowls;” Generally, I would say look up comma splicing; that was one of the major flaws with this piece. Sorry if I seem mean. It was just something to take my mind off of my own writerly woes. But I would definitely read this if it were fixed up some. And I haven’t heard of many other books about hunters from thousands of years ago, so it should appeal to readers who don’t want another vampire novel.
- Gabi ng LagimLv 71 decade ago
Lots of stabbing. I actually feel sorry for the poor mother probably just protecting her young.
You may be glad I feel the characters fear and emotions and you may want me to feel sorry for the mother, but as soon as I come across that page, I close the book and put it back where I found it, vowing to never read anything written by you.
Now, did you want me to feel that? Are you glad I chose to not buy/borrow your book?
I didn't think so.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
This is a fantastic start, but it kinda reminds me of The Earth Children Series (Clan of the Cave Bear,ect) by Jean Auel
But keep it up!
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
If I feel emotion in a story, you know it's good and I felt her emotions. I think it's a good story, and I don't usually like it unless it has some paranormal thing in it. Good job! : )
- 1 decade ago
I think its a good start, but maybe you don't have to use that many details about the meat. I want to know more about how she's feeling.
Can you help me with mine-
- 1 decade ago
This story is so full of emotion,I enjoyed reading it