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Author Topic: Soulcaster V2.0
trailmix
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The old man stood on the forest edge waiting for the tiny hamletís lights to fade. Expectant, hungry anticipation tore at his patience. By force of will he steeled his heart and set his mind to his task. He stepped out of his sandals and kneaded the damp grass and soil with his toes. Through the soles of his arthritic feet he could feel the life charge of each blade of grass. The roots spread for hundreds of yards, binding with the roots of the nearby bushes and trees forming a living web. With a thought he grasped tightly to the web and began to pull. The grass beneath his feet withered and died. Life energy coursed up his left leg as he spewed death energy out his right. After a century of practice and experimentation the old Soulcaster found this to be the most effective means of life transfer.

What do you think?


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tigertinite
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Interesting idea, but I would expand it out a little. at the moment you are telling not showing. I feel no impatiance, or death coming from this old man. Make him more of a person before he destroys the grass.
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wbriggs
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I don't understand what's happening. Just tell us. Most of us won't miss the subtlety, because we'll be happy to be able to follow the story.
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trailmix
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From one person I get "Show, don't tell," the other gives me, just tell me, I dont get it. I'm clearly doing something wrong I just don't know what.

None of the above writing is metaphorical. What I say is happening is what is happening. Perhaps it just takes more than 13 lines to spell it all out. Or maybe I am doing a very poor job of describing it all.

Something to think about.....


Scott


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Survivor
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In narrative prose, you show by telling. This makes the advice "show don't tell" pretty confusing at times.

My specific advice is to tell us who the old man is up front. In this case, the information we need isn't that he's an old man, but that he's an experience soulcaster. We also need to know what he's anticipating, and how that meshes with the fact that he has to steel his heart to the task. I know that he's there to kill two people, one of whom is a pregnant woman in addition to being an enemy. But that's only because you've posted this information elsewhere on this forum.

Other than that, I think you're actually doing okay. It's just that the first couple of lines fail to give us two key peices of information that we need to make sense out of what's happening here. You've already given us that information on the forum, but a first time reader won't have it and thus will be confused as to what is metaphor (hungry anticipation tearing at patience, force of will, steeled heart) and what is meant literally (life and death energy flowing through his feet, ect).

Also, it occurs to me that concentrating life and death energy in this way should make walking a little...difficult. But that's just an idea to help you emphasize the literal nature of what he's doing, by giving it a tangible effect. It also serves to make him more "human", shows that he is exerting himself.


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trailmix
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Ok. I see it now. I'm still having trouble discerning what information needs to be shown or told in the opening lines. Thanks for the clarification survivor.

An interesting point about exerting himself. I like the idea of realistic magic. It probably stems from being an engineer. Thanks again people.


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