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Author Topic: Sivela
skadder
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For four days I called to her as custom dictated. She was a mythical being; I never expected her to answer.
“Sivela--” I screamed for the thousandth time, “Rid me of my enemies.” I stayed within the ring of ancient stones.
Then the birds of the forest fled in a great cloud, followed by animals of all shapes and sizes hurtling across the grass away from the trees. My heart hammered as she walked out of the forest. Her naked body was exquisitely pale, almost silver, and her eyes flamed blue. The trees nearest to her blackened and died, turning to dust and disintegrating in the light wind.
“Your hate is strong, mortal,” she whispered with a smile.
Sivela, The Destroyer, I thought as urine ran down my leg. What have I done?

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited March 20, 2008).]


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Jon Ruyle
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"screamed for the thousandth time" is cliche and sounds like hyperbole, though from context, it might not be.

Other than that, I quite like it. I would, without a doubt, keep reading.

I'd be happy to read this if you're looking for readers and aren't in a big hurry.

Jon.



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skadder
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Revised:

For four days I called to her as custom dictated. She was a mythical being; I never expected her to answer.
“Sivela--” I screamed, my throat now swollen and sore, “Rid me of my enemies.” I stayed within the ring of ancient stones.
Then the birds of the forest fled in a great cloud, followed by animals of all shapes and sizes hurtling across the grass, away from the trees. My heart hammered as she walked out of the forest. Her naked body was exquisitely pale, almost silver, and her eyes flamed blue. The trees nearest to her blackened and died, turning to dust and disintegrating in the light wind.
“Your hate is strong, mortal,” she whispered with a smile.
Sivela, The Destroyer, I thought as urine ran down my leg. What have I done?

I agree about the thousandth time thingy...I was being thoughtless.


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MrsBrown
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Wow, skadder--what a great hook! Three nits:

Can a throat really swell up? How big? It may feel swollen, but the image is unpleasant. (Sore is enough.)

Forest and trees are each used twice. You need the first forest. No ideas for the second one; maybe it’s fine too. Could the animals run away from the treeline? Could the trees nearest her be a stand of pines around her?

I was a little confused the first time through, about which way the animals ran. Wouldn’t a lot of them come barreling right through the stones, knocking up against your MC? Or veering to either side of the goddess’ circle?

Don’t tweak too much!


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skadder
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Mrs. Brown,

Thank you for your letter dated March 21st 2008. I will endeavor to answer your questions.

I consulted a learned friend of mine, a medical doctor who confirmed that all human tissue can swell, and so become swollen. Swelling usually occurs as a result of injury/irritation and the increased blood supply is a physical response to aid rapid healing. So, yes a throat can swell, but it may not be visible externally unless glands on the throat are involved as a result of infection. Internally, your throat may feel as though it is closing. The real question is: swollen and sore or just one of the adjectives?

(BTW, now bored of formal letter response)

Forest-trees-forest-trees. Hmmm. What about:

For four days I called to her as custom dictated. She was a mythical being; I never expected her to answer.
“Sivela--” I screamed, my throat now raw, “Rid me of my enemies.” I stayed within the ring of ancient stones.
Then the birds of the forest fled in a great cloud, followed by animals of all shapes and sizes hurtling past me across the grass, away from the trees. My heart hammered as she stepped from the shadows. Her naked body was exquisitely pale, almost silver, and her eyes flamed blue. The great oaks around her blackened and died, turning to dust and disintegrating in the light wind.
“Your hate is strong, mortal,” she whispered with a smile.
Sivela, The Destroyer, I thought as urine ran down my leg. What have I done?

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited March 21, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited March 21, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited March 21, 2008).]


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DebbieKW
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Nice. I'm hooked. Feel free to send this to me when you're ready for a critique of the whole thing. (I'm currently free to do critiques if you have others for me to do.)

[This message has been edited by DebbieKW (edited March 21, 2008).]


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skadder
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If only...

This is a WIP. When I do complete something new I will send it your way...got to wait for this tooth to settle down.

Adam


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Toby Western
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Nice.

You might want to consider changing the order in the first couple of lines to help the flow:

quote:

For four days I called to her as custom dictated. She was a mythical being; but still I stayed within the ring of ancient stones.
“Sivela--” I screamed, my throat now raw, “Rid me of my enemies.” I never expected her to answer.

I think “disintegrating” is redundant with “turning to dust”.

quote:

turning to dust which eddied and whorled in the light wind.

I'd be glad to read through this when you're ready.

[This message has been edited by Toby Western (edited March 22, 2008).]


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Rick Norwood
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MrsBrown -- throats do swell, quite noticably.

Skedder -- good work, very evocative.

"I thought" needs a comma after "thought".

What is he wearing? Makes a difference. Urine ran down my pants leg? Urine dripped from the hem of my kilt?

Why Sivela rather than Shiva?

[This message has been edited by Rick Norwood (edited March 22, 2008).]


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skadder
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Why Sivela and not Shiva? I guess because I wanted to create my own mythology. To be honest I thought of the word 'severe' and feminised it into a name. It's a technique I often use for name creation.
Doesn't Shiva have blue skin?

Adam


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Doesn't Shiva have blue skin?

I don't think so. Krishna is the one with blue skin.


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annepin
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And Shiva is male, no?
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Yes. Shiva is the Destroyer, but so is Kali, who is female.

Wikipedia has stuff about him.

I think the problem with Sivela comes not only because the name is close to Shiva, but because of the "Destroyer" association the name Shiva.

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited March 24, 2008).]


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snapper
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Great hook,

Send whatever you got, whenever its ready.


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Wolfe_boy
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I have a quick question...

Why would he wet himself the second she arrived? He called her, quite specifically, and once she arrived he thinks "What have I done?" Seems like a rather abrupt about-face, to me. Wouldn't he be a little ore dumb-struck? Or maybe pleased at his ability to summon a god, rather than instantly regretting calling her?

Jayson Merryfield


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skadder
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quote:
Why would he wet himself the second she arrived? He called her, quite specifically, and once she arrived he thinks "What have I done?"

He is following a ritual of his people following the death of his family. The woman is a mythological; I would have thought it reasonable for him to both surprised and full of fear that she chose to rise when he called. Certainly it would freak me out if when I cursed (Go to hell!) a driver who cut me up on the road and then the devil appeared and tore him limb from limb and barbecued his still screaming head.

I have exaggerated to make a point.


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Wolfe_boy
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Aaah, I see.... the way I interpreted the way the scene is that he is specifically calling to Sivela, imploring her to actually come and answer him. He stands in a specific spot, and, as "custom dictates" calls her name for four days running. His lack of expectation indicates to me that Sivela is capricious and unreliable, not that she doesn't exist or is incapable of responding to mortal requests for intervention.

It just doesn't sound to me like he's cursing his "enemies" in any way related to a casual "Go to Hell" you might direct at someone who has just cut you off. He seems to be very deliberatly calling on Sivela, which is why I became confused when he was suddenly scared and regretful.

Jayson Merryfield


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Corky
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Maybe you need to start the story with him preparing to call her on the fourth day and thinking about how this is so useless and wondering why tradition requires it, and so on and so forth, so the reader will "get" why her appearance is so unexpected.
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skadder
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quote:
She was a mythical being; I never expected her to answer.

I thought the above line was clear enough. 'Mythical' usually implies some amount of uncertainty about the actual existance of said being. The same could be said of the next sentence with regard his expectation of her appearing.


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skadder
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quote:
It just doesn't sound to me like he's cursing his "enemies" in any way related to a casual "Go to Hell" you might direct at someone who has just cut you off. He seems to be very deliberatly calling on Sivela, which is why I became confused when he was suddenly scared and regretful.

Yeah, it's not casual. LOL, but he shares the same lack of expectation of it actually happening! Most religious rituals (revenge ritual in this case) don't involve the actual diety responding--hence his surprise/fear.

This particular diety has a rep of destroying everything in her path just by being close to stuff. (His village, etc.)


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JustInProse
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Skadder,

I love it. As far as him wetting himself, which seems to be the current concern, I took that as a misunderstanding on his part of who/what she really is or does. Almost like wishing one night that your brother would become ill with leprosy, and then to your surprise the following week, he is being treated in hospitals around the world.

The only question that did rise to me, or I guess confused me after reading it, was whether or not the custom was to call her for four days? or whether he called her in the manner dictated, and he did this four days? It doesn't necessarily need changing, but I was just wondering.

Anyway, go ahead and email it to me. Sounds really cool, so I could probably have it done in a day or two. Good work!

Justin Armstrong


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Tiergan
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Skadder,
I read it just as you are explaining it. That he tried to summon her, but when she responded, he was shocked, in fear and wet himself. I would have wet myself as well. Which instantly read to me that gods/godesses to human interaction is not an everday happening.

I liked it.


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Jon Ruyle
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When you say he was following a ritual, do you mean this was a routine thing? I read it like he really was *trying* to summon her, and trying hard:

“Sivela--” I screamed, my throat now swollen and sore, “Rid me of my enemies.”

Even so, I still thought his reaction was understandable. He thought he wanted her to come, but then when she actually did, her presence was just too much, and he was overwhelmed with fear.


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skadder
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quote:
When you say he was following a ritual, do you mean this was a routine thing?

Not all rituals are routine. Some are rarely enacted.

He was following a ritual that involved calling to Sivela to destroy his enemies (because he was powerless to do so). Most rituals are based on providing a framework for solving a problem; in this case the desire for vengance mixed with grief. I would imagine most people who stood shouting for 4 days would have got a lot of it(desire for revenge) out of thier system, and would move on to the next stage of grief--acceptance.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited March 25, 2008).]


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rickfisher
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I think the amount of explaining you're having to do is a pretty clear indication that the story itself is NOT sufficiently clear. When I read it, I got it (more or less), but it didn't seem to fit. I had to pause and think, to make everything fit. You don't want that.

It might be enough to tell us what he DOES expect. I mean, he's not doing the 4-day ritual for nothing, right? And the only thing that the TEXT says it's for is to call Shivela. So no wonder people are puzzled when her arrival doesn't seem to be what he wants. I mean, if he never expected her to come, but WANTED her to, he might be mightily surprised when she did, but not instantly horrified. However, if he's expecting her to ACT, but NOT arrive in person, then it makes sense. Put it in the story.


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