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Entry #3

Discussion in 'Q3 Competition Before Christmas' started by Xiph0, Nov 3, 2021.

  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    Too Much Dragon Breeding, Hagrid.
    A cautionary tale.

    Ashes poured from a bloody sky, the color of a fresh, deep wound, like the weeping eye of the gargantuan black Hungarian Horntail wheeling overhead. Fat droplets of blood hit the cracked pavement beneath and sizzled. Its neck arched as it searched, head shaking from side to side. With a roar, it dove and took in another deep breath, then razed the entire cul de sac with one pass of flames. Rooftops melted to dripping slag, walls collapsed as cinders, yards erupted, and water pipes boiled and exploded with steam.

    As the dragon rose, another silver bolt of magic flew from its blind-side and skewered it through the lower jaw.

    It immediately shivered with rage, thrashing its neck about, and twisted into a shuddering glide toward the wizard a beat before they vanished with a soft pop that was lost in the chaos.

    The javelin fizzled out after a few more beats, leaving more blood hissing on the ruined road, evaporating on the conflagration.

    For the next several minutes, the muggle neighborhood suffered the dragon’s wroth, and if there were still any muggles left inside of their homes, they might have added to the cacophony. But as it stood, the only living man in the entire suburb waited and retaliated, whittling down the monster’s stamina spell by harrying spell.

    By the time that the bloody dawn had risen to a garish orange, the Horntail’s last pass ended with it falling from the sky and crashing through a dozen houses. It twitched there for some time as the rod that had, at long last, skewered it through the brain, vanished.

    The wizard approached with due caution.

    A few last spells to check, verify. He breathed a sigh of relief, his shoulders rolling with the motion. Ashes had darkened his natural auburn to gray, and smudges blackened his face, soot staining his whole body. “A pity,” Charlie Weasley said. He lifted his head to look out across the countryside at distant black specs throughout the ochre sky and sighed again. “Now onto the next three dozen.” He sent a starburst of light into the sky and disapparated.
     
  2. haphnepls

    haphnepls Slug Club Member

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    Not sure if this qualifies as a story, but it's here and so it shall be commented upon.

    As this barely has any words, the best way to sell them properly is to make them count. Your opening, in that light, is somewhat weak. Too many words where few would do, depicting what ought to be left to the readers' imagination. It lacks sharpness, and then it goes on for too long, killing its potency.

    The same reason as above why I quote this. It's barely few words so all of them must be clear. This should've been two paragraphs instead of one, sliced at the very half. One for depicting, another to shift the screen towards the action.

    Other than that there isn't much to say. I've read this, and I feel completely the same way I did before reading it. The story, in my humble opinion, must reach towards something, that something being described with the story's progression path, being set by its hook, and delivered in a fashion that ultimately makes it a story rather than a fraction of one.

    I have a feeling that there's a joke here that I don't get but that's fine.
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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  4. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    Short and sweet, I suppose. Charlie takes on a dragon that's killed an entire neighbourhood.

    That said, though, it doesn't read like Charlie actually gives much of a shit about the dragon. He calls it a pity but the story skips over him trying every non-lethal alternative. The muggles, too, are mentioned as having been massacred by the dragon with roughly the same empathy you'd spare for a spilled bowl of soup. It's a neat action scene but maybe a little more would've been good.

    Also, rein in the purple prose. The opening sentence is only barely saved by the mention of the dragon that's the focus of the story. The whole thing feels like you wrote something and then drowned it in adjectives.

    Finally, maybe give the Horntail a motive to commit such an act of violence or to not just flee? It's an animal, not a American helicopter raining down molten death on a group of Iraqis. It's got feelings and reasons for doing that sort of thing, I'd imagine.

    A 2/5.
     
  5. WierdFoodStuff

    WierdFoodStuff Sixth Year

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    Not sure why this was left in, just leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions, did Hagrid personally breed these dragons? is that why they're so dumb? why are they attacking muggles randomly? and how come there are dozens of them? How will the wizards cover up this mass scale destruction?
    This story doesn't answer any of the questions it poses.
    It's not like the action is too interesting either, Charlie just teleports a bunch and shoots at the dragon.
    Short and sweet but also too short. 1.5/5
     
  6. Mr. Mixed Bag

    Mr. Mixed Bag Third Year

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    It is well written. Some sections go overboard on detail, but by and large the prose is great.

    There's also the fact that (and if I'm wrong about this, apologies) this was written last second to help the competition make up numbers, which is an effort that I definitely appreciate.

    Unfortunately, that's about where the compliments have to end. There is a severe dearth of background information or motives. Why are there a shit ton of dragons? Why has this one decided to barbecue a suburb? Why did it stick around after getting skewered the first few times?

    This is, effectively, a single fight scene, albeit a fairly creative one. Without context I don't know what's happening, nor do I particularly care. It could work as an introduction to a larger story, or the fight could be cut out of this and placed in the middle of something longer. Hell, even one or two more scenes tacked on around it, one to explain how the problem started and maybe another to show how it got all the way here, would be a vast improvement.

    But as it is, with just what's here, I'm afraid there really isn't much to it.
     
  7. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    There's more plot development in the title than in the story itself.

    OK, let's take a step back. In and of itself, it's not badly written. A little overwrought, perhaps, but that doesn't feel like too bad a thing if you take the title out - given that we only know the cause of this because of the title, the slightly purple prose felt mostly appropriate for the piece itself, with dragons seemingly ravaging the land. A story about an apocalypse of dragon fire needs some weighty prose and imagery, which you do a decent job of...until the end, where Charlie snaps off his world-weary quip and vanishes. I feel like he's the wrong character for this, to be honest - I get it, because he's the obvious choice for a story focusing on dragons, but he's a dragon keeper, not a dragon slayer. More emotion at having to kill one of the creatures he loves so much, even in the defence of others, is needed.

    As an action scene, it's not bad, but feels like an excerpt from a longer piece; if it were included in something longer, the almost summary like nature of it would work, but given that all we have is a battle with a dragon, it's hardly the most memorable thing in the world.

    It's the tonal jarring that really spoils this for me, to be honest, largely because it's a dramatic scene bookended by two somewhat wry jokes. The title, at least, is easy enough to fix.
     
  8. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Fifth Year

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    I love the title!! I also don’t mind a bit of purple prose or what have you when it’s brief and done for effect like here. I would imagine that Charlie would feel a lot worse about killing not just one dragon but multiple than he does here, so I would rewrite what he says to reflect a bit more sorrow and frustration, maybe anger. At the same time, it’s good that there’s some bleak humour in this too, it’s HP after all.
     
  9. Niez

    Niez Competition Winner CHAMPION

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    There's hardly anything here to comment on. It barely qualifies as a snippet, much less a short story. I'm not going to give you a hard time about it because I'm assuming you wrote it to pad out the submission numbers, which I appreciate, but the result is that I really don't know what to say about it. Good job, I guess? The title detracts from the rest of it? Your guess is as good as mine.
     
  10. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Urhm, okay. So this is technically within the realm of the competition at >50 words, but it makes me think maybe we should go for a 500 word minimum for the full fledged competitions.

    This is a flash piece - and I love flash pieces - but there's not much here.

    Half of this story is description of a dragon, then a little description of the muggle suburb it fucked up, then a line or two to let us know that Charlie is dealing with it. Why Charlie? Sure he's a dragon tamer, but if Dragons are attacking muggle cities en masse I'm not sure he's going to be able to do much about that. At least without you describing what he's doing in more detail and how they are handling this.
     
  11. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells DA Member DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    You had an opportunity for a good twist — at the very least, a fun quip — at the end of the story, but you squandered it in the title.

    The fact that the first sentence is structured as a simile but is actually literal was confusing. But overall, the prose was strong, and this was fun to read.
     
  12. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene High Inquisitor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    I really don't know what to say here. Thanks for a breather entry after the last three behemoths? Its short to the point that I don't feel like much was really accomplished or done. The title feels like you decided to play a joke. I assume from that that Hagrid overbred a bunch of mean tempered dragons that, thus, slew him and escaped into the wild to wreak havoc? Its an Aftermath that hardly qualifies, even less than the entry for Walburga.

    I'll parrot the others in why Charlie was chosen. You could have used any name at all, and you picked the one with a faint connection to dragons, but as a dragon killer? I don't see it.
     
  13. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene High Inquisitor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Y'all skewered me like a blast ended skrewt shish kabob haha. And rightfully so.

    I had a handful of ideas that drew no traction, so I hit on dragons running wild and ran with that, only I couldn't get the words out so sent something to pad out the entries.

    I had wanted to have a better draft ready to roll out by this time that had pretty much nothing to do with this beyond the same basic idea of dragons, but I just haven't had it in me.
     
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