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Entry #4

Discussion in 'Q4.2 2019' started by Xiph0, Dec 23, 2019.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    The Tale of the Four Dragons

    Isabelle went up to the rookery. There she saw three eggs in a nest. The eggs were large, nearly the size of her head, and spotted green. Wow, she thought, dragon eggs, recognizing them immediately due to their size. A Welsh Green must have laid these. The eggs would fetch a pretty price at the market, if she took them. She considering stealing them, but thought better of it. The wrath of their mother would be fierce, and she might destroy their nearby village, Burnsey, in a rage.

    “Kromlouispy!” She cried, casting the Anti-Theif jinx over the eggs. The spell would prevent thieves from taking them, burning the hands of any bold enough to touch them. “Arduro!” She cast the Alert Ward, which would let her know if anyone else came near the eggs. Her plans now set in motion to protect the eggs, she returned home.

    Two weeks later, the Alert Ward finally activated while she was tending to the sheep. She raced up to the rookery, desperate to ensure the eggs were safe. She guessed it would only take another ten days for the eggs to hatch. When she arrived, she saw a young girl she recognized. “Agatha, step away from the nest!” Isabelle yelled. “Those are dragon eggs, and the mother could be back any minute.”

    “Oh, so that’s what they are.” Agatha said, “They do look awful big.” She moved away from the nest. Crisis averted, they walked back to Burnsey. Isabelle made sure to recast her ward before leaving. As they walked, Isabelle made Agatha swear to her that she wouldn’t tell anyone in Burnsey about the nest. Isabelle wanted to make sure Burnsey wouldn’t be destroyed.

    Six weeks pass. The dragons must have hatched by now, Isabelle thought. This would be a great time to see if they’re at the nest. So she went up to the rookery. There lay the three eggs, curiously still unhatched. Strange, she thought. It shouldn’t be taking them this long. Maybe my anti-theft spell is harming the eggs. She removed the jinx and went on her way, keeping up the alert ward.

    Another three weeks later, Isabelle thought, surely they’ve hatched by now. She decided to visit the rookery again. This time she found the eggs had hatched. She scanned the horizon and the mother was nowhere in sight. This is my one chance to play with baby dragons, she thought, and she took it. She cast the fireproofing spell, “Actuous!” on herself, and approached the babies. The baby dragons took to her immediately, cozying up to her for warmth. Strange such cute little creates can turn into such ferocious beasts, she thought. Isabelle had no way to know that the babies had only hatched an hour ago, and now considered her their mother. The real dragon mother would be spurned by her own children. Isabelle stayed with the dragons for as long as she dared, 20 minutes, and then left to go home. As she went to leave, the dragons began to squawk in protest. She left anyway. Maybe they’re just hungry, she thought. Perhaps she could come back and bring them some food some other time, she thought.

    The next day, the fully grown Welsh Green mare returned from her hunt. She was overjoyed to see that her babies had finally hatched. After such a long time, she had been very worried. But something was wrong. The dragon smelled a lingering human scent in the air. When the mare approached her kin, she did not receive a warm welcome. The baby dragons all hissed at her. One even managed a two inch long flamebreath. Surely they will quickly come to recognize me as their mother, the dragon thought, as she dropped the stag, the prize of her hunt. She pushed the meat toward her children. Voraciously hungry, they gorged themselves on the meat. The only better taste than deer is human flesh, she thought, and she joined the feast. Satisfied by the meal, the babies warmed up to their mother. They cuddled with her belly, and went to sleep.

    The next day, Isabelle decided to visit the baby dragons once again. She decided to look for Agatha, and bring her with. She and Agatha, delighted at the idea of baby dragons, went forth. Isabelle even brought a haunch of venison for the children. Approaching the nest, Isabelle saw the babies without their mother. A deer carcass lay outside the nest, proof of her existence. Isabelle scanned the air, ensuring the mother was far away. Seeing nothing, she went up to the little green dragons, venison in hand. This time she forgot the fireproofing charm.

    The babies were happy with her treat, and made short work of it. They even combined their firebreath to cook it before going to town. Wow, Isabelle thought, these guys are even dangerous at this age. Even after the display of fire, she and Agatha approach the dragons. The dragons and the girls played for twenty minutes, and then Agatha decided to go. This time as she went to leave, the dragons moved to stop her. Wow, she thought, these little fireboxes really love me. They’re acting like I’m their mother. The two eventually got away after much protesting.

    That night the mother dragon returned once again, stag in mouth. The stench of human filled the air. The baby dragons snarled at their mother, and even refused to eat. It’s time to do something about this, the dragon thought. The Welsh Green tracked the fresh scent to a nearby village.

    It’s been too long since I’ve tasted human flesh, the dragon thought. She roared ferociously, and unleashed a fiery plume on the village. Isabelle woke up immediately. Oh dear Merlin, she thought, hearing the dragon’s roar. She watched in horror as Burnsey burned. The dragon turned toward her part of the village, and she began to run. The dragon swooped down on top of Isabelle, roaring right in her face. Isabelle fainted. The dragon took no mercy on the downed women, sending her to a fiery death. Delicious, the dragon thought, licking its lips after a fine meal.

    “It’s a good thing little Agatha went to visit her Aunt April that night. She just wanted to tell someone about the dragons, but she had promised not to tell anyone in Burnsey. Not a single soul in Burnsey survived.” Harry said. “And that’s how the Tale of the Four Dragons came to be. Now time for bed, Albus.”

    “One more! Let’s do The Tale of the Three Brothers. ” Albus said.
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    1104 words - excellent ability to stay within the lines there. The middle/ending were paced well but I think the start was a hair slow in comparison. That could just be me though.

    Okay, I like the Dragons and I like the title implying there’s gonna be four and I’m interested to see where you go with this but this line made me laugh and I don’t think it was supposed to:

    Wow, she thought, dragon eggs…

    I read that in the most sarcastic tone of voice in existence. Wow. Dragon eggs. *rolls eyes*

    Thief (not theif) for spelling.

    I think for flow you can break up your paragraphs a bit more or a bit differently. In the paragraph where she is playing with the baby dragons you used “I thought” twice as well, which you could probably get away with avoiding. It breaks immersion a bit at times.

    Neat ending – though I get the feeling I’m supposed to know who Agatha is? Could add a bit of punch to that, if Agatha was Ginny’s great-grandmother or something (to imply little Albus wouldn’t exist if she hadn’t left the village that night).

    My main critique to give you here is about your writing style, which makes too much use of the word “thought” for my taste. To me this adds some distance between the reader and the character. It’s okay sometimes, but I feel like you use it as a way to simply ‘tell’ us her thoughts instead of ‘showing’ us that information.

    If you do choose to edit this later I’d suggest getting rid of half of your uses of the word ‘thought’ and splitting your paragraphs a bit more.

    Thanks for entering! I did like your ending.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  3. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Like many of the other entries, I think certain turns of phrases and choices of prose slash out the fairy tale in this and force it into just another story.

    Spelling mistake aside (i before e, except after c), this manages to excise the magic from the story by using too much magic. Since I'm sick and tired of this, I'll give an editorial bent - compare this paragraph to something like: "she waved her wand over the eggs and if any thief should try to take them, they would have to give a hand back. And then she waved her wand again, to know if anyone might be foolish enough to consider such a trade." Not my best writing, but this is just a rough example.

    The whole point is, make it less nonsensical by introducing a bit of nonsense. If you're going to make up incantations for jinxes and wards, then it's lost its purpose and muddied itself.

    I won't repeat myself, I'll just link my review for entry 3 here.
     
  4. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    I was expecting Agatha to be the idiot and tell someone, which leads to doom for all and crispy fried villagers and whatnot. But instead it's the fact that baby dragons are apparently just fire-breathing birds and adult dragons are fully sapient that leads to murdering aplenty.

    It's not the obvious moral, which is something I bring up in several of the stories so far. In fact, being a dirty little snitch is what saves her life. So Harry is telling his kids that snitches don't get stitches but are the only ones who escape brutal genocide? Because that's quite the moral, for him to be telling. Is the moral that you stay the fuck away from dragons or they'll have you for dinner? Because there seem to be better ways to tell that story.

    I think you're actually using too many words, is another problem. Isabelle's mistake is engaging with the dragons at all, really, and so you don't really need the "Isabelle gives dragons food -> dragon shows up and corrects her kids -> Isabelle gives dragons food again -> dragon burns them all to death in a bizarrely understated fashion". You could just have her do it once and then the mother henmarebear explodes into rage and torches the village.
     
  5. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Minister of Magic DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    This latter bit of the sentence could be removed and the but could just roll into the next bit, where the thought of an angry dragon mother is stated and it's quite clear that she is thinking better of it. Show don't tell.
    Thief.
    Crisis averted seems a bit modern. Your sentences are short and simple and workman like. This isn't a bad thing, per se. A good story can be built on that sort of level of prose. But it does get worse as we go through the story and the simple tone is always complimented by sensible narration or character choice or thought, I'm afraid.
    Passed, it's all in past tense till now and past here, too.
    Ok. There's not much sense of building motivation here. Your main character seems to have very little to do with all this except a little bit of curiosity.
    Right you are. Ok.
    Ah, ok. See, you threw up a problem then you just got rid of the problem. Improper human mother has the potential for something, but then you go and get rid of it with a wave of your hand. Which means, what was the point? You don't have the word count to be doing pointless things.
    'Going to town' doesn't suit this piece.
    I mean, yeah.
    Oddly precise timing is only really a thing when someones put a curse or blessing on you in fairy tales. For something like this it would be better to say 'till the candle burned dry' or 'till the sun went down' or whatever.
    This made me laugh. I'm not sure why. It seemed very incongruous, buy maybe that's just me.
    Oh shit. She got ate.

    The ending of this is very strange. The sudden intrustion of Harry and Albus very strange. I don't remember CC super well, should I be tying into something from post-canon? The moral seems confusing. Classic fairy tales were designed to scare children into not doing things, the best idea I've got from this is 'don't keep secrets from adults if someone asks you to'. A good lesson for a child, but not one I'm sure is the clear takeaway from this story.

    Still, it was a good effort. I'd like to see you write more and with some proper structuring, you could write something pretty decent I'm sure.

    You need to think about the characters in your story, also, I mean to say. Figure out why they're there and introduce them properly. I don't know who the fuck Agatha is supposed to be. I was confused about the location of the rookery to the village and where it is. It broke immersion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
  6. Microwave

    Microwave Professor

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    This is my favourite so far (not that I've read many). Even though the writing might be a bit clunky at parts, I think it really captures enough of the essence of what makes a fairy tale for it to feel like one.

    Still, the writing could be worked on a bit.

    It feels like the series of events are a bit tangled in this part.

    The thoughts are a bit too disjointed to be clear.

    I think the main issue is that there's no real cause and effect relationships in your writing. A doesn't feel like it leads to B. B feels like it comes from A which is an afterthought connected to C.
     
  7. Gaius

    Gaius Fourth Year

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    i think some of the specificity of your story, such as Isabelle and Agatha’s names didn’t add much to it and detracted from the generic qualities fairytales often have (e.g. “two girls”, “a witch”).

    it’s neat that the dragon hatchlings recognize Isabelle as their mother. It reminds me of Hagrid in Sorcerer’s Stone.

    some phrases like “go to town” were too colloquial and modern for the fairytale.
     
  8. Centrin

    Centrin Squib DLP Supporter

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    Edited by Ched - Dude, you're technically breaking Competition Rules here - Don't give away the authors if you figure them out until after the competition when authors can respond in their threads. Leaving the post up though, just under a spoiler tag.

    This is the first fiction piece I've ever written, and I did most of it on the last day in a rush. This was fun to write, and I hoped you all enjoyed it. I appreciate the feedback and made some changes to the ending as a result. Here's the latest edit:

    The Tale of the Four Dragons

    Isabelle went up to the rookery, located atop the mountain north of her village. There she saw three eggs in a nest. The eggs were large, nearly the size of her head, and spotted green. These are dragon eggs, she thought, too big to be anything else. A Welsh Green must have laid these. The eggs would fetch a pretty price at the market, if she took them. She considering stealing them, but the wrath of their mother would be fierce, and she might destroy their nearby village, Burnsey, in a rage.

    “Kromlouispy!” She cried, casting the Anti-Theif jinx over the eggs. The spell would prevent thieves from taking them, burning the hands of any bold enough to touch them. She cast the Alert Ward too, which would let her know if anyone else came near the eggs. Her plans now set in motion to protect the eggs, she returned home.

    Two weeks later, the Alert Ward finally activated while she was tending to the sheep. She raced up to the rookery, desperate to ensure the eggs were safe. She guessed it would only take another ten days for the eggs to hatch. When she arrived, she saw a young girl she recognized from the village. “Agatha, step away from the nest!” Isabelle yelled. “Those are dragon eggs, and the mother could be back any minute.”

    “Oh, so that’s what they are.” Agatha said, “They do look awful big.” She moved away from the nest. Crisis averted, they walked back to Burnsey. Isabelle made sure to recast her ward before leaving. As they walked, Isabelle made Agatha swear to her that she wouldn’t tell anyone in Burnsey about the nest. Isabelle wanted to make sure Burnsey wouldn’t be destroyed.

    Six weeks pass. The dragons must have hatched by now. This would be a great time to see if they’re at the nest. So Isabelle went up to the rookery. There lay the three eggs, curiously still unhatched. Strange, she thought. It shouldn’t be taking them this long. Maybe my anti-theft spell is harming the eggs. She removed the jinx and went on her way, keeping up the alert ward.

    The weeks later. Surely, they’ve hatched by now. She decided to visit the rookery again. This time she found the eggs had hatched. She scanned the horizon and the mother dragon was nowhere in sight. This is my one chance to play with baby dragons, she thought, and she took it. She cast the fireproofing spell, “Actuous!” on herself, and approached the babies. The baby dragons took to her immediately, cozying up to her for warmth. Strange such cute little creates can turn into such ferocious beasts, she thought. Isabelle had no way to know that the babies had only hatched an hour ago, and now considered her their mother. The real dragon mother would be spurned by her own children. Isabelle stayed with the dragons for as long as she dared, 20 minutes, and then left to go home. As she went to leave, the dragons began to squawk in protest. She left anyway. Maybe they’re just hungry. Perhaps she could come back and bring them some food some other time.

    The next day, the fully grown Welsh Green mare returned from her hunt. She was overjoyed to see that her babies had finally hatched. After such a long time, she had started to believe they may never hatch. But something was wrong. The dragon smelled a lingering human scent in the air.

    When the mare approached her kin, she did not receive a warm welcome. The baby dragons all hissed at her. One even managed a two inch long flamebreath. Surely they will quickly come to recognize me as their mother, the dragon thought, as she dropped the stag, the prize of her hunt. She pushed the meat toward her children. The baby dragons turned on the dead deer and set it on fire with their breath. Voraciously hungry, they gorged themselves on the meat. The only better taste than deer is human flesh, she thought, and she joined the feast. Satisfied by the meal, the babies warmed up to their mother. They cuddled with her belly, and went to sleep.

    The next day, Isabelle decided to visit the baby dragons once again. She decided to look for Agatha, and bring her with. She and Agatha, delighted at the idea of baby dragons, walked north to the rookery. Isabelle even brought a haunch of venison for the children. Approaching the nest, Isabelle saw the babies without their mother. A roasted deer carcass lay outside the nest, proof of her existence. Isabelle scanned the air, ensuring the mother was far away. Seeing nothing, she went up to the little green dragons, venison in hand. This time she forgot the fireproofing charm.

    The babies were happy with her treat, and made short work of it. They even combined their firebreath to cook it before ripping apart the meat. Wow, these guys are even dangerous at this age. Even after the display of fire, she and Agatha approach the dragons. The dragons and the girls played for twenty minutes, and the two girls decided to go. This time as she went to leave, the dragons moved to stop her. Wow, she thought, these little fireboxes really love me. They’re acting like I’m their mother. The two eventually got away after much protesting.

    That night the mother dragon returned once again, stag in mouth. The stench of human filled the air. The baby dragons snarled at their mother, and even refused to eat. It’s time to do something about this. The Welsh Green tracked the fresh scent to a nearby village.

    It’s been too long since I’ve tasted human flesh, the dragon thought. She roared ferociously, and unleashed a fiery plume on the village. Isabelle woke up immediately. Oh dear Merlin, she thought, hearing the dragon’s roar. She watched in horror as Burnsey burned. The dragon turned toward her part of the village, and she ran from her home. The dragon sniffed the air, recognizing the source of her frustration. The dragon grinned and set off in pursuit. Isabelle glanced back, watching in horror as the dragon’s fire engulfed the entire village. The screams of the townsfolk filled the air.

    A brave man cast a spell at the dragon. The dragon roared and ate him alive. Oh Merlin, I could be next, Isabelle thought. She ran as fast as she could. The dragon flew faster. The dragon roared. The force of the wind knocked her to her knees. The turned around in time to see the flame in the dragon’s mouth erupting.

    They day Burnsey burned went down in history as the worst day of the year 1531 in Scotland. They only living survivor was Agatha, who had left the town that afternoon to visit her aunt. The Tale of the Four Dragons lives on a warning to all never to play with baby dragons.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2019
  9. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells Fourth Year DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I initially thought you were writing a story that served the dual purpose of teaching spells to young wizards-to-be. I liked that idea, but then you stopped sprinkling spells into the story, so maybe not. I still like that idea.

    I would've liked to have seen more characterization for all the characters in this story. I didn't feel like I really knew who Isabelle was. I recognize that it's extremely difficult to flesh out characters in ~1,000 words, but it's important and it's possible.
     
  10. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    I'm afraid that I am not a fan of this one. I did not like Isabelle overmuch, nor do I feel like naming the spells she cast served to service a fairy tale, as much as a proper story. In a fairy tale, I could see naming the effects, describing how or what they are meant to do, without actually giving the incantation.
    This is a couple of those examples. On a sidenote, there were some errors like 'Anti-Theif' instead of 'Anti-Thief', and later on 'women' when describing how the mother dragon roasts Isabelle.

    That is a decisively muggle phrasing and another matter that I took issue with. You're a touch too... modern, I think, in your phrasing.

    This one simply bugged me. Isabelle is not the strongest character, and how you voice her in instances like this came across weaker than it could have with a little more time to think about your wording.

    The sudden popup of Harry telling the tale to Albus felt like you wanted to tack on a more direct connection rather than let the tale stand upon the strengths(and weaknesses) of a wholly separate setting.

    I will give you credit for Isabelle's good intentions being what end up damning Burnsey and, ultimately, herself. I would have liked to have seen her reactions to the mother dragon landing before her, since we saw a glimpse of her horror upon waking up to the attack. Panic, misunderstanding, even thinking that Agatha had told someone. Instead she has the easier death by way of fainting, thereby missing any chance of acceptance for her own part.

    I know this is largely negative, but I give you immense credit for both writing this at all, and for having the courage to submit. I'll read your revisions once I have the time. Please keep writing and throw your hat into the ring again!
     
  11. Majube

    Majube Order Member

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    Nice one I like the dragon theme fairy tales themes in this comp a lot as it always strikes me as a classic fairy tale.

    This one seemed a bit silly and it didn't really engage me until the part where the dragons imprinted on Isabelle and I started to see where it was going. I quite liked the ending of the story where we learn that Burnsey was doomed by the follies of those two. It gave off that whimsy of canon but turned darkly realistic, (like Flitwick's tale of the buffalo spell wizard or that witch Welda/Wendela? the Weird who liked being burned while under the flame freezing spell).
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  12. Niez

    Niez Slug Club Member

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    Hello :)
    It was apparent from the beginning that this was a tale written for children, which theoretically would have been appropriate, if not for the fact that even six-year old me would have likely disliked/been traumatised by it. First let's get one thing out of the way. The fact that this is a story told by Harry (presumably an amateur story-teller) does not justify the myriad of typos, pointless tense-changes and extremely simplistic prose in your story. I could write a tale narrated by a retarded character, and thus have an in-story excuse as to why it's so shit. But shit still it would be, and so I shouldn’t expect anyone to read it, much less enjoy it. Now yours is not on that level, and a story told by Harry to his children is a good idea for the prompt, but the tale you chose to tell is particularly irritating, and I would argue not even close to being a proper fairy tale in the first place, despite having dragons in it.

    What a mess of a beginning. I respect not using italics or the like to showcase a character's thoughts, even if your format allowed you to, but if not you must clearly delineate when the thoughts end and narration resumes. And the second and third sentence here could be both thoughts and narration, making it awfully distracting. The jumps in logic are also annoying. Large eggs = Dragon eggs? ok, though there are plenty of large magical creatures in the HP universe, but spotted green eggs = welsh green eggs? is Isabelle a shepherd or a fucking magical zoologist?

    Pointless detail, detracts from the fairy tale feel. Name is also [really bad word removed after some consideration].

    This is just not right. None of it. No uppercase after exclamation, thief is not spelled like that. Name is also [really bad word removed after some consideration].

    And again.

    Pointless tense shift. Also, what is the purpose of this scene? Is Harry meandering in purpose to make Albus sleepy (in-story excuse)? And if so, why should I care? (out-story complaint)

    Must every decision you make be to annoy me. Twenty, twenty. Actual numbers look fucking horrible when encased within text, change my mind.

    Second ‘she thought’ is unnecessary.

    I don’t know if this is Canon or not, but I don’t care. Female dragons should not be called ‘mares’ under any circumstance, on pain of triggering me.

    It’s nice to know that Dragons are capable of rational human thought, it really puts Harry’s first task in the Triwizard tournament under a new and interesting perspective.

    Again with the tense shift.

    This reads as coming from Agatha’s perspective, when it should be Isabelle’s.

    Woman.

    General reasons as to why your ‘fairy-tale’ is a bad one, or more accurately, should not be told to children.

    There, neatly summarised in one line. Isabelle recognises the danger of dragons, takes every reasonable precaution against it and yet still gets punished - for something she could not have known in the first place. Under fairy tale logic this simply makes no sense. Add that to fact that she gets burned alive and eaten at the end and this goes from ‘not really a fairy tale’ to ‘a story you should tell a child, much less your own’. Also, the title is bland. You’re welcome.

    PS:
    Well I’ve read the other reviews and this was apparently someone’s first writing piece. I feel bad now, but we all start off far from perfect, and some of us even continue at that level for a very long time. Kudos for participating and exposing yourself to this process though and sorry if I was a bit harsh.

    PS2:
    (Definitely to be a dick but birds chicks don’t do that; it makes zero sense from an evolutionary perspective, and I'm pretty sure its just something parents say so that their children don’t bring little birds to the house.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
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