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Entry #9

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

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

    Dec 7, 2005
    West Bank
    The Three Trials

    -As told by the Tales of Beedle the Bard

    Before the time of the Peverells, there lived many small families in the dense woods somewhere in Scotland, filled with trees thick and old. One lonely boy, almost a man, and his aged parents led simple lives, gathering berries sweet and sour, plants raw yet filling, hunting small game by the shrouded daylight, and camping with mere wood keeping them from the unnamed constellations in the cold night. They dared not venture out of the forests for it was the forest where the writ of the Maginul King could not touch them. Several others of their kind lived alongside them, yet not at any small distance; they were all cast out for their impossible tricks, now bound together, however lightly, by them.

    One moonlit night saw them gathered in a fire-lit clearing amidst the sounds of howling, baying and tearing around them. The wizards knew not what was to be done, until a crone, respected amongst them, twirled her trusty wand, conjuring a rough wooden Goblet. Parchment was sought, divided, marked with names and cast into the Goblet and, lo and behold, a single parchment spat out! The innocent boy, for it was he who was chosen to plead the Not-Witch of the Rock for help, walked into the crisp air of the creepy woods, brandishing his wand confidently. He was but a little way into the woods before being ambushed by a large wolf. The boy swished and flicked, and rolled out of harm’s way. The blood-soaked wolf’s eyes were dilated and full of an unnatural frenzy as it snarled and snapped, floating in the air. He shuddered and dropped the wolf, commanding the fallen detritus and earth into a cage as the wolf hurried at him. Its jaws closed around his free hand, narrow snout sticking out of the still assembling earth. He roared as he freed his hand, smiting the surprised wolf upon its head.

    The hastily metamorphosed cage quaked and began crumbling from the wolf’s attempts to free itself as the boy sped away to the sound of approaching growls. Eager howls chased the boy as he came upon a brisk stream, lined with date palms . He looked back and sighted three wolves in the distance, teeth gnashing and mouth slavering as they sprinted, and hesitated a moment at the sight of the distinct aloof trees. He quickly closed the wound upon his hand and began wading across the biting spring. Half way across, he glanced back and saw the wolves arrive at the bank. One began to lap at the pool of blood he had inadvertently made, while the other two, to his burgeoning horror, threw themselves into the frosty gleaming water with chilling howls. He turned back and made scarce further progress before a shadow fell across his head. He ducked into the clear water in spite of the numbness spreading across his body. Whilst the boy remained crouched, the trees on the far side of the stream came alive, grabbed the wolf that had just leapt and hauled it away into the gloom. Seeing this, the other wolf yelped and retraced its path. Another leaf came swinging at the boy and knocked him further as he rose unaware in happy disbelief.

    The boy groaned and rose with a smile on his face even though his head sported an enormous bruise. He had travelled this route before and though it left him feeling embarrassed and possibly put him in mortal peril, broke out into a quick little jig and an accompanying tune, waving his wand in harmless harmony as he exited the stream. The Dancing Dates began gyrating their leaves with each other in response. As he approached the line of trees, they reached out with their leaves and absorbed him into their routine. He inched deeper into the woods and away from the line of trees but was gently nudged back by a frond into dancing in co-ordination with the trees. The wolf which had been retreating sullenly out of reach of the trees promptly turned and leapt at him. It was suddenly scraped by fronds, grabbed hold of and torn apart as the trees continued whirling their leaves and moving their fronds in an undulating, oddly captivating motion in tune to his beat. The macabre dance continued with various torn apart slices of wolves decorating the fronds eerily resembling meat on a pike.

    Unbeknownst to the boy, the fair daughter of the King, a young girl in the middle of her teens, sporting hair that dazzled like the stars, mesmerizing blue eyes and clad in a pure white dress, sullied only by the tears she had shed as she had been kidnapped by a wand-wielder for ransom, was trapped in the circle of date trees. She now stood staring with disbelief at the elder boy as he . After a few minutes of watching, she joined in the dance, surprising the heavily perspiring and nervous boy into stopping for a second. Moonlight gleamed off the leaves as they suddenly changed tracks and hurtled at the couple. The boy immediately clasped her hand and slid into dance. The shocked princess unwittingly mirrored his movements. She glared at him and attempted to free herself once she caught sight of the wand clasped in his hand. The leaves responded with remarkable speed, moving to eviscerate them. The princess shrieked in shock as the boy clutched her and begged her to dance along. They picked up the steps, just as a frond grazed the boy on his arm, splattering them in a surprising amount of his blood. They danced nevertheless and were finally permitted to pass unimpeded by the trees.

    The lass kicked out at the boy and plucked his wand on reaching a safe distance from the grove. The boy, too slow to respond, saw as she broke his spirit and fell into a stupor. Her security thus bought; the princess disappeared into the trees with nary a look behind. The young man shook himself, reminding himself of the plight of his people and wrapped the pieces of his wand in his robes.

    He walked a short distance along a crude trail made by what looked to be wild animals before barging into a clearing. The Not-Witch of the Rock, Mistress of the Grove, Kidnapper of the Princess, Artemis in disguise, Goddess of the Moon, the Hunt and the Wild, regarded him but a moment before her eyes flashed in fury.

    The old Wizard King-in-exile, his wife and his loyal entourage were found brutally savaged, their wounds human and animal at once, in a clearing. Their son’s corpse was missing. The Maginul King’s daughter was found safe, her unlikely story puzzling to some, a lie to the rest, and the bloodstain on her pristine dress taken note of. The Forests were Forbidden to all men. A new wolf roamed each bright night, its glistening white coat and lupine yet human eyes striking terror, its bite spreading an indomitable curse and its howl rapturing all. Maginuls and Magi tore each other apart as the gods laughed gleefully.
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Jan 6, 2009
    The South
    1194 words - a neat fairy tale idea! I like using the idea of an 'origin story' for this prompt, though this one could use some cleaning up to shine.

    The first thing I notice here is how generic some of the phrasing and word choices are. They are living “somewhere in Scotland” with “trees.” Just a simple change from these terms to “not far from Pittenweem on the eastern coast of Scotland” and “thick with silver birch” would help the setting, imo. A quick google search told me which trees were most common in Scotland, and this link gave me descriptions of them.

    The same suggestions on description apply to the rest of the paragraph about berries, plants, game, etc.

    Maginul King, eh? Something about the word flows off the tongue and reminds me of something RL, but I can’t place it… oh, Maginot Line. That’s what I’m ‘hearing’ when I saw it mentally. I assume not related, but I feel better having identified this.

    I think you have a solid idea for a story here, but it’s stifled somewhat by not using names. It’s true that this happens sometimes (the boy who cried wolf, for example, doesn’t name anyone that I can recall) but in general I think either giving the boy a name (like Wulfric) or a description (analogous to “Little Red Cap”) would work better.

    I did laugh at the gyrating, dancing dates though. Well done there, I think. Hair dazzling like the stars though makes me think it’s black with glitter in it, which is more mesmerizing than I would have expected.

    The paragraph starting with ‘unbeknownst to the boy…’ reads awkwardly. He stumbles onto this chick who had been kidnapped and they dance? I understand that it’s meant be surreal, but it still didn’t quite click for me in terms of what I was meant to get out of it.

    Hmmm, so, this is the start (more or less?) of the wizards vs the muggles? With Maginul being muggles and Magi being wizards?

    I do quite like the idea of having an ‘origin story’ for that conflict. But a solid beta-read for this would help it be a bit more clear.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
  3. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

    Aug 31, 2011
    Cyber City Oedo
    High Score:
    Maginul is a shit name. I'm sorry, but that's how it is, and I won't pretend otherwise. Whatever your grievances with the names Muggle or Nomaj, Maginul is worse.

    Other than that, I think you're suffering from a fatal confusion of tones. You start with fairly typical fairy tale stuff: generalities, being vague about specifics and names, that sort of thing. Then you try to shift gears into hardhitting gory action and - if you'll excuse my extending the metaphor - and your motor explodes because the two just don't cooperate. It's a car-crash of different pacings and different storytelling needs ramming into one another and neither of them quite surviving.

    The whole sequence with the wolves - werewolves, apparently - getting torn apart by the grasping hands of the W̶h̶o̶m̶p̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶W̶i̶l̶l̶o̶w̶ Dancing Dates (there were dates in Medieval Scotland?) is aggressively gory. Normally I'd whole-heartedly approve, but in this case it doesn't fit and that takes the fun out of it.

    Also an issue to me: your paragraphs are gigantic. Please split them up more; they're past the length where my brain is telling me instinctively to start skimming them.
  4. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Minister of Magic DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

    Oct 16, 2010
    Should be a comma after trees. This is the only time I will ever tell you this.
    Wow. What a sentence. So well endowed.

    I'll pop this at the start. This took a lot of time to read. This was effortful. Your paragraphing is atrocious. It, along with your other major thing, makes this ferociously difficult to read, I'm sorry to say.
    Oh no, surely not. Magi-nul? I thought it was cool till I realised it was a muggle king.
    Detritus doesn't feel quite right for a fairy-tale.
    Metamorphosed, again, doesn't suite the tale quite right.
    Should this be 'mouths slavering'? As there's more than one wolf.
    Aloof trees.
    Biting spring.
    Firstly 'burgeoning', but secondly the whole clause itself is unnecessary.
    Frosty, gleaming.
    Happy disbelief.
    Oh my goodness, harmless harmony.

    Please, please ease up on the adverbs and adjectives. They're so distracting and discouraging and pace killing and horrible. Imagine how many more words you could've had to tell this story if you'd cut them out? At least, and I'm spitballing here, 300,000 more.
    You could likely just have 'frond into dancing with the trees'
    As he what?
    This would be clearer as wand.
    Right. So, is the the fairy-tale genesis of werewolves? Maybe?

    Fuck knows. Fuck cares. Straight out of the left field. This entire ending. I almost feel like you're trolling the comp, to be honest.
  5. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Jul 16, 2011
    i love girl's generation tbh
    High Score:
    I had problems reviewing this because I had some issues with not letting my bad feelings for a bunch of the things color my reading of it.

    But they do...

    There's a lot of problems with commas, which lead to a rocky read. The way the adjectives and adverbs are placed do you no favors.

    Sentences like this make you feel like you're being slapped in the face - forehand, backhand, forehand, backhand. I'm getting whiplash.

    This whole listing of titles doesn't apply any kind of significance to her nor does it give any weight to the scene. Don't do stuff like this.
  6. Microwave

    Microwave Professor

    Oct 21, 2017
    This was a bit too dense for me to read very easily.

    The first thing you could do better, really, is to divide your story into more paragraphs. The enter key is your friend.

    You'd also do better to trim some of your description.

    That's so purple it might belong on a mediocre royalty free music website.This is about 1.2k words long and about half of it is just adjectives. They aren't really that necessary.

    I am profoundly uncertain of the tenacity of the longeur of the train of thought that your winding story requires that I follow. You begin your extended narrative with a certain candor one might find if one were to read a tale of mystical winged creatures. You then progress into an unknown, uncharted territory of frank, unanticipated action that largely contrasts the elements of spoken word that you had put your efforts into establishing in the sections previous of your work. Obviously, this disoriented your dear reader who, in his haste, could not easily decipher the true extent of this narrative, overwhelmed by the sheer exuberance of the excessive use of descriptive elements in your ecriture.
  7. Gaius

    Gaius Fourth Year

    Apr 25, 2018
    I feel like your story is trying to do a lot of aetiological work and it shows. The ending explains the origins of werewolves, the separation and warring of Muggles and magicals, and also hints that this becomes the Forbidden Forest. That's a lot!

    I think you should work on one aetiology and clear up the ideas when you revise this piece.
  8. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells Fourth Year DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Dec 4, 2018
    I had high hopes for this story, from the beginning and as the wolves began to chase the boy, but then you lost me at the dancing. It took such a weird turn and lasted for so long without a sense of a story arc.

    I mean, what *are* the Three Trials, exactly?

    I’m sad to say I didn’t understand the ending. I’d be interested to find out what you were going for.
  9. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

    Aug 30, 2009
    High Score:
    Sorry to continue to rain on your parade, but this one was a chore to read. Walls of text rarely make for good writing, and this one hit hard in that regard. You did tell a tale, but I don't understand what the point of it was. The origins of the Forbidden Forest? A nice premise, but lost in the prose, unfortunately.

    However. You did write, and you had the courage to submit, so I give you kudos. Please try your hand at the next prompt and give yourself both the time to look over your concept, and seek out a beta to be your soundboard and help you to get all of your points across.
  10. Majube

    Majube Order Member

    Aug 2, 2016
    High Score:
    Odd fairy tale that didn't seem to have a motive. Also, the cage and dancing tree part felt like it could've been either summarised or made longer.

    Overall the problem is that you seemed to try and cram 3 fairy tales in one, -creation of werewolves, the forbidden forest, and some weird moral about not trusting muggle women.

    Maybe that'd work if you had more length to deal with, but as is you didn't measure up mate.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  11. Niez

    Niez Slug Club Member

    Jun 26, 2018
    Hello :)
    Oh my God, an actual fairy tale? I must be dreaming. And told by the ‘Tales of Beedle the Bard’ too! I don’t know who Tales of Beedle the Bard is, and what is his relationship with Beedle the Bard, but I’m buzzin to find out.

    I know many fairy tales are not specific to any time/place, but ‘somewhere in Scotland’ sounds confused. Either Scotland, or woods, or an actual locality. Anything but a guess, basically.

    Menace? (or Madlife Daddy now, I suppose). But seriously though, a lonely boy is pretty much the opposite of a man, in terms of imagery, so it can’t be almost that. It's like saying ‘a twig, almost a hippopotamus’. Doesn’t make any sense. Also, he can’t be all that lonely if he is with his family.

    This is not a contrast. Why would a raw plant not be filling?

    are the constellations about to eat them? the fuck? what a confused metaphor.

    Maginul, magic-null? Do you, perchance, wish for me to blow my fucking brains out? Also you are missing an ‘in’ between ‘was’ and ‘the’.

    An incredibly poorly way of saying… whatever it is you are trying to say. Seriously, the fuck is this.

    I know groups of threes are common in fairy tales, but using it when describing actions makes me want to punch a wall.

    And again. You seem to have a fixation with threesomes, understandable in some circumstances, very much not so in others.

    You must be kidding. In fact, I’m starting to believe so.

    Wasn’t he the ‘lonely boy’.

    The hell is going on I’m so confused.

    Date palms… in Scotland. Yeah I give up. If a troll congratulations for making me waste a couple of minutes of my time. If serious you really need a beta, as well as someone to slap some common sense into your noggin.
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