The Wraith (Sscc #9 Entry)
Posted Feb 25 2012 - 05:35 PM
The Toa of Fire ran from his dead friend, a shadowy being pursuing him. He ducked behind a pillar of protodermis, rolling away to run again when the creature chasing him pulled it away. He heard laughing, and he rolled again, breathing heavily.
"Where are you running to, Vakama?" Makuta roared, his dark chuckle sending chills down the toa of fire's spine. "Just give me the mask, and your friends can live..." The tall, shadowy being stomped along the ground, each footstep sending tremors to where the toa of fire was hiding. The toa of fire shrunk up against the pillar, hoping against hope that the winged demon would not find him.
He saw a rock, and he picked it up. He threw it off to the side, where it hit against another pillar. He ran as the demon turned towards it, reaching out with his shadowy claw, ripping the column apart. He ducked behind another, trying to calm himself as the being flew over to where he had jumped.
"You can't hide," Makuta whispered, loud enough that Vakama could hear him. He heard the tiny toa's heart beat faster, and turned towards the noise. He laughed again as the toa of fire ran away, activating his mask. Makuta used his hearing and his element, sensing where the toa ran.
"I can see you," he said, looking to the toa's shadow. He stomped over towards it, and turned as it ran one way and then another. He reached out with his shadow, grasping a pillar and bringing it back to him. He was slowly removing the Toa's cover, leaving him free to die.
The toa of fire panted, up against another pillar. He turned, and saw the shadowy, winged demon next to him. He gasped, and ran as hard as he could. He tripped, turning to notice the being leering at him from above. He crawled backwards, anything to get away from this Makuta. Vakama activated his mask, hiding his presence. He cringed as Makuta laughed.
"There is no life in the void," he heard whispered in his ear. A shadow hand grasped him, pulling him inexorably backwards. He saw the mask that the demon wanted, sinking slowly to the bottom. He turned, seeing his enemy's smiling face.
"There is no life in the void," the being repeated as darkness grew around Vakama's eyes. "Only death," Vakama finished defiantly, staring blindly, angrily, into death's red eyes.
Posted Mar 23 2012 - 07:55 PM
You chose a whammer of a quote, and already you set yourself up for a hard climb. That may have been the reason that I simply wasn't scared as much as I felt I should have been. I wanted the sensation of staring into the void and feeling utterly terrified.
Part of why I felt this way, I believe, was the fact that you chose to tell this story in the dramatic viewpoint (with a hint of omniscient). Now, I don't think that that POV was without it's merits, but in this story you needed to connect us to Vakama, to immerse us in his fear. This is really hard to do in the dramatic view, and think you would be much better served by third person limited. (This is when you tell the story in third person but restrict us to what Vakama thinks and feels.)
Something specific that bothered me:
"Only death," Vakama finished defiantly, staring blindly, angrily, into death's red eyes.
Vakama is completely agreeing with Makuta, so how is he being defiant? Also you used three adverbs in one sentence, which really clutters it up. If you kill your adverbs on sight, it makes for much cleaner writing. (Adjectives should also be used judiciously.) You don't need to remind us of Vakama's toa of fireness more than once, and don't call Makuta a "being". "Being" is a weak noun that tells us nothing about what he is.
There's nothing obviously wrong with your prose style, but it lacks "bite." Try and give us a bit of an atmosphere. Developing a voice takes a while and I encourage you to keep writing and especially getting feedback. If you have any questions as to specifics, feel free to ask me. Good luck in the contest. ^^
Don't tell me which way I run.
What good could that do anyone?
Posted Mar 24 2012 - 10:58 AM
And about the "Toa of Fire" compared to being just a "Being," I write like that at times too. Think of it this way-the Matoran barely knew anything about the Makuta, how would Vakama just know more?* Don't forget, I also call him "Winged Demon" and "Makuta" too. But oh well.
And I'm just wondering why I took so long to get feedback on this one. I guess I just haven't been in the Library long enough. When I used to come all the time things were different, but meh.
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