Edited by Zarayna: The Quiet Light, May 22 2012 - 01:58 PM.
An Assassin's Reflections
Posted May 21 2012 - 10:02 PM
Posted May 21 2012 - 10:27 PM
Posted May 22 2012 - 09:30 AM
Posted May 23 2012 - 08:44 AM
Sleep spares him pain! Awake, he suffers!
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Posted Jun 12 2012 - 01:19 AM
The "across" should be "through" and the "even" should be removed completely.
The wind blew across the neighborhood, ruffling the assassin's hair even as he walked through the gathering dusk.
Should be "leaf".
Briefly he paused, only to stroke the drooping leave of an iris,
I think that'd be better as: This was how his target spent much of his night hours when sleep would not come (which was most every night now).
This was how his target spent much of his night hours, when sleep would not come, which was most every night.
"...that someone might be watching him." But, if he's an assassin, shouldn't the instinct to stay behind cover already be drilled in his brain? Also since you say later he's a person of discipline, it seems like this would be something he is disciplined about.
The assassin stopped behind a honeysuckle bush as it occurred to him that he might be watched.
Not quite sure what you meant here. He wouldn't be able to take cover behind something? Also, it should be "...had reminded himself,"
On most jobs, he'd never be able to do this, but like he had reminded, this was easy.
With the wording it sounds like "large" is a color. I'd change it to "The irises next to the bush were larger and of a different color, a deep red, with the leaves slightly ruffled.
The irises that followed the bush were of different color, large and deep red, the leaves slightly ruffled.
I'd make it "no"
Nah, he had some time.
But couldn't the assassin be seen from the inside? "Bushes and plants" aren't very good concealment, unless he's crouching. Therefore simply because his target is not in bed yet would be a reason to hide or find shelter rather than simply wander through the gardens. Or, if this is a huge house with a huge garden and the assassin couldn't be seen, then that should be described. As of right now the reader has no idea how big or small the garden is (and as such, how much cover it provides). Also, you forgot the capitalization of "he"
His target would not yet be in bed, much less feeling an urge to visit his gardens. he could wander slowly through the beds of irises.
Should either change "red" to "red flowers/irises" or "were" to "was"; also, "of the same type" isn't needed, IMO.
The red had thinned out, and were intermingled with white of the same type.
I don't think that's the right word, as a scheme is a plan -- perhaps "scene" or "theme"?
Blue would have formed a patriotic scheme,
I'd make this "...gentle blanket; another thing he had not..."
And the evening was intoxicating, the darkness wrapping around like a gentle blanket. That was another thing he had not experienced in a long time, the gentle feeling of a summer evening.
"the" should be capitalized.
Was it by choice or by force? the assassin decided it was by both.
How long had it been since he had noticed the beauties of such thing?
"...the grip was no longer calming. Instead it raised..."
He again touched the gun in his pocket, but the grip was no longer a calm, instead it raised questions, questions mingled with memories, questions rising from memories.
Would be better as: "The assassin walked on, no longer noticing the flowers as black and orange replaced the red and white."Though, why does the black and orange make him not care about the flowers?
The assassin walked on, but the flowers were no longer in his notice, as black and orange replaced red and white.
"Their influence permeated through him and he felt pensive, not driven and practical. He had been this way ever since he had become what he was." And maybe it's just me but I'd add a couple short, quick sentences about what he was. For example "A murderer, an assassin. A slave to his handler, to the life he chose." or something.
Their influence permeated him though, and he felt pensive, not driven and practical like he had even since he had become what he was.
Should be "calming". I'd also put a period after "memories" and capitalized "but" -- it'd just make "but a driving whip" stand out more and have more impact on the reader.
Again he felt the gun in his pocket, and the weapon was no longer a calm, no longer a bringer of memories but a driving whip.
"at its back" sounds weird. Also, again I must bring up the point: how close or how big is the garden? If he can see his target on the porch, why can't his target see him? I know that right now he's concealed in bushes, but back when he was simply wandering the garden it doesn't seem like there would've been enough shelter.
But on the open porch at its back was his target, and the assassin quickly, out of long habit, ducked behind a bush.
"lithe" and "robot" are kinda contradictory, unless you meant them to be in which case you should explain.
The assassin moved like a lithe robot,
You had just described him as moving silently, but if he was heard, then obviously not very silently. You could change it to him being heard simply because he got closer, and therefore louder.
He was heard now,
Awkward sentence, specifically from "the placidity" until the end.
The assassin's heart seemed to tear at itself within him, the placidity of before fighting again, even as the gun forced him to draw it.
"but" instead of "although" would be stronger, IMO. Also, I would start a new paragraph after this sentence, but maybe that's just me.
His target had no time to run, although he tried.
"and the assassin silently watched" "but the assassin stood there silently" -- remove one of those. ----I apologize for all the nitpicking, but I really did like the overall plot and idea of the story -- I'll get to that. First things first, the title. I'd recommend putting it at the top of the story. Maybe it's just me, but it was weird only having the title in the topic title, rather than in the story itself. I think it just sets it up better. As for the title itself, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. You mention that the guy's an assassin in the first sentence, so naming him an assassin in the title doesn't hurt your piece at all, in my opinion. If anything I'd recommend trying to not label him as an assassin until a third or more through the story so the reader is interested -- you'd make hints, but not outright say it, causing the reader to ask questions (but not distracting ones; it'd have to be done in a way that's not at all confusing), which would be a good thing in this case. But I think it's fine how it is. But back to the title itself, it serves its purpose: it interests the reader and gets them wanting to read more. Or maybe that's just because I like stories about assassins. =P Yes, you could have gone with something else about an internal struggle or something, but again, it's fine how it is. Now on to the character. A very interesting character, to be sure. But that unfortunately is a problem. I'm so interested in him that I'm just left with a lot of questions and wanting to know more -- and not in the good way. For example, his way of life being all that he can remember...that leaves me thinking that he was sent to the training camp-thing at a very young age, which is unusual and therefore I'd want it to be explained. What type of place/society is it where they send kids to become assassins? You mention the patriotic red, white and blue, which makes me first think of either America or England or France, all of which are civilized countries, unless this is meant to be an alternate universe of some sort. Now yes, I'm starting to ramble about the possibilities of where this place is, but it's small things like the fact that he seems to have been training for this since childhood that cause me to have a lot of questions. So back to the character himself. Again, very interesting. And you did a good job portraying the internal struggle. Sure, there could have been more, but you did do very well with what you did. One thing I would've liked to see more of, though, was the "don't go there" thing. But that is in a good way, since this is a short story. You left the reader wanting more, but not confused. Yes, I want to know more, but at the same time, I can feel for the character, feel for the way that he wants to repress whatever it is that haunts him, and that drags me into the story more as I become wrapped up in his emotions. If it wasn't a short story I would of course expect you to go into much more detail. I think a little more backstory would be good, though, even if just to explain why he suddenly started having doubts now; is it really just because of the flowers? If so you should go deeper into that -- how he connects the flowers to being in the wrong line of work. Yes, you touch upon that, but not deeply enough. As I said above I did really like the overall plot. The idea of an internally conflicted assassin, especially one with such an interesting background as this, coupled with the more general picture of an assassin on a mission to, well, assassinate, simply makes for quite an intriguing story. Unfortunately, the grammar mistakes and a few other plot holes made it not as enjoyable as it could have been. For one, I was left confused oftentimes and with a lot of questions. Why was the assassin sent to kill the guy in the first place? That right there could've opened up a large opportunity for more characterization, as well as answer the question: why now? Yes, there's flowers, but did he have some doubts before; maybe about this mission? About whether or not this guy really should die? Or simply just characterization because of morals -- not why now but just why him. Was his target deserving of death? Things like that. Also, since he's a professional assassin, I found it a little odd that he'd carry his gun in his pocket; why not a holster? A concealed one, of course, but still. The last thing I want to mention is the description. Some places it was very, very good, and other times I was left confused. I loved your description of what is life and beauty; very accurate in my opinion. I also thought the last few lines were very well written, which is a very good thing -- always great to end on a high note. But now for those questions again. First off, where is he? Not only what country, as I mentioned before, but just simply what were the surroundings like? You say he's in a neighborhood, but yet with the huge garden this guy seems to have a huge house; one so large that he couldn't live in a neighborhood. And if it's not that huge of a house and there are other houses around (as you do mention the house being "not too big"), then wouldn't he be afraid -- or at least cautious -- of being seen? Wandering around someone else's garden for a while is very suspicious. Even the murder act itself could've been seen if it was in the middle of a neighborhood. Yes, there are a lot of plants to conceal him, but you don't mention trees; bushes are usually too low to the ground to provide adequate cover, and when he committed the murder act he wasn't in the garden. Basically I would've just liked to have more description of where he was. Obviously all these questions are rhetorical -- things I would've liked answered in the story itself.Again, though, I truly did enjoy this story, and I really believe that with a little more effort it could become something great. You've got the idea, you've got the interesting character, and I know you've got the writing talent from reading other things of yours as well as parts of this -- put that all together, comb through the story a few times to make edits and to proofread, and you're good to go. Definitely keep writing, Zarayna, you've got a lot of talent. I hope to read more by you.
The sound of the shot was hampered by a silencer, and the assassin silently watched as his target collapsed. But the assassin stood there silently, his very substance rooted by what he saw.
"As a writer you ask yourself to dream while awake." ~ Aimee Bender
Posted Oct 25 2012 - 08:11 PM
Divinator of Dreams.
This Is Proud Stigma.
Posted Oct 25 2012 - 09:01 PM
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