Spark's Desk

#1
Lesson 2

Hey! So I just found this place, and while my fights scenes are either over in an instant or last quite a bit I pulled one out of context for this - 530 words. A bit too much and there may be some plot holes due to some information being left out. At this point you can skip to the actual fight scene (indicated with *****)  or read a bit more for context. The mc [somehow] came across a group of wolves surrounding an unknown to him creature and its two cubs. The family of three were heavily injured and moments away from losing the fight.

*********

I didn’t wait for them to start, instead tossed my knife upwards and pulled out a throwing knife in each hand. Coating them with essence, I whipped them at the two closest wolves which dropped dead in an instant. Their skulls pierced between the eyes.

I grabbed my air-borne knife, coated it and with a swift lunge pierced another wolf’s throat. The fourth one bit down hard on my left hand. Pain flared through my body, I turned on my left foot as a pivot and punted the overgrown dog with my right. It let go of my arm with a yelp as it was catapulted into a tree.

My arm became coated with blood as it flowed through the fang wounds. But I knew I came out as the victor. Within several seconds I took out half of their pack. Hesitation formed within the survivors. The alpha wolf came forward and they all parted, making way for him.

“Finally decided to stop hiding behind others?”

It didn’t need to understand what I said; my ice-cold tone more than obvious. He leapt a bit to my side with speed beyond what I expected-

‘Shit, is he going to avoid me?’

I hastily turned to intercept him but he turned as soon as his front paws landed and dashed straight at me, fangs bared. Unprepared, I could only sacrifice my left arm once more to stop the attack, hoping to finish with a knife to the jugular.

As the alpha bit down, it brought its hind paws in and kicked me in the stomach. My knife was about to pierce his neck but the impact sent me flying a few meters. I skidded to a halt and gasped as another wave of pain rolled over my body from the long gashes in my arm. I dashed forward, but I was too late. An opening was created and the alpha took it.

One of the cubs tried to jump at its neck but was batted away without effort. The second one’s front paw gave out and it collapsed. Before the little one could be devoured the parent’s magnificent tail whipped out, taking the cub’s place and was gnawed on instead. The striped tail was coated with a sliver of essence, but not enough. Blood filled the wolf’s mouth and flowed down its chin.

I threw my dagger straight at its head. The wolf let go and twisted its neck to avoid the knife. However I had one last throwing dagger that I pulled out. The alpha seemed intelligent enough to try and avoid my charge with a metal weapon.

I smiled to myself as I realized its build didn’t allow it to jump backwards fast enough while its sides were blocked by the parent and dead bodies. In a last ditch resort the alpha leapt upwards but I saw that coming and followed with ease. From below I had the advantage and finished the job as I originally planned.

I yanked the knife out and blood spurted out from the jugular. The remaining wolves ran off with their tails between their legs at the sight of their leader’s body collapsing.

[Thank….you.]



******
P.S.

As a side note, I am interested in applying my story for your facebook page but it currently is about 8,000 words short of the 50,000 requirment. If it was possible I wanted you to literealy skim it and let me know if it could pass on the grammar side or if the little snip here disqualifies it due to mistakes xD (I think it can :P). Again this part is unecsary as I do not even meet the word count but still greatly appreaciated.

RE: Lesson 4: Relationships

#2
Lesson 4

Hey, so this is actually my second submission - but I digressed already. - let me know if the relationship between these two people is clearWink.  This is a bit on the longer side - 680 words but the situation is a bit special ah well, here goes~

********

“Come on small guy, time to haul your ass out of bed.”

I groggily opened my eyes, awakened by Eagle.

“Morning sleepy head.”

Sitting up I looked around. ‘When did I go to bed...dammit, must have passed out again.’

“You know Cato, I’ve lost count of how many times I woke you up over the past month.”

Eagle got up from the chair beside my bed and tossed me my clothes.

“Come, Marden and Barth are waiting for us.”

I jumped out of bed and got dressed, not worrying about Eagle watching me. The two of us both saw each other in far darker and more gruesome situations.

“What do those guys want with us? And what happened at the camp. After we entered that tent my memory becomes foggy.”

Eagle led me through the door,

“Well you busted a nut or something. Never seen you that pissed in a … well never actually. Your essence completely enshrouded you and turned blood red. After that you cut down bandit after bandit so fast that you may as well have been teleporting.”

I clamped my eyes and tried to bring back the memory but my mind remained an empty void.

“After you calmed down a bit the two farts arrived with a chick that was about to cut us down had they not stopped her. It took a bit to get her to calm down but eventually they led us back to the guild place where you spent the night.”

We arrived at a large door made of an exotic wood. The likes of which I have never seen before.

Eagle pushed it open and we entered the room.

“.llew uoy fo htob ees ot dalg ,otaC ,elgaE“”

Marden, who stood to the left of some women elf, spoke up with a smile.

“Tell him to get to the point, with him beaming like that I don’t need to understand what he’s saying to see the matter being pranced around.”

There were two chairs in front of a large desk behind which sat the lady elf. I seated myself as Eagle exchanged several more sentences before looking at me.

“Listen, the two were forced to tell her about us and after seeing our talent, she wants to send us to an academy for several years to bolster the guild’s reputation and further improve our talents. Apparently its the best there is and two passes have been acquired for us both”

I thought over the information for a bit as Eagle motioned with his hand and Marden showed to glowing envelopes.

“Eagle, convey what I am about to say with identical expression got it?”

A curt nod was all I needed,

“Like FUCK we are going to some academy. Tell both of them that if they give me that pass I will shove it up their assholes and set it aflame. And if they send me by force the student body will quickly dwindle and no way in HELL will they find proof it was me. I ended up here for god knows what reason. I DO. NOT. WANT. TO. BE. HERE. My only goal for the past several years is to find Asher and that has not changed.”

I finished my barrage of words,

“Hahaha”

Eagle started laughing.

“Sure thing, boss.”

A glare shut him up, their he stuck out a hand and a single finger, indicating for the other three to wait. ‘Well, I suppose it would take a bit of time to translate that.’ I watched as Eagle did his damn best to replicate what I had said and judging by the stunned expressions, did one hell of a good job.

I patted Eagle on the back and let a smug smile creep across my face as he turned towards me and gave a thumbs up.

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#3
Lesson 2

@thelastspark:

In terms of my writing prompt, the goal was a "fast-paced" action scene. This excerpt you have submitted is much more of a "psychological" action scene in that all of your MC's moves were depicted in detail, including a great deal of explanation of the reasoning behind each move and the MC's anticipation of his opponents' moves. If you would like to create a "fast-paced" action scene in the future, use shorter sentences that only sketch out the bare outlines of what's happening, similar to the amount of detail you would notice when full of adrenaline.

I had a lot of trouble making my brain accept your fight scene simply because it depicts wolves moving in extremely un-wolf-like and possibly physically impossible ways. As far as I'm aware, wolves and dogs don't kick like horses do, and even if they did, it would still be impossible to kick something with the hind legs while facing forward. If they somehow managed to contort their bodies into this extremely unnatural configuration, it definitely wouldn't be with enough force to knock someone backwards a large distance. If all of this somehow happened, the MC should lose a huge chunk of arm rather than just having gashes from being torn away from the wolf's bite.

Based on this sample, your fiction would not qualify for the grammar feature. The mistakes I found are as follows:

Quote:
I didn’t wait for them to start, instead toss[ing] my knife upwards and pull[ing] out a throwing knife in each hand. Coating them with essence, I whipped them at the two closest wolves[,] which[who] dropped dead in an instant[,] their skulls pierced between the eyes.

Pain flared through my body[.] I turned on my left foot as a pivot and punted the overgrown dog with my right.


It didn’t need to understand what I said; my ice-cold tone [was] more than obvious.

Before the little one could be devoured[,] the parent’s magnificent tail whipped out, taking the cub’s place and was gnawed on instead.


However[,] I had one last throwing dagger that I pulled out.

RE: Lesson 4: Relationships

#4
Lesson 4

@thelastspark

In general, unadorned dialogue is a particularly horrible way to depict the unique relationship between two characters. Without tone and body language description, you leave 90% of the interaction for the reader to fill with their imagination, and the readers are not going to fill it in in the same way you would.

You went for a jokey situation with a humorous atmosphere in this scene, leaving me unable to tell whether the characters are truly close to each other or just casual people who joke around a lot. The main clue was "I jumped out of bed and got dressed, not worrying about Eagle watching me. The two of us both saw each other in far darker and more gruesome situations." which refers to events outside of this scene rather than depicting the relationship within the confines of the scene.

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#6
Lesson 2

@Uni

Thanks for the feedback, two things. The first is the question of why a wolf that has forward momentum and latched onto someone's arm, can't bring its hind feet to kick off. Perhaps it was my fault leading the reader to believe the wolf remained perpendicular to Cato and didn't use the momentum to become parallel/closer to Cato using the arm as an anchor to rotate around. At which point kicking off wouldn't become that difficult of a task. Since it happened in a smooth and quick motion I didn't write it in detail - again, probably my fault.

The second question is how come the knife section was changed to present tense instead of past, when the entire section was written in past.

Thanks in advance,
Spark

Spark's Desk

#7
Lesson 6

I am back once more and went a bit overboard once more, the description just took away, just like this sentence. Anyways, with this being my third submission I should seriously consider making a desk seeing as how I am planning on doing the realism lesson next. Here goes~


****
Hours of walking through the damned forest and nothing to show for it.’ A distant hooting sound caught my attention and I followed it. It wasn’t far from me and before long I came across a small clearing in which a goddess greeted me. 


She was dancing a splendid and graceful dance that seemed to call out to the forest and the animals themselves, promising safety and comforting days. I stood entranced, my previous anger washed away as the sun’s golden rays covered the clearing, colouring her silky dress.


Each move, each step, each twirl precise and free flowing, just like the dress which was dancing to its own symphony.  Separate, yet together a magnificent performance that spoke to one’s soul was carried out by nothing less than a goddess, with wings on her back that did nothing to take away from her splendid beauty.


Only after several minutes did I break free from my trance and notice the owls and birds flying around her. Hooting, tweeting and twittering, the birds sung their own piece to which they danced. The entire forest seemed to sway to the rhythm and care little for anything else.


I blinked several times to make sure my sanity was still intact. After the third blink I spotted a wispy trail of glittering dust coming from a marble vase resting atop a short column. It was a bit far and hard to make out but even from here, the intricate drawing spanning the vase would be worth a fortune.


A hint of greed welled up within me and I circled around the clearing to inspect it. No sooner than I had touched it than the butterfly-winged goddess disappeared, along with the comforting ray of sunshine and birds. I looked down to see a cracked and poorly made pot. Not a trace of the grandiose performance remained. Only the fleeting memory of a graceful dance carried out by a sun kissed woman which has no equal across the world, as a reminder to never let the darker emotions take hold, was left.


I returned home, touched by what I saw and did my best to help others, give to charity and make up for my previous sins I have done.


Every day I would return to the same spot in hopes of seeing the performance once more. After twenty years the entire village became like a family to me. No longer a suspicious hermit to them, they all carried out my final wish. I was brought to the same place where I last saw the goddess. It was clear they thought me crazy, with massive, thundering clouds threatening to drench us at a moment’s notice.


But after a moment a spectral figure appeared, ‘It’s her!’. Boundless joy, happiness and relief washed over me as the goddess approached and spoke with a voice sweeter than sugar,


“You did well.”


With that, she took off in the same manner as all those years ago. The birds sung, the clouds parted and everyone present stood stunned in the same manner that I was at first. A unique feeling of vigour filled me and I stood on my own for the first time in years. The knowledge of the dance came to my mind I wasted no time in joining her. We danced and danced under the splendid sun, surrounded by birds and caring not for anything else.


When the dance was finished, a single tear of happiness flowed down my cheek as my time came to a stop. And the goddess disappeared once more. And only a memory remained ingrained in the villagers hearts’.

RE: Lesson 2: Action!

#8
Lesson 2

@thelastspark:

Regarding why the wolf couldn't kick with its back legs:
In general, when kicking, the legs pushing off from the ground are not the legs actually doing the kicking. You can try this if you want, but be careful not to fall down and hurt yourself. Try and kick a target with both feet at the same time. With enough practice and balance, you can do it, but not with nearly as much force as if you left one foot on the ground and kicked with the other one. Theoretically, you could alter this by jumping up and kicking on the way down and then adding a backflip to redirect your body's momentum, but you didn't mention anything about the wolf doing a backflip or landing on its back after kicking, so there was simply no explanation for how it generated enough momentum to knock the MC back.

Regarding the first sentence:
In order to keep all of it in one sentence, the verbs had to be changed to the present participle. The alternative edit, which would split it into two sentences would be "I didn’t wait for them to start[;] instead [I] tossed my knife upwards and pulled out a throwing knife in each hand. "

RE: Lesson 6: Description

#9
Lesson 6

@thelastspark:

Stay within the word limit.

Your description of the image reasonably depicted all the details.

If you are going to hyphenate your adjective-verb compound adverbs, do so for all of them. You did "butterfly-winged" but not "free-flowing" or "poorly-made".

Watch your word choices. "nothing less than a goddess" is redundant when you already call her "goddess" in two other places. The word "grandiose" is a derogatory adjective meaning "pompous" or "overblown".

In terms of your set-up for this scene, it makes very little sense. Your MC starts out randomly walking through a forest with no explanation for why he's there, and therefore no explanation for why he's angry he hasn't found anything. He then proceeds to make up for unknown "previous sins" by helping a village that popped up out of nowhere. Then twenty years pass and he is suddenly unable to walk, which is generally a weird thing to happen unless he was fifty or older in the first scene.

Spark's Desk

#12
Alright, time to make a desk, I will catch up on missed assignments eventually xD

Lesson 2:

“Come on small guy, time to haul your ass out of bed.”

I groggily opened my eyes, awakened by Eagle.

“Morning sleepy head.”

Sitting up I looked around. ‘When did I go to bed...dammit, must have passed out again.’

“You know Cato, I’ve lost count of how many times I woke you up over the past month.”

Eagle got up from the chair beside my bed and tossed me my clothes. 

“Come, Marden and Barth are waiting for us.”

I jumped out of bed and got dressed, not worrying about Eagle watching me. The two of us both saw each other in far darker and more gruesome situations.

“What do those guys want with us? And what happened at the camp. After we entered that tent my memory becomes foggy.”

Eagle led me through the door,

“Well you busted a nut or something. Never seen you that pissed in a … well never actually. Your essence completely enshrouded you and turned blood red. After that you cut down bandit after bandit so fast that you may as well have been teleporting.”

I clamped my eyes and tried to bring back the memory but my mind remained an empty void.

“After you calmed down a bit the two farts arrived with a chick that was about to cut us down had they not stopped her. It took a bit to get her to calm down but eventually they led us back to the guild place where you spent the night.”

We arrived at a large door made of an exotic wood. The likes of which I have never seen before.

Eagle pushed it open and we entered the room. 

“.llew uoy fo htob ees ot dalg ,otaC ,elgaE“”

Marden, who stood to the left of some women elf, spoke up with a smile.

“Tell him to get to the point, with him beaming like that I don’t need to understand what he’s saying to see the matter being pranced around.”

There were two chairs in front of a large desk behind which sat the lady elf. I seated myself as Eagle exchanged several more sentences before looking at me.

“Listen, the two were forced to tell her about us and after seeing our talent, she wants to send us to an academy for several years to bolster the guild’s reputation and further improve our talents. Apparently its the best there is and two passes have been acquired for us both”

I thought over the information for a bit as Eagle motioned with his hand and Marden showed to glowing envelopes.

“Eagle, convey what I am about to say with identical expression got it?”

A curt nod was all I needed,

“Like FUCK we are going to some academy. Tell both of them that if they give me that pass I will shove it up their assholes and set it aflame. And if they send me by force the student body will quickly dwindle and no way in HELL will they find proof it was me. I ended up here for god knows what reason. I DO. NOT. WANT. TO. BE. HERE. My only goal for the past several years is to find Asher and that has not changed.”

I finished my barrage of words,

“Hahaha”

Eagle started laughing.

“Sure thing, boss.”

A glare shut him up, their he stuck out a hand and a single finger, indicating for the other three to wait. ‘Well, I suppose it would take a bit of time to translate that.’ I watched as Eagle did his damn best to replicate what I had said and judging by the stunned expressions, did one hell of a good job.

I patted Eagle on the back and let a smug smile creep across my face as he turned towards me and gave a thumbs up.

RE: Spark's Desk

#13
Nice to see you made a desk. We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties, but when they are resolved, I will move your other exercises and their critiques into this thread.

As you already submitted this piece for Lesson 4 and also already submitted a piece for Lesson 2 (not that this piece has anything to do with an action scene), I will not provide another critique at this time.

RE: Spark's Desk

#14
11/23/2016 03:03:48unice5656 Wrote: [ -> ]Nice to see you made a desk. We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties, but when they are resolved, I will move your other exercises and their critiques into this thread.

As you already submitted this piece for Lesson 4 and also already submitted a piece for Lesson 2 (not that this piece has anything to do with an action scene), I will not provide another critique at this time.



That's fine, I just refrained from posting further submissions so you can reply below. That way the critique (old or new depending if its a new or old submission) and lesson can go hand in hand. From what I understand you will be able to carry both my submissions and feedback together. In which case I should just wait?

Thanks, 
Spark

RE: Spark's Desk

#15
I have move your posts here. They are automatically arranged by date posted. If you had completed the lessons one at a time, the lessons would be grouped with their critique, but in your case they are jumbled together. I have tagged each post with the lesson number so that you can tell which posts go together.

RE: Spark's Desk

#16
Alright! Only some twenty-eight odd words or so over the limit. Making progress, making progress. Decided to have some fun (got side tracked again) with this one.

**** Lesson 1 (Juan) ****


“And with this, we should have everything we need to finish the banner for friday!”

Teresa shouted out with a smile as she placed a basket of paint beside me. I looked over the contents, three tubes of red, two half-filled green, four yellow, five blue and a various assortment of other colours.

“That should be enough, but what happened to having an equal amount of the red, blue and yellow colours? I specifically requested that amount as it would be enough to cover the entire banner without a problem.”

I stared at Teresa who looked down and fidgeted with her hands.

“Oh...that...it was my fault. Blake wasn’t feeling well and asked me to go to the store for him. I must have missed some.”

Letting out a sigh I turned towards the blank, four meter-long paper in front of us.

“It’s fine, I made sure to order more than enough in case something like this happened. But Teresa, you don’t have to cover for everyone. Sometimes getting caught or in trouble will help fix one’s ways.”

I took a tray from the stack and started pouring the three primary colours, followed by several others that might come in handy.

Teresa looked over with interest,

“Blue, red, yellow...black, brown, orange, purple, white…”

She started counting something on her fingers as I passed the tray to her and put an identical amount of paint on a tray for myself.

“John, do you always have a specific order of doing things? Even the paint you squeezed out was done in alphabetical order.”

A brief look of surprise flashed my face as I turned to face her,

“You actually noticed? Not many people do. Order, it’s a wonderful thing that things as complicated as societies need to work.”
She blushed a bit and hurriedly scooped by the tray and paint brush,

“Uh, i-it-it’s not like I normally keep track of what you do, just this one time I noticed...that we’re alone…”

Teresa's face went flush red and her breathing turned slightly irregular. That last bit was hard to make out.

“What was that last part?”

“No-nothing! So, how should we start?”

She replied immediately, ‘is she okay?’

“I’m not sure why you picked up the paint and brush, we need to create the outline from the picture on my phone first…”

I took out the phone and opened up the picture, Terasa leaned in to take a better look at it. She was so close I could smell the sweet smell of her perfume. A door clicked open and someone barged in.

“Hey guys, sorry I’m late - woah.”

I put the phone down and turned towards Blake. Terasa practically jumped to her feet in surprise.

“We waited ten minutes for you, where were you?”

He took a step back and looked around, trying to frantically think up of an excuse.

“J-John, it’s fine. What matters is that he made it! So now all of us can work on the banner together.”

“And you, have really stop being so forgiving. I planned out his share of the work to do and we nearly had to it for him.”

********


Not sure if the line, "John, do you always have a specific order of doing things? Even the paint you squeezed out was done in alphabetical order." would violate mentioning that he is discpliened, but I felt that I have enough other pointers that even without that it's fine (maybe?). Also, hope that Terasa's kind-natured thing got through.
Cheers!

RE: Spark's Desk

#17
In this piece, your John was "disciplined" in a neat-freak kind of way. Remember that someone who is disciplined doesn't necessarily have to impose rules on other people. Other than Teresa running Blake's errand for him, none of her other actions or interactions particularly suggested "good-natured", and your superimposing her having a crush on John actually made her motives look like she was trying to make things less troublesome for him rather than being generally good-natured.

As long as you didn't use the word "disciplined" or "good-natured", you obeyed the prompt. I personally found the alphabetical colours a bit contrived; I think a more logical order would be to group complementary colours or go from light to dark.

RE: Spark's Desk

#18
Yea, I was worried that the crush/good-natured might conflict, but having a guy and a girl working on a project alone seemed like the perfect setup, *shrug*.

For disciplined I was going more for having a certain way of doing things,  as google gave me, "showing a controlled form of behavior or way of working."

So I thought him planning everything out, including what people should do kinda set him up as disciplined. Ehhh, guess not so much xD

Thanks as always,
Spark