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Writing Comments and Critcism Needed for Opening Scene [PG]


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Fight scenes, for me at least, are hard to write. I cannot judge myself accurately. This is the start of a story I am trying to write, and I believe it has potential. Please helpfully criticize any part of my writing that you do not like so I can improve in the area. Seriously, tell me any little thing that bugs you.


Everyone on the continent of Beltrin knew the story of the Scion and the Descendants; it was both legend and fact.

A hero called Seio once defeated a great and powerful evil. The hero met the nameless demon on a battlefield which later became cursed land. Wielding his shining blade for the side of good, the hero vanquished all evil. Malignant wills crumbled before his gaze. No one could match him in strength, mind, or heart. After a long and treacherous journey, this champion of justice had one final clash with his longtime foe where he should have defeated his most hated adversary. Unfortunately, the nameless demon overcame the nameless adventurer. With his dying breath, the hero cast a forbidden spell?the Exphoros? to seal his foe?s life force. The spell, however, did not act as intended.

This was where events strayed away from a fairytale ending. Instead of locking his adversary?s power, the incantation stripped both fighters of their power and life force. Both warriors died from this decisive clash, but the spell ensured that their skills lived on.

While the natural races of magic remained unaffected, the abilities that the legendary enemies had possessed came to inhabit the humans of Beltrin. Children born after the fateful battle began to show five distinct types of power. Humans, as they always do, labeled these people. Four classes became known as Descendants, and one became the Scion.

Of the Descendants, Hunters exceeded all classes in raw physical prowess. Their often beast-like appearance made them seem more animal than man. The Hunters? senses exceeded those of any animal in sight or hearing. Hunters were the only Descendants able to recognize the Scion.

Dreamers acquired enhanced strength and perception as well, but to a much lesser extent than the Hunters. Dreamers? primary gifts lay in the ability to see and manipulate dreams. They could cause those weaker than themselves to fall asleep and lock them in a world of nightmares.

Summoners formed bonds with spirits and creatures who served as their loyal familiars. The bonds made with these familiars lasted until a Summoner?s death. Beings gifted with amazing endowments?controlling the elements, creating things from thin air? pledged themselves to worthy Summoners. In addition, they had the unique ability to leave their bodies and walk the land as spirits.

The last members of the Descendants were known as Revivers. They healed life-threatening maladies with the touch of a hand. Revivers? bodies resisted all forms of sickness and poison, seemingly victim only to old age. However, they died as easily as any other mortal from wounds to the flesh, because their own healing powers would not work on themselves. All Revivers could speak directly to others minds.
Whether they were celebrated or feared, people depended upon Descendants. Soon after the death of Seio, a prophesy was made. The calamitous being who destroyed Seio would be reborn to impose vengeance on all human kind. Only the Descendants could find this being. Only they could seal his malevolence.

This being born into the human race to seek vengeance on his brothers came to be known as the Scion. Only one lived at a time, and humans made every effort to kill the Scion before he or she reached adulthood. Each country formed its own special squad to hunt him. Although the Scion rarely reached the age of two, many humans feared that one would escape and unleash the sleeping power within his or herself, although none knew the true extent of that power.

Most Descendants joined an arcane society dedicated to the Scion?s eradication. They occupied all five countries, seeking the Scion and mercilessly destroying those who obstructed their path.

Humans easily forgot the truth that lay hidden in Seio?s legend. Truth is nothing more than individual perception within an ill-defined reality. Time passed. Many humans still believed in slaying the Scion. Some openly objected to killing a child based only on an ancient augury, and a few were merely apathetic. The other races put no value in this self-centered tale?as long as the humans left them alone.

People forget all too easily that legends are based off truth, and that nothing is true in any legend.

[CENTER]Chapter 1[/CENTER]

The sun?s first tendrils of light seeped through the eastern sky. All around the birds? aubade echoed through the otherwise quiet wood. Newly reawakened vegetation displayed the greenery won after the war winter had raged. Light breezes barely whispered through the spring air. It was a serene setting, but it would not remain so. Peace is broken quickly, and this morning was no exception.

Felix held his hand-and-a-half sword parallel to the ground, his corded arm perfectly motionless. The dark blue hue of the serrated blade matched the blue encircling Felix?s gold eyes. Unusual coloring was common among Descendants, and Felix was no exception. His black hair was loosely tied back. Those traits coupled with his rough, fierce features gave him an appearance reminiscent of a wolf. He stared into the gray-violet eyes of his opponent and smiled. Neither had won a decisive match. Felix was a Dreamer and could have given himself an advantage using his inborn power, but that would make for a meaningless victory.

Said opponent mirrored his position: her dark silver longsword with its vibrant red hilt and fuller positioned by her side, her lithe, lightly muscular arm perfectly straight. Her lips quirked into a small smirk; she rarely smiled and never laughed, but that smirk eternally graced her sharp features. Normally left unbound, her dark crimson hair was now kept in a severe braid reaching halfway down her back. She had dressed in pants, a short tunic, baldric, and bracers, every stitch black. Her dark appearance contradicted with her name, but she was full of contradictions. Seroth, her teacher and adoptive father, gave her the name Amaranth after the immortal, unfading flower. Amaranth thought it completely arrogant and pretentious to be named such; she loved the name.

For twelve years they had known each other and trained together. At age sixteen their rivalry equaled their friendship. They were different in many ways, but they had unyielding stubbornness in common. Another common trait was that they were both, as Seroth so aptly put it, ?boring sword children,? but they made up for it by being left-handed. It should be common fact that the best sword masters are always left-handed, especially when it involves a legend.

The first strike brought a harmonious ring from their swords. They switched to both hands on their weapons and struggled briefly, each trying to push the other away, before Amaranth leapt back. Using natural talent wisely is important in fighting, so while Felix outmatched her in raw strength, she relied more on quick blows. Immediately she struck again. Her sword left a silver afterimage like the tail of a falling star as she made a swift arc from the ground towards his head. Without having to think Felix avoided the blow and clashed his blade against Amaranth?s once again.

Blade collided with blade creating a symphony of rings. With each slash they nearly cut each other, but they never shed a single drop of blood. By now their moves were second nature. Felix parried a blow aimed at his shoulder; Amaranth dodged a slash towards her front. Hit, evade, hit again.

Felix put more force behind his actions, forcing Amaranth closer to a tree. Their swords met, and he kept pushing her backwards. Refusing to let herself be pinned, the swordswoman relaxed her arm and ducked left, hoping Felix would stumble forward. This move, however, was not unexpected. The Dreamer adjusted the direction of his momentum. Amaranth swung in an upward arc once again. Their blades simultaneously stopped an inch from each other?s necks. During their decade of practices they had learned exceptional control of their movements.

For a moment they held a staring contest, the stubbornness in their veins overriding their ability to accept another stalemate. This might have gone on for a good amount of time?their record was seven minutes?had a spider not chosen to interrupt them.

The spider, which measured about the size of Amaranth?s pinky nail, fell on the girl?s left cheek near her eye. Unfazed, she offered her spare right hand to the spider. The furry gray arachnid crawled timidly onto her hand. Felix broke into laughter and sheathed his sword in the belt around his waist.

?Shall we call it a draw then, Felix?? she wondered passively as she slipped her sword across her back into her baldric. Carefully she examined the spider as it moved across her hand. She placed the hand firmly against the poplar the spider had fallen from and watched the eight-legged creature crawl onto the tree.

?It?s a draw,? Felix confirmed through his laughter. ?You know, most girls would be upset if a spider landed on their cheek.?

?I think the spider is adorable,? said Amaranth. ?And I am not like most girls.?

Felix laughed again softly. ?I?m glad about that. The thought of you in a dress is actually sort of frightening.? The comment earned him a light slap to the back of his head. They treaded through the forest, the sound of their steps barely audible. ?You?re still pretty, though.? He privately thought it was true but meant the words as a joke.

Amaranth rolled her eyes and considered hitting him again. ?Another way I am different from the general female population: words do nothing for me. Do not become sycophantic with me. Flattery is no way to win a fight.?
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[color=#503f86]This isn't so much a story or grammatical criticism, but it'd be nice to have an introduction. I'm finding it hard to know what I'm supposed to be following, heh. A little briefing about what Descendants and Dreamers are would be cool to read, too.

The first paragraph's nice. It sets the scene well, and I like the last line in there.

A little confused about the line describing his eyes- are they coloured in rings, then, or is his skin/eyeline blue?

Just a small technical point- it sounds odd to 'sheath' a sword in a belt, because it doesn't cover it. You just... slide it in, heh. There doesn't seem to be a better appropriate word, though.

I would avoid the use of 'pinky nail'. It seems too colloquial for the setting. 'Fingernail' would do it- it wouldn't matter to me as a reader which fingernail it was.

[QUOTE]He privately thought it was true but meant the words as a joke.[/QUOTE]I think this should be re-ordered, or re-written. It's just not nearly as effective as some of the other sentences in the piece, and it needs to be if it's setting up an important character trait that's going to be developed later on. Take a few lines to describe it if you need to, if it's appropriate.

The only other thing I was wondering about was Amaranth's second line of dialogue. It looks good on paper, but it doesn't sound like something you'd realistically say as dialogue in general conversation. Unless it's an idiosyncracy she holds to her character, it just seems a bit... complicated.

But still, it's all very nice. Like I said, having an introduction would have made anaylsing it a little easier (I personally dislike having names, titles, races etc dropped in without a kind of explanation as to what they mean, but I know this is just a snippet so excuse my pedanticism ^_^; )[/color]
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Thanks for the good comments, Solo Tremaine. I shall address them in no apparent order.

I live in Tennessee, so I use a lot of colloquialisms. Felix's irises are gold and blue, the gold towards the outside of the iris. Think of a bull's eye. I need to rewite some stuff, obviously. Amaranth is supposed to speak like that. It stays in her character, and she talks that way because her teacher/guardian speaks that way. And the line you quoted... I hate that line. No idea why I wrote it. And for the swords... it is a boy and girl, two sixteeen-year-olds, fighting with swords. Wording a sentence without someone seeing innuendo is difficult. Way too many euphemisms.

For the different races, I know what you mean. I hate things being thrown in without being explained. I have written a little farther and I will always write a clear paragraph explaining races. Which is why I will add the prologue of my story to my first post.
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[COLOR=#503F86]That's cool; I'm happier now, hehe ^__^

It's very well-written, and put me in mind a lot of RPGs. Sounds like you've put a lot of work into developing the story elements, and it's showing pretty well.

And I can understand the problems with euphamism. Even when not in fiction >.>;[/COLOR]
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