Those eyes

AthelasAthelas Cape Town South Africa

I entered something in the Q2 bardic competition, and I'm honestly not surprised that it didn't make the final cut. Other than my lack of writing ability and English not being my first language, there are many reasons this would not fit in with the general idea of something that's good for the bardic competition.

I would still like comment from people that actually play Achaea though, so I published it on my personal web site.

Warning: This is not short at all, the length alone could be a contributing factor in it not featuring in the Bardic results.

A short brief before you start reading:

There are two worlds involved here, one being Achaea, the other being a world of my own creation, called Tunap. Tunap was over a decade ago, to run a game for my local RP group. Everything you read about Tunap and it's characters, was actual RP! Some of the technicalities have been altered, but the story has not. I did have to take license with some of the things Athelas was involved with though.

Please note: I created Athelas on Achaea, as a direct result of RP in the game I was running. The events of which are described in Episode 1.

So, here it is:

Episode 1 - Those eyes:

Episode 2 - The last Seleucarian:

Episode 3 - A tree in the family:

I honestly would appreciate any comments. If you wish to be brutal, go ahead, but please keep in mind:
1. English is not my first language
2. I'm in no way a professional author of any kind.



  • AthelasAthelas Cape Town South Africa

    Zero comments?

    Ladies and gents, if it's that bad, let me know what I'm doing wrong, please!

  • Well, a few spelling mistakes. I have no idea what a Dept-collector is, unless it's a department collector in which case I wouldn't even know what his main job would be.

    Putting those aside, I'll say there were a few more things that seemed rather strange to me.
    "Athelas woke dramatically," While I understand it, it was jarring. DRAMATIC! and then you go on to explain how he woke up, which could be described as dramatic. You don't need to use the adjective and then explain it, or vice versa.

    "You never told me your name Hermit,” he said accusingly "But if it's fine with you, I'll just call you Father from now on.", he continued as he turned to the grave. "Because that's what you are to me.", he finished.
    Ah, nearly perfect. Until the very last part. Why did you have to explain it? "Because that's what you are to me." It went from a pretty heartfelt moment to a nearly comical statement. Cut out that last part and it would have been great.

    "Yes.", he answered, barely able to hide his irritation.

    "But why?", she pressed him.

    Unable to contain it, Athelas stood and walked away a few paces, then turned and locked eyes with her.

    "Look, " he said with a hint of irritation: "I honestly have no idea why my eyes are black. I honestly have no idea why I don't have visible irises, and I really don't know why people insist they can see starts in my eyes."

    I think he is already past the point of irritation, so to describe his vocals as saying "he said with a hint of irritation" seems a bit strange. I mean, he might actually be speaking with only a "hint" but his body is sure showing quite a few other signs.

    All that aside though, Athelas quickly grew within the ranks of the Druids. Achieving full member status within the guild, mere months after first being inducted. Not one to stand idle, he soon became a mentor himself and started teaching new initiates. His own training didn't suffer though, as he often found himself a student in the company of Hyperlith, learning even more of the wonders of Nature, from that wise old Troll.

    All that aside though? Nope, we don't put that at the beginning of a paragraph. It's something of a continuation, and while paragraphs can have continuation phrases, I'd stay away from them.
    Quickly grew within the ranks is also a bit of an overstatement. As we all know and play this game, becoming a full member is more like not failing, or not being an intern anymore. So yes, we can say he grew quickly and became a mentor, but joining a full member status is not growing in ranks. It can be "advancing quickly" though, but "rank" is actually something more reserved for larger titles.

    Birds delivering letters, were a common site in Achaea. Athelas however, has never received one before. So it was with a mixture of apprehension and excitement, that he broke the seal and began reading it.

    We know, we all live here.
    Something you need to keep in mind when writing is your target audience. Even if you never said that birds delivering letters was a common site (sight) in achaea, would there be too much suspension of disbelief for us to just take your word for it? hell, even Game of thrones just says "send a raven" and you pretty much instantly know what's going on, even though they don't really tell you specifically about the ravens, and you only see them every now and again. You need to know what to tell your audience, what we care about, and where our suspension of disbelief lies. This reminds me of: Now that the pot was empty, he poured a few cups of water into it and set it back on the fire. The water would boil and make cleaning much easier.
    I just.. I just don't care. Don't tell me this, it is completely irrelevant and I will clean pots and pans however I want, you don't get to tell me how to clean pots, I am a grown man and can do things on my own.

    I find Athelas' life to be interesting as a backstory, but I am rather dissapointed nearing the end of it. I never really felt like Athelas made a whole lot of change or personal growth, though he did physically through obtaining druidic powers, and we did see him become more of a mentor. However his personality never seemed to reflect any of these changes. He has had a few trials in his life, but it's nothing that is truly going to make me want to come seek him out as you said in the end of the story. If anything, I still think he has a lot of growing to do.

    so let's recap:
    -Overuse of strong adjectives
    -prolonged dialogue that could be shortened
    -adjectives not matching up with what is happening
    -suspension of disbelief
    -not knowing target audience

    Now, all of this might have sounded incredibly harsh. But don't think that I didn't like it. I thought you wanted a critique so there you go, I've pointed out all that I saw wrong and I think you can go improve on.
    I will say I found Tunap to be a bit abrasive, but that's cause I don't know your RP realm at all. I had no idea what was going on and that made it a bit of a chore to read. It's pretty amazing how long this ended up being, and I can see that you have put a lot of time and effort into Athelas' life. I'm not nearly as good as explaining why I like something, as it's a lot easier to tear something apart then it is to completely say why you like it.
    I hope this was not discouraging, and I do hope to see more of your work going into the bardics! Many of us write, so if you want to be helpful (as I hope I have been) Go check out Jurixe's, Kresslack's, Chryenth, Ruth, Melodie, and my own stories. There are plenty of writers out there, so be helpful in the writing community and who knows, you might pick up a thing or two about different writing styles.
    Glad to have another writer around!
    Replies the scorpion: "It's my nature..."
  • AthelasAthelas Cape Town South Africa

    @Aepas Thank you, thank you and thank you again. Greatly appreciated!

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