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A Hero's Hero - A novel in the making

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Postby NickyDude » Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:17 pm

I started writing a 'novel' quite some time ago called "A Hero's Hero". I put the first chapter up here for comments but i can't seem to find the thread. Anyway, the reason I've made this one is I've restructured the first chapter and want your thoughts on it. I'm trying to go for the Terry Pratchett kind of humour.

Does the first chapter give you a vague idea about what the novel will be about? Do you smile in any places? Any C&C would be welcome.

"Ty-rell..., Ty-rell...!"

Tyrell looks at the cave mouth in front of him, then looks around at the gathering crowd all jeering his name in unison...

"Ty-rell..., Ty-rell...!"

An arm snakes around Tyrell's shoulders, taking him by surprise: "Well Tyrell, at least the good townsfolk can sleep peacefully tonight."

It's his 'good friend' Snape.

"We're all looking forward to seeing the awful beast when you bring it out, that's assuming it's still alive of course, I guess you'll probably kill it right? In which case you'll have to drag it out if you can... well... just come out and tell us and we'll give you a hand dragging it out, unless there's booby-traps and such..."

He's not helping is he...?

"I think it'd be better if you cut off one of its limbs or something, maybe it's head and bring that out, unless it's gigantic and you can't move it.. tell you what, just tell us you've killed it and we'll believe you, it's not like you're going to lie to us is it.. ha, ha..."

Lie to him? Oh cr*p.

"Ty-rell..., Ty-rell...!"

Snape pushes Tyrell closer to the cave entrance...

"Ty-rell..., Ty-rell...!"

'How bloody long can they keep that up for?!' Tyrell scowls under his breath.

"You should have no problem Tyrell, it'll be as easy for you as drinking a pint of Old Mrs Swiggins 'Tongue Sweller'..."

They both shudder...

Why oh why did Tyrell's father have to be a Hero? Why oh why did he have to be a champion beast slayer? Why oh why did he have to have songs sung about him? And why oh why did he have to go on one of his 'mighty quests' right now?

It's not Tyrell's fault that everyone thinks he's brave and heroic, he never actually told anyone he was, they just assumed, and... well... he didn't want to disappoint did he, it's not like he had to do any fighting or stuff and if people wanted to buy him drinks and throw their daughters at him... It'd be impolite to refuse wouldn't it...

While Tyrell’s dad was here everything went smoothly, no one DARED cause any trouble while Tyrell was around ("I'll get my dad." usually did the trick). But now he's gone and there's trouble brewing, townsfolk are going missing and it, whatever 'it' is, has been traced to a cave in the mountain range above the town and the townsfolk aren't happy, a meeting was hastily had and a unanimous vote for "the hero's son to 'go and do it'" was quickly put in to motion and, well, here we are...

"Ty-rell..., Ty-rell...!"

"I'll swing for them all... I really will!!"

Tyrell looks around at the gathering crowd all jeering his name in unison then peers into the murky darkness of the cave...

Would now be a good time to tell them? Would now be a good time to tell them he’s not really the hurly, burly, rough and tumble hardened hero that he makes out to be?

Would now be a good time to tell them he gets more excited running blindly through a field of tall grass than into battle? Would now be a good time to tell them that the only 'animal body parts' he collects consists of beetles and bugs and not 'Mulit-Limbed Hell Demons' as er.. some people have been led to believe?

This has put Tyrell into a dilemma, It's either keep up his hardened image and face certain death facing unimaginable creatures... or tell everyone they've got the wrong end of the stick and wouldn't it be better to all go back to the town and have a jolly good old laugh over a mug of 'Tongue Sweller' and some homemade scones that have not-so-long been baked...

Tyrell looks around at the gathering crowd all jeering his name in unison and spots good-old Mrs Swiggins rubbery face as she holds up a bubbling mug and gives him an unexplainable squinty wink...

Certain death it is then.

Tyrell steps forward into the mouth of the cave as soft wisps of dank air flicker the fire of his torch, casting shadows that seem to dance and taunt like fire sprites eager to play.. or perhaps it’s just a damp, windy tunnel and describing it better would make it feel less like threatening... nope.

You carry on, with enough armour and weaponry to conquer a small army when all you really want to do is conquer you fear of butterflies, as the sound of the jeering crowd echoes around your ears...

"Ty-rell..., Ty-rell...!"

Perhaps death would be a blessed relief...
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Postby phkb » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:21 am

I like it. It rolls along quite well, setting up a cave romp with a twist. A couple of points though:
1. I'm not sure I understand the "I'll swing for them all" line. Is that Tyrell or Snape saying that?
2. In the fourth last paragraph, I think the line would read better as
or perhaps it’s just a damp, windy tunnel and describing it better would make it feel less threatening... nope
ie. leave out the "like" before "threatening".
3. You switch quite unexpectedly from third to second person in the third last paragraph.
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Postby NickyDude » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:28 pm

Thanks phkb.

1/. That's Tyrell, getting sick of the chanting, I'll make that clearer.
2/. You're right, I don't know why 'like' is even in there!
3/. The whole thing was originally written in second person:

"You look at the cave mouth in front of you, then look around at the gathering crowd all jeering you name in unison..."

But I've changed it all to third person, or so I thought :cool:
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Postby Ren » Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:15 pm

If it is third person, who is saying:

It's his 'good friend' Snape.
---
He's not helping is he...?
---
Lie to him? Oh cr*p.


The tense changes here:

This has put Tyrell into a dilemma,
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Postby Jephrey » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:32 pm

Nickydude,

I confess, first off, I'm not a Terry Pratchett fan. Friends that I respect laugh uproariously, and I sit there and "just don't get it".

Reading the passage, I'm too uncertain of the intended tone to call it humorous. Some writers would consider this content serious. Just a couple of items I'd like to mention:

The "snaking" arms early on is the most powerful mood and setting element in the first few paragraphs. Too powerful. It makes me think the friend is treacherous (and that the hero knows it). I think the friend doesn't have to touch him for the passage to be effective. If he does touch him (or worse yet, give him a noogie), it would be quite audacious, given this guy is waiting to do/see something very horrible. I might suggest dropping/changing that one image.

Also, ya gotta drop the name "Snape". It's been taken by a very high-profile work of fiction, namely the Harry Potter series. The association is too strong to escape and paints your character undoubtedly wrong. You'll wanna find a new name there.

Beware of narrating half-in-character and half-as-narrator. The prose travels the gray area in between, where we're not sure if you're the narrator or the character. Put his silent thoughts in quotes to fix this blurring. We don't necessarily need to know all his thoughts if he acts nervous and anxious.

But I would say you are in the proximity of the mood you're looking for. It maybe needs more outlandishness to be obviously humorous. But as I say, I read Pratchett with a blank gaze and wonder if my friends are all nuts, or if it's just me.

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