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S'all good Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Guess we just know each other a little better now <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

*hug*


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One pipe later...

Taking your comments into consideration, this is the revision:
***
Stealthily Glance is tracking the knights. Suddenly, out of the corner his eye he sees a dark shadow appearing from the left. Instinctively he ducks and rolls over his right shoulder. In one movement he gets up, turns around and stands, sword drawn, with his back to a rock.

On his left the wolf, which jumped at him, turns to face him - on the other side two others approach him, cautiously, growling, ready to attack.

"Wolves", he thinks, "and big ones! Even bigger than those at home!" With a smooth movement he rids himself of his backpack and cloak. The two to his right jump simultaneously - one he evades with a reflexive side-step, the second's gorge is slit by his sword. In the same moment he is hit in the back and falls on his nose. He feels teeth biting his shoulder, hitting his mithril chain armor - hears a loud, breaking noise, a painful howl - and feels the pressure on his shoulder cease. The first wolf jumps on him again. Glance quickly turns round and plunges his sword in the soft belly of the wolf. He frees himself from the heavilly wounded wolf lying on him and kills him with a targeted stab in the heart. The last wolf runs away howling, his tail between his legs.

With a deep breath Glance picks up his gear, puts it on and proceeds after the knights.
***

Do I like it better? To some extent, certainly, especially on the choice of words. Short, complete, grammatically correct staccato sentences? I tried. The above is a compromise - I, personally (!), prefer Elliot's view. Maybe because the German tends to have long sentences with the verb at the end, so that hacking them, letting the reader fill in the gaps, which grammatically is as incorrect in German, still feels better, more action relaying, suspenseful.


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One pipe later...

Taking your comments into consideration, this is the revision:
***

Do I like it better? To some extent, certainly, especially on the choice of words. Short, complete, grammatically correct staccato sentences? I tried. The above is a compromise - I, personally (!), prefer Elliot's view. Maybe because the German tends to have long sentences with the verb at the end, so that hacking them, letting the reader fill in the gaps, which grammatically is as incorrect in German, still feels better, more action relaying, suspenseful.


Glance - you nailed it. Yes, I like it. For an "English" version, it reads much better. It's tighter and yes, the short phrases work well in this particular scene.

You done good, buddy! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I'm sure it feels and reads 'better' to you in German. And a lot has to do with style and subject matter *glances over to Elliot* But more importantly is how *you* feel about it. Anything you write should resonate within yourself. I'm not *the* expert here. I don't think anyone can claim that title. But as a beginner, I merely wanted to point out to you some of the things that I've been taught and learned over the years.

Now, you need to write it for yourself. *g* If you're not 100% happy with this version, throw in some of the stuff you'd be more comfortable with. I must say, though, this is a drastic improvement over the original one you posted. Excellent rewrite. Thanks again for sharing.


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />

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GlanceALot...

I still like it, but I think you lost some of the urgency from the first draft. For me, a fight scene is all about taking the reader on a breathless ride - forcing them to read faster and faster in an agony of suspense as they wait to find out how (Or IF) the character survives <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

It certainly reads better and more clearly in terms of your choice of words and descriptions though - so, overall, both a plus and a minus <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Fight scenes are amongst the hardest things to get right though, so please don't be discouraged <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Hope this helps <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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I totally agree with Faralas that no-one on this thread can claim to be a true expert. I love to share what I do know (Or think I know <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />) but there is no way I could or would claim any kind of expertise.

At best, I like to think I am a good amateur - but the operative word in that statement is amateur, I assure you!

One of the best things about this thread is that hopefully it will allow us all to pool what we know, and thus learn together <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> It's the main reason I like it, I know that much <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I am learning new stuff all the time <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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I, personally (!), prefer Elliot's view

No further comment <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

But I thank you both for your input and certainly appreciate the time and effort you put into it! It was all valuable in some respect.



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Any time, GlanceALot <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Glad to be of assistance <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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Elliot_Kane said:

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One thing I would ask, Winterfox, is why you would use limited third person if you wanted to get that far into the thoughts of the characters? Wouldn't first person be better if you are trying to describe everything from the viewpoint of the character only? Isn't the best part of limited third person that it allows the author to show the reader more than the character would if they were narrating?

Just a few thoughts <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Very simple. Limited third-person lets you mask some of the character's thoughts and motives; first-person doesn't. Another thing is that I have a fairly large range of characters whose heads the reader gets to see through. Limited third-person allows for much better distinction between characters than using "I" all the time. Some writers avoid this by typing, at the beginning of the sequence, "XYZ's point of view" -- I intensely dislike this approach, and will never, ever, use it. Yes, I'm aware that through dialogue and difference in voices, it can be shown that the speaker is the duke rather than the beggar, but that's neither here nor there.

There's also the problem I have with using "I", period. Suffice to say, limited third-person works best for me, and I'm comfortable with it. I may experiment with first-person sometimes, but that'd be reserved for vignettes, drabbles and one-shots.

For GlanceALot, if you don't mind some more critiques:

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On his left the wolf, which jumped at him, turns to face him - on the other side two others approach him, cautiously, growling, ready to attack.


"...which has jumped at him," not "jumped." Tense error.

This sentence could be separated into two. Suggestion: "On his left, the wolf that has first pounced on him turns to face Glance, its golden eyes appraising him. On his right, two others cautiously approach him, growling and ready to attack."

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The two to his right jump simultaneously - one he evades with a reflexive side-step, the second's gorge is slit by his sword.


I see that you use "jump" a lot. There are stronger, more exact verbs -- try leap, spring, for instance. This sentence is also grammatically, well, screwy. Maybe: "The two to his right leap simultaneously. One he evades with a reflexive sidestep; the other's throat he slits with his blade." (Active voice, IMO, would serve better here.)

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In the same moment he is hit in the back and falls on his nose.


Again, active voice is usually, ah, stronger. So: "In the same moment, something hits him in the back, causing him to fall on his nose." (His nose? Maybe his face?)

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He feels teeth biting his shoulder, hitting his mithril chain armor - hears a loud, breaking noise, a painful howl - and feels the pressure on his shoulder cease.


This sentence is incredibly hard to parse. It staggers, it stutters, and leaves me blinking and muttering, "What?" Suggestion: "He feels teeth (fangs?) sinking into his shoulder; they came to a sudden stop at contact with his mithril chain. Then come a sharp crack -- probably a breaking tooth -- and a pained howl. The pressure on his shoulder immediately lifts." ("Painful howl" would indicate that the howl causes Glance pain.)

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The first wolf jumps on him again. Glance quickly turns round and plunges his sword in the soft belly of the wolf.


This, I think, might flow better as a single sentence. Perhaps: "The first wolf springs at him again; Glance quickly pivots and plunges his sword into the animal's soft belly."

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He frees himself from the heavilly wounded wolf lying on him and kills him with a targeted stab in the heart.


Eh. Maybe: "He shakes himself free of the heavily wounded wolf atop him and kills it with a precise stab to the heart."

Of course, they are just suggestions, and it's probably mostly a matter of style and preference. Take 'em for what they're worth.

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My biggest bloody problem with writing a story, is names! The book, the characters, the places, the spacecraft (SW).

How do others do so good at easily making names?



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Lews, u can always ask me for eastern-flavoured names. now that would be unique. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif" alt="" /> name-wise, that is.



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My biggest bloody problem with writing a story, is names! The book, the characters, the places, the spacecraft (SW).

How do others do so good at easily making names?


Star Wars names have no conventions whatsoever, as far as I can see. String random syllables together and, if it sounds good to you, go with it. Here are some of the ones I've made up for my fic:

Kaya Yal Saresh
Eriden Vorr
Soth Piell
Odrath Alzuun
Ashk Dau'fey

Nope, no pattern whatsoever. Except that "Kaya" has a middle name because a relative of hers, Guun Hon Saresh, does. "Ashk" is a legitimate Bothan name; ditto for the clan name and prefix "Dau'fey." A little research can go a long way.

For SW spacecraft and any other lore, I pick things up from d20 sourcebooks. If you mean the proper name for a ship... hey, that's easy. Can range from bird (Ebon Hawk, Millenium Falcon, Moldy Crow, Raven's Claw) to fish to mythical creatures (Leviathan). For large ships (frigate, cruiser, etc), maybe a noun that expresses power or immensity. Throw some Latin in. Just about anything goes. It's actually fun making names up.

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Winterfox...

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There's also the problem I have with using "I", period. Suffice to say, limited third-person works best for me, and I'm comfortable with it. I may experiment with first-person sometimes, but that'd be reserved for vignettes, drabbles and one-shots.


Thanks for explaining your reasons <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I just wondered if there was any writing trick I'd missed is all <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


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My biggest bloody problem with writing a story, is names! The book, the characters, the places, the spacecraft (SW).

How do others do so good at easily making names?


Heh. Honestly? Sometimes it takes me longer to come up with a good name than it does to come up with a good story idea! Because of that, I tend to write down cool sounding names as and when they occur to me, so I have a list I can use if I ever need them <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Failing that - pick a normal name and change a couple of letters. 'Peter Jones' can easily become 'Ketar Vones' - which is not admittedly great, but will do in a pinch <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />

If all else fails, I have a dictionary of names, which is particularly useful for the archaic and obsolete sections, and which contains a lot of genuine medieval names.


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My biggest bloody problem with writing a story, is names! The book, the characters, the places, the spacecraft (SW).

How do others do so good at easily making names?


Winerfox's reply (partial):

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Nope, no pattern whatsoever. Except that "Kaya" has a middle name because a relative of hers, Guun Hon Saresh, does. "Ashk" is a legitimate Bothan name; ditto for the clan name and prefix "Dau'fey." A little research can go a long way.

For SW spacecraft and any other lore, I pick things up from d20 sourcebooks. If you mean the proper name for a ship... hey, that's easy. Can range from bird (Ebon Hawk, Millenium Falcon, Moldy Crow, Raven's Claw) to fish to mythical creatures (Leviathan). For large ships (frigate, cruiser, etc), maybe a noun that expresses power or immensity. Throw some Latin in. Just about anything goes. It's actually fun making names up.


Lews, WF gave some excellent advice re: creating names. In fact, it's pretty much the way I approach naming characters, places and things in my fantasy world(s). Look into other languages and how their names are formed. In the case of Johannson, Swedish uses 'son' at the end of their family names as 'son of' Johann. Scotland uses Mc/Mac to signify 'belonging to' or 'of' a specific clan: MacDougal. Researching different cultural conventions has always been a great source when looking for names. And, as Elliot did, change a few of the letters around and voila, you've got a unique name that's all yours. *g*

I borrow words from mythology, old Latin, Roman and Greek when searching for new characters, places or things. They are all rich sources when fishing for the right name. Hope this helps.


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />



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Faralas,

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Nothing is "impossible".


Good point here, impossible is a strong word, too strong actually. But still, "very hard" would be correct. Yet it won't kill me to try first person if I see fit so perhaps I shall try it when I have more time. But meanwhile since there's no point in making further diagnosis when the patient isn't anywhere near I'll just sit here in the corner and listen. Perhaps if I shall be in a really good mood one day I will even translate something short into English and post here... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/think.gif" alt="" />

BTW: When it comes to names - a nice place to hunt down exotic looking names in different languages: Behind the Name

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A thought on names:

Notwithstanding the aforementioned, a basic determination to be made (other than the general cultural setting of the character) is "Do I want to convey or implicit something with the name?"

A name like "Par Cival" for example, or Glance A'Lot for that matter <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />, would, in the western culture at least, insinuate a knightly warrior - and if the hero is not such a character, it would irritate the reader.
Therefor any name chosen should be checked against this question, whether it does or does not imply, trigger, or else pre-set the reader's imagination, and if yes, whether the author intends this or not.


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I'm not at all fond of a writer who uses the names of his characters to portray something of their character.

For example, Grima Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings. An almost farcical name for this character as it tells the reader exactly what he is. Voice of poison, sly and cunning. What kind of logical sense is there for the character to have such a name and not have all the other characters see him for what he is the very day he applies for a job!?!? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Did he come from a long line of manipulative pale-faced creeps?!

What's his history, did he get this name by being a sly freak!?

"Hi, I'm Jim Kingslayer, here for the position of Kings counsel?"

"Great, come on in, I'm George s**t-for-brains!"



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Plowking...

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For example, Grima Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings. An almost farcical name for this character as it tells the reader exactly what he is.


I am pretty sure this is Gandalf's 'pet' name for him, designed to show Gandalf's contempt for - and opinion of - him. I certainly never read 'Wormtongue' as being part of his given name, any more than 'Evenstar' is a true part of Arwen's name.


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Was it just Gandalfs name for him? That would make more sense.

When naming Grima, Tolkien resorted to a special literary device -antonomasia. Therefore, Grima'snickname -Wormtongue -is a highly descriptive speaking name, and shows Grima's rotten nature.

But I don't recall it being mentioned as such in the book.

You're never even enough information about most of the characters in LoTR.

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OK - for the sake of excercise, in consideration of Winterfox's comments (THANKS also!), I have done a 2nd (and for the sake of this excercise final) version. Other than refining vocabulary, I was trying to ignore the German original, and trying to "re-create" it thinking in English. I must say that some of W's suggestions in sentence formulation did not "feel" right to me. I am not as arrogant as to suggest that they are wrong, since it is your mother tongue not mine, what I am trying to say is that, to me, it didn't feel like expressing what I want to convey (Example: "The teeth came to a sudden stop at contact with his mithril chain" - Of course this is a grammatically and factually correct sentence, but in the context, it sounds... hm..., so distant, factually observant, detached, unemotional - I don't know if I convey my feelings adequately, fact is - I do not feel comfortable with it).

Also, since English is a "short" language, much shorter than German anyway, I felt compelled to add some adjectives, when thinking English. But nonetheless I saw the possibility of tightening some phrases.

***
Suddenly, out of the corner his left eye he sees a dark shadow leaping at him. Instinctively he ducks and rolls over his right shoulder. In one smooth movement he springs up, pivots and stands, sword drawn, with his back to a rock.

On his left a wolf turns to face him, the golden eyes appraising him. On his right two others cautiously approach him, growling fiercely, ready to attack.

"Wolves", he thinks, "and big ones! Bigger than those at home!" With a smooth movement he rids himself of his backpack and cloak. The two to his right leap simultaneously. One he evades with a reflexive side-step; the gorge of the other he slits with a swift sweep of his blade. Something hits him in the back and he falls flat on his face. Fangs bite in his shoulder, hitting his mithril chain armor. [color:"yellow"]He hears a sharp crack and a pained howl; feels the pressure on his shoulder lift.[/color] The first wolf jumps on him again; Glance quickly rolls round and plunges his sword into its soft belly. He frees himself from the heavily wounded beast atop him and pierces its heart with a targeted stab. The last wolf runs away howling, his tail between his legs.

With a deep breath Glance picks up his gear, puts it on and proceeds after the knights.
***

I am not saying this is even close to what it would have been, if I had written it in English originally, but after some consideration, I like it - though I would still be tempted to replace the yellow sentence simply by:
[color:"yellow"] A sharp crack, a pained howl; the pressure on his shoulder lifts. [/color]
Not complete sentences, I concede, but, to me, conveys speed, the impressions flashing through Glance lying on the ground, not knowing what hit him.


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