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    Good afternoon everyone, hope you're all well.

    So I have decided to write a short fantasy story to help me get through my sleepless nights and when I'm faced with boredom. I'm currently doing an introductory chapter to build the foundations of my characters, the world they live in and the overall theme of my story. Once I've done this, then I'll begin to thicken my plots and entwine various sub-plots and twists.

    Would be grateful if you could could provide me tips with how to improve what I have so far, be brutally honest, it's the best policy

    Spoiler:
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    Aelina stood amongst the commotion as a roaring crowd demonstrated their disapproval towards the Bremond family. Although the Bremonds’ aristocratic blood had seldom denied them the lavish luxury of fine food, it seemed ironic to Aelina that rotten apples and tomatoes were being hurled towards the passing litters. The perished goods ricocheted off the thick wooden poles that carried the litter, however, the velvet drapes took the brunt of the force as they absorbed the rancid juices that seeped from the decayed fruit and vegetables. Small children fighting over the spoils served as a stark reminder of how famine had inflicted much devastation across the city, and as usual, it was the elderly and young who had suffered. Aelina wiped the tears from her eyes and focused her attention back on the havoc.

    By now the Bremond guards were becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the sheer number of rebels that had gathered to express their disdain, it was only a matter of time before an opportunist would be foolish enough to try and raise the ante. Although the guards had been authorised to keep the locals at arm’s length with their war shields, the captain of the guards couldn’t help but think that allowing them to wield their daggers and spears would be more appropriate. However, the head of the Bremond family had made it abundantly clear that no blood was to be spilt to and back from the temple of the Gods. Therefore, the guards’ meagre efforts to stabilise the uproar without brute force would have to suffice. The captain rode on the back of his stallion gallantly as he remained ahead of the group; he shouted commands to his men to ensure they remained disciplined with the task in hand. It was paramount that the Bremonds were escorted to the safety of their compound walls without any hiccup. For decades the Bremond family had distinguished itself from other families, their allegiance to the crown had always been admirable in the eyes of politicians, military officers and others of noble birth. However, increasing pressure on the royal family meant that anyone who was seen to support them was met with scorn by the city people. The growing resentment towards the rich was one thing, but the people absolutely detested royalists and wanted their blood.

    Although the crown was fashioned to dutifully serve and protect the people of the kingdom, it seemed as though the king was pulling at puppet strings in order to manipulate the courts and politicians in his favour. He promised lordships and lands to those who stood by his side, and meanwhile he lined his pockets with the loot gained from levying extortionate taxes and trade restrictions within the city walls. Guards of the kingdom had been deployed on the streets to ensure that no black market transactions were being carried out to avoid newly imposed trading laws. Within a month a dozen black market profiteers had been executed on the grounds of treason. Fathers refused to sit back and allow their families to starve, and so they resorted to protesting openly on the streets. Although freedom of expression was not prohibited by the king’s laws, treason was, and he had these men swiftly arrested.

    Aelina took a moment to reflect on how the state’s greed had impacted her family, with all the silver and gold mines the crown exploited for income revenue, they still persisted on skinning the low-born for every penny they had. Her father worked as butcher in the city, and for years he was renowned for selling the best quality poultry. Local folk would travel from miles around to enjoy his rustic chicken and vegetable pies, and in the summer he would purchase casks of strong sweet ale from the local brewers to complement his food. Although her father’s reputation preceded him and his food was worthy of royal consumption, the rising cost of living meant that his food was no longer affordable. Customers resorted to cheaper vendors that sold pigeon meat in place of chicken, which as expected, sold at a fraction of the price. As the people became more and more hungry, a newfound speciality in grilled rat skewers and peppered gravy was born in local taverns. Unable to compete with low quality and cheap prices, Aelina’s father refused to sell anything that he wouldn’t eat himself. He was forced to close the shop after being unable to keep up with the increased rental cost imposed by the landlord.

    • TSR Support Team
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    I like what you've written so far, it kept my attention all the way through.

    My main criticism would be that the first paragraph seems to have a little too much description, if that makes sense, so that it doesn't flow as well as it could do.

    For example, I feel that "Most of the perished goods ricocheted off the thick wooden poles that carried the litter. Nevertheless, the velvet drapes that enclosed its residence took the brunt of the force as they absorbed the rancid juices that seeped from the decayed fruit and vegetables." would flow better as something like "The perished goods ricocheted off the thick wooden poles that carried the litter, however the velvet drapes took the brunt of the force, absorbing the rancid juices that seeped from the decaying fruit and vegetables".

    I also noticed a sentence or two where I felt the wording could be changed slightly. "The captain rode on the back of his stallion gallantly as he remained ahead of the group" could flow better (in my opinion) as "The captain rode gallantly on the back of his stallion, as he remained ahead of the group".

    "Civil rest had becoming a growing phenomenon" and "Her father worked as butcher in the vibrant hub of the city" also don't quite make sense (although these are easily fixed).

    I hope that helped a bit?
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
    I like what you've written so far, it kept my attention all the way through.

    My main criticism would be that the first paragraph seems to have a little too much description, if that makes sense, so that it doesn't flow as well as it could do.

    For example, I feel that "Most of the perished goods ricocheted off the thick wooden poles that carried the litter. Nevertheless, the velvet drapes that enclosed its residence took the brunt of the force as they absorbed the rancid juices that seeped from the decayed fruit and vegetables." would flow better as something like "The perished goods ricocheted off the thick wooden poles that carried the litter, however the velvet drapes took the brunt of the force, absorbing the rancid juices that seeped from the decaying fruit and vegetables".

    I also noticed a sentence or two where I felt the wording could be changed slightly. "The captain rode on the back of his stallion gallantly as he remained ahead of the group" could flow better (in my opinion) as "The captain rode gallantly on the back of his stallion, as he remained ahead of the group".

    "Civil rest had becoming a growing phenomenon" and "Her father worked as butcher in the vibrant hub of the city" also don't quite make sense (although these are easily fixed).

    I hope that helped a bit?
    Helped a lot thank you.

    Yeah I need to proof read my writing more, it's the first time I have done this, so I appreciate the help

    My main idea is to introduce Aelina's brother as the main character and the forefront of a rebellion.
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
    I like what you've written so far, it kept my attention all the way through.

    My main criticism would be that the first paragraph seems to have a little too much description, if that makes sense, so that it doesn't flow as well as it could do.

    For example, I feel that "Most of the perished goods ricocheted off the thick wooden poles that carried the litter. Nevertheless, the velvet drapes that enclosed its residence took the brunt of the force as they absorbed the rancid juices that seeped from the decayed fruit and vegetables." would flow better as something like "The perished goods ricocheted off the thick wooden poles that carried the litter, however the velvet drapes took the brunt of the force, absorbing the rancid juices that seeped from the decaying fruit and vegetables".

    I also noticed a sentence or two where I felt the wording could be changed slightly. "The captain rode on the back of his stallion gallantly as he remained ahead of the group" could flow better (in my opinion) as "The captain rode gallantly on the back of his stallion, as he remained ahead of the group".

    "Civil rest had becoming a growing phenomenon" and "Her father worked as butcher in the vibrant hub of the city" also don't quite make sense (although these are easily fixed).

    I hope that helped a bit?
    I'm getting PSOM by the way
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    (Original post by King Leonidas)
    Helped a lot thank you.

    Yeah I need to proof read my writing more, it's the first time I have done this, so I appreciate the help

    My main idea is to introduce Aelina's brother as the main character and the forefront of a rebellion.
    That sounds good, glad I could help
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    (Original post by King Leonidas)
    I'm getting PSOM by the way
    No worries
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    It's a short story, so keep the sub-plots to a minimum. Also keep the character count down. You want the main story to be the focus, and you don't want it to be too complicated.

    Just had a look at what you've written. It's very wordy, and comes across as more like the opening paragraphs to a novel, or at the very least a novella, rather than a short story.

    There is a lot of unnecessary stuff there - pigeon meat and so on, that a short story just doesn't need. If you want this to be a short story, you need to get to the point.
    If you want it to be a full length book though, by all means plough on.

    Needs editing but don't bother with that until you get to the end.
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    (Original post by PinkMobilePhone)
    It's a short story, so keep the sub-plots to a minimum. Also keep the character count down. You want the main story to be the focus, and you don't want it to be too complicated.

    Just had a look at what you've written. It's very wordy, and comes across as more like the opening paragraphs to a novel, or at the very least a novella, rather than a short story.

    There is a lot of unnecessary stuff there - pigeon meat and so on, that a short story just doesn't need. If you want this to be a short story, you need to get to the point.
    If you want it to be a full length book though, by all means plough on.

    Needs editing but don't bother with that until you get to the end.
    Hi Pink, thanks for reading.

    To be honest, at first the idea was to create a short story, but I struggled to find a way to condense my ideas for the plot/s.

    Therefore, I reckon I am going for a novella, plus it's not very often you read short fantasy stories anyway.

    With regards to the development so far, what do you think? I realise I haven't covered a lot of ground, but I intend to introduce more action and characters in the subsequent chapters.
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    (Original post by King Leonidas)
    Hi Pink, thanks for reading.

    To be honest, at first the idea was to create a short story, but I struggled to find a way to condense my ideas for the plot/s.

    Therefore, I reckon I am going for a novella, plus it's not very often you read short fantasy stories anyway.

    With regards to the development so far, what do you think? I realise I haven't covered a lot of ground, but I intend to introduce more action and characters in the subsequent chapters.
    It's fine for the genre. Unfortunately it's a little too heavy-going for me, but that's personal preference rather than a slight on your work.
 
 
 
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