Saturday, July 29, 2006

New Beginning 17


“That,” said Kasian, the King of the Tantey, “is not how you begin a revolution.”

The main room of The Rose and Phoenix fell silent. The minstrel who was playing Orpheus’ love song to Eurydice, the mute woman who was paying her board by acting as barmaid that week, and the former assassin who had spent several hours telling him stories about the Lord of Ysthar all looked at him. The woman with whom he had frolicked away the night before after telling her rather too much about his brother stopped playing with his feet. The three pirates who were the object of his criticism stirred ominously.

The tall man with the oiled beard glowered. “Who asked you?”

“No one,” Kasian replied amicably; “but you’re still going about it wrong.”

The deaf, one-armed midget continued kneading Kasian's shoulders, unaware a conversation was taking place. A man who would soon stand and say something stood and said, "You're right." He drew a dagger and flung it at the King. It embedded itself in the King's throat; he slumped forward on the table as his blood gushed from the wound.

The owner of The Rose and Phoenix knelt before the fire, wondering how he might bed the mute woman without his wife's knowledge, while the man who had thrown the dagger, mug of ale in hand, saluted the three pirates and said, "That's how you begin a revolution."


Continuation: Lynn

12 comments:

quhzxtdn said...

I love this. It's the description of the characters that hooks me, although since they're talking about starting a revolution, that intrigues me, too. Bravo!

Bernita said...

Like this.

nconner said...

I like the dialog--the opening line got my attention--but there were too many characters in too-quick succession (which the continuer picked up on hilariously). I couldn't keep up with them all in the second paragraph. It bugged me a little that I had no idea what the room looked like or what time of day/night it was, yet I got machine-gunned with details about characters who may or may not be important. Plus the syntax of this sentence was confusing: The woman with whom he had frolicked away the night before after telling her rather too much about his brother stopped playing with his feet. (Especially that "before after" juxtaposition and the chasm-wide separation of the subject and its verb.)

That said, the dialogue makes it an intriguing situation. I'm interested in Kasian and the pirates and how they'll interact--consider not letting all those other characters crowd in between them.

(PS Are the pirates sitting? I'd assumed they were, but it's hard to tell whether someone's tall when that person is sitting down.)

kis said...

Yeah, the best thing about it is that the continuation (other than the deaf midget, and the man who would soon stand and say something, which is just too freaking funny) could actually be what the author wrote. When I looked at the original and thought of what might come next, well, it was pretty much this.

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ello said...

I loved the opening sentence, but the second paragraph had 9 the's and then the very next paragraph opened with another the. Very distracting. The second line of the second paragraph was way too long. I really liked the descriptions of the characters but this read like little fact bites not engrossing fiction. I like the writing style and the beginning hook. That second paragraph needs work to make the narrative flow naturally, but I would definitely keep reading.

Amanda said...

I agree that the dialogue makes for an interesting premise. The second paragraph makes it difficult to understand who's POV we're in. If it's Kasian's, how does he know the mute woman pays her board by acting as a barmaid? I also find the repetition of "who" distracting, and I have trouble picturing the scene. If a woman is playing with Kasian's feet, does he have them propped up on something? Or is she actually sitting on the floor? And was Kasian barefoot to begin with (seems like a bad idea in a presumably medieval pub), or did the woman remove his footwear?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to be slow at responding--the problem with travelling!--but I appreciate the comments. I'm still working on unpacking the second paragraph so it flows better; I'm glad to know I was right in thinking it had problems, and where they lie. I cna work on that!

The point about not having a visual is a good one, as is the fact that it is hard to see how tall people are sitting down. If you're curious, the pirates are sitting down plotting a revolution and Kasian overhears them. And who all the people named in the second paragraph are is crucial to the story.

EE, I love your continuation. I don't have any one-armed midgets, but I do have a dwarf named Zebulun, and perhaps he can be one-armed; and good at massages. He's the manservant to the Prince of Fairyland, and one never knows what sort of skills he ought to have ...

Thanks, everyone. Hopefully once I get to the querying point I'll have tamed my indiscriminate articles and inordinate sentence length.

Victoria (skulking back to her writing)

Evil Editor said...

While EE occasionally embellishes the continuations, or combines the better features of two submissions, it is his Minions who deserve all the credit for the ideas, and without whom we would still be back on New Beginning 10.

In many cases it's a tough call which continuation to use, but I've decided the feature is best with just one. Sorry to anyone who had a good one that got beaten out by another good one.

JerseyGirl said...

I agree - the opening sentence is quite good, and while I like the voice here, those long sentences almost - almost - made my eyes glaze over.

But I still like it enough that I'd be curious to see what the rewrite looks like.

~Nancy

Verification: uxuufy - what the one-armed midget said to the massagee.

Anonymous said...

The three pirates who were the object of his criticism stirred ominously.

“No one,” Kasian replied amicably; “but you’re still going about it wrong.”

Dear writer,
Lose the adverb tags. If your dialogue alone isn't conveying your intent, no amount of LY-ing will save it.

Yahzi said...

A brilliant first sentence.

Maybe you only need to introduce the other characters as they speak, or contribute to the conversation?