Friday, March 16, 2007

Dialogue I

"How dare that preserved codfish stash his ancient whore in my province!" Khismar swore as a servant helped him dress. "And now he wants me to fetch her to him, as though Il-Aggarhed were only a few miles [just] down the road! Does he believe I have nothing better to do than run hither and yon at his direction?"

"He knows you would rather plot against him, naturally," the servant [Markus] replied. "Do you take him for an imbecile?"

Khismar smiled. "Markus, when will you realize Olgaroth is human? Despite how easily he defeated your country all those years ago, [not a mindreader?] there is nothing omniscient about him. His magic does not make him akin to the Gods. I am possessed of powers too, as you well know." [He's no more powerful than I."] [I saw nothing in what Markus said that implied Olgaroth was god-like, and thus changed it. If Olgaroth is actually far more powerful than Khismar, you can change Khismar's quote to "He's barely more powerful than I."]

"Mantor is a vile, perverted, parody of a man, but even so, I would not insult him with comparisons to you. At least he is noble born and not some bastard spawn of a diseased prostitute." Markus assisted the baron with his coat.

Khismar laughed. "I shall miss your wicked tongue when I complete the spell on you. Your free mind trapped in an enslaved body is wonderfully entertaining. It must be hell for you."


Apparently Mantor and Olgaroth are the same person. Not sure why the servant would refer to him by a different name. Is this the opening scene of the book? It seems like we already know who Markus is, yet he's first referred to as "a servant," as if it's his first appearance. Whether it's his first appearance or not, he's clearly more than a servant, so use his name. The situation is certainly intriguing.


whitemouse said...

I puzzled over who Mantor was too. That paragraph confused me quite a bit.

The situation is intriguing, but I wasn't wild about the writing itself, mostly because I was having trouble figuring out what was going on. If you clarify who Mantor is, I think this would all work quite nicely. There's a good tension between the characters being revealed here.

author, dialogue I said...

Mantor Olgaroth is introduced earlier in the novel and Khismar always refers to him by his surname. I hope this would be less confusing in context. Thank you, Mr. Evil. I'm sure all the minions agree your critiques are extremely helpful.

Anonymous said...

than me!
than me!
than me!
NOT than I!

Evil Editor said...

I suggest you get out your third grade grammar book, anon. And this time read it.

writtenwyrdd said...

With EE's edits, this is really nice stuff. I am glad you explained the Mantor Olgaroth confusion as well.

As far as the writing, I wasn't bothered by the "than I" bit, because it gives this guy that sound of self-aggrandizement. It sounds like he's a bit puffed up in his opinion of himself and he is no doubt going to get a nasty surprize. Anyone who keeps a mind free in an enslaved body deserves Very Bad Things, lol.

A couple of changes you might consider:
1.. Delete the bit about the spell on Markus, just say "Your free mind..." etc.
2. "Markus, when will you realize Olgaroth is human?" might become (in line with EE's changes) "When will you remember that Olgaroth is only a lesser (or minor) god?" Or a half god, or a semi diety. You seem to be implying some godhood, at least. So denigrate that god blood in the guy.

I like how nasty this Khismar guy is. That first paragraph is priceless. He'd better be the Evil Villian, however!

Twill said...

This scene seems to introduce Markus. If Khismar has many such slaves, it's fine as is.

I would *not* pull out all the stage business about what Markus is being forced to do - the last line has no kick if all he is being forced to do is stand around conversing. Could Markus do something more degrading than merely dress Khismar?

Anon -

It is "than I [am]", with the verb implied.

On the other hand, it is "between you and me".

Anonymous said...

The free mind in the enslaved body was really intriguing; K going off on a quest that even he sees as pointless didn't really excite me. I'd probably keep reading. Good luck!

--Detri (dialogue J)