Friday, January 04, 2008

Fight Scene 4


Freddy sprang away, drawing her sword she slashed at the ugly fairy’s arm, cutting him deeply above the elbow. [You'll make a better first impression if your scene begins with a sentence.] He howled and released Deg.

Deg drew his own weapon and stabbed upward, impaling the grotesque through his chest. Blood splattered Deg’s face and tunic. [Grotesque blood never washes out. That tunic's shot.] He shot to his feet and took off running, [Do you really have to run away from a creature when its arm's been almost cut off and it's been impaled through the chest? Finish it off.] grabbing Freddy’s hand to pull her along after him. Freddy stumbled, holding her mouth as she gagged, horrified at what she had just done.

A pack of nearly a dozen hideous white dogs came running towards them from the road. Deg fell back, placing Freddy behind him with one arm to shield her with his own body as the Hunt approached.

Someone grabbed Fred’s long red braid. She shrieked as her head was violently yanked back. The bones in her neck clicked twice and Fred caught herself thinking, One more click and I’m dead.

Her attacker spun her to the ground, but Freddy rolled away from the kick he aimed at her side. She leapt to her feet again and turned to face the foxy-faced fairy, [and as Freddie faced the foxy-faced fairy, Philip frantically flipped Freddie his firearm.] [Wait, who's Philip?] alarmed at the way her hands were shaking as they gripped the sword.

Deg was hurling what sounded to Freddy like Latin epithets at the white dogs as they charged on him. [Succurro! Adepto mihi ex hic! Adepto illa damno canis off mihi! Oh shittius.] He sent several off yelping and wounded into the night, but Freddy didn’t know how much longer Deg could hold out under the pack's steady barrage.

The foxy-faced man [I thought it was a foxy-faced fairy.] licked his long chops, and eyed Freddy critically head to toe. “You’re a dainty treat.”

--Moth

8 comments:

freddie said...

I'm flattered that I've been used in a fight scene. However, my name is spelled f-r-e-d-d-i-e. And my hair color (technically) is brunette with natural auburn highlights. However, my gender is correct.

Dave F. said...

aw! cute puppy dogs...

Too many names...
a) Ugly fairy = Grotesque = {gargoyle}
b) Nearly a dozen hideous white dogs = a pack = a Hunt {?} = white dogs
c) Foxy-faced fairy = foxy faced man

I know a latin curse: Scarpia, avanti a Dio!. Unfortunately, it doesn't help here.

Freddy's gagging is out of place. She should gag at the grotesque gargoyle's blood not wait until the sight of the pack of snarling dogs.

Is the foxy-faced thing a man or fairy and is it flying, floating or standing on two feet?

Get rid of that adverb "nearly" ... make it a pack of savage, slavering wolf-beasts or a pack of deformed dobermans with bloodlust, but don't count them as "nearly a dozen." Is it Father' Murphy's dozen (as in 11 because I ate one for God) or a Baker's dozen (because the baker thinks you're thin) or did he miscount and it's only ten.

That brings up another of my pet peeves. Throwing epithets... "dirty" old man is an epithet. It doesn't kill. Penis-breath (from ET) is an epithet. Booger Boy is an epithet.
I think you need a harder word like CURSE. And more than just the Evil Eye - you need killing curses. Utterances so dreadful that things bleed, break and die. More than just "may the bird of paradise fly up your nose" and more than may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your crotch."

Freddy's holding the rabid dogs at bay with curses. Two are dead and three mortally wounded. But it only takes one to rip out Freddy's throat.

Chro said...

My main issue with this is word choice and adjective use.

'...impaling the grotesque through the chest.' : Is 'grotesque' the name of the species, or did you just forget a noun to go with that adjective?

'...shot to his feet and took off running.' : With so many active words you could use in this instance (jumped, leapt, stumbled, etc.), why use a less literal 'shot'?

'Deg fell back, placing Freddy behind him with one arm to shield her with his own body...' : The word 'placing' is kind of ambiguous. Shoved, nudged, or another more descriptive verb might help to convey more meaning and allow you to eliminate some words.

'Someone grabbed Fred’s long red braid.' : I'm assuming by now the reader knows that Freddy's braid is long and red, and in the middle of a fight, she wouldn't be thinking about the color and length of her hair, so why not just use 'braid' without the adjectives?

Are the foxy-faced fairy and the ugly fairy the same thing? If so, why do you need to use a different adjective every time you mention the fairy?

Why is she alarmed at the way her hands were shaking when two paragraphs earlier she was gagging because of what she had done? "I can't believe I did that!" "Now I can't believe I couldn't believe I did that!"

Ali said...

I liked the gagging right where it was, but I agree with Dave F. about the "nearly dozen" dogs. "Nearly" takes away the impact of the pack of dogs.

Nice choreography (for lack of a better word). Many times in fight scenes I find myself struggling to figure out whose what is where, but this one worked well for me.

Sarah said...

I like this. Needs some tightening. Also watch for passive voice. It’s generally good to be in active voice whenever possible – especially in a fast-paced fight scene.

My suggestions (can you tell I’m avoiding work?):


Freddy sprang away, drawing her sword. She slashed, cutting the ugly fairy deeply above the elbow. He howled and released Deg.

Deg stabbed upward, impaling the grotesque through his chest. Blood splattered Deg. He shot to his feet and took off, pulling Freddy along with him. Freddy stumbled as she gagged, horrified at what she’d done.

A pack of hideous white dogs ran towards them from the road. Deg fell back, shoving Freddy behind him with one arm to shield her as the Hunt approached.

Freddy shrieked as someone grabbed her braid and violently yanked her head back. The bones in her neck clicked twice. One more click and I’m dead.

Her attacker spun her to the ground. Freddy rolled away from the kick he aimed at her side. She leapt to her feet and faced the foxy-faced fairy. Her hands shook as they gripped the sword.

Deg was hurling what sounded like Latin curses at the white dogs. They charged him. He wounded several; sending them yelping into the night. Freddy didn’t know how much longer Deg could hold out.

The foxy-faced man licked his long chops. He eyed Freddy critically head to toe. “You’re a dainty treat.”

talpianna said...

The hounds of the Wild Hunt are traditionally white with red ears. The ears should be mentioned, so we know that these are supernatural creatures.

Note to EE: If the clipart is your idea of "hideous white dogs," what on earth do you think of as "cute"?

Anonymous said...

Author here:

Talpianna, please remember that this fight scene is taken out of context. I have already described the dogs in detail earlier in the novel so I felt it would be redundant to refer again to their red-tipped ears.

I've researched the gabriel hounds, but thanks for commenting.

~Moth

McKoala said...

Another bloodthirsty one, full of action!

EE is cheeky, but I think he is letting you know that that first sentence might work better split into two and rewritten. Third sentence second para, I did wonder who 'He' was initially.

The dogs seem to come from nowhere, are they aware that they are following them?

I think I'd like a bit more detail here and there to make this really come alive - for example, the sound of the dogs? Or the sinister no sound? The smell of the ugly fairy and/or his blood? (Hm, what kind of metal would fairy blood smell like?)