Topic The Revised and Slower Produced Short Story.
Edited by Pylsur on 12/5/12 12:34 PM (PST)
That might work. You can also move stuff around a bit, as I have done in the sample.
Pylsur I am deleting a lot (I hope) and trimming the flow to be better. I will post it soon, keeping the original story for comparison. This way if I deleted too much or too little I can mix and match until I find the perfect flow and mix of the two versions.
Some around here may have noticed that I keep lots of logs and backups. Revision histories are another part of my obsessive data retention.
You might consider keeping your writing in like, Google Docs, which keeps an automatic revision history. You can chop away things in editing without fear of permanently losing the info if you want to reuse it later.
A draft wailed through the square, open window which caused the candle in my hand to flicker causing the shadows to wave and dance with the moaning song of the gust. My heart hammered in my chest. I was not afraid of the dark however; I was afraid of being discovered awake and moving about at this time of night. I crept with the quiet footfalls of a mouse, at least I thought so in my head, and moved at an agonizingly slow pace ever upward. I rounded the final twist and saw the worn wooden door.
I approached the door with trepidation, my hand quivering as I reached out to push it open as slowly as I could. The creaking seemed as loud as trumpets marking the arrival of royalty. I cringed and glanced back and breathed a sigh of relief as I saw no one there, no light coming from a further distance to discover who had made such an awful racket. At last it was open enough for my small body to slip through, and I rushed into the room closing the door with care behind me.
I rushed to the desk eager to crack open the tomes that lay scattered across it. I climbed up into the wooden chair and cracked open the musty, yellow paged book. The pungent aroma of dust, old wood and aged paper assaulted my nostrils, and dust seemed to puff in a cloud from the pages. I coughed and then began to read about the forces of the Arcane, and though some of the terms and ideas made no sense to me at the time, I still studied with enthusiasm. Each word passed through my mind and seemed to captivate me further, so engrossed in the read reading was I that I had not heard the old door creak open and so I jumped nearly out of my skin as I heard a gruff voice behind me.
“You boy..you are not to be up here at this hour! Nor without supervision!” then in a much softer voice, he said, “But I understand, son..I understand the drive to know. Come, sit with your old Pappy and let me teach you.”
I obeyed and sat in his lap as he told me, “I have long waited for one as eager as you to learn all I know. Your father did not take to it the way I wished he had. The legacy must go on, my child. We must not forget the gifts of the great ancestor,” he explained to me as he reached for a musty old tome with no title.
The brown leather binding the cover was cracked; the book looked ancient, and the pages were brittle and yellowed to the point of almost brown. It had a strong smell of age to it, but it was not unpleasant. Perhaps this particular smell of old books was another reason I found myself reading so often throughout my life.
He cracked the book open with the reverence as though it were a holy book and I looked at him in wonder, “How does it open without falling apart Pappy? It looks so OLD, it must be..it must be one hundred years old!”
My grandfather laughed then, deep and rich, “You have much to learn yet. This book is easily over six thousand years old if I had to guess, and the reason it does not fall apart is because we have enchanted it with preservation spells. They are quite easy to learn, and it will be the first spell I teach you. The knowledge in these books must never be allowed to ruin or become forgotten by this family, do you understand me?”
“I don’t know!” I was feeling a little overwhelmed, the responsibility of keeping all of these books safe from the passage of time seemed enormous.
I was feeling a little shaken. I did not know it at the time, but the library had grown with each generation, each mage adding his own volume or volumes to the library, the accumulated knowledge of the entire family for easily six thousand years.
My concerns and doubts must have been apparent for he reassured me, “Do not worry lad, I will make sure you are prepared, and you have many years yet to learn all that there is to know. This will not be thrust upon you so soon.”
I felt better at this and looked up smiling, the excitement returning, “When do I get to learn my first spell pappy?”
The great old Arcanist laughed his deep, belly filled laugh again, his thin, wiry frame shaking as he wiped tears from his eyes. He had been so worried the tradition might die out as his own son had almost no interest in the subject of Magic, having learned only enough to satisfy his demands. Now, however, he knew I would carry on the great family legacy. It seemed I had a drive that he found reminded him so much of himself as a boy.
“It will be tomorrow, I imagine, my boy. You’ve been reading for four years now, and I suppose I learned my first spell at the age of six as well..yes I think you are ready to learn the most basic of cantrips.” He smiled down at me, knowing full well how much this would excite me and I beamed up at him, amazed that I would soon be a wizard myself, and so soon! I was excited to show the few friends I had the incredible powers I would gain.
I turned my attention to the almost decrepit tome before me and began to read with an eagerness that seemed to burn unending. I became so absorbed in the tale I soon forgot where I was.
My ancestor began his journal by writing his name was Hammarskjold which meant shield. He was given this name by his people, the Arathians, due to his courageous and selfless deeds in being a primary defender in what I know now to be the Troll Wars. I imagined myself in that role; I knew I would inherit the Barony some day, but I would make sure that I grew in strength and power to become a shield to my people just as my ancestor had.
He described his first meeting with the High Elves that came to propose an alliance with the humans. They were the most beautiful creatures he had ever seen. They were bathed in a mystical blue aura which seemed to permeate their very being, wrapping around their bodies, entwined with their very being. Sapphire eyes glowed like burning pools of fire in their heads, with chiseled, exotic features that were fine and delicate, gentle and subtle as though they were the most beautiful creation on this great world. They had lithe, tight figures that stood tall and proud with straight sun blonde hair that seemed too bright to be real. He had to shield his eyes from their radiance, unable to speak at their inspiring presence. He did not know why such incredible beings had come, or why they deigned it suitable to speak with such a low born man as himself.
They approached him in a rather formal and regal way and asked him in broken common if he could take them to his leader. He was quick to oblige them by escorting them to the city gates, a few miles from his farm, where a troop of guards met the small party and followed to the King’s palace. He wrote how the meeting took place; he was not welcome to the proceedings and negotiations out in the open, but was privy to the way events and subjects discussed from the shadows.
I remember he wrote about how they began training the humans in great academies, teaching them how to wield the forces of the Arcane, Frost and Fire. The strange visitors seemed so surprised at how fast and well the humans learned this foreign art. He observed them when he had a moment to spare, learning and listening to how they instructed their pupils. As time progressed he found he had the courage to try these strange teachings in the secrecy of his own home.
He practiced alone mimicking the incantations and hand gestures he had learned by his clandestine observations and was startled to find such spectacular results; results that burned his own house down, though it is noted that nobody was hurt.
He chronicled how the authorities of the time came upon him followed by the Elves who insisted he tell them how this had happened. He lied at first as he knew he should not know the secrets of this magic, being a low born man, but it seemed those in charge were less than buying his story so he confessed. Expecting to be reprimanded in heavy fashion he was surprised with their pleased reaction.
The Elves did not think the low born folk capable of harnessing the art, but now had information to the contrary of this belief. They were also impressed at the sheer magnitude of power behind the spell that could destroy an entire house from such an uneducated, poor peasant. They thought he may be honed into quite the powerful magi if given the proper tutelage. It was then my ancestor detailed that he learned how to read and write which is how he was able to make this book.
Before long the human nation of Arathor had some of, if not the most, in my ancestor’s opinion, powerful Magi on the continent. The entire time this alliance was being formed and trained the Trolls had been raiding the Elves and they were backed into a desperate corner.
“At last they deemed us ready to assist them in this most heinous war,” wrote my ancestor, “And much to the amazement of the population of our fair and mighty kingdom, we did not march to war against the trolls. Such miniscule behavior was now beneath us. No, we did not MARCH to war,” this part written in capitalization as though to emphasize his point further, “we teleported arriving in a dizzying, nauseating instant.”
“ It was the most breath taking city I had ever seen. I wondered if this was some side effect of the powerful Magick entrusted to us, but alas what I saw was real and tangible. I touched the glorious structures, shining and entwined with the earth, as though the structure were one with the land instead of standing separate and against it. The walls seemed to curve naturally, rather than the harsh blocky structures of my own kingdom. Enchanted brooms flittered about sweeping the streets, and rotating book cases held tomes of knowledge. The land was warm and sunny as if ignoring the fact they were so far north. I had arrived in paradise itself and I knew then why the Elves wanted so strongly to protect this heaven on Azeroth against the savage, green skinned trolls,” he wrote in astonishing detail.
My ancestor made me long to see these wonderful Elvin cities. We were cornered and trapped, like dogs in a cage, behind our stupid wall I remembered thinking bitterly. I dreamed of becoming powerful enough to whisk myself away at a whim to any city I so chose; little did I know how far the Elves and their magnificent civilization had fallen.
I returned my attention to the narrative at hand, continuing to read the account of my ancestor and the first human Magi.
Some around here may have noticed that I keep lots of logs and backups. Revision histories are another part of my obsessive data retention.
That is a good idea; it would be clumsy to save so many different versions in WORD and I would have to rename each version. Thanks for the advice Lito c:
Edited by Ravinsild on 12/6/12 2:08 PM (PST)
“The trolls spilled from the wood line in droves making it look like the trees themselves rushed toward the walled defenses of the Silvermoon City, bloodlust glinting in their red eyes. They grinned, their wicked tusks ornamented in dangling shrunken heads, covered in feathers and sporting tall, crest-like Mohawks. They had spears, axes and bows, and engaged the Elves in a clap of thunder, metal ringing against metal as shields blocked falling or thrown axes and spear tips.”
“Elves fell, reaching toward the sky in their death cry, some taking arrows to the chest, some axes to their fair faces. The trolls roared in glee as they pressed the defensive line back toward the wall. That was when we were given the order. They were close enough to use our magic.”
“ The Elves had greater accuracy than we did, so they focused their pin point magic darts in volleys toward the Trolls engaged with their own forces, purple lances slamming into green faces knocking them to the ground, colliding into chests and legs, bringing down Trolls by the Dozens. We had the raw power, but lacked the finesse of the Elves, and so we focused on the Trolls still streaming from the wood line."
"Harnessing the mana around me I whispered the incantations, moving my hands to trace the sigils in the air, then threw them skyward concentrating on the area I wanted to erupt in fire. A spiral of flame erupted from the ground and several others like mine down the length of the battle front, creating a wall of flame that devoured our enemies in agonizing deaths.”
“Troll screams filled the air as their flesh sizzled under our magic and I felt the rush of power that came with the first big spell cast of a battle. I then began to draw from the colder mana, tapping into the frozen power that existed higher in the atmosphere, collecting it in my hands as they began to glow blue, frosting over. Again I murmured the incantations, waving my hands to trace the sigils, before releasing a howling Blizzard that mingled with the flames. Giant shards of ice rained from the sky, slicing the Troll enemy to ribbons, impaling them to the ground in some cases, creating a grotesque forest of bodies. "
“The combined forced of the Elvin and Human mages ended the battle faster than we had expected. The Elves were ecstatic, and praised us for a job well done. We had made them proud, and our raw power impressed them. We celebrated our victory together later that night with drink and song.”
The book continued on with my ancestors experience in those wars, the campaigns further south and the fall of the Amani Empire. He was my hero and I studied every single day with my grandfather to be more like him. I wanted to be as strong as he was to protect my people. I wanted to be noble, compassionate, caring and good like he was.
I played pretend that I was him in those days, reenacting his battles against invisible armies of trolls in the back yard. I practiced my spells and they were strong. My growth was faster than even my grandfather had anticipated, due to my constant studies. I could tell he was proud of me. He told me I had the great blood of the ancestor in me, and I felt myself grow in confidence and pride.
“You must remember, Ravinsild, that you should only use your power to help others. You must never use it to take for yourself. Do you understand this?” he often told me. He drilled humility into my head.
“I understand, Grandfather. Our magic is for the defense and good of our people. We must never use it to conquer others, or to abuse those not gifted with the Arcane. We must always take care to tend our gifts carefully,” I told him one day. He grinned at me.
“It seems you understand what I have been trying to teach you over the years, dear boy. You have inherited your ancestor’s kindness and compassion. You are a true Chillheart, and you honor your family well,” he replied.
One day I realized that Gilneas was not Arathor and so I asked my grandfather, “What happened to Arathor? How did we end up here, in Gilneas? I have read about how the humans and elves beat the Trolls..did something happen?” I had not finished my ancestor’s journal yet.
“Oh, I see you have not finished the book yet,” he remarked with interest, “Well then pick up here,” he opened the book to a chapter right after the end of the wars.