Saturday, July 31, 2010

Milestones Blogfest

This blogfest is brought to you by the wonderful Donna Hole. The link takes you to the blogfest page and to the participants list.

The following excerpt is not a specially created piece for the fest, but an excerpt from my manuscript. It highlights my second protagonist and the way in which she discovers how to defeat an enemy who seemed more powerful than her. She, Eris, has been captured by the Egeal Arrows and their leader, Fist.

Please do not butter up the comments. If there is something you do not like, please say so. Thanks and enjoy!


* * *

"That’s a Cool Trick"

The Arrows gathered around Fist and joined hands. Their feathery auras, mere wisps on their skin, merged with the sparking violet of Fist’s.

Eris lifted off the ground again, the chair spinning and knocking into the walls and off the ceiling. A pain curled in her stomach and streams of her aura faintly glistened on her skin. “You need your dogs to help you,” she cried out at Fist. “You’re pathetic!” Her next words were stolen from her lips as she hammered down with the force of five auras working her. Her channel surged within, siphoning energy off the Arrows’ magic. Fist’s intense concentration made it more difficult to grab hold of his aura, but she established the connection. She locked on him as she twirled around the chamber.

The chair stopped next to a torch on the wall, the fire licking at her cheek. Eris screamed at the burn, but sucked in Fist’s aura, draining every bit she could steal.

“Pathetic?” Fist howled, less of a man and more of a beast. The darkness in his voice carried a pitch of insanity. “You’ve broken the rule one too many times.”

The chair threw itself across the room, but stopped mid-flight creaking and shaking. Eris closed her eyes and concentrated on the glimmer of her yellow aura charging beneath her eyelids.

“What?” Fist clenched his hands and threw his aura at her.

The purple sparks connected with Eris, but arched over her in harmless chains as she absorbed it.

“Right,” she said. “You didn’t give me the chance, but consider that my warning.” The chair beneath her splintered and exploded to pieces. The ropes binding her hands sizzled to threads and she touched down gracefully with Fist’s borrowed magic.

The Arrows launched themselves at Eris and she responded with a prompt jolt of purple at them. The shock did not break their advance as she thought it would and she dodged under their assault. Fist swung at her, a sweep of purple trailing in the path of his arm as he missed.

Fist planted his stance and poured his aura out. The ground wrinkled with violet lightning like a sheet of water. The Arrows waded ankle deep in the aura-sheet, but did not seem affected.

The purple snaked up Eris, stinging her as it moved higher. She shook it off and backed away.

“My power is absolute,” Fist said through gritted teeth.

He charged, the Arrows at his back and their auras blazing in furious swells. Eris thrust her palm at Fist’s chest and spun off his assault with a sweep kick to the Arrow directly behind him. Her yellow transferred to him and spun around his body. It squeezed on him, eventually reaching the jewel on his choker. A burst of purple issued out of it and the stone shattered. The Arrow fell back into the wave of Fist’s aura-sheet, his body sputtering in the furious power.

Eris whipped around and planted a fist of yellow across the next Arrow’s face. The helpless servant flew off his feet and suffered the same fate as the last. The two remaining Arrows threw wild jabs, their jewels offering infused swings. Their movements came at her lightning quick, faster than their predecessors in the alley.

Fist growled from behind and clutched Eris as she backed into his arms.

She summoned an attack, but Fist devoured it.

He threw her, the force of his toss aided with his special brand of magic. Fist raised his hands, the aura-sheet following his movement. The purple engulfed his body and surged out as he punched forward.

A barrel of violet whorled into Eris as she hit the wall. It pinned her in place as it twisted and dug at the leather protection of her bodice. She forced a scream, but it seized up. She dropped to the ground, her body smoking.

She stole a glance of the room in its blurry state. The power he had was something she had never faced before, nor ever expected to see. Two systems working together. Eris pulled herself to her knees and hugged her waist.

“I gave you fair warning,” Fist said, seeming winded.

Eris rocked and then stared at her hands. A shade of purple glowed on her skin, yellow mixing in it. The Arrows’ laughter fueled her and she stood on weak knees. Their mocking ceased and silence fell over them. She pushed her hands together, fists touching, and the colors jumped over her arms. The turbulent power of her enemy filled Eris, joined with her Seenti. She drew her hands apart and a thin rod built of the combined auras filled the space between. Slow at first, she pulled the rest of the way and revealed a glimmering saber.

Fist showed repulsion in his aged lines. “No, how?” The Arrows slid behind him. “You are able to bend your aura.”

Eris grinned, her lips thin. “I did warn you.”


  1. I like the level of action in this, but there are a few things that might make it better.

    Most of the sentences are quite long and involved, with extra layers of detail. This is particularly true in the second paragraph. Shortening some of them would create more punchiness in the action.

    At the same time, I think that there is perhaps too much focus on the actions taken, so that it reads almost like a list of who did what when. It might work better to take the POV into one of the characters' heads a little more, just to give us some extra thoughts, feelings and reactions.

    In a scene with two characters, you probably don't need quite so many speech tags, either. Particularly not the "cried out" one, which is awkward coming as it does after the first part of it. I've imagined the words in a perfectly normal tone of voice, and then found out that they should be rather more anguished.

    Other than that, I rather like it.

  2. Hi,

    Oooh, that was sure fast action and great twist ending, though I fear perhaps not the end we as readers might expect!

  3. @Francine: So you liked the end, but didn't find it suitable? Just asking in case I decide to make.changes.

  4. Hey there,
    great action-packed milestone!

    I like your writing but like Stu said, you do tend towards long sentences...

    Also, I think it should say "glistened faintly" rather than "faintly glistened". There's a few other things like that, but nothing that wouldn't be fixed by an edit.

    I wasn't all that surprised by the ending, though... I thought it fit. But maybe I'm just twisted. ; )

  5. Hi J.W., just clicked over from Donna's Milestones Blogfest, nice to meet you! I enjoyed the action in this scene. I was unfamiliar with this form of 'fighting' and found it quite engaging. I stumbled a bit in the beginning before catching on, but once I did it was a fun ride. I, too, liked the twist at the end.

    ~that rebel, Olivia

  6. That is an intriguing scene. I like the use of the different colors, though in the midst I got a little confused at one point where one came from. The techniques used in the fight seem well thought out and it moved at a good pace. She seems like a character I'd want to read about. :-)

  7. Stu has a point. He has a vivid, critical eye.

    If you place the words spoken separate from the description, it will help the visual flow of the reading.

    Thick paragraphs slow the reading process for the reader. Shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs are pleasing to the eye of the reader, unconsciously relaxing him. Just a thought.

    Your except was visual and engaging. Congratulations, Roland

  8. Hi there!

    Since you asked, a couple things only jumped out at me...

    This sentence: A pain curled in her stomach and streams of her aura faintly glistened on her skin

    For me, it seemed to be either missing or word or having a word too many. I thought that either "A" should go or there should be an additional description of the pain. what kind of pain was it? Sharp? Deep? Throbbing? Otherwise, simply saying "pain" would make it flow better. That is a TINY critisism though, but it is what honestly jumped out at me.

    That, and the number of times the word 'aura' is used in the piece overall- granted I've never written a scene like this, there may be no better way of describing it, forgive me, this is not my area of expertise. It did seem repetitive- so if there is another word you can use alternately, maybe consider that.

    Overall, though, well done!


  9. Justin; I'm having some blogger problems - which is why I'm posting so late. I tried several times over the last few hours to post a comment. I promised not to use any curse words publicly on any of my participants blogs, so I'm going to say something polite - hope it gets posted - and email you.

    Overall, I like this. Woohoo, action. And love the ending. Summs up the milestone perfectly for me.


  10. Hi Justin. Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting on my milestones entry.

    Stu is very succinct with his comments and as editing out sentence tags is one of my things, I agree you can do away with a lot of them. Once each character's voice is established you don't need them. What Tessa said about 'glistened faintly' is a matter of opinion, but I agree with her in this case.

    Overall I enjoyed it, even though it's not my favourite genre and I think you seem eager to listen to criticism. Whether you do anything with it is up to you. Happy writing..:)

  11. I would say shorten a few of the longer sentences and I agree that many of the tags can go. Otherwise this was a fast and action packed read. Sometimes these scenes can get complicated to write (and read), but here I could see the action playing out with little trouble. And I did enjoy the end. Wonderful bit.

    Happy to follow ya. We share a few reading likes ;-D.

  12. Nice ride! I really enjoyed the excerpt. it took a minute to figure out how they were fighting and with what... but the descriptions were vivid and dynamic. And, I really *saw* the auras.

    I like the voice and you write in a poetic style.

  13. Hey, I tagged you in my blog post today. Make sure to hop on by and check it out! =D


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