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Feb 14, 14 at 8:03pm ^Largerock vs LiveVoltage [Finished] Hunter vs Assassin
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Setting: A Gigantic Lush Forest brimming with wildlife
Post count: 1 Intro, 2 Battle, 1 Victory
EDIT NOTE: ...It was previously 5 posts but there were complications. Shush it.
Edit: Nov 19, 14 4:26am
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Feb 14, 14 at 11:30pm ^re: Largerock vs LiveVoltage [Finished] Hunter vs Assassin
Gigante Bosque, a colorful forest dense with beautiful greenery and home to a vast amount of vicious beasts. Some of them were widely known, some were incredibly popular as mascots and some were kept as secrets of the forest, unknown to all but a handful of people. Noctal walked the forest floor, crushing various twigs and leaves underfoot as he searched for his target.
He didn’t have much info to go on; the client, who was an incredibly rich gourmet that lived nearby in a mansion on a mountain, requested to hunt something that was native to the forest and was not known of anywhere else in the world and have it brought to him, preferably alive.
Noctal thought the request was a bit absurd, seeing as he’d have to hunt something that he knew absolutely nothing of which would prove to be quite difficult considering how dense the forest was, but then again the gourmet was offering a very hefty sum of money for doing this. Plus, there weren't really any other requests that were as unique. It was either this, or hunt a pack of wolves to stop them from attacking a farm and hunting a pack of wolves didn't exactly sound as exciting as hunting something he’d never known of before.
As he walked through the greenery, Noctal was starting to regret taking the request. He was seeing nothing that looked unidentified. Knowing that his chances of hunting something like that were slim if he stuck to merely walking around the forest, he decided to take a different approach or rather, take a different perspective.
He looked around the dense forest, looking for something to assist him up. He spotted a fallen tree that was in a slight arc position ”Perfect…” he thought to himself as he approached the tree. He leaped onto it, which in turn shook the tree a bit which scared off a couple birds that were hanging around and made the tree crack a bit. From that he could tell that the tree was quite old, along with the various mushrooms growing alongside it.
Once he was balanced, he walked up the tree and saw in front of him the branch of another tall standing tree. He leaped towards the branch and caught on to it, pulling himself up afterwards. From there, he continued leaping to higher and higher branches for a while till he could get a good view of his surroundings. After having done that, he realized exactly how vast the forest was, and that this request was more difficult than it appeared to be, and it was already hard enough. ”…This is going to take a very, very long time…" he depressingly thought to himself as he looked about the vast forest.
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Feb 15, 14 at 2:19pm ^re: Largerock vs LiveVoltage [Finished] Hunter vs Assassin
The loud sound of a tree being uprooted caught Noctal's attention. As Noctal turned to see what it was, he saw the tree in question being launched towards him at a very high speed. Using his advanced training in reflexes, he managed to barely dodge the tree by inches. But just as he thought the danger was over, a second tree was launched at him. with barely any time to react, he draws his sword and with all his skill and might, cut's through the tree. As the tree flew past him though, an unknown assailant wrapped in a black cloak leaped from one of the other nearby tree's with the intent to kill radiating off of him. His coming assault was quick and brutal, but Noctal managed to block the first strike. The assailant though was quick to retreat after his initial attack failed, but the assailant turned to face Noctal and got into a defensive stance, ready to battle in the event that Noctal proceeded any further.
Noctal jumped down from the tree he had mounted and Noctal sheathed his blade and held up his hand's in an effort to speak with his opponent. "Hail traveler, I mean you no harm. I only came to find a valuable creature that's lives in these wood's." "I know why you're here huntsman, you were sent by that corrupt pig of a noble to capture me!" The assailant responded back in a vicious tone. Puzzled by what the assailant said, Noctal responded back in a perplexed tone. "What do you mean by that and just who exactly are you?"
"You dont know who I am? Surely you've heard of the Dread-Lord Hikaru Valingrad Stormblade of the far east?" Noctal had heard of the name before. Hikaru was renown in the east of the land for his legendary battle skill's and was also infamous as an assassin who killed for money. Noctal was skeptical, and did not believe that this person was Hikaru, despite the fact that he was the one who probably threw the tree's at him. Noctal decided to go with his story for now though and responded to his answer. "Well, what does that have to do with the nobleman that hired me?" Hikaru sighed deeply and began to explain. "Did he seriously not tell you what you were up against or what you were hunting? It figures that he would do that, as most of the bounty hunters that came after me died a horrible death. Regardless, to answer your question, a few week's ago I butchered his wife and children before his very eye's as my contract dictated me to make a public example of anybody who would defy the king of this territory. He's been sending bounty hunter's ever since but most have stopped coming recently. I would have left once nobody was following me and flee to a different region since I had no buisness being here. Now the question is, what are you going to do? will you fight, or will you abandon the contract?"
Noctal responded with a fierce determination. "Isn't that obvious? Im going to fight. Even if he is corrupt and a pig, that doesn't make it right to kill innocent people. You need to face judgment for your crime's." Hikaru was hesitant for a moment but responded in a disappointed tone. "Then... I am sorry for what I am about to do to you."
Edit: Feb 15, 14 2:47pm
A sword drawn keeps another in the sheath.
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Feb 15, 14 at 10:32pm ^re: Largerock vs LiveVoltage [Finished] Hunter vs Assassin
Hikaru leaped into a somersault backwards, landing neatly behind a pile of large rocks. “I’m giving you one last warning bounty hunter, turn away now. I assure you that if you fight me, you will die.”
“My my, getting a bit arrogant are we? As I said before, I’ve no intention to turn tail and run away. Now then…” Noctal did his bow and grinned “Shall we?”
After hearing that, Hikaru’s eye twitched a bit at Noctal’s taunt. He kicked the pile of rocks with tremendous strength, sending the lot of them flying at a high speed towards the huntsman. In response, Noctal dodged to the side and took cover behind a tree. ”Tossing trees and kicking rocks with lethal strength…Wondrous." he thought to himself as he was leaning against the tree.
After a few seconds of nothing happening, Noctal peeked out from behind cover and saw Hikaru down on one knee. He was perplexed by the sight, curious about what was going on but he couldn’t waste the opportunity, he had to take advantage now. He got out of cover and rushed to where the Assassin was, holding his sword at the ready as he did so.
Once Noctal got to Hikaru, he attempted to cut him down with a downward overhead slash, but all it did was strike the ground as Hikaru managed to move out of the way and reacted by unsheathing his shinken and slashing Noctal, aiming to cut him straight in half. The huntsman jumped back to avoid the slash, but he was still hit as it left a cut clear across his chest, the flowing blood staining his cross-emblazoned shirt. Noctal was surprised that the assassin was able to attack so quickly, considering his state just a couple seconds ago.
Surprisingly, Hikaru then immediately went on the defensive as he put his shinken back in his sheathe, though he looked ready to draw it out in a split second and cut anything in half. Noctal wasn't dumb enough to attack him then, he knew that if he did that it’d be a fatal mistake, so he instead paced around thinking about what to do while at the same time remaining on full guard.
”Hmmm… how to go about this situation. Seems this fellow won’t give me any quarter, which calls for a distraction. Now what would serve as a good distraction? There are trees, boulders and… wait… of course, of course!” An idea popped into Noctal’s head.
He grinned as he put his own sword back in its sheathe as well, but he didn’t look like he was going to do anything with it. Instead after doing that, he planted his right hand into the ground and let off an explosion that was fairly weak but it was enough to cloud the air with dust which would lower visibility.
Now that he couldn’t be seen properly, Noctal dashed forward past Hikaru, who attempted to cut down Noctal as he ran past but missed due to the dust, and ran straight for the vine covered tree that was a slight distance away. As he approached, he jumped towards the tree and grabbed onto its vines, he then climbed up as quickly as he could and stood on a branch, catching his breath and holding his arm in pain. Though the explosion was not much, it still affected Noctal. "This damn arm... Convenient, yet inconvenient at the same time... "
Looking down, Noctal saw that he was moderately high off the ground and was somewhat hidden due to the leaves. He also saw that Hikaru was no longer where he originally was. Now where did he run off to? Wait… no this is bad.” Noctal remembered that the assassin could toss large objects, and possessed tremendous strength. Knowing that, Noctal decided to be on the move so that he would be hard to keep track of and keep the advantage of being on high ground.
And so he began leaping from branch to branch, from tree to tree while keeping an eye out to spot where the assassin was.
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Feb 18, 14 at 4:25pm ^re: Largerock vs LiveVoltage [Finished] Hunter vs Assassin
Noctal continued to leap from tree to tree, attempting to sight Hikaru. Just as he leaped to the next tree, it came crashing down. Noctal tried to land on the falling tree and jump to the next one but it was too late and he was already in a free fall to the forest floor. He managed to break his fall by landing on one of the tree branches, but the branch could not support him and snapped under his weight, leaving him to finish his free fall. All the air got knocked out of him when he landed on the forest floor, Noctal was quick to recover though and looked around his surrounding's, to which Hikaru was noticeably absent. "Damn you assassin, come out and stop hiding already!" He shouted out in anger. Noctal was clutching his side. It was clear to him that he had more than just a simple bruising, as the fall did a number on his side.
Hikaru rushes out of the cover which the tree's were providing him, with his Shinken in hand. Noctal manages to grab his sword in time to block the blow but the force of Hikaru's strike is so strong that it knock's Noctal's sword out of his hand and landing straight into the side of a nearby tree. Before Noctal could evade, Hikaru was upon him. Noctal's injury was already taking it's toll and it seemed to be slowing him down. Hikaru grab's him by his neck with one hand and cocking his head back, slam's his head straight into Noctal's head, sending Noctal flying backwards.
"God's, you're so damn weak. I wouldn't even need to take off my blindfold fighting you." Hikaru said, with a disappointed tone in his voice. He sheathes his Shinken and turns to walk away. "You are one of the first people who has managed to last this long though so i will give you that. You're mistake though was thinking you could run and hide from me." Just as Hikaru was about to walk away, Noctal get's up and grabbing Hikaru by the shoulder, turn's him around and punches him square in the nose. It felt like hitting a rock though and it looked like it barely did anything to Hikaru as he immediately recovered from the surprise attack. "Just what the hell are you? You're skin is as tough as a rock and you hit with the force of a sledge hammer." He said in anger as he grasped his hand. "Wouldn't you like to know. You beat me and ill tell you, I wont even use my weapon so that way it's a little more fair for you." Hikaru said tauntingly.
Noctal quickly struck at Hikaru's face out of anger, then launched a series of melee strike's towards his chest, all of the attack's though were blocked with ease. Just as Noctal throw's his last punch towards Hikaru's chest, Hikaru dodge's the attack then wrap's his arm around Noctal's, trapping him. Hikaru then launched a series of high power punches at Noctal's face, most of which delivered severe damage then finished off his assault with a side kick that launched Noctal into a tree. Noctal began coughing up blood as he was severely disoriented from the heavy melee assault as well as suffering from the trauma of the fall, which Hikaru took advantage during his last attack and specifically targeted his injury. "Damn you assassin, you fight dirty." Noctal mutter's loudly as he attempt's to recover from Hikaru's overpowering attack's. "Who said I had too? You're trying to kill or capture me, just like every other bounty hunter has tried to do. I consider the way I fight to be extremely fair. As it's said, all is fair in love and war. Especially war." Hikaru proclaimed.
A sword drawn keeps another in the sheath.
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Feb 18, 14 at 11:12pm ^re: Largerock vs LiveVoltage [Finished] Hunter vs Assassin
Noctal spat out some blood as he struggled to get back on his feet “Again you call me a ‘bounty hunter’, allow me to correct you. While not entirely false, it is not true as well. Admittedly yes I am a hunter, and it could be said that my hunts are bounties but in actuality I am a Huntsman. I merely hunt the likes of beasts and nothing else. I don’t dally around in head hunting, human heads that is.”
“You attempt to trick me by lying about yourself? Hah, there truly is no limit on how pathetic you can be.”
Noctal could only respond in a sigh “Seems you won’t believe me… Very well then.” He took a couple deep breaths and managed to just barely stand back on his feet.
Hikaru crossed his arms and scoffed “Remember what I said a moment ago bounty hunter? Now do you see what I meant? Unable to even stand straight, you brought this down on yourself, you basically committed suicide.”
Noctal chuckled “Hah, there truly is no end to how arrogant you can be.” He mockingly repeated what Hikaru said in hopes of angering the assassin. ”Now then assassin… if you are as predictable as I think you are, then I believe now I’ll have to be extremely careful…”
Just as expected, the assassin charged at Noctal with immense speed while putting his right arm forward, as if he was going to impale Noctal with it. Once Hikaru was inches away from the huntsman, Noctal swiftly stepped to the side which resulted in Hikaru getting his hand stuck in the tree that was just a bit behind them.
Noctal seized the opportunity to rush behind Hikaru and swept the assassin’s feet with a kick to make him lose his footing and followed up by slashing him across the back with his claw. But to Noctal’s surprise the demonic claw’s power had little to no effect on the assassin, though it managed to put him on the floor.
The huntsman used what little time he bought to reclaim his sword which was still stuck on a nearby tree. Once he did that, Noctal looked around and saw a large boulder nearby which he could use as a spot to regroup. He ran off to it and managed to take cover, but he then grimaced as a very sharp pain shot through his side.
Noctal partially took off his coat and pulled up his shirt, which was visibly stained with his own blood, had a large cut going along the cross and was torn in various places. Looking down he saw that the skin on the lower left side of his abdomen was somewhat torn off and the area around it was heavily bruised. ”Well that… that does not look very pretty. At all.” he thought as he looked at his injury. The huntsman shook his head as he put his shirt back down and put his coat back on
”Seems I’ll have to make do somehow. It wouldn’t be wise to fight him head-on and it is quite difficult to take him by surprise… I’ll have to force out an advantage somehow… Wait… Earlier he was crouched down after tossing the trees and kicking the rocks which may mean that… I see, it’s worth a shot. Especially si-” his thoughts were abruptly interrupted as he heard a cracking sound behind him.
Instinctively, Noctal rolled away from the rock. Looking back, he saw the rock itself was cracking apart. Noctal quickly stood back on his feet and walked backwards, wary of what might happen next.
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Feb 20, 14 at 9:57am ^re: Largerock vs LiveVoltage [Finished] Hunter vs Assassin
Out of the brush come's several large boulder's flying at Noctal, he evades them though but is only met by Hikaru rushing at him with his Shinken in hand, their bout beginning yet again. Hikaru charge's at Noctal with lighting speed once again. Noctal assumes that he will try the same attack pattern that he attempted last time but at the last second, Hikaru feint's his attack and instead nail's Noctal center mass with another powerful side kick. Noctal take's the blow well though, only sliding backwards from the sheer power of the impact and with minimal damage but the attack sent him reeling a bit. Hikaru's following assault was merciless though as the strike's were focused on key critical area's that Noctal had a notably hard time protecting such as his leg's and side's. Noctal knew that at the rate the fight was progressing, he would not be able to survive much longer. His only options were to either retreat and treat his current wound's, or run. running being an option that he couldn't abide by, he began watching Hikaru, waiting for him to present an opening so he could lash out then run. Hikaru's defense was solid though so it was much easier said than done. His skills in the blade, even though it was foreign, far surpassed Noctal's as well so trying to force him into a corner was even harder than breaking through his defense. Hikaru end's his barrage of light attack's with an immensely powerful strike aimed for his side. Noctal managed to block it but he was pushed back several feet by the sheer force of the strike.
"I'm surprised to see that you're still standing. Not to mention that you've recovered you're footing and composure a bit so you're a more presentable challenge now. Unfortunately, im about out of time to play with you so I guess it's time to get serious and kill you quickly." Hikaru remove's his hood, and throw's off his blindfold, his eye's slowly opened up revealing an intense crimson glow. This startled Noctal at first but he suddenly realized what Hikaru was. Immense strength and speed, adding the fact the his face looked very feminine and that his hand's were pointy at the tip's of his finger's, Noctal realized he was Dragonkin. "You're Dragonkin!?" Noctal said in surprise. "I thought they were all extinct!"
"Most of us are. The few who still live are scattered and hidden throughout the world, living solitary lives. Not that it's going to matter once your dead." Hikaru said in a confident yet somewhat bored tone of voice, as he got back into his combat position, carefully waiting for Noctal to make the next move. It was clear that the next action was going to decide the fate of this battle. Noctal noticed that despite Hikaru's trait's as a Dragonkin, he looked more Human than Dragonkin at any rate. Noctal could probably use this to his advantage though as Hikaru looked more like a hybrid of the two. As a result, he probably did not have the full power that a full blooded Dragonkin had.
A sword drawn keeps another in the sheath.
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Apr 07, 14 at 8:33am ^re: Largerock vs LiveVoltage [Finished] Hunter vs Assassin
I owe you guys this vote and am very sorry it slipped my notice , it's time I make that up to ya .
I love how you start your intro post, the very first words, " Gigante Bosque" have an excellent ring to them, and really draw me in, with the explanation of the term following on perfectly to build off that. I already feel like I'm in a fascinating fantasy setting with one sentence, very nicely done.
Continuing on, you do repeat the word "forest" a little bit often. When referencing something frequently, it can help to have two or even three terms for it to mix it up a little, in this case "woods" or "woodland" would have worked nicely. It's a small but helpful tip that can help polish your writing that extra bit, as when you have to rely on the same word repeatedly in a short span it can make your passages sound a bit stifled and limited, so not just here, but in any situation where you read back over your work, look out for that and if you spot it try to think of a good synonym to use. Anyway, I like the premise you give your character for what he's doing, when you first posted Noctal in the member list I remarked that he was well thought-up for being able to have good clear motives driving him in duels and other situations, and that shows here, having him hunt a rare creature for a rich employer who presumably wants to use them to make a special feast is a creative and interesting angle. Even Noctal seems to appreciate how unique it is, which I also like, hehehe. You do again have a bit of repetition, this time of "hunting", you could've used it twice without it being too bad but the middle use was needless, you could've done this:
It was either this or hunt a pack of wolves to stop them attacking a nearby farm, and that didn't sound nearly as exciting as hunting something he’d never heard of before.
I made a couple of other changes, but the main point is you just wrote "hunt a pack of wolves", so you don't need to repeat "hunting a pack of wolves" 10 words later, you can simply say "that" to refer to the thing you just described, and that makes the sentence tighter and punchier in its flow. To give you one last example, you wrote "He looked around the dense forest, looking for something to assist him up" a bit later. Just replacing "looking" with "searching" avoids repetition and makes the sentence feel fresher.
Other than this stuff I'm giving advice on, your intro post is flowing quite well. You've kept things moving at a nice pace, although the part where Noctal climbs a tree got a little snagged on the details. It was fine to include them, mentioning things like the fungus on the bark colours in the world, you just laid it out in such a way that most of it poured out in a big heap. "He leaped onto it, shaking the trunk a little and scaring off a couple of nearby birds as it creaked under him slightly" another example of me trying to put the same information into a smoother, neater form. It helps your scenes come to life and avoids repeating "a bit" or other phrases if you can stop lumps of needless extra words slipping in, like "which in turn", which didn't add anything in this case and just weighed down the sentence. You do get a little better again moving into your last paragraph, there's still a bit of needless bulk, like "pulling himself up afterwards", where "afterwards" could just be removed, but it's a much smaller excess. All in all you've got a decent post here. There are a couple of rough elements in your writing, but they'll surely improve with practice, and coming up with a scene, describing it, and putting your character in it you all did well.
Onto your first battle post. I like how you start again, a nice classic somersault, good bit of style to kick things off, and giving it to your opponent is very sporting. The dialogue is good, giving Hikaru a nice line that fits his personality, and Noctal a nifty rebuke. Hikaru not taking this taunt well is also a good show of his character, both in accuracy and the move he follows up with, making use of where he just moved to. I have to say, so far you're handling this the way I would expect someone with far more experience in duels to, I'm impressed. I also like how you shift the narrative to your character's point of view for a while, having Hikaru doing something, but Noctal doesn't know and neither do we, it draws the reader in very nicely. I will give a small bit of advice, which is that when action is moving fast, it can help to capture the feel of that fastness in how you write it. Having "Once Noctal got to Hikaru, he attempted to cut him down with a downward overhead slash" feels a bit like he arrives in front of Hikaru, pauses, and then tries to hit him. In these circumstances a more fluid rushing striking charge seems like it would fit a little better, something like "Reaching Hikaru, Noctal swung his sword in an overhead slash as he attempted to cut him down". That's not a perfect sentence, but it conveys the feel of continuous motion as approach flows into attack, as a skilled fighter would do.
That aside, very much liking the trade of blows, especially you taking a hit despite dodging, giving a nice feel of dangers to this combat. Hikaru looks skilled with his stoic death-pose and Noctal looks intelligent as he analyses the situation, really playing the two characters off each other well here. I dig the classic "smoke the area" tactic, and it's a resourceful use of the normally quite blunt power "cause explosions". The pause to reflect the drain/pain is causes through use of his arm was also a good touch. Having Hikaru vanish was, lastly, a great ending, as coupled with Noctal ruminating on the threat he posed, it made him continue to look cool and feel like a serious danger, and also gives your opponent plenty of flexibility in how they follow on in their next post, which is highly sporting of you. All in all, I have to say, I'm highly impressed. Your language use isn't a sophisticated as some of the more experienced writers here, but that aside this had everything that makes a good duel .
Onto your last post, and 3 for 3, you've begun all of them well, spitting blood is a nice visceral image that captures the harsh toll this fight is having on Noctal. The explanation of what he was ran a little bit long, it could have done with either being a little more concise or having a pause in the middle as he continued/finished standing up, or something. That aside, things are going decently, giving Hiyata some good lines still, bravo. I was worried you were repeating "there truly is no X to how Y you can be" unintentionally, but it's good to see you using it as a purposeful mocking, very nice. I really like the way even as he baits his opponent, Noctal still registers that he has to be extremely careful as Hikaru is a dire threat. Deciding not to try and take him on head on after that has proven ineffective, and instead exploiting his hostility and temper plus your surroundings was also a deft move, you've done really well to portray Noctal as a tactical intelligent combatant in this duel. Good job grabbing your sword too, effective use of the time you bought, and there's something kind of funny, but not in a bad way, about how he reacts to his wound. The practical, quietly determined tone of "Seems I’ll have to make do somehow" really resonated with me, and the continued analysis, followed by being interrupted, was just brilliant in all respects. This post had far less problems than your first, you got over your repetition issue it seems and all in all there were hardly any flaws and a lot of good points.
Colour me impressed, this was a damned solid performance. I ended up outlining some issues and advice for fixing them relating to your first post, then had substantially less to pause and advise on as the duel went on for you. I will say to make sure to keep that repetition ironed out, don't relapse into it, and likewise you got better at avoiding large run-on clunky sentences but make sure to keep that up too. Honestly though, such early mistakes aside you showed a great aptitude for writing as a duelist, and this was a very well-rounded performance. You have no one area of weakness I can go "Work on this most of all" to, provided you do keep the above early issues from resurfacing, you did well in pretty much every area: action, character interaction, character personality, dialogue, giving your opponent a good share of the quality and style, having the fight flow back and forth decently as well as mixing it up with fresh ideas, showing the logic behind the moves in the fight, and so forth. It makes it a bit hard to give you overall advice, honestly I think with practice and experience you'll just get better at everything, your vocabulary will grow and your fight scene ideas will evolve and you'll be able to think of even more stylish lines of dialogue and narrative, you're not bad at any of it currently, you'll just get even more skilled . A very promising performance, well done Largerock.
Okay, you start your first post connecting right to your opponent, no dallying .
I think it says somewhere in the rules that you're not meant to attack one another during intro posts, in honesty it's such a legacy rule I'm unsure just how much stock to put in it, it seems nice to have something that sets apart intro posts from battle posts, but at times it seems like a little bit of a petty restriction. I won't mark you down for opening fire right away here, but I thought I would note it.
Now, your first paragraph was a mix of good writing and a large number of small faults. What I mean by that is it's not badly flawed, but what problems it has are spread over several little issues, so it'll take me a bit to go through them. First, like your opponent, you have an issue with repetition, where you use the same term to refer to the same thing frequently and close together. The main offenders in this paragraph are "tree/the tree", and you also use "the assailant" pretty close together later on, which creates a stale feeling in an otherwise action-packed start when you can't find varied terms to describe what's going on and seem to be stuck with the same ones. Let's look at an early example:
The loud sound of a tree being uprooted caught Noctal's attention. As Noctal turned to see what it was, he saw the tree in question being launched towards him at a very high speed. Using his advanced training in reflexes, he managed to barely dodge the tree by inches.
Here we have two small problems. First, Noctal's name appears twice with only two words between it, something you could easily avoid by replacing the second case with "he". Noctal is the only male in the current focus so there won't be any confusion as to who "he" is. Secondly, we have so many uses of "tree" that by the end of the paragraph it almost sounds like a made-up word. When you put "the tree in question", it was actually alright, the use of "in question" acknowledges the repetition in a way that makes it work as a clarification of the vaguer "a tree" earlier, and basically for a bunch of subtle reasons that's fine. But you then have him "barely dodge the tree by inches", and this time it isn't necessary to be so specific. You could simply write "he managed to barely dodge it by inches" and we would know what "it" was, because the previous thing that happened was a tree was thrown at him, you could even cut it down to "he managed to barely dodge by inches" and it would work. I'll write a revised version of your first paragraph to show other examples, and the benefit of fixing them:
The loud sound of a tree being uprooted caught Noctal's attention. As he turned to see what it was, the tree in question was launched towards him at high speed. Using his advanced training and reflexes he was able to barely dodge it by inches. Just as he thought the danger was over, a second tree came flying at him. With hardly any time to react, he drew his sword and with all his might and skill cut through the airborne trunk. As the two halves flew past him, an unknown assailant wrapped in a black cloak leaped from another nearby tree, the intent to kill radiating off off him. His assault came quick and brutally, but Noctal managed to block the first strike. The aggressor was quick to retreat after his initial attack failed, then turned to face Noctal and took a defensive stance, ready to react to whatever retaliation came his way.
Now, I tried to keep the same things in the post, just to phrase some of them differently, like the use of "a second tree came flying at him" so you don't say "was launched" twice. I would still write things out the way you are when you first do them if it's comfortable for you, but after you have all of it down, going back to reread it and tidying out repetitions and the like could give it an extra layer of polish that takes it from good to better. As a small extra note, try not to slide between the past and present tense randomly. You had "he draws his sword and with all his skill and might, cut's through the tree" (should be "cuts" by the way), which is present tense, suddenly pop up - keeping it in past tense, like this "he drew his sword and with all his skill and might, cut through the tree", would have been more consistent. Moving on, past you using "Noctal" twice to start of the second paragraph .
It's normal writing practice to have spoken dialogue from different characters separated into different paragraphs. I used to pack conversations together way back when, and I understand the appeal and how it can seem "tidier", but while I'm not criticising you badly for it or saying you have to change it right this instant, I would try to practice and move towards that as it's pretty much the universal standard. That aside, I like how you have the characters interacting, some good back and forth, use of their differing personalities with Noctal being composed and Hikaru aggressive. One benefit of the use of paragraphs to separate speech is you don't need to rely on colours to show who is talking. It would have been nice to break up Hikaru's explanation a bit, just have him pause once halfway to do a gesture or give a sneer or something, but other than feeling sorta rushed, I like how you've built on your opponent's intro and added your own spin to the scenario, it was taking a bit of a liberty to have such a big change to the real reason his employer sent him there, but it serves well to bring them to blows. You also do a good job of playing off their differing views, not putting an obvious "This person is right and this person wrong" spin on how you present things, but giving both characters decently credible stances and expressing it through their conversation. Basically, you've got fairly good ideas here, and some nice touches of style (your character's final line is pretty badass really), you're just kind of rough from inexperience in delivering it, some of it coming out in a rush where repetitions can slip in, or the chance to add helpful details can be missed. If you can get into a habit of rereading a post after writing it, and ironing out such issues like I gave an example of, you could get a lot better.
Onto your first battle post, and it's pretty neat how you start off with your opponent, drawing out the mystery of where Hikaru is a bit longer. You still have a bit of repetition going on, "free fall" this time, I've already mentioned how to fix it so I'll just not its presence. We have some nice action though, I like the variation from throwing trees to cutting them down right under your opponent's feet, it's just enough of a change to catch someone out. Swords getting knocked out of hand and buried in trees is also damned cool sir, and ooh, a headbutt, loving the diversity of moves and mix of smart cunning with rough ruthlessness. Now, I do want to note that making your opponent seem overly weak, and your own consistently dominant, can actually work against you as it may seem a bit arrogant or in a way disrespectful of your opponent, unless there's some in-universe reason beyond "My guy is sooo strong OMG". I don't think you mean as such here, I think it's more your newness to duels, but try to let your opponent get in a couple of hits at least and your own character struggle a bit during your own posts, it makes the fight better on top of being sporting. You are showing him as able to defend himself decently, and giving him some credit, so it's not much of an issue, but for education's sake.
I don't actually have much else to say about this post. Aside from being somewhat one-sided it's a good improvement on your previous one, the repetition was less common and the action pretty good (if again not the best shared out). You're still using ' where it isn't needed but you're aware of that as an issue so repeating it won't do much good, honestly if you just evened out the balance of a fight a bit, had Noctal's direct punches cause some light damage or something, this'd be a really good post.
Onto what ended up being the final post of the duel! As ever you begin focused on your opponent, in a 3 battle post duel that's not too bad but in a longer one you might want to vary that up a bit. It's a decent approach, but overused it can become a little repetitive. You also use the word "though" a bit too much, there are times where you just don't need it and it dulls the sharpness of your lines. I give you this: "he evades them but is only met by Hikaru rushing at him with his Shinken in hand", and ask you, doesn't it seem slicker and more rapid and dramatically close-call simply by deleting the "though", a single word? I'm not saying never use it, but try to trim it out when it's just spare flab.
Good job on showing Noctal taking a hit well, like I said for your last post that stuff's important. Now on the other hand "His skills in the blade, even though it was foreign, far surpassed Noctal's" was an example of something that would be fine normally, but it feels a bit much given you've already taken a dominant position for a fair bit of the duel. Opponents don't have to be forced to be perfectly equal, but something like this would carry more weight and make me genuinely feel in the one area of skill with a sword, Hikaru was superior, if he didn't seem superior overall. It's like, if you don't have a load of advantages, the ones you do have can feel more significant sometimes, sort of deal. Anyway, the actual action here is pretty good, nice and fast and intense, and with some time taken to reflect on the implications and choices it creates for the characters. Hikaru revealing his face was rather cool too, although mildly spoiled by this: "Noctal realized he was Dragonkin. "You're Dragonkin!?" Noctal said in surprise" (I realise my use of speech marks to show quotes got a bit compromised there). It would have flown so much nicer if it said "realized what he was", instead of repeating the big reveal, "Dragonkin", with literally a single word separating its two uses, watering down its tense impact.
I'm not sure if you had decided to end the duel here when you made this post, but you leave it off on a decent finishing note, and I appreciate you balancing out some hope for Noctal, using his skills of keen observation that he has demonstrated well in this duel. All in all, you have good ideas and skill at the core of your writing ability, delivering cool and interesting combat scenes that I enjoy, but they are hampered by a couple of prominent weaknesses. The first is your tendency to repeat phrases or terms, or have redundant elements of your sentences that bog down what would otherwise be slick, kickass action. There's a certain hastiness to your writing, and while I wouldn't disrupt your creative flow if that helps your good ideas and such come out, once you've done a post, try to take the time to go back through it once, probably after taking a 5-15 minute break to freshen your eyes and your mind, and where you see stuff like "Oh I used the same phrasing twice in a row", change one of them to something different with the same meaning, or if you realise "I don't need this part of this line", delete it and tuck up the rest of the line around it. A single pass of this could, for a pretty easy level of effort, significantly improve the polish and shine of your final published post. Your other issue is simpler, which is that you just portrayed the battle as a bit one-sided. This wasn't a great problem honestly, not in this case, but I could see it becoming one another day if you don't realise the value of sometimes being on the back foot or the underdog, even temporarily. Largerock was willing to go with that angle and between you you produced a duel that played out the gap of power well, but you will if you keep having duels face opponents who are stronger than Hikaru, or faster, or have greater endurance, or who will simply be beating him at some point in the fight and he'll need to find a way to turn things back in his favour that isn't "Rawr let me show you my REAL power!". To your credit, I didn't see you pull that, but you as a writer acknowledging someone as a worthy opponent to Hikaru even if he's too proud to is important. So yeah, proofing and balance, work on those, and the core of your writing, the honestly pretty cool fighting and verbal banter, will shine out all the brighter.
This was a decently close duel, but overall I have to give my vote to Largerock. You both had somewhat rough starts and got better as you went, but LiveVoltage's early problems had a bigger impact on his posts and gave Largerock a small early lead. In the battle posts, it was closer in my eyes but Largerock's posts just had a little better flow, a bit more polish and balance that gave him an edge where you matched each other pretty well for lively dynamic action otherwise, so that was a small lead in the middle and end of the duel for Largerock as well. Overall two small leads is a clear lead and thus he gets my vote, it came down to flow and polish mainly and if you had been equal in that regard, given the creative ideas and style you both exhibited, I'm not sure which of you I'd pick. A good duel and a lot of potential shown, I look forwards to more from both of you .
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Nov 18, 14 at 12:16am ^re: Largerock vs LiveVoltage [Finished] Hunter vs Assassin
Largerock vs Livewire Judging:
Overall alright post. Lacks in imagery that I feel would make this post significantly better. We only get the visual of Gigante Bosque and not the other sensations surrounding the forest. Try going into sounds, touch, smell and even taste. 'Crushing various twigs and leaves underfoot' for example is rather tell like in structure, where 'twigs cracked under the heavy footfalls' touches more on the senses to a more show-like structure.
The second paragraph is a single long sentence that, even with semi-colons and commas, is a bit difficult to read. Just taking 'who was an incredibly rich gourmet that lived nearby in a mansion on a mountain' and that alone feels a bit off. There are too many pieces of information here, that are honestly not all that relevant.
Third paragraph is better. 'he’d never known of before' - is a bit weird to read. He previously had no knowledge about for, would be better wording as an example.
The next two paragraphs could actually be one, and would honestly be better of as one. 'He leaped onto it, which in turn shook the tree a bit which scared off a couple birds that were hanging around and made the tree crack a bit ' - That is a relatively long sentence of cause and effect. I do like the proceeding sentence about mushrooms. The cloaked hunter leaped onto an old arcing tree covered in moss. The tree cracked under Noctal's weight, the screeches of alarmed birds echoed through the forest as they fled the tree's branches - feathers flailing from their mad frenzy.
The final paragraph is pretty good. Trying keeping an eye out for repeating words like vast. Try using a thesaurus or come up with other descriptive words, this will help maintain reader flow.
Battle Post 1:
Your battle post seems to be an improvement over the last post. The eye twiching is a good way to convey Hikaru's emotion. I'm not sure about using double quotation marks for both speaking and thoughts. Even with italics can get a little confusing.
Again the post is a little tell.
While the tactics were nicely portrayed I honestly cannot work out the point of climbing the tree to begin with. Otherwise the actual battle seemed a little lacking.
Again what this post lacks is very little battle. There is a lot more conversing in this than there is action. His tactical dodge was very nice.
The rest of the post is well written but lacking in actual content. There is the skirmish and the tending to the wounds. Par that there could be a bit more. Just running off behind a rock with no insight to any actual plans is a little, anti-climactic.
Training in reflexes, that's a strange thing to train exclusively. Reflexes generally comes hand in hand with most training regimes. The main drawback to this intro post is it isn't much of an
introduction. There is very little set up of the scene. It seems to start with what could be a battle post. Some build up in Hikaru's perspective would be nice. Some observation of Noctal from Hikaru. In generally we don't get much of Hikaru in this but more of Noctal.
One big continuous grammatical error you have in this post is placing apostrophes before every ending 's'. You should only do this if it suggests a possessive.
For some reason the coloured Dialogue makes me think Hikaru has Synaesthesia.
I like the last line of dialogue, while Hikaru doesn't seem to have any qualms killing he does seem somewhat regretful with needing to do so.
Battle Post 1:
I think you may be at a drawback here doing things in the perspective of Noctal. Not sure why you chose this route it would be nice to see Hikaru's perspective.
I recommend when writing to keep an eye out for repeating words. At the end of the first post you have the word side repeated pretty close. You could easily switch this out for ribs or something similar. Try to avoid repetition that isn't there for assertion's sake.
Honestly I can't say I know the strength variation between both fighters but I feel this battle post is a little too one-sided.
Also keep an eye out on tenses. 'Hikaru rushes' is present tense while the majority of your posts are written in past tense.
Battle Post 2:
Your last battle post is an improvement on blance and flow but again suffers from grammatical issues an repetition. An example is: 'he suddenly realized what Hikaru was' 'Noctal realized he was Dragonkin. "You're Dragonkin!?" ' both the repetition os realized and Dragonkin is jarring in the same paragraph.
Again I feel adopting Noctal's point of view has weakened your posts because sometimes the depiction of Noctal is slightly off while we don't really get much of a feel for Hikaru.
Also having Hikaru declare killing his opponent quickly and then moving into a reactive stance. waiting for Noctal to attack first, is a little weird.
My vote goes to Largerock. While lacking action, and some sense description, their posts were cleaner and tighter. This one comes down to the balance and tidiness of the posts.
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