An attempt at subtility...

Discussion in 'Original Works' started by Dreamscaper, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
    The assassin had penetrated into the innermost sanctum of the Dominion, her blade poised to strike the king and end the threat the nation posed to her clan, the poison glistened gently on the blade as she stealthily made her way over to his bed where he slept. Without a moment’s hesitation she drove the blade into his heart, the sudden splash of blood and the look of pain and terror upon his face soothed her soul as he cried out against her hand as she muffled him. Twisting the blade drove him deeper into agony. A smile played across her face as his body spasms drove the blade deeper into his chest cavity, blood sprayed over her black armor. The scent and feel of the blood drove her into a wild excitement, barely contained by her need to escape the guards that would come momentarily. A clatter at the door caused her to look briefly in that direction before withdrawing her blade. A final glance at his still wretching body would confirm the kill and… where did he go? She had stabbed a pillow on the king’s bed. She looked up and saw him, staring straight at her with those cold, loveless eyes. She buried her fear at his reputation and took a swing at him, but the blade passed through him entirely. She heard a voice that came from everywhere at once, even inside of her own head, boomed in a bass that shook her skull, “Welcome, Julia.”

    Her eyes darted around trying to find him.

    The accident at the saw mill was unfortunate for James, wasn’t it?”

    Her heart felt like it was going to leap out of her chest.

    “Shame about your father, he was a good man.”

    What the hell was going on?

    She spun around towards the window and he was standing there. The moonlight overshadowed him and cast his features in shadow, but even so a jolt of adrenaline overcame her discipline and she started to bolt towards the door. She made it one step and stumbled, her limbs felt like they were made of jello. The king was pure evil, she could feel his aura as he stood over her, merely watching yet somehow in complete control. Her life started to flash before her eyes, focusing on every bad memory she ever had, how she had embarrassed her family, how her rebellion came on the eve of her father’s heart attack and death, how she had cast been such a selfish adolescent, she saw her mother and father weep when she had faked her own death. The memories overwhelmed her and she cried out in fear, a pathetic whimper. The king knelt down beside her, lifting her headgear off, gently caressing her face and whispered, “It’s ok my dear child.” The memories ceased as she shook violently in his arms. He brought her close, quietly singing to her as she cried.

    She awoke the next morning in a daze, like she had been out all night drinking the night before. What happened? The sun shone through the stained glass windows of her room, all was as it should be, yet she couldn’t shake the feeling that something might be terribly wrong. She zombie walked out of her room and down the rich red rug down towards the kitchen.

    “Good morning, dear.”

    “Good morning dad.” She replied as he hugged her tight, her head leaning against the soft robes of royalty.
    ________________

    Was trying to be subtle, did I succeed?
     
  2. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,672
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
    Sorry, I'm having a blonde moment (it happens a lot :p) You're going to have to explain the story to me.....
     
  3. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
    An assassin goes to kill the king of an enemy nation, but she is fooled into thinking a pillow is the king, and attacks him as he 'appears' while he mentions things that he cannot possibly know about. She is overwhelmed with a sense of dread and attempts to escape but her limbs go limp and she suffers flashbacks with the king standing over her. He leans down and comforts her. She wakes up the next morning in the kings castle and calls the king 'dad' before going off to breakfast, just as she believes that she has always done.
     
  4. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,672
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
    OK gotcha.
    I wasn't sure who her real father was (the king or the other one) and I totally missed that he somehow brainwashed her into thinking that she was his daughter. :p
     
  5. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
    That was me trying to be subtle about it lol. The king is a psionicist so he can read into people's minds and find out everything about them in a very short period of time, as well as erase and replace memories.
     
  6. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,672
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
    too subtle....lol ;)
    I run into this kind of thing all the time in my writing. The author knows everything and often forgets that the reader doesn't. It's hard for a reader to put the clues together when they don't have all the information. Firiath and I had a conversation about this once over a short story I posted here in original works. The clues in the story were too subtle and I had to explain it to her. Let me see if I can find the thread for you so you can read the conversation and I'll post it below.....
     
  7. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,672
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
  8. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
    I got most of that, not with all the details that you had, but I got the jist of what was going on. Of course, it helped that I knew you were being subtle about it and was up for it, it certainly would've passed over me if I were reading casually. But perhaps moments like that are good if you are trying to build a mystery around a character? Like if the above was a little blip of insight but who the king is won't be revealed until later and all the pieces make sense.
     
  9. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,672
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
    Sure, but this is why beta-readers are so great. They have a fresh set of eyes and an unbiased perspective. They catch all the little things that you as the author are too close to the story to see. Long live beta readers and constructive criticism!!!!!!!
     
  10. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
    All hail the beta readers! Indeed and thank you for your help once again :)
     
  11. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,672
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
    You're welcome and I'm glad I was helpful. Good luck with that story :)
     
  12. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
  13. Colin Poole

    Colin Poole Fantasy Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Lowell, MA, USA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    I think on any occasion other than that being the opening paragraph of the story the transition and brain-washing was described well. I'm assuming we will know these characters, or of their capabilities, before this scene takes place. The kings ability to control minds means he was NEVER asleep in the bed I assume, and the entire time she was in the room he was really manipulating her mind, even striking him and seeing/feeling his blood splash against her. Very clever idea, especially when you reveal HOW he knew she was coming, and how he prepared for her. I would only eliminate the word "jello" so you don't get sued. Assuming the world has "gelatin" I'd use that or similar wording to describe her limbs. Like Kleenex vs. Tissues :)