Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction Writers => Writers' Corner => Topic started by: ClintACK on June 10, 2015, 01:49:36 AM

Title: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: ClintACK on June 10, 2015, 01:49:36 AM
Today's quote from The Eye of Argon:
Quote
"Prepare to embrace your creators in the stygian haunts of hell, barbarian", gasped the first soldier.

"Only after you have kissed the fleeting stead of death, wretch!" returned Grignr.

A sweeping blade of flashing steel riveted from the massive barbarians hide enameled shield as his rippling right arm thrust forth, sending a steel shod blade to the hilt into the soldiers vital organs. The disemboweled mercenary crumpled from his saddle and sank to the clouded sward, sprinkling the parched dust with crimson droplets of escaping life fluid.

The enthused barbarian swilveled about, his shock of fiery red hair tossing robustly in the humid air currents as he faced the attack of the defeated soldier's fellow in arms.

This is an idea that grew out of the great links in http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/writers-corner/how-to-write-a-sentence-paragraph/ (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/writers-corner/how-to-write-a-sentence-paragraph/).  Hal Duncan edits the opening paragraph of 'The Eye of Argon' as well as another sentence, as concrete examples of how to think about paragraphs and sentences.

The idea is to take the quoted passage from 'The Eye of Argon', figure out what the author was trying to say and what the author was trying to do, and rewrite the passage to actually say that and do that better.  And then share your results for the amusement and edification of others.  Mostly amusement.

Example: (from the link at the link)
Quote
A sweeping blade of flashing steel riveted from the massive barbarians hide enameled shield as his rippling right arm thrust forth, sending a steel shod blade to the hilt into the soldiers vital organs.

In the hands of Hal Duncan, this transformed step by step into:

Quote
From behind his leathered targe, steel flashed, brawn rippled, and the barbarian sank his blade in the soldier's guts, thrust it up to the hilt.

(Notes for the detail oriented: Yes, I know, the sentence Hal Duncan rewrote is in the passage above.  He rewrote the first paragraph, so I skipped that.  Then I took the next bit of text out to an appropriate stopping point.)
Title: Re: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: ClintACK on June 10, 2015, 02:13:25 AM
Here's my quick and dirty edit:
“Meet your maker, barbarian – in Hell,” said the first of the Simarian mercenaries.

“You first,” Grignir said, kicking his steed into motion.

They met with a crash.  Grignir swiveled in a single motion – knocking the soldier’s thin saber aside with his buckler and thrusting his claymore deep into the mercenary’s guts.  The dying soldier dropped into the dust swirling about the horses, and there spilled out his life’s blood on the parched uncaring earth.

Grignir wheeled his horse, flame-red braids whipping about his face as he roared at his one remaining foe.

I may keep tinkering.

@Lady_Ty (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=31869)  Spoilered.

@CameronJohnston (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=32633)  I like how much mileage you get out of the dialogue -- characterizing the enemy in Grignr's insults and referring to the narrative in the banter to ground us in Grignr's head, where the original reads as a distant 3rd-cinematic.
Title: Re: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: Lady Ty on June 10, 2015, 04:21:13 AM
@ClintACK (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=40381) Please can we keep all rewrites in spoilers  for a while so we can come to it not knowing what others have written?  I just tried to copy paste the para onto word and  crashed my laptop???? Somehow seemed to be trying to copy whole of F-F????Do8ng giant Norton thing and am on phone. If I do not reappear please send tech bot minions to rescue. ????????????????????

Fixed, sorry about that and phone emoticons do not translate  ;)
Also wanted to say Thanks ClintACK for starting it off.
Title: Re: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: CameronJohnston on June 10, 2015, 10:27:05 AM
Here's my quick attempt. Even in a short piece like this you can add in more character. I would be tempted to make the horse an angry and aggressive badass, like it's master.

The soldier hawked up phlegm, spat on the dirt. "Burn in hell, barbarian scum."

Grignr grunted, loosing reins, legs gripping the horse. "Hah! Your southern hell is as weak and watery as your blood. Kiss my steel, wretch."

The soldier's blade cut down, met by Grignrs shield pushing the blade up and out, leaving the fool's body defenseless. Grignr grinned as his own sword hacked into the man's throat. The soldier slid from his saddle, pawing at the wound as blood spurted across the parched earth.

The barbarian spun to face the remaining soldier, horse snorting and stamping. He tossed back his sweat-damp fiery mane and laughed. "Come, the earth thirsts."
Title: Re: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: JMack on June 11, 2015, 03:53:37 AM
Well, not saying this is perfect, but I thought I'd try for something different.

"Go to hell, barbarian. Oh, that's right. Your mother's there already."

Grignr grinned at the braggart. "After you, asshole."

Faster than the flash of light off steel, the huge barbarian whipped his sword up and buried it to the hilt in the other man's flesh.  The mercenary folded around it, spilling guts and viscera down to the dead earth as he crumpled and fell from his saddle.

Grignr spun his horse to face the dead man's comrades, his blood-flecked hair flinging gore. "Anyone else think this is a good day to talk about my mum?"
Title: Re: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: Lady Ty on June 11, 2015, 04:50:50 AM
Had a go  ;D

"May you rot in Hell, devil spawn," gasped the soldier.

"Prepare to taste  Deathbringer first, miserable wretch" scoffed Grignr the barbarian, as he swept his flashing sword forward, burying it to the hilt in the horrified man.  The mercenary crumpled in his saddle, clutching hopelessly at his guts as they spilled forth in a gory mess, splattering the ground around him as  he fell.

Long red hair whirling about him, eyes wild with excitement and berserker fury rising, the barbarian spun to challenge the man's comrade.


Hah now I've read the ones above I love all of them for character, drama and humour. -
Title: Re: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: jefGoelz on June 11, 2015, 05:01:02 AM
"Rawr!"
"Rawr!"
He disemboweled the other guy.
He celebrated disemboweling the other guy.
Title: Re: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: Doctor_Chill on June 11, 2015, 05:10:10 AM
I had only one goal, and it was to be more pretentious and wordy. ;D

"Prepare to dine with your ancestors in those cold stone halls of Hell, you uncouth northerner!" The first soldier in the middle of a circle of more, atop his battle hardened steed and in presumed safety, was in no mood for pleasantries this morning.

"I shall let you go first," Gringr returned with a bow as he unsheathed the sword latched across his back.

The barbarian swept a flash of silver steel across the mercenary's hide encrusted shield, and with a quick flick of the wrist and push on the pommel he buried his claymore deep and dirty into the man's innards. Soldier died very much unlike a gentleman. Blood dripped down from the stomach and throat, and he too fell from his perch. Ichor met dirt and a groan was the last thing to escape the soldier's mouth. An earthworm crawled in to patch the opening.

Still a man of honor, however, the northerner swiveled about on the ball of his right foot and bellowed to the crowd of a dead man's once company. "Any more comments, eh? How about my fiery red hair to start with?" the humid currents this far south were particularly bad, and they weren't helping his plans for thinning it come next year.

They preferred to keep their mouths shut this time, though. Instead, they made it their goal to cut his hair shorter, not gab about it.
Title: Re: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: CameronJohnston on June 11, 2015, 08:58:31 AM
@CameronJohnston (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=32633)  I like how much mileage you get out of the dialogue -- characterizing the enemy in Grignr's insults and referring to the narrative in the banter to ground us in Grignr's head, where the original reads as a distant 3rd-cinematic.

It's funny how much mileage you can get out of such things, a tweaking of voice or choice of insult can really add to or change the flavour. You can get a lot of character out of things just by choosing better dialogue, as also shown by the Mass Effect post recently put up on the main page.
Title: Re: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: ClintACK on June 11, 2015, 11:18:32 AM
Well, mission #1 (fun) achieved.

Laughed out loud at ' "Go to hell, barbarian. Oh, that's right. Your mother's there already." ' even before I poured my coffee.

And "He disemboweled the other guy.  //  He celebrated disemboweling the other guy." made me dream up the following while I poured my coffee.  (Likely awful, since I'm less than halfway through my first cup.)

"Prepare to embrace your creators in the stygian haunts of hell, barbarian", gasped the first soldier.

"Prprtmbrcyrcrtrsnthstgnhntshllbrbrn," rumbled Grignr, with a jaunty wiggle of his hips.

The soldiers both puled their horses to a stop and gaped openly at the display.

"Um, what the hell?" the second said.

Grignr turned away and wiggled his hips again, spitting over his shoulder, "mwhtthhll.  Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time."

"What are you doing?" the first asked in utter disbelief.

"Whtrydng -- Hah!  I disemvoweled you, you big turd blossom!  Rocket, now!"

Behind them, Rocket Raccoon had just finished repairing the Hadron Enforcer, which Drax the Destroyer was now pointing in their direction.

It was all over but the special effects.
Title: Re: Editing "The Eye of Argon" for fun and mutual edification: Part 1
Post by: JMack on June 11, 2015, 11:48:50 AM
Oh my god, @ClintACK (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=40381), that got me laughing coffee out my nose! Awesome.