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Bridge of Bower comp entry???


Tuesday 14th May 2013.

Your help is required:

DSCF1187Below is a 1200 word story of mine, which was incorporated into my Campnano story ‘Birth of the Wizard Prince’ This short story was written before the Campnano project. But my intention is to enter it into a local writing competition. The word allowance is up to 3000 words so have a little leeway for addition. What I am asking is for you you give me your opinion. Either to improve or it general criticism either will suffice. Thank you for all your help.

Bridge of Bower

Written By: Gerry A/C edited TJ Taylor Feb 2013

 

Hurrying across the heath keeping to the footpath. Weaving between gorse, and small crab apple trees, rising slopes, and descending slopes,  the thickening heather making it hard. Ankles and calves hurting.

They were not running, just walking fast. The couple kept looking behind seeing the two distant figures following. They knew they were being followed, they had been for the last few miles now.

The pursuers were not gaining on them as the distance remained constant. In front of the couple was a large wooden five bar gate loomed, the entrance to a wooded area.  But when Alan tried to open it he found it to be stuck. No second thoughts, they then both proceeded to climb over it. There was no haste to their actions, just positive movement and the man assisting the lady as she jumped off the second bar.

They both paused, looking back from where they came and still the figures could be seen; slowly but surely coming their way.

“Come on we can lose them in the wood” Alan said, and quickly took the girl’s hand and led them into the wood.

The path was wide and easily traversed. The sounds of nature everywhere; rabbits hopping into the bushes, and birds fluttering from tree to tree. The streaking sunshine with spears of light dazzling them as they progressed. They started to hurry, turning a bend and then again straightening direction. Deeper into the wood they went, and as the wood became thicker less light was getting through. The tall trees and thick foliage becoming a blanket above them.

The path had now become a track, and harder to tread. A slip could be very damaging, a twisted ankle is not what either wants at this time. Even though they could not see far behind them, they both kept looking.

Now because of not being able to see their pursuers, a little bit of panic was creeping in.

A river appeared and there was nowhere to cross, so they turned left to follow the river flow. A few hundred yards they came to a fallen tree stretching half across the river. “Lets rest a minute here, they wont find or catch us here” Alan said.. Eana, was panting a little now after they had sped up a little and the terrain was now harder. Alan walked onto the tree and sat, and the lady followed, “Here Eana take my hand” he said holding his hand out for her to take hold of.

But as she went to reach out she slipped and fell onto the riverbank, and promptly started to shout in pain.

“Alan help me please, I think I have twisted my ankle”. before she finished her sentence Alan was beside her and checking her ankles.

“It is my right one, it hurts like heck.” she said now sitting up holding her ankle.

Alan on inspection saw a slight swelling, and gently and lightly massaged her leg and ankle. “Okay we shall sit here then, you only had to say you didn’t want to sit on the tree” Alan said, and they both laughed.

A few minutes later and after a drinking of water they started off again, Eana now hobbling and using Alan’s shoulder for support. Speed was not possible now. Just care and constant moving.

“We’ll be okay Eana, we have enough distance between us. They have to find our tracks first.”

Behind the two shadows following, shuffling through the brush and weaving their way through the trees. Already over the gate and into the wood, they were showing relentless pursuit. Nothing was slowing them and the pursuers knew they were closing, it was only a matter of time. They felt the closeness the faster they were going traversing the ground at ease. No matter a gorse bush, a small ditch, piles of bracken, or brambles just being brushed aside at will. They could smell the air, they were near.

Alan and Eana still following the river bank, the easiest path but still proving difficult, Eana’s ankle was now swelling and her pain was proving a problem for her. “Come on Eana, we got to keep going. We must reach the bridge of Bower, we will be safe there. It cannot be too far now.”

“I am sorry Alan, but….”

“Don’t, don’t even think it. An accident could not be helped so lets just get on, and find this Bridge of Bower.” Alan interrupted, enhancing his grip on her.

Further up the river they met another fallen tree, this one stretched to both sides of the river. This one looked more like a bridge with wear showing on the trunk. A few stubby branches protruding upwards and sideways, but was mostly just trunk with its root on the opposite bank to them.

They sat briefly regaining strength and having a drink.

“How far is this Bridge of Bower, do you even know it?” asked Eana.

“I know of it, but not how far. Just have to follow the river”

Just as Eana was about speak a small creature appeared at the end of the tree. A small female faerie creature, approximately three feet tall and very lithe and agile looking. With long blonde hair dangling loose under a woollen looking hat. A multicolored ringed hat tied at three corners, she dressed in forest colours of greens and browns blouson,  with her brown pants tucked into brown leather knee-length boots.

“Your shadows are near and you must move or they will be upon you.”  the voice raspy and throaty at once.

“Where did you come from, who are you?” asked Eana with a sound of surprise.

“My name is Lorrine and I am a tree nymph and where I come from it matters not. I have been sent to warn you and save you from the impending danger you face. The shadows are very close and will be upon you if you do not move.” As Lorrine finished the noise startled them. Noise of brush and heavy steps  bundling towards them as Alan and Eana turned to see the two shadows morphing.

 The human shapes twisting and turning, sounds of pain, groans, grunts and crunching of cracking bones, Alan and Eana watched as the change was happening. The surprise of this sight, and the fright suddenly appearing on their faces. In unison the creatures fell onto all fours and continued their mutation, scales of dark green on one and crimson red on the other. Horns appearing on the heads, arms becoming wings, and the legs turning into huge muscled limbs. Finishing off with large dangerous, sharp claws, which meant only one thing.

Lorrine jumped in between Alan and Eana. “Quick take my hand, no time now but to trust me”

Without a second thought they did as was asked of them. Lorrine whispered an enchantment, and just a that moment the two dragons sent a laser of fire at them, incinerating the part of the tree where they stood.

The three of them vaporised and was gone.

The two dragons continued hissing fire, until they realised they had missed their prey, their targets. The crimson red one spoke in a guttural voice, “if they get to Bridge of Bower we will have lost them.”

The three of them materialised on a large wooden bridge with ornately carved railings, with an arch at both ends.

“You will be safe here, the dragons know of this place but have no way of finding it, while our Oak King keeps his magic in place.”

“Where is this place?” asked Eana still limping.

“Oh yeah welcome the Bridge of Bower, the home of the forest nymphs”

Alan and Eana collapsed onto knees and kissed the ground.

thank-you09_thumb.jpg

Thank-you12_thumb.jpg

  © GA/C Feb 2013

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May 14, 2013 - Posted by | Personal | , , , , , , , , ,

13 Comments »

  1. I like the story, but I would say that for competition purposes it needs polishing.
    For example:

    … take my handS …
    Without a second thought they did so. Lorrine whispered an enchantment, and the three of them vanished just as the two dragons sent a laser of fire at them, incinerating part of the tree where they had stood.

    (The ‘vaporised’ makes it seem that the fire zapped them.)

    Comment by colonialist | May 14, 2013 | Reply

    • Thank you for this bit of advice and duly noted and amended,, appreciate your time thank you and welcome….. 😉

      Comment by cobbies69 | May 15, 2013 | Reply

  2. I can not give criticism, I enjoyed the storyline because the story is written with thought and your imagination. I just have to understand the character Alan and Eana, so I can follow their adventure. Nice story Gerry 😀 success !

    Comment by campanulladellaanna | May 15, 2013 | Reply

    • No Della, but being a reader is just as valuable to me,, so much appreciate your visits and words always.. 😉

      Comment by cobbies69 | May 15, 2013 | Reply

      • I know Gerry. Keep smile. hi..hi

        Comment by campanulladellaanna | May 23, 2013

      • I will when I see your name.. thank you.. 😉

        Comment by cobbies69 | May 23, 2013

  3. Gerry, I did a full critique by copying and pasting your story into Word and editing it. Hope you don’t mind. My general comments are at the bottom. Be prepared, this is one LONG comment because it is your whole story with my edits and comments! 🙂

    They were not running, just walking fast. Hurrying across the heath keeping to the footpath. Weaving between gorse, and small crab apple trees, rising slopes, and descending slopes, the thickening heather making it hard. Ankles and calves hurting.
    The couple kept looking behind seeing the two distant figures following. They knew they were being followed, they had been for the last few miles now.
    The pursuers were not gaining on them as the distance remained constant. In front of the couple, was a large wooden five bar gate loomed, the entrance to a wooded area. But when Alan tried to open it. The gate remained fixed in place. he found it to be stuck. No second thoughts, they then both proceeded to climbed over it. There was no haste to their actions, just positive movement and the man assisting the lady as she jumped off the second bar.
    They both paused, looking back from where they came. and still the The figures were still could be seen; slowly but surely coming their way.
    “Come on. We can lose them in the wood,” Alan said, and quickly took the girl’s hand and led her into the wood through a stand of [specific type of trees].
    Initially, the path was wide and easily traversed. The sounds of nature fill the air –everywhere; rabbits hopping into the bushes and birds fluttering from tree to tree. The streaking sunshine with spears of light dazzled them as they progressed. They started to hurry, turning a bend and then again straightening direction. Deeper into the wood they went, and as the wood became thicker less light was getting through. The tall trees and thick foliage became a blanket above them.
    The path had now become a track, and one harder to tread. A slip could be very damaging, a twisted ankle is not what either wanted at this time. Even though they could not see far behind them, they both kept looking.
    Now because of not being able to Since they could no longer see their pursuers, a little bit of panic was creeping in. [rather than telling us this, could you create some dialog that shows us? For example:
    “I wonder where they are? Do you think they are still following us?” The girl asked Adam in a pitch both breathy and high.
    “How am I supposed to know? I am just trying to keep us moving forward while not getting us hurt!” Adam was uncharacteristically abrupt.
    “I’m sorry. I just don’t see them. They could be anywhere.”
    “I know. That bothers me, too.”
    [Something like that shows us that they are worried because they can’t see their pursuers.]
    A river appeared [They came to a river—it didn’t magically appear—or did it?]. and There was nowhere to cross, so they turned left to follow the river flow. Within a few hundred yards they came to a fallen tree stretching half across the river. “Lets rest a minute here, they won’t find or catch us here,” Alan said. Eana, was panting a little now after they had sped up [you should say somewhere above they had quickened their pace—maybe during the part where they started to panic.] a little and the terrain was now harder. Alan walked onto the tree and sat, and the lady followed, “Here Eana, take my hand” he said holding his hand out for her to take hold of.
    But as she went to reach out she slipped and fell onto the riverbank, and promptly started to shout in pain.
    “Alan help me please, I think I have twisted my ankle”. Before she finished her sentence Alan was beside her and checking her ankles.
    “It is my right one, it hurts like heck.” she said now sitting up holding her ankle.
    Alan on inspection saw a slight swelling, and gently and lightly massaged her leg and ankle. “Okay, we shall sit here then. You only had to say you didn’t want to sit on the tree” Alan said, and they both laughed.
    A few minutes later, after a drinking of water, they started off again. Eana was now hobbling and using Alan’s shoulder for support. Speed was impossible now. Just care and constant moving.
    “We’ll be okay Eana. We have enough distance between us. They have to find our tracks first.”
    Behind them, the two shadows were following, shuffling through the brush and weaving their way through the trees. Already over the gate and into the wood, they were showing relentless pursuit. Nothing was slowing them and the pursuers knew they were closing in. It was only a matter of time. They felt the closeness the faster they were going, traversing the ground at ease. No obstacle hindered their momentum: a gorse bush, a small ditch, piles of bracken, or brambles. They just brushed them aside at will or adeptly navigated around them. They could smell the air. They were near.
    Alan and Eana still followed the river bank, the easiest path but still proving difficult. Eana’s ankle was now swelling, her pain was proving a problem for her. “Come on Eana, we’ve got to keep going. We must reach the bridge of Bower, we will be safe there. It cannot be too far now.”
    “I am sorry Alan, but….”
    “Don’t, don’t even think it. An accident could not be helped so let’s just get on, and find this Bridge of Bower.” Alan interrupted, enhancing his grip on her.
    Further up the river they met [found?] another fallen tree, this one stretched to both sides of the river. This one looked more like a bridge with wear showing on the trunk. A few stubby branches protruded upwards and sideways, but it was mostly just trunk with its root on the opposite bank to them.
    They sat briefly regaining strength. Each drank from the river. and having a drink. [Shorter sentences builds suspense—try to intersperse more short sentences with your longer ones.]
    “How far is this Bridge of Bower, Alan? Do you even know it?”
    “I know of it, but not how far. Just have to follow the river”
    Just as Eana was about speak a small creature appeared at the end of the tree. It was a small female faerie creature, approximately three feet tall and very lithe and agile looking. With long blonde hair dangling loose under a woolen looking hat. A multicolored ringed hat tied at three corners, she dressed in forest colours of greens and browns blouson, with her brown pants tucked into brown leather knee-length boots.
    “Your shadows are near and you must move or they will be upon you.” The voice raspy and throaty at once.
    “Where did you come from? Who are you?” Eana clutched Alan’s arm, daring only to speak to this creature from behind her protector. [say something about how Eana spoke rather than tell us that she sounded surprised.] with a sound of surprise.
    “My name is Lorrine and I am a tree nymph, Where I come from it matters not. I have been sent to warn you and save you from the impending danger you face. The shadows are very close and will be upon you if you do not move.” As Lorrine finished the [a] noise startled them. Noise of brush and heavy steps bundling towards them as Alan and Eana turned to see the two shadows morphing.
    The human shapes twisting and turning, sounds of pain, groans, grunts and crunching of cracking bones, Alan and Eana watched as the change was happening. The surprise of this sight, and the fright suddenly appeared on their faces. In unison the creatures fell onto all fours and continued their mutation, scales of dark green on one and crimson red on the other. Horns appeared on the heads, arms became wings, and the legs turned into huge muscled limbs. The final transformation was a protrusion of Finishing off with large, dangerous, sharp claws, which meant only one thing.
    Lorrine jumped in between Alan and Eana. “Quick! Take my hand, no time now but to trust me.”
    Without a second thought they did as was asked of them. Lorrine whispered an enchantment, and just a that moment the two dragons sent a laser of fire at them, incinerating the part of the tree where they stood.
    The three of them vaporised and were gone.
    The two dragons continued hissing fire, until they realised they had missed their prey, their targets. The crimson red one spoke in a guttural voice, “if they get to Bridge of Bower we will have lost them.”
    The three of them materialised on a large wooden bridge with ornately carved railings, with an arch at both ends.
    “You will be safe here, the dragons know of this place but have no way of finding it, while our Oak King keeps his magic in place.”
    “Where is this place?” asked Eana still limping.
    “Oh yeah welcome the Bridge of Bower, the home of the forest nymphs” [who is saying this? Alan?]
    Alan and Eana collapsed onto knees and kissed the ground.

    Neat story—lots of suspense and some wonderful detail!
    I cleaned up some of what I thought were unnecessary words, smoothed out some sentences, caught some typos and grammar gaffes, and the like.
    As for more substantive issues:
    1. Watch out for lengthy sentences. Especially when trying to build tension, you want short sentences. Of course they all can’t be short, but just note your tendency to have lots of long sentences (which slows the pace of the story down).
    2. I a few areas, you changed verb tenses (from past to present). I fixed those areas. Watch that everything is consistent with verb tense.
    3. In a few areas you tell us how the characters feel. Especially since you have some flexibility with word length, insert more dialog to show us. Also rather than saying “said it with some emotion” after the dialog, use the technique of saying how the person said it with that emotion. I gave you some examples to get you thinking.
    Hope this helped! Great story, Gerry!

    Comment by Lorna's Voice | May 17, 2013 | Reply

    • hey Lorna you have blown me away,, I am truly happy for you to have done this.. I am so thankful and cannot express it enough. A suggestion here and there but this I am so thankful,, and now going through it and heeding your suggestions.. I do have a habit of changing tense etc,, it seems a problem of mine.. but with your suggestions, and with me having both copies side by side I can see exactly what you are saying,, this is such a big thing to me for you to go through the whole story like you have…. I owe you,, a great hug and thanks.. 😉 I will update thank you again..

      Comment by cobbies69 | May 17, 2013 | Reply

      • Gerry, I just sent you the Word version of the document. some of my edits didn’t show up in the comments sections so you may have a difficult time reading or sorting through what I sent. Look for my email, okay? It will have an attachment of the document.

        I used to do a lot of critiquing, and often wished others would do a thorough critique of my work. I’m happy to do this for you, but these are only one person’s suggestions. Take what feels right and ignore the rest. In the end, your voice must be the only voice. 😉

        Comment by Lorna's Voice | May 17, 2013

      • Yes thank you Lorna, have just this minute noted your email.. you are such a diamond thank you..:)

        Comment by cobbies69 | May 17, 2013

  4. Gerry, the story grabbed my attention and held it totally right to the end. Good work.

    Since Lorna has already given you grammatical help, I’ll add just one thing I did not see in her comment. In paragraphs 3 & 4, you have a couple places you’ll want to fix up:

    “The pursuers were not gaining on them, [NEEDS COMMA HERE] as the distance remained constant. In front of the couple LOOMED a large wooden five bar gate, the entrance to a wooded area. But when Alan tried to open it, [NEEDS COMMA HERE] he found it to be stuck. No second thoughts; [ NEEDS A SEMICOLON BECAUSE IT’S TWO SEPARATE SENTENCE.] they then both proceeded to climb over it. There was no haste to their actions, just positive movement [ , ] the man assisting the lady as she jumped off the second bar.

    They both paused, looking back from where they HAD COME [,] and still the figures could be seen, [COMMA, NOT A SEMICOLON] slowly but surely [,] coming their way.”

    It’s the English/Writing teacher in me coming out. Don’t feel obligated to follow these suggestions, but since you asked about it, I hate not to mention these places.

    Hope you win this competition.

    Comment by sandraconner | May 24, 2013 | Reply

    • Hey Sandra thank you so much for this,,, I have realised a fair few errors or mistakes,, but thanks friends like you I am positive I will win this.. and yes I will now check my edited version to see and amend to your suggestions.. I loved the response I had from this,, this story is part of a bigger novel of my CampNano project,, Again thank you so much Sandra,,

      Comment by cobbies69 | May 24, 2013 | Reply

      • Done and thank you again… 🙂

        Comment by cobbies69 | May 24, 2013


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