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Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

So basically a story game where I will narrate the whole plot as a set of flashbacks. The decisions you make in these flashbacks will influence present situations too. Here's the part I managed to write, just to give y'all an idea about the protagonist and her personality. Do share your opinion.

"No, hold your sword straight, not like that Carl! Look at your foot position too, I swear you'll lose balance and trip the second you move forward!"

"I-I'm sorry ma'am."

Running a combat school is no easy task. You're nothing more than a glorified babysitter teaching kids how to handle sticks effectively...

"No John, not like that, don't hold your arm straight! You'll snap your elbow if you parry a strong blow!"

"O-ok ma'am."

These kids are nothing more than a bunch of crying babies, if you don't treat them with a strong hand, they'll never improve. 

As you go about your training routine, correcting kid after kid for the most silliest possible errors, you hear three rapid knocks on the door. 

You walk towards the door, your feet lightly bouncing on the smooth tatami mats. It is then you realize from the golden hue of the light entering from the windows that its already sunset.

"Okay kids! Class dismissed. Those of you who are taking part in the harvest festival tomorrow, have to be here at sharp four in the morning! If you're late, I will personally come to your bed and bludgeon your tiny little heads out of sleep! Got it?" You say, obviously not being serious.

Though from the terrified looks on some of the boys, it seems that they might've taken it seriously...

"Yes madam!" They say in chorus and quickly depart from the back door. Good kids, they know better than calling upon your wrath by disturbing your visitor on the front door.

You move forward, and as you head towards the door, you take a look at your dojo. Dusty walls adorned with the medals, certificates, and trophies of various monsters you've won over the years from back when you were a wannabe adventurer. Troll heads, dragon heads, a giant's tooth, a demon's hide, and many more nailed to the wall. The near-death memories from each of these are still relatively fresh. Amongst these your most prized possession, the royal great sword and mithril armour you won in a tournament, lie on show in holders. You never used that sword though, it just wasn't your fighting style. Your  utmost prized possession however, lies sheathed on your side. The first blade you had wielded, given to you by your own father. An extremely light sword with a long handle and curved blade that was supposedly forged in your father's homeland far east from here.

You're suddenly broken from your reverie  with another sharp knock on the door.

"Coming! Hold your damn horses!" You say, as you head towards the door and open it. You see a short man, with an extremely annoyed face, dressed in the sort of clothes that would cost a labourer a lifetime of earnings.

"Message from the king, he wishes your presence at the palace at the earliest."

You scoff at that, "If 'his highness' wanted me at the 'earliest', he should've forced his lazy geezer ass to come himself, rather than send a slave," you say, "besides I already made it pretty damn clear that I will not become a plaything for the royalty before, didn't I ?"

"Miss Jessica Dixon, you have to understand, the current general is in an extremely fragile condition, and with the current war ongoing with Braznivia if we lose him, the kingdom could be lo-"

You cut him short, saying,"I don't give a rat's ass about you and the stupid fights this kingdom gets involved in! Just don't get into conflicts y'all can't handle. I've made it abundantly clear time and time again, that I will not become the general."

Now he visibly frowns, and you feel like he's going to explode with pent up frustration.

Oh boy, this is gonna be fun...

"You insolent little bitch! I don't know what his majesty even sees in a fucking whore like you.  Heck we've never had a woman soldier, let alone a general! All you're doing in your shady little business is fooling rich kid's parents into thinking you're some sort of warrior, whereas in reality you're nothing more than a fucking harlo-


You once again, cut him short, quite literally this time though, by drawing your sword and slicing out the tip of his tounge in the blink of an eye.

"And that, was because you were spouting shit with that. Still think I'm a harlot?"
You say, smirking.

"You lihhle pieche o-" 

You place your blade directly on his throat. 
"Remember this, never underestimate Jessica Dixon ever again. Now run back to your master with your tail between your legs and send him my regards." 

Upon which the man really does turn tail and  run. However, right after he leaves behind him you see a figure, who you recognize instantly. A scar runs on his blinded left eye, as he walks limping with a wooden leg. His face is wrinkled and his hair grey, but the aura of strength around him is still strong. 


"Hey there, little volcano still can't believe you've changed so much."

You're unable to believe that your dad actually came to visit you. You run towards him and embrace him. 

"I missed you so so much."

"I'm sure you did. Though you seemed rather busy there I say," he says while pointing at your blood glazen sword.

"Sorry about that, I kinda lost my control there. Damn it would take too long to remove this blood stain," you sigh.

"Oh its fine, that part about you hasn't changed yet. You'll always be the hot-headed, sweet little volcano I know," he says, while ruffling your brown hair. Just like he always does.

"I guess so," you reply amusingly. 
"Why don't you come in? It must have been a long journey all the way from home." 

As you help your dad inside, a rush of memories flow through in your mind. Memories that you almost forgot, but were suddenly triggered by seeing your father after such a long time...


[Beginning of flashback]











Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

Dear Shoujo

Please don't post in the writing workshop if you are not a mod, bucky, or in the contest.

Thank You.

Sincerely, Dave

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

You could have just stopped at "Dear Shoujo Please don't post"

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

Dear End

Being a gentleman has many restrictions. Like when I am trying to tell somebody to shut up politely, I must add a proper format. 'Dear Shoujo Please don't post' Would have been to forcefull and emotional of a statement.  

So no, I could not have stopped at that, because I am a civilized human being.

Sincerely Dave.

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

It's been nice knowing you, Dave.

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

Called it.

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

In any case, obviously Shoujo you're allowed to post in the WW as long as you're working on story ideas for the site. Dave was being a fucktard as usual.

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago
Yeah, that was really rude of Dave. The Writing Workshop is for everyone that's being a good CYStian.

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago
>Memories that you almost forgot, but were suddenly triggered by seeing your father after such a long time...

Lose that line, it's pretty redundant.

And please don't name your fantasy heroine 'Jessica Dixon'.

The flashback idea meanwhile is cool in theory, but seems like it could get really complex. Do you have the actual structure of this thing worked out yet?

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago
I’m on a roll, so let’s do this again! First, the disclaimers: this is my review. It is likely not like anyone else’s. In fact, you probably couldn’t find anyone else who completely agrees with what I write here. But it’s my opinion. I’m also writing this as I read through this for the first time. These are my first impressions as I read it. I’m not saying they’re right, just what I’m thinking. I haven’t looked at the other reviews or read anything else about this bit before writing this other bit. This is written in the spirit of helping you see how others (okay, me) see your story and to perhaps give you ideas for improvement, and not to be mean or anything else. Please don’t take it personally. This review is likely worth exactly what you paid for it. Finally, you did ask. Here we go: “[T]he whole plot [i]s a set of flashbacks.” Can I say one thing? “Uggggggghhhhhhh.” Okay, to be fair, it’s not too horrible. Just my experience with flashbacks hasn’t been great. Often I see the story jump around too much to keep track of what time I’m in. I’ve read stories with flashbacks and I’ll get halfway through a chapter before I understand if that chapter is a flashback or present-day. So just a suggestion for this story, should you continue it: make the flashback and non-flashback portions really obvious. I mean, so obvious you really can’t miss it. If I were to write that way, I might even make the background of present-day pages white and pages from flashback times grey or something like that. And if the flashback scenes are different times or out of sequence, I don’t even know what to do. Maybe mark every single page with a date or something. Anyway, I guess I should get on to actually reading the part you wanted feedback on… Very first sentence: I’m already confused. You wrote, “…not like that Carl!” I read exactly that, and assumed that it meant, “Do not hold your sword like Carl holds his sword.” But then I wondered if you meant it to be, “Hey Carl, don’t hold your sword like that.” It’s only the first sentence, but now I’m going to be wondering if Carl is the main character being talked to here and learning how to use his sword; or if Carl is the local moron that everyone makes fun of. I’m hoping that becomes clear soon, but for now I’m going with the latter definition because that’s more fun. The second sentence has the same issue with “foot position too,” but that one isn’t nearly as funny. I’m thinking that should be, “foot position, too.” The third paragraph felt like a shift. I was in the action. It was a great start taking the reader right into everything. There’s swords, there’s movement, there’s people yelling about the village idiot Carl. Then we learn it’s a combat school, great! But when it reached, “You’re nothing more than…,” suddenly I’m in the action. I was watching a story and reading about activity, but now *I* am the person running the school. Am I the ma’am? Am I the head teacher supervising the ma’am and watching? Do I know Carl the village idiot? Next someone is yelling at John. Because of that last paragraph, I’m once again confused about WHO is yelling at John. Is this the ma’am, still? Is this a different instructor because I’m the supervisor watching over an entire courtyard of instructors and students? Could it be Carl who snuck into the courtyard and started yelling at people because he’s the village idiot? To me, the reader, it’s not clear. As I read stories like this, I tend to have pictures in my head, creating a movie of what’s going on. At this point in the reading, the picture is shifting and changing and is very unclear to me. I don’t know if this happens to others or not. Ok, things were almost a little clearer as I got to the bit about making the rounds. I’m now picturing that I’m the supervisor and not ma’am, the kids, or Carl (or am I Carl? Would Carl be dumb enough to know that he’s Carl?). Some I’ve got a clear picture now: I’m in the training yard. There’s noise and clashes as these untrained kids start to learn how to hit each other with sticks. There are a number of people helping them. Suddenly, a wild door appears! Wait, what? Someone knocked on the door. But I was in the middle of a training field. Now I picture a random door, a la Bugs Bunny, right smack dab in the middle of the training field. I could walk around it, but someone politely knocked, so I think I’ll go ahead and open the door, eh? Ummm… now I’m walking on mats. And there’s windows and a sun. I feel like the entire scene just changed while I walked to the mysterious door. Maybe I am Carl. “…here at sharp four…” I think perhaps should be “…here at four sharp…” And calling them kids – now I feel like they’re younger than I did when this started. I know they were referred to as “kids” early on, but with the swords I felt like they were 15-18 years old or so. But calling them kids directly and giving that kind of instruction makes me feel like they’re 8-12 years old now. I’m not sure how to fix that unless in the initial section there can be something that mentions how they’re brought for training at a certain age and then a mention can be made about being babysitters for them. Oh look, there’s a back door! Shiny. BAM, I’m in a dojo. When the hell did that happen? I mean, I guess I always was, but if you’ve read what I’ve written so far, you realize that I had absolutely no idea. No clue. I wonder if some of those bits about the mats and light coming in the windows could be moved further up in the initial sections so that I feel like I’m inside instead of outside. Or maybe there’s a section that happens before this text that explains that I’m indoors and where the hell Carl is. I will mention that with that exchange with the boys, this is the first time it’s clear that *I* am ma’am (and not Carl). I’m not sure a “wannabe adventurer” has multiple dragon heads on the wall. I mean, dragons don’t just hand those over when you ask. I’m not sure if you’re trying to make her (me) sound humble, but if so, that totally didn’t work for me. And if they’re humble, why would they have so many trophies on the wall? There’s a few parts of that sentence that are really confusing. I don’t know what “lie on show in holders” means. I can’t even guess. You mention “your most prized possession,” and a couple sentences later mention “your utmost prized possession.” Pick one, you can’t have two best. I did like the getting lost in looking at your stuff while walking towards the door, then suddenly getting interrupted. That worked nicely. The conversation works well for me. At this point, with the dojo and the fantasy creatures, my mind has shifted the setting and we’re outside a town at a little dojo, but with an Asian theme. That vision was shattered first when the woman’s name (wait, is that still me?) is Jessica, and completely destroyed when she said, “Y’all.” Apparently this is a dojo in the deep south, and now Carl makes more sense. A couple minor things: I’m not sure I buy the slicing the tip of his tongue off while he’s talking. Few people talk with their tongue outside their mouth, so I don’t see how to pull this off. It could be a fast more where she grabs him around the neck, punches him in the gut, then grabs his tongue, but short of that, I don’t see a tongue being a valid target. “blood glazen” should probably be “blood glazed.” And it seems very, very weird to have a sword that blood doesn’t come off. Most swords are metal and that stuff wipes right off. Overall, this is a nice read. You can see where I got confused, but that doesn’t mean everyone else would. I like the setting, once I figured out what it was. I’m hoping the next chapter has more about Carl the inbred southern village idiot. It also led nicely into the upcoming flashback, I think. Thank you for sharing and good luck with the story.

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

Your review is very entertaining. :)

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

This was a fun read. Thank you for reviewing this! I'll be sure to make things much more clearer for the reader when it comes to the visualization aspect of the story.


I think kinda got confused between the theme being Asian or Western and got them both jumbled...

Thanks for reviewing :)


Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

Shoujo, one thing to keep in ming is that asian swordfighting is very different from western swordfighting, so the terms and training are different. Asian swordfighting tends to focus on if you strike, it's to kill, more than trading a series of blows. Sidestepping, ducking, circling, stalking for opponent, etc. are all going to be more common than parrying. And even if it is a fantasy setting, calling it a dojo rather than a "combat school" will clue in others to the setting right away. And no one as casual and disrespectful as "Jessica" is likely to make it as a dojo instructor, let alone asked to be a general, as so much of asian swordfighting is steeped in traditiona and learning respect. Does your story need to have an asian-like setting? If it does, do a bit of research to ground it. If it doesn't, you might want to go with a more military-esque or fuedal european flavored story, since her attitude and training style fit that better.

Others have already covered the don't-name-your-hero-Jessica bit.

And you have her telling the one boy to straighten his arm, while the next to not straighten his arm, which seems a little contradictory since you don't explain what their stances are what you are attempting to train them to do. It comes off like each boy is just doing his own thing and you are wandering around and criticizing them, rather than all of them going through much the same routine together or watching as you teach one student a technique.

Here are a couple videos of teachers interacting with their students in training:
This instructor explains technique as respectful students watch, then they go thorugh routines and set sparring matchs
These guys stretch and bow extensively, then watch instructors fight

While dojos vary in style based on techniques they teach and the sensei, it's doubtful one would have a teacher just letting his students do whatever while he yells at them to 'correct' them and inwardly thinks they are all dumb and stupid.

Diologue wise, it is all pretty modern and casual, which also doesn't fit the fantasy setting. And she isn't a likeable character. If a story is going to feature extended flashbacks, it helps to have an intriguing main character that isn't instantly smug and hateable.

Toying with a new idea,"An ex-adventurer's memory"

2 years ago

Omg I saw the videos, and the way I described this dojo is like...its completely unauthentic! Honestly, I don't think the personality of my protagonist could match with her job of being a dojo instructor, so yes I'm gonna make this a medieval fantasy setting then. I might add a few elements of Asian stuff here and there...but, really seeing that video and imagining my protagonist being like that instructor just completely broke my visualization. I'll have to make a new protag from scratch if I want to include this. 


I had originally planned for the flashbacks to provide a reason to the reader for her smugness. I was going to paint events in her childhood in such a way that, she was gonna transform from a once loveable, sweet and innocent little girl; to a murderous, hot-tempered bitch. Like, I thought the depiction of how her personality changed in the flashbacks would've been cool.

Anyway, thank you for going through it :)