Posted by Jonathana Tegire on 15:55 5/28/02

In reply to: (none)

Wow, a post that isn't about Athanire!

I was reading the "Secret History of Verduria" and came upon a sample of a story about a man named Abend (even though the sample doesn't mention him, I did read the surrounding text. So that nobody needs to click there, here's the quote:

Durm-- he had no longer name-- sailed into Verduria on the Falcon the next morning, form Syxesteer. The Falcon passed for a Kebreni merchant vessel, and with the aid of the rum that made up most of its cargo, the Royal Navy inspectors were persuaded to ignore the swords and other contraband in the remaining cargo.

Durm paid the captain in gold, headed down the dock and then along the Scafi Prospekt. His eyes, deep and sharp, took in all the details of the port: bustling stevedores and sailors, run-down merchants' warehouses surrounding the misplaced elegance of the Customs House, armed Naval Guards, the smell of horses and the creak of cars, the hundreds of ships moored in a maze of docks.

With a knowing eye he noted the ships' flags: the Falcon's own spurious colors of Kebri; flags of Erenat, Azgami, Ismahi, Flora; rarer banners from Uytai, Nan, Moreo Ashcai; and everywhere the crown and swords of Verduria. The same green and white flag flew on the tower of the Customs House.

He turned down a side street into the Scafiora, negotiating its narrow and confused streets with familiarity, but yet with such intent observation that merchants sent their apprentices after him with goods to inspect further. He left them behind. Finally he walked down and alley and opened a door invisible from the street.

You say that's bad writing? Not at all. I find nothing in there redundant or unneccesary.

The description of the dock, the ships, etc. lets the reader get a clear picture of a Verdurian port, which for all he knows might be totally different from a (forgive the Flatland reference) Planiturthian port.

The part about the merchants sending their shop-boys after Durm adds a bit of humor. Durm's ignoring them furthers this and gives away details of his character.

It's not vital to add that Durm has no longer name, but it adds interest, in my humble opinion.

Next time, don't be so critical of your writing, which I myself find to be clear, concise, interesting to read. I wish mine was half as good (well, my poetry isn't so bad, but I couldn't write a plot for a million shaicanasin.

Hemonea an hamunea hanarate hiniranafir,
-J. Tegire

Mark responds:

Heh... it's nice of you to say so, but I wrote that about twenty years ago, and I have improved since. :) And an author should be critical of his own writing. (Other people's... it's best to be tactful...)

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