Fang Talks

It begins.

A thief had snuck into the city.

Despite the weather, the markets were roaring with life. The yells of sale and buzzing of chit-chat easily overpowered the raindrops’ gentle drum. But the further you moved from the markets, the more silent the streets became. Words were still exchanged aplenty, but the whispers couldn’t be heard from any further away than the foul breaths of those who sent them forth could be smelled. Still no new queen, they spoke. Has the family died out, they wondered.

The larger part of the city’s populace didn’t bother meddle in monarchical matters. The rest was smart enough to know not to. Having just crept her way into the city, Livia belonged to neither of those groups. The murmurs had found their way to her ears before her cape could get fully drenched, and the temptation of playing another one of her grand schemes was just too strong to resist.

She picked the nearest fool’s pocket with ease, then tapped him on the shoulder. When the unsuspecting young man turned around, she held up the bag of gold pieces and took off her hood. ‘Sorry, I think you dropped this.’ Her gentle smile had the desired effect of striking the man. He attempted to compliment the attentive stranger, but she spoke before he could. ‘Say, do you suppose I can be shown the way to the palace gates?’ She had seen its spire rise high above the roofs of more common housing, but the giant walls surrounding the royal grounds obscured all else from view.
The clueless fellow didn’t hesitate to point the direction out to her. ‘It’s on the southern side, right down the third left here. My ma has the flower shoppe near ’em, can’t miss that lovely smell.’ He wanted to offer walking her there, but before he could start his proposal she was already moving out of sight.

Boy, I sure do hope that use of “to be struck” wasn’t actually incorrect! It probably is though. (next)
~ Fang

Comments

  • 23/05/2016 (5:54 PM)

    One of the best parts about playing catch up with reading blog posts is being able to read all three parts of this in one. Unless it’s still not done. Suppose I’ll see but it’s off to an intriguing start.

  • 23/05/2016 (8:28 AM)

    So far so good. You know, a wise editor once told me to be careful, as a narrator, about name-calling. The narrator should be impartial, and if they call someone a name, it should serve a purpose. So just keep that in mind when you say something like she picked the nearest fool’s pocket. Is it critical that we know he’s an idiot, or does that just serve to needlessly condescend? Just something to keep in mind.

    • 23/05/2016 (10:08 AM)

      Good point. The narrator is sort of looking over Livia’s shoulder, in the sense that they don’t know more than she knows, but I don’t know if that’s justification to take her opinions into narration as well.

      • 24/05/2016 (7:59 PM)

        To answer your question…

        Nope, that’s not a strict rule at all. When it comes to those kinds of things, I honestly don’t believe writing has any strict rules. It’s just something I was taught that I found valuable to me.

        My perspective: if the narrator is just purely that, a typical narrator with no name or face, then it’s best to leave out the judgments and keep them impartial. If it’s someone from the story, or a biased narrator*, then in that case it should have MORE judgments!

        *Imagine the kind of narrator where it’s told in third person from someone who’s not involved in the story, but it’s told in the style of someone at the bar sharing a really engaging story.

        Livia approached the nearest fool she could find – and trust me, it wasn’t hard, this city was just brimming with nose-pickers and mouth-breathers – and she tapped him on the shoulder. This unsuspecting victim in waiting turned around to a bag of gold pieces in his slack jawed face. “Sorry, I think you dropped this,” she said. She was wearing the most gentle, most sincere smile, and that bumpkin was hooked in an instant.

        This one is very much judgmental, but it’s supposed to be. The judgment adds color and adds life to the tale, and it justifies calling the man an idiot.

        Another rule I’ve heard from every agent and editor in the book is never to use ‘you’ in a third person story. Example, from your own story: “But the further you moved from the markets, the more silent the streets became.” Personally, I think that rule is crap, and I think your sentence is completely valid. It’s very immersive. It brings you into the setting.

        If it says anything, every agent/editor I’ve ever met preaches not to do that, and yet George R.R. Martin, one of the most popular and applauded novelists of our generation, does it constantly.

        (This is why I say no rule is ever all that strict)

        • 24/05/2016 (8:41 PM)

          That’s what I thought, thanks for confirming we’re on one line here. Very clear example, too!

          Could you get around that rule by substituting “you” for “one”? (^:

  • 21/05/2016 (3:01 AM)

    I like her. I hope she’s doing what I think she’s doing.

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