Fragment of an Idea: Beginning of the Toymaker

This is only a bit of a story idea that my uncle requested me. He suggested an idea of making a Tim Burton-esque story about a toymaker. This is just the beginning of the story.

“How many times do I have to tell you? Its not maker, not master, but father.”
the little girl in front of the old but wizened toymaker shook her head in disapproval.
“Come on now. you say it: fa-ther.” the toymaker said the last word slowly, hoping the red haired girl would get the idea into her head. the little girl smiled at the kind old man and said “ma-ker.” and giggled. The toymaker sighed sighed wearily at his failed attempt.
“Dahlia, you are such a stubborn girl. I am afraid I have put too much determination in you.”

Everyone is welcome to put in comments or suggestions for this piece if they wish to do so.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.1 Australia License.

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Fragment of a Symphony: A Lesson in Pain

After making a rather foolish mistake, Ashtoreth was chained to the stone wall at the far end of the coliseum Arena and beaten as a reward for her actions. Now restrained by the heavy spiked chains and suffering from the chains’ sheer weight and bleeding from all parts of her aching body, she stubbornly showed her willingness to pass Master Skoll’s draconian combat lesson. The Master of Time and Combat looked down on the pathetically weak Apprentice with her once-beautiful Victorian dress in tatters with a too-obvious displeasure at seeing the adolescent fall from grace so quickly. This is a waste of my efforts, Master Skoll thought to himself with a certain sadness.
Ashtoreth could see with tear-blurred eyes as the unforgiving Master’s razor sharp attack claws sheathed themselves back one by one into knuckle dusters. The Master walked even closer towards Ashtoreth’s weakened and bruised form.
“Think of the heavy chains binding you as training, little one.” his very words were tainted with acid which ate away painfully at the girl’s delicate ears. The poor girl’s beautiful porcelain skin was marked with healing scars and bruises. Ashtoreth wished that her beloved mentor Master Brien would come immediately to her assistance. She closed her eyes eyes tightly and tried to send her cry for help in his direction.
“The world isn’t as merciful you know, so this will do you a lot of good. You’ll thank me for this.” his lips broadened into a wide grin.

All people are welcome to comment on my Fragment posted here.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.1 Australia License.

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Prologue Critique (by Tiffany of Arcane)

Tiffany critiqued the prologue, and this is it.

Ooo, more to critique. Always happy to read someone’s work!

Your Writing:The heavy rain soaked my clothes as I ran panting and struggling against the wetness and the fierce howling night winds.”D*** it!” my breath was ragged blowing warm steam into the night. My damp clothing made my movements sluggish and stupid.”Having a little problem you annoying little S***? I hope you are!” the black clad figure running in front of me shouted from behind. I ignored his taunt about my running ability and sped after him across the street, the faint outline of a firearm slung on his left shoulder revealed a bigger threat than I have realized at first. My full length beige trench coat flapped lazily in the night winds. The moon offered help in its meagre source of light, showing the destination of the man now running. I kept on running towards the dead end in the end of the alleyway that I followed him into; the dead end of the alleyway the man in front of me was destined to meet. He slowed down to a lively walk towards the brick wall and stopped a few meters away from it. His back facing me.”Does it really have to end soon? I was thinking that this F***ing game was getting really exciting. I was starting to enjoy the warm-up.” he turned around to face me, his firearm had already found its way to my head. I smiled at my apparent victory for tonight.You’re lacking a little in the punctuation department. I noticed a tense issue, maybe some conjunctions could be revised. With work, you can establish tension and make a hook that will draw your reader in.Below, I will write my “own version” of your writing. (And of course they’re only suggestions.) I find this is the easiest way to fully critique someone’s work.

My Writing:It was late at night. The torrential rain [I feel “torrential” better fits here, but “heavy” works and accomplishes the same thing.] soaked my clothes as I ran panting against the fury of the rain and the harsh storm that accompanied it. What a time to be out, I thought, In a rainstorm. “D***- it!” [If you’re not going to use something like, “I said,” it might be better to skip down to a new paragraph. As far as I know, though, your original sentence is not gramatically incorrect.]My breath was ragged, [you forgot a comma here] chugging out as warm floods of steam. As my clothing filled with water, and became heavy, my movements became sluggish and stupid. [I understand what you’re saying, but the word “stupid” might make other readers stop for a moment and contemplate your mastery of vocabulary and language, which is not always something you want to happen.]”Having some trouble, you little s***?” [You forgot some commas and I’ve divided this up] A man clad in black running in front of me gasped. “I hope you are!”I clinched my teeth and ran faster, nearly tumbling head over heels because of my heavy, sopping clothing. He was taunting me. [What you had written originally really didn’t apply to someone’s “running ability.”] Just because I couldn’t run in the rain as fast as he could! He sped across the street and I ran after him. As he passed under a dim streetlight, I could see the outline of a firearm. So he’s more of a threat, I thought.[Omit or rework your sentence about the moon and its light.]The meager light of the moon helped me find the man when he plunged into shadows and then reappeared, momentarily. I saw him run down an alley. Again, I followed him.Soon, I noticed that the alleyway led to a dead end. He slowed to a blithe trot and then stopped a few feet [feet would probably be better] His back was facing me, and he was motionless. Above, the storm increased in its ferocity. The wind was blowing so hard, it buffeted the rain right over our heads, so we were dry and protected in the alley. [I added some detail. It helps establish tension and gives the reader a better picture of the tone of the story.]”Do you really have to stop so soon?” I spat bitterly, panting, “I was beginning to f****** enjoy it. [I would take out the “F-word” but it’s not necessary and it does show great agitation in your character. Still, there are other ways to be irritated.] I snorted, “I was really beginning to enjoy this little warm- up.”He spun around, and the end of the firearm’s barrel was jabbed into my forehead. His lips were upturned in a snarl and, in a way, he reminded me of a predator that has become the prey. I smiled for this evening victory. [I put more description in here.][How is the man with the gun feeling? You probably mention this farther in this piece, but I found myself thinking, “well gosh, why can’t you just tell me now?”][I did read a little farther, and I’m interested. Please read my other little message below before I continue.]