Sunday, 27 January 2013

Critique Blog Hop

Critique Blog Hop!

A bunch of share and share a like writers! Read and critique! (For the good of the colony and aspiring writers everywhere)
  Rules HERE  :

Lee-ul watched. She watched and waited and stared as she sat.          
                                                                                                                                                            The weave of the young, the dread of the trapped old Renvarr, and the parental pride as their cubs tore the monster’s bloodied skins away.  Knowing one day she would do this; scratch at its face dress herself in its bloody fur and collectively taunt it before watching it die, she licked her paws clean and closed her eyes, imagining that she was waiting, to take life away from the creature.  
When it was her turn three years later the elation excited her breathing, her heart, and dried her mouth once more.  Leeul stood without garment but with a make-shift spear in her hand.  Her strong legs were fixed in a stance.  She began to circle the creature, tied down as it was.  Her friends each in turn started to run at it, yelling, moving deftly, and stabbing its rough skin. Lee-ul relishing the moment couldn’t help but go for its eye. She used all her strength to gouge at its right vision and de-wedge her piece of flint.  

After that she was expected to retract and let her peers stab at it next.  She did not.  Bloodthirstily she assailed its mouth and peeled away the first fraction of skin to be had.  As she did this everything stopped.  The crowd was silent and the mutilated Renvarr seemed to be laughing at her.

Two strong Shemai grabbed her from behind. Lee-ul was then twisted around to face them, helpless.  With a grunt Dahil released her  and watched her body fall to the ground.  Lee-ul howled as she felt the bones in her arms and legs crack.  Lee-ul’s peers rushed to grab her and pulled her broken body towards the post where the injured Renvarr was tied. Lee-ul began to scream, to yel,l to beg:  

“I’m sorry!” she shouted. “Please” she entreated her captors who apathetically carried on tying her next to the Renvarr. 

She had never been this frightened but at the same time felt the same excitement as when she had first seen a Renvarr killed. She moved to wet her mouth, blocking out the pain in her arm and legs and began to struggle free.  

“Stay right here” Aniis held her fast as she was firmly tied next to Renvarr and the other cubs stepped back panting, ready and desperate to rush in.  Her old friends ran towards her.  Lee-uls death was in their eyes. She cowardly shut hers and tried not to listen to the beat of her comrades’ feet pounding the ground as they charged towards her.  


They shouted insults at her as flint started to graze and pierce her young skin. She felt the wounds and scratches to be deep and mostly on her lower torso and legs but she did not open her eyes.  “Open them!” She heard Dahil’s voice say.  Even as she felt rough claws try to pry her eyes open she dared not to look.  

She moaned and shook from the pain of the repeating assaults wondering which of her school-friends had caused each wound.  She cried out and felt tears at the thought of her people hurting her so.

But then, the insults and yelling were suddenly not there.  No new grazes or cuts on Lee-uls skin.  No sound at all, so she opened her eyes.  

First she saw Aniis who seemed to be frozen in time his face still contorted, his eyes still fiery, his breathing still hurried..  Then his face softened and Lee-ul turned to look around seeing her friends staring at the ground, shoulders slumped.  No-one in the crowd could meet her gaze but guiltily averted her curious stare.  

Then Lee-ul saw her benefactor, the woman who had stopped it all just in walking by.  She looked tall and graceful; she walked towards Lee-il, her skirts and robes sauntering around her lithe body.  She bent and stroked Lee-ils face, stood up and turned:  

“I think perhaps… you have overreacted Dahil” 

Her voice was quiet as she tilted her head and smiled with all her teeth. Dahil knelt at her elegant blue skirt and Eniis did the same.  Dahil whispered: 

“but we thought… she… should be punished.” 

Aniis nodded and almost inquisitively chimed 

“She should be made example of?”  
“Indeed?" The lady replied  "And who will make an example of you?  And who decides how far they take their punishment?”  

The lady said as she played with the tops of their manes:  

“You should not be frightened of me” She directed herself towards the Renvarr and grabbed one of its arms, swiping it at Lee-ul who yelped in fear and shame.  When the Renvarr pulled its arm back everyone could see a mark on one side of Lee-uls cub-like face. She had been wounded by the captured Renvarr’s talons and an imprint of its claw was now across her jaw mouth and nostril. The pain was more than her broken limbs and flint wounds put together. 

“There is your example!  It needs no parade. Do  continue.”  

She smiled again with her teeth untying Lee-ul and carried her away from the town square.  Lee-ul lay in the lady's arms breathing like the wild animal that was still tied to the post.  The agony and the resentment started to fuse together. ‘Lee-ul’ she thought, ‘the claw-marked Shemai who had never killed a Renvarr’ .  For her, it was shame and punishment enough.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This is quite gruesome, isn't it?

    Is this an entire short story?

    I'd suggest starting a little sooner in the story. The beginning was confusing because I wasn't sure what was going on.

    Not really sure what happened at the end, either. Did she know this would happen to her? Also... what is she? I thought she was a lion cub at first.

  3. She is a sort of cub. She didn't know exactly what would happen no. This is the opening chapter of a novel. At the end of the chapter she is carried away! I didn't realise it was so confusing. I will work on that.

  4. I started and couldn't stop, so please let me know if I've over done it and I'll behave myself next time! Also, I've not picked out typos or grammatical bits and bobs, as that stuff is easy to smooth out later. :)

    Okay, first off, I love the name Lee-ul. It immediately feels tribal to me (which I knew which tribe, I just know that I get a sense of 'tribe' from the name), so I find myself wanting to know if it really is 'Lee-ul' or 'Leeul' as it was every now and then through the course of the text.

    I find that I was a little confused at first; I couldn't figure out if Leeul was an animal, or some sort of hybrid, or simply displayed animal characteristics. I'm not sure if this is clarified further before or after this snippet, but watch out for inconsistencies. At one point she licks her paws clean, but then she holds her make-shift spear in her hand.

    Though I understand what you mean by 'right vision' but the phrase feels a little odd to me, as does 'de-wedge.'

    I like the disregard for convention this character shows; it makes her interesting and I immediately start to root for her, particularly when peer reaction to her deciding not to step back is so strong.

    'With a grunt Dahil realised her and watched her body fall to the ground' as a line, is fine, however it did tug me out of the story. The shift in POV was noticable for me and I was confused to suddenly see the reaction through this other person's eyes.

    Something that comes up a lot at the Phoenix group is the gripe over 'ly' words. Personally (hehee!) I don't have as much of a problem with them as some, but 'apathetically' felt a little clunky to me.

    The blend of excitement and fear is a good mix, but I don't think I understand enough of the culture Lee-ul is part of to understand the stakes. Clearly she has done something wrong, but how wrong? And would she 'move to wet her mouth' or just 'wet her mouth.'?

    To coin a phrase I have a couple of nit picks too, if you'll indulge me.
    -'averted her curious stare' did you mean 'their stares' or was it actually Lee-ul averting her gaze?
    -skirts and robes wouldn't saunter... the lady might, but clothing can't do that

    To the rest I really like the piece. The idea that a wound from the bound beast is far more damning than anything previous is a brilliant insight into the type of culture we're dealing with and that this lady should be the one to instigate that is great. Immediately leads me to wondering if she is actually the antagonist on the piece or a potential mentor figure who first needs to calm the storm that is Lee-ul.

  5. Cheers Leah that is really helpful. I am aware of the typos. Just have not got round to it as this is a first draft! The technical advice is great. I will definitely look at POV and your other suggestions. To answer you questions...the reader is not meant to know what she is-but form a basic impression...she has some human some animal characteristics...that is just part of my style!

    Dewedge is actually a favourite of mine but is disliked by a quite a few so I guess i will have to change it...

    I shall make this much better thanks to your helpful comments!

  6. I liked the sense of the world you're building--a lot of questions I want answered!
    I was a little confused on what got her in such trouble. Was it only that she took two turns instead of one? Perhaps just a hint more about the significance of the ritual would help clear it up.
    Love the sense of power the mysterious woman projects. Definitely makes me want to know more about this culture.

  7. Cheers Caitlin! That is really nice to hear!

  8. Leah has made several points that I would have so I won't repeat them. It is an interesting concept leaving the reader to formulate their own idea of what Lee-ul is but maybe give them a little more to go on? May I ask what age range you are focusing on?

  9. Dear Mandy! I agree it needs a tune-up! Now I know what needs tuning! Hehay! I will definitely focus on giving the reader more of a clue. The audience is an adult audience. Although the main character is very young, she does grow up during the novel. Think of her as aging like a lion cub!