|Nov 28th, 2009, 08:54 PM||#1|
| Conversation Killer |
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: West Philadelphia
Writing a Story; Need Constructive Criticism
As you can ascertain from the title, I am in need of assistance in writing a story. It's a piece of TLK fan fiction that takes place after the events of SP, but will be utilizing mostly characters already known from the first two films; I am adding OCs, however, the main plot is focused around canon (or mostly canon) characters.
I'm going to refrain from actually telling you what the main plot will be, as I feel it's a little bit obvious (though I am biased in having written this) and I want to figure out just how obvious it is.
Aside from that, I need help in general about what I've written thus far. Straightforward critique. Are chapters long enough? Too long? Is the writing too wordy and focused too much on description or is it just the opposite? Is the dialogue too dry or uninteresting? Am I [for canon characters] going too far out of character in some or many places? Even after spell check and my own rechecks, is spelling and grammar up to par?
I just need anything. I want honest [brutally, if necessary] opinions on what you feel this writing provides entertainment-wise and what it may be lacking. I'm hoping to actually finish this one [I don't think I've ever managed to finish a fan fiction proper], and any help from other writers/critics would be greatly appreciated.
“Whaddya mean, you don’t like him?”
Shimmering blue eyes stared for a moment at the dark-furred lioness who had addressed their owner.
“I mean just that,” began the questioned lioness, “I don’t like him.”
There was a short silence as the second turned and walked a few feet away from the first, looking to the clouds above.
“Honestly,” she continued, “You ask the dumbest questions sometimes. ‘I don’t like him.’ ‘Whaddya mean, you don’t like him?’ ‘I mean, I don’t like him!’” The slightly irritated female mockingly repeated the three-liner, glancing back and forth for each line.
“Well, what’s wrong with him?” the first female asked, finally building the courage to approach once again. “He was a rogue, and the king only let him stay because you practically begged him. Besides, come on ‘Tani, you’ve got this guy wrapped around your paw. He’s loopy for you; he’d do anything to make sure you were happy.”
“Yeah, that’s just the problem. Maybe I don’t want to be the one doing the wrapping.” Vitani paused for a few seconds to let the statement sink in a little bit. “It was nice while it lasted, but he’s gone soft, Safara. Even you must have seen that. I didn’t agree to be his mate because I wanted a slave to do my bidding; I agreed to be his mate because he had that wild, outlandish streak that made him seem so free and independent… but it’s obvious that that side is long gone now..”
Safara sat silently in contemplation of all that her friend had told her.
“Sooo… can I have him?” was her thoughtful revelation.
Vitani turned around for the first time in a few minutes to look at Safara.
“If you don’t want him, can I have him?”
“Wha--? Oh my gosh…”
Without a proper answer, Vitani turned straight back around and began walking away, towards Pride Rock.
“Whaaaaat?” Safara drawled, “It’s a legitimate question!”
Seeing that Vitani had no intentions of stopping or coming back any time soon, Safara let out a deep sigh and padded off after her. She caught up just in time to walk up to the promontory of Pride Rock, where they both sat down and looked out at the savannah.
A cool breeze began to blow, easily lightening the previously tense mood. Vitani rose her head upward, closing her eyes, soaking in the peacefulness of the moment… while it lasted. Her nose wrinkled and her eyes shut even tighter at the sound of an all-too-familiar voice from behind.
“Hey, Kam,” she answered her fiancé casually, not bothering to turn around, “Whaddya want?” she finished, a little more icily than she had intended.
“Oh,” he stammered, taken aback, “I just.. wondered how your walk was.” He smiled meekly.
“It was fine.” Though not quite as long as I would have liked. She finished in her head. “I’m not staying for long, though.” Vitani was still looking out into the savannah, so Kam couldn’t see the glimmer in her eyes. “Was thinking of spending the night at one of my old hangouts on the border of the Outlands. Just for a little change in scenery.”
“Well, that sounds nice. Can I--”
“Girls only.” Vitani cut him off sharply, giving her soon-to-be mate a wry smile. “Just for one night, I promise.” Unfortunately. She thought bitterly.
As if on cue, who would come bounding out of the Pride den but Kiara and Kovu’s son, Mali. Cute kid. Real cute kid. Most gorgeous green eyes; shone like emeralds. He pranced out of the cave shouting ‘Aunt Vitani’ and ran up to her to rub against her leg.
“Aunt Vitani!” he cried again, looking straight up at her, “Can I come with you? Huh, can I, can I?”
“Sure, as long as it’s alright with your mom and dad.” Vitani crooned appeasingly.
“It is!” the cub replied excitedly, “I figured that’s what you’d say, so I asked before I came out!” He closed his eyes and sat up straighter, looking quite proud of himself.
Vitani looked back up to Kam and flashed a toothy grin. “Cute kid, huh?”
Kam didn’t reply right away, but managed to blurt out a single phrase before Vitani had started off with Safara and Mali. “But Mali is a guy!”
Vitani knew just what to say, “But have you seen his face?” she almost squeaked, picking up Mali by the scruff and dangling him in front of Kam innocently. The cub stared at him with two glimmering pools of green, and after a moment of awkward silence giggled cutely. Vitani set him back down and hurriedly nudged him down the front steps of Pride Rock. Kam sighed and padded softly back into the den, defeated… by a cub. Nice.
“Brilliant work, Mali.” Vitani praised the cub. He had followed along with her plan with precision and ease. “You’re quite the actor.”
“Thanks, Aunt Vitani.” He smiled brightly.
Vitani sighed. “You know you don’t have to call me that. I’m just fine with ‘Tani.”
“Yeah, I know. But that’s what I have to say around mom and dad, so I’m just used to calling you ‘Aunt Vitani’.” It made sense. “So where are we going?” he asked curiously after a moment or two.
“Heh, a place I haven’t visited since long before you were born.”
Safara cast a knowing glance, which Vitani met evenly, easily recognizing the direction they were headed. It was the place that she and Vitani had always gone whenever Zira was in one of her ‘moods’. Never a good thing to be around her when she was truly pissed off; about as smart as standing next to a burning acacia tree as it falls and clocks you straight on the head. Actually, it was more like a burning acacia tree that grows claws on its branches and tries to gore your eyes out, but you get the point.
By the time the trio reached their destination, the sun had begun to set, painting the sky a magnificent blend of orange and violet. A few stars were already visible, and the kings and queens of the past were steadily pouring into their respective places in the night sky.
They had reached the border of the Outlands. A small clump of smooth, cozy-looking boulders was set next to a few acacias, just on the grassy edge of the Pride Land side of the border. It was a homey spot: not nearly as grand or showy as Pride Rock, though still quite a bit more appealing than the termite mounds visible in the distance.
Vitani shivered once, recalling all the wretched days she had spent in and among those mounds. She quickly recovered though, and lie down on the highest boulder in the pile. Safara nimbly followed her up, but Mali seemed a bit more cautious and wouldn’t climb up until Vitani reassuringly flicked her tail and nodded, telling him that it was perfectly safe. He hesitated only a second before bounding from stone to stone, nearly slipping once or twice, until he too was perched atop the boulders.
The night dragged along at a sluggish pace, but at least it was quiet. Perhaps a little bit too quiet… alright, maybe not. But it was quiet. Vitani liked that; it gave her plenty of good thinking time. Thinking about how she was going to break it to Kam that she didn’t really want to have anything to do with him anymore.
Various scenarios bombarded her conscious mind. Thoughts of telling him flat out, rather harshly to be honest, that she didn’t want to be with him anymore. Nah, then he might think I was just leading him on the whole time… then suddenly I’m the bad guy. Another thought. Hmm… maybe I could start giving discreet hints that we’re not as close as we used to be, and that I want our relationship to dwindle into nothingness. Another flaw. Aw, but that’d take way too long. I don’t have the patience to keep up with something like that. Crap.
Next to the pondering Vitani, Mali had crawled beside Safara’s warm flank and curled himself into a tight ball and was now sleeping peacefully. Safara was still awake, but barely. The only thing keeping her eyes from shutting completely were the random mumblings of Vitani whenever she created, and usually shot back down, an idea to dump Kam.
“Vitani,” the tawny lioness didn’t respond to her name immediately, seeming to finish off her last thought before reacting, “You’ve been staring at the sky and mumbling to yourself for hours. How ‘bout you give it a rest for tonight and get some sleep.” Vitani stared apologetically for a moment before Safara went on, “Or at least keep it all in your head, so I can get some sleep.” Safara smiled.
“Nah, you’re right. I should get some shut-eye. I wasn’t getting anywhere anyway.”
“Trying to figure out how to get Kam off your back without making him hate you?”
“Mhm.” Vitani nodded solemnly.
“Hey, my offer still stands. I’d be glad to take him off your paws.”
Vitani laughed lightly. “I couldn’t do that. Just because I don’t like him doesn’t mean I have the right to pass him off like he’s mine to give. It just seems wrong.”
“So that’s a ‘no’, then?”
“That’s a ‘no’.”
Mali stirred from his slumber, stretching his back legs out, but didn’t open his eyes or remove his front paws from in front of them. He groaned groggily, then tucked his back paws in and was silent.
“Good job, Safara,” Vitani teased sarcastically, “You just set off his little kid ‘cuss alarm’ and almost woke him up.”
Safara chuckled. “Whoops. My bad.”
Well, that's the prologue. I have a first chapter written as well, but I'm hesitant to post it as I don't think it'd fit into this post with that pesky word count.
So I'll leave it as is for now.
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