Saturday, March 17, 2012


TITLE: Practissimo
GENRE: Historical Adventure/Romance

Taylor lifted his weapon—a sharp stick—and jabbed Manerow in the face.

Eric roared, clapping his hands to his cheek.  “Guards!  To me!”  His call rang across the garden.

Eric swiped, and Taylor ducked, thwacking the branch across Eric’s knees, and the man stumbled back, almost hitting Addie.  She jumped to the side and ran around the fountain to the the hedge opposite him.

Manerow stepped forward and swung, keeping a hand to his cheek, and Taylor cracked the stick against his wrist.  Eric grunted and swiped again from the right, and Taylor lashed him near the eyes, sending him backwards.  The strategy held for now, but against more than one opponent, he wasn’t sure.  He wasn’t sure against just the one.  He hadn’t planned for things to get this far.

Eric abandoned his one-handed attack and lunged for the branch, managing to grab the end.  Taylor jerked at it, but it didn't budge, and Manerow rammed the stick into his gut, forcing a yell from him and thrusting him back into the hedge.

Taylor pushed off the branches, getting halfway to his feet, and Eric punched him in the face.  His vision flashed dark, pain shocking around his left eye.

“Eric, please, that’s enough!” Addie cried.

Another powerful blow dug into his stomach, and he curled in on himself, dry heaving into the leaves.

“Eric, please!”  She sounded close.  The rumbling of boots on dirt surrounded them, and Taylor glanced up.  Addie had wrapped herself around Eric’s arm, and ten guards filed into the alcove.

She stepped back, rose petals falling from her gown, eyes at her feet.

“Sir Manerow?” one of them asked.

Eric pointed at Taylor, red-faced with exertion.  “This is the intruder.  Take him to the king’s dungeons as instructed.”


  1. I like the idea of so much action, but I found myself slightly confused about who was doing what to whom because there were maybe a few too many characters in the scene, and I didn't have a grounding in who any of them are. Still, I'd continue to read.

  2. Oooh, I love a good fight scene! =) I can tell this is well-thought out, and you have a specific vision for who is doing what, but all the details got a bit lost on me, especially with all the character names. It would help if I'd read more of the story first, and knew one man from the other. Yet all the same, see if you can clarify with fewer words and easier transitions from one action to the next. (?)

    Also, the name "Addie" stood out to me. I was imagining this scene in some garden outside a castle (ESPECIALLY with all the king and dungeon talk), which made "Addie" feel too modern.

    That being said, I would totally read more. =)

  3. Well thought out scene here, but is all the fight detail nessecary for the story? I kinda got bogged done in the detail of it all, then again I am not much of a combat girl, so take all this with a grain of salt.
    Melissa Ann

  4. I can tell that you've carefully choreographed the fight scene (not easy!), but I was still fairly confused. For instance, at first I thought that Manerow and Eric were the same person, because Taylor jabbed Eric in the face and Manerow roared and put his hand on his cheek. I had to read it twice (and then I still wasn't sure).


    The strategy held for now, but against more than one opponent, he wasn’t sure. He wasn’t sure against just the one. He hadn’t planned for things to get this far.

    I know what you're trying to say here -- that he wasn't even sure about the strategy when he had 1 opponent, let alone 2. But this is awkward and needs to be rewritten. The repetition of "he wasn't sure" is especially clunky.

    Addie had wrapped herself around Eric’s arm

    Well, not literally, unless Addie is a snake. ;-P Do you mean that she wrapped her ARMS around Eric's arm? I was also confused by the rose petals falling from her gown.

    Good work overall! Good luck with this project.

  5. Pulling off a fight scene in writing is very hard. Fight scenes are, by their nature, very visual, and it can be difficult to capture that on the page. I think you've done a solid job here.

    That being said, I agree with the other critiques that it's unclear as written what's going on with your characters. At first, I thought it was that there were too many players in this scene, but the more I reread it, the more I think it's a question of picking one name for a character and sticking with it throughout the scene for clarity-sake. I think that Eric and Sir Manerow are one and the same, yes? So pick one and stick with it, and the whole scenario will be a lot clearer. If you're looking to vary it up, once you've established that Eric is Sir Manerow (maybe you've done that earlier in the novel?) you can use phrases like "the knight" or whatever he is.

    You've made a really great start here. Just a little tweaking, and you'll be there! Keep up the good work.

  6. I was also a bit confused about Eric and Manerow. It wasn't until the end that I realised they were the same character. I think you could definitely clarify this.

    I also think you could pick up the pace with the fight scene. If you use shorter sentences it'll really make things faster and more intense.

    Other than that, well done!