Sunday, April 5, 2009

Heroes... Chapter Two - Dunbar

Welcome back, beta-readers! This is the second chapter, entitled "Dunbar" - and focusing on the second main character of the book. You know the drill: read, enjoy, and leave some feedback. You may do so here, or by Twitter DM, or by email. My address is on the page. All opinions are welcome.

Just so you know: this time out, the blog readers are the first ones to get a crack at it. As usual, I've already done a rewrite to bring it here, but first feedback goes to y'all. Enjoy!


Chapter Two - Dunbar

The peal from the bell in Nender’s Tower was still echoing midnight. A light fog had drifted in from the harbor, limning the roads and buildings with ghostly glow. Unable to see more than a few yards past the lamps that lined the streets, many Harbordowners had locked themselves in for the night, even those that lived along streets that often were a-hurry until dawn.

In Old Town, the Street of Swords zigzagged through seedy neighborhoods, careened around taverns, rowhouses, and faced onto entire blocks of buildings that used to be the weapon smithies that gave the street its name. Now sapped of most of its usual nighttime residents, it was a closed-in world with white borders – a place where sounds traveled further than images.

One figure strode up the street. He was tall, nearly seven feet, and moved with fluid grace. He was garbed in gray and green. His shirtsleeves had been cut away to allow his arms freedom of movement. A heavy broadsword hung on his left side, a long dagger on his right. He carried a short bow in his left hand and wore a quiver of arrows across his back. His hair was black and loose, hanging wildly to his shoulders.

He was bene sidhe, a great elf. Only infrequently seen outside of Geshuan or Cheldria, his kind was rare in Harbordown. Unlike most of his kin, Dunbar Stormglow found himself more attracted by the wilderness of a big city than to the glades and forests that he thought were laughingly called “the wilds.” Like most of his family, he had taken to the hunt. He had just opted to hunt a different kind of prey.

To continue:


  1. I only saw one thing. Hamish thinks to himself that the "vallon week(?) dulled the pain." Vallon weed perhaps? This chapter flowed like the Mississippi (downstream!) It seemed like this one was easier for you. Well done, Master Jedi.

  2. Looks like James beat me to the "weed", go figure. It does zip right along so it seems your getting very good at trimming the meat. I wanted to ask since I first read this wonderful behemoth of yours, why is the night elven night vision green? Just curious.

  3. I agree, there's a nice flow happening here. I felt like there were a few points where this got interrupted though. The part where he is in the first bar, the paragraph that begins "I'm looking for the surgeon..." I feel like the language/sentences get a little clusmy here, kind of halting the flow. Too much looking at the floor I guess, also the "attempting to fit a social group not his own" doesn't strike me as in keeping with the voice. Also a few points in the dialogue that I'm not getting a good enough sense of the character of Dunbar. He's really dry, unflappable, formal. I like the intro to him in the beginning, the green glowing eyes are cool, just sometimes he gets a little flat. He is striking me as this kind of very intelligent perceptive hunter that is kind of so in tune to his surroundings that he doesn't have much personality of his own. Just make sure that he doesn't get too blank. I kind of want to know a little more about why he is chasing Hamish, the dynamic between the two. Is this a job, a personal vendetta, or just a good hunt? Also I'm not sure how I feel about the POV shift over to Hamish. It felt abrupt going back and forth this way. I can see the merit in doing it, but I'm not sure how well it's working the way you have it. I think the jury's still out on that one though...Is Hamish going to reappear later? I hope so, would like to know what the deal is with this guy:)

    I really love your beginning, the scene-setting was great. The line "a place where sounds travel farther than images" was really neat. I can see how you really paid attention to word choice, clever imagery here. I think I would like to see a little more of this carried through the rest of the work. At times the focus is getting so much on the action that the setting is getting less attention. Example, the warehouse being huge, covering an entire block. C'mon, you know you can punch that up a little...But I really like how we're being drawn into this kind of urban jungle, the maze of zigzagging lines. Really different feel from the sea in the previous chapter. Good work!