A Quick Vague Story

Continuing the discussion from Hearthlings Aren’t Afraid:

So quite a bit ago my footman refused to stop fighting a giant zombie far from camp at his own peril and I had to micromanage him pretty hard to keep him alive. In some spare minutes here and there I wrote a story inspired by it - written quickly and sloppily enough that I didn’t even bother to look through the files for proper Stonehearth names and decided to avoid names whatsoever - and then I completely forgot about it until seeing this. Here it is, if anyone’s interested.

The footman was barely standing. He was cowering, truly afraid, within a hit of death. Almost running, but not quite. Within a hit of death, too, was his adversary, but not willing to risk the loss of his best and only footman, the general called the footman back. The footman gladly ran from his enemy; after escaping, he slowly limped back to town. Take a rest, the general urged; let our herbalist bandage a few of your wounds; you can go back to the battle immediately after, but no one will blame you if you do not.
The footman, ashamed of and disgusted at his earlier cowardice, did none of this. He turned around, determined for revenge, and charged his adversary. The general once again called him back. This happened a few times; eventually, it became clear that the footman would not rest until his adversary was dead. The general sounded an alert. The workers helped restrain the footman. But the enemy was further than the militia would go. Carpenter! The general outright shouted. Make a wooden sword; give it to our strongest man; that will have to do for now. The carpenter worked as quickly as he could, forming more of a bludgeon than a blade. Without even a word on how to wield it, the trainee was told to charge the footman’s adversary.
The adversary was crying as the trainee approached. With one swift blow, the trainee put her out of her misery.
The footman, free of his unassigned duty, fell back from his charge and limped to the nearest bed.


Sorry I missed this, I will give you my thoughts on this in the morning. Got to sleep now.

-Edit: awake and refreshed, here we go.

I think your title is very appropriate in that the story is exactly what you say it is, short and vague. Which is not really a problem. Although there are various run-on sentences, your writing style allows for it. However there are some inconsistencies in regard to style that I would like to point out.

This is where the vagueness of the story is a problem. Considering you had gone into a lot of depth about the previous sequence of events you may want to elaborate this clause a little more. I think a more fitting way to put it (albeit longer.) “Again and again the footman returned to fight, only to be called back by the general; eventually etc.”

This is only a subtle difference but “this happened a few times” is plain and simply a weak way to show passage of time.

Take a rest should be in quotes unless you switch it to “the general urged him to take a rest.” The whole next set of clauses should be in quotes as well [quote=“coasterspaul, post:1, topic:20961”]
let our herbalist bandage a few of your wounds; you can go back to the battle immediately after, but no one will blame you if you do not.

Despite what I said about run-on’s above this particular one needs to be fixed. It is simply confusing for the reader since there are so many clauses with so many subjects from two different perspectives (adversary and general.) This is especially important since this is one of the opening sentences, and as I say often the opening sentences are key to a good composition.

You needs quotes around ‘carpenter’ and then around “Make a wooden sword; give it to our strongest man; that will have to do for now.”

Although this is a small point, technically there is a contradiction in these two clauses. The first clause states “without even a word” implying the subject has no experience or training, then you label the subject trainee which implies that has some experience and training. Consider finding a different label for the subject.

That’s all I will point out. There are other things to be fixed but they are less important (imo) then the above mentioned.

What this story does exceptionally well is use in game terms and concepts. Things like “within a hit of death,” “the enemy was further then militia will go,” “or my favorite the general sounded an alert”

Cheers, I hope this helps.