Does My Story Sound Okay To You So Far?


I'm not much of a writer, I don't know the proper way to write any stories of how to make make events translate and synchronize very well, but I just feel like writing a story. I was looking at some pics of oblivion characters, and there was this one, and it saw a HUGE background story behind it. I just felt like there was more to the picture than meets the eye, and it inspired me to come up with the plot to a story.

I thought, to begin, I'd start with the inspiration from the picture. The picture was of a ruined city in the distance, and closer up to the camera was a female figure sitting there, as if she was the only one left. It gave me this sense of destruction, and it made me want to involved a ruined city in my story >.<

anyway, here's what I have so far, I typed this up in about 5-10 minutes.


“There was once a small village in the south-eastern Venellite Desert called Velvinium, though its name is of no real importance as it no longer exists. It was attacked by a tribe of Grethel. The Grethel aren’t a very kind lot, they are merciless killers and fierce hunters. Their skin is usually dark grey, and their blood veins glow an eerie red color. They’re the “modern orc,” as some would say. They came to be as soon as the human – orc war ended in the Kelvon Era… Kelvon was a great king, he was, and his son, Leon, was just as great… But those days are long gone. There is no heir to the throne, Leon’s sons have all died in battle and his wife slain by the hands of our enemies to the west, the Fremlaks… oh, silly me, I’m rambling, back to the city… let’s see, where was I… ah yes, it was attacked by the Grethel. Why is that Important, you ask? Well, there was some research being done there, it was sure to revolutionize the way war was waged… we were so close to ridding this world of Grethel, so close to peace in Asgaraham… But there was a traitor, someone told the Grethel of our plans, and for what reason I don’t know. The Grethel came, and they burned the city to the ground, along with all the research. But, hope is not lost completely. It is said that there is an underground vault in the city, and it contains the experiments that the scientists were working on, in their finalized state… There is hope for us yet…”

The old man finished talking, and there was an odd silence between the two men standing in the blackness of the cold night. “So… Why doesn’t the military just go there and search for it?” asked the younger man, probably in his teens, as he pulled his long black hair out of his face.

“Oh, you think they didn’t? Ah, but they did, and they came up empty handed. They say the vault is so carefully hidden from the Grethel that not even we ourselves can find it.” Replied the older man, who looks to be in his 70s.

“Then why did you just waste my time by telling me all that?”

“Oh, you young ones these days don’t care for stories like they did before.”

“And that’s because there’s too much work to be done to worry about fictional stories.”

“Oh, and who said anything about this being fiction? The story I have just told you is very true, and if that experiment is found, it can end this god-forsaken war.”

“And who says the story is true? If you said is true, there should be no survivors.”

“I never said anything about there being no survivors, there was one…”

“Oh yea? Name him, then.”

“… Me”


The simplest thing I can think of to improve your story is to write it in the active voice. Try to use a minimum of being verbs like "is," "was," "have," etc. to support action verbs (which is called the passive voice). For example, you wrote:

It was attacked by a tribe of Grethel.

There is no heir to the throne, Leon's sons have all died in battle...

...and there was an odd silence between the two men...

I suggest:

A tribe of Grethel attacked it.

The throne remains without an heir, Leon's sons all died in battle...

...and an odd silence fell between the two men...

As you can see, it still basically retains your writing style, but just turned up a notch.

My next recommendation is to use variety in your wording:

Kelvon was a great king, he was, and his son, Leon, was just as great...
Try not to use the same words like "great" multiple times in the same sentence. Try space them out a few sentences apart (minimum) before you use it again. You don't want people to get bored because of repetition. Use synonyms like "powerful" or detailed descriptions like "wise" or "benevolent," which leads me to my next point...

I suggest details. What made these kings great? Were they powerful conquerors? Did their kingdoms prosper from their wisdom? Maybe they were noted for their kindness to their subjects. And instead of using generics like "attack," try going into HOW the Grethel attack. Did they bludgeon the people to death with clubs? Were the clubs spiked? Maybe it was with swords or axes. Did they burn, rape, and pillage? Did they cannibalize the people? Did they sacrifice them to their gods? You get the idea. Just don't go overboard and describe the length of their armpit hair (unless they like to braid them... ::shudder:: Now THAT'S a disturbing thought!). Stick to the important details.

I would also put yourself in the shoes of your characters (even if you're the bodiless narrator) and write from their perspective and experiences. The old man was the sole survivor of a massacre, and he only describes the Grethel as "[not] a very kind lot?" Was he afraid of them? Was he angry? Vengeful, even?

Don't forget, you've got five senses. Does he remember what it smelled like during the attack: the smoke, the burning flesh, the rotting stench of the Grethel? Do the screams of his family still haunt him? Did he taste his own blood during the fighting?

This is a great start, and I hope you find my advice helpful (notice I didn't say "suggest" again ;) ).


Well-Known Member
Detail, detail, detail. That's a major suggestion. Make your word choice as varied as humanly possible. As MrOreo already explained, using any number of verbs or descriptions repeatedly (with the exception of epithets) turns an interesting story into a complete bore.

Also, never begin any sort of writing with "there once was." It may fit almost anything, true, but it's also extremely overused and cliche of ye olde history and fiction.

Besides that, all I can say is to jot down ideas as soon as they hit you, and then try to work them in as you go.