Friday, November 24, 2017

A Tale of Violence, Villain Backstories, and CAPS LOCK /// Humble Beginnings, Part 5

You were probably all wondering when another Humble Beginnings post would show up. I decided to do a Beautiful Books post instead last Friday, so today you finally get another dose of humor, cringe, and sarcasm. What more could you ask for?

Oh yeah, and I hope you guys brought your barf bags with ya, because we've got some disgusting violence coming up. (And you'll probably just wanna keep it with you, because it only occurs more often from here on out.)


Just in case you guys forgot, we last ended off with Mark, David, and Warren having to read a book about why this big ol' war is happening. We pick up here with the beginning of the story.

Once, a long time ago, good filled the land of Erador.

Wow. How cliché can we get here? I should've just added something about a dark and stormy night, a hole in the ground, and a galaxy far, far away while I was at it! At least then this might've been a more interesting opening sentence. (I don't remember if I've said this before, but Erador sounds too much like a blend between Erabor and Endor.)

Detrius spoke through [King] Eli and banished the proud [High General] Lurkum and his army to Darava, a continent consumed in lava and molten rock. It and the continent Zracs were the only continents no one lived on.

Lava . . . and . . . molten rock. Lava and molten rock. Lava. And. Molten. Rock.

THAT'S PRETTY MUCH THE EXACT SAME THING! What in the world was I thinking? I obviously didn't use the dictionary in this case. And for those of you who skipped history class, don't worry! The author of this story has decidedly to slip in a really important fact about two of the continents. (Again, I forget if I have said this in the past, but Detrius brings to mind the word "detriment," which probably shouldn't happen.)

 Later, one day, a band of raiders came and destroyed villages on continents, making room for the evil warriors to invade and take over them. When the raiders reached Ghrumet, the desert continent and the last one more Adiryulle, they ran full force into opposition. Part of Eli's army attacked them continuely, the prince leading the charge. But during one raid, the prince was captured. King Eli sent Generals Lucas and Bart, along with an elite group of knights, to rid the land of the raiders. The two decided to ambush them in a canyon in Ghrumet.

Okay, before we move on, I feel we really need to cover all the stuff wrong with this paragraph. First off, this feels disjointed from the first part of the story. Maybe it connects later, but right now it feels like I was jamming two puzzle pieces together that don't even match.

Secondly, for those who slept during the geography lessons in school.

Third, why the BLAZING BLUE BLAZES are the good guys waiting until the bad guys are one continent away before they make their move? It's like they're saying, "Oh, gosh golly gee, those ne'er-do-wells are right next door. We probably could've taken care of this problem, but we'll wait until the last minute just to raise the stakes."

Fourth point: "continually" is spelled wrong.

Fifth, if this is so important, why is the unnamed prince leading the charge and not the named King Eli? Hmm? Explain that to me, younger self.

Sixth and final complaint: Eli wants his generals to decimate the raiders, but there's no mention of saving his son. I guess his own child doesn't really matter too much in the grand scheme of things, huh?

Lucas stood near the entrance of a cave hidden by boulders.

Wait, we just switched from omniscient to third-person? Whoever authored this story within a story (story-caption!) has some deep insights, apparently.

The group rode their reptror down the slope leading into the canyon. Suddenly, arrows flew from the bows of unseen archers atop the canyon walls. Most hit their targets. Raiders and reptrors alike fell dead.

Hey, why the switch in the plural version of "reptror"? Back in part 3, I called them reptrors, but for some reason, adding the s sounds weird.

After several of their own were cut down, the raiders shook themselves free from their shock and met the charge.

So have these guys never been attacked before, and when they do, they go into "I'll just stop here like an idiot and let myself get killed" mode? How did they even get this far in their conquest?!

Archers fell from the walls and were sometimes shot by a raider's crossbow before they hit the ground. Soon, though, it was the raiders who fell from the great height. Bart was so close to one when it made contact with the canyon floor that he heard the crack of its spine snapping.

Pleasant little detail, that.

Bart turned around and saw a reptror pulling a prison carriage. Inside was . . .  the prince! Then he herd an evil voice whisper to him. It gave him an idea that would lead to the prince's demise. And for some reason, Bart wasn't appalled by the nasty idea.

No! *jumps up from where I'm sitting* No, no, ABSOLUTELY NO! There is no way that someone turns evil within in the space of ONE BRICKING PARAGRAPH. If that were the case, wouldn't this whole world be evil by now? And why the heck are the raiders parading the prince through the battlefield? That seems like a really stupid thing to do.

Bart grabbed the whip as it bit into his hand and ripped it in half.

Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but I feel as though ripping apart a whip isn't an everyday feat. Either Bart has got some real strength, or this whip is pathetically weak. And just so you guys know, I've skimmed over some battle sequences where a raider had its arm lopped off and a sword up its gut and the whip-wielding carriage driver had a dagger plunged into its wrist and said sword through its heart. This is just getting better and better.

The prince, whose name was Joshua, stumbled out.

Well, thank you for finally sharing this character's name, when it could've been done the first time he was mentioned.

"Head over to General Lucas. He's in that general direction," Bart gestured.

Um, how long has Joshua been captured? He could very well be dehydrated and underfed. I know he was at the front of the army earlier, but shouldn't Bart be escorting him right now? Speaking of Bart, he should be aware that "gestured" is not a word used like "said." I think he skipped out on English school.

Bart watched Joshua go when he felt a funny sensation on his hand. He looked and saw that the whip injury was gone. The sabre wound was also gone. 
"This is one of my many powers," the evil voice said. Bart recognized it as Lurkum. "Serve me, and get the power and riches you deserve."
Bart immediately decided to serve Lurkum. With that, he realized no matter how much Eli rewarded him, Lurkum could always give him more. Now, he didn't care about Adiryulle anymore. He would be more concerned about Darava, his new home, where the real power lay. 
A sinister grin seeped across Bart's face.

 *covers my face with my hands* Ugh . . . words escape me, just like any trace of good escaped Bart just now. This is not a good villain backstory! It sucks so bad!

The raider gasped as a spear head was thrust deep into the bottom of its chin. When the spear was removed, the raider collapsed. Lucas dropped the weapon, thinking, "Killed by its own spear. Ironic."

Aaand we're back to the violence, people! Just in case you were getting bored.

The chieftain swung its double-sided battle-axe. Lucas avoided the stroke and knocked the hilt of his sword into its temple. As the raider stood dazed, Lucas reached over and broke its wrist. The creature snarled and punched him hard, causing him to fall. The chieftain placed the battle-axe in its other hand and made a wide swipe at Lucas. He rolled between its legs, quickly got up, and kicked the chief's back. It fell, letting go of its axe. He ran to it and began to strangle it with his meaty hands. The raider struggled, but it was in vain. The general held it tight, until it was limp. To make sure it was dead, Lucas twisted its neck, hearing it snap. Then he pinned the chieftain down with its battle-axe.

This was legitimately one paragraph when it could've been two. Not to mention that Lucas went to extreme measures to make sure it was dead. He would've only needed to use of the three methods, not all of them. (Are you starting to believe me when I said I was a weird kid back then?)

Because it seemed like it was redundant, I decided to exclude Lucas's conversion to the dark side. Allow me to sum up. Essentially, Lurkum tells Lucas that he serves Detrius and Eli on the outside, but not the inside. He goes on to say that Eli doesn't really appreciate, and Detrius doesn't care about, Lucas. But he claims he will do both, so Lucas pledges his heart on the spot. Now, as a test of loyalty, Lurkum wants Lucas to kill the next person he sees. What a riveting scene and genuine backstory. I feel like I better understand that Lucas is a WEAK-KNEED JERKFACE.

Deep breaths, Josiah . . . deep breaths. Spoiler alert: we're coming up to what could be considered the most graphic part of this story!

Joshua neared him and called, "General Lucas! How may I help?"
"You can stand right over there, for starters," directed Lucas.
Joshua frowned. "Okay. Why?" 
"Funny thing is, I just asked the very same question. And the answer is: You're a worthless traitor!" Lucas coolly exposed the hidden crossbow and shot.

So says the worthless traitor.

The arrow struck a vein in the lower part of his sword arm. Joshua looked at the blood oozing out of the wound. He heard the click of the crossbow firing and felt the arrow digging into his right eye. He cried out and attempted to stagger away.

Are you telling me that no one, absolutely no one, is seeing or hearing this right now? Lucas and Joshua suddenly have the canyon all to themselves? And crossbows fire quarrels, not arrows. The devil is in the details.

He was suddenly shoved brusquely onto his back. "Going somewhere?" Bart asked rhetorically.

Well, thanks for specifying it was a rhetorical question! Y'know, I feel like I was using words like "brusquely" and "rhetorically" more of as a way to show off my vocabulary than anything else.

Lucas fired once more, arrow puncturing one of Joshua's lungs. Joshua gasped for air.
Lucas leaned close and said, "In case you're wondering, I'm doing this because I follow Lurkum."
The prince shook his head. "Then  . . . you follow . . . the grave. Don't you know . . . the name Lurkum . . . means, 'the shadowed consumer'?"

Not gonna lie, that isn't a half-bad meaning for Lurkum's name. And I forgot the word "the" before "arrow."

"So what?" Lucas retorted. He reached into his pouch and took out a bottle of a yellowish-gray liquid. "This," he stated, "is a poison called zyel. Perhaps you've heard of it?"
Joshua squirmed, but Bart held him down. "I see you have," Lucas said. "This poison eats all the bones inside of you. A lovely way to die." He opened the bottle and put a drop in Joshua's eye.

If you're really squeamish, you may want to skip this next portion.

At first, all the poison did was make everything hazy. He tried to refocus, but found he could not. Then came a hurricane of pain. Unbearable pain with the nightmarish effects of the poison. A banshee scream escape Joshua's lips. 
The poison swept through his body. As it passed bones, they began to dissolve. Joshua looked like a balloon starting to deflate. His mouth stayed open in a silent scream as his jaw disappeared. Other bones went, leaving him a mushy, shapeless human. The two generals literally saw his heart beat.
"Let's see how strong Joshua's heart is," Bart said, then jumped to where he had seen the pulse. This action caused the heart to explode, and Joshua finally died.

If this was the first thing someone read from any story of mine, they'd probably question my upbringing or something. How did I write this? I thought it was cool at the time, but now it's just weird . . . and kinda disturbing. I'd hate to see this in a movie. Also, how does whosever POV this is know what a balloon looks like?

Lucas saw that the remaining raiders were fleeing the way they came into the desert, leaving their reptrors behind. He then noticed a raider not far away and went to it. He held out the poison bottle, saying, "Hold this."
The raider obeyed, confused. Lucas whipped out his sword and beheaded the creature. He set the raider's body and head by the prince and laid the crossbow beside it.

This crime scene feels a little too convenient, if you know what I mean. And I'll ask this again: how in the world were the two generals not spotted by any of the other soldiers they were with? Those are some impossible odds, I tell ya. My younger self would probably respond with, "Never tell me the odds!" I'd also like to point that the good guys have not finished their job. The raiders are running away when they're supposed to be completely decimated.

While he was doing this, Bart had gotten an idea to kill the last of the raiders. He walked up to a reptror, gave a war cry, and slapped its rear end. The animal snorted and charged. He did this to a few more, and that started a reptror stampede. Their destination: the raiders.
The raiders looked back and saw the reptrors closing in. The band had obviously lost it, because of veering away, they tried to outrun the reptror. No luck in that department. The steeds caught up and trampled the raiders, leaving a gory mess.

Well, that settles the "raiders are still alive" issue. And inconsistent pluralization is inconsistent.

Because this post is getting long, I'll skip some other parts I could talk about, but I'll sum up again. Basically, the knights fall for the fake crime scene, even though both generals are standing there instead of being on the frontlines. They go back to Adiryulle, where everyone mourns Joshua's death. Eli holds a meeting about the battle, Lurkum compels Lucas to talk, and the two generals tell of how they killed Joshua and tricked everyone, to which Eli responds with weeping.

Lucas turned to face the others. "See, the king is over-emotional." He neared Eli and pulled out his sword. "He is no longer fit for the throne."
Guards rushed at him. He was about to bring the blade down when there was a flash of light. Lucas stumbled back and was surrounded by the guards. A voice said, "Lucas and Bart, you have remained outwardly loyal. However, your hearts truly belong to Lurkum. You are now banished to Darava." A large wind picked them up and rushed away.

These guards need to be replaced. They should've been closing in on Bart and Lucas when they were admitting to all the horrible things they did, not when the king is about to be executed. Thankfully, they are saved by literal deus ex machine and a large wind. *bursts out laughing* I'm sorry, but I've just got this hilarious image of a wind whisking them away in a cartoonish fashion. It's so ridiculous. I also feel like "large" is a weird descriptive word for wind.

Just then, a pop was heard, and Lucas grunted. He started to change, as did Bart. Their bodies morphed and stretched. When the process was finished, Lucas said, "Friend, you look like a big ox."
"You appear to be a large dragon," Bart replied.

Calling someone a big ox sounds like a strange insult.

As they were walking, Lurkum announced, "First of all, you need new names. Any ideas?"
Bart thought. "I'd like to have the name Behemoth." 
"I shall be Leviathan," Lucas said.

Yep, these two dumbbells are based on the creatures in Job. If I were to do this again today, I'd make them have a more logical backstory and just be cooler in general.

"Marvelous choices. The names suit. Well, Behemoth and Leviathan, welcome to Darava, the home of evil. Now, when we are inside my private chambers, I will tell of my plan to kill Detrius' Son, and with Him, the humans' hope."
Insert evil laughter.

We have finally reached the end of this chapter (which is number nine, for any of you who are interested), and this is where I'll finish the post. I knew today's was going to be longer, because I remembered a good deal from the chapter. It was just so cringey. *shivers* Thanks again for taking the time to read it, though!

Do tell me, have you ever written anything that just completely shocks you today? Any poorly-executed backstories, villain or otherwise? Content that makes you wince and wonder what you were thinking? If you have, I dare you to talk about it in a comment! I, for one, would be really interested in hearing what you have to say.


  1. I’m dying. Oh my word. When I was eight, I wrote a battle scene that my mom typed up for me and didn’t comment on. I’m still uncertain as to how that’s possible. Yikes.

    I used to be very, very racist in my writing. I cringe so hard when I read what I’ve written because it is incredibly insensitive. Like, yikes.

    1. I hear dying is bad for your health. XD Oh boy, that sounds like it might've been an interesting scene. Have you ever asked her about it in recent years? XD

      *bursts out laughing* That's so funny. I mean, it's not, but it somehow is in this context. XD

  2. This post.

    I can’t even.

    I kept almost laughing. XDDDD

    THEY BLEW AWAY?!!!! THEY PICKED RANDOM NAMES FOR THEMSELVES?!! Like I don’t think “Hmm if I could pick another name, I’d pickkkk...” XD

    Awesome post, bro. XD

    1. Don't hold the laughter in. Just let it go. XD

      Yep, they did both those things. XD But Lucas and Bart weren't very intimidating names, so they had to get better ones. :P

      Thank you! XD

  3. Woooooow. I don't even know what else to say. XDDD I actually remembered parts of this too--specifically the heart! *gags*

    Really, though, these posts are always hilarious. I agree, Behemoth and Leviathan could totally work if they had a better backstory!

    1. I just left you speechless, huh? XD Yeah, I'm sure you did. I was fond of that scene when I was younger. XD

      I try my hardest to be consistent in making them amusing. :P They could! I just wasn't skilled enough back then.

  4. Oh my goodness, this is so... wellllll, gross. XDDD I can't believe you wrote about such things when you were a kid! :o XD

    That was a funny post! I love reading your commentaries. XD

    1. And there's still more violence to come. Though I can't say for sure if it's better or worse than this . . . maybe worse. XD

      Thanks! Those are always fun to do. XD

  5. *can't stop laughing* Your commentary kills me every time! And the violence. Wow. XD That was some kind of poison right there. o.O And Lucas just carries the stuff around? Just...just wow. XDD

    Bart's instant transformation into evil amused me as well. I was toootally guilty of that in my early works too. One story had this Big Bad Villain, and then in the last chapter he just kind of...became good. Just like that. Convenient much? XD I also love the large wind that randomly took Bart and Lucas away. So hilarious!

    I will never get tired of these posts!

    1. Yeah, I amuse myself sometimes. XD No kidding! Seems a little overpowered, if you ask me. Apparently . . . XD

      He just turned good at the drop of a hat? Convenient change of heart is convenient. XD Why couldn't they have been teleported or something? That would've been cooler. :P

      That's good to hear, because we've still got several to go! I wonder if I can make it all the way to a whole year of doing this.

  6. Lol bro this is so good ...

    Yes I've written some pretty pathetic things. Lemme tell you one story ... once upon a time I decided to write a short story with a very explicit message as to why it was a bad idea to read books that weren't "clean". To do this I decided to have my MC read a book that was not "clean" and show what bad influence it had on her (!!! genius right?). So I had to plot an entire trilogy throwing in all manner of things that I didn't think were "clean". Guess what happened? OKAY SO MY UNCLEAN TRILOGY REALLY GOT MY ATTENTION AND I ABANDONED MY ORIGINAL SHORT STORY TO WRITE MY TRILOGY WHICH BEGAN AS A BAD INFLUENCE. of course I took out all the "bad" stuff. (Which wasn't all that bad now that I think of it). Ummm like hahahaha look at how dedicated I was to my good message xD

    1. It's one of those "it's so bad, it's good" cases? XD

      *laughs* That's so awesome. XD Talk about being convicted of your original story's message. Did you ever finish this trilogy, or is it now collecting dust?

  7. Well . . . I guess that is one way to get rid of excess characters. :D "Friend, you look like a big ox." I'm almost crying over here, I'm laughing so hard. You are quite funny when you're being sarcastic, did you know that? I'm looking forward to your next Humble Beginnings post!

    I have written a few things which I look back at and cringe - specifically, a series of stories started when I was around six. They had no plot and even less characterization. The best part? Not only were they about a monkey in space, the monkey's name was . . . Spacemonkey. Yep. They really were that bad. :)

    1. Yep, I suppose so. That has to be the best compliment of the century, am I right? XD Well, I kinda knew that, but thank you! I'm glad someone else thinks so too! :P :D

      I think I actually chuckled out loud when I read that. A monkey in space named Spacemonkey? MIND BLOWN! This is the next New York Times bestseller. XD That's amazing. Whatever you do, don't throw it away.