TITLE: The Guardian of Sudner
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
Jaden's dialogue with a talking owl he met after his father was captured.
“Where exactly do you think you are going, Jaden?” Joseph asked as he flew in front of him.
“To rescue my father,” he said. “If you are right and my father does not have what they want, they won’t need him anymore. They’ll murder him! They probably would do that even if he did have what they wanted, from what I’ve heard about Wargals. We have to help him.”
“You are probably correct, young warrior, but what exactly do you think a boy and an owl, even if he is a Garde, can do against their kind? The only thing that would serve is to give the Wargals additional captives. If you want to help your father, you will need more assistance than my tail feathers can give. We must return to Sudner and gather more suitable warriors. Then you can rescue your father. The quicker we get there, the quicker you can return to him. So I recommend not arguing and just doing as you’re told.”
Jaden knew he was right. He would not be able to rescue his father on his own.
“Oh ,” Joseph added, “When we do return, I recommend you do not speak of me,” Joseph added.
“Why not?” Jaden asked angrily as he ran to catch up with him.
“You could, of course,” Joseph shouted to him from a distance. “But do you really think they will take you the least bit seriously if you tell them a talking owl told you to get help?”
Jaden's speech struck me as a bit formal. Is that a trait of the fantasy world? Just a thought, but the owl would definitely sound wiser if he spoke formally while Jaden did not.ReplyDelete
Here's an example:
“If you are right and my father does not have what they want, they won’t need him anymore. They’ll murder him! They probably would do that even if he did have what they wanted, from what I’ve heard about Wargals. We have to help him.”
To me, this sounds a bit more natural for a kid:
"If you're right, and my father doesn't have what they want, they're gonna kill him! Actually, from what I've heard about Wargals, they'd probably do that anyway."
If he speaks in a less formal manner, it would also lend more emotion to his speech.
Anyway, just my two cents :-)
I thought both characters sounded a lot alike, too, and once again agree with AM Perkins.ReplyDelete
I also thought you could add a bit of owl movement, gestures or something, here and there, to break up the solid dialogue a bit, and also lend some character to the owl. Both characters are just voices here. I don't get a sense of personality for either of them. Some mannerisms from them could help.
I agree with the other post. Maybe add some attributes to make the owl more distinctive - does he flap when he talk or have a trill in his voice.ReplyDelete
Your story sounds very interesting:)
I also thought Jaden seemed a bit too formal and detached-- he's got to be worried about his father-- let it show in his speech. And the long speech from the owl seems almost too long to me-- wouldn't Jaden interrupt or react somehow? I like the concept here.ReplyDelete
I agree with the above posts regarding adding emotion to 'deformalize' Jaden's speech pattern.ReplyDelete
I got a definite feeling for the owl's personality.
Be careful, to be consistent with the owls formality, however. Formal does not necessarily mean wordy. If you remove words like probably, exactly, only thing, give, more, really, get and ing words, you could beef up the owl's credibility as an advisor and let him get to the point in a stronger and shorter manner. I would also lose the quicker we get there, the quicker you can sentence just because it seems a bit awkward and inconsistent with the owl's speech.
Keep it up.
I might be completely off-base here but I assume the reader will know about the talking owl - either from what comes before or simply that he "flew" in front of him. That would make the talking owl self-reference in the last line superfluous. But, I was wondering if it would be possible to add an element of humor and a speech trait that would underscore this is an owl. It might serve to blance the formailty and high stakes. For example, at the end instead of referring to himself as a talking own maybe he could exhibit a trait of speech like this = "But do you really think they would take you the least bit seriously if you tell them - who who - told you to get help." Maybe, despite his dignity and formailty the owl often stumbles over the word "who" because it is close to hoot hoot. :) Anyway, it strikes me as funny. :)ReplyDelete