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WhiteFang

Trouble shows up when you are looking for rum

15 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

This is my entry for the Pirates of the Caribbean Contest Entry (Mailing List Division). I hope you will enjoy this very short illustration of my story. Please feel free to critic and provide suggestion to help me to improve on my content and writing. Thank you for your time.

WhiteFang

Story Title: Trouble shows up when you are looking for rum

13.jpg

*The above image is like a book cover and is not relevant to the content below*

Through darkness and light, with no sight of land and not a single whisper of wind, only endless drifting in this vast blue sea, this was the beginning of Jack Sparrow’s endless tormenting expedition to seek the Fountain of Life.

Weeks of endless sailing had made poor Jack deprived of his main source of motivation, his precious rum. He had to make the painful decision between searching for a port to stock up the rum or continuing the search.

“Oh, the rum… I should continue with my search… But not without rum…” Jack pondered. But he did not have to think too long.

He took out his telescope and looked forth and to his surprise, he saw a majestic vessel and immediately recognised it. It was the infamous red and white colour sails of the mighty Black Seas Barracuda, captained by Captain Red Beard. Instantaneously, the reflection caught her attention and it was not long before Jack was surrounded.

The crew came with few long boats. Threatened by pistols and cutlasses, Jack was invited onboard and was greeted by the notorious Captain.

“Well well, isn’t this my lucky day to finally cross paths with pathetic Jack Sparrow”, said Red Beard.

“Ahem, it is the Captain Jack Sparrow and you would not want to get it wrong. By any chance, do you have any rum to spare? I would love to taste some.” said Sparrow.

Red Beard replied “Of course, Sparrow! Drink hearty, for this toast, could be your last too!”

Sparrow wondered, “Last? What last?”

Redbeard shouted “Tied him to the mast and watch him closely! He is a slippery eel. We will be paid handsomely once the deal is done.”

Jack Sparrow was surrounded and was captured as prisoner under Red Beard. Can he escape the deadly ordeal to continue his expedition?

Word count: 299 words

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Nice one WhiteFang. Great to see the first entry up already!

You may want to read through it again as there are some grammar issues here and there.

You could probably cut the word count a tad too (but I didn't find it too long).

Your picture is great , do you own a BSB ? If you do I would recommend replacing the island with that. You seem to have some good "Photo Shop" skills maybe you could shop it in over the island.

Just some thoughts, Good luck in the comp

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You may want to read through it again as there are some grammar issues here and there.

Yes, I will work and improve on it since I have gotten the draft out.

You could probably cut the word count a tad too (but I didn't find it too long).

I will work on the word count reduction as well.

Your picture is great , do you own a BSB ? If you do I would recommend replacing the island with that. You seem to have some good "Photo Shop" skills maybe you could shop it in over the island.

Just some thoughts, Good luck in the comp

Thank you TazManiac. Unfortuantely, I did not own the BSB. I wanted to use the new Pirates II sets (2009) but I felt it does not helps to qualify as Classic Pirates, so I didn't take that into consideration while writing my plot.

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Although I really like the picture, after reading the story I agree with Taz, that the BSB would fit in the picture nicely. Also I think that there's too much intro in the story, since the story should be about POTC and classic pirates meeting eachother and that's just the half of your story. But I know that 300 words is a big limitation. Else I like the idea ... and good luck from me too!

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I'd offer to shoot my BSB for you to "shop" in but my sails went walk-about during my dark age pir_bawling.gif .

You could use an official image of the BSB and cut it out and shop it in as an alternative, but the pic is not really that important it's all about the story.

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Well in theory, a Sparrow and a Captain Redbeard minifig should be enough to depict the scene of this story.

Perhaps you could add a bit more humor in the story, but I liked it nevertheless and it's well written.

Good luck in the contest!

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Also I think that there's too much intro in the story, since the story should be about POTC and classic pirates meeting eachother and that's just the half of your story. But I know that 300 words is a big limitation. Else I like the idea ... and good luck from me too!

The biggest challenge was the 300 words limit. I felt a proper introduction to the story will be approriate and I hope to cut to the chase and go direct with the interaction but I could not like to let them to interact without a proper background. I will look into it to see if I can reduce the introduction further and improved on the interaction portion.

You could use an official image of the BSB and cut it out and shop it in as an alternative, but the pic is not really that important it's all about the story.

I think I will spend more of mine time in the story writing. Thank you for your offer. I will see what I can do about it first. After all, the image is not a huge part of the evaluation. It's the content that counts.

Perhaps you could add a bit more humor in the story, but I liked it nevertheless and it's well written.

I like that too, and I hope to increase a little more humour in the dialogs too. Thanks Admiral Croissant.

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Good entry! I really want to know what happens next!

Here are my suggestions for improvement. Take them or leave them, up to you.

1. Your tense is all over the place from past to present, sometimes in the same sentence. I recommend picking one and sticking to it throughout the whole piece. Most stories are written in past tense, but there are some very successful present tense stories.

2. I agree with the other comments that you can easily shorten the first two paragraphs into one paragraph and get below 300 words. The trick to shortening a story is to do it a few words at a time or maybe a sentence that doesn't seem as necessary. Check often for word count and you'll be amazed at how fast you get to your goal.

3. Dialogue for each person needs to be on its own line so that it doesn't get confused as to who is saying what. It also helps emphasize what people are saying. So that last paragraph should really be several separate lines.

If you want, I'd be happy to do a line-by-line once you've fixed it up a bit. I hope my comments have helped. Good luck in the contest!

Edited by SilvaShado

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I think people are having problems with the picture because the first lines of the story say there is no land in sight. But in truth, the story is what matters.

Your strenght seems to be the style in which you write. You have an epic story telling style that does a lot for this story.

Since this is a short story, I'd suggest tightening up the character's actions. For instance, he considers his rum shortage, he makes a decision, he finds his compass, he uses his compass, then he uses a telescope. These actions point to a course of action, but the intension of what this might be is muttled.

This is normally something you want in a story (i.e. showing not telling), the problem is you don't have the space for this. Try combining unseen actions like thinking and making decisions with the more physical actions of checking the compass and using the telescope. This should also help in cutting the word count down.

I hope some of this advice you can use. And good luck in the contest.

Will

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The short story is now updated and improved with "Version 2.0". I hope it is better than the first one. Please let me know on the areas of improvements, so I can continue to work harder on it.

Here are my suggestions for improvement. Take them or leave them, up to you.

Thanks. I took your suggestions into consideration too and that lead to the above improvements. Let me know what you think.

I think people are having problems with the picture because the first lines of the story say there is no land in sight. But in truth, the story is what matters.

It can be regarded like a "book cover". :pir-wink:

I hope some of this advice you can use. And good luck in the contest.

Yes, it was very helpful. I really appreciate it and it is nice of you to show your apprecation for my style of writing. I hope it is a little better than the first draft which I have posted. Do share your thoughts with me.

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Much nicer looking story. I even like the changes to the title.

Now that it looks more sea worthy I want to point out a few loose spots you may want to change.

The part where you describe the colors (Sorry U.S. english) it is stated colors, captain, then ship. This ordering seems a bit hard to red. It might be clearer if you had the colors, the ship then the captain. For example, red and white sails of the BSB captained by RB.

I didn't want to write it all out since I don't want to tell you how to write. It just seems a little confusing as it stands.

Also, the order to "...tied him to the mast..." I think it should be "...tie hime to the mast..."

Then there is the reference to the mysterous man. Jack and Red Beard seem to know each other, so it's hard to grasp who supposed to be mysterious.

Keep in mind I'm nit picking here and don't want to be mean in any way. Hope this helps.

Will

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Finally, my word count is now below 300 words count and I am more or less completed with my draft! :pir-blush:

Keep in mind I'm nit picking here and don't want to be mean in any way. Hope this helps.

Thank you. Your tips were very helpful. I hope it is better than before. I decided to remove the mysterious man content as I do not have enough words to explain further.

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White Fang

I enjoyed what seems to me like the beginning of another pirate adventure for Jack Sparrow. Before I comment on the draft, I must say I really admire the accompanying picture, even though it is not related to the story as you wrote in the disclaimer. You have Loot Island faded in the background and the hard to find: Jack Sparrow's Boat. Nice camera work!

I like what you are presenting here, and the open ending you gave at the end does leave the reader asking for more. Do you plan on expanding the story on your own after the contest? I can tell that the story itself does not have an ending, so it reads more like an excerpt from a larger story. Moreover while I understand that for the sake of the contest, it may benefit you to make a more complete story as others have mentioned, I must say I still like that this is a snippet of a story as opposed to a complete one. This is what makes it stand out to me. There are many unique stories already posted in this contest and I think that this is no exception.

Right now, I believe your main concern is in the grammar department. Some suggestions:

"Through darkness and light, with no sight of land and not a single whisper of wind, only endless drifting in this vast blue sea, this was the beginning of Jack Sparrow’s endless tormenting expedition to seek the Fountain of Life."

"Through darkness and light, with no sight of land and not a whisper of wind, Jack Sparrow drifted endlessly in this vast blue sea; such was the beginning of his tormenting expedition to seek the Fountain of Youth."

While some are not a fan of the semi colon, I think in this case it can help you condense your narrative a bit. Furthermore, it lets you keep some of those great lines you wrote in the beginning ;) Notice I also suggest changing it to "Fountain of Youth" as in the premise of the 4th film, unless you are referring to some other fountain.

There are a few other minor grammar issues, but for now, I hope that suggestion can be a guide for your next draft.

Good luck with your next draft and please take nothing of what I suggest to heart. The fun is in admiring other people's creativity and your story definitely contributes to that!

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My personal taste doesn't favor story snippets; I like a complete story with no cliffhangers when it comes to flash fiction like this. Also, the dialogue seems a bit flat. People in the POTC movies speak with elegance and flair and I just can't picture the characters speaking the lines in your story. I would work hard on the dialogue here, as it seems like a make or break.

The picture is nice, as mstrppts said, and I do think that you have an ok first draft, but it needs work if its going to stand against the other stories that were posted.

Sorry for rambling a bit, if you remember anything at all from this, it would be to work on the dialogue. Ill spare you the grammar issues in the narrative that were already brought up as there were great examples given to you by the other critics.

jb

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This is a very solid piece of writing, Whitefang. I especially like your accompanying picture, despite its lack of association with the story. I also like your use of fine vocabulary and description in your opening narrative. I think you have managed to create the perfect balance of speech and narrative in this story. I also think the cliffhanger at the end is very good as its not been used too much in this competition.

Well done and good luck!

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