The Fall of Ormenth

Most of the notes in the previous post about Critiquing Early Drafts of Poetry have been implemented. This version is clearer and easier to read. There’s a stronger sense of conflict and a few new details should make Ormenth’s loss more impactful. Without further ado, here is the revised version of The Fall of Ormenth.

           The Fall of Ormenth 
Through darkened hallways and trap-laid room,
Adventurers stumbled forth to face their doom.
A valorous battle they had waged upon
Night Queen’s forces through dusk and dawn
Around corrupt altar leered four crones
Guarding on each side, two beastmen drones,
A drow priestess cursed and led the charge
And drow knight attacked on lizard large.

Heroes slew beastmen with fearful haste
Sinister cacophany their ears then taste
Wands of power crackled energy across air
Spells laying waste to the crones all there
Ormenth Roth fought drow knight brave
But ferocious lizard would design his grave
When healing prayer cast at battle’s end
A fallen hero lay crushed and rend
- DJF

For more poetry, check out @DJFpoet, though the current content there is mostly romantic, there will be more adventure poems going up soon. And check back on the poetry page in the menu, where more poems will be going up here on the website. – DJF

Critiquing Early Drafts – Poetry

Also known as, Dissecting Ormenth Roth.

First Draft

One of the first adventure poems to go live on my Instagram @DJFpoet was an early draft of some verses thrown together after a roleplaying session. Originally, it was a quick attempt to make the character death sound heroic. For those who played, it provided a reasonable summation of the battle. See for yourself:

             The Fall of Ormenth 

Through darkened hallway, stair, and room
They stumbled forth to greet their doom
A valorous fight they waged upon
The forces of evil from dusk till dawn
Upon evil altar stood four crones
And in the room two of her drones,
A drow priestess of evil led their charge
And drow knight came on lizard large.

They downed the beast men with much haste
Of evil sounds their ears did taste
With wands of power they fell and stood
One held by evil, two by good
Ormenth Roth fought brave his foe
But ferocious lizard would be his woe
When a light was lit at battles end
A fallen hero lay still and rend
- DJF 04/16/07

While today, it doesn’t read terrible, there’s a lot of flaws: poor word choices, cliches, simple rhymes, and confusion that needs to be cleaned up. I’ll review those in detail below.

Adventure Dice
These polyhedrons save lives.

Revision Notes

Through darkened hallway, stair, and room – Lists are boring, and while this rhymes with the next line doom, it’s not creating much setting. Consider modifying to add a stronger sense of location, which is challenging in a few syllables.

They stumbled forth to greet their doom – Who are they? And why are they greeting doom? Replace the pronoun to give context into who they are, and find a better word for greet that creates atmosphere.

A valorous fight they waged upon – Fight is a generic, which often happens to word choice in a first draft. The brain will usually go to familiar words and cliche phrases. Next revision, spice up the combat more specially, even using hyperbole.

The forces of evil from dusk till dawn – While forces of evil is cliché, I can work with that trope, but the Tarintino reference needed to go. The idea that the fight lasted through the night needed to stay, and the rhyme was solid.

Upon evil altar stood four crones – The word Evil showed up five times in the middle of the poem. Definitely pulling on easy to access words when drafting. Changing evil out gave me a chance to set more mood. Also, the crones were not standing on an altar, they were around it, such as on a dais. Needed to tweak this so people didn’t envision four old women table dancing.

And in the room two of her drones – Drones in 2007 meant mindless slaves, servants, and such. Today it has a different meaning, and these were not robotic controlled, unmanned devices.

A drow priestess of evil led their charge – Seeing all the evil now? Well, they’re gone in the revised version, and while the next version is better, I’d have to fully reconstruct it to bring it to the next level.

And drow knight came on lizard large – Were are all the drow coming from? The scene wasn’t set very well from the beginning, something I’d remedy if I could remember the story better.

Next Time

And that’s the first eight lines, the first stanza. In the next post, I’ll present the revised poem. Without remembering the scope of what happened, it’s hard to clean up the middle and all the different antagonists. In future revisions, a clear understanding of the opposing forces is something to take into account when writing and revising new poems. -DJF

Adventure Poetry

In a recent post, I committed to write two poems a week, which is proving to be challenging while trying to produce quality material. In the near future, I’ll be posting some here.

I have poetry over on Instagram @DJFpoet, mostly a blend of romance and sensual works, with a few based on ideas, and some directly from people watching. My favourites are those written about and by the Lost Knight, a wandering warrior lost in love with the various women he’s met.

With my love for classic adventure stories, mythological and fantasy tales, and heroic battle yarns, it seems like a natural progression for my poems to morph into stories of heroes and monsters. Knights yet again, but a different side of that world.

I’ve written a few adventure poems in the past, based on gaming sessions. I’m cleaning these up (they need a lot of love), and will post a couple soon.

Revising poetry with an Old Fashioned cocktail

I also have some ideas for writing ongoing collection of poems telling individual stories but part of a longer saga. Knights versus demons in a world where the good guys lost the war a long time ago.

No immediate plans to try Skaldic or Eddaic form, iambic pentameter, or anything overly fancy, sometimes it’s hard enough just to tell a story in a few words and utilize figurative language.

With that, he set down the well-worn quill, 
And let his weary mind sit still...

DJF

Deadlines and Goals

Honestly, I’ve often struggled with self imposed deadlines. When there isn’t a kick in the backside looming or somebody else waiting, I find it difficult to motivate myself. Perhaps that’s because I haven’t made writing a priority in years.

I want to make writing a priority again. Here’s hoping some public accountability will get things moving. First, a few writing goals for the rest of 2019:

  1. First draft of 2 short stories for ZNB anthologies, Apocalyptic and Batteries by end of September 30, 2019.
  2. Revise two short stories and submit to fellow writers for critique by October 31, 2019.
  3. Read Song of Fury by end of November 30, 2019
  4. Finish revising 2 stories and submit by December 31, 2019
  5. Revise Song of Fury by March 1st, 2020 so I can start subbing it to agents
  6. Write 2 poems a week for the Knight Hunt Wars collection.
  7. Continue to post romantic poems on IG to keep followers engaged and build following. Mix in some adventure poems, perhaps gaming sagas.

To do this, I’ll need to cut back on gaming and TV. I will have to schedule writing Tuesday and Thursdays before work or after work, plus 3 hours of writing each Saturday and Sunday am. These need to be scheduled and sacred. If I can build my writing stamina and get more out of the weekends, great, though that may take some time. If I can add in Wednesday mornings, even better.

Limiting distractions will be key. If I need to leave my phone in another room, I’ll have to do it. Maybe a month or two off social media will help. Disable Facebook or regular IG? Let’s see if I can be disciplined first, but if I can’t… DJF