1402: Poison – Chapter Nine

Title: Poison
Author: 221B-Tardis
Media: Books
Topic: Snow White / Fairy Tale
Genre: Fantasy / Adventure
URL:  Chapter Nine
Critiqued by Addicted Reader

Welcome back, Patrons, to the next-to-last chapter of “Poison.”  The past seven and a half (half because most of Chapter Eight was a repeat of Chapter Seven) chapters have contained a little plot and a lot of bad writing.

It’s Disney’s “Snow White” except for a few things:

  • The Evil Queen Stepmother is really Snow White’s mother, a Witchy Sue, who had to pretend to die in childbirth and change her form.
  • The Queen was proud of SW being named “fairest of all” by the mirror, which then showed her a scene of SW being captured by a mob.
  • Snow White is 17 years old and a budding Witchy Sue, Jr.
  • The Queen had a guard lose SW in the woods for her own protection.
  • The guard then went to a tavern where another guard incited a mob to go kill SW for being a witch.  Those two guards and the author’s self-insert only girl who can keep up with the guards stayed behind.

When we last left the fic, SW had cleaned the cabin with the help of the woodland creatures – late at night, of course – and then fallen asleep across a bunch of small beds.  Meanwhile, the mob found SW’s bedroom empty and the Queen Jedi-hand-waved them into forgetting the whole idea of either SW or the Queen being witches.

Chapter 9

The seven dwarfs were hiking back from work late that evening sadder then usual. They were mining when one of them had dug up two lemon shaped amethysts that lay next to each other and there thoughts immediately jumped to Arianna white. They had all once loved her and she had all given them the same twisted fate of being imprisoned into a deformed dwarf figure. At first each had hated her greatly but a while after the hate wavered and the sadness entered. The dwarfs met quite incidentally, all left the palace through the forest came across. The first dwarf, Lance, found it abandoned and began living there. The others one by one found the house. The three main problems in the household were that no one could cook well, no one cleaned and the stupid seven beds that were left by the past owners. They were comfortable but the inscriptions on them overtime just became there own names depending who slept on what bed.

Oh boy, what a start.  Much of this goes all the way back to the first chapter, when the Queen was known as Arianna White, before SW was born.  It said there that she was known for turning her former lovers into dwarves and banishing them from the city.

As to why they thought of her, it took me a minute to make the connection since it’s been so long.  It’s because her eyes are amethysts.  I know I should have said “the color of amethysts,” but that’s not what the author said.

There is a key word missing in the middle of that paragraph (as well as many less-key words all over the place …).  I think the author is explaining how the dwarves ended up in the cottage.

Also, the sense of time for this fic continues to be all over the place.  As far as I can tell, everything since Chapter Four or so has taken place in a single evening.  SW fell asleep in her own bed and the guard carried her into the forest, then the guard got back to the tavern while people were still drinking and somewhat coherent, and the mob in the tavern got riled up and set off to find SW only to be found and have their memories erased by the Queen.  Meanwhile, SW was tragically alone and cold and then found the cottage, assumed it was abandoned because of the lateness of the hour, cleaned the cottage, and fell back asleep.

And now the dwarves are just coming back from work and it’s “evening.”

C’mon author.  Make a little effort, please.

Lastly, is the author saying that the dwarves’ names change by which bed they sleep in each night?  The author doesn’t say they each chose a bed and stuck with it, so I’m picturing things getting pretty confusing.

There journey back home had been a silent one until Sneezy exclaimed.

“LOOK! Our house it’s all lit up!” all eyes turned to the bright cottage standing not too far away.

Ok author, I wasn’t going to mention this, but you’ve pushed me too far!

their

“Who is it?” Bashful whispered.

“A burglar?” Grumpy suggested

Pretty stupid burglar to light up a dark house while burgling.

“Another dwarf?” Dopey put in.

Why would another dwarf specifically go into this cottage when the other dwarves aren’t there?  We haven’t gotten any indication that there’s anything particularly dwarfish about it other than the beds, and WHY ARE PEPOLE INVESTIGATING THE SIZE OF THE BEDS IN RANDOM HOUSES THEY FIND?!?!

Ahem.  Sorry.  Let’s move on.

“Let’s just go see.” Doc told them. They nodded there heads and went towards it behind Doc.

Finally, someone in this fic says something sensible.

Also, see the image above.

They stepped inside their home and found it clean and light. Looking at each other they shrugged their shoulders and explored more of the house.

Oh, so you do know the word “their”!  Why didn’t you use it before?

::smacks author with rolled-up newspaper::

“Our house that was a filthy, unsanitary pigsty when we left it [time ago] is now clean.  Eh, it happens.”

::headdesk::

Weeks had passed since the riot in the castle. Villagers had left behind the thoughts of being led out the castle by guards they swore were in the tavern an hour before. Yes everyone had forgotten except 2 men and a woman. Vivian, Ryan and William sat by the fire once again arguing over the princess disappearance.

Ow!  That is a seriously whiplash-inducing scene change there!

What happened with the dwarves and SW?  That’s a lot of time to just ignore a major plot point of them finding her.

This bad fic just got a whole lot worse.

For those who have blocked it out (I don’t blame you), Ryan is the guard who carried SW into the woods, William is the guard who overheard SW talking about being a witch and riled up the mob, and Vivian is probably going to turn out to be a Mary Sue.

“I still think they killed her.” Vivian argued once again bringing a flask to her lips.

For someone who was unwilling to participate in the killing she seems awful sure about this possibility.

“Impossible. They’d have had no chance against a witch.” William slammed.

Since when is “slammed” a way to speak?!?

“But she’s not a witch!” She quipped.

And how is that a quip?

Author, words mean specific things.  You can’t just pick any old word and expect it to tell your story for you.  Watch it or I’ll get the newspaper again.

“How would you know?”

Good question, unnamed character!

Look, author, good formatting means not having to attribute every single line of dialogue when there are two characters in a conversation.  It doesn’t work as well when you’ve named three characters in the scene.

“Because they don’t exist! So what if a few villagers tell us stories about seeing magic- it doesn’t mean it exists!”

My point stands.

And Vivian was skeptical of SW being a witch before but she seemed to believe William by the end.  She wasn’t Jedi-mind-tricked so why is she so convinced magic isn’t real?

This author has done a piss-poor job of establishing how things work in this world.  Magic is obviously real, and this is the first time we’re being shown matter-of-fact disbelief in it.  It was very vague before and doesn’t make any sense now.

Ryan kept quite through their interaction as he often did. He knew magic existed, he knew snow was a witch and he knew she was alive. But for some reason he couldn’t bring himself to tell them. Perhaps it was fear that he would be in danger. Or maybe it was the guilt he felt. Whatever it was out of his depth. It had been weeks since he took her to the forest and since then no one had spoken about her. It was strange the Queen had asked him to get rid of her when later a riot barged into the castle. She had saved her. No, that can’t have been it. That would imply she knew it was going to happen.

So now you tell us that Ryan’s not participating in the conversation.  That makes the above unattributed dialog make more sense, but I shouldn’t have to go back over the story multiple times to make sense of it.

That applies to this paragraph, too.

I feel like the obvious answer to “but how could she know?” is magic.  Duh.  He’s witnessed it so why not make the connection?

But that goes right back to having no explanation of how magic works and what people know about it.

“What do you think Ryan?” Vivian pressed.

All I ask is for some commas!

Ok, that’s not true.  I ask for a lot.  But in this particular case …

“w-what?”

“Do you think she’s dead?”

“No.” He answered quietly hoping they wouldn’t ask anything else.

Vivian doesn’t seem like the type to let disagreement rest, so I’m guessing your hopes aren’t going to come to anything.

“Well even if she isn’t I want to insure it!” The sandy haired man placed a dark red apple on the table. “I have a plan.”

The physical description of these characters was quite a few chapters ago.  I’m really supposed to remember which guy is which?

Also, “even if she isn’t”?  That implies that he wants to ensure (not insure) that she’s dead if she’s dead.  Which is kind of silly.

And of course he has a plan.  I wouldn’t be surprised if William turns out to be a Gary Stu alongside Vivian as a Mary Sue.

But on the plus side, there’s only one more chapter for them to be annoying!

See you next time to finish this off.

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19 Comments on “1402: Poison – Chapter Nine”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    They stepped inside their home and found it clean and light. Looking at each other they shrugged their shoulders and explored more of the house.

    How much more of it is there to ‘explore’? It’s a small cottage and there are seven people in it, seems like they’d cover the whole thing pretty quickly.

    • Addicted Reader says:

      We were told it has 2 stories and that the bedroom is upstairs. So there is some part of it not visible from the doorway.

      As to why we’re not told what they find …?

      No clue.

    • batjamags says:

      Maybe the dwarves are actually so small that it’s a mansion to them.

      Maybe this is a good fic, and we just don’t understand the subtle symbolism.

      Maybe pigs are flying and hell is freezing over.

      But I think not.

  2. SC says:

    It’s Disney’s “Snow White” except for a few things

    Translation: we really don’t know what the hell it is, but “Snow White” was what the author was going for, so that’s about the closest assumption we can come to, given this information.

  3. SC says:

    All I learned about grammar, I learned from The Oatmeal.

    (That’s a blatant lie.)

    (Sorry, all of my English teachers.)

  4. SC says:

    two lemon shaped amethysts

    Uh, if they’re mining raw gems, I feel like lemon-shaped stones is not going to be what they unearth.

    Especially not amethyst:

    Nice try, author, but gemstones are not simply dug out of mines pre-cut and polished. ‘Tis not how mining works.

  5. SC says:

    WHY ARE PEPOLE INVESTIGATING THE SIZE OF THE BEDS IN RANDOM HOUSES THEY FIND?!?!

    Yeah, Goldilocks! Explain yourself! Breaking and entering is a crime, you know!

  6. SC says:

    William is the guard who overheard SW talking about being a witch and riled up the mob

    Coincidentally, I have several OCs named William. Maybe this guy is one of mine that I didn’t know about?

  7. SC says:

    Since when is “slammed” a way to speak?!?

    That’s how doors yell, obviously.

  8. "Lyle" says:

    Author, words mean specific things. You can’t just pick any old word and expect it to tell your story for you. Watch it or I’ll get the newspaper again.

    “I highly agree with this statement,” Lyle picnicked.


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