Just like any other skill, writing needs to be practiced. Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It's a website/organization to invite people to write anything, anywhere, regardless of how bad it is, just for practice. They have big forums and a lot of friendly people who can give you tons of advice.
Looked at your blog; I think you have a pretty interesting style, and your vocabulary seems good (sometimes even a bit too good. "compunction"? Had to google that).
Punctuation, on the other hand, seems a significant problem. Lack of punctuation makes the writing feel rushed when it's actually intended to be quite deliberate. Just a few examples:
"Is not death the end of everyoneâ€™s story and do not the Fates decree only a single life and death to each mortal." - needs a question mark at the end. I'd put a comma after 'story', as well.
"The Servants of the Vigil walked among mortals plucking the fruit of the war from the fields like a farmer separating the wheat from the chaff." - needs comma after 'mortals'. Feels as if you're trying to say that the mortals were plucking the fruit right now.
"The criteria of their choices were not something a mortal could understand for we were picked not for our virtues but for our power." - comma after 'understand'.
"It took a bit of doing but finally she was able to open her eyes without her stomach threatening to climb up her throat. When she did she noticed that she had not been alone a dwarf had been watching her from a high stool making notes in a journal he balanced on his lap." - comma after 'doing', 'did', 'stool'; semicolon after 'alone' (heck, that could be a period).
And so on. A general rule that I stick to when deciding where to stick a comma, is to put one anywhere where you expect the reader to make a pause. It is not completely error proof, but it works better than lacking punctuation in some crucial areas.
Some typos/grammar inconsistencies:
"...one would observe that those they choose were not pick for their virtues..." - 'choose' should be 'chose', I believe this is past tense. 'pick' should be 'picked'.
"...I am now well schooled..." - 'now' should be 'not.
"...or men and woman of faith..." - 'woman' should be 'women'.
And some general writing style comments:
The first thing I should mention is that you seem to begin your story in first person, but then switch to 3rd person. I don't think that makes much sense. You should stick to either 1st or 3rd person, IMO. Similarly, you want to keep track of your tenses. You want to know which tense exactly is used where, and keep it consistent.
"Opening her eyes a crack caused a sudden red hot pain to explode in her temple while the room spun and her bed rocked like a boat in a storm tossed sea. Closing her eyes Ira tried to get everything to stop moving including her stomach. It took a bit of doing but finally she was able to open her eyes without her stomach threatening to climb up her throat. When she did she noticed that she had not been alone a dwarf had been watching her from a high stool making notes in a journal he balanced on his lap."
- the opening words 'opening her eyes a crack caused a sudden red hot pain...' are grammatically incorrect. Should be more like 'as she opened her eyes, a crack caused a sudden red hot pain...'. Also needs a comma after 'temple';
- I do not believe this paragraph benefits from being partially written in the continuous (-ing) tense. I think it would help the reader to relate to your character if you switch it to an active present tense. You want to try to transfer all the urgency of that situation, as well. Something like:
"She opened her eyes, and red hot pain exploded in her temple. The room spun; the bed rocked like a boat during a storm." You don't want to be too descriptive here, because then it becomes less about how your character feels and more about a story being told about the character at a distance.
"It took a bit of doing but finally she was able to open her eyes without her stomach threatening to climb up her throat." - 'it took a bit of doing' is unfamiliar to me, I'm used to 'it took a bit of work'. Nevertheless, I feel neither of those expressions fit well here. I'd replace it with something like: 'With a tremendous effort, she was finally able to open her eyes.'
Note that writing style is a very, very subjective thing, so don't take what I say here too seriously. It also very strongly depends on what you're trying to achieve, and often someone like me just reading a little excerpt like that can't grasp what you're getting at straight away.
Another example I'd look at:
"Death was a darkness so thick you could touch it, death was a silence so deep that nothing could escape from it."
Here, it could get really subjective. For instance, I would rewrite it as:
"Death was a darkness so thick you could touch it, a silence so deep nothing could escape it."
But leaving in the words you have there creates a different sort of feel from it. There's also this variation:
"Death was a darkness so thick you could touch it; it was a silence so deep nothing could escape it."
The next sentence:
"It was a emptiness filled with nothing, no light, no sound, no sensation, not even the sound of one thoughts could be heard within the void that was death."
You use the word 'sound' twice; with 'no sensation' in between, it kinda breaks up the pace. I would change it to something like (correcting some typos as I go):
"It was an emptiness filled with nothing, no light, no sound, no sensation, not even the whisper of one's thoughts could be heard within the void that was death." - i.e., replace the 2nd word 'sound' with some other word. 'whisper' is probably not the best choice.
"It was an emptiness filled with nothing, no light, no sensation, no sound, not even the sound of one's thoughts could be heard within the void that was death." - with both 'sound's being close to each other, they're more likely to reinforce each other than to be in a contradiction. But I think the first option is better.
Something to think about. :)
I'm sorry if this post is a bit overwhelming for you, I may have gotten a bit carried away. O:
I seriously suggest you check out this little book over here: http://www.bartleby.com/141/
It's called Strunk and White: Elements of Style. It's a tiny little book that describes some cases of really widespread grammar, punctuation, and even style issues. I think it could help you out a lot.
Â» Edited on: 2012-07-27 14:16:23
» Edited on: 2012-07-27 14:17:17