Monday, June 14, 2010

Pubbles vs Plebes: Round 1 (Fantasy)

For our very first match, we've got the opening paragraphs from two fantasy books. One or both are published. Can you spot the pubble(s)?

Entry 1:

Yan Faren dropped his silver pieces, one coin at a time, onto the decaying wooden table in front of Ol’ Bran Taber the Lodge Master. The small dusty shack he stood in was no different than any of the other piles of wood and sod that cluttered the city streets except that inside was where the Lodge conducted their business with the outside world. Yan did not like debts to settle any more than he liked dealing with unlawful men but some things could not be helped. He had needed the money when the taxes were levied and now it had to be repaid. It had taken him over three weeks in the market to sell enough barley.

The moneylender’s long gnarled fingers counted the silver with surprising speed for a man with such creaky bones. When he had sorted the last piece of silver into neat little stacks in front of him he looked up and his mouth spread into a grin, showing the yellow of his teeth. “You’re eight pieces short.”

“Come now.” Yan said “I don’t owe ye but twenty.” He may have been no master with numbers, but he was no fool either. “Count again. You’ll find it’s all there.”

“There’s twenty here. You owe me twenty-eight.” Ol’ Bran’s eyes gleamed the same grey color as the grease in his hair, daring Yan to disagree.

Entry 2:

The attic cubicle was dark and stuffy, two conditions the tiny window under the eaves did little to alleviate. Luna reached up to the shelf over her pallet for her fiddle case, and froze with her hand less than an inch away. Her mother's nasal whine echoed up the stairs from the tavern sleeping rooms below.

"Luna? Luna!"

Luna sighed, and her hand dropped to her side. "Yes, Mother?" she called over her shoulder. She'd hoped to get a little practice in before the evening customers began to file in.

"Have you swept the tavern and scrubbed the tables?" When Shara said "the tavern," she meant the common room. The kitchen was not in Luna's purview. The cook, Camille, who was also the stableman's wife, reigned supreme there, and permitted no one within her little kingdom but herself and her aged helper, known only as Granny.

"No, Mother," Luna called down, resignedly, "I thought Bev—"

"Bev's doing the rooms. Get your behind down there. The sooner you can get it over with, the sooner you can get on with that foolish scraping of yours." Then, as an afterthought, as Luna reached the top step, "And don't call me 'Mother.'"

"Yes M—Shara." Stifling another sigh, Luna plodded down the steep, dark attic stairs, hardly more than a ladder down the back wall.

We will be back tomorrow to reveal the Pubble(s), whilst the brave and willing plebe shall remain anonymous. Feel free to make comments about our experiment or the two pieces, but, as always, be respectful and courteous of your fellow writers.


Rick Daley said...

I voted for #2. No real reason, I just connected with it a little better. The opening sentence did a good job in establishing the atmosphere.

For the first sentence in Entry 1, I had to read it twice, and think it's missing a comma after Taber. That made an impression in the nit-picky little brain o' mine. I have a tough time with fantasy names sometimes, determining if it's a person, place or thing.

That being said, there were many images shown in Entry 1 that were nice, like the creaky fingers moving fast and the reveal of the yellow teeth.

Ricardo Bare said...

I voted for two. I made my selection mostly on this line:

“Come now.” Yan said “I don’t owe ye but twenty.”

I'm assuming the published piece would be less likely to contain typos or editing errors. Then again, it could have happened while transcribing.

Two was also probably a little more clear/precise. Like Rick, I was a little confused at first by the beginning sentences of 1.

Anita Saxena said...

I voted for #2. The voice and conflict seemed clearer.

Renee Pinner said...

I'm not telling my guess. They both have interesting stories and read well. As to the error, I've read plenty of published books with spelling errors, puncuation errors, whole words missing, etc. It could be the page was selected for that very reason. To throw us off.

Adam Heine said...

One or both? Wicked, wicked Bane. You make it so hard!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I voted for number two, although I preferred the feel of number one. I liked it best, but the others made some good points.