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the 576 to Asgard

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:58 pm
by kaiguy
so Ive been put in a first story program thing for my school and been asked to write two short stories or poems or whatever to be put in a anthology thing, but anyway ive written my first one and was wondering what people think / improvements n stuff, :D
TLDR; read this, I guess
The 576 to Asgard
the man on the bus looks old as time. Mountainous and broad shouldered, he wears the look of an ex boxer, or retired fisherman and a thick leather patch across his left eye. His face is host to a myriad of lines forged in battle and age. Beneath his wide, misshapen nose lurks a vast sea of grey hair that sprawls out in every direction, like the tangled roots of an ancient tree.
The man is Odin. He is a god of Æsir. he has drank from the well of wisdom, commanded from the throne of Asgard and assisted in the very creation of man. Now he is on the bus from the job centre.

Life, eternal may it be, is not going well for Odin. Starved on faith and in a world without magic, he is little more than an old man. His great ravens Hugin and Mugin are now city pigeons. His golden spear, Gungir is now in
the company of a tin wall hanger katana. And worst of all, Slephnir, his eight legged horse on witch he rode (quite literally) to hell and back is now a mutated Shetland pony belonging to a Russian circus.

Furthermore, without the gold halls of Valhalla for income. Odin was somewhat stuck for money. To his surprise, the local tradespeople no longer accept virgin daughters or cattle as currency, and there’s a lack of employment opportunities for those skilled in divine pantheon management.

Odin released a low rumbling sigh. the long, drawn out kind, built up over millennia like the shifting of tectonic plates as he watched the rain patter rhythmically on the window. At least he would be home soon, though he used the word sparingly. with Asgard gone he had rented out a council flat, and in a feeble attempt to make it more homely draped some gold foil over the furniture and crudely nailed a gold plaque embellished with 'Asgard' to his mailbox. Although he knew, it wasn't the same. It would never be the same.

EDIT: I changed a couple stuff, and found that, both beards are a really fun to write about and that I still have no idea how/ when to use punctuation (I blame being raised by a pack of dyslexics)

Re: the 576 to Asgard

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:10 pm
by strawman
You have a vivid imagination and an ear for weaving a tale.
An editor would be of great value. Put on your editor's cap and rewrite. "The man on the bus looks old as time" sounds better for a starter. Sprawling mess of facial hair... well, what else would it be? Change to "fearsome follicles or something. Check for spelling, and punctuation. There's a lot of room for improvement there.

Still, its worth the effort. The story arc is VERY interesting.

Re: the 576 to Asgard

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:12 pm
by SpareInch
kaiguy wrote:the local tradespeople no longer accept bovine or virgin daughters as currency.
Bovine daughters?

Might I suggest rephrasing that as, virgin daughters or cattle?
kaiguy wrote:cello taped some gold foil to the walls
Sellotaped? I think I spy the evil parasite that is autocorrection. LOL

Otherwise, it's not bad. Fundamentally, it's really only one scene, but I guess the real point is how Odin has had to sell/pawn everything that makes him, well, Odin.

I have no idea how old you are, but regardless, you did say this was a first story, and early efforts are always weak, (Yes, even those from the authors on the podcast.) so I'll just say what I would say to anyone. I, personally, love the basic idea here, but I would love it even more if I could see Odin actually doing his job hunting. But try not to simply copy DEATHs job hunt in Pratchett's Mort.

And remember, you don't have to do anything I suggest unless YOU want to. :)

Good Luck :D

Re: the 576 to Asgard

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:10 pm
by kaiguy
hey guys, thanks a bunch for the feedback its much appreciated! I was originally gonna include some some more stuff where an obscure aztec god gets on the bus and there's an awkward interaction but didn't really like where it was going so I'm gonna smooth out the edges on this then get working on my next thing. depending on what i have done before the deadline I'll probably end up expanding it, even if its not done by then i might just do some anyway cause I like ancient gods and stuff.
ill have to check out mort, I remember reading Maurice and his amazing rodents as a little kid and really liking it but haven't read much more Terry Pratchett.

Re: the 576 to Asgard

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:51 pm
by strawman
Nice critique, spareinch. One thing that appeals to me about this story is its potential to scale. This is a portrait of Odin in a dystopian modern framework. But you've got an entire pantheon from different cultures and POVs.

Plus studying them with the intention of putting them in your series will probably make it much more interesting because you'd be concentrating on the strangest characteristics. Like intercourse with a swan. Don't tell me the Greeks didn't think that was just as freaky as we do?

Fun concept.

Re: the 576 to Asgard

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:15 pm
by kaiguy
you had me at intercourse with a swan, I kinda just chose Odin for this because, well who doesn't like Odin? I really enjoy looking into old gods because they reflect so well on society in the time they were worshipped. i could spent hours perusing Wikipedia articles on weird old stories about gods, like Atum, the Egyptian god who created the entire world through auto fellatio (i wonder how that guy would adapt to modern society) or how Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty now associated with female empowerment was born when some guys junk got thrown into the sea. I hadn't really considered it before but I'm probably going to expand on this now, thanks guys :D