To Fight or Not to Fight

To Fight or Not to Fight

October 11, 2011 Writing 6

They watched in silence as the gang of trolls, twelve in number, continued to move towards them, oblivious to the party waiting there. Perhaps they would be lucky and get past them without being noticed, but no. The smallest one saw them first and warned the others. In only moments, the battle began. Swords clanged against swords, pike against shield, a horse fell, throwing off his rider. Faoil, who never changed her form, attacked with her whole body, tearing and ripping flesh with her teeth, just managing to avoid being mauled by bludgeons and daggers. The noise of the battle, the cries, the sickening sound of flesh being torn open, the warm smell of oozing blood, all gathered in the air. None of the trolls touched River, preferring to battle with the others. Perhaps they meant me to be a morsel of dinner? Perchance they really could not see me? Oh, the possibilities! River’s mind whirled in a thousand directions at once.

He nudged his horse forward, slid in close to a troll, and he really did not see him! Oh, the battle of wills!! River’s mind churned quickly in debate. Should he fight him knowing he can’t see him, or should he let his companions handle it? Fate took matters in her own hands though, as a troll lunged for his horse. He realized quickly that while he was invisible, his horse was not. Debate completed, his sword met troll hide for the first time. The cut was close, lifting up and tearing off several scales from the blue tinged skin, first blood drawn. This incited the troll, and he lunged again, this time using his sense of smell to locate River.

He slid off the horse, but kept her close, and circled behind him, slicing into troll hide as he went. The troll swung out with his bludgeon, and River just managed to miss the strike on his shoulder by jumping out of the way. River struck out with his sword again and again.  The toughness and scales of the troll’s hide made wounding him difficult, but the advantage of him not being able to see River gave him the courage needed to fight. By the time the troll was beaten, River was battered and bloodied, the troll’s bludgeon having connected more than once, and slain adversaries were on the ground all around. The battle was over.


This week in the BMWW, we are working on character development. The prompt instructed us to write about a situational conflict and show how the character reacts to it.

My response comes from my completed novel, currently in editing stage, The Unlikely Heroes. It is the scene of River’s first real battle and has to make a decision To Fight or Not to Fight.

Did I give enough reaction? Did you learn enough about his character here? Tell me how he could be improved, just from this short piece. Concrit is always welcomed.


6 Responses

  1. Chelle says:

    I thought I’d posted a comment earlier. Probably technical error on my part. So, I’ll try again.

    I get an autographed copy, right? 🙂

    I wanted River to attack the troll who couldn’t see him, I was scared and worried River’s horse was going to be hurt when the troll lunged for it, blue scales?? Loved that description. Puts thinking about trolls in a whole different light. And the exhaustion after the battle. I was right there with them!.

    Great story!

    • DM says:

      Ha. If I survive the edits, then yes, I will give you an autographed copy. 😉 LOL. Thanks for stopping by Chelle and liking my little ol’ story.

  2. Gwendolyn Gage says:

    Great piece! It clearly shows River needing to make a decision, and fast. I would have liked to see River’s name mentioned in the very beginning, and wondered who “they” consisted of, but it still works that he comes in on the second paragraph. Again, great descriptive battle scene. 🙂

    • DM says:

      This is from my completed novel (in editing stage) and “they” consists of River (who is a halfbreed, dwarf and human), 2 humans (Gwyneth and Petrus), a shaman (Brandlance), an elf (Ainasa), an orc (Kub), and a werebeing (a female werewolf named Faoil). I exceeded the 300 word count, but didn’t really see how it could be cut down any further. I’m glad it wasn’t too confusing without the preceding piece and the following parts (which has them looking for a place to camp but they get a new adventure instead). Thanks for checking it out!

  3. Carrie says:

    I enjoyed this little snippet. I think you did a good job describing the battle, both the physical one and the one in River’s mind as he has to decide what to do.

    My only critique is the beginning of the second paragraph felt odd. Is it narration, is it River’s thoughts? It feels like a half and half and neither option really works. A bit of a rework is needed I think

    • DM says:

      Originally it was River’s thoughts since it was written from his POV, but based on the 1st round comments, a third person POV limited was the better choice, so some of the transitions are a little rough. Methinks there is a lot of reworking needed. 😉

It's YOUR write side, too! Let's hear it!

Scroll Up