Too Cold a Trail - Sohrab Koohpaima


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Post April 01, 2007, 03:44:58 AM

Too Cold a Trail - Sohrab Koohpaima

Hey Guys,

Been a while! Love to hear what you think about my story!
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Post April 02, 2007, 10:29:41 PM

Re: Too Cold a Trail - Sohrab Koohpaima

This is a straightforward adventure story, but very well told. The picture of an elderly dwarf smoking a pipe by the fire, and regaling his beardless grandchildren with stories of his youth is unshakeable, and I found myself reading bits of it aloud just to savor the sound of his voice.

The story is briskly told without feelign rushed. My only nitpick is that the gaffer says more or less twice "it took me a while to figure out what really happened". Since he has no intention of telling us now, repeating it within a 2 paragraph span is annoying to the reader. Smiley

Still, I'd not mind more stories from this old dwarf.

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Post April 15, 2007, 04:00:02 PM

Re: Too Cold a Trail - Sohrab Koohpaima

I'll add these structural comments, ported from one of the other threads. They might help someone sort things out a little.


Starting with your concern:
1. Grandpa Dwarf: This is a "Frame" setup, indicating this whole text is a story narrated by GrandPa hangin' loose by a tree drinking mead and telling stories. The tale itself is set some 40-ish years earlier, "when I was just a cotton-beard in the Scout program".

2. Who actually do we have? I mapped out the following:

Young Grandpa Dwarf Town Constable Murdered Driver Killer
Friend Dorvin Himmelik Son Gilaim, aka Messenger Murdered Wife
Scout Captain Henrig Person who reported Murder Murdered Child

People in initial meeting:
Young Grandpa Town Constable
Dorvin Himmelik Son Gilaim

I think there's room for at least a few more stories to fill in backdrop of some of these people.

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Post April 26, 2007, 08:59:44 AM

Re: Too Cold a Trail - Sohrab Koohpaima

This was a decent story. Needs a bit of polishing, though, which was the same comment I had on Mr. Koohpaima's other work, Too Much Information back in October 2005. It seemed to me that English is not the author's first language. This particular quote had me do a double-take:

We put a days worth of provisions together and even managed to get a hand on some of the Capt’s sausage. He was pissed out of his mind most nights so he wouldn’t miss a few.

I thought for a moment we found Snow White's eighth dwarf, Sleazy. ;D

A solid story top to bottom. I didn't expect the ending, which was good. A little bit of tightening and better word variation would make this a very good story rather than just a decent one.
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
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Post April 29, 2007, 02:42:48 AM

Re: Too Cold a Trail - Sohrab Koohpaima

This was a decent story. Needs a bit of polishing, though, which was the same comment I had on Mr. Koohpaima's other work, Too Much Information back in October 2005. It seemed to me that English is not the author's first language.


Hi Jaime,

Thanks for reading my story. The scary thing for me is that english IS my first language! :D

Were there any inherent grammatical errors you picked up on? I could not see anything myself but I might be missing something.

Appreciate the feedback!

Sohrab
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Post April 29, 2007, 12:37:30 PM

Re: Too Cold a Trail - Sohrab Koohpaima

Sohard, it's difficult to quantify. I don't think there was anything grammatical, per se. However, word choice and sentence structure, when read from a holistic view, just seem different. You could argue that using first-person, dwarven slang would argue for some sort of off-kilter narrative, but I remember having this impression with your other story. Of course, that's my interpretation. Others may disagree.

I notice that in your bio that you live in Dubai. That might account for the differences. I've worked with and managed a number of folks in India (specifically, in Hyderabad). They used phrases we didn't use. For example, they would say, "We have doubts" instead of "We have questions". Little things like that that wouldn't be construed as grammatically incorrect.
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
- Samani


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Post April 29, 2007, 03:34:43 PM

Re: Too Cold a Trail - Sohrab Koohpaima

Unlike Jamie, I managed to find a few little tidbits worth mentioning.

And since you asked, in the story the following words are misspelled:

subsistance
disapeared
prescious
sombre

And although you used the contraction "n't" thirteen times correctly (eg: couldn't)  you also wrote:
did’nt (twice)
could’nt


Now, I know that these are simply typos, but even a cursory spell check should have caught them.

And then there is that mortal sin (for writers) of what I like to call apostropluralism.  .  .it is the use of an apostrophe when all you are trying to do is to make the word plural:  

Those human’s can fall down a mountain no problem.  

This particular sentence also provides an opportunity to point out a grammatical error that you made at least eleven times in this story.  Don't forget that two independent clauses should be set apart by a comma, a semicolon or even by separating them into two sentences.  There are three correct ways to write this sentence.  The choice you make as to which way you go with it is part of the way you define your writing style.  

It could read:
Those humans can fall down a mountain, no problem.

Or even:
Those humans can fall down a mountain; no problem.

Or maybe:
Those humans can fall down a mountain. No problem.

See the difference?

There are also some syntax errors:

The tracks are narrow, soled feet, I’d say a good quality boot or shoe.  

Unless the tracks, themselves, are actually some kind of foot, this isn't what you were trying to say.

I would suggest that the tracks were made by a narrow soled, good-quality boot or shoe.

And finally:
I myself stayed in the service before moving on myself.

I would suggest that the word 'myself' could be used once (either instance, it makes no difference) or not at all.  But not twice.


On the plus side, you usually only get this kind of treatment when you ask for it.  .  .


Bill Wolfe
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Post April 29, 2007, 06:34:08 PM

Re: Too Cold a Trail - Sohrab Koohpaima

The problem with first-person is that you can play a bit more loose with the grammar. Jargon and slang are acceptable. I did see a number of things that Bill pointed out, but except for the obvious spelling errors, it's hard to point at something and differentiate between bad grammar of the writer and bad grammar of the narrator.

This is a major reason I rarely write in first-person. It's too easy to cheat.
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
- Samani


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Post April 29, 2007, 11:32:51 PM

Re: Too Cold a Trail - Sohrab Koohpaima

It's my sloppy writing is what it is! :)

Yeah, I can see what you mean now. I have to clean my writing up a little better before submitting. I think there is only so much Robert can do.

Jaime you are correct in regards to the "dwarvish" slang. The story is written in the first "dwarf" so that was a major consideration when writing the dialogue and the narration.

Thanks guys. I really appreciate the honest feedback. I'll definately clean up better next time.

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