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Saturday, 15 January 2011

Sir Gillyhen and the Princess Part Two

$30/£20 TO BE WON

Misty Waters at Writer's Block ~ Oh wait! I mean Blog... is hosting a great show and tell blogfest. Choose a picture and write two pieces about it - one telling and one showing.

I have chosen a picture of Sir Gillyhen and the Princess

If you want to read the telling version first it is HERE


Sir Gillyhen’s heart hammered in his chest as he gazed at the huge dragon in the meadow below. His mouth was dry and his insides writhed as he thought of the blistering fire these creatures produced. He took a deep breath, gritted his teeth and lowered his lance. He dug his heels into his charger’s sides and thundered down the slope towards the great beast.
For the princess. he thought. For honour. For glory.
A very small voice at the back of his mind added and to make up for the frog.
At the last moment the dragon raised its terrible claws and the lance shattered against the impenetrable hide of its foreleg. Sir Gillyhen felt the shock through his whole body, as if a giant fist had slammed the air from his lungs. Then the ground leapt up and the world spun around him. He rolled over, every part of him screaming in protest at the abuse. He lifted his visor and twisted around, searching for his attacker. A wave of relief swept through him as he saw the dragon loping awkwardly away from him, and he felt ashamed of his fear. The creature took to the skies and Sir Gillyhen watched it fly away over the trees. He would follow it for as long as it took to find and rescue the princess. This sacred quest had been laid upon him by the King, and pride and determination filled Sir Gillyhen’s breast.
He tied his horse to a tree and forced his way into the thick undergrowth beneath the trees. Brambles snatched at his armour and tripped him. Low branches whipped across his face and all the while his heavy armour sapped the strength from his limbs. The warmth of the summer afternoon became unbearable, encased as he was in steel. Sweat poured from his brow and into his eyes. The heavy cotton tunic he wore under his armour was soaked, but he pushed on, grimly determined to save the princess from her terrible fate. Perhaps his devotion would make her better disposed towards him. She had still not forgiven him for inadvertently ending her froggy friendship with a momentary misstep. Every time she passed him she glowered at him and whispered “murderer!”
Just when Sir Gillyhen felt he could go no further, his limbs trembling with fatigue, he stumbled across a deep pool, fed by a sparkling waterfall. He pulled off his helm, knelt down at the bank and drank deeply, the fresh water like nectar to his parched throat. He dipped his helm into the water and poured it over his head, allowing the coolness to cascade over and through and inside his armour. He longed to swim in the pool, but duty summoned him onwards. He clapped the helm on his head and thrust his way through the bindweed and nettles.
After another lifetime forcing his way through the clinging vegetation, Sir Gillyhen paused and listened. He thought he had heard a low moaning in the eerie silence of the forest. There it was again! He pushed forwards until he could see a sunlit glade ahead, dominated by the great bulk of the dragon. At the sound of the princess’s voice, he leapt forward.
“Don’t worry Princess, I will save you!”
As he burst out of the trees and saw the princess bandaging the dragon’s leg, his heart sank like a stone. A chill spread through him, despite the summer heat. The princess turned towards him, her eyes blazing beneath lowered brows.
She pointed a trembling finger at him. “You!” she shrieked.

So what have I learnt in this exercise?

  • I am a natural teller, not a shower.
  • I write better as a teller (not that it is better writing, I just don't write as well showing)
  • I should learn to write less if I want people not to get bored half way through!


  1. That was a good job. I actually only had time to read the showing selection. It was good thought. You captured the essence of the picture.

  2. Great SHOW entry. And yes, you have natural talent as a show-er -- which is good since all of us should major on showing and minor on telling!

  3. "For the princess. he thought. For honour. For glory. A very small voice at the back of his mind added and to make up for the frog."

    Mwhahahaha! I laughed twice during this. That was so funny. Great show.

  4. Great Show post!

    It caught the feeling of the picture, too.

  5. What an interesting exercise for a writer! I need to try my hand at this too. This is a great piece of writing Dominic. Good imagery and rhythm. I enjoyed it immensely.

  6. I thought you added depth of character here!!! I think I understand Sir Gillyhen's motives and motivations as to why it mattered that he attack the dragon! I could feel his pain and his determination! So well done you!!!

    Take care

  7. Dom,

    Way to put some humor into this piece! That line "For the make up for the frog," was absolutely killer. Seriously, well thought monologue for the Sir Knight.

    Thanks for sharing.

    In My Write Mind

  8. I liked this one too! Especially, as Justin says, the part where a small voice inside him says "and the make up for the frog.." That made me giggle!

  9. Hey Dom I love the way your write and the humour you inject into your pieces. I would agree that your style is telling and it does work well for you, I always enjoy your pieces. :O)

  10. I read them both and loved them. There is actually very little to critique. I think you have trained yourself so well that to do a true telling piece wasn't possible. I have read some absolutely awful things in my day and some of them I have written.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  11. Love the frog comment, too!

    And the rest of it. Both versions. I found them rather similar - in a good way! I agree with N.R., the telling wasn't even a pure telling so you really arent just a 'teller' my friend!

    And I did NOT get bored.

  12. Loved both pieces. The humor made them for me and it seems you are a fantastic teller.


  13. I like both pieces. Sometimes a little telling isn't all that bad.

  14. Ha! I love that ending. I thought you did a great job showing although the telling version was fun too. It's always fun to play around and discover our strengths and our weaknesses.


  15. When you have a chance, I have a little something for you at my place.

  16. Well done. I think we're all natural tellers, so you aren't alone. Showing is so much more difficult. Don't write less - first, because you have a lot of people who enjoy reading your stuff and, second, because the more you "show" the more natural it will become.

    Love the whole frog angle. I want to read the rest of your story!


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