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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE View Post
    Are you guys familiar with the concept of "regression to the mean?" It applies to all sorts of things from weather patterns to baseball players and, I suppose, especially to a software developer and sometime technical writer who attempts to write engaging fiction.
    Oh, indeed. I've seen that term used many a time on Football Outsiders to explain an overachieving team or player. I don't buy it. You've written things - stories, forum posts - that've made me jealous, that've made me think I couldn't match them. I don't buy that those were flukes and this is what we should be expecting from you. Like you say, you've been forcing it a bit and this tale isn't evolving in the most natural way. Hey, it happens. At least you're writing something, exercising those muscles, and it's not as if it's wholly awful. Again, I'm envious of your ability to slog through when you don't feel particularly inspired. When I need to get from point A to point B, I tend to just give up; can't even force out a passable idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE View Post
    In the meantime, I'll keep posting weekly until the glorious finish
    Good, good. The last thing I want is for my comments to kill your story. Too many stories good and bad go unfinished here, especially of the "regular updates" variety. I want this to continue if only as an example that it can be done. Which is not to say that you shouldn't give up on it if you grow to absolutely hate the story, but that's the only reason. Don't quit unless you want to. Keep those updates coming.




  2. #12
    IncGamers Member RevenantsKnight's Avatar
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    Before I get really rolling on the next piece, a few clarifications and thoughts:

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    I wonder what exactly you mean by this. You are right, of course, that this line is flagrantly and clumsily stuffed with background information, but what intrigues me is your assertion that the reader should already know this. How? Unless I assume that all readers have played the game.
    Whoops. Bad wording on my part, I guess...by “should know,” I mean that it’s important to the plot and that it is necessary for the reader to understand it to allow the story to proceed.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    So, I hope my questions don't come across as too argumentative.
    Nope, not at all. :smiley:

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    But, if that matters, then doesn't it also matter that such is not the case with LC? I can't imagine telling an inspired-by-but-not-in-any-way-dependent-on-ingame-details story at this point. Okay, I can imagine it, but it wouldn't feel right, at least not now. I think there is a natural allure to reading a dramatization of a game you are fond of, including and even because of the obvious use of game elements. I feel certain that there is some appeal readers, and I know that it's just plain fun to write. The question is, to what extent.
    Yeah, I can see what you’re saying here, because it’s always kind of neat to see what someone else’s take on a game element is, or to write your own interpretation with an implicit smile-and-nod to other gamers. Personally, though, I like to write in game details underneath the obvious, observable layer of action, so that it’s often necessary for a moment of thought to realize what the game analogue is. I’m not saying that’s the best kind of fan fiction, or that it’s even appropriate in all cases, but for what I do, it seems a good compromise to me because there’s always something the non-initiated reader can understand while still keeping in some nods to the source. Obvious game element use is one of those fickle things that’s very case-by-case (I liked Swaglord’s shield-to-the-face in Part 1, but the rapid sword blows from behind the shield, something else that sounds like a game skill, seemed uncreative.) Often, I lean towards slightly expanding any game uses so that they’re more than one would normally see, unless the pacing demands something faster. That way, they’ve got an original flavor to them (which the shield smash did, for me.)

    ...I hope that wasn’t just me rambling.

    On Part 2: a bit predictable, but it did keep my interest throughout. This did have a bit of a factual, “telling” sort of feel in the narration at times, “totally removed from the action” in Disco-neck Ted’s words, so that could also use some tightening up, perhaps. It’s not so bad, since a lot of this is dialogue, but it is noticeable. Anyway, here’re some specific comments, minus Snowglare’s and DnT’s catches:

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The face of a young woman soon appeared above him, followed immediately by a suitable neck and shoulders.
    I’m with DnT on the “soon appeared” bit, since there doesn’t seem to be much there, but the rest seemed okay to me. *shrug*

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    They hovered over him for moment and then seemed to swoop down on him.
    I found that a bit confusing at first...I guess she just sat on him there, but it wasn’t immediately apparent. If you do want to, I might combine this with the next sentence, so that there’s a better connection between the two.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The tight leather jerkin, the distinctive thin, war ribbons braided into her dark, short-cropped hair, the small tattoo dagger behind her ear—she was clearly a member of one of the many thieving guilds, collectively known as the rogues.
    Snowglare’s comments aside, the part after the description felt pretty analytical and distant to me, so I’d see if you can’t tie that in better to Swaglord’s perspective. Also, the tattoo caught me up for a moment, since I wasn’t initially sure that Swaglord would be able to see it if she’s facing him. I can see how he would, after a little thought, but that may be something to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    And there was something else he noticed as she stared down at him, the smirk on her lips, the smile that was almost laughter dancing about her eyes, she was looking particularly pleased with herself.
    I think this is fine as one sentence, though the comma after “eyes” seems like it should be a colon or something to me. If you do that, I’d also word the sentence as “...stared down at him with that smirk...”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The rogue’s smirk quickly grew into a wide smile and then she threw her head back and laughed.
    This does work as it is, but I might see if you can’t cut an “and” somewhere, so that it reads a little more smoothly.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    As she did so her hair flew up allowing the dulcet rays of the waning sun to fall across her elegant cheek bones and slender neck.
    Not a bad description by a long shot, though there should be commas around “her hair flew up,” I think, and “cheekbones” is one word.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Despite his temper, Swaglord could not help thinking that under other circumstances he might not mind having one with such a pretty face as this sitting on his chest and smiling wickedly at him.
    Seemed fine to me, though if you want to roll with Snowglare’s thoughts, there’s probably room for another sentence here without messing up the pacing.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    He squirmed beneath her, trying to roll from side to side to throw her off, but the ropes were too tight and she easily maintained her seat. But she did stop laughing.
    I might cut one use of “but” between these two sentences. “Though” seems like a reasonable replacement, so long as you reword as needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “The way you handled that Highlander—well, it gave me goose bumps.”
    I don’t think you capitalized “highlander” last time...and at any rate, this just reminded me of that movie that I haven’t seen.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “What?” He replied.
    “He” should be in lowercase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “I’ll slice you up like butcher stew.”
    Seeing as I know of dishes such as “beef stew,” “butcher stew” sounded, well...

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Really? she said, slapping him on each side of his face, a little harder now time.
    Snowglare’s catch aside, this is missing some closing quote marks.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Don’t tell me you’re gonna to get all macho on me.”
    This sounded oddly sloppy to me, particularly “gonna to” (which I thought was intentional,) since most of the rogue’s other dialogue seems rather proper. As for Snowglare’s comment on the Spanish, I don’t mind it too much, though the “hasta la vista” was waaay too reminiscent of a certain U.S. governor (and I haven’t even seen that movie either.)

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “In the first place,” She turned the tip of the dagger toward his neck and poked him gently, “you are in know position to bargain. “
    “She” shouldn’t be capitalized, and I think there’s an extra space between the period and the closing quotation marks.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Well, maybe I wouldn’t.”
    I didn’t get the ping-pong feel that Snowglare mentioned, personally, though it is predictable. More of a fault of the situation than the characters, though. I suppose that if you wanted to make sure this wasn’t going to be an issue, though, it might help to sprinkle in just a little more narration focusing on the players here so that it’s not just speech chasing speech (which you do, at a few points.)

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Quite a risk, though isn’t it?” Swaglord replied.
    I think you need a comma after “though.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    ”If you were found out, well I wouldn’t want to be you when your good friends in the guild find out.”
    There should be a comma after “well.” And though this is dialogue coming from a guy under pressure, the repetition of “found/find out” was a bit awkward, as Snowglare said.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Hmph.” She snorted.
    I’m not sure if these are supposed to be separate actions, but if they aren’t, “she” shouldn’t be capitalized.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    When she came back and kneeled next to him, he thought she looked a little angry.
    I’d see if you can’t switch out “looked a little angry” for something a bit more involved from Swaglord’s perspective and visually appealing.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “If I don’t kill you it’s not because I can’t.”
    There should be a comma after “you.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “I’ll take the stone myself, just tell me where you hid it.”
    I think the comma here should be a semicolon.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Swaglord couldn’t see what she was doing but in a few seconds he heard her walk over toward his pony, and then his pony whinnied.
    I might just distill the end of this sentence down to “...but in a few seconds, his pony whinnied,” plus some extra description on the matter, since the rogue walking over would be implied there. Also, I think there should be a comma after “doing.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “What are you doing?”
    Seems unnecessary to me. I’d just jump in with the rogue’s threat and leave it at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    It sounded like she was tying her rope around it, and then she was back at her horse again and he heard the heavy hoof steps of the large charger stamping the ground as if straining against something heavy.
    The second part of this is good, but “It sounded like she was tying her rope around it” is too straightforward and explanatory to me, particularly when there isn’t a definitive sound for that. Something more descriptive may be in order, if possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    His pony whinnied again and he could tell it was very unhappy.
    I’d see if you can’t describe this, or other instances, as something other than just “whinnying,” because I’m sure the pony’s got other vocal sounds in its repertoire.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “I find it hard to believe that little pony could be old enough to have been with anyone for a long time, but it’s your animal.”
    This seemed unnecessary to me and kind of odd, especially given the rogue’s fixation on getting the stone. I’d think she’d just get to the point here, but that could be a misreading of her character on my part.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Come on, hombre, we don’t want to keep your friend all tied up, do we?”
    The Spanish here isn’t italicized.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The rogue slipped off her gloves and slid one hand between the ropes and into the sleeve of his gauntlet. She had to lean on him while she reached around toward his gauntlet and slowly work her slender fingers through the ropes.
    Seems to me like this might flow better as one sentence, though I could be wrong. Also, “work” in the second sentence should be “worked,” I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Hasta la vista, sucker. “
    Aside from the reference, there’s an extra space between the period and the closing quotation marks.

    Overall, I think this could be a bit more gripping with some stronger phrasings and such in narration. It’s entertaining enough as it is, though, and the ending here looks good, all right, so it should be interesting to see how Swaglord keeps playing this one out, if he does. Not exactly the most original premise, perhaps, but I’m sure you’ll manage to leave your 0xDEADCAFE touch on it. Thanks for posting!

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    So... I quit.
    That would make my squirrel cry. You don’t want that to happen, now do you?




  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowglare View Post
    Oh, indeed. I've seen that term used many a time on Football Outsiders to explain an overachieving team or player. I don't buy it. You've written things - stories, forum posts - that've made me jealous, that've made me think I couldn't match them. I don't buy that those were flukes and this is what we should be expecting from you. Like you say, you've been forcing it a bit and this tale isn't evolving in the most natural way. Hey, it happens. At least you're writing something, exercising those muscles, and it's not as if it's wholly awful. Again, I'm envious of your ability to slog through when you don't feel particularly inspired. When I need to get from point A to point B, I tend to just give up; can't even force out a passable idea.
    I'm thinking I might have misapplied the concept. I was thinking something more like this: I spend 40 hours a week writing emails, programs and tech docs, so, during those relatively few hours when I try to write in a different way, there is probably a tendency for me to slip into my work habits. Like, when my muse wanders away, it tends to run home to Mama, or something like that.

    But. Wow, Snow. I appreciate the kinds words. I really do.



    Quote Originally Posted by Snowglare View Post
    Good, good. The last thing I want is for my comments to kill your story. Too many stories good and bad go unfinished here, especially of the "regular updates" variety. I want this to continue if only as an example that it can be done. Which is not to say that you shouldn't give up on it if you grow to absolutely hate the story, but that's the only reason. Don't quit unless you want to. Keep those updates coming.
    And now I also think I might have played up the "poor me" shtick a bit too much. But come on, "Precious hateses you!" -- that's kind of funny, isn't it? Look, just to prove that I haven't turned into a quivering cube of I-hate-myself jello, I penned a little ditty just this morning, using that silly phrase as a title. So there it is, in all its muse-activated, work-related-habits-closed-for-business glory, "Precious Hateses You."

    (I wonder if I'll ring the old bell curve this time?)




  4. #14
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    Rolling, rolling, rolling...

    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Whoops. Bad wording on my part, I guess...by “should know,” I mean that it’s important to the plot and that it is necessary for the reader to understand it to allow the story to proceed.
    That makes a lot more sense to me. And yes, it was.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Personally, though, I like to write in game details underneath the obvious, observable layer of action, so that it’s often necessary for a moment of thought to realize what the game analogue is. I’m not saying that’s the best kind of fan fiction, or that it’s even appropriate in all cases, but for what I do, it seems a good compromise to me because there’s always something the non-initiated reader can understand while still keeping in some nods to the source.
    I think you do very well with that. "Telling" is a concept that I'm thinking about a lot right now. Recent comments made by you, Ted and Snow all seem to have a sort of center of gravity to them. I'm not sure exactly what yet, but "telling" seems to be a big part of it. I've been trying to triangulate that external feedback to my internal feeling when I write and I think some of it is related to "hurrying." There are times when I am delighted with what I'm doing and other times when I am frustrated or bored and just want to get to the next part. Admittedly, the "delightful" parts have their own problems, but one problem at a time. I think all this is helping me to calibrate my "telling" detector, but who can tell, aye? ;-)


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    This did have a bit of a factual, “telling” sort of feel in the narration at times, “totally removed from the action” in Disco-neck Ted’s words, so that could also use some tightening up, perhaps.
    I'm hearing it loud and clear.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    I found that a bit confusing at first...I guess she just sat on him there, but it wasn’t immediately apparent. If you do want to, I might combine this with the next sentence, so that there’s a better connection between the two.
    The presentation was a bit of a stretch to begin with, but it might have had a chance if I had done things a little differently. To wit: the idea was that Swag was feeling groggy, seeing things in a bit of a fog and having to pull them together. Unfortunately, I didn't mention that until the next paragraph, and apparently the description I gave was not sufficiently suggestive on its own of what I was thinking. I still like the idea, but detection of poor execution was had by all.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Seeing as I know of dishes such as “beef stew,” “butcher stew” sounded, well...
    This is an example of where I thought I could use a game reference that might also work for non-gamers. Fact: there is a creature in LC called a "Butcher." I left it ambiguous as to whether it was a stew made from these creatures, or made by them, and I was hoping that, yes, "beef stew" or some other type of stew would be familiar enough to most people to make "butcher stew" not that much of a stretch: it could simply be a stew made by a butcher.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    This sounded oddly sloppy to me, particularly “gonna to” (which I thought was intentional,) since most of the rogue’s other dialogue seems rather proper. As for Snowglare’s comment on the Spanish, I don’t mind it too much, though the “hasta la vista” was waaay too reminiscent of a certain U.S. governor (and I haven’t even seen that movie either.)
    "Gonna to" was a typo. Valid point about that other phrase. I believe it is in fact a very common phrase in Spanish, about as oft used as "See you there," but that fact could well be lost on an English speaking audience. On the other hand, it could help emphasize it as a sneer, too. I guess it was a risky way to go.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    I didn’t get the ping-pong feel that Snowglare mentioned, personally, though it is predictable. More of a fault of the situation than the characters, though. I suppose that if you wanted to make sure this wasn’t going to be an issue, though, it might help to sprinkle in just a little more narration focusing on the players here so that it’s not just speech chasing speech (which you do, at a few points.)
    Yeah. So what exactly is throwaway dialog? I guess if you can take a page of dialog and replace it with "They argued for a bit" without losing anything, that's a good candidate. And, triangulating here, I'm pretty sure I had a preconceived plan of "putting some dialog in." *shakes head*


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    There should be a comma after “well.” And though this is dialogue coming from a guy under pressure, the repetition of “found/find out” was a bit awkward, as Snowglare said.
    Agreed.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Overall, I think this could be a bit more gripping with some stronger phrasings and such in narration. It’s entertaining enough as it is, though, and the ending here looks good, all right, so it should be interesting to see how Swaglord keeps playing this one out, if he does.
    You know, and I hope this doesn't sound too much like a cop-out, but that's kind of what the original point was. One of the things that motivated me to do a weekly serial was the idea that it didn't have to be Shakespeare. If anything, I'm overdoing it even as it is, and maybe that is leading me more toward the dry, get-it-done, style of writing. All I really want to do is write something short, easy to read, hopefully entertaining and ending with a hook: "till next time, same Swag time, same Swag station..." --that sort of thing. Hmmm. Need to get my mind right.

    "I'm shaking it boss! I'm shaking it!"

    Thanks for your comments.




    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    That would make my squirrel cry. You don’t want that to happen, now do you?
    I've done things that would make your squirrel crap it's undoubtedly cute little panties. In fact, somewhere around here I've got a poem about just such atrocities. I may have to post that, if only to bolster my chances at winning the forum's "Most Prolific Poster" award. :azn:




  5. #15
    IncGamers Member RevenantsKnight's Avatar
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    Yes, I know I’m behind. I blame the precious.

    On Part 3: much like the last installment, this felt predictable but entertaining, and the characters are interesting enough. I think it’s generally fine as it is in terms of description, but since this is a bit of a standard, hard-to-change scenario for the moment, it might be worthwhile to throw in a little more detail or imagery to spice things up, if the overall story allows. Anyway, some specific comments:

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The rogue was back alright, lured by his false promise of riches, but also back with one knee pressed roughly into his solar plexus.
    I’d cut “lured by his false promise of riches,” personally, since it should be clear to the reader why she’s back. That may require a little extra rewording, too, so as to avoid repetition.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Swaglord grimaced from the blow and closed his eyes. He lay quietly for several seconds, panting, while the rogue waited.
    This seemed a touch slow to me...I’m not sure if this changes anything important, but I might combine these into one sentence and cut “closed his eyes,” since “grimaced” could encompass some sort of eye-motion as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    At the waist edge of the knight’s rigid metal chest plate the armor consisted mainly of chain mesh reinforced with thin strips of metal. It was flexible enough to allow free movement yet offered good protection against dagger points and the cutting edges of swords. Not very effective at all, however, against the rogue’s sudden knee-drop.
    This felt like unnecessary explanation to me; exactly why the knee-drop hurt isn’t as important as the fact that it did hurt, in my opinion. If you want to get this across to the reader, though, I might try to blend it into the action a little more so that it’s not such a sudden, standalone block.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Believe me… I do,” he replied, though he was puzzling over what yesterday’s laundry had to do with anything.
    I liked these little touches, personally. Kept things engaging, even if the outcome was predictable.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Though she had no idea what debt he was referring to, the threatening tone in his voice was clear enough.
    I’m not sure if this is going too much into the rogue’s head, if you know what I mean. It could be fine as it is, but if you’re worried about that, I might try to get her partial understanding across through a facial expression or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Just the thought of riches, the mere possibility of it, would be much too much for her to ignore.
    Seems a bit unnecessary, given the rest of the paragraph.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    She patted him with the flat of her dagger again.
    I don’t recall her doing this previously in this chapter, so “again” felt a little odd to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “You’d swear to anything right now. “
    There’s an extra space after the period here.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “The templar order of who?” She asked.
    “She” should be in lowercase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    She narrowed her eyes and continued softly, “You’ve been a busy fellow. How could you and that little pony acquire so much, hmm?” She seemed to be talking more to herself than him, so he didn’t try to answer, which at that moment would have been rather difficult anyway.
    Maybe it’s just me, but I might move the talking to herself bit to the first sentence, as opposed to the second, since the second seems to focus more on Swaglord.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Not so fast,” he said wriggling his mouth out from under her hands.
    There should be a comma after “said.” Great image, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “The rogue’s pledge.” he croaked, barely able to speak, “Swear!”
    The comma after “speak” should be a period.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Finally, after what he hoped was enough snorting and huffing, he agreed.
    I might use a word other than “agreed” here, since it sounds a little redundant with his response coming right after it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Not so fast, ” she interrupted.
    There’s an extra space after the comma here.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    She reached down to pick it up, at first with one hand, and then with two when she found she couldn’t budge it.
    Er...unless this has an in-game meaning (and I’m betting that it does,) this is quite a stretch. Even if it is a game reference, I’m not sure if it might be worth toning this down a touch for the non-gamers.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Then, by walking backwards in that bent over position, she dragged it over to her horse where, with a much louder grunt, she was able to raise the hilt to a height where she could lash it to the saddle.
    I think there should be a comma after “horse.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    He admired her determination and wondered how she would fare with his shield, which was much heavier than the sword.
    Although this may be the best way to get the point across, I thought “He admired her determination”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The shield had not moved an inch.
    Seems unnecessary to me, since the reader should be able to infer this.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Plucking a dagger from her belt, she made a quick cut through the ropes around Swaglord feet and then just as quickly leapt up upon her tall mount.
    That should be “Swaglord’s feet.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    He pulled on the indicated braid and in a few seconds the net lying on the ground in a heap and the pony was back up on its feet, looking much happier but also slightly embarrassed.
    That should be “the net was lying on the ground.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    When he turned toward the rogue he noticed that she was holding another net in her hands and looking very serious.
    “Looking very serious” didn’t really do it for me, since it seems much drier and detail-less than it could be. I might see if you can’t spice this up a bit, since this sort of interaction seems pretty standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “All finished?” She said.
    “She” should be in lowercase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    But first, he would have to do something about that mount of hers.
    Knowing you, I’m sure Swaglord’s choice of plans is going to be pretty crazy...should be a ball to watch.

    Overall, this reads a bit like it’s designed to just get the premise and situation down for the reader so that you can move to something larger, but even then, it’s still more than enough to keep me reading. Since this seems like fairly well-trodden ground in terms of the whole hostage and fake-treasure line, a bit more character work or description might well make this stand a bit better on its own, but as said, it’s definitely not bad. Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter (and yes, I know it’s already up. :grin: ) Thanks for posting!




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    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    On Part 3: much like the last installment, this felt predictable but entertaining, and the characters are interesting enough. I think it’s generally fine as it is in terms of description, but since this is a bit of a standard, hard-to-change scenario for the moment, it might be worthwhile to throw in a little more detail or imagery to spice things up, if the overall story allows.
    I think this comment is spot-on. With regard to adding more detail to spice things up, I've been trying very hard to do exactly that in the new chapters and the rewrites of the old ones. Part 4, for example, was pretty extensively rewritten last weekend with just that bent.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    This felt like unnecessary explanation to me; exactly why the knee-drop hurt isn’t as important as the fact that it did hurt, in my opinion. If you want to get this across to the reader, though, I might try to blend it into the action a little more so that it’s not such a sudden, standalone block.
    I've been wanting to stop now and then to drop in asides like this. No doubt, there's the potential to jar the reader out of the action, but my hope is that it fills in some palatable detail. Working it into the action as you suggest could work, too, but I'd be worried about explanations that sounded like the narrator just wanted to throw in some extra detail. Kind of a Catch-22. This was a fairly slow, quiet moment anyway, so I thought I could slip in some blatant narration while old Swag was still catching his breath.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    I liked these little touches, personally. Kept things engaging, even if the outcome was predictable.
    Thanks. I was hoping they would keep things amusing. (And, BTW, that's your second use of the word predictable in this critique.)


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    I’m not sure if this is going too much into the rogue’s head, if you know what I mean.
    I agree, but... I'm not sure how else I could have gotten that point across, and it was semi-important in that it was part of a sub-theme of the chapter, as in, each was feeling mildly perplexed at the other's comments with hopefully humorous effect.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Maybe it’s just me, but I might move the talking to herself bit to the first sentence, as opposed to the second, since the second seems to focus more on Swaglord.
    Not sure I see it, but maybe.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Er...unless this has an in-game meaning (and I’m betting that it does,) this is quite a stretch. Even if it is a game reference, I’m not sure if it might be worth toning this down a touch for the non-gamers.
    Well, first of all, I was looking for a way to inject some humor. Second, is it that big of a stretch to think that a slight woman might need two hands to pick up a great sword? Maybe a little. With regard to an in-game reference: my knight is currently using a level 41 sword that weighs something like 430 lbs. And he's using it just fine with one hand. By that standard you might think it would be a stretch that the rogue could lift it at all, if not for the fact that level 41 rogue daggers probably weigh upwards of 300 lbs, too. So, I don't feel this is all that in-gamey. It's a big ol' heavy sword; the girl had a hard time lifting it. I can live with that.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Although this may be the best way to get the point across, I thought “He admired her determination”
    Oooh, cliffhanger! What comes next? Please, I can't wait to hear how it turns out!


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    “Looking very serious” didn’t really do it for me, since it seems much drier and detail-less than it could be. I might see if you can’t spice this up a bit, since this sort of interaction seems pretty standard.
    Again, totally agree. This is exactly the sort of thing I'm trying to root out of the old stuff and avoid in the new stuff. (And, BTW, that's your second use of a form of the word spicy in this critque.)


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Knowing you, I’m sure Swaglord’s choice of plans is going to be pretty crazy...should be a ball to watch.
    If only it were so. I'm afraid I'm going to have to add a third "predictable" at this point; it probably will be, or at least not terribly original or unexpected. You're right about me; letting my imagination run is usually one of my main sources of writing enjoyment, but in this story, things have been pretty, well, predictable. All I can say is that originality is not one of the main goals here. I'm mainly trying to give the game life in fiction. Later, after I've inspired hundreds of other fan-fictioneers to dissect and explore every literal facet of the game, then maybe I'll go a little crazy. (Note: not holding my breath, here...)


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter (and yes, I know it’s already up. :grin: ) Thanks for posting!
    Burying you makes it all worth while. :grin:

    Thanks for your comments!




  7. #17
    IncGamers Member RevenantsKnight's Avatar
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    <insert witty comment here>

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    He admired her determination and wondered how she would fare with his shield, which was much heavier than the sword.
    Although this may be the best way to get the point across, I thought “He admired her determination” felt a bit too much like just summarizing things. If possible, I might try to get Swaglord’s opinion across by implying it through something like an amused smile, if you get what I mean.

    As for Part 4: predictable, you say? Well, yeah, it is that...though only partially. As always, you do a good enough job of presenting things, so it’s not too hard to stay involved. Perhaps because of the action and such, I think this piece felt more engaging than its predecessors, too. There’re some rough bits here and there, but they’re far from the rule, I’d say. Some specific comments:

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Afternoon changed to evening, evening to a velvety night of phosphorescent stars, and then, after what seemed little more than a twinkle of one of those swollen celestial beacons, it was afternoon again.
    “Swollen celestial beacons” sounded a bit odd to me in comparison with “twinkle.” I might change that wording a bit, particularly if you next want to compare the stars to eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    As Swaglord crested yet another rise in the rolling road he had little sense of how long he had been running.
    Seems like it should be “...he realized that he had little sense...”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Feeling winded, he stopped and bent hands on knees, breathing deeply.
    I think there should be a comma after “hands,” unless he bent his hands. Now that wouldn’t be predictable.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    His pony stopped next to him, flaring his nostrils and putting his nose to the mild breeze.
    Previously, I think you’ve referred to the pony as an “it.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    There was a good view of the surrounding area: sharp hills and tall trees in all directions as far as she could see, a canvas broken only by the road which wound out of sight in both directions.
    I’d see if you can’t cut one use of “directions” here.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    None that you’ll ever see, he thought.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with this sentence, but the general, sudden prevalence of Swaglord’s internal thoughts was noticeable, given that nothing of the sort had appeared before. Mind you, I can totally understand if your plans/styles changed a bit as you went from chapter to chapter, and I’m probably guilty of it myself, but if you do go back over the whole thing, it might be a good idea to drop a little more of this, like a sentence or two here and there, into the previous chapters so it doesn’t look like you just added this for convenience.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “It’s not far now.” He said, breaking for another breath.
    The period after “now” should be a comma, and “He” should be in lowercase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Well, you know,” he said, “these hills—they all look so similar…“ He noticed his sword, tied by several turns of a leather cord to a cleat in the horse’s saddle, almost within his reach.
    The transition between these two sentences was a bit abrupt, I thought. Maybe if you mention a little something about him avoiding her gaze or just generally looking around nonchalantly...

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “The hilltops cut the sky like wolf’s teeth, the road an endless tongue,” he intoned, as if reciting from memory.
    Nice image.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Swaglord turned his back to her and held his hand over his eyes against the glare of the lowering sun
    “Lowering” sounded weird to me, since (at least to me) it implies two objects: the object being lowered and the actor/object doing the lowering. Since there’s only the sun here, I might use something like “sinking.” Also, you’re missing the period at the end of this sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    He picked up his shield and slid his arm through the straps. “Come on, boy,” he said to his silent pet. He gave the rogue a final look—just one chance— and then resumed his measured pace down the hard-packed road as it declined slightly toward a small valley.
    This felt a bit like a list of actions to me, since there’s a lot of the “He [verb]” sentences here. The last sentence in particular looks like a good place to me for some variation.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The determined knight knew it would not be easy to dismount the rogue and subdue her afterwards, and her patience was running short.
    A little too much like a summary of thoughts, perhaps, though I can see why you’re not going directly into Swaglord’s head for this one. I’d see if you can’t get at least part of this as implied through some of his actions, like having him size up the horse (again)...

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The slope of the road was constantly changing: down into a hollow between hilltops, then up again on the shoulder of a hill on one side or the other.
    The description of the landscape was good, but it seemed to me that there’s an opportunity in this couple of short paragraphs for something a little more vivid. Here or where you mention the valley cutting into the hill, I’d say you could slip in an image if you so wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    For a long stretch through its lowest point, the road ran along side a steep hillside.
    “Alongside” is one word.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    While still at some distance, Swaglord saw the opportunity.
    “Swaglord saw the opportunity” seemed a bit unnecessary to me, personally. It might move a little quicker if you try to get this across as an addition to the next sentence as opposed to having a standalone piece.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Entering into that stretch of the road, he took a deep breath and chose.
    “That” sounds odd to me, though maybe I’m just being extra weird here. On a different note, having Swaglord simply make a break for it wasn’t quite what I expected, so you get to lose the “predictable” tag here for a bit. :grin: The hilltop was a bit more unsurprising, but as mentioned, I think you presented it well enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Hey!” The rogue shouted, spurring her horse, and raising the rope in her hand.
    “The” shouldn’t be capitalized, and why doesn’t the rogue throw her net here? I guess it’s possible that the tree branches could have fouled her shot or something, but because she just sort of fades out after this sentence until they get to the top of the hill, it feels like you forgot her a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Reaching to a branch above him with his shield arm he braced himself against the tree and the ground and heaved his animal forward as far as he could.
    There should be a comma after “arm.” Also, I’d cut “against the tree and the ground,” since it seems like enough to say that he’s holding on to the tree and bracing himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Swaglord climbed another two branches and then leapt to the hilltop along side the pony, slapping it on the back and leading it toward a thicket of bushes several yards from the edge, where he gave his pet’s mane a good rub.
    “Alongside” is one word. Also, maybe it’s just me, but it seems odd that the rogue wouldn’t spot them immediately if she ends up, say, ten feet away. That’s like the distance between two sides of a reasonable room. Personally, I wouldn’t even specify the distance, really.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Looking back toward the road, he saw the rogue leaping from the same pine tree he had used, landing lightly on the hilltop.
    A bit of a nitpick, but since you mention that there’s a back path on the other side of the hill, I might use “edge” instead of “road,” so there’s no possibility of confusion here.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Swaglord, crouched down immediately, again putting his arm over his pony’s shoulders, whispering “shh…” into its ear.
    The comma after “Swaglord” is unnecessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Swaglord smiled and waved him on, stifling another “Good boy!” and then moving very quietly in the opposite direction using the brush as cover.
    There should be a comma after “direction,” and I think “moving” should be “moved.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Still got your shield, I see,” she said, “I don’t suppose you found a sword?”
    I think the comma after “said” should be a period.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    She smiled, locking her crossbow and then slipping it into a holster strapped to her back. She took the coil of rope from her shoulder, already tied to a folded net hanging from her belt “Well, I’ve still got this,” she said, waving the net slowly in front of her, as if preparing for a toss.
    The sentence structure here made this part sound a bit repetitive, so I’d try to shuffle things around a little, or maybe combine the first two sentences if that’s easier. Also, there should be a period after “belt.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Swaglord called to her, letting his shield slide to his side. “Come, thief, we can work this out, can’t we?”
    “Called to her” sounds a little unnecessary in this particular case, given that it summarizes an action that the dialogue right afterwards describes. You could, though, rearrange this to be all one sentence, as something like “Letting his shield slide to his side, Swaglord called to her, ‘Come, thief...’”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “I wonder…” she said searching the hill with her eyes, “Where is that little friend of—”
    There should be a comma after “said,” and “Where” shouldn’t be capitalized if you want this to be one sentence, I don’t think.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The rogue whirled around to face the commotion and, seeing the speeding pony, made a sudden, acrobatic jump backwards and to the side, easily avoiding the animal’s charge.

    “Hai,” she yelled, landing slightly off balance on one foot, a few steps closer to and her back turned towards Swaglord, who had also charged her the moment her head was turned toward the pony.
    This seemed to go a bit slowly for an action scene, so I might see if you can tighten this up some...maybe the specifics of the rogue’s dodge could be a touch shorter.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    A Lord’s Kite, as it was called in the oldest cities of Iris, could be a formidable weapon, though often used to stun rather than injure an opponent.
    I thought the world was called “Eres.” Is “Iris” another place in the game?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    While this tactic rarely caused much harm in itself, woe be to any duelist who received such a blow, as it rendered them nearly helpless for far longer than anyone who valued their life should allow.
    That should be “woe to any duelist...”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The impact lifted her completely off the ground and threw her a full body length away, where she landed not just stunned, but completely out-cold.
    “Out cold” isn’t usually hyphenated, I don’t think.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Step two,” said Swaglord smiling, strolling over to his pony to give it’s mane a well-deserved scratching.
    There should be a comma after “Swaglord.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “All business, as usual—can’t we enjoy the moment for once?” He said, to which the pony only snorted.
    “He” shouldn’t be capitalized.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    The knight frowned, wondering where she might have hidden the small stone, stroking his chin with one hand.
    I’d switch the order of the second and third clauses here to put a little more focus on his thoughts, but that’s just me.

    Overall, I thought this was all right, and though it could use some polishing to avoid list-like bits or other occasional issues, it kept me reading pretty easily and I didn’t see much that’s really “wrong” with it. Thanks for posting!




  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    “Swollen celestial beacons” sounded a bit odd to me in comparison with “twinkle.” I might change that wording a bit, particularly if you next want to compare the stars to eyes.
    Funny, I thought I needed to fatten them up before comparing them to eyes, since stars are usually no more than pinpricks. Phosphorescent + swollen = evil magic eye, doesn't it? I can check my Sword and Sorcery Almanac again, but I'm pretty sure it does...

    You may have a point about "twinkle" though.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Seems like it should be “...he realized that he had little sense...”
    Maybe.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    I think there should be a comma after “hands,” unless he bent his hands. Now that wouldn’t be predictable.
    Or maybe "hands-on-knees" ? I guess its a bit of a stretch either way. I was trying to avoid wordiness: "bent over and put his hands on his knees" but maybe that wouldn't be too bad.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Previously, I think you’ve referred to the pony as an “it.”
    Yep. I keep slipping into masculine pronouns for the pony, but I want to keep it neutral.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    I’d see if you can’t cut one use of “directions” here.
    For sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Not that there’s anything wrong with this sentence, but the general, sudden prevalence of Swaglord’s internal thoughts was noticeable, given that nothing of the sort had appeared before.
    It's a deliberate change of style. Basically, It's a response to all the criticisms that I lumped under the category of "lazy telling." A number of Swaglord's thoughts are basically re-workings of things that the narrator had said in the first draft. It felt a little gimmicky to me at first, but as you said above, "I think this piece felt more engaging than its predecessors." I do too. One could argue that pulling certain thoughts out of a character's head is just as hokey as having the narrator tell you what they are thinking, but the feel of it is different; it doesn't seem to break the reader out of the action as much. I'd love to hear people's thoughts on that. (No pun intended.)


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    The transition between these two sentences was a bit abrupt, I thought. Maybe if you mention a little something about him avoiding her gaze or just generally looking around nonchalantly...
    I think you are right, but I did want it to feel like it was something sort of jumped out at him. Not that this particular wording does that.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Nice image.
    TYVM! :grin: I can't tell you how many times I redid that. (In case you are wondering, this was by far the shortest version. "In brevity there is genius," my high school guidance counselor used to say.)


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    “Lowering” sounded weird to me, since (at least to me) it implies two objects: the object being lowered and the actor/object doing the lowering. Since there’s only the sun here, I might use something like “sinking.” Also, you’re missing the period at the end of this sentence.
    I'm going to claim poetic license here. ("Lowering" just sounds right to me.) Ditto for the missing period, BTW.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    A little too much like a summary of thoughts, perhaps, though I can see why you’re not going directly into Swaglord’s head for this one. I’d see if you can’t get at least part of this as implied through some of his actions, like having him size up the horse (again)...
    This is a good example of the type of thing that I was trying to minimize in this rewrite. I wasn't quite up to the challenge in this case, but you are right.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    “Swaglord saw the opportunity” seemed a bit unnecessary to me, personally. It might move a little quicker if you try to get this across as an addition to the next sentence as opposed to having a standalone piece.
    Another bit of clumsy telling. How about, "In his mind he saw a flashing neon sign sprout up next to one pine in particular, emblazoned with the immortal words, 'Escape Here!'" No, probably not...


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    “That” sounds odd to me, though maybe I’m just being extra weird here. On a different note, having Swaglord simply make a break for it wasn’t quite what I expected, so you get to lose the “predictable” tag here for a bit. :grin: The hilltop was a bit more unsurprising, but as mentioned, I think you presented it well enough.
    "That" was a compromise, considering everything else I thought of was either wordy or redundant or both.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    “The” shouldn’t be capitalized, and why doesn’t the rogue throw her net here? I guess it’s possible that the tree branches could have fouled her shot or something, but because she just sort of fades out after this sentence until they get to the top of the hill, it feels like you forgot her a bit.
    I would explain this as taking her by surprise. She's probably thinking that over just about any type of terrain her horse can easily outpace him. That's why I was trying to emphasize that this was an opportunity for him. She didn't realize what he was up to, and the very short distance between the middle of the road and the embankment meant they were into the trees before she had a chance to react.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    “Alongside” is one word. Also, maybe it’s just me, but it seems odd that the rogue wouldn’t spot them immediately if she ends up, say, ten feet away. That’s like the distance between two sides of a reasonable room. Personally, I wouldn’t even specify the distance, really.
    First off, "several yards" could be quite a bit more than 10 feet. I imagined it to be more like 20-30. Also there were bushes, and Swag was quick to hide behind some as soon as he heard her coming up. Maybe it needs to be clearer.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    This seemed to go a bit slowly for an action scene, so I might see if you can tighten this up some...maybe the specifics of the rogue’s dodge could be a touch shorter.
    Agreed. I think I was trying to tighten things up by combining things, but it's a bit of a muddle, isn't it?


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    I thought the world was called “Eres.” Is “Iris” another place in the game?
    I'm really not sure. They definitely refer to "Eres" in some places, and "Iris" in others. It might be a world versus nation sort of thing, but there is fair amount of inconsistent spelling in the game. For example, "Prokion" temple is spelled "Procyon" on the transition graphic and there are numerous other example like that. I suppose Iris and Eres could be the same place, but I had the impression they were distinct. I should verify it one way or the other.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    I’d switch the order of the second and third clauses here to put a little more focus on his thoughts, but that’s just me.
    I think that's a very good suggestion.


    Thanks for you comments.




  9. #19
    IncGamers Member RevenantsKnight's Avatar
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    One bit to touch on before I get rolling...

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    It's a deliberate change of style. Basically, It's a response to all the criticisms that I lumped under the category of "lazy telling."... I'd love to hear people's thoughts on that. (No pun intended.)
    Well, considering my past stuff, I can hardly be called unbiased, but I really like this technique because, as you said, it does seem to disrupt the flow of the story less, and it also means I can mix a character’s voice and perspective into what needs to be said. The only big criticism I can see of this particular stylistic shift is that if you use it for just one or two chapters, it may read a bit oddly as part of the whole story. Again, my opinion is biased to heck, though.

    On Part 5: well, I thought this was much better about the whole telling thing than before, and it was definitely an engaging read...plus the ending gets to take the “predictable” label and give it a good smack. :grin: The imagery and description seemed much more involved here than before, too, so that was a nice touch. Honestly, I think this cut out a lot of the problems that popped up in earlier chapters, and while there’s a little bit of what seems like oversummarizing, I didn’t notice it at all on a first read. Some specific comments:

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    It was a phrase that Swaglord had heard his father say many times, usually accompanied by the sound of a fist hitting a table or an iron soled boot stomping the floor, raising a low cloud of dust and drawing muttered complaints from the walls and rafters.
    As far as asides go, I liked this one quite a bit, since it’s not something that’d be easily observable and it says a little something about Swaglord’s past...plus, it’s got some nice images. To pick some nits, though, I’d think “iron soled” should be one hyphenated word (and rather uncomfortable, too. Are you sure boots come with iron soles, since that might prevent them from bending properly?)

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Saying it now, it did not occur to him to wonder at his own appearance (in spite of the many comparisons voiced in his youth regarding his likeness to his father) and, there being no tables or floorboard nearby, he had to be satisfied with slamming one fist into the other.
    The material here’s good, but it felt a bit lengthy to me, perhaps also due to the formal-ish tone. If you can trim away a few words, that might help (or not.)

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “I suppose you could do better!” he said, eyes popping, his forehead again swimming in bunches of tight skin.
    I like the image at the end here, but “eyes popping” sounded awkward to me. Not sure exactly why, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    At once her head jerked to one side and an eyelids twitched.
    That should be “an eyelid.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    He straightened back up and waited for her to come to.
    I might cut this entirely, since this paragraph is more focused on the rogue and this felt like an interruption. If you keep it, I’d at least change “he” to “Swaglord,” since you are switching sentence subjects.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    When her eyes opened, it seemed to take her a moment to realize the situation.
    This seems a bit unnecessary, since having her look around a bit in the next sentence should get this idea across.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Swaglord’s watched her eyes loll this way and that, finally finding him and then fixing on his face.
    A minor typo: that should be “Swaglord.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    She made a quick reach for something down by her calf, but gave it up as Swaglord applied even more pressure to her throat.
    “Applied even more pressure” sounded a bit dry to me...it certainly gets the idea across, but I still might try to find a different wording here, unless you meant to sort of wave away Swaglord’s action as more benign than it actually was.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    She continued to fight, now kicking her feet and managing to land a soft blow with her knee against his chest armor.
    I might change “fight,” since you use “fighter” just before, but that might just be me.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    She kept struggling and he kept the pressure on—this time she wasn’t getting a drop of air.
    “Drop” seems wrong when applied to air...“gasp” or something like that, maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    A faint shade of blue seemed to be leaking into her cheeks and in her watery eyes, the burning flicker of a wildfire panic.
    The description here is good, though that last bit felt a little awkward to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Swaglord blanched, suddenly realizing how long it had been since she had had a breath.
    There’s some nice character detail in this section in general, I’d say. I might, though, see if you can’t find a different wording for the end here that avoids “had had,” such as maybe “since she had last breathed” or something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    More spittle emerged and mixed with the dirt, caking one side of her cheek in a dry mud.
    I’d drop “in a dry mud,” because that seems a bit like an oxymoron, as well as not strictly necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “Look,” he said gently, “I’m sorry about this.”
    “Gently” suggests to me more control and composure than Swaglord’s later dialogue indicates, so I might either replace it or neaten up the speech a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    Swaglord stowed the bauble inside his gauntlet as before, avoiding her glance.
    Maybe it’s just me, but “bauble” makes the heaven stone sound more trivial than I think you want it to be, if it’s the object at the center of all this for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “What am I going to do with you?” he said meeting her gaze, and then continuing, “You could attack me again at any time, couldn’t you?”
    There should be a comma after “said.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    “And we can’t have that, can we boy?” he added, glancing to his pony, which, he only then realized, was no longer standing there.
    There should be a comma after “we.”

    Quote Originally Posted by 0xDEADCAFE
    In a blink the pony was out of sight, vanished beneath the curve of the hill, leaving its master's mouth agape, his eyes bulging, and with a brow that did the old man justice.
    I might replace “its master’s” with just “Swaglord’s” in this case, because with all the pronouns flying around the middle of the sentence, it seems like it could be a little confusing.

    Anyway, I thought this was pretty good, as mentioned before. Between the smoother narration, description and character details, there was a lot to keep me interested here, and I’m rather curious to know how this’ll continue to play out. Thanks for posting!




  10. #20
    IncGamers Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Well, considering my past stuff, I can hardly be called unbiased, but I really like this technique because, as you said, it does seem to disrupt the flow of the story less, and it also means I can mix a character’s voice and perspective into what needs to be said.
    Truth is, I took this idea from your work. Here's something interesting: I never liked your use of thought fragments all that much, yet I tend to like your action scenes. So far, the same goes for my own use of them here: I don't love them, they feel awkward and hokey, but they seem to work. I wish I knew what that meant.

    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    The only big criticism I can see of this particular stylistic shift is that if you use it for just one or two chapters, it may read a bit oddly as part of the whole story. Again, my opinion is biased to heck, though.
    Agreed. I think I will keep the technique for now, and if I ever wanted to "do" anything with the story, the previous chapters would have to be re-styled a bit.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    On Part 5: well, I thought this was much better about the whole telling thing than before, and it was definitely an engaging read...plus the ending gets to take the “predictable” label and give it a good smack. :grin: The imagery and description seemed much more involved here than before, too, so that was a nice touch. Honestly, I think this cut out a lot of the problems that popped up in earlier chapters, and while there’s a little bit of what seems like oversummarizing, I didn’t notice it at all on a first read.
    Coolsville. I am so tempted to stop right here and avoid the dreaded Some specific comments:


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    As far as asides go, I liked this one quite a bit, since it’s not something that’d be easily observable and it says a little something about Swaglord’s past...plus, it’s got some nice images. To pick some nits, though, I’d think “iron soled” should be one hyphenated word (and rather uncomfortable, too. Are you sure boots come with iron soles, since that might prevent them from bending properly?)
    Thanks. About the iron soles: wouldn't it be interesting if they did exist? Wait a second! They obviously do exist in this world, the author just said so. Hmm... I wonder what they're for, and who makes them, and why his father wore them?


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    I might cut this entirely, since this paragraph is more focused on the rogue and this felt like an interruption. If you keep it, I’d at least change “he” to “Swaglord,” since you are switching sentence subjects.
    Good point. It doesn't really add anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    This seems a bit unnecessary, since having her look around a bit in the next sentence should get this idea across.
    Yup, same kind of thing as the previous comment. I seem to get hung up on the expression of pauses. I want to indicate that a few seconds passed here, that it took a while to do this, or there was a silence of this long here. It's something I find myself struggling with.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    “Applied even more pressure” sounded a bit dry to me...it certainly gets the idea across, but I still might try to find a different wording here, unless you meant to sort of wave away Swaglord’s action as more benign than it actually was.
    It's dry. Interesting question about making his action seem benign. I didn't realize at first how beastly Swaglord was being in this scene. First draft is almost light-hearted and all the choking is sort of matter-of-fact. On the second draft it suddenly struck me how violent and despicable this was, which is what led to me try to excuse it--his pique of temper just before he begins--and forgive him a bit--his contrition towards the end. I think it makes it more interesting and helped me fill out his character some more.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    “Drop” seems wrong when applied to air...“gasp” or something like that, maybe?
    Is that what you'd call a mixed metaphor? I didn't seem right to me, either, but somehow slipped through the "change" filter.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    The description here is good, though that last bit felt a little awkward to me.
    Ha! You don't think "watery" eyes should be "burning" with anything, I suppose. Hmm... you're probably right. At very least I guess I should limit the number of mixed metaphors I use.


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    I’d drop “in a dry mud,” because that seems a bit like an oxymoron, as well as not strictly necessary.
    I could have gone with "dirt," I suppose, although I think I use dirt a lot. I was trying to give the impression of the spittle and blood mixing with the dirt. As far as whether it was necessary or not, I was trying to draw an ugly picture. Messing up her face was a way of adding humiliation to the violence.



    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    “Gently” suggests to me more control and composure than Swaglord’s later dialogue indicates, so I might either replace it or neaten up the speech a bit.
    To me, it's an important character detail. He was shocked by his own actions and his emotions turned on a dime. Maybe it's too obscure for a reader to pick up on, but it happens again when she sneers at him through her sarcastic use of the word "hero."


    Quote Originally Posted by RevenantsKnight View Post
    Maybe it’s just me, but “bauble” makes the heaven stone sound more trivial than I think you want it to be, if it’s the object at the center of all this for now.
    You're right. I forgot the precise meaning of that word. BTW, here's an interesting word related to bauble: bibelot


    Thanks, Rev; good stuff as always. I should have the next part up later today.




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