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A Stone of Contention - Comments Thread

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by 0xDEADCAFE, Jun 24, 2007. | Replies: 32 | Views: 18287

  1. 0xDEADCAFE

    0xDEADCAFE IncGamers Member

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    A Stone of Contention - Comments Thread

    Hello! This is the comments thread for the story "A Stone of Contention," the first part of which I've just posted. I would ask anyone that has comments about the story to please make them here instead of the main thread.

    This is the first time I have started a comments thread for one of my stories. So, why this time? Well, this story is intended to be a series of short parts. I hope to write one once a week for some time, and thus a single thread, assuming there were some comments, could get quite messy over time.

    Another reason is that I feel this story needs a bit of a comment from me right at the start. This is not based on Diablo II, but on another computer game called Last Chaos. While some of it may seem familiar, it's an entirely different world, so I just wanted to make that clear.

    Maybe you're thinking that I should be able to make that clear in the writing itself. I would agree except for the fact that this is a D2 forum, and as such anything posted here inherits that context. As I discovered after posting my poem about pumping gas, unless something is made very clear, people here are prone to imagine tiny supermen or other supernatural phenomenon before something plain and boring like a sparrow, which I think is entirely to be expected. I suspect that the same could happen here, since LC and D2 share some common aspects.

    Anyway, thanks for reading (if you do) and as always:

    Comments welcomed! :thumbsup:
  2. Snowglare

    Snowglare Fan Fiction Forum Moderator

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    Hrm... I guess I'll allow it. But you'd better update once a week! And get lots of commenty readers! Or else... stuff.

    Upon reading part one, I see what you mean about mistaken impressions. Aside from the place names - and given the huge gaps in official Blizzard geography, those could be considered an expansion on Sanctuary - it could be a D2 story. Sure sounds like one with the early description seeming to point towards a magic-finding character who'd just found a tradeworthy jewel/rune/facet or whatnot. I do hope he has a proper name aside from "Swaglord."

    Anyways, I'm interested so far. Love the idea of regularly scheduled bite-sized updates. The fight with the giant felt uninspired, like it's only there to set-up what comes next, but what came next was better, as was what came before.

    Er, how does a pony search corpses for loot?
  3. 0xDEADCAFE

    0xDEADCAFE IncGamers Member

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    Sheesh, talk about a harsh task-master. I think I've got the weekly updates covered for a while, but the commenty readers assignment could be a handful. It's been a while, but I can see if my contacts in the underworld of international human slave trade are still good... Crikey, Snow! Why do you think I posted it here in the first place?


    LOL to the LMAO, oh one of blinding illumination. You know, it's funny... I usually spend a good deal of time picking a name when I start a new character. This one, which happens to be the name of my account's most-played character, was chosen almost as a rebellion against my usual indecisiveness--you might say I went with the first ridiculous name I could think of. And here I am sort of stuck with it. But what do you do when life gives you a bad name to work with? Make bad-name-ade, of course! In other words, I'm hoping to get some good mileage out of this real lemon of a name.


    Yeah. At some point I may take some time to explain what I am trying to do with this story. For now, I guess I'll just agree with you, but if you had played the game you might have recognized some "knight" skills in there.


    Loving it. Who says fan fiction can't have its moments?


    I hit F5. Of course, other folks may have different hot key setups. ;-)


    Thanks for your comments!



  4. RevenantsKnight

    RevenantsKnight IncGamers Member

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    Sorry about the delay in comments; these are on Part 1 only.

    * * *

    Interesting, I’d say...the action here was enough to keep me reading, even though this was somewhat unfamiliar. With that and the likable lead (and the pony.) you’ve got me wanting the next part, all right. I think you may have done a little too much telling in the narration, though; while it generally wasn’t a huge problem, there were a few points that seemed a bit awkward. Overall, though, this seemed pretty smooth to me. Some specific comments:

    This felt a little too much like the narrator forcing in something the reader should know, in my opinion. Granted, Swaglord seems quite aware of this, but because this paragraph’s jaunt away from the story world felt a bit disruptive, my gut feeling was that it didn’t quite fit here. Also, this is probably all accurate, but it did seem a bit overdone on a first read. I mean, when you string together “rare,†“magic,†“essential†and “finest weapons and armor to be had anywhere†all in one sentence, it feels like overkill, even if it’s true.

    By the way, “Swaglord†didn’t seem horrifically bad to me or anything, but then I read this expecting this to have some of your usual humor, so some silliness seemed par for the course. If you’re trying to play this one completely straight and serious, then yeah, I’d start looking around for another name, but it doesn’t seem like you are to me.

    “For this reason†seems unnecessary to me, since the reader should be able to make the inference from the previous sentence. Then again, maybe I’m just being over-sensitive to possible bits of telling.

    Since you mention only one real aspect of the item’s “pleasing appearance,†“any aspect†felt a little awkward to me. Also, it’s a minor thing indeed, but the dashes around “considerably more†look odd when they’re of different styles.

    It’s not too bad so as to be unbelievable straight up, but him not hearing anything humanoid and in armor going at a full run is a little bit of a stretch.

    Maybe it’s just me, but the ending phrase seems odd because it reads grammatically as if it refers to the giant. I mean, it’s clear in context, but in something like “The guards stood between him and the door, guns drawn,†the ending phrase describes the sentence’s subject (the guards.)

    I’d word “that heard†as “to hear,†but it may well be correct as it is.

    “Knee-high to the tall highlander†felt like too much of high and its variants to me for one sentence. Also, while this does read well enough as it is, it seems a little like unnecessary summary to me, so I might cut “took the initiative,†combining it with the sentence starting the next paragraph. Of course, you could also keep it as it is, because that sense of summarization isn’t readily apparent.

    “It did no injury†sounded a bit too detached to me...I might see if you can’t get this across with something more visual.

    Quite a jump for a guy in full armor, assuming that the giant’s more than seven feet tall. It also seems a bit redundant to say “giving him and his pony the precious seconds they needed,†since the reader should be able to infer that from “stunning†(it seems like it was longer than seconds, too.) At any rate, I smell a game skill. :grin:

    I’d remove one use of “fashion†here.

    This read a bit dryly to me. Granted, I could see why you don’t want to take too long here, but even so, I’d think that you could write up a quick description that has a little more detail.

    I think this should be two sentences, but that’s just me.

    There should be a comma after “happening,†I think.

    Anyway, it looks good so far, as mentioned, and I’ll try to get around to your latest post soon. Thanks for posting!
  5. Snowglare

    Snowglare Fan Fiction Forum Moderator

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    Nice start, but you forgot an 'a' in there. *points* I'm afraid finding an error in the third sentence threw me irrevocably into critique mode for the remainder of this entry.

    Noooo! Not generic character class appearance. Please no! That's one of the things I hate most about D2 fanfic: that so few people take the opportunity to replace Blizzard's noncustomizable characters with unique looks. People often deride fanfic as a crutch to avoid creating new worlds, characters, etc., but it can also be an excuse to create new things with restrictions that were only present to begin with because they made sense in the context of the source material. In other words, D2 (and apparently Last Chaos) only has generic looks for each character class because it's easier to create one cool design for everyone than thousands. They're more iconic, too, which admittedly comes into play here, but you don't need a red cape and an S-shield for people to know you're a superhero. Wearing your underwear on the outside? Also optional.

    Maybe it's just me, but this feels too long for one sentence. Commas are tricky, though. I don't fully understand them.

    Heh. He sure likes that pony. Wonder what the story is there...

    You totally just wanted to use "dulcet" in a sentence. Not that that's so bad. ;)

    Needs more sexual tension. Or not, but I was disappointed in how little the whole chest-sitting scene moved me. There's high cuteness potential there, but on first read I didn't feel it.

    Spicy breath! My only weakness! Heh, I liked this line.

    I think that should be this time. Or each time, whichever you had intended.

    Yeah... um, with the... you see it, right?

    The dialogue is decidedly ping-pong. Most lines are direct replies to the last person's direct reply to... and it all makes the characters something of ciphers, like their words are dependent on the script rather than their own inclinations.

    Repitition can be good, but found out/find out in the same sentence? Suggestion: replace one or the other with a synonymous word or phrase. Prediction: resultant sentence will be more pleasing to the mind's eye.

    Solid ending. Wish I could say I thought as highly of the bulk of the story.



  6. 0xDEADCAFE

    0xDEADCAFE IncGamers Member

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    Great to hear from you Rev, as always. In general, I agree with most all your comments, but taken as a whole, they seem to belie a kind of reader-slant that begs the question, "What is fan fiction?" I'll get into that idea more below.


    No argument about that. Glad it wasn't too bad. But this is interesting:


    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.


    It's a valid point, however, anyone who had played the game would know that their apparel consists mostly of animal skins with some belts and leather here and there. So we're back to that question again: do I assume knowledge of the game or not? And how much? (I'll admit that the silent approach is a bit of a stretch in any case, given their massive size and the degree of clumsiness attributed to them.)


    I'll bow to your reading on this. I tried to fix it by carefully putting "him and they" just before the clause that modifies the "they", but it's not enough. Probably needed a "which" to make it more clear. Or a wizard like yourself. ;-)


    Ugh. Good catch.


    Another good catch. Plus it's an opportunity for a tongue-in cheek remark about the effect on the pony's noggin. (Can't believe I missed that!)


    I didn't actually picture the knight leaving the ground. He could have simply hiked his shield up and put his shoulder behind it. I think that would have a chance to cover the chest and face of even a 7-foot plus giant. And, yes, your sniffer is working perfectly.


    Ugh, again. I shall, post-haste.


    Nothing much to say here. Probably the biggest complaint about the game is that it is too "grindy." Something tells me no one needs to relive the details of the hack and slash. But then, it depends on what I assume about the reader, doesn't it?


    So, I hope my questions don't come across as too argumentative. One of the nice things about this project is that the territory of Last Chaos fan fiction feels so fresh. As someone here was recently telling a poster, it's not their fault that the basics of D2 have been so thoroughly covered in this forum and elsewhere, but it's a fact that a D2 FF author has to deal with. And I totally agree with the point. I doubt I could stand to read yet another story that purports to tell why potions drop and how waypoints work no matter how well it was done.

    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. In this story, I am trying to find a balance between evoking game elements that are famiilar and full of appeal without becoming too trite and unoriginal. If I were writing this three years and hundreds of LC fan fictions from now, I'm sure I would do it differently.

    I would also like it to appeal to people who have not played the game. And your comments are very helpful in that respect. Thanks much!

    (Snow, I suspect I'll be picking up on some of these same themes when I reply to your post, which won't be until a bit later.)



  7. 0xDEADCAFE

    0xDEADCAFE IncGamers Member

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    Tough crowd, tough crowd... I tell ya I don't get no respect... Last night I made love to my wife and she complained that my modifiers were dangling. I told her that was one time when I would have appreciated a little more passive voice...


    Whatever I wrote, it was worth it just to get the image of you singing like a damsel in distress. Never fear, oh Snowble one, Under-DEAD(CAFE) is here!


    Two things: 1) I did totally screw this up. 2) I did actually create some of this. To whit: I should not have described the entire list of characteristics as "easily recognizable." Way too pat and not realistic. What, are all the rogues clones of each other? Certainly not. In fact, I've never seen a dagger tattoo on an in-game rogue, behind the ear or anywhere else, nor a war-ribbon braided into their hair. I was actually kind of pleased with myself for inventing those details, but the way I wrote it, you were 100% justified in thinking that I was just running down a list of generic rogue features. My bad. Great catch. (Although, I should point out that someone who had played the game would, I think, have instantly picked up on the fact that I was embellishing the rogue's appearance, not merely describing what was in the game. Whether they would have liked my addition of the braid and tattoo is anyone's guess, but I think it's at least a potential plus in that regard.)


    I can't tell you how pleased I am that you picked up on that. Just picture the same damsel referenced above squealing with delight as she is being lifted off the railroad track by Dudley Sweet-Pecs. But you are going to have to wait for the sequel, "Robin the Wonder Pony," to find out more. (Not really...)



    Cosmic forces arrayed against the use of "dulcet": 0, Me: 1


    I deliberately shied away from it. Partly because I felt it might not be suitable for some of the audience, but moreso for character development reasons.


    Thanks. (And I was afraid it might be too cliche. )


    I no, I no!


    This is interesting. I just re-read that section. I'm not sure I'm seeing what you mean. I do see that some of it is rather comic-booky and filled with unessential details that do some of the narrator's work for him, but I'm not sure that a conversation of this kind wouldn't actually be a bit ping-pong. I mean, there's no deep subject matter here. He's got something she wants, they both know it, but he's trying to lie his way out of giving it to her and she's trying to convince him he should. Not sure I would expect anything different from people in this situation. Furthermore, (I don't think I'm giving too much away here) with regard to the dialogue following the plot, at the end of the dialogue the plot becomes rather committed to following the improvised lie the knight came up with. More like the plot following the dialogue. I'd sure be interested in hearing more of your thoughts on this.


    Appreciate your candor. Let's see how long I can hold your interest.


    So, picking up on my responses to RevK, the "recognizable character" issue that you brought up is another facet of the question: "What is fan fiction?" In that regard, isn't character recognizability, generic or otherwise, an essential quality of fan fiction? As is recognizability of place, of myth, and even of objects? Surely it can only be a matter of degree, as in it can be overdone, but if you take away all recognizabilty, you couldn't call it fan fiction, could you?

    Thanks for your comments.



  8. Snowglare

    Snowglare Fan Fiction Forum Moderator

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    It was pretty obvious, really. I was proud of myself for noticing it the first time, but after several more bits of subtext it was practically spelled out. As the shippers say, Swaglord/Pony OTP.

    Far be it from me to encourage ribaldry. I was thinking more PG-13 style, but I'll leave you to write the story as you will.

    Not sure what else to say. It just felt to me like the idea was to get from point A to point B rather than have a naturally evolving conversation. But when I see really good dialogue, I tend to wonder how they did it. It's hard to imagine how two unique characters would interact with each other, neither doing quite what the other expected or wanted. Here they're a little too predictable, too convenient in their answers, and the conversation is not detoured from its intended end.

    It's possible I'm being too harsh on the dialogue - like I said, I'm hardly an expert on the stuff - but a conversation like this is like a story where the characters don't disrupt things. When I see a character do something stupid that screws up some plan or opportunity, it's frustrating, but also interesting. Same thing when they say something or react to something said in an inconvenient way. It's like, "if you'd just agree, the problem would be solved," but they won't. You can go overboard with that and end up a sitcom, though. Tricky business.


    Certainly without anything borrowed, fiction would be just that. Not fannish enough by half to warrant special classification. But you can do D2 (again, I know nothing about Last Chaos, so I'll limit myself to D2 examples) fanfic without Akara or Gheed, without barbarians or amazons, without Diablo or Baal, and it could still be D2 fanfic. You need something, but it can be small or large, the only thing or one of many. And such elements needn't detract. I see nothing wrong with, for instance, including paladin auras in a story. It's only a problem when you start talking about "aura switching," or how the paladin has stacked level 30 holy shock from dream runewords and does a jillion damage per hit, or anything else that screams, "this is a videogame!" Not to be confused with real life, where you would lack a heads up display or any means by which to calculate how many hits it would take you to kill Hell Meph.

    Videogame fanfic should remind people of the game world, but it should also translate things to the point where you don't feel like you're playing the game itself. I agree that some things, like potions, can't really be translated, but all you really need are the basics, if that. Take the storyline, the geography, the characters, and tell your tale. A Stone of Contention mostly succeeds in this regard. The characters feel more like people than collections of polygons, and I'm sure most of what you've written goes above and beyond the game's capabilities to show. The chest-sitting for instance, and the digging in a glove for treasure. They've yet to make a game where "The rogue slipped off her gloves and slid one hand between the ropes and into the sleeve of his gauntlet" can be portrayed outside of a cutscene, which would be noninteractive, which is antithetical to videogames.

    Found another error. Should be gonna or going to. By the way, what's with all the Spanish phrases? You mentioned comic-booky before, and now I can't resist saying this rogue sounds like a comic book character, the sort Chris Claremont might write, with her smattering of common foreign phrases.



  9. Disco-neck Ted

    Disco-neck Ted The Dark Library

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    Hey, dead. Good to see more of your work here.

    But... I'm about to say some bad things. Probably best to put it down to style differences and ignore it.

    Got your eyes closed and the ipod cranked? Good.

    You have a very deliberate way of telling a story. Often, the pacing is very well considered and helps the tale flow into the reader's consciousness. But sometimes I'm just screaming for you to get real, to get with it, to get down to the nitteh and the gritteh.

    Take the start of the fight:

    "Quickly realized"? These words are sloths! They add nothing, and they keep me one step removed from what is going on. My advice is to either leave them out or write a reaction with some strength to it. I want to see that his sword was out of reach, and if a realization is involved, I want to feel his emotional response to this turn of events.

    Again, at the start of the second installment:

    This is only a little flabby, and under the circumstances, his attacker could well be a "what", but I'd tone this baby up. Being that precise isn't really necessary.

    "Soon appeared" is a weak action, and unless something other than a "suitable neck and shoulders" makes an appearance, this is redundant. I know, it's a Dead style thing, but it just isn't adding anything to the story besides upping the word count. This sentence reads as if the swaglord is comparing what he sees to a checklist of what a girl looks like rather than instantly recognizing an everyday sight. Sure, some gamers need a "spotters guide" to identify the opposite sex, but I thought you were past that point, and the character should be as well.

    Again with the realizing. Dude, when a chick sits on yer chest, you know it. Why does he have to figure this out? Would it be so terrible to write, "she sat on his chest", plain and direct, rather than beating around the bush?

    There are probably other places where the character seems totally removed from the action, or words aren't pulling their weight. Take a look and see what you think. Or not.

    Also, on a different note, I'm disappointed that our hero didn't come up with a better story when the rogue asks about the stone. Once she brings it up, there is hardly any point to denying its existence.

    Overall, the story is all right, but definitely not my favorite of your works, not by a long shot. That said, when can we expect the next installment?

    Luck with it.

    -DnT
  10. 0xDEADCAFE

    0xDEADCAFE IncGamers Member

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    Tough crowd...

    On the other forum, I get comments like these:

    - "I love these. keep em comin!!!"

    - "omfg"

    - "What happens neext... who did that.. was it a pilifer lol.. this rocks lol.. awesome, u are a good writer too"

    These are each full, complete comments, unedited and unabridged, except for the smileys. (I'm still wondering about the second one.) No one has pointed out any spelling, grammar or stylistic problems. Neither has anyone said what they like or dislike about any part of it. Over there I have posted 5 parts and the flow of comments, initially a babbling brook, has given way to something like a drip trail of sap on the side of an old fruit tree.

    All of which points to why I post here. And let me just say before I get started: "Snow and Ted: Precious hateses you!!!" Ahem. Glad we got that out of the way.

    I do write from point A to B, and, yes, it does have a deliberate feel, although I might have said "emphatic" instead. "Precise" seems right, too. I may be a little obsessed with clarity, perhaps overcompensating for a tendency toward obscurity. Or... 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.

    Some time ago I wrote a Diablo 2 piece (never posted) that was full of the usual dead puffery, not to mention some very deadly dialog, which single-handedly ended my writing hobby for several months. I wrestled that puppy to completion and by the time I was done I just hated it. The worst of it was getting to a point where every sentence wanted to start with the words "and then..." It was like my writing instinct was telling me to lay things out like a forensic doctor recreating a crime scene for a jury. It was awful. I wouldn't exactly call it writer's block because it seemed like I could have easily continued grinding out sentences along the line from A to B, but I just couldn't stand doing it.

    Here's the ironic part, I don't write deliberately unless there is such a thing as spontaneous deliberation. In fact, I naturally do the opposite, which is to stream words to the page about as fast as I can type. Half the time, no, most of the time, I find it frustrating that I can't type it out even a tenth as fast as it comes to me. You might call this" "big, wet lump of consciousness" writing. Except that's not really possible, so I end up spending most of my time chasing the tail of a story that's already vanished over my mental horizon.

    So I guess the deliberate, A-to-B feel is dead-on. (I made a pun!) When I go into fast-type mode, I may well end up rendering something like a specification of what I've already thunked up. No wonder it feels that way. Stuffing it with my usual stream of dreamy asides, half-witticisms, forced metaphors and poetic license abuses doesn't really make up for that, does it?

    Hmm... Well, this is good stuff. You see, since I don't apply rules to what comes out, any learning that is going to affect the output must sink deep into that unreachable place where the words come from. I'm convinced that bad prose can't be edited into good prose. No list of hints and tips is going to enable me to achieve real improvement. That can only come through changing my fundamental perceptions of storytelling, which can only happen through a real change in my understanding. In other words, I need to "get it." And I'm wondering if a change in the process might help. Or if anything will.

    Snow and Ted: I think I understand what you are saying and it's brought some things into focus for me. In fact, the experience of writing the most recent part (part VII) was all-too reminiscent of writing that D2 story I mentioned above. It felt forced; it felt hurried; it felt exactly like trying to get from point A to point B. Without going back and re-reading it, I'm willing to bet it will read that way, too. And I have the feeling that the story may well have entered a grindy phase.

    So... I quit. Thank you for making it clear to me that I'm a terrible writer and that I should give up and never bother the world with my bad prose again. No. I don't think I'll quite do that. However, since the next 5 parts of this are already written (three of them are posted elsewhere) none of the good effects of these ruminations have any chance of appearing until much later on.

    In the meantime, I'll keep posting weekly until the glorious finish or I kill myself--whichever comes first. I could obviously post all of what's already written in one big dump, but somehow I don't think the forum has the bandwidth to accept that.

    Thanks for your comments.
  11. Snowglare

    Snowglare Fan Fiction Forum Moderator

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    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.

    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.



  12. RevenantsKnight

    RevenantsKnight IncGamers Member

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    Before I get really rolling on the next piece, a few clarifications and thoughts:

    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.

    Nope, not at all. :smiley:

    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:

    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*

    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.

    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.

    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...â€

    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.

    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.

    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.

    I might cut one use of “but†between these two sentences. “Though†seems like a reasonable replacement, so long as you reword as needed.

    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.

    “He†should be in lowercase.

    Seeing as I know of dishes such as “beef stew,†“butcher stew†sounded, well...

    Snowglare’s catch aside, this is missing some closing quote marks.

    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.)

    “She†shouldn’t be capitalized, and I think there’s an extra space between the period and the closing quotation marks.

    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.)

    I think you need a comma after “though.â€

    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.

    I’m not sure if these are supposed to be separate actions, but if they aren’t, “she†shouldn’t be capitalized.

    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.

    There should be a comma after “you.â€

    I think the comma here should be a semicolon.

    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.â€

    Seems unnecessary to me. I’d just jump in with the rogue’s threat and leave it at that.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    The Spanish here isn’t italicized.

    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.

    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!

    That would make my squirrel cry. You don’t want that to happen, now do you?
  13. 0xDEADCAFE

    0xDEADCAFE IncGamers Member

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    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.



    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?)



  14. 0xDEADCAFE

    0xDEADCAFE IncGamers Member

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    Rolling, rolling, rolling...

    That makes a lot more sense to me. And yes, it was.


    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? ;-)


    I'm hearing it loud and clear.


    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.


    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.


    "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.


    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*


    Agreed.


    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.




    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:



  15. RevenantsKnight

    RevenantsKnight IncGamers Member

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    Yes, I know I’m behind. I blame the precious. :tongue:

    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:

    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.

    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.

    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 liked these little touches, personally. Kept things engaging, even if the outcome was predictable.

    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.

    Seems a bit unnecessary, given the rest of the paragraph.

    I don’t recall her doing this previously in this chapter, so “again†felt a little odd to me.

    There’s an extra space after the period here.

    “She†should be in lowercase.

    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.

    There should be a comma after “said.†Great image, though.

    The comma after “speak†should be a period.

    I might use a word other than “agreed†here, since it sounds a little redundant with his response coming right after it.

    There’s an extra space after the comma here.

    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.

    I think there should be a comma after “horse.â€

    Although this may be the best way to get the point across, I thought “He admired her determinationâ€

    Seems unnecessary to me, since the reader should be able to infer this.

    That should be “Swaglord’s feet.â€

    That should be “the net was lying on the ground.â€

    “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.

    “She†should be in lowercase.

    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!
  16. 0xDEADCAFE

    0xDEADCAFE IncGamers Member

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    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.


    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.


    Thanks. I was hoping they would keep things amusing. (And, BTW, that's your second use of the word predictable in this critique.)


    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.


    Not sure I see it, but maybe.


    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.


    Oooh, cliffhanger! What comes next? Please, I can't wait to hear how it turns out!


    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.)


    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...)


    Burying you makes it all worth while. :grin:

    Thanks for your comments!



  17. RevenantsKnight

    RevenantsKnight IncGamers Member

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    <insert witty comment here>

    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:

    “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.

    Seems like it should be “...he realized that he had little sense...â€

    I think there should be a comma after “hands,†unless he bent his hands. Now that wouldn’t be predictable.

    Previously, I think you’ve referred to the pony as an “it.â€

    I’d see if you can’t cut one use of “directions†here.

    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.

    The period after “now†should be a comma, and “He†should be in lowercase.

    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...

    Nice image.

    “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.

    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.

    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)...

    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.

    “Alongside†is one word.

    “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.

    “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.

    “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.

    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.

    “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.

    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.

    The comma after “Swaglord†is unnecessary.

    There should be a comma after “direction,†and I think “moving†should be “moved.â€

    I think the comma after “said†should be a period.

    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.â€

    “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...’â€

    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.

    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.

    I thought the world was called “Eres.†Is “Iris†another place in the game?

    That should be “woe to any duelist...â€

    “Out cold†isn’t usually hyphenated, I don’t think.

    There should be a comma after “Swaglord.â€

    “He†shouldn’t be capitalized.

    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!
  18. 0xDEADCAFE

    0xDEADCAFE IncGamers Member

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    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.


    Maybe.


    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.


    Yep. I keep slipping into masculine pronouns for the pony, but I want to keep it neutral.


    For sure.


    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.)


    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.


    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.)


    I'm going to claim poetic license here. ("Lowering" just sounds right to me.) Ditto for the missing period, BTW. :tongue:


    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.


    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...


    "That" was a compromise, considering everything else I thought of was either wordy or redundant or both.


    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.


    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.


    Agreed. I think I was trying to tighten things up by combining things, but it's a bit of a muddle, isn't it?


    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.


    I think that's a very good suggestion.


    Thanks for you comments.



  19. RevenantsKnight

    RevenantsKnight IncGamers Member

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    One bit to touch on before I get rolling...

    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:

    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?)

    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.)

    I like the image at the end here, but “eyes popping†sounded awkward to me. Not sure exactly why, though.

    That should be “an eyelid.â€

    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.

    This seems a bit unnecessary, since having her look around a bit in the next sentence should get this idea across.

    A minor typo: that should be “Swaglord.â€

    “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.

    I might change “fight,†since you use “fighter†just before, but that might just be me.

    “Drop†seems wrong when applied to air...“gasp†or something like that, maybe?

    The description here is good, though that last bit felt a little awkward to me.

    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.

    I’d drop “in a dry mud,†because that seems a bit like an oxymoron, as well as not strictly necessary.

    “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.

    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.

    There should be a comma after “said.â€

    There should be a comma after “we.â€

    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!
  20. 0xDEADCAFE

    0xDEADCAFE IncGamers Member

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    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.

    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.


    Coolsville. I am so tempted to stop right here and avoid the dreaded Some specific comments:


    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?


    Good point. It doesn't really add anything.


    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.


    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.


    Is that what you'd call a mixed metaphor? I didn't seem right to me, either, but somehow slipped through the "change" filter.


    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.


    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.



    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."


    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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