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Paracosmic_nomenclator

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  1. First off, welcome to Reading Excuses! My thoughts as I went: Pg. 1 "... keeping this desolate planet alive." This implies to me that as the story progresses, we will be made aware of, and probably visit other (non-desolate) planets. If that wasn't your intention, I would use the word 'world' instead; it has fewer science-fiction connotations. Pg. 1 "The most precious artifact is at risk, nonetheless from the Master of the Swifters, and they send me four guards." The phrasing here feels awkward to me. Maybe "... at risk, from the Master of the Swifters him/herself, and..." Pg. 1 "The guards would do the same he knew." should be "The guards would do the same, he knew." Pg. 2 The latter half of this page builds tension very effectively. Pg. 3 "He moved into the blow, moving his hand through the tendril." Repetition of 'move' is awkward. Pg. 3 "seemed as hard as sandstone, to a Slasher" should be either "seemed as hard as sandstone, but to a Slasher" or "seemed as hard as sandstone. To a Slasher" Pg. 3 "The tendril impaled him," makes it sound like the tendril had rammed through his chestplate without impaling him, came back around, and then impaled him. I like the visceral feel the word lends, though, so maybe the sentence should start, "The tendril lifted the impaled guard into the air..." Pg. 3 "the free end dissolved into sand, filling the room with a thick cloud of dust." I would remove "into sand," it feels redundant. Pg. 3 "He could barely make out another guard being smashed around the room. His mask had cracked" Pronouns are unclear here. Change it to "The guard's mask had cracked." Pg. 3 "He rolled under another tendril," I would specify "TonHar rolled..." When you have several people in the previous paragraph, it's good to start with a proper noun for clarity. Pg. 4 "he formed it into a spear in his hand, the power of a Slasher, creating something from pure sandstone." Badass. Pg. 4 "Toward Master FangTar" need a period at the end there. Pg. 4 "lunged forward, throwing the spear forward" Repetition of 'forward' is awkward. Pg. 4 "The sand ran up his body and his arm, forming into a thin shield of loose sand as TonHar struck. The sand formed around his spearhead, jerking it to the left, and throwing TonHar with it." I'm having trouble visualizing this. Does FangTar have a layer of sand around his arm, which then flows onto the spear, and pushes it aside? Pg. 4 "TonHar matched the other man’s tone" Really? We already know that TonHar is eighty-five. Calling FangTar "the older man" would imply that he's older by several years. I would expect that the life expectancy would be lower on a world hanging on to the last vestiges of its life. Does the Life Stone increase the life expectancy of those living around it? Do masters live longer than normal people? Are the years on this planet just shorter than average? Also, these two men seem fairly active for their eigth or ninth decade. This isn't a huge issue, but I feel like I need one or two lines of exposition earlier to explain it. Edit: I stupidly misread 'other' as 'older.' Please disregard what I said above. Pg. 4 The dialogue here feels stilted. Not sure how to describe it better than that. Pg. 5 "I will not fail. I can’t fail!" I would change to "I cannot fail!" Like you did with 'will not,' the longer form gives it a greater sense of determination. Also, consider putting TonHar's thoughts in italics. Pg. 5 "It was cold and sharp like his voice." I really like this simile. However, I think it flows slightly better as "It was as cold and sharp as his voice." Pg. 5 "He put the stone into a pendant around his neck." I'm not sure where I want FangTar to put it, but seeing as the Stone is the size of a man's fist, it seems a little to large to wear on a pendant. Pg. 6 "He kicked TonHar, and he sprawled backward, groaning." should be "He kicked TonHar, who sprawled backward, groaning." for clarity. Pg. 6 "He put his hand out and sandstone formed there into a sword." Two things here. First, the sentence should start with "FangTar put his..." since 'he' referred to TonHar in the last sentence. Secondly, I initially thought that FangTar was altering the form of TonHar's sword, rather than creating sandstone out of nothing. I might change the sentence to "FangTar reached out, and another sandstone sword flared into existence in his grasp." Pg. 6 "He didn’t moan or whimper. He had heard people did that when they died, but he didn’t. He didn’t know why, he didn’t care why, he was dying," This bit feels odd. If it's not necessary to the plot, I would consider replacing it with something else, maybe a reflection on how TonHar doesn't care that he's dying, but he does care that he's failed. Pg. 7 "He had failed to do his duty, and that was all that mattered. 'May the Sands have mercy on me,' he gasped with his last breath." I really like this ending. It drives home everything we've learned in this prologue. TonHar failed, he's dying, and we're in a harsh, unforgiving desert that's going to get even harsher now that the Life Stone is gone. Well done. Overall: I really liked this. It introduced the villain, the world, and the magic concisely, but leaves me wanting more of all of them. Specifically, Fangtar seemed capable and menacing, especially with how quickly he grapsed how to use the additional powers conferred to him by the Life Stone. As he's presented here, I'm not sure whether he's power hungry, afraid of death, or trying to save his world (just to be clear, I see this as a positive. All we really know about him now is that he needs the Life Stone for his plans, but the plans themselves are a mystery, one which can be revealed throughout the course of the book). I like the desert setting. The whole 'desolation vs. life' thing always lends itself well to symbolism. My one complaint is that I would have liked to have seen the outside at the start of the chapter. I'm assuming that the removal of the Life Stone is going to have serious consequences for the Last City, and it would be nice to know what the city looks like before, so that we can be properly shocked and devastated by the after. Finally, the magic is awesome. I can already see that the world is impacted by the magic, like how the guards wear sandstone chestplates that were presumably formed by a Swifter. I can see the protagonist, whoever he/she may be, using this magic in some really clever ways. I like the mystique surrounding the Life Stone, how even the Master tasked with guarding it doesn't fully understand the powers it bestows. On that note, though, the ability to create sandstone out of nothing does make me a little uneasy. The way its used here is fine, but if FangTar can just create buildings out of nothing with his mind, it seems a bit over powered. Also, though I'm sure we'll get it in the rest of the novel, I'm really curious where the names 'Swifter', 'Slasher', and 'Thumper' come from, and what a Thumper can do. In conclusion, this was a strong first entry, and I'm excited to see where it goes.
  2. So, I was rereading AoL, and came across the part where Khriss is wondering why Wayne's speed bubble doesn't cause a red shift. I think I might have an answer (though not necessarily the same one as Brandon). As we learn from stories like The Emperor's Soul, and Mistborn: Secret History, an object's strength in the cognitive realm is proportional to the time it has been in its current form (i.e. If Stick had been a stick for decades, he would have been even harder to change into fire. Conversely, if he had only recently become a stick, Shallan would have been able to change him quite easily). Further, from several WoBs, which are covered more extensively on other pages, we know that a speed bubble's frame of reference is proportional to the most prominent feature in the cognitive realm around it (when you're on a train, the bubble moves with the train. When you're on the surface of a planet, the speed bubble moves with the planet itself.) These same WoBs imply that if a train barreled through a speed bubble anchored to Scadrial, the train (and its passengers) would remain relatively unaffected. So? The equation that serves as the foundation of special relativity states that as on object approaches the speed of light, time gets slower and slower for it (not really, but that's the best way our puny monkey brains can think of it). What, then, happens to an object traveling at the speed of light? It experiences no time from the perspective of an outside observer. And? If that's true, then photons would have no presence in the cognitive realm. The bubble would have no way of converting them to its reference frame, because they would not exist within the space the bubble operated in. They would simply pass through, unaffected. But hold on. Aons glow, and Hoid can see inside the cognitive realm. That means that photons have to be able to exist in the cognitive realm in some form. How? My best guess: when photons are created, they inherit some basic the cognitive reference frame of the elctron that created them. What does that mean? If I'm right, it means that any light created within a bendalloy bubble would move faster then any light created outside the bubble. Big whoop. Except, if speed bubbles can't speed up photons, that means they can't slow them down either. Which means that light created within a bendalloy bubble would travel (with concentric bubbles, potentially hundreds of times) faster than light created outside of it. Forget subspace communicators, Scadrian starships can still use radio waves. Also, if you nested like seven cadmium bubbles, the light created within would travel at walking speed. Weird. Now, due to the difficulty of explaining all this in a fantasy book, and some of the consequences it could spawn (tachyonic antitelephones), I doubt that this is the true reason why we don't see a Doppler shift. Do you like this idea? Have I missed an easier or better explanation? Let me know! ~Para
  3. That's what I was thinking, but it still seems like it would require an insane amount of bendalloy or ettmetal. Also, if steel feruchemy works the way I think it does (increasing or decreasing the amount that one is affected by gravity), you could seriously hack orbital dynamics with a steelmind, basically removing the need for an engine. If it doesn't, then you could still make a really good engine with steelpushing.
  4. So, we have WOBs that Mistborn era 4 is going to be a space opera, with spaceships powered by allomancy. Though we still don't know exactly how scadrian tech (i.e. ettmetal and feruchemical medallions) work, I figured it would still be fun to speculate about how such ships could work. I can think of two main options (Warning, rocket science terminology ahead): 1. A cadmium-powered drifter ship. If you can get your ship on a course to another star (very possible with VASIMIR (or an allomantic steelpushing equivalent, which would be awesome (embedded parentheses, whee!)) or NERVA engine, along with a few good gravity assists from the Scadrian system's gas giants), then you should be able to use cadmium pulser (or ettmetal equivalent) to make the journey in an arbitrarily short amount of time. Since we've seen that cadmium pulsing works over large time-scales on the surface of a planet that is both rotating and orbiting. With that in mind, all one would need to do is create several concentric cadmium bubbles (off the top of my head, three), and you would experience the ship's thousand-year journey to another star as happening in a matter of weeks. So long as the entirety of the cadmium bubble is contained within the ship, it shouldn't knock the ship off course. 2. A bendalloy-powered faster-than-light ship. Since we say Wayne (and other sliders) able to walk normally within their bubbles, we can assume that the strength of a gravitational field is maintained within. With that in mind, a ship entirely contained within a bendalloy bubble (or bubbles) would orbit much faster (potentially faster than light). Such a ship could make a journey of arbitrary distance in an arbitrarily short amount of time to an outside observer. However, within the confines of the bendalloy bubble, the entire natural duration of the voyage would have to be experienced, with bendalloy kept burning the entire time. Even if you used advanced engines (like an Orion drive, or allomantic equivalent) to get your ship up to a reasonable percentage of lightspeed naturally, you'd still need a supply of bendalloy (or ettmetal) that would burn for several years in order to keep the ship moving at superluminal velocities the entire time. Since any passengers inside the ship would also have to experience the entire multi-year journey, you would also likely have a small portion of the ship slowed down via cadmium bubble. As long as the cadmium bubble was completely contained within the bendalloy bubbles, it shouldn't disrupt the FTL capabilities of the ship. So, yeah. Did that make sense? Do we think that allomancy would even work outside of the Scadrian system? Did I miss any better way of creating an interstellar ship? Let me know!
  5. I like this idea. I still want him to commit suicide after killing Deborah, but showing him dealing with growing depression in her absence would work well I think. Got it. Basically. R is a human brain which can control robot bodies, and "Approval" is his pleasure centers being directly stimulated. I can make this a little more clear. I think the story would be stronger if I did that. Thanks for the suggestion. Agreed, but I don't feel like there's space to make his character multi-dimensional. Also worth noting that people that evil really do exist in positions of power. Would "bodies" be clearer? Overall: in draft 2, I'll cut down or remove entirely the General scene, and add in a scene at the beginning which highlights D's character a bit more. Thank you for the feedback, and I'm glad you guys enjoyed it!
  6. This one's a bit long, and a bit late. Definitely a gore warning. All feedback is appreciated. I'm trying to get this one under 5k words, so if there are any parts you think could be cut, let me know. Thanks, ~PN
  7. I'd like to submit on Monday. Edit: just finished. It's at 5700 words. Is that okay, or should I try to pare it down a bit?
  8. As I go: -"In addition, most synergist" should be synergists -"Using his own complete control over the water in the vial," Don't understand this. Is this supposed to explain how he can form a focus through the water? Or is it supposed to be unexplained? Everything else about the magic system makes sense, and is well done, it's just this one part that's confusing me. -"Your cousin Haley asked..." You need a quotation mark in front of this. -"I’m sorry for the rough awakening, but I couldn’t wake you without it" this sentence feels slightly awkward to me due to the repition of 'wake' Maybe something like 'but it was the best I could manage' or 'but it was the only way' -"He noted, with a combination of satisfaction and horro" should be horror -"Anything reasonably jarring plane shift" shouldn't this be 'any reasonably jarring...' Overall: I really liked it. The magic systems are really interesting, and the moral dillema is well set-up. I feel like I'm missing a bit of requesite backstory, but I enjoyed both Venoriet and Rune and their interactions. I was a bit unclear on whether Tsaph's identity was subsumed by Destiny's, whether they merged, or whether Tsaph could just draw on Destiny's memories. I also dodn't quite understand why the Host was such a bad thing. I'll admit to skimming the action scenes, but I do that with almost all books, and yours are better than most. I really enjoyed the world and characters you've set up, and look forward to reading more about them.
  9. Another 2-part short story. I wrote this one a few months ago, and am having trouble getting it published. Any and all feedback is welcome. Thanks, ~PN
  10. If there's room, I too, would like to submit on Monday.
  11. Yup. Just like there's one that turns you invisible by making light not interact with you, this one makes gravity not interact with you, making you weightless. 'Cause, you know, magic! Thanks. Will fix. They had him test all the other blossoms before this one. The only way he could test more is if he waited years for more blossoms to be bred. The rationale is that in this society, most people in comas don't ever wake, so they're as good as dead. I could have made that more clear though; in the second draft, I'll add a line between T and E to this effect. Yeah, I can't claim to filly understand it myself. That said, I heavily based the T/Y relationship on one of my friends and their parents. Despite being physically abused routinely, they definitely still loved their parents, and viewed the abuse as just sort of 'something that happened,' like it wasn't even their parent who was doing it. Apparently, some of their siblings went a step farther, and viewed the beatings as their own fault; they often thought that they deserved it. I did some research, and found that neither of those two attitudes are uncommon in children who have been physically abused, especially from a young age. That said, for the rest of us who haven't been abused, these sorts of attitudes feel shocking and implausible. For that reason, I'm probably going to have Y be less forgiving in draft two. While I was talking to my friend about their parents, the concept that struck mex and inspired me to write this story was that a child abuser could still love their children; that they could be a good person despite repeatedly doing something so inexcusable. I'm having a hard time presenting that message without appearing to dismiss the horror of child abuse, but I want to find a way to. The idea really struck a chord with me, and I wanted to share it with others. Thank you all for your feedback. It's been immensely beneficial, and I look forward to expanding this into a novella with your critiques in mind. This community has been more helpful and supportive than I'd ever hoped. Thanks again, ~PN
  12. This was it. It's a short story which I submitted in two parts. E thinks T has changed because he grows more willing to suffer personal pain for the sake of others. T doesn't believe it until after he saves his daughter. Don't have a specific age, but around 8. Children that grow up in abusive relationships often develop surprisingky good analysis skills as a survival mechanism. Got it. Will change.
  13. About the title: I feel like you're trying to convey two things with it: the desert setting, and the loss and sacrifices that come with old age. With that in mind, I'm gonna throw out a few titles: Dusk over Dunes His Last Oasis The Wasteland of the Mind Sorrows in the Sands They're a bit generic, but hopefully one of them will either strike your fancy, or inspire you to come up with something better
  14. As I go: Pg. 5: "although she one of the few..." although she was one of the few... Pg. 5: "I could bare to speak to" I could bear to speak to... Pg. 11: "Closer to the plaza now the road was cobblestone" Not sure if 'now' is necessary. If it is, there should probably be a comma after it. Overall: Really good. I like how you're contrasting a nation and an individual struggling to maintain their self-identity in the face of external pressure. Compelling stuff. S is well characterized, and I'm empathizing with her struggles. Right now, my biggest concern is that although it makes sense for S to seek out both their mother and the queen, I worry that the means by which they'll be able to will feel contrived. There's an entire country looking for the queen. Why will S be the one to find her? Just to be clear, I'm not saying that your resolution will feel forced, just that it has the potential to. You've set up some very interesting dramatic questions, and its very easy to resolve those sorts of things with a deus ex machina. Finally, a bit of a personal request. You say that you aren't going to go back through too many of the early chapters. When you're done posting those, could you send me the rest of the story? I've gotten invested in these characters and this world, and I want to see how it all turns out! Thanks! ~PN
  15. Agreed. It basically happened because I realized that the story was getting too long, and needed to condense what was going to be several scenes into a few paragraphs. I could have explained this better. E truly believes that the blossoms are divine, and that testing them is vital. At the same time, though, he worries that the prisoners are not truly being offered a chance at redemption, and that he is in essence practicing human sacrifice, which he considers barbaric. His issue is less with the fact that the prisoners die, and more with the idea that he may be failing to offer them redemption. Nope, just seen it on TV shows. Yay! Thanks! Indeed... Very logical and well explored reasons... /sarcasm Thank you very much! I immensely appreciate the feedback, and I'm glad you liked it.