April 2 2012 – Asmodemon – Maiden of Thorns Chapter 10
Posted 02 April 2012 - 01:48 PM
Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:51 PM
The opening paragraph was a little awkwardly phrased, in my opinion. For example, the first sentence has a shout wakening Rosalin, then the second sentence mentions her huddling in her coat. To me, this ordering implied how things happened chronologically, although I soon figured out it was meant to be the reverse -- she huddled all night, then the shouts woke her. The rest of the paragraph could perhaps use some polish also, but that's the main thing I noticed about it.
Also, is the crimson color of the cloak important? It is the only color detail I recall from the chapter, so it sticks out to me, but I can't recall previous instances of crimson (or red) being important. I thought I'd mentioned I noticed it, though, and if you didn't want it to be important (or noticed so easily), perhaps a few more color details could fill in the rest of the chapter.
There's a bit of repetition here and there that I noticed. One of the simplest examples is "Rosalin cussed, repeating some choice phrases..." I think the cussed part could be left out, going with "Rosalin repeated some choice phrases..." This may be a matter of style, however. Also along those lines, you refer to the pain on the back of her head as bludgeoning, which I don't usually use to describe pain (after the first contact, anyway). After I smack my head, it's usually either a sharp pain or a very annoying pulsing one, intensifying in time with my heartbeat (which, unfortunately, is usually spiked quicker after the adrenal reaction to the pain).
"With little patience for herself Rosalin picked herself up, though it left her seeing little white stars when she got herself upright." This seems to be a bit of tell instead of show. Here I thought you could get us closer to Rosalin by showing her thoughts, or possibly one of those newly learned choice phrases aimed at herself, or an in-world aphorism, or something.
I like that Rosalin has run low on money, and it moves the story forward, but I seemed to recall her being a little more flush with cash in the last chapter. This may be one of those memory things, but you might want to double-check that the previous chapter shows the right balance of okay-for-now, but going to run out soon level of wealth.
Talking with Serissa: "The woman crossed her arms, exchanging a smile for a frown." The wording here confused me for some reason. I thought Rosalin was frowning, and Serissa was giving her a smile back, which here felt more genuine. I had to read it again to get what I believe you were trying to say, that Serissa stopped smiling and started frowning.
How does Rosalin figure her thoughts are coming from Rosen? Am I not remembering properly? Also speaking of remembering, I thought that before Rosalin heard Rosen's voice in her head. I somehow recall that going silent with a feeling that it was Rosen's choice to do so, but it seems a long time to be silent by choice.
Why didn't Rosalin try to get a job there at the bar? I'm surprised she didn't even ask the Arundo, instead flat-out refusing to leave. Plus, it didn't seem like my recollection of Rosalin's character to be so outright defiant like that, especially to someone who was more or less in the same position of authority that she had grown up with recently (in Thorn). I'm not saying that her character wouldn't support the action, but more that it felt unsupported as it is in the text.
I don't know if you were intentionally keeping the details sparse so as to not get too graphic, but when Serissa was grabbed, I first thought it was something like a grope. This is slightly reinforced by Rosalin's reaction, but the way it's written (grabbed, manhandled), plus the ensuing action with a patron pulling a knife, made me think that perhaps it was something more sinister. You probably want to make sure that part is clear.
Actually, a lot of the beginning of that fight was muddled, and I wasn't sure if it was intentionally muddled (since the start of fights can be very hectic) or not. I'm guessing not intentional, so you might want to make that a bit more clear as well.
I don't know why (except for plot reasons) Serissa would try to intervene against a patron with a knife. It didn't read like she was in immediate danger, nor anyone else distracted and not paying attention to him, so she wasn't really saving anyone either. Was it because he groped her, and she had a chance for payback? Or perhaps she should do it to save one of the others? Either way, I think there should be more reason that can be deduced.
By the end of the chapter, I'm left with a taste of plot needs driving a lot of the action in the chapter. It seemed like things were being set up so that Rosalin would have help, rather than having it flow a little more naturally. This certainly isn't anything that couldn't be fixed, and most of what I thought I mentioned above, but that's something else you should be aware of.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:33 AM
Beyond the cliche happenings in the story the lines are bad. You have Roselin seeing her sister in place of Serissa. that's fine, but the fact that you mention in, directly, is not. By simply altering the name Serrisa with that of Rose's sister, the same point is made and the dialogue is suddenly made clever. Or at least more clever. there are a pervasive number of occurrences like this through out the whole piece. We as the audience can discern what is happening and don't need as much hand holding.
The folks rose ends up fighting are simply called bruisers. Something more descriptive would be helpful, nicknames she gives them, or names they are mentioned as. Right now they are simply disposable bad guys, and frankly, boring. These kinds of descriptive names or however you end up doing it, can give us insight into Roslin's character some, as well as giving us something to do besides read what you want us to notice.
My biggest complaint of all is that this chapter doesn't seem to actually go anywhere .. . . at all. We don't move anything forward, nor do we see there any meaning behind this chapter aside from Rose meets Serrisa. The fight is pretty cliche too and the moves and choreography don't really interest me much. As well, how did that guy get a sword into a bar like that?
Edited by LongTimeUnderdog, 03 April 2012 - 10:33 AM.
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