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Robinski

Robinski - Open Their Eyes (v0.2) - 3080 words - VSLLLL

20 posts in this topic

Hello all,

I'm really getting an appetite for the short story thing, although lots of practice still required, I know.

This is a stand-alone story, fantasy-based, but intended to be heavily centred on character. Also, I was aiming for a certain amount of grit, hence it is somewhat sweary, which seems to be my M.O. these days. My apologies for that to those of a particularly sensitive disposition. I've tried to ensure that the swearing is (a) inventive, and therefore, hopefully, funny; (b) in context of character and, to some degree, setting; (c) in service of the story.

Usual questions from me:

(1) - Does it work / entertain?

(2) - Do the characters engage you?

(3) - Is there a recognisable through-line, and does it hang together?

(4) - Does the story deliver?

(5) - Is the 'message' too heavy handed / telegraphed?

Any comments very much appreciated. This piggy is going to market too, like the last one. I did give an undertaking, back in December, I think, that I was going to write some shorts and push them out there. Well, here I am 9 months later thanks to a certain Q&M, following through with that strategy.

Best, Robinski

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- I like the few lines, but I don't think Pennice blindsiding the main character works. You start with "A man walks into a bar", not "two men walks into a bar", so you're intentionally withholding the information and confusing the reader there.

- Good job introducing the setting through very brief mentions - the wand, the carriage, etc.

- The line them being the heroes seems a bit heavy-handed, and not particularly meaningful since it lacks the context.

- The action really works, but the ending seems a bit forced. The tension between Chari and the main character isn't really resolved, and there's no real conclusion, just "this is what we do" and then off to the next adventure. It needs something that marks this as the conclusion of this particular segment in a satisfying way (I know this is a bit hypocritical coming from me after my submission last week :))

- Overall, good job on this story - I think it needs a little tightening but I think it's still a good one! 

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Hello. :) Ooh, short stories are shiny. I can be flaky from week to week like I usually am and still know everything about what's going on. :D

I don't see the PoV character's name or pronouns being mentioned anywhere, so I'm going to assume that PoV identifies as male to make typing out the review easier. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. 

The story does indeed work for me overall. :) I definitely liked it, especially for an action-based piece. The swearing bit seemed natural as well, and it fit with the characters. Good job on that count. I especially like the brief descriptions littered throughout the story. A few of the similes don't work as well for me (such as the grunt like a granite door slamming... maybe I haven't slammed enough granite doors in my time, but it's a little hard for me to picture a grunt sounding like that), but overall I thought the description was on point. 

Chari and the PoV character did engage me, and it felt like the other characters didn't really have enough time dedicated to them for me to be especially memorable. Since the story seems to focus on PoV's character so much, I shifted my attention towards Chari since he seemed to care a lot more about her than he did anyone else. I don't know if you're attached to the other characters, but since the PoV-Chari relationship is the only one really explored in depth, I'm wondering how necessary the other members of Chari's group really are. I, for one, would love to hear even more about PoV's and Chari's past and present relationships (in the character sense, not necessarily romantic), and removing the others from the story (or making them nameless grunts) might give you the space to do it. Just a thought.

Also, I personally found Pennice's dialect to be difficult to decipher. Although I'm never really a fan of writing in dialects, so maybe I'm the only one who struggled with Pennice's.

I, unlike rdpulfer, really liked the ending. I think it makes a lot of sense that PoV is really coming into his own now that he's not on the run from his own friends. I think that there could be cool ways to add more setup. For me, the part that sets up the ending for me is when PoV talks about only being able to save himself and not being able to help the rest of the world. It's a good start for explaining his change, and he hinted that it was different before, that there was still a part of him deep down that wanted to do more than save himself, it would provide even more setup. 

I also would appreciate PoV's switch from "I'm screwed" to "we're the heroes" to be a moment of active realization. I can piece together why the mental shift occurred, but I would prefer seeing it in person. Any acknowledgement, out loud or in his head, from PoV that he's finding a better way to look at the situation would be powerful.

Another stray thought I had was that since PoV seems to be rather practically-minded, maybe he could describe the Prefect's and Governess' stuff (carriage, clothes, ect.) as being overly posh and the extra expense being not at all functional. If he disdains all the fancy stuff rich people have for being impractical, his lines about fighting for the poor fit together even better.

Have a nice day,

Wisps :) 

 

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Posted (edited)

Overall, I enjoyed it, but it needs just a little more punch to make the ending effective. It brings to mind Lies of Locke Lamora, but that was a 400+ page book, building up the same sort of group dynamics. I think we need something more to show that this was a group, broke, and then is reforming. I think the strongest aspect was the characters--they just needed some more support for their characters to work with the plot.

(1) - Does it work / entertain?
Yes, I was entertained!

(2) - Do the characters engage you?
The characters are engaging,so much so that I wanted to see more of how their group formed.

(3) - Is there a recognisable through-line, and does it hang together?
To some extent. I feel like the MC flips from being with and against the rest of the crew, and the through line of the crew working together suffers a little from this, I think mainly because of the length.

(4) - Does the story deliver?
Again, had some problem with this. The ending, as @rdpulfer says, felt a little forced where everyone is happy again and working for the poor? At the beginning, I got the feeling this was a more mercenary group and not concerned about anyone else.

(5) - Is the 'message' too heavy handed / telegraphed?
Telegraphed, no. Might be a little too heavy as again, I felt the "we're all happy together" was a little too convenient.


Notes while reading:

pg1: not sure who's talking in the first dialogue. Is it the MC?

pg2: Sooo...why are the two trying to beat him up if Chari was trying to hire him?

pg 3: "“Come on, girls,” Chari commanded"
--hmmm...so some language for language's sake is alright, but this is already edging toward too much for me. In addition, there's a rather sexist bent to the insults, even when given by the lone female. I wonder if this might benefit from the old gender-switcheroo for the whole cast? Then at least the reproductive organ jokes would be funnier...

pg 3: "Just as the Prefect had insisted when he hired me to protect his unknown cargo."
--confused. Was the MC hired previously to guard the carriage he's stealing from? Cause that seems interesting, but would a much larger reveal.

pg 4: "The squirrel returned, laden"
--wait, what? what squirrel?

pg4: "except I had two and either one could kill me."
--I'm thinking the MC is both guarding and stealing the carriage. This needs to be made clearer.

pg 6: "“You… traitor!” the Enforcer managed in a strangled roar. "
--also unclear. It seemed like MC was choosing the Prefect's side, but he actually chose his old band?

pg 6: "We fight for the poor!”"We stand for the downtrodden,” 
--Do they? We haven't really seen evidence the band does anything except for money.

pg 7: "A handful of mages don’t need a wand, we have inner focus. A neat trick when the chips are down."
--I might just take this out. You've shown MC has that inner focus. this just reads as an infodump.

pg 8: “We are Chari’s Band! We stand as one! We fight the good fight, and laugh in the face of tyranny!”
--except MC was out of the band...I feel like we need more buildup for this to be an effective triumph.

 

I think this definitely has potential, and I'd like to see a more streamlined version. Just needs some editing to iron out the wrinkles!

Edited by Mandamon
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Perfect, just the best feedback - thank you so much, guys. I'll come bag with more specific comments, but fun the mean time - thumbs up! :) 

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First off, this is definitely better than your previous story! But I agree with a lot of the things @rdpulfer and @Mandamon brought up.  I found the through line to be very muddled, and the swap to "and suddenly we're robin hood" to be completely confusing. I didn't get the sense at all that these people worked together for anything other than money, and I didn't feel like there was any foreshadowing or reasoning behind the flip. 

 

As I go:

 

Digging the sort of gritty fantasy noir vibe going on in the beginning... 

"granite door slamming" Agree. Do not understand this metaphor. 

"owed ‘ee" Also agree, that I have no clue what's he's saying, and sounding it out aloud didn't help much. However, since it's not there a ton in the piece, and this one sentence doesn't seem to have much plot-relevance, I'm not super against it. Dialects aren't really my thing, but I don't hate them here and there as long as I can understand plot-important dialogue. 

Ah, I see we have a ladette here. It's not a horrible trope, but women who act basically just like horny, rude men (but with boobs) are kind of overused as a trope, imo. Making her an actual character with actual charisma would be a lot better than relying on the shock value of the trope to give her interest. She's a bit of a Smurfette here too, despite being the leader.

"honeyed peach, dusted with cinnamon" again, not entirely understanding this simile, but given the rest of her, my guess is Contralto of Danger ? 

 

And, yes, once the carriage gets there I'm lost.  Still not buying "suddenly robinhood" at the end. There's just not enough foundation for it. On the second read-through I caught a couple more mentions of MC's being hired at cross-purposes (but it's still not well explained. I'd've preferred more on that than all the references to bedding the lady. It feels like it's just using sleeping together as shorthand for having a deep understanding of another person and that doesn't work all that well for me) and those are good, but the freedom fighter aspect isn't hinted at anywhere, either by the demonstrated corruption of the government or by the actions of the characters.  

 

There isn't much resolution here either. Is there a reason for the 1500 word limit? Anything up to 30k words can still be considered a short story, though I think 2k, 5k and 10k are common limits for anthologies? Anyway, I think maybe this story might just need to be written in the amount of words it needs, and then once it's done it can be trimmed or rewritten to the length limit desired? At least, it feels like it's being artificially truncated to me and maybe once the extra info is out in the world it'd be easier to shape into the form you want.

But overall it's a good start on an action-heavy piece. :) 

 

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Awesome, thanks, @industrialistDragon. Great comments, as ever. 'Funny' story to follow...

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So, here's a funny thing.

I wrote this story over the weekend in the pursuit of my already stated intention of building up a repertoire of shorter pieces for submission (I have a drawerful of old ones, but they are less good, I would say - written before I knew anything about writing). I know these new ones need work, but I'm planning to work them over the coming weeks/months.

Then, well what do you know, Writing Excuses are running some casts on Short Fiction! Huzzah!! This week's cast with Spencer Ellsworth and his editor, Beth Meacham (33 years at Tor.com!!), was most excellent. But just look at that writing prompt from Spencer... "Dream up a story worthy of an epic page count, and try to write it in 4000 words."

Ha! Perfect. My problem with these shorts is that I don't outline them sufficiently; I'm just bursting with desire to write and never put in the hard hours working and reworking an outline, plot, etc. In this case, I have followed retrospectively this prompt and done just that (sort of) for 'Open Their Eyes'. With your indulgence, I'm going to email this new background around for your consideration. I trust that you will see where this will fit the first draft of OTE, but also where it will change the story, or the references to least, to fix (I hope) that through line, character motivations, resolution, etc.

I will still respond to individual comments above, and they are so very much appreciated, but probably I will be referring a lot to the background that's just about to come around.

Thank you for your patience.

<R>

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Thank you for those comments, @rdpulfer, straight to the point, as ever! :) 

On 29/08/2017 at 1:31 AM, rdpulfer said:

I don't think Pen blindsiding the main character works

Hmm; my thinking is that Pen entered the inn surreptitiously, certainly unnoticed by protag (now called J e l h a n), maybe even by a rear/kitchen entrance. He's small and sneaky, which I hope comes out from the story, so this type of evasion would not be difficult for him.

On 29/08/2017 at 1:31 AM, rdpulfer said:

The line them being the heroes seems a bit heavy-handed

Yeah - to be fixed in a later version. See emailed background.

On 29/08/2017 at 1:31 AM, rdpulfer said:

the ending seems a bit forced

As per above - to be fixed through application of new background.

On 29/08/2017 at 1:31 AM, rdpulfer said:

there's no real conclusion

Agreed - to be fixed.

On 29/08/2017 at 1:31 AM, rdpulfer said:

but I think it's still a good one!

Awesome, thanks, RD - it will get better due to all these great comments. To jump ahead a bit and answer a point by @industrialistDragon, there is no particular word limit on this. It sailed past 1,500 - now sitting at 3,000+. The writing prompt I am loosely working to specs 4,000 words, but I won't be tied by that either.

<R>

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Hey @Wisps of Aether, thank you for reading and commenting, much appreciated.

On 29/08/2017 at 5:03 AM, Wisps of Aether said:

assume that PoV identifies as male

Yeah, male. Some issues to fix there, per iDragon's comments, but I'll come to that! :) He now has a name too, J e h l a n.

On 29/08/2017 at 5:03 AM, Wisps of Aether said:

swearing bit seemed natural as well, and it fit with the characters. Good job on that count.

That's great. I tend to be a bit sweary in practice (but I promise I'll be on my best behaviour at ReCON!!), and writing Moth has only reinforced that (...cough... so much fun ...cough...) - so, it's good to know that my approach here seems to be proportionate.

On 29/08/2017 at 5:03 AM, Wisps of Aether said:

A few of the similes don't work as well for me

Okay, fair comment, and I see you are not alone in that. I will tackle those again in the next draft.

On 29/08/2017 at 5:03 AM, Wisps of Aether said:

felt like the other characters didn't really have enough time dedicated to them

Okay, as noted above, there's particular word limit on this one, other than I don't want it to become bloated and read like a couple of chapters from a novel. Still, there's plenty I can do to flesh out K and P and bit.

On 29/08/2017 at 5:03 AM, Wisps of Aether said:

found Pennice's dialect to be difficult to decipher

Ha-ha, okay, this seems to be a running theme. Perhaps it's down to me watching the excellent BBC adaptation of Winston Graham's Poldark novels, set firmly in Cornwall. 'ee can be considered a contraction of 'he' or 'thee', depending on need. Other than that, it's 'em and ain't - which I presume on their own are not difficult. I'll look at his dialogue again; I don't want to exclude anyone from the story through something so simple. You can expect I'll simplify/clarify that.

On 29/08/2017 at 5:03 AM, Wisps of Aether said:

really liked the ending

Excellent, I'm very pleased. I will tweak it to try and tackle the concern that RDP had, but the form will not change drastically, I think. Perhaps just be a bit more informed by the 'new' background.

On 29/08/2017 at 5:03 AM, Wisps of Aether said:

overly posh and the extra expense being not at all functional

Definitely, thanks. I'm more than happy to drop in some more brief touches from the Brush of Description (for the old stagers around here, this was carved from the same Ancient Tree Language as the Grammar Stick - youngsters, see signature below ;) ).

Have a great day yourself, Wisps, whenever that might start! :) 

<R>

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I really enjoyed this piece. I had many of the same concerns as other.

P's dialect was difficult to decipher at times. The relationship between C and your MC was interesting, but lacking the depth of a fleshed out background that would create real buy-in; this could be just a thing with shorts, I don't read them often admittedly.

I also agree with some of the aforementioned comments by others regarding the whiplash switch to robin hood'ry. The change seemed so sudden, with no back-ground, that it fell flat and lacked any emotional weight. I'm a reader who's fairly easy to please, so I typically overlook these things, but since it has already been brought up it kind of forced me to think twice about it.

I love the small, direct tid-bits of world building you drop in your story. They're super effective. I didn't have as much of a problem with your similes as others, but I can see their point. 

I would have loved to learn more about the other characters as well. :D

Overall, very enjoyable read for me. I would be excited to learn more about this universe and I would definitely continue reading on.

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On 8/28/2017 at 11:58 AM, Robinski said:

 

(1) - Does it work / entertain?

(2) - Do the characters engage you?

(3) - Is there a recognisable through-line, and does it hang together?

(4) - Does the story deliver?

(5) - Is the 'message' too heavy handed / telegraphed?

2

I'll answer your questions, and then get into my more detailed thoughts and nitpicks below!

1: It definitely entertains!

2: Somewhat, I would have liked more scenes with these characters just interacting to get a better handle on their personalities, but given the short story format they were solid enough.

3: Again, somewhat, I feel like conceptually there's a solid through-line, but it's missing some key connective tissue to make it more organic, but the bones are interesting and consistent.

4: For me, it does. The story promised some rough characters getting into trouble and for the most part that's what I got. I go into more detail below, but generally, I think the ending would work better with some more lead-up and if we got more from the MC so we see how he makes his decision.

5: I could honestly use more telegraphing. I also feel that the characters might be a little too happy at the end, especially considering that the MC definitely did consider turning on them and they know they did.

 

1: 

-The introductory paragraph is very abrupt. I get that's what you're aiming for here, but some additional lead-up before "and then there was a second person and they were punching me" would help me ease into the story a little better.

-Pennice's dialect is basically gibberish to me, he could be talking about taxes for all I can decipher.

2:

-I'm not sure if the "left outdoors too long" was intended as some sort of insult or if it was intended literally, but since this is a fantasy story I'm going to read on as if it was the latter.

-"The gulls still skirled" - I think this is meant to be "swirled"


3:

-"that bard in Ironbrook's song" - might work better as "that bard from Ironbrook's song"


4:

-This is definitely nitpicky, and more of a personal taste, but I feel that "Who was 'we'? Surely, I meant I" passage would work better being split off as its own paragraph.

5:

-"switch already glowed" - should be "switch already glowing"


6:

-I feel that MC deciding to stick with his friends comes out of nowhere, even just a few tweaks to the preceding scenes to show their mounting horror as they come to terms with their friends' possible deaths would make a world of difference. As it is, we entirely miss out on what's going on in their head.


7:

-The "It's just for show" line feels unnecessary and I think the scene might be more punchy with just the preceding line and then the action.

-I think some additional description for the master wand might help, because I'm not sure if I was meant to be picturing like a war horn in my head, but that's what I did when the word "horn" is used.


I didn't mind the ending, though I would have liked more build up to it, and I feel like the complete end to the group's tension at the end is a bit out of place. I'd imagine they would still be fairly strained, even if the MC proved to be a true ally. As well, the line that revealed that the MC was playing both sides could have been more direct. The line from the Enforcer itself is fine, it's just that it comes in the middle of an action scene and I feel some additional details there could make it more obvious that the comment isn't directed at the MC himself, which is how I interpreted it on my first pass.

 

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Thank you as ever, @Mandamon, for those most excellent comments. I think we can all agree by this point that the ending and the through line need work, and are inconsistent with other sections/development.

I'm going to oblige everyone looking for more background to the group, as that is going to be necessary to be able to land the ending and the through line, I feel certain.

On 29/08/2017 at 1:16 PM, Mandamon said:

Cause that seems interesting, but would (be) a much larger reveal.

Yes, perhaps a bit too blasé, to the point it gets lost.

On 29/08/2017 at 1:16 PM, Mandamon said:

there's a rather sexist bent to the insults, even when given by the lone female

Fair comment. I'll accept (and address) that.

On 29/08/2017 at 1:16 PM, Mandamon said:

wait, what? what squirrel?

I refer to Pen as squirrelly ands was hoping to parle that into a nickname of sorts. Seems to need more work :) 

On 29/08/2017 at 1:16 PM, Mandamon said:

guarding and stealing the carriage. This needs to be made clearer.

Will do.

On 29/08/2017 at 1:16 PM, Mandamon said:

but he actually chose his old band?

Yeah, I was trying to make him unreliable - more work again!

On 29/08/2017 at 1:16 PM, Mandamon said:

You've shown MC has that inner focus. this just reads as an infodump.

Hmm, okay. I'm on the second Harry Dresden book, having just discovered them (I knew of them, just hadn't ever read one). I feel like he does this alllll the time. That don't make it right, I suppose.

Thanks again - lots of good edits to get my teeth into :) 

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Hey, ID - many thanks for reading. I will now tiptoe, slightly fearfully, into reading your comments in detail :D 

On 30/08/2017 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

First off, this is definitely better than your previous story! But I agree with a lot of the things...

Yeah - there will be wholesale upgrades in the through-line of the story. 

On 30/08/2017 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

Digging the sort of gritty fantasy noir vibe going on in the beginning...

Excellent - that's my cornerstone.

To answer the point about the dialect... I'll quote myself!!! (Oh, there's got to be a law against that.)

On 30/08/2017 at 8:42 AM, Robinski said:

Perhaps it's down to me watching the excellent BBC adaptation of Winston Graham's Poldark novels, set firmly in Cornwall. 'ee can be considered a contraction of 'he' or 'thee', depending on need. Other than that, it's 'em and ain't - which I presume on their own are not difficult. I'll look at his dialogue again; I don't want to exclude anyone from the story through something so simple.

 

On 30/08/2017 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

my guess is Contralto of Danger ?

This was not my intention, but I can see how you got there. I'll consider this in great detail on the re-write.

On 30/08/2017 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

it's just using sleeping together as shorthand for having a deep understanding

Okay. I felt like there were other references that conveyed there was more to it, but I'll re-evaluate that on the edit.

On 30/08/2017 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

I think maybe this story might just need to be written in the amount of words it needs

There's no problem with this. I have no set limit here. The inconsistencies has everything to do with me writing it in a day-and-a-half :D 

On 30/08/2017 at 1:56 AM, industrialistDragon said:

overall it's a good start on an action-heavy piece.

Awesome - I'm loving the positive vibe this is getting. I'm not sure I really have the M/C down - which is not helping, but I'm enthused to give it another go. You might expect to see this again in a month or so.

Thanks so much, ID. Always a pleasure :) 

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Posted (edited)

Hey, TK, great to hear from you. Thank you so much of reading.

On 30/08/2017 at 2:48 PM, TKWade said:

I really enjoyed this piece.

I cannot ask for any more than that. I appreciate your concerns, and it's very helpful to have that confirmation that various of these things are mainline issues that everyone is picking. It makes it that much easier to address them in an edit.

On 30/08/2017 at 2:48 PM, TKWade said:

whiplash switch to robin hood'ry

Uh-huh, this is most likely going to go, it started as a throwaway line and I did not see it for what it was, so it's still there in this draft when I should have weeded it out. The retrospective background that I circulated separately by email should help with these glaring inconsistencies.

On 30/08/2017 at 2:48 PM, TKWade said:

I love the small, direct tid-bits of world building you drop in your story.

It is very, very pleasing to know that those things worked. Given I now have a background for the story, you can expect a few more, no doubt.

On 30/08/2017 at 2:48 PM, TKWade said:

I would have loved to learn more about the other characters as well.... I would be excited to learn more about this universe and I would definitely continue reading on.

Ha, well now. I set this up as a short, but it seems the characters have resonated with people, to greater or lesser extent. I start to ask myself if I should consider a longer form, but I'm so keen to write some shorts that I'm concerned I might have defeated my own purpose. What to do... make the characters less engaging? Never!! I might consider a series of short stories showing the progress of these characters. That might be a very interesting challenge - which I need about as much as another hole in the head (currently being in possession of the regulation number of head holes for an adult human).

Thank you so much for the encouraging comments - so much to think about!! Much appreciated.

<R>

Edited by Robinski
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Hey @Yuoaman, thank you for your comments. Greatly appreciated.

I've taken notes from your answers to the points. Very helpful.

On 31/08/2017 at 4:21 AM, Yuoaman said:

some additional lead-up before "and then there was a second person and they were punching me"

I think I will be doing this. Certainly, I need a bit more framing information up front. I will try and fit it before the punch.

On 31/08/2017 at 4:21 AM, Yuoaman said:

"The gulls still skirled" - I think this is meant to be "swirled"

Err, nope, but it is a bit of a niche word...   skirl (noun) - a shrill, wailing sound, especially that of bagpipes. - "we heard a skirl of the pipes"

On 31/08/2017 at 4:21 AM, Yuoaman said:

"that bard in Ironbrook's song" - might work better as "that bard from Ironbrook's song"

Yeah, I swithered over this line and had various versions. I agree your suggestion is a bit easier to pick up. The thing I like about mine is that it evokes a trip they made to Ironbrook, making them sound travelled. The other version makes the bard sound travelled. I might sacrifice the meaning for the increased legibility.

On 31/08/2017 at 4:21 AM, Yuoaman said:

I feel that "Who was 'we'? Surely, I meant I" passage would work better being split off as its own paragraph.

I'll consider that. Paragraphs are a thing that I don't always pay that close attention to. Thanks.

On 31/08/2017 at 4:21 AM, Yuoaman said:

we entirely miss out on what's going on in their head

Agreed - I will address this.

On 31/08/2017 at 4:21 AM, Yuoaman said:

some additional description for the master wand might help

Agreed - good call.

On 31/08/2017 at 4:21 AM, Yuoaman said:

the complete end to the group's tension at the end is a bit out of place

Agreed - I'll fix this.

Thanks again! :) 

 
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Better late than never, eh?

Overall

I'm confused. Unsure what the conflict is and who these people are. The blurb at the bottom of the second file helped a little, but the whole thing was still murky. Character development I liked early on, and the battle was done well enough, I just don't know why it was done. I'd love to see more banter between our lead and the 'love interest', especially if it gives her some personality. 

Good start! 

On 8/29/2017 at 5:16 AM, Mandamon said:

but it needs just a little more punch to make the ending effective

I agree

On 8/29/2017 at 5:56 PM, industrialistDragon said:

I found the through line to be very muddled, and the swap to "and suddenly we're robin hood" to be completely confusing. I didn't get the sense at all that these people worked together for anything other than money, and I didn't feel like there was any foreshadowing or reasoning behind the flip. 

And also this. Sums up my issues with the piece perfectly.

 

As I go

- page one is a might adjective heavy

- I greatly enjoyed the description of Charenne

- LOL with the mage line, too

- page three: so I like the characters, but am unsure what the plot is at this point

- page four: the paragraph with where our MC has had sex with Charenne is a little much. 

- page seven: professional curiosity - the wand was laminated? Shellaced? Why did the fibers 'delaminate'?

- page eight: still not sure what the battle is about

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I liked the piece - and would not comment any more, others have done it so there is no need for me to add too much.

As a general impression - it need just a little bit tightening, and the ending could be improved with something unexpected happening (for instance they decide to keep the treasure and not give it to Martmont, or something similar)  then it's good to send out.

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On 05/09/2017 at 0:55 PM, Gustaf Taen said:

As a general impression - it need just a little bit tightening, and the ending could be improved with something unexpected happening (for instance they decide to keep the treasure and not give it to Martmont, or something similar

Hey Gustaf, thanks so much for reading. I'm glad that this worked for you on some level. Completely agree with the tightening point, and I have a fair bit go over from all of the excellent comments.

The ending, certainly, is something that needs tightening. You've struck on a point that I don't think anyone else mentioned, which is the fate of the master wand - of course @kais quite rightly asked for confirmation of its nature, which is unclear too.

I'm going to have another go at this story in a few weeks.

Thanks again :) 

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On 05/09/2017 at 0:53 AM, kais said:

Better late than never, eh?

Always - eh!

On 05/09/2017 at 0:53 AM, kais said:

I just don't know why it was done.

Yeah, the background emerged after I'd written the story. I'm back in to drop some of that background from the start, which hopefully will frame the whole thing much better.

On 05/09/2017 at 0:53 AM, kais said:

I'd love to see more banter between our lead and the 'love interest', especially if it gives her some personality.

Highly likely, as I think the back round development and through line are more likely to come from Char than M/C.

On 05/09/2017 at 0:53 AM, kais said:

so I like the characters, but am unsure what the plot is at this point

Me too :mellow:

On 05/09/2017 at 0:53 AM, kais said:

the paragraph with where our MC has had sex with Charenne is a little much

Ok, yeah, will review.

On 05/09/2017 at 0:53 AM, kais said:

professional curiosity - the wand was laminated? Shellaced? Why did the fibers 'delaminate'?

Not exactly, clarification required.

Thank you for your ever excellent comments, to the point, as always :) 

Edited by Robinski
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