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kais

TWD - Interludes II, III, IV - kais 09/04/17 1779 words (SH)

9 posts in this topic

SH = self harm

Three more little interludes that are just meant to give worldbuilding without info dumping in the narrative. My hope for them is that they are engaging and build character and world, not much else. 

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Interlude 2 (the first one in the set here)
-- is too long, imo. 
-- seems to lack focus
-- It might just be my complete failure to be a normal child, but do normal kids show each other things like that? Like, I absolutely never did & never had any desire to see anyone else's.  It seems like such a stereotype... but then I fail at recognizing a lot of "normal childhood behavior" so... call it a wash? 
-- Also, the first part doesn't have much at all to do with the second part, the bedtime story.  I'd rather have a short interlude with s & m, if that's a point to highlight, and a separate one with just the story, maybe fairytale/folktale-style, because it seems like an interesting story.
 

Interlude 3 (the floors one)

-- could still stand a bit of streamlining.
-- the info about the binders, while interesting, feels unnecessary in this piece. IMO short and concentrated works best for interludes.
-- is the best of the 3 for me, by far. 
 
Interlude 4 (with Sa)
-- is again, MUCH TOO LONG
--did not keep my interest. I was skimming by the bottom of first page. 
-- is still more focused than Interlude 1, even having said that. 
-- I feel like it buries the lede, if the point is the self-harm and So's interaction with Sa.  I don't need a full novel's worth of place description in a short bit like this. Remember, like chapter kickers, some people will just skip the interludes outright, so they're not intended to ghettoize necessary descriptive passages that would be better placed in the text but are having trouble being slotted into dialogue and action. :P
 
I enjoy the interludes in general though! Definitely pro-interlude. ;) Sometimes they look better in context than they do by themselves, though. 
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Interlude 2


- I feel like the meat of this was really about getting to the story at the end. I think it could be cut down a bit, but the stuff prior to the story did build the two characters well. If the book includes these characters then the moments may hold relevance to buy-in and I'd be okay with that. It read easily, so the length really didn't bother me.

- To @industrialistDragon's comment, as boys growing up, me and my brother did similar things. Didn't compare cocks(pardon my language) per-say, but I recall being curious who had hair under their arms. Even getting facial hair early was some what of a thing. It wasn't like a focus or anything, but it would be a lie to pretend that the conversations never happened. I think it's a pretty normal part of growing up, more so, maybe, with siblings or really close friends of relative age.

- Overall, I enjoyed the interlude and the characters felt real quickly.

Interlude 3

- As a parent, I LOVE that first little bit haha, made me smile.

- Seemed to take a bit of a darker turn that I was expecting. Sounds like an interesting direction. Left me with many questions and thoughts of what could be going on.

- So, from this interlude I'm getting that Sorin and Magda are not related, but from this portion of the first interlude - “I think we’re supposed to be sleeping. Mother doesn’t like it when I’m too tired in the morning to stay awake on the boat back to Thuja.” I got the feeling that they might have been sisters. Looks like that was the wrong assumption, but I'm sure I would have known that had I read the first couple of submissions.

Interlude 4

- Well, that escalated quickly. I need to go back and read chapter 1 and 2 that you posted for more background I think, but this was a good interlude. I didn't see any problems with it that I could identify.

As interludes, they may be too long, I'm not real sure what the standards are there. Either way, for me they worked, they build the characters up for me. I felt empathy for Sorin and I felt like understood the world better at the end of each interlude. I think if anything the first needs the most work and could probably be shortened a bit.

I had a hard time telling what the exact focus is on the second interlude, but I enjoyed the interaction between Sorin and the mother. I wasn't sure if the focus was on their relationship and how meticulous/strict Sorin's mother was or on the strange we she ended up acting towards the end of it.

Anyway, hope that helps a bit :)

Edited by TKWade
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Interlude 2: I'm with @industrialistDragon that I never showed off to anyone else either. But I'm an only child, so maybe it's more a sibling thing? I didn't feel the interludes were too long. Are you planning them as separate chapter-ets, or tagged on to the beginning of a chapter? I'd do these as separate.

pg 2: "I climbed back onto the bed and hovered over her"
--like, S is laying on top of M?

pg 2: "I think we’re supposed to be sleeping."
--I would think they would have gotten some direction, or at least know it was past bedtime.

pg 2: The story reads more as an infodump. Or maybe S is a really bad storyteller ;-). Also not sure what the parts were that made Sorin uncomfortable. Where those what she left out?
Is this meant to replace telling that story up at the glacier? If so, I'd expand a bit to give it some depth. If it's told in both places, I feel like that will be redundant.

Interlude 3: The setup is good, but I want something a little more out of the ending. You hint that A is keeping S away from M, but never really give a reason or how this affects S. I'm not sure whether the focus is S  and M or the binders.

Interlude 4: I like this one the best of the three. The only problem I have is this section:

"I stayed on the ground and raked my hands over my arms. It relieved that horrible, incessant itching that came when people looked at me, or talked to me, or assumed, insisted, that I was a girl."
I think it would be more powerful if we knew before that Sam was going to accuse S of being a boy, and thus not an heir. That leads better into S's quandary and why the scabs on the arms. It kept my interest, but partly because I had heard of the situation from later on in the book when Sa/S reference it. If I didn't know about it, I might be more lost, so placement in the story is probably important.

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Interlude II

- I like the interaction between Sorin and Magda. I really didn't see anything strange about their conversation, given how close they are.

- I did feel the "favorite story" was a bit of an excuse for info-dumping, and it felt a little boring compared to the actual character interaction.

Interlude III

- I like the tension between Sorin and her mother. 

- I wanted a little more reaction from Sorin's mother after she tries to barter with her. The lack of reaction kind of deflates the tension, because you know she's going to pretty much ignore Sorin's requests from then on.

Interlude IV

- This is definitely the best use of escalating tension that, well, escalates. I didn't really have any problems with it. Good job!

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Ooh, more interludes, nice!

Age 11

  • “trained in on one of the king’s farms” – I think.
  • What’s a “scutum”?
  • Fine, fine.”
  • “But the night before, she escaped, and she went onto the glacier” – As in the night before the culling, not the night before she escaped.

Age 13

  • I enjoyed this one for the same reason as I enjoyed ‘Age 11’ – seeing relationships that we’ve only really been told about, certainly in the early stages, of TWD proper.

Age 14

  • “None were was older than fifteen” – I know, I know, you probably don’t want grammar, but still.

And yes, I liked the third one for the same reason again. I think these are important on two levels; the reveal of these early, key relationships, but also giving the reader a better understanding of S that is much clearer to pick up on than the first parts of the story without these interludes.

Excellent work. Thank you!

<R>

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Page 1

I touched one, pressing it into M’s skin and running along the [MJ1]  length until it sprang back into place.


 [MJ1]it’s length

Just oblong lumps[MJ1] . Show me yours.”


 [MJ1]How many people their age use the word ‘oblong’?

 

“I don’t care if they ever come,” I declared, far more confidently than I felt[MJ1] .


 [MJ1]Reads stronger if you stop at declared.

Page 2

            “Naw.” M flopped onto her back, onto a pile of silk pillows[MJ1] .


 [MJ1]Two  ‘onto’ in one sentence. Perhaps…onto her back, and rested on a pair of silk pillows.

            I knew exactly what parts she was talking about, and they were parts that were making me increasingly uncomfortable as I got older[MJ1] .


 [MJ1]Doesn’t read as though it’s your character’s voice.

“But the night before she escaped, and she[MJ1]  went onto the glacier, alone


 [MJ1]Is this line of dialogue supposed to read like this?

This interlude left me wondering why you wrote it.  I decided it was to reveal the history of the kingdom/world and show a growing discomfort with your character’s body.  Considering this, okay.  It works but it is not as poignant as the first one you wrote which seemed to be alive and integral to the story. 

Page 4

Mother stepped past me without speaking, into the forest. [MJ1] 


 [MJ1]Interesting phraising.

“Mother!” I called out after her. I hadn’t seen M in weeks. I was always one chore away[MJ1] , it seemed, from her, or the palace, or any other friends I had managed to cultivate in T proper.


 [MJ1]Perhaps: It seemed like there was always one more chore ‘that I had to do’ before I could see M, the palace or any other friends, and I could never get it all done.

I sank, deflated, onto my knees, as the wind tossed the strands of my recently cut, short black hair[MJ1] .


 [MJ1]Syntax feels clunky.

Page 5

Tossed the strands of black hair, which I’d just cut short. 

She couldn’t keep me busy forever[MJ1] .


 [MJ1]I liked this interlude.  It reveals why S and M’s relationship began to fade, and hints at why S’s mom did it.  Short, sweet, and effective. 

Page 6

“Who are you?” a boy with the same curly black hair as me asked. His hair was the same length as mine, too, since I’d just cut it[MJ1] 


 [MJ1]A boy with the same short curly black hair as me asked. 

 

Page 8

Someone tried to help me up but I stayed limp, preferring to watch blood drip from my arms onto the dusty mix of dirt and woodchips than say those words again[MJ1] 


 [MJ1]Why would S need to save the words again…Is it implied the is bully demanding it?

 

This one worked for me again.  It builds the world, and the character, and develops some reader sympathy.  Overall I think these interludes are a great idea. I'm glad you've decided to sprinkle them throughout. 

 

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Jeeze, how did this get away from me?

On 9/4/2017 at 6:03 PM, industrialistDragon said:

but do normal kids show each other things like that

I know we had this convo in chat, but for those in the peanut gallery wondering, this was like, every slumber party I had from maybe eight through twelve

On 9/4/2017 at 6:03 PM, industrialistDragon said:

Also, the first part doesn't have much at all to do with the second part, the bedtime story.  I'd rather have a short interlude with s & m, if that's a point to highlight, and a separate one with just the story, maybe fairytale/folktale-style, because it seems like an interesting story.

Hrm. I need to find a way to integrate them better, because this is following basic slumber party protocol in which strange body comparisons is then followed by consuming too much caffeine and telling spooky, sometimes (often) dirty stories. Then falling asleep giggling. Thank you @industrialistDragon!

 

On 9/5/2017 at 6:21 AM, TKWade said:

I had a hard time telling what the exact focus is on the second interlude

Yup, that's okay. The mother interludes build together. Thank you for the comments!!

 

On 9/5/2017 at 0:41 PM, Mandamon said:

Are you planning them as separate chapter-ets, or tagged on to the beginning of a chapter? I'd do these as separate.

They're separate chapter-ettes, occurring about every three chapters, to help fill in the world. Based upon the last two weeks of feedback, they seem to be working rather well, so I finished them off this last week. Hopefully they deal with the info dump problems.

On 9/5/2017 at 0:41 PM, Mandamon said:

The story reads more as an infodump.

I have come to the conclusion that this particular section of text has to go somewhere. I can try to integrate it here better through dialogue inserts, but that will make the interlude longer. Argh. I just don't know. It does replace the glacier thing though.

On 9/5/2017 at 0:41 PM, Mandamon said:

but I want something a little more out of the ending

These are 'builder' interludes, so they're not meant to have the same bite as the others. Let me know how you feel after a few more?

On 9/5/2017 at 0:41 PM, Mandamon said:

I think it would be more powerful if we knew before that Sam was going to accuse S of being a boy

I edited to clear this up. Thank you for reading (again)!

 

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On 9/8/2017 at 5:01 PM, rdpulfer said:

I wanted a little more reaction from Sorin's mother after she tries to barter with her. The lack of reaction kind of deflates the tension, because you know she's going to pretty much ignore Sorin's requests from then on.

Ah, but ignore them with increasing disdain! Well, that's the plan, anyway.

On 9/8/2017 at 5:01 PM, rdpulfer said:

I did feel the "favorite story" was a bit of an excuse for info-dumping, and it felt a little boring compared to the actual character interaction.

Yup. Will try to fix this. Thank you!

 

On 9/10/2017 at 7:18 AM, Robinski said:

I think these are important on two levels; the reveal of these early, key relationships, but also giving the reader a better understanding of S that is much clearer to pick up on than the first parts of the story without these interludes.

Wonderful! Then they're working perfectly. I'm please with how much richer they make the story. Thank you for the comments!

On 9/10/2017 at 2:26 PM, M.Puddles said:

Doesn’t read as though it’s your character’s voice.

Agreed. I just deleted it.

On 9/10/2017 at 2:26 PM, M.Puddles said:

Why would S need to save the words again…Is it implied the is bully demanding it?

Yeah, it's implied that Sam won't stop asking until S answers 'properly', cause Sam knows full well who S is. This one leads right into a chapter where adult Sam is introduced, so I think that gets cleared up. Thank you for the thorough feedback!

 

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