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Everything posted by FormlessFox

  1. Completely agree I read through it very quickly. I could have done without the police woman storyline and gotten more form the other two it was frustratingly short story wise. The artwork was really cool and I appreciated the taste of the magic we got but it needed to be longer!
  2. Hi Alias, Glad you took the plunge with the writing group. I have some general comments about your story: The third sentence in the intro has too many commas segmenting it up and kind of stuttered in the way I read it. "A single boot, crafted of simple leather, against hard stone, built centuries afore, standing for years in this place, unmoving." (5 commas). I'm not an expert on grammar rules but maybe something along the lines of "A single boot crafted of simple leather pressed against the hard stone, which stood for centuries in this place, unmoving." The whole "themself" thing really needs to be justified for me. My brain reads these sentences and immediately gives me an itch that it sounds wrong. Why themself? My mind kind of cringes at it everytime. If you are going for a non gender floating entity type thing maybe have him refer to himself as him then laugh that he is really neither a he or a she but he settles for one pronoun or the other because humans can't wrap their head around it. I really liked the poem you included I thought it was cool. The highlanderesque quickening aka the reaction to killing the guy was a bit confusing to me. He seems to gain power from killing because now he can form the air into the stairway and he couldn't do that before. Then he screams about Teylan so thats who is causing the reaction? Why would Teylan leave him someone to be killed so he could become stronger? Or was that a victim Teylan was gonna sacrifice and he swooped in and got him? Cael also mentions he is killing a friend which is kind of understated. Maybe add in some friend knowledge that he disregards like "he knew the face of his son, the first girl he ever kissed, his hopes, his dreams but they killed the man anyway." The Cael/Teylan showdown kind of reminded me of the Prologue to the Wheel of Time except theres not much defining dialogue like in the Wheel of Time. I would really like someone to spell out what is happening for me here so I have something vested in the battle. I'm not really sure if death is a good or just thinks so at this point until Teylan calls him a valiant hero attacking a "servant". Servant of what? What exactly is Cael not accomplishing by dying? Can he rub it in his face a little more so I understand what is going on? It was enjoyable to read but there were some things teased that I would have liked to know a little more about mainly the shape of the conflict. Why do I care about this battle? Who do I sympathize with because I really don't know the purpose of the main characters suffering or the destruction he is causing. It seems like we are dealing with a burn the world to save it type thing but why should I get behind it? Great job buddy sorry if my response was a bit lengthy in its questions. Also I hope you don't feel discouraged by my misunderstandings the important part is that I found it interesting and am looking forward to the answers! Best of luck, Fox
  3. Sorry about that, I was searching for Chapter 3 of Jet Black Medium in your car and stole your gps to find out where you have been maybe you left it there... came back the next night and decided you probably had writers block and needed some inspiration so I lit a fire under your butt! Just kidding really sorry to hear that, but seriously look forward to next submission keep at it!
  4. I thought the story read well I don't get hung up on grammatical perfection as long as it makes sense and doesn't make me reread the sentence. The dialogue was pretty typical beginning of the story flat character dialogue as far as the proud know-it-all introduction. Maybe instead of having her suitor explain the magic system have him take rose petals and turn it into a rose then back again and show instead of tell? I recently read plutarchs lives so I know what a lictor is but in the context of your story its hard to understand. I agree with the comments about lack of tension (the world being in danger etc). I really feel like the prologue needs to drive home the main conflict to keep my curiosity satisfied. Also the detective mystery aspect was not really there as the case seemed pretty boring and had no real keep reading factor. The prologue showed the guy getting cursed but it was a "mild" curse... then our main character is on the trail and is not even curious/interested so why am I? You are really underplaying all of your conflicts. So overall the writing does not bother me at all and I enjoy reading the story but I have no idea what exactly I'm reading. Would like to see some danger, conflict, dark secrets =) Good luck and keep writing!
  5. Hello, I have been away awhile working on school work and decided to come back and give you some bad advice! Love the Rome allusions and the fact that you have watched HBOs Rome!!! Just to comment generally I really liked the build up of the story but I found it hard to latch on to anything emotionally. The worldbuilding was well done but at the end I was kind of like so what? I would really like you to at least hint or foreshadow why I care that this person was cursed (for better or worse there is no real emotion, no reflection on the why. Maybe he feels the bruises on his back or even something simple like that to give me context). I know you want a big reveal prologue type setup thing but start foreshadowing the conflict I think that will be a big improvement. Questions on fury priests: It seems like the magic is being undervalued in the story in the sense that you can hire a magical torturer to bother someone non stop yet its being used for petty "dont hurt him" grudges? Is there such thing as Political or socially cursing? Why wouldn't fury priests target political targets for kings for big bucks/status? This is like aggressive bully tweeting on crack. Why would the ruling class allow plebs to use this? Also I would really really really like to see someone who is cursed into not dying or embarrass them self courting someone or something comical. (I was kind of hoping the cursed subject was the protagonist but I have rarely seen a protagonist described as scrawny with thinning hair haha) I am guessing this prologue will develop and make more sense as to why this is occurring. Great submission keep it going!
  6. I did not know about this so forgive me if its common knowledge but I stumbled across this today: Robert Jordan (1948-2007) was an epic fantasy author best known for his internationally best-selling Wheel of Time sequence. Martin and Jordan were friends, with Martin citing Jordan's positive cover blurb for A Game of Thrones as helping drive sales of the paperback edition of the novel. Lord Trebor Jordayne of the Tor is mentioned by Tyrion Lannister as being one of the great lords of Dorne. Robert Jordan was published by Tor Books for most of his career (A Storm of Swords). (Trebor is Robert backwards" Lady Rohanne Webber of Coldmoat has her hair tied in a long braid and tugs on it in moments of high stress, similar to the character of Nynaeve al'Meara in Jordan's Wheel of Time novels. Archmaester Rigney is mentioned as theorising that time is a wheel. James Oliver Rigney, Jr. was Robert Jordan's real name. The words of house Jordayne are "it will be written" and the sigil is a quill. Thought this was very cool!
  7. Now that all the serious comments are in the NEU is totally a sentient hemalurgic spike. "Would you like to shoot some bad guys today?"
  8. The first paragraph really reminded me of a Tom Clancy interlude where you see the forces working behind the scenes that will eventually come together to challenge the main character which I liked. I also liked the descriptions of random objects that helped me picture the setting like spotting an Aerobus, etc. My main criticism is that I have no idea what the NEU is to the world... everyone in the precinct knows Paul has a computer in his head and they act like its no big deal so is this technology widespread? Does this mean Marie also has a NEU of some sort that she knows Paul is wrong on his match percentage? I don't understand how Paul didn't follow protocol... Meaning don't engage the criminal without me? Maybe a simple your a robot not a superhero follow the protocol and wait for me line would clear that up. Paul originally says 80%, Marie corrects him and says 90%... then he admits he got a 93%. Confused about that... also... tell him what first? For me I started enjoying the story when you saw that Marie and Paul are in fact lovers and she talks about how she always remembers and hopes she can love him enough that he can remember. I like the difficulty of their relationship and the angst/tension that comes from it. Otherwise the Universal Soldier type thing going on is cool but sterile as far as the police work which is analyze, aim, shoot. I would like to see him kind of take in information on a human level that creates an internal man v. machine conflict. Maybe something about her appearance betrays that she has children and his human emotions say he probably shouldn't kill her but the NEU is like nope threat level too high pull the trigger. I did find the action and story cool but the whole time I was wondering how the homicide police in France get this guy on their force. I would expect him to be working white collar or organized crime with his analyzation skills. Where does this guy fit into this world? Is the NEU an advanced version of some biotech being used in the world? Everyone in the precinct knows about the NEU so it can't be some top secret government thing... and why would they let some amateur cops run around using their tech? The military guy says they don't need to keep the NEU in his head but they leave it for research... yet its also possible Paul can ruin their plans so if your an illegal group why make this guy a cop? Why not your enforcer where you can control him a bit more? He is ex-military and has no memory prior to the NEU making him very valuable to a criminal organization. Very interested to see how this turns out great submission.
  9. Hello, I am so grateful for all of your help! This is my first submission to the group and I am very excited/nervous. My goal with this chapter was to dive into the action while revealing info about the world/magic to be elaborated in later chapters. I wrote the outline without knowing what kind of magic I wanted to use... so its kind of growing as I write. In addition to your normal feedback of what confused, interested or amused you if you could please comment on: Writing/formatting/grammar: -I read a lot but have little knowledge regarding what is the "right way" to write. I apologize for any glaring mistakes and would appreciate your feedback. Infodump: -Too much info? Not enough? What did you not understand? What do you wish there was more info on? Characters: -First impressions of Andrinal? Dirk? Action: - Were you entertained? (ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? -Andrinal doing best Russel Crowe impression) Magic: -Did it strike you as interesting or ehhh? -Anything leave you saying aww come on? Anything you wished I did? Again so happy to be a part of this group and thank you so much!
  10. Thanks Robinski for the detailed comments. Its pretty clear I wrote a chapter stuffed with so much info only I could understand it. The Elias-wolf connection... wow I am a huge WoT fan and completely missed that haha. The gruesome shield depiction- Blackhearts create messed up societies that are cannibalistic in their oppression. A very dismal negative world.. without explanation or background it comes off as very crass. Hurting people=power so the world is inherently brutal. I think I need to completely revamp this story and redo chapter one starting with Dirk. I bit off way more than I should have and looking back I completely agree with all of the comments that said "I didn't really care who won the battle." Part of it was wanting to prove myself I could write the scene and make the action cool. In doing that I ignored the characters completely. So far the only people I pitch my ideas to are people who don't read... hence the misguided focus on action which did not sit well with a lot of you. While I want the book to be violent I do want you to feel like there is someone worth rooting for and that the world can change.
  11. Hello thanks for the comments! I apologize that the story fell flat I tried to accomplish too much and hoped the action would make up for it. A lot of the info dump is the result of a huge outline and this being the first words im putting to the page. I realize now that I was sooo desperate to make things concrete that I wanted to throw them in so I could say ok thats in, ok thats in, ok thats in and just write. I random name dropped a lot of important people/events etc which was a big mistake. To clarify some things: P1 - If there's a more efficient way to remove an arm, it should use less energy, no? -I realized looking back he could have just burned the shield and then cauterized the wound against it and added this line in. Doesn't really make sense honestly will probably have him use his powers right then and introduce the anger magic right away P9 - He jumps close to the soldiers where he states that their weapons are useless, but then he proceeds to take those same weapons and effectively wield them back at them at the same range. -very good point, i guess he should break off the tip or burn and snap it off P10 - Hot metal becomes softer. Is there some other effect, like enhanced strength, that allows the spear to pass so easily through armor? if so, it should be stated here. -I did not really think about the science behind it I assumed it would cut through armor like butter. Is that not how it would happen? Should the speartip turn liquid and fall between the cracks of his armor becoming a hot metal puddle on impact? If he can slag a horse, he doesn't just slag the entire army, because he seems to be able to do it at a distance, or did I miss something? -He can fling droplets close by its more lava based so I pictured it like a guy throwing mud around that is on fire. So more a fling of droplets is what I pictured. Moving forward: I started a document called Info Dumpster to transfer the irrelevant plot points for a later time and only keep in the events/people that Andrinal feels strongly about and reveals something about him/immediate events. I may need a chapter before this to really explain despair magic and why they are so dominant. Realistically I may have to Stormlight this bad boy and freewrite a PoV for each type of magic user to flesh it all out. Again thank you so much I really need to think about the most important information for the reader to know to keep them interested in finding out the rest. I was hoping the action would do that but there was just too much clunk.
  12. Personally for me there was too many name drops to follow in the first paragraph. It helps me to latch on to one name and be like ok thats the place and some details... ok thats a person and some details etc. Not sure if everyone felt that way but there was about 5 names with no substance to them. Maybe add more description so I can picture/differentiate them in my head. I found the second paragraph to be much smoother and could even be switched with the second for a softer intro. Just my perspective though interested to hear what others say. I enjoyed the imagery of a light god trapped in a prison of reflections and the idea of going into a wasteland to capture gods. I do think the story might benefit from the female character being a little more out of the loop and awed by what is happening. I did not really feel fear at any point for either character when getting chased by jackals or confronted by gods. The lovers tension between them was also very believable for me and I liked that you kept referencing the subtle glances/touches. So I guess what I am looking for is more fear/peril. Yes, god is dead but I didn't hear about any children starving or towers falling. Yes, the character got hurt but I wasn't really that worried about them. I liked how Alssia was viewing Idris being confident or timid to the different demons but I didn't have the "this thing might rip his face off feel" despite the threats. Everything seemed kind of usual run of the mill type day in god hunting land. Maybe include an anecdote of the last person who tried to catch a demon and got ripped to pieces? Was fun to read and I look forward to hopefully reading more. Sorry if my comments were unhelpful this is my first stab at critique.
  13. The short answer (and less embarrassing one) ... yes.
  14. Panic attack averted! Thanks! Downloading yours now =)
  15. Might be a dumb question but I just sent my email to the mailing list and I did not receive a copy. I assumed since I am on the list that would be my way to check if it went through... Did I do something wrong?
  16. I only have one submission (5k words) and wont have another for some time if the time it took me is any undication. So if someone is consistently submitting and doesnt want to break their momentum I would be happy to wait a week. I havent been critiquing as I felt weird about critisizing the writing of others so I dont want to steal the spot of someone who regularly critiques/submits to the group
  17. Hello, I would like to submit for Monday 2/1 if possible. I have the first chapter of a story I have outlined but I am fleshing out a lot of the details as I write and could really use some input. If I have to wait until next week that is no problem at all. Thanks.
  18. Powder Mage trilogy is finished and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for something action packed and interesting to read. I just finished book one of Runelords and I thought it was really cool. I liked the magic system of endowments(and its consequences on society) as well as the different elemental powers. I am excited to see how the rest goes!
  19. I was wondering is there any rules regarding formatting when writing that a true amateur should know/follow? I feel like the way my writing looks is off. How do I represent dialogue etc etc? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  20. Thank you for all your comments. I am still a little confused about the mix of description and dialogue and when to start new paragraphs. I really appreciate you all taking the time to give me some tips. Thanks again!
  21. I never really hated Rand. I actually despised those around him who failed to understand all the burdens he was carrying. Trying to be an unpredictable god king is tough especially when your ex girl is calling you a wool headed sheep herder when your trying to conquer the damnation world! I found his character arc to be really satisfying. The need to outsmart the forsaken at every turn and constantly saying im stone.. i need to be bronze.. im bronze i need to be steel and so on. I think the transformation is pretty realistic considering all the crap he has on his plate. Then you get to frolic with Mat and Perrin and do cool stuff.
  22. Theres that saying "pain is weakness leaving your body" but maybe in your case "pain is magic tearing into the world". Personally I would look at any type of self inflicted pain to magic transformation as a sacrifice type system and wouldn't really make the depression cutting yourself connection. They are signs of pride and status? How does having these powers effect the social standing of the person? Maybe if there is a class of scarred people it will be easier to develop a culture around it. Maybe its positive or maybe it means you were willing to hurt yourself in order to hurt someone else and your shunned for it. Maybe it is like a mowhawk indian tribe thing (they shave their hair into mohawks o their gods can see them during war time). In Bloodsong there is a binding magic where a character has ritualistic scars carved into their skin (with blood?). I do not remember the details. Good luck!
  23. The stormfather speaks to Kaladin as well. As someone else said in one of the pre chapter quotes from the in world Words of Radiance says Else Callers are the ambassadors
  24. Discuss how you follow the path of Wayne: I wear hats and make "trades" of course.