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151 Cobalt Guard


About TheDwarfyOne

  1. dreams unspoken I wake, sometimes, in the bright electric night with orange bars unspooling on the bed (having dreamt of lakewater catching golden or a salamander breathing over coals) and, rising to reality with the spark of speech a-sizzle on my tongue, pause. deflate. a stillness slides between my ribs, and coils itself about my heart. my quiet bubbles with sirens, parties next door, or just the restless susurration of my breath. and I am alone.
  2. Honest feedback, then! There's nothing wrong with the poetical prose at all. It's very descriptive/imagistic/referential, which can make a piece seem trite and artificial, but it comes across well here. If you're reading it out loud, your main problems will be pacing and intonation. Try thinking of places where your voice could rise/fall or speed/slow. Also, the audience is important too. If speaking to a group of classical student/Greek enthusiasts, it's perfect. If proclaiming it to your family, expect questions such as 'what the hell is a Bacchanalia'! In short: The piece is good and evocative, but think about how (and to whom!) you deliver it. Good luck!
  3. Nice! The excerpts shown in the Amazon preview are really well written. Well done y'all.
  4. So I've not been keeping up with the whole writing-as-a-hobby thing 'cause my doctorate's been draining me dry. Hope to get back to it eventually! Just wanted to comment on the character of Tommy Shelby which Karliene sings about in the youtube link below. It made me realise how many of my favourite characters are broken people who get up to act anyway. I found it a surprisingly helpful way to think of my own created characters too. (Also Kaladin, of course). /random comment
  5. When dying seasons churn the restless sea Into a foam-flecked frenzy, freed at last Sane men are known to flee. Some homeward to the hearths of family Bring word that hope is necessary When dying seasons churn the restless sea. Others, feeling fear of sinning, to Holy See Bring warning and a plea, for Even sane men are known to flee. Jaws taut, the brave leave quay, Seeking untethered souls When dying seasons churn the restless sea. Yet more, while locking doors with silver key Sigh to feel the wind which Sane men are known to flee. But I, feet edging sand, fling open arms And laugh a challenge, though I know When dying seasons churn the restless sea Sane men are known to flee.
  6. Now those temperatures are pretty much good summer weather here, so that sounds fine! I could handle that. The steamboat was fun. My sister's bf owns and maintains one. I also convinced them to go up the Stairway to Heaven walk on the border with Cavan, which was fun. Loads of mites though.
  7. ^ My response to death-threat writing coaches. Also, glad to finally have (largely) caught up with critiques. That was bothering me. But I did have a nice holiday at Loch Erne piloting a steam boat! And swimming in the lake. Which gave me new respect for @shatteredsmooth's lake-swimming. That thing was cold. I think my brother nearly had a heart attack when he jumped in, which was amusing.
  8. Notes as I go: P. 1. – Repetition of “little.” Wait, aren’t these musicians from M? Why are they being so hard on the university? “Making a mundie a monarch.” - Alliterative, feels like a saying. “Record keeping everyone’s magical abilities? I feel like that makes it way too easy for the Black King to manipulate those whose skills he knows he needs.” – Yep. Like William’s Domesday book, which allowed him to know the fighting strength of England’s lords, something he used in later campaigns. P. 3. – You’re promising that the fey will get lose here. P. 5. – “If my sister heard about it, she’d do something stupid.” – a bit too candid? And then there was a love interest! Didn't see that coming. After reading other comments: I am beginning to think, like Mandamon and Kais, that this is far too much of the "walk and talk" type stuff. I feel the chapters would work better condensed or changed so that, while all the other information is conveyed, something plot-driven happens at the same time. I'm thinking people are disappearing (Ah! The revolutionaries are taking musicians out because Ir blabbed to her sister about her social activities on the beach and told the revolution, who now think that the musicians are involved in some BK plot/hold needed information!) and Ir is delving into the mystery while J tries to flirt. Random example. Though I will note that you've been promising a moment where S betrays Ir (or dramatically doesn't) for a while now. Her loyalties are divided.
  9. Notes as I go: P. 1. – “here, in the great stone plaza, decorated wildly with awnings and populated with fishermen, farmers, and tradesmen.” – this description should probably come sooner, so I can contextualise what you’re saying. Possibly also expand the description. “Merchants, farmers, and fishermen cried their wares from brightly colored booths, each attempting to appeal to the diverse crowd passing by.” – You seem to be spreading the description through the page… Actually, I’m wondering whether simply starting with “Fresh bass and sturgeon!” would be better, dropping the previous page entirely. P. 3. - “Talem, like one of the great caravel ships, sailed through the crowds towards a bright red stand.” – hmmm, I liked this up until ‘sailed.’ Ploughed, maybe? Something more indicative of size and force. “For clandestine meetings?” – ooof, big booboo. P. 4. - “at the last second.” – best dropped, I think. “But the BK viewed the Revolutionaries as traitors” – fairly obvious at this point. Better just to show her looking distressed, we can probably guess why. P. 6. - “It’s nothing but lies,” S murmured” – I’m liking how you established S is loving being part of something complicated and different from her role as mother, wife, so on. It builds into this moment, where her talents and abilities outside those roles are highlighted. She sees through what is announced and into the heart of what is meant. P. 7. – Hah! Liking this. We see that I is concerned with family and personal relationships, something you also built earlier in the chapter. Then we have this nice juxtaposition of different value systems. S and T value the macro scale of governments and politics, something which you highlight I does not understand well. Hence, the core dilemma between the two. I will be swayed by personal interactions. S and T by political/economic policies. Micro vs. Macro. “His purple and white wings unfurled, casting shadows over all of them.” – Nice allusion to the government, and that he’s a dragon ties in nicely with previous examples of dragonfire’s efficacy. P. 11. – Is that… an innuendo? If so… I dunno, I’m getting weird thoughts about animal-people genitalia that I don’t want to have, ahah. This is another good highlight of the stakes. Depending on how she plays this, she could lose new-found camaraderie or her sister. P. 12. – More nice setting description. “like a woman putting her gold on.” Though, perhaps ‘jewellery’ would be better. After reading previous comments: I agree with some of Mandamon's assessment of S' character. I feel "whiny and privileged" is a bit strong, but certainly her treating it as a hobby raised an eyebrow for me. As for the census, I totally understand how it could be considered onerous. Consider the example of William the Conqueror. He invaded England, took it over. Replaced English lords with Norman French ones. Often granted lands in disparate locations as a means of dividing lords' power. Harrowed the North, burning it so much that the entire area did not recover for decades. And, also, instituted the Domesday Book. All of these things were a means of control. There had been nothing like Domesday before. It catalogued lands, wealth (both in the time of William and one of his predecessors, Edward the Confessor) and the rights of lords. There's little textual evidence to say whether it was liked or not, but there IS plenty of evidence of people trying to avoid giving firm facts. It can be inferred that many people didn't like the interference. My point is that the revolution and other city-folk are entitled to view a census of this sort as continued government interference. Big Brother, but also another front of the invasion. Kais also has a point about the 'slice of life' thing. I liked both this chapter and the previous one, but both together seems a bit much.
  10. Notes as I go: P. 1. – “she refused to be anything more than excellent.” – ‘other than?’ “interrupting her musical musings” – this could be taken to mean her musings were musical, as in, not about music but literally of music. It’s obvious which you mean, but it’s still inexact. P. 2. – “Willing, or had to?” Dun dun dunnnn! Foreshadowing. “What would P think? Would the musicians be happy to be rid of her? Or would she drag them down with her? Why did she care?” This is your [Insert Stakes], eh? I really wish I got to see the Revolutionary spiel, ahahah. P. 3-4. Nice time lapse description! P. 5. – Surely she’s been practicing an instrument already? It seems strange to feed her theory without the practical (spoken as someone who was forced to learn piano.) P. 6. - “There’s a reason it’s called the C of B. Every holiday, the bell towers will play beautiful music that echoes through the hills.” – aww. Much better interaction among the group members than previous chapter. Each feels like they’re just living rather than advertising their characters. P. 8. – “He backed down.” – I feel this could be more descriptive. P. 9. – Again, nice description of the surroundings. Loving the evidence of war. P. 10. – Ra. Drat. Is that the assassin fella/gal? Can’t remember the name. Overall: Starts with conversation with sister, transitions into the main conflict (social issues with the musicians) and then eases into a mystery. Sounds like a good arc! After reading other comments: Well, at least I was right that it was the spy fella/gal! Even if it was a different name. There is a slight disconnect between the scenes, with leaps in time and place. But I don't mind it, personally. As for whether the chapter pulls its weight in terms of plotting, that depends on the purpose. If the purpose was to juxtapose I doing something she is beginning to love while also showing where future tension will lie - with one or two members of the group, and their Ma allegiance as opposed to her own allegiance to the Revolt, then all good. I'm invested in I's joy and love of simple things - even instruments - winning over a group of sometimes doubting individuals. Perhaps the scene could be made stronger. I'm by no means a professional. But I don't think it deserves to be cut.
  11. As an alternative, think about different types of swords. Fantasy is full of "He drew his blade," which is incredibly generic. What if katanas are prevalent in your world? You'd have to think about specific sword practices related to katanas. How they're cleaned, made, even sheathed. Suddenly you don't have something generic. You have something which adds to your world. Just a thought. Also note that it's fantasy. If you find conventional weapons boring, make one up. This will probably require the liberal application of magic or advanced technology, though. There's a reason we have conventional weapons - it's because they're the ones which work.
  12. Previously: Prologue: P fights some desert tribesmen. When tackling I about his late arrival, it turns out that one tribesman survived. After some dialogue and conflict, it becomes apparent that he possesses a potentially dangerous artifact. P takes it and leaves an angry I behind. Meeeeaning, this is Chapter One again. Sorry. I'm indulging my supervillain side. I swear I've written more stuff than this. Pinky swear.
  13. Sure, I'll submit too! (I'd meant to last week, but a headache had me in bed for most of a day, so I figured it'd make more sense to submit for this week.)
  14. Could I submit today too, please?
  15. Notes as I go: P. 1. “was over a decade old, from T. She would have been sixteen now.” – so T would have been six, meaning it wasn’t from T, but for T perhaps? P. 3. “taking note of my movements.” – In the wrong person! It’s N’s movements. P. 4. Interesting. The demon is her… date? Friend? I foresee a story-line in which a lonely girl has summoned a demon to be her companion, exploring themes of loneliness, never knowing if the demon is plotting against her. But I’m probably getting ahead of myself, ahahah. “Comptable.” ?? P. 6. “vehicle whose physique would only be enhanced in the shadows rather than diminished” - Aha. Why do I feel this is indicative? Nice description too. P.8. “An older man caught N’s eye, glanced at Raphael, then winked conspiratorially.” – Why? Because he thinks R is a sugar daddy? Because he thinks she’s a prostitute? Why would he wink conspiratorially at that? P. 9. “to rapidly paint the table.” – unneeded adverb. “His portion is somewhere a lot and piggish - N had ordered him a double helping for him.” Wrong tense. And you use him twice. P. 10. “a devil likes mediterranean salad.” – tense. P. 11. “Stared. His eyes slitted.” – “He stared. His eyes were slitted.” P. 13. I can’t help but feel that N is being painfully obvious in wishing to dig for information. R is being very naïve to go along with it. Not sure if that’s the intended goal. P. 14. “I began to” – person. P. 15. Maybe think of italicising the French. “I’d bet that at least five of those have the most unimpeachable alibis as to why they barely bought any souls.” He nodded, rubbing his hairless chin. “The most cunning would not have been caught up in the travails of war. I’ll talk to her. Horns and tails but I will.”” – You lost me here. I don’t follow the logic/understand what this means. Is it because his devils are crafty, ergo those claiming the war got in their way are liars and holding back souls? Maybe. But I don’t know. Also, I’m still waiting for Ja to become relevant. P. 17. “[INSERT MENTAL CURSING BECAUSE IT FITS]” – Em, yes. Overall: I feel like more visceral and active language is needed, stronger verbs for N than “moved,” “watched,” “wondered.” Perhaps the character isn’t hugely phased by the supernatural. But richer verbs bring the scene to life regardless. You frequently confuse tense and sometimes confuse person. There are also other grammar issues which should be easily corrected, and sometimes oddly phrased sentences.N herself is confusing. The story begins as if she's summoned a demon to be her date, then segues into taxes, then segues into information-mining, none of which with any contextualising information to say why. Edit: I read the other comments. I got... next to none of that.