Turin Turambar

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Posts posted by Turin Turambar

  1. Gah...that's a long, intimidating list. Good luck with that. You're list looks pretty conclusive. Many of these problems didn't bother me, but then again I had assumed that many of them would be addressed later. The biggest things that bothered me personally was how anthropomorphic animals with different anatomies exist with humans and the fey felt weak. I figured the BK's goal long term was to make the region a state under his control, whether capital or otherwise.


  2. On 8/11/2020 at 2:39 PM, Robinski said:

    I haven't read this sub, but apropos of your post elsewhere saying you were going to write more of the story before posting, I am totally up for the story and, having read the other comments, reading it once it's re-written and taken forward. It sounds like a great idea, and seems very novel to me (although I'm sure others are more widely read).

    You're right, of course. I resubmitted it to make sure that I got rid of the major errors that people mentioned so I have a solid groundwork. 


  3. 3 minutes ago, kais said:

    I don't mind the start at all. I think it's strong enough, we just need more information. For instance, since she apparently is researching for a book, why not have her shoving manuscript pages in a drawer, and one falls out and has the book title on it (that then we, the reader, get to see)? Have her rub her wrists from typing too much. Have her hide library books on demonology. Have her check her email and see that her interlibrary loan for '101 species of demon and where to find them' is in at the local public library.

    Then establish that this is her first summoning circle, since it really feels like she's done this before. Maybe have that be the one book she leaves out, have her note that she has to return it tomorrow so had better try things right now. Have her get flustered over not having anything to make it with, find the baby powder, then go from there.

    There's just a few set up things that are needed to push the start. I don't think starting at the restaurant will help, because you'll still need those same elements. And they'll be a lot easier to deliver in her apartment, where you have already set up some of the story arc. Then to close the arc on chapter one you could have her feel over her head with soul seduction or whatever, have the demon almost trick her, and sort of leave with a line like, Interviewing a demon was a lot more work than she'd thought it would be. She hoped that her most recent loan request - 'Putting Demons Back in the Underworld,' came before this one sucked away half the souls of New York. Etc.

    That's probably the right way to fix it (though the library needs some tinkering). Thanks!


  4. 7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

    pg 1: "the boring classic kind that would be taken against a greenscreen with a photoshopped background inserted afterwards."
    --Would "classic" pictures be taken against a greenscreen?

    From what I remember of individual school photos, yes.

    7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

    pg 2: "One side was slightly misaligned, but it would do."
    --this seems terribly flippant for a summoning circle, as does clapping the powder from her hands. Usually circles need to be exactly precise.

    pg 2: "wait for something - someone - to show up"
    --so did she actually DO any summoning? She just drew the circle and waited for something to show up. Usually there's a ritual involved.

    No ritual. It was supposed to be flippant. It's probably shouldn't be.

    7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

    pg 2: "the devil"
    --demon or devil? Are there differences between the two? Asking for the sake of worldbuilding. Usually the devil is reserved for one individual, while there are a lot of demons.

    N doesn't know the difference and uses both interchangeably. As far as world building is concerned, Demon is a race (human) while Devil refers to an individual (person). 

    7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

    pg 5: "held the three ornate pieces of china she had inherited from my grandfather."
    --this seems like an obvious slip of personal information.

    I put that in quotes? That was her running commentary.

    7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

    pg 13: "G is like a massive mountain..."
    --so is he saying G is actually Hell? All of it? Or just a specific part? Nonetheless, I'm enjoying the bit of worldbuilding in here. It's a little on the infodumpy side, but pretty good.

    I haven't yet entirely figured out interplanar worlds, but I'm too prude to actually "curse" so I replaced the word. Laugh at me if you wish. The in-world reason is that N tries to use the right terms and that's what the demons call it. The demonic language is loosely based off of hebrew, for which the right word is 'Gehenim'.

    7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

    pg 14: "She resisted the urge to change her shirt,"
    --this still reads weird. Maybe if it was resisting the urge to take her shirt off, instead.

    And strip in public?

    7 hours ago, Mandamon said:

    pg 15: "the World Wars and Vietnam"
    --another weird phrase. First, why would they being fleeing from a war? They're demons. Second, why mention these three and not the other wars? Maybe just say "the wars of the twentieth century?"

    Demons can die too. Also, those were the ones I thought of. Saying the twentieth century makes more sense.



  5. 22 hours ago, kais said:

    Is it the meal and the accounting? If so, more time should be spent with the tax charts.

    Bingo. Well, it's mainly for the character and motivation, but taxes too. 

    22 hours ago, kais said:

    Within the first three pages generally we need to know what the MC wants

    Actually, I was considering starting at the restaurant and using the summoning bit at a later point. Do you think that it would make the story stronger (start in the middle, and I think it would let me put motivation in earlier.)

    22 hours ago, kais said:

    and then the arc needs to be closed at the end

    ? I understand what you're saying but not how to implement it.

    22 hours ago, kais said:

    - pg 2: if that baby powder has been around for 16 years or so she must not summon this demon very often??

    Never. It was a random convenient substance on hand to use.

    22 hours ago, kais said:

    - pg 4: how can the demon leave the pentagram? I thought the knots were to keep things in?

    Minor plot hole. What's the term for that? In-world slip up?

    22 hours ago, kais said:

    - pg 10: there's so much description of food and looks through here it gives it, once again, the feeling of the demon trying to seduce the MC

    Kind of. He's seducing her for her soul instead of her money, though.

    22 hours ago, kais said:

    - pg 14: the worldbuilding here feels out of place. I thought they were doing taxes? Also this could easily have come in the first few pages, too, while MC was waiting for her demon in particular

    She didn't know this information - she's trying to write a book about demons. I apparently didn't convey that well enough as her motivation. So she's trying to milk him for information while he wants his dues and without letting him know. That's why it's there. I wanted to make it subtler, but I'm really bad at subtle in novels.



  6. 13 minutes ago, Sarah B said:

    That's a really good idea, thank you! 

    I think I was getting turned around with the combination of plural and singular they, where both are applicable for the same person. Or I was just over thinking it. Probably the second one :-)

    Thanks again

    I'm losing the thread  a bit here even though I'm somewhat decent at grammar sometimes, but how about invent a new he/she/it/they? It's probably horribly impractical and jar the readers out of the novel but it'll be so cool!


  7. 42 minutes ago, Robinski said:

    The first page, the first paragraph, the first line of a story needs to grip the reader and draw them in, give them a character to root for and a situation / setup to engage them. I'm afraid I get none of that here.

    Fair - I don't blame you. 

    43 minutes ago, Robinski said:

    "It only remained on display because I thought that the random lines on canvas was ridiculous and idiotic" - Yep, okay, I've lost patience with the character, because (a) the picture are not strait, and (b) who puts art on their wall that they think is idiotic? An idiot.

    She actually had it up because she wanted her apartment to look generic and bland. 

    43 minutes ago, Robinski said:

    "I was sure that at any moment the springs would burst through the thin padding of the seat" - But they've been living with this sofa for how long? Seems very strange. Also, is this character male or female, young or old? I get not real sense of their situation, other than the daughter

    The apartment was supposed to be oldish and kind of run down.

    44 minutes ago, Robinski said:

    Tense is pretty ragged. Not consistent.

    I changed tense from present to past (and in the second draft from third person to first) but missed a ton of instances.


    You aren't the only one to have problems. I think I fixed some of the primary issues in my second attempt at it, but I completely understand if you don't want to brave it again/at all.. 



  8. Welcome back!

    1) thorns skating - well, that was a fast introduction to the magic. 

    3) more than J's life - that's a strange analogy for her to use.

    4) They maintain the roads?

    8) You really don't know me, do you? - Based off the previous draft, why would she?

    8) Why doesn't she simply take the trunk and be done with rifling through until later?

    9) Yes I am traveling - duh?

    10) Again, knowing the previous draft, that's too much information for how she knows it.

    12) heat of the comb? oh, yeah.

    OVERALL: Whoa...this is long. I'm going to do this in two shifts, I think. I think I like the new version better, but my memory is hazy so I'm not sure. You definately made M cockier, so that's one goal done. J does feel less useless, but it's hard to put a finger on why. More grounded, maybe? The prose itself is good enough to make me jealous.







  9. Hello!

    1) "You're hands are practically made for it" - I finally figured out why I dislike P. I think it's part of a larger issue. Some of your characters are bipedal, like the mouse M and G (I spent some time trawling through your art to make sure I was right - you're really good!), while others are like regular animals like P. The bipedal animals probably have to have a different musculature because they aren't built for standing on two legs. So I think you may have mentioned that some species have developed a bipedal form (I'm guessing that G is among these) which would make sense (and we're going to waive the opposable thumb problem the same way). That's one issue. The REAL problem is for normal animals. How are the 99% without telekinesis supposed to function? Dogs can move things, I suppose, with their mouth, but how are they supposed to get dressed? Have any job that requires fine motor or even fingers? Once on this rant, the architecture must be really messy, being designed to accommodate a number of different species. Even something as simple as park benches have to work for humans, small people like dogs (for whom the bench is too low and therefore useless) and creatures like Minotaur where it probably isn't strong enough. I suppose that cows and other "farm species" wouldn't need it as they probably can stand at rest for long periods of time and not need benches, but that's just one example. Tables? Bathrooms? Stairs? Can horses even go down a flight of stairs? Can you imagine the cost of having everything duplicated four or five times to accommodate every species? Also going to bring up one last time the problem that carnivores must have, essentially being cannibals.

    2) L is hard to follow. Not a criticism - I'm just commenting on his distinctive style of speech. It's a good thing.

    3) I like the detail about last names. Just one question though - one of the uses of surnames is to distinguish multiple people with the same name. Without surnames, how do they distinguish two people with the same name? 

    4) "Decay" This is going to sound weird, but I focus on the expletives in a novel because it reveals a TON about the culture. So what's the story behind 'decay?'

    5) "Fish guts" see above. So he's a sailor/fisherman? That would make sense for I, not L. On the other hand, this sounds like a Siuan line.

    6) Ok, that makes sense why she's here. Why not a personal attendant though?

    7) So someone will need to be near I to get the names. Won't it be suspicious is someone is always right next to the musicians and always talking to one - especially if he/she/it works at the BK court, it's likely to be a somber person, not at all suitable for a concert or something. 

    7) also, I don't feel the three of their's distress enough.

    7) and a breach of contract.

    8) she gets real names, and why would she lie about that? And she doesn't know for sure what her nieces name is to her? She bets?

    10) Just make sure that the music theory makes sense for the world. The number of beats varies around the world. In the USA, it's 12 A, A sharp, etc. In other cultures the numbers and proportions are different.


    OVERALL: I see where the tension is supposed to be, but I don't feel it.








  10. Hello all,
    This is a second run of the first chapter of the story I'm writing (the working title has been changed.) 
    Most of you have already seen this; I'm resubmitting this because I think I solved most of the major issues with the first draft and I want a solid foundation for this story to work on. I'd understand if you don't critique it but please do anyway if you have the time.

  11. 2 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

    Horses, draft horses included, eat about 1.5-3% of their body weight daily, with at least 1.5% of their body weight in forage (hay/grass). Budweiser Clydesdales eat roughly 40 lbs of hay and 12+lbs of high calorie grain daily. That's minimum 45lbs a day for a 3,000lb pegasus, to as much as 120lbs for a 4,000 lb pegasus. That doesn't include the fact that flying burns a butt load of calories, so they're probably eating even more. They're literally eating a hale bale a day with grain on the side. 


    I actually tried to calculate the calorie intake for dragons once. 


    2 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

    A draft horse can drink somewhere around 25 gallons of water a day, so your pegasi are probably going to drink over 50 gallons of water daily. Hope you've got good water access.

    More. You're thinking in 1 dimention. I'd say 200 gallons, but I'm not sure the mass works out right.


    2 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

    Keep in mind too that horses are incredibly strong. My aunt had a 2,000lb 18hh Brabant who would get bored and literally pick up and move his metal fencing. His teeth would leave massive dents in steel tubes. Double that? And you've got pegasi that can probably crunch a man in half from sheer jaw strength. A kick would be absolutely deadly. Those stall doors better be reinforced.

    Would castle walls work (8 ft of solid stone)? If not, you now have heavy siege weapons.

    2 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

    Training and housing a stallion would be a nightmare. Stallions tend to be @$$holes by nature, so I would assume very few companies would want to have a massive one. Breeding costs to a stallion would be major money, though. Can you imagine trying to castrate a pegasus??? I mean, jeez, a Clydesdale stallion probably has balls the size of grapefruits. A pegasus stallion would probably have the nuts the size of watermelons. Can you imagine the fountain of blood if you don't clamp them fast enough??? You'd definitely have to get the colts castrated as soon as safely possible.

    Isn't the exact opposite of what everyone wants? I suppose this would open up space for companies to "buy" the pregnant mares, handle the birth, then "sell" it back. And then probably give a huge fee for the colt. Is that the right word?


    2 hours ago, Snakenaps said:

    I mean, the sheer cost of owning a pegasus will keep you from having a massive equine airforce. You could definitely go hog wild with this, or negate it completely by saying pegasi are too flighty by nature and can't be trained to withstand the stress of war without bailing. 


    Given the amount that you said that they would have to beat the pegasi into submission, I don't know if that's a problem.

    At this point, this is where I start tearing out my hair at the implausability and cry into my pillow for a few days. This can be SO COOL though. Good Luck!



  12. 6 hours ago, Robinski said:

    Another one, @Turin Turambar, is that I think you will actually get less feedback by going the complete draft route.

    I think you may have misunderstood the intent here. It wasn't supposed to replace RE, it was supposed to be a folder where we could see the projects as they go along - primarily after they were submitted and previously critiqued. Like when people decide to entirely revise chapters at a time, everyone can see the new versions and get the new information and say which one they liked better, etc. 


    Also in terms of editing - do what you want. I think I'm going to try to write a slew of chapters before submitting. I think this is going to end up an ensemble, but I don't know the characters well enough to write them, so I want that done before I start submitting these characters and changing them from underneath everyone.


  13. 13 minutes ago, Mandamon said:

    That's a pretty good assessment. Over the years, we've had a few little subgroups form (Write About Dragons, Alpha Readers) and generally the more dedicated ones drift back here after the others disappear. This format seems to hold up well, but there's always private requests if there's anyone you specifically want an opinion from.

    The idea was so that there would be a spot where the manuscripts could reside. I know that both @kais and @Snakenaps for one said that they did solid revisions, and that way we'd be able to see it. I don't know.


  14. I want to resubmit my chapter one, but before I do I want to know if it's a breach of good taste to resubmit the same thing so soon. No, I'm not one of those people who endlessly revises chapter one. @Mandamon specifically but really everyone said that the MC's motivation made the story hard to get through. I think I fixed that and I want to know if it works before I commit another 50k-ish words to this mess. Opinions?

    Also an idea: What does everyone think of sharing a google drive folder with everyone in RE, with a folder per person per story so people can go through written works and comment and just enjoy a good story?


  15. 1) So magic can run out? From people, I mean. I knew that there were personal limits, but I didn't know that it was a reservoir.

    1) "She had save the BK" Didn't she already know this?

    1) OK, at least now her reaction makes sense. Then again, how level headed/typically melodramatic is she. I don't think she is a whole lot (except when around food) so the whole woulda/coulda/shoulda doesn't seem to fit perfectly. But this hits, and hits hard.

    2) Going from "I botched it" to "I have no idea how to play an instrument" is jarring. 

    3) "and more" really? Is it possible to either cut this or give real description. It may be just me, but "and more" doesn't work. At all.

    4) thank you for following up with the whole null thing. I remembered there was something and forging, but I couldn't remember what.

    4) "Silver" yay, fun. Please tell me that the iron/silver is going to be followed up with. Wait, is she going to be contacted by the revolutionaries and given a silver knife to kill the BK?

    4) "You bring me...what's up, chef?" I'm assuming that T is older than her by about a decade, and still imagines her a child, or younger teen. Also, is what's up world-appropriate?

    5) and he's not murdering her for not only insulting the BK. Progressiveness!

    6) I'm completely on to something with that assassination attempt.


    I think this would go over like Kaladin in words of radiance with his passive-agressive assassination attempt of Elhokar.

    7) so he's willing to risk his family for his family. What?

    7) "T let his hand fall from her head" ?

    7) I was close on that assassination. I haven't given up on it yet.

    8) So did they even say they were going to try anything then? If not, why is she worried that nothing would go wrong if she was doing nothing.

    On 8/4/2020 at 11:24 AM, Mandamon said:

    pg 5: "Re-the"
    --Still don't know what this is. I don't think this name is mentioned later?

    I thought that was obviously the revolution. Though should completely have a cool name.

    OVERALL: I liked the emotional hit in the beginning, and later on with T it fell flat, though that may have been me overbuilding my expectations.






  16. You wouldn't need a huge amount of pegasi to make an economic difference. If a merchant or messenger or army has access to even only one, then he'd be able to move valuable goods/information in record time, rendering him/her/it/they/them (too many pronouns) incredibly wealthy.

    Also, isn't a ninety day journey like from Spain to the USA? Just off the top of my head. How big is the archipelago? Are there other land bodies then this string of islands? What if there are different breeds of pegasi exist, and the islands climate is too inhospitable for the other breeds. Does that make sense? Or perhaps they're impractical - too weak or what-have-you.

    Lastly. If pegasi are too wily to be killed out, then HOW ON EARTH ARE DRAGON'S EXTINCT?


  17. 4 hours ago, kais said:

    Would like to request a double slot if possible for next Monday. Doing edits on Rosewood and I want to run a few of the chapters through here before it goes back to my agent. Definitely need help on pegasi transport dynamics...

    Are you sure it has to be pegasi?

    Whoops. Realised this was the wrong place to put this. Sorry about that.


  18. 31 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

    You said that you're trying to figure out plot/motivations, and I always find it helps to ask questions and see how a character might respond.

    I have a rough idea of the climax. Just nothing before that. And I figured out her motivation. Of course, that means I need to entirely rework my idea and rewrite the first two chapters. It's only two chapters, but it's still 11k words. Ouch.

    32 minutes ago, Snakenaps said:

    Same with her friends. They seem to be her link to normal, but don't know about her job. She doesn't seem to think of them as some cover to make herself look normal. What would happen if one of them tried to sell their soul? What about her sister? What's so special about the axe? Can demons lock doors? What can demons do?

    You hit what I was thinking of for a midpoint exactly. I still need to plot out the whole thing of course.