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About PiedPiper

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    Avid Social Distancer Since 2005
  • Birthday April 29

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    On the back of a Santhid
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    Fabriology, Rosharan languages, classical music and swing jazz (and a little classic rock).

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  1. It's your poem. Whatever you decide will be the correct choice.
  2. I disagree, actually. The word choice of "for" and "shore" adds an extra rhyme that doesn't fit in the rhyme scheme, which makes the flow worse in the context of the poem.
  3. A fine Wednesday afternoon for critiquing! A Mariner's Heart First: kudos to you for writing a rhyming poem. They're so hard. I liked the way you personified the sea, but I also wonder if it's something you could explore more? I think it's a very human attribute to ascribe life-like quality to something you love, and it would add to the sense of struggle -- of battle -- that this sailor talks about. (I personally happen to really like figurative devices, so I look for excuses to incorporate them where I can. Maybe that's not your thing.) Line 23 doesn't make a lot of sense to me: "I'd through swamps and deserts hot" -- it feels as though you've accidentally dropped a verb there. The first two stanzas have a pattern of repetition in the first line: "The sea, the sea, the helm's a game," and "A storm, a storm, a crashing beast," which creates an expectation that the pattern will be continued. When you don't, the transition into the third stanza feels a little strange, and I couldn't figure out why until I saw the pattern you'd established in the first two. Jack I love your imagery. It's very evocative. You use the word "cold" in both lines 12 and 14, but it doesn't seem like intentional repetition, just clunky. The line about the Mother's hair (line 20) is a little confusing. I'm not sure what hair is supposed to symbolize in this metaphor. There's a typo in line 35: I think "until out..." was supposed to be "until our." Line 40: "urging blood to stiff and silent fingers." Two things: 1) "to" is an awkward preposition here, and 2) I don't understand why the fingers are silent. Is this an underexplained metaphor? The same is true for the "fading toes" a line later Introducing a rhyme in the very last stanza "air, fair, there" makes it feel a little stilted. The Editor I do not know the tune for these lyrics. And I don't really know how to critique this one because I'm having a hard time figuring out what you're trying to do. I guess maybe that's something -- it doesn't feel very purposeful, and I get the sense that I'm missing something, some inside joke, as I read it. Maybe that's because I am, and it has something to do with the tune to which these lyrics are set?
  4. @Robinski thank you for your critiques and your compliments -- and I don't mind at all that you're a little late. It seems I've gotten a lot of feedback about inconsistent themes in Seashell Creatures, so I've done a couple new drafts focusing on just one of the emotions, and I think they work better. This is actually about my own grandma and my experiences with her, because my family cut off contact with her (for reasons not related to the dimentia) when I was 7, so I hadn't talked to her in around 8 years when we started calling each other and video chatting again. The title of Blue and Orange actually came from my original desire to explore blue and orange morality with this book... and then I realized that, by its nature, morality is no longer blue and orange once explored. The title is the last vestige of the original concept. And yes, parts of the world will be unsuspecting of the return. Parts will not be. Thanks for your line edits. You're right, it makes the prose more purposeful, more active. And you will see more of it, but right now I'm working on a short story set in the world of the novel. It has nothing to do with the novel's plot or characters, it just helps me explore things in a different way. The story is a little confused right now (not confusing; it's confused. That isn't a typo.) because I keep trying to make it into an adventure when it isn't one, and I don't know where I went wrong but the tone has made this abrupt shift. It's with my alpha reader right now (my dad), so he'll tell me if it feels weird or if it's just my imagination. I'll still submit it when it's ready. I can't wait to read one of your novels someday, and I hope to read your poetry in the very near future. The way you critique, I have a feeling it'll be great. Why do I get the sense I need a formal signature after this? Signed, - PiedPiper
  5. Hi! Thoughts as I go: Pg. 1: If you're going for a Gettysburg address-style thing ("by the people, for the people, of the people"), might I suggest: "selected by the people, composed of the people, and acting for the people?" I think the parallel sentence structure might help, and you missed "for the people." Obviously just a suggestion; if it's that way for a reason, I don't want to step on your writing toes. Pg. 1: Another picky thing, but when you say "scraped the ceiling of the massive building, typically used to store newly arrived imports" you make it sound like they use specifically the ceiling to store newly arrived imports. Pg. 2: "O lunged through the closed doors, throwing S to the ground. She landed on her sword, gasping at the pain." I'm confused about the mechanics here? I'm especially confused going forward, because falling on your sword means you got stabbed, no? How is she still an active participant in the battle? Pg. 6: "Yet, two wars and countless successes had weaved trust." You want to replace "weaved" with "woven" here. Pg. 6: "The direwolf twitched an..." the pronoun here feels awkward. Pg. 7: Again, your use of "the direwolf" as a pronoun rubs me wrong somehow... I think it's just that we generally don't refer to someone by their species? If I wrote a line that went, "the human walked down the street," it sounds weird -- not just because it's unspecific, but because it's not conventionally done. I think the non-specificity of referring to humans by their species is what made it a bad idea, and so now species names just make awkward pronouns. I'll stop pointing this out every time I see it, though. Pg. 8: Am I a terrible person for liking Wa a little bit? Pg. 9: "There's no way I could find it" should probably be "there's no way I could have found it" -- since he's talking about a mission that's already happened, right? Pg. 11: So here Wo gets really mad at Wa and assumes that Wa is trying to get them to change sides. This came a little out of the blue, I feel, because there was no tension between the two earlier in the chapter. This scene makes me think that Wo has some kind of distaste for Wa -- but if they do, they paint Wa in at least a neutral light in the previous scene, which doesn't make so much sense to me. Obviously Wo wouldn't be openly disrespectful to Wa in front of the King, especially if they're as loyal as they say, but Wo's internal thoughts seem incongruous between the two scenes. It's just that something about the tone is a little disjointed. I'm not sure what purpose Wo's scene serves, but I've written (maybe too much?) about Wa and Wo below and how their dynamic serves to inform the reader and could maybe back up S's impression of Wa? Pg. 13: You mentioned you should cut Wa's PoV in this chapter even though you like him? I agree. (Killing your darlings, eh?) The fewer PoVs you have, the easier it is to follow. Also, the PoV detracts from the mystery surrounding him, so the less we see through him and the more we hear of him, the more relatable S's fear/wonder is. Of course, I also get the sense you're trying to add depth to his character, make him less of a faceless villain -- but I think the scene with Wo could serve that purpose, considering the comments Wa makes to the King. Of course, if you decide to incorporate the comment about Wo's dynamic with Wa, you'd be walking a fine line trying to show that Wa isn't terrible while still making it obvious that Wo hates him. I guess you then could take more time to get us to dislike Wo so we like Wa more because Wo dislikes him. God, I'm confused now, between the abbreviated names and the whole complicated like/dislike web. But the real problem is that I'm now compiling a long list of (possibly major) changes that might not actually help you further your goal. So my critiques from page 11 downward are things I personally might do if it were my story, with the information I currently have. You might have something better planned. I'm putting it out there anyway as a sort of stream-of-consciousness reaction/brainstorm. There's my feedback! It might be disjointed and confusing (what do you know -- it's just like my fiction writing!) and unhelpful, but I did my best.
  6. Thank you! About Seashell Creatures: I'm worried that the metaphor falls flat without the first two stanzas because you won't understand what I'm talking about. I mention this not to try defending it, but to ask what you think -- as the author, my perspective isn't as helpful as your here. Would it be more confusing without the first two stanzas?
  7. Okay, question for y'all: if I explain more about the situation that the dragons are in and how they got there/why they're there, would it make the prologue more useful? Because it still wouldn't detract from the plot of the novel, and I think the ending would make more sense. (I'd be careful about info-dumping, of course.)
  8. I am in a slam poetry club, but I'm no good at performance, so I do only written. But I help others with their poems and they help me with mine. Well, I'm glad it seems like a poem? If it didn't, I'd have a much bigger problem on my hands. Thanks for pointing out the weird wordings, all. I'll continue smoothing the rhythms for Seashell Creatures. As for the prologue: it seems that, if I do want to keep it, it should be simplified and moved to a different location? I'll keep that in mind as I plan. I do like the idea of it being an epic poem, although I don't know exactly how I'd incorporate that since this happens so far away from the book's main setting. Zahra isn't the PoV character in this story -- there are two, a dragon and a human, but she is a character about halfway through the book. As for your comment, Sarah -- yeah, this definitely isn't a classic poem. I follow more modern trends, and I tried playing with stanza length on purpose, but I think it comes down to personal preference here. I have been trying to figure out how to make it feel more rhythmic, though.
  9. Well, I think I've said all that will ever need to be said in the email, so I'll just repeat here: no content warnings. Except maybe Seashell Creatures will make you sad? Have at it!
  10. No, we didn't get a discussion of it in WoK, we got Kaladin's thoughts on it. I'm just trying to talk about it with more than one person, and yes, it is an irreversible dilemma. Sadeas is in a war. Granted, it's a war he started, and I believe he was wrong to do it. But it's still his responsibility to preserve as many lives as he can, and we're not even debating about the bridge crews anymore; you're just nitpicking my language. I wanted to have an intelligent discussion about the morality of the bridge crews, and we've gotten into a pissing contest about criminal justice. This is not what this thread was supposed to be about.
  11. It might fill you with disgust, but it's a necessary choice. My point is that no, this isn't some absurd situation where you must decide the fate of two people, but an irreversible dilemma that will still be an issue regardless of whether or not you're filled with disgust about it. Your personal feelings are irrelevant if the lives of thousands are at stake -- and before we return to the "do bridge crews really save lives?" question again, which is a pointless argument, let's just assume that said thousands are at stake. Your argument boils down to you not wanting the guilt weighing down on you, the blood on your hands. That isn't a good reason. You're missing the point here: it's not about their criminal status, it's about the ratio of lives you lose to live you save. Just because you'll feel sad about it doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.
  12. Again, this answers a different question than the one I asked, and I can't see us ever getting anywhere debating it because, again, we don't have numbers. So are you saying that you would rather kill the normal man than the murderer? Because I don't believe in the death penalty, but I also don't believe that anyone would actually chose to save the bad person over the good one.
  13. Okay, I think you're wrong that it's not a comparable situation. The soldiers would die from Parshendi arrows if not for the bridgemen. And nobody is forcing this theoretical person to decide either. But now the question you're debating is: do bridge crews actually save lives? And that's a whole different discussion.
  14. @Stormtide_Leviathan and @Greywatch, I think part of my thought process that I couldn't exactly explain was put very elegantly into words here: I do think you're right that no one deserves slavery and no one deserves to die. That was incorrect of me. But if someone told you: "here is a murderer and here is a law-abiding citizen. Choose one to be executed, or they will both die," don't kid yourself -- you'd still choose. And when I talk about criminal justice reform, I do know that I specifically mentioned the real world, but I guess what I meant to say is with an ideal justice system (and I do know that the American justice system is far from that). As for the 1:10 ratio, no, it's obviously not a magic number. It's just a rough guideline. So, yes, there are flaws in my reasoning and places where I misspoke, but they're not totally relevant to my overall conclusion -- not that I actually have one. Maybe I didn't make this clear enough: I don't yet have a concrete opinion, and I don't know if I ever will. I just thought this would be a really interesting debate to have. And it has been that so far. We are not talking about the experience of the bridgemen here; so yes, when thinking about the bridge crews as an abstract moral concept, I would like to have more than one perspective on the issue. As for numbers, I mentioned in an earlier post that we do not have them, because Brandon doesn't publish casualty reports. Again, I'm thinking about the bridge crews as an idea, and you're thinking about Sadeas.
  15. I guess the thing is that everyone is focusing on the way Sadeas manages his bridge crews, and Sadeas has little to do with my point here. I can't decide if bridge crews, as a concept, are inherently evil, but of course I agree that Sadeas is, and the way he uses his bridge crews is.