RedBlue

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  1. @C_Vallion I'm late to this, but I'd be happy to read the revised version if you send it to me
  2. Ruin was all about entropy, right? This is just speculation on my part, but entropy isn’t an immediate threat to Odium. He can put off dealing with Ruin until after he’s sorted out his more active rivals. As for why he didn’t take advantage of the conflict between Ruin and Preservation, we don’t have a very clear picture of what the situation was on Scadrial before Odium got trapped on Roshar. It’s possible that the conflict hadn’t properly started at that time.
  3. Judging from the Shards which Odium did choose to go after first, I think he’s gunning for the Shards he feels most threatened by first. Out of the Shards we know of, Ambition and Dominion sound like they would be most likely to hatch a plan to take over the cosmere (other than Odium, of course). Devotion is less threatening, but just happened to be there. Which would imply that the third most threatening Shard was either Honor or Cultivation. My guess is that Rayse thought Cultivation’s Vessel was dangerous and wanted her out of the way.
  4. As I go: p5 - I'm not super clear on where Is is right now or which way she's headed, but I think that's intentional? Bottom of p6 - Is assumes straight away that whoever has the message box is a hostile who took the box from R, but isn't there a decent chance that R is fine and still has the box? I would have thought Is would at least consider that possibility, especially as meeting up with R now would save her from wandering alone in the wilderness. I liked this chapter a lot! It ups the stakes, and I like how Is's character shines through. 1. I didn't have issues with blocking during the fights. 2. Is's motives all fit, and I like how much characterisation there is in the choices she makes and the things she thinks about while under pressure. I'm not sure what the C-ian is doing here or why C is attacking, but I'm guessing that's supposed to be a mystery for now. 3. Generally, I thought the action was very engaging, as well as Is's attempts to make it through the mountains alone. Is dealing with the emotional fallout of the violence while trying to keep a clear head was also very good.
  5. Broad impressions of this chapter: - I'm not clear on Ao's practical role in the community. Does she hold an official position of authority, or is she just very respected in the community? Does she legally own the land, or is she talking nonsense when she threatens to kick W out of the village? - The sudden appearance of plot feels like a bolt from the blue this late into the story, especially as it comes in the form of two characters we don't know much about having an argument that the main characters just happen to be there for. - The ongoing idea that importing food and electricity from outside the village makes Ao a hypocrite is a bit weird to me? I mean, it's totally legit for her to want to buy food and electricity from outside but not want any other contact. The thing that seems dodgy to me is that she seems to be imposing her decisions on everyone else in the village, so I'm not sure why it doesn't register for W as a red flag. - From the setup in this chapter, I'm expecting the conflict between the village and the outside world to be important. I think that, for that to be engaging, I have to like the village first, before the story gets into moral ambiguity territory. So far, it seems like it wouldn't be a huge loss if the village were destroyed, because it's so shady and iffy anyway. The people who live there might be better off if they got out. General comments about the story as a whole and subbing it: - I'm happy to keep giving feedback on this draft version if you think that's helpful, or I'm happy to switch over to a new draft if you think this one is a dead end. I don't know what your process is, so it's up to you to judge whether continuing with this draft will help you sort out characters/theme/plot/tone for the next draft - A suggestion for plotting the next draft: nail down what the B-plot is and make sure to get it in the story early. And if you're leaning into the monster fantasy aspect, you may want to shore up the rules for how exactly the magic works and what the fairies can do.
  6. As I go: p1 - Oh, we're about to meet some people from C? That's good, we've been hearing a lot about them without knowing much about them. p4 - I was thinking that maybe the men from C would turn out not to be hostile, but if the scout is wounded, it sounds like Is et al could be in some pretty deep water. top of p7 - I'm guessing this means that nobody can use magic to harm another person deliberately? This leaves me with a lot of follow-up questions. (Why doesn't the Judge punish people for causing harm by non-magical means? Are there exceptions for self-defence?) I don't need to get answers right away since that would slow down the action, but in terms of world-building, this is the sort of thing I would expect to be expanded upon at some point later. p12 - I'm picking up that something weird is going on with these C people. The main character party saw them and immediately assumed they had come to kill the royals, but that doesn't seem to be the case given their behaviour. p17 - So, obviously the dead mentor trope is an old trick we've all seen before, but I think it works here. It makes C a real and immediate threat, and it puts the burden of resolving the conflict squarely on the protags. (The king doesn't seem to be up to the task, since everyone distrusts him.) 1. I thought the blocking worked, but I'm not a very visual reader so I'm not very sensitive to blocking issues. I felt like I could follow the action, and I liked how much of it was tied to Is and Is-n's characters. 2. The main characters were in character. The only thing I thought was a little odd was that Is wasn't more concerned about her duties to the kingdom (as in, if she dies here, she can't enter into a political marriage to further the kingdom's interests) which is weird given how dedicated she is. Something strange is definitely going on with the people from C. I'm not sure what they were doing there or what they were expecting to find. The whole thing seems like a set-up - like a third party orchestrated this clash in order to push the two countries into a war maybe? If you want me to be suspicious, good job! 3. I think this works as one chapter. It's on the longer side but it's not too long, and splitting it up would mess with the flow. 4. I'm getting more interested in the intrigue. This skirmish, combined with the poison coming from C, definitely makes me think somebody is trying to orchestrate a war or something.
  7. As I go: p4 - Did W really consider that the tea might be enchanted or drugged? I thought W was fairly relaxed and trusting of the situation, but now I'm not sure if she feels threatened. p6 - It feels a bit weird that N's mom feels the need to explain the village's history and its historical revisionism to W before she visits. I'm not sure why this is important for W to know when she's only going to be visiting for a few hours. p7 - I'm a bit confused in general by the conversation between W and N's mom. Did B-d only pull W aside to tell her that N isn't going to get Huntington's disease? Why does she bring up her parenting issues? Why would B-d be so vague and ominous with W, when she had the option of just not saying anything and acting like a normal mom? p9 - This explains why N was going into the woods and coming out covered in glitter p10 - W's ability to lie being seen as an incredible magic power by the kids is a neat touch, I like it The scene of N interacting with the village kids and being interrupted by Bad News Grandma really worked for me. The scene with N's mom I found a bit confusing in terms of what I was supposed to take away from it. Am I supposed to come away with the idea that B-d is friendly and trustworthy? Or am I supposed to be weirded out by her? I'm getting mixed signals. The part where they enter the village could also do with being spiced up a bit. I was expecting something really cool and magical, or maybe a surprise twist or something. There's been so much build-up to this moment and seeing what's being hidden from the world in the magic fairy forest. The descriptions of the drive in, the scenery and the market just fall a bit flat. As I noted, I'm not sure what to make of B-d. I like the introduction of the grandma, though. The way she's set up makes me interested to find out what's going on with her, even though I didn't know she existed before this chapter, which is pretty good in terms of efficiency.
  8. @C_Vallion Your e-mail doesn't seem to have come with a chapter attached? You might want to resend
  9. As I go: p1-4 - There's a pretty noticeable difference in the way R is perceived by other characters and the way he comes across from his own viewpoint. The others see him as just an irresponsible party boy who doesn't care about politics - but actually, he cares a lot, and they are misunderstanding his grumpiness and cynicism. I like being able to see different sides of characters, but I think this might be a bit too much of an extreme. If characters like Is have misunderstood R that badly, it makes them look like they don't understand what's going on in court. Especially when T can apparently see right through him. p5-8 - I like that we're digging into R's emotions and seeing a back-and-forth between the more volatile elements of the court. I think you could improve it by having clearer stakes - what's going to happen if R starts a fight with M? Because it seems to me that not much would happen in the long run, and that drains some of the tension from the scene. (Also, it's not clear from the chapter ending whether this is going to be a physical fight, a screaming match, or something else. Not sure if you meant to leave it vague.) p9 - Okay, so the boys had an actual brawl p10 - It seems pretty obvious to me that the reason the family is not eating together or gathering in one place is so that Is's attacker can't take them all out at once. It seems like Ali hasn't put two and two together on that, which makes me question her intelligence. 1. I think the emotional through-line follows. This does feel like it needs to be two separate chapters, though, since the POVs are so different. 2. I commented on the difference between R from other characters' POVs and from his own POV. I like that Ali has a goal in this chapter, which fixes the problem she had in earlier chapters. I think the thing that makes it work is that she breaks down her big, vague goal (keep family together) into a smaller, achievable goal (gather everyone for mealtimes). 3. R's POV would probably benefit from going on for a bit longer before cutting off. Having the fight 'off-screened' feels a bit anticlimactic after the build-up, especially as any mystery about what happened is cleared up a few pages later. 4. Definitely prefer this as two shorter chapters. 5. My interest is definitely more in the family dynamics right now - R's anger, V's control problems, Ali's helplessness and fear at losing her family, Is's feelings of responsibility.
  10. Honestly, I’m not expecting any Szeth flashbacks from after the point where he leaves Shinovar. Unless we’re missing something major, we’ve already seen everything important that happened to him from that point. Definitely there aren’t any big gaps after the Gavilar assassination. Other things I would like to see in his flashbacks: Unmade activity in Shinovar (assuming their influence there did not start recently) Skybreaker activity in Shinovar (it seems like Nale has been keeping tabs on Szeth for a long time, so there is probably something to dig into there) Szeth’s family. (Seriously, who raised him to be like this) The Stone Shamans (how they operate, and what exactly they did to make Szeth this mad)
  11. My understanding is a mistwraith and the corresponding kandra are the same person - as you pointed out, de-spiked MeLaan was still MeLaan - the only difference is that mistwraiths have some kind of issue with their Connection to the Cognitive Realm. The spikes fix the Connection problem, which is why kandra are more aware. I think that means the person doesn’t start when the mistwraith is spiked and becomes a kandra. The person (and the spiritweb) starts when the mistwraith is born, but they are only able to reach their potential as functional people when they are spiked.
  12. I think people are overestimating how powerful the Ghostbloods are. Thaidakar is very capable, has access to a lot of magic, and puts on a good show, but at the end of the day, he’s just a guy. His crew are just people. The Set, on the other hand, work for Trell, a force which Harmony struggles to deal with. The Ghostbloods are cool, but the Set is out of their league. (Also, I have no doubt that the Ghostbloods would oppose the Set if they could. The Set works for a tyrannical god. That goes against everything Thaidakar stands for.)
  13. That’s an angle I hadn’t thought of before. When I read it, I thought the eyepatch blindspot thing was just paranoia on Gaz’s part, since he really doesn’t have his life together and is afraid that his problems will blow up in his face soon. It also works on a metaphorical level (since Kaladin is turning Bridge 4 into a functional fighting unit right under Gaz’s nose and Gaz doesn’t see it).
  14. Personally, I think you should keep the interactions with Al, and find some way to make the logistics clearer. Seeing a character’s trauma is different from just hearing about it after the event, and given that this is fairly important to what makes Al the way he is, I think it’s important for him to actually make an appearance in this prologue.
  15. I don’t think the Ire could have a fabrial. They couldn’t have gotten it to Scadrial. To get a fabrial off Roshar, you need to get a spren off Roshar, and while it’s been hinted that this is a thing people will figure out how to do in the future, it’s a plot point right now that they can’t do that yet.
  16. Hi! p1 - I'm struck by the amount of trust that B seems to have now for W. Given B's whole deal with playing the popularity game, and her tendency to assume the worst about people, it seems like a big deal that she's letting W see behind the mask when she doesn't absolutely have to. It's interesting to see this side of B, but I do wonder why she's so comfortable with W after so little time. p4 - When E and W are talking about physically protecting N from bullies, I think there are bigger logistical problems than W not knowing how to fight properly. Is E suggesting that they guard N at all times? It's not very practical for them to always be hanging around him. p7 - It sounds like W is just putting together that E's grandpa is an evil pharma CEO, but didn't we already learn that from the beach chapter? p9 - So E has a brother that W doesn't know about? Isn't it a bit weird that E never mentioned having a brother to W before? I'd expect W to have questions about how she didn't know that one of her closest friends has a sibling. p15 - I like how W lays out exactly how their hang-ups are creating this feedback loop of problems. It seems like some actual villains are being introduced! 1. Things that I liked: the cop continues to be mysterious and creepy and I want to find out more about what's going on with him. I also like the second part of W and N's conversation, where W actually hammers out the things that are causing problems in the relationship and addresses them. Things I found less engaging than they could have been: the evil rich grandpa came off as a bit generic. He has enough pages in this chapter that I want to come away with more of an impression than just rich, evil, and controlling in a typical bad guy way. I also found the first part of W and N's conversation to be a bit rehash-y. As the others said above, I'm not sure why nobody is questioning the situation with the creepy cop more. Doesn't he have actual work to be doing? How does he justify all this shady hanging around to his bosses? Aren't cops supposed to work with a partner? Is he even on duty?? I also feel like I'm missing some details about E's living situation. He keeps talking about how this isn't his money and it isn't his house, but ... it kind of seems like it is? Even if he's not set to inherit, this is how his family lives, right? I would understand if he decided to just disown the lot of them, but if that's what he's doing, why go along with their plans for his dating life? 2. Everyone seems to be in character, and I've already given my thoughts on the new characters. Interested to see where this is going.
  17. On my initial read, I assumed that the person Azure is hunting (the one who brought Nightblood to Roshar) was Zahel. On reflection, that doesn’t make sense. If Azure were hunting Zahel, she would surely have tried to get more info from Adolin and Kaladin when she learned that they know Zahel. Now, I think Azure must be after someone else. Possibly someone we haven’t heard of yet. And that person, not Zahel, brought Nightblood to Roshar for purposes we don’t yet know.
  18. I was always under the impression that a person being Connected to a Shard doesn’t have anything to do with investiture. It’s just what happens when the way a person acts/thinks/feels is aligned with the Shard. So, (Mistborn spoilers) I think the reason Kaladin’s eyes glowed yellow in that scene is because he (briefly) felt a huge amount of hatred and rage. This allowed Odium to (briefly) establish a Connection. Then the moment passed, and Kaladin didn’t lean into those feelings, so he went back to normal. I’m not waiting on a mechanics-based explanation for the eye colour change, as it doesn’t seem very important to me.
  19. The Sibling didn’t promise to bond Dabbid in as many words, but their behaviour towards him did imply that things were headed in that direction. If an unbonded spren starts talking to one specific person and asking him to run errands, it’s totally understandable if the human assumes there’s a bond coming. But I’m not sure that this qualifies as the Sibling taking advantage, because to do that, they would have to understand that Dabbid has assumed the Sibling intends to bond him. It’s not clear whether the Sibling understands people enough to know what’s going on. It could have been a genuine misunderstanding.
  20. Hi! As I read: p2 - It might make things clearer if you used separate words for magical and non-magical healers. For example, you could call the healer here a midwife (or a doctor or a nurse or something), to make super clear that she isn't a mage healer. p8 - I'm not clear on who the person saying 'I still have his Oathband' is, but it seems like it might be important? p10 - I'm not sure whether B is trying to send everyone away because more dangerous magic is about to be released, or because the physical building is about to come down and he doesn't want them to be crushed. p11 - Okay, just the building coming down then! If you mention that B's magic reserves are gone when he wakes up, I think the threat would be clearer for that last section. Generally, I think the prologue is good. Most of the important things are clear and easy to follow, and the action is exciting enough that it doesn't feel like an exposition dump. 1. Yes, the action around the spell going wrong is clear. I also really like the description of how and why the spell is going wrong. 2. I like the pacing. The tension held up well and there weren't any slow points. 3. All those things are clear from this prologue, and I think it will be helpful context for understanding Part 1. The only thing I think you might need to nail down more is that spellstones are safe and not prone to the same dangers as cast magic. (Though that could wait for chapter one.) 4.You probably want to get some fresh eyes on this since I already know a lot of how things work in this setting, but to me, the only thing that stood out as not being explained was the Oathbands (and also the Vowbands). It sticks out because they are mentioned quite a few times but it never actually explains what they are. This might also be a good opportunity to show the tension between people from different countries, since it's important to Al's plot and his political situation isn't always super clear from his POV. Maybe if the interfering midwife has an issue specifically with B's nationality (as well as his magic), and said something prejudiced, it would clue the reader in? 5. I think I mentioned everything already. 6. I felt sorry for B, though the prologue didn't really get into characterisation with everything else going on. I think that's okay, though, since you can't focus on everything at the very start of the story. 7. It's difficult to guess what I would be thinking if I didn't know that Al is going to be a protag, but I'm pretty sure Al's situation would stick in my head, as well as the conflict surrounding the use of magic (it's very useful, but can go horribly wrong). Which is a good thing, considering where the story's going from here
  21. I don’t think this is a silly question. Odium has been set up as the main antagonist of book five, and possibly beyond that. The conflict needs to be resolved somehow. I don’t think it’s likely that Odium will be dealt with by combining it with another Shard, because we’ve already seen that happen with a Shard antagonist and having it happen again might feel repetitive. I also don’t think binding Odium with more contracts or trapping him in some other place is likely, at least as a long term solution, because I’m not sure there’s any version of that plan that doesn’t come off as stalling. It would end up feeling like it’s just a matter of time before Odium becomes a problem again. Odium being Splintered is a strong possibility, in my opinion. There would be consequences, since that would create lots of little Odium splinters which could be a problem in and of themselves, but the original conflict would be resolved and dealing with splinters sounds much more manageable than dealing with the Shard. Reforming a new Adonalsium out of all the Shards might be an option much later in the cosmere, but not during Stormlight. It involves too much cosmere stuff that’s beyond the scope of the story being told right now. Another option I think could happen is to replace Odium’s Vessel again, but this time with someone who will redirect the Shard so that it’s harmless to people. They wouldn’t be able to fundamentally change the nature of the Shard, but it might be possible to point it in directions that aren’t as destructive.
  22. I haven’t read the original prologue, no.
  23. I would have to go with Harmony for best god, if only by process of elimination. Ruin and Odium are out for obvious reasons. Autonomy, Endowment, Honor and Cultivation are all out for being way too sketchy. Preservation is better, but in an ‘enemy of my enemy’ kind of way. Given his approval of the Lord Ruler, Preservation would probably have been an awful tyrant if Ruin hadn’t been in the picture. That leaves Harmony as the least terrible god in the cosmere. I do take massive issue with what he did during Era 2 and I don’t think I can trust Sazed’s judgement again unless something huge changes, but at least he has his people’s best interests at heart, and he values their freedom to live their own lives. That makes him better than the other Shards we currently know about.
  24. Many of the surviving humans probably tried to wipe out the Parsh entirely, but failed due to logistical problems. Roshar’s a big place, and small groups of Parsh could be hiding anywhere. You’d never find them all, especially if you’re short on manpower. Later, when the Knights Radiant were established, the Radiants would be held to ethical standards that prevent them from going after the Parsh.
  25. I would dispute this. Warbreaker is set during a particularly stable period on Nalthis. The backstory includes a long, devastating war and the creation of Nightblood, one of the most destructive things in the entire cosmere. And Endowment oversaw all of that, didn’t try to stop or mitigate the damage that we know of, despite the fact that she is constantly meddling in human affairs by choosing people to Return. I’m not sure what Edgli is up to, but the well-being of the people on her world is not a priority for her.