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1,516 Midnight Essence


About Robinski

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    Fighting unnecessary capitalisation since June 2013

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  1. Yeah. Written in my callow youth, I had no notion of some of the narrative requirements of storytelling (in any form), so there are various faults, as others have pointed out too. Actually, I reordered some of the stanzas before subbing this latest version, but that was a sticking plaster. Likely I will have another go at it some time, which I have nothing else to do!! Yes, an uncanny presaging of my enlightenment 25 years later It was intended to be the war between 'man' and the see, unmatched (arguably) by anything on land Again, not really knowing what I was doing, probably I needed to more clearly communicate the intonation, and maybe too I let it slip. I'll look at that, by and by. The imagery and narrative flow may well be a bit confused, as I tended to run away with imagery and the effect of words without ensuring that the flow of logic and clarity was maintained, going somewhere because I liked the image, and losing sight of the logic/clarity. Much like in my early drafts of novels, as you all have discovered over the years!! It was an allusion towards (physical) numbness, if I recall without rereading. Happy to concede that the players are somewhat confused. As with other things, this is down to my lack of understanding (at the time?) of how a complete narrative should support any 'message' in a piece, and just lumped it on the end, not even considering if it is/was the right message! I have scheduled a rewrite of this for 2027. Good point. I've rewritten this a bit since subbing, and added another verse. Also, I considered changing the title, and the piece, to the effect that it was not an editor, but a writer that the 'person' encounters. In the original, the two parties are the same, both gamblers of different levels. That alone might recommend the fact that it should be two writers, and the title can allude to either or both at the same time. It does maybe gel slightly less well with a couple of the lines, but gels better with others. Truths hurts. I didn't want it to distract, and it's only in the file as a my reference for constructing the piece, but of course by all means chance the colour as you desire. It's just a paste of the original lyric. Thanks so much for reading. Love the feedback
  2. I didn't think that was clear at the point at which he ran. That all sounds good. I live in Glasgow. It's now 10:44am. There are other places in the world you know. This is not an exclusively US group, by any means I was wondering why you were awake though
  3. That's good. That certainly would qualify as a strong flag. This seems a bit ridiculous maybe, but I think if the title was the first thing in that Word file above Prologue, I might have had it more in mind when reading. And maybe just a really clear flag for the reader on the first page of Chapter 1, something as clear in as (for example) 'Poor, dumb M, she thought this was about money, but it wasn't, it was about vengeance.' Telling has it's place. Sometimes, when you absolutely have to make sure that everyone, 100% of the readers, knows what happening, just come out and tell them. I know there are moments in Q's POV when he thinks, and talks, about vengeance, but I think I need to feel that from him, feel his anger (even thought it may be cold, rather than hot), maybe get a hint of why, a hint mind you. I think I would you play that key motivation up more in his POV and we would know (and be reminded) of what's behind his actions. Good point, and I would not expect you to remove him. One thing that would help is if things were not so easy for him. Chapter 4 reads better in that respect, because he encounters difficulty with the first two adversaries then runs from the third (although I didn't understand why). In the first sub, things were just too easy for him, which actually adds to his unlike-ability, IMO, since we like to see people putting in the effort, earning their victories. I think you can still do this with the first encounter, just in his tone, his thoughts, without changing that much. Another thought on 'flags': I mention about clearly flagging him as the vengeful one. Is the Prologue POV another of the titular beings? The lost, perhaps, or maybe the betrayed (I can see how either would apply)? Another clear flag on that (if it's the case of course) in her thoughts, 'she just felt so lost', would help the reader get into the promises of the story. 'Okay, I've got the lost one, then I collect the vengeful one in Chapter One, and it draws the reader into the longer arc of the story, and promises that the third one is still to come.
  4. That's fair enough, but to be in one characters's perspective for four chapters and then find out they are not the MC seems kind of misleading to me. I feel like I would need some sort of flag to understand that, so that I knew I was not going to spend 300 pages with this character. As usually, once I have 'blasted' out a critique, I start to calm down a bit. For all the flaws as I saw it, there were positives in terms of the pacing (no slouching around!), and Q did have personality in that voice. More than likely I will come back and skim through the rest with a light touch, as I'd like to have the option of continuing to read. I did not even linger to review the other folks' comments, which I will do now.
  5. Heh, well, after all the debate on this, I am interested to dip into the second submission. Chapter 4 (page 1) - "more of the drug" - Calling it 'the drug' seems to me to make it less interesting. Names do have power, but this label is the ultimate in blandness, and means that I don't have any real feelings about it. Nicotine; cocaine; heroin; caffeine, these have weight, baggage, which your drug can have too if you give it some kind of identity. How does it affect him? (Specifically, because I know you made a general reference to this before.) What are the risks? Side-effects? - "other than that, the place ran itself" - I don't quite get what this means. What do patrols have to do with running the place? Patrols are a security thing, surely, whereas running a place is an administrative function. - "clothing somewhat glowing" - (a) I'm tired of doing to my split infinitive rant on here, so, I'll just say that sometimes it has its place, and sometimes it sounds like someone dropping a metal bucket. I suggest researching it; (b) Why does the thread glow? Sounds interesting, but if it's not explained I have to just go 'Meh' and move on. - "there was a measure...‘cowered’" - Good line. It's possible to convey so much character in so few words if we just choose those words carefully. - "He knelt down in from of him" - There was one of these in the first sub. If you use two unattributed pronouns in the same sentence it's entirely possible to read that sentence two ways. It could be Q kneeling in from of the beggar, or the beggar kneeling in front of Q. - "“Anything I should know about?” he asked" - Okay, I can work out that this is Q speaking, but I do need to work it out, however many nanoseconds that takes my brain. The simplest of substitutions to say 'Q asked' (since it's been several lines since his names used) means there is no requirement for deduction at all. Just because the reader can work something out, doesn't mean you should make them. - "when I act coy" - LOL. (page 2) - "He left him to suck his drug" - I won't mention it again. Just assume I'm bothered by any other instances that arise. - "walking with a purpose beyond their next meal. Someone was following him" - And not making a good job of it at all, if they are so easy to identify. Actually, sounds like they are not trying to conceal it. Walking purposefully dressed as a beggar would be a giveaway to anyone. - "Q made a turn" - Here's quite a major issue which--now that I've seen it--can be attributed to a lot of areas back through what I've reader to date. I think maybe it was noted in the previous sub as a feeling of blankness, lack of depth, paucity of description. There's a vagueness to a lot of the actions. He made a, where, what? Did he turn on the spot in the middle of the street? Did he turn the corner of the building, into another street? Without knowing this kind of thing, the reader is left reaching, trying to fill in their own details and possibly making assumptions that are not what you intended. - "A pair of hands suddenly grabbed his throat" - (a) I'm not doing my whole 'suddenly' rant again either, but if you take suddenly out, it happens more suddenly for the reader than if you leave it in: try taking that word it, it really works; (b) Hallelujah!! I'm pretty sure this is the first negative thing that has happened to Q in the Prologue and three-and-a-bit chapters. It's about time. I hope he does not get out of it easily. - "Q punched him with his free arm" - hand is better, IMO. That's what we punch with (I know, but putting aside good boxing advice, which I think is to hit from the shoulder, etc.) - "He landed with a crack" - This easily could be either one of them. (page 3) - "She was P" - Unclear. Is this her name, her ethnicity, her affiliation? - "a green glowing thing" - Arrrggh! What kind of thing? Hulk? A force-field, a gaseous cloud? A piece of green rope? I don't know how to picture this. - "Boundless" - What is this? Animal? Vegetable? Mineral? - "keeping his arms back" - Vagueness again. Description, narrative; it needs to convey emotion, energy, passion, threat: whatever is appropriate to the situation. It needs to convey something. Here, for example, 'pinning his arms' has more energy and threat than 'keeping his arms'. - "Which meant she was B" - Right, see this is good, but I think you should delete the first reference to B, which just confuses, and introduce it here for the first time. See before this, he hasn't reached the conclusion that she is B. So, one of these reference doesn't fit. I think it's the first one. - "try to downplay it, but they wanted him dead" - tense issue: disagreement with past tense. - "It was only a matter of time...job." - Good line. - "B took out her gun" - So wait, what or who is Phil? Confused. - "Q engaged his space suit" - How? In what way? - "The spirit released him and flew over to B, lifting her over the shot" - This is way too slow. He has already fired the shot. This sound like the spirit just stops what it's doing, saunters over to B and lifts her up in the air. It takes too long after the shot is fired, IMO. (page 4) - " The spirit caught her before she landed" - See, this is better, because there's no unnecessary description of how it happens, it just happens instantly, in a flash In fact, it happens suddenly, but you've shown it happening suddenly, instead of telling the reader it happened suddenly. Good job here, IMO. - "She cried out and gripped her hand, which had some blood seeping through her fingers" - As mentioned about, this is another good example of the description lacking drama and energy. Compare with 'She cried out, and gripped her hand, which had some blood seeping through her fingers'. - "a small thrust from his Grav boots" - Science: gravity boots do not thrust. Those would be jet boots. Gravity boots, as sort of implied in the last sub, locally affect the forces acting on an object. - "He raised..." - This paragraph describing the later stages of the combat, it sounds stilted. It sounds like neither of them is actually interested in the fight. Oh, she did that, so he did this. I need energy, danger, drama. Without those, I don't really care for the outcome of the fight, and there's not sense that Q is in any danger. - "and kicked her off the building" - Again: repetitive, and therefore less interesting the second time. - "knocking her out" - Okay, look this is going to be harsh, but this is way too simplistic. This is what kids say when they are play-fighting in the playground. 'Oh, I knocked you out. Oh, oh, but I get conscious again. No, I knock you out again.' - "is where I start running" - Why? There's nothing to explain why he can fight off two of them, but this one he runs from? So, I'm like 'Oh, okay, whatever. I Donn't know why that happened.' Chapter 5 - "he is supposed to be able" - Tense error, present instead of past. (page 5) - "He was wrong" - He can't be wrong about hoping he could outfly it, because that does not imply he thinks he can. - "he was close to people, causing R to hesitate" - Why? R didn't hesitate to possess the bystander. - "He didn’t have to worry about running into people. He can’t choose who he possesses" - This doesn't make sense. If R can't choose why he possesses, anyone he came close to he might get sucked into. - However, it still only took him a second to leave a body he possessed, so it only delayed him; he was still getting chased by an invincible ghost" - To put it another way, it's bad form to use 'he/him' for different people in the same sentence. Here, he and him right beside each other refer to different people. - "meat shield" - Here's the vagueness again, big style. Imagine the Green Goblin grabs a 'meat shield' and flies off with them, Spidey is chasing. That hostage is going to be crying, screaming, yelling, puking, cringing: an absolutely plethora of emotions that all build the tension and drama. Here? The person is treated like a piece of meat, not a person. That's not a problem in Q's character, that's a problem within the narrative. - "but he couldn’t keep this up forever" - Who couldn't? - "Q took a risk and threw his shield at R" - I'm going to stop reading now, because--to me--there is a nasty undercurrent to this narrative and I'm not willing to read anymore. This is a person you are talking about, not a piece of meat. Maybe they were out walking with their family, taking their kid to a toy store, whatever. Q is completely heartless, inhuman, and I would just love it if he died right here. But that's not even the biggest issue. You see, you can write a heartless character like this, if the narrative recognises the horror of it: Grimdark, basically. But that is not happening into this story. IMO, the narrative is supporting Q's vileness. What I'm trying to say is that not recognising that character actions have moral consequences will be utterly fatal to any story. Summary (as far as I got) - Vagueness in the language is an issue throughout, for me. It's frequently difficult to picture what is happening, and there's not feeling of excitement to it, like someone giving evidence in court. Dry, factual. - Lack of investment: Case in point Q running from one spirit when he beat two before. Things happen without explanation. If you know why something happens, you need to show the reader or they will be confused, and that quickly leads to frustration.
  6. Yes, this is the gist of it. And also the converse is equally if not more interesting: "What am I? What do I want to avoid becoming? What am I indifferent to (that someone else might be fascinated with)?" Whenever it's used these days, I reckon there is another word that fits the situation, the context, better. Well put. I think someone's first novel can be genius, but they didn't get to that point solely over the year of writing it. Exactly! It's hard. It's meant to be hard (to do it well). They don't call a novel a 'work' of fiction for nothing. Yeah, we are all just amateurs: That's just the POVs, not the named characters. This site (below) is awesome. Rand's POV is apparently on 21% of the stories; Perrin and Egwene 12% (Edit: each); Matt 11%. This is really interesting!
  7. Okay, maybe I'll record two versions, if I can get around to recording one! Singing is a funny thing when it comes to accents, because there is a real default to singing in an American accent by a lot of singers from around the world, I think it's because that is what is heard a lot of the time, and it becomes an unconscious bias, for the rest of us anyway!! Hey, Ginger, I didn't know you could speak Gibberish
  8. Yeah, I'll put it up here, but there's no freakin' way I'm singing the melodies to The Gambler in Scots. I will being singing in American.
  9. There is a process, and you are going through it, even if you don't realise. Writers know that process (Edit: as it is for them), or need to learn it, and use it to tell interesting and intriguing stories. Good stories don't happen by accident. Also, I would argue that too many characters is not a good thing, it only results in diluting the impact of your main characters. Depth is the important thing, not width. Quality, not quantity. And, harking back to the comments on the first sub I read, and why people didn't connect with Q, you need to show the reader (not tell) the depths of each character. You need to get it(or the promise of it) on the page from the very first encounter with the character. We need to know what's in your head, because it's no good to us if it stays in there Also, be careful about throwing the word genius around. I've critiqued over 200 submissions in this group and none of them have been genius. I'd don't know how many books I've read, and plenty of them are good, very good, excellent, amazing, but the word 'genius' needs to be reserved for the one-in-a-lifetime stuff that changes the world, IMO.
  10. Hey, thanks for reading, @Aspiring Writer Yeah, I'd say poetry was a phase I went through, in and around my songwriting/being in bands period. I'm not expecting any analytical critique from anyone, an honest reaction is just fine. (one) - Cool. That is basically the scenario it's delivered in in the novel. A group travelling to the capital city boards a ship. One of them is a playwright and actor, and delivers this standing on the deck. He is--as usual--overacting somewhat, since they are on an inland lake, and storms are...unlikely. (two) - No sweat. (three) - Today, I started practicing playing the song, tweaked some of the words, and added another verse. I still aim to record it in the next coupe of weeks, Mac permitting.
  11. Love it <downloads>
  12. Lol, D'n'D, another thing I have done basically none of, despite having spent several decades roleplaying
  13. Ooh, that sounds like some Brandon Sanderson magic right there.
  14. How's that going?