LerroyJenkins

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23 Awakened Object

About LerroyJenkins

  • Birthday 11/30/1995

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    Missouri
  1. interesting set up here, I think you have a pretty good idea. That being said I have some questions you should ask yourself about your world. 1: What level of tech is there? Doesn't it seem odd that the civilization is so advanced that it designed a shifting city, but never invented Email? It's not a problem so long as there is a good reason that they progressed the way they did, some sort of extreme steam-punk engineering I would guess. 2: What really needs to be described? The others mentioned this, but is there anything special about the letter being blue, and its size? All the description of the letter did for me was remind me of "The Hudsucker Proxy" (if you haven't seen it you should watch it, real fun movie" 3: What about your story is going to make readers want to keep reading? Your setting is interesting enough for me to keep going, but you need to put you character in a situation that will make his seem more dynamic or sympathetic if you want to attract more readers. I like your setting and think you could easily make this into a great story! Keep working! EDIT: Going off what the others said, and quoting Brandon's lectures you mentioned in the email; Show, don't tell. It is an interesting idea to have a shifting city, but it comes across like a text book. I usually try and keep from suggesting specific changes I would make, but I can't think of a better way to give an example so here we go: I would just have Tom be late. This way he would be running (which seems more fitting of a courier anyway) and have to traverse an 'edge' of two passing districts sooner rather than later. plus it strengthens the idea that the silver ink letter is more important if he is in a rush.
  2. where to start... I really enjoyed this, it has a nice balance of humor and seriousness. Firstly I want to say that first person pov usually is off putting to me, but you use it well enough that it was absolutely no trouble at all this time. Secondly, I love Greek mythology, and think its involvement in a story is a good hook for most readers. But I might suggest that you favor vagueness when recounting the mythology, for example; I had always heard that Prometheus was tortured by an eagle not vultures, who ate his liver not his kidneys every day. Whichever story is more popularly agreed on as the official legend doesn't matter, and hearing a version slightly different than what you know isn't terribly off putting(at least it wasn't for me), its just something you might want to be aware of. As far as the characters go I think you've done a great job so far! Every story I've read involving gods and goddess portrays them as physically dangerous and powerful. But this is really refreshing, because the gods in your story have lost their physical and magical powers, but have gained political and social power. Personally I love this idea, especially if the mention of Ra(which is the falcon headed Egyptian god right?) is hinting that gods from many mythologies all find themselves in godtown and relatively powerless. I am excited to hear more of the backstory, and to see how a society made up of gods would interact(you really go my attention when Zeus said "They’re coming and it’s probably best someone with your talents not be seen hanging around a dead body.”. It's a cool thought that the god's powers from their old lives would effect what rules or laws apply to them, and how severe the punishment may be.) anyway, great chapter, hope to see more soon! @Robinski: I upvoted supersoup's post, so at least there is no harm done now haha
  3. I have been away in the wonderful world of finals and exams for the past months, and I'm glad to see another talented aspiring writer joining the forum! Though after reading your work and skimming everyone's reviews I would say you're not so much "aspiring", but more of a professional! Mirroring what everyone else seemed to be saying; you have an easy to read style that allowed me to forget I that was reading and just experience the story. I'm going to try something new and tell you what I see as I'm reading, and I do have some things to say/ask after I'm done, so here it goes: As far as setting goes I get the feel of Robin Hood in both location(plains dotted with rocks, and ancient dark and damp forests) and level of tech(bows, walled villages, etc). willow: i don't know much about her appearance wise. So far, in my mind, she is(a girl obviously) 19~20ish years old, and that's about it characterization: I'm going to go ahead and tell you what I'm guessing these people's personalities are going to turn out to be willow- guessing shes going to be fairly typical protagonist; caring, empathetic, strong moral compass etc... Olga- stoic but still caring, guessing she is going to be willow's mentor Sabrina- Not sure if she is actually a bad person, or if she is just supposed to contrast Willow the rest: not to much interaction with other characters, most just do what they are expected to do in general I feel the description of all the visuals is vague, which isn't a problem unless you decide to explain them after the first couple of chapters which I would find jarring. I think most people do a pretty good job of filling in the gaps themselves, so as long as you don't mess with their imaginations after they've cemented the image of the characters/setting. the only other thing I want to point out is that every once in awhile you use an odd phrase like "Someone was sat beside it,..."(pg5) where I don't know if it is necessarily wrong, nor do I know if you are using them stylistically, but for me it kind interrupts the flow of the story. other than those(relatively, very small) critiques, I really enjoyed this! You did a great job of characterizing Willow from the gun, same with Sabrina and Olga, and all without making it seemed forced which is awesome. I think I am going to really enjoy this, and anything else you may submit! keep writing!!!!
  4. @Robinski: Thanks for the critique! lots of good catches here, I fixed most and a something to saw for a few; 1. I'm glad Ferox's personality it more apparent this time! And yes, that is exactly the way I wanted him too come off. There will be a lot more character building throughout the book. I'm excited to see how everyone thinks they fit together so keep an eye out! 2. I've been having trouble with the man/boy decision. Because the students are anywhere from 16-20ish and it's debatable what to can a teen. I went with man in that specific scenario because boy sounds too young and weak to me, I'd love to hear more opinions on this! Oh, and what does everyone think of using "__ years old" in a fantasy setting? would this hurt my setting? 3. Aurelia's fight; I need to give that section a lot more pass-overs because it's been (obviously) difficult to portray the scene the way I see it. Bratus is human, but extremely well trained. Him pinning down her shield arm and swinging his sword is supposed to be basically simultaneous. I want to get it across that his speed was from a rehearsed set of movements, not the on-the-fly speed/reaction time that Aurelia has from being an Apex. The line will between Apexs and normal people will be more definite soon btw. A chapter or two more and it should be good. 4. I was worried about being similar to other books, but not Harry Potter, I think it will become dissimilar soon enough. Just encase I will switch Vipera and Scorpio, I decided last minute to switch the colors so I'll switch them back. Maybe that'll help? Thanks again for the critique! Everything I didn't mention I already fixed, or have a good reason to leave it the way it is.
  5. @mandamon Thanks for the critique! In general I'm happy with the way this came off to you, I would've liked him to be a little more sympathetic though. The heroes triangle thing is very intriguing, and It might help me explain my dilemma; First of all, he can't be chosen yet. So if I pit him against a Brute then I'm trapped into him either getting chosen, or being shown as relatively incompetent. (I just realized that I didn't mention,Altus{Tolero's opponent}, also got chosen) Even if someone loses a fight against a Brute, a cohort might chose them just for holding their own for a while. Meaning if he fought one, he'd either; 1.Win, obviously get chosen 2.Fight well and lose, looks more competent to us and the cohorts and likely gets chosen 3.Gets handily beaten, looks more sympathetic, but not nearly as competent as he should be. All of those options either break my recruitment rule, or are just as bad as the Tenuis fight. So the only way I could think of to hide Ferox's competence from the cohorts(and apparently the reader, oops) was to have a pathetic opponent. Now if anyone can think of a solution, I'd really appreciate it! Do you mean that it came across as info-dumping? Because I could use Eve to introduce the info, but I think people are getting the idea that Sapients are dumb since I use them so often pg 2: haha, that's true! Didn't even give that any thought, good catch. pg 7: thanks, just fixed it! Thanks again for the great critique!
  6. Here is chapter 5 of Fractured, it's 3038 words so it's should be fairly quick. It's through Ferox's pov, ch6 will be Eve's. Enjoy! Recap(that I forgot to send with the email, oops): Romanesque setting, Ferox and friends are recruits in a military academy/city called Rixa, which is in the Republic. Frays are the more fantasy element, they're hard to explain so just know that its the name for people that are more powerful or somehow different than normal. Brutes are a Fray, they are much bigger and stronger than normal people, with double the muscle. Alright so bring on the critiques! I'm interested in anything and everything you have to say about my submission.
  7. Alright, I'm excited for this! here we go... Not a lot to say so far, its interesting, and keeps a good pace. Savage plumbing; I think this would make more sense if she muttered it to her sister as a joke. idk, it just seems that if you were standing before a council that will decide your fate, you wouldn't make a sarcastic comment about their plumbing, even if it was positive one. Ahh, I see others got this too When the elders ask "Ishkun-Dim-Hbelu must have special interest in you to bring you here. He has not done this before. Was it the box you carry that interested him?", there is a bunch of thought going on in the girls head, and way later there is "Hbelu was steadfastly looking at the box. "Of course," he said, a little too fast.". Not a huge deal, but it definitely didn't come off as 'a little too fast' when read. Maybe move his too quick response up to be right after the question. "These also have the marks of the gods on them, as all Fruit tree seeds do." maybe its just me but this came off as telling instead of showing. Maybe "There's nothing special about them, marked by the gods just like all the others." but I don't know, it may just be me ahh, so there is something special about them! Alright, I liked this a lot! Same as all the earlier chapters, this one is well paced and interesting throughout! Wow, I didn't know you were so close to finishing this! Well I don't know how to give any truly useful critiques on a book-wide scale, but the set up in these first few chapters is wonderful. There was already so much potential in the magic system with the initial seeds and hair colors, and now you've doubled it with the new seeds! I would definitely buy "Fruits of the gods" based on what I've seen
  8. I have a good chunk I can submit this week, unless five others want to submit, then I'll bow out
  9. those are some cool ideas, and welcome to Reading Excuses btw!
  10. To use brevity in my critique; Intriguing. Alas, I'm no good at leaving it at " 'nuf said" so I'll go ahead and elaborate. To me, this came off as a computerized log entry of an unintentionally generational ship. It was short and concise, gave the relative data, and the bare essentials of the dialogue that later generations could look to when questioning their very existence. In fact, it almost feels like we are reviewing a report after the fact, not actively existing in the ship. I think that (for me) this happened due to the (word limit forced) lack of in-depth descriptions of the surroundings. I think this could not only be turned into a short story, but a full blown novel or trilogy. You could use these ancient log entries as epigraphs and.... anyway, I digress, I have some points; when I first read through it, I read this line in this way; "4 crew wake up for 4 weeks a year, spending 44 weeks in stasis." But I know that there are 52 weeks per year, and I'm certain you know that as well. So I read it a few more times and got; 4 crew wake up for 4 weeks a year, while the 44 others sleep in stasis. I don't know how to make that more clear without spending more precious words, but I just wanted to draw your attention to it. other than that I just want to know if hyphenations count for one or two, as there are seven haha As you can probably guess, I actually really enjoyed this for much longer than the twenty seconds it took read! maybe we should start a topic of prompts and shorts to get our creative juices flowing? Maybe if it is well liked, it might even get pinned up top by silk Edit: I forgot to mention, I had no real issue with the solution of breeding a new crew. They don't know what is killing the crew, true. If it is the stasis chambers themselves, then they'll just put their children in the stasis pods they know to be safe and allow themselves to age or starve to death for the survival of humanity. And if it is just that those people are more at risk to die, then the offspring of the apparently less susceptible survivors would have a genetic predisposition to survive. So all things considered, they don't even need to necessarily fix anything, just avoid/test the dangers of the stasis pods.
  11. I'm going to try and review as I read, so let me know if it comes off as too nitpicky or something! If you don't like it I'll go back to more general reviews that come after having read the entire piece. page 1- The large looming pillar is something I do not remember being in is surroundings in chapter 1. Took me a second to guess that the 'faint groove' was likely the edge of a rock in the river bed, I think? page 2- I hadn't known Alph had started chewing 'visaya leaves' so 'still' made me think I missed something earlier on. There's a pattern emerging of Taras' altered view of his experiences.[period] Reality[period] i.e. " Little hands grabbed at him and pulled him downstream. The current" page 4- not really a problem; You mentioned hooves here which is great since I couldn't remember what Alph was, so maybe add something like this(more than just "muzzle", lots of animals have muzzles) up where alph first comes in so I know he's a horse. page 6- seems odd that he would waste time getting meat while also thinking of how not returning by sundown meant death. page 8- To the best of my knowledge visaya bushes are not real, but spruce trees are. I guess it's technically fine, but it makes me take a step away from the story for a second and wonder how an Earth tree ended up with this strange bush. page 10-12- The rapid switching of Taras' viewing the hunt from the eyes of the hunters and prey was cool yet confusing. I think the best way to treat the scene is almost as if it were dialogue. I would have a new paragraph each time you switched from wolf, to bruskil, or to Taras himself, and make sure it is evident whose eyes Taras is currently seeing through in the very beginning of each paragraph. Just a suggestion though. page 12- I'm a little confused with all this Kessel/Melor and stones stuff. Also I think it would be hard to see through a mask with diamonds for eyes. page 13- “Well. We’ll just get you bandaged up. Some medicine. Then off to Ottavo.” I thought they were going to Athalin? All in all it wasn't too shabby. Really intrigued with the magic displayed by the hand and by Taras, and I'm looking forward to learning how it all works!
  12. keep righting, that was on purpose haha... well do keep writing, I want to see more of this, it is really enjoyable!
  13. I'll post for at least the first chapter, and will do more later if I get around to it. I'm not used to this, but I'll give my thoughts as I read, so a critique of my critique would be nice. Here we go; . Dulcet; I agree with Sprouts on the epigraph, very poetic. I would say that, personally, the break here- did just that, it broke the flow and poetry of it all for me. Now, don't go changing it just because my opinion. It's a well written epigraph and you clearly know what you're doing, so I just wanted to draw your attention to it for a second. blacksmithing and and thoughtlessness = burns and bruises. Swinging without a thought wouldn't be wise haha I like the descriptions a lot here. Who hasn't zoned out and watched dust float in sunbeams? It makes it feel more real once I have something to attach an experience to I like all the references to blacksmithing and musical notes. You might already know this, but even a lot of modern day blacksmiths buy their anvils based off of the sound they make when struck. "...this young woman hammered and polished by the events of her life, as one of creation's bright notes." I think? Nice that you used 'hammered and polished' fits the smithing vibe. moon wand, you've got that though. "Dulcet sighed then stepped onto the street, while pushing her calloused hands into her pockets." I think this works better as; 'Dulcet sighed. She pushed her calloused hands into her pockets as she stepped onto the street.' Idk though. You were the one to tell me to show don't tell with emotions, and here is the reason why! You said nothing about her feelings, yet we now know she likes this person, and at the same time we learn more about her as a person(that she's likely shy or bashful). Great advice and great example of it in practice. Really not a lot to critique with this one, great work here. But since that was so quick I'm going to at least start the next; looking over this, I have a lot of nit picky things, if you like hearing it or don't please let me know! Hawk; Ice tinged gust; I don't know, I think its the word tinged that bugs me. Icy winds might be a good replacement in my head. short loping steps; short means short, loping means long and leisurely. Maybe hurried would work better than loping? the pack; this again is probably just me- The pack is yet to be mentioned, so my brain would rather it be 'his pack' instead of the. lightly trafficked; I don't think there is anything actually wrong, but I'm just putting down all my thoughts so; "The traffic was light this morning due to the hour and the cold weather" is a lot easier on my mental ears. A sudden metallic clink of chain mail reminded Tebo that the City Watch was about, and though they probably wouldn’t see him very well in the thickening fog. His feet He skidded on loose gravel as he came to a as quick as stop, as he could manage with the heavy pack's momentum pushing him forward. "He stared down at the wicked blade of the {half pike} aimed in the general direction of his small intestine at his heart and gulped." don't ask me why, but my mind went to a 'halfpipe' for some unknown reason. Calling it a spear might be more instantly recognizable, and half pikes are a type of spear I think right? I like the old guards eyebrows, funny line. I'm not a fan of spelled-out speech quirks. I prefer a mention of slurred or non-enunciated speech and then just normal quick to read dialogue. I can use my imagination for the specifics. I like the use of Harrumph in a sentence, I use it way too much in real life though haha Great job with the top of the tower scene. High, slick and slanted, just the thought makes me a little uncomfortable. My neck tightened and I was mentally telling Tebo to just sit down so he won't slide off and die haha. You said 'tumbled stone' when describing the parapet/johny, that made me think it/he had fallen to the ground. Bulwarks- Had to google this to picture the boat, I don't know if a bulwark is common knowledge or not. I might read the next section when I wake up, its like 3:30am hereGood stuff, I'm interested to learn more about Tebo's spots and the lady smith's veil-power-thing! Everything up there^^^ is just what would have made things easier for me personally, so take it with a big grain of salt!!! keep righting, I really enjoy the way you can paint a setting with such ease.
  14. Well if it means anything, you don't seem run down at all. I think the two of you are some of the most energetic and witty people on the forum! Plus your critiques have an amazing depth to them that I can't even start to emulate.
  15. I started to read your story a month or two ago, but got caught up in finals and such and totally forgot about it. And I have to say that that was a big mistake, I really like the story you've started here! I apologize for being late to the party! And I also apologize in advance if I put anything here that is just repeating other's critiques. Chapters 1-5.5 The opening is a little confusing to me, and a little slow. At first I thought she was digging her sisters grave for some reason. anyway, I believe I heard someone (Robinski maybe?) say something to the effect of; the opening of your story hints to your reader what to expect for the rest of the story. So maybe lead in with the annual escape attempt guy and his whipping? Idk, I don't want to push you towards anything that you don't want or like, but I think it is useful to have an opening that somehow stirs emotion, i.e. chase scene-excitment, gruesome scene-empathy/disgust, battle scene-fear/excitement etc... also, through out most of the submissions I got confused with the names pretty bad. In the first scene, who all is present? I'm thinking its the sisters, and the lord and lady, then the lady leaves? But then one of the sisters gets whipped and beaten, which I would think would be below the master and would be delegated maybe. After the first chapter I get a lot clearer picture of the interactions between characters, and start really enjoying this. The scene when they kill Tia was nicely done, and the magic was really intriguing. I like how it went back and forth between the strange magic and the great taste of the fruit. Oh small note, I would avoid saying fruit juice, but say only juice. We can draw the connection. I wouldn't say anything if it didn't make me think, for just a millisecond, that they somehow got juice boxes haha. I really love what we've learned about your magic system. First I have to say that I didn't feel like you told us, but you showed us. Kudos! Anyways, you told us enough not to be completely surprised when a purple haired guy raises a ghost from the dead to throw hounds off his scent, but not so much that there isn't anything left for us to learn. I was already thinking about combos of colors and fruits. first we find out there's at least black brown red and silver, and Apples and Oranges, so there's 8 different powers. But then we meet the purple hairs so; three primary colors, plus three secondary, plus silver, black, brown, (and maybe white, gold and who knows what else) times the four gods of nature(which I presume each correlates with a fruit from the epigraphs), that means possibly forty, awesome, fruit fueled, powers and we've only heard six! I never had any problem with the whole spirit thing. It was smart to start with the deer, helped illustrate the process if you ask me. But I didn't know that the spirit bear was a spirit at first. The whole "silvery" description and complex well, made me think it was some sort of machine. Moving on, I also like the interactions between Hbelu and the girls. He comes across as knowledgeable, but not really condescending. And one of the girls treats him with a healthy dose of suspicion. But the one being rude and accusatory seems out of place. I understand that this helps show her doubt in Hbelu motivations, but I think that an ex-slave would be more reserved when they meet a solid purple-haired guy, and assume him high nobility or a savage. Last little note, I like how Hbelu's powers have a life/death juxtaposition. This is a great story, with a very interesting magic system and world! I really want to read more of this so keep it up please!! Off topic stuff: There was something between you and Robinski about capitalizing "Fruit", right? I have to side with Mandamon, I like it. It saves my brain from actual thought by keeping it clear that it isn't just a fruit, its a Fruit! I have to say it... Eating fruit and gaining power... PacMan...? I mean, Oranges, Apples, and Cherries have been mentioned as god Fruits, and they are all in Pacman haha