Mandamon

20150105 - Fruits of the Gods Ch4 pt2 (2638) - Mandamon

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Here is part 2 of chapter 4 of Fruits of the Gods, in which Belili and Kisare meet a hunter.  Let me know what you think!

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Hi Mandamon. All in all I found this to be a good write. The action section, where the girls and the hunter are eluding the pursuers is well written and interesting.

Some very minor points to consider...

"plucking the arrow from its neck" I don't believe an arrow that penetrated deep enough to kill could be 'plucked' out - which sounds too effortless to my ears (like plucking a feather or an eyebrow) so perhaps tugged?

""You can come out now, sisters. " does he call them sisters in the way that people in church might call each other brother and sister? If not how does he know their relationship?

"Still, he spoke their language." how about "still it was close enough that they could understand him" or something like that?

"You are free to do what you want." the rest of his speech seems a little more 'proper' so perhaps this should be something like "You are free to do as you wish."?

"So…are you helping…us now?" this bit, now that they are already running, seems a tiny bit off to my ears. Perhaps "Thanks for helping us" followed by his denial that he is doing it for them?

"I thought you weren't going to--oof." again, considering she is running for her life and terrified I'd imagine, her stuborn or contrary nature seems unnatural here. What I'm trying to say is that our survival instinct (fight or flight) is more primal and takes precedence over most of those character quirks. It is an instinct hard wired into the most primitive part of our brain while the other 'learned behavior' stuff is laid on top.

Keep up the good work. The hair and fruit magic stuff seemed a little odd to me at first - only because they are ordinary items I see every day so it took a little while to see them differently, but the story has continued to grow on me. This was the most interesting chapter so far (to me) and I look forward to your next bit.

Edited by stormweasel
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Well, you know what I think...  ; o )

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@Stormweasel: thanks for the catch on the arrow and the grammar.  I've had some other comments on increasing the tension in this chapter (side-eye at Robinski) so I'll certainly try increasing the fight or flight response.  I thought I addressed him calling them sisters (he recognized a familial resemblance) but it might be in the next chapter or I forgot to put it in.  I'll check on that.

 

Thanks!

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< stands on the edge of vision with hands in pockets, whistling >

Edited by Robinski
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I'm pretty late this week at getting around to actually responding to the pieces I've read, unfortunately. I actually didn't have a problem with Kisare's attitude. I'll agree, the escape didn't feel super tense, but I didn't personally have a big issue with that because hours of wandering through wilderness: it's not very tense, and I adrenaline does eventually wear off once the immediate threat is no longer immediate, which they seemed to have had some distance between them and their pursuers, given that they (as I read it) a pretty decent head start.

 

Actually...I did have one issue with Kisare, and that was her wavering sort of...how to describe it... Sometimes she seemed like she wanted his help, and was expecting it. Other times she didn't. I can accept some snarky lines from her, but maybe the inconsistency for me is coming across from the fact she seemed reluctant to rely on him in the beginning, then at a later point acts antagonistic towards him for actually helping, and then kind of snobbish. Like, I could see Kisare saying some of those lines, but it felt like she was strongly flip-flopping how she felt about his help, rather than more subtle wavering.

Our purple haired friend at first raised a few alarms as possibly being a 'noble savage' archetype. Opposite of stormweasel's impression, I thought the 'proper' lines actually felt a bit odd since I got the impression that he was pretty much adapting as necessary and was a more matter-of-fact type, kind of pragmatic person. Also, I still don't entirely understand what the deal with the flower was. It felt exclusively like its purposes was to show off some of his magic, so it just kind of felt out of place. Maybe the flower has a purpose or he has some druid-esque dogma he follows, but considering we see some of his magic later, I don't know if that was necessary, since I don't know what that was entirely about.

But for positive things, I definitely am still enjoying the story as a whole. I also don't know if it was really pointed out before, but different Fruits having different effects for each hair color instantly made my mind go into chart form, and as the power seems to be derived from the juices, it had me thinking about different concepts, such as fruit juice, mixed juices, and so forth. I feel like the information regarding the magic system is coming out at a good pace, since it feels like the pieces are in place, but it's still kind of fluid enough at this point to be surprising.

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Thanks for the feedback, Juugatsu!

Kisare is wishy-washy here, and I'm not sure whether to leave it as her developing her freedom, or rework it.

 

I tried (am trying, as I'm still writing) very hard to avoid the "noble savage" trope, but I think it's worst in this chapter.  Let me know what you think later on.

As to the flower, there's no real importance to the type, I just thought was a good visual.

 

Glad you're still enjoying it.  I have a chart already made for the magic types!  I'm not going to share it yet, as I want to see what people think, but feel free to make your own as the story progresses... I would attach it in an appendix if this ever got to that point.  You have the right idea on the juices and mixing, but that won't come up until much later on.

Edited by Mandamon
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This chapter was interesting because of all the new information regarding the magic systems, but was less tense than a chapter that seemed set to be a chase segment felt like it should have been.  To me this comes from the fact that the pursuers never feel close until they're right up on them, and then the purple-hair'd man uses his magic to diffuse the situation.  I think making the presence of the pursuers more noticeable early on would help with this. 

 

Finding out that each fruit does different things with different hair colors was great.  Looking at Juugatsu's comments, I also immediately thought about a chart.  I'm also curious to know if different shades of a color affect the abilities at all.

 

On characterization, I think Kisare responded believably when the hunter seemed to not want to help.  I actually had more of an issue with how Belili reacted to her sister's rashness.  When Kisare gets uppity and starts hounding the hunter with questions, spurred on by a contradiction, Belili smiles.  She seems amused at Kisare's forwardness.  I would think that in the stress of the moment, with the hunter being their best option for escape, that she wouldn't want Kisare's snark endangering that.

 

One last thing.  When we finally get to see the purple man's magic the scene comes off as a little chaotic and I didn't quite understand what had happened until the spirit animals started attacking the dog.  I also had trouble picturing the thorny vine/bramble that grew.  This could be attributed to Belili not knowing what she was watching either at first, as well as shock at how much fruit the man expended.  In the end though I really just had some trouble getting the action scene worked out cohesively in my head.

 

That's all the thoughts I've got at the moment.  I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to reading the submission you posted today.  Definitely curious as to where the larger story arcs of this are headed.

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Sprouts--thanks for all the posts!  I'll respond here for all of them.  I'm glad to get your opinion on the sisters, as you've read pretty much straight through.  I freewrite character personalities, whereas I outline the plot, so a lot of Belili's wooden temperament starting out is from my original idea of the character.  She starts to develop a lot more once she gets off the plantation, so I'll need to add some of that back in to the first few chapters when I edit.

 

Sounds like everyone's agreed that the action scene at the creek, as well as the one outside the slave shed, need work.  Good comments on both.

 

The box will be investigated in the second part of chapter 5 (so next week's post).  I'm interested to see what everyone thinks of that part.

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Back again, I'll get right to it. 

 

"plucking the arrow" is a bit off to me. Would one really be able to 'pluck' an arrow that had been fired into a deer? 

 

I'm commenting this while reading, but I like this hunter character. Well written. 

 

I'll also say that I like your magic system. It is mysterious, but still has parameters. A definite positive. 

 

I'm sorry, I know I'm not giving a lot of critique here, but I haven't found all too many problems, truth be told. Be assured that if you submit some tripe, I'll tear it apart!

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Mark--glad for any comments, even brief ones while reading.  This gives me a good check against those who have to slog through week by week!

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