Mandamon

20150112 - Fruits of the Gods Ch5 pt1 (3287) - Mandamon

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There is a natural break at this point in the chapter, but the second part is little over 2000 words so I split it.  Part 1 of Chapter 5, in which Kisare and Belili learn more about the purple haired man and his people...

Let me know what you think!

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Your submissions have been growing better each time and I liked this chapter. There are a few nit-picky things with words that seem odd choices but you can pick those up on a second pass I bet (i.e. the dogs 'yelling' feels odd to me, even though the dictionary definition would seem to allow it. Perhaps howling or barking).

 

You keep the tension up i the first half, which helps quite a bit. I think (just my opinion which could be totally wrong).you started to ease off before purple hair guy calls forth the spirit of the cadaver. I think you might consider increase that tension for a short intense burst first i.e. two large hounds burst from the woods, which purple hair guy is forced to reluctantly kill. Some injury to him and or the girls. Then the desparate raising of the cadaver while the rest of the hounds get closer 'if the rest of those get here we won't make it!' type feel. Running to the village. Ragged breathing.

 

Then when you get to the village you need to add tension/conflict (heard that last night on one of the WE podcasts). Even in a situation like the village there could be conflict/tension of a different type. Fear for the safety, suspicious looks, unexplained or bizzare items or circumstance that could be firghtening, the dogs baying in the distance - not sure what fits in with your story but the village part totally deflated all the tension you built up. I think you need to keep a little uncertainty or something.

 

Great job. I'm jealous. ;)

Edited by stormweasel
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Stormweasel: great comments, especially on the pacing.  I don't often get a lot of comments on that, but this helped me clarify some of the things I've felt were wrong with this chapter.  I've made several edits already and haven't gotten it right yet.

There is some tension in the second half of the chapter, but you're correct that the "chase" tension has bled away by that point.  Good catch.

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Well too much input is probably bad - you'll probably wrestle with it a bit. :) It sounds like you are moving towards a solution. Your actions scenes on the whole are definetly a lot more fun and interesting to me personally - nothing wrong with the other stuff -its needed- but the action is snapping along. If you repost the edited version next week I'll be sure to give it a look.

Edited by stormweasel
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I'm happy to be finally caught up with this story.  Plus, I caught up right in time for a fun chapter.

 

Alright, I was going to call you out again on Kisare calling her sister 'flighty' very early on in the chapter.  But I liked how that set up Belili's little moment of intensity once they reach the purple hair village.  If that's what you were going for across this Kisa POV and the last, then I think her calling Belili flighty (and other synonyms) repeatedly is more tolerable, if a bit heavy handed.

 

I enjoyed the differences in culture between the sisters and Hbelu, and thought you illustrated them through Kisa's POV believably.  I also thought the few hints of perhaps Stockholm Syndrome in the sisters was interesting (could just be me picking that up though).

 

The magic scene with the corpse was easier to follow in this one, though I found myself wondering if it was the ghost of a corpse walking about, or the actual rotting corpse?

 

To tag on with Stormweasel about pacing I found the tail of the chase to be engaging, though I was half-hoping that the sisters would come to Hbelu's aid at the end instead of him solving each confrontation with magic.  To toss out an idea of what I mean, perhaps have Belili use a slice of Hbelu's apple instead of him.  Or to make up for Kisa seeming left out as she doesn't have magic, you could have her do something to obscure their tracks with leaves, branches, etc.  Just ideas to get my meaning across.

 

Once they made it to the village I found the description interesting, especially the spirit bear powering the waterworks.  However, I thought the inhabitants and their reactions to the sisters could have been more interesting than them just seeing politely interested.  I especially think that if their leader, as it is hinted Hbelu is, walked into the village with two 'newcomers' following him the populace would respond with more interest.  This also helps with the deflation that Stormweasel talks about.  However, seeing as how this is only half a chapter, I would like to withhold any judgement on whether the tension has deflated until after the chapter concludes.

 

The worldbuilding at the end with the running water (and temp. controlled) was a nice touch, and helped offset the feeling that these people are too 'nature-y' to construct more modern conveniences.  Even if it was powered by a helpful spirit bear  ;).

 

I agree with Stormweasel, this story is getting better and more interesting as it deepens.  Looking forward to more.

Edited by Sprouts
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Sprouts--thanks again!

Good call on Kisare and Belili helping Hbelu out.  It will make them look a lot more proactive, and would give Bel another chance to use magic.  I may just steal that.

 

Yeah, the corpse part is a little unclear.  They can only work with spirits, so it's supposed to be the ghost of a rotting corpse, but I don't think I described it well.

 

Good catch as well on the villager reactions.  I think I was so happy to get to the next destination while writing this that I skipped over some of the reaction.  That would be a good thing to add in on the first big edit.

 

There probably is some Stockholm Syndrome with the sisters, but I don't know if I ever really address that directly.

Great comments all around.

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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 

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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 

 

Lol--that's great.  Now I'm going imagine PacMan as I write!

On the capital/non capital front: when I submitted the first few chapters originally, back in May, I had Apples and apples, Oranges and oranges, which was confusing for readers, as well as potential listeners.  I adjusted so the only magical Fruit that existed was the capital ones, but kept the capital Fruit when referring to them and regular fruit when referring to non-magical ones.  That part might still be confusing if read aloud, but I've tried to limit it so it's obvious by context.

(I think Robinksi still disagrees, but I'm going to claim artistic license on that one, so there!)

 

Good comments on the opening.  That part is still rough.  I'm nearing the end of the book, so when I go back and edit afterward, I should have a clearer idea of what to begin the story with to mirror the end.

 

Glad you like the magic.  It's been fun to play with as I write.  I think I did eventually start using "juice" instead of "fruit juice," so I'll go back and adjust that.

 

I've a few similar comments on Kisare's reaction to Hbelu.  That part will need some edits as well.  Really, what you've read up to now was re-written a couple times, so the characters still have some personality quirks I hadn't worked out.  From here on, it should be smother.

 

Thanks again!

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Hmm, did I disagree? I'm going to have to go back to the Start Write Now group and check what I said...

<ctrl-Tab>

Edited by Robinski
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Hmm, did I disagree? I'm going to have to go back to the Start Write Now group and check what I said...

<ctrl-Tab>

 

It may have been on the first read through back in May.  Can't remember.

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