LerroyJenkins

Reading Excuses - 1\26\15 LerroyJenkins - Fractured Chpt 5 (V?)

7 posts in this topic

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. 
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This was easy to read, but I didn't feel like a lot happened.  Most of the chapter, Ferox watches other people fight, while he plans.  He only gets a few minutes of "screen time" while fighting Tenuis, and the rest is moping that he won't get picked.  Then as the chapter ends, he doesn't get picked.  There's no surprise to it, so it feels like you could have just told that.  Further, now I'm more interested in Aurelia than Ferox.  She seems to have some good skills or abilities.  

 

I don't mind if there's not a whole lot of action, but we also don't really learn any new information, except the names of the mock cohorts, which I suspect isn't that important, and some tidbits about history, which I suspect could be dropped elsewhere in side comments.  We also don't get much character development about Ferox.  He plans things, and wants to join a cohort, but I think we already knew that.

 

I think this has to do with the Proactive/Sympathetic/Competent triangle that Sanderson talked about in W.E. a couple months ago. A hero has to have a good mix of these to work.  In this chapter, We don't see Ferox as Proactive--he's just planning and reacting to getting called out.  He's not shown as competent, because he's placed against a weaker opponent.  He's mildly sympathetic, because he didn't get picked, but he still won the fight, so that takes away some of it.  For example, if he was put up against an absolutely overpowering opponent, like a Brute, and then lost, I would feel more sympathetic to him.  If he actually won, he would be more competent, and if he won and still wasn't picked, he'd be more sympathetic as well.

 

Some bits and pieces:

 

pg 2: "Once I signal the match to start you can do pretty much whatever you deem necessary "

--In something repeated a lot, the excess words will have been taken out.  I would think "pretty much" would be removed, or changed to "almost."  It also makes the statement stronger.

 

There are some of these words - "pretty much," "terribly," "try and stay," "somewhat," that could be removed to make the sentences stronger.  This is nitpicky level, but it stood out to me.

 

Pg 7: "this time" repeated in two sentences
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@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!

Quote

some tidbits about history, which I suspect could be dropped elsewhere in side comments

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!

Edited by LerroyJenkins
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, Ferox seems rather over-confident in dismissing his friends. Maybe he’s right, but he’s certainly not given Aurelia any respect by barely giving her a thought.

 

“ever-growing”

 

“their cohort’s color”

 

“If this is what was to be expected for the rest of the day, then there was hardly a reason for everyone to have to stand around watching” – complicated phrasing, and the last statement in the paragraph about him staying relaxed didn’t seem to follow, for me.

 

Ferox’s reaction to the olive-skinned boy and his tactics is interesting. Again, it’s rather disparaging and dismissive, that’s going to get Ferox into trouble at some stage – or it should!

 

You call Altus a large ‘man’, but I'm taking it that these are youths, so the ‘man’ seems very out of place. What age are the trainees again? Maybe you’ve told us already, but I forget.

 

“with his head high”

 

Going into Ferox’s fight, I'm really interested to see which way you’re going to go with it. It’s far too obvious that Ferox is just going to crush him, but Ferox seems more afraid of the outcome than concentrating on what he’s doing – not focused. Interesting.

 

Okay, so there were no surprises in the bought, but it’s interesting what Ferox takes from it, the hurt done to his own chances rather than any thought for his weak opponent. It makes Ferox seem focused, rather driven, but unsympathetic and pretty selfish. It’s good character building – assuming that image of him is what you’re going for!

 

Again, with Ferox response to Aurelia’s opponent and her situation you reinforce my image of Ferox.

 

I'm a bit troubled by your description of Aurelia being an Apex. Why can’t someone who is fast, nimble and clever escape the attack in the way she did, why do they automatically have to be an Apex? I'm more unclear now how things like Apexes are defined and how they originate.

 

“...end the match with the next bout” – not sure about ‘bout’. To me, a bout is a match (see the use of bout in terms of boxing), so I think it would be the next attack, or exchange, or something like that.

 

“... his long-winded stories.”

 

“He had gone over this allotted time...” – had exceeded his allotted time, not ‘went’.

 

“republic’s” – no capital.

 

I like how you give us some historical background through your character’s internal complaining about learning history, ironic and really quite clever.

 

There’s a rather strong similarity between the selection process and the sorting into houses in Harry Potter, the names and the colours have a similar feel. I'm not saying it doesn’t work. Your cohorts are based on combat, there is the Romanesque feel and a different tone, but I would be cautious, as people will draw similarities. In particular, you’ve assigned green to Vipera, which draws a direct comparison with Slytherin (green for snakes).

 

Good, I'm glad you didn’t come out with some surprise selection for Ferox, he’s been left behind as a recruit while his friends progress. It should be a good test of character for him.

 

All in, I enjoyed this submission. I think the tension in the fight scenes could be dialled up a bit, and I express my concern about that certain similarity, but I like the way you’re developing Ferox. His friends don’t have much character about them. I think you could maybe work harder at that in the previous portion when they are interacting. I appreciate that Ferox doesn’t really know them yet, but I would like to know a little more going into this fighting, unless I’ve just forgotten details from the previous sub, that could happen with my memory!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@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. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

This ties in to what you imagine your audience to be. Generally YA books have a protagonist that's a couple years older than the readers. "Adult" books are more lenient on ages, but if you set the age too young, you tend to place yourself back in YA territory.

Since the students are getting out of teenage years rather than into, I'd be tempted to see them as closer to 20 when reading than 16. Lots of epic fantasy places the young hero or heroine right around 18-22: old enough to act on their own, but still inexperienced.

I don't have any problem with "X years old." You could define your own calendar and whatnot, but sometimes it's just simpler to use what people know, unless there's a specific worldbuilding reason not to.

Edited by Mandamon
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I certainly didn't mean that I was constantly thinking about Harry, Ron and the other bloke, just that structurally you're in similarly territory and little details like green for the snake cohort will probably snag some people's attention.

I've got no problem with X years old. On the man-boy thing, you've got an instructor who is clearly a man, a 20 y/o who's a man and a 16 y/o who's a boy. So, are 17 y/os boys and 19 y/os men? I guess if you clearly describe the individual 20 y/o as a man (or boy) at the start, it should work, although guy out would maybe need to reinforce it from time to time.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.