akoebel

August 22nd - Akoebel - The Fifth Compendium, Chapter 9

5 posts in this topic

I'm glad to see the troubles with TWG were solved this fast. I got worried for a time. Thanks to Chaos and all the people who helped him do the transition.

Now, to the original topic : Here is The Fifth Compendium, Chapter 9!

The situation : Destra, throws herself into the river to prevent Lorn and his men from taking away the book she's carrying. Ciera, a librarian, discovers the book while doing inventory and finds an old friend, Onmk, in the process. Lorn discovers that the book is still hidden in a library he can't enter. Onmk tries to help Ciera perform her library's inventory. Lorn finds a way into the library. He finds Ciera inside with the Compendium and gets her to accept translating the Compendium for him.

Chapter 8 : Ciera is a prisoner inside Lorn's house

When I first wrote the novel, I heavily researched cryptography (actually broke my own cipher). As a result, two chapters did rely heavily on criptography stuff, including this one.

In the next rewrite, I ended up removing much of the code breaking information. Pretty much all that remains is what you'll read in this part. Tell me if this is still too technical.

As always, comments will be greatly appreciated.

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I liked that the chapter was from omnk's POV, since he was absent the last time. It would have like to know it was his POV in the first paragraph, though. I enjoy his character – he's a nice counterpoint to ciera – and I was interested to see more about what constitutes his 'body' and what his limits are in this chapter.

I thought the 'trouble' ciera caused was insignificant and I didn't see what her 'woman's trick' was, except telling the man he'd get off easy if he let her out. Not eating seemed more petulant than defiant, and her attempt at escape was halfhearted, at best. It was nice to see ciera act out a little more than she normally does; I just think she could have done better. Threaten them with her sister's name, for instance, although if that's not a thing you want to reveal yet you could just have her say : "my sister's powerful, she'll have you hung for this." If you actually want her attempts to be weak, thats fine; it fits with what we've seen of her character socially so far. If you do that, though, you should have Omnk realize that she's not good at this, instead of just encouraging her.

I liked the cryptography bit. It wasn't overly wordy, and you used the dialogue excellently to introduce the problem. I know very little about code-breaking – except a little bit from doing the occasional cryptoquip (it's a newspaper puzzle) but I got what was going on pretty quickly. the only thing you could have added was when you said 'patterns,' elaborate to say "you know, common words like 'the' or 'it.'"

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Thanks for the comments Hubay.

Point taken about Ciera's tantrum.

For the escape, she doesn't actually thinks about doing it.

And mentioning her sister would never cross her mind : she would not dare to ask Listeria anything.

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For some reason I didn't get your submission on this. Check your PM for my email and send it when you get a chance.

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Brief notes on this chapter tonight as well:

I was confused for the first few paragraphs as to the POV (similar to what Hubay said).

I was surprised by Ciera's strong reaction to Onmk, as I didn't remember her thinking about him or wondering where he was in the last chapter. It seems like something she is so upset about should be present in her thoughts when it is happening.

I like how Lorn casually deflects her choice to eat or not.

I was surprised Ciera didn't make more efforts to leave. Threats, anger, bargaining... something. I'm also surprised at her apparent lack of desire to escape. She wants to be able to translate the Compendium, true, but doesn't she have to work in the morning? From the tone of the previous chapters, I don't think she could easily get away with not showing up to work one day. Plus, who's going to believe her when she tells them she was captured by a man? In the library? She's likely to be blamed for the torn paper left behind as well (Was it left behind? Now I can't remember), even if it is blank.

About the cipher stuff: I thought it was fine. Of course, I've been doing the quotes in the paper for half my life or more now, plus I've taken a class on it in college. I didn't see anything wrong in your description of it, either. The only thing I'm curious/impressed by with that is being able to write a short ciphered text in a digraphic cipher right before dying... it seems like that would be a hard one to memorize easily enough to just spin out some lines.

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