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Silus - Shard of Flame

August 29th, 2011 - Silus - Shard of Flame - Gathered Lights

8 posts in this topic

I forgot I needed to make this topic. XP

This chapter introduces the first of our viewpoint characters, Eric. The others will be introduced in the following chapters. (I hope, I need to find time to write them)

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I had a lot of fun reading this. It's very pulpy, if you don't mind me describing it as that, and your voice and character dialogue support that. Not entirely unlike, say, Monster Hunter Itnl. Watch your superlatives and crazy qualifiers, however; they work towards the overall feel/voice you're going for, but I still think you're a little too over-the-top.

Your powers were pretty cool; I've always enjoyed 'magic' systems that rely on energy from ambient heat. However, I have to wonder why your MC can't just drain heat out of the air. It would make the room colder, obviously, but why would that be different from absorbing fire? I also thought you did a good an quick job giving us an idea of what boost are with the overboosted monsters, without bogging us down in any real details or explaining how they 'work.'

Your villain did seem a bit silly and pointless, like he was destined to fail. I would have liked to see a little more originality there than just 'crazy evil villain watching heroes fight through his security room with all the cameras.' I get that he's only there for a chapter, but still. Lastly, I felt like you introduced the 'mysterious device' bit awkwardly. I get that this also isn't going to be relevant past the chapter, but the wording you used just didn't seem realistic as something people would tell their trained operatives. It also didn't sound like the way most people think, so to be blunt it just sounded like you didn't want to spend the time coming up with an actual device because you knew it was going to be a throwaway anyways. Just adding a little more depth there will make your character and world seem more believable.

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Thanks for your input!

Heat in the air isn't concentrated enough for her to absorb, and wouldn't be enough for Eric to use.

Yeah, you got me on the villain guy and his device. That's something that I'll fix once I get more into that aspect of the worldbuilding, but for now I was wanting to focus more on other things like the plot.

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A very nice... second chapter. I'll agree with Hubay's comments and my suggestion would be to add a prior chapter explaining their mission and whatnot. I'm not sure what exactly the chapter would be, but you might lay some groundwork that would make the character's demise more fulfilling and less throw-away.

Another thought is that I've read books where the initial chapter has the supposed demise of a character (or imprisonment, or banishment) only to have that character drawn into the story again at a later point or possibly in a later book. For example, if you have read The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, there is a character that is tortured and sent to a winter prison camp and it's assumed that he's a throw-away, only to have him turn up two books later, his face scarred and unrecognizable. You might consider modifying this particular terrorist in such a way that he plays a part in the plot later.

As to the rest of the chapter... yeah it was a bit pulpy. The name "goldies" made me picture in my head two people running around in yellow spandex, ala The Running Man, making cheesy comments and fighting bad guys. Perhaps you should address what they are wearing to fix this misperception, unless you have a thing for yellow spandex.

Anyway, I think a prior chapter would help build the brother/sister relationship a bit more too, and by doing so, make this chapter more powerful.

Those are my two cents.

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The problem is that I'm giving an introduction for each of my five viewpoint characters (yes, five) and if I give Eric two, that unbalances everything. I'm already pushing things by giving each one a chapter like this.

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In that case, the chapter makes more sense. I was under the impression that the story would be just about these two characters, but if you are introducing a lot of them, brevity is useful. The only concern I would have with your five viewpoint idea is to find a way to make each viewpoint memorable. Even most of the really big epics only start with about 3 viewpoints, then gradually expand (e.g. The Wheel of Time books), but then again that has begun changing (e.g. the Malazan Series).

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This started very much in the middle of action... almost to a fault. I don't think I agree about a chapter to set up the mission, but I think a paragraph of scene-setting somewhere near the beginning would be useful. I would like to see a bit more description as well.

I feel like most of the action is clear enough, without getting into too much blocking and detail. There were a few places where more detail would probably help -- such as "the device", already mentioned. I also wondered at Eric's exuberance using his energy to get into the elevator. The pair come across as very experienced, so I would think they'd want to save their energy as much as possible for the later encounters.

I don't know if the muscle-men added anything to the chapter. If they don't come into play later, you might consider removing them, or at least reducing their screen time. That would also set well with the rule of three -- the initial guards to show what the pair can do, the Boostjammers to show it's the normal pattern for the pair to win (even in harder circumstances), and finally the third confrontation for them to fail.

Speaking of Boostjammers, how does their jamming work? Does it have to be conscious? That is, once they were taken care of, could Cressy drain them? How large a field does it cover?

I also would tend to think that four people trained in martial fighting ought to be able to take down one opponent, but it fits fairly well with (and contributes to) the over-the-top feel of the chapter.

I'm curious to read that you plan five viewpoint characters. Are they all going to be first person? That might be hard to keep straight, but I guess I'll see in the next chapter.

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If you get one. I haven't started writing the next chapter, though I might break up my NaNoWriMo project from last year and post that.

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