Asmodemon

Sep 26 2011 – Asmodemon – Maiden of Thorns Chapter 5

6 posts in this topic

In this chapter we meet Dais, the final viewpoint character, as he’s hunting for birds in the locked down city of Overlook.

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Thoughts while reading:

Describe the things that fall on Dais face. Creep your reader out too, don't just tell them Dais was creeped out. You do say that it was fleas later though, but I figured it was spiders or something from the way you first described it.

Done.

Okay, this section could also use a good line edit. There were some clunky sentences and moments where I was wondering what you were trying to say rather than enjoying the story.

Other than that, I enjoyed this portion more than any of the others. The idea of a city under siege is always interesting--and horrific.

Still, some things puzzle me. You don't really explain or hint at why nobody is allowed to leave the city. I mean, in a well managed city, there would still be attempts to farm and harvest crops up until the eve of the siege, and you seem to indicate that the army had yet to arrive. Why the early lockdown?

Another thing you didn't really address was disease. The conditions you describe would be rampant with disease and pestilence. Perhaps you will be bringing that up later.

Other than that, I get the sense that your character is a practical street urchin, which is realistic under the circumstances. Still, if he is that practical, I don't quite get why he risked his neck to follow the man with the hat; also, it seems it would be impossible to follow a person stealthily under the circumstances, especially if he is apologizing (at least initially) every time he steps on somebody in the street.

Anyway, I liked the conflict here more than that in Rosalin's portion, but I also had a lot more questions. I'm interested to see if they are answered in the next chapter.

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A need for more line-edits seems to be a recurring theme, I’ll have to pay more attention to that.

You raise some good points about the lockdown while the city isn’t actually besieged. There are reasons for it; misinformation, conflicting interests of the defenders, to name two. I’ll go into these reasons in a few chapters, but it might be a good idea to lay some groundwork of what’s going on in this chapter too. I’ll have to consider it. Thanks :)

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First off, I was slightly disappointed to not read the continuing adventures of Rosalin. So, you know, good job with her. I'm sure we'll get back to her at some point (and if not, I'll have a few choice words about it).

I thought the Dais section raised some interesting questions and mysteries, but I didn't find myself attached to Dais like Rosalin. It might be a factor of the circumstances, or it might be needing some more solid description (as recovering_cynic noted), or it might be a matter of motivations (also noted).

Regarding the circumstances, I was curious also about the city and the siege management - because at first, when I heard they couldn't leave, I was thinking there was a siege or something similar in progress. We get that somewhat cleared up soon, but it still is odd. Also, other comments about peoples behavior -- the clearing of the rooftops, the increasing lack of food -- made me wonder what those in power were doing. It seemed like whatever they were doing would impact Dais and how he and others acted throughout the chapter. In circumstances like these, most of the dispossessed will be looking for someone to blame, and I would think there'd be riots before the people were so starved as to just lay down and die. (Disease seems very likely as well.)

As recovering_cynic noted, following the man in the hat didn't seem to be very well motivated. I can forgive it for now, since it led to a nice mystery.

I'm only slightly caught up by the question of whether Dais escapes. I'm a lot more curious about carrying dirt between the two buildings, and what that might mean. I almost hope he gets caught, so we can find out.

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Cynic pointed out the majority of issues that I had.

I will go ahead and say that I typically don't like the formatting of a few chapters with one POV character followed by another. I do like the 1 pov to a different pov to a different pov. Keeping the point of view 1 off every time, for me, keeps the questions and tension high without feeling like it is dragging on.

Personally, I could see why a street urchin who recently lost their parent (maybe or maybe not dead) would want to follow someone that had some sort of connection with the incident. I take it that Dias is young by the descriptions and the uncertainty of where his father is and fear if he lost him. Also the description from the beginning marking one of the attackers a few years older than Dias as an adolescent. That query didn't bother me so much.

I liked the concept of the city, although there is a lot that I am unclear on. Are there people living in those buildings or is it a ghost town. Save for the people living on the streets?

I am curious of how this character will fit in with the plot that you are setting up with Rosen/Rosalin.

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As the others mentioned, after leaving Rosalin in a new situation, you're introducing a new character. It feels like someone just put a needle in my balloon : all the tension is suddenly gone.

Aside from that, it's a nice chapter. I liked the world building here (particularly some expressions like 'high hour' and 'compass gates'. These pull me in your city really well). I also liked the concept of a city piled on top of another. It certainly is a nice setting for some interesting chase scenes.

The character itself was relatable. I would have liked to see a little more anxiety in him (after all, he's not been hunting birds for long, and the wording made it look like it was business as usual), but I liked him.

I certainly see why he would follow someone who can potentially lead him to some clues about his father.

One last note : you have a tendency to put words that sound alike close to one another, which makes for weird sentences. I don't find that many (about one per chapter, usually near the beginning), but it's enough to pull me out of the story. Maybe this is something to look for while editing.

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