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09/05/2015 - Mark - Equo Prologe & Chapter 1 (V)


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The prologue is much better.  I'm still rather horrified by it, but I suppose that's the intent.  Knowing what I do now about later chapters, I'm still not sure where and how the minotaurs tie in, except to demonstrate that they're sentient creatures hunted by humans.

You make it clear at the start that we're dealing with minotaurs, which as I recall was my main problem with it last time.  It flowed a lot better this time, and had good tension with the mother trying to protect her children.


Aldo seems instantly less abrasive than last time, and I think this better shows his competence in knowing magic so early.  Still not sure whether Diego's brief interlude adds anything for me.  It does show the brutality of the area, though.


The way Aldo handles the boy in line is handled a lot better (if I remember correctly).  I can still tell that Aldo comes from privilege, and is certainly egotistical, but he's not so over the top that I hate him immediately for it.  Manipulating the boy shows he's arrogant, but also crafty enough to get his way.


Much better repartee with Julia as well.


In all, I enjoyed this version a lot more.  I'm much more interested in the story by this point than I was last time.  I want to know what happened with Aldo's family, and with Julia three years ago.


Looking forward to more!
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Hey Mandamon, thanks for the comments. 


If you recall, there is a character named 'Mya' that turns up, that's the first way the prologue ties in. There's more down the road, not all of it is instantly obvious.


I'm glad you enjoyed this more. I'll be getting back to some of your submissions.

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I enjoyed reading this again. I glanced back at my previous comments and I’ve got less to say this time around, which I guess must be good, you’ve certainly addressed many of the issues I raised before. I hope that the following are useful. I agree with a lot of what Mandamon says about the improvements.


It’s not clear that it’s Favra speaking until the end of the first dialogue sentence. I assumed it was Davan.


I like the introduction of Davan, and his spectacular death really nails the dramatic life or death situation that Favra and the children are in.


We know they’re in a hidden spot – give the reader credit for remembering from 30 seconds ago.


Woah, was Mya the kid in the last version? If she was I didn’t get that before, whereas I do now.


* Favra dared to raise her head...


Some of the phrasing is a bit wordy, as an example “Jorvu ran from under the oak” could easily be “Joruv ran from cover” as you’ve mentioned the oak a few words prior.


It’s good that you don’t pull back from killing the children.


I enjoyed the description of Favra being hit by the bolt.


When the parent says “nice work honey” it sounds like Mya has done the job, the comment seems premature.


Not convinced quite so much description of what the humans are doing is needed, since you’ve set it up through their dialogue, for me, you could trim that paragraph a bit.


It remains a powerful prologue, highly effective I think in introducing the themes of your story. I think it feels very naturalistic, the way we get the minator’s perspective as the wild creature in it’s natural habitat hunted by the humans.


“a band of hunters of a dozen different nationalities”


The first Aldo paragraph seemed a bit untidy to me. At the end the word “mouth” is used twice, and I don’t understand why Aldo’s in pain, although it’s explained, but at first it seems to be directly connected with the head wound to Diego.


“the imp’s head”


“Julia exited the arena, and the summoners began the short process of summoning another Imp. Another contestant entered the arena.” This phrasing seems a bit untidy.


There’s a paragraph explaining that the incident with Diego was not repeated, but I didn’t think it was clear at the time Diego died that the trialists were not supposed to die. I think the initial impression is that it’s a trial to the death.


I'm a bit confused that the Equos don’t seem to call the shots as to when the trials end. It seems strange that it’s up to the contestants, as implied by the exchange between Aldo and Brutus.


The description of the weapon is all very well, but we don’t know either of the places mentioned. You explain that it’s expensive, but maybe if you said something like rare old wood and hard-won white steel it would resonate better, then again, the paragraph is pretty long as it is.


Wordiness “Aldo gave him one look, up and down.” Why not “Aldo looked him up and down.”?


What pulled loose? It sounds like the shadow.


If he presses his blade against the imp’s eye, the beast flinching is going to take its eye out, surely it would be trying not to flinch. If it does flinch away, what does he press the blade down into?


I found this “I think it’s time I rejoined my manservant to eat” a bit out of place. Why would he tell her that? And it’s obvious he’s going to eat from the tray. I just felt that nothing more needed to be said after he brought his conversation to a close with “it was nice talking”.


Brutus’ use of “hardly” repeats Aldo’s use of the word not long before.

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Hey Robinski. As always, thanks for the critique. Very extensive, I appreciate it.


I'm really glad you noticed improvements. I took everything I was told to heart, and did my best to correct some of my mistakes. I have fixed most of your more functional corrections, thanks for pointing them out.


Mya may not have been the kid in the last version, that could have been something I added in after submitting. 


I tried to get across that Diego's death shouldn't have happened by having the summoners panic, but I think I might have been a bit too light on details. I'll see if I can fit something else in. 


Your bits on the flinch and the resistance of the blade are both spot on. I've amended it. 


And Brutus and Aldo sometimes use similar expressions. Aldo grew up with him, and has unconsciously adopted some of his mannerisms. 


Thanks again.

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