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2012 Oct 15 - cjhuitt - Blue Crystals D2 Chapter 3


cjhuitt

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This is to discuss (draft 2 of) chapter 3 of Blue Crystals.

In chapter 1, we met Jorah as he helps his group of small-time thieves with a robbery. In chapter 2, he wanders into a testing ground and loses the loot he was carrying from the robbery when he is attacked by monsters.

I'm looking for any feedback, but specifically would like opinions on the following:

- The introduction and characterization of Alberic

- The descriptions

- The worldbuilding

Thanks.

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Glad to see Alberic active. This also helps round out how the recent crime wave is affecting the city.

Some nits:

page 3/25: "Despite behind head of the guards, Alberic was not." Confusing, until I realized it referenced the previous paragraph. I assume behind => being.

Also confused further down the page: "It was possible; it had happened before. It was Lord Dominik’s father, though." what was Lord Dominik’s father?

Page 6/28: “By them back?” = “Buy them back?”

More confusion: "I will offer a pardon — for just one many, and not for the original thief."

Aside from some typos and rough edits, this version is much better. It ties in a lot better with the crystals being stolen the chapter before, and you show the conflict between what Alberic wants to do about thieves in the city, and what is allowed. I remembered before I wasn't sure why thieving was a big issue. Now it's explained.

I like that Alberic's personality is pretty much the same, but you've taken out his exuberance in skipping and hopping around. He seemed more like a top in the previous version. Now we get the excitement and restlessness, but with a minimum of outbursts--it's mostly contained internally. I'll even accept him skipping a few steps at the end of the chapter ;-)

I think this sets up Alberic to be the antagonist of the thieves very well.

I'm getting a better feeling of the worldbuilding this version, but it's still shaky. Is it apocalyptic Earth? alternate Earth? It seems like a medieval-ish society in government, trending toward the Victorian in society.

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As I said earlier, this chapter is much better than the previous one.

I really liked Alberic's character with a definite Javert vibe going on, only with a more gleeful character.

I really want to know why he despises burglars so much. I hope you'll cover this side story in the next chapters.

Now, I'm not sure that the first scene is really useful. Seeing a character waiting certainly slows things down. You could pretty much convey the same information with the scene with Lord Dominik and have a faster chapter.

I agree that some of Lord Dominik's comments didn't quite make sense : I'm not sure what he's offering in the way of pardons and to whom.

For the worldbuilding, this still seems a bit fuzzy right now (part SF and part Fantasy?), but this doesn't bother me yet. I might have a different opinion in the next chapters if things don't start to clear.

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Thanks to both of you for your time.

Some nits: [...] More confusion: "I will offer a pardon — for just one many, and not for the original thief."

I'll address the typos and try to clarify the confusion. In this case, it was supposed to read "I will offer a pardon - for just one man, and not for the original thief." I may expand that part of the scene just a touch as well, but basically Lord Dominik is insisting on punishing the actual person who took the crystals, even if that slows the recovery of the crystals somewhat.

I really liked Alberic's character with a definite Javert vibe going on, only with a more gleeful character.

Interestingly, a couple weeks ago I went to a showing of Les Mis, and I was noticed some similarities also. It's possible they were playing in my mind before I redid the scene, though it wasn't conscious if so.

I really want to know why he despises burglars so much. I hope you'll cover this side story in the next chapters.

I'll bear that in mind if it seems to fit somewhere. Right now, I don't believe that's in the chapters I have.

I'm getting a better feeling of the worldbuilding this version, but it's still shaky. Is it apocalyptic Earth? alternate Earth? It seems like a medieval-ish society in government, trending toward the Victorian in society.

For the worldbuilding, this still seems a bit fuzzy right now (part SF and part Fantasy?), but this doesn't bother me yet. I might have a different opinion in the next chapters if things don't start to clear.

Thank you for the feedback on the setting -- clearly, I have a bit more work to do on it, but at least people don't seem quite as confused as for the first draft. I have a few more chapters to go where I am trying to firm up the impression of the setting in the reader's minds, so I won't specifically say what the setting is supposed to be until after those. At that point, I'll get more benefit out of specific suggestions on what does and doesn't help, rather than getting people's initial (or second) impressions.

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