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Reading Excuses 20150720 Scholomancer Ch2 (L) rdpulfer


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Previously, Robert Renfield betrayed his master Dracula and trapped him at the bottom of the ocean. Unaware of these events, Stephanie Van Helsing and her team of vampire hunters raided the Troll Market searching for Renfield and his Master. His team pursues Mr. Hyde and the mysterious Bannister, while Stephanie successfully defeats the Invisible Man, only to be swallowed by darkness after discovering an artifact. 

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pg 1: "several old, leathery editions. The wall was decorated with several plaques and certificates,"

--"Several" repeated


pg 1: "plus leather sofa."



pg 6: by this points, the hints that Lawrence/Bannister is some sort of werewolf are pretty obvious.


pg 8: “Yeah, Hyde was. He was the first to get pinched,”

--I might be being dense, but it took me this long to figure out that Bannister was against the monster hunters from last chapter.  I suppose it should be obvious.  Maybe because he wasn't mentioned by name in the last chapter.



Still interesting, but I'm a little confused on what the organizations are, who Westerna is, and what they're fighting about (besides that one side is monsters and the other is monster hunters).

Also, if Renfield betrayed Dracula, then was Dracula not teamed up with the other monsters?  At this point, I'm starting to wonder what the stakes are and how the lines are drawn, now that we know some of the characters.

On a more technical note, some of the dialogue is a little choppy, with answers not necessarily coming after the questions.  Sometimes it felt like the characters weren't talking, but instead answering in the way that would give the reader information.

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Thanks Mandamon! The idea is that Dracula had a falling out with the other monsters at some point, who started to feel more like canon fodder. I might have to make sure this point is driven home in this chapter. Next chapter is a massive world-builder on Westerna, more on that later. I'll also have to make sure I'm building characters with my dialogue instead of just info-dumping. Thanks again!

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Interesting chapter, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed most of the interplay between the characters, and I think you could punch it up even more by reading it out loud and cutting it down where you can. I think people generally minimise the number of words they use and complexity of phrasing, certainly in 'casual' conversation (as opposed to presentation, say). Details below, but my main issues were wordiness and some telling.

Good job - on to Chapter 3, which I will get back to you on much quicker (I trust).


I'm not keen on sunlight 'gliding'. Light travels at a squllion miles and hour, whereas gliding sounds rather too relaxed (i.e. slow).

"The sunlight enriched the highlights of her caramel-colored skin as it lit up her pale brown skin." This lady has a lot of skin. Also, you're really hammering the sunlight angle. It seemed a bit much. Is it all so you can make a point that he doesn't burn to a crisp - is he a vampire?

"plush leather sofa" - although I do like the idea that his chull is so big he needs an extra-large sofa.

"raging douchebag" - rofl

I'm struggling a bit with the punctuation. For one thing, a dialogue tag is generally part of the same sentence.

When Renfield says 'I don't know' it seemed to me he was shouting rather than saying.

'what that Ma…' - I guess he was going to say Master - but he wouldn't say 'that' Master' - presumably 'the Master'?

A lot of the tags are 'Renfield' and 'Evelyn'. When it's just the two of them, I would go sparingly with the names and use maybe 75% 'he' and 'she', which is quicker for the reader to scan over. When it comes to said bookisms, I recall Brandon saying that 'he said' is pretty much invisible to the reader, so it makes the story skip along faster.

'the vet' - lol

There's a nice spark to the exchange with Bannister, especially him and Evelyn, but there are also some tell-y bits of exposition that I felt were rather blatant. I think taking a pass at this scene and cutting out the unnecessary words, of which there are several, and punching up the dialogue (by reading it out loud), would help this scene zip.

Same with the starting scene actually, I think reading it out loud would help you cut down the wordiness and zip of the dialogue.

Not getting charged - lol, nice humour.

There's no realistic chance of Bannister bleeding out, from the description, so I would rephrase that. Presumably, Renfield is an expert on people bleeding out, so he would know this, for example. "Renfield wished there was a realistic chance that Bannister could have bled out." or something like that.

Another example of wordiness and unnecessary words in dialogue. I don't see a reason for Evelyn to say Bannister when he's the only one in the room. I accept that someone might use a name for emphasis, but it didn't seem necessary here.

'lowering the bottle from his mouth' - And I would be cautious about the whisky drinking thing. It's a bit of cliche, and in reality, people don't do that, so it affects the tone of the story. If you're going for big, brash action romp, with Hugh Jackman playing Bannister (for example) then it probably works, but if it's more thoughtful, edgy mystery drama with say Christian Bale doing method Bannister, then maybe not. (apologies for odd example).

Something that I'm guilty of too is indirectness of phasing. I reckon this is a good example. "Renfield realized Bannister was looking right at him. He sheepishly opened the door and walked in..." compare with "Bannister looked right at him and Renfield opened the door, walking in sheepishly" - Renfield realising takes away the directness and adds words, for my 5c anyway.

One hundred mil!!!! Wow! It's an eye-catching punchline, but I do wonder what their economy must be like.

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As usual, Mandamon has seen deeper than me and makes a good point about the issues at hand. Now that he says it, I can agree that I would be more invested (I am now, but would be more so) if I knew more about the stakes (lol, mega-pun!!).

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I am really curious to find out what kind of monster Evelyn when you mention the white streak in her veins and hair(I'm not big on supernatural monsters so I could have missed a big hint here or in the name but my curiosity is piqued).


Page 4. "I don't think i'll ever get back what that ma..."

 I think this needs to be the unless Redfield had multiple masters.


Like Mandamon I am confused who Westerna at this point. I had thought it to be the Hunters but the last paragraph muddles this.  If Westerns is the Hunters, how would Bannister know about the bounty. in there pervious scene the only reference to Redfield was in Stephanie thoughts. I doubt Bannister would stopped for a cup of tea for Jason during the scene break. (I might be over analyzing this point)


I still am enjoying the story though.  

Edited by Kammererite
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