Jump to content

20150817 - Rohyu - Theavis


rohyu

Recommended Posts

First off, welcome to Reading Excuses!

 

Overall, there was a lot of interesting world building here, but less in the way of plot and character.  There are a lot of descriptions, but not a lot of reasons behind them.  I felt like the delay in explaining things to Theavis drew the story out longer than needed.  Why couldn't anyone else tell him what was going on or how he lost his memory?

You've also introduced a lot of characters in the first two chapters already, which cuts down on the time we have to get to know the protagonist.

 

 

Some notes:

 

There is a lot of description in the first couple pages, describing the room, the alien's clothes, and the woman, but not a lot to connect us to Theavis.  How do the descriptions affect him?

 

pg 3: It reads like Theavis loses his memory again here.  Not sure why.

 

pg 4: "The fat creature's upper half got thinner and thinner as Theavis scanned the creature with his eyes"

--I don't think Theavis scanning the creature changed it's thinness.

 

pg 5: Theavis' reaction to Norland collapsing is sort of strange.  I would think he would show more interest.

And then Norland is awake again a few moments later?

 

pg 6: "Theavis ran his tongue along his.......................................... 28 teeth."

--is this pertinent?

 

pg 7: "Theavis's dry tongue sticking to his teeth reminded him that he was dying of thirst"

--do you need to be reminded that you're dying of thirst?

 

pg 7: "“Water would be great, thanks,” "

--again, Theavis seems completely uninterested in spectacular things happening around him.

 

pg 8: "hold 20 gallons of water "

--unless he measured it, you might just say "a lot of water"

 

pg 8: "achinian"

--I don't think we learned what Sterling was before

 

pg 9: "McTuggard walked over to Theavis (while using only two legs Theavis noticed)."

--I thought Sterling was the one with three legs?

 

pg 9: "the bestial thing"

--which of the things is this?  There are several aliens in the room fitting the description.

 

pg 10: "She said Theavis has to wait til she wakes up to get answers"

--Why?  There doesn't seem to be any explanation for this, and it's starting to sound like delaying explanation for plot.

 

pg 11:  If McTuggard is so huge, the rooms and hallways in this place must be very large.  You don't make much mention of them.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These two chapters feel extremely slow. I get that Theavis is groggy and that it'll take a while to recover, but the first chapter seemed to dwell on his poor mental state and I had to greatly fight the urge to skip ahead a line or a paragraph. I was not always successful.

My feeling is that these two chapters could very easily be condensed into one, using about half the words.

 

I won't list every paragraph where I got bored, but I will state where I was thrown out of the story by certain elements:

P5: Norlord fainting dead away from exhaustion. There isn't enough leading up to this. the reader should be able to see that she's exhausted long before she collapses from it.

P6: I don't think it's important that Theavis has 28 teeth, and I don't see why he would decide to count them at all.

P8: I don't know how big Theavis, and I don't care how thirsty he is, 20 gallons is not something a human can consume without dying. That's half a bathtub.

P10: I didn't know McTuggard had more than 2 legs before this.

P12: "Theavis was starting to tire of McTuggard's ambiguity and accent" - Me too.

 

Overall:

 - Tired and confused or not, Theavis is very blase about the whole waking-up-with-no-memory-surrounded-by-bizarre-looking-strangers-wielding-magic thing.

 - We get a lot of names of characters and their species. It's a lot to retain, since it's not clear how important the distinctions will be.

 - Theavis ambles through this, and does nothing except have stuff revealed to him. I would have liked to see him actually attempt something. Anything, really.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of that is very useful, thanks for the help :). Some reasons for why I did what I did.

pg 3: The idea I was trying to get across was that Theavis keeps losing his train of thought, and parts of his memory along with it.

pg4: thanks :)

pg5: I was trying to get across that Theavis is selfish, so he doesn't really care that she collapsed. Norlord fell asleep on her feet, so when she hit the ground she woke up.

pg6: there are 28 dots, so the idea was the dots each represent the individual teeth he counted.

pg7: if your brain is messed up, you do need to be reminded you are thirsty or hungry.

pg7&8: Thanks :)

pg9: Sterling has three arms, McTuggard has three legs. The paragraph where I said that is vague about who has the three legs though.

pg10: the explanation comes in chp 3. One of my concerns was that I was delaying the explanation too much, so thank you :).

 

McTuggard's accent being annoying is a huge concern for me. It comes back around in chapter 11 and chapter 24, but by then it seems like it will be too late.

 

 

 

 


 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- This might be semantics, but I was a little confused by using "humanoid" and "man" interchangeably.

 

- Is it ever established in dialogue the humanoid's name is Sterling, which also seems like a weird name for a . . . uhhh . . . guy with three arms and a tuff of hair.

 

- This is a super-picky pet peeve of mine, but I hate it when people write "ok" in secondary-world fantasy novels. It should probably be spelled out "okay", if used at all, but again, that's me being super-picky.

 

- "his.......................................... 28 teeth - that's way too many ellipses, even for comic effect. I would say three with spaces in between works just fine.

 

- It's an interesting world. I like the set-up and the characters, but I feel the description is a bit vague in spots. Still. I'd definitely read more.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Minor point: You introduce Sterling name and race in the prose before they occur Via dialogue. This would be okay if you cam out with it right away (which implies your. character knows these facts already) but you delay so it feels off.

 

Minor point: Carful with changing names when you introduce characters. You use "McTuggard"  then "The general" but they are not implied to be the same person, until Theavis somehow interprets it this way. Say if you say General McTuggard first then, I know McTuggard or "the General" are the same person. 

 

Why is a General cooking? This seams like something we will learn later on.

 

 

Chapter 1 felt very slow. My best guess (and i am no expert) is that there's no real conflict or character motivation.

Chapter 2 is better because we start with Theavis looking for water, which sets a goal.

 

 

I might of missed it but i couldn't find when  Theavis call McTuggar a "he".

 

 

That being said, the world building was very interesting with nice unique races. It feels like a Sci-Fi meets fantasy right now. I will definitely read more. 

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting set up, I enjoyed it. The description seems a bit much sometimes, too literal, with unnecessary words, I found it a bit distracting. Also, there was the odd detail that seemed miscalculated (the water drinking thing – noted below - way too much). I also got a wee bit tired a hearing about the fog in his brain, thinking there must be an alternative word.

 

I liked the strangeness of the ‘alien’ characters, and there is an epic feel to the story, which I am enjoying. I also quite like the memory loss thing, which is a good rational for the others to be able to tell him things, although it could start to get a bit annoying, if it comes across as too much of a device.

 

Despite the fact that I often don’t like accents, I find I don’t mind McTuggard’s. The problem with it is, how does an alien on some far distant planet speak like a Scotsman? That’s what I'm hearing anyway, and no one else has an accent, it seems.

 

Overall, I'm intrigued and I'm entertained, so far. I would enjoy it more if the writing was a bit more polished, but we could probably all say that about many of the pieces submitted.

 

Looking forward to next submission.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

 

Chapter 1

 

To me, gulping is an action associated with the mouth.

 

“Sat up on the fluffy mattress” – I think.

 

Surely, thought originates in his mind, so can they disappear into it, which I think implies they are outside it?

 

As you may have gathered by now, I'm a pedant, sorry. But because of that, I love the line “He couldn't remember what he didn't remember.” That really tickled me.

 

“...covered in dirt and dried blood” – Hmm, interesting.

 

Clipped to the man's belt was a filled wooden quiver. Thin conical ears twitched from the sides of his oblong head. A small tuft of yellow hair, matching his robe, sat atop his head.” The description of the character felt a bit sterile to me – a shopping list of physical attributes which didn’t really engage me. This was the case with several of the descriptions.

 

The walls and floor were the color of unstained copper” – So, they were copper coloured then. The description is somewhat overdone in places, I think.

 

and grabbed a pitcher” – Mandamon knows what I'm going to say here. The definition of ‘grab’ (online) is to grasp or seize suddenly and roughly. If that is what he is doing, then fine, but if it’s not a violent action, why not just say ‘took’ or ‘lifted’? I apologise to the editorial comment, but that is a massive pet peeve of mine.

 

Theavis’ memory loss allows you to get some substantial telling-not-showing / info-dumpery in there. I’m trying to decide if it distracted me or not.

 

People’s yelling is a bit weird. It seems quiet around them. It seems unnecessary.

 

fancy spell flingin” – excellent!

 

Chapter 2

 

I don’t know where Theavis gets the idea he’s a prisoner, nothing anyone has done suggested that to me. They all seemed to be trying to help him.

 

I doubt he is 'dying' of thirst.

 

‘assumably’ is not a word – ‘presumably’ is what you’re looking for, I think.

 

What! Impossible for a human to drink 20 gallons of what. Are you saying Theavis is not human? Even then, it seems ridiculous. Also, it would take him much longer than a few minutes to scoop up 20 gallons of water only using his hands.

 

‘General would only be capitalised when it’s part of the name, i.e. a title. Like ‘I am General McTuggard’, otherwise it’s just ‘the general’.

 

So, the general is more than three times taller than Theavis? Wow, seems like that will makes thing awkward down the line. To pat Theavis on the back he would need to bend way down. All the rooms must be massively tall or he would need to hunch way down, but fair enough. I just didn’t get the impression that he was so tall/massive before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is all really helpful. A lot of these things I feel silly for missing, but my brain couldn't see the mistakes. Thank you all!

 

rdpulfer: I think you are right about the 28 dots. The general concencious is that it doesn't work. This is stupid, but I forgot to ensure things were introduced in the dialogue before the prose. I will keep an eye out for that when editing the rest of the story. Thanks!

 

Kammererite& shrike76: I am considering putting in a short, futile escape attempt by Theavis. Or putting in a part where McTuggard shows Theavis a map of the world. The escape attempt seems more interesting, I just need to add more about him feeling like he might be in prison (something Robinski noted).

 

Robinski: Would changing the word 'fog' work, or do you think it would be better with less mentions of the fog altogether? A big part of my story I am worried about is that Theavis is too much of a Mcguffin. But I might have to ask readers to forgive that plot device (which may turn off too many people.) Can you elaborate on what you mean by polished? Do you mean checking for grammar, or things like the over-descriptions?

 

 

Everyone: Some of these questions I could answer by giving spoilers, but I don't really know the etiquette surrounding spoilers about our own stories. I would like to continue submitting the story, so the idea of spoiling it seems wrong. 

 

Thanks again everyone. All of this great advice is making it easier to edit the rest of the story. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robinski: Would changing the word 'fog' work, or do you think it would be better with less mentions of the fog altogether? A big part of my story I am worried about is that Theavis is too much of a Mcguffin. But I might have to ask readers to forgive that plot device (which may turn off too many people.) Can you elaborate on what you mean by polished? Do you mean checking for grammar, or things like the over-descriptions?

 

I don't mind the word fog, but it appears a lot. I think it would help if, just once or twice, you used a different word, just to space out the instances of 'fog'.

 

'Polished' - yes, really just as you've taken it. I don't know if you've tried it, but reading your work out loud is very helpful to refine your narrative and your dialogue. I think you'll find (as I do) that each pass of reading through your work will make it smoother. Look for unnecessary words and simpler ways to say things (where appropriate) and I think you would find the results more effective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kammererite& shrike76: I am considering putting in a short, futile escape attempt by Theavis. Or putting in a part where McTuggard shows Theavis a map of the world. The escape attempt seems more interesting, I just need to add more about him feeling like he might be in prison (something Robinski noted).

 

An escape attempt might help to liven up these scenes. Honestly, anything that gives me the impression that Theavis is doing more than just watching things happen (or even if I were to get the sense that he was watching with a purpose) would keep my interest more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...