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20131209 - Mandamon - Physical Magic - Ch3


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Here's chapter 3 of Physical Magic.  Previously:

Silluka gets picked up for her coming-of-age, but fails because of her "stump" of a right arm.  However, one of the elders takes an interest in her, and sets her to decode an ancient scroll that doesn't require the use of her missing right forearm and hand.  Silluka also meets Hufi, the sadistic head of staff, and Papaki, a nice boy with a limp and a lisp.


This chapter introduces the second POV character in the story...



Feedback on the usual is appreciated:  What's cool, what's boring, what doesn't work.  I've edited some based on responses here on lack of descriptions, so let me know how this comes across.


Tell me what's wrong and why I can't get into writing this story!

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This is the best piece of your writing that I've seen so far. There was a really nice balance of description, low level action and the character's thoughts that I found very enjoyable to read. I got a good idea of what was going on inside Ichu's head and the conflict he faces against his own failing body. I'm intrigued as to why he's come out here. I also felt that it did a good job of showing how people in this world make practical use of their magic.


If I was looking for a flaw it's that this might be a little too long spent with one character doing not very much. By the end I wanted a change of pace, for him to interact with someone or face a more external challenge. But I was still enjoying it, and if it's interspersed with stuff from the other PoV I could quite happily spend lots of time with Ichu plodding towards the city.


You might also want to cut back on the commas a bit - it feels to me like you're using them in some places where they aren't needed.


Seriously, though I've tried to find a couple of things to work on, I thought this was really good.

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Dude, I loved this chapter. I haven't read anything else you've done, but I thought you did a great job. Keep going in this vein. I liked the character, you did a great job showing his dilemma with his ailments and age. The magic system is clear and well thought out. I love the world building info you peppered in there too. I agree with Andyk on the change of pace for the next one with him, but I didn't feel like it was long at all, the only part that felt slow to me was when he thought about the harvest and all that. If you are looking to condense or cut anything, that might be worth looking at. Solid work - keep it up!

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Thanks to you all. Writing this section was what made me want to really finish the story in the first place. Your comments on the description from last week helped me on a final edit of this before i submitted it.

If you're having difficulty getting into this story, it isn't readily apparent.

And that's why it's so frustrating! I'm beginning to wonder if the rest of my planned story arc isn't solid. I think I need to do some brainstorming on future events.

The next chapter has some more action in it for Ichu.

Edited by Mandamon
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 I like this way better than the first two chapters. I can see where you've put a little more attention to detail (getting kind of an Incan, Andean vibe from the food you're describing--kinwa, yams, and whatnot). Maybe you can go back and find ways to suggest that sense of setting in the first chapters. Not much else to say here, except good luck and keep at it.

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  • 2 months later...

Good chapter. I enjoyed learning more about the chayus from someone who can cast them, as opposed to Silluka in the first chapters who can’t, but the chapter was more than that, of course. I enjoyed the introduction to Ichu, who clearly has a past, but to whom we are introduced in a gentle way. I found the description of Ichu’s travails very effective, and I am looking forward to seeing more of the world through his eyes. In fact, I was a bit disappointed that the chapter was so short, it hardly seemed to get going when it was over, and I was a bit surprised that we did not see the rest of Ichu’s trip into town, and some of his interactions there – hopefully that is to come.


Looking at the other comments, yes, I agree!! Andy hit it on the head, and happy to big him up for it. It feels like a half a chapter


Detailed points below – I didn’t flag all the typos, there were a couple more.




Page 1


(Phrase repetition) ‘...the dirt off his fingers, wincing as the cold bit into the joints of his fingers...’


Ichu considers his age, but I'm not entirely clear what that is. If Silluka’s thoughts in earlier chapters revealed at what age people stop, then I'm afraid I’ve forgotten, but judging by the pain in his fingers (arthritis?), he may be 50-ish?


Page 4


Thirty-three?? Ouch, those chayus take their toll!!


Page 5


(typo, presumably) ‘...stacked higher than his heads.’


What’s a suyu? I presume it’s a community of some sort, as the term seems to relate to Chirisuyu, but I'm not sure what scale we are talking about. I will learn this when Ichu gets there, I suppose.

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Sorry, am I missing something? I'm not quite sure where to read this to critique it...

You need to be signed up to Reading Excuses, in which case pieces for a given week are emailed on a Monday. Message Silk for more info or check out the pinned welcome thread : o )

Edited by Robinski
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