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20140225 - Without Honour - Chapter 6 (V)


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Hey guys,

Here is Chapter 6 of Without Honour - I've run through this with a quick edit to try and pick up on some of the excellent comments that you have given me so far, but it is by no means 'fixed' so I'm sure you'll find something to comment on. Observations greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Best, R

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Yay Saffen! Been looking forward to reading more with her in, but I think this would be better if you cut down the amount of detail on her time on the road before reaching the inn. Nothing of significance happens during that time, so just a couple of sentences giving the overall impression would be enough.


Again at the inn, it takes a long time to get to the point where something of relevance happens. I'd suggest either trimming this down or putting in a small conflict with someone that will liven it up and help develop Saffen's character now she's away from home.


Marnar and Gillus's flight from the scene of the fight didn't have much sense of urgency to it. If Teimen really might be mustering up more help then I feel they should spend less time on talk and introspection, even on gathering their things, but have to hurry away. And the pace at which you tell that part needs to be quicker if it's to get across that sort of atmosphere.


The scene with Damiel shows the seeds of conflict, with tension about his presence and reasons being given not to have him around. But it didn't feel like this quite solidified into a conflict to drive the scene along and give it energy. Maybe if there was a noble particularly pushing to get rid of him against the one who's brought him in, with the king as the arbiter they're trying to persuade?


Overall I'm still enjoying this, though was a little disappointed that Saffen didn't play a stronger part in the section she was in. The mixture of high politics and low skullduggery makes a nice contrast, while everything feels like it's relevant to everything else and will connect back together over time.

Edited by andyk
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I agree with much of what andy has said, but I am going to reframe some.



It was really difficult to read the entire piece--there's a whole lot of telling and very little showing. The entire "road to the inn" section was strictly preterite, giving it a dictated feel. While past tense is good, even recommended, the way your sentences are structured removes any sense of tension or action. In fact, we don't even get any dialogue until the bottom of page seven--way too late. I know you've got big stuff in store, but it's kind of null if a layman puts away the book before the action picks up.



Granted, this is your baby, so any inconsistency I mention is purely perceived and may not be actual. But what the devil is Saffen doing with a bastard sword? Svaringen seems incredibly gender segregated and giving a woman a sword (or any weapon really), much less allowing her to be proficient in its use seems really unlikely.


On a similar note, have you ever used a bow? It's hard. Now it depends on what kind of bow Saffen's using, but contemporaries typically had a draw weight of 90 lbs or more. I'm sure she's no slob, but maintaining an extended draw during her confrontation with Marnar seems unrealistic. 


Which brings me to my last subpoint: it seems like Marnar/Gillus are the counterpart to the high politics, a Mr. Croup/Vandemar if you're familiar with Neverwhere. However, Marnar's heart-of-gold seems...inauthentic. I'm not saying he should act differently, just maybe do so for different reasons. One might even go so far as to say he be without honor. 



I should have something to say about Celantorn/Damiel, but I don't right now. (I do however, reserve the right to do so in the future.) His name's too Elvish?

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Thanks both.


Fair point about time take to get to the action/interaction and sapping the urgency from the 'escape' - easily fixed.


Andy on Saffen's part, yes, I agree. At the risk of angering JP, I might draw out (pun-tastic!! sorry) the scene where she has the drop on them. I have used a bow a couple of times, but not an 'authentic' weapon, modern version. I'll take your points on that and see what I can do, but give a man some artistic license would ya!   ; o )


JP on the bastard sword, there was some explanation of that earlier, and there were previous scenes which were meant to convey her concealing her practice with a sword - then again, you haven't seen her use it yet.


Names too Elvish? Yes, probably, both of them. I'll take the note and fix in post.


Thanks again!

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Hmmm...have to agree with jParker and andyk on this one.  I'd say this was not the best of chapters so far.  It was scattered and didn't have a lot of movement expect that Marnar and Saffen meet.


As the others said, Saffen's recollections starting the chapter are pretty passive.  I don't think any of it is necessary until she gets to the inn.  I'm having some trouble visualizing the inn.   Are all the rooms full and there's a sea of people sleeping in tents?  I think I missed why there are so many people at the inn.


Who is Gillus?  Maybe I'm forgetting something from the last chapter with Marnar.  I agree with jParker that the fight was rather slow.


Celantorn and Damiel are...there...but we don't really get anything to go on.  They're introduced; now what happens?  To follow jParker's point, Celantorn = Celaborn in my head.


I think a lot can be cut out of this chapter, and maybe even make it part of another chapter where there is more of a resolution.

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