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Shivertongue last won the day on February 10 2014

Shivertongue had the most liked content!


About Shivertongue

  • Birthday 03/11/1986

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    Shard of Confusion, Wit of Ages, and Supreme Graphics Monkey
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  1. I know you're inactive but happy birthday anyway! :lol: 

  2. Oh, damnation... Not the best intro to my work. My short fiction is nowhere near the level of quality my longer-length stuff is. xD But no, thank you, this is all excellent stuff to know. One of my current objectives in writing is to force myself to do things I haven't done before - primarily, teaching myself how to write short fiction. Clearly, I still have a ways to go with it. xD
  3. So, a break from Wavepainter this week. I got this idea, and it literally woke me up two nights in a row, so I decided, if I wanted to actually sleep, I'd better get it written out. This is the first short story I've finished in about ten years, and I fear I may be a bit rusty at them. It was a lot of fun to write, though, and I hope you enjoy it. I look forward to any and all feedback.
  4. I should have something by Monday as well. Either a chapter of Wavepainter, or something different...
  5. Thanks guys, this is some good feedback. There is something I wanted to ask, and I wanted to wait so as not to influence anyone's response to the chapter. My personal issue with this chapter is that when I finished it, it was too long. The initial draft was at 6,200 words. I managed to cut about 300 or so before submitting, but it's still longer than I like. After careful consideration, I'm leaning toward the solution of splitting it into two, with the first two scenes becoming chapter 2, and the third scene being expanded by about 2000 words and turned into chapter 3. Part of this is because, as mentioned, the chapter is too long for this story as is, and because the line at the end of the second scene, 'Necenna popped open the flask.' feels like a natural stopping point. Additionally, I think expanding the scene into it's own chapter will allow me to address and fix the rushed pace - which I felt as well - of the fight and the reveal, as well as allowing for conversation between Iain and Necenna that I originally cut, that answers several of the questions brought up in these responses. My worry is that this means the thing that happens at the end of the chapter would thus happen at the end of chapter 3, rather than at the end of chapter 2. Just to be safe, I'll put the next bit under a spoiler tag. Anyone who posts a review after I make this post, I'd ask that you weigh in on this as well. (And I do hope more responses are coming; the more feedback I get, the better. ) I'll provide more responses addressing some of the more specific comments a little later.
  6. Slowly been working my way through the chapters as I have time (I came into the middle of these). Was going to post in each of the threads, but I think it might be more helpful to post all of my reactions in this one, as someone who read the first six chapters without a week in between each.
  7. (Admin powers, activated! Merging manaheim's posts!) Okay, so, I thought I had typed out a response to these, but it turns out I didn't. Bad Shiv. Thank you all for the comments, this is all really good feedback. Just want to address a few specifics... First thing, it's pretty clear that I wasn't clear enough on the fact that Calum and Kinetic are the same person. Looking over the chapter, I can see it's confusing, and that it's never made directly obvious that Kinetic is the stage name of Calum. And as a result of this, it's not entirely clear that while Iain refers to him by his birth name, the rest of the world uses Kinetic. Second, regarding Robinski's remarks on Iain relationship with Fyla... wow, that was not the intention at all. xD I don't know if it felt that way to anyone else, but the fact that it did to one person means it's a thing I need to take care of. This is good, though, as I know exactly what areas need trimming now. The whole section between Iain and Fyla is actually an artifact from an earlier version of the chapter, in which the conversation with Fyla happened before the confrontation with Lemila. After I moved and completely rewrote the latter, I didn't think to make adjustments to the former. Lailualu Theatre/Hall - It's supposed to be "Theater." I changed it from Hall, but looks like I missed a few spots.
  8. Yes, that works so much better as a chapter opening. I don't mind reading it again at all, now that it's in a proper place. There is a very strong sense of setting in this chapter, which I enjoyed very much. Aham going about her day was nice, although I do caution that showing the "normal day" scene right before things go to hell is considered something of a cliché. I don't mind it myself, especially if having a calm, normal life is important to the character, but I thought it something to bring up. That out of the way, as I said, I get very strong sense of setting in this section, and the world feels significantly more vibrant. I'm getting a much stronger sense of Ahma now; who she is, what she does, what she wants in life. There was a good amount of that before, but it came across very strongly here. I loved the banter between her and Benam, and the smooth transition into Benam's pov that followed. I found myself liking him more in this chapter -- not that I disliked him before, but I just... didn't exactly care. I do much more now, after seeing things more deeply in his perspective. Covelle has the potential to be a very fun character, and I sincerely hope you deliver on that potential. That's all I have on him. xD ----- On page 4, 'One day she would have a fine horse like the stallions the dukes provided to carry the mail. Then she could travel.' You did an excellent job showing her desires throughout the scene, and explaining why she has two jobs and why she is so focused on money without every coming out and directly saying "She was saving up money for a fine horse and traveling." I also like that while she seems comfortable with her life as it is, she still has this yearning to see the world, and how these very different attitudes are not in conflict with each other. On page 8, 'She had a fine figure, homely.' "Homely" means unattractive or plain, which is a bit at odds with her having a fine figure. Unless he was referring to her face in a contrast to her body; if that's the case, it needs to be clearly. Although I suspect you meant to use "comely." On page 8/9, 'Three or four young lads spilled out of a tavern on the corner where the main street bent like a shallow ‘S’.' Similar to the last chapter with 'sylph,' referring to S indicates that their alphabet is a the same, which knocked me out a bit. While I can accept that fantasy novels are "in-translation," which justifies them having the same words we do, having them use the same writing system is too much for me to accept (unless of course this is set in a fantasy version of our world, and I missed that completely; if that is the case, ignore me!) Additionally, I was worried for about half a second with this line that we were heading into a "old warrior gets into a fight with several strapping young men to show the reader he's still got skills" scene. Needless to say, I am so happy you didn't take it in that direction, and went a much more enjoyable route. On page 10, 'The pipe smoke was making his eyes run, but he didn’t want to leave without thanking the lad, who had raised his spirits despite everything. He couldn’t see the fellow.' I find myself wondering what happened to the lad. Benam runs out to try and find him, then spots people moving a crate, and then the whole matter of the boy who bought him a drink is forgotten. Probably not important, but I'm still left wondering. Having that so near to him spotting suspicious figures in the night immediately made me think that the fellow was either a) involved in these clandestine activities, or had stumbled upon them and might now be dead or in danger. On page 11. 'Benam was on the left, talking to the barmaid, a stout woman with a welcoming smile who clearly had strength in her arms.' Is Benam talking to Ahma, or a different barmaid? I ask because "stout" refers to a short, heavy build, generally, which seems to contradict how (I thought, at least) Ahma's figure had been described (sylph-like, which means thin). If this is a completely different barmaid, then ignore this comment entirely. --- Overall, very nice job. I look forward to what comes next.
  9. Going to echo what's been said in that Arthurian retellings are not something I generally go for. Retellings of mythic stories, in general, are difficult for me, but there are some I can get into. Anyway. Prose was nice, characterization strong, arc of the story was good and clear. Overall I enjoyed this, although maybe not for any reasons that were intended. In the beginning, I was enjoying the bitterness of the narrator. I got a very strong sense about how this whole situation felt to him, and knew right away what the source was. Conflict set up well and quick. A character story. My first impression, as I was reading, was that the source of the king's erratic behavior was not tied to the sword, or to anything magical. That this was just an old man who's mind was slipping, perhaps due to dementia or something akin to Alzheimer's. That was such an intriguing concept to me, honestly, that I felt a bit disappointed when it turned out to be completely because of the sword. It's not necessarily a bad thing that I'm wrong in this, but I'll be honest that even when it was revealed that the sword was influencing the King's mind, in my head I decided it was both - the king's mind was going due to dementia, and the sword was SO not helping that. Contrasting to what Asmodemon said above, I really liked the portrayal of the Lady of the Lake. I enjoyed how the grandness and the mysticism of the character was downplayed. There is still awe at the sight of her, but it's more subdued, like being friends with a celebrity. Yes, you know they're famous, but you've known them long enough that you're able to see past that, and they've become just a normal part of your life. This idea, I think, is what I was enjoying the most. The sort of... de-mythication of these classic, mythic elements. You know the myths, you know there larger-than-life elements as they are used in other stories, but this is like "the truth behind the legend" kind of thing, which really appeals to me. (I will admit, I am working on a novel that has this as a primary theme, the juxtaposition of the legend with the truth, so that might be where my enjoyment of that aspect comes from). I don't know if this was intentional when you wrote it, but it was something I was seeing, and made the story really strong for me. The possibility that the King's mind was going with age, the Knights of the Round Table getting up in years, the honest dysfunctional relationship between father and son, and the pseudo-mundanity of the Lady. It put the focus more on the character, and less on the setting and mythic elements, and I thought it was really strong. Anyway, to wrap this up, I agree about the ending. It felt weak and disjointed to say "You know how it ends, this thing happened." On the one hand, it fits with the theme I was feeling, as mentioned above, but on the other, that feels like a scene we really should have seen, at least in part.
  10. Yes, very good It's really as simple a solution as that in every case. A very small nit, as I admitted before, but one that really bothers me when it's not addressed. It glares out at me, like describing within the text an accent as Irish-sounding, but there's no Ireland in that world.
  11. Wavepainter, Chapter 2 ~~ IN WHICH we meet Necenna, an unreasonable task is given, some things are fixed, some things are stolen, and one thing is broken... I will admit, this took a lot longer to finish than I had planned, and ended up being longer than I intended. The difficulty was in how to start it, primarily. It took me three different openings before I found one I was happy with, and from there things flowed a lot better. I'm particularly happy with how this turned out, for reasons I'll enumerate on later. Enjoy!
  12. Okay, sorry about getting to this late. It's been a busy week (made busier by trying to finish chapter 2 of Wavepainter in time for Monday). The Prologue ...this was a rough one, I'm not gonna lie. At the forefront is the already mentioned general iffyness of prologues. I like prologues, but for me, they have to do even more than a normal chapter does. Prologues need to set something up that cannot be set up anywhere else in the story, for one reason or another. The Ice Monster prologue in Game of Thrones is a good example of this, as it sets up the fantastical elements in a story where you won't get to see said elements for some time, and it sets up the presence of a Threat. The prologue in The Eye of the World shows the end of the previous Age, giving a glimpse into the world that was destroyed and the scope of the threat. The prologue in Red Seas Under Red Skies starts us off near the end of the actual story, setting up an in media res situation where we then turn the page, and go back several months, and making the reader wonder how the characters got to that point from the point we begin the story at. I'm not saying that you should axe the prologue, but I hope to see exactly how it fits in with the rest of the story very soon. I couldn't see exactly what this prologue was establishing, and if it's not doing something that couldn't be done by making it a chapter, or part of a chapter, I'd suggest just making it a chapter. I usually don't worry about sentence-level things, but there were a few that stood out to me. "Ahma growled with anger and skipped out..." I like Ahma, but have to say skipping is not generally something people do in anger... "No one would call the barmaid sylph-like..." Okay, this one is a personal pet peeve of mine. I have to ask -- are there sylphs in this world, or in the mythology of this world? If the answer is no to either, than having a character described as "sylph-like" doesn't fit. It may be a small thing, but like I said, it's a pet peeve. I read a fantasy novel that described a character as "ogre-like" or some variation thereof, but the world it was set on did not have ogres or legends of ogres. Small nit, I realize. Overall, I get the feeling this was written out fairly quickly, especially compared to the first chapter. I'd like to see it again after a through polishing - assuming, of course, you determine that it's actually necessary. _____ Chapter One Much cleaner, much more polished. I love the opening line. 'Covelle smoothed his fake moustache and cast a level gaze at Lufmatho’s harbour-master. “That’s enough to turn an honest man to smuggling.”' Funny, and sets up an obvious conflict from the opening gate. Dude is lying to people, which instantly gets attention, and in the first line of dialogue insists he's an honest man. Absolutely perfect. The characters were fairly well-established. I liked the concept of the Hero of the city who was now past his prime. As mentioned above by someone else I'm too lazy to scroll up to check the name of, there were points when I didn't know who was talking. I had to read this two or three times to figure out Benam wasn't the one saying all of these lines. Overall, curious to read more.
  13. If there is still room, I have chapter 2 of Wavepainter nearly ready now, and definitely ready by Monday.
  14. This is the problem with getting to things late, as I am unfortunately doing this week. Most everything I would have said has been said multiple times. I loved this story. It was quick, fun, and I thought quite clever. Admittedly, I don't read much in the way of science fiction, so I don't know where this falls in terms of originality. I also find myself not caring about how original it may or may not be, simply because I enjoyed it as much as I did. I agree with what others have said - while I enjoyed how short it was, I wanted a bit more. Many of the character dynamics could have been fleshed out more without sacrificing the brevity or the pacing. In particular, and I don't know if anyone agrees with this, I wanted more of the dynamic between Hannah and Julian. Aside from that, there were some instances where the wording itself was a little awkward, or could have been punched up a bit. For example: ‘Mister Atticus, you speak thirteen languages and have spent time with a score of different races. This sentence got clunky for me at 'spent time with a score of different races.' I minor thing, but it disrupted the flow for me. It happens every so often throughout, enough that I felt it worthy of mention. I normally don't comment on sentence-level things unless they completely knock me out, so take this as me basically saying there isn't much I can find negative about this. The arc was smooth, the characters were strong, and the overall plot was a joy to see unfold. That's about all I have for specifics; everything else has been addressed quite well by others. And the story your mentioned before, Our Man in Herrje -- I would not mind taking a look at that one. Very nice work.
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