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Messages - Flo_the_G

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Reading Excuses / Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« on: October 03, 2010, 05:09:36 PM »
I just finished the first draft of Concord. Yay! Now I have 409 pages (almost 130k words) worth of confusion, deliberate inconsistencies and irrelevant subplots, not to mention a plot that sort of shifts focus towards the middle, and then completely derails towards the end.

Mind you, I have pages upon pages of notes, and a fairly good idea of how to fix this. I'm confident I could get a second draft to work, to a point where one could actually read it without scratching holes into one's head.

Alas, I also have at least one other idea that is developed enough that I could realistically pursue it, laying the basis for which would probably be only slightly more work than making an outline for a rewrite of Concord. Besides, I could immediately put all the nifty things I learnt to work, now that I know what doesn't.

I tried asking myself what Jesus would do, but I don't particularly like wine, so I thought I'd ask you folks instead. Do I give Concord a well-earned rest and leave it to gestate in my subconscious while I do something else, or do I press on until its done before I allow myself to embark to new shores?

Now that the initial elation has worn off, my mind is paralysed by indecision while the rest of me is listening to wartime songs and eating a bag of crisps. This does not bode well.

Reading Excuses / Re: A poll concerning previous submissions
« on: September 27, 2010, 08:16:35 AM »
You kids with your Myfaces and Youspaces...  ::)

I guess there's no harm in the ftp-thingy, as long as it remains completely optional. But we didn't have any of that ftp-stuff in my time, so I voted 'no' on principle. Now get off my lawn!

Reading Excuses / Re: September 7 – Hubay – Fathers of Gods, Chapter 3
« on: September 09, 2010, 12:12:42 AM »
Right, first off, I had a spot of trouble opening the file you sent. I had to rename it to .docx before OO deigned itself worthy of displaying any legible text.

Minor niggles to begin with. I found the lack of punctuation in the spinner's lines mildly irritating at first, that may have been due to the length of those first few lines. It didn't really bother me anymore later on.

The "bag of refuse" that Dyp hides behind sprung out at me. If you dump your garbage in the street anyway, you're probably not going to put it in a bag first, right? ;)

You should probably have a look at how you explained Dyp's powers. It seemed to me as though you were beginning to explain the difference between a flash and quickening before you had entirely finished explaining what a flash actually is. It's still understandable, of course, but it takes a bit too much effort on the reader's part, which calls attention to the narrator and all that.

I'm always for bloodshed, no use pussyfooting around these things. Dyp missing the one guy's throat was a nice touch, he may have seemed all too powerful otherwise. I did think that the lone survivor didn't seem very scared, at times. He came across more like someone coolly debating the benefits of prolonging the life of a third party than like a man actually pleading for his life, at times. He was too coherent, I felt.

As to the drug smuggling, you may want to mention why the drugs need to be smuggled. The narrator assuming that drugs are illegal for the sole reason that they're drugs is a very modern perspective, I think. They're obviously illegal, else they wouldn't need to be smuggled, obviously, but mentioning why they're illegal would make the entire concept far more convincing, and shed some more light on the general cultural background, too.

Great place for a cliffhanger, by the way.

Reading Excuses / Re: Aug 30 - Daddy Warpig - Godslayer - Part 4
« on: September 01, 2010, 09:23:46 PM »
Very staccato style.  Sentences move very fast.  A lot of fragments.
I see what you did there.  ;D

I don't think the sentences themselves are a problem, though, nor is the length of the chapters. The problem, as it were, is the length of the scenes. We barely have time to grow accustomed to the situation in one scene, when it already ends to begin a new one.

Mind you, there's nothing really wrong with the scenes. They're well-paced, the action flows smoothly, the dialogue is convincing - good things abound. But the scenes end too quickly, making it seem, to me, as if there were lots of action, but nothing really happens. I'd keep reading after the 8th chapter, don't get me wrong, it's just that I'm not entirely drawn into the story yet. I read this directly after part 1, by the way, ignoring the previous versions.

I can't say I cared for the flashback, though. The transition from Karrus' POV to Akara's felt smooth and natural, whereas the shift to the flashback was jarring. This was mainly due to the shift from the limited narrator in the previous chapters to a suddenly omniscient one. The whole thing felt more like a prologue, actually.

I got conflicting vibes from that chapter, too. When the god broke through the line, I had the impression that the guards were scrambling to mount some kind of pitiful defence, desperately rallying in the knowledge that they would die. The oxen bursting from the tent fit into that notion nicely, a plucky but obviously desperate last-ditch effort.

And then there's suddenly this hole in the ground. My immediate impression was that they'd let themselves be chased around the tents long enough to dig that pit, disguise it, hide the oxen, etc.

What I'm trying to say is that I completely missed the fact that all of this was planned beforehand, which made it seem slightly comical. Now I did read this late at night yesterday, so this may well not really be an issue (no one else seems to have read it that way, anyhow), I just thought I'd let you know, just in case. ;)

Reading Excuses / Re: August 23, Hubay, Fathers of God – Chapter 2
« on: August 25, 2010, 10:41:53 PM »
Yes, it was I who objected to chainmail skirts. ;D

On the topic of god names, I was mildly confused at first as to whether Pyra and Penru were names or part of the titles. I think that stemmed mainly from the fact that you started out calling Listener only Listener (or maybe I've simply forgotten the names from the previous chapters). I like the general naming scheme, though.

I was also mildy put off when you described Listener's perception of the world in olfactory terms. They were very evocative, and stylistically very well done, don't get me wrong, they just clashed with the god's name.

There was an overall vibe of a very rich backstory in this chapter. Lots of relatively cryptic references that promise further explanation in later chapters. Speaking of exposition, the explanation of why they use sex to unlock their powers was satisfactorily convincing. I'm sure you can work that into chapter 1 somehow. ;)

The only flaw of sorts that I can find is when you change the POV from Listener to Cumo (which happens at the perfect moment), wherein the Listener keeps creeping in and snatching the limelight away from Cumo.

- "Gods I feel tired" seemed slightly out of place, all things considered.
- I wanted to see chopped-off digits!
- I find Listener intriguing and hope to see more of him.

Reading Excuses / Re: July 12 - lethalfalcon - Heartglass - Chapter 2
« on: August 18, 2010, 11:00:20 PM »
I didn't read your earlier prologue, so I'm coming at this without any baggage from that.

I liked your beginning. Interspersing the flashback with the current plot worked very well, told me what was going on without detracting from the immediacy of current events. This goes pretty much for the entire rest of the chapter, and for chapter 2 as well. It was a good, well-paced read.

A handful of minor niggles:

The capital D in Delving irritated me to no end, because I don't really see the necessity for it. Just saying. ;)

When Roethe mentions years, I immediately asked myself which years he means. Alien years? Human years? Some sort of GalStandard? That isn't really a good place to delve (tee hee) into such intricate (and irrelevant) details, though.

I'm not entirely sure whether you actually described what an Aerendai looks like in the first chapter. This occurred to me early in chapter 2, so I paid attention when the description of the receptionist came along, but that didn't really cut it, information-wise. The description of the Yan, on the other hand, was easy to remember, because of the whole gorilla deal.

Another thing that threw me off slightly was the prisoners' reaction to the announcement that Roethe is missing. I would have expected the first thing they assumed to be that he had escaped. I can see how the thought wouldn't cross their minds if the place was extremely dreary and hopeless, though, but it didn't really feel very different from any other prison. The complete hopelessness of escape wasn't as prominent in my mind as it must have been for the prisoners.

Also, the fact that James couldn't keep his mouth shut when he first met Roethe made him slightly unlikeable. It didn't really fit in with his later behavior, either.

I didn't mind the delving episode, although I do agree that the whole concept of delving into the stone, then delving into that same stone's representation within the delve is somewhat counterintuitive.

Now go back to the second paragraph and read the good stuff again.

The intro was italicized, and I did get that those were thoughts. But it was a bit too long to not throw you off slightly. Maybe a single sentence by the narrator before you launch into the thoughts would do the trick, or something to that effect, especially if you should cut the prologue.

As to cutting said prologue, I think the story would work. There wasn't really all that much carryover, information-wise, and the change in characters and scenery from the prologue to the chapter could be mildly confusing. But it's hard to determine with certainty, because I don't know how much of what the prologue taught me I'll need to understand the following chapters. It would work quite well as a short story, though, I think.

Reading Excuses / Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« on: August 12, 2010, 12:24:46 AM »
It lives! That is to say, I live!


I may also actually read one of the many submissions in my inbox in the near future.  ;)

This. Only for real, this time. Did I say my first draft would be finished in April? I misspoke. I meant August. I mean October. Later this year, at any rate. I hope.

I'm definitely counting forum RP, by the way. Heck, I'll even count regular RP. Maybe not videogames, though.

I read this directly after the prologue, so it was a bit jarring that the intro was in first person, especially since the chapter itself wasn't again. I don't think it really needs to be in first person, though. It did suggest to me that this is what Cumo is going to become. So if your laying red herrings, it's working. If you're foreshadowing, that's working, too.  ::)

The dialogue and such worked well here, as did the relation of story to exposition. If anything, you might have dumped a smidge or so of more info here, seeing as we now have a rough idea of what the hell is actually going on.

The only thing that threw me out of the story was when you mentioned the chainmail skirt. My notes here say, and I quote, "wtf?"

Also, I'm not sure what to feel about the entire sex deal. My initial reaction was that it felt like a somewhat heavy-handed measure to add conflict between the characters, especially since I have it on good authority that certain... effects... can also be achieved without involving another person.  What I missed was an explanation why exactly sex and torture do what they do, why the man decided sex was necessary, and why Cumo didn't choose torture over endangering his friendship.

I'm definitely looking forward to finding out how all of this fits into The Big PictureTM, and what TBP actually is.

Reading Excuses / Re: July 26 - Hubay - Fathers of Gods, Prologue
« on: August 12, 2010, 12:04:16 AM »
The bad (-ish):
My experience when reading was similar to lethalfalcon's. The exposition in the beginning is far too much. We don't yet know how much of it is relevant for the story, nor have we had a proper chance to become invested in the characters or the story at this point, not to mention that it would have been a bit much at once even if there had been time to get to know the characters beforehand.

The infodumping was my main quibble. You continued to do that for a while, and while much of it may be interesting to you, a first-time reader probably doesn't need to know it yet. ;)

One instance where I would have wanted more info, on the other hand, was when you mentioned the mirror-smith. That sounded relevant somehow, yet it wasn't really elaborated on.

The good:
You managed to juggle infodump and story perfectly when you mentioned the strangle-blade. The name is highly suggestive, of course, but I still found that I wanted a description to see whether my idea was in any way accurate. Instead, you gave me another paragraph of story, leaving me on the verge of comically shaking my fist in frustration - and then you delivered aforementioned explanation. That was very satisfying.

I also liked the greek-inspired style (at least that was the vibe I got), that was refreshingly original.

"Diplomatic immunity," both as a term and as a concept, seems very modern to me.

Also, historically, rockets were used before  cannon, and those were truly terrifying. The Koreans apparently had a sort of missile shield (i.e. a shield consisting of missiles ;D) that deterred any and all potential attackers. It was even on Mythbusters.

Reading Excuses / Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« on: March 25, 2010, 11:21:50 AM »
It lives! That is to say, I live!

I had an epiphany of sorts (multiple ones, actually): I realised that the first draft of Concord was rubbish, would always be rubbish, and that any attempt at de-rubbish-ifying parts of it (say, in order to submit them to an entirely hypothetical writing group on the intertubes) would only cost time. Time I could also employ to make wild changes from scene to scene (or within paragraphs, even), without having to go back and edit stuff for you guys.

This, it would appear, is what first drafts are for. Seeing as my first draft is nearing completion now (~97k words, I guesstimate that I should be done before the end of April) and I intend to start submitting again once I've started the second one, I thought I'd let you know that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth entirely. Yet.

Don't get your hopes up, though, I'll have a ton of research and revising and whatnot to do before I can start writing draft numero dos. On the upside, I now know not only how to salvage my horrible prologue (which hopefully nobody here remembers), but also how to fix the middle, the beginning, and the ending of the story. Well, maybe not the ending, but I haven't written that yet anyhow.

Also, Chekov's gun will actually be fired in the second draft, instead of merely hanging decoratively on the wall.

I may also actually read one of the many submissions in my inbox in the near future.  ;)

Reading Excuses / Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« on: January 20, 2010, 08:16:39 PM »
I wote a pome.  ;D

I may not be very good at poetry, but the muses kissed me, so I cut back on sleep and rhymed instead.

Reading Excuses / Re: Email List + Submission Dates
« on: January 20, 2010, 04:42:21 PM »
I finally got to read that backlog of submissions in my inbox! Yay! And then my PC kicked the bucket two weeks ago, so I have a whole new backlog to work through. ::)

Reading Excuses / Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« on: December 29, 2009, 10:37:46 AM »
Progress...  I got my RE inbox down to four unread emails?

Hey, same here! Only I recently reinstalled Windows and all the other unread submissions are still backed up somewhere...

Reading Excuses / Re: Oct. 19 - Concord - Ch. 14+15
« on: December 12, 2009, 01:27:26 AM »
For the record: I also want to punch Morris in the face.
Never fear, Morris has far worse things to worry about than people punching him. Although come to think of it, I might just have to add someone actually punching him in the second draft. ;D

As to the confusion: yes, that's von Bredow. And the confusion itself probably stems from the fragmented way in which I wrote those chapters. My grand re-design will hopefully take care of that.

Yes, I know that's not a word. I don't care.
It is now. I prefer "unsympatheticity", though.

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