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Messages - Flo_the_G

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Reading Excuses / Re: Sept. 7 - Recovering Cynic - Oathbound - Ch. 1
« on: September 25, 2009, 09:46:14 AM »
Don't know why I waited so long to read this, but it was definitely worth the wait. Oh, right, I probably thought I'd read this Oathbound stuff already. ;D

The only real issue I had, apart from some very minor things, was that the chapter didn't manage to establish a clear image of the world in my mind. The hunting made me think of a European-style wood, if only because that's my default wood type. The fact that the protagonist has a Norse name reinforced that notion, as did the doe.

Then you mention that Jarl is wearing moccasins, which made me think Indian. That, in turn, was sort-of reinforced by the bow and the mention of the very American piranhas. I was still uncertain, though, because there was no definite way to know.

The mention of a "frontier" cemented the Wild West-iness of it all and I thought I was good to go - then the knight traipsed in.

That said: great opening, good writing, pacing and whatnot. Having read half of the next chapter I can also say that it's a good setup for what is to follow. Carry on writing, I'll definitely carry on reading.

Reading Excuses / Re: Sept. 21 - Concord
« on: September 24, 2009, 09:35:03 PM »
Truth be told, I hadn't planned on Spencer playing as central a role as he is at the moment in my initial outline. In writing, it seemed like a cop-out to give him scenes only where it suits the plot in concealing what's going on with the other characters, so I thought I'd expand his parts a bit. This one here was actually planned vor von Bredow, so maybe that's a factor. But I also think I haven't spent nearly enough time getting my head around his character, he's sort of evolving on the go.

Juno's more intrusive part is coming up in a while, but not all too soon, so I'll definitely try to emphasise those connections between the stories in future.

And don't worry, she's going to make very good use of her abilities in the course of the story. I'm quite looking forward to those parts myself. ;D

Reading Excuses / Re: Sept. 14- RavenstarRHJF- Stranded- part 2
« on: September 22, 2009, 05:07:32 PM »
The moon could possibly hold an atmosphere if it was very dense, i.e. rich in heavy metals or something of the sort.

Staying in the hard-sf department, you should factor in message delay when transmitting over large distances. Or you need some gadget that allows hyperlight communication. Then it wouldn't be hard scifi anymore, though. Going with your alternate ending would bypass that problem nicely, of course. It would also get rid of the Star Trek-iness of this ending, which detracts greatly from the preceding story, I think.

A note on veins and needles, because Frog brought it up: I don't think you necessarily need a new needle for every jab. I once had a whole staff of doctors and nurses stick one and the same needle repeatedly into my arm in their futile search for a vein.  On the other hand, if they were stumped by that, what would they know about sterility, right? ;)

Overall I'd follow the general opinion: good storytelling with a few redundant parts and missing a proper ending (which, apparently, you already have waiting on the sidelines).

Reading Excuses / Re: Sept. 21 - Concord
« on: September 21, 2009, 04:43:10 PM »
I'm not familiar with Anne McCaffrey's books, so I can't really respond to that. I can say, however, that I'm not mixing genres, and that it's indeed supposed to be military SF.

The problem is probably that Juno's part doesn't work very well if you don't know those leading up to it. That may go for her last (few?) scenes as well, but for this one especially, I think.

Reading Excuses / Sept. 21 - Concord
« on: September 21, 2009, 10:17:44 AM »
My pseudo-chapters are growing shorter and shorter. I wonder if I should be concerned. You tell me. :D

Oh and thanks for reading and all that.

Reading Excuses / Re: Email List + Submission Dates
« on: September 17, 2009, 09:26:09 PM »
Well then I'll submit a jumble of scenes that probably also constitutes a chapter.

The main issue, I think, is that Ellie's actions lack urgency. Her friend is lying bleeding in the forest somewhere, or so she thinks, she has no idea how to help him, no idea how to even get back to him, and her wandering off in the first place didn't make much sense, either.

There's also the problem that some of the dialogue, especially the lines of the woman who takes Ellie in, feels a bit wooden. More like pure exposition than actual speech.

I did not, however, feel that any part of Kail's chapter was an infodump or filler, or anything of the sort. I fully agree with Raven, the exchange of the rings feels significant enough without any added explanation, and I think it works very well as a chapter of its own. I'd maybe even go so far as to say that there wasn't enough info being dumped. ;)

A final thought: if Bloodbath does get offed this early, it will make him appear to be something of a deus ex machina in retrospect. He came, he helped, he died so as not to upset the balance of the plot. That may be the time delay in between submissions speaking, though, it's hard to get a sense of how much time one would have spent reading up to this point.

Reading Excuses / Re: Email List + Submission Dates
« on: September 09, 2009, 07:37:24 AM »
I'm open to suggestions. :P

Two evil laughing choruses.

Reading Excuses / Re: 31 August - Concord - Chs 7-9
« on: September 07, 2009, 09:42:44 PM »
Woah, I totally missed that time-discrepancy.

I did sort of plan to add in at least one other scene in that general area, to better convey that a bit of time has passed. But I'll probably just change the reference in von Bredow's chapter, that's not even necessary.

Do you think I maybe should have begun Juno's part earlier, i.e. directly with her escape from the brig?

By the way, excellent edits once again, Silk. I knew there was something off with that first chapter, I just couldn't put my finger on it. ::)

Reading Excuses / Re: Aug. 31 - Heroes of the Necrowar Ch. 3&4
« on: September 05, 2009, 09:21:14 PM »
Adding to what's already been said:

You have two shifts of POV in these chapters that seem out of place (and aren't really necessary, imo). The first one occurs after Abby is first introduced and Will shouts at her, after which a paragraph or so is narrated from Melor's perspective.

The second one is when Dezkin drinks the potion that lets him speak intelligibly, when he briefly is the POV character.

Speaking of that potion, and considering that the apparent lack of limitations of your magic system has already been mentioned, I think you could avert that impression by making the potion not quite as powerful. By making its only effect be that one can understand foreign languages, for instance. Then everyone would have to drink it, and it wouldn't seem so much like "oh, look, a universal translator. How convenient." ;)

I also thought the discrepancy in the townspeople's knowledge strange. On the one hand, they apparently don't know the insanely powerful necromancer who could defeat any army and rain destruction upon his foes, but on the other, they do know enough about his plans to see that they won't come to fruition without the book that nobody can read. That they have to be told about Haldor also makes him seem like not much of a threat, which in turn makes the situation lose much of its immediacy and tension.

And then there's the fact that at first Dezkin is very important to the necromancer's plans, later it's the books that are important, but then it's Dezkin again, and Will has to hide him...

The eternal menace that is show vs tell has already been mentioned I think. The only instance of that which I consciously picked up was "it took a big show of force from the constables".

I stumbled over the word "physikk", mainly because it made me wonder why he isn't simply called a physician.

And the last point on my list is the apparently completely unobserved influx of large bodies of armed men into a relatively small area - that is to say, how do they get around without someone seeing them? I strongly suspect there's an explanation for that in your magic-rich world, so don't forget to put that into one of the next chapters. ;)

The entire story about Haldor and the accompanying infodump positively begs for a prologue, in which you could also demonstrate just how powerful he actually is, for instance.

Apart from those things there's absolutely nothing at fault. Your writing makes for an enjoyable read, the story is interesting, and your setting is just strange enough to uphold a certain level of curiosity. Well done indeed.

Reading Excuses / Re: Aug. 31, Stranded, part 1- RavenstarRHJF
« on: September 04, 2009, 10:26:52 AM »
I pretty much second all of the above. You definitely need to add in a line or so telling the reader that they've landed and left the lifepod, the way it is now, establishing the new setting in dialogue, is just too confusing. Maybe you could hint at the fact that they're headed towards the moon they later land on while they're still in the pod.

Speaking of dialogue, I liked the initial banter very much. The fact that they're speaking of things entirely unrelated to the goings-on at hand makes it seem very genuine. However, I also thought that the bit where they're running to the pod and whatnot was somewhat bereft of emotion. They're a tad too calm, considering the situation they're in.

I would also agree that the strongest part is definitely the beginning, but overall the prose is solid, at the very least. Good job!

Reading Excuses / 31 August - Concord - Chs 7-9
« on: August 31, 2009, 06:26:27 PM »
I'll combine these numbered sections I've been calling "chapters" into proper chapters somewhere along the line, and I think these three would fit together quite nicely. Anyway, do your worst, I know you want to.

Reading Excuses / Re: Email List + Submission Dates
« on: August 30, 2009, 08:53:03 AM »
Me! Me! Me!

Reading Excuses / Re: 3 August - Concord - Chs 5 and 6
« on: August 23, 2009, 11:03:02 PM »
Bugger, I hadn't thought of holes. I can see how ziplines would be the way to go during combat. I still think they wouldn't be necessary during regular jumps, but seeing as this chapter's jump was in combat...

Thanks for bearing with me. ;)

I'll have to give the whole safety-thing a bit more thought, apparently.

Reading Excuses / Re: August 10 - Blade of the Fallen - Chapter 17
« on: August 18, 2009, 11:25:08 PM »
I finally managed to put a finger on the thing that's been bugging me with many of your submissions, namely that the tone of your writing oftentimes doesn't exactly fit your viewpoint character. One wouldn't expect Garrik to go spouting phrases like "youthful infatuation" and the like, and those always somewhat distract from the story.

One question this chapter raised for me was why Vardis didn't simply lie to Garrik. No, you don't have Drakkin blood, the king is a liar. Problem solved, amirite? ;)

That said, this one is the best chapter by far. You made us expect a smoochy soppy love story, and then you go and kill off half of the cast. Excellent twist.

You should definitely take things slower, though. And I don't mean only the crowd's changing reactions. You should also spend some more time describing how the mob begins pushing against the guards, how they begin to cut them down, how the guards are overwhelmed, and especially how Garrik, helplessly looking on from afar, finally loses sight of Karrys.

Then he can go push his way towards her, find her dead (the absence of silly last words was quite satisfying, by the way), and then kill and maim his way out of the city (i.e. even if he only knows how to push people, have him crush a few chests or something).

Main character embracing the dark side? Love it.

Oh, on the topic of digging graves... I did dig a fairly shallow trench once, for a power cord, and that took bloody ages. So half a day is quite accurate, I'd think.

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