Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - lethalfalcon

Pages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]
Reading Excuses / Re: Nov 9 - Recovering Cynic - Oathbound - Chp 1 Rewrite
« on: November 09, 2009, 07:48:43 AM »

First off, I'm really liking it. I didn't read the prologue, so this is all new to me, but I doubt the prologue has much bearing on this, given the 18 year time gap.

One thing that really got on my nerves was how repetitive the adjectives got. The wiry man was repeated so many times it eventually just started popping out in the text, catching me each time. I'm sure he had other qualities (and you used a few), and a name, so by that point I don't think it's wise to keep calling him "the wiry man", or moving his "wiry frame". Unless he gets fat eating on prisoners, he's still going to be wiry. You could always use synonyms if you want to hammer home how thin he is. :)

Now for a bit of good news. I loved the scene description. It was very easy for me to visualize almost everything throughout. The characters, the dingy cage with the huddling masses, the prison environment.... It was beautiful (in a macabre sort of way).

I was a little confused about the whole blue lights around the campfire and what it all meant, but that'd probably be explained later in the book, and I don't really think an infodump on constructs and the magic systems is appropriate here.

Another thing that confused me a little was how the cage was actually being transported. At times, you refer to it as a cart, which made me think of something on tracks; other times, it's a wagon, suggesting something animal-drawn. The way it was rocking though made me think it was a gondola lift (cable car). Perhaps that could be expounded upon a little.

When Baltier awoke the second time, why did he think he had arrived at the eastern frontier? Given that he had told the waif to wake her up when she saw Direthune, and that's what she did, what gave him the impression that he was at the eastern frontier?

Line edits are being delivered by your local digital mailman. Let me know if you don't get them soon (and check junk mail). Hotmail hates my server sometimes.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Magic Systems
« on: November 09, 2009, 04:40:27 AM »
That sounds vastly more fun than your original description led me to believe, and I'm now much more intrigued. I shall have to read some of this when/if it's ever available. :)

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Magic Systems
« on: November 09, 2009, 02:37:50 AM »
I always thought that a music based magic would be neat, that way no one is "more powerful" just more adept.
I know LOOM (the game) used musical magic, and there was a musical Adept in Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series.

It's still a fun system, though. Especially when you start dealing with sympathetic and dissonant combinations in duets/duels

The basic rules are relatively simple: It's the ability to move and convert different types of energy at the cost of a little wastage- for instance using the wind to move objects around

Ari, what's the wastage in your system? Is it that some of the energy is permanently lost? I.e. you're using the wind to move things around, but it's not 100% efficient because you can't concentrate the wind on just the object? Or is it something more personal, such as your Idamancer's personal costs (fatigue, blood loss, memories disappear, somesuch)?

Reading Excuses / Re: Nov. 9 - Frog - DR - Chp 1&6 Rewrite
« on: November 09, 2009, 02:13:18 AM »
I'm complaining. You have stuff done, and I don't! Bwah!

Ahem. Anyway, this intrigues me, although I must say my biggest gripe is that I don't see what happened to Mordin. I can guess, and perhaps mystery is the point, but it's just a little awkward to see him 5 chapters later and he's semi-normal again. Since I'm coming into this a bit later in the game, maybe I just need to read the other 4 chapters in the middle to understand a little more.

I really like how positive and lighthearted Jade is. She seems the type to lift the spirits of almost everyone she meets (which is a very good quality to have as a tavern owner, certainly). I also like how Raven's a bit rough around the edges. A very demanding woman, no doubt. Your characters all seem to be very distinct, which I enjoy.

I'm also pleased with how you end the chapters. A direct action, and then the set fades. It reminds me a lot of how the scenes of plays usually end. In fact, I'd almost say that your writing in general is like a play. This would hold in line with it being more like a fairy tale, although perhaps that's just my opinion. I still like it.

On the flipside, I think that chapter 6 is a little light on anything happening. This might be a prejudice from me reading thick novels, but the only thing I see is Mordin putting another pawn into play. Are any of his other pawns ever revealed? Seeing him as a manipulator to more than just Raven would probably be good, if only to flesh out his character more (and the changes that happened to him, I'm guessing).  It also seems that Raven's resistance to joining the temple disappears rather quickly. It almost makes me think that Mordin used some sort of coercion magic on her.

I'm also a little awestruck that a thirteen year-old girl is so... sexually charged. Then again, I've never thought women made any sense anyway, especially in that department (apologies to any women reading this). I know she's grown up in a bit of rough territory, but wow.

Still, I did read through it quickly (and then two more times for nuances), which means it kept my attention. Keep it up! :)

Also, I'm not sure what your (or anybody's) desire is to get line-level edits, but I put digital sticky notes on your document. If you want them, feel free to let me know, and I'll send them to you via email.

Reading Excuses / Re: Your Background
« on: November 08, 2009, 09:52:47 PM »
Alex, I'll take "Madman rant" for 500. :)

I've just been added to the list, so I figured I'd post my background in case one of my oddish scenes makes it to your inbox.

I've been writing off and on since I was about 7. High school gave me a lot of spare time to write, although everything produced during that period is... something only a mother could love.  I primarily write what most would term epic fantasy. For loose definitions of the word epic. I occasionally dabble in sci-fi.  A lot of it depends on what my dreaming kicks up. I've been lucid dreaming for about as long as I can remember, and my subconscious does a better job coming up with ideas than I do by far. It just needs a pen name, and a neural uplink, and it'll take over the world.

Lately I've been attempting to write again, with one of my friends on a collaborative work, using NaNoWriMo as an excuse to actually put words on paper. So far, it's going decently well (though I'm way short of the mark for the contest). I look forward more to critiquing other peoples' works than by having my own butchered by your cruel, hurtful truths (j/k).

Oh, and I go by falcon, lethalfalcon, lethal, shmuck, that guy over there, and Josh.

Writing Group / Re: Writing linearly -vs- jumping around
« on: November 08, 2009, 07:13:32 PM »
Chaos, I think you've hit the nail on the head. I just need more conflict. A good part of it is that she's not supposed to even be in the academy, because she hasn't passed the test. Some of the councilors (the heads of the respective schools of magic) are fine with her, but others want her out. I should probably expound on that.

Also, she has problems with her mother, who's the head of a large textiles industry, and one of the seamstresses (vertical integration, yay!) that the city has come to depend upon since they're trapped. Mommy wants her to take over the business, and she has no intention of doing so. I want to get more into the city, how they're all getting cabin fever, too, and how things are really tight now that they have to be completely self-sufficient. These are all things my main character can deal with.

Romance... probably not. Even though I consider myself an expert on the subject of failed romance (it's all I'll ever know, -sob-), I don't know that I want her to delve into that much. She'd probably be more likely to just shut a man down than to entertain anything of the sort. She has better things to do than settle down and live "happily ever after". She wants to be a battlemage, if she can figure out how to get her magic to work right.

As for reading excuses, I thought about joining it, but wasn't sure how intrigued people would be by me posting my random scenes. I'm certainly open to critiquing others' works (although beware, I tend to be a grammar nazi, so I'd have to try to restrain myself there), but I think a lot of people would be confused by me posting a standalone scene that depends on a lot of backstory that's stuck in my head still.

Writing Group / Re: Writing linearly -vs- jumping around
« on: November 08, 2009, 10:11:24 AM »
These all seem like very good ideas. I'm a little miffed that it's so hard for me to apply them.  My biggest (problem|curse|stupid idea) is that I don't do outlines. I don't want to say I can't, but my brain does a lot better when all the information exists in my head, and writing it down is usually a good way to get my head to forget it. That, and I'm lazy. I try not to do what most people consider "first drafts", either. I can't just write things. If they aren't right, they don't hit the paper. I also figure that if I'm going to go through all the trouble of outlining a scene extensively, I might as well just write the scene in its entirety, because word choice is very important in those subtle little details that would go into a detailed outline. Now this isn't to say I'm perfect (quite the opposite), but I'm quite the perfectionist when it comes to just about anything. People say, "well, you just need to get it down and learn to live with it. You can revise it later." I've tried. Those attempts are now digitally or physically shredded, because I'm not happy enough with them to keep them.

I'll give a (somewhat) short example. My current story has a main character that's trapped in a city (literally trapped--no way out). At the beginning of the book, I have a "getting to know her" sort of scene, where a couple of other characters (non-POV) are introduced as well. She's trying to learn enough about how to use her magic to get accepted into the mage academy, and this I can show easily enough. However, after this point, there is very little to show other than her learning magic (which will get boring really quickly for both me and the reader) until the point at which she takes the test, where she unleashes a bit more magic than anyone was expecting (there is a lot of back story behind this, but it's not something I want to reveal to the reader until after this point). So I have a period of about a year in story with very little going on (the city is stagnant for the same reason she can't get out). I suppose I could introduce some sort of romance (sigh) or something to build her more as a three-dimensional character, but thinking about it, maybe I'm just horrible at creating character-based events. I tend to want to develop a character directly through their actions, rather than through dialogue, or character-character interaction that doesn't involve explosions or the like.

As for other POVs, I have them, but this is also a collaborative work with one of my friends. We each have designated characters, and he seems to have all the exciting ones for the first third of the book. One of the major POVs I have I haven't really taken off the burner yet, so it's still rolling around in my thick skull. If I focus on him, though, I don't feel like I'll be doing any writing for a couple weeks at least, until I have enough solid material on him to do so. And I want to write now, dagnabbit.

Oh, and consequences are almost as fun to write about as what caused them in the first place. Nothing like the clean-up crew having their own issues from the events that originally transpired (especially with lingering magic--good times).

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Magic Systems
« on: November 08, 2009, 03:59:21 AM »
For the one above, from what I understand, you give your weakness to another in order to "lose" it for awhile.

It would be interesting to figure out what happens when you give your weakness to another wizard. At that point, now they have the weakness, so they can pass it back to you. Are two mages dueling each other at an eternal stalemate because of this? I'm assuming that they are the only two within reasonable distance to pass their weaknesses to. A duel in a city would be almost comical, as people are dropping like flies while the wizards are becoming all-powerful in the wake of their shedding weaknesses.

The only real problem I can see is how you classify a "weakness". To a 90 pound girl, her weight is a weakness against a 200 pound body builder in the sense of raw power. But try to fit that 200 pound man through a vent duct and he'll get stuck, where the 90 pound girl scoots through with no problem. How would you deal with such a situation?

Writing Group / Writing linearly -vs- jumping around
« on: November 07, 2009, 09:18:11 PM »
I've started writing again recently, but I'm finding myself in the same predicament that I've always been in: I start writing the scenes that I have very clearly defined in my head (generally scenes of high action), and then have a lot of trouble trying to connect them together. It's not that the scenes are disconnected in the sense of continuity, but that they aren't chronologically together, and writing the connection bores me to no end. I like high action. I suppose if you were to think about making a movie out of a book I was writing, I've already done most of the work that would make it into the screenplay, and never got around to all the stuff that would be cut anyway.

So on with the question. Should I be writing linearly, even if it means I'll have to dog through all of the boring parts to get to the meaty stuff? Or is it better to get the parts I have spinning through my head down on paper, and just learn to write scene transitions better and/or more action-packed?

Books / Re: Authors undeserving of their fame.....possibly
« on: November 07, 2009, 10:35:30 AM »
I had to vote for Rowling, for a couple of reasons.

1) Every other one of the authors I've read has given me ideas. Maybe their books weren't the best on the planet, but they at least kept me (mostly) intrigued. Sure, every series has its ups and downs (Goodkind and Jordan both kinda seemed to get lost in the miasma of plot they had, for example), but Rowling... I find it hard to call that literature. Flat characters against a drab environment with very little development at all. There was nothing there to "borrow" for my own writing at all, or even give me pointers into how to write better. And no, I don't consider looking at her writing and knowing what not to do as all that valuable.

2) I've never put down a book other than hers in my entire reading existence. I even read all of Goodkind's series, even though there were parts where it got a little tough. Unless a novel is really good, I just consider it a light read, look for things I can twist and use in my own writing, and move on. Rowling, on the other hand, got way too boring. I knew what was going to happen throughout each book, and finally just gave up. It's sad, really, that so many people cut their teeth on that drivel.

That said, holy Toledo, people seem to hate Twilight! I'm glad I haven't even bothered to pick it up. And I totally agree with everyone's impression of Eragon. Completely unoriginal. Even I have more sense than to rip off Star Wars, Pern, and Tolkien and shove it all into a book without changing much of anything. I probably would have voted for Paolini if he was an option.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Magic Systems
« on: November 07, 2009, 09:53:48 AM »
Forgive me if this sounds a little childish, but I was much younger when I came up with this one, and I really liked playing LOOM (old LucasArts game).

The magic system is based on an alphabet (probably not English, but I'll use it to illustrate). Your tool, be it staff, wand, sword, house, whatever, would be divided up into the letters A-Z. At first, you would only have access to a few letters, say A-E, but over time you would learn new letters and expand your 'vocabulary'. Spells would consist of a variable length of letters depending on complexity, number of targets, power of spells. More difficult and dangerous spells would contain higher letters, with possible earth-changing spells being up in the X-Z range. So far, pretty simple.

What makes it more interesting to me is that the letters are transferable, to a certain extent. For instance, if you had a staff with A-E, and you found another implement with F-I on it, you could graft them onto your existing staff and get instant access to those letters (although you still may not know any spellwords for those letters). Now, a given person may have really powerful letters, and weaker ones, based on how often they were used for spells (it could even be that certain letters were reserved for certain categories of spells—healing uses primarily vowels, attack magic uses hard consonants, defense uses word pairs like th and sm, etc.). So, you might find an old wizard's staff and discover that his K, M, and P were really strong, but most of his other letters were mediocre at best.

Building on that concept, there would come a point where a letter would be reclassified to artifact status. This being, it's really freakin' powerful. Any spells created with that implement using an artifact letter would have vastly superior capabilities. Trying to build an implement with as many artifact letters as possible has resulted in numerous wizard wars over time, with many murders to steal others' letters. There are lots of potential story arcs that I can think of with this, with the simplest being that a dire need has arisen for a really powerful complex spell (say, using Z), and the hero needs to find an artifact Z to complete the spell properly, even though his staff isn't even to M yet. He has to not only complete his staff to Y (in order to attach the artifact Z), AND find a letter Z powerful enough to use (which would be found only on ancient wizards or on implements that have been passed down through many generations), but the rest of the letters need to be powerful enough to complete the spellword, which he needs to learn as well.

Anyone want to drag this one into the dirt? I like criticism.

Role-Playing Games / Re: Any Roleplaying groups out there?
« on: November 03, 2009, 09:01:21 AM »
If Utah is the roleplaying capital of the world, could they at least spread out a bit? I'm up in Logan, and it seems like there are very few ROLEplayers up here. Quite a few ROLLplayers, but the dice should not save you from everything. If you can't at least try to persuade the DM/GM in a situation, you need to go back to the drawing board. Maybe the higher elevation chokes off creativity... hrm, that would certainly explain my writer's block.

That said, I'm looking for more willing souls. D&D 3.5 (I won't touch 4.0), d20 modern, d6 Star Wars (won't touch d20 Star Wars, either), and the Everquest system (which is interesting, if a bit overpowered at times) are all played at my house.

Site News / Re: Introduce yourself - right on!
« on: November 03, 2009, 07:59:06 AM »
It seems as though social networking is not going away from the Internet anytime soon, so I figure I can at least join one in the literate field (bonus points because this site frowns on 1337 speak).

My name is Joshua Gardynik (go ahead, look it up... you'll find little for good reason). I've been lurking on this board for some time now, but finally decided I could be a valuable member to some society. I'm 25 (almost 26 now), graduated with a Bachelor's in Business Information Systems from Utah State University. I have a degree that doesn't even exist anymore. Yay!

I'm still living in Logan, Utah, pretending to work and pretending to write at the same time (you'd be surprised how much work it is pretending to get so much done). I'm a web developer by trade, although keeping my clients' computers running takes more of my time than I'd like.

I'll probably spend the bulk of my time on Brandon Sanderson's little corner of this site, although I do drag out the dotted fatespinners and roleplay from time to time (if you're in the Logan area and interested, PLEASE let me know--good players are hard to come by). I also used to play Magic: The Gathering, but my decks have long since been banned from tournaments in th e name of planned obsolescence.

Oh yeah, and I ramble, but this much should be obvious by now.

Pages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]