Author Topic: Warbreaker: Free Ebook  (Read 150101 times)

DavidB

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #465 on: February 28, 2007, 11:38:55 PM »
Nice chapter!

Here's some random notes I scribbled down while reading it:

The priest’s name changes from Bebed to Fafen.

At one point, Vasher is referred to as “she”.

This doesn’t make sense to me:
Quote
She grimaced, then did as told, putting her Breath into her shirt with a basic, and non-active, Command.  It was actually the same as giving a half-spoken Command, or one mumbled, actually.  Those would draw out the Breath, but leave it unable to act.
Do you mean that Vivenna gave the shirt a command like “hold things,” but mumbled it so it wouldn’t work? Or that she gave the shirt a normal command, but that if she had mumbled “hold things” it would have had the same effect? Why aren’t we told which command she used? Why doesn’t she use “my breath to yours”, like she did with the shawl in the slums?

Immediately after that:
We’re on the way to confront a bunch of dangerous thieves, and have just seen Vasher reveal his Danger Suit. This seems an odd time to be contemplating the beauty of the stars. So, the pacing of this section feels a bit off. Also, city lights (at least in any city I’ve ever been to) don’t look like pretty stars unless you’re fairly high up, or far away – like on a rooftop or hill or something. Maybe this passage would work better somewhere else?

This is awkward:
Quote
“Two guards,” Vasher said.  “Both silenced.”
“Will they work for answering our questions?”
He shook a silhouetted head.
“Silenced” sounds like a euphemism for “killed” – or a spell in Final Fantasy – so maybe Vasher should just say “knocked unconscious” to explain how Vivenna knows they’re not dead. The phrase Vivenna uses, “work for answering”, sounds odd; something like “Will they be able to tell us what Denth wanted from Bebed’s carriage?” might sound more natural (and this even contains a mini plot recap). Finally, “silhouetted” is a funny adjective.

Quote
And, the way he spoke before--like a scholar--indicates he’s studied Awakening very seriously.
Thank you, Princess Obvious.

Quote
The tassels wrapped like too-limber fingers around the man’s head, latching on like a squid’s tentacles.
That’s a nice description, but not one I’d expect Vivenna to come up with (this is from one of her viewpoint sections), since it was emphasized earlier that the Idrians don’t have seafood, so presumably she’s never seen a live squid.

Quote
“Colorless monsters,” he whispered.
I thought the Halladrens attached no stigma to being a drab? Of course, Vasher probably isn’t Halladren….

DavidB

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #466 on: March 01, 2007, 12:06:33 AM »
Quote
He was rough.  He was brutal.  He had a terrible temper.  But, he was a good man.  And, walking beside him, she felt safe for the first time in weeks.
She felt safe -- for about five seconds, until she figured out that Vasher could be using his newly-revealed mind control powers to make her feel that way.

Obviously, Vasher needed the girl's cooperation to make her forget things, but getting her -- and the dogs -- to calm down was something he could do on his own.

Seriously, it looks like Vivenna is once again going to need to reexamine whether or not she thinks Vasher is manipulating her. He doesn't need to be charming to be a manipulator, if he's got magic powers. Oh, and didn't he say he didn't have powerful friends like Denth did...and then turned out to be buddies with a priest?

Also, if Vasher had this ability, why hasn't he used it before? Like,
  • On Vivenna, the first time he kidnapped her.
  • On that guy in the prologue.
  • On the guards, before he attacked them, in order to slow their reaction time.
  • On the Idrian people they were trying to convince not to annoy the Halladrens (especially in that one scene right before Vivenna stepped in and pleaded with them).
  • On other priests and powerful people -- Vasher could use his powers to get them to listen to him, even if he doesn't know them.
  • Et cetera.

dreamking47

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #467 on: March 01, 2007, 12:43:42 AM »
I thought this was a really well-written chapter, especially the constant interplay between descriptions of light and darkness.  With the book so focused on colors and light, I'd love to see more of that in earlier chapters, too.

Quote
Night in T’Telir was very different from her homeland.  There, it had been possible to see so many stars overhead that it looked like a bucket of white sand had been sprayed into the air. 

Here, there were street lamps.  Beyond that, there were taverns, restaurants, and other houses of entertainment.  The result was a city full of lights--a little like the stars themselves had come down to inspect grand T’Telir.  At first, Vivenna had been surprised at how few stars she could see in the sky, and had attributed it to the lower altitude.  However, she was beginning to suspect that it was the light.

That's beautifully written in itself, shows an enlarging of Vivenna's inner ability both to appreciate beauty and to deduce, and it's a nice example of a slightly more primitive level of cosmological understanding in action.  (N.B., she's looking up at the street lamps, which to someone not used to them might look like "stars [that] have come down.")

(I do note that she's having these poetic thoughts while being a drab...I still don't know what if anything being a drab does to one's mental state, but I thought I'd point that out.)

Other thoughts/comments:

- The D'Denir statues have been mentioned often enough that it now feels like foreshadowing.

- Can you say anything about your writing process and these 3.0 chapters you've been posting recently?  Oddly they seem to contain far more small errors than the past 1.0 and 2.0 chapters (missing words, "she" instead of "he," that kind of thing).  Or is this just a sign of how busy you are with all the other projects you're working on?  (Congratulations on the Alcatraz news: even if it is very preliminary it's still very cool!)


As far as nomenclature, the basic problem I have, as I mentioned above, is that there are too many different, unrelated names for things.  Some terms like "Breath" and "Awakening" seem to relate to life; others like "Iridescent tones" relate to color and sound; "BioChroma" is really the only word that links them; and then there are others like "First Heightening" and "Commands" that don't fit into either.

I don't like "Iridescence" because that word has a specific connotation of shifting colors -- it just doesn't mean what you need it to mean.  Nobody has much "Iridescence."  (It also sounds too related to "Idris.")  Ditto with "Prismatic."

Something like "Chrominance" might work although it is long and like "BioChroma" suffers from sounding very scientific.  You could perhaps shorten it to just "chroma":   "She grimaced, then did as told, sending her chroma into her shirt with a basic, and non-active, Command."

You could also make BioChroma feel simpler and less technical -- and more foreign -- in the same way, by lowercasing it and putting it in italics: "He didn't have much biochroma" or "He gave away his biochroma."

In fact, I don't know if you've already considered this and rejected it, but what about replacing "Breath" with something else?  It seems to be the word that least accurately or poetically conveys what it in fact is and does.  You can give away your Breath and still breathe and live; you can Awaken something with Breath and it does not breathe or live.  The word may cause more conceptual confusion than it is worth.

This is also a perfect place to invent a word, I should add, since the concept isn't something that exists in our language.  Of course, I'm still trying to figure out what exactly it is, so can't be of much help for another 10 chapters...

MattD
« Last Edit: March 01, 2007, 01:44:24 AM by dreamking47 »
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker

dreamking47

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #468 on: March 01, 2007, 12:49:49 AM »
She felt safe -- for about five seconds, until she figured out that Vasher could be using his newly-revealed mind control powers to make her feel that way.

Hehehe...you've gotta be careful what you say on these message boards!  I totally thought of you when I read that part of the chapter.  Maybe he did make her eat the squid... :D

MattD
« Last Edit: March 01, 2007, 01:01:15 AM by dreamking47 »
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker

dawncawley

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #469 on: March 01, 2007, 01:57:23 AM »
My feelings about that section were a bit different. I loved the chapter, and having more of it to read was wonderful, but I didn't feel as the others did that Vasher was using some kind of mind control, on the dogs and the little girl. Let me see if I can verbalize what is really just a feeling to me.

It really is harder to do than I thought. Hmmm, the best way to do it, I guess, is just to say that from my personal experience, children and animals can sense good intentions and bad intentions, but the stuff in the middle confuses them. Vivenna couldn't get anywhere with the little girl because she had been scared witless and couldn't tell what Vivenna wanted her for. Vasher had only one thing in his mind when he went to her, and only one thing in his mind when he saw her in that cage. Protect, and return. The dogs are more instinctual, good and evil are easy, but middle ground they treat with wariness.

I don't know if that made a whole lot of sense, but I saw it as a hint at his true nature, not mind control powers.

DavidB

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #470 on: March 01, 2007, 02:18:29 AM »
Maybe he did make her eat the squid... :D

Hmm...yeah, I was pretty surprised about that. I guess Brandon agrees with you that it's okay to use deus ex machina to introduce a character's powers. Unless Dawn is right and there's a mundane explanation for that stuff.

I still think that it's better not to use deus ex machina. Here's an alternative: During the prologue, have a line like, "Unfortunately, Vasher's mind control powers wouldn't work on Pahn; he'd have to resort to persuasion" in order to set up those powers' existence. Then, take out the part where Vivenna worries about the girl's mind, so that Vasher's powers in that part aren't solving a problem. (After Vasher uses his powers, she might be horrified that the child has forgotten; Vasher could then explain with a line like, "well, if you'd spent the last few weeks in a cell like that, would you want to remember it?" --To which Vivenna's unspoken reply would likely be that she seemed to be better off for her memories in the slums.)

Although, it should occur to Vivenna at some point that perhaps that week when Vasher claimed she was unconscious...she really wasn't. (Either Vasher was controlling her and didn't want her to remember what he'd gotten her to do, or she'd had some terrible experiences before he found her that he thought she'd be better off not remembering.) I think it's unlikely that this actually happened, but it's a possibility that should bother Vivenna a lot.



Matt, you have a good point about "Iridescence"; even so, I think it's better than "chroma" or "biochroma" because the latter two still sound scientific enough to defeat the point of changing the name at all.

Perhaps we ought to consider the obvious: "color", "essence" (or "life-essence"), "soul energy". On second thought, not "color": I'm still not sure what the relationship is between actual color and the-thing-currently-known-as-BioChroma, and discussing it would be terribly awkward if they both shared the same name.

dreamking47

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #471 on: March 01, 2007, 05:27:46 AM »
@Tjaeden,

Books like The Lord of the Rings, The Last Unicorn, Watership Down, Gene Wolfe's Peace, Jonathan Carroll's Wooden Sea, K.J. Bishop's The Etched City, any of Kelly Link's stories (I'm looking over at my bookshelf and reading off titles) all violate your suggestion.  I don't think pointing out one or two exceptions to a generalization renders the generalization useless, but I do have a problem with any generalization that excludes so many good books.

I'm with you, though, in enjoying books where magic is more of an art than a science.

@DavidB,

I don't think any of my nomenclature suggestions are great, either.  I'm just tossing ideas out at this point, because I don't know whether we should be emphasizing color, life, sound, essence, soul, etc.

Some of the words you mentioned in your list of Susebron clichés might be interesting to look at here.  Radiance is evocative, and vibrance would be a good word to play off of because it is strongly visual but also (via vibrate) is linked to sound.

Another possibility is that if Iridescence is the word of choice, then adjust the magic to play down the saturation aspect and instead make those people with many Breaths appear more iridescent and/or make them experience the colors of what they see as changing and shimmering rather than static-but-saturated.

MattD
« Last Edit: March 01, 2007, 06:49:55 AM by dreamking47 »
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker

vadia

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #472 on: March 01, 2007, 06:30:22 AM »
I know it was mentioned but
Quote
Even as she watched, she got it wrong.  The cloth wiggled across the room, but
I think you meant to say "as he watched"
But I do feel that the beginning here is a little formulaic -- the heroine is a great learner at breath.  I think that may slightly go against your rules of magic -- I'd expect vivena to have mental blocks -- not great learner -- only explanation is that it has a link to her hair.

I also find something jarring about how Vasher looks at how well Vivena and then jumps into "Even as he watched" Maybe a "yet as he watched" would be less jarring"

Quote
Of course, the mechanics of how he moved about on the ropes were far more complicated than they seemed.  His Command incorporated making the rope respond to taps of his finger along its length.  One had to get it just right when one spoke it, because once an Awakening happened, no further Command could be given.  Awakening was different from creating a Lifeless--they had brains, and could interpret Commands and requests.  The rope had none of that; it could only act on its original instructions.
that line feels like you really want to catch up on explanations of the magic system and either needs to be earlier or assumed IMNSHO
If you wish to state it in less words maybe you could take the next paragraph and merge them
Setting off prearranged commands with a few taps, he lowered himself back down.   Unknowingly, Vivenna turned her back to him again as she picked up another colored swatch to use as fuel when she Awakened her cup-fetching ribbon.
 
Quote
You can’t tell, Vasher replied.
In my tired state I read it as a question, maybe if Vasher had told the blade not to be silly or something it would have been clearer, or maybe I should go to bed.

Quote
What does it matter if he sees me practicing? she thought, flushing.  It’s not like I have anything to hide.
  There is no pause between these thoughts and that makes it incongruous.

Quote
I’ve tried other leads, but the truth is that most everything I try seems a step behind Denth. 
  seems is a weak  word.

Quote
She still mulled over their conversation about Awakening.  Less because of what he’d said.  More because of the way he’d said it. 
again maybe it's that I'm tired but the period between said and more seemed wrong Maybe a semicolon will work.

Quote
However, she was beginning to suspect that it was the light. 
I thought for a second I missed something about a mystic light -- perhaps you meant city's light?

Quote
They left behind places with street lights, and even lit windows, moving into the slums.
probably  the places with street. . . is stronger.

Quote
Two guards,” Vasher said.  “Both silenced.”
silenced sounds like a euphamism for killed more than knocked out.

I think that you ought to have a special font/style for Nightblade -- so that I don't think somebody elses thoughts -- here Vivena's are Nightblade's thoughts.

HA I WAS RIGHT
Quote
quietly apologizing to each one
life giving -- not animating!

I definately think that the word format is jarring and my tiredness doesn't help, but for a draft it's quite good.  I've seen final copies of your collegues works that weren't as well crafted despite their loftier reputation.

DavidB

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #473 on: March 01, 2007, 07:30:59 AM »
Tjaeden,

You seem to be implicitly assuming that art and science are mutually exclusive, and that beauty and understanding are inversely related. Just saying, is all.


Matt,
Quote
Another possibility is that if Iridescence is the word of choice, then adjust the magic to play down the saturation aspect and instead make those people with many Breaths appear more iridescent and/or make them experience the colors of what they see as changing and shimmering rather than static-but-saturated.

This doesn't really address your point, but--
I think the word "iridescence" technically refers to a surface creating a diffraction or rainbow effect, like the rainbow pattern you see on the shiny side of a compact disk, by reflecting different colors most strongly at different angles. (There doesn't have to be any "changing" or "shimmering" at all.) So the God King's rainbow effect might actually be iridescence, and it's vaguely possible that iridescence plays a role in an awakener's ability to more accurately distinguish different colors, since some light sensors use diffraction to do exactly that.

I like your idea of replacing both "biochroma" and "breath" with a single term. It's tricky, though, because it kind of makes sense to say that each person has one indivisible biochromatic breath, but if you changed the term to, say, mana or energy, then it would be much more difficult. The word "soul" would work nicely, except for the pesky connotation of housing a person's self-ness.

Heh. I just looked up "soul" in a thesaurus. Esprit, vim, zest...maybe we should just call it "soap".


Vadia,

There are some good points in your post, but I have to disagree with you about having a different font or style for Nightblade. I think in general that books which have different fonts for different characters, or set off certain characters' text ~(~like this~)~ tend to look a little gimmicky. Also, I think it's important to explain the way Vasher's awakened rope works; maybe it would work better for you if that paragraph were simply a little shorter?

dreamking47

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #474 on: March 01, 2007, 02:36:56 PM »
David, you're right: I meant and should have written that the colors would change/shimmer as the person or thing moved.

MattD
« Last Edit: March 01, 2007, 03:27:22 PM by dreamking47 »
"It had blood in it.  That makes it a good metaphor." -- Tonk Fah, in EUOL's Warbreaker

Master Bombadil

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #475 on: March 01, 2007, 05:56:18 PM »
Yeah, soap!

Actually I like the idea of just getting rid of BioChroma and using 'breath.'  That seems like the easiest way to do it without emphasizing either color or sound.

Vasher's sword is Nightblood, not Nightblade.

About the actual chaoter...I liked this one a lot, I think because there was more action.  It might be a good idea to try to do something to emphasize the fact that Vasher and Vivenna are drabs when they go after the thieves, because I kept forgetting.  Maybe desribing colors as 'muted,' or something like that.

I thought that it was stated earlier that when commands are half-spoken or mumbled, the breath for them is lost.  So why didn't Vivenna lose her breath when she stored it with a 'half Command,' and why didn't she use 'my breath to yours'?

When Vasher got along so well with the girl and the dogs, at first I though it might be Nightblood's powers, but that doesn't seem in character for it.  However it was done, it probably isn't strong enough to work on adults, which is why Vasher has only used it on animals and a small child; Vivenna probably doesn't need to worry, though there is no telling what he might be able to do when near a person for a long time.
I am not bragging.  I am understating.

vadia

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #476 on: March 02, 2007, 05:54:51 AM »
quote]


Vadia,

There are some good points in your post, but I have to disagree with you about having a different font or style for Nightblade. I think in general that books which have different fonts for different characters, or set off certain characters' text ~(~like this~)~ tend to look a little gimmicky. Also, I think it's important to explain the way Vasher's awakened rope works; maybe it would work better for you if that paragraph were simply a little shorter?

The one difference is that the blade is telapathy which is like thought and if you show the same text for telapathy and thought it is confusing.  When I see thoughts and expect telapathy or vice versa it can totally confuse me.  But you may be correct about the font difference anyway - - the most important thing is to make sure that I don't think that Nightblade tells Vivena that Vash is a good man -- it really threw me off thinking that for a few seconds and then I lost my place (and in my tired mistake almost made the same mistake again.)

amyface

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #477 on: March 05, 2007, 12:22:13 AM »
With the mind control stuff...

I don't think Vasher has any mind control powers. He is always talking about intention. I think it's the same thing here. He is so used to doing everything with extra intention because that's the best way to control things you are animating. He probably does this automatically now and so well that the child and dogs can sense that. There was never anything in the rest of the book about being able to influence someone else's thoughts or feelings with biochroma and it would be wierd to introduce that now. It doesn't seem in the nature of the magic.
Dude, no no really, DUDE!

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #478 on: March 07, 2007, 09:07:01 PM »
New chapter is up!


Chapter Fifty


As I've said before, I hesitate to respond TOO much to the things posted here, as I don't want to taint responses in any way.  I learn far more from observation than I do from interaction.  However, I will say that I didn't even think that people would get mind control from Vasher's actions in the last chapter, and I see that I'll have to think about that.  I just wanted to show that kids and animals like Vasher.  This relates to the magic system slightly, as I'm making some things that are superstition in our world (such as the prickly feeling you get when someone is watching you) realities here, as related to breath.  So, I allow the idea in our world that children and animals can sense purity to be a reality--via their Breath--in this world.  I'll have to think about how to explain this properly.

Chapter fifty marks the ten-chapter count-down for the book!  There are actually fifty-nine chapters in the complete work, and this chapter ends us at about page 640 out of 740 manuscript pages. 
http://www.BrandonSanderson.com

"Technically, I don't even have a brain."--Fellfrosch

vadia

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Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« Reply #479 on: March 07, 2007, 10:02:26 PM »
Quote
“Are you going to explain why you consider showing me up to be the most sincere form of compliment?”

   “Of course I am,” Lightsong said.  “My dear, have you ever known me to make an inflammatorily ridiculous statement without providing an equally ridiculous explanation to back it up?”

I had to reread this to make sense of the "of course I am."  By the time I ended the first question I took the question to be as Blushweaver intended: "Why is showing me up..?"  To which of course I am makes no sense -- this could be -- should you want to, be edited two ways --
“Of course I am.” Lightsong said. 
Blushweaver looked at him askew "Of course you are what?"
"Of course I am going to explain why showing you up. . ."

Then out of perversity he waits a few paragraphs before coming back to it.  Very much in character -- probably hard to pull off, and takes up space -- but if you DO pull it off, wow.

On the other hand you could just take out the "of course I am" and the sentence makes just as much sense


Point deux when Sisi is looking over her plan
Quote
First, go to Lightsong
   I wait for Susebron to arrive
The paragraph shift without a next or then or whatnot -- again I was confused.

Third and finally: This sentence
Quote
They force the God King’s priests to let him make his defense.
Too many pronouns
They the other priests?
him Godking?
his godgkings?
defense -- that he has a tongue?

I'm still confused by this one, what is Sisi hoping will happen?