Author Topic: Dragonsteel  (Read 35202 times)

DavidB

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #60 on: March 13, 2007, 05:17:42 AM »
There are, unfortunately, reasons why I have to start the book where I did.  I can't get into it without major spoilers.  You are perfectly right about this chapter lacking a hook, which is why I decided from the get-go that I'd need to start with a scene from the middle of the book, then jump back. 

So, this chapter should be considered the SECOND, and not the one that introduces Midius's character. 

Oh yeah! I forgot about that. Sorry.

Um...I'm not really sure what to say about chapter one, if we're supposed to already know and care about Midius's character before that chapter. I had actually kind of assumed that the main reason for this chapter to exist was that you wanted to get Midius's character into the reader's mind before Theus's. If it serves any other purpose that can't be accomplished later, I don't see what it could be...which, I suppose, you may take to mean that the clues you've planted in this chapter have been hidden well.

I do still stand by my comments about Midius and his motivations seeming impersonal.



EDIT: Come to think of it, you mentioned that you intended to start the story with a scene where Theus is about to execute Midius. Do you mean the scene from chapter four, or a later scene? If the chapter four scene (and assuming you cut if off where Theus says "kill him"), it doesn't really tell us much of anything about Midius except that his master is dead -- so this chapter really is our introduction to Midius's character.

If it's a later scene, on the other hand, you'd be taking much of the tension out of the chapter four scene because we'd know Theus can't kill Midius then. (This is why, in general, I don't really like the technique of starting with a chapter from the middle of the book: basically, everything that happens until you "catch up" with the chapter you started with is like a gigantic flashback, so it's harder to create surprise or tension. Then again, I've read essays by writers who love that technique so much they use it in every book they write.)

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #61 on: March 13, 2007, 06:39:56 AM »
The new version of chapter 1 has too much tell, not enough show for me. It's hard to convey information interestingly in a monologue.

Is there a reason not to have Hoid breathe his last in the first sentence? That might provide a bit more hook. Midius could be more emotional.

As for Theusa...I'm not sure about the specifics, but I've got to say I really like the idea of a Brandon book (besides Alcatraz) with a female antagonist. It's not something I've seen before, so I want to see what you can do with it. Your female characters aren't all the same, but they've got a lot of common elements, and this one could be very different. (Closest perhaps to Karata...) If you can have the character female and still pull off what you need to do, I say do it. Of course, her character would have to be something other than a man in a skirt.
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EUOL

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #62 on: March 13, 2007, 07:47:46 AM »
I'll admit, I'm really torn on this one.  I can't quite decide which way to go.  The thing is, I've been thinking about the characters so much that they're both--Theus and Theusa--now formed in my head.  I know their motivations and their feelings, but I can only use one of them.

With Theus I gain the ability to have he, himself fight.  I can show him with his family, which could really round out his character.  Yet, I worry that he's too similar to other characters I've written.  (Cett and Straff both come to mind from the Mistborn trilogy, though neither of them are as rounded, as well as Iadon from Elantris.  I've done a lot of brutal rulers.) 

With Thesua, I lose the two things I mentioned above.  I couldn't soften her by showing a spouse and children, and while she'd still have a daughter, I don't see the child being as much of an influence on reader opinion.  And, there would be less action in the book by a slight amount as Theusa will not be a warrior, and will have to rely on Jend to do her combat. 

However, I gain a tad of originality.  (How many tyrant grandmother city-state rulers are there in fiction?  Have to be fewer than men like Theus.)  I also gain some subtlety--Theusa's rule would be much more tenuous, because of her gender, and there would be a lot of politics working against her. 

Both would play off of Yunmi very well, if for different reasons.  Midius's interactions lean slightly toward me liking Theus, but not a huge amount. 

I keep going back and forth on this one.  So, I'll put off the decision until tomorrow and write a Yunmi chapter instead.  Huzzah!
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Spriggan

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #63 on: March 13, 2007, 08:25:41 AM »
Just make them Twins or pull a Ranma, how many rulers in fantasy change into a female when hit with cold water?
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #64 on: March 13, 2007, 08:50:12 AM »
Oh, I was going to mention in response to fuzzyoctopus, but forgot—

Bears used to be extremely frightening, and that's why there are so many fairy tales involving them. They were so frightening in northern Europe that the word for bear became taboo to say, and they were only named by their brown color—Bruin. Dragonsteel takes place in a Bronze age culture, and bears being frightening seems only natural.

Except...where do bears live? If the wilderness is all fain, and the trune rings are all inhabited, that seems a very difficult situation for bears to survive in.
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fuzzyoctopus

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2007, 05:57:35 PM »
That's legitimate, but how many of your readership is going to associate that with bears?
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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #66 on: March 13, 2007, 06:11:49 PM »
Steven Colbert for one...I would post a hilarious video but Viacom just sued Youtube so all that content is gone and Comedycentral's video site won't load due to what I would guess is a DNS attack by internet kiddies mad at the lawsuite.
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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #67 on: March 13, 2007, 09:24:28 PM »
After much playing with the plot and wrangling, I've decided to go with the male version of the character.  The new Midius chapter is here to stay, however. 

I'll just have to do the old grandma tyrant king in some other book. 
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #68 on: March 20, 2007, 10:05:46 PM »
Regarding today's news, I hope you can find the motivation soon. Is there any particular difficulty you're dealing with? I may have just not been aware in the past, but the only time I've seen you really have problems writing was with Mythwalker--and it seems a little early for that reason to crop up.
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

EUOL

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #69 on: March 21, 2007, 01:05:09 AM »
Ookla,

I had similar trouble with DARK ONE, which I tried to write last year and had to give up on.  The problem isn't the story, but the lack of momentum.  Before, during the years when I was unpublished, I could always work on what I wanted when I wanted.  Now, I keep getting interrupted by edits and revisions, and that throws me off my beat for a novel.  If I push on Dragonsteel a little bit, I think it will pick up again.

Just to be sure, I'll be sending you some chapters here pretty soon, if you're willing.  You can let me know if there's a decided lack of quality in these new ones, or if it's simply the fact that I have to get motivated on this story again.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #70 on: March 21, 2007, 03:44:53 AM »
I am interested in reading whatever you send.

I'd been wondering what had happened to Dark One. How far did that get, and will it ever again rear its head?
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

firstRainbowRose

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #71 on: March 23, 2007, 02:14:24 AM »
I don't know if I'm too late to sound in on the male/female fight, but I think female is better, not only for originally, but also because I think the people would respect her more, as well as fear her.  With the male, the people would hate him as well as fear him.  Who cares if he kills his own kids?  With a woman, and still killing her own children, it's a lot more powerful.

I like the new chapter since it explains his modivation for going into the city a bit more, but at the same time I liked the fact that you get to know his character (i.e. - the fact that he hates telling stories, although we don't know why.)
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DataPath

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #72 on: January 07, 2010, 09:13:58 PM »
Sorry about the epic thread necromancy, but one aspect of the original chapter 1 that I really liked what the introduction of this theme:

Quote
If a man believes a lie, it is rarely because of stupidity. It is because of hope.

I feel like it sets up the title of "Liar" quite nicely and sets the tone for the mantle that Midius is taking on.

Also, calling a Lightweaver a "jesk" calls to mind the "Jeskeri".  I don't know if this connection is intentional or not.

Patriotic Kaz

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #73 on: January 07, 2010, 10:02:13 PM »
Ok I'm going to be an ass. What the hell is wrong with you? Do you want the whole site to laugh at you for being a moron? You do NOT rez threads from 3 years ago! What a joke....
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Miyabi

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Re: Dragonsteel
« Reply #74 on: January 07, 2010, 10:06:30 PM »

It's OK to rez a thread as long as there is something said that can cause discussion to spark.
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