Author Topic: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3  (Read 869 times)

Recovering_Cynic

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Hey everyone,

Alright, so I cut out the last few pages of Chapter 2 with their changes to see if they softened Jagoth's character enough.  Let me know if they work.  Also, for your reading pleasure, here is chapter 3, for those of you who haven't read it yet.
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

Frog

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 09:41:46 PM »
Thoughts While Reading:
If it is purely standard procedure to search everyone, is it really logical for him to have no back up plan at all?

Quote
Jagoth snarled a grin
how do you snarl a grin? I wasn't aware that grins had any sort of sound.:P

I can understand him using the servants as shields, but why take the trouble of tracking them down if they are supposed to be working for him?

I like that you saved Charles and that you did more with your character, but you ruined it a bit for me by making Charles seem a more pathetic character. And you change POVs without a break. If you are going to be omniscient and jump characters within a scene, usually you should keep your narrator voice and stay out of their thoughts.

Quote
Unfortunately for his sadistic tendencies
too telly. And sadistic seems too strong a word that will paint the readers view of the character for the rest of the piece, but if he were purely sadistic he would have less of a reaction to the later scene, but if he were just bored it would make more since to me in context because now he has something interesting to do with all the trouble Jagoth caused.

I like a little of the Lucard/Joshie interaction and some of Lucards humor, but I hate the King, just because I am getting tired of the corrupt "God-king" motif that has been creeping into lots of literature lately and he seems to need very little provocation to beat his daughter, though I hate her too because she is only shown in a sexual light along with being whiny. :P

Overall Impression:
Your chapters are well written, and I can see some more character development, which I appreciate. But I am going to continue to be annoying and tell you that your current style is going to be very polarizing. People are either going to love it or hate it. Not so much in between. Which will lead to a smaller but very zealous fan base. The reason for this is that you write from a very negative and cynical viewpoint where you characterize people by their faults and bring out all the gritty details. Those that like that style (and there is a fair few) will enjoy your book immensely, but it is not a viewpoint I care to entertain very long without balancing out with the other side. That is to say, if you are going to give me characters full of faults, I not only want some justification (which  you did much better this time around btw), but I want enough redeeming qualities to balance a few of the characters out without making it seem pathetic. If you are going to point out all the grittiness, I would want you to point out the beauty too.

So yeah, I guess it just depends on the audience and tone you want your book to have as to whether that is a problem or not. If you are writing purely for the dark fantasy crowd, you could be spot on and I really wouldn’t be able to tell you because I never followed that fad. In fact, I avoid it like the plague. :P
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Recovering_Cynic

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2009, 10:03:48 PM »
Quote
I like that you saved Charles and that you did more with your character, but you ruined it a bit for me by making Charles seem a more pathetic character. And you change POVs without a break. If you are going to be omniscient and jump characters within a scene, usually you should keep your narrator voice and stay out of their thoughts.

Good point.  I'll edit that paragraph and I may change it substantially as I don't particularly like the way it turned out.  Charles will be making another appearance (perhaps several), and I don't like the way his character as it is currently written.
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

Recovering_Cynic

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 10:20:03 PM »
Just out of curiosity Frog, what makes you think that the God King is corrupt?  Yes, he appears to have some serious flaws in the portion you just read, but why corrupt?  That was not the character trait I was going for, harsh, yes, but not corrupt/evil.  If you could let me know what gave you that impression, I'll look at it and see what needs to be altered.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 10:51:44 PM by Recovering_Cynic »
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

Frog

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009, 11:07:59 PM »
Well, mostly it just that if you put 'God' in his title, it puts him on a pedestal and any serious faults (such as beating his daughter or allowing corruption in his holy order) are that much worse. If you had just called him a king, it probably would have phased me so much. Kings are men and allowed faults, even serious ones, Gods are not or they are not true gods hence my assumption that he was corrupt. And also, as I said, there has been some shift in fantasy to put up a 'god' character and then show their corruption as a slap towards the original christian motifs of early fantasy which I do not appreciate, so whenever I see the God-King stuff crop up, I am ready to expect the worse. So, it could easily be my own biases rather than a reflection on your work.
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Recovering_Cynic

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009, 11:19:00 PM »
Those are good points, and I think this is a case where the prologue needs to have been written/read for clarification purposes.  The God King was the avatar of Asharia, but when Asharia (via the Danubian priests) required that the King sacrifice one of his children to retain his position, the King killed the priests.  This all started the current civil war.  The King has set himself up in Asharia's place claiming that she has abandoned the people, and the priests of course point to this as the ultimate heresy, hence the reason it is called the Heretic war, with both sides calling the other the heretics.

Anyway, some of that info is summarized in the blurb I gave about the prologue, but not all of it.  I'm going to have to write the stinking thing eventually :(
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

RavenstarRHJF

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2009, 04:36:44 AM »
The God King was the avatar of Asharia, but when Asharia (via the Danubian priests) required that the King sacrifice one of his children to retain his position, the King killed the priests.

Ok, now I'm a little confused.  If the King did not obey... why does he still have "Asharia's Grace"?

Anyway, I like the addendum to chapter 2.  You still haven't told us what Jagoth's back-up plan is, but I'm willing to let it slide for now.

Like I said before, chapter 3 is where you really grabbed me.  NOW I'm interested in the story- there's so much more MEAT here.  We've got a bully masquerading as a "holy knight."  We've got a "god" King, who's really just a human man faced with a war that started because he didn't want to commit infanticide (*gasp* how horrible!).  We've got the ungrateful daughter, acting like the stereotypical teenager, which probably wouldn't be a problem- except that she's a princess, and also the reason for this war her dad's involved in.  Yeah, I can totally see the King's motivations here.  It's not that he's corrupt, it's that he's at the end of his rope- desperation will make you do things you never thought possible.  In fact, I'm really interested to meet the twin, to see how he's reacted to what's happening.  Or is he with the Danubians?

Overall, very well done!  Can't wait to see what you throw at us next!
A crown does not a King make, nor the lack of one a commoner.

Recovering_Cynic

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2009, 02:55:20 PM »
Quote
Ok, now I'm a little confused.  If the King did not obey... why does he still have "Asharia's Grace"?

Thanks for pointing that out.  I had it rumbling around in the back of my head that once the gift is given to a human (someone is made a bannerman, knight, or the God King for that matter), then it cannot be taken from them unless they die.  That particular point hadn't been made a definite concept in my head, so it hadn't made it to paper yet.  It will now.  Also, you will find out in a few chapters that there are artifacts that contain and may dispense a portion of Asharia's grace.

One interesting point to note: I need to update chapter 3 to point out that the king has begun aging ever so slightly.  He is no longer immortal and will eventually die, but the aging is slow.  In fact, in my rewrite, this conference will be the first time that Lucard notices it.
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

Frog

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2009, 08:16:22 PM »
Knowing the background, I am a lot more interested in the royal family then I was. I hope you're not reading too much into any of my criticism. I may not personally care for the tone or POV characters, but the overall plot and world building are just fine. My opinions may not mean much, but I do think you could be a writer and I would never want to discourage you.  :)
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Jexral

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2009, 08:23:37 PM »
Quote
The gate was waste high now, and Lucard swept underneath it, heading for the tower.
Should be "waist" not "waste".

Quote
The king’s pale gray eyes got a far away look.  
I don't like this line.  It's too telly.

Overall, I really like the changes you made, and the third chapter.  I can feel that what we've seen is only a tiny indicator of what is to come, and it's exciting.  hehe.

I really like that you kept Charles alive, and I look forward to our future interactions with him... I'm curious how he is going to come into play.  

The character of Van Dalen is interesting to me, too.  Good stuff, dude.  Keep up the good work.  :)
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2009, 09:10:46 PM »

So yeah, I guess it just depends on the audience and tone you want your book to have as to whether that is a problem or not. If you are writing purely for the dark fantasy crowd, you could be spot on and I really wouldn’t be able to tell you because I never followed that fad. In fact, I avoid it like the plague. :P


Dark Fantasy isn't a fad. It isn't going away. It is going to come to dominate the fantasy genre (a process that has already begun). At this point it is matter of the Dark aspect blurring into every sub-genre of fantasy and SF. It will happen. To me it seems odd that you would avoid all Dark Fantasy. Given it's importance to the evolution of the genre, avoiding it like the plague seems icky. I can certainly understand avoiding *some* Dark Fantasy, but not all of it.

That said, I'm currently reading this...
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Recovering_Cynic

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2009, 09:30:18 PM »
Bookstore Guy, I've re-written portions that I sent to you, fixed some errors, and better defined some of the characters.  You'll get the general impression from what I sent you though.  Let me know if you want the updated version.

this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

Recovering_Cynic

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2009, 09:47:30 PM »
Quote
Knowing the background, I am a lot more interested in the royal family then I was. I hope you're not reading too much into any of my criticism. I may not personally care for the tone or POV characters, but the overall plot and world building are just fine. My opinions may not mean much, but I do think you could be a writer and I would never want to discourage you. 

Thank you frog.
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

Frog

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2009, 11:04:13 PM »
Removed because of useless and controversial thread hack.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 06:41:53 PM by Frog »
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: Sept. 21 - Recoverying Cynic - Oathbound - Excerpt Ch. 2 (Rev) & Ch. 3
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 04:53:46 AM »
I'm sorry, but where did get the the idea that I was insulting you at all? You said Dark Fantasy was a fad, and I said it wasn't. There aren't any opinions there, just facts. My main concern was that for a person who reads fantasy, it seems odd (note, I never said stupid, or dumb, or anything insulting. I said odd, as in I'm confused). I also said It is fine that people avoid certain dark fantasy, but once again, odd that you avoid it all like the plague. Some of it is quite good. I never got on a soapbox. I just stated where the genre is going according to bookstores, publishers, editors and agents. Your post feels a bit like a knee-jerk reaction. I'm sure if you re-read it you'll see that I had absolutely nothing close to a harsh or rude tone. Dark fantasy isn't a fad, and I'm stoked that Mr. Cynic here is writing it. I'm pretty excited to be reading it.

With all that said, if you want to have a further discussion, we should do it outside this thread via PM or something. I didn't intend to hijack the thread, so Señor Cynic, I apologize.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 05:54:13 AM by Bookstore Guy »
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