Author Topic: June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)  (Read 793 times)

Comatose

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June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)
« on: June 28, 2010, 07:23:20 PM »
Ok, so as I take a break to make some of the revisions you guys have pointed out to me from the opening chapters, I thought I'd give you one more.  This scene is from near the end of the book.  It's one of the ones I didn't write as I trucked along chronologically, but wrote when the moment caught me.  It's also one of my more recent works, so (hopefully) you guys can see some improvment.  I chose this part because it doesn't have too much to do with the main plot arcs you've been introduced to so far, so hopefully there's less confusion, and maybe it can show you a bit of where I'm trying to take this story.



In this scene, the Desert Queen confronts the imprisoned Earth Child.  They have not spoken since she banished him at the dawn of the empire.



Enjoy!

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Valkynphyre

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Re: June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 08:06:38 PM »
I liked it. Some of the dialogue seemed a bit contrived, but that's always what I have problems with, too. Short, but it had plenty of emotion.
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Re: June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2010, 08:36:06 PM »
Okay, for those of you who have been keeping up with me.

I'm trying to re work my magic system a bit, before I begin my rewrites.  I'm finding as a read through that the fire/water duality has become a pretty integral part of my story.  Any ideas on how I can keep that there, without being so typical?  I should not that the Auroks in my story so far are only utilizing the basics of their powers (it's all they can do).  Fire and Water are just the EASIST things they can manipulate.  The root of the magic system is that Aurok-Hals can manipulate matter, and Aurok-Hons can manipulate energy.

I wrote a new opening paragraph for the first chapter, and I like it.  I think it set's up the story a little more, and hints at the larger scope of the magic system.

@ Valkynphyre,
The dialogue wasn't too much was it?  I didn't think that the Desert Queen and the Earth Child should talk like regular people.  Maybe they did once, but not now. 
I'm glad the emotions showed through.
Which parts did you find particularily contrived, if you don't mind me asking?
"Look, I'm just trying to change the world, okay?  I don't have time for a grudge match with every poser in a parka!"
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"There's always another secret..."
- Kelsier

Asmodemon

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Re: June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2010, 10:43:30 PM »
All right, it was a bit short, but the emotional turmoil between the two characters was very good. It shows the other side of the queen nicely.

That said, the dialogue did feel a bit off. For me I wouldn’t say it reads contrived per se, but it doesn’t feel completely natural either. You probably went for this on purpose, since neither character are exactly normal, but the formality of speech makes it feel a bit stilted (thank you writing excuses for adding that term to my vocabulary). The latest Writing Excuses podcast (episode 4.26) goes into this more.

Again, I didn’t mind this so much as I did the names for the two characters. You’ve got characters like Eshra, Trinian, Sareneth, Tristen, Kyrah, etc. around and then, for two of the major powers in the world, there’s Jane and John. Their names are so mundane and modern that it jarred me out of the excerpt for a moment. If you combine the normalness of the names with the speech pattern to make it seem they are far from normal the dichotomy becomes even greater.

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I'm trying to re work my magic system a bit, before I begin my rewrites.

Reworking your magic system is fine, but as I said in another comment I think you should finish the first draft first before going into rewrites.

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Re: June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 02:18:06 AM »
It would be nice to get the first draft done, but I've kind of hit my first blank part in the plot.  I've knew the first two parts before I wrote them, and I have the ending all mapped out, but the first part of this third section, I'm not quite sure how to proceed.  I thought I'd rewrite while I figured it out.

I wanted to give the Queen and the Earth child normal names, and for me you don't get more normal than Jane and John, but if it's jarring perhaps I will revise them.  I've been trying to integrate created names and real names, and so far I've gotten no complaints with Adam, Felix, etc.  Do you think the fact that they sound too modern is what's jarring for you?  Or is it just that the names are too 'normal'?

I'll take a listen to the podcast, reread the dialogue a bit, and try and smooth things out.

Now that you've seen the other side of the Queen, do you have any ideas for my viewpoint problem?  I want to show her change as a character, but to do so I'm showing her side of the story, and thus destroying the tension.

I'm already planning on cutting all of Gareth's viewpoints.  Most of them aren't needed, and the one's that are can probably be shuffled around to different characters.  Lots of them are just, "I'm going to attack now," type scenes, so cutting them will probably be good.
"Look, I'm just trying to change the world, okay?  I don't have time for a grudge match with every poser in a parka!"
- Dr. Horrible

"There's always another secret..."
- Kelsier

Renoard

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Re: June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2010, 01:17:07 PM »
Sorry to take so long getting to this.

The tone was prosaic like sacred texts or odd-ball translations.  It didn't really have the feel of a modern adventure narrative.  Given those caveats it was generally a well plotted encounter, though very brief and maybe a bit melodramatic for a parting. I never got the feeling that he really tried to change her mind and that was explained to my satisfaction by the fact she was such a <pardon my anglo-saaxon> slut, after their last parting.

Neither one has enough humanity to be sympathetic. That can be good if it was intentional, but lends itself to not viewing this as an interactive narrative.

I did feel there were some language issues.  Far too often you ended one sentence or clause with a term that appears in the begging of the next. They were not grammatically incorrect, but done so often it become distracting like alliteration or rhyme, while it is not often enough to look intentional or poetic.

Also I felt too many significant terms that have no context outside the story were introduced in the first five paragraphs.  It felt wrong and at one point began to feel like the Earth Child was aware of his audience and was just being supercilious.

Overall it was a good fragment seeking a good home.
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Re: June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2010, 02:42:38 AM »
I'm still not getting your comments in the document... Either I'm not using the program properly, or the one I'm using can't read them.

Just so you know, the beast and the Queen are two different characters.  You corrected my "he lives" to "she lives," but it was meant to be "he" as I was referring to the beast.  Looking back, it should actually read "it."

Also the "waters of Kepp" is not a formal name for a place.  Kepp is an island, with water surrounding it.  The waters around it are constantly stormy due too... a number of things that would take a while to explain.  The point is, do I still need to capitalize "waters," when the word is not part of a formal name?  Or perhaps I just need to be clear that I am not talking about the waters of the Fountain of Youth.

If by audience you mean the reader... He should never be aware of the reader.  What passage in particular made you think that?  The significant terms problem, of course, comes from it being near the end of part four.  All these terms should be introduced before this scene. 

What is he trying to change her mind about?  I intended for her to be trying to convince him that what she did was for the best.  He's just supposed to be rebutting her arguments, not actively persuading her of anything.

Sorry about the questions.  Like I said, I'm not getting your comments, so I was just looking for a little elaboration on what you wrote here.

"Look, I'm just trying to change the world, okay?  I don't have time for a grudge match with every poser in a parka!"
- Dr. Horrible

"There's always another secret..."
- Kelsier

Renoard

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Re: June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2010, 07:27:14 AM »
What word processor are you using? My comments are in "notes" which are readable with MS Word and Open Office. They should be available in Lotus too.  Apparently, however, they disappear partly when reading an rtf containing comments with Open Office. Ah yes, yet another way in which Open Office fails with RTF. :)

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do I still need to capitalize "waters," when the word is not part of a formal name?
in a word no. :)

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by audience you mean the reader...
Well the reader is certainly one candidate.  It's just that he seems to be aware that his private thoughts are being "read" and therefore carefully adjusting and controlling his thoughts in the form of spin.

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What is he trying to change her mind about?
That's the point. He doesn't seem to want to take any effort to change her mind about anything, yet he reminds himself about how he loves her with a petulance.  He then reviews everything she's done wrong and then doesn't bother to try and make her see his position

The whole meeting comes across as just a way to dig the knife spitefully unless his motive for being there are to try once more to make her understand his position. Then he never really tries.  He comes across as a very immature personality, who has been thwarted and wants to lash out, but isn't willing to allow his internal motivations be challenged by his opponent. Which makes his internal dialog read a little like melodramatic teen-aged angst.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 08:20:52 AM by Renoard »
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Re: June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2010, 03:38:35 AM »
It worked, thanks.  It was good to finally get those comments.  As usual, I have a few follow up questions.

As this is actually near the ending, the terms 'Earth Staff' 'Faerie Key' etc. will have been explained at this point.  Would the paragraph have worked for you if all the terms had been explained to you before?

I don't know what the comment "WoT Mud Mobols" means.  I'm not getting the reference.  Perhaps I haven't read far enough in wheel of time (I'm just finishing shadow rising).  To answer your question though, Auroks are the magic users in my story (a collective term for both Aurok-Hals like Adam and Aurok-Hons like Trinian).  I don't think I'd consider them a separate species.

As for the tone.  The Earth Child is an ancient character obviously, he's lived as long as the Queen.  Since this scene is written from his point of view, I was trying to make the tone fit him.  I'm just using the typical third person limited narrator, and changing viewpoint to viewpoint.  If I keep the tone consistent in each of his viewpoints will it work, or is it so different from the others' that it will be jarring?

Thanks again for all the critiques!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 03:40:21 AM by Comatose »
"Look, I'm just trying to change the world, okay?  I don't have time for a grudge match with every poser in a parka!"
- Dr. Horrible

"There's always another secret..."
- Kelsier

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Re: June 28 - Comatose - Riverlord (Excerpt from Part 4)
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2010, 10:18:04 AM »
Sorry. The reference to WoT mud mobols was a bit obscure unless you know mud games. Replace the term with robotic and thinly, characterized robots.
You can always get what you want if you never count the cost.