Author Topic: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1  (Read 1029 times)

Daddy Warpig

  • Level 2
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« on: July 19, 2010, 11:46:32 AM »
My first submission, let me know what you think.

Valkynphyre

  • Level 7
  • ****
  • Posts: 226
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 04:12:38 PM »
I liked the imagery of Gods warring. Stars falling from the sky, Earth splitting, Fires boiling, the imagery there was very good. I, personally would want to spend a little more time on the destruction of the city. That said, the writing was very segmented, which I'm pretty sure was intentional, seeing that you numbered the breaks. The viewpoint shifted a little with each change, first from third person omniscient, then slowly to third person limited.

I liked how you did that.

My first real complaint is the 'marital assets' line. By referring to them that way, it sounded as if sexuality woul be handled delicately, but the very next line subverted that. And with what happens later on, the line doesn't seem to fit. Mind you, referring to them crudely, I probably wouldn't appreciate, but it's more consistent, I think, with the tone of the chapter. And that was a lot of commas.

I liked that he didn't stop digging at first, because he was delirious. that was good.

Here's my second complaint. This is something I'm guilty of, as Chaos has pointed out in the past: Pronoun overload. There's no reason to not tell us Karrus's name earlier, but you held off until there was another person present. It's not necessarily bad, if that's what you want to do, but there's no real reason to not reveal his name.

Third, I'm not sure why She would do that. There's no reasoning given, but she strips him, bathes herself in front of him, kisses him, and then the rest... Isn't she supposed to be the enemy? This as well, is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the reasoning is not just to include sex.

I didn't get much of the character, since he's nearly delirious most of the time, and she is not explained at all, but this is the first chapter. I didn't really expect to know everything yet. The tone, for the beginning and middle, I think you nailed. The Voice was a little irregular, a few phrases felt out of place with the rest, as if from a different time. I'm picky about that though, enough that I will never use the word 'okay' in anything I ever write. It just seems out of place in fantasy.

I think that's all. Kronk out.
Bow before The Worldbringer, Squirrel King![/color]

Daddy Warpig

  • Level 2
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 05:56:44 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, and the compliments. I'm not sure how to forum quote properly, so I'll try to answer in order.

1. "assets" vs ass. You're right, the tone of the two doesn't match, and it needs to. Changed to "fundament." 

2. Delicacy in description vs. later events. Those two do not match, but there is a reason for this: There is a disconnect between the way Karrus thinks about those things (the delicate descriptions, for example "that which is hidden") and what happens. His cultural and religious background inform his thinking, and the tension between what he thinks and what he does will have consequences in the story.

3. "There's no real reason to not reveal his name." You're probably right. There was a stylistic reason (we learn the character's names when they learn each other's name, top of the next chapter), but this might not have worked.

4. "I'm not sure why She would do that." Sex for sex's sake, that is sex without meaning or consequences, would be bad. I don't mean that in a moral sense, I mean it in terms of story. What happens now has to matter later. And it does, a great deal. There are direct consequences of the action. More, she acted that way because of things in her past, and those things also have consequences. (And his reasons for acceding, when it would seem to contradict his thinking, have their own set of repercussions.)

5. "Isn't she supposed to be the enemy?" Yes, and that fact will color the relationship going forward. And as Karrus encounters other characters, their reactions to him.

(I realize a lot of that was "trust me, it makes sense" over and over. It's meant to make sense, and I hope it will be adequately explained. Also, you are pointing out the several implicit promises - as the podcast refers to them - that I'm making. "I promise this matters, and will make sense.") 

6. "A few phrases felt out of place with the rest, as if from a different time. I'm picky about that though." So am I, oddly enough, they're jarring. If you feel like pointing them out (here or in email), I'd appreciate it.

7. "The tone, for the beginning and middle, I think you nailed." First, thanks. Second, what was off about the tone of the end?

Valkynphyre

  • Level 7
  • ****
  • Posts: 226
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 06:57:52 PM »
I'll take another look at it when I get home, and point out any phrasings I find don't fit the tone. doesn't mean you have to change them, but you might want to be aware.

As for your #7, I was taken aback by what happens. From what I learned of his character, it would seem like he would at least try to resist. The whole scene was so jarringly different, Idk... it seemed to go against his character, and while the prose was fine, what happened didn't fit with what I had already read.
Bow before The Worldbringer, Squirrel King![/color]

hubay

  • Level 7
  • ****
  • Posts: 203
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 07:01:41 PM »
I think I agree with most of the first comments, especially that it took him a while to realize he'd finished digging.

A few thoughts on voice:  there's a definite poetic sound to your writing, and I think it works well with the style you seem to be going for in your introduction. However, you have a lot of "two-beat" sentences. You'll have two clauses to a sentence, with the first almost always the dominant and the second acting as a descriptor or modifier (my grammar terminology is probably off, so bear with me). Here's a few examples:

He awoke under the pillar /and the sun was high and hot.
His throat was dry /and a great pain tore at his head.
He tried to stand, /but his leg was trapped.
He couldn’t feel it, /he hoped it wasn’t broken
He awoke by a fire, /dirty and wet.
He lay on his back, /staring up at a night sky gone almost wholly dark.
The pain in his skull had receded/ and his thoughts were mostly clear.
His body was sore and stiff, /and he felt a great hunger.

It sort of works with the poetic tone, because it gives a rhythm to your prose, but it also makes the writing monotonous – especially when they all start with "he." Maybe that was intentional style choice, but when an entire paragraph has the same sentence structure, it starts to get a little jarring.

Nitpicky, I know, but something to keep in mind for the next few chapters.

lethalfalcon

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Why won't insomnia leave me alone?
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 07:40:21 PM »
This whole piece definitely has a poetic/ominous tone to it, as has been pointed out before. I'm not sure if it's good or bad yet; as hubay mentioned, it can get repetitive, and then it stops flowing. I'll have to see how later parts work before I make final judgment on it.

I'm not a real fan of the numbers separating sections. Makes it look like one giant list. Step 1: talk about the gods. Step 2: talk about the gods again. Step 3: hey look, a man...

Speaking of which, "Step 2" feels a little weak. I would almost combine it with the next section, since they seem intertwined, and it would get rid of the woefully short section.

Also, something that felt a little strange was the tense change between the first section and all the others. It makes sense, but it doesn't feel right. It's like the first section is a prologue to the whole rest of the chapter. Maybe it could be one of those chapter heading things, where it's in italics (Sanderson has coined a name for them, but I don't remember it offhand). In the same vein, it feels like you switch your POV a bit, too. The first three sections are third person objective  (the gods, the man, etc.), while the rest are third person limited.

Regarding "marital asset"... just use crotch. That's a socially accepted word for that area, no matter the gender. Also, crotch fits with ass better than "fundament", which sounds overly academic, given that this guy is a rugged war vet.

The actions of Karrus make sense, so that's good. He doesn't free his leg and immediately become lucid. Him having sex with the Kithian actually does make sense, in a way. She's offering, and he's already mentioned:
Quote
After long months of marching, with no women to be found, certain urges began to overwhelm, to the point they became painful
So yeah. Not a big problem for me, even if she is supposedly the enemy. She did save him after all, so she must not be all bad (ulterior motives that we don't know about aside).

However, Valkynphyre hit on another point; too much pronoun usage. If you changed the third section to his limited POV, he would know his name while escaping from the city. Even the objective narrator should know it. There's no reason to only use it once. Now, if you want to *specifically* state that he can't remember his name when he's delusional, that's great. You also don't need to use it that often; it's just to mix up the sentence a bit. You can also switch the sentence structure around a bit to break up the monotony that hubay pointed out.

All in all, I don't think it's bad; the summary in your email tells me that there's a really good story here, but right now, I'm not seeing a whole lot. The first chapter is gripping, but not in the way I would have thought. I'm not introduced to any sort of real plot arc to grab on to. The meteor storm... he can't do anything about that, except pick up the pieces afterward (this is the cause of the problem, so that's good). He solves his immediate peril (which is good for resolution within the chapter), but introducing the enemy that seems to take care of him only gives me a misty potential for a romantic or subterfuge arc. From your summary, I know that he needs to lead a group of refugees home... we need to see that main arc identified pretty quick, as it's what hooks the reader into continuing to read. "Will he get them home? Or will they all perish, lost and alone? Find out in the next 20 chapters..." If this is clearly identified in chapter 2, I probably won't have too much problem with it.

Let's see some more of this. :)

I don't have good days. I have great days, where I'm a magician ridding the world of all evil, or at least everything I don't like. And then I wake up, and it's back to work for me.

Comatose

  • Level 19
  • *
  • Posts: 904
  • Fell Points: 1
  • A Shard of Adonalsium
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2010, 03:13:03 AM »
I agree with what some others have been saying: your tone is fairly poetic, and the "ass" line jarred me.  It didn't seem to fit with your prose up to that point.  It was like you just through it in to say "yeah, this has language in it."  I'm not saying you shouldn't use it, I'm just saying it felt out of place to me, given the tone of the previous sections.  Of course, there is also a reason for this, since your switching to his limited viewpoint, and as a soldier, we would be more crass.  I agree with lethal falcon, use crotch.  If you are going to show is personality on this way, don't just throw in a couple of words here and there.  I think the whole section should be written a little more roughly. 

Part three and the start of part four lost me completely (probably until I was jarred out of my stupor by the "ass" line).  I was reading mechanically at this point, not taking anything in, and I had to go back and read again to understand what was going on.  As a reader, I hate doing this (and it happens at least once in many books I've read).  I guess I'm saying either lose part three and tell us about the city being destroyed as he digs himself out, or make the city falling more interesting.  It kind of fell short for me after your very epic description of the gods at war.

To me, the part with the girl just did not work.  She strips him, bathes him, strips and baths in front of him, and acting all flirtatious, and then not having sex with him.  Now if she's a tease, I can expect that, but the way she curls up and goes to sleep next to him and he wakes to find her crying suggests she's not a tease.  It wasa bit too bi polar for me.  I also felt he should be more resistant, despite his urges, because she is an enemy.  If you had just given her race I wouldn't have thought that, but since you deliberately call her an enemy, I thought he should be more distrustful.

It sounds like you have more story to back this up, but as is, there's nothing in this chapter really grabbing my attention and making me want more.  I'd suggest fleshing it out a bit, and splitting it into two or three chapters.  One with the god's warring and the city falling.  And you could choose to either do him digging himself out and being found and his waking to find the woman standing over him as one or two chapters.  Just my two cents.

Ok, that was the bad, now for the good.  I also really like the gradual shift in viewpoint.  It was really cool, but again, it took me until my reread to notice it because you lost me in the third part.  They way you shifted by degrees reminded me of the chapter in The Shadow Rising I just read actually.  The characters seem interesting, and I could see myself becoming attached, and if I forget about the erotic bathing scene, the scene with him comforting her and her saving him despite the fact that they are enemies was actually very sweet.  I guess it stands to reason, when a disaster like the one that just hit happens, they are both just people.  If you focused on this more, I could see him being more ready to trust an enemy, but as is, I think he should be more trustworthy.

I hope that helped.  give us more, I want to see where this goes!
"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

Daddy Warpig

  • Level 2
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2010, 05:24:53 AM »
Again, thanks to everyone for reading and commenting.

The characters seem interesting, and I could see myself becoming attached, and if I forget about the erotic bathing scene, the scene with him comforting her and her saving him despite the fact that they are enemies was actually very sweet.  I guess it stands to reason, when a disaster like the one that just hit happens, they are both just people.  If you focused on this more, I could see him being more ready to trust an enemy, but as is, I think he should be more trustworthy.

"They are both just people." This is the way I envisioned the scene, the scene being about a man and a woman, in a sense all men and all women, because in the aftermath of a disaster like that, we're reduced to simple, common reactions: horror, pain, a desire to comfort and be comforted. That's why I went with no names, because they're both just "her" and "him."

The days and weeks after 9-11 saw a great number of conceptions. Sex is a common reaction after a disaster, because it both comforts - it assuages pain - and it induces oblivion, for a time. While engaged, you can forget about the horrors, forget about everything else, for a while. Part of what draws the two together is this emminently human need for comfort.

Having said that, it appears as if I haven't done as well as I should at conveying those emotional reactions, at setting it up why this is happening (at least in part, as there are ulterior motives). I have some ideas for a rewrite, and after thinking things through I will go back.

One of the common requests is to expand on the destruction of the city.  I skipped over it because it wasn't important to the story (or so I thought). But if it is interesting, and builds audience rapport with the character, then it is worth it. Also, detailing more of the horrors might go a long way towards emphasizing the "stunning aftershock of unimaginable events" aspects (again, akin to the emotions 9-11 engendered). This would solve two problems at the same time.

EDIT: It really would make more sense for the sex to occur after the bathing scene, when she lies down. Later, as they sleep together, she has the nightmare and he can comfort her, without sex being involved. This shows his tenderness and concern. This order of events makes more sense than the reverse.

Edit 2: The deliberateness of the seduction may cause her to appear too detached. This cuts against the emotional tone I was looking for: desperate people, reaching out. The deliberateness of it was intentional, it relates to her background, that doesn't mean it works. Something more accidental, less calculated, more "it just happened" might be better.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 01:47:22 PM by Daddy Warpig »

Comatose

  • Level 19
  • *
  • Posts: 904
  • Fell Points: 1
  • A Shard of Adonalsium
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2010, 12:38:24 AM »
Something accidental would definately work better.  It would make her seem less manipulating, easier to trust, and more real. 
"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

Recovering_Cynic

  • Level 13
  • *
  • Posts: 581
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Except vampires. Vampires suck.
    • View Profile
    • my livejournal
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2010, 09:33:56 PM »
Just read this version.  Will read revision and post in other thread.
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

RavenstarRHJF

  • Level 9
  • *
  • Posts: 339
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 04:31:53 AM »
Nice beginning.  I do like the gradual change in focus narrowing down to a single individual, but you either need to make section 2 longer, or just merge it with either section one or three.  Right now it's a bit jarring.

Section 4: is there some reason why it takes Karrus so long to dig himself out?  I know he's injured, but sand- while tending to try and level itself- is fairly easy to dig in.  At most it should take a couple of hours.  Also, given both the length of time you've got him digging right now, and the fact that he can't feel his leg at the beginning, he shouldn't be able to blithely stand up and walk around after freeing himself.  His head wound should affect his balance (especially since he's already passed out once and is delirious) and his leg should be both stiff and painful while the blood rushes back to it.  In short, he should be hobbling around grimacing in pain.

Section 7:  It might be possible to use what you've already got to help explain why she does what she does. First of all, he wakes up naked with a cold wind blowing over wet skin.  That combination is going to do some physical things to a man's body.  You could even tie it in with her noticing his "awakening."  I'm not trying to be crude, I'm just stating some facts here.  But for us to catch that you need to call attention to it.  And then call attention to the fact that she is *reacting* to his present condition, not necessarily acting solely on her own initiative.  'Cause I've gotta say: as a woman, the last thing I'm going to do after rescuing a man, even with the knowledge that we might just be the last two people alive on earth, is give him a peep show and then lay down beside him naked.  Particularly if he was the enemy a little less than 12 hours ago.  That's just asking for trouble right there.  Call me crazy, but I'd prefer to know a bit about him before I go giving him any ideas.  I would, however, probably lie down next to him with my clothes *on*, and spread a blanket over us both.  Sharing body heat is common sense.

Section 8: Actually doesn't seem too much out of blue, as long as you properly set things up in the previous section.  She's gotten her comfort and now she returns the favor.
A crown does not a King make, nor the lack of one a commoner.

Daddy Warpig

  • Level 2
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2010, 04:07:03 PM »
Nice beginning. 

Thank you. Quick question: did you get a chance to read the revised version? If you get a chance, I'd be interested to see what you think of the revised version. (Thread here: Part 1)

RavenstarRHJF

  • Level 9
  • *
  • Posts: 339
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: July 19 - Daddy Warpig - When Gods War, Chap 1
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2010, 03:25:27 AM »
Sorry about that... I had actually overlooked that particular email because it looked like a simply resend- one of those times when someone forgot to actually attach the document, you know?  I'll try and read and critique it for you tomorrow.
A crown does not a King make, nor the lack of one a commoner.