Author Topic: August 9, Hubay, Fathers of Gods – Chapter 1 and intro  (Read 659 times)

hubay

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August 9, Hubay, Fathers of Gods – Chapter 1 and intro
« on: August 09, 2010, 04:15:34 PM »
Chapter 1 of 'Fathers of Gods.' Before the main chapter there's a short introduction – about 600 words – from the character Feeder. I've gotten mixed reviews/advice on his voice so I'm looking forward to hear what you all think.

Father's of Gods, Chapter 1 and Feeder Intro

2650 words.


Overall summary

Every year less than a hundred Polaesi are born, and when they turn eighteen they can bend reality to their will and are worshiped as gods – but when they turn nineteen they die. Now one Polaesi has broken the cycle and can live past his appointed time. While attempting to survive a budding war with a rival religion, he must also fight against jealousy and ambition within his own sect.

Chapter summary.

Cumo, now eighteen, has just a awakened to godhood but hasn't manifested a shri yet. The only sure way to force it out of him is sex or torture, so he's been assigned to sleep with Aela, a girl with a similar problem – who also happens to be his best friend's lover.

I'm hoping to get a chapter out every other week so feel free to digitally slap me into action if I don't.

p.s. lethalfalcon, my email was acting funky the other night, so I'm not sure if you ever got my reply, but the new edits worked fine. Thanks!

Flo_the_G

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Re: August 9, Hubay, Fathers of Gods – Chapter 1 and intro
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 12:18:54 AM »
I read this directly after the prologue, so it was a bit jarring that the intro was in first person, especially since the chapter itself wasn't again. I don't think it really needs to be in first person, though. It did suggest to me that this is what Cumo is going to become. So if your laying red herrings, it's working. If you're foreshadowing, that's working, too.  ::)

The dialogue and such worked well here, as did the relation of story to exposition. If anything, you might have dumped a smidge or so of more info here, seeing as we now have a rough idea of what the hell is actually going on.

The only thing that threw me out of the story was when you mentioned the chainmail skirt. My notes here say, and I quote, "wtf?"

Also, I'm not sure what to feel about the entire sex deal. My initial reaction was that it felt like a somewhat heavy-handed measure to add conflict between the characters, especially since I have it on good authority that certain... effects... can also be achieved without involving another person.  What I missed was an explanation why exactly sex and torture do what they do, why the man decided sex was necessary, and why Cumo didn't choose torture over endangering his friendship.

I'm definitely looking forward to finding out how all of this fits into The Big PictureTM, and what TBP actually is.

hubay

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Re: August 9, Hubay, Fathers of Gods – Chapter 1 and intro
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2010, 01:52:44 AM »
Alright, thanks for the input. I wrote a lot of the end and middle of the book before I finally decided to try the beginning – mostly because of the sex scene – so I wasn't sure how clear it would turn out. You're absolutely right about the skirt, of course. It makes sense later on– Aela has to wear a sort of chainmail because she's always starting on fire and burning off her clothes, and they have a lot of them lying around for people like her. But you wouldn't have any reason to know that, of course, so it's a complete non sequitor. And bizarre to boot.

The intro was supposed to be italicized, if that makes a difference. I forgot to switch it when I finalized the draft.

Looking at this now – and I know it's still early to know for sure – do you think you could get by fine without the prologue? I would have to transfer over some of the exposition, of course. I'm thinking if it's too extraneous, I'll just convert it into a short story.

Flo_the_G

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Re: August 9, Hubay, Fathers of Gods – Chapter 1 and intro
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 09:27:40 AM »
The intro was italicized, and I did get that those were thoughts. But it was a bit too long to not throw you off slightly. Maybe a single sentence by the narrator before you launch into the thoughts would do the trick, or something to that effect, especially if you should cut the prologue.

As to cutting said prologue, I think the story would work. There wasn't really all that much carryover, information-wise, and the change in characters and scenery from the prologue to the chapter could be mildly confusing. But it's hard to determine with certainty, because I don't know how much of what the prologue taught me I'll need to understand the following chapters. It would work quite well as a short story, though, I think.

Daddy Warpig

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Re: August 9, Hubay, Fathers of Gods – Chapter 1 and intro
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 09:46:32 PM »
Once again, just my thoughts and impressions.

To paraphrase Montgomery Burns: "I don't know about Literature, but I know what I hate. And I didn't hate this." 

Why not? It was enjoyable. It felt too short. I just got into it, and bam! It was over. I want to read more. (Actually, I thought the file had been truncated, and had to check my mail just to see if it was all there.)

It was interesting. The powers, the looming death, hints of rules (no two titans at same time), the social customs (pillars to hide atop, two couples can't use same place), etc. I was intrigued, and wanted to learn more.

The characters felt like real people, and their dialogue wasn't forced or stilted. Also, the alien culture felt like a real one ("Feeder's teeth", etc.)

“I swear to god, Cumo, If you kill me while we’re having sex…” That's a great line. Seriously, just a killer line. (No pun intended.)

 I learned from reading it, from how the exposition was woven in between interaction and dialogue.

And after reading it, I was a little jealous. 

Couple of criticisms: The prologue felt a little awkward in places. I think you were going for stilted, to underline the fact that it, whatever it is, isn't human, but it was too stilted in places.

The third sentence of Chapter One ("Oh, every once and a while") needs to be rewritten, it's confusing. Actually, there are a few sentences that can be line edited. Few as in three or four.

I wouldn't cut the prologue. I thought it worked.

Enjoyed it, looking forward to reading more.

RavenstarRHJF

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Re: August 9, Hubay, Fathers of Gods – Chapter 1 and intro
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2010, 03:57:09 AM »
I somehow missed the prologue... don't have it in my inbox, so coming at this chapter without that, I think it worked and worked well.  There were intriguing bits of background and the couple is endearingly awkward.

I really liked the Feeder section.  Particularly the part- "it is glorious and it is delicious and it is gone" although to get the best effect, I think you should put a period between "gone" and "I have eaten it all."  You managed to capture ravenousness perfectly, and I now want to see more of this character.  And I kinda wonder what would happen if Feeder ever came across a pair of Polaesi...

For the record, I didn't think the chainmail skirt was particularly weird.  Given the setting and your previous explanation that no one knew what a shri would be before it manifested, it made sense for the others to provide replacement clothing that was 'durable.'  Although I'd probably pick leather instead of chainmail- I hear it tends to pull hairs and pinch and as a skirt that might be... awkward.  But apparently you've already changed it, so nevermind. ;)
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Asmodemon

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Re: August 9, Hubay, Fathers of Gods – Chapter 1 and intro
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 10:06:10 PM »
Nice section on Feeder, it works really well for me so I wouldn't change it.

The start of the chapter itself begins odd, with Aela swearing to god. The Polaesi are living gods (multiple), so which god is she swearing to? Because there's a pantheon by definition there can't be a One God. She's being sarcastic here, but it might be better to have her swear to the gods instead of god.

I'm not really clear on why either sex or torture is needed to manifest the shri. There are commonalities between the two; increased heart rate, blood pressure, a certain mental duress, but they can all be produced without either sex or torture. And for sex you don't necessarily need a partner. Cumo also says that if he were a Titan he wouldn't have to go through with this initiation. I doubt a Titan would choose torture over sex, so his words mean there's a third option. Why didn't he take that choice if he's against having sex with his best friend's girl?

About the shri, when they turn eighteen they manifest it and be like gods for a year. However, the shri apparently needs to be drawn out. It's probably the strain of the shri that kills them, so does that mean that if they don't manifest their shri they won't die?

The metal skirt has been mentioned already – durable clothes. But chainmail is made of metal, so is the box – if the box got through all right the contents would too, so it doesn't need to be metal clothing. A chainmail skirt isn't very modest either and doesn't work without underclothes. There's also a leather belt inside, so there's no reason the rest of the clothing can't be leather.