Author Topic: Aug 15 2011 – Asmodemon – Maiden of Thorns Prologue  (Read 719 times)

Asmodemon

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Aug 15 2011 – Asmodemon – Maiden of Thorns Prologue
« on: August 15, 2011, 06:50:26 AM »
It’s been a while since I last submitted something. I had a lot of good critiques on the previous draft of this story (The Citadel of Thorns), which made me realize the story just wasn’t working for me anymore. I’ve rewritten most of it, though some key points remain the same. I think the story works a lot better now, but we’ll see.

Chaos

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Re: Aug 15 2011 – Asmodemon – Maiden of Thorns Prologue
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 07:50:57 AM »
Hey, perfect timing. I was wondering what to critique, and you just sent this out. Cool. I do remember bits and pieces of Citadel of Thorns (I think I read that one's prologue and chapter one), so opening with the Black Rose's viewpoint, I kind of knew what to expect. I knew Black Rose was going to be the villain, essentially, and I figured as this was the prologue, it wouldn't end too well for her.

I like the fact that we are essentially from the villain's viewpoint. It's an interesting concept, for certain. I also like that there is no infodumping. I guess there sort of is, by describing Wisteria, but it's describing a change in Wisteria and her betrayal. Very good. I also like the more subtle clues about the worldbuilding. The line that comes to mind is "Black Rose felt a pang of disappointment, no goddess waited beyond the insistent pull of this Path." I like it.

I thought it odd that we started with a scene of action, but Black Rose's Wanderer is doing most of the action. I was very happy to see Black Rose become a more active participant.

I get that Black Rose is being betrayed, but I wanted to understand why a bit more. She's an interesting character, so I almost want more time to get to know her. Yes, I know it's a prologue, but I want to connect with her better.

I'm grasping the basics of the magic system fairly easily, though that could be because I vaguely recall the Paths from before. However, despite the fact that I know the basics, I think the submission's greatest flaw is that the ending comes up out of nowhere.

Meaning, we get to know what Black Rose is doing, with this negative energy thing, and that's cool. But ultimately, it doesn't matter, because the other shamans conjoin their Paths and just... win. The whole negative energy Path didn't even faze whatever it was her opponents were doing. I guess I just want more drama. I want to feel Black Rose's struggle against her betrayers. Heck, it seems as though her own loyalists betray her at the least minute. Give me more of Black Rose's struggle.

I guess that means I want more of a fight scene, but you don't need a fight scene, necessarily, especially when we have a lot of magic being thrown around and we don't know the deep details of the magic yet. But still, the total amount of the fight starts with this sentence: "The negating tendrils of her new power sneaked to the fine particles in the air" and it ends that paragraph. Her negative tendrils sort of fail, and I don't understand why.

So, either I need to know the reason why her power was ineffective, or I need that clash of forces to be more dramatic. We have ultimately powerful, forbidden combining of the Paths, with that equally horrifying negative power. These are ludicrously powerful things, I gathered, and I need it to feel more epic. Doing so, I think, would make the promise of the scene--that the villain is going to get imprisoned--and to fulfil it in a dramatic way.

That's my only real complaint with this piece. In other thoughts, I am hoping we get more Black Rose viewpoints, because I really do want to know more about her.
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Guenhywvar

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Re: Aug 15 2011 – Asmodemon – Maiden of Thorns Prologue
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 12:17:30 PM »
I also liked the idea of a villain's POV, I don't know much about the magic system, I don't know much about the story, but I personally like ambiguous stories because they captivate my imagination more, and interest me that little bit more, but I think the magic is a little ambiguous, I want to know a little bit more, maybe bait me one piece of information at a time?

Like chaos I was disappointed with how easily Black Rose was defeated, or at least give so inclination to why she was bested so easily, does the strength of magic multiply the more people that are 'linked' together, meaning that she stood no chance even if she had this power which negates power, maybe it can only negate enough to combat one before it starts drawing her life energy instead?

But those are just my two cents really..

SkyhunterCommander

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Re: Aug 15 2011 – Asmodemon – Maiden of Thorns Prologue
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 07:01:53 PM »
I don't have too much to add; the others already touched on the main issue of Black Rose being defeated a bit too easily. I agree with Chaos that if we knew more about the magic and how it worked, that her defeat here would feel more substantial.

I really did like the villain POV. It's not something we get to see often, and as was already mentioned, we're given information without any infodumping- Black Rose's thoughts felt natural.

And while I don't completely understand how the magic works, I was able to figure some of it out and it intrigued me enough to want to learn more about it-in part to understand what the shamans did to defeat Black Rose.
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akoebel

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Re: Aug 15 2011 – Asmodemon – Maiden of Thorns Prologue
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2011, 02:58:45 PM »
That was a very nice epic prologue you gave us.

I love to see the POVs of villains, and their motivations, and this prologue delivered just that.

What worries me a little is the feeling of inaction from Black Rose up until her minion gets zapped away. She seems just to sit there, watching the battle, while the Wanderer seemed to do all the work. When he gets killed, things start to go a little better as she starts to actually do something.

I won't re-tell what the others said about the ending, but I have a similar grievance about the Wanderer's defeat. The thing kills everyone in his path, but a single shaman is able to kill it in one blow? If shamans are that powerful, why didn't Black Rose plan something against them?

To finish, I also worry that, while the info-dumping is well handled here, the scene has a little too many characters. The reader will have to remember all those names later, so it will be a little more difficult for them.

Will777r

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Re: Aug 15 2011 – Asmodemon – Maiden of Thorns Prologue
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2011, 03:16:57 AM »
Prologue's by their nature tend to be a little enigmatic. By the end of a book (or even a series), I often read a prologue again because it makes perfect sense at that point. So, I'm kind of hoping that's how this will work.

I liked Black Rose. Even though I didn't fully understand what was going on, I thought her character was engaging. I liked seeing her motives and feelings, which should make her a more powerful villain.

I got a little lost in the details of the action, but I followed the general action pretty well. Again, the rest of the story should give the prologue more depth. If not, then you have to ask the all important question: Is it needed?

I guess it did seem like her Wanderer was defeated a bit too easily. But I didn't think she was. There was an overconfident undertone to her attitude from the beginning that set her up for a fall. It didn't shock me that the "emptiness" power she wielded and considered stronger than anything they could throw at her was overcome by something greater that was a "forbidden" or "ancient" power. Pride comes before destruction is a common theme with villains and it seemed to apply here.

Interesting intro. I think the story will pull me in more than the prologue, so I'm anxious to read the first chapter.

Will777r