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Local Authors => Reading Excuses => Topic started by: Amnonian on August 08, 2011, 08:06:49 AM

Title: 8/08/2011 - Amnonian - The Creator - Short Story
Post by: Amnonian on August 08, 2011, 08:06:49 AM
I've written that story quite a while ago, (Before I've started listening to Writing Excuses.) and have learned a lot since then. I think that this story is clichéd, and have pretty much abandoned hope for it. The main thing that interests me is what can be learned from it for future stories.

I'm not sure it counts as violence, though I can see how it might count as such. I'm calling it violent just to stay on the safe side, and would be glad if anyone tells whether that counts as violent or not, as most of my stories are about that level of violence.
Title: Re: 8/08/2011 - Amnonian - The Creator - Short Story
Post by: Will777r on August 11, 2011, 04:13:46 AM
I kind of got an anime, airbender, dragonball-z, street fighter vibe when I read this. I don't know if that makes it cliche' or the fact that the main character is the Creator. I saw that one coming from early on hehe.

I think the biggest issue I had with the story was that I wasn't given a reason to care about the main character at the start. Something had happened, but I wasn't drawn in to find out what. Especially with a short story, you want to hook people immediately. Maybe find a way to get right into Crea's special abilities to make me care about him more?

The other problem I found was that it read  a little stilted. Falmor played the mentor role, but his dialogue was really clipped. It gave me the impression he wasn't very deep. Most of the character's dialogue's sounded similar. Plus, Destroyer's dialogue read a little bit more for a younger audience. That might just be me though.

Overall, it wasn't something that grabbed me, but I'm more into sword and sorcery type of stuff. I think if you tightened it up and fleshed out the characters a bit more, it might work better though.

Title: Re: 8/08/2011 - Amnonian - The Creator - Short Story
Post by: Amnonian on August 11, 2011, 05:26:42 PM
Thank you for the feedback.  :)

Yeah. Looking back, it was obviously too much affected by The Last Airbender and Codex Alera.

I'll try to do as you say; work better on the characters on my current novel, especially with how important Dan, Howard and Brandon keep saying they are.
On that same note: I've found after writing that story that I work better with third person point of view, so my next stories are such.

You saw it coming? I've recieved mixed opinions on that one, with some knowing it's coming, and some not.
My current novel deals a lot with this kind of hidden past, (though I hope it deals with it in a much better way.) so that's an area that's especially important to me.
Title: Re: 8/08/2011 - Amnonian - The Creator - Short Story
Post by: Mad_Scientist on August 11, 2011, 10:45:45 PM
Well, the concept was interesting. The "god in mortal form doesn't know who he is" thing felt very familiar to me, but I can't remember ever reading such a story where the god in question was the god rather than just a god. So I think there was some potential in the basic concept. There were quite a few issues with its execution, though.

You mentioned that you've started writing in third-person now, and I think that is a good idea. The first-person viewpoint didn't precisely detract from the story, but it added nothing, and was therefore something of a distraction. The strength of first-person, at least in my opinion, is the way it can be used to really let us get inside the head of the main character. It can also be used to directly address the audience, and can provide foreshadowing of future events. Your story didn't take advantage of any of those things.

I wouldn't completely abandon the idea of doing a story in first-person. I'd just say that if you do, make sure you play to the strengths of that perspective.

The story didn't really grab me. Part of the problem is that I never got a feel for any of the characters, and part of the problem is that the dialogue felt rather stilted. Not just the dialogue, but the descriptions as well. Everything felt a bit too abrupt, it seemed like I could never really get a feel for a scene before we moved on. I think a big part of the problem was that you tried to cram a lot into such a short story. We get Crea's introduction, background info and setting descriptions, Troy's introduction, Troy's reveal as the Destroyer, the fight at the Water stone, the fight at the Air stone, the fight at the Fire stone, the fight at the Earth stone, and the climax.

There were too many different locations. Among various places we had a world in the clouds, a fiery hellhole, and a strange mountain land, but the limits of the short story format meant we got at most a handful of sentences describing these strange environments, and we left them as quickly as we arrived. I haven't read very many short stories, but I think they might work better when they are more focused. A full length novel can explore a whole bunch of diverse locations better, because it has the time to.

And finally, the story was a bit too predictable. It was pretty easy to guess that Crea was the Creator. At least it became easy the moment we found out that Troy was the Des*Troy*er. And as soon as the Water crystal was destroyed, I guessed that all the other crystals would be destroyed as well, and that the climax would occur after that. Sure enough I was right. This eliminated any tension during the battles for the crystals. I knew they were going to lose ahead of time.

This just added onto the other issues. Since I didn't care about the characters and could predict how the fights were going to go, I was tempted to just skip to the end, as there at least I wasn't totally certain what would happen. Not a good thing. Though at the end, you did kind of surprise me a little.

I figured that Crea would probably save the world and restore it, not that it would be destroyed with everyone on it dying, and he'd create a new world. So as I said, I was surprised, but I wasn't particularly happy about this surprise. The problem was the legend said the Creator was supposed to help the people. There were several times during the story where people said things like "The Creator will help us." Yet they all died anyways.

Maybe if there had been some indication that they lived on in some afterlife, or got reborn into the new world, I would have felt differently. But I never got any indication of anything like that, or even an indication that things would have been the slightest bit different for the people had the Destroyer succeeded in killing the Creator.

Maybe that type of downer ending was what you were going for, but it seemed to me that either the legend should have been worded differently, or there should have been mention of that fact that the Creator failed to fufill the legend. As the story is written, there is contradiction between the set up and the ending that is never explained.

Anyways, I hope those comments help. Hope I don't come off as too negative.
Title: Re: 8/08/2011 - Amnonian - The Creator - Short Story
Post by: Amnonian on August 12, 2011, 04:42:32 AM
Na, I was excepting to tear this story apart in the hopes of learning for future ones. Your critique is very helpful.

The part about the ending not following the set up is new to me. I should check it more closely, as I haven't thought of that fact before.
Title: Re: 8/08/2011 - Amnonian - The Creator - Short Story
Post by: akoebel on August 14, 2011, 01:34:07 PM
I'd say that the story was cute. It certainly didn't captivate my attention, but it felt nice to read, so I read along.

My biggest concern would be its predictability. Even before Crea gave his name, I knew he was the creator. When he dreamt of the Destroyer, I knew we would see the Destroyer come in human shape like he did. All my predictions were right until the end of the story. Now, I'm not sure what you could have done to change that. I think that giving us the story of the creator out of the blue and stop right there was a clue too important to miss. Maybe without the story, I would have been a little more surprised.

One lesser concern is the ending. Creating a new earth with Dinosaurs and all if THE cliché of all clichés. That one was a downer of its own.

For the rest, as the others said, you're trying to cram too much into this short story, and it makes for a narrative which is too fast for the reader to really attach themselves with anything.
Title: Re: 8/08/2011 - Amnonian - The Creator - Short Story
Post by: cjhuitt on August 17, 2011, 01:47:55 AM
It was a moderately entertaining story.  I'll add my opinion that it was easy to tell that Crea was either the Creator or the Destroyer from the get-go, and then once you look at his name, it becomes obvious.  This was confirmed when Troy was revealed.

The biggest problem I had with it, and this is repeating others somewhat, is the lack of connection to the character.  Without that, I don't feel any danger when the world is threatened.  Throughout the story, I don't recall Crea having an emotional reaction to anything, except perhaps fear once or twice.  Not even guilt when he gives the destroyer the last element and Rose dies -- even though he knew she would die, and he knew that giving up the element would also lead to her death.

If it were less a list of events and more a detail of how those events affected characters I cared about, I think it would be a better story.