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Messages - Reaves

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Reading Excuses / Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« on: September 26, 2009, 04:45:13 PM »
Urg...I am at about 3/4's through the new novel I mentioned a couple months ago (not crystalheart) and I am completely stuck in neutral. I'm writing from an outline, but I think I'll have to rework these last few chapters...I just don't feel like they are building the tension the way they should.
Anyway, that's where I am. I hope to rejoin RE soon!!

Brandon Sanderson / Re: brandon similar style to RJ in mistborn
« on: September 04, 2009, 01:50:14 AM »
Hmm. I'm not sure about them being similar to be honest, but that could be because I find it very difficult to see around the difference in descriptiveness between Robert Jordan's books and Brandon's. I don't doubt he'll be able to pull off the style of Wheel of Time, so maybe you're right. :)

As for RJ picking Brandon- I don't believe he lined anyone up. From what I've read, it was Harriet who decided on Brandon after RJ died.
Yeah that's correct. Jordan and Brandon had never met.

As for style: I see what you're saying about the rapid viewpoint changes. For example, SPOILER the cleansing of saidin. SPOILER
However, as for the actual rhythm, flow, sentence length and all that goes into style I don't really see it.

Reading Excuses / Re: A question about time.
« on: August 31, 2009, 06:13:33 PM »
For myself, I use hours, and minutes if I have to. I try to avoid seconds, though. Barring any extraordinary fantasy environments, would the ordinary person in your culture think like that?

Writing Group / Re: Passive Voice: NOW YOU KNOW
« on: August 28, 2009, 11:36:14 PM »
Wait -- isn't voice different from tense? So can't something be passive progressive?

Anyway, your initial post instantly reminded me of one of David Farland's daily kicks, a little email he sends out chock-full of great writing advice. I found it, and I'll go ahead and quote the pertinent sections here. If you want to read the entire Kick go ahead and send me a PM.
5)     In order to avoid the use of the to be verbs, consider putting the object being described at the front of the sentence, followed by a strong verb, followed by the thing that is acted upon.   For example, rather than saying "The day was so cold that bits of ice hung in the air, driving into Theron's face as he plunged into the storm," you would say, "Needles of ice drove into Theron's face as he plunged through the storm." 
9.  Especially when you open a story, you are trying to put things in motion.  One way to do that is to describe things—even inanimate things—in motion by creating metaphors.  Many a writer might have  trees "march down out of the hills." Buildings can "huddle" or "lunge" or "straddle." By the same token, if you're trying to create a sense of rest in the story, particularly near the ending, make sure that you describe your settings and even creatures and people in motion as being still.   For example, a hawk can “hang in the sky.”

Books / Re: *Spoilers* Malazan Books of the Fallen *Spoilers*
« on: August 26, 2009, 10:45:58 PM »
Alright. After that review I will have to at least finish the book. And yes, I did get the terrible US cover: maybe that colored my perceptions a bit.

Books / Re: *Spoilers* Malazan Books of the Fallen *Spoilers*
« on: August 25, 2009, 11:20:04 PM »
I picked up GARDENS last week and made it a few chapters in, then kinda decided I would read it last (I got a couple other books from my library too). I may actually never get around to it. I was at the part where all the Mages were attacking the giant castle or whatever and just getting utterly destroyed until eventually it was only the female viewpoint mage who survived. It just seemed like it was going to be too long and too slowly paced for me. I didn't have it in me to start another huge fantasy series with a really complex plot line that didn't have much going for it in the way of uniqueness.

Tell me, am I wrong? Is this series really going to pay off later? What do YOU think is so great about this series? Try to convince me.

Books / Re: What are you reading, part 3
« on: August 25, 2009, 11:14:55 PM »
I just finished ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR by Lian Hearn. It was not what I expected, which isn't to say it was bad. Really I'm still undecided about it.
     Basically its set in fuedal Japan, although the country itself is never mentioned. I found it to be mostly political intrigue and while I went into it expecting lots of cool combat scenes I was disappointed in that respect. There was very little combat throughout the book, despite the fact that the main character is an assassin.
     One thing I will say for it though, the not-Japanese culture is very immersive, even going so far as to mention that this character did or did not use the polite forms of speech.
     I found the climax to  be very disappointing as well. The author made promise after promise that the main character's quest was to assassinate the antagonist and save his father's life, only for the antagonist to be essentially stabbed in the back by another viewpoint character.
     Despite this the book's last two paragraphs were possibly the most beautiful I have ever read.
     Even though I found the majority of the book to be very slowly paced and in some places dull, I think I may actually pick up the next one. Don't ask me why.
     Anyone else heard of this book? Read it? What did you think?

Brandon Sanderson / Re: UK Mistborn Cover Art
« on: July 28, 2009, 07:09:07 PM »
Did anyone see Brandon's most recent blog post? More foreign covers.

Wow. The Spanish one is only decent, but the German one is really cool and the Japanese one is simply awesome :o , at least from a distance. The picture on amazon doesn't look so hot :P

Eh. I tried. I think the OP is overreacting, but don't think it's worth the effort to continue the discussion.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Mistborn trilogy review and feedback
« on: July 18, 2009, 05:35:20 PM »
Personally I have no problem at all with someone reviewing an author's work critically. I think the difficulty comes when you begin to "critique" it unsolicited. While I'm sure Brandon would love feedback its hard for him to honestly accept your critique without either knowing you personally or your credentials. Are you a published author or reviewer? In other words, what makes you more qualified than the average Joe?

Anyway, those are just my thoughts. Welcome to these forums and I hope you enjoy your stay!

Rants and Stuff / Re: General Religious discussion
« on: July 09, 2009, 08:06:22 PM »
Reaves, I meant that to be utterly disgusting.  That's how I feel about people judging me and my religion by one small group of people whose actions don't represent me or my beliefs. I don't believe that the Holocaust was committed in the name of true Christianity. Since I claim to be a Christian, I feel that I have inherited as much from the political and military history of Christianity as any Catholic or Protestant.  To me, that history is a warning that blind devotion can go too far.  It's also one of the main reasons for our Article of Faith #11: We claim the privelege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privledge let them worship how where or what they may.
Once again, I think there is a difference. I'm asking not to be compared to Nazism and the Crusades. You're asking not to be compared to the possible actions of...Brigham Young?? In any case, the discussion has clearly moved on from this issue and I don't think its what either of us intend to delve into.
I do appreciate the conclusion you gave at the end of your post about the lessons of history and your eleventh Article of Faith.

Several sites which mention cities you refuse to mention that are in the bible but people dont think they exist...   like Beruit, Damascus, Tripoli? Seriously. You offer vague references to what you perceive as slights from WEBSITES which you also dont mention. The more vagueness you offer, the less credibility you have.
Actually, she in fact recommended a book to you. DARWIN'S BLACK BOX by Michael Behe.

origamikaren:  Sortitus  summarized my feelings quite well when he said that Brigham Young, as well as the others involved may have done some things that we question now, but they were human and so prone to make mistakes, and that's between them and their God. 
Of course, it is possible for everyone to make mistakes, even born-again Christians. There is no sin that we can commit that is powerful enough to cover up Jesus' blood. However, if these allegations/uncomfirmed accusations are true (I have not studied this issue at all, tbh) and Brigham Young was in fact at least partly responsible or complicit in the massacre, then I would hesitate to name a college after this fellow.

explain the system of "works" - for example, would Bill Gates get a better place in heaven because he gave more? Or would a poor widower working two jobs to support his 4 children get more for leaving a bigger than normal tip for a waitress? How do you quantify your "works"?
Fortunately, we don't have to worry about that. That's above our pay grade. It's not our job to worry about who gets more, we can just leave that to the Judge. However, I thought Sortitus said it well when he referenced the widow who gave her last two coins. But really, its not our place to try to quantify our own or others' rewards in heaven; ie, "who will get more". I'm pretty sure that the guy who invented the definition of Justice will get it right ;)

Video Games / Alan Wake
« on: July 07, 2009, 10:25:22 PM »
Thought I would mention this game here as it contains many elements that I think most people who visit these forums would enjoy :)

Basically, its about a horror novelist who goes on vacation...and then his novel comes to life around him. It seems to be very story-centric, delivered in an almost-episodic or -chapter format, meaning that each 'level' is a tightly-woven, cohesive whole.

I don't really know a bunch about it, but I'm interested.

Rants and Stuff / Re: General Religious discussion
« on: July 07, 2009, 04:26:40 PM »
Wow, its been a while since I've commented on this thread. I guess I'll pick up where I left off :P
origamikaren: Latter Day Saints believe that we were sent to earth to try to become more like God.  We were to be tested to see who would do the best they could with what they'd been given, and who would be decieved, take the easy way out, or just plain rebel (Think of Christ's Parable of the talents in the New Testament) 
While of course we believe that life is a test, Reformed Christian theology differs from this. We believe that mankind was created to demonstrate God's glory: either by showing His grace and love through repentance and acceptance of Christ's gift, or by showing His perfect justice and hatred of sin. Although I might be oversimplifying when I say this, I still think its helpful to see the two perspectives as man-centered and God-centered, respectively.
origamikaren :  Those who passed the test would be given more responsibilities, and more opportunities to learn and grow until they became like God, having all that he has. If you have a view of the afterlife that includes Eternal Progression, active work, and a purpose to continue existing, then you can begin to see the reasons for so many of the commandments and prophetic counsel that others see as so restricting. If you don't believe in such an afterlife, then the commandments could easily seem like "a tool to keep the masses in line."  What's the point of exercising such self control if your reward is to sit around on a cloud playing a harp... as an asexual being? 
I'm not sure that  this is what you are saying, but I'll be clear anyway: there are more alternatives than just the LDS  view of heaven, including deification and eternal progression (I think I know what you mean by that ) and believing that all we will do is become a harp-strumming cherub! I believe that we will continually grow and progress in knowledge of God and the universe and love, awe, and respectful fear of our Creator, without ever becoming like Him. This might seem like a logical fallacy, but you have to remember that God is infinite, in every sense of the word. His character can never be exhausted; no matter how long you spend in His presence, finite mortal beings can never discover everything about Him.

Origami, thanks for your explanation of the Mormon view of hell. I was really struggling to reconcile one of Ookla's earlier comments, that everyone would live in a really nice place, and the Biblical and apparently Mormon view of hell.

mtbike: the waterfall scenario is a good analogy, except for one problem. there are those who do not believe there is a waterfall and their pleasant river cruise will go on just fine, after all we scouted ahead to make sure. And we can assure you, there is no waterfall.
That would be a neat trick ;)
But then there's this sticky issue of "salvation".  What does it mean?  If it means being God's inheritors, then we've got a pretty narrow definition of it—most will fall short.
I'm curious; why exactly do LDS generally define salvation as inheriting all that God has  (plan of salvation) ? It seems to travel tangentially to what the common definition of salvation really is.
  sal·va·tion   (sāl-vā'shən)   
Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil.
A source, means, or cause of such preservation or deliverance.
Deliverance from the power or penalty of sin; redemption.
The agent or means that brings about such deliverance.
Deliverance from the power or penalty of sin; redemption.
The agent or means that brings about such deliverance.

[Middle English savacioun, from Old French sauvacion, from Late Latin salvātiō, salvātiōn-, from salvātus, past participle of salvāre, to save; see salvage.]
sal·va'tion·al adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Many born-agains believe OSAS (once saved, always saved), but I do not.  We are allowed such disagreements, I believe, but I also believe that certain egregious sins (there are several lists in the New Testament) separate one from the "True Vine" and that heartfelt repentance is necessary once again in order to be restored to salvation.  This is not a popular modern belief and, I believe, is the excuse many so-called believers use to practice all kinds of lawlessness (from gambling to extortion to fornication . . . see 1 Cor. 6:9 & 10 for more), yet be protected by one prayer they might have said at a young age.  On that one point, I am more Mormon than modern Christian!'re one of those ;) Jk. Generally I would define this as an Arminian perspective, as opposed to Reformed which I mostly always agree with. I would say that the person who prayed as an eight or nine-year old and then went right on "practicing all kinds of lawlessness" into their twenties and thirties never really repented of their sins and trusted in Christ for salvation. However, and this point must be made, I believe that God does not choose to save people because of His foreknowledge of how they would live as a Christian; grace is all undeserved. The sad truth is that some genuine born-again Christians live worse, more sin-entrenched lives than some unbelievers.
origamikarenCompare that [Mountain Meadows massacre] with the history of the Crusades, the Pogroms, and the hundreds of years of wars, rape and pillage in Europe all in the name of spreading true Christianity, not to mention the Holocaust, and I think that our fruits speak pretty well.
This is a valid point, but I think there is a difference with comparing the life of Brigham Young, probably the second-most well-known Mormon leader after Joseph Smith, with the lives of Popes and kings  whom most Christians would not identify with at all and with whom many Christians might say were not born again.
In addition, I find your statement that the Holocaust was committed in the name of Christianity utterly disgusting. And I know what Hitler said about the Jews being to blame for killing Jesus.

We believe that as society and technology changes, specific church programs and traditions may need to change, but the principles they are based on do not change.  The Bible  has very little to say about internet pornography for instance, and modern revelation is needed to help us fight this new threat.  (see
I would agree with everything here except your last sentence. The Bible says nothing about internet pornography, but it has lots to say about lusting after women. I don't think we face any challenges categorically different from what the Christians in ages past faced. 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

The waterfall metaphor is interesting, but still assumes that you have irrefutable evidence. More accurate would be to say that those warning of the waterfall believe that they have power that enables them to predict the future.
Eh, more like we believe the waterfall spoke to us and offered a chance to avoid it, because someone labored for years building a bridge and eventually died finishing it, but was later resurrected. And with that, the metaphor officially fails haha :P
I have a belief system, and morals as well. I may believe in no god, one god, or many gods. My religion is not taken seriously by, well, basically anyone. Hence I do not disclose it. If I were to disclose it on this thread, I'm sure that some of you would look it up and point out its doctrinal holes. My religion is cheese. Or gravy. Maybe it's cheese and gravy.
Two guesses: the Great Pumpkin or Chuck Norris.

Rants and Stuff / Re: I would like to announce!
« on: July 07, 2009, 01:52:12 AM »
Wow, this conversation has evolved to be way over my head.
There are materials you can mine that are hard to find and dangerous to touch. If you use a type of magic called "science" on samples of these materials, you will get immense power over a time. The power and time are determined by the type and size of the sample and quality of the science used. However, lead must be used to contain the dangerous materials at all times, or anyone who gets close to them will die.

Some magical metal boats that are heavier than water but still float use this material for power. Some people want to harness this power to propel their chariots, and the discussion just previous was about how much of one of these materials would be needed to do that and if that quantity would be dangerous in the event of a crash.

Huh. You should write a novel; it really seems like you've thought this magic system through.

Rants and Stuff / Re: I would like to announce!
« on: July 05, 2009, 07:45:37 PM »
the radiation from about a dime's worth of plutonium, would be about the same as the radiation from a cellphone. You wouldnt need very much shielding, if any. There would not be enough fissle material for a "meltdown".

Keep in mind, 90% of our naval fleet is powered by nuclear reactors. If the military stepped it up in R&D, this could certainly be a reality in just a few years.

and I agree with miyabi: I would love to say "I drive a nuclear powered car"
The Future is Now.

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