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Messages - hubay

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Brandon Sanderson / The Elendel Daily
« on: July 16, 2011, 04:45:30 PM »
Is there a way to get this awesome-looking paper, if I don't go to comic-con or polaris? I would probably be willing to pay a few dollars to get a pdf.

Reading Excuses / Re: Feedback from the Gatekeepers
« on: July 15, 2011, 08:57:22 PM »
Good luck! You certainly have enough drive to get your work published, and that goes a long way. I also enjoyed Written in Blood, if that means anything, so I hope at a later date someone's interested enough in it to give you a shot.

Anyways, my novel isn't close to being finished, but I might have to take you up on that offer when it is. A writing group is good and all, but I could use a good alpha reader or is it beta? I always feel like the later letters should come first so that the alpha is most important, counter-intuitive as that is to look at the finished product in one go, not in tiny little snippits like we do here (I know that isn't quite what you were offering, to be an alpha reader, but if you'd like I'd be interested in trading stories and critiques). Either way, you're always welcome to hop in and critique and be critiqued.

My only beef with this chapter is it seems a little to narrow. There's a sort of inevitablity about the whole thing where I don't think there's a chance the troodon's could lose. You upset it at the end, of course, but since there isn't much of a struggle for the first 4/5th of the chapter, I'm not to involved there's no real tension. You could fix it by creating more problems early on, or by putting in a lot of side references to the rest of the comings and going of the world. That way, it will still show off how powerful the troodons are, without running the danger of boring the reader.


At this point, I can only see two possible outcomes for Darkclaw's story. (1) He leads the Troodons without question until his eventual defeat. In other words, He's the bad guy. (2) he change sides sometime in the middle or early last act, because he's discovered some new information that puts the conflict in a different light or because he's betrayed by his own side.

I say this because he's a villanous POV, and those seem to be the main two styles of handling that sort of character. If there's a third option, awesome. You've tricked most readers. But right now I'm guessing #2, just because he's had so many viewpoints up to this point, that readers will start to emphasize with him. If so, you're doing a good job up to this point.

If you're going with option #1 that is, darkclaw stays evil the whole time then I think you need make sure readers don't emphasize with him too much. You can reduce his screentime, which makes it easier to hate him if you see the results of his actions from another POV, or you can make him more evil. If you really want him to be the bad guy, you haven't pushed him hard enough yet. He isn't creative or cruel, he's just intelligent and passionless. In a way, I feel sorry for him, because he's an emotionless tool of the High Lord that's forced to fight for another's ambitions.

Anyways, the main reason I'm saying all this is because you've given Darkclaw the most of any POV chapters so far, which makes me think he shouldn't be a standard "villain" character.

Howard Tayler / Re: How do you read Schlock?
« on: July 14, 2011, 02:23:14 AM »
I read it every sunday, so I can get a week's worth of comics in one go. I feel like it makes story flow better.

I do cheat a lot though, if I like the current plotline. And if I do read it on a sunday, I have to squint my eyes to make sure I don't read the current comic while I find last monday's in the archive. Ah, well.

I do this with pretty much every webcomic I read.

Check with Grammar Girl. I'm too lazy to right now, but if she doesn't have an article on it, you can always ask her and see if she answers. It's probably one of those things that no longer has a right or wrong. Plus, if it's a colloquialism, there is no grammatically correct version they're both improper slang, so to speak.

Books / Re: What are you reading, part 3
« on: July 13, 2011, 07:46:01 AM »
I just tore through the most recent of Adrian Tchaicovsky's short stories over on his website (not really a book but whatever). It's called Cities of Silver and is about an expedition into an underwater city.

Soooo good. The best part was the voice it read like a late 1800's/early 1900's science fiction, something like Journey to the Center of the Earth. Took me a while to realize the protagonist was a girl, but I'm looking forward to seeing another story with the same characters. Has a sort of holmes/watson repertoire with the main POV being the doctor's assistant. It also expands the world, which is the best part of his little web short stories; they show parts of the world and kinden he might otherwise not touch in the main series (though the next one is called the sea watch, so maybe the crab-kinden will show up after all).

Seriously, though. He really needs to turn those stories into an anthology at some point. The man rivals mr. sanderson in productivity.

Reading Excuses / July 11 Hubay, Lord Domestic Ch13
« on: July 12, 2011, 12:52:07 AM »
Here it is: the end of act 2. I think it ends alright. One of the conflicts changes shape and a new one starts up.
As a side note, in the rape scene a few chapters back, it ends with Jhuz putting Ponticae (the senator) in charge of watching over the prisoner, for diplomatic reasons. Anyways, enjoy!

7-11-11 Hubay, Lord domestic ch13 (L,V,S,D)

Summary: under Jhuz's new leadership, the Legion has finally won a battle. Last chapter they were celebrating the victory and Zaisha showed off a new metsi-powered weapon she created.

Ch13: Jhuz finally confronts the Jackal, but it doesn't end the way he expects.

Let me know what you think of the very end. I want it to have some punch it's the last chapter of the act, after all. So let me know how successful it is.

Reading Excuses / Re: Email List + Submission Dates
« on: July 09, 2011, 04:24:42 AM »
I should have my next chapter done by monday. Act 2 is over!

Alright, I thought this was a pretty solid chapter. My only real issue is with some of the terms you use.

Mainly, "aliens."

You're writing from an alien POV, but it reads like it's human. I can only assume the Alliance crew and commander are human if they're not you should say what they are instead. But if they're people you  should really mention that. What I'm trying to say is that if it's a human POV the default for everything is human. If they see another human, it's just another human, they don't think about it. Aliens are the "other." This is what the chapter is like right now.  If you're writing from an alien perspective, humans are "others;" everything is flipped. You should mention that Dalcon is a Daeris as soon as possible (interesting species, by the way). In general, I think it would help your characters a lot if you made them a little more strange, and not just humans with horns. I think you get hints of that in your felinaris chapters, and the bit about the Flame helped. But I think you could make it a little stronger.

Second, referring to the Troodons as aliens strikes me as odd, as does "invasion." I think these words make sense from 21st century perspective, but not from a XXst century one. I think we would have replaced "alien" with something along the lines of "sophont" or something similar. And instead of referring to their assault as an invasion, it would make more sense to call it an assault, or ask "you think this could be an act of war?" or something along those lines.

My only other thing is that the Scions sound dangerously like the Specters in Mass effect. It's probably unavoidable, but you should make sure they aren't too similar.

Anyways, I did enjoy the chapter, and I'd enjoy seeing Dalcon again because his species is so interesting.

I seem to remember saying your second introduction of Omnk was kind of strange, because you'd mentioned him in the carriage bit. Seeing him as a POV chapter, I think the best solution would be to toss him in as a POV earlier. I don't know how that would quite work out, but I think it would make his appearance more natural, and since he's a pretty strange sort of creature for a character, it would make a very nice hook.

Anyways, I'm glad he's a POV. He makes a wonderful counterpoint to Ciera's meekness and social fears. He seems a little bit like a trickster, and some of his skills seem to compliment that. My first impressions are that he's a sort of poltergiest entity, but is focused for whatever reason on academia.

I'm not sure if the trick he did with books is something that's special to books if it it is, good job, but if you didn't you should reword the bit where he 'scans' the books, because it made it seem like his magic is book-related. I'm hoping the latter is the case, because you have an interesting sort of world already going on with the focus on the library and books.

I also enjoyed what you've teased out about the Hearts. Your man chapter (i'm sorry but I've forgotten his name because it's been so long) made it sound like they were mere scholarly cadres, but Omnk makes them sound a bit cultish and possibly secret.

Like I said, you should consider putting Omnk in sooner. If I had read all your chapters together, I don't think I would have been pulled into your story yet until this chapter.

I don't have a ton to add to the critique above me.

Mainly, I'm a little concerned by how narrow your focus in setting has been so far. We don't see Albione talk with anyone or even have him hear people talking besides people directly related to his current problem. So far it's as if your entire world is the wall and the temple grounds of your city and to be honest, at this point I don't really remember the name of the city. The mention of his father's estates is the first glimpse we have at a world outside of the city. It sounds like they're somewhat engaged in a battle with the night elves, even if they're temporarily at a ceasefire of sorts. Shouldn't they be concerned with help from other temples, or cities. You don't have to drown us in worldbuilding, of course, and you've done a good job of avoiding long exposition. But right now both your world and the life of your character seem very small. I would like to see it bigger.

Books / Re: What are you reading, part 3
« on: July 01, 2011, 08:14:26 AM »
Black house is good, but don't expect it to be anything like the talisman. the protagonist is an adult and very different, it isn't focused on the journey like the talisman, but instead is sort of structured very vaguely like a mystery. Very strong dark tower tie-ins, though. I liked it, but I think the talisman had a better sense of the fantastical and mysterious to it.

Anways, I'm reading Unseen Academicals. Big pratchett fan, and I'm curious about this story cuz the UU always seems to be a supporting character in the books. Also haphazardly reading memory, sorrow, and thorn. I think it's a good story, but after reading the Shadowmarch series (which is very similar, in my opinion) I feel like it's more dense and takes longer to read through.

Dan Wells / Re: Buy Dan Bacon?
« on: June 26, 2011, 11:58:48 PM »
I feel like a more appropriate title would be "potato-baked bacon." ;)

 I finally got around to reading all your chapters. I don't have too much to add, but here are my general impressions:

Watch out for melodrama. You have a tendency to add too many adverbs or just try to make every moment seem exciting. Eventually, the result will be nothing is interesting, because everything's the same level of intensity.

Likewise, you tend to have pretty intricate descriptions and explanations. There's no real issue with that if it's your style stick with it but I think you need to be aware of it so you don't overdue the exposition.

I also have a feel issues with your names: I can't help but think of the Troodons as being some kind of frog. I don't know why, but I can't shake the feeling. I guess I don't think it's an intimidating-enough name, yet. I'm also not very fond of the title "high lord." First of all, it doesn't see supreme enough, like there's still someone above him on the chain of command. I guess that's not out of question, what with the Saviors and all. But more importantly, it's too prosaic. It's not a particularly interesting or original title. He's [or it] is a pretty crazy, bizarre, and powerful entity. He needs an appropriate name.

Lastly, I don't quite get the "power from the high lord" thing (keeneye's sight, shadowpath's shadow thing). It's a cool addition, and I'm interested to see Shadowpath do some shadow stuff soon. But why can't he give more than one power per person? it seems like it would make the army much more powerful. The most logical reason is the High lord wants to limit the power of his subordinates, but it doesn't seem like they're capable of rebellion, what with the conditioning and mindcontrol. I'm hoping this mean's his power isn't absolute.

Other than that, you have a couple intersting mysteries going on. I think right now I have a good idea where darkclaw's story is going, and I'm guessing the felinaris' story will involve the political struggles mentioned in his info logs. I'm curious if you'll include any human POV's?

I think this was your best chapter so far, mostly because it placed such an emphasis on character (the last three were more concerned with action and setting). Again, I feel like it would make a little more sense to have Albione's thoughts in italics, rather than quotes.

I agree with Albione's superior that it's strange the higher-ups don't give him a harsher punishment. Given that, I feel like the superior could have been even more emphatic in showing that he, at least, thinks Albione should be kicked out of the priesthood.

The one thing really missing now is Albione's friends where are they? If he doesn't have any, you should mention that. If he does, either they should show up to give support, or you should have him griping that they're not around. Right now it feels like Albione lives all by himself, with his brother as his only real connection. I'll assume you have some more characters you just haven't introduced yet because it would confuse readers, but I think you could at least drop a name or two so we get a better sense of Albione as a person.

Anyways, I know we've been pretty hard on you over magic  and setting, but your story still holds my attention and interest, and at the end of the day that's what you need.

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