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Messages - Will777r

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16
Just finished reading this. It certainly didn't feel like 30 pages while I was reading. There were a few moments where I was tempted to skim, but I think that's because it's difficult for me to be in Darkclaws head sometimes. I find it hard to make a connection with him being that he doesn't have feelings. His PoV chapters read very mechanically. That being said, the twist you give him did make me more interested in what will happen to him and make him someone worth cheering for now.

I could sense the desperation of the Felinaris - a little too desperate - but we've seen that in real life with how Hitler was pandered to prior to WW2 out of a desperate desire to avoid another world war. So, it's not too far fetched.

I definitely enjoyed the chapter more when it came to the interaction between Darkclaw and the Felinaris. The beginning of the chapter still had that "news report" feel of the last chapter.

I'm interested to see where the story goes. Part of me is hoping Darkclaw takes out the High Lord, but I might be getting ahead of myself a bit heh.

Will777r

17
Thanks a ton for your thoughts Hubay! Things are indeed coming to a head pretty soon for Albione where it concerns the temple. Chapter 10 is the end of Act 1 (if we're looking at it from the 3 Act system).

To answer some questions:

- The Temple is extremely formal, with the exception of the few that really run things there. Everyone has carved out their own little kingdom and much of it centers on titles and position. To not use the title is kind of an insult. These formalities keep the temple out of touch with reality and from really making any good impact in their community. Something Albione is starting to notice.

- Priests aren't allowed to marry, so there is segregation for the lower ranking ones (like Albione). High ranking priests/priestesses are allowed to take lovers since they've "learned" to control their passions with "principle".

- The Temple structure is ginormous. It's the largest structure in a city of 30,000 inhabitants. The nobility have their estates in 1/3 of the city, the eastern section. The southern and western sections are controlled by the militia and inhabited by the wealthier businessmen who do not have noble blood. The temple houses over a thousand people and can accommodate about 5,000 worshippers in its main sanctuary. It's 3 stories high all around, with a smaller structure that stretches another 4 stories and houses the leadership. It has it's own walls, as do most of the nobles estates in addition to the wall that runs around the entire city. At its back is the ocean.

- The pantheon of Adme is also quite large. Ferris and most of the militia worship Mirash, God of Order. In the next chapter, you'll meet a friend of Albione's. His father worships, Jetra, Goddess of Life and Healing. Some are more racially divided. A race called the Neld worship Hasaq, God of the Seas. Wizards worship deity's of the elements. A lot of these are mentioned in later chapters as Albione's world expands. While these God's don't derive their power form their worshippers, their status in the pantheon is dependant upon how many worshippers they have. Their place of existence will be revealed later on in the story. I could tell you, but I'd prefer to get your impression on a first read. I originally had a prologue where all the pantheon had been summoned for a meeting. I may bring it back, but I've been told publishing houses hate prologues from new authors. So for now, it's scrapped.

Thanks again Hubay!

Will777r

18
Hey guys :)
 
Here's my next chapter. As always I appreciate the suggestions and feedback!
 
Chapter 7 Summary -  Albione returns to the temple, but two experiences make him question his faith further

 
Here's the summary's for the first 6 chapters.

Chapter 1 Summary - Albione rescues a rival militia commander, but ends up losing the knight he's sworn to protect. A night elf raid has overrun the walls

Chapter 2 Summary - Charom, Albione's older brother, is in charge of the High Priestess' guard detail when the temple comes under attack.

Chapter 3 Summary - Albione rescues the High Priestess and accompanies her and his brother Charom to the wall. What he finds is completely unexpected.
 
Chapter 4 Summary - Albione is summoned to a meeting with his immediate Superior to face the consequences of his actions on the wall.
 
Chapter 5 Summary - A messenger delivers a dangerous package to Albione's room. When he opens it, the nightmare gets worse.

Chapter 6 Summary - Albione returns to his family's estate to fulfill his vow of seclusion, but finds himself further away from his God.

Thanks again!

Will777r

19
Reading Excuses / Re: Email List + Submission Dates
« on: July 22, 2011, 04:26:46 PM »
I'd like to send out my next chapter on Monday also if that's okay :)

Will777r

20
Reading Excuses / Re: 2011 Jul 18 - cjhuitt - Second Son Chapter 2
« on: July 20, 2011, 06:17:32 AM »
Great chapter CJ!

I have to echo with Hubay that the story flowed very well. It was rare that I stumbled over a sentence or got lost in the writing. I could picture the scenes very well in my mind.

I also liked reading from Sancha's PoV more than Miki's. I think it's because she has a clear goal that defines her motivations and actions. She desperately wants a mission. Everything else always goes back to that. I'm invested because I have to find out if she reaches her goal. Mike seemed to not have that same drive as a character, thus I didn't care as much about him when I read his PoV.

I was totally confused when the older gal spoke up and said she achieved her goal. It took me a second to realize it was all an enactment. That's not a bad thing. I just had to go back up and read again to realize it was a test. Once that clicked, I think I appreciated everything much more. You set it up well.

I don't have much else to say - I'd read more just to find out more about Sancha.

Will777r

21
Good chapter! I read the first five chapters to get caught up, so I've got a better grip of the story now.

I definitely like Lorn as a character. He's painted as the bad guy up to this point, but he's incredibly sympathetic. He's not just a bad guy. He's a guy doing some "wrong" things because he wants to save his brother's life. Plus, he's a man, and especially after reading Listeria's chapter, that makes him sympathetic because of the way men are treated in this world. He may not end up being the bad guy after all. But, he strikes me as a very deep character which draws me in.

I loved the opening scene where he's working on the watch. It was perfect in my opinion to have him comment on the inside of the watch and how no one cares about that. Pardon the illustration, but I have 4 kids. It reminded me of the scene in Shrek where he's trying to explain to Donkey why he wants everyone shut out of his life. No one cares about what he's really like. He's just judged because he's an ogre. The same goes for Lorn sorta. He's an intelligent man living in a world where all men are second class citizens. No one takes the time to see what he's really like and worth as a person because of what he is on the outside.

The writing definitely needs to be tightened up. I didn't get lost like CJ mentioned, but there were definitely times where Fit and Darl ran together a bit in their dialogue. Some word repetition and run-on sentences distracted me at times, but that stuff is easy to fix if the story is solid.

I did wonder how Tof and Chin were able to pull off the stopping of the dam. They are portrayed as so incompetent, I'm was surprised such a big task went off without any hitches. Just something to think about.

I liked the ending. It was a cool moment to see a man in the library. I suspect he and Ciera will be meeting up soon, for good or bad.

Will777r

22
Finally got to this chapter.

I thought the various races were interesting. I'm not a sci-fi reader in general, but the descriptions of the Cytan and Zarian sounded cool to me. I also liked the hints given about Blackspine and seeing Shadowpath in action. Those two seems like interesting guys too. Seeing Darkclaw in action when he beheaded the President was cool, although I thought that scene itself was a bit cliche' - It's pretty obvious what's going to happen to the president.

Other than that, I pretty much agree 100% with everything Hubay said. I didn't feel anything during the chapter. It lacked tension because everything went according to plan. Aside from showing us the scene with the Zarian leaders and Shadowpath's abilities, much of the chapter could have been summed up in a paragraph or two. It read more like a report than a story.

The resistance from Raeth is the only real point of tension, but it comes right at the end. It's also heavily foreshadowed because Darkclaw keeps mentioning how effortless it will be to take that planet. So, when it happens, it really didn't surprise me.

But the biggest thing is this: Did I care? Darkclaw is an interesting character, but I don't think I care much about him. Like Hubay said. If he's downright evil, I need to really dislike him if he's going to be a major PoV character. But you don't seem to be going that route. The probleem is that he dosn't really arouse sympathy from me either. I feel distanced from him and not in a way that makes me want to get closer. Whichever way you go, I think he needs to be a much stronger and deeper character if he's going to be one of your major PoV characters.

The only other thing I wondered when reading was why the Cytan didn't try to get a ship out the moment they realized an enemy force was in their solar system. Do only the Trodoon have the technology for hyperspace travel? It seems like they would try to get a ship out super fast against such overwhelming odds. That might just be me though.

I guess in conclusion, if you deepened Darkclaw's PoV, it might work better. Your other PoV characters have been very engaging so far :)

Will777r




23
Reading Excuses / Re: July 11 Hubay, Lord Domestic Ch13
« on: July 19, 2011, 09:09:02 PM »
Finally made some time to read this.

Overall I liked the chapter. I thought the ending was excellent as it requires me to keep the pages turning to find out what happens. There's no way a reader could put the book down, shut off the light, and go to bed at that point. That's what we're shooting for isn't it?

I also liked the switcheroo pulled by the scene with the Jackal. I was expecting that exchange to go very differently. I still don't trust him, but it threw an interesting twist into the mix: Can I trust him? That's what Jhuz is wondering and so am I as reader, so great job at making me feel what the character are feeling.

The opening felt a little like an infodump disguised as dialogue. Some of it was interesting. Other parts felt forced. If Jhuz is any kind of officer, I'm shocked he doesn't know more about Ezlio's kind. Yes, a sniper officer might not know all the intricate details about artillery, but he should have a working knowledge of how each part of the armed force works together. It sounded a bit too much like Quill fighting 101 to me. I would think that with Jhuz's training under a Chell, he'd have some more understanding.

Now I say that only because that's how I felt as a critiquer. As a reader, it didn't bother me. But a lot of the stuff writer's say you shouldn't do doesn't bother me either. So, take that however you want heh.

My first thought during the end scene was "It's a Chell". But, he's still alive, so I am curious as to who the invisible person is. The chair attack didn't bother me. Yes, going behind to choke him might have been more efficient, but we don't know the identity of the attack or the motive behind it. Maybe the attacker doesn't intend to kill? If so, a chair might be reasonable (and more dramatic). I've never been hit with a chair before, but if someone swung one of my dining room chairs at me when I wasn't looking, I imagine I'd be knocked out. Maybe that's the goal of the attacker? We won't know till later I suppose.

I did find it odd that he was alone in his tent and no one heard the sound of him being attacked with a chair. If there's not a good reason for that, then you might want to rethink it. Or if the attacker is going to kidnap him. It doesn't make much sense then to sneak into the tent invisibly and then make a racket with the chair.

Oh, and wouldn't the Jackel sense the "weakness" in the camp since Jhuz is knocked out? Is that a precursor for a rescue? Or is he behind the attack somehow?

Will777r

24
Reading Excuses / July 18 - Will777r - Soul Yearning - Chapter 6
« on: July 18, 2011, 08:17:01 PM »
Hey guys :)
 
Here's my next chapter. As always I appreciate the suggestions and feedback!
 
Chapter 6 Summary - Albione returns to his family's estate to fulfill his vow of seclusion, but finds himself further away from his God.
 
 
Here's the summary's for the first 5 chapters.

Chapter 1 Summary - Albione rescues a rival militia commander, but ends up losing the knight he's sworn to protect. A night elf raid has overrun the walls

Chapter 2 Summary - Charom, Albione's older brother, is in charge of the High Priestess' guard detail when the temple comes under attack.

Chapter 3 Summary - Albione rescues the High Priestess and accompanies her and his brother Charom to the wall. What he finds is completely unexpected.
 
Chapter 4 Summary - Albione is summoned to a meeting with his immediate Superior to face the consequences of his actions on the wall.
 
Chapter 5 Summary - A messenger delivers a dangerous package to Albione's room. When he opens it, the nightmare gets worse.
 
Thanks!

Will777r

25
Reading Excuses / Re: Email List + Submission Dates
« on: July 16, 2011, 07:47:14 AM »
Chapter 6 has been ready, but all heck broke loose this last week. If possible, I'd like to submit on Monday :)

Will777r

26
Finally got some time to dive into this and I was glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter. Since I'm not a sci-fi reader, I didn't pick up on any of the cliche's sci-fi stuff that others mentioned. It all sounded quite interesting to me. I absolutely love Dalcon as a character. His species is very interesting - I was immediately drawn in by what he was, what he does, and his personality. One of the better characters I've read in a critique group setting.

I thought the story flowed well. I can see where some of the things others mentioned might be an issue. But I'm always willing to suspend disbelief in a speculative setting. If people's actions aren't horribly ridiculous, I'll buy in for a while and assume there's a good enough reason why certain people or groups did what they did.

For me personally, the only thing I'd recommend is tightening up some of the writing. Clip adverbs, cut some redundant sentences, etc. There were only a few times some of these caught my attention.

Great chapter!

Will777r

27
Reading Excuses / Re: 2011 Jul 4 - cjhuitt - Second Son
« on: July 11, 2011, 05:45:23 PM »
Finally got around to reading this, so I apologize for the delay.

First off, I enjoyed the diverse characters in the family. All 3 (P, N, and M) felt distinct and realistic. I'm the oldest of 7 and it reminded me of some conversations I had as a kid with my siblings :)

Second, I have to echo Asmo's feedback. My first impression was that there wasn't something that stood out in the opening chapter that would makes me say, "I need to read the rest of this book." While I found Miki to be an enjoyable character, there wasn't a lot of tension that made me care about what was happening to him. If someone were to ask me, I would say the chief tension in the chapter comes from the seriousness of the Amabassador's demeanor (shown by his very slow approach to the queen). I don't know if that's a strong enough hook. There's doesn't need to be action, but there does need to be tension, especially in this most important of chapters.

I also found the initial scene with his tutor unnecessary. My guess is that there is some foreshadowing in the opening line? But I don't know if the entire scene makes it worth it. I can't speak much on first sentence hooks cause I'm horrid at them, but I can say that if your story opens with the first line of scene 2 ("Miki ran down the empty cooridoor"), I am definitely more drawn in. That at least makes me want to find out why he's running and why he's trying to keep quiet :)

Lastly, I felt like there was a lot of description, world building, and backstory for an opening chapter. In particular, the description of people and setting was difficult to get through. Establishing the setting is necessary, but multiple paragraph's of description can be hard on the eyes - especially in an opening chapter which is supposed to hook me. If description is absoltutely necessary, then try to make sure you mix in each of the 5 senses, that way I feel more drawn into the scene rather than being a spectator from afar. Most of your description was based on sight. Add in some smells or sounds and it won't feel so much like a wall of information. A good website was recommended to me for this. The link is http://www.wherethemapends.com/writerstools/writers_tools_pages/tip_of_the_week.htm

Miki sounds like an interesting guy - Maybe get him into a bit of real trouble somewhere in the chapter to ramp up the tension :)

Will777r

28
Go ahead and email them to me :) I'd love to read them.

Will

29
This is the first chapter of your work that I've read Akoebel. Personally, I really liked it. I didn't see any problems with the PoV. I thought it was pretty obvious he was using the Memories at his disposal to decipher how she felt. Since you captialized that word, it stuck out as something I should think about when reading the story (even though I had no clue what they were per se).

I was totally confused at first by who or what Onmk was, but as the chapter went on I kind of got a vague idea of his identity. Having seen your explanation here, I wasn't too far off - So I thought you did an excellent job describing him through his internal dialogue and actions. I loved him personally. I liked the small hints of bad things to come and thought they added good tension to drive the chapter. Once I oriented myself to what was going on (hard to do coming in cold turkey at the 6th chapter, so not your fault), I read it smoothly.

A few sentences jolted me out of the story for a few seconds. CJ mentioned a few of those. There were also a lot of dialogue tags. I'm not a writing snob, but for some reason those grab me and make me aware I'm reading something rather than being inside the story. "He said", "She said" is usually good enough and invisible to the reader, so it isn't repetitive to the eyes.

Overall cool chapter. I would love to read the first five chapters to get better perspective.


Will777r

30
Hi all :)

Sorry I haven't replied until now. I've been out of town celebrating my 15 year anniversary with my bride :)

I really appreciate all the time you 4 took to read this and give me feedback. Sometimes you bring up things that I was already concerned about, but wasn't sure worked. Other times you throw stuff at me I'd never thought of. I'm grateful for it all. I've always been a little concered about Albione's "loner" mentality and all of you seemed to share concerns about that as well. While Albione's friends/associates come into play very soon, bringing them in earlier in the story is something I'm going to seriously consider when I come back here for my next round of edits.

To address the one thing Hubay mentioned about the battle with the Night Elves. That is ended. It was a series of raids designed solely to distract the city of Elueria from their main objective: Kidnapping the High Priestess. It was not a large enough force to constitute a war and now that the night elves failed to get her out, the plans are scrapped. Rysok takes one on the noggin in God-land and Alazon gets bragging rights at the next party :)

Thanks again guys!

Will777r

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