Author Topic: Crystalheart, Chapter 2  (Read 4408 times)

Hayley

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Re: Crystalheart, Chapter 2
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2009, 12:51:48 AM »
Must admit, I found it difficult to get into this chapter... not sure why. Think there was too much of the earlier battle scene, if I'm to be honest.

But a couple of things....

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A single moon shone on the cliff's horizon, giving feeble light to the battlefield.

Is there more than one moon in the place where they're fighting?

Quote
"How's it going?" Dantes asked.
   Aermyst glanced at him witheringly.
   "That bad, eh? Then let's go." He brought his blade to his cheek, and charged.
   The two of them sprinted towards the tall man, waiting impassively. And then they danced.
I'd maybe say the sentence in the bold type doesn't need putting in. Or maybe just the speech. Think maybe there'd be a bit more humour if the 'how's it going?" was just answered with a look that both of them knew the meaning to?

Erm.. not sure what else to say, really. Sorry!
"The rats on the street
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They seem to say" Hayley "It's up to yooooou!"

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Reaves

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Re: Crystalheart, Chapter 2
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 01:46:15 AM »

Quote
A single moon shone on the cliff's horizon, giving feeble light to the battlefield.

Is there more than one moon in the place where they're fighting?


Actually, yes  ;)
Quote from: VegasDev
RJF: "AHA! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Cairhien, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a warder when he is only the distraction! Get him Rand! Buzzzzzzz!

Hayley

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Re: Crystalheart, Chapter 2
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2009, 01:54:34 AM »
Which would totally explain the single moon :)
"The rats on the street
They dance around my feet
They seem to say" Hayley "It's up to yooooou!"

Duel! All the cool kids are doing it!

Dangerbutton

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Re: Crystalheart, Chapter 2
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2009, 06:35:15 AM »
I liked it, but I liked the first chapter more.
I think there were a few reasons.
There wasn't enough outside of the fighting. I'm going to agree with Karl that the fighting was long, redundant and unsatisfying. There was too much action, and not enough of it was interesting. I got the point that the mr. silver hair was way out of their league early on, so their repeated attempts to take him were almost annoying.
I was also bugged by what appeared to be an inconsistency in their fighting abilities. At one point, they're like gods fighting the grunts, but, on more than one occasion, you point at that their small mistakes in battle nearly costs them their life. I'm going to second (or third or fourth, wherever we're at) the comments made about how easily they were beaten in the struggle near the end. It may have just been that they simply weren't in the best of condition at that time, but they seemed to be brought down by the blue-cloaked grunts all too easily.
There were also too many points where I had to stop and think about the action, attempting to make sense of what was happening. This may just be that I am not yet familiar enough with your style of writing action scenes (it wasn't until the third or fourth action scene in Sanderson's Mistborn that I was able to easily picture what was going on), so I'm not going to hold that against you, for now.
Despite all of those problems, I still like it. I really want to see where it is going, and the chapter ended on, in my opinion, a good note (well, not good that they were dying . . . I meant that the quality of the writing was good....)
I want to see more, so keep it up!

Manyang

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Re: Crystalheart, Chapter 2
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2009, 02:51:57 PM »
Well that was unexpected.
This chapter needs less action and more story. Have them kill a grunt while heading over to shiny-hair and have him beat them on the first go. They really have no motivation to keep running into a fight they cannot win.
As soon as you continue the story after the # it gets interesting again. Although even then, giving them even the slightest modicum of self preservation would make them far more realistic.
The ending was unexpected, especially since it feels like I'm back at square one after two chapters.

Reaves

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Re: Crystalheart, Chapter 2
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2009, 10:16:05 PM »
Which would totally explain the single moon :)

They aren't always right next to each other in the sky. Maybe the other one was on the other side of the planet. Maybe the other one was at the end of its cycle.

I'm actually really surprised anyone caught the "single moon" part, I'm impressed!

Thanks for the comments everyone. I can see that especially the first half of this chapter is going to need a lot of paring.

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The ending was unexpected, especially since it feels like I'm back at square one after two chapters.
;)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 01:27:19 AM by Reaves »
Quote from: VegasDev
RJF: "AHA! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Cairhien, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a warder when he is only the distraction! Get him Rand! Buzzzzzzz!

jwdenzel

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Re: Crystalheart, Chapter 2
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2009, 05:11:44 PM »
My thoughts on chapter 2:

Wow, you start us our with a bang.  Once again, I commend you for your big vision. You clearly have a fantastic imagination, and its truly a real pleasure to read what you share with us.

Some constructive feedback for you:

Page 1... right away, you don't have much foreplay before your fight breaks out, do you? ;-)  This actually didn't really work for me.  I get the impression you were going for making it suprising and shocking that a fight had broken out.  If that was the case, just consider describing more of the calm before you tear open the tent doors with a storm.

Black spiked armor is cool. :)

Page 2... what color is "sable"?  I'm not a published author (far from it!) but I heard a popular writer on another podcast recently say that for things like this "red" works just fine, and a lot of beginners will put more emphasis on overly heavy adjectives like this.  IMO, in this case, reading "sable" slowed me down in my reading.  This is a fast scene; it's a battle and things are happening fast. "Sable" broke the rythem you had going for me.

Something I noticed in chapter 1 that really caught my eye again in this chapter is how you begin many of your sentences with a conjunction.  "And then, somehow, they locked eyes."   I know my high school english teacher said never to do that.  And then I heard from published authors that its okay to do that on occasion.  So I've personally decided that it's okay to use. But only on occasion.   

In all seriousness, just consider keeping a tighter rein on those conjunctions. I think the Writing Excuses guys talk about this someplace in their podcast.

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Dantes was in full bloodlust now, laughing as he fought.
I hope you address this later on. Just recently (As I write this), the Writing Excuses team did an entire show on violence.  One of their key messages was that they challenged us as writers to force our characters to have to deal with the emotional burden that comes with taking another person's life.  Maybe Dantes and Aermyst can are hardened bad-asses.  But something about their youth and playful nature from chapter one makes this ring false in my opinion.

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A long mane of silvery hair glistened in the moonslight.
Sephiroth!  ;-)

The battle with the silver-haired man was really visual, and I liked that. I also enjoyed the different tactics that Aermyst and Dantes employ to try and beat him. It showed me pretty clearly (better than any dialogue would have), that they have history together and work well as partners.

The fight itself, however, ran a little long IMO.  There were only so many times that they could clash, get beat up, and have Silver-Hair-Man smile at them like he's toying with them.  Consider condensing it some, or, alternatively, include a fresh approach to the some of the beats in the fight.

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His entire body hurt; his skull felt like it was three sizes too big and bruises lay along his entire left side. His wounds burned.

This is a good example I see a trend I see often in your writing. You do a great job of being specific about how Aermyst feels, and then follow up with a very vague statement that doesn't add much, if anything, to the overall story.  In this example, the line "His wound burned" doesn't add anything, and feels out of place.

page 13:  Dantes escape didn't read well.  One second he was captive, and the next he was free. How did he escape exactly? Please show us.

Good ending to this chapter. I was wondering all chapter if Dantes would die.  I really commend you for your foreshadowing of that.  (Intentional or not!)  Now we'll see if he stays dead.  LOL.   I'll read chapter 3 soon and find out I guess.

Jason
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jwdenzel

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Re: Crystalheart, Chapter 2
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2009, 06:38:58 PM »
A couple more thoughts, now that I've read other people's reactions.

First, I love the idea of multiple moons in the sky.  I also caught the reference.  However, I might like the idea mostly because my own book has twin moons as well. ;-)   

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This chapter is one where if you were reading it in a book, I'd hope you'd rush to turn the page and find out what happens next

You want that with EVERY chapter ending.  However, for this particular chapter, you actually end it pretty conclusively.  I mean, heck, you killed off your main characters!   One way you might consider getting the effect you want it to make it a bit more of a cliff-hanger.  Does he actually die? Maybe cut the action right before you reveal what happens. THAT would make people want to turn the page.

As it was, when I read it, I mentally put my bookmark in, and rolled over to go to sleep.
These are not my stories. I just write them.

Reaves

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Re: Crystalheart, Chapter 2
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2009, 09:46:51 PM »
Page 1... right away, you don't have much foreplay before your fight breaks out, do you? ;-)  This actually didn't really work for me.  I get the impression you were going for making it suprising and shocking that a fight had broken out.  If that was the case, just consider describing more of the calm before you tear open the tent doors with a storm.
I like this idea. I'll make sure to try it, or at least do a bit more of a lead-in to the fighting.
Page 2... what color is "sable"?  I'm not a published author (far from it!) but I heard a popular writer on another podcast recently say that for things like this "red" works just fine, and a lot of beginners will put more emphasis on overly heavy adjectives like this.  IMO, in this case, reading "sable" slowed me down in my reading.  This is a fast scene; it's a battle and things are happening fast. "Sable" broke the rythem you had going for me.
What, you don't say "sable" in real life? jk  :D To me it just means black; there might be deeper shades of meaning to that, but I don't know them. I'll take a look, I just don't want to repeat the word "black" over and over again to describe their armor.
Quote
Dantes was in full bloodlust now, laughing as he fought.
I hope you address this later on. Just recently (As I write this), the Writing Excuses team did an entire show on violence.  One of their key messages was that they challenged us as writers to force our characters to have to deal with the emotional burden that comes with taking another person's life.  Maybe Dantes and Aermyst can are hardened bad-asses.  But something about their youth and playful nature from chapter one makes this ring false in my opinion.
Yeah, I took this out even before they came out with that podcast. It really didn't fit in with his character at all. He's not a demigod of bloody warfare; he is just a really cool, really fun guy who happens to be good with a sword.
Quote
A long mane of silvery hair glistened in the moonslight.
Sephiroth!  ;-)
Guilty  :P Really though, I have to tell that this was in part inspired by FFVII but I haven't played any of their games. I've seen a movie they did, Advent Children, but that was it. You mentioned somewhere that Dantes was similar to a character from Final Fantasy; that is purely coincidence.
The battle with the silver-haired man was really visual, and I liked that. I also enjoyed the different tactics that Aermyst and Dantes employ to try and beat him. It showed me pretty clearly (better than any dialogue would have), that they have history together and work well as partners.

The fight itself, however, ran a little long IMO.  There were only so many times that they could clash, get beat up, and have Silver-Hair-Man smile at them like he's toying with them.  Consider condensing it some, or, alternatively, include a fresh approach to the some of the beats in the fight.
I have done a lot of editing in this chapter in response to some of the feedback I was given. I'm planning to do even more. The deal with this chapter is, I wrote the entire battle scene a lot shorter originally, then came back ten chapters later and rewrote it in the version you read. I think what happened is, I had gotten a lot of plot down and wanted to write a fight, but forgot to take in to account that this is Chapter Two. It's just too early for a fight this long. And honestly a lot of the writing needs some tightening as well.
Quote
His entire body hurt; his skull felt like it was three sizes too big and bruises lay along his entire left side. His wounds burned.

This is a good example I see a trend I see often in your writing. You do a great job of being specific about how Aermyst feels, and then follow up with a very vague statement that doesn't add much, if anything, to the overall story.  In this example, the line "His wound burned" doesn't add anything, and feels out of place.

Jason
Yeah, that's something I've been trying to work on. I've realized I tend to state something, and then feel the need to summarize it. Good catch, thanks.
Wow, thanks for such an in-depth critique! It's very constructive and you've given me a lot of great input. But you are being too nice :P
Quote from: VegasDev
RJF: "AHA! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Cairhien, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a warder when he is only the distraction! Get him Rand! Buzzzzzzz!