Author Topic: Spejoku's Nightlife  (Read 3937 times)

spejoku

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 57
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Insanity isn't all that bad really.
    • View Profile
Re: Spejoku's Nightlife
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2008, 04:54:28 AM »
It's okay.  I never take anyone's word on the internet completely seriously (unless the topic lends itself to it).  Thanks for pointing it out though, that's the main reason for having non-authors read stuff  :)
Tacos: the food of choice for awesome people

Silk

  • Staff
  • Level 31
  • *
  • Posts: 1798
  • Fell Points: 0
  • ...no room for someone in second place...
    • View Profile
    • Beyond Impossibility
Re: Spejoku's Nightlife
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2008, 07:56:21 AM »
To respond to the discussion first: The mutant thing I didnít really have a problem. I just assumed it was Caleb & familyís way of referring to themselves. And I can see how changing into a wolf might make people think you are kind of, well, mutant. I can also see why Jared might think of Trohs as a mutant. That whole gorilla/wolf/shark tooth thing seemed pretty mutant to me.

I didnít really think you were revealing too much about their abilities. I had the sense that the information you would be stringing us along for would be more setting based: the council you mentioned, the different clans (or whatever), the different kinds of shifters, etcetera.

I seem to be the voice of dissent on that point, though, so hereís a thought: As has been mentioned, it seems like these things could hit him all at once. That can be overwhelming and even frightening and aside from being a good conflict, might help you slow down those reveals some. Of course you have to give us a fairly good idea of what Jared can do, but you donít need to do it all at once. So, he gets sudden sensory overload, doesnít know what to make of it, everythingís all a jumble for awhile. Then, you pick out one sense at a time for him to notice. Since you said smell is most important, go for that one. Itíd be a great one to pick anyway, since smell tends to be so overlooked both in writing and in real life. Well, unless someoneís forgotten to shower recently.

Yeah, just ignore my attempts at humour. I know theyíre sad.

My comments:

Caleb tells Jared not to call attention to himself Ė which makes sense, except Caleb says this right after saying ďhiĒ to some random on the street, presumably while still in wolf form. Doesnít that count as calling attention to yourself? The amazing flying jumping dog also seems like it might be a little bit obvious Ė and again, he says this right after telling Jared not to blow their cover.

Is this the first time Jaredís shifted shape? Because at first, I had the impression that while this wasnít everyday for him, it also wasnít brand new, but there are a couple of things that seem to point pretty strongly to this being his first time. (His heightened senses seem to bewilder him, for one, and he also asks Caleb why Caleb is so much bigger than he is.)

Iím a bit unclear on what the characters actually look like in wolf form. At first I thought they were completely canine, but as I continue Iím starting to think I was wrong. I think part of itís the talking Ė I canít imagine talking would be easy with a canine mouth.

Okay. Later you distinguish between werewolves (Trohs) and shifters (Caleb and Jared), which again makes me think that Caleb and Jared have fully fledged wolf forms, but the way youíre describing the action Ė a kick here, a breakdance move Ė still seems very human, and more than a little implausible if theyíre actual wolves.

Trohs being actually afraid of them getting away (at least in the same way as being afraid for your life, say, and therefore the same smell) seems a bit strange. Actually, I can buy the narrator thinking that, but it does cue the reader to think that Trohs either afraid of something else, or that Caleb and Jared getting away means a lot more than some territorial dispute, which is what this appears to be.

I think thatís about it. Iím really interested in the setting and can already take a few stabs at what the conflict will be in the future. Good work so far.

spejoku

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 57
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Insanity isn't all that bad really.
    • View Profile
Re: Spejoku's Nightlife
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2008, 05:49:04 AM »
Hmm.† Well, Caleb's character would have him say something and contradict it in the next moment.† He does most of this stuff to have fun.† You shouldn't really believe everything Caleb says, he jokes around a little too much.† The official explanation for why Caleb doesn't blow their cover is that the only way to notice them (via the magical creature shroud) shifted is to force them to notice you, either by attacking them or shifting in front of them.† As Caleb says, the longer you spend in wolf form, the bigger you get.† Also, he neglected to mention there is also a whole aging slowdown.† Jared's dad has years of wolf form under his belt.† If it weren't for his Talent (like Jared's fear smelling, Caleb's reflexes)† He most likely would be about the size of a semi truck.† (and no I won't tell you what the talent is.† you'll just have to read.)† Although, I probably need to put a size limit or something.† Maybe I'll just say that after a while, all of jared's family moves out to some rural town of their choice.†

aaand yeah most of the reveals are setting based.† That's why I have to rework my next few chapters to get rid of the (hmmm, around five) FIVE info dumps about the setting.†

This is Jared's second time shifting ever.† the first was on the night of his birthday, when he is forced into shifting (there's a forced shifting ritual that they perform on every birthday.† It kinda became a tradition, like blowing out the candles.† only with magic rituals)† Jared shifts long enough to panic and for his dad to talk to him about why they can shift (suffice to say, it's cause they were born with it).† Jared's blind panic blocked him from going through hearing and smell then.

Also, they do look canine, but their bone structure is... weird.† I describe what they look like when Jared first shifts (it'd just be awkward here) but the way I think about it is that they have a weird meld of human and wolf bones.† or they constantly (and subconciously) shift their bones back and forth.† They have five toes to their paws, which they can move a little, but not enough to grab things.† Their torso and spine is kinda more squat, closer to human porportions.† that way, Caleb can do his freaky twisty moves.

As for how they can talk, I'm going to leave that to the "it's magic" explanation.† (if you really want something, then what happens is that somehow their thoughts get turned into words in the air and they don't even need to move their mouths to talk.† but whatever.)

As for Trohs' fear of them getting away, yes it's more than just a territorial dispute, but I'm gonna call a RAFO on that.

speaking of twistyness, I got some (if not most) of my ideas for how Caleb moves from nofna.com (it's a webcomic, but your guess is as good as mine what some of those attacks mean.  oh, and there's some language).†

Tacos: the food of choice for awesome people

M

  • Level 4
  • *
  • Posts: 64
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Spejoku's Nightlife
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2008, 10:17:58 PM »
Ok, usually I read all the other critiques before I post my own, but I don't have time for that right now so I apologize if some of this is a repeat.† Also, sorry it has taken me so long to get to your submission.† I hope you can still use this.

Ok, let me get the nit-picky things out first.

Quote
When he was halfway across, Caleb twisted in the air to face me and smile
Maybe say, "...to face me and smiled."

Quote
He moved from still so suddenly that I wondered if he had ever stopped.
This sentence was confusing to me.

Quote
...adrenaline giving us wings
† I thought this was a bit cheesy.

Quote
Itís hard being needed, even harder when the person who needs you would get killed by a sociopath mutant otherwise.†
† I think you could do without this sentence.

Quote
Like a classic villain, Trohs was still gloating
Sorry, rolled my eyes on this one...a little over the top for me.

Ok, enough of that.† Now for what I liked.

Quote
Caleb was actually laughing, the idiot.
I was laughing out loud on this one.† Reminded me of one of my friends.† Great job.

Quote
I mentally resolved to stuff potpourri into his face the next chance I got
Another great line, keep this.† Although you tend to say, "mentally resolved" a lot.† How about, "I vowed to stuff..."

Ok, now for my critique.†

The story is great, and I understand this is not chapter one, but the story seems a little jumbled to me.† I like the first person narrative, but sooooo much happened in this submission that I got tired of reading, "then I did this, then I did that."† It's hard for me to pin point exactly what I'm trying to explain, I'm sorry.†

Another thing I didn't like was that your MC has just discovered he has these "powers" or "abilities" and yet it takes his older brother to get him off his butt to go out and experiment and learn about them.†

I also thought the "smells and scent" portions were good, but a little long.† I liked how he found out that the oily smell was fear, that was cool.† But preceding that, the whole garbage and other smells eventually started to drag.

I think the story is great and has potential.† I would steer a little away from the slang and make it more descirptive and less, "now we did this and now we are doing that."† Hope this helps.† Good luck!




Hayley

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 187
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Things are meant to be the way they're gonna be
    • View Profile
Re: Spejoku's Nightlife
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2009, 01:34:28 AM »
Hehe! I loved it!!!!!!!!!

Lots of !'s for you.

I liked the way you brought it into New York. So it's sort of a fantasy character (or species of character) in a setting we're all vaguely familiar with even if it's only in films etc. And also, putting in Katy Perry's song shows you're dealing with a modern audience.

Enjoyed the somewhat chatty feel to the language used.

Must admit, as has been said before, a lot did happen. You could almost have that one chapter as a whole short story, but not overly sure how you would seperate it....

Anyhow, that's me :)
"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!

Manyang

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Spejoku's Nightlife
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2009, 03:35:00 PM »
Although it took me a while to get into, once they were running around like wolves it started to grow on me.
The kicking wolf didn't work for me, in the whole chapter you give the impression of them being wolves (big dogs, shapeshifters) although falling a hundred feet and leaping across streets is stretching it somewhat. (Willing to go along with the street thing, not the 100 feet drop)
Also I didn't feel as though I was missing essential information so this could probably be adapted into chap 1 as well.

spejoku

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 57
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Insanity isn't all that bad really.
    • View Profile
Re: Spejoku's Nightlife
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2009, 04:07:56 PM »
Thanks a lot.  I do need to figure out better moves for them to have, as kicks are kind of jarring.  but biting seems kind of plain...  Anyway, I'll probably do it that Caleb pushes Jared off the escape, shifts, then runs down the fire escape and catches him before he hits the ground.  that'd probably be better.  If I want to make it sort of timeless, though, I'll have to take out the song.  oh well.
Tacos: the food of choice for awesome people

Necroben

  • Level 14
  • *
  • Posts: 633
  • Fell Points: 0
  • What use the ability to read if one never uses it?
    • View Profile
Re: Spejoku's Nightlife
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2009, 12:41:50 AM »
If it helps, wolves often use their fangs to slice with.  So anything a dagger could do their fangs can as well.  They often disembowel their prey on the run.  With their short teeth though they often have to suffocate their prey to finish them, if they even bother.
I don't suffer from insanity...† I enjoy every minuet of it!

It's ok to be strange, as long as it's on paper. :)

spejoku

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 57
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Insanity isn't all that bad really.
    • View Profile
Re: Spejoku's Nightlife
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2009, 04:58:25 AM »
That's good to know.  thanks!
Tacos: the food of choice for awesome people