Author Topic: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless  (Read 2603 times)

Chaos

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Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« on: April 14, 2009, 07:24:43 AM »
Here is a short story which is for my Honors Seminar, Texts and Critics. It is limited at 10-12 pages, so hence it isn't too long. This is the first draft, and I fully intend to do a near complete revision (it needs serious work). Still, I promised you a submission, so a submission you shall get!

Rip it apart, because it will get graded eventually :D

Thank you for reading.
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Renoard

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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 07:32:01 PM »
Over all this was a tidy Indo-European myth.  It would fit next to Sysiphus or in the Bhagavad Gita.  The concept of oaths was a little rocky at first but it grew on me.

I also thought the story flowed pretty well, given the genre'.

As a short story it felt a little flat.  The characterization is understated and a little weak.   This is expected in a moral play, but not in a modern narrative.  Also there is no development of how Veresh plans to actually make his pain felt among the gods.  He simply rushes along thinking as if he as infinite power of his own.  Also it's a bit convenient that Veresh and Hassan happen to be so close to the pit, without knowing where it was prior to the encounter is Mthra.

These objections only really aply to narrative fiction and not to a mytho-poeaic moral play.  This piece would serve you well as the backstory and scripture for  a tribe in a modern narrative.  And as a myth it stands very well on it's own although the borrowed names might be a mistake. (Mithras, Rajnish, Vishnu-Suresh) snicker* ;P
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 10:14:57 PM by Renoard »
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Chaos

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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2009, 09:48:16 PM »
Over all this was a tidy Indo-European myth.  It would fit next to Sysiphus or in the Bhagavad Gita.  The concept of oaths was a little rocky at first but it grew on me.

I also thought the story flowed pretty well, given the genre'.

As a short story it felt a little flat.  The characterization is understated and a little weak.   This is expected in a moral play, but not in a modern narrative.  Also there is no development of how Veresh plans to actually make his pain felt among the gods.  He simply rushes along thinking as if he as infinite power of his own.  Also it's a bit convenient that Veresh and Hassan happen to be so close to the pit, without knowing where it was prior to the encounter is Mthra.

These objections only really ally to narrative fiction and not to a mytho-poeaic moral play.  This piece would serve you well as the backstory and scripture for  a tribe in a modern narrative.  And as a myth it stands very well on it's own although the borrowed names might be a mistake. (Mithras, Rajnish, Vishnu-Suresh) snicker* ;P

Thank you for reading.

Haha. I actually just went onto some name sites and looked at Arab and Persian names, then picked the ones I liked. The similarities, now that you pointed them out, are quite uncanny.

I definitely agree with you on the characterization front. In a rewrite, I will make that primary focus.
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ryos

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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 03:48:41 AM »
Very nice little yarn! I liked the cosmology; the oaths as power, the fates, etc. are so very appropriate to the time and setting you're going for here.

One thing that confused me is how Anarax was able to make the oath to lead them to his prison. On further reflection I guessed that, as the intent of an oath and not the words were important, he could have spoken words without intent. However, if this is the case, and since Veresh knew it, why does he have such faith in the oaths of gods? How is any mortal to know when an Immortal is lying to them?

The beginning is a bit weak. I'm not sure how many problems to report; I suspect you'll hit most of them in revision. However, the story got better towards the end.

I also thought the ending was a bit too kind to Veresh, and to Rashne. Let them both spend eternity locked in combat; let them share the fate of Anarax. That ending has a deep emotional punch; having Veresh lose consciousness pulls that punch.

Also, I can see some similarities to Mistborn here. You know...Gods as formless mist; a corpse is left behind when the power is consumed; the various gods' powers balancing each other out. Take it not as a criticism...just a comment. :)
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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 04:56:05 AM »
Very nice little yarn! I liked the cosmology; the oaths as power, the fates, etc. are so very appropriate to the time and setting you're going for here.

1. One thing that confused me is how Anarax was able to make the oath to lead them to his prison. On further reflection I guessed that, as the intent of an oath and not the words were important, he could have spoken words without intent. However, if this is the case, and since Veresh knew it, why does he have such faith in the oaths of gods? How is any mortal to know when an Immortal is lying to them?

2. The beginning is a bit weak. I'm not sure how many problems to report; I suspect you'll hit most of them in revision. However, the story got better towards the end.

3. I also thought the ending was a bit too kind to Veresh, and to Rashne. Let them both spend eternity locked in combat; let them share the fate of Anarax. That ending has a deep emotional punch; having Veresh lose consciousness pulls that punch.

4. Also, I can see some similarities to Mistborn here. You know...Gods as formless mist; a corpse is left behind when the power is consumed; the various gods' powers balancing each other out. Take it not as a criticism...just a comment. :)

(Numbers added for commenting purposes)

1. No Immortal ever needs to speak any words to create an "oath", because technically, ALL of the gods' pure form looks similar to Anarax's. The only way divine power is manifested is when the god exerts his will--any divine effect the gods have are caused from some kind of directed willpower, usually called an oath. For example, Rashne's creation of a blade was like an oath, but he didn't need to speak it aloud. Immortals can merely will something to happen, just as easily as a human can move his/her muscles. Veresh didn't need to vocalize his wish, but it works both ways.

For second point there, mortals don't really know the motives of the gods. They would only know if a god explicitly stated that they are not lying (or if a god said he would not lie in a given conversation he was in).

2. Could you name some specifics? Was it just poor characterization, or other issues?

3. I'm slightly confused on what you mean here. Do you want them to share Anarax's fate, as in him dying, or share his fate by being imprisoned forever? Or do you mean that Veresh and Rashne should just remain conscious forever, but powerless to do anything? (On second thought, I do think this is what you mean, as it makes the most sense, but I just want to be sure)

4. Ruin and Preservation definitely influenced that aspect of the gods, for sure. :P One thing I do think that was just touched upon was that all of the gods have a very similar power level, and they don't exist in pairs like they do in Mistborn. Just... infinity fighting an another infinity is infinity, no matter how you slice it.  So it wouldn't matter which god Veresh "attacked", the effect would be the same.

In an idea that didn't make it to the page, I actually thought Veresh would attack all of the gods at the same time. This would still make Veresh lose consciousness, but the other gods would have to exert a fragment of their constantly to ensure Veresh doesn't destroy them. In result, all of the other gods would be permanently a bit weaker.

(If I wanted to do that, it would take even more explaining, probably with Anarax talking to Rashne or another god. There's no way it would've fit, and it would have helped to have Anarax as a viewpoint character for that to work--which was what I wanted originally, but it didn't work.)

Thank you for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed it.


One point I would like to bring up for any readers if they thought the second scene, where Mithra explains the oaths, feels like a blatant infodump. That's what it felt a lot like to me, so I'd like to know your thoughts about that.
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Hamster

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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 05:35:00 AM »
Hey Chaos, it's great to finally read something by you!

So overall, I thought that you did a fantastic job, this story sucked me in right away and I loved your concepts and the potential of Veresh's character. It left me wanting more of Veresh though, I felt like he had more of a backstory than his wife's rape/murder, and I wanted to hear about. So kudos to you for sucking me in(not that it's that hard, but still)

I say potential here because, as mentioned, I think you could expand on Veresh's thoughts/reasonings, feelings and his own pain. Don't get me wrong, I did love the character, and I think that his characterization still is fairly strong, but it just needs to be polished up a bit(obviously, since this is your first draft).

Now, at the beginning, I liked Veresh's thoughts and internal dialogue, but it felt very sudden to me, that it started out catching an Immortal, it seemed rushed and I felt like I had missed something or needed to catch up on something. So in that section, I like the characterization that you have, but I think the plot could have been drawn out a little further and more detail given.

About Mithra( who I still think of as Mithras by the way) and his "blatant infodump", I don't think that it was all that much of an annoying infodump. It was one, but I didn't really care when I read it, I wanted to learn more, and you gave me that. Also, It wasn't a long enough section for me to be bothered by an infodump, it was a relatively short bit of text, a page or so, so I think that it was okay.

Quote
“Oaths are binding,” Mithra explained, hobbling forward through the desert. Hassan had released him from the net days ago to let the weak god fulfill his oath.“When any Immortal makes an oath, it cannot be undone. It is permanent. The Immortal must follow it.”

this stood out to me as being very infodumpish, it seems random to me that a few days after Mithra was released he would ramble about the binding power of his oath. I think that you could actually have the part where Hassan releases him in the book, and then have Mithra trying to explain and prove himself that his oath is true, because of the Immortal rules, blah blah blah. In my opinion that would work better and provide a better transition, but it works okay how you have it.

Quote
Or do you mean that Veresh and Rashne should just remain conscious forever, but powerless to do anything? (On second thought, I do think this is what you mean, as it makes the most sense, but I just want to be sure)

I think this is what he meant, and I wholeheartedly agree with him, the line about losing consciousness killed the finale for me. It's a weak line. Other than that, great ending.

Great job, looking forward to reading more of your stuff!

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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 06:08:09 AM »

(Numbers added for commenting purposes)

1. No Immortal ever needs to speak any words to create an "oath", because technically, ALL of the gods' pure form looks similar to Anarax's. The only way divine power is manifested is when the god exerts his will--any divine effect the gods have are caused from some kind of directed willpower, usually called an oath. For example, Rashne's creation of a blade was like an oath, but he didn't need to speak it aloud. Immortals can merely will something to happen, just as easily as a human can move his/her muscles. Veresh didn't need to vocalize his wish, but it works both ways.

For second point there, mortals don't really know the motives of the gods. They would only know if a god explicitly stated that they are not lying (or if a god said he would not lie in a given conversation he was in).

2. Could you name some specifics? Was it just poor characterization, or other issues?

3. I'm slightly confused on what you mean here. Do you want them to share Anarax's fate, as in him dying, or share his fate by being imprisoned forever? Or do you mean that Veresh and Rashne should just remain conscious forever, but powerless to do anything? (On second thought, I do think this is what you mean, as it makes the most sense, but I just want to be sure)

4. Ruin and Preservation definitely influenced that aspect of the gods, for sure. :P One thing I do think that was just touched upon was that all of the gods have a very similar power level, and they don't exist in pairs like they do in Mistborn. Just... infinity fighting an another infinity is infinity, no matter how you slice it.  So it wouldn't matter which god Veresh "attacked", the effect would be the same.

In an idea that didn't make it to the page, I actually thought Veresh would attack all of the gods at the same time. This would still make Veresh lose consciousness, but the other gods would have to exert a fragment of their constantly to ensure Veresh doesn't destroy them. In result, all of the other gods would be permanently a bit weaker.

(If I wanted to do that, it would take even more explaining, probably with Anarax talking to Rashne or another god. There's no way it would've fit, and it would have helped to have Anarax as a viewpoint character for that to work--which was what I wanted originally, but it didn't work.)

Thank you for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed it.


One point I would like to bring up for any readers if they thought the second scene, where Mithra explains the oaths, feels like a blatant infodump. That's what it felt a lot like to me, so I'd like to know your thoughts about that.

1. Still not clear. If exerting one's will is making an oath, how was Anarax able to exert his will to do anything at all?

Also, "How do I know you're not lying about not lying?" :P

2. I think is was poor characterization. The whole thing came off as very super villain-cliché, very "Vengeance is mine at last, haha!" Which is funny, because Veresh is the hero, not a villain at all, yet his thoughts, mannerisms, and tone very much evoke the image of the wronged villain to me, and I think that's not the tone you were trying to set.

Also, there were lots of mechanics issues in the beginning, which prevented me from really diving into the story. I don't know if it was the language or the story that got better towards the end, but I got absorbed enough in what was happening that the language fell away.

3. That is indeed what I meant.
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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2009, 06:13:04 AM »
Nice story! I read a lot of short stories in books that I pick up. Usually I'll pick up a book with a dozen or so and read 3 or 4 of them, maybe half. As is this is one I would have read first. I liked the concept and story very much.

Some improvements that I think could be made:

1. When they capture Mithra the action seems broken to me. I was waiting to see Mithra's reaction to having the net thrown on him, even if its just saying that he fell down. I wondered where Hassan was hiding etc.

2. Veresh's plan seem awkward. He's been watching Mithra for days, I would assume planning on how to capture and use him but his first actions are to try to kill him by stabbing him, then my choking him. I understand he is angry but it just makes him seem like a fool, trying to kill the thing he needs to lead him to his goal.

3. I like the ideas you use with the oaths but the logic of the oaths at the end seems flawed to me, maybe it's just the wording. I didn't like how he just claimed Anarax's power. I guess I was waiting for more of an oath to be involved, something like: 'grant me your power and I swear to use it to destroy the gods' type of thing.

4. I did feel a little cheated with the ending. I really disliked the losing consciousness part and I was waiting to see Rashne suffer. Also, I think maybe in the ending there was too much tell and not enough show. I'd like to see more conflict between those two. Rashne raped and killed his wife, I want more then just Veresh telling him to die.
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Chaos

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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 06:24:33 AM »
Hey Chaos, it's great to finally read something by you!

So overall, I thought that you did a fantastic job, this story sucked me in right away and I loved your concepts and the potential of Veresh's character. It left me wanting more of Veresh though, I felt like he had more of a backstory than his wife's rape/murder, and I wanted to hear about. So kudos to you for sucking me in(not that it's that hard, but still)

I say potential here because, as mentioned, I think you could expand on Veresh's thoughts/reasonings, feelings and his own pain. Don't get me wrong, I did love the character, and I think that his characterization still is fairly strong, but it just needs to be polished up a bit(obviously, since this is your first draft).

Now, at the beginning, I liked Veresh's thoughts and internal dialogue, but it felt very sudden to me, that it started out catching an Immortal, it seemed rushed and I felt like I had missed something or needed to catch up on something. So in that section, I like the characterization that you have, but I think the plot could have been drawn out a little further and more detail given.

About Mithra( who I still think of as Mithras by the way) and his "blatant infodump", I don't think that it was all that much of an annoying infodump. It was one, but I didn't really care when I read it, I wanted to learn more, and you gave me that. Also, It wasn't a long enough section for me to be bothered by an infodump, it was a relatively short bit of text, a page or so, so I think that it was okay.

Quote
“Oaths are binding,” Mithra explained, hobbling forward through the desert. Hassan had released him from the net days ago to let the weak god fulfill his oath.“When any Immortal makes an oath, it cannot be undone. It is permanent. The Immortal must follow it.”

this stood out to me as being very infodumpish, it seems random to me that a few days after Mithra was released he would ramble about the binding power of his oath. I think that you could actually have the part where Hassan releases him in the book, and then have Mithra trying to explain and prove himself that his oath is true, because of the Immortal rules, blah blah blah. In my opinion that would work better and provide a better transition, but it works okay how you have it.

Quote
Or do you mean that Veresh and Rashne should just remain conscious forever, but powerless to do anything? (On second thought, I do think this is what you mean, as it makes the most sense, but I just want to be sure)

I think this is what he meant, and I wholeheartedly agree with him, the line about losing consciousness killed the finale for me. It's a weak line. Other than that, great ending.

Great job, looking forward to reading more of your stuff!

Quote from: Hamster
About Mithra( who I still think of as Mithras by the way) and his "blatant infodump", I don't think that it was all that much of an annoying infodump. It was one, but I didn't really care when I read it, I wanted to learn more, and you gave me that. Also, It wasn't a long enough section for me to be bothered by an infodump, it was a relatively short bit of text, a page or so, so I think that it was okay.

Quote
“Oaths are binding,” Mithra explained, hobbling forward through the desert. Hassan had released him from the net days ago to let the weak god fulfill his oath.“When any Immortal makes an oath, it cannot be undone. It is permanent. The Immortal must follow it.”

this stood out to me as being very infodumpish, it seems random to me that a few days after Mithra was released he would ramble about the binding power of his oath. I think that you could actually have the part where Hassan releases him in the book, and then have Mithra trying to explain and prove himself that his oath is true, because of the Immortal rules, blah blah blah. In my opinion that would work better and provide a better transition, but it works okay how you have it.

I should probably change Mithra's name. He's intended to be a minor god, and it ruins the effect if the name is too familiar.

That's a very interesting suggestion, Hamster about that scene. I'll carefully think about it; it's a great idea. Better flow and such. I would mention that either way, Mithra was oathbound to explain the nature of Anarax's prison, and he couldn't do it without explaining the significance of oaths (besides, Anarax wanted Veresh to know about the oaths for obvious reasons).

...This is giving me ideas. Thank you :D Also, I never used the word "oathbound" like that, but I love the sound of it. Perhaps this magic could be calling Oathbinding, even.

As for the ending... well, I'm pondering something up there, too. I must not have been fully thinking about the consequences of unconsciousness at the time. Needless to say, that issue won't come up again.

Here's another question. Do you think this could be expanded beyond a short story? Personally, I think that some of the ideas present here could easily be used in a larger story, perhaps novel length. Certainly one of the issues I'm hearing is that the story moves much too quickly, so purely on that front, more space would help that immensely. Part of the problem is that for the assignment, it had to be 10-12 pages, which is why I had to cruise through the narrative so much. I would love to spend more time developing things.

One final thing (if you don't know, I'm infamous around TWG for ranting on endlessly, so I apologize), what do you think of the whole "Fateless" thing? Did the fate element make sense, or did it feel tacked on and unnecessary?

(And, well, I guess more people replied as I'm typing, so the reply gets even longer! Joy... I guess)

Quote from: ryos
1. Still not clear. If exerting one's will is making an oath, how was Anarax able to exert his will to do anything at all?

Also, "How do I know you're not lying about not lying?" :P

2. I think is was poor characterization. The whole thing came off as very super villain-cliché, very "Vengeance is mine at last, haha!" Which is funny, because Veresh is the hero, not a villain at all, yet his thoughts, mannerisms, and tone very much evoke the image of the wronged villain to me, and I think that's not the tone you were trying to set.

Also, there were lots of mechanics issues in the beginning, which prevented me from really diving into the story. I don't know if it was the language or the story that got better towards the end, but I got absorbed enough in what was happening that the language fell away.

3. That is indeed what I meant.

1. Hmmm. I think I will be more tight-lipped about the mechanics at work here. Needless to say, Anarax was severely, severely hindered, not impotent. I may reveal this in a later reply, but right now, I'll just let you ponder.

Make them swear an oath to not lie, and you'll be set. Hehe.

2. I concur.

Nice story! I read a lot of short stories in books that I pick up. Usually I'll pick up a book with a dozen or so and read 3 or 4 of them, maybe half. As is this is one I would have read first. I liked the concept and story very much.

Some improvements that I think could be made:

1. When they capture Mithra the action seems broken to me. I was waiting to see Mithra's reaction to having the net thrown on him, even if its just saying that he fell down. I wondered where Hassan was hiding etc.

2. Veresh's plan seem awkward. He's been watching Mithra for days, I would assume planning on how to capture and use him but his first actions are to try to kill him by stabbing him, then my choking him. I understand he is angry but it just makes him seem like a fool, trying to kill the thing he needs to lead him to his goal.

3. I like the ideas you use with the oaths but the logic of the oaths at the end seems flawed to me, maybe it's just the wording. I didn't like how he just claimed Anarax's power. I guess I was waiting for more of an oath to be involved, something like: 'grant me your power and I swear to use it to destroy the gods' type of thing.

4. I did feel a little cheated with the ending. I really disliked the losing consciousness part and I was waiting to see Rashne suffer. Also, I think maybe in the ending there was too much tell and not enough show. I'd like to see more conflict between those two. Rashne raped and killed his wife, I want more then just Veresh telling him to die.

Glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for reading.

1. It took me an hour staring at the page to try and get the part with net down. That segment always disconcerted me. Even making three tries at it, I couldn't nail it. I decided--with my stiff time limit--that it was best to just get it on the page. Huge room to improve there.

2. This is probably part of the problem ryos is having with the beginning, too.

3. I can see that.

4. Well, clearly I succeeded in making Rashne the guy you love to hate if you all want to see him suffer so much!

Everyone's input is being extremely helpful. Thank you so much.
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Hamster

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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 10:51:21 PM »
Quote from: Chaos
Quote
Here's another question. Do you think this could be expanded beyond a short story? Personally, I think that some of the ideas present here could easily be used in a larger story, perhaps novel length. Certainly one of the issues I'm hearing is that the story moves much too quickly, so purely on that front, more space would help that immensely. Part of the problem is that for the assignment, it had to be 10-12 pages, which is why I had to cruise through the narrative so much. I would love to spend more time developing things.

I definitely think that this story has the potential to be a novel. I kind've see it as somewhat similar to The Lies of Locke Lamora, with the priests serving at temples and such. (Doesn't sound very similar, but it was in my head) It would be great as a standalone or as a series. Go for it.

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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 11:12:23 PM »
I think the length you've written works well, and don't agree that the pacing is off. I don't see this particular plot expanding to novel-size, but would love to see a different plot in the same world in novel form.
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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 11:27:17 PM »
I completely agree with ryos on that last point.
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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2009, 03:19:09 PM »
For a story called "Fateless," you don't mention the fact that Veresh is "fateless" very much.  That's probably something that should be emphasized more. 

I like the concept.  Revenge works very well as a motivator for Veresh, but I agree that attacking Mithra right off the bat instead of immediately trying to capture him works against the ultimate objective.  Maybe you could change the focus of his attack and use it as a diversion so Mithra doesn't notice Hassan casting the net?

Other people have mentioned what I would have said about the importance of Oaths...

I feel like the gods are not actually gods.  They come across as just really, really, really powerful beings, and that kinda throws off the emphasis, at least for me.  Veresh kept thinking about how their divinity was a lie- maybe you could play that up a bit?

I didn't pick up on any similarities of names, but then I haven't read a whole lot of Eastern mythology.

Good start!  This is one I'd like to read again when you're done revising.
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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2009, 04:29:05 PM »
Hey, Chaos! Its been a while since we've seen anything from you and I really enjoyed this short story.

Overall, it feels like it could be tightened a bit. That is just the overall impression I have been getting. Maybe give it more cohesiveness, somehow. As a short story, I think it needs more of a continuous thread. I'm not really sure if I am making any sense. I know some people said it felt like there was a lot happening in only a few pages, but my impression is that it could actually use more trimming.
Quote
  Fates, cursed Veresh, these Immortals are content sitting back, letting the world worship them as they do nothing! If he had spoken those words aloud, lightning would descend from the heavens and smite for his blasphemy, but he stopped caring about blasphemy long ago.
This makes me wonder why Veresh thinks they won't do the same thing once he takes physical action against the Immortals...


I also agree about the characterization. Give Veresh a hint of sadness, or more than a hint, to flesh him out more. Give him more emotion than simply a constant state of anger and the audience will connect with him more.

Reading the story, I had assumed that Anarax was far more powerful than an ordinary Immortal. It came as a surprise that Rashne was equal in power.

Because Hassan is Rashne, I would give him a bit more of a role to play in the story. Early on I dismissed him as the sidekick.

I did like the Fateless element. Actually, I liked most of your worldbuilding elements  :P It felt like it actually gave Veresh a chance against the Immortals.
However, I did not like how the Immortals spared his life simply because they were "curious" as to what he would do. I would suggest you change the fateless element slightly: instead of making the gods simply curious as to his fate, make it hard for them to even perceive him. Just a suggestion.

Anyway as I said I really enjoyed this story. It was a lot of fun to read and I hope you get good marks on it  ;D  Be sure to tell us how you did :D
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Chaos

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Re: Chaos - 4/13/09 - Fateless
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2009, 12:34:06 AM »
Hey, Chaos! Its been a while since we've seen anything from you and I really enjoyed this short story.

Overall, it feels like it could be tightened a bit. That is just the overall impression I have been getting. Maybe give it more cohesiveness, somehow. As a short story, I think it needs more of a continuous thread. I'm not really sure if I am making any sense. I know some people said it felt like there was a lot happening in only a few pages, but my impression is that it could actually use more trimming.

That's interesting. Hmmm... :D


I also agree about the characterization. Give Veresh a hint of sadness, or more than a hint, to flesh him out more. Give him more emotion than simply a constant state of anger and the audience will connect with him more.

All-encompassing anger isn't exactly the most relate-able emotion (for example, remember Ascension and Raven's anger? Yeah, that didn't work so well). Sadness over a loss, however, is more relatable.

Reading the story, I had assumed that Anarax was far more powerful than an ordinary Immortal. It came as a surprise that Rashne was equal in power.

Noted. I will do something about this in a rewrite.

Because Hassan is Rashne, I would give him a bit more of a role to play in the story. Early on I dismissed him as the sidekick.

Even as a sidekick, Hassan is pretty forgettable. I think he has perhaps four lines?

I did like the Fateless element. Actually, I liked most of your worldbuilding elements  :P It felt like it actually gave Veresh a chance against the Immortals.
However, I did not like how the Immortals spared his life simply because they were "curious" as to what he would do. I would suggest you change the fateless element slightly: instead of making the gods simply curious as to his fate, make it hard for them to even perceive him. Just a suggestion.

Also noted. The fate aspect of the story will be an important element to improve in the rewrite.

Anyway as I said I really enjoyed this story. It was a lot of fun to read and I hope you get good marks on it  ;D  Be sure to tell us how you did :D

I shall, on Tuesday when I have a conference with my two teachers to talk about it. The nice thing is that I get to turn in this first draft, receive some feedback, and then turn in the final story on the 29th. That was why I thought Reading Excuses would be really helpful in this case, because I have time to actually use the feedback effectively.

(I think this story will be one of the most creative works they will see for this assignment, if not the most creative. Some people wrote analytical essays, others wrote a short story, but I don't think we have anyone in the class who would think to write a fantasy short story :D)
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