Author Topic: Nov. 2nd - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 3  (Read 1572 times)

Chaos

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Nov. 2nd - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 3
« on: November 03, 2009, 10:20:09 AM »
This one went longer than I expected, so it's my longest chapter yet. Probably could have been split, but the viewpoint at the end was rather short to be on its own. I want to keep chapters around 3500 words, but that's by no means truly necessary for the process

Here, we learn more stuff that you're probably wondering about, and most certainly a couple things you weren't! (Example: How sassy can Medora get? The answer lies in this chapter! I apologize in advance.)

Oh, and I also apologize for missing words. There is most certainly a nonzero quantity of those, considering this is the first chapter I've ever written almost all in a day. So imagine this as the raw, director's commentary. Kinda.

...I better go get sleep before I embarrass myself any more :P

Of course, thanks for reading and I eagerly await you ripping it to shreds!
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Recovering_Cynic

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Re: Nov. 2nd - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 3
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2009, 04:33:25 PM »
All politics and no play make Medora a dull girl... (but that is my personal preference; please disregard, although I was much more excited about the last chapter)

Anyway, as to the writing, I am seeing a problem.  Your story is built up around several distinct cultures, right?  Cultures that are in conflict?  Well, I am having some trouble distinguishing which culture is which, or more specifically, what makes them different and what's leading to the conflict here.  I guess my issue is this: we have been given a microscopic view up to this point of the cultures.  We've met individuals from each culture.  However, we've been given nothing to show us the dynamic between the cultures on a greater scale (or if we have, it was so long ago that I don't remember it and that might just be a quirk of workshopping every few weeks).  Anyway, I am confused as to where the power struggle lies and why.

Whoops.  I just finished reading the chapter (I wrote the above near the end of the scene with Medora), and after hearing Haiden's side of things (10% of population controlls 90% of wealth), I understand it a bit better.  Perhaps you might put Haiden's part first?  Medora's is kinda confusing without his clarifications.

Whoops again.  After finishing Haiden's portion, now I realize that it must come last.  *sigh*  Perhaps you might just point out the wealth imbalance earlier?  Or maybe I'm the only person who is struggling with clarity on the power struggle.  If that is the case, please ignore me and let things stand.  Political power struggles never held much interest for me, so that may be the reason I'm having trouble following it.

Okay, so I know I'm doing this out of order, but there are a few things I really liked.  The concept of the demon cloud is awesome, although I am a bit confused as to why people don't just, well, move.  Seems like it would be fairly easy to avoid the thing since it doesn't move too fast.  Still, the concept is really cool.

I also thought your characterization is well done for both the girls.  They are real people with real voices, so I like them.

Anyway, I'm not sure my critique helped, although I hope it did.  Keep on writing.
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

Andrew the Great

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Re: Nov. 2nd - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 3
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2009, 02:22:19 AM »
I agree, Medora's part of the scene was a little dull. It wasn't to the point where I lost interest in the story, but there wasn't much happening that I was like, "Hey, that's cool!"

The only issue I've had with the culture conflicts is that they get mentioned a lot in the same scenes, so it's difficult to distinguish which Culture is which.

I'll look over this again later, when I have a bit more time. I'll be a bit more in-depth then.
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ryos

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Re: Nov. 2nd - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 3
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2009, 08:34:17 AM »
Is there an echo in here? Or is it my fault for perpetuating it?

I'm going to echo Cynic the Great. I'm quite confused about Medora. As the daughter of the former emperor, she's bound to be Kahbor, right? So why does she say she's Devidan? Or at least that she looks it? And since she's niece to the rich and powerful brother of the former emperor, why is she so afraid of the guards of Khaborland?

Furthermore, has she really never been to her uncle's house? She certainly knows them, aunt and uncle both; did they always come to visit her?

Does she know about her past through Introspection (i.e. is she a Cerabrant), or is she just being depressed when she calls herself a cursed wretch?

Lastly, her section was a bit dull. My mind kept wandering. Maybe it was because I was confused about things, but it also has something to do with the dialog, both internal and external. It's a bit off. Her internal justification for stopping her flight is somewhat abrupt, for one thing. Also, I assume her physical weakness is a consequence of her drug abuse, but asking her cousin (half sister? she says sister, not cousin) to carry her seemed a bit out of character. I could see her asking for a moment, and Daijah dragging her.

I agree, again, about the cloud. That's a nice touch, just enough to get me intrigued about your unusual weather patterns and what they might mean.

Finally, I don't think I'm supposed to, but I can't help myself. I like Saff Haiden. He's my favorite of the characters we've seen. Maybe it's just that he feels the most natural, but I identify with him for some reason. At least, so far. He could still repulse me with his Evil Demon Communist ways, but even if he did, I think I would still like his character. He's a great villain. Er, hero. I can't actually tell which yet.
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Chaos

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Re: Nov. 2nd - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 3
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2009, 08:13:57 PM »
Is there an echo in here? Or is it my fault for perpetuating it?

I'm going to echo Cynic the Great. I'm quite confused about Medora. As the daughter of the former emperor, she's bound to be Kahbor, right? So why does she say she's Devidan? Or at least that she looks it? And since she's niece to the rich and powerful brother of the former emperor, why is she so afraid of the guards of Khaborland?

Furthermore, has she really never been to her uncle's house? She certainly knows them, aunt and uncle both; did they always come to visit her?

Does she know about her past through Introspection (i.e. is she a Cerabrant), or is she just being depressed when she calls herself a cursed wretch?

Lastly, her section was a bit dull. My mind kept wandering. Maybe it was because I was confused about things, but it also has something to do with the dialog, both internal and external. It's a bit off. Her internal justification for stopping her flight is somewhat abrupt, for one thing. Also, I assume her physical weakness is a consequence of her drug abuse, but asking her cousin (half sister? she says sister, not cousin) to carry her seemed a bit out of character. I could see her asking for a moment, and Daijah dragging her.

I agree, again, about the cloud. That's a nice touch, just enough to get me intrigued about your unusual weather patterns and what they might mean.

Aha, that does indeed require clarification: Medora, like Kurick, is Devidan. These Khabor are her adopted family. Khabor are quite accepting people, and Dheran (Daijah's father) accepted Medora into her family, much like how Khabor society in general accepted Kurick after his discovery.

That said, I think this section did wander a bit and requires tightening. I'll mull it over on what I can do to improve it...

Did the interactions between dialogue (except that carrying part, maybe) feel realistic?

Quote
Finally, I don't think I'm supposed to, but I can't help myself. I like Saff Haiden. He's my favorite of the characters we've seen. Maybe it's just that he feels the most natural, but I identify with him for some reason. At least, so far. He could still repulse me with his Evil Demon Communist ways, but even if he did, I think I would still like his character. He's a great villain. Er, hero. I can't actually tell which yet.

Oh, you definitely should like him. Personally, I find him fascinating. He's my favorite character. Hopefully, though, I can sell you on my other characters, or else we might have some problems :P

I'm doing this thing where I don't respond to most all the comments here. I promise, I'm reading them all religiously! Most things don't require my input, unless I've really, really screwed up, like not making it clearer that Medora adopted her.

Just make sure you tell me if a scene breaks your interest too much. That way I know the exact point of failure! They can't all be like Chapter Two, but, well, I can promise you that things are going to get a lot worse.
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RavenstarRHJF

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Re: Nov. 2nd - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 3
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2009, 02:39:39 AM »
Ok, first of all, wow.  You are just full of cheeriness and light, aren't ya? :P  That said, Medora is definitely coming across as unstable and (in my opinion) an accident waiting to happen.  She's got good goals, but how on earth does she think she can reach them if she's as unstable as she is?  Just wondering.

Secondly, I thought for sure Haiden would be confirmed, just because it would set up the power struggle between him and Medora very well.  However, now you've surprised me, and I'll have to see what you've come up with instead.
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Re: Nov. 2nd - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 3
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2009, 08:26:45 AM »
I get the sentiments of Medora's thoughts, no problems there, but often the way their phrased seems kind of clunky, not quite genuine. I've been trying to put my finger on what exactly is bugging me about this and so far haven't succeeded. Sorry. But throwing it out there, for what it's worth.

I think part of it is that you're spending so much time quoting her exact thoughts (the italicized bits). The idea that people actually think like that, of course, is completely artificial. It's a useful convention, but use it too often and I think it starts to fall apart a bit.

I especially think it's a problem when Medora goes into her monologue; that's where it really starts to feel artificial. (Also, when I see large blocks of italics my eye tends to automatically skip over the italicized bits; it's like some subliminal (and yes, erroneous, I realize that) cue that the next bit isn't important, or at least isn't as important, as the rest of the text. I don't know why I do this or if this is true for readers other than me. But I do have to fight to read large blocks of italics like this.) There's nothing inherently wrong with blocks of introspection in a story, of course. But I would avoid the internal monologue. When I do this I tend to keep my thoughts more general and maybe occasionally slide into the italicized "exact thoughts" technique instead of trying to mirror a person's exact thoughts. I don't think it's possible to mirror the human thought process in prose; it's too disjointed and complex.

Medora makes an offhand reference to a "psycopathic murderer". Be very, very careful with this word. It means a whole ton of different things (and, at least as itís used in the modern world, doesnít actually represent any break with sanity or reality, though of course not everyone knows that). Also, I donít know precisely what time period youíre basing this story in. But to the best of my knowledge, the word didnít originate until the late nineteenth century.

When referring to Haiden, you bounce back and forth between referring to him as Saff, and referring to him as Haiden--even when you're in his point of view.

It's interesting that you've done something this decisive to Haiden this early on. I'll look forward to seeing how that plays out in the later chapters.

Recovering Cynic commented on the cultures of your characters. I had a similar (though not identical) comment, which is that while it's cool that you're actively including characters from other cultures--and this may be important especially if you're building up to a clash between these cultures, as you seem to be--so far, unless I'm mistaken,  your POV characters are all from one culture. (On the other hand, this may explain the difficult Cynic has had tdistinguishing between them.) More information about the two cultures will definitely be helpful later, if it's going to be a sticking point. So far--as far as my imperfect memory of this story allows--it hasn't been important enough to need more information (though details are fun. Shinies!).

Oh, and I actually assumed that Medora was Devidan and that her uncle and aunt were her adopted family.

I agree that the Demon Cloud was cool. I also wondered why the people under it didn't just move. I'm sure you can come up with an explanation for that if you haven't already, but you haven't presented the readers with one yet. (You don't need to do so right away. But you need to do so at some point.)

I thought that the carrying thing was out of character, too. I could buy it maybe if she'd said it in jest, but we have no indication that that's what actually happened.

I have nothing much to say, really, save "keep going". So keep going.

Chaos

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Re: Nov. 2nd - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 3
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2009, 12:58:36 PM »
Quote
Recovering Cynic commented on the cultures of your characters. I had a similar (though not identical) comment, which is that while it's cool that you're actively including characters from other cultures--and this may be important especially if you're building up to a clash between these cultures, as you seem to be--so far, unless I'm mistaken,  your POV characters are all from one culture. (On the other hand, this may explain the difficult Cynic has had tdistinguishing between them.) More information about the two cultures will definitely be helpful later, if it's going to be a sticking point. So far--as far as my imperfect memory of this story allows--it hasn't been important enough to need more information (though details are fun. Shinies!).

Right you are. That's why the next (and final) viewpoint character is a Khabor woman. You've already met her, actually.
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