Author Topic: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5  (Read 2117 times)

Chaos

  • Administrator
  • Level 36
  • *
  • Posts: 2170
  • Fell Points: 3
  • The Original Hero of Ages
    • View Profile
    • Eric Lake
Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« on: November 16, 2009, 01:28:20 AM »
Here it is. Things will pick up... next week!

There's going to be a Chart of Cerebrance attached in Chapter 7, because you might want a handy reference sheet.

Thanks for reading, and eviscerate it with extreme prejudice!
www.17thshard.com - The Official Brandon Sanderson Fansite.

Oh SNAP, I'm an Allomancer.

Andrew the Great

  • Level 19
  • *
  • Posts: 967
  • Fell Points: 0
  • If that never happened again, it would be too soon
    • View Profile
Re: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 03:03:40 AM »
Overall, this looks really good. I'm liking seeing into Haiden's mind a bit more. There were only a few minor issues I had.

1) Why exactly does Haiden go to Church? You mention that it's the totally logical thing for a near-atheist to do, which made me laugh, but his reasons for going were never really established.

2) The priest is a little weird. Sometimes he reads like he doesn't really believe in all the teachings of the church and such, sometimes he reads like he's the most pious person ever. I'd look at what he says and make sure he doesn't ever come across as being condemning of the church.

3) Why does Haiden think that putting a Khabor guy in the Consulate will help to increase Devidan unity? That really really confused me. One second he's thinking about how to unite the Devidans, and the next he's proposing a solution that seems to me would quite thoroughly piss off most of the Devidan world. At least from what I gathered of the relationship between the Devidans and the Khabor (Khabori? Khaborans?). The only thing I can see working is either a) Haiden uniting the Devidans against the Khabor, or b) Haiden attempting to unite the Devidans and Khabor, which sounds like political suicide. Option a kind of makes sense though, except that he's apparently well thought of by the Devidans.

It's in my line edits, but I feel obligated to mention that nobody looks at a grandfather clock and says, "It's 10:36." That would be 10:35.

There's also a little discontinuity with Haiden - at the beginning, he seems to be discussing how he has to break the empire completely to win, and inspire the people to do.... whatever it is he wants, but later mentions that he will not be a rebel, and hates being called a war hawk.

It seems a little odd for Haiden to be bitter about the Confirmation ceremony itself, when he himself is reflecting on how the cause likely has to be government corruption. I'd think it would be more likely for him to be speculating as to who tried to keep him out.

Also, the obsessive idea that everything Kurick did is inherently wrong is a little annoying. You might want to tone it down just a bit.

I asked this question earlier, but still haven't got an answer, and it's still annoying me. Are "Devos" and "God" interchangeable? If so, I'll stop commenting on it....

Jirald's sermon - He seems to be talking about how good and peaceful the Khabor are, even saying that they're better than the Devidans. Not sure if that's a mistake, or if the priest just holds some unique views, or if I misread it and the priest is actually Khabor. Either way I was a little confused right here. Oh, wait, is he talking about the stars? Because that would make sense, but the mention of the Khabor in the previous line really confuses the issue a bit.

Why does Haiden use Identification on Jirald? What is he worried about? This wasn't particularly clear.

What happens to a soul that isn't strong enough to reincarnate? Does it just like... sit there? Because apparently it still exists....

Line edits are in your inbox. They aren't very picky this week, but I got the major things. I'm assuming someone else will be nitpicky.
Sign on wall: "We're doing everything we can to get you to the math lab and get you help."
Random girl: "That explains so much about the way my professors have been teaching..."

"Look! I can play Mary had a little lamb on my rape whistle!"

Executor of Chaos' Opinions in the Event of His Absence

ryos

  • Level 17
  • *
  • Posts: 824
  • Fell Points: 0
  • The Decemberween Thnikkaman
    • View Profile
Re: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 03:11:45 AM »
Quote
Compared to before, it is. I’ve spoken with some of the Khabor Sages, men much older than I. They remember what it was like before Kurick. Kingdoms in chaos, lands aflame in war. From what they have said, the history texts do not lie about the carnage of war. We are somewhat desensitized to it… Kurick unified Arjea. Things had stability. Unity. These are ideals Devos espouses, for He despises death.”

I don't think that word means what you think that it means. That, or I'm misreading your intent. I think you mean to say "We are somewhat unfamiliar with it." Desensitized implies the opposite.

Quote
“Maybe you can.”
“How!”
“That is for you to find out,” Jirald said.

Did you just RAFO your own character? I think the power, it is going to your head.

Ok. First off, this chapter started a bit slow. No, scratch that; it started strong, then got bogged down in Haiden's internal monologue. He goes off on a few too many tangents, straining my attention span.

And then we come to Jirald. I loved the interaction between Haiden and Jirald. I appreciated that you gave him dignity and wisdom, and that what at first appeared to me a mad and nonsensical religion started, with his explanations, to come together and make sense.

The Cerebrancy info dump could have been handled better. I think you've earned the right to info dump a little, and we're curious enough at this point to appreciate it, but to be effective, it must be focused and relevant. Your explanations grow long of wind and tooth going on about aspects of Cerebrancy that aren't directly pertinent to what Saff is doing at the moment.

And…that's about it, really. I quite enjoyed this chapter. Sorry for the short critique, but I can't really think of much more to say beyond my usual obligatory "Fix your dang typos!"
Eerongal made off with my Fluffy Puff confections.

Recovering_Cynic

  • Level 13
  • *
  • Posts: 581
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Except vampires. Vampires suck.
    • View Profile
    • my livejournal
Re: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 05:18:32 AM »
As far as tone goes and "nothing happening", I think you are just fine with this chapter. There is enough intrigue going on to keep your reader wanting to know what will happen next.  I especially like the promise that Yarran will be meeting with Saff to discuss what he has discovered.  It's intriguing.  I guess what makes me like this chapter so much is that there are undercurrents, further layers to be explored, which was lacking in some of your earlier chapters.

The only thing that took me out of this chapter were the grammar errors, but that can be cleaned up in post.

I did have to wonder about the relationship between Saff and the priest.  Why are they friends?  Saff seems pretty pompous and arrogant and otherwise unlikable in this chapter, and yet the priest just kind of chuckles and goes with it.  Why?  I guess I'm really curious about why they are friends in the first place.

Hmm... I will second Ryos on the internal monologue being too long and also on the lack of clarity on your cerebrancy info dump.  Both of them bogged down an otherwise great chapter.  Consider trimming (or eliminating) both.  As to the cerebrancy info, a lot of it seemed to be more internal/philosophical, meaning, it won't affect the story by making things go whiz/bang.  Of course, if someone dies, and their soul does the whole cerebrancy thing, then it becomes important in the story and visible.  That would be a good time to info dump.  Right now, your reader is more interested in the pertinent parts of your magic system.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you are going to try explaining an abstract concept (like the more internal/philosophical aspects of cerebrancy), then (1) the explanation needs to be crystal clear, and (2) there needs to be a dang good urgent reason for your reader to know it.

Unfortunately, I started this critique too late at night :(  I hope it has helped, but keep in mind I wrote it as my brain started to fade a bit.  Write on.
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

Chaos

  • Administrator
  • Level 36
  • *
  • Posts: 2170
  • Fell Points: 3
  • The Original Hero of Ages
    • View Profile
    • Eric Lake
Re: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2009, 06:05:36 AM »
Quote
Compared to before, it is. I’ve spoken with some of the Khabor Sages, men much older than I. They remember what it was like before Kurick. Kingdoms in chaos, lands aflame in war. From what they have said, the history texts do not lie about the carnage of war. We are somewhat desensitized to it… Kurick unified Arjea. Things had stability. Unity. These are ideals Devos espouses, for He despises death.”

I don't think that word means what you think that it means. That, or I'm misreading your intent. I think you mean to say "We are somewhat unfamiliar with it." Desensitized implies the opposite.

Quote
“Maybe you can.”
“How!”
“That is for you to find out,” Jirald said.

Did you just RAFO your own character? I think the power, it is going to your head.

1) Right you are. The word should definitely be "unfamiliar", or some similar synonym.

2) No, Jirald doesn't actually know what Haiden is supposed to do. Meaning, Haiden has to figure out God's plan for himself.

Speaking of which:

Quote
I asked this question earlier, but still haven't got an answer, and it's still annoying me. Are "Devos" and "God" interchangeable? If so, I'll stop commenting on it....

Yes, same thing. Devos is the name of God.

For the info on Cerebrance (watch your spelling ;) ), are we talking about the part with Identification, or the philosophical bit near the end? When I read ryos's critique, I got the impression that it was the Identification part, but Cynic made me think it was the latter. Probably both, I think...

As far as tone goes and "nothing happening", I think you are just fine with this chapter. There is enough intrigue going on to keep your reader wanting to know what will happen next.  I especially like the promise that Yarran will be meeting with Saff to discuss what he has discovered.  It's intriguing.  I guess what makes me like this chapter so much is that there are undercurrents, further layers to be explored, which was lacking in some of your earlier chapters.

Undercurrents are fun :) I'm happy to write them, and I'm glad you didn't think the chapter was total fluff.

I did have to wonder about the relationship between Saff and the priest.  Why are they friends?  Saff seems pretty pompous and arrogant and otherwise unlikable in this chapter, and yet the priest just kind of chuckles and goes with it.  Why?  I guess I'm really curious about why they are friends in the first place.

I better make Jirald a recurring character so you can find out, yes? :P

Quote
3) Why does Haiden think that putting a Khabor guy in the Consulate will help to increase Devidan unity? That really really confused me. One second he's thinking about how to unite the Devidans, and the next he's proposing a solution that seems to me would quite thoroughly piss off most of the Devidan world. At least from what I gathered of the relationship between the Devidans and the Khabor (Khabori? Khaborans?). The only thing I can see working is either a) Haiden uniting the Devidans against the Khabor, or b) Haiden attempting to unite the Devidans and Khabor, which sounds like political suicide. Option a kind of makes sense though, except that he's apparently well thought of by the Devidans.

Both Khabor and Khaborans are acceptable. I seem to be using "Khabor" as both singular and plural, apparently. As for the rest of that paragraph, this seems like another wonderful thing for me to not forget about in the next chapter.

Quote
What happens to a soul that isn't strong enough to reincarnate? Does it just like... sit there? Because apparently it still exists....

Oooh, now that's a good question. ...RAFO ;)

Okay, maybe the power is going to my head a little, so make sure to smack me when the scene can't progress without a piece of knowledge. That would not be fun for either of us.

As for internal monologue: I'm trying to get a good balance of it. I know I haven't gotten it right yet, but NaNo doesn't exactly reward me for endless tinkering, so I apologize for you having to hear my characters rant. I promise, (well, okay, I haven't written Chapter 6 yet, so I don't know for sure) these next chapters, things will speed up. It also seems like I definitely have some work to do when focusing this beginning into something really strong during revision. Sounds like fun! At least I don't have to scrap the whole thing; it just needs to be strengthened.

And for the grammar errors, I am so, so sorry. My heart goes out to you guys for bearing with me and reading.
www.17thshard.com - The Official Brandon Sanderson Fansite.

Oh SNAP, I'm an Allomancer.

ryos

  • Level 17
  • *
  • Posts: 824
  • Fell Points: 0
  • The Decemberween Thnikkaman
    • View Profile
Re: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2009, 06:14:56 AM »
For my part, I was talking specifically about the Identification sequence.
Eerongal made off with my Fluffy Puff confections.

Andrew the Great

  • Level 19
  • *
  • Posts: 967
  • Fell Points: 0
  • If that never happened again, it would be too soon
    • View Profile
Re: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2009, 06:31:51 AM »
Wow, I've gotten RAFO'd twice in two days while not actually trying to get too deep into the mechanics of the system that Chaos has not yet fully revealed.... I must be getting good at this.
Sign on wall: "We're doing everything we can to get you to the math lab and get you help."
Random girl: "That explains so much about the way my professors have been teaching..."

"Look! I can play Mary had a little lamb on my rape whistle!"

Executor of Chaos' Opinions in the Event of His Absence

lethalfalcon

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Why won't insomnia leave me alone?
    • View Profile
Re: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2009, 01:15:40 PM »
Okay, I think I'm going to be a little more nitpicky, and I feel like doing it here.

Quote
   Truth was, he enjoyed the night air too much. As he exited his mediocre Shayra “manor”, he gasped at the glory of the Sanctuary's glowing sky. Thousands, probably infinite stars covered the would-be blackness. Haiden likened them as eyes watching the world, even though the stars were really the opposite of eyes. Here, white were the pupils and black was the host. And the moon, nearly full now, was like a huge orb illuminating all the streets. The night—crisp, yet not cold—was perfect, and of course, there was no wind. Haiden had missed the peace of the Sanctuary.

This paragraph bugged me. The first problem I had was using quotes to imply sarcasm. There are better ways to show his impressions of his lodgings.  Then you explain your first simile by contrasting it. And the moon isn't LIKE an orb illuminating all the streets. It IS an orb....  Okay, Of course there was no wind? Why not? What makes it so obvious? I certainly didn't know there wasn't supposed to be none. The last sentence kinda seems the opposite of what I think you intended, too. He's experiencing the peace that he was missing (this much I understood), but usually you would phrase a sentence as you did when he returned to the sanctuary. As it is, he still misses the peace of the sanctuary, but he's getting a similar peace now from the night (removing "had" is the quick and dirty way to fix that, although you could expound on comparing this nighttime peace to the peace of Sanctuary for more dramatic effect).

Moving on...

The next paragraph seems very out of place. What perfect Haven/Sanctuary. Is he referring to the night? The Sanctuary itself? His thoughts don't fit with his narrated feelings at all.

Well, it seemed to get a lot better once you moved into conversation. Or maybe I'm just incapable of finding as many problems with dialog (lack of experience?). Either way, all of my issues dropped to line-level.

This chapter wasn't nearly as exciting as the last one, but I think your writing was a lot better in it. The conversation gives a bit of insight without thrusting the world on you, and it seems a very realistic conversation. I think it causes me to question a lot of my earlier predispositions about Haiden. He still feels like a manipulator, but not so antagonistic, now. Blurring the lines of who's right and wrong makes me feel better, because I'm not one for reading just the traditional good -vs- evil stories (although I generally tend to write people -vs- people AND good -vs- evil in the same story, because nothing says epic battle like absolutes). Still interested. Keep 'em coming.
I don't have good days. I have great days, where I'm a magician ridding the world of all evil, or at least everything I don't like. And then I wake up, and it's back to work for me.

Frog

  • Level 13
  • *
  • Posts: 578
  • Fell Points: 0
  • "Have a popover, Froggie!"
    • View Profile
Re: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2009, 04:59:24 AM »
Mostly I am going to just agree with what has already has been said. It was a nice slow down from last chapter with a chance to get more of Haiden's character and other small points of building tension, but it suffered from the amount of internal thought and info dumps. Smooth it out and chop it down, but otherwise good work.

:)
I've already conquered the world. This is exactly the way I want it.

RavenstarRHJF

  • Level 9
  • *
  • Posts: 339
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2009, 03:18:14 AM »
To get right to the meat of what I got out of this portion: Haiden is dangerously close to egomanaical.  In other words- another Kurick in the making.  Ironic, really. 

Don't get me wrong, he's got some good points- he shares my problem with condemning people who haven't done anything yet based on their past lives.

But beyond that... well, let's see.  He won't stand for not being confirmed.  Obviously, there has to be something wrong with the system of confirmation, since that's the only way he could be rejected.  All of his motives are pure and innocent.  Everyone else must be stupid not to see what he does.  Absolutely everything Kurick ever did has to be overturned RIGHT NOW, because it's obviously tainted.  He goes to Church, not to see the other side's point of view, but to look for holes in theology.

Then there are his lightning mood changes, especially his inward gloating whenever he thinks he's fooled someone.  Not to mention his fixation on the fact that he got elected- that makes him the perfect candidate, right? ::)

And by the way, what exactly IS this big conflict that has everyone so on edge?  You've never really said.  It has something to do with the Khabor (I think it works well as both singular and plural, like 'fish') and sapphires, but beyond that, we really don't know.

So yeah... sorry all my critiques have been so negative. 
A crown does not a King make, nor the lack of one a commoner.

Silk

  • Staff
  • Level 31
  • *
  • Posts: 1798
  • Fell Points: 0
  • ...no room for someone in second place...
    • View Profile
    • Beyond Impossibility
Re: Nov. 16th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 5
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 10:37:12 PM »
I really don't have anything to say that hasn't already been mentioned. I also wondered why Haiden was using Identification on Jirald; I don't really understand what he accomplished there.

I didn't think that the chapter was fluff. I enjoyed the way you suggested that Haiden wasn't as confident in his plans as he's trying to make everybody (himself included) believed.

I assumed after Haiden met Jirald that he'd actually gone to the church looking for Jirald, and further assumed that the two had been friends for such a long time that Jirald wasn't put off by Saff's bluntness or lack of faith.

What wasn't entirely clear to me was Haiden's relationship to the Khabor man, but I assume we'll see more of that later.

I have to agree, you're still a little heavy on the internal monologue. I actually found it a bit improved here over other chapters, but that could be the placement of it (ei, not in the middle of an action scene this time).

Some clarification on what's going on between the Devidans and the Khabor is definitely in order PDQ.

Raven makes some entirely excellent points about Saff Haiden. That's exactly what I got out of it too. I don't think that's a bad thing.