Author Topic: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two  (Read 2020 times)

Chaos

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Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« on: December 15, 2009, 03:03:23 AM »
I'm starting the topic for you, Jenn :)

First of all, there are a ton of sweet ideas in this chapter. I'm not sure if they are completely original, but to me, they seem quite original. I'm excited for your book now.

...What can I say? I loved this chapter. Sathain feels so cool. I'm actually okay with the incest, since it wasn't really his choice. There's plenty of conflict surrounding Sathain to make me want to come back. I really want to see what happens next with him and Rachell.

Yeah. I can't really say much else. Good stuff.
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LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2009, 10:25:23 PM »
I agree with Chaos that there really isn't anything to say but "Coooooooooool."  I disagree with him however, on the coolness of the Sathain character.  I admit from the intelligence of the piece (the awesome writing, the cool settings, the neat other stuff) had me hoping for something grander involving the "Gods."  But then you did warn us.

But no matter how you slice it, it's pretty cool.

Chaos

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Re: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2009, 10:35:26 PM »
Well, Sathain seems to me like he'd be cool in small doses. He'd get old if you tried to carry the book with his viewpoint, but occasionally checking in on him, he'd be fine.
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vegetathalas

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Re: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 11:56:19 PM »
I think Sathain's cool, but as he's my character, I might be biased. Thanks for starting my topic for me.

I'll be sending out the completed manuscript this weekend for those who want to read it. There are still some parts I want to revise more, but I won't get any work done anyway while my family visits. Stupid family with their stupid love. :)

Frog

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Re: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 01:49:51 AM »
Hmm... seems I shall be the dissenter in the group this time, if only because I have more to say then 'cool.' :P

Thoughts While Reading:
Quote
... was dreadfully, painfully bored.
I'd be careful about using this as your hook line. If the character is that bored, I am ready to be bored too and I don't like being bored. :(

Quote
His fiery throne blazed
This seems redundant. What else would a fiery throne do?

Long paragraphs to dump on character/description...

Quote
Which brought him back...

Did he ever leave it, or did he seriously stop for no apparent reason to think about how handsome he is?

Quote
I was thinking of the day I tore my own eye out.
Why are they talking about this now?

You are telling me far too much about your characters! Especially behavior/personality that can be so much better shown, like this:
Quote
his sister did have a certain kind of cold cunning
If she is cunning, just show me her being cunning.

Overall Impression: Okay, so Sathain is a great character. I did find him and your world building concepts interesting, but I did have a few issues with this chapter.

First, it just feels so random where you put it, after you already introduced Rachell and some of the more immediate conflict.† There is a reason so often theology and the like are used as prologues, it just makes sense to start out broad and than hone in on the specific. This, doesn't make any kind of structural sense at all to have this new character that seems to be at least attempting to pull on all these strings added in as an afterthought, especially since it breaks up the introduction of your MC and the more immediate conflict that you started last chapter.

Another problem is that this chapter seems to be nothing but an infodump. You break for several paragraphs to dump on character/worldbuilding, which you do need occasionally and it was interesting, but in the end it became a problem because nothing new happens here for these two characters. It is just another day in literally thousands and I don't see the immediate significance, the reason for this chapter's existence. I am sure you plan for it to pay off eventually, but I need some of the pay off now or they have no reason to be here yet.

On a more minor scale you need to make sure that the conversations and thoughts of characters are logical for them to have at the present moment. It takes readers out of the story if they are just doing it for our immediate benefit. I think you may be trying to hold our hands a bit too much in some of these description and characterization. I have a full novel to get to know everything well enough, so don't push it all on me at once. If you do, you'll wreck your pacing and I doubt most readers would remember it anyway. :P

One thing I noticed in your overall writing is that your summaries in the emails tend to be lot clearer to me than your chapters. I think that this may be because you have them so bogged down or maybe the plot points are just clearer now in your own head now that you have the full book in front of you. Use those to focus your writing, cutting out what we don't need and bringing out the more important/unique things that you will need us to remember.

Alright, sorry for all the rambling. I did like the character and it does make me a bit more excited for your world in general. I will look forward to reading the full book assuming I am one of the lucky few to receive it this week. :)

« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 07:01:18 AM by Frog »
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Recovering_Cynic

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Re: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 06:45:18 PM »
I too really liked the piece, and there isn't much I would change.  One line at the beginning bothered me:

Quote
Godhood isnít all itís cracked up to be, he thought.
This seems really out of character, and it doesn't really fit with the rest of the chapter.  Also, now that I think about it, is Sathain really bored?  He is slowly dying, being forgotten as his believers are killed off.  I would think that this would lead to the opposite of boredom.

You've been reading Pratchett, haven't you.  I love Small Gods.  If you haven't read it, you really should.  Not only is it good, but it relates directly to the theme/story you are writing, so it would be good if you knew what has gone before.

All that being said, I like the chapter, I like the placement, I like the delivery, and I like how it advances your story.  Well done.
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

vegetathalas

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Re: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2009, 06:08:26 PM »
I read small gods...after I wrote the chapter.

And American Gods. And then I cursed because I wasn't as original as I thought I was.

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 07:40:25 PM »
Really?  I dint think it was oiginal at all and I've never read either of those books.  Admittedly it made me pause my reading a moment, come out of the story as I suppose you could call it, and say "So the author's an atheist."

Whether or not you are isn't the point.  thge point is, it made me think about the author and not the story.

ryos

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Re: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2009, 08:53:28 AM »
This was a frustrating chapter for me, primarily because it's not quite there, and I can't put my finger on exactly why. Here's a best attempt.

The primary issue I saw was a lack of focus. This seems caused in large measure by the amount of exposition you want this chapter to carry. I think you don't need all of it, and that will help focus your characters and your scenes, but also, what you do need could be better delivered. Ideally, there should be no sentences in any piece whose sole purpose is exposition; the exposition should be deducible from advancing the plot and developing the characters. While this ideal is not always attainable, it's a good goal to shoot for. Look through your piece for appendages that expose but are tangential; cutting them will tighten your focus.

The other issue I saw was an inaccurate depiction of the characters. As Cynic pointed out, Sathain doesn't look boredóon the contrary, he's anxiously engaged. His aside that godhood isn't all it's cracked up to be doesn't sound like the sentiment of a being fighting desperately to hold onto his godhood.

The largest conflict I see for these gods is their captivity. They are what mortals believe them to be, and never mind that they have desires of their own. I think you could do more to exploit this conflict. I mean, yes, they must also fight for existence and power, but surely that fight is secondary to the fight for the freedom to be and act as they wish.

(As an aside, Pratchett's gods are conceived by mortals and derive power from their followers' belief, but they have a great deal more autonomy than your gods, and so their primary struggles are life and power.)

Lastly, I agree that the placement is off. I wanted to see Rachell developed a little more before you introduce her importance to the gods. That should heighten the tension we feel at learning that this not-so-admirable being has a thing for her. It also would flow more naturally as the end of chapter 1 is not very conducive to a break of this sort.

So, yeah. I wasn't thrilled with this section, but I am still interested and want to see more. :)
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Silk

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Re: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2009, 10:19:23 PM »
I didn't have much to say about this chapter either (not even any line edits).

I actually liked the "god was bored" line as a hook line, but I agree, he doesn't seem bored at all.

I noticed the amount of exposition in this chapter too. I didn't find it too overwhelming while I was reading, but I agree that some of it can probably go.

I didn't have a problem with the placement of this chapter. I didn't think it was really prologue material. Actually, I assumed that Sathain would end up an active character in the story like any other (even if he is an infrequent POV) mostly because of the placement.

It probably won't hurt for this chapter to come a chapter or two later, I suppose. Ryos makes a good point there, though I thought that the ending of the last chapter was a pretty good segue.

lethalfalcon

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Re: Dec 14 - Vegetathalas - Godsplay, Chapter Two
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2009, 12:31:32 AM »
Oh snap, Silk beat me to this one. Guess that's what I get for going out of order. :)

I'm going to have to disagree with Silk here (because that's the way we are). I don't think the end of the last chapter was a good segue. At first, I kinda thought that maybe this was one of the Dreams. If it is, then great! But if it isn't, hrm. Maybe I'm alone in this, but well, those are my thoughts.

One thing that bothers me a little is that your word use is sometimes a little... higher-order. For instance:

Quote
His sense of powerlessness had been building for centuries, but these past few years had served as painful punctuation to decades of infinitesimal decay.

It *sounds* really cool (bonus points for your alliteration), but the word "punctuation" in that sense is a bit archaic (I had to consult the dictionary just to make sure it was even *right*). Infinitesimal is a hard word, too... I like the word 'cause it sounds cool, but it makes me pause when I'm reading. This is just a suggestion, but I would rewrite it as "...painful contrast to decades of minuscule decay." I suppose it depends, too, on what your target audience is, but even adult books try not to use overly complex vocabulary, because you start to lose people (or convince them that you're showing off with your word use). I'm sure your editor will know better, though.

I would also agree that very little actually happens in this chapter. You have a bored god, an insane god, and a seductress she-god. And... they do nothing. I find out that Rachell is important to Sathain, which is good, but I didn't really need 1800 words to tell me that. I also find out that Sathain wants his followers back, but what god doesn't? Oh, and I find out that Sathain and Iŷsifae are into S&M. While I don't have any problems with this, it doesn't further the plot (except for your small hintings that Sathain wants to put Rachell into play about now).

At least I can visualize the whole scene well, but you've always had that going for you. You're still using a lot of direct similes with "like" a lot, though, but I know it's your style, so I won't beat that particular horse. Just be careful that you don't put too many near each other, or they start to get tiring (to me, anyway).
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