Author Topic: Dec. 28th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 6  (Read 1720 times)

Chaos

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Dec. 28th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 6
« on: December 28, 2009, 06:03:45 AM »
Look, another Rebirth submission! Here we introduce the final viewpoint character, Nerida. You've already met her, but I doubt you remember!

Also attached is a Chart of Cerebrance, for those of you who have forgotten. And for those who are interested in my fictional world, there's some quite interesting pieces of information embedded in that chart. You can ask me, and I might just answer.

For the rest of you, eviscerate with extreme prejudice, as always.
www.17thshard.com - The Official Brandon Sanderson Fansite.

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Dark_Prophecy

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Re: Dec. 28th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 6
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 08:25:49 AM »
I have to say that I enjoyed what I read, though I haven't read the previous chapters of the novel. I am, naturally, more than a little lost here. The summaries helped somewhat, but I'd love to get ahold of the other 5 chapters before this just to get a greater feel for the style and pacing of the novel.

I enjoyed the action of the second scene with Tav, and was left a little less excited about the conversation between Nerida and the others. This isn't anything to worry about on your end, more of the challenge of jumping into this in the 6th chapter, having built up no loyalty or understanding of the characters involved.

I enjoyed what I read, and if you could get me the other chapters I'd love to give you my overall impression.

-Bryce
I like basketball, hanging out with my friends, reading, slamming a garbage can into a pimp or two with magical heavenly powers. You know, teenager stuff.

lethalfalcon

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Re: Dec. 28th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 6
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 11:50:15 AM »
Hey, something this week (although I think I skipped a couple, I'll have to look back at my emails).

So yay, you finally spit something out!

I had a lot of problem reading through Nerida's viewpoint... I think it's pretty heavy on the info-dumping, which is understandable for a new character, but still, I think you can do a lot more showing and a lot less telling.

The first time shift you did really confused me. The last sentence before and the first sentence after are both complaining, so I almost thought that no time had passed at all, and you just put it there by mistake. I can see that there *is* a time shift... but is it really that long? I have no sense of how much time has really passed, since she was arriving on the dock at the previous time, and in Camir's house afterward. Did an hour pass, a day...? If it's short enough, I'd consider just getting rid of it, and replacing it with a something like "She headed directly for Camir's house..."

Why on Khabor would the houses lack roofs? It makes no sense. Rain isn't the only thing it keeps out. It also keeps out bugs, the evil day star, the cold (which would be especially bad if there were never clouds to trap heat), etc. I think it's great that you're trying to have something unique, but I think you can come up with something that doesn't trigger my WTF alarm. :)
 
One thing that seems really odd is why they didn't have the link up all the time. Does it take a lot of energy to maintain? It seems a little difficult to form, but that's even more reason not to let it go. Give me a reason why they stopped using it before, because otherwise, it's a little dumb that they did.

Now on to Tav... I like this part a lot better. It's kinda like the anti-climax of the previous action scene with him. Although I do wonder a bit why you waited a chapter and a half to give this to us. Perhaps you're shooting for some special timing (because of the screaming on chapter 5), but really, this isn't but a few seconds after the end of chapter 4. Why not just move this chapter back to 4 (because temporally, it doesn't hold much in significance to the other chapters), then move Chapter 4 to 5, and put this last part at the end of it. Then push Chapter 5 to 6? It would seem to make a little more sense that way. Right now, it looks a bit... tacked on.

That said, it intrigued me a lot more. "Oh no, what's he going to do" sort of stuff. You've firmly established that he's a pretty selfless person, although I still question his emo-ness for his past life. Someone really needs to tell him that "power isn't evil, it's the person wielding it who has to make that choice"... which I'm sure you'll get around to eventually. I hope.

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.

ryos

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Re: Dec. 28th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 6
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2009, 10:23:25 AM »
As usual, I am confused.

First stop: exposition. The exposition in this chapter needs a lot of work, and in many different ways.

In the very beginning, there are several sections that are basically straight exposition. Sections where the viewpoint fades away, and we become painfully aware that the exposition is driving the viewpoint. It feels a lot like the cart driving the horse. Worse, though, was that even the infodumps were ineffective. This could just be my stupid head not wanting to focus, but I just didn't really understand a lot of what I felt you wanted me to.

Next, we get into the political section. This left me completely baffled. I didn't understand anything in this section. Like, at all. I basically just pushed through it because I had to, and unlike dense textbooks (chore reading), I didn't feel it was worth the mental effort to read over things several times in order to understand. Of course, maybe things are really actually quite clear and I'm just stupid right now.

Let me try to explain my self-doubt here.

Have you ever watched a movie with a questioner? "Who's that?" "Why'd they do that?" "What's going on?" They can't wait for the plot to unfold. They want you to explain it to them. These people bug me to no end. I invariably end up snapping, "Just watch the movie!" Usually, it takes several repetitions before they finally stop asking.

What's interesting is that these people will still ask these questions even of people who are also watching the movie for the first time. This leads me to believe that they think these things they're asking are things they might be expected to have caught or figured out at that point in the movie, rather than open questions that will be explained later.

I'm feeling a bit like a movie questioner right now, because I don't know what's going on, and I have no sense of whether I'm supposed to know at this point, or if my points of confusion are supposed to be open questions that will be explained later.

But even if it's the latter, pretty much this entire chapter consists of open questions that will be explained later. You have to give us something we can understand, otherwise we'll just end up lost. Then, once we have a basic understanding to ground us, you can start hinting and alluding.

So, you named a character Adoni. That's fine, so long as you realize that it's a Hebrew word that shows up fairly often in the Bible. It means "Lord", in the human noble sense. It's cousin, Adonai, also means "Lord", but is used to refer to God. Again, if this connotation is what you wanted then by all means, name the dude Adoni. Otherwise, you might consider changing it.

Lastly, I was confused by your return to Tav at the end of this chapter. One of these scenes is not like the others, one of these scenes just doesn't belong...this is probably just the writing group problem, but the break left me disoriented about how Tav got to where he is, and why the whole cathedral is on fire. Why wait? Why not stick this with the scene it follows?

Have you noticed it's a lot easier to be negative than positive, sometimes? It's almost 2:30, and my brain feels like mush, and I just can't summon the energy to find something I liked about this chapter. So, I apologize. Hopefully I've at least been marginally helpful with my rambling.
Eerongal made off with my Fluffy Puff confections.

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: Dec. 28th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 6
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2009, 09:41:37 PM »
I actually think the prose are nice and Nerida has a very distinct narrative voice.  I still find her unintersting.  but not uninteresting as poorly writen character, but unintersting as in, "Well you're a dork."  But that's a personal feeling and speaks highly of the writer.  Essentially I dislike Nerida because of the personal information shared here.  she's not annoying, cliche, or bland.  She's unique, full of life, and not very likable.  You can take that as you want, but I think it speaks well of you as a writer.

Right after the # you have another starter/hook line.  Seriously dude, you can do better then "She was tired of it all."  It's like you've got "chapter 6"  and then "Chapter 6.2."  It just felt . . .well . . . dumb . . . to have that line, right here in the middle of page 2.
I admittedly suffer from vocab in this piece, but that's not your fault, it's the fact that I'm only reading the 6th chapter, and have maybe read one other one that had absolutely nothing to do with anything in this chapter, except the burnin building . . .which admittedly wasn't that interesting, sorry.  Actually that whole part seemed out of place.  "Meanwhile, back at the Cathedral . . . "  Maybe it's just me but I questioned why that part was in this chapter at all.  Is it because you couldn't come up with a better ending for that chapter so you decided to go to the action of the burning building (still not interesting).  Maybe if we get to see chapter 7 we'll understand more of the why's and hows, because that's the chapter immediatly following this one, duh. 

While I did not necessarily find the scene all that interesting, I can't say it's because its bad.  Its just not what I want to read right now.  No I'm not asking for things to explode or people to get cut in half.  But to be honest, while everything in that scene may be pertinent to something else, it really does feel like an office/political meeting (i.e. boring as snot).  Which is odd because everything is so well written.  The dialogue is very informative about the characters, they're all unique individuals with personalities, and they all have different voices.  It's great writing, but that the writing just isn't carrying the scene enough.  And in part I think it is because most meetings of this kind (and the one in this chapter) are about as over-boiled noodles.


ErikHolmes

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Re: Dec. 28th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 6
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2010, 01:04:04 AM »
I'm going to agree with the other, the chapter was interesting, but not exciting. Even the last part, interesting, but not exciting.

It was written great, however.  :)

Not sure how to what kind of advice to give you either. Sometimes you just have a chapter like this, but try to avoid it if you can. I think that the chapter needs to some hooks to get the reader wanting to read the next chapter.

Having said all that, I had to problems getting through it.
Who the hell is interrupting my Kung Fu!

Recovering_Cynic

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Re: Dec. 28th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 6
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2010, 11:44:52 PM »
Alright, so here are my thoughts and feelings.  I will keep them short since they will either disagree or agree with most everything that has already been said (with a few new points thrown in).

First (new point), the council meeting: I had trouble distinguishing between voices of the four members.  Their characters blur a little.  I'm the only one who mentioned this, so maybe it was just me.

I second all of the statements that Tav section needs to be a part of the previous chapter.

I disagree with the Ryos.  I am starting to get a grip on what is happening in your story.  This chapter is finally setting out the various power struggles in your book.  Now that I have an idea of the big picture.  Things are making sense.  That being said, I have some questions about your big picture.  First, is this world going to be black and white, or I guess, black and grey.  From what you've written so far, the Khabor are pretty much the goody goody people, with a few traitors tossed in for kicks and giggles.  I'm hoping that it isn't that cut and dry.  The Devidans are more good guy/bad guy depending on your point of view, which I find more realistic and believable.

As to Nerida's character, well, yes, she is well written, but not captivating.  As long as her role isn't the centerpoint, I'm okay with her, or in the alternative, she gets to do some really cool and interesting stuff.  Right now, she strikes me as the bumbling historian, only without the comic relief.

In short:

The best - finally getting a really good picture of your power struggle and your world
The worst - you are bordering on cliche by having an overly righteous people (too black and white), but then, that is more a personal opinion.  Some people like the world black and white.

this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

ryos

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Re: Dec. 28th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 6
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 02:19:55 AM »
Since I'm the only one confused by this chapter, I probably just had a case of the Stoopid Heads that night. It happens occasionally, especially to me. ;D
Eerongal made off with my Fluffy Puff confections.

Frog

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Re: Dec. 28th - Chaos - Rebirth, Chapter 6
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2010, 08:16:14 AM »
okay, line edits on their way for both chapters.

For this chapter, my main concern was that I don't see much point in Nerida right now. I mean, she seems fine as a character and maybe she could become interesting but right now it just seems like she's in as distraction from the main plot that bulks up the book needlessly especially at a point now where I am expecting to see pieces of the central plot coming together. There is a lot of character internal junk and political/setting dumping here that doesn't help matters. Especially since you drop titles and names right and left that I am having a harder time keeping straight (though it could be partially a writing group problem).

Tav's scene was fine too, but it did seem out of place in with all the unrelated Nerida stuff.

And I think that is all for this one. On to the next thread!
I've already conquered the world. This is exactly the way I want it.