Author Topic: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5  (Read 2113 times)

LongTimeUnderdog

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February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« on: February 01, 2010, 05:43:54 AM »
Aaaaaand there we go.  Jin's fifth chapter, in which we see the Jin and Jalean have a strange encounter and Jin learns he has a bit more power then he thought he did.

Recovering_Cynic

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Re: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2010, 03:41:38 PM »
Somehow I missed chapter four, but I read the critique line on it, so I got the gist of  it. 

Anyway, this was my favorite Jin chapter to date because as yet, it's the only chapter where something nice has happened to him :)  Anyway, I did like it, mostly because of the revelations about Jalean.  I especially enjoyed the scene where they sparred.  It verged on a bit too much blow by blow, but it was still enjoyable to read, although the blow by blow may have been too much for other readers.

All that being said, Jalean actually liking Jin and being fond of him doesn't fit with your earlier chapters.  I mean, seriously, she had a spear to his nads, threatening to castrate him.  You punish someone to disguise your relationship, but you don't do crap like that.

Anyway, I enjoyed the chapter and it felt like there was some plot development finally, although more is needed.  I think Howard Taylor said that if your story is getting boring, it's time to have the bad guys kick down the door.  That needs to happen here, metaphorically speaking of course.  I don't think they have doors in the pits.
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

Shivertongue

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Re: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2010, 06:59:20 AM »
Having finally gotten around to reading this chapter, I have to say I enjoyed it despite barely knowing what was going on. As with Sword of Worlds, I'm coming into this story late, and would have to read previous chapters to be brought up to date. That said, any critique I make is relative to this chapter only.

One thing that stuck out to me were the characters. Each one seems very developed and layered, from Jin to Burm to the unnamed Masei girl who wanted to buy Jin ( I liked her in particular. Hope we get to see more of her in the future  ;D .) Each has their own distinct voice, an element which does a lot to pull me into the story.

Clearly, Jin is out of place here, among boys like Burm who seem to think little beyond the life of a slave fighting in the pits. This is to be expected, though, considering the background he seems to have come from, and it's a wonder he's managed to adapt as well a she has to his life as a gladiator-slave-whatever. His power is interesting as well, whatever it is. (Not to mention I love his name. "Jin'Cathul"; rolls right off the tongue.)

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“I wouldn't call myself good at anything,” Jin said.
   “Except whining.”

He does whine a lot. Even having read only one chapter, it's starting to get on my nerves. Which means it's being written very effectively. Still wanna smack him upside the head, though.

I have to agree with Cynic above on the fight scene. I had to force myself to read through it, and every other sentence I was fighting the urge to skim down to more character or plot-related parts.

Overall, I'm very interested in what has happened before, and felt completely immersed in the setting and characters. There were some minor spelling areas, and a few parts of the prose that felt a bit awkward. For example:

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Jalean's shed was something of a mystery to the boys.  It was larger then the house Jin and his parents lived in and no one ever went in who was not Jalean and no one ever asked her about it.

I had to read this at least three times to fully absorb it, and it had the effect of knocking out of the story rather quickly. The second sentence is a bit of a run-on and interrupts the flow of the story. This isn't the only instance, so it's something you should probably keep an eye out for.
This propaganda has been brought to you by High Priest and Occasional Pope Archbishop Shivertongue Von Slamdance VI, of the Vibrating Purple cabal of POEE (Paratheoanametamystikhood Of Eris Esoteric). All rights ignored. Salvation not available in Idaho. Hail Eris. All Hail Discordia. Fnord?

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2010, 02:13:14 PM »
I've never had anyone call a story or character layered.  That's just crazy talk.

But on to something completely serious:  As you requested I have compiled every critiqueable piece of the story so far (sans perfect spelling) and will be sending it out with my submission for all those people who have asked me (you know . .  .the whole one of you).

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All that being said, Jalean actually liking Jin and being fond of him doesn't fit with your earlier chapters.  I mean, seriously, she had a spear to his nads, threatening to castrate him.  You punish someone to disguise your relationship, but you don't do crap like that.

It kinda does, at least to me, when placed in the whole perspective.  I do agree with you it seems out of sorts, but I'm hesitant to cut it or make it less out-of-sorts-ish since we come back to that part of the story and it holds a great deal of significance (to Jin's magic).  I do worry of course that it, as you mentioned Cynic, will drag the reading from the story kicking and screaming, beat them over the head with a rock and leave them wondering what happened.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 03:05:54 PM by LongTimeUnderdog »

Hamster

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Re: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2010, 11:02:15 PM »
This was by far my favourite of all your submissions. It had great(as is usual with your submissions) characterization and dialogue. I especially liked the conversation with Burm about being free, and Jalean and Jin's conversation about weapons, both were fairly interesting and engaging. But what made this my favourite chapter is that we finally get the feeling that things are moving forward, we get a taste of things to come. I mean, finally the Shroud came back into the story as something tangible, and we get to see a larger portion of Jalean's life, her motivations and desires and background, all the while moving the plot forward.

I do think however, that this chapter, or at least this type of chapter, needed to come earlier on. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your submissions, most of them didn't have a good hook to make me want to immediately read the next chapter. It was a cool world with nifty characters, but not really a plot line. I disagree with Cynic, I don't think more is needed in this chapter. I just think we needed this chapter earlier on.

And regarding the fight scene, I very much enjoyed it, sure it was a bit complex and wordy, but still engaging and understandable.
I agree with Cynic about the Jalean/Jin relationship though. I do think she was too tough with him, and the image of her  threatening to castrate him, when juxtaposed with this chapter, is a bit far fetched. Either she wouldn't have been that tough on him, or she wouldn't have been this friendly this quick. But if you have an explanation for it, or if it fits overall later on, then I'll accept it. It's not that jarring, definitely not
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drag the reading from the story kicking and screaming, beat them over the head with a rock and leave them wondering what happened.
 

Overall, like I said earlier, my favourite chapter, and I can't wait to see where this goes.

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2010, 03:56:49 AM »
Wait, did someone say I had good characterization . . . and to think I was under the impression I was lacking in that territory.

Cynic, I feel, is right.  The blow by blow scenario is . . . well . . .less interesting if you're not a fighter yourself (and even then).  What's funny is that the sparring session is written no differently then my other fights.  And this story will have plenty . . .plenty more (write what you know, after all).

You all will have to tell me if I hit this on the head or am off on my aim, but I think the difference between the sparring session and say Jin's first fight is two fold.  The first being that there is less emotional attachment here.  The fighters aren't interested in killing each other so there is no real tension here.  And Secondly it went on . . . and on . . . and on . . . and on.  It is very long.  And I think, looking back on the other submitted battles, that I might not be far off.  What do you all think?

Also . . . the Masei.  Wow . . . I gotta be honest, she was a last minute addition.  Thankfully I have no strict outline and maybe I can slot her in a few more times.  What about her was so appealing?  I know her daughter was a bit odd (on purpose) and I'm curious as well if there are feelings about her, ill or good.  After creating them, I have been wondering if/when I'd have a return on them.  Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed her.

Shivertongue

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Re: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2010, 09:10:43 AM »
It was the daughter I liked, actually. The one who wanted to buy Jin. She stood out to me more than some of the other characters in this chapter.
This propaganda has been brought to you by High Priest and Occasional Pope Archbishop Shivertongue Von Slamdance VI, of the Vibrating Purple cabal of POEE (Paratheoanametamystikhood Of Eris Esoteric). All rights ignored. Salvation not available in Idaho. Hail Eris. All Hail Discordia. Fnord?

Recovering_Cynic

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Re: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2010, 06:58:54 PM »
I agree with Hamster that a chapter like this needs to come earlier.  It will make the Jalean/Jin more interesting if we know that a second exists, a second relationship other than simple slave/master.
this is the way the world ends,
not with a bang, but a whimper
~T.S. Eliot

Asmodemon

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Re: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2010, 08:34:07 PM »
I’m going to agree with what the others have said; I also enjoyed this chapter of Jin the most so far, with the exception of the first chapter. I liked that one best of all.

The best thing about this chapter is that it feels like progress, like we can get some momentum going.

The first of two things I really like was that you developed Jalean a bit more. Change is good. I have to agree though that it feels a bit odd seeing this side of her now. There were hints, because she tolerated a bit more of Jin’s fussiness in the previous chapters when he was just so pathetically weak, but what I got most from those things though was that Jalean is bad at what she does rather than that she has feelings for the boy. To characters who know her and see her every day it just screams that something is wrong and if she wants to hide her feelings she does a good job of looking suspicious.

The second thing had to do with Herme. So Jalean is being watched. This raises questions of why she is being watched, who she is being watched for (the Circle of Dejat, bad guys?), and what the repercussions are. It also adds a sense of urgency to the story. Now that we know Jalean has feelings for Jin and might just come to his side we also get the threat to her that might take her out of his life. And just when something good might finally happen to him too.

Grab hold of that bit of momentum and push through. Let the bad guys do something. Or rather, show us the bad guys, because other than a twisted society and a hint of some Witch with the name of God we’ve got nothing.

ErikHolmes

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Re: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2010, 10:55:57 PM »
Great chapter. My favorite of them so far. I think the characters are all becoming more likeable.

It was great to see Jaleane as something then just a bad guy. I really think you need to show her as more and the conflicts she is facing earlier in your book.

And I'm glad Jin is finally not acting like such a baby. Sorry, but his personality just really isn't believable to me. I don't think someone can get beat on for that long and still remain that much of a baby.

I'll agree with everyone else about the combat. It wasn't the combat so much as Jalean explaining it all so much. It wasn't too bad though. It just needs to be tightened up a bit.

I wonder if it might be better to break that chapter up. Ending with Jalean and her visitor. It might make the sparing easier to read.

I'm a little confused by how tall Jin is. At times I think he's the tallest kid there, at others the shortest.

All in all, great stuff though.
Who the hell is interrupting my Kung Fu!

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: February 1 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God, Jin 5
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 03:20:55 PM »
Quote
And I'm glad Jin is finally not acting like such a baby. Sorry, but his personality just really isn't believable to me. I don't think someone can get beat on for that long and still remain that much of a baby.

I'm sorry you feel that way about Jin, Erik.  The problem is that most psychologists (read everyone that I know) will disagree with you.  There is a phenomenon that exists, the name of which I can't find, in which people behave exactly as they are treated.  If you treat someone like they're . . .well . . . a whiny baby, they will behave like a whiny baby.  You are correct that when someone is beat down there are times where they will harden and rise to the occasion, but that is only true if there are other motivating factors.  Because Jin has no motivation, no reason to think of anything better, he will continue his current behavior because that is the "normal" way of things.  I realize that to you it may be unbelievable, but that might just be your personal feelings about whiny kids not coping with what they've been handed (something I can personally agree with).  Jin behavior, however, is very normal.

Now everything else that has been mentioned about the story I have to agree with and I would like to thank everyone for their time in reading it an helping me.