Author Topic: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6  (Read 2418 times)

LongTimeUnderdog

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February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« on: February 15, 2010, 07:36:45 AM »
And Jin 6.  I feel like I'm missing something that could make this chapter really awesome.  Well I'm sure one of you will see it and help me out.  Anyway, to recap:

Jin'Cathul was originally the son of a researcher into a phenomenon called "The Shroud."  The Shroud, normally associated with religious magic called Lyrisism.  Jin's father was trying to understand it outside of that particular venue.  Called in to examine a strange occurrence, a hole in The Shroud, Jin found out that his inherent ability to produce effects in the Shroud (making his hand spark purple), was connected to the hole and a very odd dagger made of a metal called Orcan.  When Jin and the dagger were brought together . . . well bad things happened.

On the run for months after that and have seizures resulting from dreams about the incident, Jin and his father Talven visited the Bazaar to sell some goods and continue their run.  To Jin's surprise his father sold him into a place called the Pits to a woman named Jalean.  Jalean immediately took to making his life miserable.

Jin, after several attempts to escape and having given up nearly all hope of ever dying or escaping was approached by Jalean and instructed in a particular sword form she had never taught any of the other boys.  With her specific teaching that day, Jin was able to produce an added effect to his innate magic, that is blowing things up.

And this is where the chapter starts.

By the way, day on this world (for newer readers) equates to 5 of our days before the three suns actually set.  Night lasts just as long.  So everyone goes to sleep at the end of the huuk, and wake up at the start of the next one.

Have fun!

Asmodemon

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 11:11:38 PM »
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By the way, day on this world (for newer readers) equates to 5 of our days before the three suns actually set.† Night lasts just as long.† So everyone goes to sleep at the end of the huuk, and wake up at the start of the next one.

Really? I didnít know this, when did you show this, because I might have missed it. Iím going to jump on this little revelation about your setting for a moment, so indulge me :)

The effects of three suns, other than the heat, is not something that jumps out at me in your setting. So far I didnít equate a Ďhuukí with a period within a day that takes five of ours. We see the world mostly by Ďdayí, not night. Knowing a night takes five of our days as well it makes the fear of the darken more understandable, but it also makes apparent some problems.

Iíve looked back at Anaiah 1:5, where itís also night. The tribe has a campfire and torches. I suppose the fear of darken will make them want to keep the fire burning all night...which means for five days straight at a time Ė what are they using for fuel? How many torches do they have? Is it wood? But werenít they in a desert? Now I realize there are many types of desert, but there canít be that many trees or bushes around to keep fires going for so long.

Iíd like to see and know more of the setting, because such small things like day and night make the world come alive more.

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I feel like I'm missing something that could make this chapter really awesome.

Onto the chapter itself. I think I can see what you mean by something being missing. I hate to sound like a broken record, but what itís missing in my opinion is action. The chapter is some 6700 words long and what happens is basically Jin going from the arena to a manor. Nothing happens, itís all passive.

First we get long descriptions of some of the other fighters and their gear, of which I can remember next to nothing. By the time any of those guys has to fight youíll have to mention the weapons and armour again.

Also, nothing happens during dress up other than Jaleanís kiss, which I felt was too sudden.

All her displays of affection, in this chapter and the last, are too sudden and different from how she acted before. Now if this had been going on longer, some glances here and there, some stray touches, a little late night training, more touches, and then the kiss, this chapter would work better for me. Such an approach would also create a conflict for Jin if he feels uncomfortable with it. Your story needs more conflict, not misery mind you, but conflict. Something the characters can deal with.

Then we get to the manor, where Jalean is surprisingly absent all of a sudden. This is one of the worst places for Jin to be because the chances are higher of her losing him somehow. Why isnít she supervising the affair, or getting in the girlís way? Why didnít she warn Jin that telling the truth about his sponsorship was going to cost him? Youíd think sheíd have thought of that.

There are a number of things that could spice up this chapter I think, but they all amount to nurturing conflict.
  • Repercussions of the dummy. The only one who really suspects is Durm and heís not telling anyone. Destroying the dummy should have more of a buzz, in Jalean and in her watcher Herme especially. If Jalean suspects it was Jin she should be very worried.
  • Whether Herme suspects Jin destroyed the dummy or not (he has no reason to), he might take Jin aside and try to glean from him whatís going on between him and Jalean (as a follow up on last chapter). Such an aside will worry Jalean, and if she suspects Jin is more than he seems, the worries will mount. Worry creates a sense of urgency and thatís what Iím missing mostly.
  • Cut down on the walking and the dress up. Nothing happens so itís not important. You should be increasing the pacing, not slow it down.

With Jin at chapter six, and a similar projected number of chapters for the other three main characters weíre at 24 chapters, averaging 4000 words each (this is generous, because Anaiah 1:5 was around 7000 words and this one 6700).

Thatís a story of 96,000 words of Ďbeginningí. That number is my biggest fear for this story. Being generous (again) and splitting beginning, middle, and end, in three equal parts thatís a story of 300,000 words before the end. Thatís going to be a hard sell, I think.

Shivertongue

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 12:01:57 AM »
With Jin at chapter six, and a similar projected number of chapters for the other three main characters weíre at 24 chapters, averaging 4000 words each (this is generous, because Anaiah 1:5 was around 7000 words and this one 6700).

Thatís a story of 96,000 words of Ďbeginningí. That number is my biggest fear for this story. Being generous (again) and splitting beginning, middle, and end, in three equal parts thatís a story of 300,000 words before the end. Thatís going to be a hard sell, I think.


I'm only about partway through the chapter, but this is something that's been nagging at me a bit as well. A great amount of story has been given to the early lives and development of these characters. While this has the benefit of fleshing them out very well, it's having the added effect of slowing down the story. I'm still not certain as to what the main, overarching conflict is and how it relates to the principal cast. The writing is good, in some places great, but if I had found this in the bookstore or checked it out from the library, I'd be nearing the point now where I want to see something happen.

Like Asmo said,  a hard sell. This is shaping up to be a very long story, the first book in a series if I understand correctly. However, the first book should be able to stand on it's own as a novel, and without an overarching conflict showing up at this point, I'm not sure if it can.

That out of the way, I'll modify this once I get home and finish reading the chapter to give my impressions on it.

To be modified...
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Recovering_Cynic

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 07:56:25 PM »
Thoughts while reading:

Okay, you need to shorten the description of Burm's armor.  Just hit the highlights.  Same applies to the other warriors.  Too much description just makes your reader scan ahead.

Finished.



Ok, looking at everyone else's comments, I will ditto them.  They are absolutely on point.  Specifically, about the armor, it is awesome armor.  I like what they are wearing, I just don't need to know every last article and accessory of clothing.  My eyes glazed when I realized you were giving a head to toe description.

There is something here, though.  I like the magic development with Jin's arm, and also his developing relationship with Burm.  I like where Jin's story is going, it just needs to be condensed.  Basically, this needs to be chapter three, or maybe even four of Jin's story.  He just spends too much time languishing in the pits.

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

ErikHolmes

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 02:23:50 AM »
Ok, here is my take on it.

First off, I thought the writing was good. It was a big submission but I had no problem getting through it (I did feel that the descriptions of the armor were a tad long, but only a tad. I'd save them for later if we actually see any of those men fight).

The only thing that really threw off was his description of how the blood sparkled in his mouth. To me sparkling is a visual thing, it can't happen in his mouth. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a magical term, but I'd go with something else.

I'm going to second Asmodemon's comment. There isn't enough conflict in the story and when there is conflict, I'm just not feeling it.

I think part of the problem for me is that Jin comes off as such a failure that it makes him unsympathetic. He just seems like a loser. He makes all these escape attempts but always gets caught, he's the worst at fighting, the biggest whiner of the group, and wants to die.

This might be ok if there was a lot going on, but so far we are only getting to see how rough of a life Jin has. Every chapter he is tormented in some new way, which really just makes us not care about it I think.

Again, this might be ok if each chapter something happened. The only thing that happens in this chapter is that Jin gets kissed by Jalean and talks to a girl. You honestly could have started the chapter with Jin being led into the room full of girls.

And hooks, hooks, hooks. The chapter should start with a few and end with a big one to keep the reader reading. Right now I kind of feel like you have all these things that are going on in your world, but you don't want to tell the reader any of them yet. Don't be afraid to reveal things early on.
Who the hell is interrupting my Kung Fu!

Shivertongue

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 10:42:30 AM »
I think part of the problem for me is that Jin comes off as such a failure that it makes him unsympathetic. He just seems like a loser. He makes all these escape attempts but always gets caught, he's the worst at fighting, the biggest whiner of the group, and wants to die.

This might be ok if there was a lot going on, but so far we are only getting to see how rough of a life Jin has. Every chapter he is tormented in some new way, which really just makes us not care about it I think.

I'm gonna second this. Show too much of how rough Jin's life in the pits is, and the readers will start to become desensitized to it. Add in that he comes across as very whiny, and it makes it rather difficult to sympathize with him.

Anyway, homework is all done, and I said I'd give this a more thorough review.

Thoughts while reading:

Agree with the clothing thing. Jalean's works, as it helps establish what's going on. This is an important event, and she should look her best. With the boys, however - excluding perhaps Jin - unless it's vitally important to the story that the reader know what they are wearing, these descriptions can be woven into the narrative where they're needed, if they are. Unless Burm's clothes effect how he fights, or hinders him, or does something interesting, it's not especially important.

The problem with the detail, as mentioned above, is that the reader will just scan over it. They won't be able to keep all that information in their heads, and are even less likely to do so if it has little application to the plot. Hit the highlights and move on.

Hehe... Burm. I find him amusing, and I don't know why.

Yes! Masei girl is back! Loving the interaction between the two. Easily the highlight of the chapter.

Done.

Yeah, it needs more conflict. The scene at the end is great, but the stuff before it needs some work. Prose is great, dialogue is great, but the events that happen need something to better push them forward. Repercussions for the dummy seem like the best option, although I can understand why you don't have Jalean finding out about it.

Jin's relationship with Burm, as noted before, is a strong point, as is the little mystery about the magic in his arm. Overall, I'd say condense when you go through after the first draft. Perhaps this was your plan all along - putting more than you need in the first draft works for some writers, and when they go through on the second draft it's much easier to trim.

The note you made on the length of the days surprised me. So each day is equivalent to five of ours? Does this mean that these people are awake for 120 hours straight? I'd assume, adapting and evolving for this world, that they can handle such a thing. A human goes three days (seventy-two hours) without sleep and they're considered legally insane. I went five days without once. Was hallucinating and incomprehensible until my roommates finally forced me to conk out...
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Asmodemon

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2010, 11:23:41 PM »

The note you made on the length of the days surprised me. So each day is equivalent to five of ours? Does this mean that these people are awake for 120 hours straight? I'd assume, adapting and evolving for this world, that they can handle such a thing. A human goes three days (seventy-two hours) without sleep and they're considered legally insane. I went five days without once. Was hallucinating and incomprehensible until my roommates finally forced me to conk out...

The way I'm reading things now, since that note, is that the time of one of our days is a 'huuk' and the people go to sleep every 'huuk'. Though I might be wrong about this as I've completely missed the 120 hour daylight and 120 hour nights before. Wow, this actually means a full day is 240 hours. What I'd like to know is if a year is actually 36 of their days or some other number. Jin being fourteen has a completely different meaning if it's not.

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 03:50:39 AM »
Actually I wanted to use something other then years to measure age.† I tried seasons, but that was just too confusing.† so I'm stuck with years until something better comes along.

The other idea I passed around in my head was having half the year be day light, and half the year being night.  That would give me a Bright Season and a Dark Season.  When I researched astronomical occurrences of such I found . . . none.  Knowing some astronomer would totally call me on it, I opted for the next best thing.  Blue Moon.

If you want to know what Blue Moon is, you'll have to look it up.  It's . . . complicated.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 03:52:57 AM by LongTimeUnderdog »

Shivertongue

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2010, 04:27:26 AM »
Blue Moon as in the 'once every two-and-a-half-years' blue moon? Meaning their years go from one blue moon to the next, and one year for them would be two and a half for us?

That would make Jin the equivalent of... 35? And Guli about 30? I must be getting that wrong. And how would you account for the years that have two blue moons?

The only other option I can find is the blue moon that refers to the third full moon out of four in a season. How that would effect age or years, I can't begin to guess, except that one of our years would equal about four of theirs...

You're right, I am confused...  ???
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LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2010, 05:49:05 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurelia_and_Blue_Moon

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With an orbital time of roughly ten days, that means five days of continuous night and five days of continuous daytime. The long days and nights also create strong cross-hemisphere winds that help keep the Skywhales afloat, in addition to the density of the atmosphere and its increased oxygen concentration compared to Earth.

My little world is a quirky combination of both with magic Shroud sustaining it.

vegetathalas

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2010, 03:52:05 AM »
Catching up...Busy few weeks.

I second most of everything said. It's too slow. It's worldbuilding, and so far, I don't know how this fits into the overarching plot. I'd like to see an outline of your story from beginning to end so I could see how this is building to some kind of...something. Some main climax and conflict that brings all your characters together. As I see it, it's a lot of background that could probably be summed up later in a "Jin has nightmares from his time as a pit-boy" type of flashback thing.

I also have problems with your characters. Their emotions seem to flicker and change too fast with no build-up. Much of the time, I find myself confused about why a character says and thinks and acts a certain way. I just don't have a grasp on who they are as people, possibly because I missed some chapters, but it seems like much of the time the characters behave/emote in ways I wouldn't expect. Jin seems to act a lot younger than I believe he actually is. I pointed it out once in the marked-up version I emailed to you, but there are other places, too.

I'm not a fan of Burm's dialect, but I don't hate it. Which is saying something, since I usually hate all character dialects.

I like Jin and Candy's discussion. It feels authentic.

I've noticed you have a problem with "passed" and past." Passed is the past-tense verb, while "past" is a descriptor. Also with than and then. Than is comparative. Then is a time thing.

The ending to the chapter makes me want to read on. I would be annoyed as a reader if she just goes and saves him after a chapter end like that, so I hope she doesn't.

I had a few more comments I stuffed into the marked-up version I emailed you. Economically, I wonder if the slave structure of your society is sound. Jalean won't make much money if all her slaves are all killed in fights. Even the Romans usually let their gladiators hang around for a few bouts, and the Aztecs only managed to get so many slaves to sacrifice by constant war and conquest. I wonder how new boys ever get sponsors if they don't have arms to start with.

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2010, 04:54:53 AM »
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I'd like to see an outline of your story from beginning to end so I could see how this is building to some kind of...something. Some main climax and conflict that brings all your characters together.

I can't.  This is almost entirely "Discovery Writing."  As far as Jin's specific plot, you'll have to check your private messages because I'm keeping it under raps.

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I'd like to see an outline of your story from beginning to end so I could see how this is building to some kind of...something. Some main climax and conflict that brings all your characters together.

Well . . . I don't want to give it away . . . but the next chapter has ninjas.

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I like Jin and Candy's discussion. It feels authentic.

Hehe, you called her Candy.

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I wonder how new boys ever get sponsors if they don't have arms to start with.

I'm changing it in rewrite, but the reason this is happening is two fold.

First off, this is the "BIG" Advertising day for the boys.  It's just all them.  Since Jin has never been allowed to fight in "lesser" games he was never loaned gear to fight in and so has never won his own gear.  The second reason is jalean is hoping that no one sponsors him.  { Spoiler Warning }  If Jin were to ever have sex with anyone (part of the sponsorship) they would die of magical radiation poisoning.  She doesn't want him fighting anyway, so without weapons, no one would dare put him up to fight . . .except Candy (hehehe) but she has her reasons.

vegetathalas

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2010, 05:09:03 AM »
Ooh. Ninjas (Drool.)

Uh oh. I'm a discovery writer too, so I know what it a pain it is. But with so many characters and such a big, well-defined world...uh, well, I hope you have at least a general road-map of where you're going.

Hmm. Magical sex radiation death, huh? That could be interesting.

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: February 15 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Name of God Jin 1:6
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2010, 04:53:42 AM »
Well it's more like a movie in my head.  Or a series of trailers.  I just kind of close my eyes, find the images that I want, and then start describing them.