Author Topic: May 17 - Asmodemon - The Citadel of Thorns, Chapter Four  (Read 1937 times)

Asmodemon

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May 17 - Asmodemon - The Citadel of Thorns, Chapter Four
« on: May 17, 2010, 09:48:34 PM »
Hello everyone,

here we have the fourth chapter for The Citadel of Thorns; night has fallen but trouble never rests.

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: May 17 - Asmodemon - The Citadel of Thorns, Chapter Four
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 11:20:28 PM »
Having four different PoVs is annoying.  Let me back that up.

The story, from the first chapter, seems to be Rosalin's journey with a supporting cast.  At least that's what I thought when I read the opening two chapters.  so far, it seems that you're setting her up to do something big and bad.  Unfortunately we keep diverting with this character Dias.  And now Black Rose and Rosen's original partner in crime.  They're all interesting characters, I suppose, but it feels like they're all trying to upstage each other.  "It's my turn!,"  "No!  My turn!"

 We're moving so much between people, for instance, that Rosalin only gets two entire moments, one drinking, and another punching a guy in the face (funny).  Dais is worried about the invasion, then he gets up to answer nature.  Then he gets captured, so he's got three moments.  Black Rose has one.  Or to put it simpler, there's so much going on that it feels like nothing is going on.

As far as the other, important stuff, things do seem to be happening on the actual writing end.  It was a good read.  Easy read.  Don't associate Easy with bad now.  Easy means enjoyable and prosetic (if poetry gets it's own adjective, prose should too).The dialogue is much improved, so YAY there.  And that's about it.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 12:30:19 AM by LongTimeUnderdog »

Drew P

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Re: May 17 - Asmodemon - The Citadel of Thorns, Chapter Four
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 11:31:44 PM »
I didn't get this one emailed to me. I got LTU's....

Could you maybe try resending it to me.

Asmodemon

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Re: May 17 - Asmodemon - The Citadel of Thorns, Chapter Four
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2010, 10:04:24 PM »
Drew, I resend it to you. Did you get it this time?

Drew P

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Re: May 17 - Asmodemon - The Citadel of Thorns, Chapter Four
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2010, 11:23:15 PM »
Yes I did get it this time. Gave it a quick overview...Wow, you've got a lot going here.

I will try to give it a proper read through later and post any helpful comments I can.

Thanks for re-sending it!

Justice1337

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Re: May 17 - Asmodemon - The Citadel of Thorns, Chapter Four
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 01:14:39 AM »
This is the first chapter of The Citadel of Thorns that I've read, so forgive me if being out of the loop has caused any mistakes in my critique.

It sounds like a truly profound event has shaken the lives of many characters.  That's good.  I'll assume that the plot, or at least the next few chapters of it, consists of the characters trying to put things back together, so to speak.  (Humpty Dumpty)


From the first two viewpoint scenes, the characters’ contemplation of loss really strikes an emotional note.  That’s good because the first thing you want in a sequel (reaction to an event in drama) is an emotional response from those affected.  But it seemed to me that emotion was all these sections really did.

To have a sequel in drama, there needs to be clear, logical thought in the characters’ minds after the emotion subsides.  The thought doesn't need to be logical, often people don't think that way, but at least the explanation of the fact that the character is illogial and why needs to be logical.  The logical steps of that thought leads the characters to the next step in the sequence of plot.  So 1 – emotion, 2- thought and 3 – decision.

The characters have plenty of thoughts but none of them seem to lead anywhere.  In the first section, the character seems sort of surprised by “closing time”.  She just takes up a room because she hasn’t decided on anything else.  This may happen in real life after a loss, but it’s bad for drama.  The character needs to get to the next step sometime, maybe even after staying a few days at the inn as written, but the reader doesn’t need to be carried along until the character is ready to decide something.  If she takes so long to decide that she skips a large section of the chronological plot, then including this character in so large of a capacity that she needs a viewpoint scene every chapter is a dramatic mistake.  I’m rambling.  Basically, there are lots of ways to do this and you get the general idea.

As for the second section, there’s more forward plot movement here as far as Black Rose going to Orchid’s army, but it’s unexplained.  Maybe it’s obvious to anyone who’s read chapters 1-3 why Black Rose would want to join Orchid’s army, but the section reads like this is the first time they’ve met, then you find out that it’s not, and all the while you’re left wondering whether Black Rose likes Orchid and what exactly her judgment is of her “tactical prowess” – whether the appearance is enough or not.  These would be things that a person would consider in deciding whether to join the army of a given general, I think.  Does she think that Orchid will help her find her “abilities” or get back her throne?  Does she just trust Orchid?  Maybe she just wants to join up to kill something, I don’t know.  But whatever it is, this decision needs to be both fully explained to the reader and done so consistently with who Black Rose is as a character.  The thing is with profound emotional responses is that they usually involve just as much logical thought afterward to resolve what must be done. Step 1, emotion and Step 2, thought should be fairly equal.  But what you have in these 1000 words is 800 of emotion (which was good) and 200 of thought (which was good, but insufficient).  I don’t know, maybe after reflection you’ll realize that Black Rose doesn’t have very strong motivations to join Orchid.  If so, you’ve found a defect in the plot.  Drama needs characters with strong, palpable motivations.  But like most of us, you probably have it all straight in your head, and it’s just putting it to paper that’s tough.  I know it is for me.

Reading on in the chapter, I noticed similar problems with the rest of the sections.  Good description, but the elements of plot seem thin.

ryos

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Re: May 17 - Asmodemon - The Citadel of Thorns, Chapter Four
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2010, 05:12:03 AM »
I just read all five of your submissions over the past few days, so forgive me if this critique covers multiple chapters.

I have two main criticisms to offer you. First, I'll echo the complaints of the others on format. I wanted more to happen during each viewpoint, and the breaks between viewpoints felt arbitrary. You frequently just stop a viewpoint and leave us hanging; I'd wish for a more decisive end. This was not very pronounced at the start of the story, but has gradually grown worse the further you've gone.

Even the division into chapters feels arbitrary. You seem to want to write a chapterless book, like most of Pratchett's Discworld books. That is as valid a format as the chapters most authors use, and you might want to consider it. Otherwise, try to limit your chapters to one or two viewpoints; this seems to be the standard in the books I've read. If you do either of these things, I think the problem of jumping around too much should take care of itself.

Second, Rosalin's not acting the way I expect someone in her position to act. She breezed right through denial and anger, skipped over bargaining and landed hard on depression, where she's currently stuck. I want to pick her up and shake her (heh, like she'd let me), and tell her that her sister isn't dead, so what the heck is she doing wandering despondently through the countryside? What does she want to drink herself into oblivion for? Her sister is alive; she saved her; if she could just find her way back home then she could be reunited with her.

But, is she anxiously engaged in trying to recover what is not forever lost to her? No; she's anxiously engaged in trying to forget that she exists. That's just not the reaction I'd expect from the spunky and attached girl you introduced in the first chapter.

In the realm of more minor criticisms, right now I'm wondering in what way Black Rose's town was her prison. Did the destruction of its buildings break something that bound her? Or has she always been able to to leave as she pleased? There are other questions, such as: how is she preserved alive, in what way is she bound, and what, exactly, is Rosalin, since it's rather obvious she couldn't be her sister? Those are probably best left to later chapters, but a hint about the first would be nice to have right now.

On the positive end of things, I am really enjoying the story. It took reading past the second chapter, but I'm hooked. I like your characters, and you've got a good setup for an interesting story to take place. Keep at it!
Eerongal made off with my Fluffy Puff confections.

RavenstarRHJF

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Re: May 17 - Asmodemon - The Citadel of Thorns, Chapter Four
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2010, 02:35:07 AM »
I think ryos' suggestion on format is pretty good for what you're setting up here.  But I also agree that most of your viewpoints are too short- aside from the ending viewpoints, which have always been short, and serve mainly to let us know that stuff is happening elsewhere, too.  Which I like.

The dialogue is improving, but the prose in this chapter is sometimes confusing.  The sentences flow, but the ideas sometimes get tangled up in each other.  Or maybe I'm just tired.

I'm a little unclear about how Black Rose was released, and I think you need to show that because otherwise I'm going to wonder why the heck it took anyone four hundred years to do it if it was that easy.  Perhaps you could cover that in more detail later on.  I do like that her imprisonment has changed her.  The disconnected way she feels right now seems just about right.  She's out of time, so it fits.
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