Author Topic: June 8 - Ryos - Benders - Chapters 2b and 3  (Read 1900 times)

ryos

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June 8 - Ryos - Benders - Chapters 2b and 3
« on: June 09, 2010, 05:49:39 AM »
Thanks for putting up with the late submission.

So, I realized that I needed to expand chapter 2 in order to bridge to chapter 3. So, read chapter 2b as though it were tacked onto the end of the previously submitted chapter 2.

In my first submission, I had not yet decided what to call Thoracious' country, so I left {country} placeholders in the text. I have tentatively named it Nalend.

Thanks again.
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LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: June 8 - Ryos - Benders - Chapters 2b and 3
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2010, 06:20:03 PM »
No one should have to go a full week before someone comments on their stuff.  That's just impolite on my part.

Anyway, the whole seeing the future thing, neat.  Everything else, less.  It's not bad, nor uninteresting, simply that the whole seeing the future thing overshadows just about anything else.  This is of course not bad but is non-the-less a valid point to make.

Secondly, the characters themselves are all . . . well . . .okay the brain is cool because he's a brain.  Jonas is about as interesting as the rocks I walk on.  He does not stand out, nor is he at all likable.  He's selfish, self-centered (yes those are different), and just kind of obnoxious.  I suppose that's what's to make him funny, or humorous, but for me at least, he struck me as another arrogant twit who just thinks he's that much better then everyone else.  The fact that his brain mocks him is humorous, only in that I as the reader want to say the same thing.

The King, on the other hand, is slightly more interesting, in that he seems to want to do the right thing.  This makes him likable, at least, but he's not really doing anything but informing the guy from Kesh that he won't be invading Kesh.  To simplify it, all he's doing is not doing something.

A lot of things fall into expectedness within the story as well.  The King has vision of the future in which he's killed.  He resigns himself to this, totally wiping the tension from the moment.  The fact that it is our "hero," does not in anyway make it worth caring about.  Seeing visions of his own death, his own death at the hands of the other character, feeling he can't avoid it, are all pretty much tried and retried ideas.  They're not bad, but in this case there is no tension in the scene.  It's just . . .a scene which plays out about as I thought it would.  You do score points for having the vision already marked as unavoidable, but you loose marks for tension lose.

the writing is good enough, nothing special . .. or perhaps just unnoticable.  I did find myself having very little effort required of me to keep the images in my head of what was going on.  so that's really a good thing.  Keep it up.


And that's it.

ryos

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Re: June 8 - Ryos - Benders - Chapters 2b and 3
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2010, 07:15:15 PM »
You know, I've been too busy to critique anyone else this week (or the prior week for that matter), so I understand. No worries. Thanks for the comments. :)
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Renoard

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Re: June 8 - Ryos - Benders - Chapters 2b and 3
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 12:35:27 AM »
Well it took me a bit to put my head into editor mode. 

This is good, it definitely pushes the story along, but unfortunately puts Thoracious squarely into the role of chief executive, yet so incompetent that it's improbable to believe he'd have any loyalty.

I had some issues with anachronisms, until it became clear this was modern era.  Still some items like seven story buildings are pretty hard to swallow.

The other thing that bothers me is that the Nmae passage was so short and now we have a two good chunks of Nalendi culture and politics.  Unless Chapter 1 becomes a prologue we need a bit more.  Maybe start earlier in her mission etc.  We need to know why she and her people are important enough to remember so that she doesn't become a puzzling new character by the time we see more of her.
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Shivertongue

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Re: June 8 - Ryos - Benders - Chapters 2b and 3
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2010, 10:00:13 AM »
Okay, as suggested, I reread chapter 2 and immediately went into 2b as if they were together.

Thorrylacious?

The king spends his time in the future? Is he physically there, or just a clairvoyant thing? The latter would be far more interesting, unless the former means that he just sends his mind forward while his body remains behind. Basically, as long as time travel isn't involved, it's cool.

Is Dalrymple's brain a character of it's own? Wow... that is really cool. Are they distinctly separate personalities, or is it just an overactive part of his imagination? I like how self-centered and selfish Dalrymple is; such traits sometimes lead to the best character arcs. Plus it leads to some great dialogue between him and His Brain.

I'm wondering what Trinium is. My guess right now is some kind of drug that gives the user visions of the future.

At this point, as it's revealed he's been conscripted into the king's guard, I have to wonder why. Does it have something to do with what happened in the short story I haven't read? If so, those events should be summarized or brought into the story to better explain things, and give a good reason for why Dalrymple is special enough to warrant both the attention of the king and whatnot.

Chapter 3...

Ah, so Trinnium is a drink. A vision-inducing beverage. Must be hard to come by, and rather expensive, else everyone would be using it for stupid things, like whether or not to wear the red shirt or whether to get the blueberry or cherry pie for dessert.

Quote
Trinnium visions always came to pass. ++Always++. Every last thing he had ever seen had happened exactly as he’d seen it. Changing the foreseen future was simply impossible; he’d tried, and never succeeded. He had thought a great deal about how this might be; as near as he could tell, the visions were recursive. They didn’t show you the future so you could change it—they showed you the future that had been altered by your having seen it.

Really, I'd think the best solution then would be to not use the stuff. There isn't much point in seeing the future if you can't try to change it, and if everything your seeing will happen because you saw it, you may as well not see it. Can taking another shot of Trinnium change the previous future you saw? Could the king just keep drinking the stuff until he got a more satisfactory future?

I'm going to agree with LTU on most of the rest. The writing is good, the prose sufficiently translucent to the point that I have no trouble seeing the story playing out in my head. However, trinnium really destroys tension, especially since the visions of the future cannot be avoided. If they could work to prevent them somehow, it gives a nice timebomb to the story, but since they can't... I'm wondering where exactly the conflict is in this.

And... that's really all I have. Good writing, not sure what's happening with the plot yet.
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ryos

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Re: June 8 - Ryos - Benders - Chapters 2b and 3
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2010, 08:17:49 PM »
Quote
Can taking another shot of Trinnium change the previous future you saw? Could the king just keep drinking the stuff until he got a more satisfactory future?

I may need to address in the story itself, but: no, and no. :)

The lack of tension is a problem. I hadn't considered that when I came up with the stuff. I know it's possible to write unchangeable foretellings in a way that creates tension, because I've seen it done before (specifically, both Min's viewings and Aes Sedai Foretellings in the Wheel of TIme). I'll have to work on that.
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Shivertongue

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Re: June 8 - Ryos - Benders - Chapters 2b and 3
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2010, 08:31:38 PM »
Quote
Can taking another shot of Trinnium change the previous future you saw? Could the king just keep drinking the stuff until he got a more satisfactory future?

I may need to address in the story itself, but: no, and no. :)

The lack of tension is a problem. I hadn't considered that when I came up with the stuff. I know it's possible to write unchangeable foretellings in a way that creates tension, because I've seen it done before (specifically, both Min's viewings and Aes Sedai Foretellings in the Wheel of TIme). I'll have to work on that.

Well, the way they work in The Wheel of Time is that they're vague and have to be deciphered. Nobody quite knows what they mean, when they're supposed to happen, or even if they've already happened. They also don't happen all the time, and cannot be summoned at will. Dreaming, the Foretelling, Min's Visions

Trinnium visions appear to be absolute, and how they are witnessed isn't muddled or confusing. They're very straightforward. If they required deciphering, or maybe if there was a limit to how much you could have in any given time frame (like, say, more than a pint in one year and your mind becomes trapped in seeing the future forever or something) to prevent massive over-use, it might help things.

Or have the Trinnium stolen. Nothing more fun that forcing your characters to give up a crutch and watching them try to stay upright. :D
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ryos

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Re: June 8 - Ryos - Benders - Chapters 2b and 3
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2010, 09:21:50 PM »
Quote
Well, the way they work in The Wheel of Time is that they're vague and have to be deciphered. Nobody quite knows what they mean, when they're supposed to happen, or even if they've already happened. They also don't happen all the time, and cannot be summoned at will. Dreaming, the Foretelling, Min's Visions.

Yes, but only sometimes. Sometimes people know exactly what those things mean, like Min having a vision and knowing that someone will be killed by the One Power, etc. Thoracious had the equivalent of Min telling him that Dalrymple would shoot at him, but that it wouldn't kill him.

Trinnium actually ties in with Bending, and its absoluteness is a consequence of the way it works. Also, I made it that way to avoid infinite recursive loops, which is always a danger when foretelling the future.

Quote
Or have the Trinnium stolen. Nothing more fun that forcing your characters to give up a crutch and watching them try to stay upright.

I can neither confirm nor deny this baseless speculation. :P
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