Author Topic: December 27, 2010. Hubay – Lord Domestic, Ch 2  (Read 1727 times)

hubay

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December 27, 2010. Hubay – Lord Domestic, Ch 2
« on: December 27, 2010, 08:33:10 PM »
Here you go – someone made a comment about swearing in my last chapter, and while I think its likely that group of soldiers would be swearing at least once a sentence, I decided it might feel better to use non-modern swear words. So I did some haphazard research and came up with some pseudo-latin profanity. Let me know what you think.

Lord Domestic, Ch 2 – 3000 words, L, V

Ch1 summary:
Jhuz, the human Standard of the imperial legion, watches as the army engages with a barbarian enemy. in the middle of the battle, the supernatural Chell attack, and the legion is routed. Jhuz's commander, Prefect Gaitu, is wounded in an attack by the harpylike flyers from the barbarian enemy.

Ch2
we see the affects on morale in the camp the night after the battle. A council of war is called, and Ezlio has some words with Jhuz.

akoebel

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Re: December 27, 2010. Hubay – Lord Domestic, Ch 2
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 11:25:38 AM »

Another nice chapter to read. Here are the few points that worried me:

* The first phrase "the battle of Sanction, as it came to be known" doesn't ring right for me in third limited. It would work in omniscient or first person, but in third, how can I be inside the character's head, and that character have knowledge of events occurring after the action ? I realize that you might need to setup the name of the battle ("Sanction") as people are wondering later in the chapter if the battle had been a sanction or not. Maybe just dropping the "as it came to be known" would be enough to smooth my POV concern, though I believe it might leave some questions.
* I still have difficulties about the familiars. Are they separate entities from the human hosts or not? At times, it feels like yes (the familiars do the hunting?), but how can they do that if they're a bunch of skin and bones attached to someone's shoulder.
* The purpose of the meeting seems a little off for me : I think the prefect has been receiving constant casualty reports since the battle, so why go over them now? (Feels a little too info-dumpy).
* The way I see bodyguards, they're pretty proud people. I think one would rather blame his own failure at not dispatching enemies quick enough (thus preventing him from protecting his charge), than blame the guy who happened to be there and whose job it wasn't to protect the prefect. I think one would even be shamed that someone else saved the prefect's life. But that could be just me here.
* I re-read the ending of the first chapter and couldn't find anywhere mention of the prefect authorizing Jhuz's use of force.

Looking forward to the next installment.

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: December 27, 2010. Hubay – Lord Domestic, Ch 2
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 05:24:44 PM »
There seems to be a great deal of funky past perfect (okay I'm terrible at grammar, but still) and the like.  He had been, They would have thought, that kind of thing.  A perfect example is right here:

   Jhuz was waiting to be called to a council of war. Instead of the normal officers’ tent, which had been burned by the Chell, it would have to be held in the open air. Normally this would have been cause for the more petty officers to complain, but tonight no one spoke. The entire camp was subdued.

All those extra little verbs like would, was, have, and had are fine by themselves but all those extra little words are annoying and just sort of slow everything.  A better way to write this paragraph (not at all to dictate your writting, but to share example) might be:

   Jhuz waited by his fire for the war council call.  With the damage to the officer's tent it would be held in the open air.  While this normally would merrit complaints by the less disciplined officers, or the more garish of them, the recent battle left the camp subdued and quiet.  It was a welcome change.

That's just an example and while I wouldn't call it a pefect paragraph, I think it makes its point.

The piece still sufferes a bit from telling instead of showing.  For example, even in the above paragraph, you call the camp quiet and subdued.  In this case I think it can slide a little because its mroe scene setting before the real meat of the piece comes into effect but I think there is a lot of room to improve on it still.  Less direct exposition about things and more demonstration of them.  Also, the phrase "petty officers," seems in this case to mean the petty as in too concerned with small comforts.  Petty officers is an actual phrase that means . . . well petty officers, a group of ranked individuals.  "The Petty Officers are in the mess hall."

Another thing about officer to commander, at least in a real military, is that they are all perfectly civil with each other.  As a superior, Jhuz would normally have the authority to have Terze flogged and stripped of rank for the way he treats Jhuz.  In all militaries (okay, in all strong militaries) when the commander says jump you jump and wait for him to tell you went to come back down.  So them, while that little exchange gives us some good insight into Jhuz and Terze, it lacks a certain credibility and authenticness.  Maybe that's what you're trying to show, in which case you've succeeded marvelously.  But that still doesn't change that I feel, while reading this, that these aren't real members of a military at all.

Not deilvering information like that about the War Council would be grounds for a court martial if Jhuz was less apathetic.  Also the phrase "Didn't get it," strikes me as too modern.  But that's probably just me.  I, ironicly, don't have the same issue with the cursing.

Like before, your writting improves a great deal and the story moves well enough once the scene and such is set up and we're actually engaged into the meat of what's going on.  Right up into the end where Ezlio manhandles Jhuz.  Bodyguard, while an imporant job, is not an officer and if I remember right, Jhuz is still the superior of the two.  Behavior as Ezlio displayed is serious grounds for expulsion and disciplinary action.  Striking a superior is one of the worse "simple," crimes someone can commit in most militaries.  Those kinds of rules keep the lower ranks in check, as there tends to be many more of them then higher ranks.

hubay

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Re: December 27, 2010. Hubay – Lord Domestic, Ch 2
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2010, 09:03:35 PM »
akoebel – he actually gives the permission fairly early in the chapter, before the attack. I figured that way readers would shove it to the back of their mind and than be about as startled as Jhuz when Ezlio mentions it. And I'll try to work a description about grafting into a later chapter. Here Jhuz just summoned an eagle using commejj.

LTU, you bring up some good points about the discipline again. I can explain some of that away by saying yes, Jhuz could reprimand most of the people who've been messing with him, but he won't because he's convinced himself he really is a coward, and he also thinks it would just make matters worse. Also, Gaitu has been telling the other officers to goad him into fighting again; Ezlio isn't really a lesser officer because he's sort of on loan from the emperor.

I always feel wrong explaining things away on here though, cuz it's kind of pointless unless i get the information into the story for normal readers. I do talk about some of that in future chapters, though..

Asmodemon

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Re: December 27, 2010. Hubay – Lord Domestic, Ch 2
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2011, 05:22:51 PM »
Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to be giving you a lot of things about this chapter that didn’t resonate well with me, but overall I did like reading it and I can see the potential going forward.

The start of the chapter is a very passive read with too much telling instead of showing. We are told the council is different, while we could also have seen the difference through Jhuz’s eyes when he’s called to attend. The mood of the camp is also described in a very detached way. Here I’d give the same advice, have Jhuz see what’s happening as he’s heading to the council location (for example) instead.

Also, there’s too much ‘was’, ‘had’ ‘had been’ and the like, which slows the reading down and lessens the emergency of what you’re telling. The fact that Terze has a mouse for dinner is a big show of how dire things are in the army, but the impression I had while reading it lacked that dire sense because the passive voice took away the urgency.

I found the mention of petty officers a little jarring. LTU already mentioned the two different ways of reading it, and I read it in the latter way as a military rank – to me it sounds too much like the modern navy and not a term that fits well with the setting, which is funny in a way since the rank has been around for a few centuries already.

A thought occurred to me that having Jhuz fly to the meeting is a little odd. It’s known the enemy has flyers, it’s also dark so visibility is low. The guards at the meeting though do nothing when someone just flies in, nor does anyone in the camp when Jhuz gets low enough to land. He could have been shot at, and perhaps should have been shot at.

I’m getting the picture that this army is lacking in discipline; the way lower ranks talk to Jhuz, the way they do ‘pranks’ on him without reprimand, little to no awareness towards flying elements. Is this a correct assessment on my part?

I also wonder at Jhuz’s insistence that he’s a coward because he’s under orders not to fly – this is not his fault, and a military unit with knowledge of these rules might begrudge him his ‘safety’ but not call him a coward. In the first chapter Jhuz had to restrain himself not to get into the action:

Quote
“Rim above. Jhuz itched to fly. The female fliers swarmed towards the infantry, and he was helpess to defend them.”

This is not the way a coward acts, so he shouldn’t think himself one. In that light that he puts up with such nonsense by lesser ranks is even odder.

I’m not going to mention the odd grudge bodyguard Ezlio carries towards Lhuz, since LTU already did so, but I will say that in the first chapter and the second you’re trying too hard in giving Lhuz conflicts and angst – things he should overcome in the story – but at the cost of suspension of disbelief. Right now I don’t believe this is a proper military organization, or that Lhuz’s conflicts are actually grounded in reality.

Dark_Prophecy

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Re: December 27, 2010. Hubay – Lord Domestic, Ch 2
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 10:37:51 AM »
Okay, I'll echo everyone else by saying watch out for the passive crap. 'Nough said.

I like this section, but I felt like maybe there could have been just a touch more description of the camp here, maybe something to give a real feeling of the size of this army. I know that it's possible that the opposing army might just chase after them, so I know they're big. That said, it never hurts to throw an actual number out there, unless you don't know exactly how big it is, or Jhuz wouldn't know.

I'm interested in Jaizu as a character after reading this, and not just because she's supposed to be hot. It's interesting that she seems to be pissed off the the main commander interrupted her, rather than the other way around.

All in all, good stuff, and I'm on to chapter 3
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