Author Topic: ReadingExcuses-0117-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH4-VLS  (Read 2271 times)

fireflyz

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ReadingExcuses-0117-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH4-VLS
« on: January 17, 2011, 12:26:53 AM »
Previous Summaries:

Prologue:  In Media Res
  The prologue introduces us to Mathieu Bragadin, the protagonist.  As the title suggests, the reader is thrown into the midst of the conflict.



CH1:  What Does a Man Do?
  Mathieu is finally returning home with the army.  His entire life has been spent serving in the armies of the Doge.  The Doge's daughter (Doga) has recently made peace and is calling the army home to be mustered out.  As his comrades celebrate, Mathieu finds himself questioning his future in this new era of peace.


CH2:  Two Mistresses. 

Mathieu reacquaints himself with Servenza.  He seeks out his best friend, a prostitute named Cassandra. 



CH3:  The Flower of Battle

Despite misgivings, Mathieu begins his new life as a civilian, training young nobles in the art of dueling.




Current Summary:



CH4:  The Making of an Enemy

Mathieu begins his work as a garzon of the rapier, but soon faces complications.
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halo6819

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH4-VLS
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 08:53:09 AM »
Still liking the story and pacing, and the balance of description to story is perfect.

I noticed in this section you used the word chuckled alot, and sometimes it seemed out of place. I guess I feel that as a cold one mathieu is a bit aloof yet he is always chuckling.

I have not seen an actual fencing match but from my understanding of rapiers they are long thin blades that would have a hard time denting metal. Also I have a hard time believing that you could put enough force behind a thrust with one to knock some one down.
 
I really liked what you did with mena. Having her guide her opponent to easy win conditions and what mathieu did to break her of that.

Can't wait for next weeks installment.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 07:15:17 PM by halo6819 »
Those who give up a little bit of freedom for a little bit of security will lose both and deserve neither.

akoebel

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH4-VLS
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 10:09:19 PM »
Another pretty darn good piece of writing; I'm not going to be able to critique much about it.

Some remarks :

* If I understood correctly, the students study the forms, then pass to a personal trainer when the forms are good enough. In those conditions, I would not expect the students to actually know what forms to use while fencing. I believe that those are instincts that are acquired after many hours of practice in duels. I wouldn't expect new students to be any good at it, even with the very gifted ones. How has Mena become that good (especially considering the fact that she's not interested in fencing) ?
* I found the two girls name to be too similar on the page; it made the fencing scene a little more difficult to follow.
* I know I'm always pointing at the use of profanity, but would a noble born publicly use an expression like "be fucked" while adressing another noble, however low its standing?
* Is the sexual banter adequate here between a teacher and students (even if in character)?

As I said, not very much to pick on.

I really liked the reversed roles of the two girls and am waiting for the next part !

fireflyz

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH4-VLS
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 03:01:11 PM »
Thanks for the feedback guys!

@halo
Thanks for pointing out the chuckling.  Mathieu can still laugh, but I don't like using the same descriptors so close together like that.  As far as the rapiers knocking someone down, the rapier has a very fine point, and by putting all of the power from the body, the lunge, and the thrust, all of that power is transferred to a very small point.  Without armor it would impale a person, with armor and teen girls, I think it could very well knock them down.   I'll have to do some more research :-)

@akoebel
That's a fair point about the forms.  Mena is better because she's a Cold One.  She's faster than Sasha.  Also, she has a talent for the forms, even if she hates them.  As to the swearing, I understand your concern, but I've based this world off of Renaissance Italy and Europe.  This was a savage time.  Ceasar Borgia's army once slaughtered an entire town, 6000 people.  After raping thier women.  And he was the Pope's son.  I've actually tried to steer away from fully embracing the ideals of that time because they are so foreign, so violent, and so reheprensible to people of modern society.  For all that, I believe that cursing at each other in public would happen.

I'm don't understand what you meant about the teacher/student thing.  Can you elaborate?


As always, thanks for all the feedback!  You've given me a lot to think about.  I hope you enjoy the next chapter as well.
Follow my journey from aspiring author to published phenom.  Along the way we'll discover the dos and don'ts of successful writing!

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akoebel

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH4-VLS
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 05:05:01 PM »
I was just wondering if it was appropriate in this world for a student to engage in (and even initiate) public sexual banter with someone teaching her.
I understand that Sasha isn't noble born and probably doesn't have the same restraints that Mena for instance would have, but that fencing school looks like it has a high level clientele and I do think that in such an environment, that sort of innuendo would be frowned upon (and maybe more). As Sasha has obviously been there for some time, she should act on those rules.

For the swearing, I'm very much aware that these were rough times (I'm a fan of middle-age historical fiction, so I know how people in those dark times did behave). I agree that between lowborn people, or between a highborn and a lowborn, those kind of insults (or worse ones) could be exchanged, but between two high born people in public?

hubay

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH4-VLS
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 11:45:08 PM »
I think overall you've done a very good job with the characterization and plotting so far, but I think some of your prose could still be cleaned up. the middle was pretty good; it's mostly the intro and ending that seem off:

The repeating quality appeared to be that graceful stride that fairly screamed ‘here walks a swordsman’.

I understand what you're trying to say with "repeating quality", but it just sees clumsy. 'Appeared to be' could probably be chisled down to one word, even if it means you have to change the structure of the sentence. And as a personal touch, I've never been fond of quotes withing a paragraph, unless they're sarcastic. It disrupts the flow of the paragraph by making readers focus unnecessarily on the phrase.

and your finishing quote, which I'm guessing was intended to have a little more punch, sounds odd because he says, word for word, what eduardo just did. You might want to find away to give it a more emphasis, say, by changing it around to: "an enemy indeed" or something suitably dramatic.

Other than that, the chapter worked quite well. Just a question: can every person gauge humours on sight, or is this a particular talent of Matheiu's/cold ones?

fireflyz

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Re: ReadingExcuses-0117-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH4-VLS
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 01:17:51 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.  Everyone can gauge them on sight.   The general population is blended with different humoured parents, so commoners aren't likely to show one particular humour over another.  Thus far Mathieu has been around people that are masters in thier craft (artisans, successful merchants, experienced swordsman) who are easily recognizable because they have strong humours that give them similar characteristics.  Later on, more will be revealed about the humours and how they relate to people.
Follow my journey from aspiring author to published phenom.  Along the way we'll discover the dos and don'ts of successful writing!

http://twitter.com/ryanvanloan