Author Topic: ReadingExcuses-0124-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH5CH6-VLS  (Read 1977 times)


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« on: January 24, 2011, 02:40:28 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.

CH4:  The Making of an Enemy

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

Current Summary:

CH5:  A Color of Many Shades

Mathieu tells Cassandra of Carrera.  Cass urges him to be careful, but Mathieu can't get the past out of his mind.

CH6:  To Wear a Mask

Mathieu and Eduardo head out for a night of celebration. 

-I decided to include two chapters because CH5 is barely over 1k words and the two combined are 4800.  Enjoy!
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Re: ReadingExcuses-0124-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH5CH6-VLS
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 07:48:29 PM »
Ok, looks like I'm going to have a little more to say on that submission than on the previous ones

Ch 5 :

Basically, this chapter is exposition about the character's former life. It's good that you kept it short, a longer chapter would have been too much.

"He stroked his goatee with one hand and sighed. " : The apparition of past tense here, while in the flashback, did upset me. Probably it's because I didn't expect to find narrative in a flashback that short, when I'm still thinking about the character in the “present”. Relating the flashback as seen from the “present” would have worked better for me, like : "He had stroked his goatee with one hand and sighed. " I know that structure is a little cumbersome, so maybe it would be better to drop the narrative in those instances altogether.

Maybe presenting the chapter as a single flashback (with a paragraph of introduction maybe) would have worked better for me.

I liked the reprise of "And right is a color of many shades."

Ch 6:

I kept wondering what was the purpose of the "futbol" scene, besides making me cringe (more of that later). It only served to setup that a - there are fireworks around, b - he gets drunk. If you didn't include the scene for other purposes, maybe it would be better to drop the scene altogether and say what you need to say in two sentences before the next scene.

Futbol : if you keep referencing real earth settings and just change the name, but not so much that we can readily recognize the real word behind, you're sort of breaking my suspension of disbelief. Either use a different word to describe something that is similar to something we know, or describe something that is wildly different from the word you're mimicking. If you really want to stick with a word that is that close to a real one, I think "Calcio" would have done the job nicely (and is probably more accurate historically).

Explosions phobia : maybe I didn't pick it up and it was introduced before, but I think you need a little more foreshadowing on that part. As it is, I felt like having the protagonist crumble after hearing simple sounds did drop out of nowhere (even if it's explained).

Now that I found some things to say, it might seem like I didn't like this submission, but I did like it, just not as much as the previous ones.

Still a very good job, keep them coming!


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Re: ReadingExcuses-0124-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH5CH6-VLS
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 09:54:32 AM »
I agree a little about the 'futbol' mention, but for slightly different reasons. I always think that those sort of "I bet this [real world big thing] will never pan out" asides have to be treated with great care. If your series is about rapid change and turbulent times (say, like shadows of the apt) then it can fit it rather well. But if you simply want to talk about italian-esque cities – and then the futbol reference is solely for our benefit as a joke – then it might make more sense for them to go see an opera. football wouldn't have quite made it back then, but opera was still a thing to be viewed by the masses. Old style opera always had a couple of drinking songs, and usually included a couple of songs catchy enough that people would riot in the streets afterwords, still singing them (beatle-mania style).

And along that vein: if your world only resembles italy, and isn't some sort of metaphysical shadow of it (like all the pseudo-historical references in WoT) you might consider tweaking the city names so they sound a little less similar to those of real-world cities. "Fiorence" particularly stuck out.

But that's all setting. character-wise, I enjoyed these two chapters. they were a nice contrast – carousing the first night and then ptsd panic attack the next. I also enjoyed the "truth is a color ..." phrase. an earlier mention might have been nice, though, like akoebel said. an easy fix could be just having him flinch when a bell tolls once in an earlier chapter. I don't think anything extra would be needed.


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Re: ReadingExcuses-0124-fireflyz-WrittenInBlood-CH5CH6-VLS
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2011, 06:40:56 PM »
Firstly i would like to say that overall the readability of your story is very high, in that the prose is clear and concise for the most part. two small things, i mentioned before the word chuckles, i saw it pop up a few times more and decided the reason i dont like it is because it is a "hard" word having both a "ch" and "ck". some times a laughed softly or small laugh or laughed under his breath may work better. Also i saw a few swifties: "Now he understands!" Eduardo exclaimed.

This may be a wrighting group-ism but i'm starting to want more info on the magic system, you have done a very good job setting up Venice and dropping small hints that this is a world that is very similar to, but not earth. I think we need to start seeing what makes this world so diffrent from ours. again though, this might just be because we have to wait a week between chapters.
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