Author Topic: February 7, 2011 – Hubay, Lord Domestic Chapter 5 (LSV)  (Read 1905 times)

hubay

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February 7, 2011 – Hubay, Lord Domestic Chapter 5 (LSV)
« on: February 08, 2011, 12:55:01 AM »
I might have gone a little overboard with some of the exposition in this chapter, but I tried to even it out with dialogue. Let me know what you think.

Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 5 (L,S,V)
3000ish words

Summary
After an attack on their incampment by the Nothroi, Jhuz has finally decided to fight – but discovers Gaitu has died from his injuries.

Ch5: We see the aftermath of the attack, how mejj take care of their dead, and hear a bit about Standards and why the Emperor won't let them fight

fireflyz

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Re: February 7, 2011 – Hubay, Lord Domestic Chapter 5 (LSV)
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 01:30:05 AM »
The exposition is a bit heavy in places.  I think that once you add the descriptions in, it will even out.  The dialogue was pretty good throughout.

She flushed. “Not really … he just thought I should put the idea in the had that I would be impressed by you deciding fight"
That sentence doesn't make sense, I think you just messed up some of the wording.  Also, I think that you should have some sort of descriptor before the next sentence ( he wasn't that crude).  Otherwise, it feels like one long sentence and as it's refuting the previous statement, it feels awkward.  A sigh, snort, chuckle, grin, or something of that nature would help differentiate between the two.

Instead of having the number 20 and 60, I think it should be written out.  Better yet you could use something like a score and threescore.  That's something you have to decide, but definitely have it written out.

I'm having trouble with all of the different terms.  There are so many that it's really hard to keep them separated.  I know its early in the story yet, but I feel that either the terms should be dialed down or better explained.  I don't mind the steep learning curve, but I think others might and it is a little heavy.

Having said that, if I were reading this in a book, I'd be intrigued enough to read on.  I liked the prose, although I still think the lack of description is hurting the story.  I'm glad that we got Jhuz's reaction.  Up until this point I didn't realize how naive/young/green he was.  Now that I do, it throws the previous chapters into a whole new light.  I missed the first chapter or two so maybe that was already stated.  Either way, I really liked the fact that he wasn't perfect and didn't realize what was going on.  Hopefully he begins to mature/grow and we see him do that as the story progresses (and still fail a few times along the way). 

All in all, a good chapter.  I'm interested to see how the scouting goes, how the new commander handles things, and if the Legion will be able to stay cohesive after such disastrous blows.
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hubay

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Re: February 7, 2011 – Hubay, Lord Domestic Chapter 5 (LSV)
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 02:13:44 AM »
Hah, yeah I definitely missed that in proofreading.

As for the terms: I don't have a problem just explaining them to you because I plan to have a re-write of the first chapter, or else just toss in a prologue, that explains the magic system a little better. Since that's not coming in this draft, I might as well just tell you off-screen.

I originally used -mancer instead of -mejji in describing the different magic users, but I decided that sounded a little to gamer-y (although the Nothroi say -mancer. I just wanted to show a difference in speech because they speak the same language). But knowing that might help you understand where the word came from and what it's trying to say. Saying "men are faunimejji" sounds a little more original than "men are faunimancers," but it doesn't make nearly as much sense.

Anyways, a commejji can speak to any animal or plant that's the same species of his or her familiar. A dommejji can do the same, only instead of speech they can control it (commejji usually can't convey commands because the creature isn't smart enough to get them). A manimejji can control the flesh or wood of an animal or plant – they could heal a broken leg, change the shape of a tree, or withdraw meat from a living animal without harming it.

Potemejji get a sort of 'power' related to the species. I think you've picked up on that by now. They're the only ones with real magic in my world; everyone else is less powerful. I enjoy etymology, so a lot of the names I give to different types of mejj stem from the latin root for the familiar's species. A man with a dog familiar is a canimejj (canis or canine), a woman with a tree familiar is known as an arbormejj (arbor=tree). Still, I know that gets confusing so I try to switch it out and still say dog-mejj and tree-mejj. It also probably doesn't help that I can't decide when to say mejj and went to say mejji.

Chell also take familiars, but not of animals. Epidimejj, as you probably guessed, has the  familiar of plague (root being epidemic). The other term are from bastardized Latin, but I hope they aren't nearly as overwhelming.

fireflyz

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Re: February 7, 2011 – Hubay, Lord Domestic Chapter 5 (LSV)
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 03:18:36 AM »
Thanks, that does help a lot.  I don't think that having a unique system like that is bad at all.  I think it can help differentiate your work and could be a strong selling point, as long as the reader can grasp the concepts fairly early on.  I'm sure that in rewrites it will be much easier to do as you have all the framework.  Sounds like you've done a lot of homework on this and that's always good. 

My only question is with the mejj ending.  It makes me think of Indian (India, not Native Americans) cultures.  I'm not sure why this is and it could be only related to me, but if others think that as well you might want to consider that.
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akoebel

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Re: February 7, 2011 – Hubay, Lord Domestic Chapter 5 (LSV)
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2011, 09:32:08 PM »
This will be a quick review this time, since I didn't find much to tell here, which is kind of a good sign, I suppose.

The story still interests me very much, even if I begin to feel it dragging a little.

This chapter does alleviate some of the doubts I had in the previous chapter about Jhuz's reactions. At some points, you went a tad overboard with too much explainations of Gaitu's goals with Jhuz ; I think some of the dialog between Jhuz and Zaisha can be edited out without losing much.
You have shown us a very different side of the Jhuz character here, yet it integrates well with what we already knew, so job well done!

My only complaint would be about the end of the chapter where I feel that Arilu's request comes as completely out of the blue (in his place, I would be much more preoccupied by the legion's survival and status in the empire than taking a single live prisoner). I felt a little too much the writer pulling the strings here, as if the plot demanded those three characters went on a mission right now.
Maybe I'm wrong. I guess I'll see in the next chapter whether that point was valid or not.

I hope to have the next chapter on monday! This writing group feels like I subscribed to a magazine :-)

Asmodemon

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Re: February 7, 2011 – Hubay, Lord Domestic Chapter 5 (LSV)
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2011, 06:36:54 PM »
I liked the way the dialogue worked in this chapter, especially between Zaisha and Jhuz.

The way the battle went in the last chapter I’m surprised at the numbers here, only sixty attackers and a loss of twenty men. This seems too little given the last chapter, since one of the medusi tossed a dozen men around and at the end of chapter four, with the boarmancer, that one soldier Jhuz talked to made it seem he lost his whole squad.

So Gaitu did die of illness. If the leg was so bad it would have been amputated already, so I’m finding it a little hard to believe he died this way. There is talk of plague, but if targeting one person with plague is impossible we’re left with regular gangrene and gangrene doesn’t work that way. This is an interesting mystery, but perhaps some foreshadowing about the oddness of the condition in the last two chapters might help in creating a firm basis for the mystery around his death.

During his ceremony we see that is indeed something very odd. It’s good to have a mystery, but then you do something very odd. The jackals start to eat from Gaitu’s diseased flesh…I’m sorry, but why would those animals eat everything, including the rotting leg? The look of it, the smell of it, would set those animals back at once. And on the side of the army, the moment they saw his rotting flesh, mushrooms and all, they should have paused the ceremony, do some investigation, and then continue. Though I don’t think the animals would eat diseased flesh like that anyway.

Jhuz is naďve, all right, I can see that in light of the last few chapters. Strange that Gaitu, as commander, didn’t know. And if he did, that he didn’t tell the other officers so they understood Jhuz better. I still think this plan is madness, by the way ;)

Dark_Prophecy

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Re: February 7, 2011 – Hubay, Lord Domestic Chapter 5 (LSV)
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 12:32:45 PM »
I'm in agreement on the rotten leg. Those animals wouldn't have touched it with a ten foot pole. They might have avoided the corpse entirely, unless they were really hungry. That might make for deepening the mystery, when the soldiers take it as a bad omen that the animals won't give Gaitu a proper sending off because of the plague or whatever.

This was a solid chapter, and I think I have to say that it's the best of all of them so far.

I still think that Jhuz needs a larger reaction to his killing women, based on the way you described it in the earlier chapter. This would be a good time for him to do it, maybe while he's flying around scouting the area.

One note: I could use some clarification on exactly how the Medusi get towed around by the Harpies. Or how the Medusi work, really. It just wasn't clear to me.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 12:37:55 PM by Dark_Prophecy »
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