Author Topic: March 21 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Canticle and the Forge, Chapter 12  (Read 2482 times)

LongTimeUnderdog

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Chapter 10 - Jin is rescued by his friend Chalinae.

Chapter 11 - There are consequences.

Chapter 12 - Jin gets in deeper.

hubay

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Re: March 21 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Canticle and the Forge, Chapter 12
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 06:27:01 AM »
Have you thought about changing the wording you use for Huuk? I'm sure you like the word because it fits with your world, but it might be easier if you used a word derived from english so it's more accessible. Everytime I run accross it I have to pause and try to remember how time is divided in your book. Part of that is probably just me forgetting after a week of not reading your story, of course. But unless you're set on huuk, it might make more sense to use words like thirdday or fullday or partday, or something that makes more sense that. Kind of like how the decimal-loving Apt in Shadows of the Apt restructure their weeks as "tendays." This way readers get the sense that your world is out there, without getting too lost.

Anyways – the actual chapter:

You have a tendency to write question sentences with out a question mark. Just a typo thing, but I'd watch out for it. I also think it's odd that Jin thinks of his father as "Talvin." Unless I missed something – like he's his stepdad – this just seems off. Kids think of their father as 'father.'

I was worried you'd be too heavy handed with the 'cultural differences' concerning devils and magic. While you didn't overdo it, I still think your first paragraph has too much exposition in it. Instead of talking about the specific names of the tribes, just say something like "Jin had never seen a living dando, but he'd heard they were enormous – some of the desert tribes even thought they were demons." Or something better worded than that. When you touch on it again during their conversation, I thought it went a lot smoother, so it's possible your first paragraph didn't need anything at all.

I thought the conversation with Talvin was handled well. There's affection there, but you get the feeling Talvin is strict and maybe a little too analytical to be good with people.

You also draw attention to make-up twice with the girl at the door, but the first time you say it's dark, and the second you say there's a lack. I'd just switch the wording a bit so it correlates better.

I enjoyed Jin's invisible friend, and right now that's what I want to see progress the most. Your world's geography also intrigues me, with the nightfall-esque suns and the giant craters in the desert.

MannyBrainpan

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Re: March 21 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Canticle and the Forge, Chapter 12
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 09:19:19 PM »
I would agree with pretty much everything Hubay said. I am still a little lost in this storyline, particularly because you sent a 100 page document along with the new chapter, but that 100 page document didn't have anything to do with Jin or Talvin (who appear to be important characters right now). So, I AM getting the hang of the magic system with the songs and stuff (hence the name Canticle) but anyway, about the chapter at hand. I would agree that the beginning was strangely worded and I was totally lost at some points. Also, there is a sentence that Talvin says concerning his conversation with Chalinae, "She's nothing like I thought she was and I see why you enjoy spending time with her."
For an intellectual, kind of introverted father that I am supposing Talvin to be, this sounds rather simplistic and totally contradictory to his opinion in the previous chapter, I would assume that Talvin would be softening toward her, but wouldn't yet have enough info to make a conclusion, particularly because this girl got Jin in a lot of trouble in chapter 11(?)
Anyway, I do like the characters and the fact that you have a very well thought through world. The culture is interesting, along with the landscapes, and magic system. That being said, I sometimes can't keep track of ALL the fantasy cultures, past stories, or animals. I don't really get the paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter either, is this something that will come into play later on? I saw a few typos here and there, mainly mis-spelled words or missing words. (I know sometimes the red underlines get annoying because you already have so many of your own words mixed in.) And I am also interested to see where you are going with this disembodied voice.
I did notice that Jin is supposed to be ten years old. Are their years longer than ours? Or do they teach their children more in the first ten years of life? Because his thought processes seem a bit accelerated for a ten year old.
Oh, and if you don't want to change that word, "huuk" maybe you should put it in italics to make it obvious it is not an English word. (That goes for a few other-worldly words that you use here and there.)
"It's a liger... it's pretty much my favorite animal." - Napoleon Dynamite

akoebel

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Re: March 21 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Canticle and the Forge, Chapter 12
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 04:23:46 PM »
Just a few notes on the pacing.

The first part (conversation between Jin and Talvin) was nicely done and entertaining (even if I had to re-read the paragraph about animal bones twice).

The second part started good and began to drag and drag and drag. I mean, there's lots of exposition here with little action (and the action I found here wasn't that interesting). I was tempted to skip entire paragraphs at this point, however well written. I also noted Hubay's comment on the make-up.

The third part (after the voice comes in) renewed my interest. I found myself reading faster there, since there was some (verbal) action. I was intrigued by the whole idea and got to the end before I realized it.

I would have preferred having a shortened middle section with much less exposition : this would have lead to the meaty part much faster

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: March 21 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Canticle and the Forge, Chapter 12
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2011, 04:18:20 AM »
Thanks so much for reading ya'll.  You're the best.

@akoebel:  Thanks for the info about the pacing.  I'll have to see what I can do next draft.  I'm glad you liked the "voice."  My most abundant hopes were that you laughed.  A lot.

@Manny:  Thank you for your comments.  They have been most helpful.  I hope the voice made you laugh.

@hubay:  Thanks for your comments.  About the word Huuk.

Huuk is a very clunky word; no denying it.  I chose the word huuk because it had two Us and there wasn't another word in English for:  The period of time including waking up, going to work, and going to sleep.  As each full day and night transition equates to 10 days in our time (5 in light, 5 in dark) I had to come up with something to describe the normal period of time we call "day."  I like your idea of thirdday, part day and all that.  But that it uses "day" as part of it's make up.  I think using the word day in any part of it would be very confusing or more confusing, in the measuring of time.  I realize you were just suggest something (a very good suggestions, again) to note the idea.  It just doesn't quite convey the meaning I want.  If you come up with anything else though, I'd be SUPER happy.  Anything to get rid of that clunky word.

hubay

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Re: March 21 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Canticle and the Forge, Chapter 12
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2011, 07:23:45 AM »
Hm, you're right. I think tossing in day would probably be confusing. My copy of Nightfall is at home, otherwise I would check to see how Asimov handled it...

Okay, well what do you call the 5 day periods? It might help readers catch on if you called them something like brightweek/darkweek. your people don't necessary have to think of it as a ten-day period, it could just be two five-day sets.
Some other suggestions: you could play around with sun and moon for the words, but I don't know enough about your world's astronomy to know if that would really work.
- Call it a waking? this isn't quite accurate, because they'll go back to sleep, but we use 'day' to refer to the time when the sun is out as well as a 24 hour period.
-have you looked to see how Inuit tribes used to measure time? they would have the most variety in sunlight, with the month where there's only an hour of light or something each day.

-I know you already said day could be confusing, but it's possible if you set up everything else right it would slide right in to place. Maybe call it, I don't know, Brightday and brightweek, and darkday and darkweek. Do you have specific names for each day of the 'week?'

And last I think whatever word you choose, it'll sink in best if you set up the first chapter at the end of one five-day half and switch it over to another. You sort of do this with Karemoth, but that's what, the third chapter? You could have the first page of the book talk about the tribe switching from night-mode to day-mode, and all that entails. If you actually do this already, sorry, it's just been a while since I read ch1.

LongTimeUnderdog

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Re: March 21 - LongTimeUnderdog - The Canticle and the Forge, Chapter 12
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 01:16:55 PM »
Those are really good ideas.  I'll have to mull over them and see how I can use it. Thank you so much.

Asmodemon

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Nice Sin excerpt, starting with a build-up of inevitability with his friends, and ending with a desperate note as Sin names choice being an illusion. These excerpts are a great opener to the chapters.

The interest the Sin excerpt generates fades a bit on the next page, where you have a large exposition on the bones that make up Jin’s bed. The explanation feels disjointed from rest of the scene, as if the story stops for a moment to have a small encyclopaedia entry.

When you use Branch, with a capital b on page two you threw me off for a moment. Did you use this term before? And for what? Turned out that you did, but back then I never gave it much thought. Seeing it capitalized all of sudden drew my attention to it. It seems to refer to a House/family correct? Is there a reason you use branch for this? With the Hellfane so close by it seems an odd choice.

Part of Talvin’s first conversation with Jin this chapter feels off, the way he suddenly changes his opinion on Chalinae for instance. To me she doesn’t act dissimilar to the other women in their society, though granted she is kinder to Jin than others would. As the son of an important family it could just be that she wants to tie herself to that family. A cynical man like Talvin wouldn’t be much impressed with her, I think.
 
The second scene’s pace goes down fast, the walk between their house and the tower is pure exposition on certain doctrines in your setting. At this point we already know Talvin and Jin dismiss every other belief and culture around. We’ve already seen the crater people’s culture with Karemoth and the recounting chamber in the tower is a better place to mention the Kulutinist culture. Jin’s wondering if souls are real might be more poignant after he hears the disembodied voice and wonders what it could be if it has no visible body.

I wondered if the tower was going to come up again; in the previous draft things quickly went to Chiloh for Jin there. After all the talk of slaves and oppression, the slave with the sewn up lips is the strongest sign of how brutal that society really is in this draft. The pace picks up again starting from the tower.

When Jin thinks that life as a slave must be hard it’s such an obvious thought that it might fit a ten year old, but compared to the thinking and knowledge Jin has showed before the thought is perhaps a bit too naive. Consider that he thought work in the stables was hard, he should know that slaves lead tough lives. 

Nice touch, the disembodied voice asking the listener if the listener is crazy. I start losing a bit of interest though when Jin and the voice start with the ‘lesson’, on page 24. It’s describing what’s going to happen, or what is expected to happen, rather than anything happening. Cut off there and we’ll still know what they talked about when Jin tries to execute the plan.