Author Topic: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3  (Read 3145 times)

SkyhunterCommander

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« on: March 21, 2011, 04:56:24 PM »
Chapter 3, where the plot starts to get moving.

As I mentioned in the email, any thoughts/ suggestions about chapter length + chapter length consistency would be appreciated, along with any other comments.

Thanks for the feedback.
I will get around to giving feedback to my fellow Reading Excuses members. As soon as I can.

LongTimeUnderdog

  • Level 9
  • *
  • Posts: 304
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 08:02:47 PM »
Aside from oddities in the wording (inputted instead of input), the actual language and the prose are quite nice.

I have always been under the impression that this Darkclaw is some kind of fighter.  It, therefore, strikes me as odd he would not take time to examine the weapons.  Weapons, by all accounts, are more important then armor.  Weird I know but let me explain.  Armor is only good for protection (or intimidation as expressed here).  But while the tank may be big and scary and rocket launcher takes care of that for  you.  all the armor in the world won't protect you if you can't kill the other guy.  Weapons make the fighter, after all.

Reading through these people, I have this odd sense of Star Trek.  The way they talk about things they way they behave, it just reminds me a great deal of those shows.

And I'm catching a real Starcraft vibe through it to.

Quote
The praetor immediately drew his long rifle, and Darkclaw watched as he began to watch for movement.

This is the perfect example of a line that could have been cool.  But you took it out too long.  If you stuck with something like  "The Praetor immediately drew his long rifle and scanned the room."

MannyBrainpan

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 50
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
    • Brain-pan
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 05:28:32 AM »
I would mainly echo LTU, even the sentence he pointed out was one I had made note of. Yeah, I like the way you write, the concept of making the bad guy a pseudo-likable main character. (I am assuming he will go renegade eventually. Sorta like Hrathen in Elantris?) But there is also the Star Trek feel which to me is almost a problem. I really liked the first chapters a whole lot. But now that you are getting into the nitty-gritty of this world, it is feeling a little generic. Not so much the ideas behind it, but just the verbage, "elevator," "laser," "video feed." I know these are lifelines to reality with your reader, but it almost seems like you are putting a cool character into a recycled sci-fi world. I am actually getting a HALO vibe from this, but yeah, just video game sci-fi in general. Really all you have to do is put a twist on their technology, on the verbage, and it will feel fresher to the reader. Anyway, the chapter is a bit long, but it mainly feels that way because I noticed that you are being very realistic, there was only a bit of description I thought over the top. Another problem that I feel could very easily arise with a character like Darkclaw, is that I don't fear for him or the Trodoons. I know they can kick butt, so you are going to have to keep the action pulse-pounding and the concepts interesting. Anyway, I liked the chapter very much and I like your writing style too. If you want me to send you a version with my notes in red again, just let me know.
"It's a liger... it's pretty much my favorite animal." - Napoleon Dynamite

SkyhunterCommander

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 05:44:16 AM »
Thanks for the comments. I'm not surprised at the elements from other sci-fis leaking in- I was practically raised on Star Trek. Should be easy enough to fix, as you mentioned.

I agree on the possible complication of not fearing for Darkclaw. That is part of the reason why I decided to introduce Nayasar, an emotionally driven characters, earlier in the novel. Hopefully her chapters and the action in Darkclaw's chapters will be able to provide enough tension until the time comes when you are fearing for both of them.

And again, the annotated version would be much appreciated. (If you didn't mention it in the annotated version, could you point out where the description was a little over the top?)

Thanks again.
I will get around to giving feedback to my fellow Reading Excuses members. As soon as I can.

MannyBrainpan

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 50
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
    • Brain-pan
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 09:22:29 PM »
I'll send it your way soon, and I think I put the too much description in red. The thing about using Darkclaw's chapters for action was that the action was really rather minimal in the chapter, the only thing that REALLY stood out was him threatening the witty scholar. That is something I would try and use, the fact that (like Spock) he doesn't quite understand emotions, particularly mercy or lack thereof.
"It's a liger... it's pretty much my favorite animal." - Napoleon Dynamite

SkyhunterCommander

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2011, 09:14:37 PM »
Thanks for the annotated version. I am a little unclear on what you said in your last post. Are you suggesting that there should be more action in the chapter? And by saying that the only thing that really stood out was the scene with the scholar, what did you mean exactly, at least in regard to the rest of the chapter. It's a little unclear.

And yeah, Darkclaw handling situations (threatening, etc) emotionlessly does come up again. I actually believe there is an similar incident slated for the next Darkclaw chapter. (Though it ends differently.)
I will get around to giving feedback to my fellow Reading Excuses members. As soon as I can.

MannyBrainpan

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 50
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
    • Brain-pan
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2011, 04:29:26 AM »
What I meant was that the action didn't feel pulse-pounding, it just felt descriptive, because these characters are SO AWESOME, that they don't have competition. But the real thrill came when Darkclaw's coldness was tested.
"It's a liger... it's pretty much my favorite animal." - Napoleon Dynamite

SkyhunterCommander

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2011, 05:47:53 AM »
Ok, thanks for clarifying. That's kind of how the action will be, at least early on in the story, mostly in order to adhere to the plot. Also, partially because earlier versions had too much emphasis on the action scenes, I decided to tone it down a bit in this draft, and basically use action only when it moves the plot forward.

But don't worry, I don't plan on all the action sequences in the story feeling like this one (though there may be a couple more). The further we get into the story, the more frenetic things will get.
I will get around to giving feedback to my fellow Reading Excuses members. As soon as I can.

MannyBrainpan

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 50
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
    • Brain-pan
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2011, 04:09:56 PM »
Sounds good... if you can really hone this sci-fi world into some really original concepts, this could turn out awesome.
"It's a liger... it's pretty much my favorite animal." - Napoleon Dynamite

akoebel

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 123
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 03:31:35 PM »
Hi,

As did the others, I picked on the Trek vibe almost immediately. I think it's the overall configuration of the ship (bridge, briefing room) and the words you use to describe them ("helm" for instance). At some point, I expected they would beam down to the station. The other vibe I got from the description of the Troodons is K'Chain Che'Malle from the Malazan books, which is cool.

I found some contradiction in the way the crew behaves : they seem to be very (too) proficient in using their ship and on the other hand, Darkclaw explains to them obvious things like "We are currently en route to what in this galaxy is known as an information station." Either they know all they need to know already (which has to be explained) or they don't know anything.

For someone who isn't used to verbal communication, Darkclaw seems to explain himself overmuch to his crew.

Why did Darkclaw go in the station at all? The facility has been secured and there is really no reason for him to go there. I know this is Star Trek standard, but commanding officers don't leave their ships at a whim.

How comes this alien station can accomodate Troodon technology?

I start to worry about Darkclaw as a character. Right now, he's in a position that requires very little action (which I suppose is why you had him beam down - sorry shuttle down) . He just relays orders, but in an emotionless, almost boring way. So, he and can't bring in much reader rooting - aside the fact that he's was awesome in the first chapter. I'm afraid that if things do not change quickly, you will loose reader interest for him.

SkyhunterCommander

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2011, 04:10:31 PM »
I don't find it contradictory that the Troodons have the knowledge on how to use the ship, but not on their plans. They were only given the technical knowledge needed to perform their duties, while Darkclaw was the one entrusted by the High Lord with knowledge of their plans, and he relays it to those who need to know. (I believe Darkclaw mentions in the chapter that he was the only one made knowledgeable of the High Lord's plans.


Darkclaw had to go into the station because the High Lord had commanded him to acquire the information personally. I know I meant to include that fact in the chapter, but I might have forgotten to mention it (classic problem of the writer knowing the story too well that things seem obvious). Darkclaw actually breaks "Star Trek standard" there by not going in with the soldiers. The High Lord only commanded him to personally get the information, so there was not reason to put himself at risk, hence why he didn't go to the station until it was cleared.

And as far as Darkclaw is concerned, he will soon be doing more things. The current plan is for his next chapter to be very short, mainly for setting up plot (though if I feel it works better ,that short chapter may get attached to this one), and after that he will start being awesomer (and generally doing more than he did in this chapter). The main reason he didn't do anything in this chapter is precisely because I didn't want to fall into the sci-fi trope of the commander deciding to go down to the unexplored place on a whim.

Thanks for the feedback.
I will get around to giving feedback to my fellow Reading Excuses members. As soon as I can.

akoebel

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 123
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2011, 01:30:55 PM »
I would agree about the point on common crew not knowing the full plan (this was already stated on chapter 1, I think), but the instance I pointed out was refering to common knowledge, not specifics of the plan. If the crew are as proficient as they are handling the ship, they should already know what a space station is.

For Darkclaw's reasons to get to the station, I didn't pick on the fact that the High Lord had asked for him to go in person. I read the line, sure, but going in himself seems like a too litteral interpretation to me. Maybe you can add some thoughts from Darkclaw before he gets down to make sure we know why he goes to the station.
And yes, I did pick up the "Star Trek standard" break the first time (which I appreciated). It's why I was a little disapointed to have him go down anyway in the end.

Asmodemon

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 175
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 3/21/11- SkyhunterCommander- Untitled Story Chapter 3
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2011, 09:49:05 PM »
The first thing I thought when I finished the chapter was that it was too long for what it tried to do. I think you can probably trim some stuff here and there to give the chapter some momentum. On the whole the chapter was pretty good, though the start was slow. I just don’t care much about Darkclaw waiting on his ship preparing and explaining every little thing. Things get a lot better when they arrive at the space station, though there are some things there that kind of threw me. I’ll get into that in just a bit.

The first paragraph about the command structure reads like a jumbled mess. While the High Lord is in command, Darkclaw is in command. What? And then he gives command to a commander. Double what? There are three commanders and they’re all in command…I get what you’re trying to say, but that’s not what you’re actually saying.

Darkclaw goes to the armoury and then you explain that an armoury holds weapons and armour. You don’t really need to explain it though, it’s a pretty common term. Like LTU I think Darkclaw focussed too much time on the armour rather than the weapons. He also kind of scoffs the use of weapons, which for a warrior is odd.

After the armoury and putting on his armour he goes back to the bridge and asks how long it’s going to take to get to the station – he’s told it will take almost four hours. This is backwards, why put on the armour before he knows his arrival time? For all he knew he’s getting all dressed up days too soon.

You’ve got a lot of different ranks in this story. In this chapter there’s commander, praetor, executor, high lord. The different ranks feel like a mix of different cool sounding ranks, without much cohesion. As an aside, praetor and executor make me think of the Protoss in Star Craft.

It feels to me like Darkclaw explains too much and he does that in the previous chapters too. When he prepares the battle plan, going over the station’s weaknesses I wondered if aside from leader and warrior he’s some kind of engineer too.

The station has no defences – it may be a library but it’s also a space station in the middle of nowhere. If all the species have fleets and militaries it’s because those things are needed. Just letting  a station float around without defences is asking for trouble. Also, there are manuscripts aboard? Really, physical books on a space station? That made me pause for a moment.

Finally there are the two things that kind of threw me out of the story.  Both happen near the end.

The first happens when Darkclaw is on the station talking to the hostages. Here’s a monstrous figure whose army just killed the security personnel, threatens to kill the hostage if he doesn’t comply and the hostage is apparently shocked by Darkclaw’s callousness, and then the man says “Would you really kill us now, after deliberately sparing us so far?” Yes. They are alive because, unlike the security personnel they can be of use. The man refused and has thus outlived his usefulness. Yes, Darkclaw will kill him. There are others who will comply after the first guy gets shot. The question this hostage asks is just stupid. And then it gets worse. “You don’t seem like one who would want to kill an innocent person”. What? That’s exactly what he seems like! Who is this fool?

The last thing that bugged me was Darkclaw’s plan to make it seem like pirates attacked the station. Yes, that’s a good idea. What’s not a good idea is to leave behind dozens of survivors who have seen that the Troodons are not pirates and who know the Troodons came for knowledge. It completely defeats the purpose.