Author Topic: June 6th - Will777r - Soul Yearning - Chapter 3  (Read 2572 times)

Will777r

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June 6th - Will777r - Soul Yearning - Chapter 3
« on: June 06, 2011, 11:38:00 PM »
Hey guys :)
 
Here's chapter 3.
 
Chapter 1 Summary - Albione rescues a rival militia commander, but ends up losing the knight he's sworn to protect. A night elf raid has overrun the walls
 
Chapter 2 Summary - Charom, Albione's older brother, is in charge of the High Priestess' guard detail when the temple comes under attack.

Chapter 3 Summary - Albione rescues the High Priestess and accompanies her and his brother Charom to the wall. What he finds is completely unexpected.

Thank you again to everyone who reads this and offers feedback. I can't say how much I appreciate you giving your time.

Will777r

hubay

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Re: June 6th - Will777r - Soul Yearning - Chapter 3
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011, 10:36:38 PM »
There's a bit where he starts to recognize the ruined surroundings as his everyday home. I think it has a lot of potential, but you're not quite there. Make it more solid: have him think sadly "this is where I last talked to my friend Ė he's dead over there. This is where I played soccer (or whatever) Ė the field is forever ruined." I think it will have a much stronger impact if you provide concrete examples.

I really enjoyed the transition of albione from confidant warrior to awestruck/shy priest. My only complaint is it might have made sense to happen after the last chunk of action. You have him switch when he's done fighting, which is good, but I think he might have still been to distracted by the priests fighting the last dark elf before he realized where he was and who he was with.

I also like the story you have building with the rivalry between the militia and the priesthood, but looking back in the first chapter you should give some more concrete examples, showing rather than telling. Have a knight mutter about how he hopes some militia man gets an arrow in the assault, or show people bunch up in groups: they're avoiding contact with their rivals, to the overall detriment of their defence. It doesn't matter how you do it, but if I see people acting out their hate and rivalry, I'll realize it and believe it that much sooner.

Random notes:
 I think you should have Albione's thoughts at the beginning in italics, rather than quotes. Unless he's in the habit of thinking outloud, it just makes more sense for readers. When he makes an exclamation, obviously he'd say it out loud out of surprise or anger or fear.

Rook-Sha seems like a very different name from the rest of the ones you've used so far. Is she from a different area than Charom and Albione. Do priestesses just get special names? If you're just making the names up as you go you might want to check them over so they all seem cohesive.

SkyhunterCommander

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Re: June 6th - Will777r - Soul Yearning - Chapter 3
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 02:11:15 AM »
I liked this chapter quite a bit. I liked how Albione reacted to the Priestess-it felt a lot more natural here than in the last chapter, because unlike Charom, Albione doesn't see the Priestess every day. I didn't have a problem with the switch in his reactions taking place after the fight- I can see him so deep in fight the Night Elves mode that he doesn't get awestruck by the Priestess until the tension subsides.

The later parts of the chapter were for me the most interesting segments of story so far, the mystery that is brought up of whether Sir Ferris was in league wit the attackers or situation just happened to work out in a way that made it seem suspicious. And of course the end, where we learn who Albione saved, and what problems it could cause (or fix, as the case may be).

My only complaints were that Albione, like everyone last chapter, was shocked at the idea that the Night Elves would come after the Priestess-it seems obvious that they would, and also that we learn at the end that what Albione did, losing the knight he was assigned to, while saving a Militia man, is really bad, but I have no idea why, and why I should be concerned. Maybe if something about that was added in at some point earlier, such as the first chapter-not so much, but a few details- so we get a sense of how important his duty was and why his actions were problematic.

But the interaction between him and Sir Ferris was very good, and fits well with the setting you've established so far, though I'm not sure why everyone would be staring at him afterward. They all wouldn't know that he saved Benda at the cost of his knight's life, would they? Or is the fact that he saved the man's life shocking enough that everyone started staring?
I will get around to giving feedback to my fellow Reading Excuses members. As soon as I can.

akoebel

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Re: June 6th - Will777r - Soul Yearning - Chapter 3
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 09:41:16 AM »
The beginning didn't work for me : you have a soldier bearer of dire and urgent news who takes the time to examine corpses on the way? This character has a mission, he should be doing it. He might want to stop and try to help people (and it's OK to say it), but right now, his mission requires speed.

I thought that Albione found the sanctuary a little too easily. In the previous chapter, it is shown as a secret entrance. Here, it's just protected by a wooden door. Did the elves close the door behind them, or is it another entrance, one that's not hidden. If so, why bother to build a secret passage?

Yes, the "I'm a lowly priest being addressed by the high priestess" worked quite well.

What could have worked better was the showdown between the priestess and Ferris. We get they don't see eye to eye, but as we have no background as said Hubay, there are probably tons of things we're missing on here.

Once again, I would worry about the magic system.
* The priestess seems to be able to do pretty much anything she wants (and she does it in a different manner than her other priests).
* BTW, the gateways looked too much like Saidin gateways, and if such a technology was available, why not use it in battle? Transportation is key in the military.
* There is no defined cost to using magic. Extensive healing tires the healer, but that's about it.

Last, I didn't get why Albione feels so ashamed about what he did. He made a decision in battle to heal someone. True, this prevented him from helping someone else and he could feel some guilt about that, but why fear actual trouble? If nobody knows, only his conscience should trouble him, but here, Albione has very real fears.

Will777r

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Re: June 6th - Will777r - Soul Yearning - Chapter 3
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 02:01:17 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions and feedback here guys :) This chapter has usually gone over better with my readers so it's good to see that some of you liked it better.

Hubay - Thanks for the suggestions on how to make the carnage a bit more impacting on Albione. I really liked some the ideas you mentioned and hope to do something along those lines when I come back to this one.

Concerning the temple/militia rivalry, I was hoping Albione and Ronar's conversation on page 1 and 2 of the chapter 1 would kind of show the tension between them. Ronar points out that the militia soldiers are keeping their distance and Albione mentions his distaste with having to fight alongside them tonight. But, maybe that's not enough.

Concerning Rook-Sha, she is from another continent, which is why her name is different :) Her backstory isn't necessary to this book, but I could eventually slip something in later on to mention she's not originally from Elueria.

Sky - Thanks for the feedback about why the reader should care about Albione's choices at this point. Chapter 4 actually starts with a conversation between Albione and his superior. There the temple's take on this is spelled out. Hopefully that will clarify. I originally had more of this in the first chapter, but it got labled as an infodump, so I just kept the essentials. After I send chapter 4, maybe you can give me your feedback on whether that fits well or I need more in the beginning of the story?

Oh, and primarily everyone is staring at Albione because the most powerful man in 100 miles just spoke to him and said some things that hinted Albione did something for him. Ferris is the villain to every noble family in the city. To be giving thanks to a member of nobility is a serious shocker for them. Heck, just seeing him in person is a bit crazy.

Akoebel - I really appreciate your comments on Albione's stop when he sees the body. One of my crit partners mentioned this to me when I first wrote it and I'm toying with the idea of having him show some internal dialogue when he sees the body instead of actually stopping.

As for finding the sanctuary a little too easily. Anyone can find that. The High Priestess took the secret route to get there quicker and cut the night elves off, not because it's a secret room. I need to do a better job of explaining that somehow.

Concerning the magic system, Rook-Sha is one of a select few who are given power by Alazon to create a portal. Only one other group are taught the chant to produce this. It could be used in battle, but there's a reason that wouldn't work well :) I can tell you, but it spoils a major storyline. So depends on whether you want to know or not heh.

As far as the cost for using magic, Albione explains that in the chapter. "Healing always tired the recipient, but continued healing also exhausted the one ministering it." That's from page 10. I can't go into more detail because Albione doesn't know why this is the case. In fact, only a select few in the world know this answer and they guard the reasons heavily by order of the Gods. This is part of where I've struggled with how to describe the magic. I can do better showing it, but I'm hesitant to give details on the how or why because they people don't really understand it. They are just taught to use a certain chant, combined with a certain holy item and it will produce certain effects. The Gods haven't been more forthcoming than that for their own reasons.

I'll leave any comments on Albione's fears or shame until after chapter 4. If it doesn't makes sense after that, then I'll need to rework something. Or might need to rework it earlier anyway heh - I don't want someone putting it down because they don't see a reason why they should care.

Awesome feedback as always - Thank you so much!!!

Will777r


dead_possum

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Re: June 6th - Will777r - Soul Yearning - Chapter 3
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 05:53:19 AM »
This is my first critique, so go easy on me if I dwell on stuff that doesn't matter.

First, I am really drawn in as the reader.  You paint a vivid scene and it is easy for me to picture everything as it happens

I agree with akoebel that if in the beginning of the chapter the MC is rushing to complete a mission it seems less likely that he would stop to check the pulse of a corpse.  I think what you're trying to convey is the bloodshed and how it is overwhelming to him.  You do this well throughout the rest of the chapter with him vomiting and all, so maybe leave this out or have him trip over a dead body if it is your intent to convey the scene of carnage.

You have a couple of grammar errors/usage issues (lay vs. lie, a POV shift), but I don't want to harp on those here.  If it is appropriate to do so I will email you the document with corrections I've made in red.

My thoughts in general of the chapter:
I like your writing style.  You take time to bring realism to each scene without overdoing your descriptions.  This is super important if you ask me.  You have an occasional awkward sentence but overall your flow is easy to follow and engaging to read.  You kept my interest as a reader throughout.  You are making good use of internal and external conflict (MC's failure to protect the person he was supposed to watch after, being thanked by an antagonist, the subtle friction between the High Priestess and Sir Ferris, and subtle sibling rivalry).  World building is there but not overdone (i.e you don't draw too much attention to it).

That which does not kill you only makes you stronger . . . or just leaves you permanently disabled.

Asmodemon

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Re: June 6th - Will777r - Soul Yearning - Chapter 3
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2011, 09:11:43 PM »
I have to agree with pretty much everything everyone has already said. I liked the chapter overall, but there are a couple of things that didnít work so well for me.

I donít think the conversation at the start of the first chapter about the militia is enough to fully ground the thoughts of treason. We get that there is tension, but we donít get why there is tension.

What Iíve seen so far makes me think that keeping their distance from other forces isnít that odd for a military organisation; in fact the militia may very have doubts about the knights. I also donít see any reason why everyone sees Ferris as a villain; they may not like him, they may despise him on general principle, they may want him to be a traitor so they can hang him because he rode over their puppies, but since heís still in command he canít be a true villain otherwise he wouldnít be in command at all. There also arenít enough grounds here in what weíve seen of the militia to justify the distrust and hate towards them.

As an aside the meaning of a militia nowadays is of a military force of citizens, not trained soldiers, though in the past it was also used for trained forces. Is the reason that they may not be that good in the defence of the city because they arenít professional soldiers, or are they trained soldiers?

The confrontation between Ferris and Rook-Sha didnít work for me for a couple of reasons. Weíve seen no reason for the Ďhatred emanating from these two rivalsí. And why are they rivals? Heís a soldier, sheís a priestess. The hate between them could be Albione misreading things, and I hope he is, because this sort of disharmony between superiors works all the way down to the lowest trooper/acolyte which really disrupts all efforts in defending the city together. And Iíve seen no reason why itís there in the first place! Itís one thing during times of peace, but they are besieged. Iím finding the characters very petty.

Charomís and Albioneís conversation I liked on the level of sibling rivalry and ribbing, but there is a deeper thing that puzzles me. Albione is a warrior priest, heís up on the walls defending the city, but apparently the knights look down on the priests, praying priests and warrior priests alike. So weíve got knights looking down on priests and the both of them looking down on the militia. Disharmony, again. This is a breeding ground for hatred and conflict, Iím surprised the city is even still there for the Night Elves to attack.

At the end we get the conversation between Albione and Ferris. From this conversation alone I must say I like Ferris the best of all. Despite all the hostility he goes to find the man who saved his son in law. From what Iíve seen of the other characters, were the roles reversed, I donít think theyíd do the same, which makes me sympathize more with Ferris than any other character. Again Iím baffled why everyone hates him.

Quote
"Healing always tired the recipient, but continued healing also exhausted the one ministering it."

I think what Akoebel was saying concerning the magic system is exactly that Ė the magic user gets tired from continued use. Thatís a very common drawback of a magic system and when you get right down to it not a very exciting one story wise.

Will777r

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Re: June 6th - Will777r - Soul Yearning - Chapter 3
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 02:46:25 AM »
Thanks for the feedback Asmo :)

In the first draft of my story, I originally started with an explanation of the situation in Elueria, but dropped it for obvious reasons. Since the characters already know why there's tension, it seemed forced to dump it all at once via dialogue. So, I've tried to show the already existing tension and reveal bits and pieces why along the way. I won't give all those answers here as it's part of the storyline, but I would love to hear any suggestions on how to accomplish this better. It definitely needs some work if it's not working for you.

The city is almost 2 cities really. The Eastern section of the city is where the nobles live and the Temple of Alazon stands. It takes about 1/2 a day to get from here to the other two sections of the city, so it's large. The militia aren't allowed in. The situation with the night elves was an extremely rare exception. The Temple runs this section of the city and is independent of the rest. It still claims the authority to hold sway over the entire city, even though that's not the reality. The Northern and Southern sections are ruled by Sir Ferris and his militia. In addition, his rule governs the villages in the countryside.  So, the city functions as 2 seperate entities really. Any interaction is considered a horrible necessity.  Not exactly what's best for the people, but it remains to be seen if Sir Ferris or Rook-Sha are really interested in that. Their hatred for each other definitely has trickled down to the lowest levels of those who follow them. If you find them petty, well....politicians often are :)

On a side note, the city isn't under siege. I need to do a better job making this clear. The night elves didn't bring near the army required for that. This is just a large raiding force designed to get an elite group to get the priestess. That's a religious matter. I introduced it in a prolouge. Maybe I'll bring it back as it explains their motive.

Thanks again!

Will777r