PDA

View Full Version : Need critiquing


SFFWorld.com
Home - Discussion Forums - News - Reviews - Interviews

New reviews, interviews and news

New in the Discussion Forum


kongming
March 19th, 2005, 05:14 AM
Hey all I have posted two stories in the community section under the name Kevin Newman (which is a great coincidence b/c that is exactly the same as my name). Please critisize away. Also let me know where you think I'm taking the stories, and where you think I should take them. I don't really need a proof-read at this time as they are unfinished works and therefore grammer and spelling don't matter but I think my grammer and spelling are pretty good anyway so don't worry.

michaelS0620
March 19th, 2005, 10:20 AM
Here are the links to Kevin's stories.

The Empire is Crying (http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/340p0.html)

My Old Friend War (http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/339p0.html)

I will read them over the weekend and give some feedback then.

Michael

Zanzibar
March 29th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Hmm, I can't seem to find a Kevin Newman in the Community section and Michael, your links are broken. Tell me where and I'll review the stories.

kongming
March 29th, 2005, 05:04 PM
aparently my account was suspended due to violations... Don't know what it is I hope it's not serious.... I'm waiting for a response to find out.

ironchef texmex
April 7th, 2005, 10:16 AM
Okay, I finished The Empire is Crying. I couldn't agree more about the need for more eastern fantasy fusions. Just one problem: you're not writing in Chinese.

The point is this, since you're writing to people who come from a very different mode of thought, you're going to need to translate some of the 'easternisms' so that the reader can follow what is happening. At first a man is putting his daughter to sleep in the forest (I think), next comes the battle with the daemon, then a group the hero's friends/relatives comes walking along. What's going on? What are they doing in the forest? How did the group just happen along at the moment after the fight. I'm sure you had the reasons in mind when you wrote the story, but without cluing the reader in it almost looks like a jumble of random events.

Also, the fight scene could use a little spice. The sudden POV shift from the girl's perspective to the hero's is a little jolting. I would recommend that you either write it from her viewpoint or from his and that you include some mention of the viewpoint character's mental state, not just a blow by blow account of movement.

Still, it's mostly good. The lack of causation/explanation is the main gripe.

kongming
April 7th, 2005, 11:28 AM
Thanks. And I dearly wish I COULD write it in Chinese.

There are clues that there are other people in the woods across from the heroe. And yes he does put her to sleep and I thought that was clear that he was obviously waiting for the Daemon to show.

And I only wanted to put the smallest amount of causation explanation possible b/c it's emulating Three Kingdoms style and I want it to be post-modern. But I don't want it to be TOO confusing... I'll have to edit it alot I know and if it becomes the size of Three Kingdoms I have my work cut out. Anyway do you think it has more than a superficial feel of Asia. Does it seem like it's another white guy writing about china or does it feel like I have fused elements of east and west (obviously more west b/c that's where I am)?


Okay, I finished The Empire is Crying. I couldn't agree more about the need for more eastern fantasy fusions. Just one problem: you're not writing in Chinese.

The point is this, since you're writing to people who come from a very different mode of thought, you're going to need to translate some of the 'easternisms' so that the reader can follow what is happening. At first a man is putting his daughter to sleep in the forest (I think), next comes the battle with the daemon, then a group the hero's friends/relatives comes walking along. What's going on? What are they doing in the forest? How did the group just happen along at the moment after the fight. I'm sure you had the reasons in mind when you wrote the story, but without cluing the reader in it almost looks like a jumble of random events.

Also, the fight scene could use a little spice. The sudden POV shift from the girl's perspective to the hero's is a little jolting. I would recommend that you either write it from her viewpoint or from his and that you include some mention of the viewpoint character's mental state, not just a blow by blow account of movement.

Still, it's mostly good. The lack of causation/explanation is the main gripe.

ironchef texmex
April 7th, 2005, 12:50 PM
Oh, I think the general feel is pretty good. You infuse things like the eastern code of honor and do it without beating the reader over the head. I definately had the feeling, while reading, that I was in the hands of someone who knew more about eastern culture and thought than I. It's just I had so many questions. I thought that if he was waiting or searching for the daemon, that he wouldn't have let the girl be so close, or even in the woods at all. At the end the onlookers call him a name (attempting to confer some sort of title), but I wasn't sure what was happening.

It's funny, because I just griped in the other direction on Hereford's intro. It's a tough balance to strike, no question. You have to ask yourself what the reader needs to know to get through a scene. Then include those details and, at the first of the story, not too much more. You've got the "not too much more" part down. But I think you need to include a few more details to get the reader through those first scenes. Hereford had great details to get the reader interested in the first scene, but I think included too much about the main character that should have developed over the course of the book.

Pacing the rate of infodump is hard. It takes time (heck, I don't know how well I do it either!). As it stands, I think you can stand to add some information and still be well away from a situation where the reader feels bombarded with facts.

kongming
April 14th, 2005, 12:39 AM
Yeah I see your point. And it is a balancing act... If I took the first two paragraphs out from the beginning, (the ones that deal with the history of the empire) and plugged them on the end of the Story/Chapter instead would that help? And if I removed some of the characters that meet up w/ him after slaying the daemon would it make it less confusing? And regarding the daughter, if it was a son would that seem more believeable? She's going to remain a daughter but I just wanted to point out that the story is going to treat male and female equally. They won't be different at all, there will be some males who act as our society has labelled "Men" and others who act as our society labelled "Women" and vice versa for the females. Maybe that's a little confusing but my point is that the rest of the story shows that Nangow's sister is the Warleader. Later Nangow will go to the capital and find that the Female Prime Minister is Terorrizing the young emperor. He will become so enraged in one meeting with her and another female warrior that he will plunge his sword into the Prime Minister only to find that the female warrior on the other side has done the same. This will create a bond of friendship between Nangow and the warrior. Anyway since I didn't state his daughter's age are you just assuming that she's 6 years old? I think she's more like 9 or 10 but at the age that if she were to grow up a warrior (and she's Nagow's heir) then she needs to see what the King (or Queen) of the Plains will have to do on a day to day basis. And besides there's this great passage in Three Kingdoms where Zhao Yun has rescued Liu Bei's son Ah Dou and he's fighting his way through battle with the child at his breast. When he finally makes his way safley to Liu Bei, the father throws the child to the ground and curses it for nearly making him loose a good general. So in that context does Nangow's daughter being near the battle with the deamon make sense?

kongming
April 14th, 2005, 12:41 AM
Also could you check out this complete story and let me know what you think?

The First Round (http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/362p0.html)