View Full Version : critique: Owl and The Eagle
May 3rd, 2005, 09:50 PM
Hey everyone! You know the drill. If you have time please read the first chapter of my story The Owl and The Eagle: Othryades, and let me know how it's working out. The post below this one has a direct link (thanks to Michael for that). The chapter needs a bit of editing but right now I'm more worried about whether it captures the reader and keeps them engaged. If you're bored or irritated with the story let me know why.
May 3rd, 2005, 10:10 PM
Here is the link (http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/459p0.html) for the story.
May 4th, 2005, 01:02 AM
This story is very well written, a good read. Have you thought of starting your story earlier? You might be able to avoid some of your infodumps and just let the story develop.
For example, instead of Othryades on his way to the King, you could have started the story with the slave interrupting the practice. Maybe seeing Prince Leonidas at the start of his hunt, some hints of the king's condition, etc.
Or further back, when Princess Gorgo gets attacked by the boar. The Old boar.
His innards were now placed back inside but bits of gore and black blood indicated that they had spilled. I'm assuming he's seeing this on the floors. You might want to replace "that" with "where".
For a moment neither blinked. Finally Dieneces grinned.
"Yeah, we got him all right," he laughed. "Got him right in the gut."
You might want to do this a little more subtle.
Thanks Michael for the link.
May 4th, 2005, 08:09 AM
I agree with Expendable that it could have started earlier. There was a bit too much info dump early on.
It does read very well though. All your chapters are very engaging and descriptive.
One thing I did wonder about was the following section
"and so I convinced his family to put him in the stocks so he wouldn't hurt himself or others."
I just struggled to envisage a warrior (albeit a mad one) submitting to his family putting him in stocks. Would he not have struggled against this?
Was he somehow aware of his madness and therefore acceptant of it?
May 6th, 2005, 12:07 AM
Okay, thanks for sharing.
I don't think I agree that you should start it earlier (sorry people, it's not a loyalty thing, honest), but do watch the information you give in the course of the story. You did well to aviod the dreaded infodump, but sometimes the information you provided along the way should have been mentioned earlier, for example,
"I should have been with him", thought Othryades, grief-striken. "He should never have been left alone!"
Maybe somewhere in that thought you should have made some kind of reference to where he was and why he left the king alone (though not really alone as it turns out).
I did register a bit of disappointment toward the end, I was kind of looking for some clue, or some sort of answer to the question posed in the first paragraph. Perhaps I'm looking for mystery where there is none, but I'm not convinced that the good, um ... insane king did this to himself. (Perhaps, I remind myself, this is why the segment in question is in fact only a first chapter.) If this is the case, I do have my prime suspects already, but I don't yet know why. On the other hand, if you are going the direction of intrigue, I think you need to highlight it a bit more, it's too subtle.
Back to the issue at hand. It does engage the reader, I didn't find it too irritating, and with a couple of good 'once overs' it could be even better.
May 7th, 2005, 12:54 AM
Thanks everyone! ALL of these comments have been really helpful, and I'm hoping more will come in soon. I'm happy to be a part of a community that's willing to go the distance and take time to help one another. I've been trying to return the favor as well. Chapter 2 will be up tommorow or the next day so I hope you guys are interested in reading it ;)
May 7th, 2005, 10:05 PM
Hi everyone! As promised the second chapter to Owl and The Eagle is up and ready if anyone wants to give me comments/opinions on how it's going. I really appreciate the comments since they help me learn what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. So if you have time, please read the newest chapter and let me knwo what you think!
Meghan Sullivan ;)
May 8th, 2005, 08:33 AM
A couple of minor things......
The helot jumped at the furious words, and eyed the killing sword that hung on Othryades' leather girdle nervously.
You might want to rephrase that so that it doesn't seem like the sword is hanging nervously
thread-bare crinsom cloak I don't know crinsom. Crimson perhaps?
located in the Southern Pelopponnese in the land of Laconia, That seems out of place in the story telling
May 8th, 2005, 10:57 AM
Here's the link
May 8th, 2005, 01:47 PM
Thanks! One of these days I'll figure out how to do that... :p
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