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Arash
July 5th, 2007, 06:08 AM
Here's a short, two pager.

Enjoy :D

http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/2516p0.html

James Carmack
July 6th, 2007, 12:04 AM
*chirp chirp*

...

...

...

Oh, you did wind up saying "critique" after all, didn't you? Okay, well, you got yourself a nice little story here. I have an affection for plots fiddling with fatalism. Fertile ground for stories. I may be getting my wires crossed, but I believe your craftsmanship has improved since the last piece of yours I read. That's always good to see. ^_^

Once again, I advise against inverse dialog tags, especially in the frequency you use them. The "subject+verb" pattern is recommended in most cases. Have I directed you to my lesson on dialog tags? In several places you could stand to hear my advice on identifying the speaker early.

In a few places, you have an embedded dialog tag between two complete sentences. This is a comma splice. To test a line of dialog, remove the tag and put the two parts together. If you'd use a period otherwise, then a period needs to follow the dialog tag.

Is fate personified among these people? If it is, it would be appropriate to capitalize it. "Fate" and "fate"... It's a subtle difference, but a significant one.

On to the quibbles...

Page 1
You don't lead yourself in. You let yourself in.

Arthus did hesitate, so it should read "withou further hesitation".

The face he hadn't seen in thirty years smiled from the corner of a mug? How does a face smile from the corner of a mug?

Hyphenate "well-lit", "red-faced" and "last-second". Most all two-word adjectives are hyphenated.

Our red-faced friend can't be identified as "he" right off the bat. The last subject was Arthus, after all.

Do the people in this world tell time with such precision that seconds would be a part of their vocabulary? If not, Arthus wouldn't be talking about a "last-second parry".

Does Devian and Arthus have only one wit to be slowed? Does that make them half-wits when they're apart? When speaking generally, wits should be plural.

"Kingship" doesn't need to be capitalized unless it's treated as a proper noun.

"Must no doubt"... Is this an independent parenthetical? No. The "must" requires a verb and that verb is "bear". As such, there should be no comma between "doubt" and "bear".

Page 2
When you say "Friend Arthus", "friend" becomes a title and should be capitalized, no different from "Father Patrick", "Sister Mary" or "Coozan Dud".

"old friend" is direct address and should be set off by a comma.

And that's it for now.

Arash
July 6th, 2007, 10:19 PM
Thank you :)

Do inverse dialogue tags sound passive? Is that why you advise against them?

James Carmack
July 9th, 2007, 07:44 PM
Well, now that I think about it, it's true that they do, but that's not why I advise against them. They simply read less naturally than normal noun+verb dialog tags.

I have nothing against the passive where appropriate (unlike the grammarians who harp on it as being verboten in all times and places), but that's not what this is about.