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July 5th, 2007, 07:10 PM
This is a chapter from within the first half of my manuscript, which is currently titled A Dreamer Among Ruins. I would gratefully accept any constructive criticism you could offer. Like others before me, I would appreciate genuine criticism and not mindless bashing. This is not the first time I have attempted to write a novel, but it is the first time I have managed to get so much completed, and the first one I will submit for publication.

It can be found at takoren.tripod.com/dreamer. Thanks in advance.

July 5th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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July 5th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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James Carmack
July 5th, 2007, 09:29 PM
In the future, I recommend you post to the Stories section of the site or provide an off-site link if you've got it published somewhere else. It's inadvisable to post your submissions directly on the forums unless it's a rather short piece.

July 5th, 2007, 09:51 PM
Now I'm wondering if the mods can move or delete this thread so that I can do what James suggested?

July 5th, 2007, 10:22 PM
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James Carmack
July 6th, 2007, 01:15 AM
PM one of the mods and they should be able to clear out your extraneous posts. I don't know how different this system works from the pHpBB I run on my site, though, so it may not be that easy.

July 7th, 2007, 12:04 PM
I'm guessing nobody wants to read it.

For those of you who find it more palatable, I have also put this on the stories page of sffworld.com. You can find it here (http://www.sffworld.com/community/story/2520p0.html).

James Carmack
July 9th, 2007, 10:19 PM
I'll get to it, Tako, I swear. I just took on a volcano and I'm still recovering. I'll try to have it read and critiqued in the next day or two.

James Carmack
July 10th, 2007, 03:47 AM
Okay, you've actually got a good story here, albeit with the obligatory rough spots. I feel you've done us a disservice by plopping us in the middle of the story. This piece is most definitely not self-contained and even with your info dumps, there's a lot of establishment we're lacking. Still, that has no bearing on the actual quality of the writing, which is pretty good. You tend to be a little overabundant in your details, but I guess subtraction in editing is easier than addition, right?

When a person is identified by their rank or title, it's more common to capitalize, particularly when there's no one else with the same title to get confused with. Ergo, Ph'rothack would be referred to as "the Emperor" and Taraboor as "the General", etc.

You need to decide whether you want "honor guard" capitalized or not. You're inconsistent.

I'm glad you posted to the Stories section. It makes it easier for me to break down the quibbles. Speaking of which...

Page 1
A keep that encompasses a ten-mile radius? Dang. Are you sure?

"for the benefit of keeping the loyal public loyal" This is awkward and I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean what you want it to. You could change the "for the benefit of" to "to", but as the sentence is running on rather long as it is, you might want to delete this phrase entirely.

"chosen from", not "chosen among"

"segmentata", not "segmenta"

Rather than "Enforcers of the Engrothian regime", "Enforcers of Engroth" comes off so much easier.

Page 2
Why is "Lands" capitalized?

Use "integrate" rather than "be integrated". The passive is inappropriate here.

"The thought made his teeth grind together and his eyes narrow." I want you to think on this line a bit.

A spatha is about the same length as a longsword. Why have one of each?

"Along their persons"? Try "on".

Hyphenate "ten-foot" and just about any other two-word adjective you come across.

What sort of garron are you talking about? Seems rather undersized for the mount of heavily armed and armored troops and they wouldn't be quite as dolled up if they were just the palfreys.

Page 3
Interesting the regard Tiarsul holds for the horses.

I wouldn't consider "At once, my lord" a riposte, but perhaps I have no eye for verbal fencing.

Kings have reigns and horses have reins. Unless the horse is King. Then he may have both. ^_^

Page 4
What does the procesion do? There's no verb.

Is Tiarsul allowed to get away with addressing the Emperor as simply "Emperor"?

Are you sure you want Tiarsul to be retorting? A little strong for someone who's trying to be civil.

Make sure you consistently hyphenate "self-important".

Page 5
Both words in "liege lord" should be lowercase.

"aid" not "aide" (Unless Tiarsul is outsourcing, that is.)

You probably should capitalize the "seventh" in "Seventh Scion". On the subject, as we're smack-dab in the middle of the story, I have no idea, but I hope the Scion isn't an object. You do realize that "scion" means "descendant", I trust.

Page 6
The "realm of Tarsul"? What do you mean?

"[...]the outbuildings of Darkshore Keep flanking both sides of the road. The dark buildings stood silently, dark coming from their few windows." I'm drowning in the dark here.

I think "restock" is a better choice than "reload".

Page 7
I'm sure Tiarsul has more than one instruction for them.

"There"... What there? "Our destination", perhaps?

Hussorn's reaction should precede Tiarsul's comment, "I see you have heard of it."

Hussorn hardly goes on long enough for it to count as a tirade.

Page 8
"spilt life"?

Page 10
Death did result. Sounds a bit off, doesn't it? Adding in an "even if" and a "not" doesn't make it any better.

"High Mage" needs to be in caps at all times.

The verb is "advise" and the noun is "advice".

Page 12
Hussorn's never heard a man being quartered? These folks are nicer than I thought.

Page 13
How can immobile teeth tear you to ribbons? Even if you fling yourself at them, you'll only be impaled.

Page 14
Instead of the Serpent, Hussorn invokes a god called Addyr. If you don't see the irony there, I must chuckle alone.

And that's all for now.