June 19th, 2006, 05:18 PM
GhostShell: Thanks for your comments. The disjointed structure is something others have pointed out as a weakness. Unfortunately, it's integral to the story. That's one thing I can't change (though I might tone it down by re-arranging once the thing is done). People do say it gets better later on.
On the other hand, it is a rather slow book. Don't expect to breeze through it.
Mage-: on its way.
Been naughty today. Haven't written a word. (I blame the heat.)
I think some scenes may have to be re-written from a different point of view (the blander ones).
June 19th, 2006, 05:29 PM
YAYAYAYAYA I GOT IT YAY O BOY O BOY O BOY *little underweight teenager goes crazy* thankeeeeee print print print
Edit: oh god forget the print too long
June 20th, 2006, 03:54 AM
I never print out stuff (unless, perhaps, a few pages for train rides or such) people send me. This may be why it often takes me so long to reply to work others send me. Screen reading is slower.
June 21st, 2006, 11:40 AM
Well, I finished—cruised right through it! I didn't find it slow at all. And I just have to say it's PHENOMENAL writing. You better get it published, or I'll hunt you down and steal it and publish it myself. Wow, soooo good I'm itching to find out what happens. Congratulations, Dawnstorm!
June 21st, 2006, 12:33 PM
Wow, that was quick!
Thanks for your enthusiastic response.
I'll have to finish the current scene, then an update would make sense (but this scene is quite complex, since it involves twelve characters all at once; I may have to break it down into several point-of-view sections; I'm lucky it's a formal event with clear turn-taking structure; not some royal rumble event...)
I'll think about submitting (the wheres and whens and hows) when I've actually got something submittable. Finish the thing first, things like that...
June 21st, 2006, 02:56 PM
Reemerging after longish board break to say: I'd love to read whatever's you'd like to share. I'm a pretty fast reader.
RTF would be fine (I think).
onions at gmx dot net.
(And the heat's killing me, too)
Good luck with the writing, anyway.
June 22nd, 2006, 11:46 AM
Hiya, Dawnstorm, finally had a little time to read it all the way through .... very nice! I still really like that opening phrase don't edit that bit!! I have nothing new to add beyond what the others have said except ...
I offer to stand behind you with a cattle-prod whenever you procrastinate
June 23rd, 2006, 12:45 PM
The current scene's like an amoeba. Keeps splitting. Still the same scene, but...
The scene wants more PoV changes than even I want.
I have to oblige. I'll have my revenge with Dawnstorm's scissors of verbosity cutting +2.
Hhehe (er, um...) Mwaha... (hack, cough)
*Whistles as he slips into the shadows*
June 23rd, 2006, 01:01 PM
I smell BBQ
Give me a Pm and I'll tell you how to look at your hands and question teh validity of age definition through perspective. If you don't want that, I'll read your story and pm you what I think should be read by a tainted question.
June 23rd, 2006, 01:17 PM
I have questioned the validity of perspective through perspective. I didn't look at my hands, though. Instead I tried to look at my eyes.
As to the other offer, opens PM...
June 27th, 2006, 07:16 PM
66.5k words, now. An important section done.
Which means, an update's available.
Part 2 isn't finished yet, though.
I love it when characters take over and surprise me.
I'm tired, and probably incoherent, now.
June 27th, 2006, 09:21 PM
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!!!!!
Dude, I'm a junky. I've never been a junky for an unpublished writer!
Tremendous, Dawnstorm. Tremendous.
July 1st, 2006, 12:44 PM
Right. I am going to rewrite a bloody long critique because my email program ate it. I hope I don't forget anything.
First of all, this was excellent. For about the first half I thought it was one of the best things I've ever read in SFF (including the stuff I shelled out money for. )
I found it really hard to find things to criticise. Every criticism is meant with the understanding that it's an excellent piece of work in any case, it's just things I would have preferred, personally.
Obviously, you're a people person. Your characters have a distinct voice, your dialogues not only convey content but also mirror the relationship between people, their current state of mind and their goals.
Your descriptions are not arbitrary but reflect the personal interests and history of your characters. Most of them stand out as distinct individuals. They are likeable. I think you really like your characters and it shows. They're playful and engaging.
You asked if this works, and I think for my taste it is a little too much dialogue. That's almost inevitable in a piece that deals with intrigue and where information is gathered by communication. (It reminds me of an Agatha Christie novel. )
I did feel that more sensual description would add to the story. One chance is when Kay is preparing for the ball - where are the sensuous fabrics, the glittering jewelry (Yvette should be wearing some, at least).
Or in the museum. You could do a lot of atmospheric description there. It's all very sparse.
While you convey a world of meanings and history and sociology in your dialogues, I find it hard to picture the places they're in. I know lots about the place now, but I can't see it infront of me. This is what I'm missing. Don't be afraid to waste space on descriptions.
A little more action would also balance out the dialogue - even the assassination attempt is something we chiefly witness through words words words.
Your pacing, plot and worldbuilding are phantastic.
One thing about characters: Some are better realised than others. I had problems with Lady Garson, Duras and their Mage counterpart. Lady Garson is a coquette with brains and nothing more, Duras is sharply defined but no more multidimensional than she is, and the other guy struck me as mostly pliant, so that I even forgot his name. Others, like Cuja, have immediate presence and character and even Everdine seems to be a multidimensional being.
Detail (Just things I wondered about, could be just me.)
Feyshore: Wouldn't someone who's researched Orman know that House Flaym "has the ear of the King"?
The sausage thing is psychologically brilliant, but the way you deployed the information was a bit confusing. I wondered for quite some time what he was on about with that sausage and by the time you came to the horrible part, it had lost it's emotional impact. I think what would help is if it was clear from the beginning that Cuja is in emotional stress, not just overworked or something (sounded that way, initially).
I like the playfulness of the characters, like when Cryspyre wonders whether Reed's feet are aligned with the chair.
I also like the way you keep emotional distance, like when the guard doesn't know how to handle the crying girl. Or the way Reed remains ambiguous about how he feels about Tori.
I was absolutely tickled by the Order of the Writ.
The scene where Reed sounds out the guard is a bit confusing. I wasn't sure whether this was the first time they'd talked and thus, how much each of them knew of each other.
I don't think any doctor would so happily admit not knowing anything. They'd at least invent pompous theories about it. They're too used to being the people with the answers, it should give them pain to admit they can't.
I like the disjointed word rhythm in the waking up scenes and the birthing scene.
After the assassination attempt
Everdine shows no signs of dismay or upset. Isn't he worried about his career or his head?
I found this scene where Reed meets the others a little emotionally confusing. First Helbi's sudden horniness, then the banter between people I only realised later already knew each other. I think you could make this more straightforward without seeming too obvious.
And whose thoughts is that last paragraph?
Face the FActions
This is where I started getting a little tired of the constant dialogue. I can see you'd want the symmetry of him meeting all three factions. But the scene with Kay offers only one piece of new information (the slug) and chews over things we know already. I'd rather have seen the slug in action.
And is there a reason why you structured the three meetings narratively so that two are embedded in the buildup to the third? I think I would have preferred straightforward sequentiality for simplicity's sake.
Anyway, that was it. I hope you get done fast because I can't wait to see this on the shelves. And thank you for letting me read this. (I'm sorry I took so long - a writing competition, two critiques and a communication training for urologists got in the way.)
July 1st, 2006, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the feedback.
There's a lot to cut, but I'll only know what once the thing is done.
I'm currently taking a break writing, re-thinking things. I'm worried that the writing gets too repetitive (although that shouldn't really matter in a first draft). Normally, the scenes that come hard are also boring to read, and lately most have given me trouble. I see lots of editing there...
July 1st, 2006, 07:19 PM
Hmmm. Not sure what you mean by repetitive writing. Certainly, there's some information that's repeated and could bear culling.
And like I said, you might choose another way of conveying information once in a while other than dialogues in a closed room.
But there is a great vibrancy in your writing. It's alive. And there's a sense of an author knowing what he's doing every step of the way, nothing there by chance and no faltering of the pace. Your characters alone keep it interesting.
Yeah, you'll have to do some editing, but nothing out of the ordinary.
You're not getting fidgety about this, are you?