1. - Top - End - #256
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Asthix's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Gender
    Male

    Lightbulb Re: Playground Writers Workshop (Read 1st Post)

    I don't know anything about the preexisting mythology so I'm not qualified to comment on Sidereals, but I will gladly critique your story.

    Critique of Saint of the Stars by Lord Raizere

    Pt. 1:
    Spoiler
    Show
    An effective opening, mainly on the strength of the third paragraph. That is the real heart of Part 1 and well written, I think. The vision works nicely as foreshadowing.

    That first paragraph though. It's a deliberate non-sequitur that only contributes to the plot by establishing that Solars are inferior to Sidereals. I'm fine with non-sequiturs that end in a joke but not in this case because:
    a) It's the very beginning of the story and you are going to throw almost every reader off to some degree
    b)There is a long run on sentence to start it
    c)coming back from the non-sequitur at the start of a new paragraph threw me off even more because I had to go back and find exactly where it matched up in the 1st paragraph. If the non-sequitur is too long to fit in the same paragraph with the subject, then it should be shortened.

    Technical grammar stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    So this run on sentence is pretty big: "Cats Eye Lantern's Shining Brilliance-Cats Eye for short, Cats Eye's Ridiculously Long Name to her detractors and "Brilliance" to all those who wish to woo her, for they loved to compare the last word of her name to the pitiful light that were the Solars, for surely their glory couldn't stand against the brilliance of your beauty, such attempts at a pick up line only made Cats Eye roll her eyes, or if was particularly stupid, to perform the ancient martial arts move Male Stupidity Sends You Flying Again, a powerful punch performable only by females and only when it would be funny because the Pattern Spiders would deem it so, it sent the offending male flying into the sky for their stupidity."

    It is carefully worded to be necessarily long, there is no place where I could just add a period without tweaking a word or two. More confusing than the non-sequitur is fact that there are too many thoughts in this opening sentence.

    As I said above, coming back from where you left off in the 1st paragraph at the start of a new one just feels clunky and disjointed to me. I'm not telling you you shouldn't do it if it helps the story somehow, but it gave me the impression that the character can be somewhat scatterbrained.

    The phrase, "it all that she wore was blue, even her eyes were blue with blue stars in her eyes" is too much blue too close together. Also the word, "it" at the beginning is a typo. The phrase would work better like, "all that she wore was blue, even the stars in her blue eyes" although wearing stars in your eyes might be too purple with the prose by today's standards.

    In the third paragraph, the phrase, "The Sidereals fighting themselves, would be just as bad as the entire Wyld invading Creation all at once." does not need a comma.

    Similarly, the last phrase in part 1, "her faith in Creation, restored" does not need a comma and of course is missing a period. I know it may seem trivial, but you do yourself no favors keeping your readers immersed in the story with missed punctuation.

    Fourth paragraph, "until they remembered there was ten-thousand and a few hundred something people like them." The word 'Was' should be 'were'


    Pt. 2:
    Spoiler
    Show
    There are some good humorous moments that are well handled in the overall narrative. I enjoyed the 'Pants for the Pants God!' bit. While the ordinary office setting kind of seemed like a cop-out to the fantastic nature of the Loom in general, the story still moves and doesn't get bogged down or stale because of it. The office setting just doesn't seem to live up to the Loom's potential for location and scenery.

    Likewise you handle the fight scene well, though when I think of beings that control the very nature of our existence, snowboard fighting did not occur to me.

    Technical grammar stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    In the 1st paragraph, "If the visions she received was correct," should be 'were' not 'was'. If vision was singular, then it would be 'was' but visions make it 'were.'

    At the end of the 1st paragraph, "soon she finally" uses two things where you only need one. Either she soon got to the room or she finally did. Both together overcomplicates it.

    Jollily is not a word. I'm sorry.

    But seriously, the correct term there would be "he would laugh with jolity"

    The phrase, "Whatever gods that weren't addicted to the Games of Divinity, were spending their whole day doing nothing but a flood of paperwork and then blowing off steam in the evening in reckless ways" can have the word 'that' removed and have it's comma moved to the end, after "ways" (gosh, that's seems confusing, but I do think it flows better that way)

    "It was used to hone many Dawn general’s tactics" this one is a bit tricky. Because you made Dawn Generals plural with the word 'many,' it becomes a plural possessive and so the apostrophe should be after the s.


    Pt. 3:
    Spoiler
    Show
    The mix between action and advancement of the plot works well here. You set this fight scene on a higher level than the previous one by having it as the whole of a chapter.

    Smashing Maraca comes off as a justified antagonist with a mix of dark and brooding that is seemingly only conveyed to me by his mantra, "Dang Sidereals!" I think it's a good character despite his possible oversimplification in this story.

    One thing I noticed was Cats Eye's thought that she did not have a good shot in the fight because she was not a Chosen of Battles or Endings, yet she fails no take any hits and seems to do rather well in the fight.

    I think the exchange between Maraca and Cats Eye at the beginning of part three is not realistic dialogue. It's stilted and choppy to me. I also need to mention the breaking up of dialogue into separate lines later on (and also in part two). The main reason I don't like it is because you are left with phrases in between dialogue that are presented as their own paragraphs such as,:
    'Bewildered, Cats Eye asked.'
    'For he had the iconic golden eyes with stars inside.'
    and even dialogue in it's own paragraph such as:
    “am Kelgan Giantsblade, The Wolf in the South, Wanderer of Creation.” none of which are complete sentences, let alone paragraphs.

    Secondly, you shift back and forth between sections that follow correct syntax for dialogue and ones that split everything up into separate lines. The exchange between Maraca and Cats Eye at the beginning of part 3 for example is done correctly, but the next dialogue between her and Kelgan is split up. Uniformity in form is essential for narrative clarity.

    I also like Kelgan's character, despite his overuse of the contraction, m'name.

    Technical grammar stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    The sentence, "What he was practicing, was martial arts." does not need the comma because the following two sentences follow the same pattern with commas separating short phrases. When read aloud, this paragraph works better without the 1st comma.

    "shifting into Fish Descends the Waterfall then into Calm Salt Sea. Then he shifted into Fish Ascends the Waterfall, and then finally goes into Fish Fights up the Stream." This part has three different tenses in it, which is bad. The word 'shifting' is present participle. then it changes to 'shifted' which is past participle and finally, the word 'goes' makes it 3rd person singular present. Getting the right tense all the time is difficult, I have a hard time too. I find it helps one get better if it's pointed out to you, that way you can better find the right tense for the situation you want and also match it with your own writing. In this case, since the paragraph starts in past tense, it should remain so, 'shifting' should be shifted, and 'goes' should be simply removed as it will not harm the intent of the phrase at all.

    "but he was bald and a great big mustache instead." this can be fixed either by changing the word, 'and' to 'with' or having the word 'had' added after 'and'

    "Now that the thought occurred to her, she realized she might not be the best Sidereal ever," this is a complete sentence and should have a period instead of a comma at the end.

    "The Loom of Fate could not have made a mistake couldn’t it?" The double negative is probably obvious with the sentence shown by itself, "couldn't" should be "could"

    “WHAT!? Don’t tell you forgot to, mate!" the 'to' should be 'too'

    "who apparently gone around" In this case you should use the word, 'goes'

    "Smashing Maraca landed on the room between them," I think you wanted to use the word 'roof' instead of 'room.' Can't be sure though.

    "Kelgan charged roaring in rage and attacking Maraca recklessly." there should be a comma after, 'charged'

    "It was simply crazy," there's probably some technical term for why this phrase is unnecessary here, but I will simply suggest that the paragraph is better without it.

    "Maraca had enough of this sidereal trash," it should be, 'Maraca had had enough of this Sidereal trash,'


    Pt. 4:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ah twoo wuv! I like how you use love at first sight without ever using those four words together, it avoids the cliche effectively enough to be believable.

    While the story is clearly meant to continue, it's also self contained within these four parts by the prophecy narrative. Part 4 accomplishes both of these nicely. I think the line, "Her plan to save Creation was in motion, question is: what was it?" works very well on both counts.

    As with any aristocratic party it takes a lot of words to get through it, though a lot is devoted to developing Sanalos. Overall, I think your strength in narrative and defining characters balances out the technical flaws to create a good prologue that is readable and entertaining.

    Technicals
    Spoiler
    Show
    The phrase, "Some threw them because they were denial of the obvious" is missing an, 'in'

    "So to alleviate tensions among the Co-Bosses he chose Salt Lily, a mildly successful captain but was unusually young and relatively inexperienced." The 'but' should be 'who'

    "She had light blue hair with pigtails bronze skin and brown eyes," there should be a comma after pigtails

    "drinking the most expensive and rich wines in Creation" If you're going for rich as in, 'the wine tasted rich,' then I think this phrase would work better as, "drinking the richest and most expensive wines in Creation"

    "so neither did they really deserve in the center of the parties either." this can be fixed by removing the word, 'in' or by adding the words, 'to be' before it.

    "Wiletro an Air Aspect with fiery orange hair enough to make him look like a Fire Aspect, he had green eyes" this needs a comma after Wiletro and I think the 'he' should be removed.

    "Wiletro was stuck being dealing with politics." The word 'being' should be removed.

    "with flowing green hair with flowers" this is what they call the department of redundancy department.

    "She was the most beautiful thing in the world to him," this should have a period and the following word made the start of a new sentence.

    "to protect her, knowing that the chaos that would ensue upon the world and destroy everything." I'm not really sure that removing the first 'that' would accomplish what you want to say here, but it would work better than both that's.

    "However she soon saw him leaving, looking a little upset.
    No! This would not do.
    However she had been distracted" this is too many howevers, too close together.

    "Sanalos had either became" in this case, 'Sanalos either became,' or 'Sanalos had either become' are the two most correct options.

    "As that cynical part of him spoke, he felt the world become more and more bleak, he felt all the light and hope drain away replaced by harsh reality and logic and emotions drowned by a bitter darkness grown from his days in the West when he was just a beggar on the street trying to survive, the beggar boy who left other beggar boys to die after he had used them to steal food, the beggar boy who cowardly fled a life of strength and tough living on the streets to be a smuggler on a ship and to start caring for his crewmates, then his crew, then the fleet he Co-Boss’d and then finally got into the cushy position of Boss of the company, then became an Exalted, blackmailed House Peleps into adopting him so he could live in the lap of luxury and have the time of his life while every beggar and pirate life out the hard life in the West, scraping by what they can."

    No. Run on sentence is bad. this is how I would parse it. "As that cynical part of him spoke, he felt the world become more and more bleak. He felt all the light and hope drain away replaced by harsh reality and logic and emotions drowned by a bitter darkness grown from his days in the West when he was just a beggar on the street trying to survive. The beggar boy who left other beggar boys to die after he had used them to steal food, the beggar boy who cowardly fled a life of strength and tough living on the streets to be a smuggler on a ship and to start caring for his crewmates, then his crew, then the fleet he Co-Boss’d and then finally got into the cushy position of Boss of the company. Then became an Exalted, blackmailed House Peleps into adopting him so he could live in the lap of luxury and have the time of his life while every beggar and pirate life out the hard life in the West, scraping by what they can."

    The reason I was so thorough with this critique is that you seem to care about the ongoing story and mentioned that you worried it wasn't as good as Crashing Wave, so I have tried to give you as many specific examples as I can of room for improvement.

    As always I could easily be wrong somehow about a lot of the above and any decisions you make about the editing process will be better than mine because it is your story. Happy writing!
    Last edited by Asthix; 2011-07-24 at 09:21 PM.
    Baby B-day Turtle Avatar by Savannah
    fnord
    Ex-Keeper of The Birthdays (The Birthday Thread)

    Official president of the Teevo must die fanclub