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  1. #11
    Senior Manna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meroe1313 View Post
    Manna, are you still looking for something to read and critique?
    of course :3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manna View Post
    of course :3
    Okay, here's the link: https://www.weasyl.com/submission/73...st-chapter-one

    Let me know what you think, please, and thanks for reading!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by meroe1313 View Post
    Okay, here's the link: https://www.weasyl.com/submission/73...st-chapter-one

    Let me know what you think, please, and thanks for reading!
    I like that you capitalized Mist in the opening sentence to make it clear to the audience that it's not ordinary mist. Your style is rich with description and lends itself well to the fantastic tone you're trying to achieve.

    Mind for awkward phrasing when you're dealing with so many adjectives. Your tone is very serious in the second paragraph, the Mist "inhaling" the sound of the bell and the blanket of "icy lace" were both really interesting metaphors which did well to portray the Mist as a chilling sort of phenomena, monstrous and brooding. Your third paragraph however opens with "Orbs of light broke through the fog and bobbed like lantern lights without the lanterns to anchor them in reality", and the passive tone of the sentence kind of works against what you've set up. The sentence reads like a person talking to you casually, saying "they broke through the fog and bobbed like lantern lights" and then they tilt their head to the other side, turning their palm and clarifying "without the lanterns to anchor them in reality". Our narrator shouldn't feel the need to clarify where rich description would suffice.

    "Orbs of light broke through the fog and bobbed like lantern lights, swaying in the cold and listless air."

    Another thing to examine while you're editing is the rhythm of the piece. Your adjectives are great and your rich description lends itself well to the piece but in some places your sentences feel a little fatigued. Your second sentence "The unnatural whiteness swelled and swirled like storm clouds building on the fringe of the captain's wilting lantern light" needs a place to take a breath. You have a lot of words here and they all sort of just happen together. To the reader it's going to feel long, like the sentences are longer than they should be. This ties in with the above critique as they're both issues of "flow". Flow is so important to your work because it's a huge factor in keeping the attention of your audience. If flow is needlessly broken, it works to pull the reader out of the world you're trying to create.

    I mentioned that the sentence feels long, and while that's true my advice wouldn't be to shorten it. While that would certainly suffice, you'd be detracting from the main appeal of your style. What I'd recommend is making the sentence even longer with some added punctuation, spacing out your "important" ideas (your clauses!) - the description of the clouds and how they interact with the captain's light

    "The unnatural whiteness turned and swelled like storm clouds, building up against the captain's dying lantern light"

    I also switched out swirled for turned in this example because I'm really not a fan of alliteration in this tone. I don't like the alliteration of lantern and light either but those two words are both kind of too important I guess. I understand that it adds to the fantasy tone but to me the device will always be too sing-song to lend itself to a darkened mood. idk, that one's your call

    EDIT:
    also also, was "soured a giant winged silhouette" a deliberate word choice or a typo? I can understand if it's meant to say the shadow was "souring the water" as a sort of analogy to describe how detestable the owner of said shadow is to the narrator, but if that's the case then it kind of reads a little awkwardly and gives the impression of being a misspelling of "soared"
    Last edited by Manna; 10-08-2014 at 07:53 AM.

  4. #14
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    Thank you so much for taking the time to read, Manna!

    I used to have a problem with all of my sentences being very short, and very choppy, so I may have overcompensated. XD Did you read any further? Does flow continue to be an issue through the remaining pages of the chapter? I may have to check my flow throughout the entire novel, if it is indeed an issue.

    And that "soured" bit... yeah, just a typo. But you know, of all the people who've read through these pages, you're the first person to catch it! Makes me feel so silly, but I'm kind of used to it by now.

    Thank you again, and if I can ever return the favor, let me know!

  5. #15
    Rattlesnake Flavored RedSavage's Avatar
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    Huh. Wonder how mine pans out. I've gotten three reviews so far. A fourth is a step closer to getting a fuller, more cohesive picture on what I need to work on. Here you go. https://www.weasyl.com/submission/739544/darkworld

    Apparently repetition is a little rough in the beginning, rather than a sort of effect as I was shooting for. Currently hashing it out through the second chapter. P:
    Last edited by RedSavage; 10-17-2014 at 07:39 PM.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSavage View Post
    Huh. Wonder how mine pans out. I've gotten three reviews so far. A fourth is a step closer to getting a fuller, more cohesive picture on what I need to work on. Here you go. https://www.weasyl.com/submission/739544/darkworld

    Apparently repetition is a little rough in the beginning, rather than a sort of effect as I was shooting for. Currently hashing it out through the second chapter. P:
    Yeah, the repetition of "barren" and "he made no move" are a little rough. The former seems like accidental word choice (I'd suggest "a man without expression") whereas the latter tries to invoke dramatic depth where there isn't much to be had. It's the end of the second paragraph so like there's no real satisfaction for the reader when you milk the concept like that. We don't really know who the guy is or what's so important about him so it's like the reader barely cares the first time they read it, at this phase in the writing we need to focus more on establishing that care first

    you've got a really good vocabulary and your style's developed really well. The first paragraph is actually my favourite (altho I kind of dislike the repetition of dark in the title and the first sentence). You have a unique syntax and you vary up your sentence structures in a way that's textually interesting. The fragmented sentences you pull out ("No stars." etc) paint an interesting voice for the character we're following (free indirect style etc etc).

    idk, you have a good grasp of technical shit already. I read the whole thing because usually I can think of "exactly what could be better" but I honestly kind of struggled with this piece? I think partially something's striking me as "off" because I'm not a fan of 90% of the concepts you're presenting, which is more a prob. w/ me than w/ you right. I want to say "check for awkward phrasing" (things that could be worded better) but like how much of me saying that is me just not liking the idea of reading your fursona's mythos etc

    so take that with a grain of salt idk

    this is actually really frustrating because on one hand there's lines like "the darkness around them had become consummate" where I'm like "haha that word choice and word rhythm are so spot on like A+" but then as I'm reading the lines around it something still feels off?

    A little thing to look out for would be telling rather than showing (there's a lot of "she thought this")

    and... I want to say you repeat references to your character too often in the last bit of the chapter (Her, She or Alisa) but tbh that might be entirely the point of what you're doing, trying to make her the protagonist by relating everything to her. I feel like perhapppppppps the story would benefit pacing wise if like you padded that section out a little bit with more general description, rather than having everything relate to her ("A tall cold wind blew out from behind a hilltop" compared to "She felt a cold wind come down from yonder bluff")

    Because the story is meant to explain the mythos surrounding your character (or at least, heavily features your self insert), your story is a little different from what I normally have experience critiquing. Everything suddenly has to be viewed through that lens of "how does this help to flesh out / explain the author-avatar" so like certain things that we wouldn't be okay with in other works (the char design, relating everything to her) might be okay now? Like because this is your story and your goal it becomes really hard to "know better than you" as to whether the story is meeting your intended goals

    and I don't mean to sound disrespectful when I say that, it's 100% okay for you to be writing this sort of story it's just a different kind of animal for me and because of that this critique is more subjective than what I usually give

  7. #17
    Rattlesnake Flavored RedSavage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manna View Post
    Yeah, the repetition of "barren" and "he made no move" are a little rough. The former seems like accidental word choice (I'd suggest "a man without expression") whereas the latter tries to invoke dramatic depth where there isn't much to be had. It's the end of the second paragraph so like there's no real satisfaction for the reader when you milk the concept like that. We don't really know who the guy is or what's so important about him so it's like the reader barely cares the first time they read it, at this phase in the writing we need to focus more on establishing that care first
    Fair enough. Don't try to make any striking characterizations so soon. Simply establish the damn story. I dig.

    you've got a really good vocabulary and your style's developed really well. The first paragraph is actually my favourite (altho I kind of dislike the repetition of dark in the title and the first sentence). You have a unique syntax and you vary up your sentence structures in a way that's textually interesting. The fragmented sentences you pull out ("No stars." etc) paint an interesting voice for the character we're following (free indirect style etc etc).
    Hmmmm see---I was unaware that I was painting a voice for the protagonist. In fact, I was trying to avoid it.... But maybe, in hindsight, I shouldn't. I'll definitely see what can be worked with this. In fact, this may be the angle I need to get out of the big slump I'm currently in.

    Also, thank you. I find that varying sentence structure is a bit crucial in writing. Reading the same sized sentences over and over can be---monotonous. The paragraphs have no rhythm, at least to me.

    idk, you have a good grasp of technical shit already. I read the whole thing because usually I can think of "exactly what could be better" but I honestly kind of struggled with this piece? I think partially something's striking me as "off" because I'm not a fan of 90% of the concepts you're presenting, which is more a prob. w/ me than w/ you right. I want to say "check for awkward phrasing" (things that could be worded better) but like how much of me saying that is me just not liking the idea of reading your fursona's mythos etc

    so take that with a grain of salt idk

    this is actually really frustrating because on one hand there's lines like "the darkness around them had become consummate" where I'm like "haha that word choice and word rhythm are so spot on like A+" but then as I'm reading the lines around it something still feels off?
    Grain of salt taken!

    Oh shit---I should probably very much point out that this totally is not a fursona mythos. I definitely have been kicking around the sort of hellhound species in a story around for quite some time (because lol--furries), and I definitely took inspiration from my 'sona, but this story is very much meant to be -completely- separate.

    I could definitely look to check phrasing--you're not wrong there. I think what's striking you as 'off' was that I was trying to do this very hands-off narrator character that wouldn't become a mirror voice of the protagonist Alisa. On the other hand--that may simply not be possible. This is what I mentioned up a little bit. .


    A little thing to look out for would be telling rather than showing (there's a lot of "she thought this")

    and... I want to say you repeat references to your character too often in the last bit of the chapter (Her, She or Alisa) but tbh that might be entirely the point of what you're doing, trying to make her the protagonist by relating everything to her. I feel like perhapppppppps the story would benefit pacing wise if like you padded that section out a little bit with more general description, rather than having everything relate to her ("A tall cold wind blew out from behind a hilltop" compared to "She felt a cold wind come down from yonder bluff")
    Again, I think this is all coming from my attempt to keep from keeping things casual to the mind of the character. I feel like I have to constantly separate 'her' from the 'narrator'. I think once I relax and connect it to the character, things may smooth out quite a bit more.

    Because the story is meant to explain the mythos surrounding your character (or at least, heavily features your self insert), your story is a little different from what I normally have experience critiquing. Everything suddenly has to be viewed through that lens of "how does this help to flesh out / explain the author-avatar" so like certain things that we wouldn't be okay with in other works (the char design, relating everything to her) might be okay now? Like because this is your story and your goal it becomes really hard to "know better than you" as to whether the story is meeting your intended goals
    Oof. Yikes. See, again, this wasn't what I was going for. I should have been clear. I'm certainly indulging in the whole character species bit (lol, furries), but there is going to be the vaguest of connections made between the form and why she has it. Basically, she's going to end up in a sort of midway between worlds where there's a fuck ton of weird creatures and haunts where humans are the minority. Some of them are previous humans from other lives--and then some are previous X species from other past lives. The forms might/might not be random, though there is plenty of speculation and theories amongst the Afterlifers.

    I'm trying to go for this dumb cross between Dante's Inferno and Alice in Wonderland. Also I'm not taking this story to seriously outside of writing it 'well'--so I won't take critique to heart, and especially I won't be mad if someone pointed out that, "Your use of this 'hellhound' species is dumb and not very well justified". I'd just be all, "Yeah I see how you could think that."

    It's like, I think acceptable at this point throw out that my avatar is like, a redneck, transgender sheepyote. Meant to be ME in all aspects except for the sheepyote part. Alisa is more of a determined, well rounded woman who is looking for her other half and trying to piece back together memory torn from the old body. (Spoiler alter--it's not a long lost romantic love. It's a twin brother that passed on before her.) Like, in the sense that only some memories were held close to her soul, and a lot were lost in the body. But not all, and that's like, a rough explanation, and maybe I've yet to flesh it out--buuuuuut yeah. I've yet to flesh it out. I'm just rollin' with this bitch.

    and I don't mean to sound disrespectful when I say that, it's 100% okay for you to be writing this sort of story it's just a different kind of animal for me and because of that this critique is more subjective than what I usually give
    Ah no pft. Seriously I'm thick skinned when it comes to critique. In fact, I really really admire your stance of "critiquing based on the intent of the piece" because so many people delve into that area of WELL I DON'T LIKE X SO I DON'T THINK YOUR STORY IS GOOD.

    That said, if you had some more spiffs you were holding back then feel free to drop em. The intent of this story is to tell a darkly whimsical anthro story while totally trying to pretend that it's not an anthro story. :U The latter is my vain attempt to justify all world details--because I totally get the angle of "if the detail has no meaning then it shouldn't exist" angle. But I'm also fudging on it a bit as I'm simply writing this story about my hellhound people because I like my hellhound people. :B

    But don't let that stop you from calling bullshit on things. I have a sense of discernment. I use it heavily~

  8. #18
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    fair enough

    I guess the only other thing to ask is: why is your character the way she is? I assumed it was "because that's how I designed my fursona" which is a super common justification in furry fics (which is why they oft times have the same issue anime has, all the background characters are plain looking and all the protagonists have green hair)

    There's a purposeful separation of your protag from her friends. They become feral animals whereas your character becomes an anthro hellhound, right? I think in a world where the furry fandom didn't exist then people would pick up the book and say "oh I wonder why" but because it's so common for furry-fursona fics to have stylized anthro characters as their protagonists your readers might make the same assumption that I made P:

    What I mean to get to is: there's obviously a reason why she came out different from her friends. Whether she was meant to become a hellhound entirely but clung too much to her human memories, or she's just "stronger of spirit" or whatever, I think maybe if the man from the beginning knows the answer to that question he has no real reason to hide it from her (and she no real reason not to ask)

    but idk what you're planning, right? If you've set it up as like a big reveal in the last chapter then just stick with that, haha

  9. #19
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    Like a phoenix from the ashes, I am reborn~~~

    still willing to do some of these I guess

 

 

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