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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 9
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Moonlake's comment on 2015-01-09 01:53 AM
Well, I wouldn't exactly phrase it like that, it's more like they see the sunset and the stars and they get reminded of their kinship and camaraderie together given that they are close-knit tribal society but in essence, you are not far-off. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 9
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Moonlake's comment on 2015-01-09 02:31 AM


Well, I did worry about the surprise turn upsetting my readers b/c it's too far out of line from what they expected of a simple old-school fantasy story as it seemed up to the last Chap. But for good or for bad, Bortai's backstory in terms of the inter-world jump or whatever you call it was there all along from the first conception of this book. I couldn't really get it out of the story and as I myself am and have always been a fan of pure old-school epic fantasy, I actually feel a bit weird writing such a story. But I persuaded myself that I'm using it to just learn about the craft of writing and essentially just muck around so this is the result so far.



btw, edited Chap 2 has come out with the last scene being swapped out to build up the amnesia plot more and I thought Bortai's characterisation came out more after this fix. Revised Chap 3 will contain 2 new scenes as well and I have finished with it pending small edit but I will have to bug Strolen to rename all Chapters from Chap 3 onwards to preserve our stream of correspondences before releasing it (else new readers will think us crazy to discuss things completely out of context).

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 8
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Moonlake's comment on 2015-01-02 06:33 PM
Crunalan terms glossary
Nergei- literally meaning "no name", a taboo name given to an orphan to ward off bad luck but also a name that carries with it stigma due to the way personal worth is assessed in the Crunalan society. Specifically, personal value is assessed first and foremost in terms of contribution to the family unit and then to the overall tribe. With teenagers and youths, it is especially the case that his/her personal worth is almost exclusively cast in terms of how far they help to advance the prosperity and status of his/her own family. Hence, given that the Crunalans are a superstitious people, the main situation facing orphans is that no family would want to take him/her in, thus by default making him/her an individual with little personal worth as assessed by his/her own society. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 8
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Moonlake's comment on 2015-01-05 11:45 PM
This is one of the few scenes that I added on-the-fly during writing and I think I vaguely had in my mind that this scene and the one after it happened somewhere in the interim between Bortai's escape and the last scene of the current Chap. Now that I think about it, it does happen before the events of the previous Chapter. I might have to reorganise these two scenes or make this more explicit for the readers. Thanks for catching it. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 8
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Moonlake's comment on 2015-01-05 11:47 PM


The 4 children in this scene are Bortai's younger siblings, Ogul and Sorai are friends of Chagan. Chagan's arms feeling like clay was just prosaic form of saying she feels languor (due to Bortai running away). Again, a scene that came to me on-the-fly, I will signpost to the readers that they are back at the Ontaggarit in my next edit.

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 8
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Moonlake's comment on 2015-01-06 12:06 AM
That would be a complimentary way of saying it. I have often wondered whether the mention of time in the story makes actual sense or not (all the duration stuff like Bortai getting married in half a year and the war prep.) but I just have no idea. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 8
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Moonlake's comment on 2015-01-06 04:44 PM
I think most of the short scenes I wrote are those that I felt I was out of my elements (action scenes mostly) or just wrote up on-the-fly with unclear idea of content. I think both scene 1 and 2 are in the latter category although I'm somehow quite liking how scene 1 stops at a sort of cliffhanger and scene 2 I can live with. The sparring scene is definitely because I always get stuck when describing a fight, just the attempt to create a mental picture of the actual motions in a fight in my own head makes it whirl around in confusion. In the end, I said, "to hell with it, I'm not R.A Salvatore writing up the story of a blade user against the world." and this is the result. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 8
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Moonlake's comment on 2015-01-06 06:07 PM
I was mainly referring to your comment above regarding the shortness of my scenes but well, I always say multiple things in 1 comment. And I'm dying to hear this idea of yours. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 7
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Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-20 06:36 PM
Mainly wondering if the romance in this Chapter is getting too much out of hand since it is not my intention for this to be a romance story dressed up as a fake fantasy story.
Also wondering if the ending to this Chapter seems a bit of an anti-climax or whether it would do? Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 7
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Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-30 09:10 PM
Thanks for letting me know the shortfall in character development that I was wandering about myself. To be honest, I've found that my mind could be cluttered with millions of different plots if I let it, some of which I'm not the tinniest part interested in writing about. And then I couldn't come up with any characters. Originally, I had another story in my mind where everything was original work but then I got majorly stuck on characterisation so I started with this story where the majority of characters I'm just 'stealing' from history.

That was really a side track above. Not to be defensive, I get what you are saying and agree with it, the reason for what you mentioned of me continuously plunging Bortai into new conflicts that do not link up with previous conflicts is basically the result of this book being all plot-driven when I plan it. Basically, in each Chapter, I will have two events happening on which scenes are based around (don't ask me why, this is just what popped into my head).

Actually, I did plan to expand the section where Bortai relearnt the nitty-gritty of her Crunalan life which I think you alluded to in one of the earlier Chapters. I was mainly thinking of better world building which was the original context that you raised the point. But I will think about how to incorporate more emotional involvement for Bortai when I made revisions for these earlier Chapters.

Now stepping back to the broad picture of this whole series, the real action pertaining to the main plot only really starts when Bortai and Temujin goes off travelling which occurs in Chap 10 (all right, I admit this might sound a bit crazy given that I only planned 21 Chaps for this book but in some ways, I specifically picked this story so that I could muck around with it). Whatever came before was mostly plot hooks set up for later and what I thought of as character development eg. the scene with the three boys thinking of the future. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 7
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Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-30 09:27 PM
In that quote, I'm describing moments of the sunset and what I was aiming for is to create an unconventional imagery so that the reader gets 'better immersion' into a fantasy world. The Mistflowers are actual flowers (I have a sub put up here about them actually). The thing thinning out into gauze-thin shard is the sunlight but I see that interpretation might be confusing given the phrasing of this long sentence.

On the conversation between Temujin and Bortai in this Chapter, no, I'm not coming back to it since it's basically just small-talk between the two of them where Temujin tries to chat her up. To be honest, I found that I'm prone to writing long sections of descriptions and the internal monologue of Bortai with little conversation. Up to this point, this problem is not that severe yet but in later Chapters, I sometimes truncate actual conversation and turned into a summary made by Bortai in her head. I'm a bit worried that it would make the story hard to read but I'm not sure what to do about that. Anyway, later issues for later. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 7
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Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-30 10:30 PM
Actually, I just realised that I was being stupid when I said the real action starts at Chap 10, it actual starts at Chap 5 when Bortai became involved in the war. And by plot driven, I guess I really mean event driven. How I've been functioning as a writer is that I first need to have the entire sequence of events happening in the book nailed down in a Chapter by Chapter summary format (basically 2 dot points on what actually happens in the Chap) and then I have to nail down each scene in a given Chap.


I also feel that I definitely need the second scene of Chap 8 for this story because it is sort of the foundation for Bortai in terms of her role in the main adventures and that scene is somewhat tied to her memory loss. So I'm not sure about cutting at this stage, I will keep posting up what I've written up so far and can you inform me of your thoughts on this issue again after Chap 10?



To be honest, I am starting to feel that the events happening in this series is a bit all-over-the-place (so far, I have only completely charted out the events in book 1 and 2 where the adventures are still on the Steppe and related to the coming war. Book 3 and 4 are half fleshed out and by book 4, the party is somehow travelling to as far as Tibet and getting embroiled in the politicking within a religious sect. Also, from book 1-3, I'm introducing a new party member in each book.).

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 7
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Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-31 05:16 PM
Thanks for drawing out another shortcoming in my writing that I've always been aware of. I had not thought about all of these aspects that you raised when I wrote the Chap (when I write, it's basically on a stream of consciousness basis). But luckily, I do have some answers for you because they were in the behind-the-scenes work in this story but somehow did not make it into the story: her amnesia has largely no effect on her understanding of the social norms which are safe in her subconscious, which has been the state ever since she first woke up back in Chap 1. She does not have specific recollections of however she derived her own stance on the social norms but if you drag her into an interrogation on this topic, she will be able to answer you without hesitation, purely out of instinct (pretend you have absolute power over her so that she can only speak the truth).

btw, Chap 8 is coming out today which will also throw some light on these answers in an indirect way. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 6
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Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-19 07:16 PM
Just wondering how people are liking Bortai up to this point in time and in general views on character development. The story so far is pretty much all plot-driven on Bortai's side, what are people's thoughts on this? Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 6
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Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-29 07:08 PM
Thanks for the feedback, again immensely useful to me. I will definitely be expanding on the aspects you suggested, I've finally put in one edit for the Prologue addressing your comments today while I was still suffering from the aftermath of being stuck in Chap 13. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 5
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Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-19 06:28 PM


Crunalan terms glossary



smooth over the geal - a geal is the Crunlan term for a splotch made on a fabric during the dying process. It is a phrase used to refer to the uncovering up of unpleasant truth.



This Chapter is slightly shorter than the others because I'm not that great with writing action scenes. Would like opinions on whether it needs more meat on the bones or not.

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 5
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Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-26 10:21 PM
Thanks for the feedback, it's great to know that I've at least written one Chapter so far that's ready to go. In terms of voice, this is certainly one of the easiest chapter to write because I got a whole Chapter to write from Bortai's perspective uninterrupted.

As for restructuring the Chapters so that this becomes Chap 1, I will have to ponder on it some more before making any changes (it wouldn't change the broad content much but will have a major impact on the ordering of scenes and some scenes will have written anew. To be honest, I haven't really played around with different structuring of the scenes but rather derived the current way of telling the story simply because I felt that it's okay. What you suggested here is certainly food for thought.) but your opinion is duly noted for the upcoming revision. Go to Comment
27/30 Bad Things about Treasure
Articles  (Humor/ Editorial)   (Gaming - In General)
Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-15 12:41 AM
A nice sub for bringing a bunch of older subs to light again. Haven't finished with this sub, will come back to vote later. Go to Comment
27/30 Bad Things about Treasure
Articles  (Humor/ Editorial)   (Gaming - In General)
Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-20 05:02 PM
A good solid sub with fair utility value. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 4
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Moonlake's comment on 2014-12-19 06:20 PM
Crunalan terms glossary
tovshuur - a two-stringed lute
gubei - a fruit whose juice is rich and smooth
kuai- an ideal or pinnacle state Go to Comment
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