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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 8
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-06 11:14 PM
Totally forgot said idea....stupid ellipses Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 8
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-05 08:28 PM
Section 1: I really like the non-verbal discussion going on in this section. That is cool. But you could do us favor and work in reminders of who each of these people are. We are still not very far into the book and these people have not done much to make them stand out. Also, this is happening before the events of the previous chapter? Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 7
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-30 07:00 PM
Writing thoughts


What does this mean

"A golden wave washed over The Ctofalir and the vast plain of the Mistflowers growing to its north, thinning out into gauze-thin shards that swam and swirled once it entered the misty domain. "

Are you describing the sunset here, as you describing the sunsetting or a single moment of the sunset. Are mistflowers literal flowers or just mist rising off the ground? What is the thinning out into gauze-thin shards?

Are you going to come back to the conversation in the ger between the main characters at some point or just going to let that hang?
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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 7
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-30 09:24 PM

Skip to chapter 10. And you can't call this plot driven because jump from plot to plot. I don't what you mean by plot. If there is a plot get to it. The characters will come through with the plot.

I think these first 9 chapters will be important for you, as the writer to have in your pocket as backstory. I don't think you have wasted any effort here because you need to have the events that happen prior to the page nailed down, but I would leave them out of the consumer portion of the story. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 7
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axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-30 03:49 PM


To be fair, I don't know what story you want to tell. But I think you have run rough shod over the story thus with out taking time to properly develop plot points or characters. I specifically referring to Botari's story thus far. There is a very interesting story there which you wrote but oddly did not respect. You have this girl suffer a traumatic injury that strips her of memories and perhaps her identity. She then has to struggle to regain a sense of who she is and upon gaining that sense of self she decides to run away. This particular journey of the character is interesting because it filled with risk. We have reason to doubt the other members of her tribe, both because of her amnesia and because of the actions of other characters. We have reason to doubt the soundness of her decision making because of mental handicap. But you spend maybe 1000 words on that total. You keep the character into new scenes and situations that are almost completed divorced from the conflicts and relationships of the previous scene.



Example



We start in chapter one with her walking up slowly in her tent and not knowing anybody. We meet a bunch of characters, but they are largely mysterious because of her amnesia.



Then you jump ahead several months and she healed reconnecting with the steppe. We don't deal with or see any resolution to relationships that were strained in the fist chapter. She is already coy and pouty with her Aunt who she seems to trust and have this very comfortable relationship. This does not build on the isolation and disorientation that you built up in the first chapter



Next her two best friends (pretty much new characters) walk straight of a Nick Sparks novel and have a regressive conversation about marriage. Again the relationships are comfortable and we introduced to a new conflict: marriage. How does her memory loss affect her understanding of marriage and specifically her betrothal? You see you are not connecting the events of the chapters smoothly or even logically. Though admittedly the next chapter, in which she runs aways does follow.



But you then have her chase with kiddnappers. Nicely written but a whole new conflict. Then after that chase she literally runs into another scene, the chase is forgotten and she has another choice to make regarding which tribe to join in the war. Then in the next chapter she has to deal with some guy obsessing over her ears. Nothing has had any real consequence yet, at least not emotionally for the character. It is hard to get invested in a character who herself seems very uninvested in any situation.



I think you should go back to the first 5 of these chapters and write up the story of her recovery from the injury and decision to runaway (take her destiny in her hands) as a complete story. Because that is a complete story, chapter in the character's life if you will and don't feel it is fully resolved before she starts falling in love here.

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 7
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axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-31 02:09 PM
The war council scene is fairly concise and clear. Again you have failed to paint a picture of Bortai's character up to this point, so we are still learning about her, having access to her reactions and thoughts here is very telling piece of characterization. Also how much does her amnesia effect her understanding of what social norms are? When she judges an act as typical of men, can she remember of specific events that supports her opinion? Are these all opinions gained in the past couple of months? Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 6
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axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-29 06:35 PM
The super short chapters provide an almost comic book like pacing, which I don't mind and find interesting. But there is not a lot of meat here and it is difficult to form a strong bond with the characters when we know so little about them. The biggest oversight here is meeting of the lovers.

The line below is confusing and tells us nothing. Yet I gather is a very important moment.

...when she was drawn to a face as if by invisible but inescapable threads. In that brief glimpse, something threatened to flood her chest that she had no comprehension yet.

You should describe the face and were that face is in relation to all the other faces. Also describe the feeling because when I read later in this so called Chapter.

"She also noted that he was probably either the father or uncle of the one who had disturbed the strings of her heart so just moments ago, as a blush crept onto her face that she had no awareness of."

When I read this I had no idea what heart string moment to which you were referring. indeed it is only because of this note that there was a heart string moment that I could interpret the original face draw moment as romantic.
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The Dwarven Beard Explained
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Mountains)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-17 02:46 PM
How many chambers does your heart have Muro?

When you said your father was alien, I did not think you were speaking so cosmically. Go to Comment
The Dwarven Beard Explained
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Mountains)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-17 04:06 PM


Okay I will bite; the mammalian heart has four chambers. So if a dwarf has a four chambered heart, that fact alone would not distinguish it from a normal mammalian heart. So when you mentioned four-chambered heart and a double stomach I assumed you made an error with regard to the number of chambers in the heart. Thus I thought it would be funny to mock you by lamely suggesting that perhaps what ever planet you called home had two or three chambered hearts. Got it. I was wrong. It was not funny.

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The Dwarven Beard Explained
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Mountains)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-26 09:08 PM


Indeed, I imagine beard veins with selective filters that could store CO2 saturated hemoglobin or recycle CO bonded RBCs. I also thought a exterior lung tissue surrounded by protective beard hair would be better for breathing in areas with lots of particulates that could damage lung tissue but would be filtered by the beard hair. Of course the chin gills would be less efficient than the lungs but it might make the difference in pinch.



I have a whole rant on this is my unfinished sequel to "A Dwarf on the Water". The new piece was to follow my nascent dwarven philosopher/teamster Gorn as he got on the wrong side of the God of fear. It was titled "Dwen and the Art of Wagon Maintenance", but as it turns out I just don't know enough about wagons.

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The Dwarven Beard Explained
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Mountains)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-26 09:17 PM
thats the idea Go to Comment
The Dwarven Beard Explained
Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Mountains)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-12 08:50 PM
Only if you get them excited first. I hear some dwarves actually pay for that. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 5
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-26 04:48 PM
I think this is your strongest entry. We get a clearer idea about the telepathic connections with the horses and we get more of the main character'so voice then we have in other chapters. This could be chapter 1 and all the information could come out later. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 4
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axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-26 03:29 PM


The story backbone you have presented is interesting. The main character has suffered an accident. This accident, we are told, has caused her to loose her memory. Other characters suspect that the main character's accident was the result of foul play and they also believe that a crisis is looming. This sets up an interesting dynamic were by virtue of her amnesia and the assertions of foul play neither the main character or the reader truly knows who to trust. The amnesia also works as a story telling tool because the main character will need to be re-introduced to a number things in the world and the reader will as well. Thus, you have an easy way to unpack a lot of information. I thought we might be privy to some of the characters re-education with regard to the telepathic abilities these people seem to employ. But that part, that re-education by her Aunt, was just glossed over. That is a choice that moves the story along, but perhaps at the cost of world building.



I think if there is a problem than it is with your prose.



Your style of writing is difficult to read because it is nonlinear (at every level) and not very demonstrative. Example: In paragraph one of section two in chapter three the action goes as following, 1) Temujin doubles over in pain on his way to exit the tent, 2) his friend runs to his side, 3) his friend reaches out to grab his arm 4) Temujin straightens up, and 5) Temujin waves off his friend. You present the above as 1, 4, 5, 2,3



" However, before the three had even set foot out of Temujin’s ger, Temujin suddenly doubled over. Just as inexplicably, he straightened up again and waved off Nergei, who had dashed to his side like a gust of wind and was about to take his arm into possession."



This leaves the reader to reconstruct the sequence of events is his mind. Used occassionally, this method of providing the reader with information out of order can put emphasis on certain events or help to connect events that may not occur continuously. However, I think you over use this style and use it on a much larger scale.



Example: Paragraph 2, Section 2, chapter 3



In this paragragh the boys walk out of a tent, a girl named Temulin calls to them and they are struck by her beauty. In that paragraph you first describe: a face, then assign that face a gender and then towards the end we get her name. We have not heard this name before in the story and we have no idea who she is or what relationship she might have to these boys or if they have ever seen her before. I assume we will find this out later and then we can retrofit that information to the scene. That is okay sometimes, in that it adds some suspense, but it also makes it hard to figure out what is going on with the characters at this moment. We also must assume there is some interaction between the boys and the girl, but we don't get any bits of their conversation other than she hails them and then she bids them farewell. Perhaps that is all that happens, but what is she doing while she passes?



I don't think everything you want to communicate is making it to the page.

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 4
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-26 05:23 PM


By the end of Temulen paragraph you don't make the love triangle explicit. We have two young men trying to act tough in front of a pretty girl that does not in itself make it a love triangle. We also no indication that this is causing tension between the guys. But again, we don't know what actually happens, does she just walk by them or what? How would they act differently if it was another pretty girl? We don't know the guys well enough to gauge the meaning of this exchange other than what you tell us. You don't tell us a lot.

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 2
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axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-23 01:23 PM
" With that, her eyes glazed over and her mind trailed off to the moment when she had just arrived."

This sentence is very confusing. Are we meant to see the following dream sequence as happening sometime in the past? What moment are referring to as when you write "the moment when she had just arrived." Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 2
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-26 04:50 PM
So is she telepathically communicating with the past? Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 2
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-26 05:13 PM
The paragraph that I quoted started with the phrase

“Aunt Koka, you know how I’ve been bed-ridden for the last month, and that’s not even counting the time I spent in the healing sleep.”

So is Aunt Koka doing a mocking voice thing in which she is impersonating the types of pleas Borka is likely to make? Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 2
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-26 10:40 AM
But when remembering this did she really have an out of body experience or is that just flowery language. Phrases like slamming back into her body. Are people having out of body experiences when their eyes glass over and things knock at their brains?

Are Dream Steeds corporeal or ephemeral?


This one section confused me:
-The latter did not escape the sharp eyes of Koketani but what shot out of her mouth faster than her thoughts was, “One long song, no more dithering.” With that, she set off to study and collect a sample of that plant with smoky grey blooms and whose leaves are bordered with soft tassle-like filaments that so intrigued her. -

I am get the jist of what is going one here, Borka gets to stay out a little longer but I am not sure who is saying what in the middle of the paragraph. If you are switching speakers you should break up the paragraph.

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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 1
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-17 08:46 AM


One thing I thought worked very well in this chapter was how the tone communicated the memory loss prior to when we literally find out about it. As the ger is described, the word choice and the phrasing communicates clearly that things are not familiar to the main character.



Who is this guys she looked at with desire? Is it sexual desire?



Which one is her father?

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