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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
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
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
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
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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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 1
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-19 12:47 AM
"Her gaze locked onto the second individual in the group, a man in the middle thirties who was handsome in a hawkish way. Despite the harshness of his features, she could tell from his even-paced way of walking that he had a mild temper. An inexplicable torrent of longing flooded her and she felt compelled to soak in every detail about him. Her eyes roamed hungrily over his bushy eyebrows, his odd-coloured eyes- the left one was brown while the other a lighter amber colour, his straight nose that was like the spine of a mountain, his smiling lips that naturally curl upwards"

No, I say you dive right into this elektra complex thing. It might be off putting to most everyone, but it won't be boring.

If you don't want it to be sexual, than you need to get at what it is she desires. Lets brain storm this, she feels a connection to this man, even though she doesn't recognize him. Looking around her yurt she could not tell what belongs and what does not, she does not know who she is or where she is. But this man, he belongs, it as if everything else is out of place, except for this man. I believe that is why she must be drawn to him. Because represents a land mark of sorts.
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The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 1
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2015-01-06 09:16 AM
I have a suggestion. Perhaps you should put a "Yoda" scene in here with Koka and Botari. Look at their relationship right now
Chapter 1: Koka and Botari meet and Koka introduce Botari (and thus the reader to the craft)
Chapter 2: Botari starts to break away from Koka's mentorship and assert her independence and self determination again.
Chapter 3: No Koka but Botari expands that growing self determination to her relationship with her friends
Chapter 4: Botari again pushes her independence and runs away, but she reflects on Koka "She had great respect for Aunt Koka’s sharp mind even though her tongue was likely to be even sharper. Nevertheless, it was under her tutelage that she had already accumulated (or re-accumulated) a wealth of knowledge within such a short span of time. Not just on her Craft but also various bits of herbal and other lore that she might not find as fascinating as Aunt Koka herself but certainly of great practical value."

So is Koka important? Why take away Botari's knowledge just to give back to her without risk or process?
Add a Yoda scene between chapters 1&2.

I know it is cliche, but that just means people understand it (or at least think they do). Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Chapter 1
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-19 12:46 AM


At times the sky will lay down her clouds on the steppe and in that fog it is as if all the parts of Manzasiri have been rejoined. When alone on those blanketed fields you can not tell sun from sky or sky from ground. With out the sight of a familiar shape to check one's intuition getting lost becomes certainty. The oppressive ignorance that is forced upon men and women by those fogs has drowned intellects and driven the poor wanders mad. Botari was like that now in her yurt. All the faces before might her as well have been the same face, because she knew none of them. She felt no association with any item around her, not the emblems on the post nor the blankets around her body. But then her eyes fell upon a hawk nosed man in that group, and it was if the brume parted just enough to make out a land mark. Many caught on the steppe during those murky grey days have been lead home by even the smallest piece of familiarity; a hoof print, a wagon track, the shadow of a distant peak or even the cries of a unseen herd. Ask any one who has found their way out of those obfuscating directionless fogs, and they will tell you that they studied every grain or hair of their salvational land mark. A pile of familiar goat dung can be beautiful, and thus it was now with Botari. She felt compelled to soak in every detail about this man. Her eyes roamed hungrily over his bushy eyebrows, his odd-coloured eyes- the left one was brown while the other a lighter amber colour, his straight nose that was like the spine of a mountain, his smiling lips that naturally curl upwards.

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The Return of the White Deer- Prologue
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-17 09:25 AM
I like the opening passage. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Prologue
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-29 07:01 PM
The way you wrote up the underdog is better than my idea, because it doesn't depend on the reader knowing anything about Genghis Kahn. Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Prologue
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-30 12:30 AM
Only voted Go to Comment
The Return of the White Deer- Prologue
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-12-15 08:18 PM
Perhaps you could do a little more to paint the scene clearly. I think not everything you want to communicate is getting on the page. I am sure in your head you have color schemes, a sky line, sounds and smells for this scene. This our first step into the Dragon Empire, and perhaps we should be transported. Put all that down, paint the whole scene, it can be taken. Alternatively, take out all the set dressing. I am sure you want to set up the arch of the boys in happy conflict (jovial wrestling) now only to be in vicious blood thirsty conflict later. But you could just describe the situation is a greater abstraction. Right now the geography of the scene you are painting it is unclear.

Examples:

So I take it Yesegei opens the tent flap. Is he alone or does he have others with him?

The boys stand up, out of respect for the Kahn-father I assume. Are they standing at attention, are they facing Yesegei or are their backs turned to him? Are they facing each other? I assume they must be facing each other because of Borochu making faces and Temujin is standing in the middle because the others described as being on the left and right.

Who says "Kahn-father?" in this scene?

This is only 703 words, you could add a good bit more with out exceeding your 2000 word limit.

Some suggestions for the content, which is interesting and I want to read more.

I expect that most of your readers already know the Temujin is going to be great. You call a little to this scene by making Yesegei think that Nergei has all the potential. Perhaps thinking Nergei will be his son's chief rival. This is an old troupe; making the one we all know is going to be great one out to be the underdog, but I don't think you are shying away from a traditional narrative here. Just a thought...

Have Yesegei say "Crunulan men are not scared of risking their lives (or dying or the battle field)" instead of fighting. Borochu's response is flippant and unseasoned, having Yesegei rephrase it will only re-enforce Yesegei's greater understanding of the question of war. That will speak to Yesegei's wisdom. Go to Comment
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