I have no tangible advice on how to write a novel, and I think, empirically ,it has been proven I have no taste so I can't speak to whether or not the events in this chapter are relevant or whether or not the introduction of new character is important. However, the introduction of a new character every thousand words or so seems to put a very frantic pace on things.
Over all though, after the first paragraph, i found this chapter to be clear, direct, and well told. We get an idea for the customs and we get an idea for the these other two new antagonist characters. I got the sense thesere characters were conniving, prideful, and a little ruthless. Is that what you were shooting for?
I found the first paragraph of this one confusing. Where everybody was in relation to events and scenery was not always clear and the timing of things also seemed difficult to follow.
It is also a little off putting when the main character is getting bored with things. I found things pretty interesting until Botari gets bored and drifts off. If you want to communicate her disinterest in things perhaps she could be a little rye or critical of the event rather than bored. Also it is not always clear how much she is really day dreaming in these scenes. Is she having really long periods of inward reflection? How can we be interested in what is going of if even the main character is not interested?
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At any rate, why do you want Temjun to win a wrestling match. We already know he is a winner, he is Gengis Kahn, Botari already knows he is a winner. Is there something else you are trying to show us about him or his opponents?
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Applicants must travel to the Seven Armie’s Battlefield, and present themselves directly to Xord. Applicants must be able to work independently, and have a penchant for pitched battles of attrition. The SCC is the only holy servant of Xord in the universe, and thus you will be free of many of the ministerial duties that characterize other religions, as you will have no flock to tend. The SCC's primary responsibility is to be the benefactor of any warrior that found himself to be the last man standing.
This story details four keys to the title character’s personality. The first key is a persona or personal mythology by which the character attempts independently of other people and his relationship with others. This persona gives the character an aura of irony in which his literal statements contrast with actions. The second key is a level arrogance and disgust towards others that allows to make absolute judgments and dismiss criticism. Third is the character lack empathy (though not sympathy), lack of reflection, and lack of overall thoughtfulness. Finally, the character is possessed with a great deal of self-satisfaction.
First the character’s persona is something both the narrator and the other major character in this story (the character’s wife) recognize. His “humble behavior” is this idea he has of himself that everyone seems to know is not true. His first speech to the public is summarized by the author as being seen as humble, but the character is not humble despite his assertion that he is just short Jewish guy with glasses. His humility is an affectation, he actually feels quite superior and independent from most others. Furthermore, he enjoys the attention. He enjoys “shaking hands”, the praise of people on the street and when discussing this praise he doesn’t bother to correct Jon Stewart’s assertions that he is a hero. This contrasts with earlier affectations of humility such as “I’d done what I could.” The character never acknowledges any weaknesses or short-comings despite this ‘just folks’ persona. Take for example his early work experience. He says he was doing okay, but not excelling as much as others. Rather than acknowledge that he lacked some talents or abilities he speaks pejoratively of those that were more successful calling them “kiss assess”. I am sure if one were to ask the character why he said that, he would simply retort that ‘it was true’.
This brings us to the second major key of his personality which is arrogance and absolutism. Take for example his brushing off of the president “because he didn’t vote for that asshole” and his early dismissals of congress, of journalism and as previously mentioned his co-workers. The character never qualifies any of his opinions. This relates as well his affectatious nature. Note how author describes people’s reaction to his first public speech: “ Many still remember his soft words, his talk of being glad he was able to help.” In situations in which the character is in control, when we can define the value relationship of things he can maintain this friendly humble manner. But the narrator also remarks how this friendly behavior is not his normal public behavior “On television, he always sounds annoyed - understandable since a reporter has usually just shoved a microphone in his face.” Thus, when others set the agenda or initiate the confrontation he is angry. One might argue that just beneath the surface anger is a key to personality. I would argue that anger comes from his sense of superiority and willing to dismiss others.
This ease in dismissing others and his quick rise to anger brings us to the third key in his personality. Take for example the encounter in which he find the woman fired for being a Delta. The story does not detail his feelings towards the woman or any efforts he took to comfort the woman. The encounter with woman quickly becomes about his response to the event. This shows a low emotional I.Q. on the part of the character, which something that is explored and confronted in this piece. Consider when the Jacob is saved from the assassination attempt. Prior to that he had enjoyed the attention of others but had not understood the attention. The same was true with his first term in congress. He had been dismissive of the whole thing and did not realize the responsibility he had towards other. Thus, he does not reflect on situations. He responds to them. He does not understand other people's emotions, but is quick to respond to their emotions with his own. The character is not reflective as a whole, even saying he doesn’t enjoy reflecting on 9/11 and seeks to avoid recounting that day. But he does enjoy the congratulations from the “man on the street”. He enjoys being the Hero but we must assume that being reminded of his heroics does not cause him to reflect on the horror of the events. However, the work does indicate that the character of Jacob has grown on this front. After the write-in votes and after his life was saved he seems to be making an effort to understand what people need from him and not just what he thinks they need. This lack of consideration of others likely springs from or at feeds into the last point.
Finally, this brings us to the characters great-deal of self-satisfaction. He is a very happy man. He pleased with his life and who he is and does not look outward for vindication or justification. Indeed, he might dismiss those that seek to challenge his view of his life or himself. The character also never invokes other people in terms of gratitude or admiration (aside from the person that save his life-sign of character growth). He speaks of no mentors, doesn’t mention of his father much and acknowledges no regrets, disappointments or mistakes. When he does mention others they are celebraties: Jon Stewart, Schwartzaneger and so on. He never acknowledges his campaign staff or co-workers. There is a clear distinction between the little people and players in his mind. He would not change a thing about himself I am sure. I assert it is unlikely he would have pursued such a public life if he didn’t have A) the ability take it or leave it and B) a position of moral and social superiority. With regard to point A, note his resentment at the write-in vote. I would wager that if this man had never gained powers, his personality would have withdrawn more and more into his family and private life.
The arrogance, the lack of doubt, the anger, the self-satisfaction, the persona and the love of attention I think explain the character’s action. The character is national hero and symbol willing to act and speak independently of all others. In a slightly different setting he would make a great villain. He already has a history of approaching people with disgust and absolutism. Could this man decide he knows what is best for the world? Could his anger and emotions start to rule his actions so much that he becomes destructive? If anything his inward focus is what holds him in check.
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Nicely done, I liked the format and was surprised (in a good way) when the letters switched perspective to steph. This is a good read and nice way of communicating information. You don't quite pull off the changing tones of a maturing mind in such away that you could write this without the ages beneath the letters. Still a fun intro for an RPG game.
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Upside of keeping the tone earnest and consistent through out is it suggests that the hero maintained his innocence through out and thus he is still that scared 9 year old boy when he gets pulled off towards the aliens. Who was it said that the key to sci-fi was to present a situation in which the youngest of men believe they could go as they are now and save the universe? That sci-fi has to provide a reality in which the pimply face round bellied boys felt like they could transcend all without the painful and compromising process of actually becoming a man.
I enjoyed this chapter. I found the description of to be Nalan Kahn to entertaining and clear. I found a lot of the discussion about what future Botari can expect was interesting. Lines like "There was no reason to fret over a none-too-stringent conflict not to come for years."
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It is very interesting that these she is looking at all these things both backwards and forwards. But what does Botari want for the future?
I haven't noticed any problem with your action sequences. Thus far you have only had Botari's chase with kidnappers, and I thought you handled that well.
My advice for what to write next is to put in a complete mini-arc. You have your group together, and it seems to be that you are shooting for the classical-on the road-fantasy story. During the complete mini-arc you can continue your over arching story, but put in some conflict that gets slaughtered, cooked and devoured.
Let us say it is a wrestling Mini-arc
1) Temujin and gang meets a guy that has been and is a social and physical rival to Temujin. Botari remembers him from her past life, remembers how her Temujin told her a story that this rival was arrogant and distrustful of him until Temujin beat him in a wrestling match.2) The guys is disruptive to the group, he and Borochu get into a little scuffle. Temujin breaks it up and tries to talk it out.
3) Borochu gets huffy and Botari thinks Temujin is handeling things wrong. HE IS NOT DEALING WITH THINGS THE WAY HER TEMUJIN WOULD HAVE.
4) She encourages Temujin to challenge the rival to a match, she is confident he will win and that this will improve Temujin's relationship with this man.
5) Temujin loses the match and Botari, as a result is filled with doubt. Temujin is humiliated and no doubts Botari's advice. Botari now doubts whether not her intervention was helpful. She wonders who this new young Temujin is really? She wonders if her old Temujin was telling the truth when he described beating this man in a wrestling match or was it just the tall tales of a proud man? Losing in a wrestling match also might make his tribe look week.
Here you would have a whole arc. There is a conflict, there is a build up, there is a resolution, all these steps relate to the larger plot points but do not define them. But keep the focus centered on this mini-arc for a while. You haven't kept things on focused on any sub-plot points thus far.
This chapter has nothing to do with the thought stone or the tribe they just left. Try resolving smaller plots as a way of advancing the larger plot.
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I am all for wrestling.