Borokhula is my favorite character so far. You done more for him in half a page than you have for any other character thus far (the chapter 3 re-write does do more Botari and her father however). What I thought you did really well her was put us in the room with Borokhula and put us n Borokhula's head. I am going to try this in the next scene I write. That was a nice scene, only one quip, that I think will really help the scene.
"much to the annoyance of Donoi though Donoi dared not show it" so here we break away from the limited third person and get view of Donoi's inner dialog. It kind of us takes us out the scene, but it is not necessary Borokhula is so observant that he would no doubt know what Donoi is feeling and what he dare not show. Any nice scene, maybe you can pump up the foreshadowing when Botari saw Donoi in the previous chapter. Go to Comment
second scene is pretty strong too. But I assume it is deliberate that you left on the actual meaning of the thought message and I think that is a nice touch. Not quite sure on the perspective here. We we get Botari's thoughts and some of the other character as well, but not all the characters. Also I can't forget that Botari now has the mind of elderly woman and that her council and thoughts should be wiser and drawn more from personal experience than the other characters. But other the flow and content of the character is strong.
Minor suggestion, I wouldn't have had my meeting in ger or yurt. Those things are paper thin and you can't always see who is on the other side. I have slept in a yurt camp before, you can have conversations at night with the person in the next yurt without raising your voice. Go to Comment
Don't try to avoid this switching perspective thing if you are doing it on purpose than just go with. Me picking on perspective is only slightly less pedantic than those sad petty folk who with a smug pride and aplomb pick on grammar (you are not one such person). Joyce Carol Oates, who I am told is a great writer, and indeed I do find her short fiction very effecting, will flip perspective dramatically. And don't get me started on Neuromancer, and who's voice is telling that story. But my point is having the eye of the third person omniscient perspective float around the page with the action is not a bad thing. I don't think you should avoid it. I do suggest that you think of that shifting perspective as kind like a character in the room or spotlight following the action. When you move the perspective take some time with it. Ask why the perspective is taking a moment to peel this persons thoughts back or if moving the spot light too quickly will cause the scene to loose focus. Go to Comment
But if you really hate hobbits, please consider making them your replacement for goblins. You could take everything hobbity and twist it towards malevolence. No unlike the town council in "Hot Fuzz". Go to Comment
Ah the old goblins aren't really monsters it is we that are the monsters trope. One of my favorites, and this particular post is a straight forward idea presented in as bare bones outline. i like the climax in which the character will have to fight a bunch of bugbears, being that they have only encountered a few vicious ones so far. Nicely done. Go to Comment
First, Thanks for the comment!
Second. No, it is not finished in as much as there will be a follow up posts. I have modeled this on Moonlake's "Return of the White Deer" posts. It is a different style of posting, and I am never sure how to vote on it either.
Third: I would love some proof reading thanks for asking! But I am trying to take a risk with some of the spoken dialog, and make that a little inaccessible, oddly phrased and poorly worded at times. But other than the spoken dialog if the grammar or spelling is off or there seems to be a word missing then it is likely a true error. And there are likely a lot of them, Go to Comment
I really liked this, I thought the titular painting was well described and the ideas presented here are promising. The paintings are dangerous, unpredictable and not well understood (in world), that fact plus the tale described above is a great prologue for a personal adventure. However, the story itself works as an interesting anecdote without a need for expansion in as much as it gives the reader a new avenue of imagination. I also thought the world building was strong. You seem take a type of bronze age mythology (living with a god for a generation century) and mix it with late renaissance or enlightenment type sensibilities and material culture; Balls, Art Collection, Oil painting on canvas, Money Driven Economies. The theme of the tale has very dada-esque/surrealist quality, because there seem to be a clear distance between the the reality of the mind and reality. I enjoyed that as well. But in addition to the style of the world you unpack these painting with a lot of other interesting tid-bits regarding secret cults with orgy rituals, rivalries between ancient and newer gods and so on. Again, impressive and nicely executed.
The prose starts with higher mind style than it finishes with and there are few rough patches. Examples
"The self-portrait was the first which many of them saw, and in the centre of the ballroom there was a ravaging, raping mess of bodies. In the middle was the hostess herself. She gave birth to a baby girl..."
The shift of time from the orgy to the birth of the girl here is not clear between these two sentences. It becomes clear later but at this point you have the character in the middle of an orgy described as a "raping mess" giving birth to a child.
"The shadows are recognisable as being the arms of Voorm-Sotha, the shadow spider, who was an enemy of primitive humanity. It is believed that Voorm-Sotha was a fairytale, though his appearance in a painting by the Ascarya should cast suspicion on that.
The strangeness of this painting comes in when taking a look at history. Voorm-Sotha, if he existed at all, would have existed thousands and thousands of years ago. Drofor, however, is still alive. But Drofor was not yet alive when Kala painted this, three hundred years ago."
These two paragraphs run all over the place with regard to tense and perspective. Go to Comment
So Temujin believed her? Do you want it to be ambiguous what she told him here or did you mean to communicate that Botari explain that she is possessed by the spirit of an elderly woman that was married to Temujin's genocidal doppleganger from another dimension.
So was this their first time?
Any risk of getting pregnant?
Also did you intend to communicate prior to this whether or not this dimensional jumping was planned? Was the Botari from the other dimension also possessed by a Botari from another dimension and so on like a mirror turned in on itself? Go to Comment
Back to the ambush, I get the point of it. It establishes two things; one it re-affirms how dangerous the steppee is. (Nothing good ever happens when these people leave their Gers) and it brings Botari into the group in manner that both establishes her as important and powerful, but also something of leader. But the one point in which you mention the ambush in part 2 is just to say that it really had no consequences. Thus, without consequences the scene has very little weight and very little drama, two horses and several people are killed or injured and the gang moves on.
Is this lack of weight to these action a statement you want to make about violence and killing on the steppee, as well the personal value these young boys place on the lives of their horses? If it is then well done: Violence and killing are as light an action as skipping a stone across a pond and your horse can be replaced with a thought.
But do we even need the ambush?
Yes the ambush does give Temjuin and Botari meeting some structure and really forces them together, but I think it would be more daring to present the scene as somewhat awkward or at least romantically daring. She has reversed the Bride Test here, that could be cool.
Just one 15 year old girl (who believes she is possessed by the spirit of a 15 year old boys wife from another dimension) asking a 15 year old boy to love her is dramatic enough! Go to Comment
The second scene in this chapter appears to carry no meaning or arc. The characters appear to have no interest in what is going on. They are not trying to obtain anything from the interactions,there is no conflict in the interaction and there is very little characterization in the interaction. I found the bits about Crunalan and Mongol culture, how they were similar and how they differed, interesting. If you want to go off on little pontifications about scenery cultures in these chapter, like the inbetween chapters in Moby Dick or Cup of Gold (Steinbeck's under respected pirated adventure novel) ,I think you should embrace these thoughts. Go to Comment
"So, the neutrons are essentially charged with excess 'strong' force and essentially fuse to target atoms?"
That is good point about the metal transformation. I can imagine a forensic type thread in a sci-fi game or story in which the protagonists are examining a wreckage or debris field and find an unnaturally high number of rare isotopes. This would be undeniable foot print of this type of particle weapon, and perhaps such a fact would be telling about the attackers. For example it is asserted that at the time of writing in my dynastic migration setting that the Dynastic faction has this type of particle weapon and the lower tech Union of Worlds faction does not. Go to Comment
The Party has been travelling for two days and havent spotted a thing,suddenly out on the horizon five riders appear,when they get close the group identifies them as orces,the leader is a mean looking one with many scars suddenly he raises his spear.