While I enjoy being lighthearted and joke a lot in chat, I do tend to go to very dark places when I write. Sort of cathartic, I suppose, but you're not the first to say that it goes a bit far. (And you may want to avoid my journey into hell piece)
I'll explain some of my thought processes and how those map to what I was probably trying to express (though I usually have to guess after the fact; I never quite understand my creative side):
The gem took the brightness of her mind for granted at first, which is why it never called her to it before. It only called to her once her light became darkness, in order to regain the bright soul it had lost. I have felt that frustration, seeing bright people grow into broken adults because of traumas they survived, and I have wished for the power to banish that darkness. I've also realized that most people can only find salvation after they've broken free on their own to a certain degree. (And talk about a horrific challenge...)
I would say that it is possible to have a functional relationship, though even with the best of help, some scars will always show through. Of course, I skipped over 2 years worth of Karina gaining back her own power and having her mind magically healed to a degree by the gem. Still, if I was to go more in depth, I probably would need to show some jagged pieces of her past that poked through into her fairy-tale marriage.
Looking more closely at this, I can see some strong parallels with some real life events experienced by people I've known (though it's a bit of a mish-mash and more metaphor than literal). Not going into details, but it's bizarre how the mind transforms the mundane into the fictional.
You are probably correct that it becomes a trope at some point, and shouldn't be overdone. This was one of those subs that I pretty much barfed out in one sitting without having any real clue what was going to come out. I just knew I was feeling the urge to express something and I couldn't find any better medium. I wouldn't have consciously chosen this topic, as I've seen it done to death myself. But, when the muse stamps her impatient little feet, I come running ;)
In any case, I appreciate the thoughtful feedbackGo to Comment
This is really great, I kept asking questions about the history, the war and technology as I went and kept getting answers. This really well done (I have never played Bioshock) and has a lot of great ideas in it. This could be used as an Alien world, an alternate reality or just adapted for society in which everyone is told the surface is poisoned by the oppressive oligarchy. Yet this deserves more.
1) Visuals I would wager most readers picture a somewhat Victorian or Edwardian aesthetic in the place. However, that is never discussed. We don't get a clear visual of the people in this place and I loathe to use preconceived notions in such a fantastical setting. I would also wager that at least 25% (by word count not by topic) of all steam punk fiction is dedicated to fashion, so that seems missing from this, and it could be a fun addition.
2) Culture We also get an incomplete picture of the culture and day to day life. There are a lot of strong hints at an oligarchy of rich hereditary industrialists and an oppressed and tormented but educated underclass subjected to strict social planning. I think a government and economics section could be interesting and expansive. But perhaps you don't want to state the social economic relationship specifically, and that is fine, and I get it. But some more hints would give us a better feel for this place. What kind of people do these dome dwellers chose to celebrate? What sort of media (as extrapolation of the stage play musicals) do they consume? Are there population control issues? Do they smoke? I feel like this piece and this world would be better benefited by a direct discussion of these items or few more hints and details. (I like the hints at culture myself)
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I debated about including information on the weaponization of Kalleum but I decided to leave it vague. It's something lost to their past and something they wish to put far behind them.
Basically, they found a way of launching it from a type of cannon and then having it explode over the enemy into a fine powder, along with some other compounds. It would ignite anything with fair amounts of water, such as animals and plants. After burning through the bodies it would disburse and drift into the air again (which was not intended.)
The problem was that it disbursed too well. In small amounts it would enter through any accessible membrane or opening and burn up whatever it touched. In these minute amounts it would still leave much of the corpse intact before finding its way out into the air again, acting more as a catalyst than something that would burn out.
It's possible that after another few hundred years it will eventually end up in an inert state.Go to Comment