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 Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism

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PostSubject: Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism   Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:29 am

There have been changes since I wrote this. Eventually, I'll edit this first post to conform to non-Taxer criticism. Nagger's been helping me out, but I need other opinions. Also, Im aware the last few paragraphs are dog-shit.

Chapter 1: Family Tradition

I looked to the sky in my idle time. Between hand-to-hand, fencing, political history, diplomacy, arcane studies, economics, civic planning, strategy and war games, there wasn’t much to be had. And I was always afraid I’d forget what it looked like. Since always, my father, King Fantis, has kept me committed to my physique and my studies. They were my life. He tells me ‘the Fantis throne wasn’t won by contentment’. I’m a man now, so I doubt he’ll continue to trifle me with these courses much longer. I’m mastering all of them. I’m Saven Fantis, prince of Clifftain.

I stepped down the stone steps to the Fantis hidden basement. Here, we keep our secrets of magic. Our birthright. Our stranglehold on the land. The King was waiting for me. His eyes were milky and old now, but they were once emerald as mine. His skin was pale and stretched and wrinkled. His hair was neat, greasy and grey. His beard was well-trimmed, but wiry by nature. Yet his posture was still gallant and heroic. He stood tall and proud as he waited for me to approach. He wore his purple robe, practiced smile and yellow teeth. When I reached him, I folded my arms over my chest in salute.

We dived into our regular ritual, starting with the quiz. “What is a king’s most jealously-guarded possession?”, “His knowledge of the arcane”, “How shall it be used?”, “To protect the Kingdom and hold the peasants in servitude”, “How should it be presented?”, “With mystery and terror”, “Very good. Remember these things and you may rule Clifftain one day. We must press on in this study or our rivals will overtake us”. I’ve heard these exact words pass between us every morning for more than a decade. “I want you to cast fire again. You will throw it on the wall over there. Keep it confined to an intense stream”, “Yes, father”.

He stood aside as I widened my stance, threw up my palms and summoned my aura. I channeled it into the shape and form of fire and shouted “CHARDEN”. Instantly, huge tongues of flame were licking the wall. That’s not what I want, though. I focus harder on my target. The fire responds to my intentions and sharpened command of magic. It narrows from a cone to a straight jet. “Very good, but you’re a master now. You can do better”. I grimace, pulling and molding the flames with my hands. I begin to weave the magic.

When a spell is cast, there are two factors at work: Power and Command. Power is the energy being used to fuel the magic. Usually, magic draws on aura. Aura is a natural magic energy that is unique to each person, reflecting their character. Command is the psychic effort to shape the aura or power into a spell. Command can be sharpened with years of training and concentration so a magician can more easily bend their power. A novice magician will use their Command to allow aura to pour out of them and simply throw it at their target. This is a tremendously inefficient means of spellcasting. Novice magicians don’t usually survive long without guidance from elders that were guided by their elders and so on. Magic is extremely dangerous and it took several centuries for humans to even wield it without killing themselves.

I pulled my aura into a loop in front of my palms. As the fire spilled out, it went through the loop and gained extra force that built on itself as the flames rushed toward the wall. I gritted my teeth a little as I pulled the fire even tighter. Father shouted and slapped me across the face, but my focus was diamond. I had practiced well. I fed more and more of my aura into the loop and pinpointed a spot on the wall. Noise, distraction, thoughts and vision were gone now. My focus was absolute. Suddenly, something felt wrong. I cut off the spell and my senses returned to me.

The stone wall had been eaten away. Huge cracks had formed around the deep hole I’d drilled into our secret basement. I began to apologize, but Father was beaming. “That’s the work of an expert. That’s power. That’s the vigor and technique you’ll need to survive our enemies. I can no longer train you. You know everything I do and your technique is flawless”. “Thank you Father. I’ve waited a long time to hear those words”. Fantis’ smile disappeared as suddenly as it snuck into existence. “Don’t get cocky. You can still be torn asunder by the slightest misjudgment in magic. Your foes have trained to kill you their entire life and you’re still vulnerable. You think this crown means you won’t die?”, “No”. I looked to the cruel, silvery crown on his hair. Its only gem was a winking moonstone in its center. The crown of Clifftain sparkled with malice. It looked so light, but I could see the way it weighed on him. His eyes pressed desperately on me. He repeated me. “No, you can die in street clothes just as easily as glacial armor when it comes to magic. It’s the most dangerous force imaginable. And I want you to be ready”.

Silence chimed for a few seconds. “Father, you look so tired”. King Fantis sighed and slumped to the floor. “There are a great many things you don’t know about magic, Saven. As you reach for greater volumes of power, your aura expands and strengthens like a muscle. But among men, your body will decay more quickly as you’ve grown to rely on magic. That’s why the strongest of magicians will appear old and decrepit. Tomorrow I’ll show you how the Fantis lineage has survived so long. We’re a young lineage. Have you never contemplated why the other Kingdoms, with all their age and deep knowledge of magic, haven’t wiped us out?”

He left me there in the dark passage, dumbfounded by his question. I had always wondered. What would he show me tomorrow? I was exhausted from all the training. So I stalked back to my room, snuck in a quick glance at the moon and went to bed.

Sleep came easy, but dragged on thickly. My dreams were tainted with worry and apprehension. I had fuzzy, feverish visions of monstrosities. Voices in my head. Murderers in the castle. There was no safety. Everything was about to crumble and leave me alone with … him.

Father shook me awake. I looked around, startled and sweaty. It was still quite dark, but too quiet for it to be night. He beckoned for me to follow and left. I threw on my grey combat suit, brown leather boots and a black, hooded cloak. Even though I was back on my feet, I didn’t feel any more in control than when I was being tossed by my nightmares. Led by fear and excitement, I scurried out of the room after King Fantis.
We snuck through the marble passages wordlessly. He pushed the Great Granite Doors ajar so quietly, I didn’t even notice when he squeezed through them. Right on his heels, I saw the sky still had all my favorite stars. Suddenly he stopped. “Go home, Melinda”

Mom stepped out of the dark from behind me in her nightgown. Her eyes were shadowed in exhaustion and worry. I’d grown used to seeing the tear-trails dried on her gaunt cheeks, but she was weeping openly now. Her normally distant, soothing voice was hoarse, coarse and punctuated with hate and unabashed panic. “You can’t take him and he’s my boy and he’s lived to please you. And I love you and I can’t lose him!”

Fantis turned to her with rage in his stare. “Cut the cord and go back inside. It may as well have already happened. This note was sung when I took your hand.” For a few terrible seconds, neither figure moved. Then mother broke. She slunk away behind the castle walls, a sobbing mess. My heart was pumping so hard, I knew Fantis could hear it.

When we passed through the courtyard, Father veered left, to where the castle walls met the mountainside. He started feeling around on the castle wall with his hands. Hard granite until he pulled from the wall what looked like a piece of tile molded to look like a piece of the castle. Underneath, was a small, oval inlet with cogs and gears all around it. King Fantis removed his crown and held it to the inlet. The moonstone fit perfectly and when Fantis gave it a light tap, the cogs and gears started grinding. The wall was shifting. Eventually, a small passage appeared. It was carved right into the mountain and masked by the castle walls. Fantis put his crown back on. The door began to shut instantly. He pushed me through and followed.

It was absolutely dark in this passage. There was no moon, fire or word. Only a peculiar heat coming from further down the tunnel. We followed the heat. We walked a long while and my head filled with irrational fears. Does he know where we’re headed? Perhaps Fantis is leading me to my death.

My thoughts were interrupted by a faint glow from ahead. It was getting warmer. We kept on walking. The glow was now bright enough to light the corner. As we made the turn, the source of the light revealed itself.

Suddenly I was sweating with heat and terror. We were in a large, rounded room with smooth walls smeared with elusive, arcane runes and disturbing images. In the center of the room waited a ghastly, black crystal. Unnatural green lumination poured off it, filling the room with that toxic, green glow.

“It’s been a long time since I last stood here. Decades since I took my power from this place”, Fantis was staring directly into my eyes. I was so scared, I could barely retort. “Wh-wh-I don’t understand”. An oblong, inhuman shadow pulled out from his face and laughed with a hideous, twisted haughtiness. I tried to run, but fell on the ground. “Wh-what the hell is that? Where? Wh-why am I here?”, “Silence a moment, boy”!

He stood back a few feet and let me catch my breath. The shadow-thing went back into King Fantis. He studied me with malicious joy. “So boy, how does the Fantis line compete with much older, much superior lineage”? I couldn’t speak. Could it be? No, that would be monstrous. But ...

“That was Howler you just met. He’s my demon. You see, a few centuries ago, the Fantis lineage was nothing but an old, starving, desperate farmer. Our rivals, the Vulgans had their idiot cousins on the throne of Clifftain and they’d run the kingdom into disparity. Our uneducated, decrepit ancestor would’ve died had he not stumbled on this”. I stared into the giant crystal. I had the uneasy feeling that it was staring back. “And what exactly is that”?

“Old William Fantis had discovered the Demon’s Vault. You see, when the Dwarves dig too deep, they unearth all sorts of
things. They’ve dug up rocks, minerals, treasures, tools, weapons, monsters and even Gods. It so happens that long ago, they burrowed directly into Hell. The Dwarves were strong enough to kill off the lesser demons, but many could not be destroyed by earthly means. So they imprisoned the stronger demons in this crystal and hid it away in this very mountain”. I hate the Dwarves. We all do. They’ve carved up the world in the name of their precious conquest. I have to admit that conquer they did. Few human Kingdoms were left standing after the dwarves knocked on their doors. The Dwarves have technology that we can’t even fathom yet and no regard at all for human life. But demons were even worse. I hadn’t heard about them since I was very young. Most people have convinced themselves they don’t even exist, including me. Deep down, we all knew we were lying though. Oh god, why did it have to be demons?

“When our William laid his hands on this beautiful, black crystal and whispered his plight, they whispered back. They promised his fortune would change. They promised wealth and fame and glory. They gave him all the power he needed to figuratively “singlehandedly” take Castle Clifftain and murder the royals. The peasants couldn’t argue with power like that, so they accepted his rule for the same reason they’ll accept the rule of any competent mage that climbs this mountain. Mortals can’t beat magic”.

“Figuratively singlehandedly?”

King Fantis smiled, basking in this moment. “That day, William performed a ritual that allowed him to bind a demon to his will. They agreed because through William and his descendants, they would experience and even terrorize the mortal world again. Every Fantis that has sat on the throne has not sat alone. Why? When William took the castle and killed the Vulgan stewards of Clifftain, the Vulgans swore revenge. They’ve tried to take this castle back at least once every generation. They’re older, wealthier and their kingdom has a vastly superior war machine. The ONLY reason that we’re still breathing is this crystal. When the Vulgans assault our castle and pour thousands of men on us, there’s always been a demon waiting in the throne room. They greatly amplify our power over magic and lend us extrahuman strength. All they ask is a little bloodshed. “

This was too much. No. I couldn’t take it. My legs felt like jelly. I couldn’t. Demons! What now? The crystal was staring with … hunger. I heard Howler cackling at me. I wanted to run, but I was bolted to the floor.
“Look at me. I’m old and weary. Howler has prevented my expanding aura from aging me for too long. I can no longer defend this place. I’ve trained you rigorously. You’re stronger than any Fantis ever was before their ritual. You were born for this. You lived and labored and fought for it your whole life. Even if you bind the most meager demon in that crystal, you’ll be a demigod. Now, my boy. It’s your turn to take up the family mantle.” I was going to throw up. The room was spinning. I didn’t want a demon in me! I was terrified. Some invisible power compelled me to step toward the crystal. I was so scared, but I just kept walking toward it. My hands shook as they reached out for that gleaming surface. Howler was standing across from me in his full spectral form. Just staring into my eyes. I could tell Fantis was behind me. My hands touched the crystal.

Instantly I understood that I’d made contact with a great number of beings. They were all whispering to each other. Quietly at first. Indistinguishable at first. But then more voices chimed in. The noise rose in excitement until I could hear their frenzied voices. A low guttural voice barked, “He’s weak, you can see right through him.” Another voice, this one smoother, snakelike, suggested “Flip the coin. He’s the one we’ve been waiting for. We’ll bind this Fantis to our will this time. His body is strong, his will is weak. He’ll make the perfect vessel. Saven Fantis, you belong to me, now.” “And I.” “And I.” “And I.” “And I.” “And I.” There must’ve been hundreds of them chanting about taking me.

Oh no! No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no! They were right. They’ve already won and my body is their plaything. No, no, no, no, no! This couldn’t be happening. I’m dreaming. Must escape.

A new voice sounded in the crystal. It drowned out all the others. “You’re wrong. Every one of you little imps are wrong. This one is mine.” Silence echoed for a moment. The slithering voice answered the challenge. “You’ll have to fight us for him, Paymon!” I tried to pull my hands away, but it was far too late. The crystal pulsated and shot out more brilliant green light. I didn’t see or hear the struggle, but I could tell it was hopelessly one-sided. Energy was surging through the crystal. There was so much screaming. It was burning against my fingertips. The new voice spoke once more. “I’ve won you, Saven. You belong to me now.”

A current of icy electricity shot through me and I flew back from the crystal into King Fantis’ arms. As I lost consciousness, I heard distant laughter.

Chapter 2: Behind my Eyes

Gravity pulled me awake. Fantis had me slung across his back. He was whispering excitedly. I pretended not to be up and tried not to listen. I felt a nervous energy hanging on me as he marched through the palace courtyard. Those things couldn’t have happened. I felt fine. I was better than fine, actually. There was no voice in my head and my body was mine.

The early birds were chirping and the sun had risen, but night still clung on the horizon. As Fantis opened the Great Doors, I peaked at the courtyard. The trees were so beautiful set against the orange glare in the sky. An owl was perched on our oak. It writhed uncomfortably in the light. It had stayed out too long. Its eyes were defiantly held shut as it shuffled along the branch. There was no shade to be had.

Fantis gently set me in my bed. I found it very difficult to continue to feign sleep because I could feel his eyes on me. He leaned in close and whispered in my ear. A chill ran through me when Howler’s guttural hiss joined his voice. “Sleep well. I’m proud of you”.

When I heard the door shut, I stood up and confronted my racing head. Maybe the ritual failed. Could I be free of demons? Did I want to be? What of the throne? Fantis will be so disappointed. My legs were buckling and the room was whirling. Powerless, I bent over and threw up.

When I’d finished heaving, I fell backwards exhausted. I’d missed the bed and hit the floor, but I was too drained to care or do anything about it.

I rarely dream. I was in a black room with no walls, ceiling or floor. I looked all around, but it was hard to see. I squinted. There was a mountain colored like dull leather. Approaching it, I found it was made of people that had packed into a singular mass.

They were quite still even as I inspected them. For a moment, I thought they were dead, but the whole mountain shifted when they breathed. There was something at the top, but I could barely see it. So I began to climb. In the peculiar manner of dreams, I did this thoughtlessly and was completely unbothered by the disturbing nature of my actions. I stepped over heads and onto backs and legs. These men were sturdy. They didn’t gasp or twitch or give at all as they supported my weight. As I ascended, I heard trumpets and cymbals and singing. The music was compelling and beautiful, but it unsettled me.

Finally, I reached the top. There stood a beautiful girl adorned with a crown and bracelets. She beckoned for me to approach and her charisma was law. Again, in the bizarreness of dreams, it seemed perfectly natural when I walked into her personal space. I stopped when my shirt brushed against her tunic. Her face was perfect – nose tipped upward with regal grace. Her body was slender and I found myself staring at her legs. If her skin was the color of the moon, her hair was the night sky trying to swallow it. The music died.

Suddenly, I realized her eyes were all white. I screamed and nearly fell off the mountain, but she grabbed my hand and
threw me on my back with frightening ease. My ribs were throbbing. I shut my eyes as I gasped for air and clutched my gut. When I opened them, the girl was gone. Instead, there was a man in a grey robe standing over me. The way it clung to him, the robe might have been made of smoke. He wore a hood that draped his face in absolute shadow. But his eyes were glowing pure white, just like the girl. He leaned in close to me. He pushed my head sideways so as to whisper in my ear. His voice shook my entire being.

“Saven, you can’t run from me. I am Paymon and you are mine now.”

He kept creeping closer to me. I could only hear the hammering of my heart as Paymon went into me.

I heard a scream. I sat up on my floor and smelled smoke. I ran to my window. The town was on fire. Armies were marching up the castle. People were being slaughtered in the streets. I had been trained in war, but I couldn’t look away. So much death. I watched the foreigners slay our guards and sack our city.

A huge crash broke my concentration. I looked around the room. I immediately grabbed my glacial sword and silverite gauntlets. People were screaming in the throne room. Blades were crashing as I sprinted down the hall. As I ran, I put on one of my gauntlets, but dropped the other when I heard my mother’s voice.

“Help me!”

I flung the door open just in time to see our mortal enemies seize her. The throne room was a chaotic scene. King Fantis lay on the floor, defeated. He clutched his crown so hard, his hands were bleeding. Our guards had been slain in a variety of revolting ways. There were roughly twenty Vulgan soldiers surging through the room, their blades aflame. Leading them were The King and Prince of the Vulgan family. Signor Vulgan was an old man, but that only meant he was strong in magic. The other was Javenan Vulgan; my rival.

Signor seemed withered and pathetic. He wasn’t even wearing armor. I suspected that he had directed the tactic and directed his magic to bolster his army. He spoke with a crisp, relaxed drone.

“Is that your boy that you’ve told us so much about? Saven?”

King Fantis leapt up excitedly. He saw me and beamed with lunacy and bloodlust. His glacial armor had cracked at the breastplate and hung incorrectly. He drew his sword and yelled hoarsely.

“Yeah and now you’ve had it. He’s the strongest we’ve ever birthed and you don’t stand a chance against both of us.”
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PostSubject: Re: Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism   Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:39 am

Gravy Gulper wrote:
There have been changes since I wrote this. Eventually, I'll edit this first post to conform to non-Taxer criticism. Nagger's been helping me out, but I need other opinions. Also, Im aware the last few paragraphs are dog-shit.

Chapter 1: Family Tradition

I looked to the sky in my idle time. Between hand-to-hand, fencing, political history, diplomacy, arcane studies, economics, civic planning, strategy and war games, there wasn’t much to be had. And I was always afraid I’d forget what it looked like. Since always, my father, King Fantis, has kept me committed to my physique and my studies. They were my life. He tells me ‘the Fantis throne wasn’t won by contentment’. I’m a man now, so I doubt he’ll continue to trifle me with these courses much longer. I’m mastering all of them. I’m Saven Fantis, prince of Clifftain.

I stepped down the stone steps to the Fantis hidden basement. Here, we keep our secrets of magic. Our birthright. Our stranglehold on the land. The King was waiting for me. His eyes were milky and old now, but they were once as emerald as mine. His skin was pale, stretched and wrinkled. His hair was neat, greasy and grey. His beard was well-trimmed, but wiry by nature (to many sentences starting with the same word ("his")). Yet his posture was still gallant and heroic. He stood tall and proud as he waited for me to approach. He wore his purple robe, practiced smile and yellow teeth. When I reached him, I folded my arms over my chest in salute.

We dived into our regular ritual, starting with the quiz. “What is a king’s most jealously-guarded possession?”, “His knowledge of the arcane”, “How shall it be used?”, “To protect the Kingdom and hold the peasants in servitude”, “How should it be presented?”, “With mystery and terror”, “Very good. Remember these things and you may rule Clifftain one day. We must press on in this study or our rivals will overtake us”. I’ve heard these exact words pass between us every morning for more than a decade. “I want you to cast fire again. You will throw it on the wall over there. Keep it confined to an intense stream”, “Yes, father”. (speech should always be divided into lines, not set in the same paragraph. While everyone with a brain will know the question and answer formula, this is a big no no)

He stood aside as I widened my stance, threw up my palms and summoned my aura. I channeled it into the shape and form of fire and shouted “CHARDEN”. Instantly (avoid adverbs ending in "ly", they are the sign of a lazy writer: sometimes they can't be avoided, but just try to keep them to a minimum), huge tongues of flame were licking the wall. That’s not what I want, though. I focus harder on my target. The fire responds to my intentions and sharpened command of magic. It narrows from a cone to a straight jet. “Very good, but you’re a master now. You can do better”. I grimace, pulling and molding the flames with my hands. I begin to weave the magic.

When a spell is cast, there are two factors at work: Power and Command. Power is the energy being used to fuel the magic. Usually, magic draws on aura. Aura is a natural magic energy that is unique to each person, reflecting their character. Command is the psychic effort used to shape the aura or power into a spell. Command can be sharpened with years of training and concentration so a magician can more easily bend their power. A novice magician will use their Command to allow aura to pour out of them and simply throw it at their target. This is a tremendously inefficient means of spellcasting. Novice magicians don’t usually survive long without guidance from elders that were guided by their elders and so on. Magic is extremely dangerous and it took several centuries for humans to even wield it without killing themselves.

I pulled my aura into a loop in front of my palms. As the fire spilled out, it went through the loop and gained extra force that built on itself as the flames rushed toward the wall. I gritted my teeth a little as I pulled the fire even tighter. Father shouted and slapped me across the face, but my focus was diamond. I had practiced well. I fed more and more of my aura into the loop and pinpointed a spot on the wall. Noise, distraction, thoughts and vision were gone now. My focus was absolute. Suddenly (this word is the devil, you have been warned), something felt wrong. I cut off the spell and my senses returned to me.

The stone wall had been eaten away. Huge cracks had formed around the deep hole I’d drilled into our secret basement. I began to apologize, but Father was beaming. “That’s the work of an expert. That’s power. That’s the vigor and technique you’ll need to survive our enemies. I can no longer train you. You know everything I do and your technique is flawless”. “Thank you Father. I’ve waited a long time to hear those words”. Fantis’ smile disappeared as suddenly (Lucifer I say!) as it snuck into existence. “Don’t get cocky. You can still be torn asunder by the slightest misjudgment in magic. Your foes have trained to kill you their entire life and you’re still vulnerable. You think this crown means you won’t die?”, “No”. I looked to the cruel, silvery crown on his hair. Its only gem was a winking moonstone in its center. The crown of Clifftain sparkled with malice. It looked so light, but I could see the way it weighed on him. His eyes pressed desperately on me. He repeated me. “No, you can die in street clothes just as easily as glacial armor when it comes to magic. It’s the most dangerous force imaginable. And I want you to be ready”.

Silence chimed for a few seconds. “Father, you look so tired”. King Fantis sighed and slumped to the floor. “There are a great many things you don’t know about magic, Saven. As you reach for greater volumes of power, your aura expands and strengthens like a muscle. But among men, your body will decay more quickly as you’ve grown to rely on magic. That’s why the strongest of magicians will appear old and decrepit. Tomorrow I’ll show you how the Fantis lineage has survived so long. We’re a young lineage. Have you never contemplated why the other Kingdoms, with all their age and deep knowledge of magic, haven’t wiped us out?”

He left me there in the dark passage, dumbfounded by his question. I had always wondered. What would he show me tomorrow? I was exhausted from all the training. So I stalked back to my room, snuck in a quick glance at the moon and went to bed.

Sleep came easy, but dragged on thickly. My dreams were tainted with worry and apprehension. I had fuzzy, feverish visions of monstrosities. Voices in my head. Murderers in the castle. There was no safety. Everything was about to crumble and leave me alone with … him.

Father shook me awake. I looked around, startled and sweaty. It was still quite dark, but too quiet for it to be night. He beckoned for me to follow and left. I threw on my grey combat suit, brown leather boots and a black, hooded cloak. Even though I was back on my feet, I didn’t feel any more in control than when I was being tossed by my nightmares. Led by fear and excitement, I scurried out of the room after King Fantis.

We snuck through the marble passages wordlessly (more dodgy adverbs - this should read "in silence" or some such: it's hard to notice the effect this is having in a short passage, but over the course of the book you're failing more and more to engage the reader with descriptive prose - you're painting a scene: use as many colours as you can without going overboard). He pushed the Great Granite Doors ajar so quietly, I didn’t even notice when he squeezed through them. Right on his heels, I saw the sky still had all my favorite stars. Suddenly (Satan!) he stopped. “Go home, Melinda” (another little thing: you're doing well to avoid saying how someone talks ("with great gusto!" - yuk) but it's a generally accepted practice to end speach with either "he said" or "she said")

Mom stepped out of the dark from behind me in her nightgown. Her eyes were shadowed in exhaustion and worry. I’d grown used to seeing the tear-trails dried on her gaunt cheeks, but she was weeping openly now. Her normally distant, soothing voice was hoarse, coarse and punctuated with hate and unabashed panic (now you've gone the opposite way: to much description). “You can’t take him, he’s my boy and he’s lived to please you. And I love you and I can’t lose him!”

Fantis turned to her with rage in his stare. “Cut the cord and go back inside. It may as well have already happened. This note was sung when I took your hand.” For a few terrible seconds, neither figure moved. Then mother broke. She slunk away behind the castle walls, a sobbing mess. My heart was pumping so hard, I knew Fantis could hear it.


I haven't gone over everything, but my notes are in red. Most of this advise comes from "On Writing" by Stephen King (a fantastic little book for any aspiring writer).

I'm a little over two thirds of the way through my own novel, but I don't think people realise how hard it is to write. Well, not just write, but to write to a suitable standard and make something somebody else wants to read.
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PostSubject: Re: Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism   Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:47 pm

Thanks a ton man. Really appreciate this. I'll be using almost all of this advice. Exactly what I was looking for. Feel free to give me plot advice too.

Anyway, with an understanding of writing as solid as yours, I'm sure your novel is gonna be kickin'
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PostSubject: Re: Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism   Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:44 pm

Cool story, bro.
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PostSubject: Re: Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism   Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:31 am

so far only read half, but im really digging it so far, and ill read the rest. my only thing to suggest would be to go more in detail in certain parts. example: The part where he has a fever dream i think could be brought longer so when he is woken up, it has more impact (could also be a neat opportunity to throw in some kind of detail that would be important later on- some kind of foreshadowing). I feel like things are moving a tad fast. then again, im coming off reading LOTR, so my perception of what appropriate pacing is for a book is probably way off. im digging it though, wasn't bored. you should totally write this thing

i wish i had the patience and ability to write a book

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PostSubject: Re: Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism   Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:59 am

Thanks folks. I think you're right, LOR. I'll definately throw in some disturbing imagery and maybe an allegory during that first dream. As far as the pacing goes, theres a lot to describe and I was worried about tying the reader down with all the lore I need to feed them. It's gotta be gradual, but exciting. Tough balance for me, but you're probably right about that too.
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spineshank155
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PostSubject: Re: Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism   Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:46 pm

Quote :
Needs Criticism

It's GAYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!



No i'm kidding it's great from what i read, but i'm terrible at finding some things in an objective way.


















































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lol i had to throw that video up, your material is great though i was just picking on that 'needs criticism' part.
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PostSubject: Re: Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism   Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:14 pm

thanks babe. gay as a rake Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism   Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:28 pm

you write any more?

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PostSubject: Re: Half-Assing a Novel: Needs Criticism   Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:25 pm

I've been busy applying for jobs lately, but I'll update everything in a week or so. I'm really slow.
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