Author Topic: Reviews? Maybe?  (Read 9898 times)

carelesswhisper

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2013, 09:32:53 AM »
Vanessa - Deal With It and Keep walking

You're walking a fine line with the accent.  I feel like I'm the accent nazi now, but nothing slows me down as much as dialogue that is phonetically spelled out.  At this point, I think you're still fine on that front, but do be careful not to take it too far.  And, and this is the nitpickiest of nitpicks, it bugs me that her accent is included in her thoughts, as most people who speak with an accent do not consider themselves as having one, so inside her head, I feel like it makes more sense for words to be spelled normally.  But I guess now that you've started, just keep it easily understandable.  My rule of thumb is that if I have to read words aloud to know what is being said, it's too much, but that's just personal opinion. 

On the bright side, you have me listening to "Tae The Weaver's Gin Ye Go" so... yay.  :D

I'm curious to find out what has given her such a casual attitude toward vermin.  Granted, it's clear that she has pre-existing relationships with most of the ones she's come across so far, but I'm already getting the sense that everyone except maybe Risk is pretty neutral so far.  And I feel like it's been a while since good old species rivalry was really utilized, so I'm hoping to see some of that down the road.  But, then again, maybe she's just very confident in her ability to look out for herself and isn't scared of any beast, vermin or otherwise. 


TNT

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2013, 01:59:52 PM »
Sweet! I'm not the Accent Nazi anymore! I'm freeeee! :D


(I do kind of agree though. XP)
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Vanessa

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2013, 03:31:38 PM »
Thank you so much for reviewing, Carelesswhisper! It means a lot to know people are reading your post and taking the time to write on it. If I survive this round, I promise to expand on Nessa's view towards vermin/woodlanders and on her relationship with Zevka. As for the accent... all I will say is that I love accents and I loved Redwall mostly  because of the unique and varied accents which brought the books to life, so you can expect more of the same from me. Hopefully, I'll manage to write it so it doesn't impede reading clarity for anyone. 

Nyika

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2013, 06:02:01 PM »
Nyika - Death on the Snowfield

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Dispelling such unnerving thoughts, Nyika turned her attention to Zevka, leaning over her serene features and resting her paw against the pine marten's cheek. Beasts always were the most peaceful in sleep and death. Nyika almost considered them one and the same, the only difference being that death was a sleep in which one would never wake. She didn't want to disturb her. Zevka seemed so peaceful, but they needed to move. Something had happened, an avalanche, or something terrible. Already Nyika could hear the dead stirring, the moaning in her ears growing to an unnerving pitch. They had to leave, to survive.

Editing.  I think you could have cut this entire paragraph without negatively impacting the rest of the post.  You make some very obvious statements - "beasts always were the most peaceful in sleep and death" and "death was a sleep in which one would never wake" (and it should be "from which".)  Then we go back and forth - "she didn't want to disturb her.  Zevka seemed so peaceful, but they needed to move."  If you had cut either the first sentence or "Zevka seemed so peaceful" and put the other two statements together, there would be a much better flow there.  Many times in writing, less is more.  In my experience with these contests, you spend a lot of time polishing and editing down your app, using as few words as possible to get your point across.  When it comes to the actual contest, though, there is either no word limit or a much higher one, so it's easy to get a little sloppy and laid back on the trimming process.  I'm not saying that that's what happened here, but I think you could benefit from reading over your chapters and weighing the importance of every word, sentence, and paragraph. 

Hee, Stonewall had the same feedback for me on the same passage.

I'm a terrible editor, and combine that with being naturally long-winded can make for some rambling passages. I can see how and why it wasn't as effective as I hoped. Some rewording of lines would have helped, but I don't think I would have cut the whole thing. I tried to paint a vivid picture of growing tension mixed with the relief of being alive amidst a sudden catastrophe, and I think that passage is important for that. Still, cutting some sentences and rewording others would have produced a better effect, I won't deny that.

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My real beef with Nyika is that - and I'm assuming that she's seen dead people since she was a kit - I think someone her age would have either gone crazy by now, or somewhat learned to emotionally cope.  But, I'm trying to keep in mind that a pretty big catastrophe has just occurred, and she probably hasn't dealt with anything on this scale before.  I just keep getting this vibe that her primary coping mechanism is to try to ignore it all, and that only works for so long. 

I tried to address that, actually, through this line here: "Never had she seen so much death in one place at one time."

The vibe you got was correct, but only for this post and that's because she simply doesn't know what to do with them all. In my application and in Zevka's flashback she interacts directly with her spirits, so while she can handle her haunts for the most part, this was just too much for her.

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All that said, I'm intrigued by the concept and I'm interested to see where you take this.  You can do some really different stuff with her, and that in itself makes her worth keeping around for a while longer.  My main advice to you is to spend a little more time on editing down.

Thank you! I will definitely take this advice to heart. It's hard when there's a looming deadline and other writers waiting on you to produce, so it's easy to keep things in from the first draft that need to be tidied or removed completely. You tend to gloss over them or even learn to ignore your gut when something doesn't sit right with you. It's not like the application process where you can mull over something for upwards of a month. You've got a few days, tops, and even with nine other pairs of eyes looking it over for you things will get missed. I'm not complaining or making excuses, just trying to put things into perspective.

Still, I thank you very much for your constructive criticism! Pending future posts from me, I hope to keep them more poised, polished, and gleaming with charm!

carelesswhisper

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2013, 06:09:28 PM »
It's all a matter of opinion, as I said.  It's been close to 8 years since I wrote anything that was even remotely canon, so sometimes I tend to think of it as a landscape more than a universe.  I can certainly understand where you're coming from, though, I enjoyed writing accents early on in my Redwall exploration. 

Gashrock - Golden Fools

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If Gashrock had wanted her entire world to jostle up and down on occasion until beasts felt sick to their stomachs, she'd have gone to sea and become a proper sailor.

Seeing some extra words you could cut - "on occasion" doesn't add anything, and to me makes this feel more stilted.  Personally I wouldn't have used "proper" before sailor either, but it does add a little personality to the thought. 

It was slightly confusing to refer to the other characters by their last names.  Admittedly, most of this confusion is due to the fact that I can't stay focused for more than a few minutes at a time, so by the time you were referring to "Blackbriar", I didn't remember if there had been a new character introduced or if I was missing something important, and it wasn't until I got to "Fern" that I realized.  If no one else has said anything, then I think it's safe to assume that this one is my fault. 

Gashrock is definitely growing on me.  It took me a bit, but I'm invested and interested to see how well you do at keeping her involved in the story. 

carelesswhisper

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2013, 06:56:56 PM »
Nyika:  I certainly know what you mean about the time constraints.  I've written in several of these contests myself, and I can only think of one post that I was as happy with as I was with my applications.  One thing that helped me a lot was to do "prewriting" in my head, so that by the time I got the first draft down, it was more of a second draft already.  It gets both easier and harder as the weeks progress, as there are fewer characters to interact with, but less time in between posts (since there are fewer writers.)  I will try to keep in mind the stress and deadlines that all of you are under, and one of my goals as a reviewer is to comment on the same issue no more than twice (by that point, I assume that the writer in question knows what to work on, and my repeating it won't make that any easier.) 

carelesswhisper

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2013, 01:56:42 PM »
Goragula - Respect Is Earned, Not Given

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The hare guard’s uniform was covered in blood, but it would serve its purpose.

They found him a few minute’s walk from where they’d buried Poko’s parents.


Threw me pretty bad.  That first sentence just seems so out of the blue and disconnected from everything else, and I thought Goragula WAS the hare 'til it was stated that he was looking at it. 

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The hare’s cloak and jacket would be made from a decent quality wool, and that was enough to merit the effort of stripping him.

Ooh, ooh, ooh!  We gots sheeps?  :D  Seriously, though, I've always thought it would make sense to use them in one way or another.  They would be excellent for pulling carts, outside of the whole wool thing, though the size difference would be pretty extreme, even for the smallest breed. 

I'd like to see a tad more action in your chapters (haven't read your other(s) for week one, so scratch that if this has already been seen to) but you surprised me.  I didn't think I would enjoy reading a toad character, and within the first half, you had already gotten me around to your side.  I do feel that you've handicapped yourself to an extent by writing a cold blooded character, but it just makes me more interested to see how you handle it. 

One question:  does he walk on four legs or two?

Vizon

Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2013, 04:40:08 PM »
Ooh, ooh, ooh!  We gots sheeps?  :D  Seriously, though, I've always thought it would make sense to use them in one way or another.  They would be excellent for pulling carts, outside of the whole wool thing, though the size difference would be pretty extreme, even for the smallest breed. 

Wool can be sheered from many different creatures - not just sheep and goats! Angoras for example:

Seems a more likely source.
And from the gobs of fur I pulled from my long-haired cat today, I wouldn't be surprised if that could be spun as well.

Balmafula

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2013, 04:50:39 PM »
I never thought of it before, but I kind of like the idea of sheep as beasts of burden XD

TNT

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2013, 04:55:54 PM »
Ooh, ooh, ooh!  We gots sheeps?  :D  Seriously, though, I've always thought it would make sense to use them in one way or another.  They would be excellent for pulling carts, outside of the whole wool thing, though the size difference would be pretty extreme, even for the smallest breed. 

Wool can be sheered from many different creatures - not just sheep and goats! Angoras for example

So they pack the wool all the way from eastern Europe? Sounds expensive. :P
"I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it." - Arrested Development

Vizon

Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2013, 07:01:58 PM »
So they pack the wool all the way from eastern Europe? Sounds expensive. :P

Remember how far silk used to have to come! I'll bet cotton is probably the most frequently used material. Or whatever fibrous plants grow around Europe.

Balmafula

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2013, 07:08:10 PM »
I'm pretty sure this is one of those things Brian Jacques was hoping we would just not think too much about. Along with leather, milk, and cheese. And those horses and pigs from Redwall.

TNT

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2013, 07:31:19 PM »
Yeah, but, it's silk. Silk is...silky. Wool is...scratchy. Unless they breed Angora rabbits specifically for wool (before the 18th century, mind) and shipped a bunch of them up to Mossflower like sheep, even though they're sentient beasts with rights and might not WANT to be shipped up, and oh my goodness that gets wrong so fast. We really aren't supposed to think about it. XP
"I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it." - Arrested Development

carelesswhisper

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2013, 08:08:31 PM »
Angora rabbits shed their wool, though.  So they could easily collect it, and sell it themselves.  But that seems kinda weird.  Like hair shirts.  (Used to have an angora and my mum had a couple, they are a PAIN to brush every week.  And their wool is harder to spin than sheep's wool.  But soooo soft and warm.)

TNT

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Re: Reviews? Maybe?
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2013, 08:43:24 PM »
Is it actually soft, or is it soft in the way that lying liars say that wool is soft? Can't stand the itchy, scratchy stuff meself. XP
"I don't understand the question, and I won't respond to it." - Arrested Development