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View Full Version : Ascension: Chapter 4.1 of "The Emerald Archon"



monseratthefool
January 4th, 2013, 11:24 PM
n

Ariel
January 5th, 2013, 03:13 PM
I had some extra time and was actually on my computer when I read this so you're getting something a little more in-depth from me today. These later chapters seem a little more rushed than the first two--which is okay, it gives me something to pick at. :)


Swordsmen were common in Witscar, but it was rare to see one in Pachasan. Even rarer to see a Shadow Swordsmen, with their strange, exotic looking armor, jet-black hair, and darker skin.
The second swordsmen should be swordsman—the article is singular and so the subject should be as well.


He correctly identified a bright red rock as polished bloodstone, which is used to make pendants for amplifying one’s innate power.
Sadly, bloodstone is not red but rather a dark hunter green with red flecks. It’s the red flecks that gives the stone its name. I think the comma isn’t quite strong enough to marry these two fragments.



It was a man, a miniature bone statue sitting on tiny crossed legs. Where his belly should have been was a hollow bulb with a tiny, carved flame inside.
This was a little confusing. I thought that the centerpiece was a man for a second which doesn’t make any sense. I would re-word it to something like, “The centerpiece was a miniature bone statue of a man sitting on tiny crossed legs. Where his belly should have been was a hollow bulb with a tiny, carved flame inside.”


Arjuna nodded and returned to reading Kapuc’s story about the looming storm cloud.
I thought it was Waloc’s journal.


The wind blew through me and took my fear with it, straight off the backside of the mountain. I sit, looking at the storm cloud, forehead smooth like silk, and unpeel a mandarin.
The tense changed in the second sentence. I’m not sure why the speaker wants to tell us his forehead was smooth as silk and typically you don’t need to say “unpeel” but rather peel.


Her family was ten generations in Pachasan, and her large, green eyes and longish nose were as distinctly local as the Pachan potato. Still, something about her high cheekbones and full lips made her seem more exotic than any woman Mokai had seen since arriving in town. He sipped his tea while watching her with growing interest.
Much better! And yes, she’s pretty. She wouldn’t stand out in her town but the second sentence explains why she stood out to Mokai.


Mokai’s mind was delightfully ensnared by the rhythm of her swaying body as she sidestepped about the room with her broom.



As she passed Mokai’s table, the scent of her body revealed intoxicating secrets, as he discerned the salt of her sweat from working over the stove, and was charmed by the heady pheromones lingering in the air. A tingle in his belly started to slither up his spine.
The first sentence is a muddled mess and it’s confusing. I preferred the original version of this part. Maybe it can be integrated as “As she passed Mokai’s table he caught the scent of her body. He was overtaken by the heady smell of her natural fragrance; the salt of her sweat from working over the stove, the disorienting pheromones lingering in the air around her. A tingle in his belly started to slither up his spine.”


She tossed the dirt out into the street, and then returned to sweep some more. She kept trying to discretely glance her curious green eyes into Mokai’s direction, but her swinging wooden earrings betrayed her stealth as they waved wildly each time she would turn her head. I like how her earrings betray her but “discretely glance” seems a bit redundant to me. I always felt like a glance was more discrete than a regular look.


He breathed out with imperceptible force, and the air brushed upon her shoulders, sending goosebumps racing down her neck and into the neckline of her dress.
I think he could just breathe out. I don’t think it needs to emphasize the force of his breath.


He backed her up slowly until her backside was pressing against the side of the wooden counter. A tiny whimper escaped from her lips as he pressed himself into her and sent a surge of carnal sensation down into her most sensitive nerves.
I liked how the majority of this scene—most of the sensations we get are from him--was from his point of view and this sudden focus on hers is a bit unnerving. Maybe instead of a whimper it could be a small moan or something similar and the rest of the sentence could be dropped. I suggest moan because it would imply that she is turned on and not actually frightened without the confusing reference to her lady bits at the end. Maybe she could even actively seek his touch? This is a girl who is preparing herself for a one-night stand. Maybe, once he’s touching her, she’s more bold than coy?

Overall, I think this was well done. I like how I can now picture the characters--especially in the romantic scene--as full people and not just bodies with blank faces.

By the way, the fella and I have been arguing about the need for facial description--I was talking to him about your work. He says he would prefer to leave it up to the reader. I feel that, especially with the amount of detail you use elsewhere, that it is a little more necessary--especially with the romantic scene. I'm going to just put his stubborness down to he's a little obsessed with a lady's "upper bits" and I feel that if he were writing a romantic scene he'd stick to describing her body as well. :highly_amused:

monseratthefool
January 5th, 2013, 03:40 PM
Oh. Well I neglected to think about the fact that bloodstone might already exist :)

Great stuff, as always! It was, indeed, Kapoc's journal but I wonder now if the name might be too similar to Walok.

The weird tone and voice in the journal is something I'm grappling with; for a reason I might reveal to you later (but dont want to spoil any intrigue) but I think its worth looking at again. The forehead smooth as silk was supposed to communicate that the stress was gone, but I think I can find a better way to do that.

You know, I didn't realize that you were right, I never got into the body of Maldi until that one intense moment, and it completely switches the perspective of the scene for a jarring moment. I'll have another read through, but its a great point. I admit that for whatever reason, I never felt comfortable with her "shying moving her lips closer to his" by the end, like I didn't sell her well enough for being down for the one-night stand.

As for the face descriptors, I think I really enjoyed working on her face because I also got to give more personality to the people of Pachasan at the same time, and I think that as long as I can contribute to the story's richness using the face, I'll do it. Just by doing that, I've opened up new pockets elsewhere in the story that I've enjoyed running down and shaking out and building up. It was a phenomenal exercise, and I appreciate your prompting.

Once again, I'm humbled and appreciative. Send some thanks over to the feller as well :D

monseratthefool
January 5th, 2013, 03:52 PM
How's this: He backed her up slowly until her bottom was pushing against the side of the wooden counter. A tiny moan escaped from her lips as he pressed himself into her. She reached around his body, took ahold of his backside and pulled him in even harder. A half smile crossed his face.

He whispered, “You, Maldi, are a most unexpected and enchanting surprise.”

monseratthefool
January 5th, 2013, 04:06 PM
n

Ariel
January 5th, 2013, 04:07 PM
That works. It shows that she is a willing participant and that she's enjoying what's going on but doesn't have the sudden jarring switch to her feelings.

Circadian
January 5th, 2013, 06:58 PM
Excellently written, like your other chapters. I especially like the way you build up your world in the first half of this piece, in the dialogue between Ramlin, Arjuna, and Mokai. It makes me want to know more. I enjoyed the bit about Ramlin possibly being chosen as the next Archon and the nervousness (fear?) that he must be feeling. Your detail throughout is very good, especially in the latter half of this piece when you describe the scene between Mokai and Maldi.

You spelled Sylvani as Sylani again.


A bit of juice dribbled into my beard, and I delight in having a beard now.

Dribbles, if you want to stay with the present tense.


Mokai’s mind was delightfully ensnared by the rhythm of her swaying body as sidestepped about the room with her broom.

...as she sidestepped about the room...


She kept trying to discretely glance her curious green eyes into Mokai’s direction...

I agree with amsawtell regarding your use of the word discretely. Also, "glance her curious green eyes" reads awardly to me. Perhaps "She kept trying to glance in Mokai's direction..." as a possible rewrite.


Unlike the patrons who normally sit in these seats, the man wasn’t using the seatback...

"Unlike the patrons who normally sat in these seats..." to stick with he correct tense.

Overall, very well done and I look forward to reading more.

~Circe

monseratthefool
January 5th, 2013, 10:21 PM
Circe,

All fantastic catches, and all tidied up now. Thanks so much again for reading and for taking the time to review. Very very grateful!

Elvenswordsman
January 7th, 2013, 07:05 AM
Grr... Time limitations prevent me from going back to your other stuff, for now, but this chapter seemed enough to draw me back to read the other chapters later.

I have a problem with this intro... but I'm not sure if it's because of your update or not. You go from talking about Porta(?) and then straight to Tanta(?) without so much of a transition (the dialogue just runs into each other). Maybe give the reader some breathing room, but all in all seems like I'll be reading the other content you've posted.

Good luck, have fun and write often

Elven