Looking for critiques on opening chapters of my fantasy: The Emperor Must Die

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Francis Buck

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« on: January 17, 2014, 02:48:24 am »
Right then, so this is my most recent effort. It's a standalone epic fantasy, and one might be able to compare it to stuff like ASOIAF and TSA. It's more like ASOIAF in terms of it being relatively light on the fantasy -- no creatures, very little magic -- but it's similar to TSA in the sense of having exotic cultures/nations/religions instead of the typical Pseudo-Medieval-Europe setting, as well as it being (an attempt) at the depiction of very realistic characters with a focus on their psychology, along with some philosophical musings here and there. It's also kind of about a war between two different religions, but there are no parallels to the Crusades or anything, and it's more of a backdrop than anything else.

I've actually put the writing of this novel on a temporary hold, because the story has become so massive that I either have to make it into two books (which I don't want to do), make it one huge-ass book, or cut some storylines and characters, which would require some extensive re-planning (I'm weird and plan the living shit out of stories before I start writing them -- I have a 60 page outline that details the entire story from beginning to end, plus countless notes on culture, nations, geography, religions, etc.). The thing is, I really want to get a relatively short, standalone fantasy novel finished and published, preferably one that I can complete in about a year. Even though I had initially been planning to do just that with The Emperor Must Die, it didn't quite work out and the story ended becoming way, way more epic in scale than I intended. So I've started something new, much smaller in scope. However, I'd still like to get some thoughts on my writing in general, especially since this stuff is the most recent I've worked on. So, please check it out, I would be highly appreciative! Some parts have had a bit of editing, but overall it's still very, very rough.

Regardless, any and all critiques are welcome. One thing I will say to "prime" you beforehand is that this story, again somewhat in the vein of ASOIAF or TSA, is very much intended to be a subversion of certain fantasy genre tropes and expectations. Because it's so early in the novel though, a few of those things may still just seem like cliche's (I can explain better once it has been read). So yeah, just keep that in mind. I'm quite aware of the tropes, plot-wise, and they're almost all intentional.  ;)

I will post a pronunciation guide if anyone actually cares enough, lol. I don't have one already made or I'd just post it now, but if anyone's interested I can whip one up.

You can read it here on my DeviantArt: http://francisbuck.deviantart.com/art/The-Emperor-Must-Die-427425710?ga_submit_new=10%253A1389926359

Thanks to anyone who reads!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 02:57:34 am by Francis Buck »

Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 03:18:56 pm »
Just to be sure, this is NOT the relatively short novel you wanted to write... right? (I also wanted to respond to this so that I won't forget about it.)

Anyway, I plan to read it later. The link works, though I had some trouble and had to load it twice before it actually came up.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Francis Buck

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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 05:31:38 pm »
You're correct, this is the one that accidentally became a huge epic fantasy and I'm currently putting it on the back burner. The relatively short one is untitled (I'm literally referring to it as "Standalone" at the moment) and I've only barely began writing it.

Thanks for reading though!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 07:40:02 pm by Francis Buck »

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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 06:05:56 pm »
I shall bend to sharpen your craft, FB.
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