Fan Fic Piece

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Madness

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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2013, 03:17:24 pm »
Ugh... of course, there are mistakes :(. I count six, so far, and I read the thing more than I usually edit. I should have given it more time between readings.

Thankfully, only one is formatting specific to TPB. The rest read like my brain broke while I was writing. I didn't have any strokes, as far as I know.

No page link to post in the thread yet but the story is submitted to the Fan Fic comments.
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Royce

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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2013, 05:08:39 pm »
Very good job indeed ;)

Madness

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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2013, 06:13:50 pm »
Cheers, Royce. Any questions/criticisms would benefit me immensely. It helps to know how clear I was in communicating different ideas and how closely I cleaved to the narrative foundations.
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Francis Buck

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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2013, 12:53:38 am »
Just finished. Very cool Madness. Honestly both this and your other piece could fit as some kind of anthology series and feel totally official. The writing was clean and evocative. Loved the part with Nautzera. If anything my only complaint would be that I'd like to see even more, like an expanded version. It felt as if I was just settling into Lissa's character when it was over. Then again that kinda comes with the territory with a lot of short stories. Regardless I enjoyed it very much and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Royce

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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2013, 08:37:55 am »
I am not your guy in when it comes to critique on your use of language, grammar, semantics and so on, because I am thousands of miles away being able to write something like this in English :)

I like your vivid discriptions, and I agree with FB that it is annoying that it is so short. Fantasy like this is not supposed to be short! ;D

Madness

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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2013, 01:50:12 pm »
Thanks much you two. High praise. Gives me the warm fuzzies 8).

I am not your guy in when it comes to critique on your use of language, grammar, semantics and so on, because I am thousands of miles away being able to write something like this in English :)

No worries, Royce. If you have any questions on craft, I'll gladly share any insight I have into process and execution - I love brainstorming writing.

Just finished. Very cool Madness. Honestly both this and your other piece could fit as some kind of anthology series and feel totally official. The writing was clean and evocative. Loved the part with Nautzera. If anything my only complaint would be that I'd like to see even more, like an expanded version. It felt as if I was just settling into Lissa's character when it was over. Then again that kinda comes with the territory with a lot of short stories. Regardless I enjoyed it very much and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Interesting, FB. Thanks again. Forgive me while a rap a second here.

A couple thoughts of note. The part with Nautzera and the Sareot were almost one scene and Nautzera was never necessarily a part of the story. That third piece was basically a last minute thought as I was working out the logic of the story, what begged to be description as part of the whole narrative. Same with the little Wathi Doll insert, though it's interesting that they both turned into such different lengths (one line vs. one scene).

Hm. Lissa, too, her driving motivation was easy and it made sense that Kellhus would make the girls complicit to help bring about his New World Order but she definitely could have been more of a presence/fleshed out in the story entire, though thankfully the pedestal piece is the end scene, which she is all over, as it was her scene.

Ultimately, I am just happy my originally intended argument played out well.

Lol - it is a short story :(. Though I basically nailed my estimated word count and it is almost twice as long as my first. And FB, while I was working on the later half I kept thinking about how you mentioned that you're never happy with a piece and it's a case of "fuck it, it's finished." Not that that is entirely true with me as I try and give myself certain bullet-point expectations but I know the feeling well (and usually try and let myself go back once more afterwards).

The added ease of fan fic is that Bakker's done all the heavy lifting of establishing pronouns and meme-like descriptions. All I had to do was sprinkle enough seeded names and lines around and purposely invent very little in terms of the World.

*Waves hands*

Magic ;).

Just thoughts.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 01:52:08 pm by Madness »
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Crtha

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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2013, 11:48:01 pm »
Overall, good. 

Criticisms.
I'll try and be harsh.  But it's for your own good! ;)

The first few paragraphs felt rather clunky and amateur.  Suggest taking a pretty hard look at your sentence structure there, it's much better once you get into your flow.  Introduction is important. 

'One bright night, the Nail of Heaven shining above, Lissa finished her chores early and ran blissfully from her home to the promontory.'

Sounds very storybook.  Also makes it sound like the Nail is providing the light. A few extra words to create the scene instead perhaps?
Also, one does not run at night in the countryside, even on a full moon.  Neither do country folk do their chores of an evening.  Very rare for children to be out alone at night.

Beginning a paragraph with a conjunction?  Ech, but it almost works - I can see how it knits the first three paragraphs together.

I don't think you need the bit about freeing the Mandati from Seswatha's yoke.  Its a needless elaboration that some readers may disagree with and not really necessary, as the Swayali do the grasping.  Like Seswatha would refuse a new weapon against the Consult anyway ;)

I would suggest using that passage as an opportunity to reflect on Khellus' ability to change/manipulate the hearts of men instead, getting the Mandati to teach and accept women as their sorcerous-sisters actually seems a lot more impressive.

My final gripe is in relation to plotting though.  Lissa's 'village?' seems to be well integrated in the new empire when she is given to the Swayal.  So why, after Lissa's training, is their suddenly a decision to execute the matriachal witches of that area?  And why send freshly trained recruits to kill their own families?  Seems a lot more Star Wars eeeeeevil than Kellhus style machinations.
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Madness

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« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2013, 03:17:53 am »
Yay ;D!

Lol, thanks, Curethan.

The first few paragraphs felt rather clunky and amateur.  Suggest taking a pretty hard look at your sentence structure there, it's much better once you get into your flow.  Introduction is important.

The second sentence in particular. I made an edit I shouldn't have and it immediately halts the flow.

'One bright night, the Nail of Heaven shining above, Lissa finished her chores early and ran blissfully from her home to the promontory.'

Sounds very storybook.  Also makes it sound like the Nail is providing the light. A few extra words to create the scene instead perhaps?
Also, one does not run at night in the countryside, even on a full moon.  Neither do country folk do their chores of an evening.  Very rare for children to be out alone at night.

Beginning a paragraph with a conjunction?  Ech, but it almost works - I can see how it knits the first three paragraphs together.

Some rationale:

- I don't really have a distinct memory of a moon being mentioned in the text, though I think Bakker confirmed it on ZTS.

- Lol. I used my own childhood as something of a model? I did all those things. I mean, sure, maybe there was a more extreme sense of parent protectiveness historically (?).

- Lol. Is beginning paragraphs with conjunctions bad form?

I don't think you need the bit about freeing the Mandati from Seswatha's yoke.  Its a needless elaboration that some readers may disagree with and not really necessary, as the Swayali do the grasping.  Like Seswatha would refuse a new weapon against the Consult anyway ;)

I would suggest using that passage as an opportunity to reflect on Khellus' ability to change/manipulate the hearts of men instead, getting the Mandati to teach and accept women as their sorcerous-sisters actually seems a lot more impressive.

More rationale :) (and I try to posit very little in terms of inventing narrative but, obviously, at this point I had to make a claim):

In the text, Esmenet reflects that Kellhus sends Serwa to the Witches at Iothiah. I tried to use Serwa's approximate age to mark the years of the story (her being born directly after High Ainon's defeat, assuming this occurs in the middleish of the Unification Wars, also assuming that Kellhus continues southward from Shimeh to Nilnamesh at the coast and then back around the Three-Seas in a clockwise conquering from old Nansur eastward).

I couldn't reconcile myself to the idea that Kellhus personally teaches Witches the Gnosis - because it simply seems beneath him but especially because the Mandate tolerate the Gnostic School of Witches based on the fact that everyone but Kellhus has to touch the Heart and inherit the binding Seswatha homunculus.

I had considered simply suggesting that the Mandate taught the Witches like they have taught all Mandate students for generations. But Kellhus somehow dissolving the Quorum and the Witches learning the Gnosis at an increased-rate because of Kellhus' greater understanding, combined with the Witches governing themselves, rather than being a subset of the Mandate, led me to try the Seswatha hypnosis factor...

It was sketchy to me too.

My final gripe is in relation to plotting though.  Lissa's 'village?' seems to be well integrated in the new empire when she is given to the Swayal.  So why, after Lissa's training, is their suddenly a decision to execute the matriachal witches of that area?  And why send freshly trained recruits to kill their own families?  Seems a lot more Star Wars eeeeeevil than Kellhus style machinations.

Gah. Well, perhaps, this is something I'll work at in an expanded version, if we ever put together some kind of Earwa fan-clopedia. It was something of the main point for my narrative, so it wasn't as successful as I'd hoped, working to argue against criticisms drawn from the Bakker and Women threads.

To bullet-point some thoughts:

- Kellhus cannot affect everything the way he ultimately wants. If he could, he'd be the White-Luck Warrior. He has to manage and massage people's biases.
- The Mandate and the Schools all previously hunted and killed Witches and Wizards, a practice that would be reinforced, not dissuaded, in the New Empire, because Kellhus founds a School for Witches. In doing so, he reframes the practice in terms of for or against Kellhus, Zaudunyani, Few and faithful, or Orthodox (because ultimately if you were for Kellhus, you'd belong to or join a School).
- Kellhus' offer to the Witches automatically becomes join the Swayal, as Schoolwoman, or die as traditionally outcast Witches. Because learning language is the primary obstacle to learning sorcery, Kellhus only wants those woman Few who are under a certain age. Kellhus' deal with the practicing Witches is submit your daughter Few in order to live peacefully. Obviously, never practice folkloric witchcraft again.
- In my mind, the only apparently sudden (and really not so sudden) decision is when Lissa's Mother regrets her decision at some point not to fight initially giving up her daughter. And so she rebels at some point after Lissa's in Iothiah. So it's not necessarily "Witches of that area," so much as it's "Lissa's mother is involved with the rebels and Lissa has come to know this."
- There are no "freshly trained recruits" after the Grasping and certainly not among the Swayal who have the benefit of learning sorcery after Kellhus. All who dream the Dreams (like all those who endure the Grasping) would be as good as Seswatha, on average, at least. But ultimately why have caste-nobles kill their own slaves, when you could coordinate a mass killing of slaves by the common soldier? Because it breeds loyalty. Because shared incrimination binds people together.

Cheers, Curethan. Thanks very much.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 03:23:09 am by Madness »
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Crtha

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« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2013, 04:15:20 am »
No worries.  Trying to be helpfully constructive.

Well, perhaps the ground was not so flat on the farm where I grew up - also a lot more spiders and snakes to step on, I'll warrant. ;)
Full moon rising early, I would get it.

The bit about the training techniques mainly seems unnecessary and somewhat complex.  Trim the fat.

I think you can make the plot point work.  Perhaps demonstrate that the swayali have a sadistic handler who wants that kind of proof of dedication. 
I really think that level of minion cruelty is counterproductive 'evil overlord' stuff though. 
In your example, one would get the caste nobles to do it because they have been more directly and fully indoctrinated - they believe it is necessary because K told them.  Common soldiers would be much more likely to balk and rebel, being more able to identify with the slaves' lot being closer to them on the caste ladder.

It wasn't clear to me that Lissa's mother had joined the rebels.  Perhaps a letter or recollections of a 'dream convo'?
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Madness

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« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2013, 02:38:45 pm »
No worries.  Trying to be helpfully constructive.

You are most def. It helps me to work through the creative process with another's perspective

Well, perhaps the ground was not so flat on the farm where I grew up - also a lot more spiders and snakes to step on, I'll warrant. ;)
Full moon rising early, I would get it.

Lol - thanks for stretching for me. And yeah, Canadian Country just basically guarantees a variety of canine, ursine, and some felines ;). Bigger, malnourished predators. Only a few places are at the ideal band for dangerous snakes. Though the brown recluse spider is pretty common and a real trip.

The bit about the training techniques mainly seems unnecessary and somewhat complex.  Trim the fat.

As I mentioned before you popped in, the Nautzera part was something of an afterthought. I think the Dream content is both epic and crucial, while communicating that the Mandate (or Nautzera) seek to take some pleasure in killing the enemies of the Aspect-Emperor.

I think you can make the plot point work.  Perhaps demonstrate that the swayali have a sadistic handler who wants that kind of proof of dedication. 
I really think that level of minion cruelty is counterproductive 'evil overlord' stuff though. 
In your example, one would get the caste nobles to do it because they have been more directly and fully indoctrinated - they believe it is necessary because K told them.  Common soldiers would be much more likely to balk and rebel, being more able to identify with the slaves' lot being closer to them on the caste ladder.

It wasn't clear to me that Lissa's mother had joined the rebels.  Perhaps a letter or recollections of a 'dream convo'?

"In your example, one would get the caste nobles Swayal to do it because they have been more directly and fully indoctrinated - they believe it is necessary because K told them"

Is my logic flerwed for thinking those the same? Am I being unnecessarily cruel?

Just curious, it doesn't surprise me when I perceive a difference between me and others :-\...

EDIT: It's almost as to say the Swayal, or most of them (sans Lissa?), would be more directly and fully indoctrinated than the Caste-Nobles. But then, I almost want to compare the Swayal to the Fish Speakers.
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Crtha

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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2013, 12:32:36 am »
The problem is that Lissa proves that level of indoctrination is not the rule.

Sure, she may be an exceptional case, but I see no reason why, if X would be expected to happily execute her mother for treason, that Lissa would not.  Does she have some emotional capacity that the other witches lack?  Surely this would manifest in other ways during her training.
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Madness

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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2013, 04:24:29 pm »
The problem is that Lissa proves that level of indoctrination is not the rule.

Sure, she may be an exceptional case, but I see no reason why, if X would be expected to happily execute her mother for treason, that Lissa would not.  Does she have some emotional capacity that the other witches lack?  Surely this would manifest in other ways during her training.

Lol - it's useless to rationalize after the fact but definitely still good practice.

I don't really have a good answer for you. I tried to weave in the idea that only Lissa's childlike love of her Mother could contest with the abiding love of all the aspects of Kellhus' NWO; Sisterhood, Power, Status and the idea that she was one of (possibly others could have defected too) few who latched onto the notion that the subservience to the Aspect-Emperor and the novel world he's bring about isn't fair or altruistic - or even an advance in gender relations, ultimately.

Probably all things I should have sat on longer and bulked up the piece with, as I failed to properly communicate the ideas into the narrative as it stands :-\.
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Crtha

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« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2013, 12:07:25 am »
I think its one of the difficulties of short form pieces, right here.
But it could be reader fallibility too.  If anyone else browses this and thinks I'm just being dense, do pipe up.
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Madness

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« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2013, 12:55:20 pm »
I think its one of the difficulties of short form pieces, right here.
But it could be reader fallibility too.  If anyone else browses this and thinks I'm just being dense, do pipe up.

Lol, thanks for suggesting so but I think your comments/criticisms have been cogent, so far, Curethan.

I wish more would pipe up too :). Though it isn't even its own page yet, depending on how much traffic the blog gets aside the main page.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2013, 07:34:56 pm »
Haven't read it yet, but this is the permalink btw, so you don't have to scroll all the way to the bottom (its exhausting):
http://rsbakker.wordpress.com/stories/fan-fic/#comment-25330
One of the other conditions of possibility.