Reviewed Hammer time - Feedback

swaswj

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Feb 18, 2008
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#2
Hey again, Kyo. Just my nature, but I'm going to lead off with the technical side of things and then move on to the characterization and plot.

"Good work. We're done with the last order when this peace is finished." Bracchus said.​
"Yeah, I guess so." Yasuke answered.​

I realize this may be another difference across the cultures, but punctuation when writing dialogue can be a little different. If you transition from speaking into description, as in the quoted examples, your punctuation and capitalization act as if the sentence is continuing, not breaking. Where you would use a period, you use a comma instead. However, if you would use a ? or !, you still use them, but do not capitalize a non-proper noun following.

"Good work. We're done with the last order when this piece is finished," Bracchus said.​
"Yeah, I guess so," Yasuke answered.​
To add a few more simple examples with a mock continuation:
Bracchus asked, "Is that all you have to say?"​
"Why? What more do you want?" came the retort.​
Turning red, Bracchus fumed and shouted, "Forget about it!"​
"Stop yelling!" the taller northerner bellowed back.​

Hopefully some of that makes sense. I know it took a little while to internalize for myself.

Moving on, some scattered typos stand out, and you should continue to look out for those, but this is an improvement over the previous chapter. Some of the mistakes I'm seeing may be due to different variations in English, like your use of "bevell" instead of "bevel."

His first own weapon. Truly own weapon.​

Phrasing comes off awkwardly in English. "Own" doesn't work by itself, it needs to be "his own," "her own," or "its own." Putting 'first' in between it breaks that ownership. You could use, "The first weapon of his own," or something of the like.

Time to look at the story itself. I like this relationship between Yasuke and Bracchus. A small side-note, I'm amused that I just talked with someone about the name 'Kyojin' earlier today. We used to have a member years ago who went by that name, and I was explaining that you weren't the same person. "Oh is the name a reference to something, is that why they both used it?" "Well, I believe it translates to 'big man' or 'giant.'" Here it is in your chapter, with Yasuke adopting the nickname himself with the little kids and explaining it as 'giant.'

I love crafting chapters, especially blacksmithing. I've done probably more research on the subject than any nerd should just to make sure my own chapters don't come off as completely ignorant, but I know I still get some things wrong. Most of what I saw in this chapter was (to my knowledge) accurate and intriguing to read. Some of the phrasing reminded me of 'Forged in Fire,' as well. Quenching the blade in water rather than oil was surprising, however; that would be something a smith would generally avoid with a laminated billet of uncertain content.

Now, Rule of Cool aside, I have to point out that stacking Damascus* and folding layers are primarily methods to make the best out of lower-grade materials (like Japanese iron sand and pig iron; or random unknown scrap steels salvaged from tools). Aside from those scenarios, laminating and folding are just for aesthetics and bragging rights -- a lot can go wrong if the smith messes up, so it's possible to ruin a good piece of steel rather than making it better. We come back to 'Rule of Cool,' though, and the simple truth is this stuff is fun to read and write so I'm not complaining. I'm just being pedantic.

Good chapter, just clean up the typos. Looking forward to seeing what Yasuke does with his katana (odachi?).

*Feel free to use the word Damascus. It might not necessarily refer to a country in PT, but we can explain it somehow to justify naming the style after it.
 

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