Reviewed [Oc/??] Week 226: Vita Hires a Detective! - Feedback

swaswj

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Feb 18, 2008
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#2
I'm going to split my comments here because I have different things to say to both of you.

Moon, I've said many times that your writing is good, it's solid. It's also lacking distinction, however. I don't want to belabor the point, but see my comments on Lost and Found for more detail there. One thing I liked that only came up briefly was Laermont's feelings toward Vita's reputation. I would have liked to see it come up more, or specific thoughts based on his experiences -- such as it being bios who locked him up, but a demvir assassin sent after him, bios were among his closest friends, and yet it was demvir he ultimately trusted for information. There's a lot of potential there, whether Laermont is steadfast in his current stance or malleable to Vita's influence.

The Fracture, I feel, was an opportunity lost. Instead of allowing Brood to say what it was in his turn, this is a case where Brood should have told you OOC what it would be like, and then allowed you to write Laermont's experience. It would let the reader see it personally, and also allow you to try something more daring in your writing safely, with easy justification for why it's so different and alien to the norm. I do appreciate, however, that Laermont's prior experiences color his reaction to the Fracture, making those prior endeavors more significant, a part of his character and not just a thing that happened.

I realize I've been critical of your writing in my recent posts, but I want to be clear that it's because I want to offer you more than, "it was okay." After you reached out for advice before, I've been meaning to do more in these commentaries. That said, I'm willing to put in the effort to give better direction and suggestion and critique; I want you to show that you're willing to change things up, adapt new approaches, revitalize your writing. You've got a lot of creativity and talent and I would love to see more of it on the page.


Brood, I'm glad to see you're back and putting pen to paper (so to speak) again. Right off, one of the first things I'd like you to work on is breathe. There's a tendency in your writing to go into run-on sentences, and at time it feels like you started writing with one sentence in mind and ended it with a different sentence in mind. I could be mistaken, but I believe you've said that you write by hand and then transcribe the writing later, so this may be a case of typing faster than you're reading, thinking of revisions as you go and so forth. Always be sure to read back through the final product one more time -- and if you're collabing, bring things up to your partner or listen to things they bring to you. It's very easy to overlook small errors in our own writing because we tend to read what we meant and not what's actually there.

The next thing I want to emphasize: don't repeat the other person's turn in a collab. That's not limited to copy-pasting, but also reintroducing the same elements from the other character's perspective. That creates a constant back and forth, like you're listening to a record and someone keeps scratching it backwards... and like record-scratching, there are ways to do it that work but not everyone can and not every song is better for it. Laermont comes to speak to Vita and says his piece, the start of your turn should be responding to the end of his turn.

Vita as a character is a delight to read, his mad mind and overpowering confidence setting him apart from many other characters. His goal is not unlike Aelflead's, although he of course aims to lead the demvir while she aims to lead the spurii, but the contrast is that he is both openly pursuing the idea and brazen about announcing it and trying to win others over to his cause. I look forward to seeing how successful he ultimately becomes or whether his hubris will come back to bite him.
 

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