Reviewed [Oc] Week 240: Further Consequences - Feedback

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swaswj

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I started on reading this a bit ago, but got sidetracked. Seeing a description of Laermont starting out is fantastic, because I'm not sure I've seen one in any great detail before, and he's nothing like I had in my mind.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot to say here. The level of detail in this chapter was great, and I got a good feel for all the characters and settings. I also notice more/most of the writing deals in what's happening rather than focusing overly much on thoughts and maybes. It pulled me in deeper than many of the earlier chapters in this arc.

One problem I'm having, though, is that Laermont felt incidental to the entire chapter. If you removed him, very little would be lost. If not for the one moment of Timius using Laermont's size to intimidate, this would have gone just the same if Laermont sent his request to Timius and nothing more. Now, there are times when events are out of a character's control, and in thriller stories, most events are out of the character's control... but a protagonist should still be an active player on the board. I've mentioned before, but there's a strong tendency for your characters to seek help from people with means, and then to sort of follow awkwardly behind them.

Finny is another writer I can point to where the opposite is usually true. Even when turning to others, Fin's characters stay front-and-center on the decision-making or advancing actions. Cicely's arc to obtain the tavern has Cicely turning to the old man to get things started and to give her advice along the way; it has her making bonds and working with her own little gallery of personalities; but at each stage of the plot, Cicely is active and important. You cannot have Cicely's story without Cicely.
 

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