Reviewed Week 290: Deadliest Catch - Feedback

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swaswj

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Long as this way, it was a good read. The transition in Micali's character is pretty surprising, but not unbelievable. It leaves me really curious about what happened in between the last piece you wrote pre-plot, and Micali getting on board the ship. There's a lot to unpack.

One thing I might recommend is to talk more about some of the names that keep getting thrown around. Turn the names into characters. Especially when there are a lot of names, having something to go off can help readers, even if they've been with you from the start. A simple example would be when Micali first recalls her mission:

"She pulled her rapidly drying hair up from her neck, tied it up into a high ponytail, and proceeded through the town. She already missed home. The sniper concluded she’d simply need to proceed with her mission. Armac Elantur was supposed to be close to the eastern coast, due north of some town named ‘Flumen Petram.’"

You could give us a little snippet or bio, like so:

"She pulled her rapidly drying hair up from her neck, tied it up into a high ponytail, and proceeded through the town. She already missed home. The sniper concluded she’d simply need to proceed with her mission. Armac Elantur was a scientist known only in darker circles in the far north. Rumors of every sort were attached to that name, stories told in whispers, none of which concerned her except the one: he was in hiding in Aridus. Her target was supposed to be close to the eastern coast, due north of some town named ‘Flumen Petram.’"

It's very little, and nothing that hasn't been said in earlier installments, but it helps keep the reader on track.

I really enjoyed the chapter for the plot, intrigue, and character development. It's a lot of big steps forward in various ways. However, one thing that really came up lacking was the action. The raider attack strictly speaking was well thought-out... but it was written in such a way that it left no impact. Your action should set itself apart from more casual narration and exposition. It should be faster, snappier, and more bombastic. You had Micali flip over a car and reverse-headshot the driver in mid-air! But you wrote it as if she just shot a clay pigeon.

One frustrating part of writing action is that, in some ways, less is more. You want to spend less time saying what is being done, and more time describing the impact of what was done. Micali's heart should be racing, pulse pounding in her ears when the car is barreling toward her. I should hear the thunk of her boot hitting the hood, feel the rolling waves of heat from the engine, feel the firm wood and steel of the rifle as she clutches her sweaty palms around it, finger tightening, focus narrowing. Then blam, one shot, glass shatters and the engine revs as the machine lurches to one side. It hits a jutting rock with a deafening screech of ripping metal and squealing axles. The raedas is airborne, a whirling machine of destruction flinging shards of glass and a stream of flames.

Micali slams to the ground. Second later, the raedas crashes down on the other side of the hill with a deafening clamor, rolling over again and again until it finally rolls to a stop in a pile of scrub brush. All that's left is the hiss of steam pouring from the radiator and metal pings as the engine beats its last.

But hey, props on shooting the target before he got to monologuing.
 

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