|Reviews for Dragon Exile|
| Complex Variable 12/10/12 . chapter 1
The "Foreword" threw me off for a moment. At first, I thought that it was an "author's notes" (i.e., that it was being written by you in the real world, about your story); it was only later that I realized that it was an "in-story" remark. Since you're going with the classic trope of presenting a fictional narrative you made up as being a "real" narrative—real, relative to the story-world, that is—I think you should go all the way. Give the story a phony "title page" as a chapter unto itself, something like: "Orion, OR the Dragon's Exile. (LINE BREAK) As recounted by the dragon himself. (LINE BREAK). Translated and annotated by Sam Leger"
Also, the whole "Foreword" section needs to be cleaned up. At present, it's quite messily written.
[He was still chilled from his morning flight here] - - - I think this may be in the wrong tense. Not sure though (I have an instinctive knowledge of grammar; I don't actually understand the way it works, so take all of my suggestions and "corrections" with a grain of salt. ;) )
Wait a minute—are you trying to make it sound a little like "translator-ese"? I.e., to make the narrative feel slightly "foreign." If so, it works quite well. Kudos—intentionally writing non-standard English is always a challenge. :D
I'm still torn between the third-person presentation you currently utilize, and the first-person presentation that I cannot help but feel that this story is yearning to be told through. Have you considered putting it directly in Orion's POV?
[tail hang as he swayed it in a tauntingly.] - - - Needs to be "swayed it tauntingly" or "swayed it in a taunt".
[his gun, a rifle, about like a club.] - - - just say "his rifle"—we know what rifles are. XD
[so he could do both at once he decided.] - - - I think you meant "so he could do both at once, once he decided." Anyway, it needs to be fixed. :/
You need to edit this more; clean it up some more, add commas here and there, etc.
[laws and as long as he didn't harm anyone and was immune to injury or provoking] - - - "laws, and, as long as he didn't harm anyone, he was immune to injury or provoking"
[He was watching the stone too, as it slide down the engine's round metal side with wide eyes.] - - - the way it's written, it sounds like the stones have wide eyes. XD. Try: "He was watching the stone with wide eyes, too, as it slid down the engine's round metal side."
[Orion turned his head back to the man if completely oblivious what had happened and inhaled.] - - - What? What does this even mean? I'm confused... XO. EDIT!
[They wore the uniforms, that Orion was also all too familiar with] - - - the comma does not need to be there.
The action of this chapter—specifically, once the other dragon(s) enter—is hard to follow. Fixing the text—editing it, making it clear—would certainly help clarify things. I would also embellish some details/explanations here and there. As it is now, it feels like not much actions is coming across, even though, from what I can tell, quite a few things are actually happening in this chapter.
["No." and slunk away.] - - - this line is broken off from the sentence in the previous paragraph to which it belongs to (the one that ends abruptly in [So simply replied,]). I would make it [So he simply replied "No," and slunk away.]
[The dragon tongued human] - - - "dragon-tongued"; also, I think that, when this term first appears, it would be a good place for "Sam" to include a footnote explaining what it means to the human audience.
[Being that dragons were known for stealing almost anything from humans. It wasn't ] - - - that period should be a comma.
[fit a horse in there jaws. A mature dragon's head is in fact resembles that of a horse.] - - - this should say "fit a horse in their jaws. In fact, a mature dragon's head resembles that of a horse."
Overall, you have a very interesting idea—certainly, Dragons and Western America in the early 20th century is a novel concept, and, (as a historian, among other things), I like the relatively "realistic" historical elements of the story. Good job on that front. :) Likewise, I like what you seem to be doing as far as it goes with the world-building—references to human/dragon relations laws, to the whole structure of dragon society, and so on. Certainly, the descriptions are evocative, in their own, unusual way. However, this chapter is severely handicapped by its messiness and un-edited-ness. For starters, you should read it aloud to yourself, word by word—several times—and edit it as you go. I cannot emphasize this enough: EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!