|Reviews for Dragon's Eve|
| olivia d'trumpet 4/5/13 . chapter 17
I loved the story! _
| burlap 3/22/13 . chapter 8
I really liked your descriptions this chapter-they were more thorough and told the reader a little more this chapter. I also liked how you decided to change the focus this chapter to two new characters, but also included some of their background before plunging into their current situations.
And now the sister! I like how some things are beginning to become a little clearer, and how their story lines seem to be meant to converge, to toss them all together.
| Complex Variable 3/15/13 . chapter 2
You have a thing with describing stormy weather, don't you? :3
Also, you should have an "X Years Later..." thing at the start of this chapter.
[Of course, there were always a few less intelligent people who enjoyed the fierce, powerful spring storm.] - - - I disapprove of this sentence. I do not know why.
Did you know: Sarin is a type chemical weapon—a deadly nerve gas. It's been used in terrorist attacks.
"Ib" is very fun to say. :3 Ib. Ib Ib Ib. xD
What is a "Halfling"? If you mean a Hobbit, then you'd better remove it, or I'll... I'll... I'll think LESS of you. *Is immensely opposed to the perpetuation of any of the overused-to-death tropes of Tolkien or Dungeons and Dragons.*
Where did Dylena go? I mean, when did they last see her, and what were the circumstances of her disappearance? I think these facts are important.
You could do a better job of describing the setting in the opening paragraphs—talk about the shutters on the buildings being closed, the barren state of the streets, the rooftops framed against the backdrop of the stormy sky, etc.
What does the tavern SMELL like? I think this needs to be mentioned. :3The way you introduce Esten is confusing. Is he the shifter, or the *hisses* halfing?
Yay, the scene with the *hiss* halfling is badly written! Could you remove it, please? :3 (Seriously, though, the text is packed too tightly, and it doesn't feel smoothly flowing there.) Honestly, I think it interrupts the flow of the narrative; just have the brothers enter the tavern, and then start with the conversation between them and Esten. Also, I think it would be cool if you mentioned a few of the foods and drink that are being served in the tavern. Fantasy cuisine for the win! :D
Nice description of Esten removing his helmet/mask. :)
The banter between the brothers and Esten is cute. :3 Although, I would use italics instead of capitals for the emphasized parts of the dialogue—e.g. "SO ON".
I think it should be "Esten the Cleaver", not "Esten Cleaver".
Once again: Ib Ib Ib Ib Ib—so fun! :D Now I want a character with a two-letter name. *Is jealous*
[About to ask what on earth a "shifter" was,] - - - ERROR! ERROR! This saying should not exist in a fantasy setting! "what in the world" would be an acceptable substitute.
[The Kascha shook his head slightly,] - - - THE TWINS ARE DRAGON-THINGIES?! You really, really should mention this at the BEGINNING of the chapter. Also, the right place for all that lingo and jargon translations is in the story, not on your profile.
[At that thought, a sharp pain like a knife shot through his stomach and he suddenly bent over and heaved on the floor next to him. It took him only seconds to understand where this was coming from; he'd shoved those images to the back of his mind and, accidentally into Sarin's. That's what this was.] - - - Wait... what? This is confusing. Do they have telepathic/thought-sharing abilities, or something? If so, it should be mentioned more clearly—preferably, it should be demonstrated at the opening of the chapter, in a clear manner, so that the reader can easily pick up on this sort of thing. It's bewildering to dump such crucial details in the middle of a complicated scene.
[Or maybe they spent the winter in Hammerfell.] - - - No; that's copyright infringement, there. The Elder Scrolls' world of Tamriel has a place called "Hammerfell". Think of a different name.
Okay, so, plot-wise, this needs quite a bit of work. The conflict driving this chapter is the twins' fear of being caught. However, because the reader doesn't know a thing about their situation until near the end of the chapter, it fails to pack a punch. What you should think about doing is clearly laying out the facts about them being Kascha. Have the brothers talk to each other, worried about being found out, etc. Establish the conflict—what they are worried about—at the beginning of the chapter, and then develop the issue throughout the chapter. That way, it'll feel less disjointed.
| Complex Variable 3/15/13 . chapter 1
[Last but not least, please keep in mind that this whole thing started as a role play, and as such is still extremely rough around the edges. ] - - - All authors, myself included, have their dirty little secrets. This is probably yours, and I would recommend removing it. xD
[The young man was known for standing out in the open when a storm approached and for vanishing during the worst of them, only to reappear once they were over, soaking wet, his clothes covered with blood.] - - - This sentence is messy. Clean it up—preferably by breaking it into two smaller sentences.
[Dark green eyes stared out from under the black hood as Jashak watched the approaching storm.] - - - I would do "Jashak's dark green eyes stared out from under his black hood as he Jashak watched the approaching storm roll by."
[The dark-haired young man sighed, searching] - - - this is not the best way to add a description of your character's hair. Tagging it on like that just makes it feel off-hand and weird. Maybe it's just me. ._.
[ Lord Lyr had come long ago, demanding] - - - I would make this sentence, and the rest of the passage that follows, into a new paragraph. Set it off from the line "The dark-haired young man sighed, searching..."
Wait... so, this "Lord Lyr" guy says, "give me your children/blood/etc., and in return, I'll give you power"? That's not a very good strategy. xD Think about it. First off, most villages would abhor such a thing, unless they were forced into doing so (e.g., an evil sorcerer demands a sacrifice, otherwise he kills/curses the villager). Secondly—in a realistic village—if there WAS anyone who was twisted enough to agree to Lyr's deal, then they would have used the power to overthrow Lyr. Finally, since—as you say—Lyr doesn't seem to be keeping up his end of the bargain, why in the world would these people continue along with his demands? People change internet service providers just because the new provider gives them faster internet than their old provider; imagine how quickly people would abandon an internet service provider that DIDN'T PROVIDE INTERNET SERVICE! x3
You need to work on this villain's motives/power/methods more. As is, it's rather silly. x3
Also, magical appearances/summonings are the perfect places to engage in some detailed, evocative descriptions of all the magical swirliness, or whatever. xD Think about it like this: if it would get a cool special effect in a movie/tv show/video-game, than it should probably get a cool description in a story.
Also, also, you spend a bit too much time describing the weather in this chapter. Increase the variety of the descriptions—talk about things like the shape of the rock, the feel of the ground beneath Jashak's feet, the smell of rain-soaked wood and stone, the moistness clinging to his clothing, etc. Approaching descriptions from different angles and senses is a great way of upping the intensity of the mental image your story creates in your readers' minds.
| Infected Beliefs 3/11/13 . chapter 7
[...hundred-year-old mathli instead of the nearly one thousand and three hundred he was now.] Woah woah woah woah woah! What? I won't to into lengthy detail, but circle back around to my review that talked about the way the characters acted. Needless to say, that is ooolllddd for the manner they behave. And being awkward around naked people? After thirteen hundred years? Nuff said, moving on.
Out of curiosity, what was the Role Play this developed out of?
How can the Hunters track them through the air? Magic? Did you already explain this and I missed it?
I like the fact that your characters are not gary-stu, or at least have not come across as such so far. They have weaknesses, can be injured, have their limits, and struggle with decisions. Too many stories on this site have gary-stu/mary-sue type characters and it drives me up the walls.
With the play being to continue flying up the coast, how do they plan on accommodating for Sarin's injured state and Ibadar's weakened one? Will they make shorter flights? Will Sarin be able to fly again soon? I suppose I will have to read more to find out.
| Infected Beliefs 3/11/13 . chapter 6
['He really does sleep like a dog…' Sarin thought to himself...] - Good little bit of humor here and a nice detail to add some flavor to the character/scene.
I am currious though, you mention Sarin is tossing a coal back and forth between his hands. Are Kaecha (however you spell it) immune to fire? I understand they can make it at will, but are they immune to all fire, or just their own?
Your writing is solid. Although grammar and punctuation have never been my strong points, I can usually tell when something is off (even if I can't tell what should be done about it). Nothing has popped out at me while reading Dragon skies that distracted me from the story. That is always a plus; I cant abide reading poorly punctuated and misspelled stories.
In general, I think your dialogue is too modern for the time you are setting your story, but I thought that the conversation between Etsen and Sarin was well done. It was a highly emotional scene, which can be difficult to write, but none of their reactions seemed forced or fake in any way. This was probably your best written section of dialogue yet (aside from maybe your prologue).
I know I commented on characters in the last review but I have to throw one more small thing out there. Whether intentional or not, Sarin has been getting steadily angrier, more sad, and darker as the story has progressed, while Etsen has been getting progressivly more cheerful and less surly like he was portrayed as in the bar (when he was introduced). I don't feel that there has been sufficient events to merrit either shift in character.
"You're, um… you're naked."] - I am glad you circled back around to this, I was going to comment if you didn't. On the same line of thinking though, wouldn't Ibadar be naked too? Except for his cloak maybe, since Etsen was wearing it. Also, how do the dragonlings cloths not get shredded every time they grow wings out of their backs?
On to the next chapter...dun dun dun XD
| Infected Beliefs 3/11/13 . chapter 5
[...Etsen had finally given up screaming; instead, it seemed he had taken up praying.] - I don't believe that Etsen is scared. He was leaping from dragon to dragon last chapter. His character seems inconsistant. In fact, that has been my biggest point of contention with the majority of your story so far. Your characters (excluding those in the prologue which I thuroughly enjoyed and found to be your best chapter) have seemed to act like immature and angsty high school students the majority of the time, then hardened veterans when it was necessary or convenient.
Esten has already been a gladiator for four years and would have seen some FUBAR shit. How do you think seeing all of that death and bloodshed would affect his character? Carnage is not generally a positive character builder. Imagine someone who has killed *a lot* of people. Now if the way he has devloped out of that life is this happy go lucky, somewhat goofy wolf shifter, that is fine, but what would that say about him? Probably that he is FUBAR himself. As a previous slave and gladiator, IMO he would be way to conditioned to messed up things to tear up about some random guys that he just met's sister (which I believe was in chapter 4).
As for Sarin and Ibadar, are they kids or adults? I thought you had said they used to be soldiers, but they act like a couple of frightened young teens. Why are they so afraid of everything? I get that they are being hunted but...THEY ARE DRAGONS! I love the fact that you have dragons in your story and I love the fact that they shapeshift into humans even more, but it is hard to like a dragon that doesn't consider himself far superior to every other species out there. For dragons they are surprisingly humble and well, ignorant. I love it when stories break conventional fantasy tropes, as yours does to some extent, but it needs to feel earned for me to enjoy it.
Why do they think the Hunters would just assume they flew to this random island? If the Hunters know that they can fly then they should know that they could be ANYWHERE.
[Sarin, being rather fond of his hearing as it was, having ears that were not bleeding and shredded on the inside...] - I liked this line and the humor it uses. Nice Job.
Esten fell more than thirty feet onto sand? And was more or less fine? And Ibadar passed out from flying but was able to land ok? These are the kind of things that pop into my head when I'm reading. In storytelling there is something called the suspension of disbelief, which means that no, your story does not have to be realistic, but if it is not, you have to convince your reader that it is realistic in the world you have created. So far, I am not convinced.
It is good that you have thought through and figured out all about how the dragons fly and the bone and muscle structure of their wings and such, but do you really need to tell the reader all of it? I had to force myself not to skip through this section.
| ShiftyObserver 3/8/13 . chapter 5
Mainly just a few things I've noticed:
-"petrified out of her mind" - Sounds awkward, not the right use of "petrified." If you're going to use the word, then instead get rid of "out of her mind."
-"Sarin glowered across the waves below him, wishing her were moving under his own power." -Her? Do you mean "he"?
-"Now, with his shoulder and wing joint sprained and out of commission, he was virtually useless, relying utterly on Ibadar's wings to carry him." -Pluralize "joint," because you're talking about more than one joint. Next, get rid of "utterly." It's not driving the point further home.
-"He hesitated for a brief second then added…" -It might just be me, but a comma after, "added," setting off the quotation marks seems grammatically awkward. Try a semicolon.
After this, my editing goggles came off and I tried to read the chapter instead, gleaning from it the conceptual matters. Without having read the other chapters, I have to say I appreciate Sarin's wit and I find the Wolf cub, Etsen, adorable. I sympathize with Ib for having to put up with the pair of rascals, really, and this is a good thing. Character interactions like these are satisfying because they show each character's human imperfections, which is essential to creating a likable character. I laud the work on that. Please continue in this fashion!
| TS Conlon 3/8/13 . chapter 17
Surprisingly, this chapter felt like it was largely done in the perspective of Arnelle, third person, not your usual third person omniscient. It was a fun change of pace and actually made for an easier read than your other chapters, but more on that later. Here we can see Arnelle's precociousness, her love of her natural body and her unwillingness to hide it. Had we seen more of this in the previous chapter, I'd find the random flirtation scenes more believable.
-"It's that conman Garreth." the other said, observing the body, "Looks like he's out cold." "Someone knock him out?" the first guard asked. "No," the second dismissed, "Probably just got drunk off his ass and passed out. C'mon let's tak him to the barracks.": Where did the paragraph breaks go? Also, "tak" should be "take."
-...,slid forwards,...: Forward.
-She'll probably the one to kill us all.”: “She’ll probably BE the one…”
-…as though in great pain, to kneel next to the red-haired child- for she was a child.: It was confirmed that she was a child two paragraphs up. “A girl, far younger than any of them,…”
-Koren, the one Arnelle had pegged as the "leader",…: I’m not entirely sure why this group of nine or ten people would need a leader, nor why Koren would fit the bill. They’re all fighting slaves and there really doesn’t appear to be any form of hierarchy otherwise.
-: "Pity?: Wayward colon and space before the quotation mark.
Final Thoughts Thus Far: The characters started slow but developed well, the plot thickened and kept me interested. Your ideas are high fantasy but not overly confusing, and there were a couple characters I ended up caring about straight away.
The biggest problem is the prose. Your third person omniscient perspective has the tendency to be jumpy. As I mentioned in a previous review, a paragraph starts in one person's head, ends in another's, the next paragraph has that second person's words but ends with in a different character's head. It's confusing and disrupts the flow. Keep one character's thoughts, actions, reactions and words consicely in one paragraph would make for a smoother read.
You describe many characters similarly. I noticed that a lot of your characters tend to have (deep) red or silver hair. This becomes confusing because, as a narrator, you like to point out characters by their hair color. This is a bad habit and also makes for confusing narration. Etsen and Ib are both silver-haired young men, and you have a tendancy to use that description. If you want to remind the reader what a character looks like, you could always put something like, "ran a hand through their silvery hair" or "looking into their eyes as blue as a summer sky." Another tip would be using the character's race: Silver-haired Kascha and silver-haired Shifter work better than "young man with the silver hair." Furthermore, just using the character's name helps keep things more orderly and in no way hinders the story overall.
You mentioned this was based off an RP you used to do, so I figure I would use an RPG term. You use NPC's for exposition. And NPC's are great for exposition, but you use them in a ways that makes them seem contrived. The lecherous guard in chapter fifteen was meant to show how resourceful and attractive Arnelle is; the rude Halfling in chapter one was meant to explain about Etsen's eye and perhaps show his gruffness (a gruffness that is bereft in every chapter thereafter). They are clearly in the story so that we can learn more about the character and so the reader isn't exposed to to much expository narration. However, because these NPC's of exposition are supposed to be taken as living people in this flesh-and-blood world, there needs to be backing reasons for their actions and reactions.
The last thing I'd like to mention is your run-on sentences. This is another bad habit of yours and I feel that learning to better write sentences will aid you as a writer. For example, let's take a passage from this chapter: "A girl, far younger than any of the others in the cage, slid forwards, her deep red hair falling in dirty strands around her face." If we cut that in half, we can get more out of it: "A girl far younger than the others in the cage slid forward. Her deep red hair was matted with dirt and sweat, and fell limpy around her face." Smaller sentences are easier to grasp, have less of a tendancy to become jumbled with different thoughts, and opens up a new sentance for a better description.
FINAL Final Thoughts: I can't wait to read more, and look forward to other chapters. As writers we all have bad habits. However, if you continue to improve your prose the story will be all the stronger for it.
| TS Conlon 3/8/13 . chapter 16
Well, we see Arnelle finally! She seems to be a fun character, but that she's constantly getting hit on is kind of a strange twist. You described her as tiny several times and she's almost completely covered, yet the men are drooling and making (or are attempting to make) lewd suggestions.
I also have a question about her staff. Whenever a "staff" is mentioned, my mind turns to quarterstaff or walking stick or shepherd's crook, which are usually longer than most people. "Staff" denotes longness. Where does such a tiny cat-girl hide a six-foot-long ornate staff in her cloak? Wouldn't she lean on it or something? Would "scepter", "rod" or "wand" work better here?
-“…You won't have a Healer anymore!" As surprised as his father by that outburst, he panted and waited for Jashak's next response: I’m surprised by this outburst as well. He seemed tentative and worried when confronting his father. Where did that come from? It’s out of character.
-"You seem an attractive sort of girl." He gave her cloaked form a quick once over, trying to see past the hood that covered most of her face and obscured her lithe form from view.: As mentioned, we know she’s hidden by a shapeless cloak and that most of her head his covered by a hood. The guard could be lecherous, perhaps making lewd remarks to what was underneath the cloak, but why would he call her attractive without basis. It is mentioned that he was using his imagination, but overall this could be executed better.
-…with their decorative and useful beads and crystals hanging from them, swung forwards, light flashing deep in the crystals.: I understand what you’re going for here, but it could be worded better. The reoccurrence of “crystals” so close together is jarring.
-Hmm...": Missing a quotation mark.
-"Not 'till you do, kiddo." the man said, "You can wait right here.": It’s either “’til” which is the abbreviated “until”, or “till.”
-…final killing blow.: Repetition in word use.
Final Thoughts: A good effort was made in this chapter, but I think it still needs some work. Nyll's scene is fine, but I felt you were trying a little too hard with Arnelle's scene and thus it felt forced, especially the flirtation scenes. She is your namesake character and I feel she could use a little more attention overall.
| TS Conlon 3/7/13 . chapter 15
If I've not done so already, I'd like to take the time and speak about how well I think you write the particular villains in this tale. Jashak is a sociopath without remorse or compasion. And he certainly is not subdued except when confronting Lord Lyr. I believe you mentioned you're majoring in psychology in your profile, and it shows with Jashak. Anytime Illagon is visited, I know I can expect strongly crafted characters. More than that, I know that I can expect that I don't know what to expect.
-…stronger htan most fifteen-year-old…: “Than.”
| TS Conlon 3/7/13 . chapter 14
About the “psychic showdown” experienced in the beginning of this chapter: I’ve read stories where dragons and/or wizards have this ability, but it was never expressed or explained that the Kascha have this power until this chapter. In all the other instances where this might be useful, I find it a little hard to believe that this is brought up now.
-Regardless of this, however…: “Regardless of this” is enough; the “however” is not needed.
-…slowly, agonizingly slowly,…: This would be, “agonizingly slow.”
-Heat built in his spine and spread swiftly through his bones. His skin felt too tight for a second, and then the pain hit. For what felt like hours but he knew in his rational mind to be only scant seconds, his body was molten steel, his bones liquid fire. His bones grated against each other...: Where the hell have you been hiding the writing like this? Body molten steel, bones liquid fire… That whole paragraph was great! My only problem is that “his bones” is used a lot and jolts the flow.
This, and Tohael's vision of Esterdragon make up the best descriptions I’ve read thus far in “Dragon Skies.” I want more!
| TS Conlon 3/7/13 . chapter 13
This was an interesting chapter and I thought it covered a lot of ground, character-building-wise. I like how you took us away from the course of the plot with the humor, briefly brought us back, and have now introduced a new element: The Sachen. From here on out, I'll reserve my final thoughts for the last chapter unless something strikes me. Honestly, the writing has improved greatly since those first few chapters, and I haven't yet delved into the updated versions.
- …and tilted one ear in askance: Remove the “in.”
-…but I's grip on his arm stopped him just in time: “…but IB’S grip…”
| TS Conlon 3/7/13 . chapter 12
I would like to completely rescind the comment about "kascha versus kascharan." I was rushed and definitely could have done better to research.
That said, this was another pretty well-written chapter. The flow was nice, the characters remain intriguing and continue to grow. I like that the threat of Etsen's nudity is a constant running joke.
-"Please tell me you have clothes on under that?" Sarin burst out laughing as Etsen smirked, an evil glint in his eye.
"I dunno, Ib, am I?" he asked: The resonse doesn't fit the answer.
| TS Conlon 3/7/13 . chapter 11
I’d like to rescind a portion of my previous statement. “Kascharon” is the language and it appears that “Kascharan” is the plural of “Kascha.” However, there are still times when the plural of “Kascha” appears to be “Kascha” in the earlier chapters, instead of "Kascharan", which is why I brought it up in the first place. Maybe I missed something, but I still suggest another look. I would also like a little blurb out “Kascharan” being the plural in the dictionary.
-Sarin as the Kashca added: "Kascha."
Final Thoughts: This is probably the best-written chapter so far. I found only one error and the perspectives were easy to follow and offered more in terms of character building.