|Reviews for Of Dragons and Men|
| Riddick Writer chapter 5 . 8/27/2012
Interesting story so far. I am eager to find out what has become of Redir Canis!
| Complex Variable chapter 5 . 8/27/2012
Now this would make a good prologue! I really hope this white-clad warrior goes mad with power; I really do.
| Complex Variable chapter 10 . 8/25/2012
Ah, my first review of a story with elves (and dragons) in it.
Chapter 3: I don't think "behemothic" is a word. "Behemoth" on its own, actually, works just fine—it's both a noun (a Proper noun, and a general noun) and an adjective.
Also, if you're ever feeling a little H.P. Lovecraft-ian, you could always use his wonderful "cyclopean" as an adjective—although, it works better for inanimate objects than for living ones.
Also: I would condense Chapters 1, 2, and 3 into a single Chapter—you could call it Chapter 1, or, you could make it a Prologue. It's just that, on their own, they don't work well as chapters—but, together, they'd work nicely to establish the "direction" of your story. That is to say: Setting, Hero (and his personal problem), Antagonist (the force that turns your hero into a better, more mature, person—a "man", as it were).
Chapters 4, 5, 6 Some stories have a problem where they don't have conflict—i.e., they don't have problems that need to be solved, choices that need to be made, and people than need to change. Yours is not one of them! "BURNED TO THE GROUND" — I did NOT see that coming—which is good. I did not see it coming, either, that a red dragon would kill the villain almost as quickly as he killed Redir's father.
Many times in my life, people gave me a certain piece of advice, one that I now give to you: SLOW… DOWN…
I know that there's probably a part of you that can't wait to get to the fun action-y stuff, but… video-game mentalities (non-stop action) do not transfer quite well to the written word.
Just think: I've barely gotten to know your characters before you start to kill them off. It's fine to kill your characters—indeed, a good author know to challenge their characters and make their lives hellish, that way, they have an obstacle to overcome. However, you need to let the reader get a better grasp of who they are as individuals first. What are their dreams, their fears; what are the problems they have to deal with; who are the important people in their lives; why are they important—and, NO, just because you're someone's parent does not mean that the reader will automatically accept you as being an important person in that someone's life.
You had a nice bit of tension going between elves and humans; the obvious racism that is present against elves, as well as the physiological differences that elves (and thus, Redir) have to face. Don't drive yourself away from that so quickly.
All characters face challenges; I don't mean bad guys, I mean conflicts, problems, decisions, etc—bad guys symbolize those things, and so, that's why killing them is so satisfying—because it symbolizes how the character has changed and grown and developed from who he/she was in the beginning in the story, to the hero/heroine that he/she is by its end.
A good plot is one where the character(s) face multiple challenges, one after the other—with each challenge growing in difficulty, until they face their greatest obstacle at the very end of the story—the climax. A good character, however, isn't/doesn't RUSH—you have to let them "marinate" in their problems—for two reasons. One, it's just more realistic—problems don't disappear overnight (metaphorically speaking, of course). Two, and far more importantly, you need to do this for the reader's sake. As the author, you know your characters infinitely better than I, the reader, ever would—or could, for that matter. You know (or, at least, you should know) what makes them tick; I, however, don't. Show me—show your readers. Let me see your characters struggle with their problems—first the small ones, and then, bit by bit, the larger ones.
I know it might seem a little counterintuitive, but a romance story isn't good (in the general sense of the word "good") just because it has lots of romance, nor is an action story good because lost of baddies get killed in awesome ways. Rather, it is through the interplay and alternation between action against the bad guys (external conflicts) and interpersonal/personal problems (internal conflicts) that makes a story both interesting and meaningful to the reader.
You obviously have a detailed fantasy world in your head, so, why not solve two problems at once. In the time (i.e. chapters) that you spend letting the reader see the characters "marinate" in their problems, you can add more details and increase the depth of your fantasy world in the reader's mind.
Just slow down, and give the reader a bit more space to move about—both in the minds of your characters, and, in the fantasy world that you've created. Do that, and this story will join the illustrious ranks of the many fine, and classic sword-and-sorcery adventures that are out there.