|Reviews for Slayer|
| Complex Variable chapter 4 . 4/16/2013
Thanks for the A/N shout-out. ;D
I can see you made some edits to the previous chapter. I still think you should take it a bit more slowly, instead of just having the slayers induct Zethyr immediately into their order. Wouldn't they want to question him first? Or he them?
[Every wall and floor in the guild boasted a meticulous craft that made every single wall and floor in The Guild look exactly the same.] - - - I'm ambivalent toward this. On the one hand, the repetition bugs me, on the other hand, I get that you're doing it to emphasize the repetitive appearance of the building. If you could find a better/less repetitive way of saying this, I think it would help.
[practicing controlled spell casting] - - - The obsessive-compulsive in me demands that you hyphenate "spell-casting". x3
["Why do you need a field generator?] - - - :'D I'M SO PROUD! (Really, I am! :D)
[ that human's used to ] - - - excise that apostrophe.
[casting on a small device.] - - - describe it.
[He stood up and started poking me in the chest. "You have had no formal training,] - - - Don't be so presumptuous, Joe.
[of a stump for putting your papers on and a thin pad for sitting.] - - - This part could be phrased better. You should try to re-write it so as to avoid the use of the word "your".
[Indeed, he was correct. In the room, there were only eight children. including me. The others were the six children who had watched my fight that morning, and Jovis. I sat i the corner, trying to create as much space for myself as possible.] - - - "Children". How old is/was Zeth?
["What?" I blurted. "Wolves are the ones stealing the sheep."
"And what proof do you have? Wolves have been our companions for years," the teacher dismissed me.] - - -XD I like this!
["That was an arsonist." I tried to restrain myself from attacking the man, both out of fear of being discovered, and out of respect of life, no matter how ignorant.] - - - I think you can make this clearer—both Zeth's feelings toward the instructor's statement, as well as his knowledge of the actual event with this Raiyth fellow.
["There isn't enough proof. And a dragon saved my life." He growled, stabbing his knife into his bedside table. "I don't know what to do. I should just tell everyone there's a dragon in the area, but I owe him my debt, don't I?" Yes, you do.] - - - This makes me smile, knowing what you're setting up for. :]
I have one recommendation for this chapter. The way you have the reveal happen at the end is good, but you could make it even better, IMO. Try this on for size: have Zethyr say something memorable to Jovis in the first chapter. Some quip, some saying—something. Maybe a joke about the apple-gathering chore that Jovis was doing. Then, instead of having ZETHYR say his name to Jovis in this chapter, you just have him repeat that line in this scene, and then Jovis drops the knife. The last word in the chapter would be "Zethyr!?" :D?
| Complex Variable chapter 3 . 1/22/2013
Update! Sweet. It's about time. ;D
[I always woke up earlier in the morning than almost anything else] - - - "almost anyone"; it sounds weird saying "anything", and it gives me strange images of Zethyr trying to see if he can wake up before every other organism around him. xD
[my family's history of being banished or killed in horrible ways.] - - - these seems a little too important and emotionally weighty of a statement for Zethyr to just lay it out there, as if it's an afterthought. Either that, or he's seriously messed up in a way that you haven't properly conveyed in the previous chapters.
[I touched it, activating the magical field imbued upon the object, and filling the room with a dim but warm glow.] - - - This sounds a bit familiar... xD I'm honored. :D
[since they found me] - - - I want this to say "since they had found me"; I don't know why. :/
[My claws no longer grew long and sharp, instead barely growing past the tip of my finger] - - -Wait, so Zethyr used to have fingernail-based claws, rather than dinosaur-esque bone-based claws?
[Without scales to protect me,] - - - "Without my scales"—makes it sound more personal.
[The fact that I had not impaled my own head gave me pause.] - - - "Impaled" generally implies a very large pointy object being jammed through an object of comparable size. Why not try "The fact that I had not scraped the flesh from my head gave me pause." Also, wouldn't his scales have protected him from his own claws, at least somewhat.
More importantly, thanks to my research impulse—triggered in response to your mention of the novelty of an itching sensation for Zethyr, I now know that reptiles don't itch! So, thanks, I guess. :D
[a table between.] - - - I would do "a table in-between."
Also, more generally, I like the "analytic" tone you give to Zethyr's narrations and his observations of his surroundings. It helps both to define his personality/temperament, as well as illustrate his non-human-ness—seeing as, if this situation was happening the other way around, a human would be freaking out and/or in denial. So, good job on the psychological front. :D
[Holding the scarf up to the light, I attempted to decipher the material, and drew back out of surprise when I did. These are my scales. I left the scarf on, resisting the urge to hold it closer.] - - - Ooookay. This is kind of weird. Is the scarf literally made of his scales? Is it merely symbolic? Is it fabric? Was it created by magic—if so, how in the world did he not lose it between his transformation and his long trek from dragon-land to Slayer-ville?
[He lept towards] - - - 1) "leapt"; 2) "toward"—"towards" is not a word.
[Realizing his previous spell would not be adequate, Jovis put down another magical field, releasing another magic wave. This time, lighting rained from the sky, indiscriminately destroying whatever it touched.] - - - IMO, you should go into a lot more detail with this—especially with the lightning. Show the others reacting to this; show things getting charred and zapped. Describe—let your inner literary virtuoso surface more!
[I put forth my magic frequency, causing the field to react.] - - - Go magic system, go! 8D
[Preparing myself, I breathed a wave of fire, careful not to burn him.] - - - Wait... what? He can still breathe fire! I thought he was human! x/
["Why do you need a field generator?] - - - 8D
Okay, so, plot wise, this chapter needs a lot of work. It feels like you've skipped two or three chapters. First off: it's completely ridiculous that Zethyr would have to fight immediately. Wouldn't they bother explaining the situation to him—that they found him unconscious? Wouldn't they want to know what happened to him? If there's a reason why the Slayers forcibly draft Zethyr into their ranks, I think we should know. You should have a chapter with Zethyr coming to terms with his newfound humanity, and getting a grip on what the situation is with the Slayers. Just thrusting him into a fighting situation feels really awkward and really heavy-handed.
Also, you skip over many opportunities for description and "showing"; most notably: [The female gave me a tour of the guild. The only place of interest was the cafeteria, everywhere else just rooms and supplies. After the tour, she gave me my class schedule, and I returned to my room. Inside my room was Jovis, practicing spell casting on a small device.] You could turn these four sentences into an entire chapter—I would! ;)
Random quip: I think "Zeth" sounds better than "Seth". ;D
| Complex Variable chapter 2 . 12/6/2012
[If the Coucil were] - - - "Council"
[ be turned over to The Guild, my ] - - - "the Guild", not "The Guild".
[I could tell just by touch, even with rough and padded hands] - - - hands? Your dragons have hands? (See other remarks about being consistent about your dragons' physiology.)
[I rolled from tree to tree, doing] - - - How can a dragon "roll"? They have wings and a tail and horns getting in the way! This is quite silly, I'll have you know! XD
[I said as calmly as I could.] - - - I would write "I said, as calmly as I could."
[cave entrance, attempting to get as much altitude between him and I as possible.] - - - Seeing as you say that the other dragons are able to catch Zethyr's wings on their claws, I doubt that "altitude" is the right word here; if Zethyr was airborne as he fled, then his captors would probably need to be airborne, as well. Why not make it "distance" instead of "altitude"—that would solve the problem.
[to build The Council Building] - - - "The" shouldn't be capitalized.
[ refusing to even look at the door leading into what was surely my death] - - - 1) Why would dragons need doors? 2) How would they open doors? Once again, if you were a little more specific about Zethyr's physique—i.e., including remarks like "my hind-legs", "my paws", etc.—it would help make the mental image of what's going on much clearer in the reader's imagination.
[or was produced inside.] - - - I would make this "nor was any being produced inside." I think it sounds better that way.
[magic sensing to see where people were] - - - dragons call themselves "people"? Also, dragons—being apex predators—usually have excellent night vision; unless there was literally no light at all—total, absolute DARKNESS—Zethyr would probably be able to make out what was going on—albeit, dimly.
[ I shouted through grit teeth.] - - - "gritted".
[Transfiguratio.] - - - you sure you don't mean "Transfiguration"?
[and being in a proper bed for the first time in weeks] - - - So, your dragons sleep on comfy beds? This makes them seem ridiculously anthropomorphized, IMO. I mean, how could they manage to sleep on a bed, given the horns and wings and tail and claws? Their bodies would destroy the beds—not to mention the sheer WEIGHT of a creature of that size! XD
You make it pretty clear what's up with "the Council"—they're corrupted with power and are being tyrannical, etc. But, there's still not enough information about this "Guild" you keep mentioning. Unless that detail is important to the plot—and hence, will be expounded upon in depth once the time arrives—I would include it in these early chapters, just to make it less handwavium-ish.
I can see where you're going with this—not exactly the most original of plots, but still, quite entertaining. The promise of the story's title—that Zethyr is going to become a dragon-slayer—is definitely creative, and fresh. If you give the story a good plot, this could become something really special.
Also, I presume—I hope—that Jovis is going to play an important role in helping to get Zethyr "acclimated" to his newfound humanity. That should be quite enjoyable—and, of course, a great opportunity to flesh out the nooks and crannies of Zethyr's personality; to put his personality on display for the readers to savor.
Keep up the good work. :)
| Complex Variable chapter 1 . 12/6/2012
Good job on keeping the whole "the narrator is a dragon" thing hidden for the beginning part of the chapter; it's well done.
One thing that is rather off-putting is the mysterious nature of Zethyr's brother's banishment; I would prefer to have the cause of his brother's banishment explained here and now—although, if delaying said explanation is an important part of the story's plot, disregard this comment.
Something that I have to ask in a story like this: exactly what are its dragons like? Bipedal? Quadrupedal? Both? Are they big, monstrous lizards, or are they anthropomorphic? Etc. If they're pure quadrupeds—with paws and everything—it would be hard to perform delicate hand-motionsand other fine motor skill—hence these are the sort of details that you should spend some time thinking about, IMO.
E.g. [I crossed my arms and stared intently at him, waiting to hear his reponse.] (FYI, it should be "response", not "reponse") — this kind of line tends toward a more anthropomorphized dragon. Pure quadrupeds cannot cross their forearms. Be careful with these details; readers will usually appreciate it if you bother to include some of the physical specificities of fantasy things.
The writing is smooth and certainly above par; the narrator has an interesting eye for detail; I like his perspective, although, it seems a bit bland at times. He doesn't have THAT much of a personality yet—but, then again, especially if you're in this for the long-haul—that should be remedied over time and exposure to Zethyr's character.
I particularly like the observation [He had his tongue out in his great focus]; it's clever, and wonderfully picturesque. These are the kinds of lines that hint at Zethyr's personality; try to flesh it out more with more gems like this—but, as always, be careful not do overdo it. Moderation in all things, as they say.
[hidden amogst the leaves.] - - - "amongst"
["Y-you, you're..." He stuttered] - - - "he", not "He".
["Jovis." He replied.] - - - this should say ["Jovis," he replied.]
You should go over this again to catch the little mistakes like this—read it aloud to yourself; that's the best way. Don't let your keyboard try to undermine your greatness! XD
Anyway, on to chapter two!