General Nitpicks and Suggestions

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General Nitpicks and Suggestions

Post by SybilTea on Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:31 pm

First chapter, lezzgo!

You wrote:The Emperor leaned casually on the balcony railing as he looked over the gleaming city sprawled beneath his estate. His dark brown eyes scanned over the whites and blues of the spires, eventually lowering his gaze to the green streets below and the seemingly eternally moving masses of people living their lives in a carefully controlled mixture of fear and comfort. A grin crept across the man’s face as he looked into the world he and his wife had forged from the ashes of the failed nations that had preceded it. The Emperor’s gaze shifted to his right, where a youth with blue highlights darting down his black hair and brown eyes that matched the Emperor’s also gazed over the city.

So, already, you have a feel for the Azure City, which is great; however, you feel but you can't imagine it easily.

You wrote:His dark brown eyes scanned over the whites and blues of the spires, eventually lowering his gaze to the green streets below and the seemingly eternally moving masses of people living their lives in a carefully controlled mixture of fear and comfort.

Whites and blues? Very general and vague - plenty of things are just 'white' and just 'blue'. Are they silver, pure white, or off-white? Are they azure, cerulean, sky blue, navy, cobalt, slate, indigo, lapis, etc.. What kind of texture do these "spires" (also a good question; what "spires"?) have? Are they all different? Is there a standardized look or style that the city's foundations has? Are there shiny buildings that you could see your reflection in, or do they have a dull, stone-like luster? Do they shimmer, glow, reflect the light, etc.. Paint the image, and don't assume that people can see it already.

Green? What's green? Are the streets actually green, or are they verdant, or have wild flora flourishing from the pavement, or green decorations, green people, green clothes, etc.. Again, very vague, and it's creating a very weird image in my head.

Aaric nodded again, almost visibly processing the information through his mind in some calculation the Emperor couldn’t guess the nature of. Aaric began to ask another question, but was interrupted as the door to the room gave a soft chime and slid open. A dark skinned woman with graying hair and the long coat of a scientist entered with what the Emperor was beginning to assume was an eternal look of sadistic amusement to match the name the Emperor had always severely hoped she had given herself rather than been born with. “Emperor Than, sorry to interrupt but I need to speak with you for a moment.”

A new character; yippee! Though, I'll take the time now as we're starting to introduce new faces to the scene to point out that I have no idea what the Emperor, or Aaric, or Doctor Lazuran look like. The only things mentioned are either their skin, eye, or hair color, which, while helps in finishing visualizing a person's look, barely does so when beginning to flesh out what that person looks like. It gives the cast an identical, but with different colors and plumbing, feel to it.

a scientist entered with what the Emperor was beginning to assume was an eternal look of sadistic amusement

What is her face like? Does the look fit the conspicuous glint of her eyes? Are her brows furrowed all the time, her pupils constricted (making her more intimidating; almost, evil - constricted = cool, calculating, callous), is her jaw firm and square, round, angular, stress marks on her face to suggest further aging than simply graying hair, etc.. The same goes to the Emperor and Aaric as previously mentioned - I have no clue what they are supposed to look like, aside from Blue-Man-Group enthusiasts.

Aaric’s thoughts were interrupted as he stumbled into the back of one of the patrolling honor guard. Being incased in the sleek amalgamation of silver, steel, and circuitry that made up Imperial Power Armor, the guard barely even registered the impact, only turning around after hearing the metal clang behind him, and the less musical impact of the prince’s sudden introduction to the floor. The joints in the guard’s armor made a mechanical buzzing as they leaned over and extended a hand to the prince. “You may wish to keep your head out of the clouds and closer to the ground when you’re trying to navigate these halls, sir. Are you injured?”

amalgamation

I love you.

incased in the sleek amalgamation of silver, steel, and circuitry that made up Imperial Power Armor, the guard barely even registered the impact, only turning around after hearing the metal clang behind him

This implies that you can either A) recognize that the suit is, in fact, an automated or otherwise mechanical-electronic 'robot' of sorts that a person is inside of, or B) see the literal copper soldering etching the outsides of the armor like someone plastered a hot motherboard to your body. Flesh out this bit, as it'll be the only time you can feasibly describe this armor more (from the sound of it) until Meridia jizzes all of its specs into the reader's mouth.


So far, this first bit is really good, aside from some minor vagueness in the beginning. In fact, in the final works, I would consider fleshing the Azure part into the first chapter, and then introducing the tribals in a shorter, adjacent chapter, for the sake of the reader's understanding that this story will have many, many, many viewpoint swaps (and a simple indication that the subject matter, or the eyes from which it is beheld, will make a big difference, even if you don't do the chapter-swap further into the books).
I'll probably drill you about this later on, when and if it becomes easier to discuss it rather than trying to describe it on a forum - you will want to use the word "the" as little as possible when you are describing things. It dumbs everything down, and slows down the visualizing-part of everything. Starting sentences with "However, ...", "As if ...", "When ..."; also, don't be afraid to utilize a semicolon (Wink whilst describing things, as they will tie two related characteristics into one sentence, but not turn it into a run-on sentence.

Ex. As if the verdant plant life was breathing, a gentle rustling of the ferns and groaning of nearby trees was a constant accompaniment to the everyday life of Akija; however, it became a comforting lullaby from which had been wrested from her ears, as she came to realize when she briefly scrutinized the sleek and cold walls of the lab.

Rather than beginning the sentence with "The ...", breaking it at the semicolon and creating another "The ..." sentence, you're given a broader palette from which to paint environments, or feelings. You're allowed to do more, without running the risk of sounding like a third-grader whom cannot seem to find where the period goes and damaging the complexity of even the story (as silly as it sounds, settings are really important to setting a very, very specific tone, or instilling a sort of unnoticed feeling in your reader which you can trigger and use against them later).

SybilTea

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