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Talanic
2011-11-30, 02:26 AM
My goal here is to get some feedback on my writing and the edits that I'm making. To that end, I'm posting links and hoping for honest replies to what you see in those links.

The tale in question is the start of a sci fi / fantasy epic series, detailing the arrival of a powerful-but-naive cyborg in a post-apocalyptic fantasy Earth. I have much less description in my writing than the typical fantasy writer; if that bothers you while reading, let me know about specifics and I'll try to work something in.

Links:

Chapter 1 Original (http://heroschains.tumblr.com/page/35) - Chapter 1 Edited (https://docs.google.com/document/d/11rjA8uXvU7ttCd8i9w91hZAzanusP5oV10ID9ernysE/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1)
Chapter 2 Original (http://heroschains.tumblr.com/page/34)
Chapter 2 does not currently have edits.

Legacy intro:
I'm trying to slog through one last (ha!) edit of my book, and could use some feedback. To that end, I was hoping to contrast scenes that I've written with rewritten forms of the same scenes. Would you guys be interested in helping me with that?

The goal is to show the way the book is changing and help me to express what my goals are. I started out writing a serial on a message board and I've never been quite so productive since those old days, and I'm hoping that this will help.

Gnoman
2011-11-30, 06:37 PM
I'm not entirely sure what you're asking. Are you wanting people to go over your work, or work from scratch to duplicate a scene?

Talanic
2011-11-30, 11:03 PM
It sounds a bit more cracked when it's not one in the morning, but the idea was to post two versions of the same scene, explain why I replaced the original with the new version, and see if readers here can offer feedback on whether or not I'm accomplishing what I set out to do.

I know there are sites out there that actually focus on writing and editing, but I kinda consider the people on these boards to be my peers.

Eakin
2011-11-30, 11:16 PM
I'd help if I can, I'm happy to read it.

I think the easiest way to do it would be to set up two google docs with the different versions and just post links to both of them

Talanic
2011-11-30, 11:24 PM
Give me a bit to set it up and I'll try that out - at least for the edited version. The pre-edit version is already hosted on this blog (http://heroschains.tumblr.com/post/891822749/chains-of-loss-chapter-1). I'll probably post edits chapter-by-chapter, and will see what I can do with those google documents.

Talanic
2011-12-01, 01:24 AM
This is the link (https://docs.google.com/document/d/11rjA8uXvU7ttCd8i9w91hZAzanusP5oV10ID9ernysE/edit) for chapter one. Almost all of my edits are concentrated in the first few pages of the update, but also include the capabilities of Derek's flight suit near the end of the chapter.

The purpose of the edits is to attempt to make Derek less of an observer at the start of his own story, making him a little more competent (albeit at things that aren't going to help him later on - like the travel times between his home planet, its moon, and the station at their lunar L1) and bringing out that he had a life before this adventure yanked him out of it. Hopefully by engaging Derek more as a character, I can engage the reader more as well.

The change to the flight suit is aimed at decreasing the power of his equipment slightly; instead of a slapped-together suit of powered armor, he has the 35th-century equivalent of a life raft. It's still ridiculously powerful by modern standards but it's no longer meant to be shot at, and he won't be surprised later if it's broken open by concentrated fire or high-quality edged weapons.

thubby
2011-12-01, 10:36 AM
*begins reading*

Talanic
2011-12-03, 09:04 AM
Hrm. Any feedback? Or should I consider the prolonged silence to be a bad sign?

thubby
2011-12-03, 10:48 AM
Hrm. Any feedback? Or should I consider the prolonged silence to be a bad sign?

more a sign of me being forgetful, and the subscription not cycling up :smalltongue:

the whole thing seems a little too sci-fi for my taste.
the protagonist can fix himself after basically being pancaked? you can make it work, but you have to know that you've just completely destroyed any emotional impact hurting him is going to have.
ex "he just fell 100 ft! ...should i be worried?"

and why does shadow have to "stay" anywhere? if he can move between protagonist and the ship, hes not hardware based. why not copy/paste himself?

also, i really hope we get to see shadow's goings on. he seems more interesting.

Talanic
2011-12-03, 02:56 PM
1. Perhaps I should reduce the extent of Derek's injuries at the start. There are limits to his ability to heal, and this instance was one where the injuries all lined up with the best-case scenario - damage was all from blunt trauma, no pieces or blood were missing, everything just needed to be kept from clotting or decaying, then moved back into place. Different injuries are harder to heal - for example, a long gash requires sealing for the entire edge of it, and internal injuries produce a lot of heat if you try to heal them quickly. Burns are almost exactly as severe for him as they are for a regular human, at least short-term; when he starts getting into fights, people learn quickly to use fire against him.

2. First is space - Derek just downloaded the whole of human history, art, music, achievement, engineering, etc. There's not enough room for a sentient AI as well. Second, would your solution to being unable to stay with your friend be to make a copy of yourself that would take your place from then on? They wouldn't be able to merge the two Shadows back together later; destroying one of them would be murder. Also, discussed much later, creating an exact copy of yourself is considered to be a moderate-level crime in their culture; effectively it's forcing another mind to conform to your own beliefs.

The fact that you're raising these points means that I need to discuss them further in the writing.

3. That's one of the ones that's been brought up before - yes, Shadow comes back later.

Thank you. When I have time (perhaps tonight) I'll see if I can address your concerns, and if you're still interested I'll put up another chapter link.

thubby
2011-12-03, 10:08 PM
2. First is space - Derek just downloaded the whole of human history, art, music, achievement, engineering, etc. There's not enough room for a sentient AI as well. Second, would your solution to being unable to stay with your friend be to make a copy of yourself that would take your place from then on? They wouldn't be able to merge the two Shadows back together later; destroying one of them would be murder. Also, discussed much later, creating an exact copy of yourself is considered to be a moderate-level crime in their culture; effectively it's forcing another mind to conform to your own beliefs.

1) derek being emotionally attached to shadow, i would think he'd take less data and shadow with him. or he'd want to.

2) moving to the ship involved him copying pasting then deleting the original anyway, because thats just how computers work. but that's something i'd be willing to suspend my disbelief over.

Talanic
2011-12-04, 02:00 AM
Replacing the paragraph that declared the status of his body, how about:

His carefully-trained if battered mind went to work deducing the pattern of his injuries. He'd suffered a major concussion along with blunt force trauma to his entire body. There were no major lacerations, though, and he had suffered very little blood loss, which allowed his repair cybernetics the opportunity to work at full force. More, if his brain was being repaired, that meant that Shadow was fine and supervising the rebuilding.

I hope that conveys that, although he has great recuperative powers, he is still mortal.

Yes, Derek would want to take Shadow with him, but another issue is that Shadow has rank equal to Derek, and came to the conclusion that him staying with the ship was the only reasonable option available to them.

It's supposed to be less about the data and more about the ship. If Derek takes his Shadow with him, the ship's a sitting duck for anyone who can pry it open. Nuclear reactors, molecular forges - even if an enemy could barely scratch the surface of how to use them, the consequences could be disastrous. Since Shadow can supervise repairs on the ship without actually being recognized as alive by anyone who might try to pillage, he stays.

For the issue second, it's the transporter principle again - if you transfer a piece at a time, did you destroy the original and make a copy?

Thinking of good ways to incorporate these thoughts into writing. Not all of them may need to be addressed, but you're certainly helping me to think - at least as much as I can think after driving to Madison and back. At least there was good reason to do so - my big brother got back from Iraq, so there was a combination of a welcome home party and a first birthday party for his daughter, who was born a few days before his tour of duty started.

Will work more on this tomorrow. So far, at least, I'm game to continue the experiment. I hope you're also finding this interesting.

Talanic
2011-12-07, 01:00 AM
Having trouble, partly because Chapter 2 (http://heroschains.tumblr.com/page/34) needs less editing, in my eyes. With the problem of kick-starting the story out of the way, things are less...clunky.

However, I just found a fundamental error in my serialization of the book. Turns out that the link from the start that would go to Page 1 would go ONLY to Page 1 - none of the Next Page buttons appeared. I should've found something like that a year ago...ugh.

Also, because of the way links work on tumblr, if I post another chapter or revision on the end of the book, the links I have posted here will suddenly aim at the wrong chapter. Even my sig has been aimed at the version that can't be advanced properly.