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The Spectral Mask
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The Spectral Mask

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PostSubject: Errata: Review   Errata: Review EmptyThu Mar 15, 2018 10:48 pm

Edit: I was pretty desperate for attention when I first made this topic. I was freaking out for a number of reasons, but feel much better now.

This feels overdramatic and embarrassing in hindsight, but...

For posterity's sake:
 

In the end, I don't think anyone saw this, since even those of you who read Errata when there were only the two installments gave me feedback on Discord or via text. Really, by the time I got any response the act of writing this had calmed me down a good deal.

Since most of the feedback was positive, and since writing Errata is the most pure fun I've had (outside of Pathfinder) in a looooooooong time, I'll continue writing whether or not people continue reading.

I do think it's best to talk about Errata here and only here, however. As Teaser pointed out, this forum has been dead and was never terribly active in the first place. Not that we want thousands of members, but a small community would be nice... I think my preference is somewhere between six and ten active members, most producing creative content. And I'd like Errata to facilitate that, if possible.

Anything to add, Kiel?

"Please leave five-star reviews about how I'm the best pony in the show and everybody's waifu and if they put me in Smash I'd be your main."

Just to boost your own ego?

"I can tell everyone back home what y'all think of me!"

But most of them think we're figments of your imagination and that you're just full of hot air.

"..."

Well. We do feed off of feedback, so it would be great to have, like, a positive integer of posts. Sometime soon.

"Says the guy that hasn't read Break in - "

Yes, yes, I'll go finish SotC and then get to Break.

"Heheh. It's Spring Recess, but Break breaks up your break."

There's nothing I'd rather be doing today than reading my friends' fiction.

"And that has nothing to do with trying to leverage your readership to guilt them into reading your stuff."

Nothing. Whatsoever.

"Pure altruism here."

Yes.

"You are such a supportive friend to all writers."

Thank you.

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The Soviet Union
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PostSubject: Re: Errata: Review   Errata: Review EmptyFri Mar 16, 2018 8:17 pm

I already told you what I thought of the first two parts on Discord, so this is in response to the third chapter.

First of all:
Quote :
So, that was a pretty sweet victory for me.

Love it. Laughed.

But more to the point, I think the change in tense was a bit jarring, I would have preferred that it stayed present tense, unless this is a flashback and I just don't understand that.

I also have no idea what's happening as far as the references to this lore. Is this Bionicle lore? Is that why I'm clueless? Or is it original? Either way, I don't understand all the references (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).

And I'm curious: did you create Kiel? Or is she someone else's OC? I'm curious how much of this stuff is original content. (Clearly the writing is, but I'm not sure what's fanfiction and what's not).

Quote :
“Or, we could end here on a cliffhanger,” said Kiel, thoughtfully.
I love her.

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PostSubject: Re: Errata: Review   Errata: Review EmptyTue Mar 20, 2018 12:26 am

The Soviet Union wrote:
...I think the change in tense was a bit jarring, I would have preferred that it stayed present tense, unless this is a flashback and I just don't understand that.

Noted. I think third person past tense that only Kiel can hear is the best compromise, so I'll take that for a spin tomorrow.

The Soviet Union wrote:
I also have no idea what's happening as far as the references to this lore. Is this Bionicle lore? Is that why I'm clueless? Or is it original? Either way, I don't understand all the references (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).

This is Vezon, he's from BIONICLE, but the only piece of his backstory that's anything but a nod to the BIONICLE fans reading this is the fact that he's got a mask on his head that periodically sends him to parallel universes.

The Soviet Union wrote:
And I'm curious: did you create Kiel? Or is she someone else's OC? I'm curious how much of this stuff is original content. (Clearly the writing is, but I'm not sure what's fanfiction and what's not).

As Kiel notes, so far nothing is original, unless I tried to steal something but screwed up. I rescued this version of Kiel from an abusive webcomic by creating an alternate universe continuity using a time paradox.

I tend to think that everything great about her comes from the creativity of the webcomic artists, not me, but Kiel disagrees. (n_n)

Anyway, I realized that I've written Vezon as though his mask is over his face, when in fact it is uncomfortably welded to his scalp. So I'm off to change that.

Edit & Bump: New update! Remember everyone, don't cringe, just laugh awkwardly. It will be better for everyone. Wink

Edit 2: Daily updates still a thing? Yes! But for how long?

Is it just me, or is this one a legitimately creative comedic crossover? Because I was going for ironically entertaining trash. Figures I'd fail even at that. XD

Edit 3: Do you think we'll ever have a character whose name is plain English? Like 'Alice', or 'Broomstick'?

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PostSubject: Re: Errata: Review   Errata: Review EmptyWed Mar 21, 2018 7:57 pm

Sorry it took so long to get to this. My memory is really bad. The only reason I remembered to read it was because I closed one of my thousands of tabs and the Codrex one came up. Anyway, you can remind me more, it won't bug me or anything, if you think I may have forgotten. (Spoiler alert: I did).

Quote :
“I used to think I was crazy, before I met you.”
Love it.

Quote :
Kiel lifts her bright red coattails and extends a black legging-clad shin from beneath
This is confusingly worded. Is she black? It sounds like she's black. But also she's a redhead, right? so I assume you meant the leggings. It reads like it's her leg, itself, that's black.

Quote :
“I’d call you a ‘dork,’ but Teaser will have me covered in the review topic.”
Yes, he is a dork, I agree, Kiel.

Quote :
Kiel is pleased with herself for causing the Skadki such exasperation. Confusing people is one of her chief pleasures in life.
Might look more natural if it was written as one sentence with a semicolon where the middle period is.

Quote :
Vezon is tapping his toe. This sounds like the ravings of a madwoman, which is how he knows it’s true.
Again, you could make this one sentence with a semicolon instead of a period.
Also I'm not sure what you mean by the bit right after it:
Quote :
At that worries him.

Quote :
She laughed with feigned malevolence.
laughs*

Quote :
The Skadki and the dark elf stand facing each other
Okay, so, this is the first confirmation of what Kiel might look like other than mentioning her red hair, and I'm curious to know what you think of this. Excuse my rambling:

This is similar to how I describe my characters, that is to say, I never really give a long explanation or halt the story to mention anything unless it's particularly important, but I've heard that some people don't like when there is no direct description of characters. I, personally, like to imagine the characters however I want when I'm reading, with the prose as only a guide. Example:

My favourite book is The Man in the Iron Mask and I haven't read any of the books that are supposed to be read before it. Dumas never goes in-depth with character descriptions in that book: all I know is that D'artagnan has a mustache, Porthos is big and strong, another thing I won't mention because mild spoilers, and most of the characters are middle-aged. (that last one was even more just something I assumed and not really directly stated. I believe it was a line regarding how long Aramis and Athos had known each other, something around 30 years, and a line from Aramis about when they were "young" so I'm guessing around 40-50s).

Anyway, I loved the lack of descriptions. And, even the character Phillipe, whom I'm fairly certain was first introduced in that book, doesn't have a description other than "youthful". Although, I do admit I looked up someone mentioned in the book because he was a real historical figure, just out of curiosity. I didn't really keep it in mind as I read, though, and continued to imagine him how I wanted.

That said, I've been reading and watching things while researching for my own stories and trying to better my own writing; apparently people have a problem with this. One girl, I don't remember who, even went as far as to say it was a "pet peeve" and possible deal-breaker.

I guess, in a roundabout way of saying it, I'm just curious where you stand on that spectrum and what you imagine we, as writers, should do. When I make you beta read my story I'll ask if you want more descriptions, but just, for now: what do you think?

Quote :
See this? What we’re doing right now? This is time-wasting.
I love this. God. I love this format. How you come up with new formats so seemingly easily will never cease to amaze me. It's really cool, and honestly, the kind of shit that gets a lot of praise. I want a whole novel in this sort of style. (I'm honestly kicking myself for not thinking of it first. One of my characters has an omniscient voice in his head and I totally could have used this if I was creative enough to think of it).

Quote :
...variably cooling and warming, creaks as it contracted or expanded.
contracts* expands*

Quote :
Kharla,” Kiel begins, pronouncing “Kharla” just like “Carla
How else would you pronounce it? O_o

Quote :
When Kiel merely smiles smugly to herself in response, Vezon quickening his pace.
You should either cut "when" or change "quickening" to "quickens" Also, this is right before Vezon says something else, so you shouldn't add a paragraph break, since he was the last one talking. That, or you could make "Kiel merely...response" the whole paragraph and then start a new one for Vezon to talk again.

Quote :
Kiel gestures to the next of the dolls that cross their path. “See those?” she asks.

“Yes?”

“She makes them,” Kiel explains.

Vezon isn’t sure he understands. “Out of what?”

“Out of people.”
First of all: gettin' mad Bladerunner vibes. Anyway, I'm surprised that no one is CREEPED OUT BY THIS! It's odd, but it's interesting.

Quote :
is a grown woman with Kiel’s red hair
This is weirdly worded. Is it literally Kiel's hair? Because I'm assuming it's not, which means you should probably specify that her hair is the same hue of red as Kiel's.

Quote :
She raised you from infancy, it is only proper that she be the first
That's disgusting. Definitely painting this doll-lady in a pretty harsh light, huh? The pedophilia-trafficker? I don't know if I would have gone that far, but then again, I like all of my characters to feel like they are simultaneously the protagonist of one story and the antagonist of another, and there's not really any redeeming I could have her do after that. If that's what you were going for then good job. She is bad guy. I understand.

Oh god, I'm not so sure I'm a big fan of Kiel anymore if she's so okay with this woman who is apparently her sister.

Quote :
she diagnosis
I believe it would be diagnoses, but idk... google doesn't seem to know either...


Quote :
“It’s like – ”

Whoa, spoiler!

LEGO Movie Spoiler:
I'm curious how Kiel has seen something like this.

Quote :
Vezon lets out a mixture of a shriek and a gasp, but the axel has moved slightly more than half a bushel’s length. Now, a slight, plus-sign-shaped indentation awaited one end of a matching staff.

I only slightly understand what's happening right now. They're pushing a stick through his head, I get that, but what the hell is a "bushel"? Also, is he actually a toy? I'm confused. I thought he was a living embodiment of what the toys are supposed to make you imagine or represent or whatever. Idk... I thought he was just a weird looking guy with a mask stuck to his face.

Quote :
she made it wider literally just so that she could do more strutting – and held it out to the recovering Skadki.
You swapped to past tense again. Not sure if you'd want to change the little parenthetical, though, so... yeah....

Okay, I gotta get back to work, but I'll read the next two parts sometime soon.
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The Spectral Mask
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PostSubject: Re: Errata: Review   Errata: Review EmptyThu Mar 22, 2018 2:12 am

The Soviet Union wrote:
Quote :
Kiel lifts her bright red coattails and extends a black legging-clad shin from beneath
This is confusingly worded. Is she black? It sounds like she's black. But also she's a redhead, right? so I assume you meant the leggings. It reads like it's her leg, itself, that's black.

Instead of fixing the hyphenation error (should be black-legging-clad), I went ahead and rephrased it to "her black leggings."

And no, she is not black. The first installment describes Kiel as a "grey-skinned dark elf." Best not to think too hard about the real-life implications of the skin tones of fantasy races. XD

The Soviet Union wrote:
Also I'm not sure what you mean...
Quote :
At that worries him.

Fixed to "And that worries him."

The Soviet Union wrote:

I guess, in a roundabout way of saying it, I'm just curious where you stand on that spectrum and what you imagine we, as writers, should do. When I make you beta read my story I'll ask if you want more descriptions, but just, for now: what do you think?

Sounds like a cool issue for other writers to weigh in on, also.

I guess the best policy is to report details that will be relevant in the story. Things like a necklace given to the character by a deceased relative, a scar or tattoo, for one thing. But Kiel's race (drow) informs how others treat her and her hair (ginger) marks her as a relative of the Vloz'ress clan.

The Soviet Union wrote:
Quote :
Kiel gestures to the next of the dolls that cross their path. “See those?” she asks.

“Yes?”

“She makes them,” Kiel explains.

Vezon isn’t sure he understands. “Out of what?”

“Out of people.”

First of all: gettin' mad Bladerunner vibes. Anyway, I'm surprised that no one is CREEPED OUT BY THIS! It's odd, but it's interesting.

1. She's not my character, I didn't do this! XD
2. The reader who only goes by 'M' has told me that he will quit reading is Kharla ever returns, so it's safe to say he's CREEPED OUT
3. They were bad guys. :P

The Soviet Union wrote:
Quote :
is a grown woman with Kiel’s red hair
This is weirdly worded. Is it literally Kiel's hair? Because I'm assuming it's not, which means you should probably specify that her hair is the same hue of red as Kiel's.

They're sisters. Same hair color. Changed to "red hair matching Kiel's."

The Soviet Union wrote:
Quote :
She raised you from infancy, it is only proper that she be the first
That's disgusting. Definitely painting this doll-lady in a pretty harsh light, huh? The pedophilia-trafficker? I don't know if I would have gone that far, but then again, I like all of my characters to feel like they are simultaneously the protagonist of one story and the antagonist of another, and there's not really any redeeming I could have her do after that. If that's what you were going for then good job. She is bad guy. I understand.

Oh god, I'm not so sure I'm a big fan of Kiel anymore if she's so okay with this woman who is apparently her sister.

How do you know Kharla is okay with pedophilia? She just has a doll character that is. I happen to know that Kharla's games are all about the emotional torment of her chosen protagonists. She's most interested in making the boy doll as miserable as possible.

Kiel and Kharla did used to play together when they were young, but Kiel knows very well that Kharla lives in her own disturbing world, and that, if she should wander out of it, people will likely die. She loves and is protective of her big sister, but finds her behavior very troubling. She has resorted to weaponizing her sister's dollmaking ability against her foes and it made her sick to do so.

I should add that Kharla always talks in the plural first person because she is possessed. If Kiel could exorcise her, she'd badly want to, although there would be political repercussions, seeing as one of the main reasons why this entire fortress isn't knocked into the volcanic rift via earth sorcery is because everyone's too afraid of Kharla to move against her.

Kharla is the leader of this clan, by the way. XD

The Soviet Union wrote:
Quote :
“It’s like – ”

Whoa, spoiler!

LEGO Movie Spoiler:
I'm curious how Kiel has seen something like this.

Well, my aunt and her family came up to visit... last summer, I believe. The parents suggested that the cousins watch a movie together, to keep my aunt's oldest daughters from tearing each other's hair out. So I put on The LEGO Movie and invited Kiel to join us.

I mean, I say "invited." She sort of invites herself whenever I'm putting a movie or TV show on.

The Soviet Union wrote:
Quote :
Vezon lets out a mixture of a shriek and a gasp, but the axel has moved slightly more than half a bushel’s length. Now, a slight, plus-sign-shaped indentation awaited one end of a matching staff.

I only slightly understand what's happening right now. They're pushing a stick through his head, I get that, but what the hell is a "bushel"? Also, is he actually a toy? I'm confused. I thought he was a living embodiment of what the toys are supposed to make you imagine or represent or whatever. Idk... I thought he was just a weird looking guy with a mask stuck to his face.

I would call this scene a joke that happens to be essential to the plot. XD You'd expect Vezon to be the "living embodiment of what the toys are supposed to make you imagine or represent" but Kharla and Kiel are interacting with him as though he were an actual action figure. Kharla even seems to know what a "bushel," is, which is a LEGO piece I sometimes use to describe the length of beams or axels. It's as long as a brick with one stud is wide, though, so I'm sure there's a more technical unit of measurement.

Interestingly, Kharla has the ability to turn "natural huminoids," e.g. drow, into "dolls." Might she turn "biomechanical creatures" into "LEGO action figures" by extension? It's possible that, at the same time she paralyzed him, she also made it possible to interact with him as though he were a toy. I considered this possibility when writing, but decided that it would sort of ruin any kind of laugh that this scene could possibly get.

I also fixed tense stuff and the "diagnoses" issue. Your intuition was correct on that one.

Edit: New update! Kiel'ndia is incorrect, Vezon can travel to alternate timelines within the drow's universe. XD

Edit 2: New update! I'm sorry I missed a day... but Nau'Kheol is sorrier. DX

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PostSubject: Re: Errata: Review   Errata: Review EmptyMon Mar 18, 2019 6:51 am

As promised -- long, long after the promise, but according to it still -- here I am to write on something I should have read a year ago. I have to be humble about it; know that I'm sorry for not keeping up.

You've had Teaser go over things with an exacting eye for the grammatical, and so I'll stick to the big picture, as is my wont. :P

Kiel is a great... what? Protagonist? Not narrator, I guess, and my literary analysis is too nonexistent to start throwing around loaded words like "chorus". In some ways, though taken from elsewhere, she is your signature untouchable jester/knowing comic figure -- what I think of as your true written character archetype. Effective? Absolutely -- the Errata need(s?) a strong uplifting spine, especially given the personal context you were writing in. While I'll always question the act of drawing from the existing, as opposed to a priori creation, there's no doubt you chose well.

That might be about where any special insight I could have on your work would end. From the borrowing of Kiel, you set about spinning references that range (to my eyes) far and wide. I am a naive writer compared to you, no doubt about it. You have such a rich web to draw from as an English scholar and an enthusiastic participant in culture; I won't be able to comment much on your use of those references. :P

Alas that I've come in so late to this warped epic. I was not really around to be a good reviewer (or, I think, a particularly good friend) at the time when I should have been. At the contemporary period, Kiel's expectations were let down by my absence (recovering from the previous fall, really), and by then Indigo had disappeared from the site for the last time -- I think I've already said that we were romantically involved, and Indigo vacated the site very rapidly when we split up. So it goes -- but not great news for getting eyes on the Errata.

By the end of the first installment, it becomes clear that Kiel is let in on, or is simply always present for, your trials and experiences; I wasn't sure initially how closely you would tie your and her point of view, but it seems sensible that the all-knowing muse would be just that, and see all as well. I like the choice, if it was a conscious one. Better make use of that (limited) omniscience!

As is predictable, upon entering the second chapter (deprecated as it may be now), you lose me at the hinge based on a reference. I'm no more than minimally aware of DDLC, and my opinion on whether the garbled text works is somewhat mooted by the gap in my knowledge. Kiel continues to be a quality voice of exasperated encouragement, and becomes a mirror for the possibility of self-reflection, regardless of whether you choose to look away. It seems right that you turn to examine, through Kiel, the immediate people in your life -- mother, girlfriend -- when faced with such a deep darkness. This is not only because they are worthwhile to think about as important figures, but because sometimes the immediate is all you can see besides the shadows -- right there and looming over your thoughts in good ways or bad. In my suicidal ideations, it has always been too comforting to think of the mid-range future when I might not be in it anymore; the need to keep dealing with the same banal situations and people until that time comes to crawl upward or let fall into darkness is the unpleasant thing that keeps one moving, and I see some of that here.

Unrelated, really, but also props to Kiel for the invention of S. de Fackif in the meantime. :P

It shouldn't come as any surprise that the third installment was where I laughed out loud, several times, and for the first time in the thread. Having just seen the start of your shadows, I was ready to laugh, sure. However, I don't think I've said enough before about how wonderful your comedic writings are. I don't know if I got more out of this than Teaser because I know Vezon, but there are also what I'd like to think are a number of really good lines in here. The entire paragraph after that time-skip section break (are you poking fun at my overuse of them? :P) is What I Like To Read.

"So far, no sign of Wally, but they’ll come around." I'd like to respond "no shit, Kiel", but can you really take it for granted if it takes me this long? Anyway -- I felt like some of the energy went out once we departed Vezon's point of view, but maybe that's to be expected. I'm very much used to narrative straightforwardness, and while this isn't exactly not that, in some ways I see contra-narrative tendencies in the back-and-forth, especially the two-and-a-half-way conversation where you (or proxy-you) don't speak directly to Vezon.

I'm a sucker for the way you write Vezon though, and he becomes the best thing for a reader (like me, at least) to identify with as, astoundingly, the slightly less crazy one present in the given room. Here's to meandering a way toward a storyline! :P

I have to say that I've enjoyed the insight I've seen here so far (direct from you, and through whatever I can analyse). I sense more tonal whiplash in the mix ahead, but you have a lot of inspiration even in dark times, friend. It's a gift that you possess.







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