Thursday, December 21, 2017

New Beginning 1074


I could have called this a feedback request, but the author is starting the book a day earlier than it did in New Beginning 1072, so it's not a revised version.  


The salt that gave the Blood Flats their color also made them near-impossible to farm. They also flooded with seawater on occasion, and the small collective of which I was a part would need to migrate to the forest. However, the Blood Flats did have their uses; the barrenness of the land provided excellent visibility, the priests had to walk for several days to bring us supplies, and there were a few caves and unpolluted springs. Best of all, some of the rock could be poisonous. Unfortunately, we were having difficulty getting any out of the ground to make into a weapon.

We had rope, of course, woven from the few tough grasses that grew in the less toxic parts of the Blood Flats. It was great for mundane use, but would not stand up long to the Dragon Warlord. Wood had a similar problem. Our only hope of defeating the Dragon warlord lay in stone, and our combined talents. 



Notes

So, it's an update of The Three Little Pigs, with grass and wood failing to stop the Dragon Warlord, but stone doing the trick.

Sentence 3: if this is a list of three uses of the Blood Flats, make the semicolon a colon, and the commas semicolons. But first make it more obvious how the phrases you're listing belong on a list of uses for the Blood Flats. Good visibility sounds like an advantage rather than a use, presumably because it prevents the Dragon Warlord from approaching without being seen. (Although it might also be a disadvantage, as it allows the warlord to see you. I think if I had a Dragon Warlord as an enemy, I'd want my collective to be in the forest where it's easier to hide rather than in the middle of a barren flatland.) That the priests had to walk several days to bring supplies doesn't sound like a "use" for the Blood Flats. I'm guessing you're saying that it's easier for the priests to get to you through the Blood Flats because of the flat terrain and the unpolluted pools. So sentence 3 might be better as: The Blood Flats did have their advantages: the barrenness of the land provided excellent visibility, preventing a surprise attack; and the gentle terrain and unpolluted pools gave the priests a less demanding route on which to bring in supplies. 

I'd move the poison rock into the next paragraph. I'm not sure why we're discussing rope and wood if they're useless. The rock is poisonous, and it would be their best hope of defeating the Dragon Warlord--if they could find a way to extract it from the ground. 

I start off thinking the Blood Flats are a barren wasteland, but then they have caves and pools and grass and apparently aren't far from a forest.

Decide whether to capitalize "warlord," and be consistent.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"They also flooded with seawater on occasion, and the small collective of which I was a part would need to migrate to the forest."

I'm not sure if you mean the collective would need to eventually move to the forest permanently because of the periodic flooding, or if the collective periodically moved to the forest during the floods and then moved back when it wasn't flooded. Consider rephrasing for clarity. (migrate can mean either to move back and forth or to move to a new place to settle). I'm also not certain why we need to know about migration in the first paragraph. Is the important part that the area is defensible? Unwanted? An area in which to build weapons?

2nd paragraph:
At a guess you're bringing up rope and wood as other things the characters are making weapons out of, but again it's not clear. If you gave examples of rope nets or wooden spears being made or whatever the weapons are when you bring up the materials, that might help (assuming that's why you're mentioning them).

Good Luck

Chicory said...

This is worlds better! It's not confusing any more, and I get a sense of the first-person narrator, which keeps it from feeling like an info-dump. One nit-pick; I'd take the word `also' out of the second sentence. :)

St0n3h3ng3 said...

"The salt that gave the Blood Flats their color also made them near-impossible to farm."
This is typical nowadays, but shouldn't be.

You basically have this: The salt gave the Blood Flats their (the Blood Flats) color and the salt also made the Blood Flats impossible to farm. Salt, Blood Flats, salt, Blood Flats.

I don't know how to explain exactly WHY this isn't good writing, it just isn't. Maybe it comes from reading classics as a child.
"The Blood Flats get their color from salt, which is also what makes them almost impossible to farm."
It starts with your real subject and I cut out one of the "switchbacks".
Like I said, this kind of construction is typical nowadays, but that doesn't make it good.

Here's another example.
"We had rope, of course, woven from the few tough grasses that grew in the less toxic parts of the Blood Flats. It was great for mundane use, but would not stand up long to the Dragon Warlord. Wood had a similar problem. Our only hope of defeating the Dragon warlord lay in stone, and our combined talents."

Here you mention a Dragon Warlord along with such mundane things as grass, wood, weaving, etc. This brings your warlord straight down to the same level of excitement as weaving grass.
Don't bury your Warlord in grass.