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The Desert Trade Comments and Criticism Thread

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7/15/2008 12:57:36   
Legendary Loremaster

The setting for this is neither Lore or Caelestia and it is only very casually related to anything else I have written here.


< Message edited by Falerin -- 7/15/2008 12:58:16 >
Post #: 1
7/15/2008 13:35:00   

A story by the Loremaster! Me wants to read!

Unfornately, because I'm so fickle (actually, because I'm in the middle of typing my own works before stumbling upon this. =P), I've just decided to read... the tiny first scene for now... More later...

C&C below. For stylistic suggestions, obviously ignore me if you don't agree. My editor's motto: If I've said one thing helpful, then I've done my job. ^_^


Alia stood looking across the hot desert sand, the vastness of which was her home. Alia had lived elsewhere once.

It's really unnecessary and almost redundant to have the nouns so close together. I suggest you change the second one to "she"


Her decisions had been made, and now she was here, her life very different than any she had ever intended.

The decision was made; the group would seek their wealth in the remains of the city.

Bit too close together. Change one of them to "choice/choices" or some other synonym.


Something good could come of the evil after all.

Personal, but I think "come out of" flows better.
Comma after "evil"


grasped some of the sand letting it course through her open fingers.

Comma after "sand." It's the joining of an independent clause and a dependent clause, so it needs a comma.


Then she turned and faced the people for whom she was fighting

Comma after "Then." But anyways, I think it flows better if you say "She then turned..."


“Lets go” she said simply, and began to press on across the hot desert.

Comma after "go"


As she marched she had plenty of time to reflect and think upon the events that lead her to this place in time….

Comma after "marched" It's one of those "Before noon" "As the sun rose" things that need commas after them. Call me forgetful, but I forgot 'bout the proper term...
What you want is the past tense here, "led." "lead" is either present tense or a metal...

Hmm, I quite enjoyed it. Has a good prophetical air and a /very/ strong narrative voice. The flow is well-done. I was about to object to the short sentences in the beginning, but they flowed well nonetheless and kept in line with your style so I've got nothing to say there. Plus, I'm notorious for my long sentences. <_<

Might wanna watch out for the repetitions a bit and to be more careful when selecting when to use pronouns and when to use nouns. I've covered that in the above critique. Nothing hard to pick out with one or two rounds of editing and a few synonyms. Also missing a few commas here and there. Not enough to affect the overall merit, but it might become problematic in longer passages.

Other than that, very strong and interesting piece that manages to convey emotion and information very well. Haven't read enough to say more. Gotta go for lunch. Oops, off topic...
AQ  Post #: 2
7/15/2008 13:53:06   
Legendary Loremaster

Gramatical changes have been made. One of the stylistic changes was adopted too. The others, however, I left as is because I deliberately play at reptition here because it is harsh and redudant. This effect is being gone for. The desert is, likewise, a harsh repetitive landscape.
Post #: 3
7/15/2008 15:25:11   
Eukara Vox
Legendary AdventureGuide!

First of all, I enjoyed your writing, at least through the parts that I was able to read in my pause from my work. You do very well in creating the setting in which your story takes place. I also love your characters as they are very realistic and highly identifiable.

That being said, thus far through the story there are things I would like to point out that I think could be tweaked.

The beginning is very choppy in my opinion, and I disagree with Firefly. When you go into the memories of what brought Alia to where she was, the sentence structure becomes more significant, detailed and smoother in read. The writing flows together and carries the reader forward. The first part felt as if I was riding with a first time driver who didn't know how to use the gas and brake pedals. Some sentences were short and blunt and others longer, containing detail. I had to force myself to continue to read, though my eyes wanted to just skip over to the next section. If it was done for affect, I think the affect was very overbearing.


Let's go,” she said simply
SHouldn't it be Let's, since the contraction is for let us?


The hot desert sun blasted the caravan of merchants mercilessly.
I am not really sure that blasted is the word to use here. I can imagine wind blasting, but not the desert sun. I have seen it written that the sun "beat down" on people.


At eight years of age, Alexandria, though not of the desert herself, was intimately familiar with the environment. Though her father, Jarel
The repetition there is a bit distracting. My suggestion would be to change or omit the second "though."


Alexandria had much of her mother's spunk in this regard, but she found herself somehow more genteel.


Alexandria was startled out of her reverie by a bestial noise that was only haltingly familiar.
When did she begin her reverie? You have her coming out of one, but no indication she was ever in one to begin with.


The oncoming traveler did not respond in any way that Alexandria expected, rather, he brought out a wickedly curved scimitar, it’s blade gleaming in the desert sunlight.
If this is in the middle of a sandstorm, I cannot see how the scimitar is gleaming. I have been in sandstorms and the sun is blotted out for the most part. What little light gets through is so dispersed that I do not believe it would be able to gleam off a sword.


Later, after she had been rescued by the Stormrider, Serik, Alexandria in thinking about the attack believed no further explanation for the attack upon the caravan was necessary.
This sentence to me is a bit overdone. I had to read it several times to process it. Could it possibly be broken down?

As I said earlier, your characters are wonderful. Their interaction either in person or shown through narration is wonderful, believable and realistic. The family dynamics of the Larnien is fantastic.

The caravan attack was very interesting, little things like the way the solitary individual moved his scimitar really made the scene great. The reaction later by the girl, her observation that this was war, that this was the way of things, made that scene all the more intriguing, as does it give a insight into her character.

The progression of that memory was deep and really had me glued to the screen. I can see so much of that influencing the rest of her life and look forward to seeing what parts of it most strongly mold her.

I had to stop after that memory and before I got to Darien's story. I have to work on my own work at some point today.

Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading the rest later.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 4
7/15/2008 19:00:48   
Legendary Loremaster

Admittedly the effect is indeed overbearing. There are reasons for that but I will consider what you have said further.

The sword is magical. Which is why it gleams in the sun regardless of the flying sand. To that sword it is as if the sand is not at all present. There is however no reason within the story to spell that out. Only the effect.

The entire section with Alexandria reflecting on her mothers words and the past is a reverie. This will be clear when you read later sections which look at the same event from another perspective.

That sentence is indeed awkward. The attack does not need to be mentioned nearly that many times in sequence. I will fix it.

< Message edited by Falerin -- 7/15/2008 19:01:45 >
Post #: 5
7/15/2008 19:46:35   

A suggestion; about the sword part, perhaps you could say "it's blade gleaming unnaturally despite the lack of sun" or simply "gleaming unnaturally". That way, it hints that there's something unusual about the blade and still had the effect. Even adds a bit of creepiness in there! If you want that sort of mood. ^_^

Just my two cents. Not that I've read the story or anything.


AQ DF  Post #: 6
7/16/2008 13:36:13   
Legendary Loremaster

Hmm... perhaps I am unconvinced but I will consider it further.
Post #: 7
7/18/2008 3:30:19   
Eukara Vox
Legendary AdventureGuide!

I now see what you meant by the whole reverie thing after finishing the story. I am so used to sections being completely independent of each other, that the breaks in your story were treated as thus by myself. I will leave the technical stuff for later, as tonight/this morning I read for sheer pleasure and familiarity. The complexity of the story was amazing; so much remembered and acted upon.

I love Alia. Her personality is one of great strength, resolve and appropriateness. She was so easily imagined. You played up her inner turmoil so well that I felt as if I, too, were going through the things that she struggled with inside. Her development towards the relationship that she has currently in the story was beautiful and totally believable. To have such strength would be amazing. And to retain that strength in the face of what must be and protocol as a slave was amazing.

Falrik made my heart break. To read the man's struggle to overcome the evil he pulled into his life and try to make it better was a journey of immense proportions. His inner grief struck hard and wrenched him in all directions, torturing him beyond the limitations of most men. Yet, he fought that aspect of life or expectation to make of himself something more. Watching that turn, that very twisting of his soul to become something more was beautiful in and of itself. Add to that the love he has for Alia and the utmost admiration and adoration of her only intensified the effect.

I have no argument regarding the emotional aspect of this story. As far as I can see now, there is not much left to be added. Though, when I get back to technical detail, my mind may change with a decent night's rest and fresh eyes later today.

The progression of the story was paced very well and smooth (with exception regarding my personal feelings on the very beginning). Nothing moved too fast nor too slow; details given never bogged down the advancement of the plot. I could not tear my eyes from the screen, even at 2 am, because I was so caught up in this story. I am hoping that you have every intention of continuing this soon.

< Message edited by Eukara -- 7/18/2008 3:31:01 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 8
7/18/2008 12:39:56   
Legendary Loremaster

Well I do know what happens to them. I could change it into a narrative I guess. This story was originally intended as a Character introduction for Alia into a gaming setting. Alexandria had already entered though her background is revealed more thoroughly here.

If you found this heart rendering the actual results... are far more so. By way of a minor hint. Falrik succeeds at what Alia dismissed and the results are entirely unfortunate.

< Message edited by Falerin -- 7/18/2008 12:41:03 >
Post #: 9
7/18/2008 18:36:00   
Eukara Vox
Legendary AdventureGuide!


Many thanks for extending this story. The newest installment shed some light on the father and that family's dynamics. The newest form of life that Alexandra had to take on as a result of the attack definitely makes her a person to watch, especially with what is about to happen.

AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 10
7/27/2008 20:54:49   

Well, I can't really add much. I finished the story, and I absolutely loved it. I can't wait for more. If you wish for me to critique, throw me a PM.

Post #: 11
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