Beta 2, General Impressions

Welcome To Astlan Forums The Heavenly Host Beta Beta 2, General Impressions

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    Can you give me particular characters that you think have lost their personality? That is a big concern of mine. The more characters there are, the harder it is to properly “shift perspective” so I need you guys to spot this.

    The Jenn admiring guys is an example of trying to “extend” a personality, so in some sense it’s related to the above argument. Working point is to try to start to establish a more cordial and deeper friendship perhaps romantic relationship with Gastrope’

    But there could be a number of places like that, worth flagging.

    As far as the “book” you just need to wait a bit. There is a big reveal at the end. Plus big motion on Exador and friends vis a vis the book

    I think the big thing has been “more Tom” I was a bit stymied going in because being trapped in the cave with those guys, I was afraid of over doing the internal dialogue thing.

    Actually, I have been pleasantly surprised by how much people like the internal dialogue. It is something I really like, but have always been afraid would turn people off. “Heroes should crush foes, not think about the moral ambiguity of slaying them”



    That final battle is a problem. See Beta 3 for that. I will be kind of punting the ball for the battle, but I think the cliff at the ending is going to be far steeper and deeper with Beta 3. I will be interested in feedback on that.


    Well it is hard for me to describe on those terms, “today”

    I don’t think of it as ‘adventure’ in that sense…

    I have always thought of it as a take on classical fantasy as a whole, but written from the point of view of acknowledging all the goofy fantasy tropes that we all love and talk/complain about as but conveniently accept for the purpose of a story.

    Therefore, you have a mix of

    1) Coming of age
    2) Character moved to a different universe and adapting
    3) Giant battle fantasy (Paul Edwin Zimmer’s The Dark Border Series–>which had to be a huge inspiration for GoT)
    4) Political Drama
    5) Adventure
    6) Maybe-lesser-Romance

    Inspirations for this would be a very wide assortment of “older” fantasy:

    David Eddings
    Robert Jordan (but this was started BEFORE Wheel of Time–much was written during the book 1 and 2 phase)
    Stephen R Donaldson
    Paul Edwin Zimmer
    Roger Zelazny
    Michael Moorcock
    Glenn Cook

    The very real point of the Tom protagonist is/was originally that he is a big science fiction/fantasy geek who got stuck in a fantasy world/novel.

    It would be if you took a typical person who read multiple SF/Fantasy books per week, played video games, D&D etc and stuck that person in a fantasy world. What would they do. I was tired of people being zapped to a magical land and being a complete idiot. I wanted someone that would react rationally…and then get in trouble because everyone else kept playing by irrational rules. That was the original motivation for the story. I.e. “what would a typical reader do.”

    In that sense, I would have to say you are correct: It is an adventure story. That is how it started. Or at least that was the chapters 1->X vision. By the time we blow up Lenamare’s school, however, the vision had evolved and become more complex to be what I am talking about with the various authors.

    And it’s gotten more complex yet in the intervening years.


    While I would not disagree with what you said about Coming of Age trope. We started with:
    [quote]Well, I think, historically it is hard to separate Coming of Age from Adventure in some ways. It’s also hard to take Adventure out of something like Game of Thrones.
    Which I respond by saying that many Adventure books doesn’t use the Coming of Age, and that Game of Thrones isn’t something for adventure junkies. We kinda derail a bit with those tangential trivia.

    As for lack of adventure: then read textbooks, encyclopedias, magazines, articles and the like? It is not always about adventure why we read something.

    Why are you somewhat so against me calling it Adventure? I can’t understand. Isn’t it what the whole story is for?

    Also, isn’t archetypes about characters? You know, the Hero, the Trickster, the Mentor… Isn’t it?

    As for it being classed as Parody… well isn’t it? Gulliver’s Travels was a parody and is poking fun of the Travellers’ Tales, that is common at that time. Well, instead of visiting exotic countries, you have Gulliver going from one weid world to another.

    Yours poke fun on a lot of things. You poke of Demons (Tizzy especially), you poke fun of Wizards (Gastrope especially), you poke fun of Religion (Adam and Eve, and the Egyptian gods especially) and Myths (the Norse myths is especially notable here) and other stuff. That would make this story a Parody. A very similar form of parody would be the Diskworld series.

    And I’m not just talking about Politics but Political drama. There is a big difference. While yours have politics going on, a Political Drama it is not.



    It is not that I dislike the parts with Ruiden, it is just that I recognize that those scenes adds nothing or very little to the story. Even in the scene where it fights Exador, its primary role is a demon detector.


    Therefore, you have a mix of

    1) Coming of age
    2) Character moved to a different universe and adapting
    3) Giant battle fantasy (Paul Edwin Zimmer’s The Dark Border Series–>which had to be a huge inspiration for GoT)
    4) Political Drama
    5) Adventure
    6) Maybe-lesser-Romance


    1) Not the focus
    2) Many Adventure books start like this. It a trope, not a genre
    3) Another trope
    4) This has not developed much yet to be any sort of political drama especially when there is no political power conflict that existed yet
    6) You mean Jenn and Gastrope? Yeah, there is one that is starting, a somewhat lame one.

    Well, modern novels has mixed a lot of stuff, but generaly, they still focus in one aspect. Romance for example has fantasy or adventure elements mixed in. Still, it is focused on the Romance part so it is still romance.

    Your book essentially is still an Adventure. It is still about excitement and danger. The main course of course is fighting. There would also be big bangs, bad guys, nuking the fridge, near death, etc. All the fun stuff.


    Well, I think, historically it is hard to separate Coming of Age from Adventure in some ways. It’s also hard to take Adventure out of something like Game of Thrones.

    The politics are not necessarily between kingdoms. It’s between factions of humans, elves, orcs, demons and gods.

    Politics are huge:

    We start with:

    Exador and his allies vs Lenamare and Zilquar; then it expands to the whole Council, where there are politics but we don’t focus on that much.

    We have Randolf who appears to be subservient to Exador, but is biding his time to stab Exador in the back due to Exador toasting Abancia.

    We have djinn politics that will get more obvious later.

    We have inter pantheon politics with the Nyjyr Ennead vs the Etonians; there are also intra pantheon issues on the Etonian side.

    In the Abyss we have Lilith vs Sammael, vs Ramses, Exador, Bess vs it now turns out Orcus. The Courts of Chaos are all about political intrigue. We will learn more.

    We have Lilith, Sentir and Aodh vs Orcus/Tommus;

    The Grove is about to be split; we have already seen a split between Sentir Fallon and Tiernon. Do you think Tiernon is going to approve of Sentir Fallon working with Lilith? Or even Aodh? And what about the use of Antimus in the dagger? And the fact that the dagger has been corrupting the practices of the church?

    Not to mention the alliance of Oorstemoth and the Rod? That’s tricky, and who are they against? Tom, but do you think Hilda or any avatars are going to be “good with” their followers invading the Abyss? That breaks a lot of longstanding rules and treaties between the gods and demons. There are various subtle references to this throughout both books.


    My impression is still generally the same. While there was some excitement and interest created by the fight with the dragons and the inclusion of Ruiden; it is still the same tiresome, overstuffed, fragmentary piece as beta 1.

    Some thoughts:

    -The fight with the ice dragons is a great addition. We are told what the Nimbus and the carpets are but seeing them in action really drives the point.

    -While Ruiden becoming a golem is interesting, what Ruiden did are just a repetitious: appear to some person/people, person/people surprised/intrigued, Ruiden interviewing them, then Ruiden leaving. He did nothing exciting until he face off Exador. Adding its plain robotic character and bland dialogue, Ruiden ultimately add nothing but shock value.


    Well, he does make a good cliffhanger.

    i think a lot of the scenes written from the perspective of secondary characters should be cut out and if we lose some information on the way so be it. I am still not bought on the Asmeth scenes. Write them in book 3 and make a flashback like you did in book 1 with Maelen.


    It’s hard to tell how good the book is since i read the first draft and thous skipped a good part this time. However i tend to agree with rosver it’s a little bit better, but not good yet.

    Unlike rosver i liked the parts with ruiden even though they are of no consequence for the story so far.

    I noticed that you wrote succubae and incubae instead of incubi and succubi.


    No, not a restart, but a refinement; especially a drastic slim down.

    Those comments about not adding to the story (which I am one) has truth. Its not that those story threads has no importance to the whole, it is just that there is just a lot of details in them that is just not worth knowing about and that we will soon forgot anyway. The roller coaster ride is the biggest sinner (though the whole journey is full of such stuff). The detailed sequence was just seems so inconsequential. Why is it there? Do the detail of the ride really has an impact to the story? Is not knowing about it makes the whole story illegible?

    I actually think the the whole treck could just be summarized in a paragraph, or two… or three… and nothing much would be lost. You could also then focus on their thoughts and reaction of the journey which would have been far more interesting than actually experiencing the whole journey yourself.

    Song of Ice and Fire is more of a political drama than adventure. A large cast is quite necessary to portray the complexity of the drama. After all, what is a political drama that just have 4 characters? A lame one. The more the merrier they say.

    Yours is more of an adventure… so far. Political drama seems to be coming. Adventures seems to suffer when it has a large cast of characters. I had come upon adventure books with lots of characters. Often times the adventure part is soon forgoten and instead it will be laden with melodrama, convoluted events and cliche romance, adventure be damned.

    Still, I have to see the whole of the story to really made a solid conclusion. There might actually be a bombshell in the future that all this things converges to.


    I know…I am itching badly to start writing, I really want to continue, but if I don’t want to get too far ahead if I have to go back and make substantial changes.

    In many ways the going back and updating the past with stuff that is inserted earlier is much MUCH harder than always moving forward.

    You have to check everything everyone says to make sure it agrees with the new reality…and this reality shifting sort of distorts conversations because now people may know things they did not know of before…perhaps knowing the new reality would shift the tone and meaning of the conversation.

    That’s the hard stuff to fix, because you have to rethink a lot of stuff, and rethinking is harder than thinking.


    Back to the incubae succubae thing

    The spelling you note surprised me; I had never seen them spelled that way. But technically that is the preferred dictionary spelling; however many online dictionaries allow my alternate spelling.

    Somehow it got stuck in my head that way, probably in the 80’s. I thought it might have been a D&D spelling but I went back to the Source of Sources: the tome that Asmodeus himself reveres as the authority. Egary Gygax’s ADD Monster Manual, First Edition.

    He spells it succubi.


    So it was false latination of words as 7th and 8th graders are want to do.

    Clearly there is only one way to solve this. I will roll a twenty sided die, behind my DM’s screen here, if I roll a natural 20, I get to keep my spelling. Anything else, I spell it your way.

    OK, here I go.

    [i][b]shake, shake,[/b] rattle, rattle, rattle, clink…[/i]

    WOW! what do you know! I rolled a 20! Who’d a thunk it!



    I have to agree, at this stage the biggest problem is that the story doesn’t immediately continue onto book three, Which is more of a problem when it is one long continuous book split up into several smaller ones, The only way to get past this is to just start on the next book.

    In short please write book three I must read more of DOA.

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