Start of book

Welcome To Astlan Forums Alpha Reading Start of book

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    I have to agree. The description of the calendar felt dry, and the recap felt like it was plopped into the middle of it.

    Edit: The intro makes more sense in the pdf version, for some reason the format has not translated well in the epub version.


    Feels bloated


    “Yes! Finally the next book is in my hands.”




    “Ugh where’s the story?!”



    “Finally …”


    I agree with that the very start prior to the actual story was too much. Starting with an appendix-style entry feels off. Perhaps moving this to the appendix and linking to it the first time someone in-story mentions one specific date/time/moon. Another possibility (but way more work) is to style it into a short prose format for “Previously in Demons of Astlan…”

    Also, it is nice that you have links, but are they placeholders or will they become more of an “in-universe” essay style? I say this because of offline readers and any eventual print format readers.

    In the timeline where you say, “Lenamare, however, had planted magic items on his agents that caused them to blame Exador for the robbery.”, feels very weak and doesn’t really convey who Lenamare is. Phrasing-wise the idea is that Lenamare is unscrupulous right? So rather than “planted magic that caused them to blame” he “slipped a compulsion upon them”. This helps the reader to get a better feel for Lenamare’s character which is sneaky and lacking in a certain set of morals.

    “An expedition to investigate a vision of an orc uprising and the nature of the demon Bess is launched by the Council of Wizardry and the Grove, led by Trevin D’Vils, Enchantress of the Grove.”

    At this point those investigating believe Bess to be a goddess and a demon.

    “Within a few days, as the expedition left the Grove in the Cloudship Nimbus, it is attacked by a contingent of Storm Lords of Nysegard, undead liches on ice dragons.”

    There is nothing at this point in the story to indicate why or how this is a major milestone. As someone who has finished the alpha I can now understand why it is there, but when I first encountered it I felt that it did not belong.


    In the hook (first few pages), this sentence needs more polishing:

    “Well, not name, insult name.”


    So, yes, this previously thing is starting to get too long and boring.

    I actually wrote that as much to help me remember what happened in the previous two books and establish the timeline.

    Perhaps prosing it up and putting it at the end might be better.


    Interesting on that.

    I would assume that a final kindle version would have the epub version. It makes the section look bigger/more complicated than it is supposed to be.

    I am thinking to move the timeline guts to an appendix and go for a much more simpler/shorter prologue piece.

    A lot of this stuff is for people who’ve only read the earlier books once or some time back. If one is up to speed it’s not that useful.


    If you remove the calendar explanation then you’ll have to take all of these out:

    DOA + 2,
    Astlan Fourth Period, Sixth Period Local Time

    I don’t think they are necessary.


    Yes, I would not take it out, just move it. I could also put the date stuff in a prose form.

    Those, by the way were there in Book 2; as was a shorter version of this same prologue thing.

    I really like them because it gets very easy to forget that all of this is happening on an incredibly short timescale.

    Tom has only been a demon for a few months at this point and the world is a rocking.

    That’s why adding too many massive battles gets tricky.

    One thing I battle with is that assembling giant armies takes weeks, these guys are all pushing the believability angle on that front.


    I felt like there was too much perspective shifting in the beginning of the book. It seemed like we wouldn’t get to follow much of a particular plot before it would switch to another.


    [quote=The Author Guy;3939]That’s why adding too many massive battles gets tricky.

    One thing I battle with is that assembling giant armies takes weeks, these guys are all pushing the believability angle on that front. [/quote]

    Well it doesn’t have to be a massive battle all the time – skirmishes, a cool duel, foiling an assassination attempt, a funny incident, a touching scene would work too to break the tedium. The book was too much about people talking about boring stuff which I guess is probably needed to move the plot forward but would be better done in a shorter conversations/scenarios.


    Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking.

    I have to read this stuff and sleep on it, reread what I wrote, think some more.

    So a lot of the oomph/cutting/expanding will take a bit because I have to synthesize all the commentary and bring it together as something that works.

    That was what really took a while in the last Beta session.

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