Comments --- All Mortals Die: The Wanderings of Edmund

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Postby rwhen » Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:14 pm

Well, finally our Edmond is out and in the....SNOW? Well, it seems to me that if Edmond could take the last seven months in Orc caves and captivity, you can handle snow. :D

Can't wait to read more.

I think you did a good job of showing the emotions like you wanted to do. Getting back to your basic concept of expaning your skills, I think you are doing well.

Keep up the good work.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:19 pm

rwhen wrote:Well, finally our Edmond is out and in the....SNOW? Well, it seems to me that if Edmond could take the last seven months in Orc caves and captivity, you can handle snow. :D

Can't wait to read more.

I think you did a good job of showing the emotions like you wanted to do. Getting back to your basic concept of expaning your skills, I think you are doing well.

Keep up the good work.


Thanks Rwhen. I am glad that you liked it. It was more in line with how I wanted to write the story... select a writing goal and then try to accomplish it.

With regard to Edmund... you'll just have to wait and see! Hopefully I can write something later this week.
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Postby Witchwench » Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:27 pm

Well if there is any benefit for staying away from torc for a month, its the fact that I got to read several installments in the adventures of Edmund :D

Your doing fine, I'm getting great visuals by your descriptions.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:56 am

Witchwench wrote:Well if there is any benefit for staying away from torc for a month, its the fact that I got to read several installments in the adventures of Edmund :D

Your doing fine, I'm getting great visuals by your descriptions.


Thanks WW. I am glad that you like what you are reading. The last installment wasn't too bad. I enjoyed writing it. We'll see if Edmund makes it to Spring!! (And don't stay away so long! We miss you! :( )
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Postby rwhen » Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:42 pm

Yes, Witchy, we do!!! As you know. :P

Okay, I wondered if Edmond would ever run into any of his old pit mates. And now he has, but what will he do? Besides feel terrible, of course.

:D

I'm still reading.
Love is as big or as little as a hug!!

vison! Alex!Rowanberry!OldToby

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The Expected Party!! is now on the road to Gondor to celebrate. Join us.

And getting into trouble with Rally The Eldar.

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Vanadarlin', my SSOTH - 143 forever :hug:
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:34 am

rwhen wrote:Yes, Witchy, we do!!! As you know. :P

Okay, I wondered if Edmond would ever run into any of his old pit mates. And now he has, but what will he do? Besides feel terrible, of course.

:D

I'm still reading.


I am glad that you are still reading. As for what Edmund will do, I haven't a clue. I think most people would just leave them behind. Perhaps Edmund will be different.
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Postby Frelga » Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:34 pm

Very, very nice twist! I think you are getting Edmund's transformation come along very nicely. Barton is a good man, isn't he? And you'll make him pay, won't you?

Here's one thing I've wondered about your character. No matter what the pressure, he always seems to think things through logically. Even when he stabs the orc over and over, you say "He wasn’t going to take any chances," so it comes across as a sensible precaution rather than Edmund just losing his head in fear, rage and disappointment. Is that intentional? I will admit, it's a very tiny niggle of mine, that your charrie stays so cool under pressure.

On a related note, in the earlier installment, you say:

When the new slave was pushed to the ground and repeatedly kicked by the orc guards, Edmund nearly jumped down to the boy’s defense. But he wisely held himself back. The twenty foot fall would have probably broken his legs. Further, he couldn’t have fought all three guards at once; at least, not without some element of surprise.


Where I have a niggle here is with you saying "wisely." This is the author breaking in, telling the reader how to interpret the character's action, and on the whole perhaps is best avoided. It is also a bit unclear whether "wisely" and "further" that follows are the author's explanation or the character justifying his decision.

And now that you know I'm still reading carefully, get back to writing. :P I just went sneaking into my own old thread, and man, was it a giddy feeling when that story came to the close and my friends celebrated with me. Time of my life. :D I should do it again sometime. And I definitely intend to be there for your party. :drink:

AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED?
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:49 am

Frelga wrote:Very, very nice twist! I think you are getting Edmund's transformation come along very nicely. Barton is a good man, isn't he? And you'll make him pay, won't you?

Here's one thing I've wondered about your character. No matter what the pressure, he always seems to think things through logically. Even when he stabs the orc over and over, you say "He wasn’t going to take any chances," so it comes across as a sensible precaution rather than Edmund just losing his head in fear, rage and disappointment. Is that intentional? I will admit, it's a very tiny niggle of mine, that your charrie stays so cool under pressure.

On a related note, in the earlier installment, you say:

When the new slave was pushed to the ground and repeatedly kicked by the orc guards, Edmund nearly jumped down to the boy’s defense. But he wisely held himself back. The twenty foot fall would have probably broken his legs. Further, he couldn’t have fought all three guards at once; at least, not without some element of surprise.


Where I have a niggle here is with you saying "wisely." This is the author breaking in, telling the reader how to interpret the character's action, and on the whole perhaps is best avoided. It is also a bit unclear whether "wisely" and "further" that follows are the author's explanation or the character justifying his decision.

And now that you know I'm still reading carefully, get back to writing. :P I just went sneaking into my own old thread, and man, was it a giddy feeling when that story came to the close and my friends celebrated with me. Time of my life. :D I should do it again sometime. And I definitely intend to be there for your party. :drink:

AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED?


Thanks Frelga! Glad to see you are still with me. I often see the number of view of the story change and wonder who is actually reading my stuff and what they think.

I agree with you about the "wisely" thing. Absolutely. Poor phrasing on my part. I need to keep the narrator and Edmund separate... more importantly I want to keep the narrator neutral.

I am glad that the change in Edmund is becoming more apparent.... though I worry that he is turning into a "hero" or somebody too good. I want him to have an edge and to be multi-dimensional. I think that I have a way to do that. Perhaps this Thursday I'll write the next installment.

Thanks again for reading my "work". I greatly appreciate your feedback and insights!!

When Edmund finally ends his wanderings we can have a virtual party!
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Postby Frelga » Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:35 am

Ooo, that was very good, I thought. :) You are not stopping to describe what Edmund is feeling, but it comes across clearly - his fear, suspicions, anger. Frelga likes.
:thumbsup:

I am glad that the change in Edmund is becoming more apparent.... though I worry that he is turning into a "hero" or somebody too good. I want him to have an edge and to be multi-dimensional. I think that I have a way to do that. Perhaps this Thursday I'll write the next installment.


Yes, it's a bit of a worry, that our characters will turn out to be unrealistically, angelically good. I don't think Edmund is in that danger. I tend to think of him as a good, kind man by nature. Only now, instead of thinking kind thoughts in his study, he has to summon all his strength and courage and act. Because if he doesn't, well, there is no story, is there? And he is managing quite well, but not unrealistically so, I think.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:20 am

Frelga wrote:Ooo, that was very good, I thought. :) You are not stopping to describe what Edmund is feeling, but it comes across clearly - his fear, suspicions, anger. Frelga likes.
:thumbsup:

I am glad that the change in Edmund is becoming more apparent.... though I worry that he is turning into a "hero" or somebody too good. I want him to have an edge and to be multi-dimensional. I think that I have a way to do that. Perhaps this Thursday I'll write the next installment.


Yes, it's a bit of a worry, that our characters will turn out to be unrealistically, angelically good. I don't think Edmund is in that danger. I tend to think of him as a good, kind man by nature. Only now, instead of thinking kind thoughts in his study, he has to summon all his strength and courage and act. Because if he doesn't, well, there is no story, is there? And he is managing quite well, but not unrealistically so, I think.


I am glad that you liked it. I am anxious to get to the next installment, but it might have to wait a bit. I have a lot of work to do.

I want Edmund to become a little more bitter and angry. I think that he began a little to idealistic and cerebral.

But we'll see what happens. Step by step Edmund will become somebody else... as, I believe, most of us do over time.

Thanks again for reading my story!!
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Postby rwhen » Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:27 am

Alrighty then, just got all caught up.

I like that you have made Edmond be open to helping others, rather than just waiting out the winter. Having a blind person while trying to escape should be good for intensity and have inherent problems right there.

I don't know how wounded Barton is...if Edmond has to carry him all the way to...*where ever*, having a blind person could be not so good, especially for the blind person. :D

I like how you showed all the work Edmond is doing to trap or at least prepare for the eventuality that he will face orcs. Also I like that Edmond has grown some in courage from the meek person we met at the outset.

I am reading and will continue to do so.

Well done, Edmond.

*bows*
Love is as big or as little as a hug!!

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The Expected Party!! is now on the road to Gondor to celebrate. Join us.

And getting into trouble with Rally The Eldar.

Time out of Mind, forever bound to my Knight Ayslhyn

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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:35 am

rwhen wrote:Alrighty then, just got all caught up.

I like that you have made Edmond be open to helping others, rather than just waiting out the winter. Having a blind person while trying to escape should be good for intensity and have inherent problems right there.

I don't know how wounded Barton is...if Edmond has to carry him all the way to...*where ever*, having a blind person could be not so good, especially for the blind person. :D

I like how you showed all the work Edmond is doing to trap or at least prepare for the eventuality that he will face orcs. Also I like that Edmond has grown some in courage from the meek person we met at the outset.

I am reading and will continue to do so.

Well done, Edmond.

*bows*


Thanks Rwhen. I am glad that you are still with me and poor Edmund.

I am not sure what is going to happen next. I am a bit torn between what would happen and what should happen. Hmmm... as a writer, I suppose I should always go with what would happen. But it is a difficult choice for me to make.
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Postby Frelga » Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:18 pm

Edmund, that was a really good one! A moral dilemma, and a suspenseful cliffhanger.

I recently read an article on style, which suggested using simple past tense instead of past progressive, and avoiding constructs with "began." I found that this is sound advice as applied to my writing, so I'm eager to share the wealth. :) I'm curious what you and others think about applying the simple tense machine to this paragraph:

One orc was sitting at the table drinking. When he saw Edmund appear, he began choking, sending a spray of brownish liquid across the room. The other was pacing back and forth, his sword resting on his shoulder, as he complained about not being able to hunt for “the accursed rebel.”


vs.

One orc sat at the table drinking. When he saw Edmund appear, he choked, sending a spray of brownish liquid across the room. The other paced back and forth, his sword resting on his shoulder, as he complained about not being able to hunt for “the accursed rebel.”


Hm... "began choking" maybe a bit clearer - "choked" may imply that the orc choked to death, which unfortunately he didn't. ;)

Anyway, that's my 2 cents for the day. And now, I really need to know what happened with Eol and Barton!

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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:22 pm

Boy, that is great advice Frelga. I have to watch the tense. I am horrible at that kind of thing. I have a tendency to shift tense thoughout the story. Thanks for bringing that up and keep on me about that.

As for what happens next, I have posted the next installment :)
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Postby Frelga » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:25 pm

I saw!

:Q :Q :Q

Yegads! I paid no attention to verb tense, let me tell you. I'm still trying to get my breath back.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:05 am

I hope that is a good thing.

I had real difficulty deciding what to do. I liked the character and thought that I could do some interesting things with him. But when I considered the reality of what Edmund would probably have done... well, I had to be honest to the story.

I hope that it got your attention!
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Postby rwhen » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:15 am

:shock: Edmond killed Eol. :cry2: I guess that was the right thing to do. He could not carry both of them...but .... :shock:

And now Edmond and Barton are going to get out...I gues, we will see.

:D You still got me!!

Keep up the good writing.
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The Expected Party!! is now on the road to Gondor to celebrate. Join us.

And getting into trouble with Rally The Eldar.

Time out of Mind, forever bound to my Knight Ayslhyn

Vanadarlin', my SSOTH - 143 forever :hug:
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Postby rowanberry » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:39 am

I'm still following the story.

Killing Eol was really a twist I couldn't see coming :shock: . But, I guess it was him or all of them... :(
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Postby Witchwench » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:25 am

Edmund, I'm still reading and enjoying!!

Keep it up..
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:53 am

Thanks WW, Rowanberry, Rwhen, and Frelga for continuing to read my little story. I still wonder if there are others reading who have yet to show themselves. I can't image that the five of us have generated so many hits on this thread.

So... if there are others out there... feel free to give me feedback... good or bad. I think that after we pick up our soon-to-be son and get him all situated, I'll start working on some fiction manuscripts that I have always wanted to get published. So your feedback can help improve my writing and increase my chances of getting something published.

I particularly need to work on character development. With my other manuscripts, my characters start out different from each other, but by the time the end of the story comes, they all sound and act the same. They all use the same words and intonations and so forth. I am hoping to practice with Edmund and Barton. I want them to be very distinct so that the reader can tell them apart without me indicating who is speaking.

I also need to work on plot twists. Most of my writing is very linear. One event happens. Then another. Followed by another. And so on. I want my stories to be fuller and more dynamic.

So, as always, your help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for reading. I’ll try to post another segment later this week.
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Postby Rymeryn » Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:52 pm

In regards to character devolpment, and characters acting the same, it comes down to back grounds a great deal of the time. A character's past forms who they are. As such, that will color everything that they do. Say for instance the character's parents were killed by orcs - well then he hates orcs. But in a book like Tolkien's, i'm sure that a quarter of the men of Gondor have seen somone they know (possibly their father), slain by orcs, so there has to be more to it than a hate for orcs. One character could be a little more of a risk taker because of said death, while the other is more cautious.

Its really, really tough to help with that sort of thing. (i think, at least i'm having difficulties describing how i approach the problem.) In my book, i have two main characters (though only one is a POV). One is the king of his land, the other is the son of the most powerful duke, and the king's captain of arms and oldest friend. Both have names that start with the letter D. Now, over time, i've struggled differentiating the two - but realized all along that it was all in my head, because the first and biggest hurdle had been jumped - their names are different, so they are different. ( I know that sounds trite, but its still truth). From there i gave them different histories, backgrounds, and out looks. Though both are relatively violent men, one is a little more willing to do the dirty work, the other looks to diplomacy - if possible. The key is how they interact. One is formal, the other is not. These are small differences, but they illustrate easily in the readers mind. Every once in awhile describe their differences in appearance as well without using such descpritions as a bludgeon.

As for plot twists, don't get wrapped up in them right away. Let the story progress. Think about outcomes before writing. For instance, your characters need to reach the town down the road - fine. Is there going to be any problems along the way, do they have enemies? What is going on around them that the reader does not see, but which will come to play important parts in the characters lives. As a writer, you need to know this. Even if that information never directly comes to bear, and you don't reveal it for a thousand pages, you need to have an idea (not concrete, just something rough). And i'll be honest, i think plot twists (when i think of plot twists, i think of M. Night Shamalya) are cheap sometimes. I am interested in story arc, and character development. I don't need sudden deaths, or the brother turning out to be the evil vampire, all of the time. The prince is deposed from his kingdom, well, what is he going to do? Likely he is going to have nobles still loyal to him, and he is going to need to gather an army. But the council of dukes that oppose him are hunting him with assassins and such. Well, thats great story fodder right there. His escape, assassins, perhaps a traitor in the midst are all great stuff.

But at the end of the day it comes down to how well you write, not how well you plot out your book. If you can make people care about your characters, and what they are doing, everything else falls into place.

I'll try to go back and read about some of the stories of Edmund and tell you what i think.

(All of this is my own opinion, one that i have never tried to verbalize, and so might be a little...iffy. Take it as you will.)
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:12 am

Thanks Rymeryn! Thanks for reading my "story" as well as your thoughtful comments.

You hit on something in another posting that I think is very critical... the idea of the environment as another character in a story. Unfortunately, I haven't been really developing the environment very well. Good writers are able to have the readers seeing, feeling, hearing, and even tasting the environment in which the story takes place. I need to keep this in mind with my "real" fiction stuff... as well as this particular story.

Good feedback and insights! Thanks!
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Rymeryn's comment on fan-fiction

Postby SmaugsBane » Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:29 pm

While I agree with Rymeryn's last statement in the story thread, that the point of fantasy is to stretch your own imagination, I entirely disagree that fan fiction is useless.

In fact, I believe that fan fiction and RP (on TORC only, RP elsewhere that resembles a "game" is completely useless as a writing tool) are excellent excercises for learning to write clear dialog, to learn to "show and not tell", for refining descriptive abilities, and so on. By removing certain difficult aspects, namely the creating of a world and all of its inhabitants, one can focus on the mechanics of telling a good story. For myself, I have been able to transfer much that I've learned into my own original works.

Okay, so obviously I have started reading your story. I was drawn to it when I saw your nomination for n00b of the year in the WCA's. I have only skimmed the surface of this work, but I like much of what I see so far. I especially like what seems like a natural propensity to inject a little humor here and there. Sometimes the addition of humor into a relatively seriously-toned story can seem forced or contrived, but with your story, it seems like it was just the next thing that came to mind as you pictured the scene in your head. Nice.

Edmund, my only nitpick so far is that you should really stop the OOC comments prior to your posts. No need to explain your purposes, or to be self-deprecating. Anyone with passion for telling tales is going to have a propensity for never being satisfied with their own work. And as for the explanations, (i.e. "What I want to work on this time is conveying emotion without explicitly stating them.") eliminate them altogether. As long as you know what your attempting to do, then check your own work in the revision process. No need to "pre-bias" the reader.

I'll try and give you some more specific feedback as I delve deeper into the Scholar's travels.
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Postby Edmund the Scholar » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:57 am

Thanks Smaugsbane. I have been away from TORC and the United States for a while, so I have kind of put this story on hold for a bit. I'm also in the process of sending out my first novel... so I haven't had much time to work on Edmund. But I appreciate your willingness to read it. I hope that you enjoy it. Perhaps I'll pick up where I left off someday.
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