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    Re: The Silver Wolf: Ghosts Of The Past, Part Fourteen (Score: 1)
    by Mystic-Scholar on Sat, May 07, 2016
    Normal 0 There are two sins you have trouble shaking, but do not let that discourage you. The first sin is shared by nearly ever writer . . . you confuse your Points of View. This can be seen in the third paragraph: "Taking a deep breath, Seline looked around at her companions. As exhausted as they were, bloodied and wounded from the long night of battle, they had all survived. Even Amyalla had outfoxed her opponents, throwing a flask of oil in the face of the remaining soldier facing her after the first one had been forced to block her thrown dagger. Getting the surviving soldier between her and his blinded ally, she had taunted the blinded soldier into striking at her. The sighted soldier was skewered by his companion, instantly slain as the blinded soldier realized what he’d done. It had been an easy matter for Amyalla to cut his throat after that." Oh really? And how does Seline know this? Was Seline not busy "casting a cloud of steam . . . giving Seline time to cast one of the few spells she had left . . . finally, Seline cast her last spell, as her fiery sphere rolled forward . . ."? Well, was she busy doing all of that, or not? Then how could she possibly know what Amyalla was doing? Was Seline using telepathy as well? If not, then how could she know what Amyalla was thinking? "Amyalla had outfoxed . . ." Intent also plays to the "thinking" aspect, as does motive. Sounds to me like Seline's spells all failed and that Seline neither killed, nor bested, anyone. Seems to me that Seline failed her Concentration check, so her spells fizzled and did no harm. The phrase "Amyalla had outfoxed her opponents . . ." was the beginning of a new paragraph and a new Point of View; Amyalla's Point of View . . . not Seline's. After casting her spells, all Seline could do was look at her companions and see that they had all survived. She could not have been watching all of their individual actions during the combat, much less their thoughts, feelings and/or emotions. I'm lumping grammar, punctuation and sentence construction together. Your opening paragraphs give good examples of these as well. For instance: "Finally, Seline cast her last spell, as her fiery sphere rolled forward and ignited the webs. The men screamed in agony as the flames were consumed all around them, collapsing to the ground as Seline brought the sphere back to roll over them. It wasn’t long before they stopped thrashing, their charred corpses lying dead on the floor." Excuse me but, what are you saying here? "Finally, Seline cast her last spell(,) as her fiery sphere rolled forward and ignited the webs." See that comma? The one that comes after the word "spell"? That's got you all messed up, thus it's got your readers confused too. What that comma implies is this: "Finally, Seline cast her last spell, as her fiery sphere rolled forward and ignited the webs . . ." what? What spell did Seline cast "as her fiery sphere rolled forward"? I'm still waiting. I believe you meant to imply that the "fiery sphere" was her "last spell", but that is not what you sentence structure actually says to me. No, your sentence structure implies that there is another spell coming and that this spell is being cast as the sphere rolls forward. So . . . I'm still waiting. If you mean that Seline's fiery sphere is her last spell, then the structure should be like this: "Finally, Seline cast her last spell. As her fiery sphere rolled forward . . . " Two separate sentences. A comma -- punctuation -- completely changes the meaning of the image you are trying to convey. More sentence structure: "Finally, Seline cast her last spell. As her fiery sphere rolled forward and ignited the webs. The men screamed in agony as the flames were consumed all around them, collapsing to the ground as Seline brought the sphere back to roll over them. It wasn’t long before they stopped thrashing, their charred corpses lying dead on the floor." Yeah, that second sentence isn't really a sentence anymore, is it? It's really just the first half of a sentence now. A sentence that should look something like this: "Finally, Seline cast her last spell. As her fiery sphere rolled forward and ignited the webs, the men screamed in agony as the flames were consumed all around them, collapsing to the ground as Seline brought the sphere back to roll over them." Better, but still not quite right. Perhaps this phrasing is what's got us messed up; "the men screamed in agony as the flames were consumed all around them," Excuse me again, but "as the flames were consumed"? By what? What could possible "consume" flames? Perhaps you meant to imply that the flames were, themselves, consuming something? Perhaps you meant this: "Finally, Seline cast her last spell. As her fiery sphere rolled forward and ignited the webs, the men began screaming in agony, collapsing to the ground as the flames consumed everything around them." See, I think that's what you meant . . . but that's not what you wrote. There are other examples throughout, but I'm not the least interested in "beating you up." I'm just interested in offering some advice, which you asked for. For instance, this portion of your story is posted as a "stand alone." This means that certain elements need to be reintroduced each time, so as not to lose the reader, as in Airk. How is Airk introduced into this portion of the story? What's the Point of View? "Seline felt a tremendous sense of relief at that, but it was soon subsumed by her worry for Airk. He might be killed by Kalrek, but that was only half of the reason Seline was so worried about him." No idea what that's supposed to mean, or why I -- the reader -- am supposed to care. Moe explanation for this Point of View needs to be given with this statement.
    More sentence structure: "With the death of their master and so many of the warriors in his service, it had not taken long for most of Kalrek’s other servants to surrender." Who in the heck is "their master?" That identity should come first, not after. Who is "his service?" Who is "his?" Try this: "With the death of Kalrek, and so many of his warriors, it did not take long for his remaining servants to surrender." Or this: "With the death of their master, and so many of his warriors, it did not take long for most of Kalrek's other servants to surrender." "Their master" needs to be identified right off, not later in the sentence, or paragraph. Consider what I offer and reread the material for yourself. The impression I come away with is that your thoughts are crowding your mind and you are in a hurry to put them down on paper. That's all well and good, but that doesn't mean you need to be in a hurry to publish it -- also known as posting it to Canonfire! You've expressed a liking for my stories, in the past. I'll remind you of what I've told you before; I read my own stories until I am sick of them. Only then do I post them here. Proof read your material; over and over and over again, looking for the mistakes. You feel rushed to get your thoughts down on paper; have at it. Knock yourself out! There's no need to "rush them into print." Quality, not quantity. I hope you take the critique in the manner in which it is meant. And never stop writing.


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