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Re: Valerion

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:47 am
by Tyrant

The vox that Meeks was talking about was taken from inside the Chimera. It is not the vox that belonged to Mikael's unit, that one was damaged beyond repair and presumably abandoned, although I never spelled that out, admittedly.

Re: Valerion

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:11 am
by Mossy Toes
Part five: ooh, I like the touch of the gargoyles watching him. In a dream, I assume. Hence the italics. And the plant is reintroduced, nice.

Hmmm, eight leaves. Eight petals. Eight-pointed star? Also, you say six inches tall, but I'm under the impression that 40k uses the metric system. So...15 cm, maybe?

I like the staggered, broken structure of that one


It emphasizes the word "silence" well. The blood spreading is suitably vivid, too. Again, I am surprised at how well this"mundane" horror is pulled off, rather than typically 40k over-the-top horror that comes off as a bit stale. And, of course, it escalates nicely into true nightmare fuel.The sky is particularly well-described.

Hmm. I don't know about "Meeks" as a name. And he's meek and jumpy? The names have been nice so far, but this one is the first entry, in my eyes, into the "sub-par" column.

Still, excellent update. The potential for parallel dreams...well, it isn't entirely unexpected. The post closes on a strong note, too.

Re: Valerion

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:11 pm
by Tyrant
Hmm, I put in the inches reference without really thinking about it. Yes it would be around 15 cm in that case.

I didn't realise I had described Meeks as meek, that's careless if so.....

Re: Valerion

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:44 pm
by Tyrant

Re: Valerion

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:03 pm
by Mossy Toes

Re: Valerion

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:02 am
by Robbie MacNiven
*teleports in*

Ty, I don't want you to get creeped out by this...but... you. have. a. frikkin. awesome. accent.

*teleports out*

Re: Valerion

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:37 pm
by Tyrant
Grenadier wrote:*teleports in*

Ty, I don't want you to get creeped out by this...but... you. have. a. frikkin. awesome. accent.

*teleports out*

Not sure why I would find that creepy.....thanks!

Re: Valerion

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:02 pm
by LordLucan
Tyrant wrote:
Not sure why I would find that creepy.....thanks!

Ooooh, say that again! More slowly... slower... mmmmmm... yesss...


That's why... :P

Re: Valerion

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:09 am
by Mossy Toes
All right, time to finish this.

Part six:

The title "captain" should be capitalized in the second sentence, as it's attached to his name.

Hmmm. First three paragraphs have 2 instances of the captain and commissar working together, when earlier you'd been emphasizing their differences and, to some degree, a power struggle between them. Why not have it be the commissar's order alone that cuts down the number of rest periods, or something? Another chance to subtly illustrate the rift there.

Paragraph 4: I'm not a big fan of "the main character glanced around" sentences, in spite of their occasional necessity (especially during large combats). Here, though, I'd argue that it isn't necessary. I'd drop it.

Hmmm, subtle build in tension as they cross the park offset by a subtle, empty climax in the form of the ruined vehicles. Then it's past, which is a bit of a let down, and a bit of unresolved tension. I do like the (apparently suicidal/insane) group of dead guardsmen, though.

Ah, contact at last. I've enjoyed that the story has avoided that so far, but am interested to see what you do here.

Part seven:

Hmm, for assaulting an enemy position, there is awfully little resistance. Recurrence of the shadows...

Forcing a confrontation between the commissar and captain, nice. The interruption seems a bit too conveniently timed, but...such is fiction.

Part eight:

The Meeks fight is nicely handled. Some of Meeks' dialogue has periods outside the parentheses which needs addressing. Hmmm...checking and yeah, it looks like every single time you end a sentence with quotes you need to put the period on the proper side. Random sampling from previous updates are also wrong, along with a couple commas seen too. A find-and-replace word search on the master document for - ". -to - ." -
(and - ", - to - ," -) should sort that out easy. Or (if you're on Chrome, at least) you could edit the post and hit ctrl+f and search the term.

Or you could just ignore it.

And...back to silence.

Part nine:

Again, I like the contrast between Veran and Krayn--not in opposition this time, but just in how they react.

Physical enemies at last! I have a bad suspicion about what that nausea means, might want to consider having the two guardsmen who go down immediately be named. I mean, it seems pretty likely that Mikael knows all 19 remaining members of the unit. It would definitely give their deaths more impact.

Part ten:

Nicely tense, and clear and easy to understand. Poor Haem--and we're down to 3 named characters (wait--Jase. 4). Juuuump, Mikael!

Part eleven:

Ouch. That's gotta hurt.

Not an entirely unexpected twist, but handled with nice drama and suspense all the same.

Part twelve:

And the leadership conflict comes to a head. Why a captain would say such things in front of a commissar so clearly close to the edge--and who hasn't been incapacitated--is beyond me, but suffice it to say that he got what he deserved for being the voice of reason. Now the voice of faith can lead.

Part thirteen:

You say that the unit is five men as if Krayn isn't included in that number--"5 men where there was once dozens," or somesuch. I guess that's a stylistic choice...

I quite like the idea of his changing position behind them so they can't get a clean kill. The two guardsmen in a deadly embrace was a similarly nice touch.

Oooh, found the cultists. I have to say, I'd been expecting something along the lines of this since you'd mentioned the idea of the guard fighting each other...but where were the cultists?

Part fourteen/fifteen:

Oooh, I like the touch of the dead insects. Nurgle's putrefaction has little power in this place of stillness.

"Like the petals of a flower" indeed.

I've been waiting for that. Well, those things: the realization that it was a ritual, and for his fellows to turn into "cultists" too. You may have skipped the opportunity for him to see through the ruse and cooperate with his false-faced friends in spite of the illusions, which could have been narratively interesting (I was pondering with the idea of running across more groups of guardsmen/cultists and managing to establish that they are friends, which could have been fun).

The flower makes its triumphant final return. The Emperor works in mysterious ways...

I can just imagine an epilogue where the Ordo Hereticus turns up and dispatches Mikael with extreme prejudice for irreparable taint.

Good story. It's twists are sketched visibly in place ahead of time for those genre-savvy, but it takes that and runs with it. It blends dismal inevitability with fatigue and creeping wrongness. It represents a victory, of sorts, but one of the more true types of victory one can have, in cleaving to 40k's mythos: the lone survivor left in an empty, shattered city.

I am glad to have imbibed of this draught, good sir. It is chaotic and miserable and desperate and mind-warping, and emminently true to 40k.

Re: Valerion

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:38 am
by kurisawa
Hi Tyrant! As part of my WtR duties, I read the first four chapters (err, posts... parts?).

And... well... it wasn't a duty at all! I really enjoyed it. You avoided the oh-so-common mistake of infodumping every last detail of the war-so-far and concentrated on the protagonist marching and thinking, and it worked great. I got really interested, really quickly, in what exactly the sky looked like, and you did this... by not describing it. Good hook.

The screaming and understated horror of the dead bodies also drew me in. We still, at this point, did not know who they were fighting against, but the ruined city and exhaustion of the guardsmen was a clever communication of events so far (covert infodumping!).

Onto some points for you to consider. At times, the writing was a bit, hmmm... underwhelming? What I mean is you used very "pedestrian" verbs - walked, looked, had, and so on. For more impact you can use more descriptive verbs - trudged, scrambled, peered, shrieked, and so on. However, I don't want to change your style. Somehow the "normality" of the language made the descriptions more vivid (if that is possible). Just every now and then I think you over-use the simplest version of walk, had etc, when... just a little bit more thought could be put in to find a better verb and/or sentence structure.

(That sounds a bit rambling, I hope you understand what I mean)

Secondly, for dialogue the full stop / period goes inside the quote marks (like the exclamation marks and question marks).

"Let's go". = X

"Let's go." = correct

Next, although I understood what you showed the reader about the war, and the commmissar and captain's little confrontations, I didn't get much of a feel for the protagonist, his character, motivations, etc. He just seemed like a really tired, generic IG grunt. I liked the bit about forgetting his friend's name, but I think perhaps you could have told us a bit more about him, personally.

That's almost all for now. I have an informal rule for writing 40k fiction: When you get an idea and think about how to describe it, make it ten times worse. That is, the 40k-verse is all about grimdark hyperbole taken to the max. The story so far could be set in any warzone in history (except the sky bit). However, I won't make this criticism yet because I sense the normality of the first four chapters is about to be shattered...

So, overall I'd say well-written and interesting hooks. Well done. I will come back and read more.