December 07, 2019, 09:16:37 PM

Author Topic: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End  (Read 19231 times)

Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2016, 09:45:01 PM »
Spoiler for Hiden:
And last, what the heck with the blurb of book 2, G.R.? I just opened Goodreads, someone put book 2 on "Want to Read" and now I know the duke dies, a traitor is slain (Marbu probably) and the city of Yaart is destroyed. *Rages*

Ah... I really struggled with the Blurb for book 2. How to give the idea that the story continues without giving anything away!

Spoiler for Hiden:
One, maybe two, people from The Stone Road are now trying to find out something that happens or to prevent something happening. One, maybe two of them must learn some new skills and...

I really struggled to make it work. Maybe it deserves another look... but blurbing without spoiling is art :)

Spoiler for Hiden:
The battle for The Stone Road is over. Now the winners and losers must look to the next challenge; advancement or survival. On the horizon, a new threat emerges. One the Emperor had feared and yet knows little about. More than a city is at stake and discovering secrets is what the Jiin-Wei are for.


I love your thoughts about Jiao!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 09:48:04 PM by G_R_Matthews »
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Offline Kitvaria Sarene

Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2016, 11:29:50 PM »
I also still really like Haung, (managed to get the girl in the end  :) ) he shows his good side by sparing Zhou's life when he captured Hsin and possibly saved his life. Something I'll think he'll regret. I think there will be a big face off between them at some point.

One of my favorite scenes! Other one is the one with the mother...

Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2016, 08:52:15 AM »
Finished it! Great ending, with very interesting places, people and some magic.

My theory about Jiao was wrong, but I was totally right in that there was something really strange going on with her, so there's that!  ;D

Huang only grew on me in the final quarter, but hey, his competition was Zhou, who was clearly the better character as only handsome, intelligent, witty, strong and charming people like me and him go for the diplomatic career  ::)
 
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Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2016, 05:20:23 PM »
Finished it! Great ending, with very interesting places, people and some magic.
Thanks... and I am really glad you enjoyed it!


My theory about Jiao was wrong, but I was totally right in that there was something really strange going on with her, so there's that!  ;D
There is more to her in book 2 and 3.

Huang only grew on me in the final quarter, but hey, his competition was Zhou, who was clearly the better character as only handsome, intelligent, witty, strong and charming people like me and him go for the diplomatic career  ::)

It is a fair point :)
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Offline JMack

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Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2016, 01:01:32 PM »
Finished!  Now I get to read this thread.  ;D
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2016, 01:07:53 PM »
Finished!  Now I get to read this thread.  ;D

It's like an extra chapter for the book!
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Offline JMack

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Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2016, 01:12:57 PM »
Finished!  Now I get to read this thread.  ;D

It's like an extra chapter for the book!

And I just purchased Book 2  8)
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline JMack

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Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2016, 01:30:54 PM »
So let's start by saying how much I enjoyed the book. So many times I said to myself: "Man, I hope I can write like that at some point."

The magic and action were great, and the world is filled with mystery. The emperor himself is like a feature of the world as well as being one of the most interesting characters in the novel.

But, I'm looking forward to book 2 mainly because of the promise of fleshing out certain characters. One of the weaknesses of book 1, I think, is that the characters are somewhat generic. I expected Jiao to be a harriden, but as soon as she gets Haung, she fades into grey. Once Zhao becomes a wu, I find him to be comprised only of two things: stubborn revenge and wu-ism. All his pre-existing faults sort of get smoothed away. And Haung is a quiet hero, but I don't get a sense for his weaknesses, foibles, or things that make him utterly unique as a character.

Finally, if I were to adjust the very last two chapters (cheeky bastard that I am), I would have put some lovely magical imagery at the end of Chapter 36 to show that the golden mirror was being activated. As it is, when you flip the page to Chapter 37 and the Emperor emerges, my mind said "Emperor ex machina"! I get, it makes sense; but I think the abruptness of it could be softened.

One more thought, since I'm doing stream of consciousness here. Some foreshadowing of the duke's manipulation of Jiao would be in order.

Now the heck with all that.

This was fun! Great stuff, Geof. I'm so glad we chose your book for our first F-F Authors Book Club read.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
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Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2016, 05:41:10 PM »
So let's start by saying how much I enjoyed the book. So many times I said to myself: "Man, I hope I can write like that at some point."
<blushes>  :-[ but thanks :)

The magic and action were great, and the world is filled with mystery. The emperor himself is like a feature of the world as well as being one of the most interesting characters in the novel.
More of him in Book #2 and #3 ... and you are very close to being right  ;)

But, I'm looking forward to book 2 mainly because of the promise of fleshing out certain characters. One of the weaknesses of book 1, I think, is that the characters are somewhat generic. I expected Jiao to be a harriden, but as soon as she gets Haung, she fades into grey. Once Zhao becomes a wu, I find him to be comprised only of two things: stubborn revenge and wu-ism. All his pre-existing faults sort of get smoothed away. And Haung is a quiet hero, but I don't get a sense for his weaknesses, foibles, or things that make him utterly unique as a character.
Zhou's faults don't vanish, but his life is changed utterly by those two events. It is bit like being reborn, and he must grow again into a different person.

Haung, yep, I can see that. Hopefully, if you follow his story you'll see some of those things. He is put under a lot more pressure and his comfort is a transient thing.

Finally, if I were to adjust the very last two chapters (cheeky bastard that I am), I would have put some lovely magical imagery at the end of Chapter 36 to show that the golden mirror was being activated. As it is, when you flip the page to Chapter 37 and the Emperor emerges, my mind said "Emperor ex machina"! I get, it makes sense; but I think the abruptness of it could be softened.
Ah the 'golden mirror' :) I can see you're point, and maybe that would have highlighted it more. I like the Emperor, even if I don't trust him :)

One more thought, since I'm doing stream of consciousness here. Some foreshadowing of the duke's manipulation of Jiao would be in order.
Yep. When I started out, I was determined to write this in a focused Third-Person limited PoV, so you experience the world through their eyes only (bar the Cat and Emperor mini-chapters). That's why things seem to jump occasionally in time and space, and in an effort to keep the pace up... I like pacey books, they keep me reading in times when I actually don't have much time to read.

Now the heck with all that.

This was fun! Great stuff, Geof. I'm so glad we chose your book for our first F-F Authors Book Club read.

I'm really glad too! It has been a nervous experience, I woke up a few nights, mind racing about the comments that would come in... would people like it? Hate it?

As a Self-Pubbed author, and The Stone Road being my first ever book, it was worrying. I think the book gets better the further you go through it... and as a man that doesn't have a plan, I think it worked out pretty good. In each of the next two, the scope of the world widens out, and you see more of it... plus some of my favourite characters get a proper introduction in Book #2 :)
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Offline JMack

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Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2016, 07:08:59 PM »
My idea of foreshadowing, for what's it's worth, would have been Haung puzzling over some momentary oddness in her eyes, or such.

But as you say, the heck with all that!  ;)
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2016, 07:18:47 PM »
My idea of foreshadowing, for what's it's worth, would have been Haung puzzling over some momentary oddness in her eyes, or such.

But as you say, the heck with all that!  ;)

I noticed something was very wrong with her (see my theory in the previous page), but I certainly wasn't expecting mind manipulation. I thought she had orders, actually
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Offline Justan Henner

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Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2016, 08:44:39 PM »
Finished.

I liked the worldbuilding a lot. The small cultural 'quirks' (for lack of a better word) were well done; the golems, the spirits, the titles "Honorable, Honored, Venerable Hsin, etc - I really liked those, and kind of wish I could get away with them irl  ;D.

I felt a few places were under-explained, or at the least I missed some crucial details. I felt as though I often knew what the character was doing, but not his motivation for doing it. As an example, I'm still not sure why Zhou wandered into the mountains after the siege, (the only motive stated at the time was revenge, but I didn't quite understand how going into the mountains would help with that goal), though I could see why he needed to in order to meet Boqin.

The misspelled, misused, and missing words were a bit distracting. At one point (about 75% of the way through) the paragraph indentation goes wonky for about a scene, which really put me on edge, haha, but I think that says more about me than it does the book.

The Emperor, Boqin, and the spirit animals are what really pulled things together for me. When Boqin and Zhou meet the emperor in the spirit world was the first time I got a sense that there was a lot more going on here than I thought. It makes me wonder what I was missing at the first, as I'm curious if there are a few of these 'special list/Wu' individuals who I missed at the first. The subsequent conversation between the Duke and the Emperor was, I think, my favorite part of the book.

Offline Justan Henner

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Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2016, 08:47:21 PM »
Sorry to double post, I just had to comment on this:

Edit: I've Read further on, the statue of a dragon with no emperor.I've got a theory this might mean there is no emperor just a dragon spirit which is masquerading as the emperor.The emperor has been consumed by the spirit or something and the emperor sleeping in the body

That's funny, I took it as an anarchist symbol. A dragon without a rider, as in the nation without its emperor. I figured they were anti-emperor rebels.

Offline JMack

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Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2016, 08:49:41 PM »
I thought the same.

Meanwhile, I completely missed that the dragon in the spirit world is the emperor. Well, duh.
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Offline m3mnoch

Re: Part 3: Chapter 21 to the End
« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2016, 03:49:40 PM »
i finished this last week, but i figured i'd finally get around to writing up a quick note about my thoughts.

a lot of the reason for my delay was my crankiness over the emperor in the end.  i felt like i was being a baby because i hated his appearance.  jmack and i had the exact same thought -- emperor ex machina.  it felt very much like the characters were being railroaded for the sake of plot.

there were a few other times along the way where i had the same feeling, but it wasn't as strong.  the early disbanding (not that it was disbanded at all, but that it was disbanded early - i would guess both yaart and wubei would disband them simultaneously) of the army.  when haung (see!  i can spell it!) set zhou free.

but, the emperor stepping in and wrapping things up neatly in a bow was bothersome.

also, there was some head-hopping happening in that last chapter.  perspective shifts from the emperor to haung.  for example, from "As soon as the young lady with the child left" to "the emperor was saying as Haung and Jiao left the hall".

that being said -- haung sticking the paper/gripping the throat of marbu?  YES!!  loved that.  i cheered.

That's funny, I took it as an anarchist symbol. A dragon without a rider, as in the nation without its emperor. I figured they were anti-emperor rebels.

*whew*  me too!  glad i wasn't the only one.

and, boquin, zhou, and the emperor (tho, i didn't realize it was the emperor until he did his creepy eye party trick), when the groundwork is laid with the wu, that chunk through there was probably my favorite part in the whole book.  like justan, i was all "whoa!  so much cool stuff is going on!!"

overall, i enjoyed the book, even with its freshman flaws.  there have been lots of books i threw in the dnf pile written by famous and popular authors, so believe me when i say i am not afraid of abandoning a book as "not worth my time".

with this one, there were more than enough fun surprises and interesting questions that needed answers to make up for the mechanical problems like lack of foreshadowing in places and the railroading of characters.

often, when i stumbled across some of these pointier mistakes, i couldn't help but wonder about how awesome of a book it would have been with the help of a professional editor.  not just fixing the typos, but helping to spot and adjust some of those structural issues behind the common feelings we readers all having.

but, for sure!  mad props to geoff being brave enough to throw his baby to the wolves!