December 16, 2019, 02:00:38 AM

Author Topic: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread  (Read 8369 times)

Offline xiagan

  • Writing Contest Organizer
  • Powers That Be
  • Ringbearer
  • *
  • Posts: 6007
  • Total likes: 2628
  • Gender: Male
  • Master Procrastinator
    • View Profile
[Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« on: May 02, 2015, 09:30:11 PM »
So here is the possibility to get critiques for your stories entered in our Rogues writing contest - and to give critique as well.

If everybody wants and gives critique, this thread will be pure chaos soon, while 2-3 critiques for as many stories shouldn't be a problem. We'll see how it goes and adapt if necessary. :)

So what we're doing is this:
1. Everybody who wants critique for his story posts in here.*
2. Everybody who wants to do a critique for a specific story (whose writer has asked for critique) posts it in here.

IF this thread is overrun fast, I'm splitting it so that every story has it's own one to avoid confusion. :)

* I know that critique isn't always easy to handle, especially if you are not used to it. So if you feel more comfortable receiving it in private, people can send it via pm. They can post here that they sent a critique via pm so that others know about it.

At the moment I don't think it necessary that we create a system balancing given/received critiques. However, if it turns out to be unfair and some people are giving critiques without receiving some (or the other way round) we have to add one.

Basic rules for critiquing:

This is just a small guideline for those that haven't done critiques before, stolen from this forum's writing section.
Quote
Critiquing Other’s Work
1. Please read what the poster is asking for before you post your critique.
2. Critique the writing, not the writer.  Never, “You are...” or “You should...” but rather, “The writing is...” or “The story should...”
3. We all have different levels of writing ability here, keep that in mind when critiquing.
4. Find what is right in each piece as well as what is wrong.
5. Remember that subject matter is personal. You don't have to like a story to give it a fair critique.
6. Remember what your biases are and critique around them.
7. Remember that real people wrote this stuff, and real people have real feelings. Things you may not say while critiquing: “That’s awful.” “That’s stupid.” “You couldn’t write your way out of a paper bag.”
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4587
  • Total likes: 3529
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2015, 12:30:50 AM »
Yay!
I'd love any critiques indeed, on "The name of a god". I had some external feedback but often from people who even though I told them it's a story two words away from the word count limit, mostly keep saying they'd like me to go I to more details here or there... I'm conscious that it could benefit from turning to 2k. But you guys will know the struggle, so looking forward to any comment.  ;D
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline JMack

  • Hircum Magna Rex of the Fabled Atku Temple, and writing contest regular
  • Writing Group
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ******
  • Posts: 7005
  • Total likes: 4772
  • Gender: Male
  • Our daily efforts are love poems to the universe.
    • View Profile
    • Tales of Starlit Lands
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2015, 12:34:07 AM »
And I'd love any critique of "1 Rogue, 4 Women". What worked? What didn't? I had such a good time writing it, that I don't have much perspective  ;D
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)
www.starlit-lands.com

Offline Raptori

  • Barbarian who does not use the Oxford comma and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4054
  • Total likes: 2111
  • the prettiest kitty cat in the world
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2015, 01:12:08 AM »
We'd love some feedback too, of course!  :P
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4587
  • Total likes: 3529
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2015, 01:15:40 AM »
We'd love some feedback too, of course!  :P

The only thing your story failed at, is to make me a native english speaker at the first word. If it had been the case, I would have known the double meaning of "kid".  :P
Otherwise it was pretty much perfect. I got the whole picture even if I wasn't sure if I was getting the pun, and once confirmed it makes it perfect upon re-reading.
I particularly appreciate how short and sharp you kept it. It's well balanced, nothing to add and nothing to take out.
Even better, a month after I still have a visual picture of your short (a typical swiss pasture with the Alps around) in my mind, meaning it left quite an impression.  :D
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Lady Ty

  • Blessed River Lady and Defender of Baby Dragons
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3459
  • Total likes: 2919
  • Gender: Female
  • So-Old-That-She-Can-Nearly-Be-Called-Oldest-Ty
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2015, 02:55:48 AM »
@Nora, I enjoyed your story very much indeed and you got one of my votes because of the theme, the two characters and the way it worked out.  I could easily picture the whole grim landscape, Hades and the kid and what had happened. I liked the way we gained  a glimpse of Hades character in such a short piece. Not quite assassin-with-a-heart-of-gold, but at least one with a shred of humanity left.

I  really appreciate the dialogue style without "he said", all the time. I have just noticed how often this occurs in one particular new book, because I am listening on audible and it stands out badly.

There is one critical point that struck me afterwards.
The story was really about an Assassin, not a Rogue, even though Hades gives the profession of Rogue because that was what they called them in this world.  The story was made to fit the theme rather than the other way round. Raptori outlined how we think of Rogues in general at the start to give a wide basis.
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
Leigh Bardugo, The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4587
  • Total likes: 3529
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2015, 03:13:56 AM »
There is one critical point that struck me afterwards.
The story was really about an Assassin, not a Rogue, even though Hades gives the profession of Rogue because that was what they called them in this world.  The story was made to fit the theme rather than the other way round. Raptori outlined how we think of Rogues in general at the start to give a wide basis.

Thanks for your review, and your vote! :D
Yes I believe you're pretty right on that, I did try to bend the rogue definition to fit my character rather than making him a true rogue in himself. I was hoping to "drown that fish" by giving him that little moral struggle, making him a rogue as in "bad guy with a good side" sense rather than the proper "cheeky truant".
I think I should have made him a professional thief rather than a multi tasking hit man to really fall in the theme..
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline ArcaneArtsVelho

  • Secretly I'm laughing about jurassic raccoon testicles. And a Writing Contest Regular
  • Auror
  • ***
  • Posts: 1021
  • Total likes: 835
  • Gender: Male
  • Only partially responsible for my custom title.
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2015, 07:48:21 AM »
I  really appreciate the dialogue style without "he said", all the time. I have just noticed how often this occurs in one particular new book, because I am listening on audible and it stands out badly.
Well, that's one thing I did, and always do, wrong.  ;D

I think I "bite the bullet" and ask for critique for my story "You call this a hanging!". No need to go too deep with it; a few good/less bad and bad/less good points will suffice.  :)

And I, of course, try to write a few words in return.
Everything I wrote above is pure conjecture. I don't know what I'm talking about.

I'm a perfectionist but not very good at anything. That's why I rarely finish things.

Offline Lady Ty

  • Blessed River Lady and Defender of Baby Dragons
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3459
  • Total likes: 2919
  • Gender: Female
  • So-Old-That-She-Can-Nearly-Be-Called-Oldest-Ty
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2015, 08:39:38 AM »
I  really appreciate the dialogue style without "he said", all the time. I have just noticed how often this occurs in one particular new book, because I am listening on audible and it stands out badly.
Well, that's one thing I did, and always do, wrong.  ;D

I think I "bite the bullet" and ask for critique for my story "You call this a hanging!". No need to go too deep with it; a few good/less bad and bad/less good points will suffice.  :)

And I, of course, try to write a few words in return.


My comment about dialogue does not apply all the time, I wasn't using that to criticise anyone else and hadn't even noticed it on any of the stories here.  ;D

It happens  when there are a series of fairly short sentences, often hardly a full line, alternating between characters in a conversation and it keeps repeating, for example:

"No,"  John said.
"Perhaps tomorrow?" Tom said.
"Won't suit me!" John said.

and so on for several lines.

I've noticed it happening more often lately, in different kinds of books, and wonder when it's he and she instead of actual names if it is done on purpose to emphasise an argument, or a stand-off or the beginnings of one. If so, it's not always successful.

I heard it yesterday in The Final Empire on audible, somewhere in the chapter with the  interview about the transport deal, but because it is audible it's hard to find, it just sounded forced.   

Edited. Just rushed off to the sub thread and re-read your story,@ArcaneArtsVelho,  not what I meant at all  ;)

I thoroughly enjoyed Call This a Hanging , especially the back and forth banter with the crowd, it flowed perfectly. Somehow we suspected what was coming but I liked the way the whole family was involved and the double twist with Bel's reaction to what he had been caught doing.  Definitely a typical Rogue, thank you for the laughs.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 09:00:02 AM by Lady Ty »
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
Leigh Bardugo, The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Offline Eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4445
  • Total likes: 2237
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2015, 09:03:41 AM »
I feel  uncomfortable giving out Critiques so go gentle on me and it's not really a critique

I want to mention Nora's story while I enjoyed the story a lot it felt to me anyway that the end wasn't the end if that makes sense it felt like it was a first chapter from a novel, I wanted to know what happens next to the characters in the story

 
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

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

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline ArcaneArtsVelho

  • Secretly I'm laughing about jurassic raccoon testicles. And a Writing Contest Regular
  • Auror
  • ***
  • Posts: 1021
  • Total likes: 835
  • Gender: Male
  • Only partially responsible for my custom title.
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2015, 10:45:31 AM »
My comment about dialogue does not apply all the time, I wasn't using that to criticise anyone else and hadn't even noticed it on any of the stories here.  ;D

It happens  when there are a series of fairly short sentences, often hardly a full line, alternating between characters in a conversation and it keeps repeating, for example:

"No,"  John said.
"Perhaps tomorrow?" Tom said.
"Won't suit me!" John said.

and so on for several lines.

...

Edited. Just rushed off to the sub thread and re-read your story,@ArcaneArtsVelho,  not what I meant at all  ;)

I thoroughly enjoyed Call This a Hanging , especially the back and forth banter with the crowd, it flowed perfectly. Somehow we suspected what was coming but I liked the way the whole family was involved and the double twist with Bel's reaction to what he had been caught doing.  Definitely a typical Rogue, thank you for the laughs.
Thank you, Lady Ty! I didn't mean to lure you into re-reading my story.  ;) ;D

A fun fact: I had to go to the submission thread to read my own story to see how the dialogue was.  ;D And it would seem that I actually deleted some of those "he said"-bits when I had to get the word count down to 1500.  :o

I'm really happy that the story worked for you. :)
Everything I wrote above is pure conjecture. I don't know what I'm talking about.

I'm a perfectionist but not very good at anything. That's why I rarely finish things.

Offline Carter

  • Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Night Angel
  • *
  • Posts: 164
  • Total likes: 60
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2015, 11:43:38 AM »
And I'd love any critique of "1 Rogue, 4 Women". What worked? What didn't? I had such a good time writing it, that I don't have much perspective  ;D

I'll try and rise to the challenge @Jmack

The pacing of the main body of the story was spot on.  It had the feel of a story being told with how it jumped scenes and the way the snippets of dialogue were integrated.  This helped to give a sense of the characters involved without the need for too many descriptive elements that might otherwise have felt necessary.  The whole process really helped to give an idea of the society your characters were operating within and the impact a solitary rogue can have on the members of such a society.  Using this as a framework to show Jack getting his (potential) comeuppance works nicely.   

There are a few things that might have been explored in greater detail that could have added more to the story (although, with the constraints of the word limit, it might not have been possible).  For example, we never hear the 'real' tale that your narrator tells the crowd and the brief line we do have does not quite give enough depth to show what it might have been.  Perhaps line or two extra, or just the hint of a story finishing at this point with a detail or two more, would have helped. 

In terms of the setting, it is a little difficult to get a feel of just where we are and Jack's place within it.  From his actions, I got the impression of a somewhat downmarket establishment, yet some of the descriptors hint at something a lot more refined.  For me, the tale might have benefited from a greater sense of place to help frame the story. 

It must be said, however, that your enthusiasm for the story comes across.  Throughout the story, I could tell you were having great fun writing it, which helped to capture some of the comedic and action-filled elements and imbue them with a real passion and voice. 

I hope this helps. 

And if anyone feels like giving mine a critique, I'd appreciate it.  After trying to play around with the perspective of the story a bit, I am curious to see what people think worked - and what didn't. 

Offline D_Bates

  • Story Critiquaire Extraordinaire and a Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Bridgeburner
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Total likes: 223
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2015, 03:59:17 PM »
I'm happy to give a detailed critique on any short story should somebody want it. I find it often helps my own writing to analyse others, and as a wannabe myself I know the importantance of getting the what worked can be as well as detailed reasoning why something wasn't clicking.

Because I tend to write for hours at a time even for short forum posts--and as others may have noticed in my posts elsewhere, I do literally pick texts to pieces--I'll leave it to the author's discretion whether they want a post here, a PM, or none at all :p. Just let me know and I'll reread the story and give you my thoughts.

Regarding my own, I'm always happy to hear comments but am not too fussed one way or the other. Telling a short story to 1500 words is a real talent I've never thought myself to have, and it was a somewhat rushed 2 hour affair on the last day to get in with the crowds! But I've been really impressed with how this contest works. My full respects to xiagan for running it and I'm honoured to be participating in it among such great talents.
David Bates
Works in progress:
Ciara: A Faun's Tale - 90,000; The K.B.G. - 100,000; Maria and the Jarls of Jotun - 90,000; The Shame that lurks in Stableton - current project; Ezra'il - Plotted. TBC July 2018

Offline Nora

  • Dropped in from another planet avec son sourire provocateur - et Hades and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4587
  • Total likes: 3529
  • Gender: Female
  • The Explorer
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2015, 04:49:11 PM »
I'm happy to give a detailed critique on any short story should somebody want it. I find it often helps my own writing to analyse others, and as a wannabe myself I know the importantance of getting the what worked can be as well as detailed reasoning why something wasn't clicking.

Because I tend to write for hours at a time even for short forum posts--and as others may have noticed in my posts elsewhere, I do literally pick texts to pieces--I'll leave it to the author's discretion whether they want a post here, a PM, or none at all :p. Just let me know and I'll reread the story and give you my thoughts.

Regarding my own, I'm always happy to hear comments but am not too fussed one way or the other. Telling a short story to 1500 words is a real talent I've never thought myself to have, and it was a somewhat rushed 2 hour affair on the last day to get in with the crowds! But I've been really impressed with how this contest works. My full respects to xiagan for running it and I'm honoured to be participating in it among such great talents.

I'll happily trade you reviews. I'll write one for you tomorrow (2am now, just home from work) and I guest the first done gets to pick where you want to post the review?
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline D_Bates

  • Story Critiquaire Extraordinaire and a Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Bridgeburner
  • *****
  • Posts: 527
  • Total likes: 223
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Critique Thread
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2015, 06:54:12 PM »
Thanks Nora. As I said, I'm not too fussed with mine so whatever works for. I'll probably be a couple of days as I'm going to work on Jmack's first, so by all means take your time.
David Bates
Works in progress:
Ciara: A Faun's Tale - 90,000; The K.B.G. - 100,000; Maria and the Jarls of Jotun - 90,000; The Shame that lurks in Stableton - current project; Ezra'il - Plotted. TBC July 2018