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 Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)

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Umbrangelus

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 05, 2008 8:52 am

I just love how no one has any problems or complaints with my story so far, aside from the spelling and grammatical errors which are currently being highlighted and corrected by my editor (aka my mom).

Please let me know if there is something you find confusing or unclear. I would really appreciate it.
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 05, 2008 9:02 am

I think I have to go back and re-read everything before I can comment. It turns out to be tough to read bits and pieces of multiple stories over a period of time and keep them all straight.

John Edlund
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 05, 2008 10:40 am

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I will be finishing up my story, hopefully by the end of this week and then proofreading it to fix all the mistakes.

Thank you though for trying to keep track of them all. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Chapter 6   Mon May 05, 2008 3:41 pm

Syran was blissfully unaware of the world around her as Gabriel carried her and the child back to Harlowe. She did not notice the fuss they made over her wounds, or the heated discussion between Thresles and other Assassins as to what to do with her. They wished to give her the hero’s death she deserved, but Thresles insisted that she be left to the angel’s care. Finally, Gabriel shooed them all away and left Syran with the child as he prepared for further events. It was there, alone with the small child that Syran noticed the interruption into her dreams.
------------------------



She walked softly with a field covered in some sort of grass. It was knee high and mysterious to her. She watched the wind blow across the rich golden brown grass. As she listened to the wind blowing, she walked towards a hill with a tall old oak tree. Even from the center of the field, Syran could tell who the small figure rocking gently on the swing there was. Snowfires, naked as ever, let her hair drag along the ground as she swung.

“Hello,” she said in a tiny voice, filled with laughter.

“Hello,” replied Syran in a like tone, rather surprised at her own merriment. “What are you doing here in my dreams?”

“Guiding you through the darkness.”

Syran, puzzled by this response looked again around the brightly lit field around her, “There is no darkness, and you are not guiding me.”

She laughed a little as she spoke, “Of course there is not darkness. How could I guide you if you could not see me?” At that, she leapt from the swing and flew wildly away from Syran. “Come’on! I have much to show you before you wake. Hurry up, or you will miss it!!!”

Syran, waited a moment to give the child a moments head start then followed the child in like manner. Unfortunately for Syran, she had not anticipated the speed of the little devil and had to take flight to overtake the little creature. Just as Syran had wrapped her arms around the child, she vanished from her grasp and reappeared a few feet ahead, this time moving faster than Syran could run. After what seemed of miles, the repeated the same silly pattern, each time laughing more and more each time the cycle began again, until abruptly Snowfires stopped. All the laughter in the child’s face and voice vanished and she stared transfixed by something Syran had yet to have seen.

“What?” said Syran as she caught up with the child, still laughing and panting to catch her breath. Then she had seen what the child had seen. Before them, stood an alter surrounded by lava. Before the alter, a small pedestal stood definitely out of the lava by only a couple of inches.

“This is what I came to show you. This is the alter where I must die. Be silent please and pay attention.”

For what seemed like hours, Snowfires lectured Syran on what the rite entailed making sure that Syran understood even the remotest detail of the rite for continuing to the next. When she was all done Syran nodded once and recapped the lesson, “So I have to do draw all this marks in the sand and say all of these words. When I have finished these runes, I have to pick you up and put you on the pedestal. Once that is done, I finish this mark here and you are surrounded by a wreath of flames; it’s a fitting death for a fire brat,” Syran cocked her head playfully as she said the last part. She had no idea why she was so playful with the little girl. Ordinarily she would have been annoyed by the child’s lecturing, but she found the child amusing and was reminded of her brother. The thought of her brother still brought a sting of pain to her face, but still she cherished her relationships with the small child.

“Yes, yes. But stick to the point. What must you do after the flames?” The urgency in her voice took Syran’s mood down a few paces.

“After that, I have to draw this,” tracing the fine lines into the ground as she spoke, and say, “So it is asked for, so shall it be done. But if I instead draw this, you will be spared and the rest of the world will take your place. Either one seals Lucifer in his cage forever. Correct?”

“Yes that is correct, but not an option. I must be the one to perish or the world, in all its majesty will be destroyed. You cannot allow that, you must do as I say.” She was almost in tears now. Furiously she wiped away the few who fell upon her cheeks, sweeping along with them the last of Syran’s cheerful mood.

“Why don’t you want him to be released? He is your father.”

Snowfires stopped playing with the grass at her feet and stared at her, puzzled. “I fell in love with people. In Hell there is no laughter, no happiness, no joy. Here, we can laugh and dance and sing. Here, I can see blues and greens and yellows. Here, people are happy, they look forward to life, they plan their lives, even beyond death. In Hell there is no planning. There is nothing to plan. Here, there is love. And I have fallen in love with that, with Earth. I have fallen in love with society’s innocence. There is no innocence in Hell. I will gladly die to protect this world from my father, and I will gladly suffer any punishment he will give me for failing. I would gladly suffer any penalty so that children like Robin can run and dance through the streets laughing and singing as they go.”

Her profound innocence was beyond belief. Syran stared at her mystified by her statements and by the passion with which she spoke. “I wish I could see this world as you do. I wish I could see these people as you do. But all I see is hate and death and killing. All I see is the blood of the innocents I killed so that greedy assholes could live the way they do. I have killed so many, committed so many crimes in the name of a faith, a belief that was never my own. And I hate what I am. I hate what I have become. I hate what this society has made me. But you do not belong to this society. You are not bound by their disgusting beliefs. You are fresh and pure. The love you know for a people not your own rivals that of God’s for his people.”

“That is because God engineered her heart for the monstrous body Lucifer designed to bring him back. He wanted this to be a sacrifice tantamount to that of his son, but in a way more precious. You who know what she is, you who know what she may become and what she will unleash are driven by God to destroy her. But you know her soul. You know her existence and who she is. You must make the decision to sacrifice her for the good God commands of you, or you will sacrifice all of humanity to no end.” Gabriel’s interruption into the blissful field around them pushed Syran back into a defensive mode.

Glaring at the archangel, more beautiful than any man could ever be, Syran ignited the entire field in a wave of flames, burning the tall grass to cinders that smoldered under the angel’s feet.

“Do not be angry with me for delivering this message. Do not think of being angry at Him for sending me. This is your duty, your destiny. This is what all your years of useless killing have been building to. Just one more, and you and all of humanity will enter Paradise. This is God’s will, and it shall be done.” Without warning he streaked across the field and snatched up the little child.

“Wake up, Syran wake up. You must wake up now!” Her scream was deafening and as she left, the darkness seeped in, smothering the light of the flames.

In a wave of indignation and rage, Syran swept the flames as high as she could before she snapped her eyes open.

----------------------


“Syran, you’re awake,” Talis tried to push her back down gently, mopping her brow with a damp rag “Just relax. I’ll go and get Thresles. He’ll know what to –.”

“WHERE IS SHE?!” She roared coming to her feet in one solid bound. Unwavering, she slammed Talis against the nearest wall.

“The child? Gabriel took her a few hours ago. He gave me this to give to you when you woke up.” Even as he spoke, her feet became unsteady. “You should lay down,” he said as he supported her until she found her feet, “Thresles is still looking for the cure. He should be back soon.”

She shoved him away and took one step toward the door. That is twice she had been cruel to him for doing what he was told. Remembering the innocence of the child, she turned to him, “Talis, I’m sorry. I know you are just trying to help. I am just running out of time.”

He stood and gauked at her before responding, “Oh—Its okay. I understand. Um…do you want some help?”

“Yeah, could you help me get to the door. From there I should be able to make it to the temple.”

He led her down the long hallway into the clan chambers. She hesitated at the door, so he let her go. She thrust open the door and strode into the room. Her muscles burned with each passing movement, but she kept moving forward. Stumbling and lurching, she had lost all grace and dignity, but she did not care; nor did anyone else around watching the fallen push forward. Syran held the continence of an Assassin in spite of the pain and after what seemed like an hour she finally made it to the other side. Talis caught her as her knees buckled. The Assassin’s den erupted with motion. The closest Assassin’s leapt forward to offer a supporting hand. Those that did not help her up rallied behind her.

“Why are you all helping me? I have never even spoken to most of you and yet you leap to help me.”

“There are barely three scratches on your arms caused by the Madelines. We saw the carnage you laid on that demon. It was amazing and the only injuries you sustained were three tiny scratches. Not only that, but you are still alive. It has been nearly 6 hours and you are still alive,” explained a ridged Assassin who supported her arm.

“And moving,” piped another small voice from behind.

“Yes, but does no one care that Varse died so that she could get that child!?” Syran did not need to turn to know it was Angel who spoke.

“He was an Assassin, and he died with honor. No one feels his loss more than I, but right now, I have to go. I promise you Angel, you can pick away whatever is left of me when I get back.” She ignored the indignation that came from the young human.

“Don’t pretend to care about him! You couldn’t care about anything unless it was dripping blood all over the floor. You are a monster and I just wish I could watch you die this terrible death.”

“Then why don’t you!!!? If you want to see me die so badly, then come with me. Watch me as the nanocytes course threw my veins and eat away at my muscles. Watch as the slow, terrible death of the Madeline pays me for my crimes. I don’t care. I am leaving and if you want to watch me die, then I suggest you follow.”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Syran shoved away from them all and strode through the doors out into the light. The park was nearly a mile away on foot through all the people but only a few hundred feet by air. She had no choice. She leapt to the air in a clumsy and haphazard flight. The pounding of her wings only exasperated the problem and the pain. The spasms that rippled across her back that morning, now erupted with the fury of a volcano throughout her body.

Finally, she landed in the temple courtyard and was hastily ushered inside by a few waiting angel’s.

“Gabriel was afraid you would not make it. Hurry, this way.” They did not wait for her feeble muscles to fail. Instead, the one who spoke took her in his arms and rushed through the church, down the hallway, and into the basement. Syran had seen the old basement before but never like this. Behind the usual alter stood a giant mirror distorted by age and cracked near the edges. The room was a strange design with part of the floor carved in an obscure pattern resembling a oval with harshly cut edges in what seemed to be bedrock. The rest of the floor, from the outside edges of the stone to the walls, was covered precariously with eroded wooden planks. Syran never knew their purpose nor at this moment cared for at the end of the room perched on the alter like a sacrificial dove, sat Snowfires.

“Syran!” she screamed as she leapt for the Assassin as the angel set her down gently. “I’m so glad you came. Gabriel said he would wait as long as possible but there were no guarantees that you would be able to watch.

“Watch? You said that I had to do it.”

“You do, but not the first part. We can do that. You just need to sit and wait until we are ready.” With that, the angels bent to their work drawing the symbols in the ground. Syran leaded up against a support pillar and waited with Snowfires curled up in her arms.

And Syran slept.


Last edited by Sphinexfire on Wed May 07, 2008 4:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 05, 2008 4:02 pm

Chapter 7 coming soon!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 05, 2008 4:26 pm

Hey, you actually followed our advice about separating dialgue by paragraphs =) You're doing well.
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 05, 2008 5:09 pm

But what did you think about the chapter?
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 05, 2008 5:11 pm

I think that breaking it up this way makes it more clear, but it is still not my favorite style.
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 07, 2008 7:35 am

I would really appreciate some input into my story. I haven't been getting very much and I don't know what I need to fix before finishing the story. Any insight would be great.

Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 07, 2008 9:53 am

This is from Chapter 1

Sphinexfire wrote:
...“How old are you, girl?” Varse approached his sister cautiously, “Five. We are both five. This is my sister Syran, and I’m Varse.” Thresles stared at her blankly for a little bit,...

A suggestion. Don't make the reader read redundant things. Instead of quoting Varse's introduction (since we all know who everyone is) just say '"Five. We are both five," and then Varse made the introduction.' or something like that. Also some of you phrases are not specific enough. I have the same problem I think. Since you know what everything is already, you are likely to leave out necessary things. In your case specifically I haven't found any that are crucial to the plot, but they're confusing as to what exactly the character(s) is doing. It's like a small blip in your story. It's like this:
Okay, Syran and Varse are talking... *blip*, pause, what was that, *reading ahead*, oh well they follow Thresles here but I still don't understand, *continues reading*.

Another thing that has to deal with your overall style... When you write, you write in actions and feelings. The reader is never allowed to know the motives of your characters this way (unless they guess). I think it's kind of jerky writing (starts and stops a lot). What I mean by that is that one second Syran and Varse hear a guard coming, and the next thing I read is that they both cover Thresles with their wings. So I picture one second, the two children are looking up listening and trying to see the guard while Thresles is in the corner, and the next second I see the two kids suddenly next to Thresles covering him at the exact same time in the exact same way like you might see in a video game. There was that mental jump it seemed. Your writing makes me jump, mentally a lot.

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 07, 2008 9:56 am

This is from Chapter 3

Sphinexfire wrote:
Storming through the crowd, still leery around the crowd, she saw him leaning up against the wall near her. Thresles’s face looked tired, but his eyes were darting and alert, “A hero’s death! For a child?” He looked at her, her alluring shape, her elegant wings, the black fur across her legs. A fool would have thought her beautiful. Yet Thresles knew better. Her body may have been blinding, but her soul had a hint of hatred to it that betrayed all illusion of beauty. He had known her for a long time; he knew how she felt about the kill. She returned his gaze a long time before she responded, “He cut his fingers with the Madeline knowing the agony and slow death a small scratch would cause him before he would die. He expected nothing more than a peasant’s painless death. He humbly cast aside his innocence and accepted his fate. He was my hero for the day. Besides, it’s been a long time since I have seen that much blood. I missed it.” He was always amazed at how unfeeling she could be sometimes and then how tender she could be at others. Her callousness about the child’s death disgusted him, even revolted him and yet, her comments about her hero had a surprising note of serenity to it. If he did not know her better and if he could have replaced her, he would have. But she was the best. No one was ever so committed to the kill, no one ever took so much joy in the sight of the last breath or the blood soaked concrete...

You use a lot of sentences that start with He or She. The effect this has on me is that I find it harder to read. It gets repetitive. Maybe you should change that up a bit?

Also, as a reader, I don't get the feeling of comfortablility with your story. What I mean is that by chapter 3, I've not been able to settle down into a comfortable setting or identify with a character. I don't know enough about what's going on to guess what will happen next. I mean when I start chapter 3 I know Syran is going to kill someone so she can get back somewhere for dinner. Neutral

Oh yes... Laughing You're still limiting your audience to those people who know what a River Dance is. Rolling Eyes

I'm sorry my suggestions are so general and the solutions call for such big changes. On top of that, I'm not giving you the advice you want with your story--I'm not helping you write your next chapter. Just trying to help. Very Happy

PS-BTW I want you to see something I've created. Your going to laugh, but hopefully you'll like it.

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PostSubject: The Final Chapter   Wed May 07, 2008 11:09 am


She dreamed about the field before Gabriel interrupted. It was not long before Snowfires came running down the hill towards her. Syran scooped up the little child and danced around in a circle. They ran and played and dance in the gentle breeze and the shadow of the sturdy oak. They talked and laughed with each other as they ran through the tall grass.

“I wonder what kind of grass this is?” asked Syran.

“It’s called wheat. A long time ago, Earth was actually covered in plants, like these. People ate this stuff. There was a time when people did not eat processed foods, but instead they made their own. When the population exploded, your scientists had to get rid of the fields to make room for the people. The replicator was their solution.”

Syran was amazed this little child, secluded to the depths of Hell for God only knows how long knew more about her planet than she did.

“Father wanted me to know about people so that when the time came, I could do what was required. But it is curious that this should be the time. None of the prophecies have happened yet. The world should not be ready. I should not be here.”

“Do you not want to be here?”

“Oh, no; of course I want to be here. I just don’t think I am supposed to be. You see when my father was thrown from heaven, God put certain rules in place for when my father could return. Part of those rules was that I was to come and bring a peace to the world that is to last for 7 years. Also part of those rules states that I will betray the people of earth and break that peace half way in to it. I have not made such peace, nor can I imagine myself breaking it.

“I love people way too much to betray them.”

“Why? I know you have told me before how different life in hell is compared to Earth, but I just do not see what is so great about us that you would suffer for all eternity to protect us. We deserve what is coming to us. You don’t deserve what is coming to you. And how are you supposed to be the anti-Christ anyway? Aren’t you supposed to be evil and cruel?”

“I am evil. I am the spawn of the most evil being in exist, therefore, by default, I also am evil.”

“No you are not. You are one of the only innocent people I have ever met. You are good and pure. I only wish it could be humanity that suffers for all eternity and you live forever with God, if he even deserves you.”

“Don’t say that. I do not deserve God. I am a monster; it says so in every Bible. If God choose, I would be with him. This is your world, not mine and this is my sacrifice to protect you. You, Syran, whether you like it or not, I will die to protect you.”

Before Syran could respond, Gabriel once again intruded into the field, more gently this time, “It’s time. Come on.”

Syran sat and watched as the final preparations were made. While Gabriel collected Snowfires and took her to the pedestal before the alter, Syran sat and thought of Snowfires.

If only you could dance forever in Paradise. If only the world did not have to see your fate. You deserve much more than the world can offer. You deserve more love than humanity or hell can provide. If only you could dance forever in Paradise.

Intruding into her thoughts was a tiny voice, “If only we could dance in Paradise forever. But that can never be. You and I, Syran are from two different worlds and our worlds can never mix. Dance for me in Paradise, Syran. Dance with the wind in your wings and the sun in your hair. Dance and teach all the people to dance with you. Good-bye my friend. I will dance for you as well.

Again, remorse spread across her feeble frame. I do not want to make this choice. I do not want to bear this burden.

“You don’t have a choice Syran. You are the one God has chosen. Come, fulfill your destiny,” said Gabriel gently.

As Syran stood, she saw the wood panels had been burned away to reveal the flames beneath the concrete. The room was filled with thick smoky air and it was difficult to see. She took her position and waited until Snowfires indicated she was ready.

"Good-bye my friend,” she whispered softly over the flames as she waved to the Assassin.

Syran completed the mark in the soft sand and flames engulfed the little child. She did not lift her finger for quite a while as she thought about her choice. As she did, the flames stayed parted slightly showing only Snowfires face.

How strange, it seemed to Syran, that such a small child designed to destroy the world could move a hardened Assassin so much in only a single day.

But this was not a simple child. This was Snowfires, a child whose naivety and innocence blinded her. This was a child so unlike any she had ever seen and it was not so much the creature she fell in love with, but the purity. “If only the world could have this child teach it to love,” thought Syran bitterly.

But this world could not be this way. A choice had to be made, a choice more devastating to a single heart than anyone could anticipate or prepare for. Snowfires, the one whose life would signal the end of humanity and the dawn of a new hell, or them; the greater cruelty of humanity whose existence constantly exploited the weak, belittling the dreams of the innocent, whose cruel and savage posture devoured democracy and freedom ruling with a totalitarian fist of tyrannical abomination. The race whose very nature was to destroy itself and all it knew in an attempt to amass material wealth whose value proved useless in purgatory. What choice was this to make between the vile and vicious existence of a trillion people and that of a single flicker of love and life gleaming from the heart of a small child, unable to understand the devastation her existence determined. Only love and laughter was in those eyes, that heart. Never had one so dangerous, so tiny, held so much hate and violence in its blood while so much love overflowed from its heart that even the hunter, the death-dealer, the destroyer of souls would find solace in this decision. With determination and command, she held the beam of love and light in the pocket of fury. Engulfed in the sweet cleansing flame she once took pleasure in, Syran knew this pocket of flame and hate would end it all. Concrete and resolute in her decision, she let slip the knot holding open the window and began rest of the rite.

The child, helpless and loving, vanished within the flames. Worst for Syran was the knowledge that this small spark would never know the hate or rage that caused this fate, nor would she ever know what Syran would have to sacrifice to save the greatest good. But she would know love and life, Syran thought as she worked methodically, with perfection and agility in every obsessive stroke. Yes, she would know of the Creator’s glory, but she could never know Syran, hell’s dancer and assassin. As these words reverberated throughout Syran’s skull, she had nearly completed the rite. Emptying herself of all the fury and guilt her sins had accumulated, she forced its energy, like Snowfires had taught her to do, into the rite building its strength and impact. It was time and she knew it. Even in the peace and serenity of the rite, she felt a tear touch her cheek. This decision was too much for one soul to carry, too much for one heart to bear. Remembering the ringlets of the child’s hair made her decision all the more difficult. But He was there. She knew He would be. He had to make sure she did it, did it right. He stood with his archangels watching as she made the last few strokes. Kneeling in the sacred place before the child in flame, she let a single tear fall from her face and whispered, “I’m sorry.” With one single motion, she drew the last symbol as she screamed, “So it is asked for, so shall it be done!” Completing the rite and ending the conflict, she felt the flames of retribution purge her flesh. Flame and lightning erupted all around her body as she took her last few dying breaths. She knew it was not the end. She knew of heaven and of hell. She knew of the dancer in the flame.

-----------------------------


An unending dancer of flame, patient in all ways, peeled the layers of atoms from their proper place. Layer by layer removing what was to torment what remained. But it did not bother her. Nor did their stares as they watched her pass before them. Now before Him, she stood, naked and defiant, unflinching as the majestic light of His presence embraced her frail skin. Awaiting judgment, she surveyed the faces of the holy angel’s clad in battle gear and ready for war. The fear and anger in their eyes pleased Syran; she had done her job well. She was charged with the merciless deaths of a trillion people. Again, she surveyed the faces of those surrounding her and thought “Humanity ended its insufferable plague on that day.” Fondly, she smiled as she recalled their souls flashed to the shadows of oblivion, scattered forever in the depths of existence if they were not collected and the fragments pieced back together.

Finally, He spoke. “What do you have to say for your crimes?” She did not answer, there was no need, no reason. Again, she smiled a gentle smile, an angel’s smile, the one she learned from the child of devastation. “Even a child born of his hate and greed has shown more love than they could ever have felt. There is no love, no life, no happiness that will ever satisfy them. They know only greed, temptation, lust, and malice. They have never known the gentle smile, the radiant love, the warm embrace of the demon’s child. Her love is more powerful and more precious to me than any you could have ever seen from them. You said yourself, you knew the child would come and you made sure that when it did, the price of salvation for these would have to be so great, as great as that of your Son. Humanity had to feel the sting of the blade before it could endure Your love. These, these are the ones she was to die to save? Better the world know the forever sacred sound of a child’s laughter than a thousand prayers from these false prophets. I have stopped him from escaping and allowed the world to cherish your gift. You did not specify which gift they were to appreciate, and you did force me to make the choice knowing what I would choose. The life of a single child, filled with Your life and Your love is far more precious than the lives of all of them combined. I will never ask for Your forgiveness, nor do I want it. I will always cherish the child of hell. Do what you will. I am not afraid. My savior dances in Eden evermore.”

Silence rang out throughout the hall. He stood and pondered for what seemed an eternity, but she just stood there, watching the gentle locks of hair dancing in the wind as Snowfires ran about the garden. She was happy. She was safe. The mark burned into her forehead had faded since Syran had last seen her. She danced and danced the dance Syran had taught her in the grassy. Syran almost wanted to join her in that dance as she watched the small child laugh and play with the animals and sing to the trees. This is what Eden deserved. This is what Snowfires deserved. None other could have appreciated the soft green grass in the meadows or the gentle tickle of the bunny’s noise on hers as she did. Syran had no regrets save that she could not partake in Snowfires’ happiness. Again a tear ran down her cheek, and this one did not go unnoticed. But it was not a tear of sorrow. It was a tear of joy, the last Syran would ever feel. He sat and waved his hand dismissively, as if to say it did not matter. “You are guilty and will pay for your crimes, my child. May you find whatever peace you sought…in Hell.” Syran began to dance the child’s dance as her wing where stripped, her feathers burned. She danced and danced as her fur sizzled and her hair crackled with the fires of Hell. Slowly she turned to met their leers. She knew they would be there waiting for her. She knew now she would face her greatest challenge of all. And she knew she would overcome.

“Hello Syran. Welcome to Hell!” With a cackle, he bound and chained her. “Let the games begin.”
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 07, 2008 11:14 am

Here is the last chapter.

As I am sure you have already notice, and as it has been pointed out by my friend Daniel, who I greatly appreciate, it has a lot that needs to be fixed. Now that the actual story is all laid out, I can go back and tear it apart.

So I beg of you, please critique it to your hearts content. I really want to know what you don't like or what you have problems with so that I can fix it. I would love to have a million suggestions as to what needs fixing so that I can fix it.

Thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 07, 2008 11:17 am

Thank you Daniel for all your input into my story.

I will work on the ambiguity of the sentences and try to make them easier to read. My editor is going to love checking for all my spelling and grammatical mistakes that I know are in there.

While you are not supposed to get comfortable, you are supposed to get an idea of what is going on. I was really, really hoping to create a character everyone could unanimously hate, but that seems to be more difficult that it appeared.

And I have no objections to your comments. You are helping even if it is in subtle ways.

Thanks a bunch!!! I really appreciate it.


Last edited by Sphinexfire on Wed May 07, 2008 4:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 07, 2008 11:20 am

I'll try to work on the jumpyness of my presentation. I have noticed it to but as you say, we (the writers) have a hard time noticing the blips because we know precisely what is going on. But I have not really seen this problem in your story. It all makes sense to me.

Good job!!! cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 07, 2008 11:29 am

There are various schools of thought on repetition of words and phrases. Hemingway's characters repeat stuff a lot. He does that because real conversation is like that. I'm making this up, but it is pretty close to a conversation in "Hills Like White Elephants."

"Anise del Toro."
"What's that?"
"It's a drink."
"A drink?"
"Shall we try it?
"Yeah, let's try it. That's all we do is travel and try new drinks."
"Do you want to try it or not?"
"Yeah, let's try it."
"It tastes like licorice."
"All new drinks seem to taste like licorice. Even Absynthe."

Another controversy is about using "he said, she said." It gets ridiculous pretty quickly if you start substituting fancy words for these phrases, like "he chortled," or "she queried." One school of thought is that the "he said, she said" gets processed, but not really read, so it doesn't really count as repetition.

Pronouns themselves help tie things together by creating linkages between different parts of the text (cohesion). Pronouns are fine as long as the referents are clear. After a stretch of pronouns, however, the reader might get lost, so you have to re-lexify.

John Edlund
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 07, 2008 3:08 pm

hey, I have a bunch of little comments I can show you during class, and I just briefly read the last chapter...so keep that in mind...

Question 1: the Madelines...they are poisonous, but to who? "A single scratch will kill you." but Syran gets scratched up during her dance fight with Legion. So is she immune to the poison? Are the demons immune? It seems like you start forshadowing something with the blades being darker after fighting with the demons, so does that mean the poison is gone? You never answer that question...not to my knowledge. Or is Syran so tired because she is dying?

Question 2: After rescueing the child, it says the guards were on hourly rotations, and that they hadnt found the dead....It sounds like setup for something. Does it have to do with the army waiting? The last part of that paragraph is a bit confusing. What exactly happens there, when they reach the top of the steps...

Question 3: Ok...this one is a tip. Chapter 6, when Gabriel intrudes into the dream, we dont know who is talking till the end of the speech. We go from Syran talking to someone talking about "her". We expect Snowfires to be talking, so just give us a sentence letting us know Gabriel is intruding.

Question 4: I like the end of chapter 6, but how do we get from that to the last chapter. Wheat?, field? You end ch. 6 setting up for the big final scene, and then cut to them talking and laughing again....did i miss a chapter? Did she wake up? Is she still dreaming?

I'll read the last chapter more closely and then let you know about that....
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 07, 2008 4:14 pm

Sorry Andrea, I just changed the ending to chapter 6 that set the scene for chapter 7. I have just updated chapter 6 and it should make more sense. Sorry!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Thu May 08, 2008 7:20 pm

Does anyone else have any comments? Please!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Thu May 08, 2008 10:01 pm

Hi again!

You told me walking to class the other day that you wanted people to hate Syran. So I suggested you tell the story from a different viewpoint, like Thresles (you corrected me and told me Varse would be the best viewpoint character).

The thing is, people naturally empathize with the viewpoint character. I mean, you're telling me about Syran's claustrophobia in Chapter 3 as you're telling me that Thresles avoids her gaze for fear of provoking her. You're telling me Syran's weaknesses, her affections for the little kid on the playground (giving him a hero's death). I mean, the crowd loves her. Can you see why I would see Syran as a tough character with an obvious soft spot? Furthermore, could you see why I'd think anyone (Thresles) is rather weak for fearing Syran?

If you want to make people hate Syran and maximize the later parts of the story when she goes through a life changing event, you might need to make some major changes. My best suggestion is that you change the narration of the story. I'd talk to Dr. Edlund about this, or maybe we can make an appointment at the Writing Center. You'll probably want to send a pm Dr. Edlund's way, though.

One other thing that's always a good question for a writer after finishing the first drafts. Did you say everything you wanted to say in your story? I'm sorry folks, but be prepared if the end of the school year comes around and I don't have my book finished. Let's make that clear now because I don't want anyone being disappointed. If you like I can keep people updated as it goes. *cough* got of topic...

I mean, this is your story, is it everything you ever wanted it to be? If it isn't, maybe you can find a way to make Syran more mysterious and hated as you find ways to say what you want said? I wouldn't know because I haven't read everything yet, but do you explain the Archipeligo of Lost Souls in the story? Maybe tying that into the story if it isn't already in there can also help...

Best of luck!

PS-- I really like your story, despite the doomsday atmosphere, bible references, and part animal assasins. Embarassed Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Thu May 08, 2008 10:49 pm

Thanks for all your input Daniel. I will be completely destroying my essay this weekend in order make it better and fix the mistakes. I do think changing the viewpoint character would be an extremely powerful tool for making Syran truly hated. The only thing I am trying to work out is how to explain some of her fears. I guess what I could do is scenes through different characters perspectives.

For example, when Syran kills Robin, we know that Thresles is watching. I could put the entire scene through his eyes to improve the revolting effect of the reader towards Syran. When I am attempting to illude to a deeper, inner feeling, I could move to Varse's perspective who obviously knows her better and would be able to sympathize regardless of Syran's dangerous and often cruel persona.

We should definitely make appointments at the Writing Center but that might make more sense when we iron out most of the kinks and are only left with grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Thanks again for all your help!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri May 09, 2008 8:54 am

Nishel,

I think Daniel is right about viewpoint characters, but I don't think that you really want the reader to hate Syran.

Sherwood Anderson wrote a book called Winesburg, Ohio which he subtitled "The book of grotesques." It is a series of short stories, each of which presents a character who is broken, troubled or flawed. There is a man who hates women. There is a girl who waits her whole life for a boyfriend to return. There is smart guy who talks too much. Some of the characters are quite ugly. We are repulsed. However, the story makes us understand how they came to be the way they are, so that by the end, we understand. We don't want to be that character, but we have more understanding and sympathy than when we started.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire is sort of like this too.

I think that is what you want for Syran. You don't want the reader to like her, but you want the reader to empathize enough to learn something from who she is. So I don't think that you should rewrite everything from a different viewpoint, although shifting viewpoints in places might help your purpose, as long as the reader doesn't get confused.

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri May 09, 2008 9:11 am

I agree. I just wasn't sure you wanted to have other points of view besides Syran (wasn't sure if that was your style).

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri May 09, 2008 11:17 am

Thanks guys. I should have specified. Only certain scenes such as the early onces need to be told from a different perspective. I just finished telling Chapter 1 from Varse's point of view, and I will post it later, but I am not sure it conveys the proper level or repulsion I want the characters to feel. I will continue working on.

And you are absolutely correct Dr. Edlund. I do want the reader to be disgusted by Syran and really hate to read about her (in the beginning) and then I want the scene where Varse is killed told in her perspective and the rest of the story from there on out. I think this would effectively instill the hatred of her I want in the reader and then melt away some of that hatred into understanding.

I'll see what I can do. More reviews to come! Very Happy

Thanks sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri May 09, 2008 3:30 pm

By the way Daniel, I found your pencil. It was in my DND notebook. You must have droppd it when you were flipping through my book. I'll give it back on Monday.
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