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Review: Windows Through The Void

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#1 Offline Tolkien

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Posted Dec 15 2011 - 12:29 PM

Windows Through the Void

Hi folks,This story has been sitting around, slowly growing and expanding, for a while. It’s inspired by the old Bioniclestory.com serials, particularly those involving Takanuva’s journey to get to Karda Nui. There was a lot of untapped potential there, and I wanted to take the opportunity to expand on some of that potential here. You’ll recognize the origin of this story—the rather brief City of Silver episode. Basically, here is an expansion of that story, with (hopefully) a slightly more meaningful message and a slightly more exciting plot.Note that although the different posts will technically be split up, they are usually meant to be read in a continuous fashion, without too much narrative breakage. Updates will occur regularly (as possible) every other Friday. I hope you enjoy it.JRRT

Edited by Tolkien, Dec 16 2011 - 06:55 PM.

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#2 Offline Grant-Sud

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Posted Dec 15 2011 - 02:16 PM

Well the opening is actually what I thought you were touching on. This should be very interesting and I'll be checking in for more.
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#3 Offline Tolkien

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Posted Dec 25 2011 - 02:36 PM

Entry 1.1 is up.

Considering I said I'd update every-other Friday, I suppose this can be considered a small Christmas gift, if you will. Although whether or not you like it is another question. Regardless, here Takanuva arrives at his dark, lonely destination, and takes stock of his situation.EDIT:

Entry 1.2 is up.

Finally we're getting somewhere. I know the entries are short at the moment. But I promise--they do get longer. In this entry we lead up to a pivotal point in the story. Also, you can see one of the departures from the original plot: the fact that Takanuva is not carrying the entire (albeit shrunken) sundial with him, but rather just the gnomon (a nod back to MNOG). I always thought that was a bit odd in the original, and I wanted to give that element a bigger role, since it doesn't figure much in the canon version. Anyways, I hope you like it.EDIT DEAUX:

Entry 1.3 is up.

Aaand we're back. A bit late this time around, unfortunately. Not that anyone noticed. The views on the topic do seem to go up somewhat when an entry's posted, so at least there's a chance some person is reading. Enjoy, whoever you are. :PJRRT

Edited by Tolkien, Jan 22 2012 - 07:04 PM.

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#4 Offline GSR

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Posted Aug 15 2012 - 12:37 AM

Tolkien,I've been asked by the good folks of the ECC to review this epic of yours as part of my intern training. (This is the "good" hazing, where I am asked to review a quite strong work - I expect next I will receive the "bad" hazing, whereupon I will be presented with a work that will leave me a sobbing mess. I haven't much to say for this review, so I thought you'd appreciate the mental image.) If you've seen any of my past reviews, you'll know I've got a tendency to break these into two parts: prose and content. Regrettably, you've gone and wrapped up the former category nicely for me, and the latter category is still in its infancy from the looks of it. But I've never been one to let things like that stop me, so let's dive right in.Your prose is, as it always is, very strong. However, I would like to object to a formatting issue: your use of italics is somewhat inconsistent. At times you use italics without quotes to indicate thoughts, and at times you use italics with quotes to do so. Further, you use italics with quotes for the Hau's 'voice'. I would recommend sticking to one style for Takanuva's thoughts, and possibly another for the Hau's speech - it helps makes things a little bit more clear and consistent.I do have a few small nitpicks: for instance, after Takanuva encounters the Hau, you write "The shock of seeing such a familiar likeness in such a foreign place seemed to clash with the relief he felt at finding something living in this dead forest." Writing 'seemed' here is a little strange when the narration is third-person omniscient; if it were from the perspective of another character it'd be good, but the narration has access to the rest of Takanuva's thoughts and feelings, so no need to switch it up. I also feel like you tend towards short sentences perhaps a little overmuch; for instance, in that same scene you write this:

Alright then,” he said, “just show me where to go.”Takanuva peered around impatiently, looking for a sign of a path or road.

It feels a little disjointed to separate the two actions with a line break when they occur in such close proximity. In many other places you use this to good effect to emphasize the separated sentence, but I'd just be careful not to overdo it. But as I said, these are nitpicks. Overall, your prose is quite enjoyable to read, as expected - I particularly like your descriptions, such as Takanuva's attack being a "blinding flare". You also do a strong job of establishing the setting through your language.Plot-wise, I must admit I at first did not realize this was a retelling of Takanuva's journeys - I thought it was a side-story wedged in amongst his wanderings. A quick glance at the review topic explains what you're going for here - a reimagining or expansion of sorts. I haven't read the original story, so I've not got basis for comparison, but I will say I enjoyed your use of the Gnomon in place of the entire Sundial - it's a nice throwback to the MNOG, and frankly speaking much more practical to carry around (though when has that ever stopped a Bionicle story?)I also would like to say I enjoy the concept of a slightly more mature retelling. You're quite the author from what works of yours I've read, so I'm looking forward to what you can do with this. You don't seem intent on deviating from canon too much, but seeing an alternate and expanded take on the story should be interesting. Unfortunately, the fact this is a rewrite in the early stages limits how much I can say about the plot - however, structure-wise I will say you've got a good pace going for a serial with the format of short pieces advancing a story that seems like it won't take overly long on any one arc. I am going to be a little taboo here and say that for a serial format, it really does help to keep a solid update schedule. I see you haven't got many reviews, and it's been months since you've updated consistently, so I can totally understand if you've lost interest in the story, but maybe keep it in mind for future serials.I suppose I'm concluding this rather brief review here, since there isn't much else to cover. As I said, I can totally understand if you've lost interest in the work, but the fairly brief chapters means I am going to encourage you to continue (especially since I know you can draft 700 words or so in 15 minutes). Think of it as a backburner project - in writing these little chapters, you might just find yourself getting back into the story, especially once you start hitting points where you can put a bit more of your own twist on things into it. And, of course, a live story gets more attention than a dead one.And hey - with your pedigree, I'm practically doing a public service urging you to continue here. You wouldn't want to let the community down, would you? :P

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