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The Sordid Shafts - Review Topic

sordid shafts review

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#1 Offline Maganar

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Posted Sep 05 2012 - 09:09 PM

Posted ImageAlright guys, here it is: The Sordid Shafts. This one-part epic is quite the opposite of Lightfall (the parent epic from which this is a spinoff): it takes place in one location over a continuous amount of time and is narrated in first person from everyone's favorite Lightfall Toa of Fire - Tignioni. We'll get a little glimpse at the ramifications of Tignioni's countless centuries of wayfaring and meet an entire race that guards one of the deepest and most wondrous secrets of the Matoran Universe. Are you ready to descend into the Shafts under the war-torn and devastated town of Modos? Or does fear of the Gorrellian Hounds and the impending return of piratical marauders leave you ready to flee? Whether you are prepared or not - the gaping earthen maw of the shafts awaits...Confused? Maybe you should catch up on Lightfall. The review topic can link you to all four parts.Pronunciation Guide:Tignioni - Tig-NYUN-eeTol - TOHLZo’apt – ZOH-APTTi’ignioni – Tee-ig-NYUN-eeNeri’ict – Nah-REE-EEKTMu’urdnoc – MYOO-URD-nokCytus - SITE-uhsCapila'aris - KAP-ih-LUH-AHR-issFuli'etor - Foo-LEE-AY-torElino'urtam - Eh-LEE-no-ur-TAM

Edited by Maganar, Oct 24 2012 - 11:59 PM.

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#2 Offline The Iron Toa

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Posted Sep 06 2012 - 11:39 AM

I finally looked up what 'sordid' means after reading this. Apparently it can mean either ignoble and selfish or dirty and run-down. I'm guessing the latter, but we'll see what sort of evil shows up later. And it seems the title is about mine shafts -- at first I thought it was referring to shafts of light, because of the Light Ravager.I don't have much else to say, except something about this part:

My team as a whole could never have afforded to stop on our task. It was our goal to destroy the Ravager and prevents this sort of thing from ever happening again. I was worried, though. What if, out of desperation, they turned to the wrong people for help? I couldn’t abandon them. I’d been at my task for long enough. I left the others to finish the quest. I was staying behind.

Oh, actually I just noticed the "prevents" typo there. But my main concern is the use of 'they' in 'they turned to the wrong people for help'. Together, the paragraphs in that part make it clear you're talking about the citizens of Modos, but it's still kind of an awkward bit. It kind of sounds like he's worried about his team turning to the wrong people for help (and his teammates could be 'they' instead of 'we' because he's leaving his team). I would suggest replacing that instance of 'they' with 'the people of Modos' or something like that.

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#3 Offline Maganar

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Posted Sep 09 2012 - 12:24 AM

Oh, actually I just noticed the "prevents" typo there. But my main concern is the use of 'they' in 'they turned to the wrong people for help'. Together, the paragraphs in that part make it clear you're talking about the citizens of Modos, but it's still kind of an awkward bit. It kind of sounds like he's worried about his team turning to the wrong people for help (and his teammates could be 'they' instead of 'we' because he's leaving his team). I would suggest replacing that instance of 'they' with 'the people of Modos' or something like that.

...I thought I had proofread the first half of this epic. Must have been when I was half-asleep, as I am now. A lack of verb agreement and an ambiguous pronoun within the same sentence is not a good sign. I was going to do a copy-paste of the next portion right now, but I'm going to have to search for errors after noticing this (thanks to you). I'll put it up sometime tomorrow (it'll be a "today" by the time you read this considering I'm up so late right now - wasn't tired for a while but the fatigue just now hit me). And that is actually a promise for once! Not like my hundred-and-one intended goals I neved fulfill in terms of chapter releases...Anyway, I won't delay too much (I almost wrote "to" and we're talking about grammar. Ironic. Told you I was half-asleep). I know what it's like to be on the waiting end and I have been keeping this saga coming out in very slow and sporadic releases. I'm going to try and shape up my game. We'll see what happens. Be back tomorrow (or today, whatever...)!EDIT: Yeah, I was definitely half-asleep when I proofread this. Finding errors scattered throughout.

Edited by Maganar, Sep 09 2012 - 02:30 PM.

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#4 Offline The Iron Toa

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Posted Oct 05 2012 - 10:37 PM

You should link to this in your story topic.The chapters are short! I hope we get more soon. The writing's not bad, but I think it would be more interesting if more happened in each chapter.Just one detail didn't seem quite right to me - that Steltian was only able to hold down a Gorrellian Hound briefly. Comparing the size of Gladiator to your Hound model, I'd expect he'd have an easier time wrestling the Rahi.
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#5 Offline Maganar

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Posted Oct 07 2012 - 08:36 PM

You should link to this in your story topic.The chapters are short! I hope we get more soon. The writing's not bad, but I think it would be more interesting if more happened in each chapter.Just one detail didn't seem quite right to me - that Steltian was only able to hold down a Gorrellian Hound briefly. Comparing the size of Gladiator to your Hound model, I'd expect he'd have an easier time wrestling the Rahi.

Yeah... about it being linked. It actualliy is, but I did nothing to indicate such was the case (massive fail http://www.bzpower.c...tyle_emoticons/default/sighw.gif ). It's in the banner at the very top. I'll edit that first post to make it obvious. Angel Bob had the same issue with locating this topic and ended up replying on the Lightfall topic. I quoted it below so no one has to worry about checking over there to see what he said.Originally, this was going to be a short story, but then I realized it was ten pages long and the plot was only just starting to get its show on the road. That's when this ended up becoming an epic. So, yeah, short chapters. However, after I knew I was writing an epic, I just let loose. By the end, I had sincere difficulty finding places where I could cram in chapter breaks because it all became so continuous. So I hope you will find that the short chapter problem fixes itself as the story progresses.Word to the wise, I consider my MOCs to be as much so "to scale" as the Titan Special Edition Toa Mata Nui set was "to scale" with the other sets that year. Size of MOC bears no significance to story size.

I'm assuming this will be the review topic for Shafts, as well? In that case...So far, I'm enjoying Tignioni's story. A mine is always a great setting for adventure, and the Gorellian Hounds make their return. You do really like them, don't you? But that's understandable. The crystalline warriors, I have to say, are very intriguing and I wish we'd seen more of them. They also remind me very much of shardminds from D&D 4th edition, but that's hardly a detractor.

Actually, I should add a more obvious link to the review topic (I haven't always been on top of things lately :P )....[digressions]...I'll address your feedback in my next post on the legitimate review topic.

OK, now everyone's the same page. Literally. Same webpage, get it? :sigh: Bad pun, never mind.The Hounds, the Hounds, the Hounds. Originally something ever-so trivial that I developed for a gladiatorial battle, now an integral part of the spin-off's plot. What is it with these Hounds?! Seriously, though, I always liked envisioned lithe, oversized canines rampaging as a source of sheer terror. You can't keep up with those animalistic reflexes and those slavering jaws will tear you apart painfully, agonizingly... so I reused them. And made them important. So maybe you are right? Perhaps I really have gotten a little obsessed over my mind's invention. Either way, they're here and they're ready to cause more trouble!Oh, we will see more of the Crystal Sect. No fear of them disappearing without any significance. But that's as much as I'm saying. :fear:

Edited by Maganar, Oct 07 2012 - 08:37 PM.

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#6 Offline Yaldabaoth

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Posted Nov 17 2012 - 04:04 PM

It may be because I was reading through this quickly catch up, but Capila'aris' appearance and memories seemed very abrupt. I might have included some of Tignioni's own thoughts in response to the crystal's memories, just to remind us he's receiving these thoughts.The upcoming battle looks to be exciting in both climactic and cinematic sense, although I would disagree with delivering a description of the "Star-Spangled Banner"-esque events before they occur; rather, I would have sprinkled references to the light-dark dynamic as the battle went on. To have it spelled out for us did conjure a very vivid image, but a little bit before its time, and you know my opinion on how heavy your messages can become (recall the narrator's spiel about the irony of the skakdi captain's death?).
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#7 Offline Maganar

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Posted Nov 19 2012 - 05:39 PM

It may be because I was reading through this quickly catch up, but Capila'aris' appearance and memories seemed very abrupt. I might have included some of Tignioni's own thoughts in response to the crystal's memories, just to remind us he's receiving these thoughts.The upcoming battle looks to be exciting in both climactic and cinematic sense, although I would disagree with delivering a description of the "Star-Spangled Banner"-esque events before they occur; rather, I would have sprinkled references to the light-dark dynamic as the battle went on. To have it spelled out for us did conjure a very vivid image, but a little bit before its time, and you know my opinion on how heavy your messages can become (recall the narrator's spiel about the irony of the skakdi captain's death?).

I'd be exceedingly surprised if Capila'aris' appearance did not seem abrupt, as well as his big "memory dump." For one thing, his appearance is supposed to be a surprise. Now, perhaps you got this and didn't mention it or maybe you just missed it because of high-speed cath-up reading, but Capila'aris' narration is sandwitched between "I lose control of my mind and-" and "I black out." If you put those together, it makes one sentence ("I lose control of my mind and I black out."). The entire mental invasion and subsequent transplant of information were supposed to have taken place within the time it would have taken Tignioni to formulate that one sentence. Obviously, that's more mental strain than one individual would normally be able to handle, which explains why he almost instantly blacks out. So I was aware of that much and I suspect that it was only such a jarring abrubtness because you were reading quickly. That would make sense to me, I wrote it with the intention of being abrupt and reading quickly could exacerbate that to the point of being problematic.As for your second complaint, I must say that is a legitimate shortcoming. I wrote that only shortly after finisihng Lightfall and some of the weaknesses of that epic bled into this one. I feel there were fewer, but that was one. (Another personal pet peeve of mine was using a pole-vault in an escape sequence. I was trying to keep the action up, but I feel like I was falling back on similar action sequences from Lightfall at that point. It didn't seem very original to me, because I know that I had Emeder pole-vault on the train in Lightall, and, seriously, pole-vaults are trite. Maybe that's just me, but I didn't like it and couldn't come up with anything better so it stuck.)At least I can rest a little easier this time, though, than with the "irony is here in case you weren't smart enough to catch on" narration you mentioned. That's because I did exactly what you mentioned and laced the entire battle sequence with vivid "glowing in the dark" imagery. I just overdid the whole thing and ended up defaulting into describing it in advance as well. Now, it risks becoming a slightly ad nauseum effect, but it's better than insulting the intelligence of the reader like I managed to pull off last time. :P So, my writing's improved, but I'm starting to see trends in where it is weak. Now I can eradicate them for good!My new saga for Bara Magna is over 30 pages long and nowhere near completion (I'm predicting four parts and a little over one part is complete right now). In this neew project, I've worked on trying to state things implicitly rather than explicitly when that is beneficial. That's been the main weakness I've seen cropping up in these prior works. I've always valued the ability of a good story to allow every individual reader to develop their own interpretations, but I am starting to notice that I have ironically forced my own interpretations of my work onto you guys at certain points. That has to stop, but I see it appearing less and less. I've let things be a little more open now, thankfully. Work in progress, I guess.Anyway, I was delaying putting up more until around Thanksgiving in order to give people catch-up time (which I see you took advantage of), so now I'm going to keep posting. ...and keep writing about Bara Magna. I really like how it's coming along, but it's a little demoralizing (not too much, though, don't worry) to right for over an hour and realize I've made it through only half of a chapter (Chapters are generally exceeding 4 pages and I'm using 10 pt font. Not Times New Roman, though. Can't remember what, it was just something that I thought looked cool ^_^ .) It's a lot of words, anyway.

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#8 Offline The Iron Toa

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Posted Nov 25 2012 - 03:30 PM

Hello Maganar. Here are my thoughts on the chapter you just posted:The illusion trick was a great surprise! I certainly didn't expect it, and I hadn't known Tignioni was skilled enough with his mask to pull it off. The fight scene against the Skakdi captain was also excellent. I must say it makes up for the far less thrilling final battle at the end of Lightfall. Two details did bother me, however -- both can be justified, but the way they were written didn't seem quite right. First, there's the part where it's implied that a regular Nova Blast wouldn't wipe out the whole fleet. Considering a Nova Blast is big enough to level Metru Nui, I disagree. But I don't think a Toa of Gravity would normally be able to throw his friends to safety in such a way while also creating a miniature black whole. That could be where the Energized Protodermis comes in -- it gave him enhanced control of his powers (though clearly not enough to prevent slamming Tignioni into a wall). Second, you say that the removal of his mask would be fatal. Removing Kanohi isn't fatal, for Toa it just weakens them greatly. However, as he was already injured, such a loss of strength could cause him to succumb to his wounds much faster. That would explain why it would kill him.Your idea for C... Cap... um, Capila'aris was clever. I disagree about its view of Matoran Universe inhabitant emotions, however -- they do know love, just not romantic love because they have no need for it.
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#9 Offline Maganar

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Posted Nov 25 2012 - 07:27 PM

Oh yeah, lost my sense of scale on nova blasts... http://www.bzpower.c...tyle_emoticons/default/blush.png Conveniently, it still worked out without plotholes for the reasons you mentioned. As for the Kanohi, that was pretty much the thing I was going for but wasn't very clear. I found another shoddy section as far as proofreading was concerned and I stopped checking for logistic clarity because I got so focused on that.

The illusion trick was a great surprise! I certainly didn't expect it, and I hadn't known Tignioni was skilled enough with his mask to pull it off. The fight scene against the Skakdi captain was also excellent. I must say it makes up for the far less thrilling final battle at the end of Lightfall. ...[et cetera...]Your idea for C... Cap... um, Capila'aris was clever. I disagree about its view of Matoran Universe inhabitant emotions, however -- they do know love, just not romantic love because they have no need for it.

I debated how far to take the illusion. In the end, I decided I shouldn't feel any qualms about making it an illusion of the highest quality since the Great Mahiki was his true, original mask and he's had countless centuries to hone his abilities with it. In Lightfall I indicate he's been a Toa for at least a millenium.Glad you liked the big battle. I felt really excited with how it turned out after I read it back to myself for the first time. My first thought when you guys called the Lightfall conclusion 'anticlimatic' was: Just wait until you all see my Shafts ending! I guess I was right on that much! http://www.bzpower.c...tyle_emoticons/default/cool.pngOne of the big things about Capila'aris' opinion is the fact that he takes it upon himself to judge the Great Beings. It was one of my ways of showing just how serious of a matter this thing was that the Skakdi were messing with. The point you bring up is possibly the greatest argument to undermine his viewpoint: "Why should MU beings need to have access to that? They know filial, societal, and cultural love." Regardless, this crystalline brainbox has had tens of millenia to brood on the subject and the fact that he knows of something the MU beings aren't even aware that they lack has clearly started to bother him. I'm going to decline to reply on any further discussion about him until I've put up the last post or two. I can guarantee it will be two maximum; I might just do it as one.Happy (several-days-ago) Thanksgiving everyone! If there's one thing I'm thankful for, it's appreciation for my writing after I've dumped hours upon hours into it. :P

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