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Thread: Need for Steed: Suravani's Oasis

  1. #31
    Deliver Us
    EXP: 63,334, Level: 10
    Level completed: 85%, EXP required for next level: 1,666
    Level completed: 85%,
    EXP required for next level: 1,666

    AP
    5
    GP
    6,395
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Brown
    Eye Color
    Gold
    Build
    6'0", 155lbs
    Job
    "Executor" (Leader) of the Brotherhood

    View Profile
    Judgment


    Before we delve into the waffle, i'd like to say that I have had to somewhat condense my commentary from the original format, which well exceeded the length of any judgment I have done (even in a full judgment). If there are any parts of the story, character or prose you feel you need additional feedback on specifically, i'd be happy to discuss these with you in private.

    Story: 20/30

    This was a rather long read, weighing in at 19,800 words, but I felt the structure that you put in place for the thread more than adequately allowed the story to flow.

    You opened with a scene that introduced Breaker and the purpose of his visit to Fallien, thus wasting little time in getting to the crux of the matter and immediately offering a boon to the reader to read on. I found larger elements of the story, such as the actual Trial of Suravani, were broken up by smaller but more intense scenes (such as the various meetings with Sall’Ema that had implications both later in the thread and also potentially in other future threads as well, what with her being pregnant) helped to balance rising and falling action nicely.

    I was also impressed by the skill with which you weaved your tale. This was a unique storyline that incorporated and expanded upon Fallien lore well. Little nuances you introduced, such as the Deklan tribe’s own micro-culture and their rituals, served to enhance the experience further. Whilst reading I felt I was actually with the tribe as they prepared to send Breaker out on the trial, or on the back of the Griffin, soaring over the Glasslands and the dunes below. You really pulled me in and hooked me on the setting.

    However, I felt this story was not without its faults.

    I liked how you used the griffin as a device to traverse the harsh Fallien environment, but one thing that struck me as odd was the switch in tone Breaker adopted with the Griffin after their scuffle. He went from very demanding to casually discursive a bit quickly, detracting from the fever pitched pace of the griffin’s defeat. As this beast was somewhat central to the plot, I would have quite liked to have seen some resistance from the Griffin and their sudden friendship seemed out of place.

    Darius’s line sums up my next criticism quite well: “No matter the challenge we set before him, he always succeeds!”. Whilst the story itself was good, I found myself predicting that Breaker wouldn’t really be tested by anything and, sadly, I felt I was right. It does seem that all too often things always seem to go Breaker’s way. For example, even when Sall’Ema mentioned she was unable to find the correct concoction to summon Suravani, she appeared without so much as an explanation as to why. He never really found himself in any sort of peril during the trial and when all was said and done it just seemed all a bit too easy for him. Over the course of a 19,800 word thread, I would expect him to be tested more than he was, and therefore I was disappointed when Suravani appeared anyway despite Sall’Ema’s failure.

    But the highest compliment that I can pay for this is that you are, at your core, an imaginative writer who is able to take the reader to a place like Fallien and really make them experience it; not just read about it. Small criticisms aside, this was a good thread with lots of potential for future expansion.

    Character: 23/30

    Communication is one of the areas I believe you excelled in. You have a knack for writing both Breaker and your NPC’s well, which is more difficult than it looks in a thread like this where you are introducing and utilising so many different people from a culture like Fallien, and the way that they communicated made sense. The cultural quirks were captured well, although I did notice once or twice that Breaker’s speech patterns went slightly (and I mean slightly) off during dialogue. What you did have, for the most part, was solid and aided your tale greatly.

    For the most part, your action was really good. Both your character and your NPC’s exhibited those quirks that I had seen in their dialogue. For example, I loved the way Breaker froze the oasis when the tribesmen were coming at him, resulting in half of the men trying to hack their way out and the others taking a different course of action. That little action just brought the scene to life, showing these NPC’s were all different in their thinking.

    I’ve already touched upon this in my commentary above but the negatives revolve mostly around your characters' lack of development due always succeeding in his tasks. I appreciate it is difficult to write weaknesses into a demi-god, but there are ways and means of testing Breaker that could have made a good thread into a great one. Perhaps having something seal or weaken his powers in the Trial would have helped to add a little bit of suspense to the tale? Being able to summon water out of thin air and healing faster than the sun could burn were both within your approved powers, but it made the Trial somewhat of a formality for Breaker. It is something to think about going forward.

    Persona was certainly a strength for your characters. I was able to get a good feel for who your NPC’s were, especially with the introduction of Sall’Ema. You write the Fallien people very well indeed; ensuring their words and actions are in keeping with the rich tribal culture you weave for us. Consistency is equally as important and throughout the thread I would say you did a great job on this front, ensuring that the niche tones and colourful characters remained that way for the duration of the thread. I think the only time I was really jarred was the confrontation with the Griffin, where I thought the beast might show a little disdain for Breaker or at least a grudging respect, but this was a small flaw in an otherwise excellent display of characterisation.

    Prose: 26/30


    This was perhaps the easiest part of the commentary to address thanks to the near faultlessness in your mechanics. I found precisely one spelling error, a typo and four grammatical issues that jarred me in a 19,800 word monster and even then I struggled to justify one of the sentence fragmentation issues that got flagged. One of your greatest strengths is your command and usage of the English language, so as is usually the case when I tackle such high-quality threads I am going to find it hard to give you any meaningful advice to improve this area. I will, of course, try.

    Of the issues I did find, one was the issue of capitalization of the first word of a new line of dialogue. Co-incidentally, this was an issue that cropped up recently in another judgment and had established writers and judges deep in debate. The sentence in question was:

    "I am glad you have decided to complete the ritual and venture to the Hybrid Isle. Few have the daring, the courage, and the faith to undergo such..."

    Sall'Ema cleared her throat softly. The griffin did not appear to notice.

    "... such a legendary feat.
    It is my understanding that the word “such” should be capitalized in this instance.

    Another issue I picked out was this:

    He torqued his hips and drilled a shallow hole with his shoulders and slewed the griffin forward on its face.
    This sentence suffered from a structural issue; a comma in the right place would have helped the flow of the read here.

    The other grammatical issues included missing off a semi-colon and the odd structure of your penultimate paragraph, which I believe contains one or two fragmentation issues.

    The spelling mistake in question is super nitpicky, and is “smouldered” instead of “smoldered”. Let’s be honest, though; we are clutching at straws there.

    As for technique, there are far more positives than negatives. One issue I did find was that you tended to repeat or recycle words and phrases within a short read of each other when playing with imagery. “Calloused hands” and “bent like a Longbow” were two offenders that cropped up twice in quick succession (the space of two paragraphs). That said, the way you describe your surroundings and visualize the consequences of actions on Joshua’s senses impress me greatly. When reading, I like to be pulled into the story and made to feel as if I were Joshua himself, feeling the very same sensations the character is at that moment in time. You did not disappoint.

    With regards to clarity, I only had one particular issue and that related to Suravani’s summoning (which I touched upon in story). There seemed to be no real explanation as to why Suravani appeared despite Sall’Ema’s failure to concoct the required material, so this puzzled me. However, this small issue aside, you have a gift for keeping the reader’s mind clear and focused. Well done!

    Wildcard: 8/10

    It is quite clear you poured your heart and soul into this thread. It was a thoroughly enjoyable look into Fallien life and a natural means of progression for Joshua Cronen. Thank you for allowing me to judge this. You owe me a new printer.

    Total score: 78 / 100

    Breaker receives 10,820 EXP and 625 GP! *

    *Please note that rewards have been based on 40 posts, calculated on word count.


    I am also nominating this thread for a Judge’s Choice award. Results will be announced in 30 days!

    Althanas Operations Administrator



    "When we were young, was this the dream we had? We're celebrating nothing. We need to find our way back."

  2. #32
    Deliver Us
    EXP: 63,334, Level: 10
    Level completed: 85%, EXP required for next level: 1,666
    Level completed: 85%,
    EXP required for next level: 1,666

    AP
    5
    GP
    6,395
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Brown
    Eye Color
    Gold
    Build
    6'0", 155lbs
    Job
    "Executor" (Leader) of the Brotherhood

    View Profile
    This thread has been awarded a Judge's Choice award! Congratulations!

    Breaker earns an additional 500 EXP!

    Althanas Operations Administrator



    "When we were young, was this the dream we had? We're celebrating nothing. We need to find our way back."

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