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Thread: Workshop: Bloody Fury and Alchemy

  1. #1
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    Workshop: Bloody Fury and Alchemy

    Name of Completed Thread: Bloody Fury and Alchemy
    Name of Authors: Flamebird and Nevin
    Type of Thread: Quest
    Thread Length: 23 Posts
    Feedback Rewards: (Post Length of Thread/10) * ((EXP Needed to Level)*0.05) EXP
    Date Closed: 7th January 2018

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  2. #2
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    This is a work in progress and I iwll do my best to get all aspects covered before the due date
    Lost it all...so starting again...*cRIES FOREVER*





    Plot
    Story 8/10
    The story is pretty standard cookie cutter stuff here. It's a first time meeting thread so characters are always a little standoffish/wary in these sort of things, but what I liked is how they met. Felicity had a mission in mind, a goal - one that was quickly stated to the reader and made obvious so we knew what the thread was going to be about. Her fixing the issue with her rage

    So we had a great introduction.
    PLOT IS STILL BEING WORKED ON

    Setting 5/10:
    Setting was initially described well; I had a very good picture of what was happening with the shop and what it looked like. But after that it felt like the two characters were just sort of there

    There were times where things could hae been added; like Felicity sat down on the counter, but was it full of things? was it empty? Generally shop counters have things that would prevent someone sitting on it

    It's great to describe a setting but it's also important to continue to interact with that setting. As Felicity was sitting at the bench, she could have been scratching at a particular knot or mark in the woodwork

    Things were described well, I had a clear vision of where they were and what they were doing. I knew what the items they were interacting with looked like too. Interacting with setting also improved slowly throughout the thread. So overall, pretty good job!


    Pacing 7/10
    I am not a fan of things that are dragged out for no reason. This didn't occur here, from the first post we saw that Felicity had an issue she needed fixed and by the third post both characters were already discussion what that issue was and how to fix it. Some posts were short, but they didn't end abruptly and most flowed quite well from one to the other.

    Especially since it feels like this may be one of the first posts you two have written together so you're still getting a feel for each others character.

    I did feel the flashback wasn't needed, and could have been described in a short paragraph. It broke the pacing for me. Flashbacks are a funny thing, sometimes they work, they help the reader get an insight to what happened and why, the issue here is we already know what happened and why. It worked as a mechanic which I will describe later on, but initial reading it did seem a bit jarring.

    The thread was very conversation heavy and I felt like some more actions could have been thrown in to break it up a bit. But I do get that it is difficult to do when getting a feeling for the other character.  - PACING IS STILL BEING WORKED ON


    CHARACTER
    Comunication: /10

    Still being worked on... need to re write this ahahaha


    Action /10

    Still being worked on... need to re write this ahahaha

    Persona /10

    Still being worked on... need to re write this too, my life...


    PROSE

    Mechanics 4/10
    Flamebird, I noticed you had a few spelling errors dotted throughout your posts. Some are quite easy to miss. Others could have easily been caught with a quick read through. Another thing i have noticed is your overuse of commas, especially in the first post. This creates a run on sentence or pauses where you wouldn't normally need them for instance;

    She opened the door. As she stepped inside, she observed her surroundings. <i>Herbal Magick</i> was a small, humble shop. The lab had neatly organized, narrow shelves with a diversity of potions and medications<br>
    I would have it as 'As she stepped inside she observed her surroundings.

    This is one simple sentence, it doesn't need to be broken up. Same goes for 'the lab had neatly organized narrow shelves with a diversity of potions and medications.'

    The best way to overcome overusing commas (and this is something I still do often) is read the post aloud and see if it makes sense. If it feels off when you're saying it out loud maybe you don't need the comma there.

    Nevin; you have a similar issue on occasion but its not so glaringly obvious. You also missed quotation marks on a number of occasions when using speech, I had to re-read a few things to figure out if Nevin was talking or not.

    Unfortunately there were a lot of broken sentences and overused commas which bought this sore down. There were also some errors with spacing, and a quick read through of the posts on the forum could also help this, as I know sometimes copying over from a gdoc to the forum can be a bit messy format wise.

    Overall, I recommend reading things out aloud and double checking for spelling errors and grammatical errors when submitting to workshop.

    Clarity 6/10
    Most things made sense, things were described well and actions were clearly written. I didn't have any issues with knowing what was going on or when. There were a few slip ups however, for instance - there were times where there seemed to be a sentence missing.

    neither hypothesis could really be tested now - it would need another person who
    had been exposed to this serum who had been affected in a different way
    to see if they displayed the same characteristics as Felicity did.


    "Now now, Miss Felicity. There is no need to be so down.
    Nevin; here you went from explaining alchemy to then commenting on Felicity seeming sad. There was no real connection to that nor was it mentioned that she seemed downtrodden in the paragraph that followed. Even just adding something small as a lead in like 'Nevin noticed her broad shoulders slump as her eyes fell to the floor.' gives the sentence a reason for being spoken.

    Then there was a couple continuity errors, but this is me being really really nitpicky.

    She took another sip of honey. "So the chemical itself and what's causing my temper tantrums are unknown." Her eyes widened a little when he spoke of reducing the effects with a potion, then went onto his apparent blood magic.
    It says she took a sip of honey, but they were described as hard candies earlier. (Then I think they were also mentioned as honey sticks?) In this one post it switches from a liquid to a candy to a liquid. Keep an eye on that. If it is a honey drizzled stick, it should be explained better from the start.

    Beyond these few stuff ups everything was clear and I had no issue with what I was reading and imagining what was going on in my head.


    Technique: 5/10
    Flamebird definately did this a lot more than Nevin at least in the case of metaphors which I enjoyed seeing here and there:

    and sat criss-cross applesauce on the counter.
    Her heartbeat started to race like thunderous horse hooves
    They weren't encumbering and didn't overshadow the writing which was nice.

    Beyond the metaphors there wasn't a lot of foreshadowing or symbolism or literay devices like that. It was more or less a straightforward thread. I came into it knowing what it was, what it was going to be, and as the outcome came about, it was pretty clear on that.

    Am adding points for some of the change in text size etc. that Flamebird used, I am a fan of using that to help convey various nuances in emotion.

    This is also where the flashback came in, whilst clunky at the start - later on in the thread when Felicity is having her blood drawn it gives a clearer insight to what she is going through; so it's a little bit of a hit and miss. It's good to see that so we know what is happening when her blood is being drawn, but where the flashback was- it felt misplaced.

    STILL WORKING ON TECHNIQUE




    WILDCARD
    STILL WORKING ON THIS TOO

  3. #3
    upon the cheek of night

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    Bloody Fury and Alchemy Workshop

    Bloody Fury and Alchemy gave an interesting look into the characters of both Nevin and Felicity. The highlight for me was the way both of you interwove dialogue with casual actions to keep the rhythm going. I've read threads by both of you before, and I'm happy to have seen some improvement, especially in the way you conduct your characters. I believe you're both gaining a level of comfort and proficiency that will allow you to reach new heights on Althanas.

    Plot

    Story

    The strongest element of this story came from Felicity's desire to understand her abilities/the negative side effects of them. This was clear and present from the first post on, and drove the action and dialogue of the thread. Nevin did a good job of playing a slightly secondary character, allowing Felicity to be the main attraction while still adding his own elements to the plot. However, this story was also lacking in several fundamental ways. There wasn't any real inciting incident or narrative hook, nothing that would snatch the reader's attention and set you up for a grander adventure. There wasn't much in the way of rising action, however there was plenty of background provided from both sides as well as character development. I also really liked the ending, it was kind of sweet and set the table for what could be a more robust meal.

    Setting

    The setting of this thread was Nevin's alchemist shop, and that pretty much sums it up. There was a brief glimpse of the outside world at the beginning, as well as in the flashback, but nothing that really painted a picture of any particular place on Althanas. You both did, however, do a great job of incorporating Althanas lore (whether it's canon or not, doesn't really matter - it was interesting). There was lots to appreciate in the knowledge base your characters shared as well as the references to places like Salvar, the Tular Plains, and Eiskalt. At times I did feel like you both became overly comfortable with the setting, and I would have like to see some change to it during the course of the thread. Either the setting should have changed by them going somewhere, or some change should have occurred TO the setting, such as Felicity freaking out and breaking something.

    Pacing

    While the events of this story mostly unfolded in a linear, easy-to-follow manner, there was little work done with the pacing to keep the reader interested. There was very little tension being built and/or released throughout the thread, and that made reading it a touch flat in places. For a moment I thought something was going to happen when Nevin cut Felicity with the scalpel, but the only payoff I got was some internal angst. To be honest, what I think this story needed is a subplot. Something to kick a little octane into the situation. Such as, what if Felicity was being chased? By a murderer? By an alchemist? By the law? What if Nevin had a reason to house her? What if someone tried to rob the shop at the worst possible time? Overall I would say the stakes of this story started off fairly low, and they never climbed much higher than the moment when I thought Felicity might break a shelf or something. While you could make the argument here that this is the story of how your characters met, my rebuttal would be you could have picked a more interesting moment in their relationship to write about and covered the events of this thread with a few lines of dialogue.

    Character

    Communication

    This would easily be the strongest area of the rubric for both of you. This thread was largely conversation based, and you both represented your characters quite well in that regard. Nothing overly interesting caught my eye, but nothing impeded my appreciation of the banter either. One thing I think you both could work on is using quirks of dialogue. I saw some of this from Felicity in the form of her recalling the lisp she overcame, but what I'm really looking for is elements of speech that make the character who they are. For example, are there any words that Felicity still struggles with to this day? Are there any slang terms or curses Nevin uses left over from his youth in Salvar? Pieces of dialogue that answer these types of questions can be not only interesting but informative to the character. Overall though, I liked what both of you did. Nevin has a way of rambling about things before getting round to the point, and Felicity is more concise, so they make a good duo.

    Action

    This would easily be one of the weaker areas of the rubric for both of you because so little happened. Granted, things occurred. Some moments even impressed me, such as Felicity's nails scarring the countertop and Nevin's reaction to it. The series of action-reaction surrounding Nevin pulling out the needle also deserves some respect. And, as I mentioned before, you both did a fine job of interweaving mundane actions with your dialogue. However, only a few things of great consequence happened, and they were labored over for a rather long time. While making the story a little more complex could have easily introduced more action to it as I suggested before, even the story as it was could have contained some more compelling action. Felicity could have flipped a table over, at the very least, but ideally the characters would have gone places and done things that built up both their personas and the world around them.

    Persona

    You are both quite comfortable writing your respective characters, and did a good job of representing each others' actions when necessary. I liked getting to know both sides of Felicity, the kinder side and the hidden, angry side, and Nevin evolved as an alchemist from earlier threads I've seen him in. If anything, I feel like you both lean a little heavily on your characters' personas to fill the content of your writing, which can be remedied by putting more effort into Action and Setting. I didn't quite buy Felicity as a sasspot, her quips were a little too scarce. I would recommend either dialing up or dialing back this element of her personality, it could work either way but at present it's kind of stuck in between. For Nevin, I might recommend making him a little more direct. Not saying to get rid of his puttering ways (far from it), but at times he rambles enough that the reader can lose his train of thought, and thus become distracted from reading the story.

    Prose

    Mechanics

    I happened to read Amari's mechanics advice and it's pretty much spot on, so just let me re-iterate perhaps the most important part. The large part of both your errors can be caught by re-reading your posts out loud and editing them. This is a great kindness when you are asking someone to read your work, which is what your are doing when you submit to the workshop. It will also increase your skill at avoiding these errors in the first place, and teach you things about your own writing which you previously may not have known. Overall I would say that re-reading and actively editing/re-writing your work is nearly as important for developing your writing as actually writing.

    Clarity

    There were only a few clarity issues because you're both solid writers and you weren't really pushing yourselves to try anything difficult or different. Again I think Amari caught the most significant problems, and I re-iterate my reiteration from mechanics for advice on improvement. In some situations, you really just need to give your work that second look.

    Technique

    Putting a little more thought into the composition of the thread and the individual posts could have really spiced things up. Most of my advice in this section will be for Flamebird because I didn't notice much of an effort to write with advanced technique from Nevin. So, for Nevin, try experimenting a bit! Your writing already shows great creativity, so try channeling some of that into literary techniques and devices.

    Flamebird, you had a pretty nice variety of metaphors, and my advice mostly surrounds cleaning up your use of them. For example:

    Instantly, the memory of the injection of the serum viciously attacked her mind.
    The personification you used here (the serum attacking her mind) is bold and strong. I like it. However, it's muddied up by everything surrounding it. Words like "Instantly" often have the opposite effect from what they intend. In this instance, the word (three whole syllables!) as well as the comma actually prevent the attack from seeming instantaneous. I also don't believe you needed the word "viciously". Adjectives are generally much weaker descriptors than metaphors, so you're effectively weakening the description, like watering down a sauce. What we'd be left with if we remove the "extra" stuff is this:

    The memory of the injection of the serum attacked her mind.
    I might even go so far as to change it to "The memory of the serums' injection attacked her mind" to avoid repeating "of the", but you get the idea. The image of a memory attacking her mind is quite powerful, and an attack is inherently instantaneous and vicious in most cases.

    Another example of extra words getting in the way of a good metaphor came a little later:

    Her heartbeat started to race like thunderous horse hooves.
    This is an even smaller adjustment, but just as significant. You almost never need to say that something started to happen; the reader can automatically assume that something started happening if you tell them it is happening. So this would become:

    Her heartbeat raced like thunderous horse hooves.
    Keeps all the goodness, gets rid of the unnecessary. We could also debate about using "thundered" as the operative verb rather than raced, but I like the way the whole sentence flows together so I'll just leave it at that.

    Wildcard

    Well done. Well done. Well done.

    Final Score: A happy new year/100

    Hope to see you both back in the workshop!
    Shoot some diamonds and sparks
    from your torso

    -Wax Mannequin

  4. #4
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    This workshop is now closed. Rewards will follow shortly.
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  5. #5
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    Workshop rewards: Bloody Fury and Alchemy

    Amari receives (unfinished commentary):
    1495 EXP
    50 Gold
    3 AP

    Breaker receives:
    2415 EXP
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    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

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  6. #6
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    All rewards have been added.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

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