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Everything posted by Blurble

  1. of course research, what else? =D um. By change in reaction, I didn't mean to being proposed to, I meant to the gifts. Just in case that wasn't clear. Blegh. I shall have to simply include such a change between the lines. Darn it. (At least I still have a perfectly canon point for Stella's change)
  2. ...huh. I felt positive at some point towards the end it changed. Dangit, I clearly am not remembering the Mel/Ed moments very well. Bad fan. Bad.
  3. Agh, I could replay the... entire game... to find this out again, but I do not have the time or patience or whatever. Does anyone by any chance remember Mel's responses to the various gifts etc? At the very least does anyone remember when her reaction changed? (There was some point. Like, the 4th gift? Later?) Was there any change in her reaction to being proposed to up until the end? Thanks =)
  4. No. Especially because I may very shortly need to take a several months hiatus from the site in which case I want as few ongoing projects as possible.
  5. He might have meant fit like suit but he said fit. He can't deny it.
  6. Actually, his exact words are "I saw a gown that would fit you perfectly" I have the screen cap.
  7. Well. If you promise not to repost it. Then I... guess so?
  8. Explain: Epilogue 1: Devin and Talia get married, Lars and Dameon get into a fight that destroys the wedding hall i.e. aveyond Epilogue 2: Lars and Rhen's daughter has no magic, grows up and becomes a diplomat, in the course of becoming a diplomat she also becomes friends with the crown prince from thais, i.e. dameon's son. and by "friends" i mean they elope. They (Dameon's son, Rhen/Lars's daughter) have a daughter whom they name Rhen (grandduaghter of the original Rhen) who becomes queen. Over the course of time, the exploits of Queen Rhen and her grandmother got a bit confused, which is why people think the same person who defeated Ahriman was also the famous queen, when she was simply grandmother of said queen. Make sense now?
  9. Heh. Sorry my notes are insanely long. I'm glad you liked Epilogue #2.
  10. Some notes that I wrote a month or more back and waited till now to post: Well, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this story since… I can’t remember exactly when, so let’s say essentially the first chapter. It is by far the longest thing I’ve ever written. Before discussing my characterization, a bit of defense: The thing about Rhen is that characterization-wise you only get so much to work with in the game, and then you get the ending. And the ending you choose, in my opinion, is what then defines and retroactively interprets everything Rhen has done so far. That the Rhen endings each reflect a wholly different kind of Rhen is particularly obvious when comparing Danny’s ending to Dameon’s, but the principle should be obvious in general- choosing to be a hermit or choosing to be a queen reflect completely different kinds of personalities. Rhen with Danny is probably one of the most likable Rhens, at least according to my standards- not only is she extremely pragmatic about Dameon (“Let’s face it, you’re not exactly stable”) but her attitude in general is rather proactive (“In fact, let’s get married”) despite the fact that she’s ostensibly retiring. (Small note: I never corrected chapter 1, but I did write it before watching the Danny ending and I was wrong about what happened when she ended up with him) Rhen with Dameon, on the other hand… There’s a few ways of interpreting Rhen’s decision to become queen. On tvtropes it’s defined as a crowning moment of awesome, so I have to assume there are some fans out there that find Rhen’s selflessness in agreeing to become queen appealing. But my perspective- and this heavily influenced the Rhen I set out to write in this story- is a bit different. Throughout the game, Rhen is something of a reactionary character. Something happens, she reacts, someone needs help, she agrees, something happens, she reacts. On the one hand this is perfectly reasonable for an rpg character. On the other hand you never see Rhen developing motives of her own*. It could be argued that this is because Rhen is a selfless character. That’s fair. But selflessness in and of itself is not always a healthy thing. Not when you haven’t yet fully formed your own identity. Rhen is always kind, always accommodating, even when she’s been thrust into a situation no one seems willing to fully explain to her, is forced at great risk to her own life to clean up somebody else’s mess, she even forgives Lars within seconds of him requesting it. And you can either view this all as sincere, or- you can view it as ostensibly sincere, but mostly a method of self-protection Rhen employs. Being ripped away from her family and sold as a slave must have been an incredibly traumatic experience for Rhen, and so she’s nice because then maybe people will like her, is accommodating because she desperately craves approval, desperately needs to be “good” because maybe being “good” will serve as her anchor, so that she feels like she has somewhere she belongs, feels like her existence is worthwhile and meaningful and not something that can be so easily rooted up and displaced. Rhen must have hoped very hard those early months of servitude that someone would come and rescue her. But no one did. And when at last Talia comes, Rhen agrees to anything Talia asks, anything the Empress asks, anything anyone asks, because being “good” will save her. *(Part of what I really like about Mel is that, as selfish as she is, you never have confusion about her motives. Her primary motive is surviving, closely followed by getting money, and then her own nagging conscience lags dead last- although Edward tends to make it take over and actually have an effect, usually guilting/goading her into doing the right thing- because of course his presence reminds her that there are other things she cares about besides herself gkjgdklg I ship that pair so hard.) And if so, then there are two ways for Rhen to continue from there. The first is the Dameon ending. She doesn’t want to become queen, but the people of Thais want her- or at least they want the symbol of her. She might have some reservations about Dameon (who has been proven to be a proficient liar) but he wants her. And so she will once again throw herself away in favor of everyone else, and maybe that really is the unselfish thing to do and maybe, in the long run, it is better for the country etc. Or there’s the other endings. The Danny-ending, to a great extent, is Rhen if Rhen over the course of her journey already managed to recover. She finds out that her presence in her hometown was sorely missed, and more importantly she finds the one person who did what she so desperately wanted someone to do- he came to rescue her, he came desperately seeking her. The home she’s never stopped dreaming of is of course the place she will return to, and she’ll return there with Danny, who may never have succeeded in finding and rescuing her but who nonetheless simply by his devotion has saved her. Danny-ending!Rhen is, as noted above, a self-possessed, self-assured character. Hermit!Rhen, on the other hand, is something like Rhen gone bad. Which is to say in many senses it is a Rhen who has given up. If my impression of Rhen is someone who goes along with whatever people ask because she craves approval, at the same time it seems inevitable that at some point she will begin to under the surface experience resentment, frustration, bitterness- even a self-loathing that comes from a lack of self-respect. Hermit Rhen has spent an entire game going along with what other people asked and all she wants now is for everyone, absolutely everyone, to leave her alone. If she becomes a hermit she throws of all responsibility entirely, she can isolate herself from the world and not have to bother anymore. When compared with Dameon!Rhen is it perhaps slightly less disturbing, but nonetheless the complete shift from selflessness to self-absorption is rather abrupt. It reeks of desperation, as opposed to thought-out decision. And then there’s Runaway Bride Rhen. Runaway Bride Rhen is a Rhen who has not yet grown up- but she’s not given up, either. Let’s face it, logically speaking when facing the Oracle Rhen could simply have said she didn’t like the three options. But she lack the inner strength- the oracle is a figure of authority that Rhen still can’t bring herself to assert herself against, even thought that inability has made her resent the Oracle perhaps unfairly (alright, so my Oracle also tends to be a bitch. I have a theory she’s the one who told Talia to marry a psychopathic sun priest, and I never quite forgave her for sending a bunch of elves to subdue a family uprising among her daughters. Seriously, woman, stop playing around with everybody). So she agrees to go along, but she’s preparing to do the first really, truly selfish act of her life. But that’s the thing. Running away from Dameon is an incredibly selfish thing. It’s a selfish thing that, to some extent, you could argue Rhen needs, but it is also a decision that has consequences. And that’s one thing I wanted to reflect. And the other thing is that personal change is an incredibly hard thing to go through. More than any of the other endings, Runaway Bride is the most emotionally turbulent post-game. Rhen is trying to think for herself and it’s hard. Not only that, but like I mentioned, each ending gives Rhen a different kind of character- calm, reserved, passionate, etc etc. Runaway Bride by its very nature makes Rhen inconstant, inconsistent, something of an emotional rollercoaster. Which is what she is. On the other hand, even as I use this as my justification for every time Rhen was overemotional in this story, I still feel like I’m making her ooc. Because in the game Rhen complains very little. Now that might be for the very same reasons that she went along with everybody- in fact this is very likely- and if so maybe when she undergoes her transition she throws that reserve at least temporarily out the window. Or maybe not. I understand the justification for my making Rhen a bit whiny I’m just not 100% comfortable with it. Because the problem is that sometimes it’s just ridiculous, how over-sensitive and emotional and melodramatic and lacking in perspective she is. The other thing is something that I’m about to criticize in Lars as well, and that is that Rhen is supposed to grow and become more comfortable with herself over the story and while I think that happens, it could have happened much more smoothly and- more importantly- a bit more consistently, i.e. she shouldn’t regress etc. On the other hand, quite honestly? I think personal growth is maybe a bit more like I portrayed it here. Occasionally you make artificial, temporary progress for just a moment before relapsing, and occasionally even once you’ve genuinely progressed you have moments of immaturity where you’re back to before, and sometimes growth occurs in sudden laps rather than steady increments… (So actually writing this rant already reconciled me a bit more to Rhen as a character) But then there’s Lars. Lars’s characterization is not nearly as complicated as Rhen’s. (Although now that I set to write it down I suddenly lack the words- it’s there. In my head…) He has a lot of self-confidence, to put it lightly. There are two caveats- first, over the course of the journey he changes drastically his view of the world and how it should work, overcoming various deeply ingrained prejudices and therefore, presumably, losing some confidence in the accuracy of his own judgement, although this is mostly an assumption since it’s something so slight and internal you wouldn’t really be able to notice it from the outside unless you knew him really well and paid attention. Which is to say that he completely changed his opinion on several subjects, but now acts just as confident about this new opinion as he did about the old one previously. And secondly, there’s Rhen. Lars in this story has been crushing on Rhen for quite some time. And yet, in direct contrast to what you’d expect from such a self-assured guy, he’s never been able to work up the courage to come close to making a move on her. The reason for this is actually pretty simple- had it been anyone but Rhen, Lars would not have been having this difficulty. But it’s Rhen, and Rhen is someone Lars is a bit too much aware of having mistreated, horrendously. He does not think he has the right to be happy with her. He thinks it would be presumptuous to make the suggestion, but he’s also not willing to act on his feelings because on some level it’s his self-inflicted punishment for having been such a nasty jerk. A sidepoint- but the significance of Lars’s apology in the game is not just that he feels sorry. Because he’s actually felt sorry for a while by that point (my interpretation of canon, at least). It’s that Lars is the kind of guy who doesn’t apologize, ever. Ever*. It is an acutely painful thing for him to do, so when he actually does it it’s the equivalent of what in someone else would maybe be something like throwing yourself at someone’s feet and literally begging for them to forgive you. Only not, because at that point it would probably be over the top… The point being that it’s not merely sincere, it’s a sign of some seriously agonizing self-inspection and a very real commitment to change. *(He says sorry several time in this fic, but in the context of “I’m so sorry this happened to you”- when he thinks Dameon broke up with Rhen. Or “I’m sorry, could you repeat that? What did you just say?” Rhen, in contrast, apologizes like all the time. At one point I planned on having Lars get a bit sarcastic with her about that, but the opportunity never arose.) Which, okay, leads directly into what I dislike about my portrayal of Lars in this story. Guaranteed he is going to stay the same smug arrogant overly confident rather snarky sorcerer we all love. On the other hand, I’m unbelievably inconsistent with his growth. There are points in the story where I literally cannot believe I made him do something (I’m looking specifically at that big fight he and Rhen had) and the only justification I have is that he wasn’t thinking and he didn’t realize it was such a big deal… and I find that rather hard to believe. And another thing. Lars was not supposed to be going through a huge internal transition like Rhen. He’s supposed to be fairly static as a character. There’s one exception, and that is the progression of his feelings towards Rhen. Lars starts out the story very much attracted to Rhen, not to mention respecting her a lot for what he’s seen of her during their travels together, and thus rather infatuated with her. By the end, his infatuation is supposed to have transitioned to a very real love, and I think I did a horrendous job of expressing this. Transitions came way too abruptly, nor was the actual nature of the maturing feeling properly expressed. (On the other hand, what I still love about the restaurant scene is how it shows Lars, even while crushing on Rhen, still clearly uncomfortable with some aspects of her, whereas by the end he’s sort of accepted, resigned to them, and almost amused by it…) As for minor, original characters- I’m disappointed, overall, with how I used them. I would have loved to make them into vivid side characters, but they all ended up devolving into essentially plot tools. With Gaden, Hio, and Kylie it was because I realized I lacked the patience to give them all enough screentime to really shine- which is to say any time the focus was on them, it was not on R/L and I enjoyed writing R/L so much more than I enjoyed writing them, even if I felt a bit guilty about that. With Neya… erk. The only side character I can say I properly developed was, of all people, Sirona. Sirona oozed off the paper for me. I deeply regretted not being able to bring her back into the story, if only to rub Rhen’s success in her face. But it didn’t fit, plot-wise- Rhen was supposed to have moved on. Bringing her in would have felt awkward and abrupt and weird. And the plot- urgh. Plot. My only excuse, and it’s a shoddy one, is that fanfic doesn’t require plot like origfic does. Because the plot of this story is rambling, shambling, sprawling, inconsistent, and for many stretches of time nonexistent. Ostensibly it’s about Rhen and Lars becoming Head Sorcerer and Head Swordsinger. Mostly, however, it was… not. Writing quality- Extremely variable, depending a lot on how motivated I was at the time. What stands out as a particular peeve is something someone already pointed out, the over-modernization. This was pure laziness on my part, and it was a conscious laziness which doesn’t really excuse it. Earlier in the story I made several brave attempts at trying not to give in- I wanted to give them a different calendar, I tried to give Lars an Aveyond-y sounding favorite drink… yeah. At some point I just gave up. Which, speaking of world-creation, is something else: I interpreted game mechanics rather literally in this fic, down to health and mana points and “dying”. In general I do that with Aveyond fics because it’s fun and funny to poke fun (say that ten times fast) at rpg “science”. On the other hand, since then I wrote an Ed/Mel fic in which fading out in the middle of battle is because you pass out, not because you die, and I prefer that interpretation, although I’m keeping the death one for this fic. Notes I wrote over a year ago when I had just started this fic: Originally the entire introductory part of the prologue bit- i.e. that thing with the oracle ad percentages- as intended to be continued at some later point with an explanation of how very unlikely the chance of Lars and Rhen having a successful romance would be. In the end it’s not something I really picked up the thread on (see also: deleted scene involving Talia and Rhen discussing Fate) but it nonetheless serves as an explanation for something I was trying to be conscious of in the fic. That is to say, that the people that Lars and Rhen were at the time of the end of the game had some major barriers to their having a relationship together that the Oracle picked up on, and that was why she didn’t bother offering it as an option (in later realities, also known as Build C, she changed her mind). The barriers to the relationship? That Lars, despite having a sot of infatuation with Rhen, has some major weaknesses, specifically that he’s not all that self-aware, partially because of that doesn’t always realize how he comes across, and also that he has the bad trait known as “unable to stop digging yourself in deeper”. He has tremendous difficulty apologizing, even if when he does he never just means it superficially. He has a major ego problem. And also, he’s a teenage boy and that sort of speaks for itself. As for Rhen- what with her extremely traumatic, unstable childhood, it’s a wonder she isn’t even more emotionally unstable than I already wrote her. As it is I decided to give her an internal streak of strength to keep her going, but it really is important to realize that Rhen spent a lot of her life just doing what other people wanted and as a result she’s rather insecure now that she’s trying to take her life into her own hands. It’s basically growing up, only she has to do it AFTER having achieved the biggest accomplishment of her life instead of before, and that’s hard. Although actually I think she has less a problem dealing with that than Lars does. More importantly, if we’re talking about barriers to a relationship, then Rhen at first doesn’t even like Lars all that much. So that’s the first, most obvious barrier, that she starts actually feeling anything for him, and it’s complicated by the fact that Rhen hasn’t exactly totally forgiven Lars yet, for the fact that she was his slave and for the fact that he made her life miserable. I mean, that’s the kind of thing that’s extremely hard to forgive. (Remember Rhen’s explanation of how “more-than-friends” is held to a higher standard? Pretty much that, yeah) And the final barrier off the top of my head right now is Lars’s mother. I already know she’s going to either die or fall very ill, as that is a scene that has been in my head longer than this fic. But I’m not sure how Lars is going to galvanize enough inner strength to actually go directly against the prejudices she’s been teaching him all his life. And I think that Lars is a bit of a mummy’s boy so that is an actual real problem I haven’t yet figured out. In the end what I’m looking forward to right now is the chance to portray the two of them growing the heck up (because they’re just kids, really) and doing so /together/. Because the thing that appealed to me about Rhen/Lars to start with, more than Rhen/Danny or Rhen/Dameon, was that they were always so intensely involved with each other that I felt a relationship between them would naturally be more real
  11. Talia/Devin. Dammit, I thought i mentioned them by name. Must've forgotten because I was trying to make the first paragraph sound like it could be L/R. Fixing that brb. Edit: Feel free to add the Po Pi Po tomorrow? Also: Devin Perry is Perry because my theory about how royal last names work in Aveyond-verse is that they come with the position.
  12. Epilogue #1: All the records agreed that it was an enormous event, the wedding. There was no official sit-down meal, but the buffet had enough food to sustain several nations. Which was fortunate, since the guest list was simply enormous. But of course it had to be- after all, there were countless people throughout the world with some connection to either the bride or groom. Nearly the entire country of Thais attended, on the groom's side. As for the bride... Well, it was typical of the Dreamer that even some monsters were allowed to peacefully attend the wedding, in Aveyond's tradition as a refuge to all without discrimination. Where the records did not agree, however, was what exactly happened after the second dance and before the stand-up skit that was destined never to be. A leftover act of malice from the daeva Ahriman was one popular theory, but much scoffed at by historians. Ahriman's hatred of Talia Maurva and Devin Perry (once Devin Pendragon) was well-known, but he had, after all, been safely contained. Another theory involved a conspiracy carried out by a squadron of highly trained military squirrels. And yet another theory involved the combustible nature of certain gases when exposed to undue amounts of magic, especially in closed spaces like crowded shrines that had not been built to serve as massive wedding halls. And these theories were equally considered and weighed in upon and discussed in academic circles for years after the event. But there were several people who had an entirely different explanation, one far less reasonable than combustible gases. No, it was suspected by those in positions privy to such knowledge that the actual cause of the... incident... was a confrontation between two guests. This theory is a little flawed, in that most eyewitness accounts record the encounter between Lars and Rhen Tenobor and Dameon and Serina Pendragon as having been cordial, Serina and Rhen having even exchanged several small niceties of conversation regarding the difficulties of pregnancy. Nonetheless, at some point or other it seem that one or the other or both of the women had to excuse themselves to the facilities... At which point one of the men said something, to which the other responded in kind, and then at some point their staffs came into play and after that... Well. Let's just say that the Aveyond Shrine had to be rebuilt, in a new location. Again. Epilogue #2 After the birth of their daughter, Rhen and Lars were slightly concerned that she might have the same difficulties Gaden had experienced, of having both swordsinging and sorcerous magic. They kept a careful eye on her, as she was growing up, just in case. They were for the most part relieved when it became apparent that rather than possessing both magics, Veira possessed no magic at all. Instead, growing up in the circles of the powerful and influential, she rapidly gained renown as a diplomat in the Empress's court, in particular in her dealings with foreign dignitaries. Rhen and Lars saw no problem with this. Then one day their daughter announced that she was getting married to the crown prince of Thais. “What?! Absolutely not!” Lars had exclaimed, in horror. “I'm sorry, did I say 'getting married'? I meant to say that I 'got married'. Last Tuesday, during my trip to Thais. There was a very accommodating priest.” After that, and very reluctantly, Lars and Dameon were forced to reconcile. They mostly handled this by avoiding ever being in the same room together. Rhen and Serina, however, began a mutually advantageous correspondence that furthered the prosperity of their Empire and Kingdom, respectively. As for Veira and the Crown Prince... They named their eldest-born daughter Rhen and she became a very famous queen (that some of the legends got her mixed up with her grandmother is, of course, perfectly understandable). THE END. That's it folks. It's over. Yup. It's been a long ride. ... ... ...yeah.
  13. when updating that a story is complete, not ongoing, should we resubmit the entire thing, summary and all, or just say "such and such story is now complete"?
  14. I meant a bit much in the sense of being rather over the top. But your reason is a better one. (When I told my friend I had finished writing this, that's the link she sent me.)
  15. Well, I was thinking of po pi po but there also technically is an actual joy dance. .... .... .... that might be a bit much.
  16. (I want a dancing Lars DDDD= doing the joy dance. in smug smirky Lars fashion.) (But celebratory wedding pixels are still very welcome ^^)
  17. "Lars is proposing!!!! Wahoo!!! XDDDDD LOL, it's been a very long way... May I post loads and loads of lovey dovey Lars/Rhen pixels when the epilogue rolls by?" YES. --- Note: go back a couple of chapters to find first mention of the ring. And see if you can find hints I dropped before that (they're very, very vague/ambiguous, I'm not sure they count) --- You will not get to see Lars propose. Just getting that out there.
  18. After changing back into their clothes, they at last headed outside the stadium. It was rather chilly. Lars could see Rhen shivering, and he could also tell that she was pretending not to. Well. “It's so cold,” he said, stretching languidly. “Let's go buy sweaters or something.” “Y-yes, lets,” Rhen said, without any resistance. They wandered over to the nearest group of stalls. There were little vending stands set up everywhere, amidst the glowing lights. The outside squares had been cleared to reveal more space than Lars would have thought possible. The air was filled with the noise and bustle of the crowds making their way around. They bought light blankets, to wrap around themselves. Then they bought skewered meat and little paper baskets of fried vegetables, because without realizing it both of them were ravenously hungry. They walked together contentedly chewing, and Lars gave Rhen the remainder of his food once he was quite full. She devoured it quite happily, and then bought two more sticks of meat and a strange hollowed-out tuber filled with a reddish sauce, which rapidly went the same way as their predecessors. Once Lars would have felt queasy, watching such an obscene amount of food disappear in such a short amount of time (and so messily, too). Tonight, though... He grinned. “Whad'sh so funny?” Rhen said. “Nothing,” he said, and had to laugh. The wind was invigorating. The fair was lovely. The Empress had strongly implied that he and Rhen stood a good chance of gaining the two most prestigious magical positions in the country. Together. He laughed and felt the wind whip it out of his mouth and away, and that only made him laugh more, giddy and exhilarated. “Um... Lars?” Rhen said, hesitantly, her food finished. “Are you sure you're not... overtired or something?” “Rhen,” Lars said, seriously. “Yes?” “Have I mentioned to you how lovely you look today?” She went bright red. “Don't make jokes, Lars.” “I assure you, I am exceedingly serious.” He laughed. “Also very happy.” “...Right. Lars, maybe you need to lie down. You're being really weird.” “I am?” Her forehead had gotten that little wrinkle of concern in it. She opened her mouth to say something. He grabbed her by the arm and pulled her towards the confectionery stand. “Let's buy some Veldtian waffles,” he said. “Lars-” she began, and then broke off to tug eagerly at his sleeve. “Ooh, look, they have that fluffy lacy stuff! Spun sugar whatnots!” --- They left the stand loaded with sweets. By that point Lars seemed to have calmed down a bit, and she decided not to worry. Somehow or another they had ended up holding hands, and they were walking now side-by-side, brushed against by the passing crowds but connected somehow just to each other. It left her with a strange, rosy-warm feeling. “The parade should be soon,” Lars murmured. “We should sit down somewhere before all the good places are gone. I know a good place.” “Okay...” she replied, and followed him as he led her through the crowds- “Whoops, wrong way,” he said, and they doubled back and then veered sideways and then they stepped through a gap in the buildings and the noise of the fair faded behind them. They were on top of a hill, softly sloping, and on the opposite side Rhen could see the wide avenue of the main street of the city. “That's where the parade will be,” Lars said, noticing the direction of her gaze. They settled comfortably in the grass and nibbled at the candy. Rhen lay back in the grass, felt herself relax... The grass itched. She wriggled, trying to find a better patch. Then she placed her arm behind her head, which was fine until her fingers started to go numb. She considered flipping over to her stomach. Then she reconsidered. Lars looked up when she walked over, but made no protest as she lay down, her head in his lap. “Much better,” she said, satisfied. “Mmm,” he said. Then the fireworks began. --- The Empire was famous for its fireworks. The ones at the parade were particularly impressive, bright whorls and flowers of color in gold and red and purple, spiky shapes and abstract impressions in white and orange and green. Rhen turned her head in his lap to get a better view, but otherwise didn't shift position. “Beautiful...” She whispered, and watching her eyes sparkle in delight he rather had to agree with the sentiment. He breathed in, softly, and ventured a hand carefully towards his pants pocket. Her head and neck were rather in the way. He considered shifting her, gently. He raised his hand, to softly brush her aside, and then reconsidered. He'd recruited Neya to help him find out what ring to buy her. A necessary bit of subterfuge, and she'd proven excellent at the job. He had, in a small velvet box, a delicate silvery ring enchanted with an unlimited snowstorm spell. He even knew what speech he was going to make, when he pulled it out. And how he was going to argue her into believing that he was being serious, and how he was going to convince her to accept. Despite the preparations, he suspected it wouldn't go quite according to plan. It was Rhen he was dealing with, after all. But it was the end result that mattered. ...And the end result, he decided, as he moved his hand to rest comfortably by her side, could wait another moment. “Rhen?” he said. “Mmm?” “...Nothing,” he said, and felt the corners of his mouth lilt irrepressibly upwards. ---- Here ends Uncertainty Principle. An epilogue will follow.
  19. Practice, practice, practice. And reading as much as possible. Hey, there are plenty of people whose first language is English who have difficulty with these things, so it's definitely not something to beat yourself up over (especially because it's so easily fixed). I'll wait a bit before editing chapter 2.
  20. Posting this in case of computer failure and continuing in a moment, unless you want me to stop. Sorry it's still at the nitpick stage I'll get to thematic in a moment. “The Tear Shrine is just [d]straight[/d] ahead,” Dameon said, pointing to the shimmering white building a few [d]metres[/d] meters ahead. Rhen looked at the shrine. It [d]looked[/d] seemed (you just used the word "looked" a second ago) much smaller than the other druids’ shrines she[d] saw[/d] had seen thus far. “Are you sure the demon's in there?” Lars asked skeptically. “The others [d]we have fought[/d] (unnecessary) sure did a great job hiding themselves. Why would this one put himself – or herself – out in the open?” “He's there, alright,” Dameon replied. “I can sense a strong demonic presence from the shrine. This is another daeva we’re facing.” “Seriously? That shrine sparkles so much you could practically see it from a kilometre away. He might as well put up a sign saying 'I am here. Come defeat me.'” Pirate John commented (does this really need to be commented? Can't it just be said?*). (*Note: I come from the school of literary thought in which all fancy speech tags- exclaimed, declared, commented- should only be used in cases where special stress is being placed on the action. Otherwise, just use said, a nice invisible word that does not distract the reader. I mean, it's not like we can't tell that he's commenting.) “Then he’s either very dumb or overly confident,” Elini said. (I think this might be more effective as "very dumb or very confident". In cases like this parallelism flows much more nicely) “Well, if he is there, can we go in there right now and get it over with?” Te'ijal snapped impatiently. “Those creatures' screeching is starting to hurt my ears.” I made he's into he is and italicized the is because I think the emphasis should be that if he is, in fact, in the shrine, can we go in? Which wasn't really conveyed without that stress on is. I also had a comment about mentioning the monsters by name but I see you did that a second later so never mind. “Yes, the quicker we get the job done the better,” Rhen agreed. Hearing the shivens' screeches and the witches' cackling was painful to her ears too. She could only imagine how terrible it was for Te'ijal, with her enhanced [d]vampiric[/d] vampire senses. Not to mention that she was very sick of looking at the Dreamworld's bright purple grass and magenta trees. One [d]can[/d] could only take so much of looking at dazzling bright colours. There's something of syntactically about this sentence but I can't quite put my finger on why. For the time being, I guess it's adequate The group dashed into the shrine. Once inside, it was [d]so[/d] much more obvious just how small the building was. The entirety of the building was practically nothing but one medium-sized room, with barely any furniture [d]in it[/d]. It wasn’t very hard to spot the daeva, who was standing casually in the centre of the room, facing away from them, with his hands clasped behind his back. His dark blue armour [d]stood in stark contrast to[/d] starkly contrasted the white interior of the shrine. Not to mention that the squared section he was standing in, with its different set of tiles and the four tall pillars on its corners, served to draw even more attention to him. Rhen felt her blood run cold, and instantly froze at what she saw, her mind racing furiously. as it was it sounded like it's her blood that's freezing. the comma fixes that. nonetheless the similarity draws attention. you could play that up. or you might decide you don't want it at all. Even with his back to her, there was absolutely no mistaking [d]of it[/d] him. She would [d]know[/d] have known that intricate armour anywhere,(you might want to use punctuation other than comma here, for exmaple ... or --) even though it must have been weeks since she had last [d]saw[/d] seen it. It’s not possible! It’s NOT! It can’t be him! He may be a demon but.. There are plenty of other demons around, right? They probably just happen to wear similar things… Alright, I admit, this is actually a matter of preference and something I'm inconsistent about myself, but it might be clearer if you italicize thoughts. Whatever. Feel free to totally ignore this suggestion, I'm not all that gung-ho about it myself. Rhen swallowed. Those words sounded so false. words sounding implies they were spoken out loud, which... they weren't Sneaking another look at the demon, she saw that he had still made no move to acknowledge their presence. “Psst, Rhen, are you alright?” Lars hissed, prodding her back with his staff. She jumped slightly, and turned around, her eyes [d]wide in shock[/d] either "Widening in shock" or "wide with shock". Not "wide in shock". She saw Lars, Dameon, and Elini looking back at her with concerned expressions on their faces. She also heard Galahad grumble, “What are we waiting for?” before Te’ijal shushed him. She blinked, then shook her head and muttered, “I’m fine.” I inserted line breaks where I thought a definitive shift was taking place. Mushing it all together in one paragraph makes it confusing and messy Lars raised an eyebrow at her reply, but said nothing. Rhen closed her eyes and took a deep breath, willing herself to calm down. After a brief moment she spoke again. “Let’s do this.” again, it should be noted the school of thought I follow in regard to editing. I've been trained that as a general rule actions belonging to separate people belong in separate paragraphs. there are presumably other schools of thought about this. Focusing her attention back to the daeva, she saw that he had turned to face them. He was watching them – or at least she assumed he was, for maybe "as" rather than "for"? the visor on his helmet obscured his eyes from view – with his arms crossed, a huge smirk plastered on his face. “Well, well, look who’s here?” The daeva drawled, slowly spreading open his arms in a welcoming gesture. “I have been expecting you.” Oh gods, that voice… It is him. again, emphasis. also, i'm not sure but this might be supposed to be a "was" (tense shifts in thoughts not my forte.) She felt like someone had punched her very hard on the chest. It hurt. It hurt[d]s[/d] so much. my personal preference would be "It hurt. It hurt so, so much." the double so playing up on the repetition in general. there's nothing officially wrong with how you have it though The daeva suddenly turned to her as if [d]suddenly[/d] just noticing her presence. His smirk widened. “Greetings, Rhen, long time no see,” he said, as he sauntered closer. Rhen felt her insides grow cold once more. Mmm, couldn't you rephrae this as something like "if possible, she felt herself grow even colder"? I dunno... She saw that her hands were trembling furiously by saying "she saw" you seem to be implying that she saw this as if she watching herself form the outside. If so, don;t just imply it. Say "she saw, in a vague, disconnected way, as if she was merely an observer watching from the outside, that her hands..." I know it's a bit overkill and usually I'd vote against it as, for example, underestimating the reader's intelligence. But. It just sounds weird otherwise. and she gripped her sword’s handle typically the word would be hilt, I think. Swords don't really have "handles" tighter, [d]though[/d] but it did nothing to calm her frantic mind, which seem to be scrambling more and more the closer he got. “What are you blabbering about, you demon?” she heard Galahad shout. The daeva paused, turning his attention toward the paladin. She sighed, glad for the temporary relief. Unfortunately it didn’t last long. The daeva looked at Galahad for a moment, his head cocked slightly, then spoke to her again in a mock-perplexed tone. “Why, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friends? That’s not very nice. Or are you just shy? Funny, since you didn’t exactly strike me as someone so bashful.” I was supposed to save this for when I go over thematic, but nyaa i like this paragraph a lot. <3 He paused for a moment, watching her. Rhen could only shake her head. She was hurt- she was furious, and he was purposely provoking her! She wished for nothing more than to let out all that frustration, to scream at him to shut up, [d]and[/d] to attack him. Why oh why did her whole do you need whole? couldn't you just say body? body have to refuse to move right now? Why couldn’t she speak? Why did she feel like she couldn’t do anything more than break down and cry right there and then? “Ah well, I suppose that doesn’t really matter,” the daeva said nonchalantly, striding over to her side and casually draped an arm around her waist, pulling her to him. Her mind immediately flew into a panic. She instinctively tried to shove him away, but to no avail- his strong arms kept her secured in her place. several changes in punctuation, too lazy to tag red As she continued to struggle in his grip, her eyes darted around the room, looking at her friends’ shocked and bewildered expressions [d]fearfully[/d]. They wouldn’t think she was actually in cahoots with Ahriman, right? “We already know each other, eh Sun Priest?” Dameon jumped when the daeva addressed him. He was as pale as a sheet and was also looking around nervously. “And as for the rest of you…” the daeva trailed off, looking back to the rest of the group, “I am the daeva Agas. You can say that I am Rhen’s lover of some sorts. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” Before she could fully process his words, Rhen felt him roughly turn her to face him, and the next thing she knew his lips came crashing down on hers. As you can tell by the end I had much less nitpicking to go around. Coincidentally (not) I also think the end is where your writing picked up speed. Till then, while it was okay, it still felt a tiny bit flat. But once Rhen and Agas are actually in the room together you convey her emotions nicely, her confusion and shock and fear, and you establish Agas's character in a few broad strokes that give the reader a clear sense already of what kind of person he's going to be. Obviously you also leave room to elaborate, expand, overturn that interpretation but he certainly makes a strong first impression. I have to go to sleep now. So chapter 2 might be several days in coming (I'm a trifle on the busy side)
  21. Wow, I disagree with practically every aspect of your analysis of the characters. Mel was a thief out of necessity- not exactly "out of control", that implies a kleptomaniac or something. And she's a thief for a tiny fraction of the series. Ten minutes in she's already practically retired- training to be a spy, remember? As for raging, I'm not sure if that was intended as a intensifier of "out of control" or if it was meant as another personality trait, in which case I have no idea what you mean, since other than in regards to nobles Mel doesn't lose her temper ever, and even with nobles she has one small outburst at Ed from which she is quickly conciliated, and an ongoing feud with Lydia for which anyone could be excused. Edward: I guess he's rich, although I'm not sure how it's relevant since it seems to all be tied up in his college funds (I didn't exactly notice him helping monetarily on the quest). Stuck up I cannot think of a single piece of evidence for. He gets tired of people sucking up to him as prince, if that's what you mean- but wouldn't stuck up be expecting people to suck up to you? He's the kind of person who actually feels relieved and happy when people (aka Mel) treat him with less respect. And certainyl he's constantly the voice of "be nice, help people" throughout the series, which doesn;t impyl stuck up ("C'mon, Mel, we have to help them!" "No, Edward, we don't." "B-but... *puppy eyes*" "Ah! Stop looking at me like that! Fine, I'll help them!" ...that's half the dynamic of their relationship right there). As for dumb-at-times... I guess it depends on what you mean by dumb. Short-sighted? Sure. He's a teenager. He makes stupid mistakes. But I actually got the impression that IQ-wise he's pretty intelligent. (Just... a trifle overconfident. See "makes stupid mistakes". And I really don't think that's a crime in a teenage character. It reflects a reality.) Lydia: Egoistic? Sure. Spoilt? Definitely. Obsessed with Edward? Uh... no. also, sorry for the super long rants. I... kinda really adore Ed/Mel. -cough- So.
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