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Old 01-18-2013, 01:57 PM   #1
IronDragon
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Announcements for future stories.

I'm relatively new here, but I've been an amateur writer for years. Over the years, watching fantasy and science fiction TV series and movies, I have interjected my own characters into those universes, and have created amalgamated, yet uniquely original worlds. Now that I have an outlet for my creative juices, I would like to thank the people here supporting me in my endeavors. The following announcements affect my ongoing series for those who read my work:

'Knight & Warrior' will be wrapping up with the Epilogue, or Chapter 9.
'Love And War' will wrap with Book 5, which should be out within a few days, since I submitted it the other day.
'Solar Wind' will be my ongoing and flagship title in the hardcore Sci-Fi realm. I plan to keep it going as long as I have ideas for new Episodes.
'Bowstring and Steel' is going to be my Fantasy genre counterpoint series to Solar Wind. The first Episode of that tale should also be out in a few days, and I plan to keep it going as long as possible, too.

I also have a few one-shot stories coming soon, including 'Fate and Armageddon', and another one that I'm still working on called 'Blood Honor' about a fairly famous Vampire not of this Earth. I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say I am having a lot of fun writing these stories.

As I say in some of my Forewords and Replies to comments on my stuff, I hope you all enjoy reading these tales as much as I enjoy writing them. Any constructive feedback is appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:11 AM   #2
Lien_Geller
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Hey, I checked out Solar Wind Ch. 01 for ya. Here are my thoughts:

The initial descriptions were not good. I get that you're talking in the first person and you're giving Dex his own voice but what you're having him describe is flat out boring. This is actually quite an achievement as you start out describing a starship. It takes quite a bit of fuck-uppery to make a starship boring.

Ok, I'm just fucking with you a little here. It's not terrible, but you run smack-bang-headfirst into several problems that sci-fi writers often stumble over. Your introduction of the ship just sounds like bragging. I know that might be the point, but it's also slightly off-putting. Author's do this a lot in describing things that the reader is supposed to like. I'm going to take an example of it happening in another instance and show you what I mean.

In Batman Begins (awesome movie in general, but this annoyed me), they debuted a new Batmobile that was quite a bit different to the ones that had gone before it. So, when the car gets its first run out in the streets, the shit hits the fan. It's pretty awesome as car chases go. The problem is that every time someone in the scene sees the car, they make a quip about how awesome it is. "It's a black...tank." "He's flying over rooftops!" "I gotta get me one of those!" Not only does this disrupt the flow of the awesome car-chase we're trying to watch but it's also blatantly obvious that the writer is going into overkill in an attempt to get us to like the new Batmobile.

This happens at the start of your story. It happens a lot in most sci-fi and fantasy too. The writer has made a genuinely cool world and gets a bit over eager to show it off and so both showing and telling are thrown out the window and we end up with bragging. It's not a good way to start a story off if you want to endear me to the character or the ship.

Then he describes himself in the same way you'd describe someone if they were trying to do a police photo-fit. Good descriptive writing doesn't just show what something looks like. It establishes mood, tone and possibly even character quirks. Don't just say "so I look a bit like a pirate." Suggest it with things like "I'm told I have rugged, roguish features along with a wicked grin. The latter coming from enjoying things I probably shouldn't." His beer gut being worked back into abs is good, it shows he has determination, but that he's prone to being a bit lazy from time to time.

Rilar initially has the same problem, though Dex's opinions of her after the initial blurb of description are much better.

I get that this whole thing is a bit of a catch-22 when writing sci-fi. Obviously the reader needs to know that Rilar is a cat-woman. You can't introduce her, go on for a few pages and then casually drop that in without pissing off the reader whose mental image of her will already have been put in place. There's often a lot of concepts and universe-building you have to do with sci-fi and it's hard not to infodump. You are by no means the worst offender I've come across either, it's just something to bear in mind as you go. Or, hell, just establish the infodump as a part of the narrative. I did it in my story The Warlock. Every time I need to explain something like how a succubus works in my world then I have my narrator just take an excerpt from his book: The Nocturne Compendium. Then at least it lets the reader prep for the description, if you know what I mean.

Then you introduce Jen and you tell me shortly afterwards that she's a bitch. This makes me dislike Dex more than Jen. Don't tell me she's a bitch, show me. I don't like men who call powerful women bitches without good reason and you haven't given me a really good reason before Dex says that. This might be on purpose and that's fine if you want him to be not entirely likable, but if he's supposed to be a loveable rogue then it's a misstep.

-----

"She's wrong! I would never mess your relationship up like that!" Rilar's claws extended and her pupils dilated. She was really angry now.

"I know, and I've told her that a thousand times, sweety. Hey, calm down, ok?" I said. I was getting worried about her.

-----

I brought those two lines out because they're a classic example of a spectacular way to not write dialogue. The utterances are fine, but why do I need a short sentence afterwards telling me what the utterance implies? This tells me that you lack confidence in carrying emotion through your dialogue or you think I'm an idiot. I can tell she's angry before you tell me. I can tell he's worried about her before you tell me. Stop telling me would be what I'm getting at here.

""Gods, Dex! Gurinkan ears are very erogenous!" Her eyes were fully dilated now."

In the heat of foreplay, that was just hilarious. I mean it'd be like an alien girl giving a guy a blowjob and the guy saying. "Oh gosh! Male wangs are quite sensitive!" You don't need to come out and say it like that. Imply it and the reader will get it!

The mating scene isn't bad as far as the sexy times go, but it does feel like a huge step in their relationship happening out of almost nowhere. It started out with him touching her cheek like a lover would, sure, but they've been practically naked hugging for ten years (I think). In all that time with a super-babe he never got in a passive little squeeze? He's like Pirate-Gandhi.

Finally, just a few thoughts on the rest of the story. Dex and Rilar don't seem to be able to go two minutes without saying they love each other. It gets a little cheesy. It might have been better if we'd had a bit more build-up or a bit more teasing so we could appreciate the emotion overflow a lot more. You also often use random sci-fi babble as plot points. That's fine but it sometimes feels like it just comes out of the blue whenever you need it without much groundwork being laid down.

Overall, the characters were a bit 1-D and I didn't like Dex as much as I think I was supposed to. You need to work a little on your world-building skills and get the balance between confusion and infodumping a little more tight. Other than that, this was actually pretty good! I quite liked Rilar. Sexy alien babes are always awesome.

The sex was fine too. I just never felt there was much tension in the whole story. Tension, either between romatic leads or protagonist and antagonist is what usually drives a story and what makes the reader want to find out what happens. I felt myself just waiting for the sex in this one. Though that might just be me! You've got some great ratings and I see some great enthusiasm and potential here with a few rookie mistakes.

All in all, keep up the good work!

Last edited by Lien_Geller : 01-19-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:41 PM   #3
IronDragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lien_Geller View Post
Hey, I checked out Solar Wind Ch. 01 for ya. Here are my thoughts:

The initial descriptions were not good. I get that you're talking in the first person and you're giving Dex his own voice but what you're having him describe is flat out boring. This is actually quite an achievement as you start out describing a starship. It takes quite a bit of fuck-uppery to make a starship boring.

Ok, I'm just fucking with you a little here. It's not terrible, but you run smack-bang-headfirst into several problems that sci-fi writers often stumble over. Your introduction of the ship just sounds like bragging. I know that might be the point, but it's also slightly off-putting. Author's do this a lot in describing things that the reader is supposed to like. I'm going to take an example of it happening in another instance and show you what I mean.

In Batman Begins (awesome movie in general, but this annoyed me), they debuted a new Batmobile that was quite a bit different to the ones that had gone before it. So, when the car gets its first run out in the streets, the shit hits the fan. It's pretty awesome as car chases go. The problem is that every time someone in the scene sees the car, they make a quip about how awesome it is. "It's a black...tank." "He's flying over rooftops!" "I gotta get me one of those!" Not only does this disrupt the flow of the awesome car-chase we're trying to watch but it's also blatantly obvious that the writer is going into overkill in an attempt to get us to like the new Batmobile.

This happens at the start of your story. It happens a lot in most sci-fi and fantasy too. The writer has made a genuinely cool world and gets a bit over eager to show it off and so both showing and telling are thrown out the window and we end up with bragging. It's not a good way to start a story off if you want to endear me to the character or the ship.

Then he describes himself in the same way you'd describe someone if they were trying to do a police photo-fit. Good descriptive writing doesn't just show what something looks like. It establishes mood, tone and possibly even character quirks. Don't just say "so I look a bit like a pirate." Suggest it with things like "I'm told I have rugged, roguish features along with a wicked grin. The latter coming from enjoying things I probably shouldn't." His beer gut being worked back into abs is good, it shows he has determination, but that he's prone to being a bit lazy from time to time.

Rilar initially has the same problem, though Dex's opinions of her after the initial blurb of description are much better.

I get that this whole thing is a bit of a catch-22 when writing sci-fi. Obviously the reader needs to know that Rilar is a cat-woman. You can't introduce her, go on for a few pages and then casually drop that in without pissing off the reader whose mental image of her will already have been put in place. There's often a lot of concepts and universe-building you have to do with sci-fi and it's hard not to infodump. You are by no means the worst offender I've come across either, it's just something to bear in mind as you go. Or, hell, just establish the infodump as a part of the narrative. I did it in my story The Warlock. Every time I need to explain something like how a succubus works in my world then I have my narrator just take an excerpt from his book: The Nocturne Compendium. Then at least it lets the reader prep for the description, if you know what I mean.

Then you introduce Jen and you tell me shortly afterwards that she's a bitch. This makes me dislike Dex more than Jen. Don't tell me she's a bitch, show me. I don't like men who call powerful women bitches without good reason and you haven't given me a really good reason before Dex says that. This might be on purpose and that's fine if you want him to be not entirely likable, but if he's supposed to be a loveable rogue then it's a misstep.

-----

"She's wrong! I would never mess your relationship up like that!" Rilar's claws extended and her pupils dilated. She was really angry now.

"I know, and I've told her that a thousand times, sweety. Hey, calm down, ok?" I said. I was getting worried about her.

-----

I brought those two lines out because they're a classic example of a spectacular way to not write dialogue. The utterances are fine, but why do I need a short sentence afterwards telling me what the utterance implies? This tells me that you lack confidence in carrying emotion through your dialogue or you think I'm an idiot. I can tell she's angry before you tell me. I can tell he's worried about her before you tell me. Stop telling me would be what I'm getting at here.

""Gods, Dex! Gurinkan ears are very erogenous!" Her eyes were fully dilated now."

In the heat of foreplay, that was just hilarious. I mean it'd be like an alien girl giving a guy a blowjob and the guy saying. "Oh gosh! Male wangs are quite sensitive!" You don't need to come out and say it like that. Imply it and the reader will get it!

The mating scene isn't bad as far as the sexy times go, but it does feel like a huge step in their relationship happening out of almost nowhere. It started out with him touching her cheek like a lover would, sure, but they've been practically naked hugging for ten years (I think). In all that time with a super-babe he never got in a passive little squeeze? He's like Pirate-Gandhi.

Finally, just a few thoughts on the rest of the story. Dex and Rilar don't seem to be able to go two minutes without saying they love each other. It gets a little cheesy. It might have been better if we'd had a bit more build-up or a bit more teasing so we could appreciate the emotion overflow a lot more. You also often use random sci-fi babble as plot points. That's fine but it sometimes feels like it just comes out of the blue whenever you need it without much groundwork being laid down.

Overall, the characters were a bit 1-D and I didn't like Dex as much as I think I was supposed to. You need to work a little on your world-building skills and get the balance between confusion and infodumping a little more tight. Other than that, this was actually pretty good! I quite liked Rilar. Sexy alien babes are always awesome.

The sex was fine too. I just never felt there was much tension in the whole story. Tension, either between romatic leads or protagonist and antagonist is what usually drives a story and what makes the reader want to find out what happens. I felt myself just waiting for the sex in this one. Though that might just be me! You've got some great ratings and I see some great enthusiasm and potential here with a few rookie mistakes.

All in all, keep up the good work!
Thank you for your input, sir. Yes, Dex is bragging about his ship, and you will fully understand why in "Solar Wind: Blood Oath" which should be published soon, since I submitted it almost a week ago.

As far as describing the ship, I was going to leave that up to peoples' imaginations, but ended up spilling the beans in a reply to a guy who noticed some similarities to EVE Online. I also included some descriptive aides in the Foreword for "Episode 4" as to what the ships look like. Google will help if you don't recognize the names of the ships.

For a little background on Dex, which I also explain later in the series, he's a bit of an egomaniac when it comes to his skills. I sort of modelled him after myself, since while he's the best of the best at certain things, he also gives credit where credit is due. Most of that credit goes to Rilar, but he has more than enough to spread around for his various friends and friendly acquaintances. I intentionally went with a Glen Cook style narrative that was picked up on by a guy who sent me a private message and is also a fan of the 'Garrett, P.I." fantasy series.

As far as Jen goes, I explain later on that she's kind of an extreme Type A personality, and has to control everything and everyone around her. That was my basis for the "Bitch" comment early on. Dex isn't as likeable as he could be, but that's also kind of the point. He's a space cowboy that makes Kirk look like a city slicker.

I also went with a "This is happening now" style of narrative, even though it's being told in the past tense. That becomes more glaringly obvious in Episode 2 with Dex succumbing to the spores when Rilar finds him.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the ride, as I will be continuing the series for as long as I can get some fresh ideas into my head for it.

And last but not least, I'm a huge fan of your "Missing Dragon" series. Can't wait for Part 3!

Last edited by IronDragon : 01-20-2013 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:01 PM   #4
IronDragon
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For an update, I have cancelled 'Blood Honor' for now, and will get back to it if or when I can figure out a better storyline for it.

However, 'Bowstring and Steel Episode 1' is out now, and so far feedback is very positive.

I will be continuing 'Bowstring and Steel' and 'Solar Wind' almost to the exclusion of all else. The spin-off one-shot for 'Solar Wind', entitled 'CSS Zhao Yun' is going to be told from the point of view of Rick West, and will cover most of his and Jeka's involvement in The Hegemony War in Advanced Flight Training and afterwards in their Galahad class Frigate.

Last edited by IronDragon : 01-24-2013 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:40 PM   #5
IronDragon
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New Series Incoming:

'Caliburn' will take place in the recent past of the DC Universe and into the current timeframe. It will follow a Checkmate Operative of my own creation from his High School Prom through to present day. While I'm making it pretty much the New Earth universe that's been around since the end of the original COIE back in the 80s, it will encompass Flashpoint changes in later books. It's going to be kind of 'Earth 1.5' for the DC fans out there. Not a lot will change, but some things will, as well as original characters of my own creation interacting with current DC favorites.

I may also have him explore other Earths in the Multiverse in later Books.

It will, in addition to the action which pervades most comic books, also focus on the everyday lives of Superheros and Heroines, at least those within the perception of the main character. I've found that I prefer writing from the First Person perspective. Anyhow, Book 1 should be ready within a week, and so will 'Bowstring and Steel' Episode 2 and 'Solar Wind' Episode 4.

As always, I hope you all enjoy the ride.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
GinaeEvans
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If you want your readers to see this, you might want to let them know about this thread in an Author's Note on one of your stories.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
IronDragon
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I will do that, Gina. Thank you.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:55 AM   #8
IronDragon
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I have now tried my hand at Erotic Horror with a new story entitled "Born in a Grave". It's a vampire story set mostly during the time of the Crusades and follows a Knight originally under the command of King Richard.

I'm planning more for "Solar Wind" and "Caliburn" now, including the 'Flashpoint' and New Universe stories for "Caliburn" itself. I am considering making "Born in a Grave" a series as well.

Anyhow, I hope everyone enjoys the ride when reading one of my tales.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
IronDragon
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"Devilwind" is going to be another ongoing series, since I've wanted to bring my own breed of Vampire into my writing for quite some time. With the positive responses to both "Born in a Grave" and "Night is Falling", it seems that people like Colton Drake. The new series, like my other tales, doesn't center around sex, but sex DOES play a role in the story. I've also taken a chance with it and set it in the DC Comics universe, since it's been my favorite comic book universe since I was a kid.

What started off as an inside joke for those with the knowledge of the Teen Titans at the end of "Born in a Grave" to recognized Raven, Ravager, and Miss Martian as the three students in Colt's Medieval Studies classes wasn't supposed to dictate where "Devilwind" would take place. But since I decided to shrug and say "What the hell. Might as well", I've decided to just go with it.

I'm also going to try some incest mixed with espionage and adventure with a new story called "An Unexpected Sister" about a spy who returns home to... well, you'll see.

I hope everyone enjoys the ride.

Oh, and don't worry about "Bowstring and Steel" or "Solar Wind". I have a few new ideas about those too. And as far as "Knight & Warrior" goes, I'm working out some kinks in the last few chapters now. I believe I've found a way out of the ambitious corner I was going to write myself into, there. lol

Last edited by IronDragon : 03-02-2013 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:43 PM   #10
lovecraft68
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You know you can also post here whenever you put up some new work

http://forum.literotica.com/showthread.php?t=181349
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