Untitled Fantasy/sc-fi hybrid Let me know what you think.
Vaelin Rath-shosa walked the halls of his observatory and waited for the sound. The ship would be arriving soon, heralded by the sky-shattering blast that announced the coming of his Lord and King. He had no need to be in the observation tower itself, or for the sensitive far-seeing lens pointed like an arrow at the heavens. He would know when the golden airship began it‘s descent, right enough. In fact, he had left the tower only a few moments ago, after lowering the iron-ribbed glass skylight and quietly shutting down humming machinery. He would wait below, in the tomb-like chamber buried beneath the weight of the mountain. There he would decide whether or not to end his miserable life.
[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited September 09, 2009).]
I do not like the character's name. It doesn't look or sound like any name or word I know, so my mind has to pause there. This is subjective, I know, so take it or leave it. But when the first word has me pausing, that doesn't make me want to read on.
The following words are fluff. They are hinting at describing the setting, but not really doing it.
And structured like that, it is plain that the author is relying heavily on hyphenated descriptors. This sort of repeating pattern makes me wonder to what degree the author had reread and edited.
Also, this is redundant.
quote:...sensitive far-seeing lens...
Both mean the same thing to a lens, and neither really do it for me. Describing the lens as a cloudy glass of <x> thickness would make the world feel more real. Showing me the lens, essentially, rather than telling me about it.
Next, you have TWO active verb in the entire excerpt: walked and waited, both in the first sentence. From there, it gets weak and passive...
quote:The ship would be arriving soon... He had no need.. He would know... he had left... He would wait... There he would decide...
With a passive life like that, it's no wonder he's miserable, though I would say not to give up. Active verbs work wonders.
I like the genre, so if this passage got some polish, I would read on. As is, I would not.
The details are interesting, and I wonder why he is miserable.
Perhaps start with the idea that he must “decide whether or not to end his miserable life”? Can you give an indication of why his life so miserable?
Is the lens part of the skylight? I think of a skylight as a window in the ceiling, so it didn’t make sense to lower it; the description sounded like it might be a telescope, but I think you did mean a domed window.
Perhaps show him closing the skylight and shutting down machinery?
I didn't much like the name either but I read so much sci-fi that that can go away. If you are going to go with something that far removed from what we use and are familiar with you will want to make something about it common to most of the names in the story, you know? Otherwise we will be doing the same pause and consider each time.
Instead of Jii-ven and gurg winkl and vin da loo, you should use Jii-ven and gurg-ven and vin da vin, maybe.
I also wondered if he had to hustle - and him depressed, too, from the tower down into a tomb under a mountain before his highness got there?
I'm sorry, I got pulled off the computer before i finished. I would keep reading. What did he think or know that his lord and master want? And why was this enough for him to contemplate suicide before the guy even arrived? I would keep reading but I would be a little worried.
Suicide is pretty extreme and there are enough very depressing books out there already. I don't want to be stuck with a book which is 'just interesting enough to finish' but in which I am drowning in someone's internal pain for way too long or surrounded by hideous torturing creatures or unrelentingly cruel people for chapter after chapter after chapter.
But maybe his highness inadvertently caused the death of his true love and their child/ren and is coming with apologies. *I* would understand thinking about suicide at that point myself. Maybe he has the mountain set to drop down on top of him. That would be cool.
Thanks for your interest! Whatever the flaws in this story, it's definitely NOT about suicide. Vaelin Rath-shosa is not the MC. The next paragraph clarifies some of his reasoning for wanting to take his own life. My choice of words may have given the wrong idea. Some changes are being made and I hope to put the new version up soon. Thanks again!
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