Did some more reading last night and today, so here’s some more thoughts.
Boy, that’s a lot to read.
Anyway, I’ve got a couple thoughts on this. First, the tone changes a lot, both between sections of the story, and also sometimes from sentence to sentence. For the first three sections or so, it’s told in a more epistolary format with the single voice of the protagonist and no dialogue, then it abruptly shifts to a more regular narrative style with dialogue. There’s points where they’ll be talking in a educated tone like they’re making a report, and then drop in a turn of phrase that’s very much like modern slang, or swear in a really casual way. There’s also a lot of comma splices too, so that’s something to be watchful for.
As for the characters, they roughly sound interesting, but I honestly couldn’t tell you the difference between Jesse and Kira outside of their pronouns, and for the other two, one was a paladin(?) and the other was some slave race. Having an ensemble cast makes it tricky to establish every character, and when they were in groups, it always kind of felt like you were running down a list: here’s how slave guy responded, here’s how paladin responded, et cetera. That might also be an artifact of the style of the early chapters, since it’s harder to convey a large number of characters when they’re all getting presented through one character’s words.
And while I can’t disagree with the sentiment in the story, the trouble with making a political allegory is that, well, it’s an allegory, so I can’t help but look at the implications. A bunch of evil rats causing capitalism is really cartoony, which is fine because D&D is a saturday morning cartoon anyway, but, I dunno, it gets weird when you put Earth into it and say that actual real life people are being (mildly) mind-controlled by evil rats from the fifth dimension (It also turns an ideological problem into a martial problem but ANYWAY) The other danger with allegories is stuff like with the Devas, where they show up just long enough to state a political fact and then walk off like they got bored.
Not sure if you were looking for feedback on this, but I read through it anyway. The biggest thing I thought it could use work on was the pacing, because in a lot of places you were ripping through things so fast that the character would be somewhere else with no transition between things. The tone was also really strange to me, because the whole thing is super-sugary, but then there’s an offhand line about the main character just killing fifty seven people. And in the next paragraph, she’s sad about killing a single person.
There’s also a lot of dangerous situations, but the main character is so powerful that she’s never really in peril. There’s a brief reference to running out of ink, but other than that I never got the sense that she was in trouble. It’d actually be cool and interesting to see, like, what happens when she runs out? Or if someone actually gets the upper hand, how would she get out of it?
It read to me like you’ve got all these energetic ideas that you’re excited about, but I think it would have been a lot neater to pin down one idea and really explore it as opposed to this rush of ideas where you don’t have enough time to them make as meaningful as they deserve to be.
(Also, a tip for formatting: When two people are talking, there should be a paragraph break between the dialogue from each person. It makes it a lot clearer when the dialogue is switching from one person to another, and helps keep your paragraphs from becoming big solid blobs.)[quote=“spaceyroach, post:66, topic:1544”]
Mea Culpa (working title)
Word Count: 2,028
Prompt: "A medieval Italian peasant appears in a drugstore in Texas. He has a message to deliver."
This is pretty neat, though past the reveal I was kind of wondering why that monk thought their store would be a place to offer money to god? It doesn’t make as much sense once I know he’s in hell. The idea of not even knowing that you’re in hell is a good one, though I think you could either make the ending more abrupt, more of a Twilight Zone sort of thing, or you could sort of fade out on them ending up in another banal argument, suggesting that, like, their punishment is each other. As is, it lingers after the reveal without much of a punch. Also, were they just not eating, or were they eating the stocks, or how were they dealing with food?
Anyway, those are my nitpicks but I thought that it was a neat story. If you want to build on it, I’d suggest trimming some of the dialogue and working on the beginning a bit so it’s clear that something wrong is going on, but it hasn’t reached their notice yet.