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#1 2022-01-24 14:04:55

Bridget
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Posts: 674
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Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

The first of, hopefully, several stories set in a common background.

What happens when you wake up i a strange place?


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#2 2022-01-24 20:37:23

Elessar
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Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Very interesting. I like the light touches of detail on some things and more details on others. However, it could just be me, but I am having a hard time actually picturing anybody. I feel like some of the features or descriptive features were just glanced over.

As long as it’s not like Eric’s where we wait 3-4 months, I happily wait for the next chapter.

(posted from Chapter One)

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#3 2022-01-25 01:13:31

thehilz
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Registered: 2010-09-06
Posts: 352

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

You’re really going to complain/comment about how long the creative process takes someone. Would you rather read something that’s been rushed and not well put together?

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#4 2022-01-26 02:22:44

Elessar
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Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Yes.

thehilz wrote:

You’re really going to complain/comment about how long the creative process takes someone. Would you rather read something that’s been rushed and not well put together?

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#5 2022-01-29 06:52:01

Franco
Tipsy
Registered: 2007-08-24
Posts: 4

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Great start. Am looking forward to the next chapter. Thanks for the story.

(posted from the Item Information Page)

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#6 2022-02-14 19:29:26

Elessar
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Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Aside from a couple grammar issues, words misplaced or letters forgot. I actually really enjoy the story so far. I do dislike a few things I’m not sure how those specific details relate to the rest of the story, so may not be able to do anything about it. I feel personally that the main character is just slightly over powered. I know Gillis says he is a natural but in just a couple days he has almost mastered magic. Created a new form for his spells and stuff as well.

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#7 2022-02-15 01:41:44

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 5516
Website

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Elessar wrote:

Aside from a couple grammar issues, words misplaced or letters forgot. I actually really enjoy the story so far. I do dislike a few things I’m not sure how those specific details relate to the rest of the story, so may not be able to do anything about it. I feel personally that the main character is just slightly over powered. I know Gillis says he is a natural but in just a couple days he has almost mastered magic. Created a new form for his spells and stuff as well.

...and in your opinion, the author should fix this by... ... ...?

If you don't offer a suggestion for a fix, it's just bitching, not helping.

Eric Storm

PS:  And if you're going to mention someone's grammar, it might help if the first thing you type isn't a sentence fragment.  3dtongue


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
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#8 2022-02-15 02:52:40

Pleidius
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From: Minnesota
Registered: 2021-06-09
Posts: 55

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Thank you Eric. 

I never know quite how to respond to comments like this.  I understand some of what Elessar was talking about, but most of that is just, as yet, unresolved plot points.

Elessar,

I welcome constructive criticism, but the amount of exposition needed to explain everything would probably bore most of the readers.  I have, for the first time, a proof reader helping me.  I can guarantee that the number of mistakes would be much higher without their help.  I'm still finding errors is published chapters of my stories when I read old work to prevent discontinuities.  I correct them when I find them and may, one day, repost the corrections.


If you're prepared to face the consequences, go ahead . . .

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#9 2022-02-15 08:18:41

Elessar
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Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

My comment wasn’t really for the “help , I was under the belief that authors liked hearing how a reader likes the story and what they think. I also thought, that when I said I was unsure of how it related to the future story, that it would be fairly obvious that I don’t see it needing to be changed.

It is a personal feeling that I have that he is over power. Which is why I said “I feel personally . My only thought was, he seems super powerful super early, he may not actually be all that powerful in 2-3 chapters.

As far as grammar, we both know I suck at it. To be straight, it was mostly things I noticed like ‘the’ instead of ‘they’. It is minor but something that was noticed, figured the author would like to know somewhere he had an oops. Like making a sentence that has ‘I’ and then 5 words later or the next sentence it jumps to ‘he’ while still referencing himself.

Eric Storm wrote:

Elessar wrote:

Aside from a couple grammar issues, words misplaced or letters forgot. I actually really enjoy the story so far. I do dislike a few things I’m not sure how those specific details relate to the rest of the story, so may not be able to do anything about it. I feel personally that the main character is just slightly over powered. I know Gillis says he is a natural but in just a couple days he has almost mastered magic. Created a new form for his spells and stuff as well.

...and in your opinion, the author should fix this by... ... ...?

If you don't offer a suggestion for a fix, it's just bitching, not helping.

Eric Storm

PS:  And if you're going to mention someone's grammar, it might help if the first thing you type isn't a sentence fragment.  3dtongue

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#10 2022-02-15 08:24:16

Elessar
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Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

While the grammar stuff is minor, I figured you would want to know it was noticed. I noticed a couple times you mixed ‘I’ and ‘he’ at the same time. That is more annoying than the rest of the minor stuff.

I really enjoyed the story, even with a couple of mess ups, Eric ain’t perfect and we don’t expect you to be either.

You are the author and if you feel adding extra explaining or details to things is to much or unnecessary, then don’t worry about it. We are all going to complain or comment about some minor stupid thing we see that bothers us. Out of 10 people, you will bother at least 2-3 of them.

Pleidius wrote:

Thank you Eric. 

I never know quite how to respond to comments like this.  I understand some of what Elessar was talking about, but most of that is just, as yet, unresolved plot points.

Elessar,

I welcome constructive criticism, but the amount of exposition needed to explain everything would probably bore most of the readers.  I have, for the first time, a proof reader helping me.  I can guarantee that the number of mistakes would be much higher without their help.  I'm still finding errors is published chapters of my stories when I read old work to prevent discontinuities.  I correct them when I find them and may, one day, repost the corrections.

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#11 2022-02-15 12:26:09

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 5516
Website

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Above All, Do No Harm.

Before you hit the send button -- frankly, on ANY post, ANYWHERE, to ANYONE -- ask yourself, "Could this be read in such a way as to be painful to the recipient?"  If you answer either "Yes", or "I don't know", you have some editing to do.

Now, I can't speak for the author, but personally, I did not find it "obvious" that you didn't think things needed changing.  The people on the other end of the connection are not psychic: say what you mean.  There is no body language or eye contact in text forums: you need to be far clearer about your language in order to get your intended message across.

I will give you props for taking responsibility for what you didn't like.  That being said, it would still have been better to include a suggested fix.  Perhaps the author actually agrees with you about what you don't like, but doesn't know how to fix it themselves.  (If YOU don't see a way to fix it, you shouldn't be bitching about it in the first place.)

I'd like to point out that most authors spend days, or even weeks, working on a single chapter of a story, which you readers (usually) get for free.*  The least you can do is to take a few minutes out of your day to really think through what you're going to say to that author, to, first and foremost, encourage them to continue writing.  A distant second goal is to improve their writing.  Their writing cannot improve if they aren't writing anymore.

So, yes, authors do want to hear what you have to say about their stories... in a helpful and respectful way.  Just blurting out whatever thought comes into your head?  Probably not going to be useful.

Eric Storm


* Thank you to my donors.  Yes, I realize you are not technically getting my stories for free.  But that's because you're a very nice person who doesn't want me stressed out.  You could get them for free, if you were willing to wait.


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
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#12 2022-02-15 20:22:18

Zmaybe
Inebriated
From: Phoenix AZ
Registered: 2021-06-27
Posts: 51

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Finally an author that let's the hero, at least he seems like a nice guy so far, growing his abilities quickly and not drawn out waiting to see if he will be powerful or not.  Some may think you let the magic come too quick, but it just shows that we all have different ways of developing stories.  This is just another way to bring your imagination out to us. Keep it up.  I have read many stories about becoming magical, and every author puts their own spin on it, none better or worse, just different.  It is the story line that is important.  Stick.to your vision of this tale and all will work out in the end. And please keep writing to the end.

(posted from Chapter Three)

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#13 2022-02-22 07:08:43

Elessar
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Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

-Insert line that Eric would dislike-

The only thing that does bother me is, I’m having a difficult time breaking up the days or time frames between some paragraphs. Is it possible to put in some sort of indicator that a new day or time frame is happening? I was enjoying the story and got tripped up a couple times because I had assumed it was the same day or same instance and location, but it turned out to be something much different.

Aside from the separated times, I am liking the story line more and more, couple twists happened in chapter 5 that have me very curious, I’m attempting to plot out the next chapter in my head to see how it’s going, but since I don’t know the result, it’s basically pointless.

Last edited by Elessar (2022-02-22 07:09:19)

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#14 2022-02-22 09:47:56

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 5516
Website

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Now you know why I use two different scene separators in my stories.  3dsmile

Eric Storm

PS:  What have I told you about those "lines Eric would dislike"?  I'm not gonna warn you again...  3dtongue


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
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#15 2022-02-22 16:34:55

Lacyann
Inebriated
From: Colorado
Registered: 2020-03-31
Posts: 16

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Just to let you know i am have great fun reading your story it is great along with all your stories you have written.  Looking forward to new chapters

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#16 2022-02-22 20:26:40

Pleidius
Inebriated
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2021-06-09
Posts: 55

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Thank you all for the comments.


If you're prepared to face the consequences, go ahead . . .

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#17 2022-02-24 03:16:46

Elessar
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Was pretty good, again aside from missing a letter here and there. The only actual issue I had was separations between scenes or of time frame.

Examples would be during the ceremony, it suddenly went from the ceremony being complete, to the next sentence was she jumped on his dick without anything. Yes it said “said sometime later they noticed they were alone , but it felt… rushed. Like the end of the ceremony was nothing important.

Another example was at the end of the chapter, they were talking on the wagon and suddenly it said he was asleep, it just felt… rushed?

Personally, as much as I enjoy the stories. I may be spoiled by Eric after so many years, but I think if you slowed down a little it might produce better transitions.

Now I know Eric will say, “So what would you say is a better transition?  Or something, so if you have any questions, let me know and I’ll try and give a clear view of my opinion if you think it’ll help.

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#18 2022-02-24 09:52:25

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 5516
Website

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Sucking up to me won't stop me from yelling at you.  3dtongue  Next time, just offer your suggestions for improvement, don't make them ask for it.  Otherwise, this one actually was a fairly good critique, mechanically speaking.  (I cannot speak to the accuracy of the critique, as I haven't read the story in question.)

(I felt the need to say this because I think sometimes people think I don't want people to say anything negative, when the truth is I just want you to be constructive about it.)

Eric Storm


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
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#19 2022-02-24 19:13:37

Elessar
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Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Fine, aside from double checking the proofreading which should always be done, even for Eric,(specially for Eric). I think the only actual problem is without the separators, it seems rushed which I am guessing is not your intent.

So general ideas for improvement:

Separators

Little more description for some things. There has been a few scenes that I KNOW what happened, but I can’t seen it. Such as the ceremony, I feel it lacked detail. I would say, read the chapter and after every scene change or action scene, ask yourself, “Does that sound right from the readers perspective?  Now I’m not saying spend 4-5 hours on it since the chapters are fairly short, but an hour to cruise through it as a reader may help expand on some scenes.

Use names a little more. I understand titles are important for the age of the era, but when there is 3 people talking and they all sound the same, it does get a little confusing who said what at parts of the conversation.

I can see some end goals or possibilities for where the story might be going, but so far the entire trip seems rushed.

Again, we may be spoiled because of Eric being detailed, I do feel some pace would benefit.

I would also suggest that Eric reads it as a reader and not from an authors perspective, maybe he will see similarly as I do and give a better explanation then I can.

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#20 2022-02-24 20:52:59

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 5516
Website

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Oh, look, an actual critique!  See, you can do it!

3dtongue

I want to back up one point that Elessar made, and that's about using names, especially during dialogue.  I have caught myself even with my own work, going, "Who is speaking here?"  Usually I can figure it out, but you don't want your reader having to "figure it out" while they're reading.

John asked, "foo bar baz?"
"Baz bar foo," Sally replied.
"Fibble wuzzle!" Harry asserted.

I know this can seem tedious, and you don't have to do it with every line... although the more people you have who might possibly be speaking, the more frequently names need to be used.  If you get above three, there should be a name attached to every goddamned piece of dialogue, because it then becomes completely impossible to tell who's speaking without it.

Even in a conversation with just two people, you should occasionally use their names, to make sure the reader hasn't lost track.  Especially if there is a pause in the conversation before someone speaks again.

Oh, and if you're using titles (I'm gathering things like "Sire", "Your Majesty", and the like...) you may occasionally need to include a directed-at name in the narration:

"What is it you wish of me, Your Highness?" Bazooka Joe asked Prince Bubblegum.

This will be especially important if there is more than one of that title present, but you should probably do this at least once in any conversation more than a few exchanges long.

One other thing about names... I know this is unrealistic, but you can use them in dialogue to reflect who's speaking, rather than in the narration:

John and Sally walked to the door together.
"Good night, John."
"See you tomorrow, Sally."

There are only two people, and since they're unlikely to be talking to themselves, you know who's speaking.  Thing is, people don't do this in real life... but it is extremely common in books, so it's okay to do it.

One last point about something Elessar said:  It's a good idea to evaluate your scenes "as a reader", but DO NOT do it immediately after writing the scene.  Just carry on with your writing.  Wait until at least the next day, and then re-read it to see how well it flows.  The reason for this is simply that, right after you're finished writing it, you're still in author mode, and you have the scene clearly in your head.  You won't realize, "Hey, I've given no indication of the fact that the monster is on Alan's left, while the door he has to go through is straight ahead..."  Yes, this seems like an awfully large fact to miss, but believe me, it happens all the time, because, as authors, we know what's going on, we don't need to have that spelled out.  The reader is not that fortunate.

And, while you should do a final re-read when the chapter's done, like Elessar mentioned, I would not wait this long to re-read the individual scenes.  The reason is that, depending on just how long it takes you to write the chapter, you may forget the details of the scene in your head before you have a chance to evaluate the scene.  This would leave you going, "I know I need to add in this detail, but now I can't remember what it was..."  If you re-read it within a few days, it's a good balance of old enough to not see it immediately, but still fresh enough to be able to pull up details not written down.

The way I usually handle this is, I will read what I wrote the previous day, as a prelude to doing today's writing.  Not only does it let me look over those scenes, it gets my mind back into the story before I start adding words to it.  It reminds me of exactly where I was, and may help me recreate the mood of the story in my mind.  Then I can (hopefully) carry on as if it was all written together.



I'll let the rest of Elessar's comments stand on their own, for once.  3dbig_smile

Eric Storm


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
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#21 2022-02-25 07:08:00

Elessar
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Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Jolly Jesus! I did a critique properly! I fudged up some of it but it was balanced out.

I like the way it was mentioned to add the names in the dialogue, I think that would help. Some of the conversations(after rereading), seemed they all had pretty similar personalities unless it was a crazy scene.(like the storm)

Either way I look forward to reading what you produce in the future.

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#22 2022-02-25 17:52:08

Pleidius
Inebriated
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2021-06-09
Posts: 55

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

First of all, thank you for your comments.

I have a person helping me with the proof reading and her help has been invaluable.  She is able to spot a lot of little irritating errors.

I try to make it clear who is speaking, either by the form of address or name dropping.  I try to avoid the 'he said, she said' thing, especially where it's a simple back and forth between two people.

I hope to improve as I go along and these comments and critiques do help.

My proof reader also writes(she publishes on another site) and we spend quite a bit of time discussing each other's work, suggesting changes and corrections.  I think I learn more by helping her than I do working on my own stuff.

Again, thank you for your comments.


If you're prepared to face the consequences, go ahead . . .

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#23 2022-02-25 20:52:29

Eric Storm
Pub Owner
From: New Port Richey, FL
Registered: 2006-09-12
Posts: 5516
Website

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Pleidius wrote:

I try to make it clear who is speaking, either by the form of address or name dropping.  I try to avoid the 'he said, she said' thing, especially where it's a simple back and forth between two people.

Yeah, STOP avoiding it.  Just because it is clear to YOU who's speaking, does NOT mean it is clear to your reader.  That one of your readers has already mentioned it as an issue, means that others are having trouble and simply aren't speaking up.

Like I said, it doesn't have to appear on every line, but if you have a longer conversation, it should show up every few exchanges.  Again, I realize it seems superfluous to you, but it guarantees the reader is still following along accurately, and it costs you nothing (unless you're a REALLY slow typist...).  If you don't want the word "said" to keep appearing... get a thesaurus.  "replied, observed, asked, queried, explained, retorted, asserted, implored..."  Adding these in can also give texture to the dialogue, by imparting tone of voice to the character.

"Help me," John said.
"Help me," John begged.

Two different tones, one different word.

Eric Storm


Please Remember:  The right to Freedom of Speech does not carry the proviso, "As long as it doesn't upset anyone."  The US Constitution does not grant you the right to not be offended.  If you don't like what someone's saying... IGNORE THEM.
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#24 2022-03-13 07:37:02

nukeman24
Inebriated
Registered: 2014-09-01
Posts: 23

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

Very good story line. i agree with Eric and Elessar on the whole being clear who is speaking in some of the scenes. As well as sometimes the charecters or story seems rushed. As well as it was mentioned that you could use some more detail in some spots other than very well writen look forward to the continuation of the story. considering i just returned to this site after a while away and found this and just read the 7 chapters that are available in one go haha.

(posted from the Item Information Page)

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#25 2022-03-14 21:39:55

Elessar
Completely Blotto
Registered: 2009-10-28
Posts: 365

Re: Tales of the Summoned: Book One: Stephan

I see you took into consideration who speaks and organizing it. It is done beautifully, and while this isn’t the case with this chapter, as Eric mentioned, be careful not to over do it.

I did notice a couple times though, your still using ‘I’ when speaking as Stephan, which from what I can tell isn’t accurate. It feels like the story is read about him, rather from him? Maybe I misunderstood it or something, but aside from that, it’s great. Happy twists and turns.

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