Rick Yagodich

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Author of, predominantly, literary epic fantasy. But presentational genre is only a wrapper, and some stories demand other packaging. Custodian of an unhealthily long list of story ideas in need of writing.

Currently reworking An Empty Throne Contended Throne Blood Throne, book 1 of The Godsbridge Arc, which is "a coming-of-age/political-intrigue series that looks at how someone can become as evil and universally reviled as Sauron."

Rick Yagodich Discussions
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I am trying to come up with a Word template for writing that includes all the tools one could need. …
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I have always placed my ellipses, in my writing, tight up against the last word of a truncated sente…
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  •  · It could be the difference between US and UK, Jon. Dreyer doesn't say so, though the UK edition of t…
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Just because I used an edit of it to get my mind working again, after a couple of weeks of bogging d…
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One for the plotters… pantsers might find this interesting, but it won't be meaningful to you…I'm in…
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  •  · It might be worth approaching it sequentially, too, rather than looking at act structures - just as …
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Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is a famously deep and backstoried tale. The material created to sup…
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  •  · Great thread! Having started writing as a 'pantser' (3 novels ago) I am now beginning to appreciate …
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Alpha-reading… wait a moment. Alpha? How's that different from beta-reading?For those not familiar w…
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  •  · Thank you for this clear explanation. Very helpful. 

I'd say your protagonist who's lost in his own world is an antiproblem; the boundary between reality and fantasy doesn't exist in his mind, so why would it in what you present to the reader?

Hi Angelica. These things are difficult, indeed. It's often a good idea to recite them, as any verbal clunkiness will be quickly apparent,

In this case, "young sheltered businesswoman" is a mouthful. Your character is a woman; you ahve to keep that (though you could give her name instead, as that might give us a bit more detail (origin) without adding words). Businesswoman: is that relevant? Sheltered: it matters to the detail if the story, but does it to the pitch? Is does sheltered contradict business? Young: a bit generic, but likely captures much of what you mean with sheltered.

You could likely cut it to just her name. If you keep it as woman, then you likely want to cur to a single adjective.

As to the wider premise, I think you need to expose the reasoning a bit more. Currently, you have five elements with minimal relations. You have a personal conflice between love and faith (that's three elements); those are fine. Then you throw in filmmaking, which is unrelated (it's only relation is to the disparity with having been a businesswoman prior to the decision). And you throw in another country, which only connects if one makes the assumption that your protagonist is moving to her lover's native country and embracing the local religion, (Which sounds very much like something I've come across elsewhere recently.)

The disjointedness of those elements is probably amplified by the use of the word pursue: that's goal-speak. It's a story-driver word. Is the cinematography the driving gforce of your story, or is it simply the tapestry against which the story is told? If the latter, pursue career is the wrong pairing; if the former, it's the rest that's out of place.

Sorry to have torn it apart and provided no semblence of an answer.

The additional setup, of Milo reaching out, resolves the head-hopping issue. I'd be very careful with it though. You've shown it takes a lot of effort. A lot of concentration. So, when the fightinh starts, there's a splintering of attention. It doesn't make sense for Milo to be able to keep that much focus on the boar while fighting and concentrating on his horse. And if he could, you would need to make a lot of structural changes to keep everything having a much tighter psychic focus all the time; the split between Milo's actions, the boar's, and the peripheral events is such that we are pulled back somewhat. To compensate, you would need to go a lot deeper.

The logical alternative is that the attack snaps him out of the seeking trance, so he no longer has a direct link into the boar's mind.

There are still a lot of niggle details that show through authorial awareness rather than character, and some parts of the choreography still feel off. But to call all those out, I would need a few hours and inline notes.

Another logical aside - the physics of perception: in a moment of slowed time, senses would actually dull, not intensify. Imagine a second slowing enough to feel like a minute. In every perceived second of that minute, you'll only get 1/60th of the normal amount of light, odour, etc. So, moments of clarity are dark. Now, if this moment is a recoiling of Milo's expanded mind, everything snapping back at him, then you can beat the physics by calling it part of the magic, though you'll need (at least the first times it's experienced) to call it out as such. Though I would recommend being more specific in the intensity. Not just everything brighter, smells more intense. Perhaps it's edges that leap out, only the shrill sounds amplified (until the thump of his own heartbeat shatters it), a certain class of musky odours. Presuming this isn't the first time, that intensity is then a clean way of saying that Milo's senses are snapping back to just his own head.

Ah. New quirks of the platform being discovered all the time.

I never look at the groups directly as they are unusable. And for some reason, first posts into groups don't show in the latest listing on the home page, but replies do.

So hacky workaround to get to the post in its own page required.

As Karen says, italics only. No quotes.

Quotes indicate words actually spoken. (With the non-descriminatory caveat that they can involve non-verbal forms of speaking.) So, if all the communication is telepathic, then you would put them in quotes as it would be the default means of communication. But in any setting where what we would consider normal speech is the norm, thoughts should either be in italics, or not indicated at all.

The supporting logic for the latter choice is that leaving them as plain text reduces psychic distance. If you italicise them, you are calling out that they are thoughts, inserting an authorial layer between character and reader.

When I refer to the risk of head-hopping in this situation, I'm working on the assumption that tapping into others' thoughts requires conscious effort. (Just imaging how distracting/confsing it would be otherwise: How big is the group he's riding with? How many horses' thoughts would he have trampling his mind?) Because he would need to be active, it cuts down on how much else he could be doing/concentrating on/aware of. (Have you ever noticed that when you are trying to listen very closely to something, you'll either close your eyes or stare off at nothing?)

The beater bit is fine, except one detail you are forgetting: a boar won't care about the constraints of a path. Come from two ends, he'll go sideways. (As such, a good hunting party is a concave line, so that both sides are blocked.) Also, a forest path isn't going to have a verge per se; that's very much a consequence of modern paved roads and surrounding maintenance; at best, there' be an odd glade or adjacent undergrowth.

Reading it with an editorial eye (so comments before completion):

but in the first line is clunky. Better as two sentences.

The leather/sweat of [Milo's] horse makes sense. The gress isn't of the horse. As such, the sentence is illogical. Also, the multi-slashed noun construct might be fine in a business or technical setting, but doesn't read well in proce.

Repetition of burst between second and third paragraphs.

You are head-hopping in the third paragraph, giving us the boar's thoughts. So, unless the lead-up has Milo in the boar's head, and he's still there (so could/should push back to dampen its aggression), letting us the boar is maddened is head-hopping.

Para 4 doesn't make physical sense, unless there's a cliff behind the boar that you haven't told us about. Or were the beaters on the far side, pushing the boar towards the party? (That may have been covered before the extract.)

Those last two issues repeat a few more times in the remainder of the piece. (It can help with something like this to map out exactly where everyone is every second or two, to ensure realistic movements. And keep in mind that when people are dazed, it lasts far longer than you would think. So the rescued beater will crumble, shake his head, scramble to his feet, then start clawing at a tree, by which time Milo will be long gone onto his next actions.)

And what Maggie says about the adjectives and adverbs.

There's a lot of scope for tightening, but it has potential.

I'm supposed to remember anything from that long ago? Yeah, right. Anyway, there's also that technicality that I don't have favourites, of anything.

On one hand, it's as Kate says: too easy a fallback.

The other hand is slightly subjective. Consider how people smile. It's a continuum, from the passive face through something hinted at, to satisfaction, to maniacal. I suspect that a lot of the objection to smiling is that some people interpret it – by default – as the upper end of that scale; they don't notice the lower end of the scale. And there are also people who feel that others who are permanently a few notches above passive are somehow derranged or hiding something or… (Knowing that life is out to take the piss, I've got a permanent smirk on my face, and as such have been on the receiving end of such opinions.) So, effectively, this is an issue of lack of precision.

Who you calling young?

(As to what Musk predicts, he has a habit of overpromising; his ego needs the buffing.)

I know that's what you meant, but AI doesn't follow rules. it follows the patterns it was trained on. So if it's learned by reading, it'll use the same sloppy techniques as so many writers out there do.

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