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 Contended 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."

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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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  •  · I wrote something like this when I was in my punk days and my father was basically in my friend grou…
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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. 

The simple answer, R.J. is that there is absolutely nothing your protagonist can ever do to make it right, This is not a comment on the situation itself, but on the psychology of offence – both the giving and taking.

A person who takes offence may state conditions whereby the action will be forgiven. But it's not the meeting of those condition that engender forgiveness, it's the offer to make reparations that starts the process. Simply stating conditions brings the offendee half way to forgiving.

Likewise, a person who bears the shame of having offended cannot, through action, lessen their own feelings of guilt. That can come from only two sources: time (and other matters being more dominant in their mind), or the offended party's words/actions that are understood to be forgiving.

Yes, it's totally unbalanced. One person does something to offend another, and the onus is entirely on the other to fix the situation. (Applicable to one-time offence; intentional repetitive behaviour is different.)

Technically, there's anothe way around all this, which is to have a detached enough perspective of the psychologuy of offence to know that it's all mind games, so to simply choose what emotions to allow dominance. but for most people, that's easier said than done.

I prefer the more subtle version:

There are only 10 types of people in the world. True of false?

You missed the most obvious (and actual) issue, Geoff. The platform underpinning Townhouse is a fetid pile of *****. (The reason it's being completely replaced after so short a run.)

Sinned? Indubitably

But redemption lies not within mortal coil

Salvation lurks within Binary depths, inaccessible and transient.

Hi Bex,

The pitch, for me, only niggles around the edges. It's missing something to really hook. The reason is as Alisa mentioned: what could be important enough to sacrifice one's own mother and daughter over?

Now, if you gave it to us in the form: "War is the only way she can [need fulfilment], but she'll have to kill her mother to start it," then you'll have set the stage for the scope and – provided the need is sufficient – made it believable without needing to tell us that the she in question is a dragon.

If you still want part two, I would go along the lines of: "But wars demands a high price; to stop this one will take her daughter's sacrifice." (That particular wording leaving it ambiguous whether her daughter will have to sacrifice something, or  she has to sacrifice her daughter.)

As to the ology and 122k words… If you haven't yet got to the kick-off of the first quest of the first book at 122k, you're probably starting in the wrong place. Fantasy works may easily run the 120-250k word range (or 400k if you're channelling Sanderson), but they still need to kick off within only a few thousand words. Keep in mind that the average reading speed is about 200wpm; how long do you expect your readers will plough through your words without a firmly-planted hook? 10 hours? (not a chance – that's your 120k words) 1 hour? (very unlikely) 15 minutes? (maybe – the 3k word mark)  5 minutes? (sure – that'll be 3-4 pages…) The reason some of your favourite authors can get away with a longer lead-in is that they've already made a name of themselves; they are given the benefit of knowledge that they will (eventually) get to the point of a hooked story.

All very relevant answers above

The first detail: the phase of the moon is based on the relative positions of sun, planet, and moon. If the moon is between sun and planet, it's new. If the moon is on the far side of the planet from the sun, it's full. If it's off at a right angle, it's half. Basically, where the moon is in the sky, it's shape, and the current time will tell you where the sun is relative to the observer's longitude.

What this basically means is that if there are two moons at different positions in the sky, their phases must be different. It's simple geometry.

As to the other questions that fall out of this… It depends how distant your moons are from your planet, which direction they orbit (unless it's a very newly captured moon – new being measured in eons – it will be within a few degrees of an equatorial orbit), and other considerations. To make things messier, if the orbits are such that the full phase cycle of each is almost identical (see caveat), then their distances from the planet are very similar, and they are going to be attracted to each other when they get close, resulting either in a crash or one being flung out of orbit and the other likely being flung planetwards. (All very fun!)

The caveat is if they have the same cycle, in which case they are at each other's Lagrange points (L4, L5), so the same distance from the planet, 60° apart.

The secondary caveat is if the two moons are very different in size, it's possible for them to be in nearly-identical orbits, but when their paths cross, the smaller one "switches" position, moving its orbit inside or outside the larger moon's path. And, yes, this can be a stable system: there is a pair of asteroids in solar orbit that do this. (Whether it can reasonably happen with large-enough bodies to be considered planetary moons is less certain.)

Crap (underlying) system in perpetual flux, with non-existent quality control.

I agree with Kate. It's a strong letter and synopsis.

There are a few places where a sentence or two could be tightened; I'll need to copy it out to Word and process…

Yes. No. maybe. It depends. (Helpful, eh?)

There are many who would say you should try to find a way to make your point with another character from your exisitng cast. But, more often than not, doing so is contrived. (The reality of life is hundreds of people interacted with, not just a small-enough handful for the lazy reader to keep track of.)

But… If you pick out a new character and they serve no purpose other than a point, then disappear, they will be forgetable, and the point with them. (Not the outcome you want.)

Now, if you can do a good job of explaining their absence, if their absence plays into the ongoing story then you can get away with the quick pass-through. You just need the echoes. (In my current work, I introduce a one-year-old, mention her poorly state, and kill her off without a second appearance, but that death plays on characters' anguish and into one questioning her own emotional competence. You probably don't need ot be quite so brutal about it.)

There are other ways to deal with this question, too. Without more context, it's hard to say which approach might work for you.

Having done a deep pass on my own manuscript, with an focus on picking out the filtering, part of one set of feedback read (paraphrased) "it's swimming in filtering; you know how I hate filtering."

The use of look here is very different.

In the filtering instances, the character looks at a subject to describe what is seen. In that case, you can simply describe the scene itself, with the fact that the character is observing being implicit.

In this instance, the "looking" isn't about what is seen, but about granting the other the main character's attention. What is looked at isn't observed, per se. The looking is up (directionality), not at (objectification).

In your second example, I agree, I looked up needs to stay. It describes the action. Except… if the narrator isn't observing the other, how can you provide so much detail about what she's doing?  (A different issue, admittedly.) As to the filtering, that comes in "I followed the line of her eyes."

Likewise in the third example. The looking is fine. You could say turned instead, but you are effectively describing a change in focus. In that line, the filtering is in "I heard…"

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