The Key

Snowglare

Fan Fiction Forum Moderator
The wizard’s magic continued to tear at their ranks, slaying dozens at a time where they stood.
Should be wizards'.

Suddenly, the slayer turned and began to walk away as if in a daze, it’s purpose seemingly forgotten.
Should be its.

For answer, Lang stretched out his staff and a bolt of lightning leapt out. When the reached the other man, though, it scattered against an invisible barrier and died.
Should be When it reached.

The man smirked and lifted one hand. The bolt that emerged took Lang in the chest and threw him backwards. Riordan ran to him, a red vial already at the ready, but he stopped, clutching at his heart. Marius saw it too. Lang’s eyes stared unseeing into the sky, and the blackened tips of his ribs framed a massive hole in his chest.
Damn one-hit kills.

“I will give him over to you if you tell me to find the girl and the staff.â€
Should be where to find, though asking for permission to track down Kelsia would take serious evil guts.

As he spoke, he moved closer to until his body was pressed up against hers.
Should be closer to her, or simply closer.

She beat at him with her raw and blistered hands, and tried to kick out with her feet, but the weight of his body limited her movement and simply he ignored what little she could do.
Should be he simply ignored.

She took a long, tremulous breath and uttered a single word.

“Ral.â€
Well, I can't stop reading now. Frig. All that beautiful procrastination, shot to Hell.



 

Snowglare

Fan Fiction Forum Moderator
One question I had for readers is regarding the multiple viewpoint shifts in chapters 21 and 24 (which I used again next chapter). Are they confusing, distracting, frustrating? I ask because I've never tried anything like this before, but it seemed appropriate for this part of the story. I could have written each viewpoint as a separate chapter, but I've kept a strict chronology on chapters up until now (the start of each chapter begins after the end of the previous chapter), and these three plot threads are occurring simultaneously.
Now that I've read the chapters in question, I'd have to say yes, it works. It's less frustrating than the once-a-chapter shift with three characters and disparate plots, not that I mind that.

No one mentioned it, but I was rather proud of the way I used Lang's thunderstorm in the other two plotlines to establish the concurrency of events, and of course, the explosion of magic that the paladins and wizards see before you actually get to read what caused it.
Yeah, that was cool.



 

Snowglare

Fan Fiction Forum Moderator
Book II now please.

She pushed herself back from him, unable to look away from the horror she had unleashed. The smell of roasting meat filled her nostrils as he thrashed and screamed, pleading with her to make it stop. Very soon, though, he lost his voice, and moments later, his wild, flailing movements stopped.
Attempting to feel sympathy... yeah, nope. Righteous.

Smoke poured from at least a dozen windows and flames lapped at the open doorway she had just come though.
Should be through.

“Find out if what your commander knows about whatever it is you are seeing and report back.â€
Should be Find out what.

That world vanished and another, one of crumbling buildings, foul air and cobbled street, took its place.
Should be streets.

“We’re protected now,†he said, stepping into the tunnel. “The fire won’t burn us.â€
Sure, but how do they breathe when the air is fire?

The house before them was ablaze, but stranger by far was the flames that covered the street along one side.
Should be were the flames.

Just inside the fire’s boundary, Niravi turned, his shield already glowing red with the heat. “Wait for me,†he said. Within a few steps, he had vanished.
It occurs to me that moments like this would have more impact if I could pick Niravi out of a crowd of one. Most of these characters are little more than names, and there are so many now it's overwhelming. I almost care about them, but really, why should I? Lang's dead, so now I have one less mage to remember. Enough time is spent on "guys with Marius" and "Rehan's motley crew" and so on to make them seem worth caring about without giving us a reason to care. I think it'd be better if you either fleshed out each group to the point where at least half of them were developed enough to be memorable, or concentrated on your point of view characters and marginalized their companions.

It's only these recent chapters where it's a problem. With Shael and the army, it felt more like Shael, a few key supporting characters, maybe a few too many named guys, and a host of warm bodies. I remember earlier chapters being similar. Maeryn vs. the Horadrim, with Maeryn and enough strong personalities to balance out the number of throwaway mages. And of course, the core cast, Kelsia, Shael, Seith and Marius. Not to mention Loric. Right now, it's too busy.

She felt a sudden jerk, as though something in the staff has released its hold, and the pain hit her so hard that she fell to her knees.
Should be staff had.

Rehan raised his sword to strike, and ghostly tendrils flowed from him and into the blade. Cold mist swirled around it, flames licked along the edge and sparks jumped from it.
Too bad he can't switch to Conviction or something. Paladins are ever at the mercy of companions who can't be bothered maxing their res.

“The Light will protect us from his lightning,†the other paladin murmured.
Solution: find likeminded souls.

Wow. Can't believe it's over. So much left unresolved. Shael and Kelsia are still separated, neither knowing the other yet lives, Maeryn's in limbo, and now Seith's stuck with an uberpowerful sorceror. No way of saving him without Kelsia's help. He lives at Horazon's whim.

Kinda glad I took my time. Long enough wait ahead of me as it is.



 

tamrend

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: The Key

It occurs to me that moments like this would have more impact if I could pick Niravi out of a crowd of one. Most of these characters are little more than names, and there are so many now it's overwhelming. I almost care about them, but really, why should I? Lang's dead, so now I have one less mage to remember. Enough time is spent on "guys with Marius" and "Rehan's motley crew" and so on to make them seem worth caring about without giving us a reason to care. I think it'd be better if you either fleshed out each group to the point where at least half of them were developed enough to be memorable, or concentrated on your point of view characters and marginalized their companions.
Yeah, that part bothered me a bit also. I should have introduced these characters earlier, but I didn't know back then that I would need them. It's one of the disadvantages of writing and releasing a chapter at a time. I plan to work on it.
 

tamrend

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: The Key

Huh. Weird. Maybe it's a northern thing. We don't get much of it, but I know I've seen lightning in winter. Also weird is that no one guesses it's magical.
Lightning during a snowstorm is called thundersnow, and it's supposedly rare enough that I figured most people would never have experienced it (I know I haven't, but where I live, we don't have months of snow). Since it seems that I may have misjudged, I'll probably de-emphasize the rarity a bit. Let Rakin think it's unheard of, but Rehan just notes that it's rare.
 
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Snowglare

Fan Fiction Forum Moderator
I'm not 100% sure I've seen lightning during a snowstorm. Definitely with snow on the ground, though. Warms up enough to bring on a thunderstorm without melting the feet of gathered snow. Worst thing about winter's the wind. Lots of that in a snowstorm.

We get some weird stuff in Ohio. I've seen hail in the summer more than once. Humidity plays the climate like a puppeteer. Weather could be very different in Sanctuary. Just struck me as odd that they made such a big deal out of what seemed to me only mildly strange, yet only saw it as a meteorological curiosity. Easy to say from a reader's POV, but I'd have gone to magic pretty quick in their place.

If you didn't want Rehan to look like he had a copy of the script in his back pocket, I can't blame you. There's a fine line between that and smart. Aaaaand, I'm officially overthinking this.

I thought the flash-of-magic part went off without a hitch. For a second, I thought they had figured out the lightning wasn't natural. After it became obvious that Kelsia had done something big, there was still a nice buildup to the act itself.
 
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