Threaten your life? Okay...threaten, threaten, threaten...and something about your little doggie, too. Wow, I stink at this job.tamrend said:Ha ha! Thought I was gone forever did you? How wrong you were! Now, someone threaten my life to keep me motivated.
Or comment, your choice.
Anyway, on to the story: looks good, just as before. Overall, I found this a smooth and enjoyable read, though there was the occasional bump here and there. Some thoughts on those and more:
This passage, and the rest of the paragraph as well, felt a little like a list to me. Part of that is because the sentences are almost all subject-verb-etc. in structure, but a perhaps more pressing reason is the impression that some of this got glossed over or just needs extra detail. For instance, you could build on the sentence â€œSomething bothered her, and she took a moment to decipher the feelingâ€ in a number of ways; one option would be to describe the feeling, the something, in greater detail. Maybe itâ€™s a sort of nervous, gnawing sensation, or a cold, pit-of-the-stomach force; regardless of what you do, a detailed look should bring the atmosphere Maerynâ€™s feeling closer to the reader. My opinion would be that one or two such images, plus some sentence structure variation, would make this pull the reader in better. But then maybe itâ€™s just me.tamrend said:One of the soldiers rapped his knuckles three times on the smooth oak, took a step back and waited. Maeryn flexed her fingers inside the leather bindings of the suwayyah. Something bothered her, and she took a moment to decipher the feeling.
Should that be â€œher perception of what lay...â€?tamrend said:The drone of an active magic spell drowned out her perception what lay beyond the door.
Technically, â€œPallasâ€™â€ should be â€œPallasâ€™s,â€ since the nounâ€™s singular, though this can be a stylistic call.tamrend said:One of the twelve surviving wizards of Pallasâ€™ trusted circle, he was gifted with unusually strong ability, and was once a favored apprentice of the old master.
â€Possessed ofâ€ sounded odd to me, though it might be correct; I canâ€™t be sure. Personally, Iâ€™d word this as â€œthough he possessed...â€tamrend said:He was a pale, thin stick of a man, but possessed of a curiously boyish face.
It seems to me that Lorimerâ€™s words donâ€™t quite show a complete picture here. I could imagine him saying this in a placating tone, a neutral statement of fact, or in a manner that puts the lie to his â€œRespectfully.â€ Given Lorimerâ€™s fate and Pallasâ€™s later grieving, it couldnâ€™t hurt to add a few extra details to Lorimer. Also, it would hint at why he does not believe the Order is corrupted; both blind devotion and arrogance could be at the root of such a belief.tamrend said:â€œRespectfully, Viz-jaqâ€™taar Maeryn,â€ he said, â€œperhaps we have simply come at a bad time. We have no reason to suspect Master Ulric of any real wrongdoing. I would remind you of what happened when we burst in upon Master Trenton last week.â€
I think that should be â€œthree weeksâ€™ time.â€tamrend said:In three weeks time, she had managed to test all but a handful of the Horadrim in the keep.
Iâ€™d change â€œto be ofâ€ to â€œas a,â€ though Iâ€™m not sure if what you have is correct or not.tamrend said:A few had left shortly before her inquest, but she regarded them to be of low priority.
The transition between these two sentences felt a little abrupt; maybe another sentence to link the ideas, like â€œGritting her teeth at those frustrating memories, Maeryn filled her mind with a burst of strengthened resolve,â€ would help.tamrend said:When she pressed them, she had discovered only minor indiscretions and stubborn indignation. She would continue until she had tested them all.
Again, thatâ€™s a lot of sentences with the structure subject-verb-modifiers. One possible rewording that would address this would be â€œPlacing his hands once more along the edge of the door, he muttered a few syllables...Eyeing his handiwork, Lorimer stepped back.â€ In general, itâ€™s not a really big problem if a lot of your sentences use this structure, so long as thereâ€™s something to vary the flow, such as dialogue. For larger blocks of narration like this one, though, itâ€™s probably a good idea to switch a sentence or two around.tamrend said:Lorimer stared at her a moment longer but then turned away. He placed his hands once more along the edge of the door. Wisps of smoke curled from the wood and a string of runes appeared in a red glow of embers. The arcane letters blackened and smeared, leaving a strip of charred wood on the door. Lorimer stepped back.
Nice description of this game skill...if you want, you could elaborate more on the â€œreached into the astral planeâ€ bit, but itâ€™s hardly necessary.tamrend said:Her mind reached into the astral plane and pulled her body along like a tether pulling a boat...Viewing the scene from a place that was only halfway within the material world, the colors appeared flat and dim, casting the blaze as a pale, dingy orange.
Wait...what â€œblast of superheated airâ€?tamrend said:Smoke billowed out upon the blast of superheated air and the timbers overhead smoldered.
Iâ€™d consider combining these two sentences into one, so that the end result is something like â€œFighting back a wave of nausea brought on by the sudden heat, Maeryn squinted, trying to see through the smoke, then reached out with the energy of her thoughts...â€ because the first sentence somehow sound a little weak on its own to me.tamrend said:Maeryn fought back a wave of nausea as her body reacted to the heat. She could see nothing the smoke, so she reached out instead with the energy of her thoughts, at the same time dimming her other senses.
I think the â€œfullyâ€ in this sentence is unnecessary.tamrend said:A few steps into the room, though, she let her focus lapse, her body materializing once more fully into the physical world.
That should be â€œAs she did so.â€ Also, would it really be wet still, considering how long heâ€™s been dead?tamrend said:As she did, her hand touched a spot of sticky wetness on the carpet.
That should be â€œbegan to blow.â€ Additionally, Iâ€™d try to combine the second sentence with another, since it seems a little weak on its own.tamrend said:A stiff wind had began to blow from out of the corridor, warm at first, but quickly turning chill. The smoke gradually thinned.
Erm...do you mean â€œLorimerâ€?tamrend said:â€œMaeryn, Lorimus!â€ Pallas called.
â€œ...that you are neither wanted...,â€ perhaps?tamrend said:â€œI say that are neither wanted nor needed here, Slayer.â€
Nice image.tamrend said:Anger and distrust boiled off of them like the stench of spoiled meat.
Maybe my anal-retentivity setting is stuck on maximum today, but this also felt like another instance where the sentence structureâ€™s monotony made this feel like a list. My suggestions are more or less the same as for the previous such occurrences; something like â€œHelping her down the stairs, he led Maeryn along the passageway to his quartersâ€ might suffice in this case.tamrend said:She swayed slightly and Pallas gripped her arm more tightly to support her. Her reserves of strength were nearly at an end, she realized. He helped her down the stairs and along the passageway to his quarters. She clung to him as he lowered her into a chair near the window.
I think you need something like â€œinside this citadelâ€ at the end, instead of simply â€œinside.â€tamrend said:I should have been able to pick him out from across a crowded room the moment I set foot inside.
This rather objective statement of fact was a bit of a jolt, considering as it comes right after youâ€™re painting a close portrayal of Maerynâ€™s emotions and mental state. While reading this paragraph, I started to get drawn into the scene Maeryn sees, and then, I hit this. For me, that undid the world you were creating in her mind.tamrend said:It was difficult to tell if what she saw was real. Deep emotional attachment sometimes made it impossible to sort out the distinction between fear and true premonition.
This transition between the narration and Maerynâ€™s speech felt like too much of a jump to me; it would probably help if you inserted a sentence or two drawing the reader away from these thoughts and back into the world, e.g. â€œIn response to Pallasâ€™s questioning gaze, Maeryn slowly raised her head to meet his eyes.â€tamrend said:Even if it was true, she could not give in to despair. â€œIt has been three weeks. They would have sent word well before now if they could. I think it is likely, then, that we can expect no help from my Sisters, and that I must unravel this mystery on my own.â€
Overall, this was a fun read, though there were a few things that could use some editing. Anyway, I hope this helps, and I look forward to any further chapters. Thanks for posting!