• Joined Mar 2018
  • United States
  • Male
  • A glasses donning nerd with a fixation for speculative fiction. Likes reading, writing, and villains that shoot before they monologue. Website: https://maromarswritingrepository.wordpress.com/

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    Published more than 500 words on Webnovel

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  • Un-conquest

    Un-conquest

    Magical Realism Action Comedy Adventure Fantasy Growth ChatRoom

    When the ground split apart and a terrible roar filled the sky, Roy Miller thought ferrying his kid sister off to safety would be the last thing he did before an Earth in the early stages of the apocalypse swallowed him up. If such was his fate, he’d have been lucky. No, the tremors ceased. The roof of dirt and shale vanished with a blink of his eyes. Night became day. Not a cloud threatened to soak him further than the torrent of rain he suffered mere moments ago. Ahead spanned a green meadow dotted with alien wildflowers, while the forest his family was camping in, or at least part of it, stood behind. To his credit, he managed to reach the dry side before he fell to his butt on boneless legs. He’d stay that way, too, mindlessly glancing at the cleanly cut seam between the fragment of this unknown land and his own were it not for the message that appeared on his phone. {You’ve been invited to [Goddess Lumera]’s chat group!} With the guidance of a benevolent deity, super soldiers, cultivators, swordsmen, beastkin, and Roy must unite under a single banner to resist the machinations of beings that would shape stolen pieces of disparate worlds in their own image.

Moments

Reading Status: C3
The writing displays a clear line of thought as far as worldbuilding and character design goes. A cataclysmic event that occurred before the story brings multiple races into close contact with each other on Earth. This at once, eliminates the justification problem fantasy writers grapple with when dumping multiple races on Earth. Of course, the easiest way is to simply state that these races have always been present, but that leans on the suspension of disbelief when authors don’t have this fact reflected in culture and technology. Mavislin11 did a good job on that front.

That’s where most of the praise must stop, however. The Arks is in a rough spot.

It begins with the basics. The text is written in such a way that it’s difficult to derive meaning in some instances, and painful to go through in others. A large part of the latter can be fixed by improving the economy of words. You ideally want to drive home a clear point in the shortest span of time possible. Take the following section:

“After the Great Noble War across the galaxies had devastated the planets within, many were left scattered amongst the other stars. As the stars started to converge and planets collapsed, the Solar System was born. The only planet that was habitable for most species, Earth.”

Every word that doesn’t directly contribute to the scene both weakens it and makes the passage heavier, causing readers to suffer from fatigue. Compare it to something like:

“The Great Noble War set the myriad galaxies ablaze. From the ashes of collapsed planets and ruined stars, the Solar System as we know it emerged. Earth would prove to be the only planet habitable for most species.”

The new sentence isn’t pretty either, but it tightens the imagery and eliminates some of the unnecessary language while maintaining the scene. It may only save a few words, but if every line of every paragraph gets trimmed, they’ll certainly pile up. A 75,000 word manuscript might feel sluggish because it’s actually a 65,000 word manuscript wearing an oversized jacket.

My advice is to go through the entirety of The Arks with a scythe. Clear out every bit of chaff you can find: “had” “started” “began to” and so on. Whenever these words aren’t crucial to understanding the scene, kill them. Deal with any redundant bits of phrasing in the same manner.
Another issue lies in the quoted selection’s placement. It’s the first paragraph of the story…

Of course, opening with exposition isn’t inherently bad, but taking up too much space with it runs afoul of the commonly cited “show, don’t tell” rule. Good writing is really a matter of “show AND tell” where knowing when to do either will determine your effectiveness. Writers with certain well-developed voices like Tolkien can get around this by managing to be entertaining even when they go on for ages, so exceptions certainly exist.

But I digress.

As it is, the beginning drags because the exposition is an infodump. The scene could be reworked in such a way that it immediately focuses on Mavislin among those in the stadium with the announcer starting the tryouts with some reference to the Great Noble War, perhaps a commencement ritual meant to keep young mages from forgetting their history as well as honoring the lives lost. The explanation of the magic system can be drip-fed as it’s displayed.

It’s of great importance that you keep a stable scene for as long as possible, novels are a completely separate medium from movies as they allow for greater depth, but that same depth can cause your pacing to veer out of control, leaving readers far from the picture you want them to see.

Even if the storyline is crap (And what I’ve seen of The Ark’s storyline is not crap) and filled with beaten-to-death tropes, if you can pull off some prose that is both clear and concise, you’ll stand several heads over the next guy. That takes rewriting and editing though. Webnovel’s constant pressure on authors to produce daily chapters isn’t healthy for writing quality or the quality of a writer’s life. Don’t feel bad for holding another release back for a few days in order to get it into fighting shape.

Most importantly, don’t be discouraged by my criticism, the story has potential. Writing is not easy, if it was, everyone would have a book out. The fact that you can come up with creative ideas rather than pointless re-hashes of yesterday’s trend means that you have the right chops. See it through to the end. View More
The Arks
5 months ago
Interesting opening, the prose needs to be cleaned and trimmed though. Much of the info-dump could be introduced in-story as well, even in the first chapter. More on this in the coming review. View More
The Arks · C1
5 months ago
Reading Status: C1
My first impression of Love Whispers of Elementals was that the mini poetry anthology was strange. Strange, but most certainly not bad. The binding premise between one poem and the next lies in personifying the elements (some common, others not) to express relationships in the abstract.

Cynk Napp manages to nail down the flowery yet utilitarian style that allows poetry to both flow well and evoke a mix of strong imagery and emotional connection, but there are some odd turns of phrase or questionable word choices that can pull readers back for a few moments. The use of “preeminent” in the third piece, for example, would find a more comfortable place where the terms “superlative” and “best” could also fit rather than “abundant”. Though this might just be me missing on a double meaning. To the anthology’s credit, never have I gotten stuck on a line because the imagery got confusing or hard to fabricate.

That aside, when everything works the way it should, the text becomes very effective at not only reminding us of relationship dynamics that we have witnessed, but also providing commentary for those of us on the outside. “Incendiary Sighs (Of Fire To Wind)”, the 13th poem, in particular resembles a relationship between my friends to a scary degree. In the dynamic, Fire is passionate, but seemingly only for whatever and however far Wind’s ministrations go. I can see this representing both unrequited dependence and obsession, in either case Fire remains happy, but one must wonder if such an existence is healthy.
I’d typically try to comment on plot progression and themes as well, but the nature of the piece causes the former to be immaterial and the latter to vary from page to page, each one deserves an individual look. A few blanket observations won’t do them justice.

Do give Love Whispers Of Elementals a read, it’s a unique experience. View More
Love Whispers Of Elementals (Cynk Napp)
5 months ago
I study literature, not poetry, but I have to say that what I've read so far is pretty solid. Well above the average piece posted here. View More
Love Whispers Of Elementals (Cynk Napp) · C3
5 months ago
Your release consistency is admirable, but you need to pay more mind to the basics of composition. The most glaring issues seem to be tense shifts and plain prose. I'll write up a full review for you soon. View More
The Boy in the All-Girls' Chat Group · C4
5 months ago
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The Boy in the All-Girls' Chat Group · C4
5 months ago
The content has been deleted
The Boy in the All-Girls' Chat Group · C4
5 months ago

Cynk_Napp: A good balance of imagery and plot progress. A superb hook at the end. A believable protagonist (self sacrificing, logical, physically spent).

Un-conquest
5 months ago
Reading Status: C1
I apologize for the self review, but allow me to take up this space to welcome any and all readers to voice their opinion for Un-conquest, be it positive or not.

I enjoy, and read all feedback that I receive. View More
Un-conquest
5 months ago
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