Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

Thanks, Suin, for your suggestions on "The Skirmish."  I've added about three pages of one-on-one combat, introspection (actually, a memory of her father that was like a 'Kung-fu' style flashback), and a death that she took personally.  At one point, she cries, as she feels hurt that people would go to war with her.  Marlais tries to explain about Hevyedd making enemies, to which she shouts "My father is a saint!" which gets applause from the men.  Although, in a (now) 939 page book, adding pages is always nervy, it makes for a much better chapter now.  Thanks.

52 (edited by rhiannon 2017-03-14 17:50:02)

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

OK, John, you were right--Rhiannon should have used her kung fu more when she was subdued by the guards.  But, relying on the Solomanic saying, "The races is not always to the swift," I changed that scene as follows:

"I grabbed the hand of the one who had me in a hammerlock, stepped my right foot behind my left, twirled, hit him on the elbow joint, pressing his arm down and kicked him in the groin.  One behind me hit me at the point of my neck where my brain stem is, and I became semi-conscious and stupid..  I admired their training that went into this attack, even as I was subdued by it.

Still groggy, but squawking, yelling, protesting, cursing, and kicking my feet, as I had been picked up off the ground: squirming, writhing, wiggling, I was taken down the stairs to the lowest part of the palace.z'


When I first wrote it, I hadn't preceded it by her use of kung-fu in the earlier book. I had her out of practice due to being so lady like.  I changed the number of guards who held her to three, as well.  If Sherlock Holmes, a boxing expert, can be subdued by two thugs, and Supergirl by a Kryptonian soldier (of course, she was low ranking in her martial arts ability.  The first season, she was subjected to low levels of Kryptonite radiation and trained by her Black Ops sister), then three guards could maybe get Rhiannon.  There is also the reluctance to fight soldiers when you're sure you can get the whole thing straightened out.  I mean, consider this:  you're surrounded by a SWAT team thinking you're some terrorist, and instead of surrendering and going to the police station, you take out the SWAT team.  Now, how is that going to look? lol

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

I like it but I also liked your initial explanation. That these are not puny humans she's up against but elves with equal strength and training. Maybe she says something like, "I'd been manhandling terrans for so long I'd forgotten what it was like to meet my match." Something like that. Besides, I'm a little weary of girls beating up boys anyway. Even if it is a pro-feminist trope, there are too many damn movies where Jennifer Lawrence or Scarlett Johansson punch and kick their way through an NFL locker room full of men twice their size. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill was the only one I really suspended disbelief for. Most of the time feminine wiles and the element of surprise are more effective tools for the kickass modern woman. Arya Stark in Game of Thrones is a good example. (Fucking Game of Thrones has a good example for everything, don't it? smile

Having said all that, ANTAGONY has a female CIA super agent with overwhelming kung fu skills, so... I guess I'm full of malarkey, too. Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Slainte

John

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

Fortunately, the explanation isn't part of the narrative.  I'm easily persuaded, but I think the scene now splits the difference.  Hammerlock is a white belt technique in my discipline, and she'd instinctively go into it.  But having her so easily subdued keeps to the original idea, which is to have the reader wonder about the character of guards who attack a naked girl.  The instinct of a true man is to protect and clothe a naked girl.  As to the "feminist trope" (cliche if you're mad), a girl at my dojo (and she had big boobs too), was able to defeat 90% of the women and 75% of the men in tournaments. 

Happy St. Paddy's Day, and yesterday, at 3:09 PM, I hope you celebrated Pi day.  People were giving me slices of pie.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

3:09? I thought it be 3:14. But I didn't celebrate Pi day. I was too busy being wary of the Ides of March. Nothing happened, though. Good or bad.
And don't get me wrong or started, boobs are powerful motivators. Outta sight, outta mind doesn't even apply to them "milkgivers" as you put it. So I dunno if a man's first instinct is to cover them up. Not right away, anyway. The "hammerlocked" look on a man's face when confronted with female nudity isn't necessarily a referendum on his character, but just the opening she needs to deliver a karate chop to his Adam's apple. smile

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

3.1415926  March 14th, 3:00 (1500 hours), 9 minutes, 26 seconds.

A hammerlock is when you pull a person's arm around to his or her back, hold it.  The escape:  you grab their hand, so they can't get away, twirl around, pressing the grabbed arm down, after hitting it on the nerve cavity, causing them to buckle, and then you kick then in the groin, the solar plexus, the throat.  Any questions?  Good.  Your turn.

And a guy may have an initial sexual response when he sees a random naked woman, but I refuse to believe that most men won't act protectively.  Yes, you go to a strip bar, or she walks in on you in private, the reaction will be a little different--as female nudity, in those circumstances, signals (in the case of the stripper, falsely) availability.  But I'm talking coming across someone on the street or outside your door at night.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

Of course it's all about the circumstances --Lady Godiva was largely ignored, by her own decree, except by one "peeping Tom"-- but Rhiannon doesn't exactly comport herself as a victim or a damsel in undressed distress. She's just plain sexy and mighty dangerous!

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

You got that right, John.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

CJ:  Thanks for your series of reviews.  Got a lot out of them.  The next chapter mentions her re-painting herself with the warpaint, and the presence of Eligor.  My guess is that in the relaxed atmosphere of the campsite, and the abruptness of the attack, it was over before she could get out Eligor, or he fly to her aid.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

Karin:  Thanks for your review.  I've posted a re-edited version that incorporated some of your suggestions.  More humor, and although the theme of shock about her immodesty was kept, I added enough to show that the main concern was her being naked in ice and snow.  I even used the tarp, which created a funny visual of four men running alongside her with a tarp.  If the book weren't already at the point where it might fission into two, I might go into more detail about the Western culture; have her stay a few days.  What do you think?

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

Norm, Dan, CJ, Suin:  I have rewritten "World's End."  It's less sketchy, and there are more details about the "place,"tRhiannon is visiting.  It's now about 2,300 words, so more robust. Some more archetypes.  I tie the sex scene to the denouement of Part I, which none of you have read yet, and make it about life (the feminine) and death (not necessarily the masculine).  I've switched around some dialogue to be more consistent with the characters, added another sketchy component to Heather's character. Lido has more lines.  There is more drama where Norm wanted.  Rosalyn is still missing from the chapter. (The character was offered a role in a short story, took it, but will be back.)  I've done it as an edit, so if you read it, there will be no additional points, (sorry, Norm) but I do appreciate it when you all go the extra mile for me.  I try to do the same for you and hope you appreciate my reviews of your work as much as I appreciate yours of mine.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

CJ thought my battle scenes needed more sensory detail, so I gave them more sensory detail.  I am reading Mark Smith's "The Smell of Battle, the Taste of Siege: A Sensory History of the Civil War," and continue to read Caroline Anderson's "The Bounty."  Accordingly, Arbeth Dactyl is now resembling a cross between Charlotte, North Carolina and Plymouth Docks.  That's in "We Owe Our Freedom to Rhiannon the Nude."  If you can hear, smell, or taste after these chapters, more power to you. lol 

I recommend both those books, but Mark Smith is obviously a Yankee, so read it with the caveat that it is a history written by the victors.  A much different account of slavery than a Southerner would write, but his focus is on how it assaulted the senses, and that is novel and interesting and great for a writer.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

That's Caroline Alexander.  Oops.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

Have you seen Iron Fist's series yet? (This question is not as random as it seems)

65 (edited by rhiannon 2017-07-02 00:59:14)

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

I was turned off by the dyslexic way the hero does the kung fu hand-covers-fist on the cover photo, my spouse and kung fu master(two different prople) made it sound dreadful, so, no, I haven't. But it didn't seem random. I take it that it has some kung fu battle scenes?

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

I did a lot of thinking on the battle these past few weeks... turning it this way and that. I made some charts. Erased them. Made more, erased them too - nothing quite captured my thoughts, so I'll try to explain.

I think I counted 5 occurrences of the classic "here's the cavalry in the nick of time" in a two-chapter span (Circa where the goblins show up). Knowing what I read about how she gathered up allies in the past 10 or so chapters I realized the pattern after the 2nd occurrence. It creates a vibe of "Rhiannon can't lose because there's always going to be somebody there to rescue her."

Ack! New danger! - Phew, someone showed up to solve it
Oh no-- another problem! Oh wait, that's solved too.

Might I suggest you have Rhiannon more actively aware of her allies motions through the birds and reserve the "surprise cavalry" for only the last entrance? If Ellsbeth could also talk to the birds you could give her the role of brilliant tactician.

An alternative (and this sounds like too much work) is to have her link up with her allies and form a larger allied force. Except the one you'd really (really) want to be the group that saves the day in the nick of time.

--

Also you are missing a Rosencrantz and a Guildenstern who will be important to the MC but will find a way to die yet the MC is too caught up in the events to mourn / care / plot-around. I recommend Ellsbeth for one. And you might introduce a shield bearer that MC likes, but gets taken out by a random arrow.

That was Garth in Elf Queen of Shannara or the father-son pair in 300 (I forget their names). These characters imprint on the reader but are not MCs (Ok technically Garth was) so they can die at the 50% mark and on and it's understood by the reader that's why they're there. You could also get rid of an MC. It seems painful, but hey... Tasha Yar... Obiwan... the list goes on.

Lacking these two, Rhiannon enters the largest battle in her history and comes out with 100% of her close circle intact. Yes, we lost a lot of nameless characters, and we lost civilians, and yes those losses affect the MC. But they don't affect the reader, and they don't build pathos.

So you can see in in other writing, let me point out "Alan" who dies in the spaceship Laurie blew up. I would venture it is not possible to generate pathos for him (or for her) because he's only a name. To elicit even a note of sadness, he must do much more to imprint on the reader (talk about his dreams? Wife/kids? Rescue the MC?) then still manage to die.

Note: I have taken it for granted you want the reader to feel loss as a result of this battle.

--

Returning to the battle, amalgamating forces would logically shorten the fight, which is probably the opposite from what you intended, but it could (with a lot of work) be accounted for. If you put Seidel's main town on a hill and give him surface-to-air attacks, he should be able to hold his ground a little better and make MC have to spend a few pages in siege. Storming and breaking walls would more than gobble up the page difference, plus it's a change of pace from the flat-land melées that dominate the current scenes.

The MC enjoys too much air superiority (flora/fauna/sparrows/etc, harpies, dragons). This isn’t an equally matched war... it’s US vs Iraq where the good guys can just sit in the air all day. You should give Seidel the dirigible flotilla and the flaming ballistas. Make it so the good guys can’t envelop/suffocate him.

(Also you have two dragon characters but only seem to need one. Also, you need more named deaths. *wink*)

I do like the relative simplicity of the battles (in terms of relatively flat terrain and no zaniness such as turn-coats or undead-ninja-assassins). No Legolas - that’s a bonus. Just two armies coming together in a bloodbath. Don’t lose that if you take any of these suggestions.

As usual, YMMV

67 (edited by rhiannon 2017-07-14 21:45:27)

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

Wow.  Thanks, Kdot.  If the battle scenes provoke this much thought in the post-publication readers, then I will count it as a success.  I'm pondering the "cavalry arriving in the nick of time" point (or the "Deus ex Littlefinger" as one reviewer of GOT called it when John Snow's forces were about to be creamed by Boulton, but the goblins aren't one; they are part of the forces amassed, although she wasn't aware of them.  That will remain, as that's part of the comic quality of their arrival.  Ioseff's and Zusanna's force don't arrive in the nick of time; it's more that Rhiannon arrives in the nick of time to join them.  And that was part of Marlais' strategy.  The only thing like that I can think of is Henry's arrival as the royalist forces are creamed in the delta, and again, there's a bit of a comic relief about it.

However, that being said, I am aware that Rhiannon is a bit of a "Mary Jane," and that is probably what you're picking up on. 

Yeah, Rhiannon has the aerial supremacy--being allied with the dragons and being able to commune with the birds.  I try to mitigate that a bit when (Howel, I think it is) anticipates that and has pigeons with Hot Ice that explode in dragons' mouthes.  Maybe more of that is needed.  Not sure otherwise how to handle the aerial supremacy issue, as the other side doesn't have aerial allies.  They can use balloons though, so hmm...

The forces do get partially amalgamated in the battle at New Kyllwich.  There is still the Delta fight and the fight in the East, led mainly by a dragon commander.  It would take quite a rewrite to have them all descend upon New Kylwich.  I suppose, though, I could do that.

I really liked your idea of a Rosencrantz/Guildenstern character.  I think I might have had that in mind with the boy who is by her side when she first tramps through the forest to bushwack Seidel's men, although he was all too brief.  Ellsbeth won't work; she ends up playing a role throughout the rest of the book.  But Norm pointed out that, after the first attack, she should have been shielded more, so there's room for more guards who she could grow attached to.  Originally, Ellsbeth was just put there to have a bodyguard, but ended up a major minor character.  However--you mention Tasha Yar and Oiwan as examples of this kind of character.  Tasha Yar (or at least her parallel universe equivalent) comes back, and Obiwan gets raptured and is always present.  I might have to go back and plant somebody in earlier chapters (maybe one of the Five Shrews, although what would they be doing in war?)

It isn't an evenly matched war, but I have reasons for that.

And if you meant to suggest a certain character should eat it, I was just thinking that while reading your comments.  He could be easily edited out. 

So I will add some more reconnaisance via bird communion, perhaps have Ioseff's forces the one about to be defeated, with it being a Rhiannon ex machina. 

We'll see.  You've given me lots to think about.  Thank you.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

fyi: Your MC is too flawed to qualify for the Mary Sue title

69 (edited by rhiannon 2017-07-15 07:33:12)

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

KDot:  Thanks for the reassurance.  I deliberately tried to avoid that while making her an effective and sympathetic person.  She is naive, gets into trouble both in the battlefield and off it, is too trusting, makes mistakes, gets cursed due to her insolence, ends up naked in jungles, in prison, sexually harassed, and gets involved in a civil war while ignoring the obvious--although she does have a contingency plan for when that happens.  Her sexual liaisons could get her into serious trouble; she's an unreliable narrator, which means her perceptions aren't objective, she is mistaken in her analysis of people and situations. And she cares way too much what others think of her, but is insensitive to the feeling of those who love her. She takes certain people for granted, doesn't question the motives of others, and although her complacency has been shaken up and her nakedness gives her empathy for the have-nots, she still has a feeling of entitlement and takes things personally. I could go on, but I'm sure you have your own list of her flaws.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

I love how you sum Rhiannon up, Rhia. It's the sum of all irrationality! It also shows that you are deliberate in delivering her story sans deliberation. If that makes any sense. Whether she's sympathetic or not is up to the reader, I think. I deliberately draw my characters with a distinct lack of empathy, too. Presenting them at face value frees them up to be rude and crude (and therefore interesting, like TRUMP) and lets the reader deliberate their morals and choices and vote yea or nay. Like most of the country, I'm fascinated by our sexist, racist, shameless, flawed but fabulous, fearless leader. We know it's wrong. We know that, as a nation, we did a bad bad thing. We know it's a total car crash dumpster fire and yet... We can't look away. I see Queen Rhiannon in the same light, kinda/sorta. So when I complain about the gratuitous sex or whatever, that's just me reacting and interacting with what I'm reading. Which means I'm reading. Which is a good thing, dammit!

Cheers

P.S. Okay. I haven't gotten far enough in your story yet but, I see you've been watching Game Of Thrones. LittleFinger's army showing up at Winterfell is just like Gandalf barreling down the ridge at Helm's Deep. Nick of time baloney, of course. What might work for you is to have the reinforcements arrive AFTER Rhiannon's Pyrrhic victory. That way she can turn around and say "Thanks for nuttin', asshead!" as she laments the cost in blood and treasure. With her dragons, The Queen of Dragons also has aerial supremacy (she basically has the equivalent of an atomic bomb/missile arsenal in GOT terms) but we also know that the other factions (humans/terrans, ice zombies, and seaworthy pirates) still have some tricks up their sleeves.

Yeah, I know... I'm really geeking out. GOT starts again on Sunday!

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

Hey, John.  I get what you mean by deliberate lack of deliberation.  Or at least I'm hallucinating a meaning. I say Rhiannon talks to me, and she does.  It's her narration, and it is spontaneous, and she is a WYSIWYG girl.  You are right, she is a spectacle that you can't look away from.  I'm glad your complaints about Rhiannon's sexual habits ("I'm not promiscuous."  Knowing looks went around the room.) was a reader's reaction.  I do distinguish between that and editing and cherish it more than the editing, actually.  It is nice to know I have readers, and the only question will be not "whether" but "How many."

Yep.  GOT is on again tomorrow.  I've resubscribed to HBO an set it to record. 

And yes, there are always twists and turns.  Finally got to see the Supergirl finale.  Kara's sister is ordered by the United States President to use some stolen alien technology to disintegrate an invader's flagship.  The only trouble is Kara is on the ship to save her boyfriend and her best friend from a forced marriage.  By the time, Alex is free to push the button, the cannon is swiped. 

Enjoy Game of Thrones and keep reading the Adventures of Queen Rhiannon.

Cheers.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

WSIWYG girl?

What You See Is What You Get girl?

I'm pretty sure I got that right. But anyway... It still borders on pornographic. I guess I want your protagonist to be less sexually objectified and more objectively sexual. Meaning she uses her sex appeal as a means to realize her objective. Or what do I know? Maybe she doesn't care. Maybe she just wants pleasure. And to have her subjects, as queen, to experience her pleasures. Maybe that's her goal. Gotta have a philosophy in place, is what I'm saying. Is she pleasuring the populace as an artist, a politician, or as a token? Trump, for instance, is a token politician. Upon which we (or the electoral lot of us, that is) have projected our baser basic instincts.

I don't mean to be harsh, Rhia. Only honest. Let's face it: Rhiannon's liaisons are wonderful and tittilating and fulfill certain fantasies, but... Rhiannon herself doesn't always consider them philosophically. She just goes with the flow. She winds up in a situation (being a betrothed bride, and then an adulteress, and then a full-fledged whore, and then a vigilante fugitive, and then finally queen of her people) and goes with it. Whereas, most successful protagonists command the flow. If you catch my meaning.

Then again, I don't really know what I'm talking about. I guess I just see you as a great writer with a less-than-great story to tell. Kinda all over the place, is what I'm saying. I guess I'm seeing MYself, in other words. In TOO MANY words, that is. Easy for me to say. Harder for me to do as I say.

But that's why we're toiling here, on TNBW, instead of being published authors. I guess. Whatever. I guess I'm feeling cyincal at the moment. In the sense that being cynical is a healthy thing to be. To some extent. I wanna know if you really think you're ready for prime-time. Or if you're like me... Farting around, writing prose, because it's a better alternative than NOT writing at all. It's come up or shut up time, Rhia. Grab this character, by both of her exposed breasts, and make her delicious. Make her more than a mere spectacle. How? I dunno. But I'll know it when I read it.

Cheers

John

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

Rhiannon isn't your traditional hero, John, in that she isn't always in control of the situation.  She is more like her real life counterparts, a new adult (19 years old) who is managing the best she can.  She faces one situation after the other.  In the short story series, it might not be so obvious, as each situation was a story in itself.  I am thinking of taking out the chapters on the coal miners, and just mention the situation, as those chapters don't fit the trajectory of Part II.  The trajectory of Part I is tight, and she manages.  And she is in charge of her love life (well, not entirely, but that would be telling).  She will never command the flow, but she will triumph.  She's not Dany who, when sold into slavery by her brother, hatches a plot that will either end her up on the throne or I will stop watching. She is more Kara, who has to fight off aliens while not alienating her sister and best friend, and handling the grief of losing her boyfriend.  Keep reading and commenting and having fun.  Yes, after maybe pruning those two chapters and receiving enough reviews, I am ready for the plunge.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

John wrote:  "She winds up in a situation (being a betrothed bride, and then an adulteress, and then a full-fledged whore, and then a vigilante fugitive, and then finally queen of her people) and goes with it. Whereas, most successful protagonists command the flow. If you catch my meaning."

Let's see.  There's Candide, Simplicissimus, Forest Gump, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver, "In a Lonely Place," (Bogie & Bacall movie), anyithing in the Noir genre, "Dark Passage" (Bogie & Bacall).  It's late, but I think I'll stop there.  Quite a list of unsuccessful protagonists, by your reckoning.  Not to mention, The Brothers Karamazov, anything by Bertold Brecht, Jean-Paul Sartre...ok, I'm done.

Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon

I'll probably be doing this up to the day I sign off on the galleys.  But another idea for the main novel's title:  "Out of Exile."  We first see Rhiannon escaping from exile, and although she does succeed in coming home, so doesn't feel at home (out of exile) until the last two pages or so, where she exerts control over her destiny.  Like the Jews in Jesus' time, who felt that although they were in their homeland, they were in exile because of the Roman domination, Rhiannon's quest for her home doesn't end with her being at home. What do you all think?