Topic: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

My genre seems like Sci Fi, but is more Space Fantasy with magic. I had quite a few reviewers before, but seem to be getting less and less, the more chapters I post. Kdot recommended I join this group for that reason. I have learned so much from past reviewers, but still need help, big time!...probably don't need to explain, really. Have never published before, but looking seriously into Indie publishing, after talking to a Sci Fi writer who lives up the road and has self published about ten or so books.

Many reviewers complain I have too many POV characters (at least ten), but their storylines are already entwined via the snowflake method, and what I originally thought would turn in to one book, will become three. Because there are seven solar systems with eight inhabited planets, I need all of my POV characters and love them all dearly. Once I have written the first 30-40 chapters, I'll shuffle them around so some characters might not be introduced until book two. I might put each character's chapters more closely together, too.

I'm pretty happy with chapters 1-9, but 10-14 have hardly had any reviews.

I look forward to meeting and reviewing new people, fingers crossed.



Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

Hi Rayner, you are on my reading list, but I've been struggling with getting through my reviews so do accept my apologies! I will shunt you up the list now you are here... (after Kdot and njc who will have my guts for garters if you jump the queue..) Good to see you here, they are an EXCELLENT bunch.

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

Dun fret about the review counts. Chapters 1-3 are greatly loved on this site. Once you hit chapter 4, things naturally dry out, and only the really dedicated reviewers remain.

Also welcome. You'll get a lot of help here, and I'll be able to pick on you even more for not writing Yufu

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

Oh, Kdot, you like YuFu, don't you? Maybe I shouldn't kill him off at the end of the book, then... It's a shame it dries out after the first few chapters sad

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

killing a well-liked character only makes them better

6 (edited by njc 2018-04-13 00:54:03)

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

K is a bloody-minded author.  Very few are as ruthless as him.

What makes the best story?  Is the death purposeful or purposeless?  What does that say about the story world?  What does it say about life?  Does it reward the reader for caring or mock the reader for caring?

If it mocks the reader for caring, why should should the reader come back, or recommend the book?

7 (edited by Rayner Jamie Ye 2018-04-13 07:01:42)

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

I was so sad when Ned Stark had his head chopped off in the first book of A Game of Thrones, was so gutted.

YuFu wasn't going to die in my initial plan, because I really liked the family man and wanted to reunite him with his family. Then I thought it might be a good ending for book one. Maybe I will reunite him, as their will be other tragedies.

Hey njc, you haven't reviewed any of my chapters, have you? If you fancy it, that would be cool. I'd review you in return. Not sure how helpful my comments are. I review as a reader, not as an expert.

How come we can't put smilies on these posts?

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

You can put smilies in, unless you hsve them turned off.

Ned Stark's murder/assasination did two things: it removed a powerful good guy, and it told us that this would be a desperate struggle: venality to chaos to existential threat.  How long before the fighting fools realize their ship is burning?

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

I'm hardly an expert.  I'm a competent 3rd year student struggling to do post-grad work.  That's why I'm working so slowly.  That, and the twenty-hour review back-up.  But I'll try to get one out in the next 24 hours.  A prompt reply will be appreciated, and we can discuss things in replies and counter-replies.

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

Just reviewed Chap One. Oh, I do like this one! Great characters, and I love how the story is set up. Such imagination. I shall go and cry into Izzy's coffee now and feel inferior again sad

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

Rayner, I put some extra comments on the inlines in Chap one and two, and also added to the end comments. We can bring them here if you want to discuss further?


Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

Make that a forty-hour review backup.  Rayner, I'm working on yours.  Four hours so far.


Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

I  need to break off work.  I'll finish it in the next 20 hours or so.


Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

I put the review up a couple hours ago.  It's a monster.


Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

I just added a couple of notes on the review comments.

I've got two thoughts on reflection.  One is seeing through the eyes of the protagonist.  A lot of my physical-world comments flow from that.  The second comes from Matt Bird's =The Secrets of Story=, which I recommend without reservation.  One of his rules is that your job is creating expectations, rather than breaking them.  I'm thinking here of Aedre's decision to take advantage of her language skills.  If we-the-reader learn that Aedre's inner identity is tied up with her memories of her native-speaking mother, and we then learn of the job openimg, we'll be waiting to see if she takes it, and we'll feel connected to the story--and to her--when she does.

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

Akachi might be compelling. Your unfortunate job is to sift through his soul and find why. Then help us see it.

Also if Bex won't be back, consider stealing his name from him and just make him "under-thug" or "collector". Otherwise people like me will award him entries in our spreadsheets.

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

No...not the dreaded spreadsheets!

18 (edited by njc 2018-04-20 22:33:07)

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

Ms. Ye, in response to your last review reply and your difficulties in writing action,

You're going to need some action to establish jeopardy.  It's a skill to be learned (says the guy who's facing a big hurdle of the same sort soon).  In the visual arts, artists do studies, trying out a technique, effect, or tableau  in isolation before incorporating it into their planned work.  M.C.Escher left a huge number of studies, now in museums and private hands, for his major works.   And the first couple of chapters I put up here were studies to see if I could reach some minimum standard.

People are attracted to YuFu's chapter, I think, because there is physical jeopardy involved, and because disaster has befallen at chapter's end.

I offer you a suggestion--or a challenge: Take YuFu's first chapter and rewrite it with just the action and implied jeopardy, absolute minimum of character and near-zero background--but with elements establishing the danger in that chapter.  Put it up as a short story with an appropriate title and explain what you're trying to do.  You can even put a barely illustrated outline up first.  I promise to review at least three revisions.  I think you'll get other reviewers as well.

I'm guessing that with some practice you can get the action and necessary background/milieu down to about 600 words.  But a good first try might run about 1,300.

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

NJC, you are turning into such a teacher. You always were, but your clarity in communication has improved massively.

They grow up so fast (sniff)


Take his advice, even if it is in your head. Being able to separate action and identify the key points is crucial.

I will read and review you soon. This is my good week, I should be able to get it done in that time period.



Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

It's the engineer-tinkerer in me.  When something works, I want to know why.  When it doesn't, I also want to know why.

Experts have been trying for over two hundred years to understand why this works  They've got some interesting theories.


Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

Per last review: -homo economicus-.

'economic' is derived from a Hellenic Greek word meaning household management.

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

I didn't realise people were still writing in this thread, hadn't looked at it for donkeys years. Not used to it because it doesn't give notifications. Just happened to look at it and saw a whole conversation going on about YuFu and Aedre. Thank you, though. Especially the big analysis from njc and highlighted bits from kdot for my recent edit of Yamdar's, that was really recent.
Is Aedre really boring or something? People, especially those of the opposite sex, seem to like YuFu's much more. There are far less of his chapters, oh oh! I guess njc is right, it's the action and suspense. Aedre's is all emotional and non immediate. Probably all of my other characters are. deary me.
Chapter 20 is when the magic and science combine and it becomes esoteric.....wonder how people are gonna feel about that....maybe too late but it's going to be a five book series, self published on Amazon....or that's my idea so far. Not all suspense has to be action though.

24 (edited by njc 2018-06-23 23:39:01)

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

YuFu gets into physical jeopardy faster.  Strengthening Aedre's conflict doesn't mean turning it into yelling, screaming, and insult.  It means making the reader empathize with her.  I can't give you much help, since I'm working on it.  Maybe help the reader hope what,she hopes, and thus fear her failures?  So maybe she needs to plead to us, as it were, before she pleads with her father?  Help us share her feelings, even abbreviated and frustrated, about her father?

This might mean slipping the physical setting in with fewer brushstrokes, and spending more on what things mean to her.  Not in so direct a way ... her past with her mother, the bond of 'secret' language ... what does that imply for her feelings about her father, and his about her?  You can tell us a little when you're with Aedre and mother ... but when we're watching Aedre and father, you should show us.

Example: Was Aedre ever Daddy's Little Girl?  Is she now?

I did have a fantastic fantasy life.  It was an indian chief, and he'd say "Maggie, would you like to dance?" and I'd say "Daddy, I would love to dance."
    ------A Chorus Line

Matt Bird: Irony is the source of all meaning.

And irony seems to require layers of meaning.

Thank you for the lesson.

25 (edited by njc 2018-06-23 23:54:07)

Re: (Plan8 Slaves) - Rayner Jamie Ye

You have the chance in chapter one to leave the reader wondering if Aedre's mystical  experiences have power in this world.  Again, not stated directly.  Maybe something in how quickly her following ShSh's direction gets results?  (Sorry, I haven't mastered the name.)  I'm tempted to suggest that her smoking (of whatever) should release the power, but that risks echoing Dr. Lao with his pipe.

Postscript: Maybe have Aedre think when the call comes in that she shouldn't have smoked ao soon?

I don't recall if you gave us any detail of the pipe, but a brief description (bowl fitting in her hand, long/short, straight/curved, smooth/worn stem to her lips) would tell us it may be important.  (Look there!)

Thank you again for the lesson.