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Author Topic: White Crows (WARNING! Contains violence) [Updated 11/18]  (Read 3735 times)

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Offline Carshald

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Re: White Crows (WARNING! Contains violence) [Updated 11/18]
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2017, 08:26:18 AM »
I was going to read both the prologue and chapter 1, but the prologue has a lot of things to cover, so let's not bite off more than can be chewed.

1. Summary: It's certainly a decent set up, from a plot point of view. Rich girl is saved by a mystery man, hired as muscle for her club. Good, solid. No complaints about that.

2. Length: For a prologue, this thing is pretty long and involved. Generally, you want a prologue to be shorter than a Normal chapter, and to give you the basics without getting too much into it. As it is, we're basically being given useless information with the entire accounting of how Rex kills all of the mooks. Such detail is fine if this were say, animated, but not so much in prose. After all, we as readers want to get to the actual plot. This is the same reason people joke about Tolkien taking 7 pages to write about this history of a sword. It's important that the sword made it into the hands of the hero when. It did, but not so much the minutiae of its journey.

About a third of the way through, I really started to feel bored with it, because it very quickly just turns to violence for violence's sake, and no longer serves to inform us about the characters.

3. Human Characters: some of the characters seem to have thought processes that just don't match up with your average human. Yukiko feeling super safe in the arms of some who is obviously a deranged maniac for instance. Even if one is the daughter of the head of a crime family, having a mute super human grind a bunch of hoodlums into paste isn't in your daily routine. An amount of fear and apprehension is more than appropriate, even if she ultimately decided to go with him in the end. It does bring up the question of why she didn't have a guard in the first place, considering she is in a crime family. This also goes to the immediate interrogation of Rex. He obviously brought the girl back to her home. Covered in blood yes, but it still doesn't make sense to immediately start beating him. Interrogation 101 is that torture is the last resort. They don't even take the time to realize that he is mute, they just go straight into it. There's got to be some question in that happens first. They would at least ask Yukiko what happened. In this version of events, they don't even take the time to look at her wound, because if they had, someone would have asked what went down. They wouldn't just sit in silence.

4. Description: So, I have no idea what Rex looks like, what he was wearing at the beginning, or much of what anyone else looks like either. Now, character description is a funny thing in prose, you can't just go into it, you've got to be vague, but still give the impression of a character. I assume he started in a hospital gown, so throw in a line like "The man stood in the field, hospital gown fluttering in the wind, dark hair ruffled from his harsh night on the ground." Or something like that.

5. Pacing: The whole prologue just feels like a series of things happening right? There's no pausing for breath really. You include the breaks with the lines like "4 months later" or whatever, but that doesn't really read well. That's the blunt trauma approach. With prose, you've got to be more eloquent about it. Do a double space, (proper format only has one return between paragraphs, just like between lines in the paragraph itself. Adding a second is like a soft chapter break), then come back with a line like "Four months had passed..." Or " Four months of beard growth covered Rex's face." That way the time skip feels a little more natural.

6. Tense: You kept switching between present and past tense. Both are viable, but you need to pick one and stick to your guns. Write whichever feels more natural to you.

Well, that's my two cents on the prologue. One last point to note though: I didn't read any of the summarized information you posted. That kind of thing (in my humble opinion) is a cheap trick to make poorly written stories stronger. I'm not saying it was your intention, but many people try to use summaries to avoid having to write well. Why write a proper character introduction when you have a list of their character traits sitting next to the actual story?

These summaries are useful if you're working with an artist, but for prose, they only detract from the story, and act as a crutch for novice writers. So avoid then at all cost. Prose must stand on its own, or not at all.


I hope I have given you something to consider. And remember, my words aren't gospel, I myself am not perfect. My only intent here was to help you see from a different point of view. If I have succeeded in that, then my work here is done.

Hey Coryn

I truly appreciate that you took your time to read some of it and give me your honest opinion and alot of the tips and suggestions you've given me are very much appreciated. Aside from your honest opinion there are a few things I have to set straight though specificly BECAUSE you didn't read my original post in regards to the Story's Summary. As the story hasn't progressed (on paper atleast) to the point where the summary isn't needed, it's recommended to read it. I mean you don't buy a book without looking on the back and reading the book's summary to see if the book's even something for you. Ofcourse as a writer i still have a long way to go.

All that aside there are a few points that I'd have to correct you on however.

1. Your argument on adding violence for the sake of violence. That's been done before on shows, movies, mangas and animes. ideally violence always servers one purpose... to give the show/movie/manga/anime a darker grittier feel. And most of the times was added for the sake of violence, not to underline some plot point. Allow me to give you an example, and I'll use one of my favorite TV shows 'Person of Interest' for that.

In the very first episode, one of the Main characters Mr. Reese stops an SUV full of corrupt Detectives, with the use of a grenade launcher. The show is full of scenes like that despite that it's main focus is it's plot not it's violence, but it's there and the excessive violence is there for the sake of violence not to underline a plot point (as I already mentioned). Another example from that show is the character Mr. Reese always kneecaps his enemies... he doesn't punch them and knock them out... no he shoots their kneecaps, and in my book that's simply excessive and only serves the purpose to add violence for the sake of violence.

The anime Higurashi is another good example. An anime that truly is messed up and disturbing, with excessive violence. Did they need to add someone pulling out their own nails? No but they did it anyway, it does make the story more messed up as it as is, but still violence rarely serves any other purpose than being there for the sake of violence. Another great example is Psycho-Pass you're shown people and/or their limbs exploding and their blood just covering an entire room. There are many examples like that, that just shows the excessive use of violence... simply for the sake of violence. And don't even get me started on the show 'Breaking Bad'. In Season 1, a man is dissolved in Sulfuric Acid (in a bathtub). It's not violent but just gory thought the point with that show is still the same. When the Acid corrodes through the ceramic bathtub, the remains of the dead man has turned into a human meat stew. The people behind the show chose to show the viewers the whole crap fall through the ceiling and down onto the 1st floor, they didn't have to show it to tell the point (that Sulfuric Acid will eat through a ceramic bathtub) but they chose to nonetheless.

2. Your comment on Interrogation 101 is wrong. Interrogation has two sides. One of the two sides is the interrogation that Law Enforcement uses. We all know that means violence is not allowed, but on TV shows you do see the shady sides of the CIA and other parties such as them using violence or "enhanced interrogation" to extract information. But then there's the other side of the coin. The criminal side and since when have criminals ever used violence as a last resort? I'll give you two examples for that purpose.

On the show 'The Blacklist' the character Raymond 'Red' Reddington has an associate who he uses to extort information from people who don't talk. In one of the episode you see this associate walk into the room with a blowtorch. In another he walks out of the room with a Llama.

Another example is 'Person of Interest' again. One of the show's main villains Elias, is in an all-out war with another gang. His right-hand man gets captured and they torture him, just so Elias will surrender.

You really wanna tell me that those examples scream "violence is a last resort".

3. Your whole point about Yukiko feeling save in the arms of 'a deranged maniac'. If that's what you see you've clearly not payed attention. I don't mean to be rude or anything I'm simply just stating the fact that you've utterly missed the point of the story, or atleast one of the points of the story.
If you had read the Summary (despite that you think it's a crutch for novice writers, which I am btw), you would have read that Yukiko's the reincarnation of someone Rex/Okuninushi has a deep and unbreakable bond with. A bond that lasts beyond life, and even remains despite that her soul was reincarnated.

That bond is real, you might have a different opinion but that simply just means that you've yet to experience such a bond. I used to be friends in my childhood with two kids who were twins. I kid you not they seemed to know what the other one was thinking. There are parents who have that same bond with their children, they immediately know when something terrible has happened to their children. I've even seen it with a friend I had a long time ago, who sadly passed away. I've never seen such a deep and strong connection between lovers before. Plus I also speak from first hand experience.

4. I've never once stated that Rex was mute. I'm pretty sure I multiple times wrote that he didn't seem to understand what people were saying to him. In other words, he lacked understanding of what to him is a foreign language, plus if you wake up after being comatose for decades you'd be confused and not be able to understand a single thing, especially when you have no recollection of how you got there, who you are or pretty much seem like you just were born moments ago.


Don't take my points in any wrong way, I don't mean you any disrespect or any sort of negativity. As I first mentioned I appreciate your opinions and the fact you took time to read some of it, despite that you seem to have miss some rather crucial points though (but that simply could mean that I need to work on my story so the 'reader' doesn't miss the points i'm trying to make with my story i guess).
I thank you for taking your time to read this and this respond might be more than a month late lol but I've had a lot on my plate over the last months, plus I cut two weeks out of my calender to litterally no-life the *blee* out of FFXV that i got for my birthday. But better late than never i suppose.
I appreciate the points you made, and the advice you've given me (which i'll do my best to use to improve myself).
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 09:12:08 AM by Carshald »
"In every story the Villains are the monsters, but in this story, I'm the true monster".
The Tales of Ouroboros: The Ember Child
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn."