Seven Wings {Review}

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Which story was your favorite?

Charles Mueller's prayer?
0
No votes
Thomas Hung?
1
33%
Lysander Nikodemus?
1
33%
Rosa McPhearson?
0
No votes
Albert Sergent's musings?
1
33%
Gabriel Wall?
0
No votes
Michael Howell?
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 3

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choyrt
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Seven Wings {Review}

Post by choyrt » Sun Sep 11, 2005 5:02 pm

I have some thoughts on it, especially on the last. I might go a more 'My Last Duchess' route. Gorth also noted the strong sci-fi setting setup in the beginning, and then it kinda takes a back seat. What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear, especially from the lurkers. After your insight and a few revisions, it might be ready to post on the main site.


One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

I think the last one is way to subtle in what I was going for. And a very VERY special thanks to Gorth particularly for letting me know that I'm read and liked. :D Nothing pleases a writer like being read. If no one reads my work, I feel like a mute Opera singer.

Also, any loose ends?

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Post by Ewen Brown » Sun Sep 11, 2005 5:58 pm

i think the Lysander Nikodemus part was my favorite followed by Albert Sergent's section, probably the first two after that (which i more or less read as one, and are basically mostly the second as the first was short) which did a very good job in setting the ground for everything that followed. i suppose what lead to my choice is the excellent face off(so to speak) between nikodemus and sergent, along with the eventual introduction of wall into that scenario
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Post by Fluffy17 » Sun Sep 11, 2005 6:01 pm

Thomas Hung's part was the most consistant and coherant for me to register. though content wise I liked Nikodemus's.
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Post by Magnus » Sun Sep 11, 2005 6:18 pm

Can't really pick a favourite yet... Can't decide between Lysander, Albert and Gabe. And I don't know if you did it on purpose, but I love the way the "language" changes from person to person :D
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Post by Gorth » Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:21 pm

Haven't forgotten it. Work is just a bitch right now. I need some peace and quiet, then I'll copy all seven to a word document (for easier reading) and give them a go again :)
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Post by Gorth » Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:22 am

Ok, first off, I'm not going to vote in the poll.

I'm not quite sure why you would want to "split them up". It's like picking single tracks out of a good old vinyl album. Individual tracks may feature elements that stands out, but I usually play a record from beginning to end. It's part of the entire experience.

So, next I'll try to mention a few things (contructive critic I hope), as I've made no secret of me loving the story. I'll now put on my glasses of allseeing and point out what I could see in hindsight :P

The first one, titled "Charles Mueller", I was missing one thing from... Who is Charles Mueller ? If for some obscure reason I were to only ever read the first part. I would have no clue who Charles Mueller is. Is he the narrator or the reason for the narrative ? As a prologue, it's execellent. It sets a mood of foreboding and regret: "Evil thrives when good men do nothing, and I have certainly done nothing. ". No hint at what type of setting it is, could have been anything from a fantasy USA with elves and magic to aforementioned noir sci-fi setting ;)
Which is good IMO, as it doesn't give anything away. It just prods the reader, something bad is going to happen here.

Second one, "Thomas Hung". Now we are talking. Introducing the not so free press and a lot more of how society works. I'll admit in rereading it, that I was at fault reading a sci-fi setting into it. Nothing really identifies it as such. Just that it is a, not a totalitarian, but very authoritarian regime with little tolerance for troublemakers. I really like the term "registered atheist" describing Albert Sergent and that might have been what gave me Big Brother is watching type associations. Strongest point of this one (for me) is the internal conflict of Hung, his fear of doing the right thing, his fear of the consequences after having done the right thing (at least, he think he has), and the end where he reflects at the Lincoln statue about himself and the fate of Robert Koss. Us who grew up in cold war Europe, listening to the stories from the refugees from the other side of the iron curtain recognise Thomas Hung. He could have been East German, Checkoslovak, Hungarian whatever reporter... Despite my best intentions, I just can't think of anything that could be improved in this one :?

The third installment, "Lysander Nicodemus". Have you been reading Fahrenheit 437 or whatever that old movie was called ? :D
If part two was a trip to cold war Europe, part three is a trip to Nazi Germany, where Gestapo is trying to root out the crime of thought and enlightenment (or whatever was a threat to correct thinking). I'm not really sure here is Lysander is the protagonist or just the narrator. The active parts being played by Albert Sergent the "Anarchist" and Gabriel Hall the prosecutor, judge and executioner of the "system". Still, a nice way of linking loose ends together, Albert Sergent, Mueller the "Victim", Thomas Hung (At least I thought it was Hung until I got to part four and realised it was Koss)

I was shocked. “Sergent? The one in The Paper?” The nation had been abuzz the past few days in regards to a recently uncovered conspiracy involving local atheists and even a few prominent figures including the editor and chief of the Christendom Post

and introducing (although rather subtly Rosa McPhearson).

This was about the time where I thought for a moment, that there might be too many characters for the length of the story and I considered asking for a novel length story. Sort of to flesh out the characters more and introducing them at a gentler rate :)

All the characters in the non menacing roles (Hung, Nicodemus & McPhearson) could get more backstory without boring anybody. They are interesting persons, caught in a series of rapidly evolving events, and it might be easier to feel empathy for them, if you know more about them. The "active" characters on the other hand are doing exactly what they need to do. Being menacing, mysterious and unfathomable. Mueller doesn't really count, he is, as he were in the story, just the proverbial sacrificial lamb that kicks off the story.

Part four, "Rosa McPhearson". Awesome story and if I absolutely had to pick a favourite, it would be this one. Finny, the youngest son, already condemned to death because of his blood, presumably being the result of the constant sexual abuse of Rosa and now a threat to Howells "celibacy" claims. I suspect, that the cold calculating cruelty of Howell and Rosa's pleading is part of the reason for the twist in the last episode ?

Only thing that irked me a bit here is the use of email to send forms... how about just sending the forms and leave it to the readers imagination how it gets there ? See previous comments on how "clean" this story really is from outside clutter and predetermined settings :wink:

Part five, "Albert Sergent", scratch what I said above about a bit more personal background. Now Albert get's his. Sounds like the kind of kid who has odds stacked against him from the word "go!"

But my mother screamed at him. “This is your fault, you sick twisted pervert of a child! I am disgusted that you came from my body!”

A gay brother, a mother who distances herself from her kids, no chance of understanding the concept love there. How could he turn into anything but a nasty atheist ? :cool:

Overall, quite good fleshing out of the person. Only thing I miss (perhaps), is, what became of him ? Did the Seraphim ever get him ? Did he bleed to death on the white floor ? questions, questions, questions. This story need more than seven episodes :roll:

Part six, "Gabriel Hall". Heck, thats the charismatic type novels are made of. You could have written the entire story with him as the protagonist.

Given that I was sane, I couldn’t think of a response, so I merely walked around the car and got into the drivers seat

Ahem, beg to differ. Gabriel doesn't really come across as the particular "sane" type, otherwise, he wouldn't be who he is :P

I'm sort of torn in two over this part. On one side, it's interesting looking into Gabriels mind, satisfying my morbid curiosity, on the other side, it removes something of the inscrutable mystery man.

Suggestion, if you write stories with this kind of fascinating characters and they aren't necessarily the main protagonists, keep them mysterious and stay clear of too much first person narratives where they are involved. Stick to other characters perception and interpretation of their motivations. Just a thought.
Oh, and nice reintroduction of Hung btw. I would love to hear more of your setting seen through the eyes of that particular reporter.

Part seven, "Michael Howell". Nice finish on the seven part story. I already mentioned, that I loved the twist where he thinks himself safe (and Gabriel removing the cause of a few problems, like the safety of Rosas youngest son). Not much to say about this one really, as it concludes part of the story.

As I mentioned somewhere above though, the story still leaves a lot of questions (and room sequels).

And yeah, there was that thing with introducing visuals and stylistic things here :? Up to that point, the most detailed visuals IIRC, is the facial expressions and eyes of Gabriel. The rest has been at the readers discretion to fill in with whatever favourite things their mind could populate it with.

Suggestion, establish settings and visual style (the same way as you did the political and society stuff) in the beginning or not at all.

Regarding spelling and punctuation... get a dictionary man :lol:

I could probably comment a lot more on my impressions, but I need a slight break now. I hope to be back at a later date with more though... :haksthumbsup:
A dyslexic walks into a bra...

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