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WIP A Song of Ice and Fires That Weren't All My Fault by Puzzle - ASOIAF/Dresden

Discussion in 'Dresden Files' started by Rhys, May 14, 2015.

  1. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    Eh. Speaking as someone who's done it, it's not really that hard to crank out updates of that length once or twice a day, so long as the inspiration lasts. It becomes a self-sustaining habit after a while; as long as you don't hit any major writer's block, it can go on for quite some time.
     
  2. StrawberryPingu

    StrawberryPingu First Year

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    I had that thought too, but the timing seems weird if that's true. If he had it all written out, you'd think he'd update at consistent intervals, but there are some days where he updates twice in 12 hours, but others where he won't update at all, even though he is online. It's not too far-fetched to believe that he's writing it on the fly, especially since the updates are usually rather short.

    Edit: Oops, didn't see Agayek's reply.
     
  3. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    It was okay until two chapters ago or so but the last chapter makes me consider dropping the story.

    The casting of Gerion Lannister as stupid jerk villain #2 is such a lazy method of forcing conflict and hatching the dragons, it's just disappointing. Does every Lannister have to be an irredeemable villain?

    Gerion was described as this fun and adventurous guy, who went to a dangerous fallen kingdom to reclaim the lost family sword, Tyrion's favourite uncle and as this nice guy, not the angry, stupid jerk who hurls rape threats and wants to kidnap/murder children because that's the sensible thing to do right now, when your homelands are burning and you really need the wizards help, to try to antagonize him further, because that's how divorced from reality he is.

    Lazy bashing.
     
  4. GiantMonkeyMan

    GiantMonkeyMan High Inquisitor

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    I thought the whole idea of Dresden even humouring Viserys about hatching the dragons was pretty much out of character for him. The amount of monsters, even dumb animal-intelligence monsters, that Dresden has had to kill to protect humans would surely predispose him towards preventing that from ever happening again. The situation with Gerion was poorly handled as well, I agree.
     
  5. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

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    Hello all,

    As the author of the story I'm not sure if it's entirely kosher for me to post in the review thread, but I'm currently struggling with the path forward and I hope that defending my past choices might give me some direction to the future. This is my first creative writing project of any sort and before I respond to some of the criticisms I would like to thank the commentators and reviewers. This site is considerably harsher than Spacebattles and the generally positive reception has been flattering.

    The last few chapters, 43-45 for anyone in the future, spurred some accusations of bashing. Gerion Lannister is somewhat of a cipher, he's dead or long gone during the events of ASOIAF and I'll agree that Nemrut summed up what we know of his character from the few times he's mentioned. That being said I think his attempted assassination of the Targaryen children is not necessarily out of character even given his positive view.

    Genna Frey describes him as the brother who realized he wouldn't surpass Tywin and decided not to try, in contrast to Tygett who was embittered and Kevan who accepted a subordinate role. I debated which of the two Tywin would send, Tygett or Gerion as Kevan was his right hand. I chose Gerion because Tygett was a noted swordsman and warrior and would presumably be kept home to help fight. Gerion being sent, even though he is a disappointment to Tywin is similar to Tyrion being given the handship, Tywin is willing to use family members he despises.

    That I think is sufficient to explain why he's in Braavos, but that wasn't the issue. Harry in this story has achieved some notoriety, if you've bothered to read this spoiled section you're aware or chose to proceed to boldly. He's also known to be a friend of the Martells and lately associated with Viserys Targaryen.

    The assassination attempt was spurred by Gerion learning that Viserys was learning magic from Harry. We as the readers know that Viserys can't do any of the things Harry can, but to Gerion an extremely powerful wizard is teaching an implacable enemy of his family mysterious powers. Earlier when justifying Harry helping Viserys hatch a dragon I laid out the idea that a Targaryen restoration civil war was likely just based on the Blackfyres having five tries. Gerion would see the threat of a wizard Targaryen coming back across the narrow sea and trying to nip him in the bud is the logical move.

    Just because Gerion was nice to Tyrion and Tywin doesn't like him doesn't mean he wouldn't be loyal to his family. Killing the Targaryen children removes what he sees as a very real risk, just because it's morally reprehensible to us doesn't mean it isn't a good move. Also every single Lannister point of view character either kills or threatens to kill children, its hardly out of character for Gerion to make the attempt given we know he's a Lannister and funny.

    I hope that addresses some of your concerns, even if it doesn't I hope you all got some enjoyment from the story. Thanks again.
     
  6. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

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    Okay, while I enjoy your story it has one huge gaping issue which really needs to be addressed. The dialog sucks.

    It never feels like people are actually talking. It's almost as if someone is narrating dialog within the story, one step removed from where a character's voice actually should be. Everyone tends to squish down to the same manner of speech, the same beats, and it just flows together. You tend to get characterization right, but the actual talking bits are stilted and flat.
     
  7. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

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    Author showing up here convinced me to give this a shot, even though I'm not familiar with Dresden Files.

    Mutton hit the nail on the head:

    Say that out loud and it's the opposite of natural. There are a few specific things you can do - mostly figuring out how to use commas as natural hesitation in speech, breaking up long speeches (no one actually monologues in real life), fixing a few grammar issues, and injecting some emotive beats - but mainly it's about hearing it in your head and making it sound like it's actually a person saying the words.

    Fix a few things, and a kind of robotic sentence becomes something interesting:

     
  8. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    Don't have much to say about Gerion except I don't agree with how things were written. We don't know much about his character except what the people who loved him thought, but Tyrion shouldn't be the only good Lannister. Maybe it would have made more sense if someone like Amory Lorch - the man who stabbed Rhaenys Targaryen 50 times - was in Gerion's retinue and decided to finish the job he and Gregor Clegane started without getting permission. Bah, whatever, the chapters written already so no use arguing about it.

    As for where to go from here clearly the first thing is to protect the Targaryen kids and keep the dragon a secret. Also, consider the consequences of a dragon being born at this point in the timeline. The unique magic of the world is going to return earlier. Does this mean the Others are going to start making their moves earlier too accelerating certain canon events?

    Speaking of the Wall. Harry is clearly interested in studying the magic of this world. There is no more obvious place of magic in the world than the Wall so at some point he's going to have to pay it a visit. Maybe once he meets Aemon Targaryen he will take Dany and Viserys to visit their last family member?

    Then you have the various magical cults in Essos to deal with. Red Priests, Warlocks of Qarth, and whoever else is effected by the return of a dragon.
     
  9. Lion

    Lion Denarii Host DLP Supporter

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    What Spanks said, the return of the dragons bought back everyone's magic. It happening even earlier could have some pretty big differences Thoros the Red Priest was a friend to Robert Baratheon when he only had parlor tricks and drinking. With actual magic he could become a trusted adviser to the King. Almost like Stannis and Melisandre, but on the Iron Throne.

    This could also act as a signal to the Others, first someone who has magic exactly like theirs appears and now the dragons are back. The Wall could definitely be seeing some more action. Even without Harry taking a visit that far north, something I think he'd be reluctant to do with the war and the interest the Westerosi have shown in his abilities, the Wall could have some exciting things going on in the background.

    As for Westeros itself you still have a war going on, one that the Greyjoys are doing far better on than in canon. Robert still has a strong enough hold that I don't see them actually winning, but maybe getting better concessions when they lose. Instead of Theon fostering with the starks it's his sister. Or maybe the older brothers manage to survive somehow, though I doubt that.

    You have a huge amount of ways to take this, if you ever want to bounce ideas off someone or need a beta shoot me a PM. I'd be happy to help you.
     
  10. syed

    syed Supermod

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    I personally hope that if the others invade, Harry can convince the faceless men to aid the night watch. They are apparently all about dealing with the undead.
    While the iron born are in a better position, they are facing the combined might of at least 5 kingdoms. It might take time but eventually they will not be able to hold against them. The increased damage will weaken the westerly dos and the reach, but encourage greater punishment of the iron born. Imagine if they sent to the wall, simply tell the raiders the wilding are free targets. They are shown to be willing to spent huge fortunes to deal with the raiders.
     
  11. nath1607

    nath1607 Groundskeeper

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    Reading the chapters in question I don't really mind Gerion deciding to kill the children. What frustrated me was the manner he went about it, as he couldn't have chosen a worse way possible.

    The Targaryen children aren't an immediate problem but the Greyjoy's were and he has just squandered his opportunity to help with the latter (which was why he came in the first place) and now the children will have far greater security in the future making any assassination attempt more difficult. The frustrating part in particular was to even attempt such a thing in the manner he did requires him to be incompetent, his captain of the guards to be incompetent, the guards themselves along with any other dignitaries that were nearby because his plan was just that horrible. Unless his planning to murder children, under the protection of the Wizard and the Iron Bank, in a foreign city whose help your asking for totaled a couple hours and even then I'd expect a far better plan what actually occurred.

    When I read it my thoughts were, "This author is bashing the character due to Lannister hatred" as it was that bad which lessened the quality of your story greatly for me. His entire characterization could be described as dumb OOC villain it was that poor. This was followed by the inevitable the Dragons have now hatched which you didn't require great foresight to see coming. The chapters just felt crude, like you know what you wanted and just tried to force everything to fit the puzzle you were trying to create and to hell with characterization or narrative.

    The best option (and the safest) by far just using Gerion's knowledge was to just gather information, get the ships and compasses he came for, then when he returns to Westoros inform the King and Tywin about what he has learned. Then they can handle it when matters of the realm are more stable, and they can proceed with an actual plan to successfully kill them and minimize any backlash.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  12. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    We love it when authors get involved in the discussion.

    This.

    Maybe it was in character for him to go after the Targaryan children, but the way he went about it seemed stupid. He seems to believe in the stories Dresden's actions at Oldtown, he has picked up that Dresden doesn't seem to like him, knows Dresden is assisting Viserys and yet seems happy to go taunt and confront the wizard? And if I read it write, the assassins proudly toting crimson Lannister cloaks?

    Even though I could believe there are some idiots in Westeros who may do this, I think as a general rule, when you're writing a character it's better to write them with more positive traits otherwise it just feels cheap when the main character overcomes them. It makes it feel like the only purpose of Gerion's character was to allow a situation for the dragons to hatch.
     
  13. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    I also feel that the rambling incoherent mess that is a spacebattles thread (in this case yours) has trapped you into the idea of the Laws having no wiggle room. Everything I read from them they make it sound as if breaking a single law one time is a one way ticket to becoming a deranged hunchback warlock, but if we follow canon we know that this isn't the case. We have plenty of examples of a wizard breaking one of the Laws and being perfectly okay after; Harry killed his teacher, Molly messed with people minds, the original Merlin time traveled etc. It's more likely that constant abuse of the laws changes a wizard, and even that's questionable because Harry's mom wanted to change the laws.

    The problem is the White Council is extremely conservative and doesn't believe in second chances. They kill a person if they break the laws even once without even seeing if they are a bad person. The only reason Harry didn't get his head cut off is because Ebenezar spoke up for him and we know Harry wasn't a bad guy.

    Anyway, if you want to be a little more loose with the Laws so Harry can do more stuff then do it. Just don't abuse them.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  14. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    Puzzled

    I'd invite you to post future words in our own WbA as well. You'll receive more feedback on the technicalities of your writing rather than discussion on what course people think the plot should take.
     
  15. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

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    Regarding the laws I haven't really commented on them since so much of the thread over there has been discussions about them and I don't want to encourage that. I agree they're probably less black and white than how the Wardens treat them, but Harry has seen the results of black magic enough that he won't go anywhere near it, especially with Maggie learning from him.

    The laws also are a key part of the Dresdenverse magic, removing them or loosening them makes Harry even more powerful, I don't think I've exaggerated his strength at all in the story so far and he's still practically invincible in direct combat. Killing, reading minds or transfiguring people don't really fit into Harry's worldview anyways.

    Regarding the dialogue criticisms, I'll plead inexperience and appreciate the suggestions. I have an easier time writing Harry's thoughts and general exposition so I have to consciously add conversations rather than just have Harry narrate.
     
  16. StrawberryPingu

    StrawberryPingu First Year

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  17. Mishie

    Mishie Fat Dog

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    Going to be honest, I'm surprised that instead of removing the Gerion scene like you did, or just leaving him as a cliche villain like the original version, that you just didn't have him calmly point out to Dresden that as long as the children are alive that Westeros would always have the threat of another war. And when you combine it with the fact that they would have the support of the Iron Bank, and apparently also the support and teachings of a Wizard strong enough to pull down Oldtowns walls it goes from being.

    Hell, or even the fact that if Dresden actually wanted to protect them, the best way would be for them to get them out of the city, change their names, change their hair and never look back. Basically changing it from "You're killing kids because you're a dick" to "Oh, you actually do have reasons for doing this".
     
  18. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    Changes result in Gerion not seeming like a moustache twirling top hat wearing villain, which is good, and you've still got the outcome you seemed to be looking for in the original version.

    A lot of the comments in the SB thread make me shake my head, however.
     
  19. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

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    Okay, general exposition and dialog tip: slow the fuck down. Right now you're blazing through sentences at top speed, only the occasional comma before a "but" to work as tiny road blocks.

    Actually let characters talk and have it flow out. Right now it reads like a kid trying to get through his presentation in front of class as fast as possible. You need to work in emphasis and pauses. Let a character actually ponder or even have their mind wander a bit. This livens up a piece, while right now it's feeling quite dry.

    I'm just going to put a nice little PAUSE place where you could slow down Dresden's voice a little, add some color, or do something so that the story doesn't feel like it can't drive fifty five. It could be something as simple as a period, a line break, or even a slight bit of description. Not all of these need something, but it would help calm down the overall flow to manageable levels.

    I thought I had seen the last of the Westerosi delegation, PAUSE I didn’t think I’d made too good of an impression on Gerion which I was fine with, anyone who served Tywin Lannister probably wouldn’t be too good to get chummy with. So it was somewhat of a surprise when Gerion, Davos, and Braavos’s Admiral entered my shop while I was making the list.

    “Dresden.” The Admiral looked annoyed,PAUSE he wasn’t the biggest fan of magic but after warding the Titan and supplying his ships I thought we were on better terms. Then again it could be from hanging around with the diplomats,PAUSE the Seven Kingdoms were generally looked down upon and he might think he was above going on errands with them. “The Arsenal is beginning a new production run, and in accordance with your contract with them, we’ll require four compasses per ship.”

    Gerion was smirking as I inwardly cursed. I didn’t know how he had persuaded the Sealord to build his fleet, but the fabled Lannister wealth probably helped.PAUSE I thought I already knew the answer but I had to ask. “How many ships are you building?”
     
  20. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

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    So it's been almost seven months from the last comment on this. Story-wise, quite a bit has happened since then and I'm curious what you all think of it, or even if any of you are still following.