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for One With Premise

3/8 c42 marrybeth
Halo Author, Are you actively writing? I am so interested in your work. My name is Marry I am a talent scout for a fast-growing platform. I want to offer you something related to your work. May I know how to reach you professionally?
10/21/2019 c42 Will9035
This was a very interesting one. Not sure if this was intended or not, but, as soon as the mysterious "girl" showed up and started wrecking Kenna and the gang, I found myself unsure of who I should be rooting for. I mean, yeah, Kenna and her friends are thieves, which is pretty unlikable. And it was pretty clear that they were acting out of selfish interests, rather than because they were desperate for anything in the temple. (Also unlikable.) But at the same time, they were clearly intelligent thieves, and following their perspectives did make them that slight bit more sympathetic. Plus, it's easy to root for an underdog, which Kenna clearly was as soon as the Goddess stopped screwing around.

Kenna may be excited about this new opportunity, but if I were her I'd be very worried. I've read a lot of mythology, and absolutely no good can ever come from the average joe being in the middle of a spat between two gods.
10/19/2019 c1 2Kam I Am
This was a great opener. There's a nice amount of forward momentum propelling us through the piece. We're given the premise almost immediately - Sienna is a scientist, she's being attacked by enemy forces. As things go on we're fed information piecemeal in a way that doesn't feel overly expository - something that's very important in a short like this :p.

By the end of it, everything's been reaffirmed. Sienna's cause, our hope and trust that she'll see it through, and the immense threat she so narrowly escaped from. Nice work. I hope you've been able to parlay this into that novel you mentioned :).
9/29/2019 c41 Will9035
This one was definitely one of my favorites out of all the little vignettes you've given us so far with this. Normally, when I start reading one of these little stories, my mind has to do a lot of work to figure out who's who, what's going on, and where everything is taking place. But here, there was none of that. Nick wasn't an adventurer in some far-off world, caught in the midst of an adventure with politics and magic/technology I'd never heard of. He was just a regular kid in a middle class home trying to study for a high school chemistry test. And even someone as inexperienced in the speculative genre as I am knows what telepathy is.

On that note, I also found Whit to be an enjoyable character as well. She was a little cocky and forward, sure, but nothing off-putting. And the identities of those mysterious figures hunting them down could make for some very shady and intriguing antagonists.

If I had to choose just one of these vignettes to see become a full-length novel, this one would definitely be in the Top 5.
9/20/2019 c40 Will9035
Arev is an interesting case here. At the start she came across as extremely scared and, given how many times she cried in a short span, kind of pathetic. So it was a little unexpected to see her suddenly become so cold by making that request to Vakan to exterminate all of her enemies. Granted, she turned out to have a really good reason to hate them (people do tend to get upset when someone murders a family member), but the turnaround was kind of quick. That's not to say Arev acted unbelievably; I just think there was a bit of whiplash from her sudden "I'm about to die!" to "kill them all!" mentality.

Varak was interesting as well. I'm still not entirely sure why he was so quick to take Arev's side in the matter-in fact, I'm not even sure what Varak is. A ghost? A computer? A being who resides inside the structure?

I can totally believe that you have darker things in mind for Arev to undertake. You've certainly laid the foundation here, both with her motivations and her ability to make calls that will end the lives of several people on the spot. And Varak...well, given how Arev has escaped, I don't see him joining her on any future adventures (unless he *is* a ghost of some sort and can leave his 'station,' but, judging by how lonely he said he was, that doesn't seem particularly likely). So his actual nature is still a bit of a mystery to me.

Overall, I think this was another solid piece. And, in the framework of a larger story, I have no doubt that you could make Arev and her struggles into something great. As a standalone vignette, though, I think it was just a tad too busy. (Emphasis on "just a tad.")
9/9/2019 c39 Will9035
Not sure how much you were going for this, but Paige came across as more than a little aggravating here. And I mean that in the best way possible. I think we've both come across plenty of moments when one character is speaking cryptically to the hero, and it just makes us want to roll our eyes. With Paige, not so much. I was actually hanging on every word she was saying, despite how much I wanted to tell her to quit being such a drama queen...especially since a raid was going down closely enough that Amanda could feel it in the floor. (Those were some nice touches, by the way-feeling the explosion but not being able to hear it, as well as the increasing urgency courtesy of the little man in Amanda's ear.)

PS. Thanks for the link to those photos. I've already glanced through them. I'll have some more detailed thoughts to offer in my next PM, but I thought that whole album was incredible.
7/10/2019 c38 Will9035
I'll admit to not really remembering much about the last time you wrote about Nayo. So this chapter was a very interesting experience, in the sense that I wasn't really sure whether I should be rooting for Nayo or Kandel. But, judging by your author's note at the end, that seems to be precisely what you were going for. Or, at least it sounds like you wanted to make your readers wonder *how* much they should be rooting for Nayo. (In addition to your author's note, you had this chapter follow her perspective. So I'm guessing that she's supposed to be our "good guy" here.) Then, in that case, this little chapter was a job well done.

Also, I must commend you on how you demonstrated the torture that Kandel was going through. Considering that Nayo was, for all intents and purposes, just hitting a button and you didn't describe what, specifically, was happening to Kandela aside from "sensory overload," I think it would be really easy to create a chapter that didn't strike a very visceral cord. But, here, you somehow made it work. I read this and totally believed that Kandel was going through excruciating pain, even though no marks were getting left behind and nothing was touching her. So, kudos to you there, sir.
6/30/2019 c37 Will9035
I'm not at all surprised to see you revisit these two characters out of all the duos you've conceived during these little vignettes. Out of all the conflicted and flat-out at-odds characters you've written in "One with Premise" so far, I would definitely consider the relationship between Viera and Kinton to be among the most contentious. Viera was pretty unfriendly in 'Soulspark,' Kinton was (intentionally?) obnoxious, and it doesn't look like either of them have changed much here. So I can definitely see why you'd have some fun writing more bickering between them.

I will concede that I wasn't quite sure the angle you were getting at plot-wise in this entry, but that's okay. As you said in your author's note, this was more of an opportunity for you to play with their chemistry. (Not to mention, you flat out said you don't have much idea of what they're actually doing in this chapter.) So, to that end, I would say you did a good job here. It really showed the tension between the two. I can't say that I particularly care for either of them, but that's not a bad thing at all. Both of them seem abrasive in their own ways, and for one reason or another I can't say I would want to be stuck in a traffic jam with either of them. And that would, for sure, make for some interesting dynamics should you ever decide to give them a full-length adventure.
6/22/2019 c36 Will9035
I agree with you entirely on how this world and the elements you've included have a lot more potential than these two characters. Of course, I'm not at all saying that Kayze and Melles were bad characters. Far from it, in fact. Melles came across very well as this quietly-determined, slightly manipulative guy who was going to get an escort one way or another, and Kayze played her part beautifully as a soldier who took her orders and duty seriously. I also liked the change-up with how there was still conflict with no outright antagonism between these two. It was mostly just Melles saying he wanted something from Kayze, and Kazye sternly but politely telling him that he was asking the wrong soldier.

But like I said, it was the background details and the teased history that stole the show for me here. My mind immediately went to work thinking about the kind of technology those ancient astronauts could have been using.
4/22/2019 c35 Will9035
Ah, yes. These characters. I remember them...especially the obnoxious attitude from Kristoph. I'm kind of surprised to hear describe your relationship with Amanda's story as "love-hate." You clearly have a lot of fun writing their adventures, so I'm sure the "hate" part will go away once they have a fully-developed story.''

But that can be for the future. For the now, I must repeat the same praise that I seem to give you every time you write a chapter like this: great job with the chemistry between Grace and Kristoph. Once again, you've done very well to demonstrate your ability with writing scenes where at least one character hates the other, and is struggling or outright failing at hiding it. Grace's internal bubbling frustration was fun to read, but the deliberate cheekiness on Kristoph's part took it to the next level. The simple slap at the end was a surprisingly effective payoff to build-up that I didn't even realize you were creating. But it was the perfect culmination for their little exchange.

And while this may be incidental, I want to point it out anyway: I loved the beginning when you were describing Grace's reaction to the obvious movement through the windows while still feeling nothing thanks to the G-Force devices. It was enough to make me stop and imagine how much it would mess up my own brain if I knew I was moving but couldn't sense any movement. That was a great little detail that really stood out.
3/25/2019 c34 Will9035
In something of a departure from how I usually feel when reading your work, the fight scene struck me more as the main attraction rather than the dynamic between Mr. Tourist and Liz. I feel like that made it kind of tricky to really establish the chemistry between them. I have no doubt in my mind that you have the relationship down pat between these two, especially given how you said you're 'love to write more' stories involving them. But here, I'm not sure that chemistry had the chance to shine as well as it could. That's not your fault, either, given the length of this piece and how much of it was devoted to their little skirmish.

Speaking of skirmishes, I liked the way you wrote this one out. Easy to picture and follow, without becoming over the top. I found it especially realistic how Liz opted to use a simple gun (set to stun) as soon as the opportunity presented itself, rather than deciding to keep the fight physical for no conceivable reason.
3/9/2019 c33 Will9035
(Thank you, Kera, for finally remembering that you had a firearm a while into this encounter. I was intensely wondering when she was going to start firing.)

I'm kind of surprised to hear you say that this was a character-based piece for you...okay, I'm not *totally* surprised, because I know characters are your first and foremost priority in storytelling. But if you'd told me this was an exercise to keep your action-writing sharp, I would've easily believed that, too. The sudden onslaught of the beasties, the step-by-step process Lucas took to outmaneuver them and escape, as well as the vivid details about how his shiny new plaything kept cutting them down, all painted the scene extremely well. It was fun to read.

Of course, you did a good job with these characters as well. Obviously Lucas had more attention-to-detail, given that this was his POV talking. He struck me as a far less-likable version of Han Solo. I feel like Kera did a good job as the audience surrogate, what with constantly getting annoyed by Lucas's attitude but having to grudgingly admit that he was making all the right calls.
3/1/2019 c32 Will9035
While I have no doubt that Maisie could be an interesting character and the phantom mind a fascinating concept to explore, my attention during this vignette was completely arrested by the Sovereign. I really don't know what to make of him, and I mean that in the best way possible. He came across as so polite, genuine, and ultimately harmless. ("You'll be free to elave regardless of whether we find one or not.") But there was just something so creepy and untrustworthy about him at the same time. The remark about his teeth and skin being the same color was a particularly nice touch. I could picture this unnamed officer being either a great ally or a great antagonist with almost no change either way in his personality.
2/18/2019 c31 Will9035
As you said in your author notes, this style of four vignettes rather than one was quite the departure from your usual style. But that's not a bad thing at all because, even though any of these four vignettes could have easily stood on their own as a separate "One With Promise," the bigger picture that you painted with Amanda's enlistment worked very well. I definitely get the sense that you have ideas for a much bigger story that can be taken from these prompts. And, aside from the fact that Houston is apparently a republic in this world, this entry seemed much more grounded in reality. I'm wondering how your usual elements could be worked into this scenario.

I guess if I had to make one comment like this, I would say that the scene with Mike felt a little unnecessary. That's not to say it was written poorly-far from it! In fact, I think you handled their "we're not kids anymore" realization pretty well. (Plus, I just have kind of a bias for the date June 21st, so seeing it constantly mentioned was wonderful.) But I feel like if you cut that segment out, and just stuck with Amanda's "Wow. This is it," moment at the start, and then showed her first day in training, and then showing her (maybe?) developing friendship with Sandy, I don't think this entry would have been any worse off for it. But again, that's not intended as a criticism.
2/8/2019 c30 Will9035
When I was reading this (after getting the strangest sense of deja vu when reading these characters' names) I'll admit I had no idea what I was supposed to make of the whole thing. You had me thinking at first that this would be a gritty, realistic detective story. Then you introduced your trademarked supernatural elements. And, by the end, there were slapstick moments with the goat. On top of that, I honestly didn't know what to make of Annemarie; I couldn't tell if she couldn't speak English properly, or if she was just that dumb that she didn't understand phrases like 'tender my resignation.'

Then I read your author's note, and all became clear. For such a bizarre, unrelated set of prompts, I dare say that you spun as good of a narrative as one possibly could in your preferred genre. (Especially since you pulled it off with only a few thousand words.) Your creativity is certainly to be admired. Also, I must admit to being completely taken aback by the twist about the goat and the Oracle. Very welly played to you there, good sir. Given how serious 'Epochal''s overall tone was, it was oddly compelling to see these characters in a situation that ultimately proved more comical than anything.
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