Forum: Elena Tiriel - Star Gazings

Discussing: [Inactive] Fortune's Paradox - beta

[Inactive] Fortune's Paradox - beta

Hi everyone, Welcome to my new beta story, Fortune's Paradox. It is a reworking of Fortune's Intrigue, based upon all the helpful comments I received. Thank you all for your tremendous help! This is a work of irony, which means it has a twist at the end. You have been warned... I invite you to comment on anything (and everything) that you choose, whether the story feedback is positive or negative. I seriously evaluate every bit of feedback, and cheerfully incorporate all that works well. Yes, I am asking (no, begging!) for an honest critique. There are a couple of specific questions I would like to ask, should you choose to address them: 1. Does the humorous tone of the Author's Notes set up an inappropriate expectation of humor from the rest of the story? 2. Have I described the main character's reactions realistically? 3. How is the pacing? 4. Does the ending make sense? What do you think happened? Thank you in advance for any help you can give me to improve this story! Best regards, Barbara "Elena Tiriel"

 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

my question was if the entire episode was lived in her mind within the space of that first capture or if she lived happily in lala land for seven years with an Orc husband/slaver/pimp.

the critique that comes to mind is that the chapters are not balanced. The first capture episode and the last chapter are dramatically different, I don't mean in length, but in level of detail. ... meaning that you go into great detail such as 'are their claws retractable' in the first, but in the second you have only one sentence about being lost in agony. ... what about something like .. As Rumil's lips traveled softly down my neck, his fangs cut only deep enough to cause a single droplets of blood to rise so his rough tongue could lap them from my skin...."

and I still think you could do a lot more with the second chapter. I'm sorry I don't remember the details from the first draft, so I hope I don't embarrass myself, but I think the second chapter is a great excuse for real hot PWP and you could even slip in hints (if you wanted) of the third chapter, such as Rumil having a friends and family policy. ... such as she is with Rumil, someone else comes in for her, Rumil leaves, she questions, but when she looks again, it is still Rumil. ..

/giggling/ at the thought of poor Elena Tiriel running screaming for the hills at my suggestions of more 'squicky' stuff

I think the length is pretty good and with some tweaks it could be a pretty good psychotic thriller type story /sigh/ which I don't suppose is the effect you were going for.

...unless of course the agony she is feeling is their axes within the first capture and they don't have any fun with her first. -in which case you should ignore my entire post.

 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

Hi Barbara

I liked this a lot more than first time through because you chopped a lot of the stuff out of the second chapter that I didn't enjoy

My take on the ending was that it involved her falling off the talan sometime during the first scene (ie Rumil didn't save her) - so possibly much of the romantic stuff at the end of chapter one and certainly all of chapter two was all in her dreams. That probably sits with my own personal anti-MS prejudices

If it's any comfort, I wasn't so inclined to cheer but to feel sorry for your protagonist in this second draft LOL

I certainly didn't see it all being a hallucination really involving Orcs or her dreaming and then falling out of the tree during the original Orc attack until I read Sulriel's comments (but then she knows I'm not so into Orcs as she is!). I think that was probably because you used three named Lorien Elves and she couldn't possily know these if you follow one of Sulriel's ickier scenarios.... If you had used three names we weren't familiar with, I could see the whole thing being invented either as a long dream in a short time period or an extended psychological defence to an orc marriage.

I agree with Sulriel that there is potential for the second chapter to be a PWP - but I would be quite startled and probably upset if that was foisted on me unexpectedly after the drily ironic tone of the first chapter.

regarding your questions

1) Kind of hard for me to answer, as I have read this several times. I felt the tone was more ironic throughout the piece (chapter two, especially, was much drier in tone than the last version) and matched the notes

2) I always found the OFC's reactions believable - in fear and panic, we can really misinterpret what is happening to us

3) The pacing is a bit odd in that the chapter lengths are so different. I got to the last one and though "is that all". I still don't necessarily think this needs to be posted as three separate chapters. Maybe posting it as one chapter with subheadings would make me feel it was less unbalanced

4) I've answered this above...

Umm, I still think it's a decidedly "odd" fic. Not bad, just odd...

Hope that helps. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

my question was if the entire episode was lived in her mind within the space of that first capture or if she lived happily in lala land for seven years with an Orc husband/slaver/pimp.

Hmmm, er, ummmm - well, yes, almost the entire episode is indeed in her mind, and one possibility is certainly that she was disassociating while the orcs were torturing and killing her. To tell you the truth, I hadn't really considered that last possibility... (Barbara looks at her story as if it suddenly sprouted horns and a tail, and gets goose bumps...)

the critique that comes to mind is that the chapters are not balanced. The first capture episode and the last chapter are dramatically different, I don't mean in length, but in level of detail. ... meaning that you go into great detail such as 'are their claws retractable' in the first, but in the second you have only one sentence about being lost in agony.

Actually, that was my intent, though perhaps not well-executed. When I have a dream, it usually starts with some detail and becomes more unreal as it continues. I deliberately wrote the last chapter to be most dream-like -- sort of unfocused, "I"-centered, and seemingly without any anchoring reference to the outside world (okay, some could just interpret that as lousy writing...which is why I kept it mercifully short!). Except that "high spirits", "throw caution to the winds", and "the cool breeze caressing my cheek" are supposed to be oblique clues that she is falling. (Perhaps they are a little too oblique?)

And I hope that the stylistic contrast between the "dreamy" sentences and the last one was obvious? I really wanted the last sentence to be a rude awakening, so to speak.

Tanaqui suggested that I combine the second chapter (the OFC's marriage with Rumil) with the third (the dream/falling sequence). Would that make the shortening length seem less of an issue? Or maybe I should combine all three chapters?

what about something like .. As Rumil's lips traveled softly down my neck, his fangs cut only deep enough to cause a single droplets of blood to rise so his rough tongue could lap them from my skin...."

Ewwww, squicky...!

Ahem. My interpretation of the story (which is clearly not definitive ;-D ) is that the bonding is with an Elf. Not an Orc. (Barbara rubs her eyes, trying to get that image out of her poor, quivering psyche...)

and I still think you could do a lot more with the second chapter. I'm sorry I don't remember the details from the first draft, so I hope I don't embarrass myself, but I think the second chapter is a great excuse for real hot PWP

Seriously, as twisted as this story is, PWP was never one of my goals. The first draft of the second chapter was (much) longer on the romantic stuff, but I cut it drastically due to beta feedback. One, the non-romance lovers thought it too much of a pause before I got to the, um, business at hand. Two, the romance lovers had a heart attack when I did get to the business at hand. And three, the romance-neutrals saw it as slowing down the pacing. Sigh. Sorry, but I didn't even consider the PWP-lovers...

and you could even slip in hints (if you wanted) of the third chapter, such as Rumil having a friends and family policy. ... such as she is with Rumil, someone else comes in for her, Rumil leaves, she questions, but when she looks again, it is still Rumil...

Barbara, now really alarmed, runs to re-read her story...especially the third chapter.

Umm, friends and family policy? I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand this suggestion...Okay, let me be honest here. I'm not sure I WANT to understand this suggestion...

/giggling/ at the thought of poor Elena Tiriel running screaming for the hills at my suggestions of more 'squicky' stuff

Why, thank you! My story may not be humorous, but my attempts at writing it certainly are...

I think the length is pretty good and with some tweaks it could be a pretty good psychotic thriller type story /sigh/ which I don't suppose is the effect you were going for.

Ummm, well ... not exactly. I knew the twist at the end is nasty, but -- psychotic??? Noooo, preciousssss, not psychotic ...

...unless of course the agony she is feeling is their axes within the first capture and they don't have any fun with her first. -in which case you should ignore my entire post.

Well, the agony is NOT from their axes. And they don't have any fun with her -- they don't catch her. So what should I do with your post now?

Seriously, Sulriel, thank you for your feedback! It has given me a whole new perspective on my story...

One that a Twin Sandwich or Twin PWP can help cleanse away... ;-D
Okay, a Twin Bath would work, too... Anxiously awaiting your next chapter!

- Barbara
"Elena Tiriel"

 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

Hi Liz!

I liked this a lot more than first time through because you chopped a lot of the stuff out of the second chapter that I didn't enjoy

Good! (Barbara sighs with relief...)

My take on the ending was that it involved her falling off the talan sometime during the first scene (ie Rumil didn't save her) - so possibly much of the romantic stuff at the end of chapter one and certainly all of chapter two was all in her dreams. That probably sits with my own personal anti-MS prejudices

Good! That is my take as well (though, as I mentioned to Sulriel, my take is not necessarily definitive ;-} )

If it's any comfort, I wasn't so inclined to cheer but to feel sorry for your protagonist in this second draft LOL

Whew!

I certainly didn't see it all being a hallucination really involving Orcs or her dreaming and then falling out of the tree during the original Orc attack until I read Sulriel's comments (but then she knows I'm not so into Orcs as she is!). I think that was probably because you used three named Lorien Elves and she couldn't possily know these if you follow one of Sulriel's ickier scenarios.... If you had used three names we weren't familiar with, I could see the whole thing being invented either as a long dream in a short time period or an extended psychological defence to an orc marriage.

Ahhh, but unfortunately, this is a problem even with the falling-off-a-talan scenario. If she ran away as soon as she woke up (which is how I picture it), she didn't have the time to learn their names in the real world, either. Sigh!

I agree with Sulriel that there is potential for the second chapter to be a PWP - but I would be quite startled and probably upset if that was foisted on me unexpectedly after the drily ironic tone of the first chapter.

Ah, thank you!

1) Kind of hard for me to answer, as I have read this several times. I felt the tone was more ironic throughout the piece (chapter two, especially, was much drier in tone than the last version) and matched the notes

Thank you. That is helpful to know. (And thank you for sticking with the story enough to read it several times!)

2) I always found the OFC's reactions believable - in fear and panic, we can really misinterpret what is happening to us

Barbara does a happy dance...I'm not psychotic! I'm not! Noooo, my precioussssss...

3) The pacing is a bit odd in that the chapter lengths are so different. I got to the last one and though "is that all". I still don't necessarily think this needs to be posted as three separate chapters. Maybe posting it as one chapter with subheadings would make me feel it was less unbalanced

Thanks! I'm now sorry that I didn't follow your original suggestion of combining chapters 2 & 3, but think that I may combine all three... Will have to figure out how subheadings are done on HASA...

Umm, I still think it's a decidedly "odd" fic. Not bad, just odd...

"Odd" is good! So much better than "psychotic"! ;-D

I tried to change the summary so the "oddness" wouldn't be quite so surprising. Do you think it was effective?

Hope that helps. Cheers, Liz

Thank you, Liz! This was truly helpful... I am indebted to you for all the helpful comments you have made!

When I return home later today, I will work on combining the chapters...

 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

/blush/ duh! ... I have too much Orc on the brain. LOL!!

....and actually having a little problem right now with the twin's daddy being .... inappropriate .. /sigh/ all that passionate man-blood .... . gotta love it.

 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

Umm, I still think it's a decidedly "odd" fic. Not bad, just odd...

"Odd" is good! So much better than "psychotic"! ;-D



Oh no! ... definitely psychotic. .. trust me /wink/ I know. /big grin/

 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

/blush/ duh! ... I have too much Orc on the brain. LOL!!

Oh, don't worry! It doesn't show...

Much.

To anyone outside of the entire HA community...

....and actually having a little problem right now with the twin's daddy being .... inappropriate .. /sigh/ all that passionate man-blood .... . gotta love it.

Don't you do anything nasty to my Elrond!

PJ entrusted him to me! He's my elf! Mine! My own!

 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

Oh no! ... definitely psychotic. .. trust me /wink/ I know. /big grin/

Hee, hee, hee! Oh, Sulriel, that's so funny! What a great joke!

Um ... you were joking, right?

Right?

...

*Barbara puts her hands over her ears.* Not listening! I'm not listening!

 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

Ahhh, but unfortunately, this is a problem even with the falling-off-a-talan scenario. If she ran away as soon as she woke up (which is how I picture it), she didn't have the time to learn their names in the real world, either. Sigh!

Not necessarily... depends on how deeply asleep she really is when the Elves find her and whether you think she could pick stuff up without being aware of it. Haldir could have decided to talk to her in Westron while they are carrying her up to the talan to reassure her and she could have picked that up and woven it into her dreams...?

I could also see the bit up to Haldir settling her down again (before Rumil comes back) being real, but then she falls asleep again quickly and everything else after that is a dream (ie she is creating a dream fantasy based on completely misinterpreting Rumil's comforting of her).

Barbara does a happy dance...I'm not psychotic! I'm not! Noooo, my precioussssss...

Hmm, I' m not sure me agreeing with you on one point makes you not psychotic (how do you know I'm not psychotic too?)

Will have to figure out how subheadings are done on HASA...

just try bold tags < b > and < / b > (close up the spaces)?

I tried to change the summary so the "oddness" wouldn't be quite so surprising. Do you think it was effective?

Yes.

Liz, off to try and get some of the more disturbing images Sulriel has provided out of her head



 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

Not necessarily... depends on how deeply asleep she really is when the Elves find her and whether you think she could pick stuff up without being aware of it. Haldir could have decided to talk to her in Westron while they are carrying her up to the talan to reassure her and she could have picked that up and woven it into her dreams...?

I could also see the bit up to Haldir settling her down again (before Rumil comes back) being real, but then she falls asleep again quickly and everything else after that is a dream (ie she is creating a dream fantasy based on completely misinterpreting Rumil's comforting of her).


Did I mention that I love the way you think?

Hmm, I' m not sure me agreeing with you on one point makes you not psychotic

Did I mention that I hate the way you think?

Liz, off to try and get some of the more disturbing images Sulriel has provided out of her head

Me, too! And myself, as well. And I, also...

 

 

Re: Fortune's Paradox - beta

I have combined all three chapters into one, with subheadings. Thanks to Liz for the original idea!

- Barbara

 

 

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