Friday, June 28, 2002

[A rat]

Saalon‘s just posted an intriguing diary entry; he posted the first part of a story, and hopefully, future installments will continue it. It’s a sort of epic fairy tale. He’s asked for my comments, so I’m providing a critique here.

It’s very, very interesting. I like the idea of off-the-cuff storytelling like this. I’d be scared to try it, which perhaps is a good indication that I would benefit from trying.

I liked it, overall. It was suitably evocative for that…errrr…I don’t quite know what style that is. To me, it fits that “long fairy tale” form, where the story is actually quite lengthy, but still maintains a minimum of extraneous details — we’re probably not going to learn much about muridaen (Latin for “rat”) politics. So, the story thus far fits that storytelling style quite well.

I like the names. Birgold’s a good, solid Norse name, though in my case, the name reminds me too much of that of Eric Idle’s character Burthold from The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which made me giggle to imagine Eric Idle lumbering around as a gruff, blood-soaked Giant. Half-Tail‘s a great name, and I like that the protagonist has a descriptive name rather than a nominative (?) one. It makes it easier for the reader to imagine him or herself as Half-Tail, because there isn’t that specific name to get around. And the name “Fenris” just rocks.

I felt that the second and third paragraphs were laying too much ground-work. In fact, they could even be eliminated, and the final sentence of the third paragraph integrated as the final sentence of the first paragraph. In any event, I felt that there was too much background early on. I’ve always been a big believer on throwing the reader into the story, then revealing backstory in little bits as the action progresses.

I have one other little nitpick: I worry that the “next episode” teaser gives away a little too much. Unless the teaser is supposed to be that specific.

So. Besides those little issues, I really like the story. I want to know what happens to Half-Tail next. I’m anxious to read the next installment.

Good on ya, mate!

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