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Auctor, My Story of Redwall - Page 3
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Thread: Auctor, My Story of Redwall

  1. #31
    Patroller Schröder's Avatar
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    Thanks for that, I really appreciate it, especially the suggestions for improvement.
    If I ever do something else, it will have ABSOLUTELY NO CANNON CHARACTERS because that was HARD! Like, REALLY hard to keep them in character, (can't be too stoic, uptight, loose, babble-mouthed, or whatever)

    Yeah, Barbara isn't exactly a Redwall-ish name, but my great aunt, who is a nun, is named Barbara, so I wanted to put her name in for that.

    Thanks again!

    PS, I have been working on homework and studying for finals for the past eight hours, and this was a welcome sight to read after two hours of nothing but French, algebra, and ?????? poetry so (thank you)^3.

    PPS, Was there anything that you particularly liked about it? A character? Line? Reference?
    Last edited by Schröder; December 12th, 2014 at 02:11 AM.


    "Knowledge is a thing that one cannot have enough of. It is the fruit of wisdom, to be eaten carefully and digested fully..." -BJ

    “I wish to thank all the breweries who manufactured all the ale which got me so sodden drunk, that I got the inspiration to write this book.” -BJ


    Me: "Wait for it...wait for it...MARSHANK REDEMPTION!"
    My friend: "Comments section on 'Escape from Marshank'."
    Me: You've gotta spoil everything, don't ya?"
    Him: "Yup."

  2. #32
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    I'm glad my suggestions were an encouragement and a nice distraction from your finals. I don't miss finals one bit, so I hope they went well for you. Personally, I hate writing a story and never getting any feedback on it, so I try to help others out when I can.

    And you can excuse my comment about Barbara then. I think it's cool you wanted to name your Great Aunt after one of the characters, especially with her backstory.

    I went through the story again and wrote some notes for some more suggestions on how to improve it. If you want, I can post it here or in a PM if you want. Just some suggestions on how to strengthen it and some tips for when you write your next story. I won't post them unless you want to read them. There's nothing harsh in them, as I don't believe in writing criticism without any suggestions on how to improve them.

    While going through the story, these were the things that I enjoyed about it. I wrote them as I read along, so it flows chronologically:

    As I mentioned before, I think the idea of using explosives in a Redwall story works perfectly with fan fiction. It’s not a topic Brian would use, but at the same time, it’s not so outlandish that you venture away from plausibility in the world. I could see vermin using this approach before I would see them using firearms. In that way, you strike a nice balance.

    You were ambitious in picking the Redwall/Matthias era to tell your story in, but I think you stayed true to who they are. You did pick an interesting point to set your story in, being between Mattimeo and Pearls.

    You put in a lot of detail in the beginning of the story about the ship. I remember seeing a post where you were asking for help in researching bits for your story. I think that comes in clearly here and helps with the description.

    I think it’s great that you wrote a scene with Matthias training with his son at the sword. I don’t think I’m alone in wishing we got to see Brian write something like this with them. I also appreciate that you noted the swords came from Salamandastron, considering Redwall’s legendary lack of normal weapons stored at the Abbey.

    Your use of slang with the vermin works well for the story. You have a good handle on how Brian wrote them without making it over the top. It’s not easy to do, and I struggle with it, so I commend you on that!

    You also pepper the story with just the right amount of flashback information for anyone unfamiliar with the previous stories or needing a refresher. Matthias standing in front of the tapestry in Chapter 6 is a good example of this.

    Likewise, I always enjoy a good ominous dream sequence for Redwall baddies. Firethorn’s works well with what’s been established in the series. And the kitchen scene with Jonathan and Barbara cooking fits Redwall to a tee, great writing.

    If you ever want to win me over in a story, bring in some fun Highlander characters as you did with Uaine. He’s great fun, and my favorite original character in the story. Leon works great as a companion hare, too.

    Also, I appreciate the callback to the Woodsorrel clan. I missed it the first time around, but having reread Mariel of Redwall, the reference is clear to me now and appreciated. Hon Rosie would be proud that her laugh runs in the family.

    The Naval battle was fun to read, and I could tell you had fun writing it. It’s a nice opening match up between the heroes and villains.

    As I mentioned before, it’s nice to see Matthias and Martin have a face-to-face chat, along with his meeting of past Redwallers in the Dark Forest. It’s fan service, but fun fan service. It’s interesting that you had Matthias meet his family, but it makes sense given where he’s at in the story.

    The final battle at Redwall is intense and well structured, with lots of chaos and fighting, as any battle for the abbey should be. Also, it’s nice to see Matthias have a chat with Auctor to wrap the story up.


    If you want to read the pointers I wrote, just let me know and I'll send them to you how you want them. Once again, great work!
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  3. #33
    Patroller Schröder's Avatar
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    I am glad there was such a good list of things you enjoyed.

    You can just post the suggestions here, I don't mind.
    And thanks again for that, it is really appreciated.


    "Knowledge is a thing that one cannot have enough of. It is the fruit of wisdom, to be eaten carefully and digested fully..." -BJ

    “I wish to thank all the breweries who manufactured all the ale which got me so sodden drunk, that I got the inspiration to write this book.” -BJ


    Me: "Wait for it...wait for it...MARSHANK REDEMPTION!"
    My friend: "Comments section on 'Escape from Marshank'."
    Me: You've gotta spoil everything, don't ya?"
    Him: "Yup."

  4. #34
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Definitely, I think an author should know what works in their story in addition to what needs to be improved on. Otherwise, it's a bit discouraging to hear "Good work! Now here's everything wrong...". The suggestions section is longer, but it's because I try to include suggestions on how to change it up. You don't have to follow my examples, but they're something to help guide you in your next endeavor, or if you choose to rewrite the story.

    And again, these were written as I reread the story, so it follows along to the plot.

    In the first conversation between Blaze Firethorn and Auctor, you want to give them both a strong first impression. Firethorn acts differently than the rest of his crew, but he’s cunning too, trying to woo Auctor to his side. Play a bit with his dialogue to reflect that. Instead of “I would never use it for evil, just exploit its uses for my benefit.” You should try something a bit more indirect, like “Ha ha, evil, me? Why I wouldn’t hurt a wee fly with your invention!” laughed Firethorn before muttering under his breath “So long as it stays out of my way.”

    In chapter four, you address the audience with “Now, you would know, if you have tried, that it is hard to eat any soup without using a utensil.” It’s best not to address the audience like this, unless Auma spoke the story in more of this style. It could be rewritten by adding “made all the more difficult with the lack of utensils.” Further down, the sentence “It was the bosun, he had one of those ‘today's the day you're ging to die’ looks.” could be rewritten to say “It was the bosun, heading towards Auctor with a murderous glint in his savage eyes.” These two moments stick out to the reader as they don’t mesh with how the rest of the story goes, and as a writer, the last thing you want to do is cause any disconnect between the reader and the story. You can still get these points across by fitting it into the form of the story.

    Be careful about using the word “thought” as a replacement for the word “said.” In chapter five in the beginning, Firethorn’s dialogue is put as “thought”. When I see “thought”, I think of it as internal dialogue for the character, rather than spoken aloud. Roared or cheered might be better choices in this situation. You can use thought for internal dialogue, but usually this is reserved for the main character of the story/chapter. If you do use it, make sure it’s not just a one time use, or it will seem out of place. The sooner you establish that the story will have these moments, the easier the audience will just accept this and move on. And when you do, italicize the dialogue for inner thoughts, such as: I’ve done it! thought Firethorn with a sly grin on his face. It took all season to crack the mouse’s code, but I’ve done it!

    Also, a note on dialogue, always try to keep it as succinct and brief as possible. We speak in incomplete sentences and unfinished thoughts, so you’re not restricted with the same rules of grammar as you are in a paper. I’m still learning this as a writer, so it takes practice. Use the moments in the prose to expound on the characters true intentions instead of the dialogue if you need to.

    Don’t worry about losing your audience with your terms, such as explaining what putting a ship to irons means. If you need to, you can give hints as to what it means in the corresponding prose. The reader trusts you know what you’re talking about, and if they’re confused, they’ll look up what it means. I keep my phone handy when reading, so I can research what I don’t understand. However, I think its great you know enough of the terms to use them authentically in your story, so props on that!

    One slight problem I have with the story is we never see the scene where Matthias falls from the rooftop, but find out about it from Matthias when he’s talking to Martin. You might find it more dramatic to play out the scene rather than having it told to us. There are a lot of scenes at Salamandastron from the last time we see Matthias well to his coma scene, so you could fit it in between one of the breaks of action and place it there.

    A suggestion for the Dark Forest scenes with Matthias is maybe add an element of danger to it. From the beginning, we know Matthias will have to go back, even though he has a time limit. You might want to keep it ambiguous that he can come back, or leave it up in the air. Maybe there’s a temptation for him to stay in the Dark Forest and remain with his friends and family. Remember, in Outcast, Sunflash couldn’t resist the pull to the Dark Forest on his own. He needed Barkstripe, Brocktree, and Boar to intervene and refuse him entry to snap him out of it. You might want Matthias to have a similar reaction, but at the urging of Martin or a few others, they urge him to fight his desires and return to the living. I'm not suggesting the others act outright evil, but maybe their joy at seeing Matthias unintentionally puts him in danger of never leaving.

    One final suggestion, and you do this a bit in the story, is make the character arc of Auctor stronger. He goes from a proud inventor to one that realizes his creation is dangerous. Maybe start him off as more arrogant, overconfident that some backwater searat couldn't understand something as complicated as his formula. Then as the story goes along, he realizes his mistake and humbles himself, especially after the attack on Redwall.

    Anyhow, I hope these suggestions help you with your writing, and feel free to disagree with anything I say. Keep going at it!
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

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