The path of the Necromancer

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HechtHeftig
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Hello and no,

this has nothing to do with the game, hence --> Offtopic

I recently read some light novels and I was amazed at how good those were. I always wanted to write down a story as well as I have some (imo) good stories somewhere hidden in my mind. It's just that I never was a real bookworm and just recently gained some insight on how good a written story can be. So I just started writing this novel and somehow I can't stop anymore. I've already written 3 chapters. :D Below you can find the first chapter. (it's still a bit clunky, since I had only a vague idea in the beginning, which resulted in a bit of a mess. the other chapters are better structured) Please give me advice on what I can improve on and tell me what you liked & what you disliked. And please tell me if you would read this any further. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read and giving me advice. By the way: the title of that story is "The Path of the Necromancer" (yes, I just really like necros)

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Edited by HechtHeftig 4 months.
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Goodkidscc
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Wat
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HechtHeftig
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Goodkidscc wrote:Wat


Please elaborate further. Shall I go further into detail with the writing concerning the surroundings and feelings of the characters? Is the character development good/bad and does it make sense? Is the story interesting/lame? Did I manage to build up a Certain Athmosphere?

Every little piece of critcism will help my further writing! Thanks a lot in advance!
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Solfege
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I can relate. I don't read much, but I like to write short stories. They're bad, but I like 'em well enough.

I'm not good at critiquing, but I'll give it a shot.

Fisrt impression:
The story starts slow, with bits of action here and there, but really picks up near the end once the Succubus is summoned. It's clear you enjoyed writing the slaughter scene, and it came through in your writing.

Critique/Questions:
- How large is Darlem? It's a walled city, so it must be of some importance, but is it so big that Eric needed to run for a half-hour to reach his shack, or was he winding through the streets to make sure he wasn't followed? And could a poor, malnourished, orphan even sustain an escape run for that length of time?
- Ok, I chuckled a bit at the “Path of the Necromancer...for Dummies” thing. Where did Eric get this book? Why did he have it? Why was he summoning a Succubus in the first place (I mean, aside from the obvious reasons :wink:)? Also, just out of personal curiosity, why do more complex things take less time to summon? And how does this summoning process work? There are general details about the ritual, but where do these summoned creatures come from? How are they brought into the world?
- Was it shear dumb luck that Eric found this particular Demon Crystal, or did he target Tony specifically?
- On the subject of Tony, I got the impression Eric has been at this street-rat game for some time, and if Tony is as big a deal as he claimed to be, would Eric not already know who he is? Also, another personal curiosity, what sort of merchant is Tony? Like, what sort of goods does he deal in? And why are these Demon Crystals so valuable, and to whom?
- Why did Tony have 40 mercenaries? Are these just his regular “crew?” And if so, now I'm really curious what sort of goods Tony deals in.
- The scene in which the Succubus goes to town on the 5 mercenaries in the shack is a wonderful action sequence.
- Why would the townsfolk look for Eric if a merchant went missing. Is Eric that well known in town? Has he threatened merchants before? Or was that just his own paranoia?

Some general tips:
- A general guideline for storytelling is “show, don't tell.” For example, in the third paragraph, you described Eric's appearance well enough that the reader could determine he was a street-rat, so there's no need to say it outright. Otoh, a few details of how Tony looked running through the street after Eric would go a long way in showing the reader why it's funny.
- Using similies and metaphors can not only help make abstract and unfamiliar concepts more relatable to the reader, but they can be used in place of descriptions to add some stylistic pizazz.
- Throw the reader right into the action from the beginning to get them hooked. In this case, the second paragraph is where your story begins, or even the point at which the mercenaries have surrounded the shack.

Conclusion:
Overall, I think you have the foundation for a story here (in art, it would be like something in-bewteen a sketch and a drawing). It looks like you have a world designed in your mind, you have your characters, and you know where you want to take them and what you want them to do. I think some more technical/stylistic work would help make things flow, but I'd still be interested in reading the other 2 chapters. Have a cookie for your efforts.

Edit:
I realize some of these details might be revealed later on. If that's the case, ignore what I wrote.
Edited by Solfege 4 months.
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Goodkidscc
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Im not much into fan fiction, and I want to make it clear that I didn't neg the OP.
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HechtHeftig
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Thanks a lot! That definitely was helpful! For some of your questions: I raised them on purpose to hook the reader (like where he got that book from), however I understand that talking about how big the city actually is, should be clarified from the beginning. About tony: I‘ll definitely have to write more about him. Originally I planned on keeping him a side character that never shows up again, but then I thought about the original reason why he was left alive and it made no sense. Now he‘s left alive so he can be of use to Eric in the future.

Thanks a ton for your criticism! I‘ll definitely. Take it to heart and re-write that little story!

It‘s always good showing something like that to a 3rd person. They can look at it from a totally different perspective, opening up more paths for where the story can go!
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Solfege
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Yeah, after thinking about it, I figured some of that stuff was supposed to be a mystery for now.

As far as the size of Darlem, the story makes it clear that it's a big city, so there's no question about that. I was just personally curious how big it was. But again, if it's relevant to the story, the minutiae can be revealed at the appropriate time.

The same goes for Tony. In keeping him alive, you've made him a sort of "Checkov's Gun." In which case, a few extra details here and there would give the reader a better picture of just what sort of person he is. But obviously you don't have to tell the reader everything about him right away, since you intend on making him a recurring character. A little mystery keeps things interesting. A unexpected personal quirk or tick doesn't hurt either.
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L H
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It's very confusing how you chose to organize the paragraphs. It's quite difficult to understand who is the speaker and narrator. There were times when you said things like "the guy chasing the other guy looked quite funny", etc., as if you, yourself were narrating the story and laughing as you wrote it instead of writing it in a serious tone in the sense of the story, character, or omniscient, unbiased narrator.
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HechtHeftig
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L H wrote:It's very confusing how you chose to organize the paragraphs. It's quite difficult to understand who is the speaker and narrator. There were times when you said things like "the guy chasing the other guy looked quite funny", etc., as if you, yourself were narrating the story and laughing as you wrote it instead of writing it in a serious tone in the sense of the story, character, or omniscient, unbiased narrator.


I get what you mean. My inspiration was mostly tales of demons and gods. I bingeread that whole light novel (400+ chapters) and I guess I just got used to the the way it‘s structured. It was a bit weird for me at first as well, but it seems I got I got used to it and subconciously implemented that structur in my own Writing.

About the narrator: I understand. I guess I should change it to something like: „the way he ran was so funny that some spectators couldn‘t help smiling...“ and so on. That would put the narrator back to having an unbiased view. I‘ll change that accordingly.

Thanks a lot for pointing that out!
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L H
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Or even as simply as "he ran in a way that most people would see as funny" if you want to keep the "funny" part in there. while also condensing it. Little things like those changes and flow of who's speaking for clarity will keep readers more consumed with the text and not get bored and trail off in sentences/paragraphs.