Ok, I'll give yours a crit. I'll edit it into this post when I'm done.
If anybody would like to crit my comic:
Title: Swanny Nook
Length: 22 pages
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
What it is: My webcomic, still pretty fresh from a reboot, so it won't take too long for you to read. It's about three young teenagers and their adventures in the infinity of timespace... or something. The story is only really just kicking off, so I'm not really expecting anything indepth. Just some comments on the art and maybe the characters (whether they are believeable/likeable etc.) would be amazing.
So here's a fairly brief criticism with my initial thoughts after reading Chilari's piece. I may expand it in the morning when I can give the piece another read through.
Iíd like to preface this by saying that I am only giving my own thoughts. Absolutely everything I say is bad about this could have been done for a deliberate literary effect that I am not fami
I thought that there was a lot of strong imagery here, particularly that of the city in flames near the beginning of the piece. In places, it did seem a bit too description heavy, which slowed the pace a little too much. It wasnít a major problem, though. The physical descriptions of the knights/assassins were also quite good. You gave just enough detail here to make a few of them distinct, without going too far, a problem that tends to come up in fantasy works.
Starting out your novel with a citywide fire and a big fight scene was definitely a good idea. Maybe if you slotted in something a bit more engaging before the first paragraph, it would be even more engaging. The scene in general made for a very strong opening, but the initial creep of the fire was a bit too slow feeling if somebodyís in a bookshop you need to grab them with that first sentence.
The initial chapter definitely leaves a ton of questions unanswered. This is part good and part bad. The good element of this, is that there were a bunch of questions that I really wanted to know the answer to.
And that last exchange between Blaze and the River man is just great, and it totally would make me turn the page.
The young knight is a good example of strong characterization. I really got a sense of his character from just a few lines of description. The main characterís confusion and distraction are also put across well.
So, I get that itís the first chapter, and you want to throw a whole lot of information at us to contextualize the action, but some of it is a bit too much. Remember, place names are pretty meaningless to your readers if theyíre just jumping into the story.
Now, saying this, youíre about a million times better with this than a lot of mainstream fantasy authors, so I guess I canít fault you too much on this side of things. To solve this, your plot needs an ignorant character that can have stuff explained to them, think Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter.
I found your protagonist very hard to relate to. Heís this all-powerful immortal emperor guy that is totally knowledgeable about the world. Again, this could be remedied by adding an ignorant sidekick, or something of the like.
I also realize that I shouldnít judge this element too harshly, and that Itís the first chapter. Throwing somebody in at the deep end is fine, as long as you let him or her paddle in the shallows again for a bit.
Not too much to say on this issue. It starts out very good, but then from the point where he leaves the city onwards, it seems rushed. Almost the entire chapter is just the one exchange in his tower. Then his escape from the city, wading across the river, an entire night, a fight with a crowd and his exchange with the river man all take place in only a couple of paragraphs.
I think this would do better if you gave these events a little room to breathe.
Dissolution of tension
The first fight scene works because it has a lot of tension. Blaze, is weakened and distracted by the fire, and he is up against five heavily armed opponents. Itís tense, we donít know who is going to win, or if Blaze has any chance of survival at all.
It is for the opposite reason that the second fight scene doesnít work . As soon as Blaze says ďThe man with the sword had been right. I was outnumbered and surrounded. But that didnít stop me. It never does. If I am attacked, I defend myself.Ē All of the tension evaporates. I know itís only a paragraph long, but it sets a precedent.
If Blaze doesnít have any trouble with this fight against a large group of armed opponents, then why would anybody else cause him trouble?
I get that youíre trying to paint him as some kind of ass kicking immortal warrior guy, but it just means that weíll never worry about him in a fight situation.