View Full Version : A Kindness of Ravens

01-03-2019, 10:49 PM
Goals for the year:

1) Write more
2) Finish a story
3) Lose 3.4 pounds

I like the characters. Have a planned plot. Let's see how this goes!

A Kindness of Ravens
Chapter 1: A Kindness of Ravens (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hm6NoKivBvzIISXu29GXkPoJrvL71F3FtmVnGWHLznI/edit?usp=sharing)
Chapter 2: Some Raccoons (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ht5CdPnfCZwll-CtCb0xq24ppMtw6Yy1PWu-xvF5KCk/edit?usp=sharing)
Chapter 3: A Dule of Doves (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fQiG-2lZ2akdBCZGyGRc93D4ofLxLi4tZHNv3_o8ajw/edit?usp=sharing)
Chapter 4: A Pandemonium of Parrots (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w6_tnG9ZHfU9CbuAcH7gNDcBQYqF0bPSwLAzSVjhy84/edit?usp=sharing)

01-09-2019, 08:26 AM
Well well well. This sure took me a while to actually finish. Not that it was long or something. I guess it's time for me to pay back 0.1% of the favo(u)r isn't it?

First of all. That title. Really. Really Crank? Come on. I know you can do better.

Let's get serious though. It was surprisingly enjoyable to read and I didn't expect the weird satisfaction I got from it. Make of it what you want. I am also somewhat proud of actually spotting out some spelling errors. Sadly, the doc was view only and you can be sure that I am too lazy to write any of it here. I'll only point out one thingy because I can't get it off my head unless I know what's the case.
“Return this, and do a full inventory on the treasury. I-”


“Do not fucking interrupt me, you worthless shit!”

I am not sure if the first "I-" is unintentional or not. At first it didn't make much sense to me, but as I thought more about, I probably interpreted it wrong. Whatever

I have to say that the many names and nicknames made it hard for me to follow through with the story. Added to that, the fact that this is the first time I see any of these characters, it was hard for me to understand. I understand what you (probably) were going for by not simply presenting each character in a small paragraph, but for readers not so comfortable with English such as myself it is kinda difficult to picture everything in my head. This problem(of mine) also manifested when I wasn't able to understand enough from the descriptions to picture the scenes very well, but that's nothing to worry you. I can't really say much about anything else. Just that the pacing made it hard(for me) to follow through at some points. It just needs a re-read from me and all is fine(well? I don't remember this idiom).

Overall very good story and I would like to see what the plot is about(I suppose it's not just them being an ordinary group of thieves trying to break into great places and stuff like that). This was a very good way to kickstart a story, by presenting each of the characters qualities and characteristics. Looking forward to reading more from you(I don't expect much from anyone else in here).


01-09-2019, 12:19 PM

lol gottem

01-11-2019, 10:39 PM
Gah! Spelling. My arch nemesis. I'll have to do some better reads then, maybe check with more than Google Docs too. Thank you for the feedback! I'll try watching how many characters have too many names, but I'm trying to limit aliases. I think where I'm at in Chapter 3 Adam is the only one who doesn't have a last name, but all 5 of them won't always be together, so hopefully learning whose who will become easier. There will also be more faces to go with the names now that faces will be visible.

Thank you for the feedback!

And thanks for your valuable 2 cents too, Chrome.

EDIT: Chapter 2 up

01-20-2019, 08:09 AM
Ok. I have finally returned, ready to give a much better review.

First off, too things about the overall appearance.

At the start of every paragraph you are leaving a gap, but you are also leaving an entire line above it. That seems somewhat overkill to me; since the main reason they leave that gap in books, is to show the paragraph changing while also saving up many lines. I believe that one or the other should be enough(although it's up to you).

But this....


It really took me by surprise. Interesting choice, I can't say. I am intrigued to know what inspired you to pick that specific one to change POV/scene.

I like how this story starts in medias res. It's a damn fine choice and well executed so far. What I suggest you do is this:

For the first chapters, take it slowly. Don't try to move the plot too much and give more time to showcasing the world and what exactly is going on(who am I to talk about this tho). Of course I don't suggest you just stop and blurt out exposition. Simply describe your world better, since it's a completely new world, right? As far as I can understand, this is a new world in a medieval time period, right?(RIGHT?!)

The characters are pretty good and I can't say anything about them. Although I swear I only know about four of them. The fifth one you mentioned above and in the chapter still eludes me this far. If he/she has appeared in the story already and I completely missed him, simply disregard everything I have said and will ever say.

A really nice thing I liked was your descriptions. You can paint some really nice and vivid scenes and use some really nice wordings(I had to look up what ajar meant; I suspect you found it on thesaurus). If this was a cartoon, there wouldn't be any need for words since from the mere image, you can understand a lot. Sadly, since this isn't a cartoon, due to the lack of the visual element, that's why you should focus more on the overall world at first and less on the plot. That's something I am planing to do as well(after I finish the small arc that I've been building up).

Overall really good. You've managed to keep me attached to the story with a nice cliffhanger at the end, nice job(although that's not a very large achievement, since I absorb anything I watch/read).

01-30-2019, 01:54 PM
Thank you, I really appreciate all that! I'm trying to do a bit more background in this chapter, but I'm hesitant to put many rules of the world in the story in a factual sense since much of it will be fueled by belief, truth, and lies. It is in a Mideviel world, however, but there are things such as religion, superstitions like ghosts, witchcraft, and karma, in the sense of things people believe in, like in the real world. Basically, if something goes bump in the night, different characters will suspect different things, but I don't want to say who's right, it'll be a matter of who you beleive. Since this is following Salem, however, I will say she operates like she's on Earth with Ghosts, although others may view her as conspiritorial.

Fiona was in the first chapter, but she was essentially the getaway driver, so she wasn't involved in the stealing part of the heist, and since she had to steer the wagon through the night, slept most of the second chapter.

And Chapter 3 is up!

01-31-2019, 01:31 PM
I am not gonna lie, it's harder than expected to keep track of things. I now know all the main characters, but still... You probably need more time to develop the rest of them and since this arc is more about Wolfgang, the others don't get so much backstory. I am likely just getting impatient and expect everything to be known instantly.

The only thing I want to point to out, is the use of italics. It felt kind of excessive at times and it didn't really fit at some points. Also using them all the time, removes from their importance and weight in the sentence, so when you want to emphasise something it doesn't look all that strong.

The last two thirds of this chapter were very well executed and nicely portrayed. The conflict in there kept me wanting for more and really felt impactful. The first third was also good, but my general cluelessness didn't allow me to enjoy it as much as the other two.

I know this one isn't a very insightful one, but hey, it's not like I even what I'm talking about so you're lucky that I don't say more. All I can say now is, Subscribe to Pewdiepie.

PS:What does 'Dule' mean? I even slammed it google translate and dictionary.com and no result(well in Gtranslate it did show a result, but it was nonesense).

01-31-2019, 09:13 PM
Thank you! I'm going to try highlighting things as I go, but I'm a little hesitant to show everyone's full backstory all at once since I don't want an essay of expositions. They'll have their moments, but I'm trying to keep the reveals at relevant times

I should probably watch the italics though. It's hard for me to find the line when I'm writing a rising argument, but yeah, toning it down would be good.

And a Dule is a state of suffering. I think group animal names, in English at least, are fantastic, so I'm trying to find ones that fit. Mostly at least.

Although, looking for more chapter titles made me discover ravens are an unkindness, so I'm gonna have to bookend this shit with the correction. Not sure why I was so positive it was the other way

04-17-2019, 05:57 AM
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04-26-2019, 06:19 PM

Chapter 4 is up!

04-27-2019, 06:43 PM
Here 's the best kitchen utensils :D:D:D

05-05-2019, 04:28 AM
It may be days late, but here it is.

A while before you first posted the first chapter of this story, I too happened to learn that a group of ravens is called an unkindness. I thought that the tilte was a play on words, using the opposite of the word, giving it a poetic twist.

In this chapter, the thing that threw me out the most was the combinatioin of italics and bold. The two times they were used back to back, I had to pause for a moment to figure how I was supposed to say it. Overall, yuo don't need to toy with the font too much in order to give weight to a word or words. Punctuation is a good way of working around that and using more than commas and a couple of exclamation points here and there can help you in more than just the weight of the words.

I don't really have anything aside from structure to talk about. The storytelling was very nice as always and gave life to the world you are writing about. I have to be honest, I kinda lost it in the last three pages in terms of the scene because I didn't quite understand the (literal) position Salem was in in the beginning and then that followed on for nearly the end of the chapter.

I would correct some grammatical errors I saw while I was reading, but since you have the doc as view only I couldn't do much, and expecting me to copy the parts from there here is as hopeless as Donald Trump losing the 2020 election. I just want to suggest you reread the last paragraph in page 6 as a starting point.

A not so unexpected but still surprising twist to the story, something that blocks plot progression for Salem and forces it on something else. Excellent! Although it's pretty clear that the fire wasn't an accident and on way or the other, this will help in the "investigation". But be careful! If you make this story too long, you'll run out of groups of birds to have as titles for the chapters.

05-13-2019, 06:45 PM
I refuse to run out of birds.

And as always, than you for the feedback! I'll have to watch out for the overdoing, and I'll try ironing out the geography of the scenes in the future as well as a better final check, or at least adding more checks to it.

Sorry it took so long to respond. Got kinda sucked into my html and css, but I think I owe you some battle critique!