--==( Sibling Magus )==--
I'm still having problems with chapter 32. No matter what I come up with, now I'm finding reasons for it not to work. I can only keep working on it, come up with something and move forward. ;)
--==( Anonymous Comments 2 )==--
Anonymous wrote back...
While you made some excellent points in your response to my earlier analysis of your story, I think you are missing the main thrust of my argument. Before I get to that, I would like to address a couple of points you made.
On how magic works in the world: you of course have complete narrative control over how you design your magic system. What you need to do is to preempt obvious arguments from the reader by having a character bring up those points. For example, you state that perhaps a focus might be unbreakable or perhaps it will explode or some other problem. The reader, however, doesn't know this unless someone asks and a character in the story tells us why this is not a viable option. Something as simple as when Seth realizes that the model might be the focus he says "Lets break in tonight an take a sledgehammer to it." At this point the Sheriff or trainer could say "Whoa boy, that is a really bad idea because….". Alternatively, you could have Seth's focus run over by a car or smashed or stepped on or something and come out unscathed, allowing him to ruminate on how indestructible the darn thing is now that it has been magicked.
Your point about the sheriff knowing most of the stuff about the politics is valid, which is yet another reason why I believe from a plotting standpoint, her continuous presence is a bad idea in the story. The story would be much more Seth focused if she went off stage and was out of touch for large portions of the story (looking for clues, undercover work, getting yelled at by the big bosses, …).
As the story is right now, we have had many chapters explaining how much of a beginner Seth is, to the point where the reader's opinion of his magical abilities is damaged. In the earlier works, we saw Seth as some sort of prodigy, but now he is being portrayed as the guy in remedial magic class (his wards don't have much magic, he doesn't know how to do x, y and z, etc.).
What I was trying to convey in my response to your story, was my belief that Seth needs to drive the action in the story. What is Seth's focus? Is it to protect his fonti? In this case, we should see threat to the fonti (Neal is a start, but very late in the story) and Seth's actions to protect (magic? Investigations?) as the character develops in the story. The timeframe of the story is short, but that simply means that his character development has to happen faster.
The other thing is that Seth's character flaws should have consequences. He doesn't want to study his abilities? Someone gets hurt because he can't protect them. He wants to ignore the lockdown? Someone close to him has something bad happen because of it. He wants to avoid emotional entanglements with some of his girls? They start getting bitchy and fighting with one another.
Take these comments in the spirit they were written; to try to help you make your story the best it can be.
Damn, I wish we could talk directly. I've had fantastic discussions with others who've had constructive criticism in the past and I don't see this any differently. :D
Magic Mechanics: Good advice on both points. Too bad I hadn't thought of either one while building up to what's coming. Unfortunately, I cannot comment further without giving away anything.
Sheriff: Another valid point. And another point on which I cannot comment further. :(
Magical Remedial Class: You're right about that, but only from the standpoint that he's not had the years of experience at his age that most other Magi do. Most are awakened and go through Initiation when they hit puberty (typically if not a little later). So, if Seth would have gone through that at that age, then high school would have been a different experience and as a freshman in college, he could potentially find and disarm the Lockdown source on his own, with only minor suggestions from the Sheriff (and no need for a trainer). Is Seth way behind on the curve? Yes. Does that mean he's not some sort of prodigy? Not necessarily.
Seth's Focus: Based on my idea of the primary, secondary, and third plots of the story, things are about to become very consequential. And that's the last hint I can give.
--==( Internet Access )==--
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