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Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons 
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Post Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
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So if you haven't been keeping up the last several years on stuff that I've been doing outside of Housepets, let's go over it.

~2012 I wrote a story called Ten Thousand Miles Up. I was contacted by Gre7g Luterman who wanted to write a story set in that universe, I said okay because fanfiction is cool, and then he wanted to publish it. I was like mmh, eeh, aaah, and then I read his story, Skeleton Crew, and I was hooked.

Well now Gre7g has four books featuring the geroo. I really wanted to play catchup, so I decided to rewrite Ten Thousand Miles Up as a novel trilogy. Probably the biggest undertaking I've done so far. the first book is now available, and it is called Traitors, Thieves and Liars.

What's the story? Well, in the distant reaches of unknown space, there are gate ships operated by geroo, a race subservient to the owners of those ships, the krakun (the previously mentioned space dragons) searching for worlds for them to conquer. The geroo don't have a home planet anymore, and they want out. Then one day as they approach a planet for scans, the White Flower II gets a coded message from a cloaked ship that wishes to make an offer...

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1797600559
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NZT28SD
Smashwords for any e-reader device: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/924593

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Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:24 am
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
This seems really interesting! I just might take a look into it!

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Yay! I've been following this project excitedly! So great to see the first book up! :D

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Bought my copy. Okay lets see what this is about. I'm definitely curious about your novel craft compared to comic writing.

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Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:46 pm
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Ooh, nice. I’ll have to check it out.

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Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:17 pm
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Lol, I remember when you shopped the original story around sites like Clarkesworld and co. It's good to see self-publishing has evolved to the point you can monetize it without go-betweens.

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Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:39 am
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Sounds like a great read...


Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:17 am
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Sci fi and Rick Griffin is a great combo. I'm inclined to check this out!

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
To help with understanding what is going on in the story here is what everyone looks like:
Geroo
Krakun
Ringel
Lio
Geordian
Anup
Coosa
Sourang

Someone needs to explain to me what the "gate" acutally is and how the "trinity" actually works because the jargon and terminalogy is very annoying.

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Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:56 pm
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
fenrirblack Wrote:
Someone needs to explain to me what the "gate" acutally is and how the "trinity" actually works because the jargon and terminalogy is very annoying.

Both of those are defined in chapter one. Have a little patience...

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Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:57 am
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
It probably all will become clear near the end, though admittedly I don't have that much patience and need to know everything now. :lol:

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
rickgriffin Wrote:
fenrirblack Wrote:
Someone needs to explain to me what the "gate" acutally is and how the "trinity" actually works because the jargon and terminalogy is very annoying.

Both of those are defined in chapter one. Have a little patience...

Yes and I highlighted them but all I can I picture is a portal jutting out of the ship like a selfie stick. For something like this I need something much more visual. My sci-fi is limited to....Guardians of the Galaxy. The trinity is defined in that chapter but I more confused about the energy that apparently comes from Krakuntec if I’m understanding this correctly. I’m only at chapter 17 but it’s difficult to understand what they’re talking about sometimes.

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
fenrirblack Wrote:
all I can I picture is a portal jutting out of the ship like a selfie stick.
Then you basically understand what the gate is ;)

What are you confused about with the energy from Kakuntec?

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
So I finished the story and am ready to give my review or thoughts or whatever you want to call it. Before I do I want to make some things clear. One being I don't know how many books Rick plans to write whether it be a trilogy or more. The second that Rick deserves an unbiased opinion. I think all authors do. They deserve to know what they did right and more importantly what they did wrong in the most polite and literary way possible. That being said I'm terrible at reviews and even worse at being subtle. Spoilers ahead btw.

"Traitors, Thieves, and Liars" is a tale of morality, mortality and monotony. You have funny and engaging characters that can be described as of the naive misunderstood underdog taking on more responsibly than he can handle, the tired captain who, close to his death, decides to make a last ditch effort at realizing his life's ambition, an insatiable wild card who despite her attitude and demeanor gets the job done, the tech wiz who is out of place with too much on her shoulders, and finally the tyrannical antagonist whose only purpose is to serve as a reminder of the geroo's own helplessness and what they are fighting against but all in all lacks any real substance other than "evil villain." You also have a plot that despite its length seems to accomplish very little in the grand scheme of things. If I had to describe the events of the story in one to two words, I would say "busy-work."

I love Gert which is the point. He is the type of character who you can describe as being designed with an algorithm so that only the most desirable traits for a protagonist are used. It was almost like Rick surveyed a bunch of people by asking "what do you want your hero to be?" Rick does this exceptionally well with all his characters. It is without a doubt his greatest strength as a writer. He gives us small tidbits of information about their pasts that makes you want more like Gert's mother or Moani's sister. That's a good strategy because it keeps the interest alive. It's like Pokemon. We keep discovering new Pokemon which keeps us buying every single game they release.

Once you get started in this story several things are made clear. One that the entire story revolves around two characters Gert and Ateri and that their lives suck. They live in an extremely harsh environment at the subject of tyrants who could care less if they live or die. I bring this up because as the reader we have to decide that ourselves. Do we care about Gert, Ateri, or the gerro? I can't speak for everyone but I do care especially by the end when Gert is at his most vulnerable and therefore at his most relatable. One the other hand relatability is something that I find is lacking in this story. I found myself not caring so much about the rest of the gerro as much as Gert himself. The rest have nothing to offer other than stakes for the story. We have to save everyone, but why? The few tertiary characters we meet are more annoying and simply are there to serve as reminders of the mistakes of the main and secondary characters. If we didn't see characters like Yessi, Rotai, and Jaki again then the story would continue on like they never exisited. The fact that they were there at all seemed wasteful. One could argue that their presence was to serve and develop Moani's character but that could be done in countless ways that would have better served her and the plot. Oh, she has a heart. She feels guilt. Okay, great. What about her sister that was mentioned once. A thread for a later book that could have been more useful now. This is similar to the flashback scene with Gert's mother, a scene that I was so happy to see because of what it meant for the story. Hiani has a similar problem to the cadets in that her purpose does not extend past guilt fodder for Gert. She has no real develop or purpose but is mentioned and seen far too often to have such a small role. I'm not saying that she should have been cut, quite the opposite, she should have been utilized more. One of the best scenes was at the end when Gert confesses to her and they break-up. That had some emotional impact because we come to care about Gert but he could have broken up with a grilled cheese sandwich and still had the same effect. Gert kept blowing her off so in the end her character didn't have much role. If the next book started with "Hiani was sucked out of the air lock and exploded" I would laugh and would not give her another thought. Considering how much of a role she had in Gert's life, she deserved to have a larger role in the story other than "my girlfriend who I should have simply broken up with in chapter 1 and saved myself a lot of useless baggage."

We have all seen Rick's work. The fact that I'm posting this on the forum is evidence of that. So the fact remains that Rick has a problem with longer drawn out story arcs made clear with the "Game" from the comic. My biggest concern with the story is actually what I have to admit is what Rick did exceptionally well. The entire plot takes place over the course of three major events. Meeting the pirates, fiddling around the White Flower II, and sneaking around the Anup ship. It's impressive that Rick was able to spread these seemingly simple and quick events over the course of a 250-ish page story. He kept finding new ways to prolong the narrative by creating suspense, meeting new characters, having sex, having something go wrong or having some missing componet, and explaining the background of the story/world building. The problem I find is that he spent so much time on these events that the story ended up feeling incomplete. So little was actually accomplished that it's almost disappointing. The story cut off right before the climax. Do they manage to escape? Does the plan work and they are free of the Krakun for the moment? Well I guess that will be in the next installment or at least I hope it will. Considering how large and expansive this universe is I feel like there should have been more before it ended the way it did. In an ideal world the events of this story would be satisfying on their own but that's the problem. The entire third part was so long and dry that it began to feel redundant. Sneaking, hiding, oh something's wrong, sneaking, hiding, oh crap I almost got caught, sneaking, hiding, uh oh I did get caught but it's okay because its this new character that just needs sex, sneaking, got caught again, bang bang pew pew, mission accomplished cue heartbroken and distraught Gert.

The depth to which these societies is explained is also much deeper than what is shown and adds a great amount of flavor and dimension to the story that is not seen. Clearly this is not a saga where the hero will overthrow the kratun empire and free the universe from its grip, that's fine. Clearly that's not what Rick intends or it could be but let's say it's not right now. Right now we have interesting races with their own cultures that is actually the most interesting part of the entire book. The Ringel's the bar were engaging and humorous and broke up the constant reminders of how terrible their situation is which Rick bent over backwards to make as iron tight as possible to the point I was actually impressed by the sheer amount of energy used to explain why the events of the story had to take place exactly like they did. Then you have the anup who would be more engaging if one they spoke english, two were seen beyond as simple soldiers, and three actually had time to have a larger role before being killed. Which begs the question of why that female was given so much page time only to be killed? Again she only seemed there to raise the suspense and serve as guilt fodder, something that I'm going to start calling "Hiani Syndrome" because it seems to keep happening.

Those are the biggest notes so let's get down the sentence level. To put it simply, the book could use a bit more imagery, details, and substance. It felt like the majority of the story was telling the events but not showing the events. The parts that actually were described in detail were done exceptionally well but they are far and few between. The details of the "gate" for instance could have been described in more detail so have a clearer understanding of what it was beyond a glowing arch that is apparently just sticking out of the ship like its tail. Okay, odd but let's move past that. How does it work? What are the physic's involved? How do the sister gates work because from what I could gather each gate is linked to another not unlike a pipe in Super Mario Bros. Apparently the sister gates just float around Kratuntec like satellites receiving and sending god knows what to the ships. Is that right? I don't know because it was not explained in clear and precise detail upfront beyond "part of the gate, with a thick glowing band around the edge creating an arc on the screen's left side. Krakuntec was not visible, just a star field fifteen hundred light-years away that was nearly indistinguishable from the one behind the planet." Beyond that there is little to the actual amount visual information that helps form a picture in one's head. It's really something one expects from a story like color in a painting or high definition graphics in a video game, they aren't truly necessary to tell the story but add depth and appeal. The pictures were not only helpful but actually very well done and a welcome addition to the story because it does what the words do not and show what is happening in clear detail. Rick has no problem describing the characters but setting and scene are left hanging. If I'm being honest, Rick could easily fix this by simply going back and adding a few sentences and descriptions here and there but if I'm being more honest, it does not seem to be his writing style. But since when you have essentially unlimited amount of pages to work with it seems like a shame not to utilize them to their fullest.

I actually want to mention one last thing that much more of a personal issue. The Krakun is possibly the most oppressive empire I have ever seen to the point it is ludicrous that it is even capable of functioning like it does. They have all these species on such tight leashes and are constantly monitoring them because....they're cheap, they're easy to control, AI is too expensive or something along those lines? It seems to me that all the things that the geroo do could just as easily be done with machines or remotely without having to constantly control 10000 rebellious creatures that they clearly don't like anyway. For a society whose core is simply business business business it does not seem efficient or practical. It seems that the only reason for their exsistance is for the sake of the plot. Take the White Flower II, 10000 geroo for one purpose which is to scan planets and then alert the Krakun if it is viable so they can wisk through the tail-gate with the terraformer then move on to the next one. Even if they are afraid their enemies will take over the ships or whatever there is a better chance of that happening with oppressed creatures constantly looking for escape.

In conclusion, I liked the story. I want to see where it is going and how they resolve these issues and find freedom whatever that may be. Does the story have problems, yes but so do all stories and books which is why we have literary theory and criticism. It is why English majors exist. Rick does a fine job creating characters that are lovable and make you want to see them succeed. They have their moments of struggles and they're issues. There is a hint of backstory that is still waiting to be unfolded which is something to look forward too. The story could use a bit more depth and variety to make it more engaging and break up the monotony but that will have to wait for book 2.

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Last edited by fenrirblack on Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:01 pm
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Welp, I am here to offer some very biased critique of your review. Hope this helps. :D

The flow of this review is set up well. It sets its tone well from the beginning and has a nice conversational style. At times it is perhaps a little too conversational and looses focus a bit, but I assume you only edited this a couple times and that mostly for obvious issues. It's very extensive and goes deeply into all the points of the story. It's easy to see what resonated with you, though I wish you would go into more detail about why those parts resonate. It feels like you were too busy trying to offer pearls of wisdom to actually delve into and explore what's interesting about this story for you.

One critique I have is that you talk about how the story "cut[s] off right before the climax," but this is an unfair critique of any story which has been split into more than one book. Even if you don't know how many books there will be, you do know it's more than this one. Claiming problems with the story spending so much time building up events that the ending does not bring to fruition only serves to make you seem unaware of how multi-part stories are built, since clearly events will need to be set up which will not resolve until the final book (whatever number that ends up being). You do go on to say that you wish more would have happened in this book, but your intent is muddied here by mixing one critique which is completely moot with another which could actually be important to consider.

The biggest critique I have is that despite all the pearls of wisdom, it's actually difficult to see what anyone should take from this aside from the obvious. For example "Make your characters relatable" is not so much a pearl of wisdom as it is a basic point of story-telling, so if Rick missed the mark here, it'd be more informative to have a bit of a break down as to why.
What does Rick have to do to make you care about these side characters? What about Hiani makes you not care? What about the anup on the ship? I mean, you give 3 points to that effect, but I don't believe for a moment that you think a character who speaks a foreign language can't be written to be relatable, so that one's not serving the explanation.
Moreover, what is this line saying: "We have to save everyone, but why?" Should a writer be expected to give good reasons to persuade their readers that the lives of 10,000 people should be saved? Can we not expect our readers to naturally feel some emotional impact at the thought that those 10,000 lives might be snuffed out in an instant? Especially when the opening scene literally forces the reader to think about a similar 10,000 being forced to choose between death or the murder of 200 of their own by their own hands.
And back to that one anup. Rick seems to have assumed that watching her go through disputes with her significant other about her pregnancy (or possibly lack thereof), her clear anguish over this, and her attempts to do her job and find the invisible intruders despite being assumed crazy by the rest of the crew, that all of that would make the reader feel some emotional connection and a sense of loss at her death. So where did he go wrong? It would be one thing to simply bring up a need for relatability for this character with no further explanation if no attempt had been made by the author. However, seeing as there was an attempt, what are we supposed to glean from your critique? What was wrong with the way Rick did this? What could have been done better? All of these questions are left unanswered.

Mostly what I see in your critique is a lot of reference to what purpose characters serve in the narrative (and meta-narrative), but little about what makes them function (or not) as characters aside from your own subjective experience of caring or not caring about them. To my mind Rick can only give you a character and some reasons why you might find them to reflect humanity. If you don't engage with them, that's interesting, and I'd like to understand why (and Rick might as well). But instead you simply tell me that you don't, that they're not relatable, that you don't understand why they're here. Well, why do you feel that way? What's lacking? What could be improved?

And as for any review, recognizing your subjective opinions on the story and adding why other people might enjoy them anyway is a big plus if you want your readers to get a better sense of what they might expect to get out of the story. That's my critique. Hopefully you can take something away from it. =3

P.S. I do mean it when I say I want to see more explanation. I'd love to understand more about how you view stories and story-telling. You certainly think about things differently from me, and I think you overthink a lot of things, but it would be interesting to understand where you're coming from. Still, I guess you're honor bound to stick to your word, so I'll continue trying to puzzle you out ;)

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Obbl Wrote:
One critique I have is that you talk about how the story "cut[s] off right before the climax," but this is an unfair critique of any story which has been split into more than one book. Even if you don't know how many books there will be, you do know it's more than this one. Claiming problems with the story spending so much time building up events that the ending does not bring to fruition only serves to make you seem unaware of how multi-part stories are built, since clearly events will need to be set up which will not resolve until the final book (whatever number that ends up being). You do go on to say that you wish more would have happened in this book, but your intent is muddied here by mixing one critique which is completely moot with another which could actually be important to consider.
I base my reviewing format on IGN's reviews. They avoid being prescriptive and telling what should be done instead focusing on larger aspects because at the end of the day I am one reader with his own set of opinions and in the grand scheme it doesn't matter what I want. I tried to avoiding workshopping originally but since you asked here goes. If I were to give one piece of prescriptive advise and going back to your first critique it would be this. Even though Rick technically ended the book correctly as far as checking all the boxes, it did not feel natural or satisfying. For example, if Rick Riodan ended The Lightning Thief with Percy getting the lightning bolt but not returning to Zeus until the second book it would essentially feel like what Rick Griffin is doing here. I believe that the story should have ended with them hacking the trinity and flying off in the unknown and letting the events of the second book start from there. That would be a much more natural and well-earned stopping place because the entire point of this novel from the prologue was centered around this one task that was not even completed by the end. But AGAIN I don't know where Rick is going with this story so it is hard for me to say. I will admit that the original statement was strictly my opinion on how it should not have ended. BUT it could be true to say depending on the reception of a larger pool of readers. At the end of the day it is what the readers want that truly matters because as an author we need them to continue to read our work.

Let me put this another way since this is the biggest problem I find with the novel as a whole. Rick can do two things basically. One being that a few chapters in they finally hack the trinity and escape the Krakun's control for the moment. Why couldn't this be done in this book? Option two being that Rick spend the entirety of the second book coming up with new ways of prolonging the trinity's hacking but that would involve another entire book of absurd tasks and busy work. Even if the trinity is never hacked (Which I doubt because then this entire book was worthless) and Rick finds a different way of the Geroo to acquire some fragment of freedom than even then it would still follow these same paths. Why wasn't it done in this book or why did it take so long instead of using that time for anything else? Going back to Percy Jackson, each book was divided into missions. When the mission was complete the story ended and the next one began with a new crisis. This book began with a mission and ended with that mission only being partly completed. It's like the midseason finale of a show but not the season finale which one would expect a book to represent an entire season not just half of a season. Another way of looking at this is why wasn't this simply Part 1 and then Part 2 being the remainder of the events leading to their escape but still both being in the same book. The book itself was not even that long.

Obbl Wrote:
The biggest critique I have is that despite all the pearls of wisdom, it's actually difficult to see what anyone should take from this aside from the obvious. For example "Make your characters relatable" is not so much a pearl of wisdom as it is a basic point of story-telling, so if Rick missed the mark here, it'd be more informative to have a bit of a break down as to why. What does Rick have to do to make you care about these side characters? What about Hiani makes you not care? What about the anup on the ship? I mean, you give 3 points to that effect, but I don't believe for a moment that you think a character who speaks a foreign language can't be written to be relatable, so that one's not serving the explanation.
It all comes down to doing something meaningful or significant beyond simply existing. There appealing and/or flawed but more than that they have to connect to the reader on a deeper level than just being strangers. A familiarity is formed. The characters that the reader grows to care about are the ones who are seen and they become relatable because we see them struggle and overcome hardships. Hiani is rarely seen therefore the reader knows practically nothing about her beyond basic facts but not who she is a person or a character. The times she is seen, she is a cookie cutter image of a love interest but does not exceed past that 2-D image of "girl who is ignored by the protagonist." I said before that she should be significant because Rick starts to give her substance then immediately removed her from the scene. Even if it is my personal belief, if the character like Hiani is going to have a substantial role in the main characters life and appear as often as she does then she should at least have more substance and personality. From the way she talks, walks, acts, reacts, the choices she makes. Again this is obvious and basic but still missing from the story.
The language barriar was annoying but it was not what made her problematic. We clearly understood what was happening through context and description but it was the fact that what was happening was of little interest that was the problem. Gert could have gotten the staff in a thousand different ways but we still took the time to find out she was pregnant but it had nothing to do with anything. If Rick wanted her pregnancy to truly matter or be significant then it should have been earned.

Obbl Wrote:
Moreover, what is this line saying: "We have to save everyone, but why?" Should a writer be expected to give good reasons to persuade their readers that the lives of 10,000 people should be saved? Can we not expect our readers to naturally feel some emotional impact at the thought that those 10,000 lives might be snuffed out in an instant? Especially when the opening scene literally forces the reader to think about a similar 10,000 being forced to choose between death or the murder of 200 of their own by their own hands.
I don't even understand why you need to ask this. If the reader should care about a story or read it only because 10,000 lives are at stake in the story then every book written with that formula would be published no matter how undoubtedly awful or unappealing because the reader "naturally" should feel some emotional impact or care about them. It take so much more than simply the idea of life being loss to invoke caring. Think about the worse book you've ever read. Would you feel any differently about it just because 200 characters died horrific deaths or that 10,000 lives hung on the outcome of the plot? How about this, should I watch the movie "2012" just because of how many people died?

Obbl Wrote:
And back to that one anup. Rick seems to have assumed that watching her go through disputes with her significant other about her pregnancy (or possibly lack thereof), her clear anguish over this, and her attempts to do her job and find the invisible intruders despite being assumed crazy by the rest of the crew, that all of that would make the reader feel some emotional connection and a sense of loss at her death. So where did he go wrong? It would be one thing to simply bring up a need for relatability for this character with no further explanation if no attempt had been made by the author. However, seeing as there was an attempt, what are we supposed to glean from your critique? What was wrong with the way Rick did this? What could have been done better? All of these questions are left unanswered. Mostly what I see in your critique is a lot of reference to what purpose characters serve in the narrative (and meta-narrative), but little about what makes them function (or not) as characters aside from your own subjective experience of caring or not caring about them. To my mind Rick can only give you a character and some reasons why you might find them to reflect humanity. If you don't engage with them, that's interesting, and I'd like to understand why (and Rick might as well). But instead you simply tell me that you don't, that they're not relatable, that you don't understand why they're here. Well, why do you feel that way? What's lacking? What could be improved?

It's left unanswered because I'm trying not to be prescriptive and I was not trying to workshop the book. All I can say is that it's not working because I don't feel any sympathy for a character who is essentially going through the same conflicts as literally every female soap opera character. What makes her stand out from any other character with the same problems? I can't answer that because I'm not the writer. All I can do is a make a general assumption based on my own experience and books I have read previously. What was working in them compared to this one?
Heres is a list from the internet about character likability. Let's go down this list and see if this makes things a little clearer.
1. Make Your Characters Need Something: She needs to be believed by her boyfriend or that particular anup male. Why? Because she's in distress. Because she's pregnant. These are all technically reasons but should not automatically invoke sympathy from the reader. Again if writing was that easy than anyone could do it.
2. Make Your Characters Take A Stand On Important Issues: We don't know this because she doesn't speak english which by the way is an artistic choice Rick made and as such as consequences but it was his choice to make the sacrifices that came with it. Even from context her entire character is simply "female anup who is pregnant" so in that since she shouldn't even have to stand on important issues. Even if we say that her stand on "geroo imprisonment" is that she is all for it, that really doesn't help invoke sympathy or relatability.
3. Make Your Character The Underdog: Is Gert the underdog? Yes. Do we care about him? I do so I guess this holds true then.
4. Give Your Characters Idealistic Qualities: Does the female anup have idealistic qualities or embody the best aspects of the human race? No, she tried to kill Gert. All she did was get angry and upset and yell. Not exactly the most desirable aspects of humans or any race.
5. Give Your Characters Formidable Foes: Does Gert and the others count of formidable? Not really which is the entire point of the story which is to show how desperate and weak they are.

Again it takes a a lot more than just a few traits to have a fully fleshed out character. Honestly I don't understand this question because I have stated that I care about the characters like Gert, Izari, Moani, and Ateri because they are shown to have flaws and make decisions and struggle. But you have characters like the female anup, Hiani, the cadets, and even Pokokuro. Should the reader care about every single character that appears, no that ridiculous. But the characters that do appear should have more purpose especially those who are a substantial role in the plot. Take the cadets, why did we need to have that scene of them eating lunch? What did it accomplish as far as serving the plot or developing the main characters? Hiani who appears and effects Gert in a deep way but is only seen as again a source of guilt. Let me ask this then, if you removed Hiani, the cadets or the female anup would the story change in any significant way. Gert could have killed any anup but it was the anup that we saw was pregnant, that we saw struggle with her boyfriend, but none of those things make her character special or change the outcome when she dies. Gert was going to feel guilt about killing anyone so why did we need to know those facts about her or spend the energy learning about her pregnancy? Let me be blunt about this, it was a waste of time and not even engaging because all Gert did was sit in a corner and watch. He did nothing of value or importance or anything that I would qualify as entertaining. Someone once told me that my own story would improve by adding more character interaction. Let me share that idea by saying that the female anup would have been better if Gert talked to her. If they had a conversation and made a connection then so could the reader. That in turn would make the events of her death more heartbreaking and have a greater emotional impact.

Obbl Wrote:
And as for any review, recognizing your subjective opinions on the story and adding why other people might enjoy them anyway is a big plus if you want your readers to get a better sense of what they might expect to get out of the story. That's my critique. Hopefully you can take something away from it. =3
I have never read a review like that. True that my own personal opinions bled through but that is going to happen in any review no matter what you do. The mere act of reading the review of another person is recognizing that this, at its core, is the thoughts of another. I wrote this thinking "If I was writing a review for IGN what would it be?" I did explain what to expect but I can’t assume whether or not they will like this versus that.
Since you asked, what does everyone else like about the story?

Obbl Wrote:
P.S. I do mean it when I say I want to see more explanation. I'd love to understand more about how you view stories and story-telling. You certainly think about things differently from me, and I think you overthink a lot of things, but it would be interesting to understand where you're coming from. Still, I guess you're honor bound to stick to your word, so I'll continue trying to puzzle you out ;)
I overthink things because I'm a writer and I have had to literally spend hundreds of hours analyzing text, finding flaws, purposefully and adequately explain those flaws to people who were honestly smarter than me, then revising my own work based on the ideas and edits of another person. Ironically I hated doing that. Analyzing books and discussing them with people like a book club. But this kind of stuff is more engaging. I do admire Ricks work even if I don’t always agree with his choices. Maybe I didn't explain in great detail but this is not a workshop and I'm not here to edit Rick's novel.

So what does everyone else think?

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
fenrirblack Wrote:
I believe that the story should have ended with them hacking the trinity and flying off in the unknown and letting the events of the second book start from there.
...
Rick can do two things basically. One being that a few chapters in they finally hack the trinity and escape the Krakun's control for the moment. ... Option two being that Rick spend the entirety of the second book coming up with new ways of prolonging the trinity's hacking
Oh, you're definitely missing an important point here. Rick has written out the whole story of the geroos' attempt to free themselves and their crew from the krakun, but it's long enough that he chose to split it into three books. It's the story of a con or a heist, so every step of the heist will be shown and everything that goes wrong with each step has to be played out to build and release tension... except played out over three books. The difficulty of writing this as a trilogy is that reader's are likely to have a bit of a break between books, and we're biased toward each book having it's own arc. But the story is very long, and Rick didn't want to try to cram it into one book. So the over-arching story is the escape attempt, but it won't resolve until book 3. I've been following the creation of this story for almost 3 years now, so for me there was no expectation that that particular thread would resolve in this book. I wonder if that wasn't conveyed well enough.

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
@RicksWriting
The Eternal Struggle:

Me: *writes detail*
Reviewer: Why is this here? It's a huge distraction from the action.
Me: *removes detail*
Other Reviewer: Everything is so bare bones. You don't fill in enough details.


It is a matter of taste. But there is a logic when it comes to details. My professor said it like this, "big dramatic moments need little to no details. The bigger the moment the less the details required" or something along those lines. Action scenes on their own probably don't need any real big details or descriptions for the reader to understand what is going on. When I said earlier about the lack of "imagery, details, and substance," one needs to understand that I am a huge believer in backstory and world-building but more importantly I find that the best novels are ones that do supply a fair amount of prose even if it distracts from the action. Cassandra Clare is the best author I have ever read when it comes to prose. Her novels are stuffed with prose and details that are so well done but border on unnecessary fluff. There is a subtle beauty to unnecessary fluff. Take Lady Midnight for example, did we need a scene of them going shopping? No, not really. But it did add a level of depth that showcased not only the characters personality and traits but added a moment where the reader can simply relax before jumping into the next big scene. This happens throughout the book on small scale, there is the dog that comes into play when they find the dead body in the pool. Completely unnecessary as far as serving the story but its there anyway and it adds to the picture. It creates a sense of sympathy towards the body of the woman. She had a dog so her death is all the more sad. Like I said, logic. There is no way to please everyone that much is true. It sucks more than anything. Why do you think I'm doing this instead of editing my own novel and deciding where to and not to add details? It is not easy hearing the voices of your classmates tell you that you should add sensory details or read one of your professor's notes telling you that something needed to be explained more. Or have someone tell you that you're over explaining something but then when you remove it, they tell you they don't understand what is happening even though they specifically said that they wanted to figure it out for themselves and I should let them. Because it is a struggle and it is a pain. But that does not mean that there is not a balance that can be obtained when it comes to details. One last pearl of wisdom, think about what you can do and not what someone says you should do. In other words, think about where the reviewer is coming from and ask yourself "do they have a point?" and if they do have a point what can I do to change the story without overhauling it or compromise my writing style.

Obbl Wrote:
fenrirblack Wrote:
I believe that the story should have ended with them hacking the trinity and flying off in the unknown and letting the events of the second book start from there.
...
Rick can do two things basically. One being that a few chapters in they finally hack the trinity and escape the Krakun's control for the moment. ... Option two being that Rick spend the entirety of the second book coming up with new ways of prolonging the trinity's hacking
Oh, you're definitely missing an important point here. Rick has written out the whole story of the geroos' attempt to free themselves and their crew from the krakun, but it's long enough that he chose to split it into three books. It's the story of a con or a heist, so every step of the heist will be shown and everything that goes wrong with each step has to be played out to build and release tension... except played out over three books. The difficulty of writing this as a trilogy is that reader's are likely to have a bit of a break between books, and we're biased toward each book having it's own arc. But the story is very long, and Rick didn't want to try to cram it into one book. So the over-arching story is the escape attempt, but it won't resolve until book 3. I've been following the creation of this story for almost 3 years now, so for me there was no expectation that that particular thread would resolve in this book. I wonder if that wasn't conveyed well enough.

Yeah, I did not realize that the story was so spread out or simply revolved around this one idea. I was expecting a really complex space adventure that essentially followed three parts, the escape, the consequences, and the resolution where they go to Krackuntec and bust some heads (okay maybe not. This isn’t Star Wars but something epic). I can understand the escape from the Krakun taking three books, that is not hard to see, but my biggest concern is that the steps to reach that goal are too redundant. It echoes back to my original criticism that the plot is being stretched with unnecessary steps designed solely to fill the narrative. Basically all that is happening is the building and releasing tension but that’s it. There’s nothing else to sustain the story or add depth to the plot or characters. Take the female anup for example, she’s a perfect example of missing depth. Instead of taking the time to develop her beyond the short snippets we see, boom, dead, the end. I think I mentioned this before but if I could change one thing I would actually have Gert and that female actually get to know one another. Imagine the impact of Gert killing her after he (and we) know more about her. Her hopes, dreams, why she and her boyfriend are on the outs, even her perspective on the anup culture. There is so much missed potential in that one character that could really flesh out this book.

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
I still remember reading Skeleton Crew when Gre7g was still posting it chapter per chapter on his site. It was really good, though an +18 read due to things like the story of how the captain lost his eye or that one intimacy scene (if I hadn't already been invested in the story by that point, I swear!), among other things.
Although I mourned the redesign of the Geroo from their original kangaroo-people in uniforms appereance in Ten Thousand Miles Up. I always considered retcons undermine the willing suspension of disbelief.
Still, a very interesting read, if you are an adult that likes to read a space opera about a people trying to break free from the yoke to a technologically superior species, as well as the indoctrination and superstitions they have been told for generations.

About Fenrirblack's review: it sounded harsh, but in truth it was well thought out and not devoid of humour. Haha, now I want to see Gert actually get into a relationship with a sandwich!
I am yet to buy (filthy freeloader as I am) this new version of Ten Thousand Miles Up, but I understand why the antagonists may seem overly villanous or why it may contain a good meassure of "busy work": the original story was written over six years ago, in Rick's younger years, as a short story with a basic premise, so adapting it into a more nuanced and complex narrative and extend it into a full novel trilogy...is quite the challenge.

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Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:52 pm
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
https://www.deviantart.com/rickgriffin/art/Call-for-Submissions-Hayven-Celestia-Anthology-793939839

I guess it's time to put up or shut up.

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Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:57 pm
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Part of me wishes he would do that for HP! but I hope he gets a lot of creative characters!

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Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:47 am
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Finished TTL last night. Loved it, though I did prefer the first half to the second half. Can't wait for the next one. I guess I've got to read the Kanti books now.


Sun May 12, 2019 10:29 am
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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Image

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Tunac drawed, 059 for scale

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Post Re: Hayven Celestia - A sci-fi series with space dragons
Those pictures do look really nice and the way Rick made them also shows how cute his art style seems to be! I really like it!

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