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Looking for honest feedback on this:

I've shown this page to friends and teachers, and gotten positive remarks, but those being people I'm close to, I'm aware that they're probably biased towards liking my writing and ideas. I'm looking for feedback on the work (insofar as I've gotten it down here), and whether or not, as an aside, it would interest anyone to read it in future upon completion.

[1]

Criticism is, of course, welcome also.

Thank you!
 
 2 honorius, Thu, 19th May '11 11:28:32 PM from The Netherlands
How can anyone say anything about it if you don't have an excerpt from your text?
If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied -Rudyard Kipling
I have very little that I can present, that's in any decent shape - I lost everything to a computer virus, and what little I still have is old material. When I edit that, and get it back to where it was, then I'll be more than happy to post an excerpt.

Here, something from what I have that's at least eight months old. The context is the heroine, Akiko meeting with her (female) actual Love Interest, and her husband walking in on them.

Her nose and ears caught up in the smells and sounds Mikami made, and both of them fully occupied with each other, Akiko had no warning as Kouga entered the room.

At first, Kouga thought he was drunk, so unbelievable was the scene laid out before him. He had come in to ask Akiko if she knew where their daughter was, and he found her, without anything on the upper half of her body, with a human woman touching her in a place where, by their laws, only he had a right to do so! And what was worse, the human woman, who was unabashedly naked, was being pleasured by his wife! Just what the f—- was going on here, and who was she? Why was she in his home – why was she in their bedroom?

His head reeling, he felt a fiery anger build inside him as he watched them together, seemingly oblivious to his presence. Normally, such a scene would have excited him, but not when it involved his wife.

He finally was moved to speak, unable to allow this tryst to continue without breaking the laws regarding excess punishment.

“Just what the f—k are you doing with my wife, human?” he growled menacingly.

Suddenly, Akiko heard a voice that was not her partner’s. What? Who...? She opened her eyes, putting a hand on Mikami’s shoulder to tell her to stop. Oh… oh, s—t! Oh, gods! Oh, no! Kouga – no! She shoved Mikami off of her, and grabbed frantically for her armor. She was horrified – in her lust, she had completely forgotten the risks!

“K-Kouga! What…? You weren’t…weren’t supposed to… I…It… This isn’t what it looks like, I swear!” she stammered. It was exactly what it looked like, and she knew it, but she couldn’t let him think that – it would mean the truth would get out, and it would mean the end of her.

He glared at her angrily, saying harshly, “Then what is it? Because what I see looks like a wife guilty of cheating on her husband!

“With another woman, and a human at that! I should have known it all along – Inagi was right: you are a whore! Just not in the sense he’d thought!”

Kouga was right, and she knew it. Yet, the insults, coming from him, only made her bristle and sting. But all she could really say was, softly, pleadingly, “Please, Kouga…don’t make a scene…”

He mocked her, his anger blinding him to how his words hurt her. “Don’t make a scene? How’s this for a scene?!” He raised his voice to a shouting level, loud enough that he could be heard far down the corridor. She flinched as he spoke, hanging her head in ever-increasing shame. “I come in to ask you if you know where Mizuki is, and what do I find? I find you f—king another woman! You haven’t so much as touched me in months, and you sleep with this…this slut on a gods-damned whim!

“Damn you, don’t you have any idea how this makes me feel, you bitch? That you prefer another woman to your own husband!”

“Kouga…Please.” She begged, “Please… Just…just stop.”

She moved to take his hands in her own, to try and calm him down, but he pulled away.

“Don’t touch me.” He said coldly. I can’t believe that she would even try that trick after this!

“Kouga…Please… Take back what you said…” His refusal, coupled with his cold attitude and the wounds his words had left, caused her hate to creep into her voice. It almost bothered him. Almost. A few stray tears tracked down her face. Normally, females used this to get what they wanted, faking the emotion, but these weren’t false tears, nor were they tears of sorrow. She hated him, and she was sick of never saying so. But she oculdn't now - no. All she could do now was beg, and hope that he would eventually ease his temper. “Please, Kouga, tell me you didn’t mean it…Please…”

He snorted. Her tears did arouse some modicum of pity in him – he hated to see any female cry, and when he admitted it to himself, he did care about her in some small measure, and he wanted her to be happy if only because it meant that everything he was in charge of was likewise stable. But right now, with the emotions running so strongly, he struggled to see past anyone but himself.

“You!” He pointed to Mikami, who was standing against a back wall, having gotten her clothes back on during the exchange. “Wait outside. There will be someone else there. Stay with him, and do not attempt to go anywhere.”

She hesitated, not at all liking the way he was treating Akiko, a woman whom she cared for deeply. She was about to open her mouth to reply to him with a comment about how miserable his wife was here, but what he said next left her no room for argument.

“Are you deaf? I said go! You heard me – now! Outside, before I take off your head and order you served as tonight’s meal!” he threatened.

Meekly, but still seething with anger at his treatment of his wife, Mikami left the room....

As I said, what I just wrote out is from an older version of that particular chapter, and I tweaked it some while copying it over. But perhaps I should add excerpts from what I've got.

Now that an excerpt is available, what are your thoughts?
 
 4 honorius, Fri, 20th May '11 6:58:04 AM from The Netherlands
There isn't much about the environment and the characters (their physical appearance that is). Maybe you have described the characters' looks earlier, but for now it looks like it is happening in Plato's concept world.

"It was exactly what it looked like, and she knew it, but she couldn’t let him think that – it would mean the truth would get out, and it would mean the end of her." I don't think the first part is necessary. You told what happened before, so the reader knows she knows. And most of the time "It isn't what it looks like" implies that the opposite is true.

Who's point of view is it? Because at first it seemed it was the one of the wife ("Oh... oh shit"), but later it changes to that of the husband.

If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied -Rudyard Kipling
It seems to alternate between them.

I thought the characters sounded convincing, though of course I can't tell if it's out of character for the rest of the story. Kouga strikes me as caring but a bit misogynistic, Akiko as confused about her feelings and doing something she probably shouldn't have done, and Mikami as just caught in the middle.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
[up][up] That's what I get for writing out-of-sequence and largely from my own mental images (and some sketches). Descriptions and setting are needed here, you're right. That first part isn't needed, I agree (because I write out-of-sequence, I put details like that in there to remind myself, though they should be erased for the work in full). I feel like going back in and adding it to my first post would be rude, so I'll give them here to avoid confusion.

Description

  • Akiko: Sharp, strong features, darker skin than expected, white hair, Eyes of Gold, Unusual Ears in the form of mobile upright dog ears, and fangs and claws. She is tall compared to human women (5'6"), and her body is a testament to the hard labor she has done - however, with recent lack of exercise and sleep deprivation, her figure is starting to go a bit. Her physical proportions are different from a human's - longer spine, longer palm and fingers, slightly shorter legs, and longer toe digits that, when she runs on the balls of her feet, look partially digitigrade. Wears a pelt, leg-warmer-things, a Sarashi, and a breastplate that needs adjustment.

  • Kouga: same proportions as Akiko. Darker skin than she, but it is natural. Blue eyes, and longer claws and fangs. He has Pointy Ears, and long black hair worn up in a ponytail. Despite being chronologically older than Akiko, he is physically, emotionally, and mentally younger, and his face looks younger than hers. He is, however, still taller, at a current height of 5'11". He wears a similar outfit, with a pelt, leg warmers, and a breastplate that covers his chest, back and midriff entirely. He also wears shoulder guards made out of fur, two sleeve-like things of fur on his arms - the one on his left covers his forearm, and the one on his right only his wrist. He also has his feet wrapped in bandages for protection. He also has a mobile tail. Carries a decorative sword.

  • Mikami: A human woman with far lighter skin than both, she has long black hair in a Hime Cut and brown eyes. She's 5'2", and her body is soft from lack of hard work (she is a noblewoman by birth), but slim (because she doesn't eat large meals - for women, a slim figure was desirable at the time). She is, here, wearing only the normal two layers of kimono, like a peasant, fine though those two are. Imagine whatever pattern or design you wish.

Setting: Imagine a greatly expanded version of this. Setting isn't my strong point, and I'm still working on establishing the physical setting (seen in the link - it is a fanfiction...). But I agree with you, and I'll continue to work on it. smile

[up] You're quite right, it does alternate between Kouga and Akiko. I enjoy using Perspective Flip this way, because I can show both characters' reactions and emotions, but it doesn't get rid of too much Dramatic Irony (...I think).

Thanks! For the two OC's (Mikami and Akiko) it's not, but Kouga as I've written him is an Alternate Character Interpretation - within my work, however, he's not out-of-character. And you hit the nail on the head. grin Kouga is also very resentful of Akiko, and his marriage to her, and she feels likewise towards him.


Anything else?

edited 21st May '11 7:37:22 PM by punkreader

 
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