My writing class instructor gave us an special assignment.
To write a paper analyzing an “in progress literary work” explaining the good points, how it works and what not.
Basically do the job of an editor, but there was a catch; it must be far off our comfort zone as you can. Since I do books and comics well… lets say it hard to pick something which isn’t relate to them (also all the movie scripts that i could find suck)
So I decided to do it about staff of ages and just for the heck of it(and to practice my english) wrote the draft outline in english.
Please note this a draft of an outline, so there will topics I will left vague like character and tropes analysis, the real analysis would require to much time and there no way in hell I gonna write the complete detailed analysis in english which I will have to rewrite in spanish.
I will instead just focus on the elements that stand out the most.
Will this have spoiler?
Will this be fun? Maybe, but probably not.
I could make jokes but I shouldn’t do that in analysis. At best this can be a learning experience about good witting and common mistakes.
Will I attempt to suggest changes?
Yes and no, I’m not sure how to explain this, but the editor job is to point out what works, what don’t and how or don’t works (also find typos and grammar errors but more of a polishing near release thing, also my english isn’t that good for that).
I’m not supposed to propose changes or contributions in the history itself, just how it is presented.
Now to answer why I’m posting it on FEU?
Well I’m not really sure, maybe I wanna show my skills in order to get attention or something. (those pesky human needs for attention)
Is this a personal attack against SOA writters team?
Of course it is! What other reason i could ever have? evil laugh plays on background
Now on all seriousness if that even a word, i loved SOA challeging and interesting gameplay, but part of the insentive to play , at least for me but i pretty sure that everyone is influenced by it in some degree, is the history; which is engaging but it really take me out of the inmersion on how often it break my suspension of disbelief with arkward dialog and lack of consistency.
Hopefully this could help SOA team and other aspiring fire emblem writters.
Now let get started shall we.
The initial exposition, is well structured, is clear, short and concise. A good thing in introductory exposition.
It shows how it was made to be accompanied by the graphics (portraits and the map) when they are added.
The nation of Fortuita was built. It would serve as the heart and bulwark of mankind.
In Fortuita’s wake grew other nations:
Riviere, Ezpatha, Arynden, and Toska.
Each nation had their own
motives, dreams, and ambitions. <— I found a grammatic error yay!
The introduction of the kingdoms is too flat and unmemorable, introductions must be short in order not to bore the reader however the kingdoms are one of the main reasons why this introduction exists in the first place.
Giving a description of a short sentence for each kingdom seems essential.
The tribal Gahum was created not long afterwards by those who shunned this new way of life, preferring ancient traditions.
The introduction of tribal groups, is disconnected from the narrative. Easily fixed with a rephrasing that links the narrative at the end of the introduction of the kingdoms and the begin of the introduction of the tribes.
Peace lasted for innumerable generations. Eventually, Arynden’s king,Oberon, struck at Fortuita.It was the first act of violence
since the age of the Mists.
The use of “eventually” in this context make it seems as if the striking fortuita was something predestined, something that everyone knew it will happen. It should come as a surprise since “Peace lasted for innumerable generations.”
And in consequence the “It was the first act of violence since the age of the Mists.” should be more shocking.
The introduction of the character show both their personalities and the current situation is presented in a well enough manner.
The character are flesh correctly although Elijah was left a little underdeveloped in this instance there plenty of time flesh him out later.
However there is a unnecessary over use of pronouns and names, this makes the conversations to fell unnatural and prevents it from flowing smoothly.
Real people can tell when someone his referring to them with previous conversation or mentions, one doesn’t need to tell the name of the intended receiver in conversation in every dialog exchange.
I get that this is the introduction of new characters and all but that not an excuse for clunky dialog.
Some example, in just the introduction, will be:
My lord Sawyer, Fort Cyrcel draws near. It could be dangerous.Allow me to ride in front of you.
Eagle is sawyer only retainer, why would sawyer call his name when eagle clearly is already addressing sawyer? There no need for that. Although here isn’t so bad the constant repetition on the conversations is the root of the problem not this instance on himself, if there were less of this redundant name calling it wouldn’t be a problem here.
Although sawyer name is the least mentioned name in the conversation that still doesn’t justify it
You must admit, Lord Owen,that he was quite justified in sleeping
Elijah doesnt seems like is speaking only to Owen , rather to the entire group, but might as well be just nick picking in this one.
Of course you may, Eagle.Let me just write this down: ‘On this day, the 13th of June, near Fort Cyrcel, Eagle was–’
This is a very obvious one, the name is repeated 2 times and while eagle name is needed to be on “On this day, the 13th of June, near Fort Cyrcel, Eagle was—” there no reason for mention it the first time.
This problem in most of the conversations and should be addressed in all future dialog.
Using pronouns and names is not bad, there are situation where overusing can help convey certain things.
For example in formal conversations or people that aren’t familiar with one another or just aren’t in good terms.
This however wouldn’t be the case here. Yes they are nobles and servants, but they are friends and even though their is a certain level of respect from retainer to lords, refereeing by their names o every last conversation exchange it is not natural.
The arrive to the fort.
Here in the conversation with the guard well… I cant really say something good about the guard conversation, however the dialog with the commander although unemotional is has a well constructed believable sequence.
There just no consistency with what one would logically assume a guard would ask and expect from them or even what follows after the guard when they speak with the commander.
I am Owen,and this is Sawyer.We’re here to see the commander.It’s about this letter he sent to the queen.
First, when they ask for their identities Owen just gave their names…? No official title ?
Of course, sirs! Apologies for the wait. You can’t be too careful these days, what with Arynden knocking on our door.
Please, proceed inside.
Next he is apologizing… What for? For being paranoid? But he didn’t , logically it will be because
“Halt! Identify yourselves!” .
But its not enough if he gonna apologize in that degree there should be an equal reason for it.
There a lack of paranoia or fear on “Halt! Identify yourselves!” this isn’t conveyed correctly. It has to be more aggressive.
The previous problem is carried on to the talk with the fort commander
“And the men, well, they’re mostly in good shape,but the recent situation has them a bit on edge.”
The guard weak reaction don’t justify it. They are seeing the start of the first war in centuries there need to be more emotion on it.
Very well, private.Lead us to them. My lords?
I expect we’ll discover whether you’ll be enough very shortly.
An imminent attack is coming to his understaffed fort and he not only completely calm but unemotional? There no regret, no panic or surprise. This happens to the commander in some more instances during the chapter.
The after match.
Good constructed sequence with logical follow ups and also; better use of pronouns and names.
I understand. However, given the state of the troops and the state of the fort, defeating the next wave of Aryndese is nigh impossible. We may be able to slow them down, but this fort will likely be lost.
The commander is now switching between thankful and unemotional. His hope is about to leave and he just… “understands”.
It seems to me that the writers just don’t pay enough attention to side characters on the basis that there are just side character.
That just wont do. if the entire cast isn’t properly developed it will end up harming not only the main cast but the over all history as well.
And that was my literary analysis of the intro and first chapter.
Hopefully I will have the time to make another draft on english before having to submit them to my teacher.