Talk:Unequal Share

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Michael's comments

Bad, Bryan, BAD!

You violated one of the MAIN rules of writing -- switching POV.

In the first paragraph you are writing from the POV of Tess: "The tea was cold by the time Tess finally pulled her attention out of the slim booklet she'd been perusing." This is written as though written from a point inside of Tess's brain, writing as though she was telling/experiencing the story.

By the third paragraph, you're writing from Maxwell's POV: "He'd of course suggested various better arrangements in the past - keeping a hot teakettle present, delaying the delivery of the tea - but she was almost superstitious about tea and how it was served."

Bad, bad, BAD!

Of course, a CASE should be made that the first sentence is from Maxwell's POV as he assumed her attention was pulled out when she moved her head. But, it is, to me, only obvious in retrospect and after banging my head against the wall for a few minutes. If you want to fix it, or try to, maybe make the first sentence something like "Maxwell held the tea, long cold by the time Tess finally pulled her attention out of the slim booklet she'd been perusing to look at him." There it is FIRMLY from Maxwell's POV.

And, sadly, the reset isn't much better. To me it reads like a hodgepodge of chaos shoved disorderly onto whatever shelf was handy. You have the huge background, mention other people, add lots of detail about clutter and antiquities, all to explain why the pot was there. You could have had the pot there FAR simpler and clearer.

And, even worse, the TF itself-- I don't know why, but it was just confusing when I read it. Maybe there were too many details yet too few? Or you tried to make it mysterious? I'm not sure. But, I think it, at least, needs to be strongly edited.

And, then you skipped all the riddles! Sheesh! How can you have sphinx's without RIDDLES?!

Bad, Bryan. BAD! - 21:37, 4 April 2008 Michael Bard

The reason for all this is that I wrote it all in a three-hour sitting, purely for the sake of getting to the one scene in that image that had inspired me, when I really should have been working on something else anyway. Maybe I'll do editing on it some other time when I don't have other obligations pressing. In the meantime, would you like a refund? Bryan 19:02, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Maybe I was a bit harsh there -- sorry, I didn't mean to be. I just couldn't believe that you would do something like this. I think that got under the skin way more than it should have. Sorry... Still, I always proof anything before posting, even if it is a quickie just written in a few hours. Still... at least I didn't see any grammatical errors...  :) (P.S. I was not trying to hide my identity, signing it just completely slipped my mind. Thanks for that corection) [[User:Michael Bard|Michael Bard\\ 19:26, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Well, I did reread and spellcheck it. But I admit to being somewhat taken aback by your reaction (and offended, but I'll recover :). I can understand not liking a story, but not liking it to such a degree that you're berating the author to his face for having written it is puzzling. What got under your skin about it? There has to be more to it than a somewhat ambiguous POV, a confusing TF scene, and a sphinx who didn't tell riddles - those sorts of failings are fairly routine in the world of online fiction. I'm guessing perhaps the scenario held promise of something you were interested in seeing but then failed to deliver? I know how disappointing that can be from my own experience. Bryan 20:07, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
I think it was the combination that did it. The utter disbelief that you could make a mistake like that, combined with that being one of my "pet peeves", was probably enough. The "berating" part was supposed to be tongue in cheek -- but, yah, it didn't quite come out that way...  :( Michael Bard 21:26, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Hence the value of smilies. :) Though even setting the berating aside I think I'll have to remain puzzled at the vehemence of the reaction, since on reflection I really don't see the POV problem myself - the second sentence of the story is "Maxwell watched with resignation from his assigned post in the corner of the room as she took a sip" and the second paragraph makes it clear that Tess wasn't even aware he was there. Ah well, can't win them all. I guess on the plus side this means you've got a high opinion of my standards, I'll take that as a compliment though of course not necessarily a promise to live up to them. :) Bryan 22:11, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

Joysweeper's comments

On sphinxes: The Greek sphinx is known for riddles, yes, but she is winged and commits suicide once her riddle is solved. All the power that she holds is guarding a pass or a road and killing passerby. Egyptian... I'm not as familiar with Egyptian myth, but Egyptian sphinx are wingless guardians, usually with the heads of the pharoahs they serve, including those weird crown-collar things. Off the top of my head, they're male, but don't quote me on that. (Then we have the lamassu. But those aren't Egyptian, anyway, I think they're Assyrian.) As for lion-headed gods - there are probably some, but what comes to mind is Bast. Before the domestication of cats, Bast/Bastet had a lioness head.

Tess being upperclass British, she's got her own stereotype, which I think is imperiousness. That would combine better with the guardian sphinx than with the mysterious sphinx... Maybe. It could be that Maxwell is the god, but can't act on his own. Meh, I overanalyze stuff. --Joysweeper 12:48, 5 April 2008 (EDT)

Overanalysis is okay in moderation. :) Lots of good ideas here. There were female pharoahs, and I've seen pictures of sculptures of female sphinxes, so I don't think gender's a big concern. Considering the amount of Egyptian antiquities on display in Tess' house I'm sure she can find the right hat easily enough. I still want to make a mass TF out of this and really thoroughly muck up history, and I've got a plot idea I want to try that should fit fairly well.
Having let this story sit for a while, I might try coming back to it to see if there's more to write. Not right now, though. I've got another in-progress story that needs my attention over in Xanadu first. :) Bryan 19:38, 5 June 2008 (EDT)