Metablue (OCE)
: Hi Fluff! I read through your story and I really enjoyed it, the way you describe things is brilliant and really engages the reader. In particular that line where you had the cats eye, "rolling madly in its socket like a screw" gave a real clear image that will probably pop up in my nightmares some time, so thanks (and good work =P). I'm hoping I'll be able to help you improve your story by giving my opinions on it, although I don't know everything so you can be the judge of how much of my advice you want to actually use =P I'll start with your concerns. 1. I don't think the gift reference is as strong a link to the cat being Vel'koz as the other hints you laid down, although it doesn't hurt the story to keep it. I also didn't realize that the cat was Vel'koz in the early stages of the story despite all the little hints, although when shit hit the fan it did all come together in my head. From the get go I knew there was something up with the cat, it spoke in a weird way and had the purple eye (Nice play on words with the line, "purple-pink eye that seemed void of light", although instead of purple-pink violet might be a good word to use) but I wasn't really sure what was weird about the cat. I didn't even realize it was linked to the void, simply because Ionia is a weird magical place with weird magical animal people, so why not have weird magical pets too? In saying that, I don't think the reader needs to specifically know that the cat is linked to Vel'koz, or even the void at the start of the story. Just knowing that somethings up with the cat builds the tension you need. 2. If you're concerned people aren't going to realize it's Vel, a good idea might be to drop his name into the story somewhere - maybe as Vel burns the poor guys throat a single name flashes into his mind - Vel'Koz. When I was reading I didn't have any trouble in realizing it was Vel though, so I maybe get a few more people to read through your story before you decide on what to do. 3. In relation to the third point, I think the issue is more in the flow of the writing rather than the characters being boring, but I'll touch on that later. I was quite happy reading about these two mystery characters talking to one another because of the mystery surrounding the cat - who is it? Why was it this man's downfall? This prevented it from getting boring - they don't have to be champions to be interesting. 4. I think it was pretty clear that the MC was just a random - at no point was I thinking, "I wonder if this is Ryze?", so I wouldn't worry about it =) I think the strength of your story comes from your ability to describe things in good sensory detail. The flow of your story is what I'd be looking to improve. Currently there are some bits that could be smoother to read, such as, "She seemed to unfailingly know everything." which could instead just be, "She seemed to know everything." I realize that some of these lines are used to hint towards the cat being Vel, but I think that smoothing out your sentences and writing in that information in different ways will improve the readability of your story. Another thing that felt a bit odd to me was how Vel displayed emotion in his cat form. Vel is very much an emotionless being, and I think you've done a very good job of portraying that even while he's a cat, however there was one part where the cat looked sad and it just didn't feel like Vel. This is a bit of a tricky one since the cat is supposed to be manipulating this guy, so maybe it'd be better to just leave it and build on other aspects of your story, but I thought I should mention it in case you had any ideas on how to change that part. Another more specific thing that I found didn't make sense was when Vel'koz started talking about the League? It felt a bit random and didn't make any sense in relation to the story. An idea I had was maybe change 'League' to 'Void', as that'd make more sense considering Vel'koz is a creature of the void. The last comment I have is in relation to when Vel tells the man that he killed off his social life by murdering his friends and imitating him in mean letters. It felt a bit odd that Vel would just blurt that out before painting the room with guys melted flesh, but at the same time I know you want to tell the reader, 'this is how Vel cornered his prey.' A better way of doing this might be to have Vel go on in a bit of an evil mastermind monologue - not a long one, just enough for him to comment on how he finds humans interesting, especially their bonds to others, then have him say that at first he tried killing off the MC's friends before realizing that imitating the MC in mean letters was a more effective, less messy method of eradicating the problem. Another way to approach it may be to not have Vel mention it at all, instead having the MC realize and comment on it in his thoughts to the reader. I hope some of this is helpful to you Fluff. Thanks for putting up your story and giving me the opportunity to read it, I wish you luck in the upcoming comp!
Hey, thanks for taking the effort to reply! I'm so chuffed to hear you mention the eye rolling (: It was what inspired the whole thing because I thought Vel's eye looked like a purple cat's. And also because I usually do horror/violence/~~everything that's R-rated~~. As for what you've raised: I think you're very right with the 'cat looking sad' scene. It seems out of character. I wanted it to be a blatant manipulative move — the cat appears to make mistakes so it seems human and is endearing to MC —, which is why the 'manipulation' line is right after it, but I don't think I made it obvious enough. League is mentioned because I needed a reason for Vel to kill MC, although this is mostly in inference too. Vel would normally wait for him to grow old and keep milking him for all human interactions' worth, but he's being summoned to go fight in the League (of Legends) and is unsure if he'll return, so wants to cash in his human crop beforehand. But you're definitely right. That's too far of an inference, and so it stands out as a weird line. Vel reveals his cards to MC because he's interested in destroying him. (I would love to have added monologue, but the word count literally, physically, beats me up.) Vel didn't even need to show MC he was the cat. He could've just zapped him out of existence, but chose to reveal the facade so he could take everything, mostly hopes and dreams and all that tasty stuff, from MC. I fumbled the execution in the story on explaining that, too, but at least the intent is there >//< Again, thank you so much for reading <3 This is my first time writing anything for League. I'm glad I was given reason to write and share it, and that I know it _was_ shared, in being read.
Fluff ewe (OCE)
: An aquarium: for a fish, and its viewing pleasure. (Touch of the Void submission)
Hey! Thank you for getting down the bottom here. If you're thinking of posting feedback, I'm going to put my worries for my story forwards first. They might help you put a finger on your thoughts. My major qualms with the story as it stands are these: * With the propensity to skim, it’s easy to miss that the cat is Vel’koz/a void construct at the start. I tried to put in as many signposts as I could, with the first sentence, its fur being the same colour as the ‘gift’ (though that’s an obscure one, and only for hindsight), purple eye mentioned twice, purple described with ‘void’, another out-of-thought-stream reminder that the cat is manipulating MC, but I think it’s still very possible it slides entirely under the radar. * A more severe version of this would be not realising that the cat is vel’koz even at the end. Its purple eye rolls away, it's stated that the eye ‘used to be in the cat [he] adores’, and everything else refers to it by the end — but if that fact slipped a reader, all the references about ‘this was my friend, sad sad’ and vel’s dialogue just become confusing. Everything becomes confusing. * If cat=vel at the start has been missed, the entire first half of the story where two seemingly absolute OCs interact just become boring. It’s just two OCs talking. It loses any manipulative sub-text, and the reader doesn’t care about any of MC’s later ironic introspection/description about the cat. The cat just seems like a Mary Sue. One purple eye/heterochromia? A talking black cat? Smug? Portrayed in an adoring light? Those are all Mary Sue flags, and if it isn’t clear that the cat is actually Vel, it just becomes an dislikable OC that the author is projecting on. * Reader may be too distracted trying to find out who MC is, thinking MC is a league champion, and miss what the cat is. So some pretty major things are contingent on an awareness that I can’t gauge all by myself. Feedback with respect to these problems would be really appreciated. I don’t know what to do ;;;;; tl;dr: worried people won’t realise the cat is some Void construct/Vel.
Rioter Comments
Buttercup (OCE)
: The Ballad of the Void (A Touch of the Void Contest - First Draft)
So much cheek. Very clever. I really liked this! though I'm not a poet at all, so I can't give very remarkable feedback. One thing I can offer: dialogue grammar, please <3 Things like > "Yes and no", I reply, should be > "Yes and no," I reply, Likewise, >like "Welp." can be one of the two, depending on what your sentence wants to be >like, "Welp." like "welp." That said, people will rarely realise these even are mistakes, much less have objections towards them (especially considering your reader base), but they might be handy for any writing in the future! Dialogue tags & their punctuation are very commonly wrong and can instantly put off more picky readers because they work as very reliable red flags. Reading up on them will always be helpful. Glad to hear you had fun writing it, though. Good luck! (:
Buttercup (OCE)
: It definitely sounds like Vel'Koz is talking; very 'academic' and unempathetic. The story does seem a little... unfinished. As far I can see, Vel'Koz hasn't actually done anything besides, well, reading and watching the precursor to a confrontation between himself and Kassadin, which means that the story doesn't really stand alone. You've got another 650 words, use them! I wanna know more! It'd be nice, for example, to read about how Kassadin kills Void-spawn, and why he's so revered, instead of having a Void council simply mention him, forcing the reader to take their word for it. Definitely caught my interest, but it needs a bit more _story_ to really bring it home.
second this. I feel like you'll run into issues with the word count without making the ending seem rushed.
: Thank you for your comment and praise, I greatly appreciate it. Re the simplistic sentence structure, I’ve always thought that the creatures of the Void would think simplistically. From the lore I’ve read, and the accompanying story, Vel’koz seems highly highly driven to acquire knowledge. There is no reason stated to why, apart from learning the weaknesses of other races the Void seeks to exploit. A construct created for this purpose would most likely think simplistically — that’s my take anyway. The story written by Riot also had similar sentence structure — even more simplistic actually. I used the metaphor of Hunger to display the drive to acquire knowledge. I interpreted it as a truely base instinct wired into Vel — he’s being exploited / used for this purpose and nothing else. In regards to the mother and her child, him acquiring all these people’s Knowledge beforehand (especially the mother’s) made him hesitate. Him being influenced by the knowledge he gathers is foreshadowed earlier in the piece, when he becomes annoyed at the pollution of the cars after disintegrating the scientist. Yes, the mother/child trope is overused, yes there was probably a more subtle way in conveying this, but I think it still works all the same. As for the ‘why now’ aspect of his empathy or at least his thoughts of empathy, I don’t know! That was the opening thought I had before I wrote this piece: What if a being tasked with acquiring knowledge of things he destroys, acquires their thoughts and feelings as well? Would the being hesitate? Block out those voices? How could they cope? Thanks, ~Wim
Hey, thanks for taking the time to reply. Those are respectable choices! I've always interpreted him a lot differently, though you've probably gleaned that from the initial comment anyway. It's good to hear what others think. (Especially since the contest is based on popular vote, haha.) I can't really vouch for any either being more 'true' or not. Say, I think that Vel would be highly sophisticated and that his thought process would reflect this, but this is practically impossible to prove, considering a/ lore doesn't have to be followed to a tee (and his original piece itself doesn't even seem to be edited ): b/ his lore isn't very comprehensive anyway. It's all about the interpretation, and so I'll take yours, here. It's always strange reading something that subverts tropes to fall into another, or maybe that's just me — to have seen too many iterations of tropes that everything has become familiar. 'The mindlessly hungry darkness creature' is one, and 'unexpected empathy from killer/antagonist/dark creature' is another, and 'motherless child spurring empathy' is yet another. It's not really a crime considering how unavoidable it is, or when you want to consider your demographic and how many tropes it's likely that they've seen to grown weary of. Also, if I were to answer that last question, I would say that he wouldn't hesitate. I'd say he lacks many of the biological instincts and/or responses that would spur 'feelings' simply because his brain is not a human one. If something that could inherently, biologically, and structurally not 'feel' were to be presented with the synapses, neurons, and mappings for feeling — because that's what they are, at least to my understanding — he would objectively understand it but never _experience_ it. Maybe that would drive him to continual destruction, pursuing something he physically cannot comprehend. That, or he understands it so fully: the emotional manipulation regarding it as well as the objective understanding of where, why, and for what benefit that feeling has occurred, that he is simply beyond reacting to it. That could make for an interesting story. But that's not what this is about, and it's also another 'twist' in a well-creased fabric. So I'd say good work on your story and the consideration behind it~
: Casa Del Void – A Star Guardian Holiday
: Beneath the Hunger - My Finalised Entry to the Void Competition
I'm a fan of Vel'koz, forever and ever <3 so very very pleasantly surprised to see it was him If I would say something, though, it's that you might go a tad overboard on the "I"s, especially near the beginning. You choose a very simple sentence structure for a highly intelligent being, (which I'd love to hear your choice for, actually!) and with that active sentence type it's easy to repeat pronouns a lot. Also interested to know why you chose to pull on a 'hunger' aspect, too, considering in his canonical lore (though you may have purposely choose a different path from this, which I'd be interested to hear why) he is portrayed to be above base instincts. Also, why choose a child and her mother when Vel likely has had no mother & so direct sense of empathy for motherhood? If he is developing empathy from those he's deconstructed, do you think there would be a less cliché but equally effective means of portraying this? Moreover: why now? Please don't take this as a slight against your work. I've liked yours quite a bit, so far, out of the other posts on the board, and that's why I want to hear your take on your choices (: Edit: I've liked yours the most. Please take this as high praise.

Fluff ewe

Level 14 (OCE)
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