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#101
Jakob

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Great news about the time manipulation thing. Really great news. I was stumbling around on the web looking for something completely different and I discovered this page. A bit technical in places, but the gist is that the principles of quantum superposition imply that what you want the Lykarians to do might be physically possible. But there are problems. The big one is it's probabilistic, not definite. There's only a small chance of any noticeable effect, let alone the desired effect. But we've controlled other quantum effects before, so maybe??? I think? I really have no idea. Quantum mechanics is confusing. I've got to teach myself the basics. Second problem: such a machine couldn't effect external systems, so the Lykarians would probably be limited to using it on themselves. Third: the article ominously states that "the gravitation time translation device which they describe is a thought experiment only and is not feasible in today's physics laboratory" which makes it hard to see how it's feasible in a Lykarian body.

Also, the URDF would still make a huge effort on the scale of the Manhattan Project to build machines capable of replicating this effect, because what self-respecting military wouldn't want to control the passage of time on the battlefield?

 

 

Fair points. When I first wrote this, it was very superficial and not deeply thought out. As I've progressed with actual story writing significantly since then, I have a better understanding of the intricacies and details that are necessary to make something as controversial as terrorism both believable and interesting.

Yeah, I've gathered that a lot of my comments have become "stale" and no longer really apply--but is the timeline itself going to be updated at some point? Looking forward to it! :)

 

 

Admittedly I'm still fairly new to story writing in general, so I have no illusions that the imperfection and naivety needs to be banged out.

Oh, if you're still new that's good. It means every chapter you write is better than the last. Only downside is that you'll get a few tens of thousands of words in and realize that what you've written is a mess, start over from scratch, realize that what you've written is a less bad mess but still a mess, start over, and so on. I'm on my third try with Synthetic and it's gone from fanfiction-quality a year ago to meh half a year ago to decent now (I hope?).

 

 

Obviously, our views on many ideas and topics vary to some degree, but I do appreciate all the effort you've put in towards giving me critiques all the same. It's helped me think on some of the issues we've discussed

Glad I could help! It's been fun and I've definitely learned loads doing all the research I've done for my critiques. Definitely you've built a world with a lot of potential, otherwise I doubt I would've

 

 

(I occasionally also wanted to reach through the monitor and strangle you, but I managed to keep my cool, lol).

I hope I haven't been too much of a dick, I've tried not to be :D

 

 

Like I said if you send me a message with your email or something I can send you the first chapter or two of Choices That Define to give you a taste of a better refined PRAXIS.

That might help, especially if it addresses any of the specific notes I've written here.

 

Oh and, http://readingwithavengeance.com/ takes apart stories with a lot of detail, so it could be good for seeing what works and what doesn't wrt plotting, characterization, and worldbuilding.



#102
Jakob

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I'm reading the first two chapters now, I'll post my notes.

 

  • I see you're going for a lengthy scene-setting before jumping into the plot. I get the temptation to do that, especially with an alien world you have in your head and want to get on paper. But...as some writers will tell you, you have exactly one page to rope the reader in. If the scene you were describing were sufficiently alien, it'd make for a pretty good hook, but instead we have something that could be on Earth if you didn't tell us otherwise.
  • This is sort of related, but we have a few instances of telling instead of showing. Not many, but...you probably don't need to tell us that the buildings are two kilometers tall. Saying that they "pierce through the clouds" or are "almost as tall as the mountains beyond" is more vivid.
  • Olympia has two moons, a ring system, and a sister planet? I mean, not impossible, but here's a question: what kind of havoc does that wreak on the tides? I could easily imagine there being absolutely massive, Bay of Fundy style high tides whenever the two moons, the sister planet, and Tau Ceti align with each other. Atlantia alone would cause huge tides assuming it's at least the size of Earth. I imagine that coastal settlements would have to either have huge seawalls or be elevated on stilts so as not to get flooded during such events. Though ultimately a lot of this depends on the shape of the coastline--if it's a patchwork of islands and shallow seas there might be no tides at all. The tide cycle would also be highly irregular with so many bodies influencing it. Just worth thinking about for world building.
  • There's both telling and showing in that paragraph. For instance, by the description of the Marcato Belt, we can safely assume it's a ring system without being told. Likewise with Atlantia being a sister planet.
  • Likewise, you spend two, maybe three paragraphs describing ESA, which is called an info dump and is very difficult to do well. It's something I've struggled with myself in the Hope series. It would probably be better--in my view at least--if we are allowed to gradually find these details one by one as they become relevant to the plot instead of having them thrown in all at once.
  • Every page but the first is empty?


#103
QuantumAscension

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I'm reading the first two chapters now, I'll post my notes.

 

  • I see you're going for a lengthy scene-setting before jumping into the plot. I get the temptation to do that, especially with an alien world you have in your head and want to get on paper. But...as some writers will tell you, you have exactly one page to rope the reader in. If the scene you were describing were sufficiently alien, it'd make for a pretty good hook, but instead we have something that could be on Earth if you didn't tell us otherwise.
  • This is sort of related, but we have a few instances of telling instead of showing. Not many, but...you probably don't need to tell us that the buildings are two kilometers tall. Saying that they "pierce through the clouds" or are "almost as tall as the mountains beyond" is more vivid.
  • There's both telling and showing in that paragraph. For instance, by the description of the Marcato Belt, we can safely assume it's a ring system without being told. Likewise with Atlantia being a sister planet.
  • Likewise, you spend two, maybe three paragraphs describing ESA, which is called an info dump and is very difficult to do well. It's something I've struggled with myself in the Hope series. It would probably be better--in my view at least--if we are allowed to gradually find these details one by one as they become relevant to the plot instead of having them thrown in all at once.

 

:secret: Yeeeeeaaaaah... bout that... So this is an example of my novicity in writing. Unfortunately, I probably do this a lot. Part of the problem is that I love exposition, backstory, and the background details of a story's world as much as the plot. Another part of the problem for me is that it is world building; since PRAXIS is supposed to be a mucher larger universe, so I feel that I have to establish many of the rules and details in this first novel. As a result, I wound up writing the first 50,000 words to be more "slice of life" than plot heavy, with the main character going through kind of a normal day as I Introduce main characters and story elements. I do see it being a bit of an issue, and I technically have the option to cut it all out and get the "Plot" rolling much closer to the beginning, but in doing that, I'll lose a lot of character and exposition content that either has to be mushed in after the first major plot event occurs or dropped completely and thus leaving out potentially relevant details. In the end I let this book run out 300,000+ words, so I've already come to terms with having to split the book into two parts to even make it viable on the market. Another option (though a clumsy one in my opinion) would be to throw much of the exposition stuff into a separate reference book for people that enjoy the extra, finer details, leaving the main novel for only plot and critical character material.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Every page but the first is empty?

Did the document not open properly. I send you a copied version from Libre Office

 

 

 

 

  • Olympia has two moons, a ring system, and a sister planet? I mean, not impossible, but here's a question: what kind of havoc does that wreak on the tides? I could easily imagine there being absolutely massive, Bay of Fundy style high tides whenever the two moons, the sister planet, and Tau Ceti align with each other. Atlantia alone would cause huge tides assuming it's at least the size of Earth. I imagine that coastal settlements would have to either have huge seawalls or be elevated on stilts so as not to get flooded during such events. Though ultimately a lot of this depends on the shape of the coastline--if it's a patchwork of islands and shallow seas there might be no tides at all. The tide cycle would also be highly irregular with so many bodies influencing it. Just worth thinking about for world building.

So more of this is explained in Chapter two. I imagined Olympia's moons are significantly smaller than Luna, but I haven't established any figures as they aren't relevant to the story. The Marcato Belt as a ring system would likely not exert much gravitational effect as it would lack enough mass in any one direction to generate significant tides and it's relatively dispersed around the planet, hence a ring, so it's tidal effect if it's there would be constant if that makes sense.

 

Now for the sister planet, Atlantia. So, Olympus and Atlantia are in what is known as a planetary system, essentially two planets orbiting each around a barycenter as they orbit Tau Ceti. Now, yes, I know stable planetary systems are consider rare or don't last long, but I have an idea in mind to explain this (Not telling right now, though :no:). Now if you've ever looked at conceptual planetary art, you have, of course, seen the ubiquitous image of a landscape with a planet in the sky above, the planet being truly massive or very close. Either way, in reality, one or both of those planets is likely being torn apart kinda like This, and if they weren't, it would most likely be not be idyllic images like this or this as beautiful and awesome as that would be. They would likely be highly volcanic with massive earthquakes on a daily basis as the immense tidal force wreak havoc on each other tectonic plates. If they were tidally locked, the circumstance might be better as the forces would become a constant in one location and potentially stabilize. Anyways, the point is, those images are fantasy. I wanted to be a little more realistic with it, but still have it be a meaning object in the sky. I write that Olympia and Atlantia maintain a distance of about 1.17 kilometers (which is over three times the distance the moon is from Earth) with a Barycenter 480,000 kilometers from Olympia. Now, obviously Atlantia has more mass than the moon, hell it has more mass than earth, but given the inverse square law's effect on gravity, while the tidal forces would like be greater than what we see here on Earth, I can imagine it be relatively easy to contend with. For instance, Olympus (The Capitol of Olympia) is positioned about 50+ kilometers inland from the nearest ocean; that's not to say they built it there because of the tides, but it's a fairly easy to work around such an issue. I imagine Olympia has smaller oceans, possibly 8-10, with significantly higher percentage of land mass : water surface ratio than Earth, whereas Atlantia, will have larger oceans and smaller land masses.

Admittedly, I haven't done the math on either the actual tidal effect of the two planets or whether such a distant binary system would be able to maintain orbit around each other given their orbit of about 390 hours. I understand astrophysics from a ceptual level, but from a mathematics level, yeah, not so much, lol.

 

 

Let me know if you're interested in reading more and I might consider letting you act as a beta-tester of sorts for some or all of the book, much like is done for video games and movies.



#104
Jakob

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Did the document not open properly. I send you a copied version from Libre Office

I don't know if you got my email yet, but I did figure out how to access the rest and sent you an annotated version.

 

 

Let me know if you're interested in reading more and I might consider letting you act as a beta-tester of sorts for some or all of the book, much like is done for video games and movies.

Sure. I'm in if you're willing.

 

About the tides and moons: I'd pictured them as being about the same size and distance as Luna, but if they're smaller and not significantly closer we can safely ignore them. Likewise with solar tides, Atlantia is likely to be responsible for the vast majority of tidal force on Olympia (and vice versa). I'm pretty good with math, so I'll work it out. If Atlantia is as massive at Earth, that puts it at 80+ times the mass of Luna and 2.6 times the distance, meaning that the tidal forces on Olypmia would be about 12 times stronger than those of the moon on Earth. This means that tides of 20 meters or more should definitely not be uncommon, and if the coastline is suitably shaped (like the Bay of Fundy on Earth) you could get tides of 100+ meters. Oh hell, they could even approach 200 meters with the right geography (the Bay of Fundy reaches 16 meters, 16*12 = 192 meters). This would likely lead to Olympia and Atlantia having a unique coastline biome not really seen on Earth, with life that can survive both on dry land and under tens of feet of water.

 

Though I agree this isn't a big issue as long as you build inland. But whatever you do, do NOT fall asleep on the beach. EVER.

 

Hmm...this is an afterthought, but the cover art of Physics of the Future looks a bit like a coastal city on a planet with similarly extreme tides.

 

 

:secret: Yeeeeeaaaaah... bout that... So this is an example of my novicity in writing. Unfortunately, I probably do this a lot. Part of the problem is that I love exposition, backstory, and the background details of a story's world as much as the plot. Another part of the problem for me is that it is world building; since PRAXIS is supposed to be a mucher larger universe, so I feel that I have to establish many of the rules and details in this first novel. As a result, I wound up writing the first 50,000 words to be more "slice of life" than plot heavy, with the main character going through kind of a normal day as I Introduce main characters and story elements. I do see it being a bit of an issue, and I technically have the option to cut it all out and get the "Plot" rolling much closer to the beginning, but in doing that, I'll lose a lot of character and exposition content that either has to be mushed in after the first major plot event occurs or dropped completely and thus leaving out potentially relevant details. In the end I let this book run out 300,000+ words, so I've already come to terms with having to split the book into two parts to even make it viable on the market. Another option (though a clumsy one in my opinion) would be to throw much of the exposition stuff into a separate reference book for people that enjoy the extra, finer details, leaving the main novel for only plot and critical character material.

Yeah, this is hard in science fiction. The best advice I can give would be to think of what's relevant to the reader. Like, here's an example:

 

 

The URDF Navy extracted PRAXIS Sigma from the planet, and moved it here into downtown Olympus, where it could act as an efficient, inexpensive way for government officials and military personnel to move between the two government centers. It was an impressive feat given the overall structure was nearly 1,700 meters tall, 400 meters across, and 100 meters wide, though its ability to levitate on its own certainly helped.

 

So, why does the reader need to know right now that the PRAXIS is capable of this? It isn't being used right now, so readers certainly aren't going to be confused about it. On one hand, if government and military officials at some point teleport from Tau Ceti to Earth via the PRAXIS, it'll be obvious that government and military officials do in fact use the artifact to teleport to Earth. (I would assume some form of wormhole, though macroscopic wormholes are extremely massive--billions of tons even for a 1-meter wormhole.) And if nobody ever uses the portal, then how does it help the reader to mention it at all?

 

I guess it's obvious that not every detail of the universe can be crammed into a single book, and what influences the plot does seem like a helpful rule of thumb for what to throw in. Luckily, you're not just planning on writing one book, so I suppose sequels can explore facets that don't make it into this book.



#105
QuantumAscension

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Did the document not open properly. I send you a copied version from Libre Office

I don't know if you got my email yet, but I did figure out how to access the rest and sent you an annotated version.

 

 

Let me know if you're interested in reading more and I might consider letting you act as a beta-tester of sorts for some or all of the book, much like is done for video games and movies.

Sure. I'm in if you're willing.

 

About the tides and moons: I'd pictured them as being about the same size and distance as Luna, but if they're smaller and not significantly closer we can safely ignore them. Likewise with solar tides, Atlantia is likely to be responsible for the vast majority of tidal force on Olympia (and vice versa). I'm pretty good with math, so I'll work it out. If Atlantia is as massive at Earth, that puts it at 80+ times the mass of Luna and 2.6 times the distance, meaning that the tidal forces on Olypmia would be about 12 times stronger than those of the moon on Earth. This means that tides of 20 meters or more should definitely not be uncommon, and if the coastline is suitably shaped (like the Bay of Fundy on Earth) you could get tides of 100+ meters. Oh hell, they could even approach 200 meters with the right geography (the Bay of Fundy reaches 16 meters, 16*12 = 192 meters). This would likely lead to Olympia and Atlantia having a unique coastline biome not really seen on Earth, with life that can survive both on dry land and under tens of feet of water.

 

Though I agree this isn't a big issue as long as you build inland. But whatever you do, do NOT fall asleep on the beach. EVER.

LOL. True, yeah I haven't really had a need to state what the exact tides are, as it is not entirely necessary, though this could be relevant to the massive fortification wall for Avalon Fortress that you'll see at the beginning of chapter 5, as it extends out into the sea.

 

By the way, the distance is actually 3.05 times the distance of the moon, and would Olympia's 30% heavier gravity compared to Earth affect the tides as well?

 

 

 

 

 

:secret: Yeeeeeaaaaah... bout that... So this is an example of my novicity in writing. Unfortunately, I probably do this a lot. Part of the problem is that I love exposition, backstory, and the background details of a story's world as much as the plot. Another part of the problem for me is that it is world building; since PRAXIS is supposed to be a mucher larger universe, so I feel that I have to establish many of the rules and details in this first novel. As a result, I wound up writing the first 50,000 words to be more "slice of life" than plot heavy, with the main character going through kind of a normal day as I Introduce main characters and story elements. I do see it being a bit of an issue, and I technically have the option to cut it all out and get the "Plot" rolling much closer to the beginning, but in doing that, I'll lose a lot of character and exposition content that either has to be mushed in after the first major plot event occurs or dropped completely and thus leaving out potentially relevant details. In the end I let this book run out 300,000+ words, so I've already come to terms with having to split the book into two parts to even make it viable on the market. Another option (though a clumsy one in my opinion) would be to throw much of the exposition stuff into a separate reference book for people that enjoy the extra, finer details, leaving the main novel for only plot and critical character material.

Yeah, this is hard in science fiction. The best advice I can give would be to think of what's relevant to the reader. Like, here's an example:

 

 

The URDF Navy extracted PRAXIS Sigma from the planet, and moved it here into downtown Olympus, where it could act as an efficient, inexpensive way for government officials and military personnel to move between the two government centers. It was an impressive feat given the overall structure was nearly 1,700 meters tall, 400 meters across, and 100 meters wide, though its ability to levitate on its own certainly helped.

 

So, why does the reader need to know right now that the PRAXIS is capable of this? It isn't being used right now, so readers certainly aren't going to be confused about it. On one hand, if government and military officials at some point teleport from Tau Ceti to Earth via the PRAXIS, it'll be obvious that government and military officials do in fact use the artifact to teleport to Earth. (I would assume some form of wormhole, though macroscopic wormholes are extremely massive--billions of tons even for a 1-meter wormhole.) And if nobody ever uses the portal, then how does it help the reader to mention it at all?

funny you should mention this, I actually didn't state it until much later in the story because it was relevant. Honestly, I can't remember exactly why I moved it all the way to the front, though to be fair I suppose I was referring to why the URDF moved the PRAXIS since that would be the main contributing factor.

 

 

 

 

I guess it's obvious that not every detail of the universe can be crammed into a single book, and what influences the plot does seem like a helpful rule of thumb for what to throw in. Luckily, you're not just planning on writing one book, so I suppose sequels can explore facets that don't make it into this book.

 

True. The nice thing about having so much extra content is that I can drop it if need be. Better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it, right?  :cool:






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