WIP Dragons of Ice and Fire by serpentguy - M - A Song of...

Discussion in 'Books' started by Invictus, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. Donimo

    Donimo Seventh Year

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    Fanfiction has a problem of being too nice to its characters. This is okay most of the time, since fanfiction is inherently different from original fiction. There is a lot of pleasure to be found in reading about characters we like triumphing. This fic took a hard turn in the other direction. It was great at first, an actual plot with actual difficulties and setbacks. Then everything kept going horribly. It went so far that plot armor was being used to make Jon fuck up more instead of to make him succeed. At this point in this fic I'm coasting, If I stop reading I'll probably never start again.
     
  2. FreakLord

    FreakLord Professor DLP Supporter

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    Updated today. I forgot to add another point in my previous post. He uses a lot of "Room/World is spinning", "He/She felt confused". I can understand when Jon might experience it the first few times he goes into battle or an attack on him, but every time? It's fucking ridiculous. At some point, he should get used to it. Humans are very adaptable.
     
  3. serpentguy

    serpentguy Second Year

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    No, there's been no plot forcing to hurt Jon. I set the stakes from the beginning and I've kept to them.
    Is it surprising that the seventeen year old trying to unite a war-torn country has faced a lot of political push back? Just in like in canon, Jon upset a lot of people in his camp and he got caught completely by surprise by an assassination attempt. Honestly, the biggest piece of plot armour was having Jon survive it.
    I established Stannis as a bitter king with a grudge and a very powerful witch under his command, of course that would come back to bite him. Even in canon, shadow assassins are about as OP as it gets, Stannis would want his revenge, and that was always a threat.
    I established the white walkers as a very serious threat, even to a dragon. Of course that's not going to go away; this is an end game, apocalyptic threat.

    From the beginning, the task Jon faced was nigh impossible. Unite a broken realm, end a thousand year feud, and try to do it quickly enough to stop the unstoppable army. You're talking like he's failed everything he's touched, but Jon has been about half-successful in that task - and only a Mary Sue is capable of being completely successful.

    I don't want my characters to have an easy win. I want them to face impossible odds and fight for their happy ending kicking and screaming.

    In this chapter, he was leading an army of giants against zombies. Before that, he was fighting off an assassination attempt in the middle of snowstorm and before that he was learning to fight on dragonback. I don't think that any of that stuff would ever feel like standard fare for anyone.
    Some of the best lines in canon were on the nature of war. If you have men marching to their deaths, them even the hardest man is going to be drunk out of their minds in fear. It's only afterwards that it gets glorified; my view is that in the moment there's a hell of a lot of stained breeches.
    War is hell. It never becomes anything but.
     
  4. Donimo

    Donimo Seventh Year

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    I'm not sure you understood my point, because you said I'm wrong then agreed with me. Plot armor is inevitable, we want to read about the person who barely wins. That doesn't mean its okay for a shadow assassin to show up and kill everyone, except him of course. That isn't the protagonist suffering a setback, its just a ridiculous gratuitous event that leaves me feeling that nothing matters. It wasn't good story telling, and it didn't make sense for Stannis to do. I don't really believe Melisandre has the ability to send a shadow across the world and kill so many people, so we have inconsistency of power that will likely cause significant continuity errors. And that is only one example of many in this story that have caused me to lose interest.

    At this point the plot armor isn't doing what its suppose to. It isn't making the protagonist suffer adversity so we can see him grow from it. It isn't allowing him to survive awful situations because he was just good enough. It's there so he can get shit on by whatever comes next. I know and recognize this as a reader, and it makes me disinterested.
     
  5. FreakLord

    FreakLord Professor DLP Supporter

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    And also, you had mentioned that the white walker was hurt and he could only animate about maybe 1000 wights. But then, just for giggles, you made him animate 15000 wights. I agree with @Donimo on the inconsistency of power. It is the one of the biggest issue in a lot of stories.
     
  6. serpentguy

    serpentguy Second Year

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    Stannis did it because of the prophecy that Jon was his archenemy. Also because Jon cut off his hand, and because Stannis was incredibly bitter about that. Stannis hears that his mortal enemy has just conquered Winterfell and could now fly south at any moment, Stannis wants to make sure that the 'Champion of Night' doesn't come south. Stannis has a chance to delay him, when he knows that all of Jon's allies are gathered in the same place.

    I included it as another case of self-fulfilling prophecy. Thanks largely to Stannis attack, Jon has to search for more allies. It forms a major motivation for the next big part of the story, as well as making Jon alert for the dangers of sorcery (see Euron). They also recognised Stannis was responsible, it puts Stannis in conflict with Jon again.
    Jon survived because of another self-fulfillment; Mel believed he was fated to survive, and so the assassin didn't target him.

    Plus, it was a cool way of establishing something of the lore; I wanted to set up the shadow assassins as a counterpart to the Others - both of them malignant otherworldly beings that were created to be used as weapons.

    I can't argue how the story makes you feel as a reader, but the consistency on my end is there.

    No; I never mentioned that Malvern could only raise 1000 wights. That was never a limit I set.
     
  7. bonnerr2

    bonnerr2 Second Year

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    Updated with a monster of a chapter. 40K words of the protagonists finally getting their collective shit together and acting, instead of responding to shit happening to them. Looking forward to the climax of this ‘book’ of the series.
     
  8. s0ng2Sing

    s0ng2Sing First Year

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    Yeah, that was a big update. Bran finally decided to put on his wizard hat and attempt to do something useful (not criticizing him, he is just a traumatized kid, go Bran). Jon being surprised that there was actually a problem he didn't need to personally fix (he still has a mountain of them to go through though). And Sam actually faking me out and putting together a pretty good game plan on the fly (I guess the constant state of terror that he has lived through all his life has given him an tolerance for all the panic in the air, he is leader by dint of being one of the few people capable of keeping a reasonably calm head).
     
  9. Krogan

    Krogan Alien in a Hat Prestige DLP Supporter

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    So I just read the latest chapter and as usual the writing in and of itself is excellent, the battle scenes were extremely engaging and I enjoyed Sonagon being revived quite a bit. My problem though is that given the authors track record it’s hard for me to do anything other than sigh wearily when I see that Jon won. Unless he completely veers off script all that a victory means is that shits about to completely hit the fan and fuck Jon over even worse than before. The author seems to have developed some sort of pathological aversion to letting Jon just have something good happen. Anything good has to be followed almost immediately by a crushing setback and the violent death of at least a handful of people Jon cares about and considering how many he’s dropped so far there aren’t too many left.

    I suppose that’s been my biggest problem with this fic overall is just how damn hard the author seems to be working to make Jon as miserable as possible.
     
  10. s0ng2Sing

    s0ng2Sing First Year

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    I hope Jon doesn't get any more crippling or serious injuries from this fight. The giant's strength is likely to be depleted even more from the latest battle. Hopefully Jon can have his Dragon maybe plug the hole in the wall but I think the magical protections/wards that it had are done with. The localized warm weather at Winterfell is interesting and could provide some proof for the sceptics that some freaky stuff is going on up North. It also helps to cement Bran's reputation/legitimacy as a Stark that you should think twice about messing with. Before he was the brother of Jon, now with what he has done and his healing of the dragon people will likely now recognize him as a person in his own right. I can already see the rumors spreading about the sorcerer King of Winter. Whatever else happens you can likely say that his reputation with the Wildlings has increased and they view him as more than a broken boy now.

    I'm hoping that the next couple of chapters start to cover what is happening down south again though. I kind of want to see what has been happening with Aegon and how he has/hasn't been able to deal with Euron.
     
  11. Menace

    Menace Lonely White Boy

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    Gonna preface this by saying I stopped reading around the time Jon got dragon-shamed for razing the Twins, just skimmed through the last few chapters and I've gotta say it turned out worse than I could have ever imagined. Which is crazy, because you've brought in so many fantasy elements that I've always wanted to see more of in canon. Giant kraken, ice dragon, winter wyrms, all of Bran's goofball wizardry, it's great.

    But ho-ly shit is the story bad. Jon Snow is just about the only decent main POV character in canon after the first couple books, and you've completely butchered his character. Canon Jon wouldn't bitch and moan about his vows while his warm nut was still oozing out of Val. Dude barely gave a shit about his vows in canon, and he sure wouldn't after all the shit he'd done in your fic up to that point. I already mentioned a while back how you ruined any enjoyment your readers might have gotten out of Jon and Val's relationship by telling them Jon would be ending up with Danaerys, but hey dude fanfiction lmao. Add that on to Jon's pussyfooting and I couldn't even enjoy seeing my favorite pairing in this godforsaken fandom.

    It isn't just his time with Val, though. Jon doesn't act like himself in his capacity as a military leader either. Dude doesn't screech in battle. He was raised by Ned Stark. He doesn't need to mastermind the battlefield, but he should act like he's Ned's god damn son (lol) while things are going down. Jerk yourself off about war being hell all you want, but it just ain't right.

    Hearing all the nonsense about Sonagon getting gray scale, Stannis' cross map shadow snipe, etc. just make me glad I didn't keep up with the story. I really couldn't care less if these things happening made perfect sense so don't bother trying to justify it if you read this, because either way we know why you wrote these things.

    What I would like to know - but again don't @ me - is why the fuck you even gave Jon a giant ice dragon in the first place if you didn't want him to use it. If you didn't want him to full rolling stomp Westeros like Aegon did, why give him a dragon that fucking big and make his primary goal to pull an Aegon? Give him something smaller, make it so he has to unite everyone largely on his own because he can't wait for the dragon to grow, so that your readers aren't sitting back wondering why Jon didn't just take his men and have Sonagon surround the Dreadfort in ice.

    Or hell, give him the big dragon, and focus on the other fantasy elements you've got bubbling in this fic. Giant kraken, wyrms, etc. Doesn't have to be giant monsters either. Stannis vs. Jon was great, and the scene with the arrows was probably my favorite. That was a fun use of Mel's powers. Not an untraceable, unpreventable snipe with no apparent range cap.

    Make no mistake, though. None of this even comes CLOSE to how bad your take on the White Walkers is. Going for the alien angle, sure, workable. Giving them a POV scene in which they talk to each other and act like preteens? I don't care if that's the point. It's stupid. You're also contradictory, even within your own portrayal of them, having them freak the fuck out when they're getting killed in the most recent battle, but just about pissing on the pile of dust Jon makes out of their brother in their POV scene.

    I'm not even going to talk about Ramsay's mama giving him the strength to take back control of his dead fucking body, but just know that I read and write fanfiction about shonen manga and that's the dumbest thing I've encountered in a while.

    All this to say, your story has a lot of elements that I like to see in a fic, but the way you handle them is a big let down. But preferences are preferences, and I can't say for sure that these things I hate are hated by everyone.

    What I can say is that the way you respond to people giving you honest criticism and not just shouting down your asshole like I am is atrocious. You've got your dick shoved so far down your own throat that you can't acknowledge a single point made against your story, and even when multiple people insist on something being bad your only concession is "Well I guess it's just not to your taste, then." Motherfucker. Your story sucks. People are trying to help you make it better.

    I've only read the comments made on DLP, but I can only imagine the fellating the other forums are giving you that you act so fucking cocky to the people taking time out of their day to help you make your story better.

    I wanted this story to be good so bad. Such a bummer.
     
  12. serpentguy

    serpentguy Second Year

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    Jesus Christ, and this is about the reason that I stop caring about DLP.

    The way I respond to people giving criticism? I respond by replying to them with my opinion. I'm not dismissing criticism, and I am acknowledging it - i'm just giving my own viewpoint in return. I don't mind if you disagree with it, and it doesn't bother me if you object, but please - PLEASE - stop expecting me to just agree with the loudest voice in the room.

    Because that's about what you're supposed to do in discussion, you know - some one shares their opinion, another person shares theirs, and then you actually talk about it. It's not a case of 'this post gets lots of thumbs up, so therefore i'm not allowed to disagree'.


    But here's a concept that has apparently gone way over your head; I'm writing this story for me.
    I'm the author, I'm solely writing the story that I want to write. If you also happen to enjoy that story, then that's great. If you don't enjoy it, then that's fine too. If you're going to be a bitch about it, then fuck off.

    Comment and judge my story all you want, but - and this is important - do not tell me to write a different story. That's the moment i roll my eyes and start dismissing people.

    If you give reasonable feedback; thank you, very much appreciated. I can't promise that I'll agree with it, but I do promise i'll consider it. And I'm always happy to talk about it - really, that's only reason I'm actually here because I enjoy discussing these matters. I enjoy seeing and contrasting different opinions.

    If you want to have a reasonable discussion about my story sometime, then I'm happy to. But this post isn't even worth it.
     
  13. Deft

    Deft First Year

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    I have little complaints with the story, but the scene that made me close the tab and stop was the white walkers claiming kills like they were playing a video game.

    I get that everyone can have their own interpretation, but it's just so far off the mark it ruined any sense of dread/foreboding that white walkers held. To be honest I don't even like the fact that you wrote a pov scene for them at all, but the interactions were just utterly disappointing in comparison to the terror and dread of Hardhome.

    Maybe you're trying to set Euron up as the far more terrifying enemy. But I can't seem to care when 48 chapters passed by and the scariest dudes around are white walkers that brag about their kills and run when they're scared. It's just such a massive character conflict between the nigh unkillable ice demons from canon (and many earlier scenes in your story) and the attitude of a typical game hunter.

    You've made them pedestrian and it didn't seem like it was intentional.
     
  14. Hymsicality

    Hymsicality Second Year

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    You know who writes stories for themselves? Everyone.

    You know who goes out of their way to tell you that they're writing stories for themselves? Shit authors.

    Not helping you're argument that you're a self-fellating piece of shit author if the first words out of your mouth are "I'm right and you're all beneath me."

    Now this is just a classic example of straw-manning.

    You wrote barely readable guilty pleasures three years ago, and you write barely readable guilty pleasures today. Get over yourself.
     
  15. Naja

    Naja Fourth Year

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    This story is without question one of the best fics I have ever read, in any fandon.

    It is extremely well written, the plot is well developed and I'm thoroughly enjoying the world building.

    The interpretation of many of the characters, the Other's especially, differs from my own personal headcanon, but they make sense in the context of the fic and the World of Ice and Fire as a whole. Consider, the Others are taken and turned as children and then presumably exist free of mortal concern. It makes sense that they don't actually develop much as individuals.

    Can't wait for the next update.

    5/5.

    On a separate note, much of the criticism I've seen here verges on whining about the direction of the story instead of genuine criticism and has strayed into gratuitous personal attack. Serpentguy, I'd ask you not to generalize to much based on this particular thread, even though I do agree with the points you raised.
     
  16. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Hey, lets settle the fuck down. There's giving honest feedback and then there's baiting. This is baiting. Everyone else, lets get back to just reviewing the story. Thanks.

    @serpentguy Not everyone is going to like your story. If you feel like a post is out of line, and you don't feel like responding to it, let staff handle it for you. There is a report button on every post. Don't get drawn into a shit fest.

    General atmosphere of this thread is garbage. This is exasperated by the fact that the authors responding style doesn't mesh with other people. Can't change what's already happened but I don't want to see anymore of this shit going on in a thread.

    Menace post was heavily sarcastic and while I generally don't care if people are offended or not I can see how people can misconstrue. Especially given then language used. I'd suggest everyone reading and commentating take this with a large spoon of salt and move the fuck on at this point.

    As I stated before there is a report function. Use it.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  17. Donimo

    Donimo Seventh Year

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    I definitely agree about Jon's characterization being ruined. There is a reason I prefer the southern chapters of this fic.
     
  18. Hymsicality

    Hymsicality Second Year

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    Okay, my bad I'll try to be constructive, at least for the 20 chapters or so that I did read.

    First few chapters were compelling enough for a fanfic. There was an interesting premise, fairly nuanced power dynamics and it felt plotted out beforehand which made reading it rather pleasant. And then as others have mentioned before it just went off the fucking rails with weird shit. Which is fine, if its what you want to write. 800,000 words is insane though, the sheer volume is somewhat impressive.
     
  19. Dark Syaoran

    Dark Syaoran Golden Patronus Admin

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    This is pretty much it.

    The entire journey north of the Wall, Jon bringing the various tribes back together after they were splintered, culminating with the battle at Hardhome against the dead and Stannis was pretty damn amazing. The relationship between Jon and the Weeper was incredible. The only thing I remember disliking about this time was the fact that you randomly turned his hair white but it was such a minor thing. The fight against Stannis was legit one of the most outstanding memories I have of asoiaf fanfiction.

    Then Jon took the Wildlings south and everything just fell to pieces. One step forward, ten steps back. Things just constantly going wrong for no reason other than creating conflict because at the end of the day, you gave him a weapon of mass destruction and have no other way of stopping him from steamrolling the entire continent. Jon could siege a castle without ever seen moving his army since his dragon can create actual walls of ice like it created at Hardhome. The whole issue at the Dreadfort made no sense. Even if he didn't want to destroy them like the Twins, he could cut them off with a simple swoop of his dragon. They either surrender or starve.

    The Wildlings seem to constantly challenge him, even though he has this giant fucking beast and he saved them all by bringing them south. The whole 'we dont kneel' just ramped up to ridiculous levels. Jon acting completely out of character after he sleeps with Val, bitching and moaning about how he shamed her. What? He sure didn't care when he filled the red head full of a baby batter. Ramsay's 20 good men and the whole greyscale crap. Oh my god.

    It just turns into a straight clown car.

    This is around the time I stopped but hearing what is to come, I'm honestly completely baffled how such a good story went in such a direction. Un-fucking-believable.

    Basically, you wrote a brilliant journey of Jon Snow gaining the allegiance of a giant ice breathing monster then constantly have to throw stupid shit in just to create conflict because otherwise, Jon Snow wins.

    Checkmate.
     
  20. serpentguy

    serpentguy Second Year

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    After the Wall, I wanted to write a story where a dragon isn't an instant win, true enough. The fandom has plenty of fanfics with Jon Snow gets a dragon and curbstomps his enemies, I didn't want to add to that.

    But in the circumstances, I was more considering all of the problems where a dragon doesn't help.
    A dragon doesn't help in a civil war, it doesn't let you get more supporters. Jon had an extremely poor public image when he crossed the Wall, and having an ice-breathing, village-eating dragon by his side didn't make him seem more attractive to anyone. A dragon can't help with logistics, it can't repair or unite a war-torn country, and it can't help a shattered economy. After several invasions and a coup, the north was suffering a state of civil decay. The dragon didn't help there, it just exaggerated matters. The people were scared witless, the realm fell into anarchy.

    A dragon doesn't help with hostages, and it doesn't help if you're looking to reduce casualties and collateral. A dragon doesn't help with assassinations, either.

    The dragon does make people more scared of you, but fear doesn't make them more loyal. Instead, there was a whole wave of people who were too scared to defy Snow, but they still didn't like the deal he made wildlings. The movement against him was fought by subterfuge instead, with a whole lot of people sabotaging their contributions.

    Meanwhile, on Jon's side, his army quickly became complacent - because, after all, they had a dragon. They that believed victory was certain too, and so they started making systematic mistakes.

    At the end of the day, a dragon alone can't conquer a realm. You still need people to do that. A dragon would help in destroying in a realm, but that has been one of the major themes across the northern arc - the difference between conquering and destroying something.
    Jon tasted destruction at the Twins, where he quickly realised that he didn't like how it tasted. He had envisioned it as a dramatic justice against his family's murderers (as many would), but then the reality was just a whole lot of screaming, weeping and mutilated bodies.

    Jon isn't a psychopath - justified or not, the sight of so much devastation really affected him. A dragon also doesn't help with god complexes or feelings of guilt.

    After that, Jon made the choice that he didn't want to be a destroyer. He started to harshly restrict Sonagon's usage. When it came to the Dreadfort or Winterfell, Jon was still suffering PTSD from the Twins.

    The basic premise there was Jon (as in, a seventeen year old, inexperienced commander) set out into a complex civil war with an overly idealistic ambition - but then a more ruthless world made him suffer for that idealism. That was the lesson Roose Bolton taught him by the end.

    I've got my own list of things that i don't like about the arc, but no, that part of it isn't one of them. It should never have been an instant victory.


    As for Val, I'm honestly a bit baffled at that feedback. Jon reacted the way he did because of Ygritte. His last girlfriend was missing, presumed dead, he had received no resolution over her. He was attracted to Val and they slept together while drunk, but then in the morning after Jon started feeling guilt over Ygritte and her fate. His oaths were just an excuse he made up on the spot, when in truth he still not over his previous love.

    I mean, he had to push Ygritte off a cliff - do you really expect him to move on so quickly without a few issues?


    For greyscale, the grey plague started as Rhoynish curse against dragonlords. It was designed to hurt dragon - it was a magical disease from Prince Garin launched against the people who destroyed his realm. There's a plenty solid theory that the maesters during the Dance used greyscale to poison off the remaining dragons, and I like the implications of that one. I ran with it.

    The maester conspiracy is another thing that Jon suffered - the maesters are naturally biased against dragons, wildlings and invaders. We've seen over and over in canon that the maester order is not the neutral party they present themselves as.


    I made the white walkers as they were because of one of the complaints lodged against the show - that the Others are stock villains. Instead, GRRM said that he thinks of them as fae, and I based them more on the old school fae - playful and evil creatures with no sense of morality. Basically like children with immense powers. In the prologue of AGOT, you can see the Others laughing and teasing with Royce's party before they killed them.
    Personally, i think that the idea of immortal pre-teens with no restraint is a lot scarier than the featureless Others.



    Now, just a note, I don't mind if you disagree with me. I don't mind if you hate the story. The only thing that gets my hackles raised is when you verge into personal attack. Attack the story all you want, i don't care. If you want a discussion about it, I'm happy to.
     
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