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Would you read this?

Yes 0.4375 43.8% [ 7 ]
No 0.125 12.5% [ 2 ]
Maybe, it depends. 0.4375 43.8% [ 7 ]
Total Votes:[ 16 ]
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I've been the co-author and artist of "Midwinter", a manga that a friend and I created two years ago. It's an urban fantasy that meshes sci fi and magic. smile

I've amassed enough art to show, so check it out below~

Here's the summary:
(Bear in mind it's a WIP; trying to work out some kinks still.)

" As a powerful caster and experienced thief, Nox is determined to get the hottest commodity on the black market: asterite. Unfortunately, the only facility with an ample supply of the controversial drug is the heavily guarded Gemini Hospital.

But he isn't the only one after asterite, and the situation soon calls for him to protect the very hospital he sought to steal from. His show of power lands him into the role of security guard and ultimately forces him to adjust to his new, legal life as Commander of Core Security.

With the hospital already breathing down his neck, Nox needs to earn the trust of the faculty and Hospital Director, Pendiah Hemera, to carry out his duties as he tries to unravel the secrets of asterite. "

The main character, Nox
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The female lead, Pendiah
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A sample page of the manga:
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Excuse the semi-cheesy line, it sounds better in context, I promise. |D

We're planning to debut the pilot this November, and monthly chapters (30-40 pages) would follow some time after, depending on the amount of time needed to crank out the buffer chapters. We haven't set a price yet, but we're thinking each chapter will be $2-3, and the printed volumes would be offered once there are enough chapters out to make one.

So anyway, does this look like something you would pick up? What appeals to you? What doesn't? Any feedback is appreciated~

If you'd like to see more illustrations (there are plenty), sketches, and the like, you can check out my DeviantART, Tumblr, or Midwinter's Facebook page. <3
Kaxen's avatar

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I definitely like the art, but the blurb doesn't excite me particularly.
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

Exactly what Kaxen said. Perhaps an extended blurb that gives a better idea of what the story is about might interest me more, but I wouldn't read this based on that blurb even if it were free. There's just nothing there, as it is.
Hmm, alright! We've actually been told to cut back the summary a couple times because we told the reader too much, (or so we were told) so we'll have to re-evaluate that.

Is there any subject in particular that would get you more interested, you think? Like would knowing more about asterite, the world, or perhaps Nox draw you in more?
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

Nyx-Aenaos
Hmm, alright! We've actually been told to cut back the summary a couple times because we told the reader too much, (or so we were told) so we'll have to re-evaluate that.

Is there any subject in particular that would get you more interested, you think? Like would knowing more about asterite, the world, or perhaps Nox draw you in more?

For a summary, you don't have enough. For a logline, you have too much. Which are you trying to do?

In either case, the details of the world don't matter too much. It's good to have them (I think you have enough to establish the basics), but you shouldn't rely on such things to make people interested in the story. The fact that your knee-jerk reaction was to offer more information on "asterite, the world, or perhaps Nox" worries me. If world details and character backstories are the only things make your story interesting, then you've got an awful story. You need to sell us on the basic conflict(s) and the characters/their interactions - those are what people read stories for. World details should be subservient to those things.


Also, it's awesome that you put so much effort into the comic art. It's on par with (if not better than) the extra art. Usually people make great extra art and then flake on the actual comic art. I suspect the art alone will help you grab many readers (ones less picky about blurbs and stories xP).
Kyousouka

For a summary, you don't have enough. For a logline, you have too much. Which are you trying to do?

In either case, the details of the world don't matter too much. It's good to have them (I think you have enough to establish the basics), but you shouldn't rely on such things to make people interested in the story. The fact that your knee-jerk reaction was to offer more information on "asterite, the world, or perhaps Nox" worries me. If world details and character backstories are the only things make your story interesting, then you've got an awful story. You need to sell us on the basic conflict(s) and the characters/their interactions - those are what people read stories for. World details should be subservient to those things.


Also, it's awesome that you put so much effort into the comic art. It's on par with (if not better than) the extra art. Usually people make great extra art and then flake on the actual comic art. I suspect the art alone will help you grab many readers (ones less picky about blurbs and stories xP).


I suppose I'm going for a summary, something I can put on the back of the volume when we publish it!

Oh, I'm sorry I came off like that--perhaps it's because I'm not the plot writer that I didn't think of it instinctively, but it's not that we don't have a plot. (in fact I'd say it's rather story heavy) I can't rightly say it's quality and expect you to believe me, but after lots of revisions and reviews from other writers, I'd say we have something pretty solid. (To clarify, my partner in this develops the overarching plots and we help each other flesh it out)

Well, the main conflict that the story starts out with is in the climax of the pilot. I really didn't want to just give it away on the back of the book, but would you recommend it?

I put it under the spoiler tag in case other people didn't want to read it.
Basically, there's another party attacking the hospital the same time Nox is. For this place the attacks are pretty regular at this point, and though the security has been ramped up, it's still not enough. In the end, though he didn't intend it, Nox ends up protecting the hospital instead and defeats the monster with his casting abilities. This impresses the hospital director and she tries to get him on their side, offers him a job... but when he refuses, she gets desperate and coerces him into it by injecting him with nanites that can kill him on command.

So, essentially, he gets stuck defending the very hospital he meant to steal from.

From there the plot explores this society that views casters as second class citizens, asterite and its controversial use, the higher powers that govern magic and the connections between all of these and Nox himself. During his employment, he's in constant conflict with the hospital just trying to gain their trust while still having a hidden agenda. Down the line, one of the largest conflicts in the story is character driven, when Nox has to ultimately choose between his old and new life, and effectively damn those involved with the one he doesn't choose.

In general, I'd say this is a rather character driven story, where their choices impact the turn of events. I guess that's why I'm having trouble explaining it simply--as they're character specifc--but hopefully that's sufficient for now.


And thanks so much for the compliments on the art. While I'm trying to find small shortcuts I can take to make myself efficient on time with the pages, I really want to make the comic stand on its own. I absolutely hate it when the comic art looks nothing like the cover. |D
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

In your summary, I think you should hint at the gravity of Nox's eventual choices. The present description doesn't make it sound like his actions matter at all, so the reader is not intrigued.

Since the story has a strong character-driven component, your description should reflect that. You don't have to talk about what the conflicts are/what brings them on, you should just hint at their underlying nature/theme (e.g. conflicting loyalties).

I also think it wouldn't hurt to mention that he's ends up protecting the hospital, but you shouldn't explain how that comes to be. It's a twist that readers would be interested in learning about, and it doesn't sound like it would spoil the story.
Thanks for the advice! We'll try to work on it tonight and post the revision soon~
Kyousouka
For a summary, you don't have enough. For a logline, you have too much. Which are you trying to do?

In either case, the details of the world don't matter too much. It's good to have them (I think you have enough to establish the basics), but you shouldn't rely on such things to make people interested in the story. The fact that your knee-jerk reaction was to offer more information on "asterite, the world, or perhaps Nox" worries me. If world details and character backstories are the only things make your story interesting, then you've got an awful story. You need to sell us on the basic conflict(s) and the characters/their interactions - those are what people read stories for. World details should be subservient to those things.


Also, it's awesome that you put so much effort into the comic art. It's on par with (if not better than) the extra art. Usually people make great extra art and then flake on the actual comic art. I suspect the art alone will help you grab many readers (ones less picky about blurbs and stories xP).


I really like how Kyousouka was able to critique information you have provided regarding a story. I'm sorta blinded by how well the comic art was done to even read through everything that's going on unfortunately. Another unfortunate part is I am unable to critique a story unless I have read it I suppose. I'm quite untrained when it comes to blurbs, loglines, conflicts, and whatever else (what's a blurb or logline?), but I can sorta understand where Kyousouka is pointing out those things to treat the story a little better.

I really, really like how you handled the fabric on Nox's long-sleeved shirt.
Snowblazer's avatar

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I would buy it.
iDream version 2
I really like how Kyousouka was able to critique information you have provided regarding a story. I'm sorta blinded by how well the comic art was done to even read through everything that's going on unfortunately. Another unfortunate part is I am unable to critique a story unless I have read it I suppose. I'm quite untrained when it comes to blurbs, loglines, conflicts, and whatever else (what's a blurb or logline?), but I can sorta understand where Kyousouka is pointing out those things to treat the story a little better.

I really, really like how you handled the fabric on Nox's long-sleeved shirt.


Well thank you very much! I'm glad you think the art is that good, haha.

I understand the story part--it's something we need to learn how to convey better to really get someone interested, and for a lot of people it's hard to judge without really reading it.. But I think it'll get better once we get more material out.

I'm pretty sure your question on blurbs and loglines was rhetorical, but I'll answer anyway. |D A blurb is something you find on the back of a book or the volume of a manga. It's a couple paragraphs of information to give the reader a rundown of the contents. A logline, on the other hand (from my understanding) is 1-3 sentences that contain a hook. An example might be... on the TV guide channel when you're trying to find something to watch, it may give you a couple brief lines. (I think that's more or less what it is, don't quote me on it. Haven't looked it up in awhile)

So what we're going for is a blurb/summary... which ended up being more than just a one night project. We have the concept down, but the wording is kinda clunky and cheesy still, lol.

(If you're curious)
As a powerful caster and experienced thief, Nox is determined to get the hottest commodity in the black market: asterite. The miracle drug is in high demand for its magical properties(?) and ability to cure genetic diseases, but the only facility with enough for him to steal is the highly guarded Gemini Hospital.

He might have succeeded if there wasn't another contender on the field, one that ultimately calls for him to protect the very hospital he sought to steal from. As fate would have it, he gets sucked into playing security guard permanently and is forced to adjust to his new, legal life as Commander of Core Security.

But with the hospital already breathing down his neck, Nox needs to not only earn the trust of the faculty, but also of Hospital Director Pendiah Hemera.


And Snowblazer, I'm happy to hear it biggrin
Kyousouka summed up my thoughts pretty well, and your current pitch serves the whole thing much better. When I read your spoiler synopsis I was thinking yeah mention the hospital because that, for me, sets the stage for the conflict I'd be interested in reading about.

I think it's that whole balance between want to keep things a mystery don't say too much entice the reader to want to find out more and here's the whole plot from beginning to end saved you the trouble of reading it! So it's really a matter of figuring out what needs to be kept a mystery and what really shouldn't be. Anyway, I'm much more interested in the story with your current synopsis and the art is certainly competent enough to carry it! Good luck with your project. smile
Zeo
Kyousouka summed up my thoughts pretty well, and your current pitch serves the whole thing much better. When I read your spoiler synopsis I was thinking yeah mention the hospital because that, for me, sets the stage for the conflict I'd be interested in reading about.

I think it's that whole balance between want to keep things a mystery don't say too much entice the reader to want to find out more and here's the whole plot from beginning to end saved you the trouble of reading it! So it's really a matter of figuring out what needs to be kept a mystery and what really shouldn't be. Anyway, I'm much more interested in the story with your current synopsis and the art is certainly competent enough to carry it! Good luck with your project. smile


Thanks! I'm glad it sounds better now. We're close to finalizing the summary, so I'll post that when I have it finished~

And yeah, drawing the line between those two is a big challenge! Even within the story, knowing when or how the best way is to reveal something is tough... but we're getting there I think. smile
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

I hope you don't mind more of my complaining!

Quote:
As a powerful caster and experienced thief, Nox is determined to get the hottest commodity in the black market: asterite. The miracle drug is in high demand for its magical properties(?) and ability to cure genetic diseases, but the only facility with enough for him to steal is the highly guarded Gemini Hospital.

This is too much information about the drug. I think the entire bolded part could be replaced with "the miracle drug asterite" (and the part after it grammar-corrected to match the change, of course).

At this point, the reader doesn't need to know what makes the drug so amazing, just that it is. And perhaps that little bit of mystery will make them want to find out (the name alone sounds rather interesting, implying that the drug has something to do with stars).

Quote:
He might have succeeded if there wasn't another contender on the field, one that ultimately calls for him to protect the very hospital he sought to steal from.

I don't like this part. That doesn't mean it's bad, this might just be a personal preference thing, but something about it just makes me lose interest in the story. Maybe it's because it's one of those twists/events that really need context to make sense (in which case, ouch, those are always hard to summarise).

Also, unless "fate" is an actual plot point, avoid mentioning it in summaries. It makes your writing sound incompetent, like events happen just because you want them to, rather than due to causality.

It's cool that you mentioned that he has to protect the hospital and that another contender is involved, but as I mentioned, something about it is off to me.
What are they protecting the hospital from, and why does Nox care? The details of that aren't for the summary, but I think they should be hinted at. I don't know your story so this is probably not accurate, but I would have probably phrased it more like this:
"He might have succeeded if there wasn't another contender on the field, and (whatever they're protecting the hospital from). Forced to permanently protect the place he tried to rob, Nox must adjust to a new, legal life as Commander of Core Security."
It doesn't hint at how he becomes a guard as much, but I think that's something that can safely be left a mystery for now.


Also holy crap, I've never written so much about just a summary before! I don't know whether to thank you for the learning experience, or to apologise for making you put up with me.
Kyousouka
Also holy crap, I've never written so much about just a summary before! I don't know whether to thank you for the learning experience, or to apologise for making you put up with me.


Of course I don't mind! Thank you for the feedback. And yeah, a lot of wording was off, including that "fate" part. We made sure to remove that |D

We actually just finished our "final" edits on it:

As a powerful caster and capable thief, Nox is determined to get the hottest commodity in the black market: asterite. The highly prized drug boasts the ability to cure genetic diseases and is rumored to contain controversial arcane properties. His search soon reveals that the only facility with ample supply is the heavily guarded Gemini Hospital.

Unfortunately, he isn't the only one after their supply, and the situation soon calls for him to protect the very hospital he sought to steal from. His show of power lands him into playing security guard and forces him to adjust to his new, legal life as Commander of Core Security.

With the hospital already breathing down his neck, Nox needs to earn the trust of the faculty and Hospital Director, Pendiah Hemera, to carry out his duties as he tries to unravel the secrets of asterite.


From your earlier advice, do you think we could do without "The highly prized drug..." sentence? I feel like it could be taken out, but I'm unsure if we should mention it's some sort of drug anyway. edit: or maybe it'd sound better with "the miracle drug, asterite" like you suggested...? Though my partner mentioned that "miracle drug" makes her think of an infomercial, so maybe there's something we can replace it with... and we both kind of like the added in "rumored arcane properties", so we don't want to get rid of all of it?

I kind of like how you restructured those last couple lines, so I might see about wording it like that. surprised

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