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Crusene Critique Request

What the heck, I'll start it off.


It's a setting I've written only a little about, and I've posted a thread here some time ago asking for advice.

I think I've finally gotten the ball rolling on this, though, and any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated. This feedback may be a critique of my writing style (I am a very young writer and do not have much experience) my plotline, or of my characters.

I do intend to change the POV for the next chapter, though. I am hoping I can work with a 1st person view. Perhaps someone may give advice as to whether or such a POV would be feasible?

Oh, I've just remembered I have a "Mission Statement" around here somewhere...

*rummages around*

here we are:

Setting Synopsis

The goal for this setting is to combine what I know of history, anthropology, mythology, sociology, biology, and fantasy writing into a cohesive, semi-realistic world, one that is fantastic in nature, but without magic or gods or world-changing events from heroes and villains dueling it out. This is a world much like that of Middle Earth; however there is no magic, and moralism, whether from philosophy or religion, is more or less absent, and by and large the technology is more in line with the Late Iron Age. This is to be a world of fear, ignorance, and harshness. The strong rule the weak and political ambition is represented by a knife in the dark or a host of swords at your back. There are a few cradles of what we would recognize as civilization. However they are noticeably different and still have many practices of what we would call barbaric, but what I, as the writer, see as normal for the setting. Slavery, for example, is a major aspect of every people and civilization, indeed, even indispensable for the more “civilized” states.

As for the civilizations and species themselves, four bipedal, intelligent races inhabit a large continent. This continent has mountains, rivers, forests, plains, and deserts, and is large enough for each race to develop, more or less, on their own in relative safety, each creating their own culture. These four races are anthropomorphic in nature, foxes, wolves, lizards, and, well, the fourth I’m not quite sure of yet. Two of the races, the foxes and wolves, I have given some major thought to, and tend to take after the Ancient Greeks for the foxes, and the Celts and some aspects of the Vikings for the wolves. As for the lizardfolk I have given some aspects of Arabic, and some Apache. The fourth race, again, I have not given much thought to. I do tend to think of these races ore or less as parallel branches on the evolutionary tree, as close to each other as Neanderthals would be to us. Inter-species breeding is possible, but uncommon, and such beings are seen as strange, exotic, perhaps even demonic in origin.

I have written so far a series of “scrolls” written from a perspective of a traveling historian/philosopher, much like Herodotus’ Histories or Xenophon’s Anabasis. He is a member of the fox species, and, for his people, very well educated. He is the victim of some very strange circumstances, and winds up traveling to save his pelt, so far amongst the “barbarian” peoples. He is the vehicle through which I can describe in detail this world that I am coming up with, through the eyes of a relatively educated person who records every detail.

EDIT: Forgot that people here prefer .txt, so I re-uploaded it.
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Mediocre Raccoon
Hmm... I do like the way you pull out of first person past tense and swing it into third person present. It helps keep the writing piece separated, though I think I'd also suggest adding quotation marks to the beginning and end of the writing.
"Such as to start like this, where someone would speak, 'Like this,' and the theme would continue into the next paragraph.

Down here, when the writing ends, is where the quotation marks would close."

From here, you continue the story. That's merely the kind of style I'd approach it in, to even more clearly define the entirety of the writing as being aside from the main work.

Minor nitpick: missing an apostrophe in the first sentence, where it should say "...At this there was much argument, the wolves' voices growing louder and louder"

Additionally, the use of "panoply of war" kind of jerked at me. It was a little odd in the writing, but absolutely valid, as the writing is in the words of the character, who is meant to be viewed as being highly intelligent. I disagree with its second use because it is used in the voice of the invisible narrator, or in another view, the voice of the omnipresent audience. I feel that "panoply" might be obscure enough as to confuse your readers. If you put in an appositive to clarify the meaning of the word, you might be able to reinforce the image in the reader's mind. You only have to do this once, because hopefully that imagery will be referred to by the reader any time they see the word "panoply" again. So, my suggestions would be to either reinforce with a clarification of the meaning, or to possibly allow the first instance to remain as is, while being more careful about its application when taking the third person perspective.

First person perspective is a perfectly valid way to tell a story, so long as you keep hold of what you seem to understand, that it will always look like a journal when used in past tense, which seems to be your goal.