Reaction to 1st set of questionnaires.
Hello everyone! I read over the first set of reviews and just wanted to post some observations here. In general, I was quite pleased with them. They were very enjoyable to read.
Right now I am led to believe that we really have some great characters, and most of them were well if not wonderfully recieved. This is rewarding since the characters were something that we really strove to get right. There are some contrasting opinions on some of them (e.g. Sylvara), but the differences seem to be more on whether or not the reader "liked" the character rather than whether or not the character was believable.
Although, there were a couple of points brought up (by different readers) about certain characters being put in certain scenarios. Specifically, someone mentioned Denora--a mentally unstable angel--being given the responsibility to command other angels in battle. Someone else mentioned having an issue with Elodie--who is very child-like and acts somewhat immature--also being given this same responsibility. Keep in mind I am not expressing a personal negative opinion on these characters (and neither were the readers, I believe); I really like both characters. But, I just want to point out that this is something that I brought up before, as some of the women (Sylvara and Elodie, for example) just seem to be "in the way" during the battles.
The major problem plot-wise--and I agree with this--seems to be the lack of a central conflict that gets some closure. Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about here: If we look at Star Wars: A New Hope, we see a major conflict around which the story is centered. The rebels have to stop the Empire from destroying Alderran (sp) with their ultimate weapon, The Death Star. The conflict gets more or less resolved and the characters change because of it. Luke moves from farmboy to force-wielding space pilot. Han moves a little from selfishness to taking responsibility. You get the idea.
Our story doesn't really have an overall conflict going on. Well, it actually does--Good angels versus Bad angels--but the nature and resolution of this conflict is, admittedly, unclear to me personally, so I don't expect the readers to be any better off. Some of my own questions have been echoed by the readers: Why do the angels fight each other physically, and how does that translate into influencing humanity? Why do they want to influence humanity to begin with? What is so important about the President's Mansion? What is so important about the Beefeaters (I don't really know much about what goes on in that scene)? And honestly, the London/Desert battle scenes are pretty... vague in regards to clearing up plot points. I have said this before and I'll say it again: There is a LOT of potential here for some interesting angel-human interaction, but that really has not come together as well as I would have hoped.
The way I see it we have:
-Untapped potential wrt human-angel interaction
-Angels who are weak in battle but have strengths in "social" interaction: Sylvara and Elodie come to mind. Micah is also a good candidate, although not particularly useless in battle.
-The need for an overall conflict that gets resolved. Presumably influencing humans would be at the center of this.
These puzzle pieces look to fit together extremely well. What would need to be done is to flesh them out.
I have "radical" ideas: Scrapping the incident between Tavram, Sylvara, and Jynderra as being the focal point for Tavram's switching to the other side. I think his switch should center around whatever conflict we might decide to come up with, or even around A'dessa's death. If we don't do that, we could push that scene to early in the next movie (continuing the love triangle) and have him switch sides then. This would compact the first movie some and give us ample room to elaborate on more human-angel interaction.
Clearly, doing any of this would would mean that we aren't as far along as we thought we were in the first movie. However, it could mean that the second movie already has some parts written. And obviously, I'm not the one doing the writing so it's easy for me to suggest this kind of thing. Anyhow, just thought I'd get these ideas out there.