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Chapter 3 Section 2 - Defy Death


Alter Native

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The second entry of the third chapter of my Blog. Nora awakes in Castle Dawnguard after being captured and has to defy death...

 

As was pointed out by Tirloque the forum software apparently failed to display the last entry on the dashboard and instead showed the older Blog Update#2. In case you missed the last one, the link to the previous entry is below.

 

Story Overview

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A complete summary of the first two chapters of this story as well as short character summaries can be found here.

 

 

 

Short Summery of the last sections:

 


On her way to the Imperial city Nora stopped at an old sepulcher at the border of Skyrim to Cyrodiil to find some rest during daytime.
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In the early morning hours she scented several humans in her present who turned out to be the Dawnguard.
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After slaying several of them Nora got surprised by one of the Dawnguards paladins and his light magic and brought to Castle Dawnguard.
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She now awakes with a silver collar in the prison of Castle Dawnguard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3 Section 2 - Defy Death

 


This blog entry contains some torture, nothing you wouldn't see in an average episode of Game of Thrones, but just to let you know beforehand and some forced sex / rape as well...

 

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Edited by Alter Native

17 Comments


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This section was amazing as always. :)

 

Leandra: Wow the Dawnguard is even more fanatic than they were in my time... :P

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Aria: Note to self: avoid these Dawnguard assholes, maybe a few can fall to accidents xD

 

Great work I loved this chapter, very Game of Thrones feel to it, cant wait for the next chapter.

 

<Bounus>

Mileena: Slaughter them all Sister, rip them to shreds.

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nice work alter native cant wait for the next one! :D

Thank you :)

 

This section was amazing as always. :)

 

Leandra: Wow the Dawnguard is even more fanatic than they were in my time... :P

 

 

That was brutal, you nailed the Dawnguard Vigilant side. :D

 

@ bodabira and Resdayn: The first part was mostly inspired by the (spanish) inquisition from the late middle age. Where you were basically always guilty because every action proofed your guilt in one way or the other. So they are basically trying to do good (save her human side - however that works...) by doing really terrible things and in the end Nora always dies, whether she gives in or not. But still, technically they are still the good ones and Nora is a mass murderer after all and the world would definitely better without her.

Given the options available in Skyrim they should have just killed her and be done with it...

 

 

Aria: Note to self: avoid these Dawnguard assholes, maybe a few can fall to accidents xD

 

Great work I loved this chapter, very Game of Thrones feel to it, cant wait for the next chapter.

 

<Bounus>

Mileena: Slaughter them all Sister, rip them to shreds.

 

I guess we have to wait and see... the Dawnguard story won't end with the epic battle that you may wish ;)

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Another « Of Blood and pleasure » entry, whoohoo, bring the popcorn ! :cool:

 

Working on the setup for the torture scenes and the burnt textures must have been something, not to mention the whole DG detention department. Anyway, nice twists and excellent ambience, as usual ! :)

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The effects on the vision recovery scenes are especially outstanding, and wonderfully interesting story most of all. :)

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Another « Of Blood and pleasure » entry, whoohoo, bring the popcorn ! :cool:

 

Working on the setup for the torture scenes and the burnt textures must have been something, not to mention the whole DG detention department. Anyway, nice twists and excellent ambience, as usual ! :)

 

Thanks, probably not the kind of story I would want to eat popcorn to ;).

I really like building my own cells and setting, up the light etc. in some cases even more than recording the actual story...  a couple of the old sections took place in some custom build locations as well.

After six years of Skyrim there is still no decent vampire castle except for maybe raven castle but that's way to big for my taste.

The textures are from Astrid and are technically vanilla.

 

 

The effects on the vision recovery scenes are especially outstanding, and wonderfully interesting story most of all. :)

 

Thank you. The effects were a last minute edit, the original entry didn't have them. 

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I really like building my own cells and setting, up the light etc. in some cases even more than recording the actual story...  a couple of the old sections took place in some custom build locations as well.

After six years of Skyrim there is still no decent vampire castle except for maybe raven castle but that's way to big for my taste.

So that explains your storytelling style. I've noticed that perfect setup many times, but always wondered what came from places unknown to me, and what was your doing. 

 

What seems remarkable as well is the number of « silent » scenes. I have very few of those in my chronicles, as I see dialogs as a way to enforce and define a character's personality. Plus there are often a variety of noises produced by the action, which helps the reader getting what is in motion/happening at each moment IMO. You at the other end seem to prefer work your own personal setup to get the perfect screen in a world never seen before.

 

While your persona setup is admirable, I think you lessen it by neglecting text/noises on some scenes. It lessens a bit the intensity and the immersion, specially when you go from a dialogued/lively image to a silent one. For example we « ear » when her hand is burnt by the fire, but not when her face does ; same when her teeth are ripped of. It lessens the pain/drama of the scene.  Maybe there is room for adjustments (particularly for the images where a motion/event is happening), even while respecting your letter-boxed text choice... but maybe this is a deliberate choice ? :)

 

Anyway, looking forward for next episode ! :D

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No offense. I gave you kudos for excellent screenshots but not for the violence and torturing. I'm not criticizing you, rather opposite. I admire your work no matter how much I don't like some things in your stories. :)

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What seems remarkable as well is the number of « silent » scenes. I have very few of those in my chronicles, as I see dialogs as a way to enforce and define a character's personality. Plus there are often a variety of noises produced by the action, which helps the reader getting what is in motion/happening at each moment IMO. You at the other end seem to prefer work your own personal setup to get the perfect screen in a world never seen before.

 

 

You're right, in general the emphasis is less on the story and more on the screenshots. I basically have a scene / screenshots in mind and plan the story around it, which is of course terrible if you actually want to tell a story (which is not my top priority).

 

Now I try to only write dialogues and no ambient sounds like you do and no narrator except in the beginning of a chapter or as a way to announce changes in time and place.

Imo the ambient sounds the way you do them in the screenshots make the whole story only more goofy and comic like which is not the direction I want to go. 

 

Compare the two screenshots:

 

 

 

b1.jpg

b.jpg

 

 

 

 

When you look at the first one you read the two bubbles and glance at the picture.

When you look at the second one your complete attention is drawn to the focus of the image, tongue grabbing her fang because everything is pointing to that point. The tongues, the hands and the tears. You have much more freedom to see the image the way you want to see it. For example when you look at her eyes you feel pity and sadness for her.

All that is taken away in the first one because your eyes are immediately drawn to the bright bubbles first the upper left one and than the gray one and than maybe you look at the rest of the picture. The feeling pity for her is completely gone because the brutality of the scream and the crack and the white big bubble complete dominates the whole scene.

Admittedly, it also adds something because you instantly think about how horrible a cracking teeth sounds like. (Btw. I just chose this picture because because you mentioned the teeth scene.)

Sure, one could maybe use a different kind of bubbles or smaller or write different things or else, but whatever you do it takes away from the image and its focus.

 

While your persona setup is admirable, I think you lessen it by neglecting text/noises on some scenes. It lessens a bit the intensity and the immersion, specially when you go from a dialogued/lively image to a silent one. For example we « ear » when her hand is burnt by the fire, but not when her face does ; same when her teeth are ripped of. It lessens the pain/drama of the scene.  Maybe there is room for adjustments (particularly for the images where a motion/event is happening), even while respecting your letter-boxed text choice... but maybe this is a deliberate choice ? :)

 

That's basically the tldr version of my point for me personally it lessens the immersion when I see words and clutter to the image.

 

One could make a point for being more consistent with writing her voices. My rule of thumb is to always write voices which right now I am not always doing. It basically comes down to whether writing "arrgaaaagghhh" is an ambient sound (which I do not write) or is dialogue. It depends... and admittedly I am a bit inconsistent there.

The same is true for whatever sounds and voices happen when you do romantic / sex scenes. 

On one hand it feels ridiculous to write pages of "hhmm", "ahhh" "uhh" "that feels good..." and quite often I feel that all the ever same sex ambient sounds make the whole scene look silly. This is why I never write them. On the other hand using them sparely and some dirty talk with caught can imo indeed add something to the scene. 

The more you write non dialogue ambient sounds like "Eeek" and "wosh" the more goofy the scene gets and that's just the direction I want to go and imo it doesn't add much.

 

But of course, the two of us are probably on the opposite of the spectrum at this topic. I pay way more attention to the screenshots and you to towards the story.

I was not trying to convince you that my view is right, I was just trying to explain my choices :).

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No offense. I gave you kudos for excellent screenshots but not for the violence and torturing. I'm not criticizing you, rather opposite. I admire your work no matter how much I don't like some things in your stories. :)

 

Thank you. Tbh I don't really like the violence part myself (anymore (?)). I like being realistic and somewhat believable with all parties involved and I needed the Dawnguard to have a believable motivation, which they explain in the first couple of images, in order to have them burn / heal her eyes. But there was probably no reason to show the torture part that excessively except for feeling for the bad guy of the story (Nora). 

I did this whole section about a year ago and I would not do this kind of content anymore or at least use it very sparely when necessary..

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Compare the two screenshots:

 

 

When you look at the first one you read the two bubbles and glance at the picture.

When you look at the second one your complete attention is drawn to the focus of the image, tongue grabbing her fang because everything is pointing to that point. The tongues, the hands and the tears. You have much more freedom to see the image the way you want to see it. For example when you look at her eyes you feel pity and sadness for her.

All that is taken away in the first one because your eyes are immediately drawn to the bright bubbles first the upper left one and than the gray one and than maybe you look at the rest of the picture. The feeling pity for her is completely gone because the brutality of the scream and the crack and the white big bubble complete dominates the whole scene.

Admittedly, it also adds something because you instantly think about how horrible a cracking teeth sounds like. (Btw. I just chose this picture because because you mentioned the teeth scene.)

Sure, one could maybe use a different kind of bubbles or smaller or write different things or else, but whatever you do it takes away from the image and its focus.

A comic bubble is a tool. A tool can do more harm than good in wrong hands, and do wonders when masterly used.

 

I'm no master and my point wasn't about bubbles, but, just for debate's sake : 

— You say it diverts the eyes from the essential

— And that emotion is taken away by this diversion

 

I say, true it takes something from the image, but you can choose what and in what proportion, because you're not limited to one image, it's a moving scene, you don't have to fill a single shot with every thing. Let's compare again :

 

 

Example_I-_A.jpg

Example_I-_B.jpg

Example_I-_C.jpg

 

 

b.jpg

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Another example of how much info you can lose without comic effects :

 

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Example_Tabr_Chroniques_IIA.jpg

 

 

 

True, bubbles always take something from bare images. However they add :

— Temporal information (you know at what moment she gets grabbed, at what moment the tooth breaks... For instance, I imagine her tooth got pulled out, while your crackling noise suggested it got cut in two)

— Motion (you imagine the tool grabbing her tooth, visualize the hand holding her chin, onomatopoeia are especially useful to animate fights)

— Narrating precision & easy reading (states of mind, ambience, sounds and voices happening just beyond the camera angle). For instance, I missed the info that she was crying for the image alone ; onomatopoeia can make if obvious even if you're not at 100% perception when reading. Plus, that horrible cracking noise adds by itself alone a lot of drama to the scene.

 

IMO, without those, you get a very beautiful slideshow of still images, but they' feel motionless to me.

 

And you deliberately choose where the eye goes : at her face first in the first screen, then to the cracking noise in the second, then at her sobbing face again in the third.

 

Now, I know I'm not gonna convince you, but the debate between our points is interesting. :)

 

My real point was below :

 

 

One could make a point for being more consistent with writing her voices.

My point exactly. She yells when her hand is burnt by the flame, but not when her face is, leaving the reader wondering if she passed out or not. Plus, just adding a voice gives the image a temporal dimension, a duration, which prevent it being too motionless. And for that, you do not need bubbles : just your letterbox subtitles could do. :)

 

Anyway, let me repeat I'm in awe with the care and details put into your screens, your world and ambience : I wouldn't be able to do that. Even if we disagree on narrative methods, I respect your work a lot and want to give you props for it. Your stories are great already. ;)

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Well I guess right now we are down to personal taste. In your shown example I like the textless version (+the missing letterbox dialogues) better.

 

To give you my exact reasons why I dislike the comic style:

- Diverts the eyes from the picture (and sometimes the essential that the picture is trying to show)
- Lessens the room for your own interpretation by forcing something on you
- Is typically aesthetically displeasing (that's also a big one)

 

 

 

— Temporal information (you know at what moment she gets grabbed, at what moment the tooth breaks... For instance, I imagine her tooth got pulled out, while your crackling noise suggested it got cut in two)

 

 

 

(See point two above) In my eyes that's the information that is added by the reader via your own imagination and interpretation. Thats what I meant in the previous part with "You have much more freedom to see the image the way you want to see it."

I don't really see most of the temporal information worth delivering to the reader (imo). If I would want to do so I'd do it "my way". For example showing her face, than a zoomed in picture with emphasis on the teeth than a picture with the pulled out teeth between the tongues (Sabre Cat tooth mesh should work).

And you are right about the crack sound, it was meant to be pulled out and not broken. I didn't really think things through when I quickly added the effects. But if someone actually would want to interpret this as being broken he could do so in the textless version.

 

 

 

 

— Motion (you imagine the tool grabbing her tooth, visualize the hand holding her chin, onomatopoeia are especially useful to animate fights)
— Narrating precision & easy reading (states of mind, ambience, sounds and voices happening just beyond the camera angle). For instance, I missed the info that she was crying for the image alone ; onomatopoeia can make if obvious even if you're not at 100% perception when reading. Plus, that horrible cracking noise adds by itself alone a lot of drama to the scene.

 

Bubbles may be easier to read, I give you that.

But as mentioned before, in my eyes a lot of the narrating precision via "sound effects" is not necessary and I'd show it differently if I would want to show it.

(Second point again) It's not really important if she is crying or not, but it's very clear by the image alone that she is feeling terrible. How "exactly" she is feeling is in my version up to your own interpretation.

 

Just adding information doesn't necessarily make the story better. A good book always gives you enough information to stimulate your mind but doesn't force anything on you. For example they would write something like "she has beautiful black hair with her hair tip starting to curl " or something (I'm not go at that). But they would not write, "her hair is 25,4 cm long and with a color of #020500" (I'm exaggerating to make my point).

They describe the person but give you enough room to picture the character yourself. And for me the same principle applies imo to motions and moods in our stories.

 

Besides the *Sobs* doesn't make me feel sorry at all for her, it just makes me take the whole thing less serious. For me it's rather a *Sobs* - "Oh that wasn't that bad" or something like this, that's what I meant with 'goofiness' before.

 

 

 

Another example of how much info you can lose without comic effects

 

As said before, maximizing info is not the goal, you could do that way better if you would write actual text. For example you could write how she doesn't see the tongues but expects them to hit her tooth every moment, how they feel the moment they hit her tooth you could describe the pain if you wanted to do so.

Your style works in your story a lot better because you are trying to be funny and do take yourself less seriously.

 

 

 

She yells when her hand is burnt by the flame, but not when her face is, leaving the reader wondering if she passed out or not. Plus, just adding a voice gives the image a temporal dimension, a duration, which prevent it being too motionless.

 

I could have written an Aaarrggghh or something, you're right. But the information when "exactly" she passes out is in my eyes not necessary.

 

Again I'm not claiming that my style is perfect or anything, but as mentioned in the very beginning, it probably comes down to personal taste, but this discussion actually made me aware what I like more about my style so thanks for that ;).

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About the fact that bubbles may avert the eyes from the image, it is true compared to fully textless image. However, it isn't compared to subtitles, which force you to leave the image, read, then go back with your acquired information. :)

 

Plus, in that example you can use that fact as a strength, using natural reading order to choose what you want to be seen first, and so create a chronology/intuitive temporal info. Which I did in the example. :)

Again I'm not claiming that my style is perfect or anything, but as mentioned in the very beginning, it probably comes down to personal taste, but this discussion actually made me aware what I like more about my style so thanks for that ;).

Yep, you're right it's a matter of taste and objectives maybe. I'm more on the narration side (Bubbles > everything else), whereas you're more on the aesthetic side (textless > everything else).

 

Debating about it made me realize a thing or two, and was an interesting exercice, so.. thank you, Alter Native. You have chosen your pseudo wisely. :D

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WOW! This was superb. You did a really good job. I thought it was fascinating how they pulled out her fangs; as such a staple to a vampires image that really is a degrading act of torture. Brilliant! I didn't see it at first, but the shots of her eyes slowly opening are incredibly well done, you have a knack for telling your story like a show rather than a comic (at least, that's how I see it. I hope that's what you are going for >.>). Awesome work as always!

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About the fact that bubbles may avert the eyes from the image, it is true compared to fully textless image. However, it isn't compared to subtitles, which force you to leave the image, read, then go back with your acquired information. :)

 

I'm trying in some of my newer stories (not the current published) to prevent exactly that. The idea is you read the dialogue you see the next picture, you read, you watch the picture. You have the constant stream of images of text without the need to go back because the dialogue is referring to the upcoming picture. Than you don't have to leave the picture and come back.

 

WOW! This was superb. You did a really good job. I thought it was fascinating how they pulled out her fangs; as such a staple to a vampires image that really is a degrading act of torture. Brilliant! I didn't see it at first, but the shots of her eyes slowly opening are incredibly well done, you have a knack for telling your story like a show rather than a comic (at least, that's how I see it. I hope that's what you are going for >.>). Awesome work as always!

 

Thank you. The teeth idea was inspired by the Avacyn restored card Defang ;). The eye opening sceen could have been even better with the ENB (skse?) addon that let's you turn your camera so the whole image would have matched her perspective... and yes I am going more for a TV show style than a comic style :).

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