Application Discussion - Sword Quest of Enigmatic Souls

5/15/2017 8:14:56 PMAlextheriot Wrote: [ -> ]

  1. Fiction Title: Sword Quest of Enigmatic Souls

  2. Genre: Action/Adventure

  3. Link to your fiction page:

  4. Is your fiction over 100 pages? Yes

  5. What is your fiction about? Please give us a brief synopsis. A country of warring island-states have found themselves caged in by a dome of mist, furthering tensions between them. The prideful Teutons have been at war with the Wolverines for fifteen years, and are beginning to lose the edge in the fight when three of their youths become of age to be the next "Heir to the Sword"-a knight who must uphold the all-important "Group Will" of the people and protect their home. The boys, however, have no idea what it means to be a knight, nor what trials await them as the Heir.

  6. Why do you think your fiction is atypical and qualifies for this group? The fiction relies on grit, emotion, and drama rather than rule of cool, magic systems, and OP cliches. There are none of the elements I have seen as commonplace(transported to another world, reincarnation, harem, etc), and the action/ability aspect progresses over a long period of time as the characters experience new things. The heart of the story is the MC's personal journey, rather than him being a narrative tool to a formulaic game of level-up. Most importantly, its setting and history are original.

Original Thread

Things to include in your endorsement or rejection:

  • State whether you're endorsing or rejecting.

  • Explain the positives about the fiction.

  • Explain the negatives about the fiction.

  • Give some suggestions on how things can be improved.

  • Give some feedback on the story/plot itself.

  • Any other thoughts you have that are relevant to the application. (Optional)

RE: Application Discussion - Sword Quest of Enigmatic Souls


The employed vocabulary sometimes works against the setting. In the opening, we hear about trebuchets being fired (which is kind of wrong, as they are not gunpowder weapons, so they can only be shot, not fired), infantrymen fighting with swords etc. suggesting a medieval setting. But at the same time, the village has a "school center", parts of which are marked as a "safe zone", which makes me think of a suburban town with a hurricane incoming.

In terms of pacing, we spend a lot of time in the first chapter reading the minute details of a sword fight between some attackers and a defender. However, as we don't know any of the characters, in fact we don't even know anything about this skirmish in particular or the conflict in general, it fails to excite. The narration reminds me of a monotonous voice narrating a wildlife documentary, not a gruesome battle. Overall, I find the story keeps getting bogged down in details describing every single action made by the characters, which are still hard to visualise as a reader.

In terms of dialogue and how this reflects on the characters, their remarks and behaviour during a battle felt like anime rather than realistic.

This feels very much like a light novel or whatever the term is for the literary equivalent of animes. So maybe the story does what it wants to do, but it is appropriate for TOPA, I would say. If I am to recommend improvements regardless of this, it would be to consider how modern vocabulary, terms, and phrases can impact the reader's immersion negatively, and strive to avoid that.