Devil's Dishonor Review/Discussion


Black Jacket
Sep 3, 2015
cyberia cafe
Story Thread for Gossamer Devil's Dishonor (Book 1)

Dolan the Duck is here to deliver!
Log of major changes
August 2017: The story underwent major revision in terms of chapter content.
8/14/2018: The story previously known as Gossamer (with no series or book identifier) is now formally going to be referred to as "The Stars and the Heart" for Book/Arc 1. The series as a whole will go by Devil's Dishonor. The decision for this change will be explained in detail within its own post.

Why did I delete all but chapters 1 and 2 back in July? I felt that I couldn't be able to continue the story because I felt that what I originally had going no longer fit what I wanted it to be. I didn't want to use certain words anymore, etc. Eventually I had a clear idea of where I was taking the story to first, but to accomplish this, I also felt that my writing style changed quite a bit. The old versions had stunted, clunky dialogue, and had poor buildup of the world-building (and sometimes I would inadvertently create lots of inconsistencies and contradictions.)

Thus, for some of you, whatever part of Gossamer you may have read about before in previous renditions, no longer exists in canon. Consider this a blessing in disguise. Trust me.

Now, since this is a series, let me lay down the guidelines as to what you can ask/post about:

1) The story is incomplete, so I would like to request you do not write a full review of the story with an end-all-be-all verdict in mind trying to create an "overall" critique based on what you are presented so far. When an arc/story subplot is completed, that is the best place to give your feedback on how it was handled.

2) Discussions: They can be about a chapter's events or about a character(s). I welcome thoughtful commentary and love to see how people may connect things in ways I may or may not have thought of during the writing process. You're free to comment on your perceptions of certain characters. I don't focus on whether they are likeable so much as are they serving utility to the narrative, are they eliciting a desired reaction from the audience, etc.

Questions are welcome but keep in mind that I often opt not to answer questions that are spoilery in nature when it pertains to major story beats or character arcs. Minor things like character interactions, I'll gladly answer. I'll even respond to memey or goofy questions if you want a lighthearted kind of discussion going on.

3) Pls don't cry if I don't take your input as gospel. Pls. I will feel bad.

I'll be replying to anything I feel requires it. This may take me some time though, depending on how long your post is. I'll be using the quote function.
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Finally finished reading the latest chapter of Gossamer. Definitely a solid 90% in terms of recommendation. Gossamer combines mythologies from various myths and the protagonist are quite distinct that she isn't overly dramatic, but her actions are realistic. Anyone reader coming in this thread curious if this is worth a read, it definitely worth taking a deeper look. Loopy has a talent for writing an engaging story and this proves her skill further. However, don't let my opinion be the end-all objective fact! 

With that said, I have a few questions for you, Loopy:

I most likely asked you this question beforehand, but now that you're rewriting it, I thought it would be best to ask again. What was your inspiration for creating this? How did you construct Olivia, the main protagonist of the story? In comparison to other female leads, you often find them stuck in the same archetype-- the princess, the tall girl, the bad ass girl, a man with boobs, etc., yet, Olivia's characterization differs from the other female leads.

Finally, did you based Olivia on yourself? Authors have the tendency to based one or more characters off of their personalities, or mostly through experiences they went through in their life. What inspired you to make Olivia and how did you come to that?
As always, I'm very grateful and happy for your feedback, it keeps me chugging along the writing train!  :baaa: 

I'd be happy to answer, I only vaguely remember you asking me, but I don't think I gave much detail. :lmao:

What was your inspiration for creating this?

I believe it was in late sophomore year of high school (2013?) that I began to actually come up with the concepts. At the time, I finished watching Blue Exorcist and was obsessed with Fairy Tail as well (don't roast me pls). By then, I think I was watching plenty of fantasy anime like Umineko no Naku Koro Ni (or at least, I rewatched the series). I was very much a dreamer, and I had already been making quite a few little comic stories on my own (of which I shared with nobody) with themes of escapism or being destined for some kind of greatness since middle school (I actually created Asuza around 2011 after being inspired by Kingdom Hearts's Days game before she got reworked a few years ago). But never had I come across the concept of demons and magic like those shows did-- it interested me on a fascinating level. It was a "safe" realm of imagination for me because demons and magic in anime and books don't have any real implications of Satanism or Wicca/Witchcraft, so I wouldn't be contradicting my Catholicism TOO much.

As for the Greek mythology being sprinkled in there, I think that's easier to explain. I'm quite an avid reader, I had read assigned books with vigor (mostly, at least until I was forced to read Shakespeare) and English was my second favorite subject in school-- thanks to AP literature, I'm able to be think critically of what I read these days with a much sharper eye. That semester in 2013, my English teacher introduced us to Homer's The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Return of Odysseus in our big old textbook. I loved coming into class to read it. In orchestra, I used to play different pieces that were composed based on Greek mythology as well. (Perseus by Soon Hee Newbold is still my favorite piece to listen to and play, same with Orion and the Scorpion, you can listen to them on youtube).

Strangely, I wasn't very interested in reading the Percy Jackson novels. I do recall watching the movie in class before holiday break.

In essence, Gossamer is still the kind of escapist fantasy that I wrote the first time-- but it's a bit less of an escapist vibe than before. Perhaps I can express that better in my future chapters.

How did you construct Olivia, the main protagonist of the story? In comparison to other female leads, you often find them stuck in the same archetype-- the princess, the tall girl, the bad ass girl, a man with boobs, etc., yet, Olivia's characterization differs from the other female leads.

Hm, I think the easiest way to explain Olivia is that I don't think I ever wrote her with a particular archetype in mind save for "Milquetoast"-- outwardly, she may come off as a bit of a blank slate, or just your plain Jane, at least until you actually watch her interactions. I typically treat her as if she were a real person I've known for as long as I'd remember, not looking off a "sheet" of traits necessarily. Rather, Olivia's thoughts and reactions are shaped by the world around her that I have built-- she's a complicated character, with multiple 'facets' to her personality that appear in accordance with what interacts with her. But she still has a core personality-- it just isn't that her self abides by this core at all times. Since she is meant to be a dynamic character, these facets will adjust to her new environment; maybe some parts of her personality will appear less in favor of others, perhaps she shifts portions of her core personality. If that makes any sense. She is at her core a kind and caring person, whose moral compass is strictly following a Lawful Good path. But this doesn't mean she can't be childish or moody, or be incapable of giving someone like Nicor a cold shoulder for. It also doesn't mean that her compass doesn't veer off toward neutral good or chaotic good once in a while. 

Real people are complicated like this too, and this makes humans somewhat unpredictable by their nature, as we are not able to read each others minds. We are enigmas to each other-- what we see in others are what they want us to see, in the least amount of manipulative ways. Olivia is much like this, but like us, this is mostly subconscious.

I tend to see women are written either in a one-dimensional way, or a 3-dimensional way, but still too "simplistic" in characterization. Too predictable. Maybe too flat. It doesn't feel realistic enough sometimes. So I quite like when characters act in a way we don't naturally predict them to, but their reasoning is something that does seem like something they would act towards.

Finally, did you based Olivia on yourself? Authors have the tendency to based one or more characters off of their personalities, or mostly through experiences they went through in their life. What inspired you to make Olivia and how did you come to that?

Almost every character I write shares a piece of my personality in some way or another, such is natural, even if I'm usually not aware of it unless I really think about it. Olivia probably represents things that I'd like to have in myself in a more strong presence to counter all the flaws I have-- to be an optimist, not a cynical person, (and i'm also much crankier and kind of a meanie compared to her, lol). she came as a package deal with the story concept in my brain, she isn't particularly inspired from anything specific that I can recall. However, I actually didn't give her any kind of appearance or design until about 2 years after I began writing Gossamer. I quite like my brown eyes, but I thought she'd look cute with hazel ones that have green and brown in them. She really just appeared by herself, haha.

The only background she and I share are the fact that we're Hispanic/Latina-- this isn't actually shown in the story, but she was adopted as an infant, hence her surname not sounding very Hispanic-y. It's not relevant to the plot, so any mentions of it in-universe seem kind of distracting at the moment.

If anything, Nicor's concept was definitely inspired! I remember an artist I used to follow on deviantART made a set of cute demon characters, and that pulled me in further-- which inspired me to create Nicor. Plus I like water and ice elementals, as you probably know.
Hey all, I figure I should address the elephant in the room regarding the thread title for this and Gossamer's thread!

I changed it.

The reason is rather simple, but I feel it's best to explain such a major change considering I've been calling my story Gossamer for a good 5 years (when I had the time to write things out you know).

Back in high school, I was never very good at naming things (still suck btw) and I got "Gossamer" as an idea based off the first Passion Pit album I listened to lol. And at the time, I thought it had a good ring to it in addition to having some metaphorical meaning-- it's the name to refer to thin wispy threads woven by tiny spiders into cobwebs, or even something fragile and delicate, or anything with a sheer look to it. And I thought it was a good symbolic reference to how the characters were all connected together even if the association between them was flimsy. Over the years though, I fell out of love with the name. Partly because I matured in my taste in literature, partly because old work never ceases to make me cringe.

I thought it was just the byproduct of simply being shy about sharing my work with others (sharing stories with people, even friends, has always left a feeling of being vulnerable for some reason) but recently thinking about it, I realized it was just that I had written up enough ideas and dreamed up enough scenarios in my head to realize that it was not fitting to the story anymore. Additionally, while some may tell you a title doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, it really does. People DO judge books by the cover; specifically the titles. A good title is arguably the biggest selling point to new readers more than anything and it needs to be more than just original or catchy. It should be a good way to describe a series without giving TOO much away.

I think what made me wrack my brain for a week about it was stumbling upon an obscure title that had the same name; the concept was original and interesting for a fantasy genre at the time (2006), but it never made bestsellers' lists or even honorable mentions on any avid reader's list. At first I thought it was just the nature of things, but it hit me-- the name had really nothing to do with the substance. The plot synopsis didn't mention anything relative to gossamer in neither a conceptual or literal sense. I can see why with such a seemingly out-there title, being a strange fit was not enough to make it entice anyone into reading it. 

Gossamer the cartoon character has an irony for the name: he is bright red, full of hair, and sports a heavy frame to exagerrate his monsterlike features. He isn't delicate or fragile (at least in his original persona).

So, I sought out a new set of titles that accurately captures the atmosphere/mood of my stiry and its underlying themes: an exiled demon who lost any honor and status he had in the Underworld, who must earn it back through grueling adventures-- and an ordinary, stubborn, but complicated girl tags along to see the story in its honest truth until they all reach the bitter end. Additionally, I felt that "Gossamer" denoted a romance-heavy story, and while it is a subplot (as is the emotional journey Olivia and Damien must go through if they want it to all be over), I would be baiting readers into looking for romance where there isn't any major emphasis on it. Hence, the story's series title will be Devil's Dishonor from now on.

Maybe this doesnt make sense, but people should know because it is a major change for me. Rest assured, none of the story content has changed; if anything, the title changed to reflect the story. I hope you understand.
The Devil’s Dishonor Book 1
The Stars and the Heart
The Story so Far

What I expected: A story about Satanic Demons in a love story. Based off the old title of Gossamer and the one discussion we had on Discord.

What I got: A story about fragile, flawed human beings trying to maintain a sense of normality surrounded by the supernatural that does not give a single care about their existence. Very Greek in nature.

Assortment of thoughts on all published chapters so far:
I expected Satanic demons in a chibi-styled manner similar to some anime artwork I’ve seen, and vaguely reminiscent of the new The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Instead, I got something I can best described as a cross between Christian myth and the essence of Greek myth. This is a great thing. The set up of the supernatural in this story is unmistakably Christian. Angelic beings protect but do not reveal themselves, are capable of being ill-moral. Demons are capable of escaping “Hell” (AKA the Underworld) and causing havoc on the mortal plane. However, the nature of these entities is entirely Greek. The angelic beings that intervene in the affairs of demons are not Angels of God, instead they are ancient, continually reincarnated Western constellations. The demons are not fallen angels who we shunned God’s light and were cast down from Heaven, they are simply beings native to the Underworld who deal with mortal souls. Neither of these two groups of entities care about mortal affairs, and instead seek to live their own existence, not concerned with other races. This is what makes me see Greek myth at the essence of the story, as most of the supernatural in Ancient Greek did not really care about what was good for humanity, and most of the truly evil monsters were the spawn of the gods anyhow. I realize the Constellations are neutral entities, but the fact Zeus does not have any servants visible in the story only reinforces my thoughts of Greek myth, rather than Christian.

Each of the characters, at least the main ones, are displayed to be full individuals, with their own personalities and existences. As a result, the story so far is mostly driven by character interactions, which has lead to good writing. I cannot say the plot is strong because obviously, this is a work in progress. But I can say that the plot is going along well, currently, given the character-driven nature of the story. I do look forward to further chapters.

Conscience summary:
+Good writing, strong imagery
+Interesting, developed characters, each an individual
+Character interactions make for a worthwhile read
+World building is only done as much as is needed for the story

Question: Do you intend to make the novel story focused, or character focused? I’m highly keen to say character focused.
Thank you for your review my friend... it's been a challenge writing this so far and realizing mid-way I could just split the whole thing into chunks because there is a lot I want to do that would be best done in separate threads.

Currently I am debating over who serves Zeus besides other gods who essentially work for/with him. Well, I do have some things lined out, but talking about them is a spoiler, so it's gonna be a secret for now!

As for your question, this first novel will be character-focused. I intend for it to mostly be setting everything up in terms of worldbuilding while everyone gets comfy around the characters in the meantime, and slowly start trickling bits of the actual story in. The second installment will hopefully be more story-centered since everything should be laid out by then. My first attempt at introducing the story was too rushed and didn't have enough meat to accompany the potatoes if you will. So I'm doing my best to avoid that again.

(And Not to worry, the uguu demons from the side story are still canon, you just won't see them for a little while hehe)
Are you still working on the story? I'm very curious to see what kind of stuff you're cooking for these characters, since it is very interesting. 

:sob: I need more Olivia content, damn it!
ShineCero said:
Are you still working on the story? I'm very curious to see what kind of stuff you're cooking for these characters, since it is very interesting. 

:sob: I need more Olivia content, damn it!
I've not had much opportunity to work on it as I've wanted, but it's definitely one of my top things I'd like to complete sometime in the next five years haha.

I've been revising characters first and then working on the skeleton of the story. I found that I pretty much require a hard-set timeline of events to work off of otherwise I end up writing aimlessly. When i've revised and rewritten things to have enough chapters, it's practically guaranteed it'll be an entirely different story to some degree.

I does require research, and resources that may or may not be immediately available to me, so until then I'd mostly be releasing concept art and whatnot. I do have a different project I'm chipping away at in the meantime. Just haven't worked out whether to make it a comic or not. I think it'll be a oneshot first.
Understandable! I know that feeling all too well. It took me nearly 10 years to finally settled on Good Days and the direction I wanted, haha.

Good call on focusing on the characters since they are the bedrock of the story (mainly the main protagonist of the story since everyone else will naturally fall into place once you get heads and tails of their motivations!). Definitely looking forward whatever you have working on atm, though! 

As for timelines, are you speaking in terms of in-timeline with your story? I.e. important events needed so you won’t be writing yourself into a wall? And what kind of resources are you seeking by the way for your story? I know it’s based around Greek Mythologies if I recall.
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