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Author Topic: Lightning Drake (For Seeker)  (Read 24070 times)
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #15 on: 01 November 2009, 07:45:39 »

Your dragons could of course live on the slopes of the Norong'Sorno also, maybe at a greater height than the other smaller drakes. Near the snowcovered top?
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« Reply #16 on: 01 November 2009, 08:55:52 »

Oh Rayne! Thank you so much for your poem! A half done submission and already a poem for it :)

I try to keep as much as possible from your revision of the overview, though I fear, I have to rewrite it to quite an extent.

*hides a big butterfly catcher behind her back*

No "poofs" anymore, stay please!

The little elf considers these dragons, wondering if perhaps their being of smaller size might make them a delicious meal for a lightning dragon...

Poof!
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Kalína Dalá'isyrás
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« Reply #17 on: 24 November 2009, 04:01:23 »

A bit of a nitpick like I had with the Drakelets about the decimals. They look slightly out of place and would feel more blended if drawn out with the proper smaller measurements.

I will more than likely pop back with some actual commentary later. :D Loving them so far though!
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« Reply #18 on: 02 December 2009, 04:40:29 »

I am hoping to begin drawing the color version of this dragon within the next week or two.  I realize I am taking a risk by starting before the entry is approved. 

Does anyone have any issue with the dragond description or location before I begin?

Rayne- I love it.   :D
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« Reply #19 on: 02 December 2009, 04:47:36 »

At the moment, no. Though I would encourage the beast to be categorized under "Drakes" rather than "Dragons". This is in accordance to some of the revisions I am making with Draconics on the site.

More information supporting this should be coming soon, once I straighten out the information provided on the site.

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« Reply #20 on: 14 December 2009, 13:10:25 »

I had mentioned this in the thread where Seeker unveiled the magnificent painting of the creature, but I will mention it here for further thoughts.

Their nests. Are they crevasses in rocks? Made from grass and twigs like birds? Or burrows in the ground/sand?
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« Reply #21 on: 14 December 2009, 14:12:49 »

I had mentioned this in the thread where Seeker unveiled the magnificent painting of the creature, but I will mention it here for further thoughts.

Their nests. Are they crevasses in rocks? Made from grass and twigs like birds? Or burrows in the ground/sand?

I'm not sure, in all honesty. I imagine crevices, though they need to be made of a material that won't burn. Perhaps I need to make a special plant entry...
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« Reply #22 on: 14 December 2009, 14:16:56 »

Quite possibly. Just figured it was something which should be considered with this type of creature :D
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« Reply #23 on: 14 December 2009, 14:43:54 »

I have such an awful memory. I was going through the entry and found this:

Quote
A few months later, females will lay 2 to 4 eggs in a mountain nest constructed of grasses, weeds, and often the skins of prey.

I'm wondering if I should maybe change this, though. Perhaps they build nests out of small rocks and gravel and soften it with animal skins? I mean, grasses and weeds might catch fire, but I wouldn't think animal skins would as much.
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« Reply #24 on: 14 December 2009, 14:47:23 »

Animal skins not really, especially if they are a fresh kill and still moist.
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« Reply #25 on: 14 December 2009, 15:03:46 »

All right, I've changed the nesting materials to gravel, pebbles, and animal skins. I think animals skins looks enough like what's portrayed in the picture that Seeker shouldn't have to make any changes, and neither will I!

I've also gone through and changed all mentions of "dragon" to "drake," save for the account. I also added a bit about how many still refer to the creature as a dragon.

What do you say, Draconic Mistress?  ;)

EDIT: Myth/origin added
« Last Edit: 28 December 2009, 15:18:01 by Rayne Avalotus » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #26 on: 28 December 2009, 18:04:16 »

I am so horribly late with this, and I feel terrible. I wish work didn't take up so much of my day, so I could focus on Santharia and the Dragons. Yet, I am here with my blue pen, if entirely needed with a Rayne entry. :p

Lightning Drakes

A drake of the mountains, lightning drakes are known for their ability to produce lightning currents. While they are usually contained to their personal territories during fair weather, they become fiercely active in lightning storms, [It seems unnecessary to have a comma there (to me).] when replenishing their lightning capacities and engaging in violent battles in dominance for mating rights. While they are technically classified as a drake, many refer to the creature as a lightning dragon.[Two sentences starting with 'while', right on top of each other. Perhaps switch this last one around? Or mix it up a bit more. :D]

Description: The lightning drake, 10 to 12 peds from snout to tail (with females being slightly larger than males), is a fierce creature, menacing and ruthless, and this shows in their cold, reptilian eyes. Just behind these piercing eyes, horns protrude straight back in a slight curve, shimmering frighteningly. [What color are these horns?] The rounded jaw leads to a lean snout filled with sharp teeth and acidic saliva that burns through the flesh of its prey, beginning the digestive process before its food even enters its stomach. Tendrils protruding from the jaw shimmer like lightning.

From the top of the head, a jagged crest follows down the drake’s elongated neck, leading to its muscular body and continues to the tip of the tail, which makes up almost half of the drake’s length. A being mainly of the air and not of the earth, the lightning drake depends first on its wings for motion, and the muscles in its back contribute to the strength of these enormous wings. With the shape of a bat’s, the wings are punctuated with horns at the joints and are sharply defined in cold angles. The drake’s back legs give it upward-climbing ability, and here, too, the drake has significant musculature.

The front legs of the drake are small and rarely used, as the drake generally sits on its enormous hind legs when at rest. However, the drake’s legs, both hind-legs and fore-legs, form into sharp claws, which it uses to grasp the crags of its mountainous habitat, as well as to hunt for food and defend itself. [I assume the claws are the same shade as the horns?]

Illuminated by current, the lightning drake glows in frightening hues which [Stylistic, I know, but you use 'that' so much. Its good to mix it up :)] range from a striking silver to an electrifying purple, each scale is [Perhaps 'is' and perhaps not. Something just felt missing here.] imbued with its own haunting light. When at rest, the drake turns a dull greyish brown, blending in to its rocky environment. Its eyes are often an icy blue. [Perhaps give us a bit more detail about its eyes? You give us a beautiful picture of its atmospheric appearance, and a blurb about these icy blue eyes. That's me, a sucker for the eyes.]

Special Abilities: The lightning drake, as its name suggests, can produce lightning current. Where this power arises from, none knows, but the power seems to come from deep inside, manifested at will. When sleeping or at rest, the drake becomes more neutral in colour, and the scales lack luster, but when defending its nest or territory, its body becomes illuminated by lightning. [I don't really like how this sentence is setup. I feel it should be broken into two parts, and perhaps include in the last section that it isn't just normal lightning, but their own lightning they are illuminated in.]

Contrary to popular belief, the lightning drake cannot “throw” lightning or toss lightning “bolts” at enemies. However, those who come in contact with the drake suffer the charge emanating sporadically from its form. By touch (and sometimes proximity), lightning charges flow through any being with whom the drake comes in contact with. This, however, happens only when the drake taps its lightning abilities.

The ‘lightning’ capabilities of the drake are mediated through lightning exposure. Only through occasional exposure can a lightning drake maintain its lightning abilities. For this reason and others, these drakes are most active during lightning storms, where they take to flight into violent skies. Because of the limits of the ability, drakes generally only use it when necessary. They depend a great deal on their claws and small, razor teeth.

Territory: The lightning drake resides primarily in the Mountains of Nirmenith, in a range including the Norong Sorno area, in the Rahaz-Dath Desert. [So many 'ins' >.< lol ]These drakes thrive on the western side of the mountain range where lightning storms are a frequent result of high winds and warm climate, and share the territory with the fire drake. and sand dragon. [Since many of the entries are going to be rewritten, perhaps leave which exactly are located there as well. I am not sure what dragons and drakes will be where yet, but I have no doubt some will share the same territory.] Despite sharing territory with others, the lightning drake does not often clash with other dragon-kin in the area. They can be found in scattered numbers in the Lands of Pain. Very rarely are lightning drakes have been seen on the outskirts of the Aj'Nuvic grounds, seeking out game only during dire circumstance.

Habitat/Behavior: The lightning drakes are solitary creatures. Occupying themselves to hunting and stalking about their own cliffs and crags, they feast upon the fauna of the area, which they will often dive upon and mutilate with their sharp claws and teeth. While they are vicious and violent creatures, they are relatively harmless to humans who leave them to their isolation.

They generally hunt during the day, and lie in rest in caves and under over-hangings where they blend in well with the rocky surroundings. Relatively mundane, the drakes seem safely contained in fair weather. When a lightning storm moves in, though, the drakes become wildly active and violent. Sensing the storm, drakes travel, sometimes leagues, to where a storm is raging, and there will often engage in fights with other drakes of the same sex. These fights are often terrifyingly fantastic to behold—giant beasts aglow with lightning current, battling in the stormy darkness.

Diet: The lightning drake is not a picky eater, and will consume most any creature that wonders into its mountainous abode. The drake is particularly fond of larger game, though, such as mountain goats, though they will also eat sand mice, rabbits, snakes like the Rahaz’Norong (commonly know as the "Thalambath Snake"), and birds. The drakes also like to journey closer to the foothills to feed on deer, such as the ar'bez, the g'nu and the aka'pi. They will also feast on any oryx, brown á'neayh, or ellez'ga that enter their habitat. [You use a lot of 'they will' in your paragraph. Mix it up a bit if you can, give it a Rayne spark.]

The lightning drake can go days, even weeks, without eating as it waits for migratory game to enter its habitat. Not opposed to scavenging, they will take what food they can get. While the drakes don’t appear to be fond of humanoid races, attacks are not unknown, and the wise traveller will avoid lightning drake territory, or at least pass through with caution.

[I am a might confused now. Perhaps be more persistent with explaining they only eat what is readily available in their habitat, or what wanders in, but if need be will go on a search for something more satisfying. Is there a specific reason they would go outside of their habitat or 'scavenge' if food is readily available where they are? Or do they have the taste buds for only a particular animal meat, as you have a large range listed.]

Mating: While mating behaviour may occur in other situations, the only documented observations have been during the fall and spring, when storms are more likely. Many scholars attribute the violent behaviour of lightning drakes during storms to the fact that these beasts generally engage in intercourse during this time. Aggression between drakes is typically interpreted as displays of power and strength. Females who prove their superiority over other females get to choose their males more selectively—and they will often choose males who have proven themselves superior over other males. The female is usually the initiator of intercourse. [Perhaps explain how this 'superiority' is determined in the 'Behaviour' section? If it has been able to be documented of course. It seems these creatures are a bit more of a commonality originally believed.]

Intercourse is a semi-violent affair, but brief. A few months later, females will lay 2 to 4 eggs in a mountain nest constructed of pebbles, gravel, and often the skins of prey. Females fiercely defend their nests until their young hatch in the three to four months following. When the little drakes emerge, they are a fraction of the size of their parents, about the size of a hobbit or small child. However, they grow quickly. Nest mates compete for food and space, and rarely does more than one survive. Some of the young drakes will starve, unable to compete for food. However, more often, the stronger will shove the weaker out of the nest, causing them to meet their death on the mountain.

The few young which do survive leave the nest less than two months after hatching. From here, they generally become transients, searching the mountains for a place of their own and feasting upon rabbits, rats, and other small animals until they are able to tackle larger game. It takes approximately a year after they leave the nest for these drakes to reproduce. However, once they are sexually active, they will generally mate at least once a year.

[How large are they when they leave the nest? What do they look like? I am sure they aren't exact relicas at such an age. There ought to be ways for researchers to tell the "hatchlings" from the adults.]

It is generally assumed that, like most dragon-kin, the lightning drake has a sizeable lifespan. However, because of frequent deaths during lightning storm fights, the true lifespan remains hard to approximate.

[Do you have an idea for a lifespan? It doesn't necessarily need to be in the entry, but something I would definitely like to have a note of for future references. :D]

Myth/Origin: During the year of darkness following the Dragonstorm, myth weaves the tale of a great storm that raged over Thalambath. For weeks it showered over the city. The people cried out for reprieve from the horrible thunderstorm which threw down lightning from dark and tumultuous skies, from the thunder which roared through the air. They prayed to Grothar to stop the endless storm, but as the storm arose from the depression and anxiety of the Thalambath people, he could not eliminate it entirely from the sky. Therefore, he gave the storm a more corporeal form, turning it into hundreds of drakes which fled to the nearby volcanoes, and there they have dwelt ever since then. When storms again come to the area, the people of Thalambath say that these dragons once again recall their violent origins, and take flight to chase the lightning.

[I like this a lot! See, you didn't really need me to write it! :p]

Researchers: While few researchers have sought out the lightning drake as serious study, many other researchers peregrinating through the drake's habitat have written extensively on rare and dangerous encounters with the beast. One of the few observations of the drake's ferocious lightning-storm battles was recorded by volcano-researcher Bertius Felgrad, a dwarf of the Nirmenith clan, on the 8th day of the Passing Clouds in 1443.:

We had travelled many leagues, up the rocky crags and cliffs that crumbled underfoot and threatened with every step to send us reeling, tumbling down the merciless mountain face. Asebell, who has thus far guided us through the more dangerous mountain passes, near met her end when a stone slipped beneath her feet, and it was only through Gladoph's quick reaction she survived, grabbed and hoisted to safety. It is a frightening sign that even the most experienced climbers among us could meet Queprur on this mountain.

I, for my part, lingered near the back of the party, and traced the safe footings of those ahead. Just after Sunblaze on our third day travailing the perilous paths of this forsaken mountain, the sky began to grow dark and ominous. I, a mere researcher, cursed the possibility of a storm, but the situation appeared much more dire to Asebell and Gladoph. "Quick! We must find cover!" called Asebell, and we sought out the shelter of an overhanging. The five of us, Asebell, Gladoph, Rosina, Belgrouf, and myself, curled into the small space, and huddled together. The clouds above grew angry and dark, and piercing through the shadow sky came a call so frightening I felt every bone in my body go cold.

"What was that?" Belgrouf shrilled.

"Sh!" insisted Gladoph.

"We must be quiet," said Asebell, and the party became as silent as a grave.

We all peered out into the sky. Another call echoed out over the high mountains, but I could not see from whence it came. What monster or beast could make such a sound? A bright, cold flash of light! Lightning!--my heart jumped. The rumble of it stirred our very cores. Then another--and another! "This isn't good," whispered Asebell. "The storm is forming right above of us."

"What's going on--" Rosina began, and then a sight hushed her question--it hushed all of us, our thoughts, our breaths, our heartbeats: in the distance, a beast appeared in our sight, nearly 12 peds long, with merciless eyes and jagged crest. Its wings spread out as though to enclose the earth. It called out--a sound that pierced me, filled me with a terror I had never known. On a mountaintop not far off, it landed, and the stones and rocks crumbled under its massive claws. It lifted its head and long neck into the air and roared again. For many moments I stared at it, caught by the fear of it seeing me, but unable to move, frozen by the sight.

Then, all at once, the rocks clattered in front of us as another dragon passed right above our heads. So surprised were we that we hardly noticed that the lightning strikes were becoming more frequent. The sky roared, and the ground rumbled beneath us. All at once, the dragon atop the yonder mountain exploded into lightning-like illumination, tentacles of light emanating from its scaled, reptilian body. It roared at the oncoming dragon, hissing dreadfully. All at once, the other dragon went aglow with current. They clashed!--an explosion of hideous light! They struck and clamoured, their tails whipping and teeth bared. Lightning struck them--a sizzling and a crash!--they glowed ever brighter in bestial battle!

For a long while we watched in horror as the two dragons fought. The minutes slid by like hours, and while enraptured at the ferocity and beauty of the conflict before us, we feared every moment we might be spotted. In a sudden flash of lightning, accompanied by a screeching cry, one of the dragons shuttered and fell. It's body, once blazing with lightning, fell dull and defeated to the ground. The victor roared out, and her voice echoed through the tumultuous skies. She took to flight again, and vanished from our sight.

For a long while, none of us spoke. Beyond the overhanging under which we held closely together, the sky was still churning. By Lastflame, the clouds had dissipated. We moved with caution out from our hidden enclave and sought out a safe place for rest. As the night deepened, we spoke very little, all of us haunted by the image of dragons.


Not much for me to really poke holes in. Most of my suggestions are for more details, but only what you feel you can realistically give. From the sounds of this entry, these creatures are far from a rare sight if one goes looking for them.

Also, any of the 'grammatical or stylistic' things I pointed out, feel free to adjust as you see fit. Most were stylistic, but not all. :)

 heart Draconic Mistress  ;)
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« Reply #27 on: 29 December 2009, 01:45:22 »

Hi Rayne,
thought i'd make some effort to repay your uri of my wopse by looking through this - t'be honest, i could only find a couple tiny things - it's a brilliant creature, and i especially love the research notes, which give such an incredibly atmospheric impression of the creatures as living things. grin

Quote
While the drakes don’t appear to be fond of humanoid races, attacks are not unknown, and the wise traveler will avoid lightning drake territory, or at least pass through with caution.
that seemed a bit awkward - did you mean "fond of eating humans", or something to that effect? i get what you mean, but it took me a second - that said, that could be entirely down to me. ;)

 
Quote
When storms again come to the area, the people of Thalambath say that these dragons once again recall their violent origins, and take flight to (?) chase the lightning.

Quote
The clouds above grew angry and dark, and piercing through the shadow sky came a call so frightening I felt every bone in my body go cold.
a bit nitpicky, especially in such an excellent piece of writing (auried, btw), but i'd love to know just what the lightning drake sounds like. a shreik or a roar? a low hoarse growl or something resonant and mournful? birdlike or beastlike, or something entirely other? feel free to ignore this, though, if it'll break the flow of the account.

so, not very much by way of helpful and insightful comments, but it was an absolute pleasure to read. it may even have given me a little help with an entry i'm working on... grin
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« Reply #28 on: 29 December 2009, 02:09:50 »

Thank you Kalina And Seth!

Individual notes:


Kalina: I took most of your in-text correction. Thank you for your check!

I mention the color of the drake, and since the horns and claws are part of a drake, it seems strange to repeat the color palette to me.

I wasn't sure what you meant by this:
Quote
[I am a might confused now. Perhaps be more persistent with explaining they only eat what is readily available in their habitat, or what wanders in, but if need be will go on a search for something more satisfying. Is there a specific reason they would go outside of their habitat or 'scavenge' if food is readily available where they are? Or do they have the taste buds for only a particular animal meat, as you have a large range listed.]
I don't make any mention of them going outside their habitat to scavenge--I just mention that they do:
Quote
Not opposed to scavenging, they will take what food they can get.
Maybe I'm not understanding your comment, though.

Size of hatchlings when they leave the nest and lifespan are probably relatively unknown. Consider that only parts of the lightning drake's life will have actually been viewed: one researcher who sees a nest, another that sees a lightning display--but no one who follows the lightning drake's life from birth to death.

I offered you the myth/origin because I thought you wanted to do it! I wish you had told me sooner that you didn't! It wasn't my intention to push on to you work that you did not want.

Which Vs. That: These are not the same!! They cannot be used interchangeably. They have a subtle difference between them and they take different grammatical environments. They are BOTH subordinating conjunctions, but they subordinate a clause to different degrees. Consider the following:

The boy took the ball, which was on the table.
The boy took the ball that was on the table.

It's often easier to tell the difference in meaning when you set the two side-by-side. Can you tell the difference between the two? "Which" implies you're giving details, that the subordinating clause is not necessary for specifying which ball it is you're referring to. "That" implies that the detail is required for specifying the ball--that there may be balls on the chair, on the floor, maybe on a shelf, but that the ball in question is the one on the table. Does this make sense? If you do more grammar/style checks, this is an important differentiation to make!


Seth: I've taken all your comments. Thank you!
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« Reply #29 on: 29 December 2009, 02:57:07 »

Kalina: I took most of your in-text correction. Thank you for your check!

I mention the color of the drake, and since the horns and claws are part of a drake, it seems strange to repeat the color palette to me.

Yes, this is true, but the horns and claws are made of a different biological material than the scales. So, I figured they might be of a slightly different and more uniform shade amongst the drakes. Or, are you implying they are simply a solid color from the tip of their nose from the tip of their tail?

Quote
I wasn't sure what you meant by this:
Quote
[I am a might confused now. Perhaps be more persistent with explaining they only eat what is readily available in their habitat, or what wanders in, but if need be will go on a search for something more satisfying. Is there a specific reason they would go outside of their habitat or 'scavenge' if food is readily available where they are? Or do they have the taste buds for only a particular animal meat, as you have a large range listed.]
I don't make any mention of them going outside their habitat to scavenge--I just mention that they do:

Perhaps it is simply the way you have it worded which is confusing to me. Is all the food you mentioned readily available? You make it sound as if they travel a fair distance for some of them. And that they scavenge both in and out. Again, it may simply be how it is worded which is driving me bonkers with properly understanding it. You may wish to emphasize they don't care to scavenge, unless they have to.

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Size of hatchlings when they leave the nest and lifespan are probably relatively unknown. Consider that only parts of the lightning drake's life will have actually been viewed: one researcher who sees a nest, another that sees a lightning display--but no one who follows the lightning drake's life from birth to death.

I was not aware that only the information provided in the little researchers snippet at the bottom, was the only documentation of them. From your entry, you make it sound as if they are quite widely researched and there is more information known about them than what you have provided.

Also, even if it isn't in the entry, if I could have some of this information, it would be helpful.
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I offered you the myth/origin because I thought you wanted to do it! I wish you had told me sooner that you didn't! It wasn't my intention to push on to you work that you did not want.

I had (don't get me wrong, I am not upset you went and wrote it!), but life hit hard. I had been recovering from being sick, but I am getting sick again >.< And work is crazier than hell until the holidays are over. I barely have time to work on my on projects. lol. You did fine and right, nothing to apologize for. Just don't be mad?  undecided
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Which Vs. That: These are not the same!! They cannot be used interchangeably. They have a subtle difference between them and they take different grammatical environments. They are BOTH subordinating conjunctions, but they subordinate a clause to different degrees. Consider the following:

The boy took the ball, which was on the table.
The boy took the ball that was on the table.

It's often easier to tell the difference in meaning when you set the two side-by-side. Can you tell the difference between the two? "Which" implies you're giving details, that the subordinating clause is not necessary for specifying which ball it is you're referring to. "That" implies that the detail is required for specifying the ball--that there may be balls on the chair, on the floor, maybe on a shelf, but that the ball in question is the one on the table. Does this make sense? If you do more grammar/style checks, this is an important differentiation to make!

Here I think it may simply be a matter of how we were each taught. My college professor (published author, multiple times over for both personal and educational material) sat me down and decided to give me instruction on the word 'that' because of my noticeable over usage. What he explained to me is 'that' is discouraged in writing altogether and should only be used if absolutely nothing else will work. It is considered more 'spoken language' and informal, so hence the discouragement he gave me with it being in formal writing. He did tell me 'which' and 'that' were interchangeable to a point, and other words/phrases as well. This has followed me well in my writing career for publications and the like, and have had not issues with it until you mentioned it.

I am not as learned in 'clauses' (haven't heard the term in about 8-10 years), or anything of that sort. I mostly just try to make sure my sentences make sense to the reader, and they are enjoyable to read and not a pain. You use a *lot* more commas than I am used to, and generally find useful when writing. I find the more you use, even if grammatically correct, can confuse a lot of your basic readers. You must think of the audience you are writing to as well as the purpose you are writing, not necessarily what you can get away grammatically in your work. (No, not being preachy, just explaining what my schooling has taught me) Most of my writing experience and learning has come from being in the field and receiving feedback on it from other published authors who have been through the grueling system (not self-publishing). I have learned more in this area of writing, than I ever did from a textbook or classroom, you must forgive my more 'barbaric' skills.

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