kais

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  1. Initial thoughts before reading: wait, we're still in the kitchen chapter? Why? It was too long already in the first half. Although maybe if you condensed the first half into something like and then he got a job washing dishes, which helped develop his muscles over the next four years, then this would work? Unsure. Going in to read now. Overall I am in agreement with @Robinski and @Mandamon that this chapter needs a great deal of condensing. Three pages, four at the most, could tell us the same these two half chapters. I see the story there, for sure, but cutting is needed. Don't fret too much though, we all have to do cutting, sometimes even to our favorite parts. Such is writing! As I go - uncle is not a proper noun, and neither is dad - 'beautiful' isn't properly descriptive, for a person. You'll want to be more specific than that. Also, the word 'wore' is redundant in that paragraph - I'm a few pages in (I'd appreciate it if you could page numbers on this, since you're subbing in rtf and not word), and there are numerous typos. It does make this hard to read. Proofing the sub a few more times before submitting would be wonderful. - the dialogue around the 'god child' area is stilted and doesn't feel natural. You might try reading it outloud. That would help with typos, and help you to hear what sounds like natural dialogue and what doesn't - My mind is wandering with all this dish stuff again. It's making it really hard not to skim, and the typos toss me from the narrative when I do manage to get engaged. - the narrative is a bit more interesting once P is out of the kitchens, and it looks like the chapter actually does arc there a bit near the end. Typos though, still abound
  2. Quick heads up - the sub guidelines request attaching a document. This is especially helpful for those of us without continuous internet, who may read on planes and such. If you could submit by attaching the document in the future, I would appreciate it! Overall I had to DNF this one. You hit a lot of tropes early on, and I didn't get a sound sense of setting, which is pretty normal in a draft so I could deal with that. Your use of females, however, was very concerning to me, and I had to stop reading. I think some time looking at tropes, as well as how you use women in your narratives, would be useful for your next draft. Keep at it! We all need to revise, so no shame in that. As I go - I think your opening line could be stronger, especially for your cold open. Not being terrified isn't much of a hook - Man, I was terrified - This should probably be shown better. He seemed sarcastic, not terrified, especially since the opening line said he wasn't scared. - He’d been the strongest supporter for the genetic modification supersoldier program when they’d first started it. This should come much earlier. Like, second sentence or at the very least, second paragraph. Taking too long to ground the world can mean you fail to hook readers (and agents!). - another contradiction - our protag says he was dragged into this, but only a few paragraphs up he said he joined willingly (if not ignorantly) at seven? - I think I'm on page five-ish (no page numbers, and in Google docs), but I'm not connecting with Ben or his father at all. Ben seems mostly whiney and I don't have enough background yet to know why I should care about him. His father doesn't seem to emote at all. - Where are we, exactly, when Bianca comes up? I don't really have a feel for setting yet. Bianca comes out of nowhere - Wait, what? There's blood in Ben's room and someone is talking about revenge. I am so confused. Too many characters introduced in one chapter, and I don't have any motivations so the actions don't make sense - Bianca...took her shirt off to fight? No no no. That's not practical. It'd be just as distracting if Ben did it. Heck, it'd be more distracting, potentially, if Ben took of his pants, but he's not doing that. I am not on board with this. I wonder now if Bianca will pass the Sexy Lampshade Test - Little girl tied up in corner? No. I'm afraid I'm going to have to bow out of this one. We're hitting too many tropes on the head too frequently, and your use of females is concerning. I'm very concerned about where the narrative is going, noting our adult female is shirtless and our young female is a victim.
  3. Oooh, a short! Overall I'm unsure. I think I need to see the love between these two, instead of being told about it. I'm not convinced they're in love, rather, it seems like for the woman this is keeping a master happy who doesn't beat her, and for him it's a lot of lust. The premise of the story is interesting, I think it might just need some tweaking. The end also left me a bit confused, and seemed a bit on the side of dubious consent. Title: I'm not quite sure how it relates to the story. Maybe something a little more tied in? Yes this. I think the relationship needs some work, as it seems more like the master trying to talk away 'sleeping with the slave girl' guilt than anything else. I think it has promise, just needs some edits! As I go - the third and fourth sentences of the first paragraph have a strange flow to them. They might need some editing. The thought is in the right place, and I love the opening line! - first sentence of the next paragraph has too many adjectives, me thinks - page two: 'dopey' with sleep sort of kills the imagery you were setting up earlier - the paragraph that begins with 'queen of the sky', I'm not sure what happened. - Page five: "That’s love and..." What she's describing doesn't really seem like love. Seems more like wanting to keep the master that doesn't beat you, happy - page five: I dunno about this. He puts the intonements into her mind then just reaches in and grabs them at will? He'll ask first, right? Otherwise we're getting a little dubcon here. - I'm not clear how she becomes the master? It sounds more like they are both giving up a sense, which will likely affect her more than him.
  4. Sorry all, I swear we won’t be going back through too many of these early chapters. Just enough to make sure the new stuff I put in is working right. Chapter two, again. I cut a huge part of it out from last time you all read, I think, and did some tweaking to the rudder master. If you have the time to pick it apart, I would appreciate it. Thank you! Destroy at will.
  5. I'll go back and check. A number of people commented on this. I've cleaned it up, I hope. Thank you for the feedback!! @M.Puddles - wow. That's a ton of LBLs. I won't respond to each individually but thank you for all the time you put into this! S's language is awkward by design, although some of the passive voice areas definitely needed to be cleaned up. Your LBLs will give me a nice outline of where to focus the scrubbing efforts. Thank you!
  6. @Vreeah, thank you for the thoughtful comments! It's always great to get personal thoughts as people read. It helps me tweak things. Originally S was going to leave in the morning, and now walks there during the night to catch the same boat. I'll think about the going back to the house thing. Hmm. It goes on the waist later, after the bandolier is taken at the inn. Aheh. Typo. And here I thought it was clever! I'm trying to have S curse very little, if at all. That's M's job. Check. Will condense. Thank you for the thorough picking apart! I've made copious notes. Good call. I've added in a line about this. Thanks for reading yet again, @Mandamon! I've done some rejiggering in the first fifty pages, trying to get this thing ready for sub, and it's nice to have new eyes and experienced eyes on it!
  7. No no, I agree, too. The problem with 'waiting until part II,' is that readers may put the book down before then. Agents, especially, if you're lucky, give you 10 pages. If you don't hook them, or leave them feeling confused, they're not going to continue.
  8. That was a very fancy way of saying yes, you make balloon animals and are awesome at it.
  9. Yes. In the same way that this is also true. Live the dream, friend.
  10. In for the 24th, please!
  11. Hah! This is how I feel every time you talk to me about spaceship physics!
  12. Thanks so much for the feedback, @Paracosmic_nomenclator! LOL, no worries. A lot of people miss it in the first chapter. Check. Will change, Is it more or less scary that it is a real thing, with its properties somewhat extended for fiction? Good call. Typo there. It stands for the placeholder title, which you guessed correctly. That won't be its actual title though, when it goes on sub. Thank you again! Ah @Asmodemon, always nice to see you around! Glad this version reads better. We're in version four now, so things should be starting to smooth out. So how important is it to you to get personal descriptions early? More do come, but I stuck them in slowly. Better earlier? This is a really good point. My initial thought was that the pigments were so novel that S felt like they would override everything else. I think you're right though, that something else is needed. Hmm. Yes. I'll make this more clear. Check. Blocking is not my strength. Will edit. Thank you again!! Hope to see you around the boards more often!
  13. Welcome back! Overall The chapter was fairly well written, but I'm not sure what the purpose was. Was it just for our young hero to pay his dues, basically, and grow stronger? The narrative isn't particularly compelling, and there isn't really any tension. I think you'd be better off doing something like about half the ride there, then just a 'He worked in the kitchens for six months before they moved him to vegetable peeling' or something like that, and then move to an important moment (like meeting some key person). The minutia of him using too much lye doesn't add much to the narrative right now. I'm also not really connecting with our main character. He isn't showing much emotion or doing anything particularly heroic and/or interesting. I think a good rewrite could tighten this up immensely. Keep at it! As I go - willow isn't a proper noun - a cow was stealing wares? How? Why? - we're getting a lot of names and people all at once. I'm not going to remember them likely. Better to introduce slowly, one at a time - I'm at the first # break, and getting antsy. The ride is taking too long without any real information being presented (we're not getting a lot of worldbuilding), and not getting any real character development or backstory. Let's get to the kitchens! - the second description of the girls who aren't twins is just repeating the information presented before - I'm not a huge fan of the young hero jumps to the rescue of the maligned girl trope. It's not necessarily bad, or that it needs to be changed, just giving you my mental feedback here. The scene made me want to skim, because it seemed very cliche. - capitalization issues. When it's used as a name, it's capital. When it's a modifier, it's not capitalized. my uncle Hi, Uncle! He saw his uncle. That man, your uncle. I love Uncle! - "I have a feeling you'll get a chance in the kitchens before long." Technically isn't he already in the kitchen? I assume you are insinuating that our boy on this traditional hero's journey will earn his worth quickly through pot scrubbing and then move on to Better Things? The scene with the chef also plays out pretty cliche. I think you need a different take on at least one of these areas to spice things up.
  14. Cause @industrialistDragon and I don't know each other at all. AT ALL. Agree, although borderline enough that we do not have to reset our counter. Whew.
  15. Definitely make a bigger deal of this then, because it seems very unbelievable that it takes so long for the wood dust to catch. His dialogue tags could be the screaming and writhing part, if you want. But we need to feel his feels. This should probably be mentioned at least twice so it sticks with the reader It would not, unless you're moving into subspecies, and even then their ring porosity likely wouldn't change (unless you want to seriously magic then, and have one move from ring porous to semi ring porous, which would be cool). Internal monologues can bog down a story. Just give us more reaction, more emotion, more feeling, even in the words. You still have emotion even when you meet someone knew. Shock can be portrayed through action. You can do it!