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About TKWade

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    Reading, video games, drawing, writing, all of the above.

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  1. @kais Ah! how did I not mention to fridging trope! blah! I must repent!
  2. Hey, @SalMonroe, thanks for posting! I enjoyed the story! So, first off, make sure you're double-spacing your whole piece, it makes it easier to read and I believe it's part of the posting rules in the introduction, no big this time, but for next time it'd be helpful. Make sure you're indenting your paragraphs. page 2, paragraph 3, is a little awkward. I think maybe unnecessary. I think I think it's a pretty common habit to look up after sitting down, in general, I really don't think you need to go into why he does it. You can just say, "he looks up at the tv out of habit." and that would be sufficient. I think you do well staying in first-person and your dialog with S works for me. What doesn't work for me is the ending dialog with Micheal. It feels really awkward and stilted. If you make your dialog more concise and direct, I think it'll read better. Example: Instead of, "it's just a metaphor, John" use "it's a metaphor." It feels more natural. In conversation, we typically don't address each other by name directly. I wouldn't usually say to my friend, "Okay, Dylan, I get it." I'd just say, "Okay, I get it." or "Okay, man, I get it." Why go to the park? I'm fine with it, but I think you need to provide a reason other than there is a cross there to pray to. You can pray anywhere. Your home, your car, your bathroom, literally doesn't matter, so this part seems odd simply because there's no defined reason, other than it be quiet and empty of people. I did like the guy puking on the cross, it felt symbolic. Like the devil laughing at God. It was almost another hit at something more going on. Regarding your ending questions: I think it was just enough fantasy. I like stories like this because it leaves you right on the edge of, "is this dude just imagining it, or is there something more really going on here??" Suzie being dead at the end: I suspected, but I'd like to be a little more concrete. You could write in the last sentence that when he goes back into the bathroom and looks in the mirror the number is 24. You could throw in an off-hand comment on J wondering how S slept through his screaming. That would solidify it. If you want to leave it open-ended you could just throw in the off-hand comment, but I think that's leaving the door open. You could also have J go back to the bathroom, look in the mirror, and react, but not outright tell the reader what he sees. Just describe his reaction to the #24. Ending it like that would also solidify that fact that something fantastical is definitely at work. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Thank you for posting, hope we see more work from you!
  3. @kais You and neongrey have been so graciously honest Sometimes a rough critique is what's needed for growth, I'll never complain. Hehe.
  4. @SalMonroe Welcome to Reading Excuses! I'm excited to read your piece next week and tear it to bits Thank you so much for the thorough critique, and don't worry, I've been decimated by a critique much worse, so you're totally safe. It's based off DnD, but I'm taking major liberties and kind of letting it go where it wants. Point. I will definitely revise this, thanks! My goal here was to contrast his previous life with his new life, maybe I just need to clean up the execution like you say. I have to disagree, but you're also the reader and what the reader perceives is always more important than what the writer put on paper, or meant to put on paper. I'll try to reword this to make it more personal. I kind of thought it was personal enough being directly in response to the thoughts he was having about Val. I will disagree on adding "ever" if only because by saying, "no one escapes the thumb of the Arbiter." it's implied that no one ever does, to include "ever" would be redundant. But you make a point and I will try to revise it. I love what you have to say here and I had similar thoughts, so it's good to hear it echoed by readers. You're not overstepping at all, love the suggestions. Thanks! Point. I'll revise. Because it's an internal thought, I was hoping the smile would be taken as more of an internal smile, but I can specify this in the writing. But quite right, he wouldn't be physically smiling. I have to disagree with this one. People sometimes flip-flop on emotions quickly. You don't know what is going through her head, but you can assume, as the reader, that she's enjoying her quips at him and the reactions she's sparking, but then in realising what she's doing to him, putting setting him up to die, she becomes upset. People joke at funerals all the time, and then in a moment of reminiscing, can become instantly sad about their departed. People are complex and capable of feeling a multitude of emotions all at once. But again you're the reader, so maybe I need to find a way to adjust this to make it easily digestible. Maybe make the switch more pronounced, to be taken as further foreshadowing that Rowan is probably getting set up. Point. I'll revise this. It's meant to be a coping method for his anxiety or boredom, in this case, anxiety, I can find a way to slide that in there. I need to do a better job of making this apparent to the readers, because yours isn't the only comment. He is helping Warren. The idea is that one of the church branches is starting to pick up on Warren's smuggling habits and the priest needs Warren for capturing magi. I'll try to fix this when I fix my Warren issue earlier in the chapter. Good point, I'll revise. Thank you for taking the time to read and critique! I'll really appreciate it and please, don't worry about going overboard with critiques, the worst you can do is not say what you think is wrong with the writing. As long as your tone is respectful, of which it was, you'll be fine. And again, welcome!
  5. I'll expand the first act to try expounding the "why" better. Thanks!
  6. LOL! @Mandamon and I are apparently shouting in tandem from the (virtual) corner. "PUT IT IN YOUR POCKET, DOOFUS! YOUR POCKET!" LOL! And here I was trying to slide his competency up! Lazy writing is lazy.
  7. It's supposed to be a single thought, "Animals pooping on the road while pulling people in their wagons." Maybe just written incorrectly? This is the first part of a 5 part series.
  8. Because I'm a terrible writer No, I will adjust this, it was poor execution. I need to find a creative way of letting the priest see the amulet and the Rune embedded in it, without it looking like total negligence on the MC's part. I wanted it to seem like he through it up on the table without consideration, but I see that it isn't consistent with the narrative to do that. The rune isn't hidden, it's just embedded in the amulet like a large gemstone. I need to be more specific when he examines it after it has been handed off to him. Good idea! @kais Thanks for taking the time to read!
  9. @ICanDream Are you a part of the email group for Reading Excuses? These works are submitted via email to a distribution group. If you haven't been added to this list you can request it in the Email List and Submission Dates thread that is pinned to the top of the Reading Excuses sub-forum. Let me know if you have any issues. You may also be able to request it via private msg to @Robinski. If you believe you have been added to this distribution group then you may check your junk mail or trash to make sure it didn't get deleted. It'll show up on the email as an attached PDF. Thanks! Happy writing!
  10. @kais is probably right, I'm probably the one overreacting. lol, or underreacting, as it were.
  11. -"I want to still do business in M when I come back." I think this rolls off the tongue odd. I'd reword it if possible. -If it's so cold that her snot is freezing instantly, why would they be concerned about lakes? Surely they would be covered by several feet of ice. -Ah, thermal lakes, it becomes clear -Really good. I was intrigued the whole time. The dialogue was fluid, other than the one snippet mentioned, it all worked really well. Well done! I thought the interaction between S and Sam was on-point and the emotional impact landed well.
  12. The privacy fence p1 - - "seen a Predator drone before." p2 - - redundancy regarding drone wedding gift p4 - - at this point the character dialogue is 'okay', but it feels really flat. I'm not getting a sense of life from the characters and the husband seems, hmm, incompetent? Not really sure what my impression is of him yet, but you can definitely tell who is in control in the relationship. It's sounding like an interesting concept so far. The dialogue just isn't pulling me in at all though. p8 - - So far I think the characters are holding consistency. The dialogue between M/J and the neighbors felt much more natural and I felt like a got a better sense of M. On the second paragraph of this page you have two sentences that are virtually the same. You might be just driving home a point, but I thought it was unnecessary. I think either sentence does the work you're wanting well enough. - "better things to do than stare" p9 - “Conservative estimate states they are" Either, estimates is part of an estimates organization, and should be capitalized, or it should be plural while states should be singular. Also, "there are" instead of "they are". p10 - I'm feeling the pace, but the tension isn't quite there for me. I don't understand why she should be reacting the way she is to the drones before she finds the pictures online. It seems like an overreaction. If she had discovered images of herself from drones, online first, then there would be more reason to act that way. I understand getting spooked, but running into your house like you're taking fire from militants seems a bit extreme to me. I think you need to define your stakes before that scene to give it the impact it deserves. p11 - If as a reader, if I had the information she'd just experienced online, before the scene outside, there would be so much more impact and tension. I'm not sure how you can swap those two around because it's kind of a chicken and the egg scenario. But honestly, having some sort of foreshadowing of those drones stalking her beforehand, and giving her some insight into what's happening, would allow the readers to appreciate the stakes that are involved. Before she sets down and sees the images, it all seems really over-reactive and non-sensical. P14- From all the descriptions we've had about Joe, this seems really out of character. It's like a 180 from his default passive, quiet self. Joe doesn't really have a voice in the first half of this short and it's in no way hinted that he has any kind of backbone. While his reaction makes sense, it's also inconsistent with his character up to this point. P15- I'm not sure about where this is going. I understand they're rural folks, but even rural folks who seem to be as young as they are, don't live under rocks. If there was a privacy issue of that magnitude happening I'd bet it'd be well known and documented. The punch on the arm doesn't shout, a married couple, or a Joe that defends his wife. Maybe it's just their dynamic, but between myself and all my married friends, I've never seen that. I've seen a wife slap her husband's shoulder with the back of her hand in a playful manner, but when you say something like, "punched him lightly on the shoulder, it sounds like buddies, not a couple. You could maybe say, "Jerk." M leaned in with a smirk and nudged his shoulder with her fist. But it just reads really odd the way it is. I went ahead just finished it to the end. The basement scene was odd. Again, her reaction and his reaction just didn't seem realistic or genuine. They must be ultra-gullible to let that dude just install his privacy gadgets. You had an interesting direction going, but it really left me wanting at the end. Why were the drones taking pictures? Was it truly a default mode? It would have maybe been more interesting if there were malicious motivations and some real reason why the drones seemed to be stalking her. And like I mentioned above, if cell drones had this problem, then it would be all over news outlets and it would be well documented. They would know about it. It would be super easy to find on the internet. You didn't give us any real lead-in on how society views privacy until N came around with his gadgets. If you perhaps provided us with more info on that front, then it may help clarify and make sense out of some of the responses from the neighbors and N. M and J have some really lovely banter, but they do seem a bit inconsistent. She seems like a really take-charge kinda gal, and he the passive pragmatic spouse, but they just didn't seem to have the right chemistry overall. There is potential, but it needs work. I think you need to work on your ending. M seems competent, but then you have her acting erratic. J seems kind of aloof, but he has his moments. And the end just doesn't make sense to me. I like that you circle back to Arnie, but the solution to their problem doesn't work for me on a realistic level. Hope this helped
  13. I think this is true if you're in a situation where you're taking someone who is competent in one aspect and moving them into a situation where they are not as competent. In my original piece, R was incompetent almost to the point of stupidity, so I wanted to adjust that by showing/telling that he was competent in one area, like blacksmithing, but maybe not so competent in the area of smuggling or lawbreaking. Good idea. I'll try to find little tid bits to drop here and there in a couple more places about his professional background and his desires/passion to continue that profession. In the previous version, it was suggested that I may have been giving too much away at the end leaving the readers questioning where it came from, the magical aspect of it, so I tried to sort cut it at a point where it wasn't so advert that there was a magical presence involved, leaving that for that for the beginning of the next act. We'll see if it works well or not. I may have to change it back. @rdpulfer Thank you for taking the time to read! I really appreciate it!
  14. In this revision, I tried to slide the MC's competency slider a bit higher and by doing so I am hoping to also make him a bit more sympathetic.I also tried increasing the stakes by giving him a more concrete background and need.Let me know if these things worked well or didn't. Thank you for taking the time to read
  15. I'd like to put my name in for next week as well.